9 Dietary supplements for weight loss

9 dietary supplements for weight loss

There are many weight loss solutions, one of which is taking dietary supplements for weight loss.

Some options are more popular than others, such as the use of certain tablets, medications, or supplements. They claim to help you lose weight or at least make weight loss easier if you combine them with other methods.

Their actions are:

  • By reducing appetiteyou feel fuller, which means you burn fewer calories
  • Reduction of absorption nutrients such as fat, which makes you consume fewer calories
  • Increases fat burning

It is important to note that few of these weight loss methods have a proven scientific basis and can also have serious consequences for your health. Talk to your doctor or registered nutritionist before deciding on a weight loss supplement.

Also, keep in mind that health professionals agree that lifestyle changes – including following healthy eating guidelines, reducing calorie intake, engaging in physical activity and weight loss exercises – are the basis for achieving long-term weight loss. (1)

Read some information about some of the most commonly used add-ons.

1. Beta-glucans

Glucose polysaccharide is found in bacteria, yeasts, fungi and grains. These are soluble fibers that are known to increase satiety levels and transit times in the gastrointestinal tract and slow down the absorption of glucose in the body.

For example, studies show that eating barley high in β-glucan can reduce calorie intake and appetite. (2)

In addition, some studies have shown significant positive effects on blood lipids, blood pressure, and insulin resistance as additional benefits. (3)

Side Effects: Beta-glucans can cause bloating and bloating.

2. Bitter Orange (Synephrine)

Bitter orange contains synephrine. It has similar mechanisms to ephedrine, but is weaker. It increases energy consumption and lipolysis and acts as a mild appetite suppressant.

In one study, bitter oranges showed a significant reduction in body fat percentage and improved BMI. However, there were no convincing effects on weight loss. (4)

Side Effects: Bitter oranges have been reported to cause chest pain, headaches, anxiety, increased heart rate, musculoskeletal conditions, ventricular fibrillation, ischemic stroke, and myocardial infarction. It can also be addictive.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is found in a variety of herbal sources such as cola nuts, yerba mate and guarana.

It has diuretic properties. Increases thermogenesis, which leads to fat oxidation and contributes to weight loss.

Regular use of caffeine can lead to caffeine tolerance, which reduces these effects. Caffeine increases energy consumption and fat oxidation.

The study showed that caffeine in combination with G-hesperidin significantly reduced belly fat. (5)

There are various dietary supplements for weight loss with caffeine and it is an integral part of many other supplements.

Side Effects: In some people, large amounts of caffeine can cause nausea, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, diarrhea and other symptoms. It can be addictive and reduce the quality of your sleep. (6)

4. Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia berries contain large amounts of hydroxy citric acid. Consequently, inhibition of lipogenesis, increased glycogen synthesis in the liver, suppression of appetite and decreased weight gain have been reported. (7)

A randomized study found that women taking Garcinia Cambogia lost weight. However, there was no evidence of altered appetite or satiety. (8)

Side Effects: Side effects of Garcinia Cambogia usually include headache, nausea, upper respiratory symptoms, and indigestion.

A 2018 study reported 4 cases of women who had acute liver failure after taking supplements containing garcinia cambogia. (9)

5. Glucomannan

These are a type of dietary fiber from Konjac’s natural root and can absorb water. It increases the feeling of satiety as it helps you consume fewer calories. (10)

Although studies have shown beneficial effects on lipid and blood glucose levels, the effects of weight loss are consistent.

In a small study in obese women who took 3 g of glucomannan or placebo per day for eight weeks, glucomannan was shown to significantly reduce weight loss compared to placebo. (11)

Side Effects: It can cause minor side effects such as bloating, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal discomfort.

6. Green coffee bean extract

One of the useful ingredients is caffeine. The second is that coffee seeds have higher levels of chlorogenic acid before roasting. Inhibits fat accumulation by regulating adipogenesis. In addition, it regulates glucose metabolism and may interfere with glucose absorption in the gut.

As you may have learned, caffeine can increase fat burning, and chlorogenic acid can slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.

In animal experiments, green coffee extract in combination with a high-fat diet significantly reduces weight gain and fat mass. (12)

The researchers found that green coffee extract had a moderate effect on body weight.

Side Effects: It can cause the same side effects as caffeine. Reports show side effects such as headaches and urinary tract infections. (13)

7. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

It is a mixture of linoleic acid isomers with conjugated double bonds in dairy products and beef.

Studies show that CLA promotes weight loss by increasing lipolysis and oxidation of fatty acids in skeletal muscle. It also reduces lipogenesis and promotes apoptosis in adipose tissue. All this can reduce appetite, increase metabolism and promote the breakdown of body fat. (14) (15)

A placebo-controlled study estimated that body fat was significantly reduced and CLA as a free fatty acid increased lean body weight. (16)

Side Effects: Although the degree of tolerance is decent, it can cause side effects. Gastrointestinal disorders include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and dyspepsia. It can also increase insulin resistance, increase lipoprotein levels and lower HDL levels, leading to metabolic disorders.

8. Capsaicin

Capsaicin is present in hot peppers and has a pronounced pungent taste. It is thought to have anti-obesity effects due to its ability to increase calorie burning, lipid oxidation, reduce the postprandial insulin response and suppress appetite by increasing satiety.

In a randomized clinical trial, the effects of capsaicinoids, which significantly reduced energy intake, were evaluated. However, it does not quantify weight loss. (17)

9. Forskolin

It is an extract of the plant from the mint family, which is supposed to be an effective dietary supplement for weight loss.

It is supposed to increase the level of the compound cAMP, which can promote fat burning. (18)

Side Effects: There are very few data on the safety of this supplement or the risk of various side effects.

Do you need to take weight loss supplements?

Like any dietary supplement, weight loss supplements can cause side effects and may interact with prescribed medications.

The amount of scientific information available on the ingredients of weight loss supplements varies greatly. In most cases, evidence of their benefits consists of limited data in animals and laboratories, rather than clinical trials in humans.

In addition, many combinations of weight loss ingredients have not yet been tested, so there is no information on whether the combined supplement is safe or dangerous. In other cases, studies supporting the use of the ingredient are small, short-lived and of poor quality, which limits the strength of the findings.

Doses and amounts of active substances vary considerably between dietary supplements for weight loss and the composition of the product is not always fully described in published studies. Studies may also use different and sometimes inappropriate assessment techniques to measure the effectiveness of treatment.

Therefore, it is better to focus on transitioning to a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, eating healthy foods, eating clean and exercising regularly, instead of looking for an easy way to lose weight.


Of the 9 weight loss supplements mentioned, the ones supported by the strongest evidence are the following:

  • Glucomannan: weight loss
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): weight loss
  • caffeine: increased fat burning

These supplements can be helpful, but the effects are small at best. They can speed up your metabolism a bit and help you lose a few pounds, but their effect is likely to end quickly.

Adhering to a low-calorie, low-calorie diet and increasing physical activity are still the best ways to lose weight.

People considering weight loss supplements should consult a healthcare professional to discuss the potential benefits and risks of these supplements.