19 Popular Weight Loss Pills and Supplements Reviewed (Science-Backed)

Do you struggle with your weight? If you do, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

In the United States, more than 34% of the adult population is overweight, and more than 35% is obese.

But even though being overweight isn’t uncommon, it still brings a bunch of disadvantages — that you probably wish to get rid of as soon as possible.

Being overweight can damage your self-esteem.

And it can prevent you from living your life and enjoying each day as freely and fully as you want to.

It can also make you vulnerable to discrimination (intentional or not) in a lot of situations — from the workplace to the dating scene.

But more than anything else, it’s not good for your health.

The long-term consequences of being overweight include cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders (such as osteoarthritis), and some cancers (such as endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer).

To avoid all of the unappealing impacts that being overweight can have, you can take a number of different steps toward losing weight.

These steps include reducing fats, carbohydrates, and sugars from your diet.

And they include adding more water and healthy alternatives (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts).

At the same time, partaking in regular exercise can burn calories and fat, so you can begin an exercise regime per your tastes and needs.

Aside from all of these steps, you may also be wondering about the efficacy of weight-loss pills and supplements.

Many brands of pills and natural supplements that have weight-loss inducing properties can be bought at the store.

However, you should always combine them with a healthy diet and exercise to accelerate weight loss.

They usually achieve weight loss by:

  • Suppressing your appetite – then you’ll feel full so that you take in fewer calories.
  • Reducing the absorption of nutrients – then your body doesn’t take in all the calories consumed.
  • Enhancing the burning of fat – then your body burns more calories without added physical exertion.

Whether or not all the supplements touted on the internet and the fitness community actually work is a matter of debate.

But we’ve reviewed the 19 most popular pills and supplements for you.

That way, you can make an informed decision the next time you want to make a purchase.

To find out how some of the most sought-after pills and supplements fare, read on.

 

Garcinia Cambogia Extract

 

Garcinia Cambogia is a Southeast Asian plant that produces small green fruits with yellow-orange centers.

This pumpkin-like fruit contains the weight-loss ingredient hydroxycitric acid (HCA) in its rind.

Garcinia Cambogia extract can be commonly found in the form of a diet pill.

However, you should take care to buy either a pure HCA supplement or a pill that contains at least 50% HCA.

HCA is the ingredient that does all the magic.

Diet products (such as Citrilite, PhytriMax, Citrin, Bio-Max 3000, and Garcinia Trim-Pulse) all use HCA in their weight-loss formula.

  • How it Works

Hydroxycitric acid has been tested on animals, and it’s been found to be a highly effective inhibitor of fatty-acid synthesis (1).

In other words, the body produces less fat, and new fat deposits don’t replace the fat you burn through your regular activities.

Similarly, it also increases the release and availability of the monoamine neurotransmitter serotonin, which can curb your appetite in a safe way (2).

  • Effectiveness

Studies have reported varying results after testing the effectiveness of hydroxycitric acid.

One 2011 study conducted 12 randomized trials on 706 participants. It found that participants using Garcinia Cambogia extract experienced a 2 lb weight loss.

Over a period of a few weeks, they had 1% more weight loss than participants who used a placebo.

This weight loss was attributed to cutting down on visceral, subcutaneous, and total fats (3).

However, another similarly designed study with 135 participants observed no significant difference in weight loss between the HCA group and the placebo group (4).

  • Other Benefits

Garcinia Cambogia extract has been used as an Indian folk remedy for various illnesses.

Scientifically, it has been determined that HCA can reduce cholesterol levels.

Therefore, it decreases the chances of strokes, heart attacks, and peripheral artery disease (5).

It might also help stabilize your blood-sugar levels by improving cellular ability to use up glucose (6).

Since it boosts serotonin levels, it can also treat depression, insomnia, migraine headaches, and other serotonin-deficient conditions (7).

  • Side Effects

If Garcinia Cambogia extract is overused, there could be serious health consequences.

Research has found that it’s associated with hepatotoxicity and acute liver failure (8). Some have reported mild digestive problems.

And it may not be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those suffering from low blood pressure.

  • Bottom Line

Garcinia Cambogia extract may induce moderate weight loss but not significantly enough for it to be considered an effective weight-loss supplement.

 

Hydroxycut

 

For over a decade, Hydroxycut (a family of non-prescription weight-loss supplements) has steadily gained renown.

The makers of Hydroxycut (Lovate Health Sciences International), claim that it uses raw ingredients through extensive quality-assurance procedures.

Some of its most common active ingredients are papaya, maqui, blackberry, amla extract, lady’s mantle extract, cumin extract, wild olive extract, komijn extract, wild mint extract, and saffron extract.

Some of its products also include caffeine and green coffee bean extract.

In 2009, it was recalled and reformulated because of health reports, and it’s been criticized during safety studies for its lack of long-term efficacy.

  • How it Works

Hydroxycut has a blend of natural ingredients, which are supposed to aid in weight loss (along with calcium, vitamin C, and some other minor ingredients).

The most powerful of these ingredients is caffeine, which is a component of only a few Hydroxycut products.

Caffeine induces weight loss through thermogenesis and fat oxidization (and suppressed leptin in women) (9).

Some of Hydroxycut’s key ingredients were tested together, and they were found to boost the metabolic rate (10).

  • Effectiveness

Users have reported different results; some claim that Hydroxycut worked well for them, but others say that it had no visible effect.

Over a period of 12 weeks, a group of researchers tested the efficacy of a combination of leaves (lady’s mantle, olive, wild mint, and cumin seeds) on 34 participants.

The group taking the herbal blend lost 21 lbs, but the placebo group only lost 1.8 lbs (11).

Another study found that Hydroxycut reduced body weight by 20% in chickens and enhanced metabolism in rats (12).

  • Other Benefits

There aren’t many benefits to Hydroxycut other than weight loss.

However, some its products do contain leucine, which is an amino acid that can boost muscle growth and repair (13).

It also contains oleic acid, which can have partial modulatory effects on physiological functions, as well as a beneficial effect on inflammations, infections, cardiovascular disease, and skin repair (14).

  • Side Effects

Due to reports of hepatotoxicity, the older formulations of Hydroxycut were withdrawn in 2009 (15).

Since then, new formulations have been designed and released in the market.

However, some recent reports also show side effects (including ulcerative colitis, ischemic colitis, and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome) of the new Hydroxycut products (16, 17, 18).

Furthermore, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may experience nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, jitteriness, or irritability.

  • Bottom Line

Hydroxycut has been directly tested on animals.

Only one study shows the effects of combining its key ingredients, so there is no evidence of long-term effectiveness or safety.

 

Caffeine

 

This ingredient is familiar and beloved!

Caffeine is the world’s most-used psychoactive drug, and it’s ingested by millions on a daily basis.

In the US, more than 90% of adults use caffeine regularly. In fact, they consume an average of 200 milligrams of caffeine per day.

Caffeine is usually found in the leaves, seeds, or fruits of more than 60 plant species.

Some common sources are coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts, cacao beans, guarana, yerba mate, and yoco.

Caffeine is absorbed into the blood and body tissues about 45 minutes after consumption.

It speeds up cellular activity, while it’s relieving fatigue and lack of focus.

  • How it Works

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. Thus, it helps fat cells break themselves down (19, 20).

It also increases adrenaline levels in the blood, further mobilizing fat from the tissues as fatty acids (21, 22).

This increase also improves your exercise performance, which allows your body to burn off more calories and fat (23, 24).

Caffeine can also enhance your metabolic rate by 3 to 11%, and it increases the burning of fat by 10 to 29% (depending on body type) (25, 26, 27, 28).

  • Effectiveness

Different studies have found that the regular intake of caffeine can have significant changes in weight.

One study was conducted on 136 obese women.

It found that caffeine can lead to substantial weight loss (when complemented by an exercise regime) (29).

In another study on 76 overweight subjects, caffeine was found to reduce body weight in the short term by an average of 13 lbs (30).

However, caffeine has been found to work differently, depending on age and body mass.

For example, obese individuals saw only a 10% reduction, while lean individuals saw a 29% reduction in body weight (31).

In another study, younger men experienced a greater effect in weight loss through fat oxidation than older men (32).

However, in the long term, all caffeine users can become tolerant to its effects (33, 34).

  • Other Benefits

Once caffeine enters your bloodstream and travels to your brain, it blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine, which increases levels of norepinephrine and dopamine (35, 36, 37).

Therefore, it can help improve your mood, memory, concentration, energy, and cognitive performance (38, 39, 40).

And if you regularly enjoy physical activities at the gym, then caffeine can give you the physical boost you need (by 11 to 12%) (41, 42).

Studies have also shown that coffee can lower the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Other sources claim a decreased risk (from 23 to 67%) (43, 44, 45, 46, 47).

Caffeine has also been shown to decrease risks for Alzheimer’s (by up to 65%) and Parkinson’s (by up to 60%) (48, 49, 50, 51, 52).

Other findings are that coffee drinkers have an 80% lower risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver (53, 54, 55).

Caffeine can also lower depression, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and lower the risks of suffering heart strokes (56, 57, 58, 59, 60).

  • Side Effects

Some people are more sensitive to caffeine.

For them, it can cause diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, jitteriness, nausea, and irritability.

Caffeine is also addictive, so you can develop a dependence on it (61).

It can also lead to dehydration (62), and it can block the absorption of magnesium (63).

And it can be the reason for the abnormal stimulation of the central nervous system, decreased tonus of the lower esophageal sphincter, increased risk of miscarriage, and retardation of intrauterine growth (64).

  • Bottom Line

In the short term, caffeine can boost your metabolism and aid in fat loss.

But you can quickly develop a tolerance to its effects. So it’s best to get caffeine from natural sources (not through pills).

 

Alli (Orlistat)

 

Unlike the many unapproved weight-loss pills and supplements, Alli (Orlistat) is an over-the-counter pharmaceutical drug approved by the FDA.

It’s been designed for individuals over 18 who’re already on a low-calorie, reduced-fat diet.

A stronger version of Alli is sold as a prescription under the name Xenical, which is also recommended for patients undergoing weight-loss surgery.

According to this company, taking Alli capsules can prevent about 25% of the fat you consume from getting absorbed into the body.

And it works best for those looking to reduce 5 to 10% of their body weight.

  • How it Works

Alli can be categorized as a lipase inhibitor.

It prevents the intestine from absorbing about a quarter of all the fat you consume.

The unabsorbed fat leaves your body through your bowel movements.

Alli may also help reduce visceral fat (the kind that can cause type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure).

  • Effectiveness

Alli is sold as a weight-loss aid. It doesn’t claim to help you lose weight on its own.

In fact, their motto is: “For every two pounds you lose through diet and exercise, Alli can help you lose one more.”

According to a two-year study published in Lancet, at the end of the first year, the Orlistat group lost 10.2% of their body weight (compared to 6.1% of the placebo group).

The researchers stated, “Orlistat taken with an appropriate diet promotes clinically significant weight loss and reduces weight regain in obese patients over a 2-year period.

The use of Orlistat beyond 2 years needs careful monitoring with respect to efficacy and adverse events” (65).

A review of 11 different studies on Orlistat claimed that it can increase weight loss by an average of 6 pounds (compared to a dummy pill) (66).

  • Other Benefits

Orlistat has been shown to the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and other complications (67).

In another study, the use of Orlistat was found to result in the greater reduction of the incidence of type 2 diabetes (by 37 % over 4 years) (68).

Orlistat also improves insulin sensitivity, has an anti-teratogenic effect, and can prevent metabolic syndrome in overweight people (69).

  • Side Effects

Using Orlistat can cause gastrointestinal problems.

For instance, it can produce steatorrhea (which is characterized by oily, loose stools with excessive flatus), bloating, fecal incontinence, and frequent or urgent bowel movements.

It may also lower the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E, and K) (70).

These problems may decrease with time, but the manufacturers suggest a preventative, low-fat diet.

  • Bottom Line

Orlistat products can significantly help you lose weight (when combined with diet and exercise).

But it has many side effects, and a low-carb diet is more effective than combining Orlistat with a low-fat diet (71).

 

Raspberry Ketone

 

Raspberry ketone is a natural phenolic compound, which is obtained from red raspberries.

It’s the primary reason that raspberries smell the way they do.

It’s also found in other natural products (such as kiwifruits, peaches, grapes, apples, other berries, vegetables (such as rhubarb), and bark (such as yew, maple, and pine).

However, the raspberry ketone found in markets is not derived from these ingredients.

Rather, it’s synthetically made to sell as a weight-loss supplement (72, 73).

In high doses, raspberry ketone can expedite the burning of fat, but it has been controversial (due to a lack of solid evidence of its effectiveness).

  • How it Works

Due to its molecular similarity to capsaicin and synephrine, researchers speculate that raspberry ketone may work in a similar way.

When researchers took isolated fat cells from rats and added raspberry ketones, they found that it increased lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) — by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter (norepinephrine) and inducing fat cells (to release greater amounts of the hormone adiponectin) (74).

Adiponectin levels increase with weight loss, and they’re higher in thin people (75, 76).

  • Effectiveness

Raspberry ketone has been tested only on rats.

And although there have been visible results, they aren’t as significant as their marketing has presented them to be.

In one study, a group of rats was given a high-calorie diet of raspberry ketones.

The mice in the raspberry ketone group gained 10% less than the mice in the control group (77).

However, the rats didn’t lose any weight; they simply gained less.

In another similar study, the rats who were given raspberry ketones didn’t develop fatty livers (as compared to the control group) (78).

But the rats had to be given a massive amount to achieve these results, which ended up being a lot more than the recommended amount for humans.

There haven’t been studies on humans, but one study (in which raspberry ketone was one of many weight-loss ingredients) showed that participants lost 7.8% of their body fat (as compared to 2.8% of the placebo group) (79).

  • Other Benefits

Research has shown that raspberry ketones can cause cells to secrete more adiponectin.

These low levels are associated with a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart disease (80, 81).

When topically applied as a component of a cream, raspberry ketone has been shown to increase hair growth, and improve skin elasticity (82).

  • Side Effects

The effects of raspberry ketone haven’t been studied in humans, so its side effects are not well-known.

The FDA has categorized raspberry ketone as “Generally Recognized and Safe.”

And it’s used as a flavoring and fragrance agent in many different products. So it seems relatively safe.

On the studies conducted on rats, there were no harmful side effects (despite the doses being extremely high).

It’s recommended that you limit your consumption of raspberry ketones from 100 to 400 milligrams per day.

  • Bottom Line

There’s no evidence that raspberry ketone has any weight-loss effects on humans.

And even in rats, the doses had to be astronomically high.

 

Green Coffee Bean Extract

 

Green coffee bean extract is derived from unroasted coffee beans.

Coffee beans have a lot of antioxidants and pharmacologically active compounds.

It’s considered a powerful weight-loss agent because it contains caffeine and chlorogenic acid, which gets destroyed in the process of roasting (83).

Therefore, although it’s very beneficial to drink coffee, using green coffee bean extract is also thought to contribute something extra.

That’s why it’s often sold as a weight-loss supplement, which has become rather popular.

  • How it Works

As the name implies, green coffee bean extract contains caffeine.

Caffeine has been shown to boost metabolism by 3 to 11% (84, 85).

It also helps break down fat cells and increases adrenaline levels, so that you’re burning more lipids.

The other active ingredient (chlorogenic acid) can reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the digestive tract, which lowers blood sugar and decreases insulin spikes (86, 87).

Therefore, it works like a low-carb diet.

Studies in rats and mice have also shown that chlorogenic acid can reduce fat absorption and stored fat in the liver, and improve the function of adiponectin (88, 89).

  • Effectiveness

One randomized, controlled trial was conducted on 30 overweight participants.

For 12 weeks, they were either given regular instant coffee or instant coffee containing green coffee bean extract.

Compared to the control group (which lost only 3.7 pounds), the group taking green coffee bean extract lost 11.9 pounds.

Their body-fat percentages decreased by 3.6% (compared to 0.7% of the control group) (90).

A review of 3 studies found that green coffee bean extract alone can cause people to lose 5.4 or more pounds (91).

Several studies echo such results (92, 93).

But many of these studies have been funded by the coffee industry, so they may not be reliable.

  • Other Benefits

The chlorogenic acid found in green coffee beans extract has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats, which indicates that it can prevent heart disease (94).

It also appears to inhibit glucose absorption, which can help manage diabetes (95).

In both animals and humans, daily doses (between 140 and 720 milligrams) have been shown to lower blood pressure.

Thus, they protect blood vessels and prevent strokes and heart attacks (96, 97).

Chlorogenic acid is also an antioxidant, so it protects you from oxidative stress (which can lead to inflammations, signs of aging, and many diseases) (98).

  • Side Effects

In one study, some participants had to withdraw, due to headaches and urinary tract infections.

But there isn’t sufficient evidence that the direct cause was the coffee bean extract (99).

Since some people may be sensitive to caffeine, the extract may cause anxiety, jitteriness, irritability, and nausea.

The chlorogenic acid in it may also cause diarrhea (100).

Some people have even had allergic reactions to green coffee bean extract (101, 102).

And the extract shouldn’t be used by children or pregnant and breastfeeding women.

  • Bottom Line

Many studies show that green coffee bean extract can lead to significant weight loss, but they can’t all be trusted (due to their ties to the industry).

 

Glucomannan

 

Glucomannan is obtained from the fibrous roots of an Asian plant called Konjac (or Elephant Yam).

This natural, water-soluble fiber is found in shirataki noodles, drink mixes, food products (such as pasta and flour), and certain candies.

It’s also a food additive, which is traditionally used in herbal mixtures and foods (such as noodles, tofu, and konjac jelly).

It’s also sold as a weight-loss supplement.

It’s considered very powerful because of its ability to absorb large quantities of water.

  • How it Works

Because Glucomannan is a soluble fiber, it has very low-calorie content and increases satiety (a feeling of fullness) by taking up space in your stomach, which causes you to eat less (103).

It then maintains satiety for longer by delaying the movement of the digested food from the stomach to the intestines, and it reduces the absorption of proteins and fats (104, 105).

Glucomannan also promotes the healthy bacteria in your gut, which turn into short-chain fatty acids that reduce fat gain (106, 107).

Studies have also found that a group of healthy bacteria called Bacteroidetes are lower in obese people, so Glucomannan can also aid in weight loss through a microbial mechanism (108, 109).

  • Effectiveness

One randomized, controlled trial tested 176 overweight participants, who were on a low-calorie diet.

They were given either a Glucomannan supplement or a placebo.

There were three Glucomannan groups with varying doses or added fibers.

All three groups using Glucomannan saw more weight loss than the placebo group.

On average, they lost 8 to 10 pounds within five weeks (110).

Several studies show that when regularly digested before a meal, Glucomannan can cause significant weight loss (111, 112, 113).

  • Other Benefits

Glucomannan has been found to help prevent diseases and complications related to the heart (as well as type 2 diabetes).

One systematic review of 14 studies concluded that Glucomannan can lower the total cholesterol to 19 mg/dL, lower LDL cholesterol by 16 mg/dL, lower triglycerides by 11 mg/dL, and lower fasting glucose by 7.4 mg/dL (It’s also been successfully used as a treatment for constipation (115, 116).

  • Side Effects

Usually, people don’t experience any side effects after using Glucomannan, but it may sometimes expand before reaching the stomach.

And it may cause you to choke or block your esophagus, which is why it should be used with water.

Some may experience mild symptoms (such as bloating, flatulence, soft stools, or diarrhea), but they’re rare.

It can also reduce the absorption of oral medicine, so it should be taken one hour before (or four hours after) taking Glucomannan.

  • Bottom Line

Studies have consistently shown that Glucomannan helps with weight loss and has other health benefits.

And there aren’t severe side effects, so it’s a good option.

 

Meratrim

 

Meratrim is a more recent diet pill.

It was formulated after researchers tried mixes of different herbs on isolated fat cells in a test tube.

It contains two active ingredients: sphaeranthus indicus extract (derived from a flower) and garcinia mangostana extract (derived from a fruit).

Both ingredients have been used for centuries to treat such conditions as inflammation and fever (117, 118).

Together, the two ingredients are thought to aid in weight loss and decrease BMI.

  • How it Works

Researchers have studied Meratrim and found that it can help you lose weight through three primary mechanisms: by making it more difficult for fat cells to multiply, by decreasing the amount of fat picked up by fat cells from the bloodstream, and by aiding cells that burn fat (119).

Therefore, it enhances the metabolism of fat cells, so that you lose weight.

  • Effectiveness

There hasn’t been much research on Meratrim.

In fact, so far, only one study has been conducted. The study observed 100 obese participants for 8 weeks.

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, people took 400 mg of Meratrim before breakfast and dinner each day.

Meanwhile, a control group did the same thing, except with a dummy pill.

All the participants were restricted to 2000 calories a day, and they had to walk 30 minutes each day for exercise.

The Meratrim group lost 11 pounds, while the placebo group lost only 3.3 pounds.

More importantly, the Meratrim group lost 4.7 inches of visceral fat from their waistlines, as compared to 2.4 inches in the placebo group.

The Meratrim group also saw faster results, and they had the better hip circumference and BMI (120).

However, the one favorable study was sponsored by the company that makes Meratrim, so you should be wary of the results.

  • Other Benefits

In the same study mentioned above, researchers compared the two groups on some other factors.

When it came to physical functioning and self-esteem, the Meratrim group scored significantly higher than the placebo group.

And when it came to public distress and work performance, they also scored better, although the differences weren’t so pronounced.

The study also showed that the total cholesterol went down by 28.3 mg/dL in the Meratrim group (compared to 11.5 mg/dL in the placebo group).

Triglycerides went down by 68.1 mg/dL in the Meratrim group (compared to 40.8 mg/dL in the placebo group).

And fasting glucose went down by 13.4 mg/dL in the Meratrim group (compared to 7mg/dL in the placebo group).

  • Side Effects

In the study in which 800 mg of Meratrim were used daily, no side effect was found.

However, there have been no other studies regarding its safety, so it’s best to limit the doses to that amount.

More research needs to be done in this area.

  • Bottom Line

One study shows that Meratrim can help with weight loss and other problems, but it’s funded by the company that sells the product.

 

Green Tea Extract

 

Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves, which have not undergone oxidation or withering.

Green tea is a well-known ingredient in the world of fitness.

Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, it’s hailed for all its different benefits, which includes weight loss.

It contains caffeine and a catechin called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which both contribute to weight loss.

Both are very powerful components, which have led to green tea becoming one of the most popular weight-loss ingredients in the word today.

  • How it Works

As we mentioned earlier, caffeine helps weight loss by breaking down fat cells and helping fat burn more efficiently.

EGCG can inhibit an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine so that their levels rise (121, 122).

Then EGCG gives the fat cells a signal to break up the fat. Therefore, caffeine and ECGC have a synergistic effect.

Together, they can increase metabolism and reduce fat absorption (123).

  • Effectiveness

A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that even a low dose of green tea extract can increase fat oxidation by 33% (124).

In another study, men who took green tea extract and exercised burned 17% more fat than men who didn’t take anything (125).

Several studies show that green tea can increase the burning of fat during both exercise and rest (126, 127).

Some studies have also shown that increased metabolism can persist in the long run (128, 129).

Other studies suggest that green tea can suppress appetite, while some animal studies show that it can reduce the amount of fat absorbed from food (130, 131, 132, 133).

It’s also been found that most of the weight loss induced by green tea happens in the abdominal area, where dangerous visceral fat is stored (134, 135, 136).

  • Other Benefits

Green tea extract has many benefits. It can increase the concentration of neurotransmitters and improve mood, vigilance, reaction time, and memory (137).

It can also reduce risks for certain types of cancer (including breast, prostate, and colorectal) (138, 139, 140).

And it can reduce risks for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (141, 142, 143).

The catechins in green tea extract can kill harmful bacteria in your body, prevent infections, and improve health (144, 145).

Green tea can even improve the smell of your breath (146, 147).

Green tea extract can also improve blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, and it can prevent type 2 diabetes (148, 149).

Another benefit is that it reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease by up to 31% (150, 151, 152).

  • Side Effects

Most people are generally tolerant of green tea and suffer from no side effects.

It does contain caffeine, so those with a caffeine sensitivity may experience anxiety, jitteriness, irritability, and nausea.

  • Bottom Line

Green tea extract can help you lose a modest amount of body fat, especially from the belly area.

 

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

 

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a type of fatty acid, which has been a renowned fat-loss supplement for years.

Although it’s a trans fat, it’s the healthy kind. It can be found in grass-fed beef and dairy products.

CLA is known for its benefits, and a lot of different researchers have studied its effects.

Its many benefits have made it a popular substance, but it appears to have some negative consequences as well.

  • How it Works

CLA has different anti-obesity mechanisms (153), which help you lose weight by limiting your food intake, suppressing your appetite, increasing the burning of fat, stimulating the breakdown of fat, and inhibiting the production of fat (154, 155, 156, 157).

  • Effectiveness

One review of 18 different studies was conducted on the effectiveness of conjugated linoleic acid.

It found that CLA can cause weight loss of 0.2 pounds per week for up to 6 months (158).

Some studies claim that it can improve body composition by decreasing fat mass and increasing muscle mass (159, 160, 161, 162).

Another 2012 review study concluded that CLA caused about 3 lbs more weight loss than a placebo (163).

All of these different studies support the idea that regularly ingesting CLA has positive impacts on weight loss.

But there are plenty of studies that report that there was no significant difference in weight after using CLA (164, 165, 166).

  • Other Benefits

There are several studies that show that taking in conjugated linoleic acid can regularly have positive impacts on your body and health.

For example, it’s been shown to help regulate insulin, therefore helping prevent type 2 diabetes (167).

It’s also been shown to lower the risks of certain cancers (including breast and prostate) (168, 169).

And it’s been proven to reduce the risk of heart attacks (170).

  • Side Effects

While conjugated linoleic acid certainly does have benefits, it can also harm you if you take it in large doses.

Different studies have found that large doses of supplemental CLA can increase the buildup of fat in the liver, which leads to diabetes and metabolic syndrome (170, 171, 172).

And although it can lower fat levels, it can also cause insulin resistance, lower the good HDL cholesterol, and cause inflammation (173, 174).

However, these results were only derived when abnormally large doses of CSA were used, so you should be fine if you regulate the daily amount of CLA you take.

The last thing to keep in mind is that CLA can also cause less severe inconveniences (such as diarrhea, stomach pain, flatulence, and nausea) (175).

  • Bottom Line

Although CLA does help you lose weight, you may find that its negative consequences aren’t worth the trouble.

 

Forskolin

 

Forskolin is derived from the roots of the Indian coleus, a tropical plant that’s related to the mint family.

It’s been used as a traditional herbal medicine for hundreds of years, as well as a treatment for a number of different illnesses (176).

It’s become extremely popular in recent times, especially after being featured on the Dr. Oz Show.

In view of its rising popularity, some researchers have tested this component with varying results.

  • How it Works

Research shows that Forskolin acts as a signal to fat cells to release their fat content; this is done by raising levels of a compound called cyclic AMP inside cells that stimulates the burning of fat (177, 178, 179).

However, this signal cannot cause weight loss unless it’s accompanied by a calorie deficiency.

Some studies have shown that it does lead to weight loss, but more research is needed.

  • Effectiveness

Thus far, only two studies have looked at the effects of Forskolin on weight, and neither was large or long-term in nature.

One of the studies observed 30 overweight men.

They were randomly assigned to either 250 mg of coleus forskohlii extract (which contains 10% forskolin twice a day for 12 weeks) or the same amount of placebo pills.

The Forskolin group saw a significant loss in fat levels, but their total body weight didn’t change (180).

In another study, the same procedure was performed on 23 women, and the results didn’t show any fat loss.

But it suggested that it may prevent weight gain instead (181).

  • Other Benefits

In one of the studies, the Forskolin group saw a significant rise in testosterone, which can enhance the growth of muscle mass (182) and its maintenance (183).

Forskolin has also been traditionally used to treat conditions (such as constipation, bronchitis, and heart disease) (184).

Forskolin supplements may also be able to widen the passages to the lungs and help cure asthma (185).

In addition, it can improve bone density, which helps avoid osteoporosis (186).

  • Side Effects

Because there hasn’t been any research done on Forskolin (apart from the two studies testing its effectiveness), we cannot be sure whether or not it will pose any health risks in high doses (or in the long term).

So far, nobody has reported any adverse effects after using it, and the participants in the studies had no side effects.

However, it’s best to be safe and limit your usage to the typical dosage (which is 100 to 250 mg of coleus forskohlii or 10% forskolin twice a day).

  • Bottom Line

There have only been two studies conducted, and the results don’t align with each other.

So you should wait for further research before trying Forskolin.

 

Synephrine

 

Synephrine (which is related to the decongestant Ephedrine) is found in bitter oranges.

Ephedrine is a controversial compound that was once used to manage obesity in weight-loss pills.

It was banned by the FDA because of its harsh side effects, particularly its tendency to lead to heart disease.

Although Synephrine isn’t as strong as ephedrine, it works in much the same way as its notorious cousin.

However, there hasn’t been much research on its effectiveness or safety.

  • How it Works

Synephrine works through the same mechanism as ephedrine. Primarily, it suppresses your appetite.

It increases your satiety, so you don’t yearn for more food. In other words, you take in fewer calories in your usual meals.

And it also means that you won’t be inclined to unhealthy snack between meals.

Synephrine can improve your metabolic rate so that your body burns more calories faster (even while doing the same amount of activities) (187).

  • Effectiveness

In one study of 20 overweight adults, Synephrine was tested (along with caffeine and St. John’s wort).

They followed a strict 1800-calorie diet each day. After six weeks, the Synephrine group lost 3 lbs of weight and 2.9% body fat.

However, it isn’t clear if it was the bitter orange or the other ingredients that caused the weight loss.

In a double-blind crossover study, 6 participants who received two capsules of 12 mg of Synephrine saw a 2.41% increase in their resting metabolic rate.

A similar study (with 10 participants) found that Synephrine caused a 13.4% metabolic rate after two hours.

Other similar studies have been conducted with varying results (188).

  • Other Benefits

Other than promoting weight loss and increasing metabolism, Synephrine can increase your energy levels, so it’s a good supplement to take before engaging in physical activity or a tiring task.

Other than that, there isn’t evidence about other health benefits.

  • Side Effects

Despite the fact that Synephrine isn’t as potent as ephedrine, its side effects haven’t really been examined.

Because of its similarity to ephedrine, some of the side effects of the latter might apply to large doses or long-term use of the former.

Although there isn’t sufficient evidence to draw a cause-and-effect relationship, there have been cases of ephedrine-based products leading to cerebrovascular incidences, heart attacks, seizures, and even psychiatric conditions (189).

Another study finds that ephedrine is associated with the increased risk of heart palpitations and psychiatric, autonomic, and gastrointestinal symptoms (190).

It isn’t clear whether the same can be expected from Synephrine.

  • Bottom Line

While Synephrine may cause moderate weight loss in the short-term, the full extent of its side effects isn’t known.

So you should exercise caution while using it.

 

Chitosan

 

Chitosan is a kind of sugar obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish (such as crabs, lobsters, and fish).

It can be found in the form of pills, powders, and capsules. It’s used to treat different conditions (such as Crohn’s disease and high cholesterol).

It’s also used in tablets as a filler to improve the dissolving of drugs and mask the bitter taste.

In addition, plastic surgeons use it help donor tissue rebuild itself by applying it directly to the areas that they’ve extracted tissues from.

  • How it Works

Chitosan doesn’t work like most weight-loss substances. It doesn’t increase energy usage or make you feel full so that you eat less.

Instead, it binds to lipids in the gastrointestinal tract (and thus, decreases their absorption).

When your body absorbs less fat, it’s easier to burn off the fat already stored through physical exertion.

  • Effectiveness

A review of 14 different studies on the efficacy of Chitosan shows the following: over a period of four years, Chitosan can lead to an average weight loss of 3.7 lbs (191).

However, the trials that showed the greatest weight loss also had the most methodological issues.

Some studies claim that Chitosan creates no results at all (192).

And if Chitosan prevented fat absorption, we would expect that more fat would be let out through stools.

But a study shows that not much fat was excreted in fecal matter, despite taking a Chitosan supplement (193, 194).

  • Other Benefits

Chitosan is used to treat Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammatory bowel disease.

It also helps lower cholesterol levels.

And it can treat complications faced by kidney-failure patients on dialysis (such as anemia, loss of appetite, reduced strength, and insomnia).

Some people also directly apply Chitosan to their gums (to prevent the inflammation that can cause periodontitis) or chew gum containing Chitosan (to prevent dental caries).

  • Side Effects

There hasn’t been sufficient research about the safety of Chitosan.

When used for up to 6 months, Chitosan could be safe since no side effects have been discovered from the different studies conducted on it.

Some possible side effects may include constipation, flatulence, or stomach aches.

Because of the lack of information, pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t use Chitosan.

Although people allergic to shellfish have an allergic reaction to the meat (not the shell), they should exercise caution with Chitosan.

  • Bottom Line

Studies conducted on Chitosan have shown conflicting results, but it doesn’t appear to have severe side effects. So it could be worth a try.

 

Mango Seed Fiber

 

Mango seed fiber is derived from the plant known as Irvingia gabonensis, which produces African mango.

It’s also called dika nut or bush mango.

Found mainly in Central and Western Africa, the seed of this mango is traditionally used as an energy booster in a powdered form by hunters.

And it’s used as an ingredient in different herbal medicines.

The seed is rich in protein, and it’s additionally used in making oil, bread, and a number of snacks.

  • How it Works

African Mango seed fiber is a natural fat-burner because it increases your metabolic rate.

Due to its fibrous nature, it makes you feel fuller. Thus, it suppresses appetite.

And because bile acids get mixed with soluble fibers and excreted, the liver has to produce more bile acids that are using stored fats and cholesterol.

It also increases secretion of Leptin, which induces satiety.

  • Effectiveness

A research published by the University of Yaounde found that the extract of mango seed fiber caused a weight loss of 5.26% of body weight within four weeks (195).

Another study showed that taking 150 mg of African mango seed fiber twice a day caused participants to lose as much as 28 lbs, 6.7” from their waistlines, and 18.4% of body fat (196).

But the University is located in the country where the fruit is found, and it’s been sponsored by the sellers of mango seed fiber.

So it may not necessarily be reliable. There are also studies that have found no significant weight difference (197).

  • Other Benefits

In the ten-week study, the mango seed fiber led to a 27% reduction in LDL cholesterol, 32% reduction in fasting glucose level, and 52% reduction in C-reactive protein.

There was also an increase in the good HDL cholesterol and reduction in triglycerides.

According to the researcher, “Irvingia gabonensis extract may prove to be a useful tool in dealing with the emerging global epidemics of obesity, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, and their co-morbid conditions.”

  • Side Effects

As an organic product, it doesn’t have any harmful chemicals or synthetic materials.

However, it may cause mild problems in some people (such as headaches, insomnia, bloating, gas, and dry mouth).

  • Bottom Line

There is promise in African mango seed fiber, but research on it is limited and sponsored by its makers.

So don’t try it until there’s more data from neutral researchers.

 

Capsaicin

 

Capsaicin is an active component in chili peppers.

Because Capsaicin is an irritant that causes a burning sensation when it comes into contact with mucous membranes, it’s used in food products to add spiciness.

Spicy food containing Capsaicin is quite popular all around the world.

You may have heard that eating spicy food or chili peppers can cause weight loss, but is there any merit to this argument?

There’s been some research conducted on this matter.

  • How it Works

One explanation is that Capsaicin increases the production of heat in the body, which means that the metabolism revs up to maintain homeostasis and regulate internal temperature to an optimal level.

During that process, more calories and fat is burned.

But Capsaicin can also induce the browning of white fat and induce thermogenesis, which increases the rate at which you burn energy.

  • Effectiveness

In one study, rats were divided into 3 groups.

One group received a normal diet, another received a high-fat diet with a Capsaicin supplementation, and the last received a high-fat diet without a Capsaicin supplementation.

All groups gained weight, but the group with Capsaicin gained almost as little as the group with the regular diet (198).

The researchers concluded that “Capsaicin can have a significant inhibitory effect against fat accumulation.”

In another randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, 91 moderately overweight subjects were given either Capsaicin or a dummy pill daily for 3 months (after a 4-week low- energy diet).

The results indicated that Capsaicin caused fat oxidation, compared with the placebo (199).

  • Other Benefits

A high dose of Capsaicin may induce insulin release from the pancreas and reduce blood-sugar levels.

So it’s beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes (200). Capsaicin can also stimulate muscle-protein synthesis.

There’s also some evidence that Capsaicin can fight cancer cells (201).

  • Side Effects

The side effects of Capsaicin are what you’d normally experience after consuming a super-spicy meal: diarrhea, upset stomach, and stomach pain.

You can also experience sweating, tearing, flushed skin, and runny nose. Regular use might lead to stomach irritation.

Some people may be more sensitive to Capsaicin than others.

  • Bottom Line

There has been insufficient research on the weight-loss properties of Capsaicin, but it appears to only have a moderate effect on users.

 

PhenELITE

 

PhenELITE was designed by an FDA-certified laboratory, but it hasn’t been approved by the FDA.

It claims to work wonders on your weight, and it has many reviews online.

But there’s speculation that all of those reviews aren’t genuine. It promises to help you lose 15 pounds or more and get you the lean body you’ve always wanted.

It guarantees weight loss and claims to give you quick results. Only some research has been done to test these claims.

  • How it Works

PhenELITE contains raspberry ketone, which can help you lose weight by causing the lipolysis breakdown of fats, and increasing levels of adiponectin (which reduces fat accumulation and controls glucose metabolism) (202).

It also contains African mango fruit extract, which has been found to help burn fat more efficiently (203).

In addition, it contains Resveratrol, which can prevent the development of fat cells, activate brown fat, and improve exercise performance (204, 205, 206, 207).

Other ingredients (such as caffeine, acai berries, green tea extract, and apple cider vinegar) contribute to its anti-obesity properties.

  • Effectiveness

The effectiveness of some of the ingredients (such as caffeine, green tea extract, and African mango fruit extract) in PhenELITE has already been discussed above.

However, the whole mixture hasn’t been tested yet. It should be assumed that the benefits of these ingredients on their own would find their way into a PhenELITE mixture.

There’s some evidence that acai berries can help with weight loss by regulating metabolism and lipid profiles (208, 209).

Resveratrol (a powerful antioxidant) needs more research when it comes to weight loss. Apple cider vinegar has also been found to reduce BMI and visceral fat (210).

  • Other Benefits

The benefits of caffeine and green tea extract apply here (to some extent).

For instance, PhenELITE may help improve mood and cognitive function, prevent cognitive decline and protect you from getting heart conditions and certain cancers.

Apple cider vinegar also improves insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes (211).

Similarly, the antioxidant Resveratrol has properties that fight free radicals and prevent diseases.

The full extent of the benefits of PhenELITE haven’t been studied, so they aren’t known.

  • Side Effects

The side effects may be due to the caffeine content. In high amounts, they can cause jitteriness, anxiety, nausea, and irritability.

None of the ingredients have any known side effects. Some users have complained about gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting and nausea).

More research into long-term effects is required.

  • Bottom Line

There isn’t much information about the details of this product, and there’s confusion about the ingredients.

So you should wait for more information before using it.

 

Whey Protein

 

Whey protein is obtained from milk (which is made up of casein and whey), and it’s a byproduct when making cheese.

It’s often commercially sold to fitness enthusiasts since it’s known for its muscle-developing powers.

That’s why it’s one of the most frequently used sports nutrition supplements found on the market.

It’s usually sold in concentrated powder form (in concentrations of 70 to 80%). It’s commonly ingested by mixing it with milk.

These days, it also comes with different flavors, which makes it taste better.

  • How it Works

Whey protein mostly helps you lose weight by increasing satiety.

Then you’ll eat less than usual, so you’ll have fewer calories to burn.

It also prevents you from unhealthily snacking between meals.

It also increases thermogenesis and maintains and accretes fat-free mass (212).

  • Effectiveness

Studies show that whey protein can boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day.

And it can cause you to consume around 441 fewer calories each day (213, 214, 215, 216).

One study showed that regularly taking whey protein reduces calorie intake by 25%, reduces late-night snacking by 50%, and cuts down food cravings by 60% (217).

Weightlifting and replacing other sources of calories with whey protein can increase lean muscle mass.

And at the same time, they can cause you to lose around 8 pounds of fat (218).

So with a whey supplement, you could lose weight and enjoy more muscle tone (219, 220).

  • Other Benefits

Whey is the weightlifter’s fairy godmother. The proteins in whey contain essential amino acids (such as leucine and cysteine).

Leucine can stimulate muscle synthesis at the molecular level (221, 222).

Cysteine raises levels of glutathione (the main antioxidant in your cells) (223, 224).

Your body also requires building blocks for muscle growth, which whey provides in the form of amino acids.

It also increases the release of anabolic hormones (such as insulin), which can stimulate muscle growth (225).

Compared to other types of proteins, it’s absorbed very quickly (226).

Whey protein contains beneficial nutrients (such as lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and immunoglobulins) (227).

These nutrients can reduce stress, depression, blood pressure, and blood sugar (228, 229, 230, 231).

Additional benefits include protection from cancer, the reduced risk of hepatitis, increased bone-mineral density, and improvement in immune function for people with HIV (232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240).

Whey protein has also been shown to increase the lifespan of mice.

  • Side Effects

Too much whey protein can cause digestive issues (such as nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, pain, and cramping).

If your kidneys and liver are healthy, you don’t have to worry about damaging them.

But those who already have kidney or liver issues should avoid taking whey supplements.

If you’re allergic to whey protein, you should just eat other foods rich in protein.

Don’t exceed the recommended amount on the packaging.

  • Bottom Line

Whey protein can help you lose fat and gain muscle mass, especially if you take it right after you exercise.

But if you’re already on a protein-rich diet, it may not make a big difference.

 

Glutamine

 

Glutamine is an amino acid that’s used in the synthesis of protein.

It’s produced in the muscles, then distributed through the blood to the different cells and tissues that need to utilize it.

Although it’s naturally found in the body, some people take supplements for different purposes.

It’s needed to make amino acids and sugars, and it fuels different cells in the body. It also assists gut function and boosts the immune system.

Glutamine can be used faster than the body produces it, which can lead to muscle wasting (which is common in people with HIV and chemotherapy patients).

However, Glutamine supplements have been recently becoming popular in all communities, mainly because of its weight-loss benefits.

  • How it Works

Glutamine aids weight loss by enhancing glucose metabolism.

Energy is burned more efficiently, which gets rid of more calories and fat.

Some studies also say that supplements of L-glutamine alter the composition of gut microbiota in obese people (shifting it towards the composition seen in leaner people) (242).

  • Effectiveness

Research indicates that glutamine stimulates human growth hormone (HGH) secretion.

One study claims that HGH secretion goes up by nearly 400% after taking an L-glutamine supplement.

When your HGH rises, so does your resting metabolic rate.

Similarly, this research showed that the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption rate (or after-burn effect) also increases.

Then you can help burn fat and gain lean muscle mass (243). Glutamine also helps suppress insulin levels and stabilize blood glucose.

Therefore, it curbs sugar and the craving of carbohydrates (244). Studies support the theory that Glutamine causes weight loss (245).

  • Other Benefits

There are many benefits associated with the use of Glutamine. They are:

  • Improvement in gastrointestinal health (because it’s a vital nutrient for the intestines) (246)
  • Better healing of ulcers and leaky gut (by protecting from further damage)
  • Improvement in memory, focus, and concentration (247)
  • Improvement in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and diarrhea (by balancing mucus production, which results in healthy bowel movements) (248)
  • Improvement in athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercise (249)
  • Improvement in metabolism and cellular detoxification (250)
  • Lower cravings for sugar and alcohol (251)
  • Improvement in blood sugar and diabetes (252)
  • Protection against cancer (253)
  • Side Effects

When taken in doses up to 40 grams per day, Glutamine supplements are safe for healthy adults.

For children, doses should be limited to 0.7 grams, since side effects in larger doses aren’t known.

People with cirrhosis or hepatic encephalopathy should avoid Glutamine supplements since they could make the conditions worse.

Similarly, people with mania or have experienced seizures should avoid usage.

People sensitive to monosodium glutamate might also be sensitive to glutamine, so they should exercise caution.

  • Bottom Line

Glutamine may have modest effects on your weight, and it supports muscle growth and other health benefits.

 

Olive Leaf Extract

 

As the name implies, olive leaf extract is taken from the leaves of olive plants.

It’s different than olive oil (although the oil has its own benefits).

It’s been used for centuries (even in Ancient Egypt), but it’s recently regained popularity due to its different health benefits.

Studies have looked at the various conditions it’s thought to treat, which have obtained positive results.

But there’s very limited research that links olive leaf extract to weight loss.

Nevertheless, it’s thought to have a moderate effect without many negative consequences.

  • How it Works

Olive leaf extract primarily helps you lose weight by boosting glucose metabolism.

Your organs require energy to be able to function properly and keep you healthy.

Some cells utilize fat or protein as energy sources, but many cells (including your brain cells and red blood cells) require glucose to work.

Olive leaf extract enhances the process of providing glucose to cells.

That way, more energy is used up, and more calories are burned.

  • Effectiveness

In one study, rats were given a high-calorie diet (consisting of water with glucose added, and food with added fat).

A control group was given a normal diet.

After 8 weeks, half of both the experimental and control groups were given 3% olive oil extract (on top of their diets).

The group that was fattened and given the supplement showed improved metabolic and cardiovascular signs.

Meanwhile, the group without the supplement suffered from metabolic syndrome (including cardiac stiffness and collagen deposits in the heart and liver).

The results indicate that olive leaf extract can prevent the accumulation of visceral fat (particularly in the abdominal area) (254).

Other studies on lab animals have found similar results (255).

  • Other Benefits

A 2009 study found that olive leaf extract had high antioxidant content.

It also showed that it’s able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells (especially in the brain, bladder, skin, and breasts) (256, 257).

It also has anti-hypertensive properties (which can fight high blood pressure) and antimicrobial properties (which can fight off fungi and bacteria) (258, 259).

Olive leaf extract has been found to be more effective than vitamin E at reducing skin reddening and improving blood flow and dehydration (260).

It can also enhance your immune system so that you’re better protected against infections (261).

Olive leaf extract can decrease the production of cytokines and certain enzymes, and reduce inflammation.

And based on animal research, it can prevent the inflammation that causes swelling for arthritis patients (262, 263).

  • Side Effects

After using olive leaf extract, you may experience symptoms of detoxification (known as Herxheimer reaction).

This immune response releases pathogens, which have been destroyed by the olive leaf extract.

You may feel dizziness, joint pain, feverishness, nausea, sore throat, and vaginal irritation.

These side effects will generally be mild and last a few days, but drinking 4 to 6 glasses of purified water will speed up the process of detoxification.

Usually, once the side effects subside, your body is detoxified, so you’ll feel more energized.

But in some people, it may a cause diarrhea, acid reflux, stomach irritation, or low blood pressure.

  • Bottom Line

Olive leaf extract has been proven to have many benefits, and weight loss could possibly be one of them.

However, you need to be aware of the potential side effects.

 

Prescription Medicine

 

These natural or synthetic supplements and weight-loss pills may help you lose weight.

But with a prescription, you can get stronger weight-loss products. Some common prescription medications are Qysmia, Phentermine, Contrave, and Phentermine.

Although there are many different weight-loss medications available, they’ve been shown to be only moderately successful.

A study shows that prescription weight-loss pills can help you lose from 3 to 9% more body weight (compared to a placebo) (264).

These pills can also have many severe side effects, so we wouldn’t recommend them (except as a last resort).

 

Conclusion

 

There are many, many kinds of weight loss supplements and pills available on the market.

With the increased emphasis on having a lean, toned body and the many negative impacts of being overweight, there’s added pressure to lose weight.

Therefore, many people look to these pills and supplements for help.

However, you need to be cautious about what you’re ingesting (since supplements can also have side effects).

Based on efficacy and a number of side effects, we’d say that caffeine, green tea extract, and Glucomannan are the most effective, safest ingredients.

Alli and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) show promise, but they come with the baggage of possible health risks.

If you do decide to use any of these supplements or pills, remember that they don’t work on their own.

You have to put in the effort by opting for a low-sugar, low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie diet.

You also need to set apart time to exercise regularly. Only then will you truly achieve significant weight loss.

Otherwise, you may not see much difference.

Good luck on your weight-loss journey!

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