Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Supplements for Weight Loss

    When you want to drop some weight, it's tempting to look for help anywhere you can. If your thoughts turn to supplements or herbal remedies, keep in mind that research gives many of them mixed reviews. In some cases, there isn't a lot of science to back up the claims, and some have health risks. Talk with your doctor first before you try any.

    Also, you should know that the FDA has cracked down on some weight loss supplements that had prescription drugs in them that weren't noted on the label. You can't always tell what you're getting.

    Recommended Related to Vitamins & Supplements

    How to Choose a Multivitamin

    There are lots of good reasons to take a multivitamin. Even the best eating plans can fall short of meeting all of the 40-plus nutrients you need each day. Most Americans fail to meet dietary recommendations for many reasons, including strict dieting, poor appetite, changing nutritional needs, or less-than-healthy food choices. Taking a once-daily multivitamin is an easy way to fill in small nutritional gaps. But strolling down the vitamin aisle to choose the best multivitamin...

    Read the How to Choose a Multivitamin article > >

    The FDA regulates dietary supplements, but it treats them like foods rather than medications. Unlike drug manufacturers, the makers of supplements don't have to show their products are safe or effective before they sell them.

    Chitosan

    This is a sugar that comes from the hard outer layers of lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. Enthusiasts say it can block fats and cholesterol from getting absorbed by your body.

    Does it help you lose weight? Natural Medicines, an independent group that analyzes research on supplements, says there isn't enough reliable evidence to rate it. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that chitosan has not been shown to be effective for weight loss.

    Chitosan usually causes no side effects, but some people get an upset stomach or constipation. If you are allergic to shellfish, you should not take chitosan, because it is made from shellfish.

    Chromium Picolinate

    Chromium is a mineral that enhances insulin, a hormone that's important for turning food into energy. Your body also needs it to store carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

    There are claims that chromium supplements can:

    • Lower your appetite
    • Help you burn more calories
    • Cut your body fat
    • Boost your muscle mass

    But a review of 24 studies that checked the effects of 200 to 1,000 micrograms of chromium a day found that there aren't any significant benefits. Natural Medicines says that chromium is "possibly ineffective" for weight loss.

    Rarely, chromium supplements can cause side effects such as:

    Also, at least three people have developed kidney and liver damage when taking chromium. You shouldn't use it if you have kidney or liver problems.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4

    Vitamins and
    Supplements
    Lifestyle Guide

    Which Nutrients
    Are You Missing?

    Learn More

    Today on WebMD

    vitamin rich groceries
    Do you know your vitamin ABCs?
    St Johns wart
    Ease hot flashes and other symptoms.
     
    clams
    Are you getting enough?
    Take your medication
    Wonder pill or overkill?
     
    fruits and vegetables
    Video
    !!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
    Article
     
    Woman sleeping
    Article
    Woman staring into space with coffee
    Article
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.