13 Popular Weight Loss Pills And Supplements

13 Popular Weight Loss Pills And Supplements

There are plenty of weight loss solutions to choose from; these include all types of pills, medications, and natural supplements.

All the solutions available in the market claim to help you lose weight or make it easier to lose weight when combined with other methods.

The weight loss pills and supplements typically use one of the following mechanisms:

  • Reduced appetite – It makes you help feel full so that you consume fewer calories.
  • Reduced absorption – It reduces the absorption of nutrients like fat, helping you take in fewer calories.
  • Increase fat burning – It will help you burn more calories.

The following are the most popular weight loss pills and supplements:

1. Garcina Cambogia Extract

Garcinia cambogia is a tropical fruit also known by the name of Malabar tamarind. It is a popular weight-loss supplement. It becomes popular globally after getting featured on the Dr. Oz show in 2012.

It is a small fruit, green in color and shaped like a pumpkin. The skin of this fruit consists of HCA (hydroxy citric acid). It is an active ingredient in Garcinia cambogia extract, which companies market as a diet pill.

How does it work?

Studies conducted on animals show that it can inhibit a fat-producing enzyme in the body. It also increases serotonin levels, which helps to reduce cravings.

Effectiveness

A study with 130 people compared garcinia against a dummy pill. The researchers found no difference in weight or body fat percentage between both groups.

A 2011 research that looked at 12 studies on Garcinia cambogia concluded that, on average, it helps to reduce the weight of about 2 pounds (0.88kg) over several weeks.

Side effects

There are not many reports of severe side effects. However, some people reported having mild digestive problems after consuming it.

Final word

Though Garcinia cambogia doesn’t cause any severe side effects, its weight loss effects are so negligible that you probably won’t be able to notice them.

2. Hydroxycut

It has been available to purchase for more than a decade and is currently among the most popular weight loss supplements globally.  You can find different types of this supplement, but the most prevalent is available under the name “Hydroxycut.”

How does it work?

Hydroxycut contains various ingredients that claim to help with weight loss. Its contents include caffeine and some plant extracts.

Effectiveness

A study conducted to test Hydroxycut’s effectiveness shows that it can help a person lose 21 lbs (9.5kg) of weight over three months.

Side effects

Caffeine sensitive people might experience nausea, anxiety, diarrhea, tremors, and irritability after consuming this supplement.

Final word

While the one study shows promise, the problem is there is only a single study to test its effectiveness. Experts need more research to conclude whether Hydroxycut can be useful in the long-term or not.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is among the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance globally because it is present in coffee, dark chocolate, green tea, and many processed foods and beverages.

Caffeine is also a metabolism booster, and you can also find it added to commercial weight loss supplements.

How does it work?

Various studies show that caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11%. It can also increase the fat burning rate of up to 29%.

Effectiveness

You can find studies showing caffeine, causing modest weight loss in humans.

Side effects

Some people can experience some side effects after consuming high caffeine quantities, including insomnia, irritability, diarrhea, nausea, etc. It can also be addictive and can reduce sleep quality.

Final word

Caffeine can boost metabolism and increase fat burning in the short-term. However, your body might build up a tolerance to this substance quite quickly.

Also, you don’t need to take a caffeine pill or caffeine supplement for weight loss. Caffeine in coffee and green tea is the best source because it has antioxidants and other added benefits.

4. Orlistat (Alli)

Orlistat is an over-the-counter drug available under the name Alli as well as Xenical. That doctors often recommend as a weight loss remedy.

How does it work?

Orlistat prevents your body from breaking down fat in the gut, resulting in your body taking in fewer calories from the fat you consumed.

Effectiveness

According to a review analyzing 11 studies, orlistat can increase weight loss by up to 6 pounds compared against a placebo.

One study shows that orlistat can reduce blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 37%.

Side effects

Alli has various digestive side effects, including frequent bowel movements that are difficult to control, flatulency, loose and oily stools.  This drug can also contribute to fat-soluble vitamin deficiency, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Final word

Orlistat can help you reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from food and assist in weight loss. It has various side effects that can be highly unpleasant.

When prescribing this drug, doctors also recommend following a low-fat diet to minimize its side effects.

Interestingly, a low carb diet without any medications or supplements can also be as effective as taking orlistat and a low-fat diet.

5. Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry ketone is a substance you can find in raspberries, which given them their distinct smell. The raspberry ketones available for sale as a weight-loss supplement is a synthetic version of the natural element.

How does it work?

In experiments conducted on isolated fat cells from different rats, researchers found that raspberry ketones can increase the breakdown of fat and enhance the adiponectin hormone, believed to be an essential part of the weight-loss process.

Effectiveness

No studies are available to represent the effects of raspberry ketones in humans accurately. The one that uses rats as subjects indicates that massive doses show that rats consuming it stopped gaining weight like they used to.

Side effects

There are no reports of any severe side effects. However, it can make your burps smell like raspberries.

Final word

There is a severe lack of evidence that raspberry ketones can help with weight loss in humans, and the rat studies only show positive results when the researchers have used massive doses.

6. Green Coffee Bean Extract

Green coffee beans are the regular coffee beans that have not gone through the roasting process. Some believe they contain two substances that can help with weight loss – caffeine and chlorogenic acid.

How does it work?

Chlorogenic acid can reduce the carbohydrates breakdown rate in the gut, while caffeine can increase the fat-burning rate.

Effectiveness

Multiple studies analyzed humans and concluded that green coffee beans extract can help with weight loss.

A review involving three studies found that the extract use reduced 5.4 more pounds than placebo pills.

Side effects

The extract contains caffeine, so it has all the side effects of caffeine. The chlorogenic acid can result in diarrhea. Some people might also encounter allergic reactions from green coffee beans.

Final word

While studies show that green coffee bean extract can result in significant weight loss, it is vital to remember that the weight loss pills industry has sponsored many studies.

7. Glucomannan

Glucomannan is a fiber found in the roots of the elephant yam and known as Konjac.

How does it work?

Glucomannan absorbs water and becomes a get-like substance that sits in the git and promotes a feeling of fullness, making you consume fewer calories.

Effectiveness

Three studies analyzing humans concluded that glucomannan could help a person lose 8-10 pounds of weight in about five weeks when combined with a healthy diet.

Side effects

This supplement use can result in flatulence, bloating, and soft stools. It can also interfere with some oral medicines if taken simultaneously.

Final word

Various studies show that glucomannan can assist people in weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. It can also enhance serval other health markers.

For experiencing its best effects, try taking glucomannan with a glass of water about half-an-hour before meals.

8. Meratrim

It is a new weight loss pill that has recently entered the market. Meratrim is a combination of two plant extracts that can change fat cells’ metabolism.

How does it work?

This pill claims to make it difficult for the fat cells to multiply, significantly decreasing the amount of fat these cells can pick from the bloodstream. It can also help them burn stored fat.

Effectiveness

As of now, only one study is available on the effectiveness of Meratrim. The study analyzed 100 obese people placed on a strict 2000 calorie diet and receiving either Meratrim or a placebo.

After eight weeks, the group consuming Meratrim has lost 11 pounds of weight and 4.7 inches off their waistlines. The pill also helped them with improving their life quality. It has also reduced blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Side effects

There are no known side effects of Meratrim.

Final word

We only have one study showing the benefits of Meatrim. However, that study was industry-sponsored, so only more research on this weight loss pill can paint a clearer picture.

9. Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is a principal component of many weight loss supplements because multiple studies show that the antioxidant in green tea, EGCG, can help in fat burning.

How does it work?

Green tea extract can increase norepinephrine activity, a hormone that can help you burn fat faster.

Effectiveness

Various studies that analyze its effects show that green tea extract can promote fat loss by increasing fat burning, especially in the belly area.

Side effects

People well tolerate this substance. However, it does contain some traces of caffeine, which might cause problems for caffeine-sensitive people.

Final word

Green tea extract can increase fat burn up and help you lose weight. Additionally, you can get all the benefits of green tea by consuming green tea extract.

10. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid) is a popular weight-loss supplement for many years. It is among the healthier trans fats, and you can usually find it occurring naturally in some fatty animal foods like butter and cheese.

How does it work?

CLA works by reducing appetite, stimulating the body fat breakdown, and boosting metabolism.

Effectiveness

A review of 18 studies concluded that CLA could cause weight loss of around 0.2 pounds (0.1 kg) per week for up to six months.

According to another study review conducted in 2012, CLA can cause a person to lose about 3 pounds of more weight than a placebo.

Side effects

This substance can cause multiple digestive side effects and harmful effects over the long term use. CLA can contribute to insulin resistance, fatty liver, and increased inflammation.

Final word

CLA can help you lose weight, but it also has harmful long term effects. Whatever you might gain from losing a little weight does not work the risk of facing CLA’s long term adverse effects.

11. Forskolin

Forskolin is a natural extract from a mint plant, which might be useful for weight loss.

How does it work?

People believe that this substance can increase the compound called cAMP levels present in the cell. This increase in cAMP levels can promote fat burning.

Effectiveness

A study with 30 overweight men produced some exciting results. It shows that this substance reduced body fat and increased muscle mass in obese men without affecting their body weight. However, another study with 23 overweight women found no positive or adverse effects of this substance.

Side effects

There is no actual data on forskolin’s safety, so it is hard to discern its risk or side effects.

Final word

Two small-scale studies have shown conflicting results, so it is best to refrain from using this supplement until more research and data become available.

12. Bitter Orange or Synephrine

Bitter orange is a subtype of orange that contains the synephrine. This compound is similar to ephedrine, a popular ingredient in various weight loss pills.

However, the FDA has banned ephedrine as a weight loss ingredient because of its severe side effects.

How does it work?

Synephrine can reduce appetite and increase fat burning significantly. Unlike ephedrine, this substance is less potent. 

Effectiveness

There are not many studies on synephrine, but data on ephedrine has shown it causes significant weight loss in the short-term.

Side effects

This substance might have severe side effects related to the heart. It can also be addictive.

Final word

Synephrine can be a potent stimulant, effective for weight loss in the short-term. However, due to the possibility of severe side effects, it is crucial to be extremely cautious while using it.

13. Prescription Medication

In addition to all these substances, various prescription weight loss pills can also be an effective solution for your problem.

The most common among the prescription weight loss medications are Qsymia, Phentermine, and Contrave.

Studies show that, on average, these pills can help you lose about 3-9 percent of your body weight. Even that will occur when you combine them with a healthy calorie-controlled diet. These pills are of no use alone.

Taking only prescription weight loss is not a solution for obesity. People with conditions like obesity need to control their diet, do regular exercise, and take the medication, then only they will see the desired outcome.

Conclusion

Weight loss supplements can be helpful, but their effects are mild at best. No pill or supplement can magically make you lose weight. They might boost your metabolism so you can lose a few pounds. A healthy and controlled diet combined with pills or supplements is the best way of losing weight.

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