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Last updated: 06/10/2020

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Don’t you sometimes wish there was a magic pill that would help you lose weight? If you have ever wished this, you aren’t alone. Losing weight is a difficult task and is a problem for many people. It is not only something people want to improve their physical appearance, but obesity is a real threat to your health, as it increases your chance of suffering from numerous diseases.

When it comes to supplements, there is no miracle pill. However, this supplement guide will explain everything you need to know about weight-loss supplements. Keep reading to find out more!

Key Facts

  • Weight-loss supplements are formulated to promote lipid oxidation and the destruction of fat deposits.
  • To be effective, weight-loss supplements must be combined with a physical exercise program and a healthy weight loss diet.
  • Before purchasing weight-loss supplements, you should consider a few things, such as dietary requirements, as well as the product origin, ingredients, expiration date, and value for money.

Our Selection: The Best Weight-Loss Supplements on the U.S. Market

Your well-being and safety come first. We will never recommend products loaded with unknown and potentially harmful ingredients. We have chosen three natural supplements that can help you lose weight without endangering your health.

Best Weight-Loss Supplement for Women

This premium fat burner by Nobi Nutrition is designed to help women increase their metabolism and burn fat as fuel. It is a natural fat burner, formulated with the most effective ingredients in aiding weight loss for women.

The BHB Formula acts as an appetite suppressant that supports fast weight loss by providing non-carb fuel for your brain, heart, and muscles so you can maintain energy and burn fat during low-carbohydrate intake. This product is non-GMO and FDA approved.

Best Weight-Loss Supplement with Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL

Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL is best known as a fat burner — and studies support its use for health, brain function, and disease prevention. BURN-XT uses premium natural ingredients, efficacious doses, total label transparency, and contains no artificial fillers, preservatives, or food dyes.

Each capsule contains an effective dose of the most powerful thermo fat-burning ingredients. Its formula helps to burn fat, increase energy, preserve lean muscle, suppress appetite, boost the metabolism, and improve mood.

Best Weight-Loss Supplement with Apple Cider Vinegar

This supplement helps to see a reduction in your weight and put your body into ketosis in less than 1 week! It works for both men and women, and contains powerful ingredients like apple cider vinegar with BHB salts and MCT oil to give you the perfect edge for your weight loss routine.

This supplement is unique in that it supports the body’s natural cleansing process, by stimulating the colon and bowel to flush away undigested waste, reduce bloating, and boost your metabolism.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Weight-Loss Supplements

Weight-loss supplements are very diverse products that promise to improve body composition by removing stored fat and preventing the creation of new fat deposits. Its effects on metabolism are not fully studied, so you should always be careful when choosing these types of supplements.

runner girl

Not all weight-loss supplements have the same safety standards.
(Source: StockSnap: 2592247/ Pixabay.com)

What are weight-loss supplements and how do they work?

Fat burners are supplements that are used to stimulate the loss of body fat. This effect is generally achieved by increasing energy, which requires your body to burn more fat lipids for this energy, giving these supplements their claim to fame. (1).

Within the world of weight-loss supplements, you can also find meal replacement pills that block the. absorption of dietary lipids .

These products are also known as “fat burners”.

There are countless supplements called fat burners. The best uses for these types of supplements are shown in the following table.

Be careful; not all of these ingredients are considered perfectly safe (2).

Fat Burner Active Ingredients
Chlorogenic acid Reduction of fatty acid synthesis

Destruction of fatty deposits

Fat oxidation

Suppressed appetite

Reduction of glucose absorption

Conjugated linoleitc acid (CLA) Inhibition of fatty acid synthesis

Increased fat burning for muscle energy

Fat oxidation

Appetite suppression

Caffeine Inhibition of fatty acid synthesis

Increased basal metabolic expenditure

Destruction of fatty deposits

Capsaicin Increased basal metabolic expenditure

Inhibition of fatty acid synthesis

Fat oxidation

Adjustment of fat and sugar absorption

Appetite suppression

Raspberry Ketone Inhibition of fatty acid synthesis

Destruction of fatty deposits

Fat oxidation

Appetite suppression

Forskolin Destruction of fatty deposits
Fucoxantin Increased basal metabolic expenditure

Fat oxidation

Inhibition of fatty acid synthesis

Appetite suppression

Garcinia cambogia Fat oxidation

Reduction of dat accumulation

Appetite suppression

Increased insulin levels

L-Carnitine Increased fat burning by muscle

Fat oxidation

Panax ginseng Reduction of fat accumulation

Inhibition of fatty acid synthesis

Adjustment of fat and sugar absorption

Fat oxidation

Chromium salts Insulin receptor activation
Synephrine Destruction of fatty deposits

Fat oxidation

Taurine Increased fat burning

Fat oxidation

Increased basal metabolic expenditure

Green Tea Fat oxidation

Destruction of fatty deposits

Increased basal metabolic expenditure

Appetite suppression

Adjustment of fat and sugar absorption

Yohimbine Increased basal metabolic expenditure

The use of these molecules individually continues to raise doubts from experts. It should be noted then, that the consequences of combining different molecules to create powerful weight-loss supplements are considered unpredictable. The use of various fat burning supplements can be dangerous and should not be taken lightly.

Are weight-loss supplements safe?

Fat-burning supplements that are sold freely are not subject to the same health regulations as prescription drugs, so consumers should be very careful. The following table summarizes the main side effects associated with the most popular fat burners (2):

Fat Burner Side Effects Severity
Chlorogenic acid Insomnia

Palpitations

Anxiety

Mild
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) Liver damage Moderate (reversible)
Caffeine Insomnia

Palpitations

Anxiety

Elevation of blood pressure

Mild
Capsaicin Neurological problems

Tumor formation

Unknown  
Raspberry Ketone heart damage

Decreased fertility

Unknown
Forskolin Diarrhea Mild
Fucoxanthin Has not been described Undergoing study
Garcina cambogia Hepatic damage

Alteration of the effect of psychiatric medication

Moderate
L-Carnitine Bad body odor Mild
Panax ginseng Insomnia

Hot flashes

Digestive discomfort

Leve
Chromium salts rhabdomyolysis (muscle damage)

Renal failure

Serious
Synephrine Hypertension

Tachycardia

Heart damage

Serious
Taurine Gastrointestinal discomfort

Enhances the effects of caffeine

Mild
Green tea Hepatotoxicity (high doses)

Enhances the effects of caffeine

Moderate
Yohimbine Anxiety

Palpitations

Headache

Increased urinary frequency

Mild

Most of these side effects can be prevented by avoiding exceeding the recommended daily dose and refraining from combining fat-burning supplements with other components such as alcohol or drugs. However, the potential danger makes them not suitable in the following cases:

  • Capsaicin: Capsaicin is the active compound in hot peppers, such as chili. In food, this molecule is found in minimal concentrations and is harmless. However, the administration of high amounts of this substance could cause tumors and long-term neurological damage (2).
  • Raspberry Ketone: This compound has become popular in herbalists and nutrition stores, ranking high among fat burning supplements. However, it has not been widely studied when it comes to its long-term safety and its potential cardiotoxic effects which make it an inadvisable option (3).
  • Chromium salts: Depending on their formulation, chromium salts can act as oxidative molecules that are harmful to the body’s tissues. Chromium nicotinate is considered a safer option, however, more extensive studies are required before the safety of this compound can be confirmed. (4).
  • Synephrine: Synephrine is obtained from bitter orange extract. Despite its natural origin, this molecule is a very powerful activator of the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the fight and flight reactions of the body), which can cause dangerous tachycardias and increases in blood pressure (2).

After ruling out the most unsafe compounds, we have also analyzed the composition of other supplements with fat burning activity that, without being toxic, can become dangerous under certain conditions. The following supplements, therefore, require careful attention and informed use. (2, 5, 6):

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Although CLA was shown to be a harmless compound in animal experiments, it has been shown to have a potential to harm the liver of healthy people if the maximum recommended dose (3 g) is exceeded or if used during a period of time greater than six months.
  • Garcinia Cambogia: This plant-based supplement has been used safely for years, even at high doses. However, combining it with other fat burners or with certain drugs could be toxic. For this reason, this supplement needs to be analyzed more carefully.
  • Green tea: Although this type of tea is considered safe in infusion and accompanied by food, cases of liver damage have been reported after the consumption of poor quality green tea supplements (containing heavy metals or other contaminants), requiring a careful examination of each product before purchasing with supplementation.
gel caps

Fat burners will only work if you combine them with a healthy lifestyle.
(Source: Joannawnuk: 96349775/ 123rf.com)

How can I get the most out of my weight-loss supplements?

The effects of fat burning depend, to some extent, on the degree of physical activity. The best way to increase our basal metabolic expenditure (the amount of calories our body spends at rest) is through physical activity. They will not be useful in a sedentary lifestyle.

In addition, healthy lifestyle habits will increase the chances of success of fat burning supplement, also avoiding the dreaded “rebound effect” (regaining the weight after stopping the use of the fat burning product) (1, 2, 7):

  • Eat a healthy diet: A low calorie diet (but one that provides enough protein, vitamins and minerals) will contribute to weight loss. In addition, reducing fat intake will prevent gastrointestinal adverse effects of supplements such as forskolin.
  • Stay hydrated: The most stimulating fat burners, such as caffeine, cause an increase in body temperature and sweating. The contribution of water (in the form of soups, infusions or drinks) will be very important to avoid dehydration.
  • Rest: People who sleep less than 7-8 hours each night have been shown to be more likely to experience obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. If you want to get the most out of your fat burner, keep your metabolism healthy by getting your sleep.
  • Stay away from alcohol and drugs: Since many fat burning supplements require liver function to be metabolized, it is not recommended to combine them with alcohol, which also depends on this organ for elimination. Other drugs, such as amphetamines, could heighten the effects of fat burning with potentially lethal effects.

What should I be careful of when taking weight-loss supplements?

Fat burning supplements should be considered fundamentally different from any other food supplements. The use of fat burners should be limited as much as possible (until the desired amount of weight is lost) and its use is not recommended for people with a weight within normal parameters (2, 6).

Can I use fat burners if I suffer from chronic diseases? People with cardiac, hypertensive, diabetic, renal, metabolic, neurological, psychiatric or muscular pathology should abstain from using fat burners without the prior approval of a medical professional.

Can my medication interact with fat burners? Definitely! Unfortunately, fat burners can affect prescribed medication, reducing its effects or generating dangerous reactions. Although each of these products can interact with different drugs, the main substances involved will be (9):

  • Anticoagulants
  • Antidiabetics
  • Psychiatric medication
  • Antihypertensive
  • Antithyroid
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Contraceptives

Can children take weight-loss supplements? The safety of fat burning supplements in younger children with such a vulnerable metabolism has not been studied. For this reason, it is recommended that those under the age of eighteen refrain from using fat burners.

What about pregnant women or lactating women? The influence of fat burners on the fetus or breast milk has not been studied, although there are studies that have found that these supplements could adversely affect the growth of the baby. Therefore, it is not recommended.

In conclusion, the people who can use fat burning supplements safely will be those who are healthy, in good general condition and who do not undergo chronic treatment. Otherwise, it is recommended to consult a doctor before starting to use a new fat burner.

ginseng

Fat burners are more effective in obese people than in individuals with a normal weight.
(Source: xb100: 91191488/ 123rf.com)

Buyer’s Guide

The real challenge in choosing a weight-loss supplement is at the time of purchase. You will find not hundreds, but thousands of articles that promise to “melt” unwanted body fat at a very low price. Don’t be fooled by empty promises and read our purchasing criteria before putting your health in the hands of an unknown manufacturer.

Dietary Requirements

Keep in mind your dietary preferences, allergies, and intolerances. If you are celiac, make sure your fat burning product is labeled “gluten free.” If you’re vegan, get a plant-based supplement, like ginseng or caffeine. Be careful with the capsules of these supplements, which can be made from animal gelatin.

weight loss grains

Some fat burners, such as taurine, have additional benefits.
(Source: Serezniy: 28862123/ 123rf.com)

Stimulant Sensitivity

Be very careful with stimulant-based supplements like ginseng or caffeine. If you are a nervous or anxious person, these can worsen your condition.

It should be noted that although caffeine is considered very safe within the recommended doses, its overdose can cause arrhythmias, hypertension and even brain edema. People sensitive to caffeine can develop this syndrome using standard doses, so they should refrain from using any caffeine fat burners (2).

Combination of Ingredients

Remember that most of the side effects of fat burning (generally liver failure, kidney failure or cardiovascular disease) have appeared after the use of supplements that contained various combinations of fat burning elements. For safety, choose a supplement based on a single product and avoid mixing it with other ingredients (2, 6).

Conservation and Expiration

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the conservation of your weight-loss supplements. These items should generally be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Discard expired products, which will have lost their fat burning potential (and could lead to harmful side effects).

Summary

Losing weight isn’t easy! Nothing beats healthy eating and an active lifestyle. However, if you need additional help, you can look for a booster in fat burning supplements. These products should not be taken lightly; if not used in a prudent way they could have harmful effects.

We hope this article has served as a practical introduction to the fascinating and complex world of fat burning. If you decide to try one of these articles to lose those extra pounds, do not forget our tips and recommendations to do it as safely and effectively as possible.

If you liked our fat burning guide, please leave a comment and share this article.

(Source of featured image: Photopips: 27316356/ 123rf.com)

References (9)

1. Drugs.com. Drugs.com | Prescription Drug Information, Interactions & Side Effects [Internet]. Drugs.com. [cited 2019 Nov 24].
Source

2. Tabrizi R, Saneei P, Lankarani KB, Akbari M, Kolahdooz F, Esmaillzadeh A, et al. The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [Internet]. Vol. 59, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Taylor and Francis Inc.; 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 24]. p. 2688–96.
Source

3. Tinsley GM, Urbina S, Mullins J, Outlaw J, Hayward S, Stone M, et al. Influence of A Thermogenic Dietary Supplement on Safety Markers, Body Composition, Energy Expenditure, Muscular Performance and Hormone Concentrations: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Trial. J Sports Sci Med [Internet]. 2017 Dec 1 [cited 2019 Nov 24];16(4):459–67.
Source

4. Mohamed Ansari R, Omar NS. Weight Loss Supplements: Boon or Bane? Malaysian J Med Sci [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 24];24(3):1–4.
Source

5. Isomura T, Suzuki S, Origasa H, Hosono A, Suzuki M, Sawada T, et al. Liver-related safety assessment of green tea extracts in humans: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2016 Nov 18 [cited 2019 Nov 24];70(11):1221–9.
Source

6. Bai J, Xun P, Morris S, Jacobs DR, Liu K, He K. Chromium exposure and incidence of metabolic syndrome among American young adults over a 23-year follow-up: the CARDIA Trace Element Study. Sci Rep [Internet]. 2015 Dec 22 [cited 2019 Nov 24];5(1):15606.
Source

7. Bredsdorff L, Wedebye EB, Nikolov NG, Hallas-Møller T, Pilegaard K. Raspberry ketone in food supplements – High intake, few toxicity data – A cause for safety concern? Regul Toxicol Pharmacol [Internet]. 2015 Oct 1 [cited 2019 Nov 24];73(1):196–200.
Source

8. Jakopin Ž. Risks associated with fat burners: A toxicological perspective. Food Chem Toxicol [Internet]. 2019 Jan 1 [cited 2019 Nov 13];123:205–24.
Source

9. Jeukendrup AE, Randell R. Fat burners: Nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obes Rev [Internet]. 2011 Oct [cited 2019 Nov 13];12(10):841–51.
Source

Why you can trust me?

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Web oficial
Drugs.com. Drugs.com | Prescription Drug Information, Interactions & Side Effects [Internet]. Drugs.com. [cited 2019 Nov 24].
Go to source
Revisión sistemática
Tabrizi R, Saneei P, Lankarani KB, Akbari M, Kolahdooz F, Esmaillzadeh A, et al. The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [Internet]. Vol. 59, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Taylor and Francis Inc.; 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 24]. p. 2688–96.
Go to source
Ensayo clínico
Tinsley GM, Urbina S, Mullins J, Outlaw J, Hayward S, Stone M, et al. Influence of A Thermogenic Dietary Supplement on Safety Markers, Body Composition, Energy Expenditure, Muscular Performance and Hormone Concentrations: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Trial. J Sports Sci Med [Internet]. 2017 Dec 1 [cited 2019 Nov 24];16(4):459–67.
Go to source
Artículo de revisión
Mohamed Ansari R, Omar NS. Weight Loss Supplements: Boon or Bane? Malaysian J Med Sci [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 24];24(3):1–4.
Go to source
Revisión sistemática
Isomura T, Suzuki S, Origasa H, Hosono A, Suzuki M, Sawada T, et al. Liver-related safety assessment of green tea extracts in humans: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2016 Nov 18 [cited 2019 Nov 24];70(11):1221–9.
Go to source
Estudio científico (cohortes)
Bai J, Xun P, Morris S, Jacobs DR, Liu K, He K. Chromium exposure and incidence of metabolic syndrome among American young adults over a 23-year follow-up: the CARDIA Trace Element Study. Sci Rep [Internet]. 2015 Dec 22 [cited 2019 Nov 24];5(1):15606.
Go to source
Artículo de revisión
Bredsdorff L, Wedebye EB, Nikolov NG, Hallas-Møller T, Pilegaard K. Raspberry ketone in food supplements – High intake, few toxicity data – A cause for safety concern? Regul Toxicol Pharmacol [Internet]. 2015 Oct 1 [cited 2019 Nov 24];73(1):196–200.
Go to source
Artículo de revisión
Jakopin Ž. Risks associated with fat burners: A toxicological perspective. Food Chem Toxicol [Internet]. 2019 Jan 1 [cited 2019 Nov 13];123:205–24.
Go to source
Artículo de revisión
Jeukendrup AE, Randell R. Fat burners: Nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obes Rev [Internet]. 2011 Oct [cited 2019 Nov 13];12(10):841–51.
Go to source