Dietary Supplements: Hot & Trending
Google any of these five: Green Tea Extracts, Hoodia, Raspberry Ketones, Green Coffee Extract, or Coconut Oil and you will get an abundance of websites promoting their products that help you lose weight and increase energy… but for a price. Many consumers will make the purchase of the newest weight loss pill, hoping to counteract the effects of over indulging in favorite foods. The question remains, are these pills and potions worth the investment? Do they work? Are they safe?
In this article we are going to break down the top five weight loss supplements on the market and hope to clarify the confusion. Always consult with your physician and registered dietitian before starting any new supplement routine.
1. Green Tea Extract:
What is it: Green tea is a product made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. It can be prepared as a beverage or an “extract” to use as medicine. Green tea is advertised to increase mental alertness and aid in weight loss. Antioxidants found in green tea might help protect the heart and blood vessels.
How effective: Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for weight loss. A specific green tea extract (EGCG) may help moderately overweight people, but the research has found that it does not help people keep the weight off.
How does it work: Green tea contains 2% to 4% caffeine. Caffeine is thought to stimulate the nervous system, heart, and muscles by increasing the release of certain chemicals in the brain called “neurotransmitters.”
Safety concerns: Likely safe for most people for short-term use; may cause stomach upset, constipation and has been reported to cause liver problems in rare cases.
Interactions with medications: Major interactions include Amphetamines, Cocaine, Ephedrine.
What is it: Hoodia is a flowering, cactus-like plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Conservation laws have protected the harvest of hoodia. Historically, Kalahari Bushmen ate hoodia stems to reduce their hunger and thirst during long hunts. Today, the primary use of hoodia is as an appetite suppressant for weight loss. Dried extracts of hoodia stems and roots are used to make capsules, powders, and chewable tablets. Hoodia can also be used to make liquid extracts and teas. Hoodia products often contain other herbs or minerals, such as green tea or chromium picolinate.
How effective: There is no reliable scientific evidence to support hoodia’s use. No studies of the herb in people have been published.
How does it work: Not yet determined.
Safety concerns: Hoodia’s safety is unknown. Its potential risks, side effects, and interactions with medicines and other supplements have not been studied.
Interactions with medications: Not yet determined.
3. Raspberry Ketones:
What is it: Raspberry ketones is a chemical from red raspberries (Rubus idaeus); commonly used for weight loss, obesity and to increase lean body mass. Some people apply raspberry ketones to the scalp to improve hair growth.
How effective: Not yet determined.
How does it work: Some research in animals or in test tubes shows that it might increase some measures of metabolism. It might also affect a hormone in the body called adiponectin. There is no reliable scientific evidence that it improves weight loss when taken by humans.
Safety concerns: There isn’t enough information available to know if it is safe to take as a supplement and has never been scientifically studied in humans to determine if it causes side effects. Because it is chemically related to a stimulant called synephrine, it is possible that it might cause feelings of jitteriness, increased blood pressure, or rapid heartbeat.
Interactions with medications: Not yet determined.
4. Green Coffee Extract:
What is it: Green coffee beans are coffee beans that have not yet been roasted to maintain the chemical chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is thought to have health benefits for heart disease, diabetes, weight loss, and others.
How effective: Some research shows that taking green coffee extract (Svetol, Naturex) 80-200 mg daily might cause modest weight loss over a period of 12 weeks. However, the research so far is preliminary and of poor quality.
How does it work: For high blood pressure, it might affect blood vessels so that blood pressure is reduced. For weight loss, chlorogenic acid is thought to affect how the body handles blood sugar and metabolism.
Safety concerns: Appears to be safe based on the limited research that has been done so far with no serious side effects reported. Green coffee can cause caffeine-related side effects similar to coffee including insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, increased heart and breathing rate, and other side effects. Consuming large amounts of coffee might also cause headache, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, and irregular heartbeats.
Interactions with medications: Not yet determined
5. Coconut Oil:
What is it: Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm, the oil of the nut (fruit) is used to make medicine. The term “virgin” has come to mean that the oil is generally unprocessed but is not held to any standard. The oil is used for diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, boosting the immune system, weight loss, lower cholesterol and applied to the skin as a moisturizer and to treat skin conditions.
How effective: Some developing research shows that taking the 10 ml coconut oil three times daily might reduce waist size after 1-6 weeks of use. Other research suggests that dietary use is linked to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol, without increasing the “bad” cholesterol. More evidence is needed in all other uses.
Safety concerns: Safe for most people in amounts commonly found in foods but unknown in medicinal amounts. It also appears to be safe when applied to the scalp in combination with other herbs. There is concern that it might increase weight if used in large amounts or that it might increase cholesterol levels but has not been proven in scientific research.
Interactions with medications: Not yet to be determined.
Nutrition Speclialist, Ortho-Kinetics® Trainer
New members receive a complementary 30-minute nutrition evaluation with Wes! Call Member Experience to schedule a consultation that could change your life! 972-386-2580