Over the past three years that I’ve maintained my dietary supplement blog, I have to admit that I’ve made a number of mistakes. First, I’ve never really adhered to a regular posting schedule. Second, I also haven’t been great at replying to comments. Lastly, I’ve probably reverted to write to a less general audience on a number of occasions.
I blame the last part somewhat on my previous experience with writing research papers. Why? Habits that we create can often be difficult to change.
Speaking of habits, engrained habits can be difficult to change, can’t they? On that note, I think that the first step of what you’re doing wrong is to identify the problems. In my case, I’ve identified three things that I hope to improve to make this blog more engaging for my readers. For those who’ve kept track of this blog or read it at some point, please provide feedback or just let me know you’re still here.
Getting back to today’s topic of weight loss. Much like anything else weight gain is a complex issue that encompasses our physical activity level, genetics, dietary habits, and other numerous emotional factors.
Sustained Weight Loss Methods:
To accomplish sustained weight loss, it does require substantial changes in several areas of your life. As we age our metabolism slows and along with that our activity level often declines. Sounds like a bad combination in and of itself. Thow stress into the mix, coping with emotional issues with food, or a lifetime of bad dietary habits and we now have a complex problem.
Unfortunately, there are no ‘easy solutions’ for complex problems. If there was, would weight loss products even be on the market? Though there are no easy solutions or quick fixes to accomplish weight loss, there is hope. It starts with identifying problematic factors which contribute towards an unhealthy lifestyle, realizing how these ingrained patterns are having an impact on your health, then finding solutions towards committing to change.
Challenges with Losing Belly Fat?
Why is change so hard? If I had to pinpoint it, I would suggest that it’s because change takes time, effort, committment, persistence, not to mention a tremendous amount of work. That being said, in those few moments in life when you to experience the success stemming from accomplishing a significant and sustained change, few things feel more rewarding.
Overall, the quality of research in the area of dietary supplements, vitamins, nutraceuticals, or herbal remedies lags behind that of pharmaceutical products. Why? It’s simple. In most cases, the incentive for research for pharmaceutical products revolves around the model of strong patent production for intellectual property.
With some exceptions, that monetary incentive is lacking to support research in the area of natural health products. Rather than industry sponsored clinical trials, much of the research is conducted at universities. Though many could argue against the methodological quality of some of this research, when you look at the bigger picture in studies such as evidence-based reviews or a meta analysis, you get a clearer picture. Essentially, these types of reviews look at all of the available evidence or clinical trials for a given natural remedy to see if the bigger pictures supports that a given remedy is likely to be effective.
Recently, I came across an evidence based review for fat modifying supplemental weight loss products. Before we jump the gun here… I repeat, there isn’t an easy button to push when it comes to losing weight. On the same token, I don’t endorse or recommend specific weight loss supplements with my blog. I’m just trying to provide up to date and accurate information to help people make their own informed decisions.
From the Center for Disease control and prevention, obesity is reaching epidemic proportions. Roughly 1/3 Americans are obesity which is defined by a body mass index of over 30. Now, we’re not talking about simply being overweight here, either. Those numbers are pretty staggering when you sit back and think about it.
Can You Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat with Weight Loss Supplements?
From this recent study, basically the authors concluded the following:
“While there are several dietary supplements being marketed for the use in weight loss via several different mechanisms of action, there is very little clinical evidence to support their use. Conjugated linoleic acid, pyruvate, and Irvingia gabonensis have shown some potential benefit for weight loss.”
1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Body Fat:
Over the past few years, conjugated linoleic acid or CLA has shown more potential in animal rather than human models. I’ve previously written a lengthy article about CLA–if you’re interested follow this link: conjugated linoleic acid for weight loss
2. Do Pyruvate Supplements Help You Shed Fat?
The mechanism for how pyruvate may promote weight loss is still yet, unknown. Clinical trials have looked at doses ranging from 6-16 g of pyruvate per day in subjects who consumed it for three to six weeks. Note that even in these types of trials in which pyruvate supplementation is compared to placebo, the participants in both groups reduce their caloric intake. Pyruvate was noted to be generally well-tolerated by the study authors and its most common side effect was gastrointestinal upset.
3. Irvignia Gabonesis for Weight Loss?
Irvignia gabonensis a mango-like fruit which originates in West Africa. It’s been observed that adiponectin levels increase and leptin levels decrease in response to supplementation with irvingina gabonensis. Leptin is a protein hormone that signals satiety so that you no longer feel hungry. Why might you want to then take something that lowers your leptin levels to lose weight? Obese people tend to have high circulating levels of leptin and may have some degree of leptin resistance much in the same fashion that diabetics have with insulin.
For irvignia gabonensis there is limited data that suggest supplementing with its seed extract at doses ranging between 150mg /day -350mg /day may help to promote weight loss and fat reduction. The authors noted that it appears to be well-tolerated with common side effects including: headache, flatulence, and insomnia.
Ineffective Weight Loss Supplements:
From this particular review, they suggested that these were ineffective:
To read more about dietary supplements for weight loss, click this link to view a recent previous post that I wrote.
- Egras AM, Hamilton WR, Lenz TL, Monaghan MS. An evidence-based review of fat modifying supplemental weight loss products. J Obes. 2011;2011. pii: 297315. Epub 2010 Aug 10.