New research demonstrates that herbal supplements do not aid healthy weight loss.
Researchers found inadequate evidence to recommend these "medicines" for weight loss in the first global evaluation of herbal supplements in nearly two decades.
Over-the-counter weight-loss drugs may need to be prompted by healthcare practitioners "constantly" to direct patients toward evidence-based care, the researchers said.
How Effective Are They for Weight Loss?
The majority of herbal and dietary supplements do not contribute to weight loss, as indicated by the conclusions of a review of research that was carried out in the past and their respective findings.
Researchers looked into many different data sources, such as acupuncture, guar gum, green coffee bean extract, tea extracts, and many other natural supplements.
Only 16 of the trials found a significant weight difference between participants who took an herbal supplement and those who took a placebo.
The investigators found that the amount of weight lost by some of the participants was less than one pound and that the outcomes were not uniform among any of the diet pills that were tested.
There are many different formats that weight loss supplements can come in, including capsules, candies, powders, and even liquids like teas. Some of the more common forms are pills, gummies, and powders.
One will be promised to lose weight quickly and easily, including waist body fat, without having to rely solely on consuming a nutritious diet or engaging in regular physical exercise. This is one of the most common ways they encourage people who want to lose weight.
In addition to this, they have a great deal of public notoriety. The market for weight loss supplements was estimated to be worth a total of $6.5 billion in the year 2020.
But do these supplements for weight loss really perform what they claim to?
The results of a new in-depth study that was conducted and published on June 23 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Obesity indicate that nutritional supplements do not result in the remarkable weight loss that the manufacturers of these supplements claim they do. Not even modest weight loss.
The frequency of overweight and obesity has more than doubled since 1980, reaching epidemic proportions worldwide.
Weight-loss medicines that have been licensed by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency, and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are available to those who are unable to shed pounds through healthy eating and exercise.
However, some patients choose to avoid or quit using these treatments because of their use's adverse effects and expenses.
The researchers highlight that many people turn to over-the-counter supplements for weight loss, which are less expensive, easier to obtain, and may have fewer adverse effects.
16.1% of Americans seeking to lose excess body fat have used a weight-loss supplement in the last year, according to new research.
Many herbal weight reduction pills are on the market, but only a few have been shown safe and effective in clinical trials.
Not Significative from a Medical Standpoint
The researchers did a systematic review and meta-analysis of herbal medicine for weight loss to bring the evidence for these supplements up to date.
The research collected information from 54 studies, including a total of 4331 overweight or obese adults from all around the world, each of which was randomized to receive a placebo and lasted no more than 12 weeks.
The following herbal supplements were found to be effective in research:
- Miscellaneous herbal medicines (17 studies)
- Malabar tamarind (11 studies)
- Green tea (12 studies)
- White kidney bean (7 studies)
- Ephedra (5 studies)
- African mango (3 studies)
- Yerba mate (3 studies)
- Veld grape (2 studies)
- Licorice (2 studies)
- Mangosteen (2 studies)
The trials also looked at products that contained more than one of these herbs.
Only one study explored traditional Chinese medicine (RCM-104), while three others examined standard formulations from Japan, Korea, and Iran (Triphala).
There was statistically significant weight reduction related to some supplements, but it was less than 2.5 kg and hence not considered clinically meaningful by the study's authors.
Compared to a placebo, just one treatment, white kidney bean, caused a statistically significant, but not clinically relevant, weight loss difference.
There were also statistically significant weight loss differences with several combination preparations, but these were not clinically meaningful, as previously stated.
Neglectful Methodology and Inadequate Data
A few products studied in three or fewer trials showed statistically and clinically significant weight loss. Still, the researchers caution that these findings should be interpreted cautiously because of the small number of studies, poor methodology, and inadequate reporting of herbal medicine interventions.
Throughout the investigations, most herbal medicines appeared to be safe for consumption.
However, there is a counterargument that because herbal medications are not subject to the same level of safety monitoring as pharmaceuticals, there is no way to determine whether or not herbal remedies are safe at the present time.
Researchers have found that ephedra can have significant stimulatory effects on the cardiovascular and central nervous systems, so the FDA banned its usage in supplements in 2004, and several other nations restricted its availability.
Some herbal medications "need further examination in larger, more rigorous studies to assess the impact magnitude, dose, and long-term safety," the researchers say.
The researchers say that trial registration and ensuring that trials are conducted and reported in a way that minimizes bias might improve future randomized placebo-controlled studies of herbal supplements for weight loss.
Other Outcomes of Research on Herbal Products
The outcomes of the research indicate that there is an extremely low likelihood of any form of weight loss occurring in people who use these supplements.
What the investigation turned up as a result
There has been an ongoing debate regarding the matter of whether or not weight loss pills are effective and whether or not they live up to the claims that are made about them.
As a part of their inquiry, the researchers looked at the outcomes of 315 clinical trials that had been completed in the past. These clinical trials included various alternative treatments and weight reduction products. They found that the vast majority of the study featured some form of bias.
Only 16 of the studies proved that the subjects lost weight, and the weight lost ranged from less than 1 pound up to 11 pounds. The individuals who took part in the research project did not, on average, see a reduction in their body weight.
The researchers looked at a total of twelve different aspects, which are as follows:
The researchers focused their attention on analyzing the following 12 aspects in great detail:
- Ephedra or caffeine
- Garcinia and hydroxycitrate
- Calcium and vitamin D
- Green tea
- Guar gum
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Alternative treatments that did not include supplements were researched, including acupuncture and mind-body activities such as meditation and mindfulness.
One of the key reasons we wanted to perform this evaluation was to determine the quality of the research that was being done to help the membership of The Obesity Society. The findings suggest that additional evidence of high quality is required before definitive recommendations can be made.
Even if there were a supplement, component, herb, or tincture that worked, the FDA does not regulate supplements, so it is impossible for there to be one. This is because supplements are not generally regarded to constitute foods. According to what researchers shared, it will be impossible to develop an understanding of the production techniques, the ratio of active components to fillers, the dose, the quality, and the efficacy of the product.
They observed that the most likely and effective strategy to manage one's weight successfully is to make significant changes to their lifestyle.
They explained that even after undergoing bariatric surgery, one must continue to make conscious efforts toward leading a healthy lifestyle to maintain the weight loss achieved during the process. When you have a cocoa pill or ginseng supplement will never work if you don't change your lifestyle since your body is always fighting you against weight loss. And if you don't modify your lifestyle, taking a cocoa tablet or ginseng supplement will never work.
The effectiveness and safety of these dietary supplements have been called into doubt by a growing amount of research, and this study contributes to that body of information.
In addition, researchers from Australia conducted a global examination of herbal and nutritional supplements. During this process, they examined the results of 121 clinical trials that involved over 10,000 participants.
They found that taking these medications did not result in a loss of weight that was clinically relevant, which is another way of expressing that the loss was not larger than 2.5 kilograms. This was the conclusion they came to after analyzing the data (5.5 pounds).
In addition, the authors of the Australian study brought attention to the fact that there was a need for more excellent research into the efficacy of supplements throughout a person's lifetime.
The Risks That Dietary Supplements Present to One's Health
There is no evidence to support the claims that taking these pills will quickly result in weight loss; additionally, some of these dietary supplements have been linked to serious health hazards. This is in addition to the fact that there is no evidence to support the claims that taking these pills will result in weight loss.
Around one thousand individuals under the age of 25 reported having health problems that were associated with the use of dietary supplements between the years 2004 and 2015, according to the findings of a study that was conducted in 2019 and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The research was carried out in 2019, and the results were published in 2019.
166 of those persons were taken to the hospital, and 22 of them ended up dying due to their injuries.
What Exactly Do You Need in Your Life Right Now?
The Food and Drug Administration does not have any control over the markets for dietary supplements, herbal goods, or vitamins (FDA).
It can be tough to tell which brands and goods are of outstanding quality and which ones might put your health at danger because the sector suffers from a lack of oversight, making it impossible to differentiate between the two.
Dietary supplements are not considered pharmaceuticals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which defines them instead as foods. As a direct result, it does not evaluate the effectiveness, safety, or quality of goods of this kind.
The Supplement Industry is Subject to A Minimal Amount of Oversight
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that "Current Good Manufacturing Practices" be followed by enterprises, and it also demands that new dietary components have to be demonstrated to be safe before they can be sold (CGMPs). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is unable to address all of the complaints and fraudulent claims that are made, however, because of the fact that hundreds of new products are introduced onto the market each year.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), supplement producers and distributors must ensure that their goods are safe for human use. This responsibility includes providing that their products do not have any harmful ingredients. Despite this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not permitted to evaluate the effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are made available for sale because of constraints imposed by the federal government.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that nutritional supplements have a label titled "Supplement Facts," which describes the product in detail and lists all of its constituent parts. However, there are no restrictions that restrict the number of nutrients that should be ingested or the size of the portions that should be eaten. The Food and Drug Administration neither reviews nor requires approval of this component in any way, shape, or form.
Because the FDA does not require that dietary supplements be standardized, different batches of the same product may include different levels of the active components. This is because the FDA does not demand that nutritional supplements be standardized.
The FDA has determined that anti-obesity prescription medications do not belong in the same category as dietary supplements. Hence the two terms should not be used interchangeably. The following are some examples of these drugs:
- Olmesartan (Xenical, Alli)
- Phentermine and topiramate when taken with naltrexone and bupropion (Contrave) (Qsymia)
- Liraglutide (Saxenda) semaglutide (Wegovy)
Several Obstacles Prevent Medical Patients From Losing Weight
Some persons are overweight or obese yet have no desire to reduce the amount of body mass they have. However, it may be difficult for those persons to access the appropriate medical care they require.
According to those who are knowledgeable in the field, the outcomes of this latest study indicate why more people want increased access to established and recognized treatments for managing their weight, such as behavioral treatment, dietary modifications, and surgery.
In addition, there is still a need for additional research to have a complete understanding of how obesity affects a person's general health, as well as how various treatments influence sustained weight loss. This understanding is necessary in order to prevent obesity from becoming a public health crisis in the future.
Even though there is a treatment that has been shown to be beneficial for a significant number of people, it is not usually covered by health insurance, which may make it difficult for folks to receive it.
Not everyone will positively respond to these treatments, as is the case with the vast majority of medical interventions.
People who try to lose body fat by employing treatments approved by the medical profession run the risk of not being successful in their endeavors. This is a possibility. As a consequence of this, individuals can feel obligated to look into other available solutions, such as taking nutritional supplements.
Many people may have the misconception that medical specialists just want to push expensive pharmaceuticals. However, the reality is that most healthcare professionals only want to follow the evidence, so this misconception is not accurate.
Note that no treatment or prescription compensates for a poor diet and that the nutrition and supplement sector is "full of unsubstantiated claims" about weight loss.
And remember that there are no easy solutions to the problem and that maintaining weight loss over an extended period is a significant challenge.
Whatever strategy you pick, you must do it forever or else "weight regain" would be unavoidable for the individual.
The bottom line
According to a new study recently published in the journal Obesity, dietary supplements do not promote weight loss, contrary to many marketing for these products claims. This information comes from the journal Obesity.
According to the research findings, significant weight reduction is highly uncommon among those who use these supplements. This is the conclusion drawn from the data.
The Food and Drug Administration in the United States cannot regulate complementary and alternative medicine and these dietary supplements because these products are considered within the category of foods rather than drugs.
These herbal remedies should not be used in place of tried-and-true methods of weight loss such as changing one's diet and exercising more, as well as taking FDA-approved medications or undergoing weight loss surgery. Previous research has found that people who take weight loss supplements may experience negative health effects and that these supplements should not be used in place of other tried-and-true methods of weight loss.
Again, even if complementary and alternative medicine is now gaining popularity, it is important to remember that not all of these new products were tested and approved by the FDA. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to consult a physician and consider your options carefully.