It’s challenging to maintain a steady rhythm in life while living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Maybe you’ve been thinking that weight loss supplements can help you maintain your routine while shedding pounds. Years ago, prescriptions were required for these kinds of products, but now you have tons of over-the-counter (OTC) options. Are any of them safe?
The doctors at Weight No More in Newport Beach, California, are in favor of using medication to help patients lose weight. They use prescription medications that can help curb your appetite, lose weight, and keep the pounds off. These drugs can sometimes be used in combination with other treatments, but what about using them with supplements?
What is a weight loss supplement?
According to the Mayo Clinic, OTC weight loss supplements are divided into two categories: dietary supplements and nonprescription drugs. Dietary supplements come in pill, powder, capsule, and liquid form. Some examples are:
- St. John’s wort
- Vitamin K
- Vitamins C and E
You might recognize some of these nonprescription weight loss supplements by name because they’re heavily advertised everywhere you go. These include:
- Orlistat, or Alli
The biggest and most significant difference between dietary supplements and nonprescription drugs is the regulatory methods used. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees nonprescription weight-loss drugs. These drugs are required to complete human clinical trials. On the other hand, the FDA doesn’t regulate any dietary supplements. The manufacturers are responsible for their own regulation, and no human clinical trials are required.
This is one reason it’s very important to do your research before deciding to take a weight loss supplement.
Myths about weight loss supplements
Weight loss supplements aren’t a magic bullet, unfortunately. There are a lot of myths surrounding these drugs, and it’s essential to understand a few things.
Weight loss supplements aren’t a one-size-fits-all treatment for anyone who needs to lose weight. Everyone’s body reacts differently to a drug. Also, if you have other conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, some supplements can be downright dangerous when combined with other medications.
Anecdotal evidence isn’t the same as scientific evidence. Be skeptical when you read through testimonials about weight loss supplements. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Successfully losing weight while only using a weight loss supplement is next to impossible. No studies have proven significant changes in weight from a weight loss supplement. However, many studies have shown that weight loss supplements are ineffective and probably a waste of money.
There is no quick fix, so beware of any promises of rapid weight loss. If the claims seem over the top and exaggerated, you’ll likely end up disappointed.
Facts about weight loss supplements
The FDA has only approved a few weight loss drugs and none of them are OTC supplements. In fact, the FDA has listed 36 dietary supplements as tainted in 2019 alone, remarking that it’s only a fraction of the potentially hazardous products with hidden ingredients being marketed.
The hidden ingredients include dangerous combinations of active ingredients for prescription medications that treat depression and other conditions. For long-term weight loss and weight management, don’t rely on something you can buy online or off the drugstore shelf.
Scientists don’t have much information on dietary supplements for weight loss. Because the industry isn’t regulated the same way as prescription medications, many of the ingredients in supplements could react badly with any current medication you take. There are some common ingredients found in weight loss supplements:
- Green tea
- Guar gum
- Vitamin D
While these are all things that are okay by themselves, they show no effectiveness for weight loss.
The FDA strongly recommends that you speak with a doctor before beginning any plan or treatment for weight loss. If you have weight loss plans, include our experts at Weight No More. We can start a customized treatment plan for you right away to help you shed unwanted pounds using appropriate supplements. Call us or schedule an appointment using our convenient online scheduling tool.