12 Popular Weight Loss Pills and Supplements Reviewed

There are various types of weight loss solutions out there which includes all sorts of pills, drugs and natural supplements. These are declared to help in losing weight, or at least make it easier to lose weight mixed with other methods. They tend to work through one or more of the below mechanisms: It reduces […]

There are various types of weight loss solutions out there which includes all sorts of pills, drugs and natural supplements.

These are declared to help in losing weight, or at least make it easier to lose weight mixed with other methods.

They tend to work through one or more of the below mechanisms:

  1. It reduces appetite and makes in feeling more full so that fewer calories are being eaten
  2. Decrease absorption of nutrients like fat, by intake of fewer calories
  3. Fat burning is increased, making to burn more calories

Below are the 12 most popular weight loss pills and supplements.

  1. Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Weight Loss Pills and Supplements Review
Garcinia cambogia is a small, green fruit which is shaped like a pumpkin.Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is contained in the fruit skin which is the active ingredient in garcinia cambogia extract, which is marketed as a diet pill.Animal studies have shown that it can hamper a fat-producing enzyme in the body and increase levels of serotonin, potentially helping to decrease cravingsA study with 130 people was conducted comparing garcinia against a dummy pill. Weight or body fat percentage between groups showed no difference

A review conducted looked at 12 studies on garcinia cambogia found that, on average, it caused weight loss of around 2 pounds (0.88 kg) over many weeks

Reports of serious side effects were not there, but there were some reports of mild digestive problems.

  1. Hydroxycut

Hydroxycut has been around for more than a decade, and is currently one of the most famous supplements for weight loss in the world.

There are many different types, but the most common one is simply known as “Hydroxycut.”

Several ingredients are contained in it that are claimed to help with weight loss, including caffeine and a few plant extracts.

A study had shown that it caused 21 lbs (9.5 kg) of weight loss over a period of 3 month

Anxiety, jitteriness, tremors, nausea, diarrhea and irritability may be experienced if caffeine sensitive.

  1. Caffeine

The most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world is caffeine which is found naturally in coffee, green tea and dark chocolate, and added to many processed foods and beverages.

A well known metabolism booster is caffeine  and is often added to commercial supplements of weight loss.

Short-term research has shown that metabolism can be boosted by caffeine by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 29%

Some studies have also shown that caffeine can cause modest weight loss in humans

Anxiety, insomnia, jitteriness, irritability, nausea, diarrhea and other symptoms can be caused by high amounts of caffeine in some people. The quality of sleep may be reduced as caffeine is also addictive

There really is not required to take a supplement or a pill with caffeine in it. Quality coffee and green tea are best sources, which also have antioxidants and other health benefits.

  1. Orlistat (Alli)

Orlistat is a pharmaceutical drug which is sold over-the-counter under the name of Alli, and under prescription as Xenical.

This weight loss pill works by suppressing the breakdown of fat in the gut, making fewer calories to intake from fat.

According to a big review of around 11 studies, weight loss can be increased by orlistat by 6 pounds (2.7 kg) compared to a dummy pill

Orlistat has been shown for slight reduction of blood pressure, and reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 37% in a study

Many digestive side effects can be caused due to this drug including loose, oily stools, flatulence, frequent bowel movements that are hard to control, and others. Deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K can also be a contribution of this drug

A low-fat diet is suggested to be followed while taking orlistat, in order to minimize side effects.

Fortunately, a low carb diet without any drugs has been shown to be as effective as both orlistat and a low-fat diet combined

  1. Raspberry Ketones

A substance found in raspberries, which is responsible for their distinct smell is known as raspberry ketone

A synthetic kind of raspberry ketones is sold as a weight loss supplement.

In isolated fat cells from rats, breakdown of fat and increase levels of a hormone called adiponectin is increases by raspberry ketones, believed to be associated to weight loss

Raspberry ketones in humans is not conducted, not even a single one, but one rat study using massive doses showed that they reduced weight gain .

Burps smell like raspberries caused by raspberry ketones

  1. Green Coffee Bean Extract

Simple normal coffee beans that haven’t been roasted are known as greem coffee beans.

Two substances are contained in it which are believed to help with weight loss, caffeine and chlorogenic acid.

Fat burning can be increased by caffeine, and chlorogenic acid can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.

Various human studies have shown that green coffee bean extract can help people in losing weight.

A 3 studies review had found that the supplement made people to lose 5.4 more pounds (2.5 kg) compared to placebo, a dummy pill

Blood sugar levels may be lowered with the help of green coffee bean extract, and reduce blood pressure and is also high in antioxidants.

The same side effects can be caused as caffeine. Diarrhea may be caused by the chlorogenic acid in it, and some people may be allergic to green coffee beans.

  1. Glucomannan

A type of fiber found in the roots of the elephant yam is known as glucomannan and also called as konjac.

Water is absorbed by glucomannan and becomes gel-like. It “sits” in the gut and a feeling of fullness is promoted, helping to eat fewer calories

Three human studies have shown that glucomannan, mixed with a healthy diet, can help people lose 8-10 pounds (3.6-4.5 kg) of weight in around 5 weeks

Glucomannan is a fiber through which friendly bacteria can be fed in the intestine. Blood sugar, blood cholesterol and triglycerides can be lowered and is very effective against constipation

Bloating, flatulence and soft stools can be caused and can interfere with some oral medications if taken at the same time.

Glucomannan is necessary to be taken about a half an hour before meals, with a glass of water. 

  1. Meratrim

A relative newcomer on the diet pill market is known as meratrim

It is a mixture of two plant extracts that may alter the metabolism of fat cells.

It is reported to make it harder for fat cells to double itself, decrease the amount of fat picked up from the bloodstream, and help in burning stored fat.

So far, only one study has been conducted on Meratrim. A total of around 100 obese people were placed on a 2000 calorie strict diet, with either Meratrim or a dummy pill

After a time period of 8 weeks, the Meratrim group had lost around 11 pounds (5.2 kg) of weight and 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) off their waistlines. Quality of life was also improved and reduced blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.

No side effects have been found.

  1. Green Tea Extract

A popular ingredient in many weight loss supplements is known as green tea extract which is due to numerous studies that have shown the main antioxidant in it, EGCG, to aid fat burning.

The activity of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps you burn fat, is believed to increase by green tea extract.

Green tea extract can increase fat burning and cause fat loss, especially in the belly area as is shown in many human studies

Green tea extract is usually well tolerated. Some caffeine is contained in it, and may cause symptoms in people who are caffeine sensitive.

Additionally, all of the health benefits of drinking green tea should be applicable to green tea extract as well.

  1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, has been a famous supplement for fat loss for years.

It is among the “healthier” trans fats, and is found naturally in some fatty animal foods such as cheese and butter.

Reduced appetite, boost metabolism and stimulate the breakdown of body fat may be due to CLA

In a major review of some studies, weight loss was caused by CLA of about 0.2 pounds (0.1 kg) per week, for up to 6 months

According to another study of review, CLA can help in losing about 3 lbs (1.3 kg) of weight, compared to a dummy pill

Various digestive side effects can be caused by CLA, and may have harmful effects over the long term, potentially contributing to fatty liver, insulin resistance and increased inflammation.

  1. Forskolin

An extract from a plant in the mint family is known as forskolin which claimed to be effective for weight loss.

Levels of a compound inside cells called cAMP are believed to be raised, which may stimulate fat burning

A study conducted in 30 overweight and obese men showed that forskolin decreased body fat and increased muscle mass, while body weight has no effect. Another study conducted in 23 overweight women had found no effects

There is very restricted data on the safety of this supplement, or the risk of side effects of the supplements. 

  1. Bitter Orange / Synephrine

A form of orange called bitter orange contains the compound known as synephrine.

Synephrine is associated to ephedrine, which used to be a famous ingredient in different weight loss pill formulations.

However, due to serious effects of ephedrine, it has since been banned as a weight loss ingredient by the FDA

Synephrine shares mechanisms which are similar with ephedrine, but is less potent. Appetite can be reduced and significantly increase fat burning

Synephrine has very few studies being conducted on it, but ephedrine has been shown to cause significant short-term weight loss in many studies

Similar to ephedrine, synephrine may have serious side effects related to the heart and may also be addictive. 

Prescription Medication

In addition, there are many prescriptions of weight loss pills that have been effective.

Contrave, Phentermine, and Qsymia are the most common ones

Even prescription weight loss pills don’t work as well as it is hoped has been shown in a recent study.

Up to 3-9% of body weight compared to a dummy pill can be lost by them on an average

But it should be kept in mind that this is only when mixed with a healthy weight loss diet which is ineffective and hardly a solution to obesity. Also having many side effects


In February, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had requested that the weight loss drug lorcaserin (Belviq) should be removed from the U.S. market. This was done because of an increased number of cancer cases in people who took Belviq in comparison to placebo. If prescribed or taking Belviq, cease to take the drug and healthcare provider should be consulted about alternative weight management strategies.

Out of the 12 mentioned above, the clear winners are with the strongest evidence to back them up:

  • For Weight loss:Glucomannan, CLA and Orlistat (Alli)
  • For Increased fat burning:Caffeine and green tea extract

However, Orlistat is advised due to the unpleasant side effects and against CLA due to the harmful effects on the metabolic health which leaves us with glucomannan, green tea extract and caffeine.

These supplements can be useful, but the effects are modest.

Unfortunately, no supplement or pill actually works that good for weight loss.

A bit of a nudge may be given by them to the metabolism and help to lose a few pounds, but that’s where it ends, unfortunately.

The best ways to lose weight is still Cutting carbs and eating more protein, and works well than all the diet pills combined.

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