The Truth About Weight-Loss Pills
Magic Pill? Fat Chance
Fat Burners continued...
A new study on CLA came out in the August 2001 issue of the
International Journal of Obesity. In it, a Swedish group of experts
showed that overweight men taking CLA lost more fat than those not taking the
However, Pariza warns that not all CLA supplements are of high
quality. He recommends that consumers look for supplements containing one of
two branded types of CLA, called Conalin and Clarinol.
Chromium picolinate and pyruvate were very popular a few years
ago. Neither has held up well to scientific scrutiny. "There was a chromium
study that showed it really had no effect on weight loss whatsoever," says
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a form of citric acid. It comes
from a fruit -- the Malabar tamarind -- that grows in Southeast Asia.
Debasis Bagchi, PhD, CNS, is an adjunct professor of toxicology
at Creighton University School of Pharmacy in Omaha, Neb. He's also vice
president of research and development at InterHealth Nutraceuticals, which
makes an HCA-containing fat burner called CitriMax. Bagchi says HCA stimulates
the breakdown of fat, although studies of this product have had conflicting and
not very encouraging results. He and Person also say it helps suppress
Heymsfield and colleagues looked at HCA in a study funded by a
commercial manufacturer. Using the commercially sold HCA products, they could
not find any effect of the product. HCA manufacturers said the researchers had
not used the proper forms of HCA, but Heymsfield remains unconvinced.
The Bottom Line
Fat trappers and fat burners are expensive. Most regimens cost
from about $50 to several hundred dollars each month. What you get in return
may not be worth the cash. While there is some scant evidence that a few of
these products have a minor effect, none are the magic bullet that will allow
you to lose weight while you munch chips in front of the TV.
Even the experts who like these products agree that they have
to be combined with proper diet and regular exercise to work. If you've got the
willpower to stay on a diet and exercise routine and have some extra cash to
blow, by all means, see if one of the safer of these products will speed up
your efforts to get in shape. If you're not going to stick to a diet and
exercise routine, you may be better off spending your money elsewhere.