This just in – you still have to work hard to lose fat! Two comprehensive German studies found that a broad range of weight loss supplements were no more effective than placebos.
Fat magnets, mobilizers and dissolvers, appetite tamers, metabolism boosters, carb blockers, neo-hyper-lipid-flux-capacitors — regardless of the proposed action and hyped-up marketing, none of them lived up to their claims.
Lead researcher of one of the studies, Dr. Thomas Ellrott, tested nine popular supplements against placebo pills in a randomized controlled trial. The supplements tested included:
- Cabbage powder
- Guarana seed powder
- Bean extract
- Konjac extract
- Fibre pills
- Sodium alginate formulations
- Selected plant extracts.
- The researchers bought the supplements, changed the packaging and product names to make them look neutral and rewrote the information leaflet inserts to eliminate the product name from the text.
- They then gave 189 obese or overweight middle-aged consumers packages of either fake pills or of one of the nine supplements each week for eight weeks in doses recommended by the manufacturers.
- Researchers provided identical dietary advice to both groups.
Average weight loss was between 1 kg and 2 kg across seven of the products, depending on the supplement, and was 1.2 kg in the group getting the placebo pills. Not statistically significant.
Different Study, Same Results
In a second study, Dr. Igho Onakpoya of Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, UK, conducted the first systematic review of all existing systematic reviews of clinical trials on weight loss supplements.
The nine supplements reviewed in this analysis are more popular in my estimation(Who really buys cabbage powder? Also, I thought “Konjac” was a tough cop with an affinity for lollipops). The supplements in question are:
- Chromium picolinate
- Bitter orange
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- Guar gum
- Green tea
“We found no evidence that any of these food supplements studied is an adequate treatment for reducing body weight,”