Healthy Diet Supplements: Fact and Fiction
All dietary supplement ads promise to be healthy, to contain unique and exclusive ingredients, and to help you get that beach body in less time than the other guys. But how much of that is true? Here, I discuss five common ingredients used in weight loss supplements in order for you to make more informed choices about which are the best dietary supplements for you.
Bitter orange (synephrine)
Bitter orange is thought to increase energy expenditure, increase fat burning in the body, and help to suppress appetite. However, these claims don’t have much information or testing behind them. There have been small tests showing that bitter orange may have an effect on resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure, but that’s about it. Additionally, there are some safety concerns about the use of bitter orange. A number of adverse effects have been reported such as chest pain, increased heart rate, and anxiety.
Calcium has been shown, in several large clinical trials, to increase fat burning and decrease fat absorption. However, these trials have shown that there are few, if any, effects of this on body weight, weight loss, or maintenance of low weight. No safety concerns have been reported for calcium; however some adverse effects of taking calcium can include constipation and kidney stones.
Glucomannan is thought to increase feelings of fullness and prolong gastric emptying time. There have been several studies done on this supplement which have shown that it has little effect on body weight and weight loss. The main safety concern with Glucomannan is that it’s tablet form can block the throat. There have been some adverse effects reported which include diarrhea, gas, constipation, and stomach discomfort.
Green Tea, which naturally contains caffeine, is thought to increase energy, fat burning, and reduce fat production and absorbtion. Many studies have been done on green tea and it has been found to have a positive effect on weight loss. There are no safety concerns associated with green tea, however there are some adverse effects to watch out for. Green tea extract can cause constipation, stomach discomfort, an increase in blood pressure, and possible liver damage.
White kidney bean (phaseoulus vulgaris)
White kidney bean has been shown to act as a blocker, preventing starches from being broken down and absorbed into the body. Several clinical studies have shown that it has a positive effect on weight loss and body fat. There are few safety concerns for white kidney beans. Yet, there have been some adverse effects reported which include headaches, gas, and constipation.
Now that you know a little more about some of the most talked-about ingredients of many dietary supplements, you are more prepared to choose one that will work the best for you!