A new research has revealed that the slimming supplements available in the market do not facilitate weight loss beyond the placebo effect.
"There are scores of slimming supplements out there claiming weight-loss effects through all sorts of mechanisms of action. The market for these is huge, but unlike for regulated drugs, effectiveness does not have to be proven for these to be sold," said Dr. Thomas Ellrott, lead researcher.
The researchers tested nine popular supplements against placebo pills in a randomized controlled trial.
The researchers renamed the supplements to make them look neutral. They then gave 189 obese or overweight middle-aged consumers packages of either fake pills or of one of the nine supplements, each week for eight weeks, in doses recommended by the manufacturers.
It was found that the average weight loss was between 1 kg and 2 kg across seven of the products, depending on the supplement, and was 1.2 kg in the group getting the placebo pills.
No major difference in weight loss was found for any of those products when compared with the placebo.
" This is the first to include nine supplements with different proposed mechanisms of action and we found that not a single product was any more effective than placebo pills in producing weight loss over the two months of the study, regardless of how it claims to work," Ellrott said.
In a second study all existing systematic reviews of clinical trials on weight loss supplements were analyzed.
"We found no evidence that any of these food supplements studied is an adequate treatment for reducing body weight," Dr. Igho Onakpoya.
" People think these supplements are a short cut to weight loss and may spend huge sums of money on them, but they may end up disappointed, frustrated and depressed if their weight expectations are not met in the long term."
The studies were presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm, Sweden.