There are many over-hyped weight loss supplements available, and most of them are probably ineffective or not nearly as effective as advertised. As a result, it can be difficult to separate the good from the bad. In this article we will look at three popular weight loss supplements that are probably not worthwhile, and one that is.
Acai berry juice is the juice of a berry from a palm tree native to South America, and has been hyped recently as an anti-aging and weight loss supplement. This is at least partially due to the multilevel marketing company MonaVie selling the juice and hyping it with multiple claims. Most of these are not proven. Acai juice is rich in anti-oxidants, which fight cancer and other diseases, but only in medium levels. Raspberries and blueberries are much higher in anti-oxidant content. Regardless, there are no weight loss benefits associated with this fruit juice and so it is not recommended for such purposes.
Hoodia is an herb from Africa that has alleged appetite fighting properties. It has been used for years, only recently in supplement form, but there is no evidence for its effectiveness. One supplement maker tried to extract the active ingredient (called P57) from it before finally giving up, probably at least partially due to the difficulty of extracting the chemical without undesirable side ingredients. In addition to the lack of evidence for both its effectiveness and safety, there is probably not enough hoodia in most supplements to be effective anyway.
Finally, hCG (human corionic gonadotrophin) has recently surged in popularity as a weight loss supplement. This is a hormone found in pregnant women, and is supposed to help dieters maintain lean body weight while losing fat. However, there is no evidence of its effectiveness. Since it’s by prescription only, it can be next to impossible to secure a prescription for it for weight loss purposes. Because of its dubious effectiveness, difficulty in acquiring, and severe caloric restriction necessary for it to work, hCG weight loss is not a good solution.
Surprisingly, one supplement that may actually work is apple cider vinegar. Weight loss from this supplement has been shown to be increased in those already dieting in a study conducted in Japan as well as several performed worldwide on mice. Apple cider vinegar has many benefits, but it has some drawbacks, too. For example, it causes changes in metabolism so people taking insulin should be cautious. Two tablespoons per day is the standard mixed with water or juice. There are pill forms, but there is no evidence that they are as effective and some people have complained of a burning sensation if the pill sticks in the throat.