Hot Topic: Supplements - Part I: Don't believe everything you Read.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
There have been a lot of postings this week on different Sparkteams I belong to about the use of supplements such as "fat-burners", "metabolism increasers", herbal teas to increase metabolism, energy drinks, etc... So I thought I would take a couple of days to do some research into these supplements and give you all a report.
First, I looked into the fat-burners. Supplements that purport to have "maximum weight loss power" and promise to help you "lose belly fat naturally." I read several articles from various research groups and looked at the ingredients on the labels then did research into those on my own. I am NOT a scientist. I do NOT have a degree in biology or medicine. However, I am a pretty smart guy who can understand the research done by others, and this is what I found.
Most of the claims made by supplement manufacturers are untrue. They make it sound good by saying "contains ingredients found to" do this or that. The truth is, if you take these supplements you have to combine them with a "reduced calorie diet" and exercise to get the results promised on the label. If you look at the list of ingredients, you will see these wonder pills are nothing more than multi-vitamins with caffeine (up to that of a cup of coffee) or other ingredients used to speed up heart rate.
Since you are already doing the reduced calorie diet and exercise suggested on the label as part of your Sparkpeople program, what do you need the supplement for?
Finally, the label is required by federal law to have the following statement (Notice I didn't say warning. Those are listed above this statement) "These statements (meaning everything on the label) have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." Why do they have to put this on there? Because the supplement has NOT been scientifically researched, tested or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Why hasn't it been tested by the FDA? Because of libel issues I can't say here, but draw your own conclusions.
If you have time or you are interested, go to part 2 of this series on Supplements. I disclose the actual research I have done on this topic.
Until next time... JUICE to you all!
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Thank you for doing the research for me! I really appreciate your time and effort! If we haven't realized it by now if there was a miracle weight loss pill in a bottle we all would be skinny! So I'm sticking with eating healthy and working out!
1821 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/20/2013 4:47:08 PM
As I have written in my Blog, "research is everything." So, I did the research. Here is what I found.
The link you gave me leads to the Life Extension Foundation based in Florida. The LEF is a non-profit group that sells vitamins and dietary supplements, and publishes a magazine with articles that promote its own products. It founders, one of whom wrote the article you referenced in your link, William Faloon, were indicted by the Federal Government through the Food and Drug Administration in 1990 for making claims about their supplements that could not be proved scientifically or otherwise. Although the government eventually dropped its indictment, this does not mean they were innocent of the charges brought by the FDA.
William Faloon, the co-founder and owner of LEF and publisher of the LEF Magazine does not list any medical or scientific degree or background, and I could not find any published reference to one on the internet. He does an impressive job or documentation of reference material in the articles he writes. The shear volume of which was mind-boggling and too much for me to spend the tine referencing.
However, I did look into the samples of some of the studies he references in the article you linked me to. One study had 40 participants, 28 of whom were given the supplement. This size group is to small to be statistically significant.
I also researched the supplement listed in the article, Invingia. It is a extract from the seed of the African Mango plant (thanks Wikipedia). I couldn't find any scientific research other than the study referenced in the LEF article. When I went to look up the researchers, I couldn't find anything listing their scientific credentials.
So, here we have it. I hope I haven't hurt your feelings, that was not my intention. I only hope this goes to show, we all need to be aware of where we get our information.
Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
1821 days ago
As always, I'm interested in researching all opinions. I couldn't click on the link you posted, so I wrote it down and will go to it now. Then I will report on what I find.
Thanks for sharing.
1822 days ago
I would agree that many, many supplements on the web are not science based. There are some that are research based like Life Extension which is a non-profit research based organization. I will throw the link on here if you are interested, read, if not, don't. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008
1822 days ago
I came to this conclusion a long time ago. When I read labels saying with diet and exercise. Take slim fast for one ,you are replacing a meal with it, therefore you are cutting calories, so figure you lose some weight. The problem is people are always looking for the miracle pill, tea,etc. because they think ,they can wake up and weight be gone! If you lose weight fast you gain it back quick, do it the slow and right way ,more people will keep it off. No pain, no gain. This is a great topic. Thanks I know I am sticking to sparks people.
1822 days ago
thanks for research, and I believe u are exactly right. People are so desperate to find a easy way, they fail to realize that a change in lifestyle is only needed for results
1822 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.