Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Weighty Advice on Weight Loss Supplements

Dear Dr. Walt,

Can supplements help me lose weight?

—Weighty in West Virginia

Dear Stout,

When I’m interested in finding the latest information on the effectiveness and safety of natural medications (herbs, vitamins, or supplements), I turn to the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. They have a chart of recommendations for Natural Medications for Obesity.

When it comes to supplements for obesity, these experts don’t lists a single one as “safe” or “likely safe” and “effective” or “likely effective.”

In the category of “likely safe” and “possibly effective,” they list blond psyllium based upon clinical evidence that suggests it might reduce body weight and. In other studies, taking psyllium along with specific diets significantly reduces body weight and appetite compared to the diet alone.

In the category of “possibly safe” and “possibly effective” they list conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) stating that it seems to improve body composition in people who are overweight or obese. Taking 1.8 to 6.8 grams daily seems to decrease body fat mass (BFM), increase lean body mass (LBM), and reduce waist and hip circumference in some folks; however, CLA does not seem to reduce total body weight or body mass index (BMI) in most studies.

However, I do not recommend supplements for weight loss. To me the two most important and effective long-term interventions are diet (improving your nutrition) and exercise (getting up and moving more).

Dr. Walt

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2018. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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