13 Popular Weight Loss Supplements

1. 5-HTP

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is derived biochemically from the essential protein amino acid L-tryptophan. Tryptophan and 5-HTP dietary are believed to aid in increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which may have a beneficial effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation.

Suggested Medical Indications of 5-HTP

It may be helpful when used in connection with a wide variety of conditions related to low serotonin levels including the following :

13 Popular Weight Loss Supplements
  • Depression - Low serotonin levels can be a contributing factor to the onset of depression. As many drugs used for depression are used to increase serotonin levels, 5-HTP may be just as effective for individuals with mild depression. Individuals taking 5-HTP have seen signs of improvements in mood, anxiety, insomnia, and other physical symptoms.
  • Fibromyalgia - Preliminary evidence suggests that low serotonin levels may play an important role in the development of fibromyalgia. 5-HTP supplementation, through its ability to raise serotonin levels, has shown to improve sleep quality and reduce pain, stiffness, anxiety, and depression for fibromyalgia sufferers.
  • Insomnia - Some studies suggest that supplementation with tryptophan before you go to bed may help to induce sleepiness and waking up. Specifically is has been suggested that 5-HTP supplementation may help with insomnia directly associated with depression.
  • Headaches - Some evidence suggests that 5-HTP may help reduce the pain associated with headaches and migraines.
  • Obesity and Weigh Control - A study of overweight individuals with diabetes suggests that supplementation with 5-HTP may decrease fat and carbohydrate intake by reducing appetite. It appears to do this by stimulating serotonin production in the brain. While 5-HTP has not yet been extensively researched, some human and double-blind studies have shown that 5-HTP promotes weight loss.

2. 7-KETO

7-KETO, short for 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone, is a naturally occurring metabolite of the dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone produced by the body. DHEA is the most abundant of the adrenal steroid hormones and function as a precursor for many important for sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. While claims have not be conclusively substantiated by clinical trails many individuals who have taken 7-KETO in conjunction with with proper diet and exercise report that it has promoted weith loss. Those of the medical professional believe that only those who have been tested and found to be low in DHEA should consider taking 7-KETO as a supplement as it may improve metabolism and energy levels. For those taking 200 mg or less of 7-KETO daily no major side effects are known.

3. Arginine

Arginine is an essential amino acid that is believed to aid in healing wounds, helping to eliminate ammonia from the body, improving immune function, and enhancing production of several hormones including glucagon, insulin, and growth hormone. The effect of arginine on growth hormone levels has implicit value in the body building industry in particular. In studies when arginine was combined with vigorous exercise and weight training, a much greater decrease in body fat was obtained after only five weeks than when the same exercise was combined with a placebo.

4. Chitosan

Chitosan's ability to lower blood cholesterol has been demonstrated in animals and a few human studies showed that about 5 grams a day of chitosan taken for a few weeks was able to produce a 6 drop in cholesterol. Chitosan is a polysaccharide compound that is found in the shells of sea crustaceans. While chitosan is not digestible, it appears to reduce the absorption of bile acids and cholesterol, whereby lowering levels of blood cholesterol.

5. Chromium

Chromium is a trace element that has been shown to play a role in the body's processing of different food items. A trace element is a substance that is required by the body in very small amounts for proper growth and functioning. Individuals with likelihood of low chromium levels include: elderly persons, individuals with extremely poor diets or diets very high in refined sugars, pregnant or breast-feeding women, individuals under chronically stressful conditions, and those who depend on total parental nutrition (feeding through an intravenous line). Exercise and increasing age may also reduce body stores of chromium.

6. CLA

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a form of the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, with a slightly altered chemical composition. Preliminary animal studies and research suggests that CLA might reduce the risk of cancers at several sites including the breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, skin, and stomach. Whether CLA will have a similar protective effect for people has yet to be shown in any study. Similar studies also indicate that CLA supplementation may assist in the reduction of body fat and increase muscle size and strength.


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a naturally occurring hormone found in the body. It is important to know that levels of DHEA and DHEAS in the body decreases progressively from a peak at age 25 to less than 20 of that peak before the age of 70. DHEA is produced in the adrenal gland, gonads, and brain. DHEA is a steroid hormone. DHEA and its metabolite dehydroepiandrosterone-3-sulfate or DHEAS are the major steroidal products of the adrenal gland. Further, DHEA serum levels are typically low in chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

8. HMB

Beta- hydroxy - beta - methylbutyrate, also known as HMB, is a substance naturally found in living organisms as a metabolite of the essential amino acid L-leucine. It has been reported, based on preliminary findings, that HMB may possess anticatabolic and immunomodulatory properties. HMB is a popular nutritional supplement among athletes involved in intense physical activity.

9. L-Tyrosine

Tyrosine is believed to be effective when used in connection with a variety of disorders including Parkinson's disease, depression, and other mood disorders due to its role as a precursor to a number of neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for transmitting vital nerve impulses. The results of a few preliminary studies indicate a possibly beneficial effect of tyrosine, along with other amino acids, in people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Tyrosine is a mild antioxidant, reacting with free radicals that can cause damage to cells. It is also thought that tyrosine promotes sexual drive. Tyrosine may also be used as a mild appetite suppressant.

10. Fiber

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Many medical professionals believe that soluble fiber helps regulate stool frequency and consistency in people with IBS.
  • Diarrhea - Some types of soluble fiber soak up water in the digestive tract and can be used to relieve mild diarrhea.
  • Constipation - Studies have shown that fiber can in fact relieve constipation, especially wheat bran and psyllium.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) - Studies of individuals suffering from ulcerative colitis (a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease) found that psyllium seeds were as effective as the prescription drug mesalamine in reducing the recurrence of the disease.
  • Hemorrhoids - Soluble fiber help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
  • High Cholesterol - Soluble fiber promotes lower cholesterol levels in the body when included with a low-cholesterol diet. Psyllium is considered to be one of the primary soluble fibers used to lower levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol.
  • Diabetes - Studies suggest that diets high in fiber can help to lower insulin and blood sugar levels, improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and help prevent type II diabetes.
  • High Blood Pressure - It has been suggested that taking 12 grams of soluble fiber a day may help lower blood pressure.
  • Heart Disease - Ingesting high levels of fiber (whether through diet or supplementation) may drastically reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Cancer - While studies are still inconclusive many medical professionas still assert that fiber may help protect against many types of cancer including colon, prostate, breast and uterine cancer.

11. Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)

Garcinia cambogia is most commonly recognized for its ability to help individuals lose weight due to various effects it may have on the body. This fruit is believed to help people lose weight in the following ways :
It has been suggested that the HCA in Garcinia cambogies inhibits the body's ability to store fat, possibly causing more fat from foods to pass through the body without being stored.
Garcinia cambogia may cause the body to use existing body fat for energy during prolonged exercise. Ordinarily, carbohydrates are used first during exercise.
In a few animal studies the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) produced by Garcina cambogia appeared to reduce appetite by raising the amount of serotonin in the body. (Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is thought to affect appetite control).

12. Pyruvate

It is believed that pyruvate may aid weight loss efforts. One study showed that 22-44 grams per day of pyruvate enhanced weight loss and resulted in a greater reduction of body fat in overweight adults when combined with a low-fat diet. Similar studies that employed 6-10 grams of pyruvate per day combined with an exercise program also lost weight. A few clinical studies suggest that pyruvate supplementation leads to weight loss by increasing the resting metabolic rate. However, pyruvate's effectiveness as weightloss supplement has not been substantiated.

13. Soy Protein

In October of 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave permission for companies to market soy protein supplements stating in their advertisements and on product packaging that soy protein may reduce the risk of heart disease. This is only the 11th time the FDA has allowed or endorsed a statement of this magnitude relating to a dietary supplement. The actual health claim endorsed by the FDA states: Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that includes 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. In order to use this claim, soy protein manufactured must ensure their products contain at least 6.25 grams of soy protein and must not be high in saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium.