Weight Loss Supplements: Do They Work?

According to 2019 data, the US weight loss market is worth a record $72 billion.

Those seeking weight loss are embracing a variety of approaches, from meal replacement and over-the-counter products and supplements to commercial diet chains and medically assisted programs. The big question is: do these weight loss supplements really work? If so, which are the best?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)

Carnitine is an amino acid produced in the body and one of its main functions is to generate energy. Food sources of carnitine include animal proteins, especially red meat. Carnitine is also available in supplement form as L-carnitine or Acetyl L-carnitine (ALCAR).

Both L-carnitine and ALCAR show the ability to increase the fat burning process, support muscle health and improve exercise performance, So supportive weight loss. ALCAR may be a better choice than L-carnitine because it crosses the blood-brain barrier, boosts brain function, and also reduces sugar cravings.

Grilled rump steak karandaev / Getty Images

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their ability to improve blood lipid levels and heart and brain health. Researchers also evaluated their anti-obesity Effects. In animal studies, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to promote weight loss. There is less evidence for this in human trials.

However, research shows that they can be very helpful in the diet or as a supplement to maintain weight loss, providing benefits for some people who lose weight but struggle to maintain it long-term.

Bottle of yellow fish oil pills on the table Photo by Cathy Scola / Getty Images

Green tea

Green tea extract is one of the most popular weight loss supplements. Older studies have shown that green tea and its active ingredients — catechins such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and caffeine — support weight loss.

However, a 2012 rating from multiple studies concluded that green tea preparations alone can lead to small, “statistically insignificant” weight loss in overweight or obese adults. In addition, green tea has no significant weight loss benefits, although it does have some other health benefits.

Pouring green tea into a cup taa22 / Getty Images


Caffeine has long been thought to promote weight loss. Coffee increases energy expenses and fat oxidation. However, health experts believe that the extent to which these effects affect weight loss is not fully understood and more research is needed.

The American Medical Association recommends a limit of 500 mg of caffeine per day. An 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about up to 100 mg of caffeine. Guarana, Kola Nut, Yerba Maté, Green Tea, Black Tea also contain caffeine.

Cup of coffee and roasted coffee beans simrik/Getty Images


Capsaicin is an important active ingredient in chili peppers and is also responsible for their pungent taste. Some research suggests that these and other capsaicinoids may have anti-obesity properties by reducing energy expenditure, fat oxidation and appetite.

However, these products are doesn’t seem to cause significant weight loss, despite reducing appetite, according to research.

Mix of chili peppers NatashaPhoto/Getty Images

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

CLA is a mixture of natural molecules in beef dairy products. Research has shown that CLA promotes weight loss by increasing the breakdown of fats in the muscles and decreasing the formation of fat from sugar molecules. A review by multiple studies concluded that a daily dose of 2.4-6 g/day of this supplement for 6 to 12 months helps to reduce body fat by an average of about 3 lbs, compared to the control group.

omega 6: conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in capsules Bulgnn/Getty Images

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is common worldwide, and being overweight or obese increases the risk of this deficiency even further. Some research found Vitamin D Supplements Beneficial nasty lose weight when others didn’t. Regardless of its effects on weight loss, health experts believe that correcting vitamin D deficiency is important for the heart, immune system, bones and overall health.

Vitamin D Supplements and Nutrition Jane Vershinin / Getty Images

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia is a tree native to Asia, Africa and Polynesia. The main active ingredient, hydroxycitric acid or HCA, is found in high amounts in the fruit, especially in the pulp and skin. HCA can inhibit the conversion of sugars to fat, suppress appetite and reduce weight gain.

However, this herbal supplement was associated with acute liver failure some studies and some individuals required a liver transplant.

Garcinia Cambogia anoopkrishnan / Getty Images

Multi-Herbal Supplements

Many weight loss supplements contain numerous herbs combined, sometimes more than 10 ingredients. While the labels lead consumers to believe that these supplements are better, this is often not true.

These multiple ingredients are often in small amounts, well below their therapeutic benefits. There is also a risk of interaction between the herbs and many of the combinations have not been well researched.

Herbal Medicine and Herbs Elenathewise / Getty Images

Your Best “Weight Loss Supplement”

It is important to seek medical advice before taking weight loss supplements to better understand the benefits, risks, and potential interactions with prescription medications.

Still, the best weight loss “supplement” doesn’t come in a bottle, but through lifestyle changes. A healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise, a good night’s sleep and stress management are powerful tools for shedding those extra pounds and keeping them on in the long run.

Nutritionist shows nutrition plan bymuratdeniz / Getty Images
Coffee, Keyboard and music.. Best Companion for quality writing. Aditya Pratap is undergrad fellow and looking for best stuffs in Technology, Politics and Startups.