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Weight Loss Supplements: Fact or Fiction?

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  • DPOWERS51
    I feel this article is very one-sided and am disappointed in Spark People. While there are some awful supplements on the market (thanks to our great old free-market system!), there are some very effective, proven ingredients that assist in weight management. They have been supported by stringent European studies, but the US big pharma is too egotistical and ignores them. I have taught health and nutrition at a university for 30 years and am a strong advocate of exercise and diet as the key to weight loss/maintenance. However, I also know of some good assisting products that, in fact, I have used for almost 20 years with great success (without any side effects other than safe, effective weight loss/maintenance.) - 2/7/2010 11:20:24 AM
  • Exercise and proper nutrition are the best way to achieve your weight goals.

    With that being said, my doctor prescribed something like ephedrine to help counter the effects of a weight causing medication I take. I was exercising like crazy and eating healthy but not losing weight as a result of the medicine I was on. I had massive amounts of energy...almost like I was hyper. In addition, I had insomnia. I stayed on the medication for 3 days and went back to eat healthy and exercise. - 2/6/2010 1:50:56 PM
  • responding to Adrienne29: I've always seen green tea recommended for its purported anti-oxidant properties. This article discusses it under the category of starch blockers for weight loss, in particular "These products claim to prevent the digestion and neutralization of sugar and carbohydrates, therefore reducing the calories available to the body. The undigested carbohydrates are carried to the intestine for elimination. These claims lack scientific research and are false and misleading." So it's entirely possible that it is beneficial for one thing (e.g. warding off heart disease and cancer, lowering cholesterol, etc) but not for "blocking starch" to lose weight. - 1/13/2010 3:23:00 PM
  • I thought green tea was helpful....Dr. Oz and the "YOu on a Diet" recommends it, so i don't understand where this is coming from?? - 1/13/2010 1:55:20 AM
  • WOLFHARDT
    To Kimberlicia,
    What is it that you don't agree with? - 1/12/2010 4:12:27 PM
  • 45 years ago I used one of these weight loss aids, it was a bath salt that "melted the fat off your body through the skin. I religiously bathed through the whole program for about two weeks with no evident results. A couple of months later I found that I had in fact lost two stone in weight since my last weigh in in a period of about 3 months. I attributed this loss to the bath salts. I "spread the word" as I am doing with Sparkpeople.
    A wise friend brought to my attention the fact that for the first time in my life, I rushed to catch a bus, then a ferry then rushed up the main street of Auckland to go to work, this was repeated twice a day. This was what actually gave me my weight loss, not the bath salts. - 1/11/2010 11:14:07 PM
  • A friend of mine lost the wife he loved dearly and was left to raise 2 young kids alone after a trainer at her gym encouraged his wife to use an ephedra-based supplement to lose weight after her second pregnancy. She dropped dead at the gym. I'm so glad to see Sparkpeople urging caution on these types of products! - 1/11/2010 10:19:27 PM
  • I personally don't agree with the main message of this article. - 1/11/2010 7:06:15 PM
  • Fairly good article, although there are a lot more tests done than what you say and some of these products have been in use for hundreds of years. There are a lot of products out there and the best way is to read everything you can get on the different products you might want to try. I personally use Herbs, Etc. Hoodia for controlling appetite and found it to be very effective. It is standarized and is pure Hoodia extract.
    Many of the things you reported on are pretty ineffective and any product with Ephedra, MaHuang, etc., can cause problems with your heart. - 1/11/2010 2:52:15 PM
  • GUSSYLYNN72
    thanks for this article, although i have never bought any of these products, i now know i won't try to but them either. - 1/11/2010 1:25:35 PM
  • PERLIQUE
    I was given a sample of an appetite suppressant (long time ago and can't remember specifically what it was) from my doctor. I felt like I was stoned. It did suppress my appetite - so completely that I forgot to eat. I didn't take it for long. I decided that it isn't so much my eating that is the problem - it's what I eat and my exercise (or lack thereof). I know I'm on a much better path this time. - 1/11/2010 10:13:36 AM
  • I think it interesting that the FDA is ready to jump on any or all of these, and yet prescribe drugs for so many other things that are weight related that have much worse side effects. Such as for weight induced diabetes, or high cholesterol, high blood pressure. Those they say are necessary and worth the risks.

    I am not advocating taking any supplements, designed for weight loss, as I so agree with the response that says, lose it the way we gained it, one day at a time, changing our lifestyles, however, I also disagree with the medical community being so critical of various supplements. They are not all...all bad!!! And I would encourage anyone who is even thinking of trying any of these things to really research them for yourself! - 1/11/2010 9:26:15 AM
  • Just proves only good old hard work and personal dedication to weight loss works !

    No 'witchcraft' please. ! - 1/11/2010 8:50:43 AM
  • Great article! I tried many of these but none worked of course and it was very scary taking them, the side effects are horrible. - 1/11/2010 8:33:28 AM
  • APGRLG
    Could we get an article on weight loss supplements with the view from a naturopathic doctor? I'm sure it would be quite different. - 1/11/2010 8:24:20 AM

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