DIET&FITNESS Published December30, 2014 By Staff Writer

Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?

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Health experts repeat the same advice as far as weight loss is concerned: if you want to get rid of the unwanted pounds, then you need to diet and exercise. But we also know these are two difficult things to do, and they take time. Thus, we often turn to weight loss supplements to do the work for us. But are they effective?

Although weight loss supplements come in different packages and ingredients, they work pretty much the same way: they are supposed to block fat, suppress appetite, and promote thermogenesis that helps speed up metabolism. They are advertised to be so effective that you will lose a significant amount of weight in a relatively short period of time. That makes a whole lot of difference for anyone who struggles with weight loss since, ideally, you should lose only 1 to 2 pounds a week.

But based on a consumer reports study, these supplements are not magical. In fact, they hardly work. Out of the 3,000 people who had been surveyed, only a dismal 9% experienced weight loss. Moreover, their weight loss may not be 100% attributed to the supplement as they also changed their lifestyle including exercising and eating the right food.

But this is not the only thing the research discovered. The survey also pointed out that roughly 20% believed that these supplements are safe when, in fact, they are not approved and regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). In other words, manufacturers can sell them directly into the market without further analyses of their content, safety, and effectiveness. This is definitely alarming since some supplements had already been banned due to their side effects not related to losing weight such as palpitation and damage to the liver and kidney.

Moreover, many users don't report these supplements to their physicians. This may lead to contraindications once the users are prescribed with medications by their doctors. 

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