Weight loss and supplement

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Lifestyle changes—including following a healthy dietary pattern, reducing caloric intake, and engaging in physical activity—is the basis for achieving long-term weight loss.

The promise of fast weight loss from weight loss supplements is hard to resist.

Here are some weight loss supplements that might help you during your weight management.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

Researchers have suggested that CLA enhances weight loss by increasing lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle, reducing lipogenesis, and promoting apoptosis in adipose tissue.

CLA appears to be well tolerated. Most reported adverse effects are minor, consisting mainly of gastrointestinal disturbances, such as abdominal discomfort and pain, constipation, diarrhea, loose stools, nausea, vomiting, and dyspepsia.

CLA has been linked to hepatitis in three case reports [118-120]. However, whether CLA caused this toxicity cannot be definitively established because the products were not analyzed to rule out the presence of a contaminant.


The gut microbiota plays an important role in nutrient and energy extraction from food. The most recent study found that supplementation with probiotics (mostly Lactobacillus) reduced waist circumference slightly (by 0.82 cm) but had no effect on body weight or body mass index.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)

ALA is an organic compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant and has also shown that alpha-lipoic acid may slightly affect weight loss in several ways.

An analysis of 12 studies discovered that people who took an alpha-lipoic acid supplement lost an average of 1.52 pounds (0.69 kg) more than those taking a placebo over an average of 14 weeks.


Berberine is a compound found in many plants, including European barberry, Phellodendron, Oregon grape. Berberine is related to its inhibition of glucose production from the liver. Furthermore, Berberine is effective in decreasing lipid levels in rats, which consequently lowers the change in weight gain.

In addition, Berberine is found to have a beneficial impact on gene regulation for the absorption of cholesterol in humans.

For all these reasons, Berberine could help in obesity treatment and prevention.

White kidney bean

White kidney bean extract is an ingredient in some weight-loss dietary supplements marketed as carbohydrate- or starch-absorption “blockers.”

A review of six trials with a total of 247 participants concluded that white kidney bean has significantly reduced body fat (mean difference 1.86 kg compared to placebo) after 14 weeks but did not significantly affect weight loss.


The trivalent form of chromium (chromium III) is an essential trace mineral that potentiates the action of insulin. Poor chromium status might contribute to impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes. Researchers have hypothesized that chromium supplements increase lean muscle mass and promote fat loss.


Magnesium may be helpful for regulating blood sugar and insulin levels in people who are overweight or obese. “A 2013 study found that taking higher amounts of magnesium helps better control insulin and glucose blood levels and also showed magnesium helps with bloating and water retention,”


  1. Zahra Ilyas "The effect of Berberine on weight loss in order to prevent obesity: A systematic review" Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Jul

  2. "Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss Fact Sheet for Health Professionals " National institute of health

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