Three Natural Weight Loss Supplements

Photo credit: stemcellbiotherapy / Flickr
Photo credit: stemcellbiotherapy / Flickr

Some people invest in diet pills as a way to speed up the weight loss process. The reality is that most weight loss pills are ineffective, and some can be downright dangerous. There is no real substitute for a healthy diet and exercise plan, but there are some natural supplements that may help. The good news is these supplements are not dangerous for the average person and they may have other health benefits as well. Here are three natural supplements for weight loss.

Natural supplements for weight loss: Fish oil supplements

Studies in mice and preliminary studies in humans show that the omega-3’s found in fish oils may help to boost fat metabolism. Mice that were given a high fat diet along with fish oils over a five month period metabolized fat more easily and gained less weight than mice that didn’t receive supplements. They also showed higher levels of enzymes and proteins associated with fat metabolism. Small human studies have also shown similar results. Fish oil supplements also help to boost satiety which can reduce calorie consumption. Fish oils are safe for most people – although people taking blood thinners should avoid them.

Natural supplements for weight loss: Green tea extract

Animal and small human studies show that adding green tea extract to the diet helps to subtly boost fat metabolism. Initially the metabolism boosting effects were thought to be due to the caffeine in green tea, but studies show it’s actually the catechin polyphenols that are responsible for revving up the metabolism. One study showed that taking a green tea extract consisting of 90 mg. of EGCG and 50 mg. of caffeine three times a day was effective for boosting metabolism, but drinking green tea throughout the day may offer similar benefits. Talk to your doctor before taking a green tea supplement – particularly if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.

Natural supplements for weight loss: Capsaicin

You probably know capsaicin as the ingredient in red peppers that gives it that spicy kick. It turns out that the fire may also help to ignite fat burning and help with weight control. It appears to do this by altering a muscle protein called SERCA causing it to release more energy as heat. Another study showed that a combination of the EGCG found in green tea and capsaicin are an especially effective combination for fat burning as well as for decreasing appetite. Capsaicin supplements are sold by many vitamin companies, but it may just as effective to eat more hot, spicy foods containing chili peppers.

Natural supplements for weight loss: The bottom line?

Don’t count on these supplements to give dramatic results, but combining them with a healthy eating plan and exercise may give you an additional edge. As always, talk to your doctor before taking any type of weight loss supplement.

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