Natural Weight Loss Supplements: Are They Safe for Women?
Whether you’re a fitness novice or have been in the game for a while, you’ve probably considered testing a few weight loss pills to accelerate your fat loss. According to the University of Birmingham, the term “fat burner” describes a supplement that claims to increase energy expenditure and fat metabolism, increase weight loss, enhance fat oxidation during physical exertion and slow down fat absorption.
So what are the best weight loss supplements for women? It depends on the active ingredients involved. Active ingredients typically used in fat burning or thermogenic supplements often vary from one manufacturer to the other. However, most natural weight loss supplements contain a mix of herbs, stimulants and acids. While certain ingredients in weight loss pills for women can seem to work in some individuals, others tend to be either ineffective or harmful to the body.
Below is a lowdown on some popular weight loss products and ingredients to help you decide if they should be in your belly – or in the trash.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA refers to a group of chemicals in the fatty acid, linoleic acid. It’s a polyunsaturated fat, which means we cannot produce it in our bodies on our own and must attain it from our diets. CLA is primarily found in cheese, cow’s milk, butter and beef. It’s also a common ingredient in weight loss pills and muscle-building supplements.
CLA in supplement form isn’t effective in inhibiting fat storage. CLA supplements contain CLA isomers in types t10 and c12, whereas CLA in food are found in the isomers, c9 and t11. The CLA isomers in CLA supplements may not lead to substantial results however, some studies such as one published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and another in the British Journal of Nutrition suggest that CLA may help in energy metabolism, lipid metabolism and decreasing body fat while increasing muscle mass.
The bottom line, if you’re looking into adding CLA to your diet, your best bet would be to get it from butter from grass-fed cows, yogurt, grass-fed beef, turkey and wild-caught fish. As far as CLA’s safety is concerned, it poses little risk when taken in the right dosage.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee beans are unroasted coffee beans that contain two substances that may aid in weight loss: chlorogenic acid and caffeine. Chlorogenic acid slows the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and caffeine is well known for boosting fat metabolism. According to a review published in Gastroenterology Research and Practice, green tea supplements helped participants lose over 2.5 kg compared to a placebo.
Coffee bean extract is also high in antioxidants and may help lower blood sugar levels and high blood pressure.
Coffee bean extract is safe for consumption and its side effects are the same as those of caffeine. Chlorogenic acid may cause diarrhea, however, its overall adverse effects are minor. Note that some people may be allergic to green coffee beans.
Glucomannan is a fiber found in konjac or elephant yam roots. It works by absorbing water and becoming a gel-like consistency. This property allows it to remain in your gut for longer periods, helping you feel fuller and thus consume fewer calories. According to a study conducted with 176 participants, when combined with a healthy diet, glucomannan helped individuals lose up to 4.5 kg over a period of 5 weeks.
Another important benefit of glucomannan is that it promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels and aids in constipation. Make sure to take glucomannan with a glass of water 30 minutes before your meals.
Glucomannan is a safe supplement for women. However, it may cause flatulence, bloating and soft stools in some people.
Raspberry ketones have been all the rage the past few years, found in many supplements that claim to be the best weight loss products in the market. However, is it as effective as it is advertised?
Raspberry ketone is a compound in raspberries that contribute to their distinctive smell. Raspberry ketone supplements for weight loss contain a synthetic version of this compound. They work by increasing levels of adoponectin, a hormone that may be linked to weight loss. Raspberry ketones are also believed to increase fat metabolism, however, they’re efficacy hasn’t been studied in humans yet.
Raspberry ketone supplements are safe for consumption, but they may not be effective in aiding in weight loss.