Updated 11 January 2022

Weight Management Supplements 

 For the average person, maintaining a healthy weight is a constant battle. And the current pandemic has not helped. Comfort Food. Binge-watching favorite shows. Going out less. And staying in more. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated in June 2021 that 2.8 million obesity-related deaths occur yearly on a global basis. Carrying extra weight is related to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, arthritis, and more, resulting in billions of dollars spent on health care (in the US alone). 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently has ten weight loss prescription drugs approved for marketing. However, using a weight loss pill is not always effective or safe, as demonstrated by the mandated withdrawal of five past FDA-approved drugs. In addition, public and private medical insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid, often refuse to pay for a diet pill. 

Diet and exercise remain the principles of weight loss. More calories must be burned than consumed to lose weight. However, hunger pains are real. People are seeking to reduce hunger pains to consume less or additional means to burn more fat. 

 

The Weight Loss Dietary Supplement’s Market 

Private and government health organizations are educating the populace about the obesity epidemic. They promote healthier eating and increased physical activity. With greater discretionary income, people are turning to health clubs, online exercise classes, dieticians, and weight loss supplements to achieve fat loss. 

Weight loss supplements

Grand View Research valued the global weight-loss dietary supplement market at $33.4 billion in 2020. They predict the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) to yo-yo growth between 12.8% and 16.5% in the next five years. 

The highest revenue spending for weight loss supplements was seen offline in health clubs, drug stores, department stores, and health & beauty stores. However, the highest growing CAGR is expected to be seen in the online market. 

 

Weight Loss Supplements 

Along with healthy lifestyle changes, there are three ways supplements can support weight loss. Supplements can promote fat burning, block fat absorption, or help reduce appetite. 

 

Increase fat burning 

  • Caffeine 

     

When following a low-calorie diet, caffeine boosts metabolism to increase weight loss. Studies indicate around 300 mg of caffeine burns an additional 14 calories per hour for the average adult. 

Caffeine appears to work better in acute phase weight loss than long-term maintenance. This may be due to the body’s buildup of caffeine tolerance. 

 

  • Green Coffee Extract 

The simple difference between green and roasted coffee beans is the roasting. Like any plant product, the heat from cooking or roasting coffee beans changes its chemical make-up and the nutrients available for absorption. 

Along with caffeine, the green coffee extract contains chlorogenic acid (which is lost when coffee beans are roasted). Chlorogenic acid is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may help slow the breakdown of carbohydrates.  

A clinical trial published in March 2021, indicates chlorogenic acid (taken in 500 mg doses) may significantly help reduce mean body weight and percent body fat in healthy but overweight individuals. 

 

  • Green Tea Extract 

Green Tea Extract

In addition to low levels of caffeine, green tea is full of concentrated natural antioxidants called catechins. These catechins help with weight loss by: 

  1. Decreasing starch absorption and digestion by as much as 30%, as shown in a 2015 crossover study.
  2. Boosting metabolism to increase fat oxidization. (Study results are inconsistent though there appears to be a slight correlation.)
  3. Fighting against the breakdown of the hormone norepinephrine. Norepinephrine helps move fatty acids from fat cells into the bloodstream for fuel. The higher the norepinephrine levels, the more fat is burned. 

 

  • Vitamin D 

Frequently people who are overweight or obese have insufficient levels of vitamin D. Studies indicate vitamin D supplementation in these groups may or may not promote overall weight loss. 

However, most studies conclude vitamin D supplementation in those that are overweight, obese, and elderly significantly helps decrease visceral (abdominal) fat and hence waist circumference. 

Researchers are unsure how Vitamin D aids in fat loss. It may increase serotonin and testosterone levels. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, affects mood, sleep, and appetite. Testosterone, a hormone, boosts metabolism and blocks the formation of new fat cells for fat storage. 

 

  • Raspberry Ketones 

In scientific experimentation in test tubes, raspberry ketones appear to exert startling fat-burning properties on rat fat cells. However, the required concentrated dose is not feasible in human studies. Human oral supplementation with raspberry ketones cannot be replicated at such high concentrations. 

 

Decrease Fat Absorption 

The best way to decrease fat absorption is by eating more fiber. Numerous studies show an inverse relationship between fiber consumption and body fat. More fiber, less body fat. 

Consuming dietary fibers help increase fat loss by: 

  1. Inducing satiety. 
  2. Reducing fat consumption in the first place. 
  3. Decreasing the digestibility and absorption of any consumed fat. 

Eating more fiber-filled foods is a great way to reduce body fat. Unfortunately, fiber-based weight loss supplements do not seem to significantly aid fat loss. 

 

  • Chitosan 

From the shells of crustaceans, chitosan is thought to block fat/cholesterol absorption. Clinical trials indicate chitosan has minimal effect on body weight. 

 

  • Glucomannan 

     

Glucomannan is a fiber obtained from elephant yam roots (the konjac plant). Early clinical studies looked promising, but a clinical trial of healthy overweight and moderately obese adults found no significant weight loss at two or eight weeks into a randomized study.  

Water drastically expands glucomannan fiber. When taken as a tablet, glucomannan can cause choking or blockage of the dietary tract when it suddenly enlarges. It is better to take glucomannan as a powder or in a capsule.  

 

Cut Appetite 

Appetite suppressants reduce calorie intake by increasing feelings of satiety. Foods that naturally do this include lean proteins and dietary fibers.  

 

  • Whey or Pea Proteins Powders 

Whey Protein

Proteins take longer and require more energy to digest than fats or carbohydrates. Hence, adding whey or pea protein to meals helps reduce hunger pains, promotes fat loss, and increases lean muscle mass. 

 

  • Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) 

MCT comes from coconut oil, palm oil, and dairy. MCT oil is not to be confused with coconut oil. Only about 50% of the fat in coconut oil is MCT. 

When consumed instead of other fats especially saturated fats, MCT oil shows minor benefits to fat loss. Studies show MCT oil supplementation at breakfast acutely reduced later food intake while lowering blood glucose and triglycerides. 

 

  • Hydroxycitric Acid or Garcinia Cambogia 

In rat studies, hydroxycitric acid supplementation shows signs of reducing food intake and decreasing body weight by inhibiting an enzyme required to break down fatty acids.  

However, it does not seem to have the same impact on humans. Participants in human clinical studies self-report decreased appetite, but the same studies also report high participant dropout rates. 

Hydroxycitric acid supplementation shows an unreliable low weight loss of on average one pound over three months. 

 

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) 

CLA is a common omega-6 fatty acid naturally found in dairy and meat from ruminant animals (cattle, sheep, goats, etc.). CLA supplements, however, are synthetically produced from safflower oil. 

Human studies of the effects of CLA on weight and fat loss are a mixed bag. Early studies indicate good results with steady minor weight loss for up to six months where weight loss leveled out between 3 to 5 pounds. However, later studies showed CLA isomers could cause insulin resistance and promote oxidative distress. 

 

Weight Loss Supplements with Serious, Even Lethal, Side Effects 

Some weight loss supplements may be harmful when taken for prolonged periods. They can cause serious side effects, including cardiovascular issues, irregular or fast heart rate, stroke, seizures, and death. 

 

  • Ephedra 

Ephedra was banned by the FDA after it was linked to serious side effects. Ephedra is a stimulate also known as ma huang. 

 

  • Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange

Bitter orange is a stimulate related to ephedra but is less potent. Clinical research studies indicate bitter orange increases resting metabolic rate with modest benefit to weight loss. However, clinical case studies conducted from 2004-2009 associated bitter orange with cardiovascular incidents though not all factors were accounted for, including pre-existing conditions, dehydration, or high caffeine use. 

 

  • Hoodia

     

Used by Kalahari Desert bushmen and villagers to help them get through lean times, Hoodia was thought to be an appetite suppressant. However, only one study has been conducted using Hoodia for weight management. The National Center for Comprehensive and Integrated Health indicates Hoodia may not be safe. 

In the study of 15 overweight women, no weight loss was seen over placebo use. Worse hoodia showed disturbing side effects. Side effects included nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. It also affected blood pressure, bilirubin, and heart functioning.  

 

Origin Nutraceutical 

As a full-service dietary supplement manufacturer, Origin Nutraceutical wants to help develop and manufacturer your weight loss supplement. We specialize in mixing and manufacturing capsule supplements and developing and manufacturing powdered supplements. 

With the global obesity pandemic, the market is ripe for weight loss supplements. Contact us today to see how we can help turn your weight loss idea into a viable product.  

 

By:  Jae O. Haroldsen 

Unlike drugs, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements before they are marketed. However, regional and county-level governments may require sufficient evidence of the efficacy and safety of every ingredient in weight loss supplements. Before developing a supplement, check to see what regulations apply to you. 

The content of Origin Nutraceutical’s website is for information only, not advice or guarantee of outcome. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Origin Nutraceutical is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. No individuals, including those taking Origin Nutraceutical products, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnosis or self-treat any health-related condition. Origin Nutraceutical gives no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness or applicability of the content. 

 

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