Herbal Weight Loss Supplements

  • Chitosan. This is a sugar compound that has been extracted from the hard outer layer shells of shrimp, crabs and lobsters. Enthusiasts of this natural ingredient claim that it prevents the absorption of cholesterol and fats in your body. However, evidence is still insufficient about the efficacy of chitosan. A review by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that chitosan has not been verified as an effective ingredient for weight loss. Possible side effects of taking chitosan for weight loss are constipation and upset stomach. To those with hypersensitivity to shellfish, do not take chitosan.
  • Chromium Picolinate. The hormone that chromium picolinate effects is insulin which converts food to energy. Insulin is also responsible for the storage of fats, carbohydrates and proteins in your body. What are the benefits of chromium for weight loss? It decreases appetite, reduces body fat, aids in burning calories and stimulates muscle mass. However, 24 studies have been conducted with reviews stating that there hasn’t been any significant weight loss results for taking 200 to 1,000 micrograms of the chromium substance on a daily basis. Natural Medicines has even concluded that it is not effective for losing weight. In rare cases, chromium supplements cause side effects, such as headache, thinking problems, irritability and insomnia. There has also been cases of kidney and liver damage found from at least three people who took chromium supplements.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). This weight loss supplement contains compounds found in linoleic acid, a kind of fatty acid. Enthusiasts of CLA claim that it reduces body fat and makes you feel full. There have been mixed reviews about the efficacy of CLA for weight loss. Some of these studies cite that taking 1.8 to 6.8 grams of conjugated linoleic acid every day may burn fat and increase muscles. CLA is “possibly effective” in reducing weight, as cited by Natural Medicines.

  • Glucomannan. This substance is created from extracts of the konjac plant. It works like dietary fiber supplements that blocks fat from being absorbed in the body. Earlier studies about glucomannan suggested that it may be helpful for reducing weight, however, there are evidences that show that it is ineffective, too. Evidence is insufficient to prove that glucomannan is efficient for weight management. There are hazards in taking it in tablet form as well. It could cause choking or blockage in the throat, the esophagus and the intestines. It is a safer option to take glucomannan in capsule or powder form. If you’re taking other medications, your body might have difficulty in absorbing them if you take glucomannan. You therefore should take your medications 1 hour before taking glucomannan or 4 hours after taking glucomannan.