Supplements for Weight Loss
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
This is a popular supplement that contains chemicals found in a fatty acid called linoleic acid. There are claims that it may help curb body fat and help you stay full.
The research on CLA for weight loss is mixed. Some suggests that for some people, 1.8 to 6.8 grams of CLA per day may:
- Curb body fat
- Boost muscle
But other research shows it doesn't help you shed pounds.
Natural Medicines says that CLA is "possibly effective" for weight loss.
Some researchers warn that long-term use, especially if you're obese, may raise insulin resistance, which makes it more likely you'll get type 2 diabetes. It might worsen cholesterol in your blood, as well, which raises the risk of heart problems.
In some people, CLA may cause side effects such as:
- Upset stomach
- Loose stools
This is made from the konjac plant. Like other dietary fibers, it's supposed to help you lose weight by blocking fat in your food from being absorbed into your body.
Very early studies suggest it might be helpful, but other evidence shows it doesn't work.
Natural Medicines says there is "insufficient evidence" to rate how well glucomannan works for weight loss.
If you take glucomannan in the tablet form of the supplement, you could choke or get a blockage in your:
- Esophagus (tube that connects the throat to the stomach)
It appears to be somewhat safer if you take this supplement as a powder or a capsule.
Glucomannan also may make it harder for your body to absorb medications. So take your medicine either 1 hour before or 4 hours after you use glucomannan.
Green Tea Extract
It supposedly works by:
- Curbing your appetite
- Raising calorie and fat metabolism
Natural Medicines says there isn't enough evidence to rate how well it works.
Side effects of green tea extract, especially in high amounts, include:
Green Coffee Extract
Early studies suggest it may lead to modest weight loss, but more research is needed. Natural Medicines states that there is not enough good research to decide if it is effective.
Few people have side effects, but because of the caffeine in green coffee it may cause:
- Stomach upset
- Abnormal heart rhythms