Supplements Can Help Accelerate Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, wouldn’t you love to have a magic pill? That enticing idea may lead you to consider trying supplements. Although no supplement is actually a magic pill, the good news is that studies have shown promising results for some of these over-the-counter products.

Science and Supplements

Research shows that, when used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise program, some supplements have the potential to accelerate your weight loss.

For example, the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) occurs naturally in food, but can also be taken as a supplement. Multiple studies have indicated a possible weight loss benefit to taking ALA. In a 2011 study of 360 obese participants, those taking 1,800 milligrams of ALA per day lost more weight than those taking a placebo. A 2015 study involving obese patients with diabetes mellitus showed not only greater weight loss for the group who took 600 milligrams of ALA over a 20-week period than those in a control group, but also lower triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease.

Another supplement, blond psyllium, has also been linked to the potential for weight loss acceleration. In fact, the National Institutes of Health lists blond psyllium as “possibility effective” for treating obesity by increasing weight loss and decreasing appetite. Also, a three-week study of psyllium husk usage in men indicated that this supplement may also lower total, LDL and HDL cholesterol levels.

A Word to the Wise

Although some supplements may be beneficial, not all supplements are created equal. What works well for one person may not be as effective for another.

More significantly, although manufacturers are required to ensure the safety of their products, the claims made about the supplements are not typically subject to FDA review. The type of research used to back up those claims may vary widely from one product to the next in terms of method and scientific reliability. Because of often limited research, not every product marketed as a weight-loss solution is necessarily safe.

Therefore, it is best to use supplements only under the guidance of a physician, who can help you select safe products, alert you to drug interaction concerns and evaluate the results.

Additionally, understand that supplements alone aren’t the secret to weight loss and must be paired with a strict diet and exercise regimen in order to provide any benefits. However, when used properly, they may help you jump start your weight loss program and help you lose more than you would with diet and exercise alone.