Weight Loss and Obesity

Also indexed as:Weight Loss
Get the skinny on weight loss. Discover what works for you to improve your chances of losing weight and keeping it off. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
SupplementAmountWhy
Alpha-Lipoic Acid
600 mg one to three times per day 3 stars[3 stars]
Multiple clinical trials have found alpha-lipoic acid can slightly decrease body weight and may reduce waist circumference in people with abdominal obesity.
Amylase Inhibitors
1,200 to 2,400 mg per day of white kidney bean extract3 stars[3 stars]
Amylase inhibitors, like phaseolamin from white kidney beans, reduce digestion and absorption of dietary carbohydrates and may aid in weight loss.
Blue-Green Algae
1 to 4.5 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Blue-green algae, or spirulina, helps promote reductions in weight, body fat, waist circumference, and triglyceride levels.
Chitosan
1 to 3 grams per day3 stars[3 stars]
Chitosan is type of fiber that has been shown to have a small positive impact on weight loss.
Chromium
500 to 1,000 micrograms per day3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with chromium has beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism and can help support weight loss.
Coffee
3 to 4 cups of coffee or 180 to 200 mg of green coffee extract per day3 stars[3 stars]
Coffee from roasted coffee beans and green coffee extract have both been shown to support weight loss.
Fiber
5 to 7 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Several trials have shown that fiber supplementation from a variety of sources accelerated weight loss in people who were following a low-calorie diet.
Green Tea
An extract supplying 100–460 mg of EGCG per day3 stars[3 stars]
Green tea extract rich in polyphenols may support a weight-loss program by increasing energy expenditure and fat burning.
L-Carnitine
250 to 2,000 mg per day3 stars[3 stars]
The amino acid L-carnitine is thought to be potentially helpful for weight loss because of its role in fat metabolism.
Multivitamin
Daily multivitamin-mineral; follow label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Extra vitamins and minerals help ensure people get the nutrition they needs, especially people on a weight-loss diet who are avoiding certain foods.
PolyGlycopleX (PGX)
5 grams three times daily with meals3 stars[3 stars]
PGX has been found in multiple randomized controlled trials to support weight loss and improve metabolic health.
Probiotics
Up to 9x109 (nine billion) colony forming units daily3 stars[3 stars]
A growing body of research shows probiotics can increase weight loss in those with overweight and obesity.
Soy
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Soy appears to have several effects on the body that might help with weight loss.
Vitamin D
2,000–7,000 IU per day3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are common in people with overweight and obesity; restoring sufficient levels with vitamin D supplements is likely to improve the response to weight loss efforts.
Whey Protein
Around 28 grams one to three times per day3 stars[3 stars]
Whey protein may help people on weight-loss diets by suppressing appetite, increasing energy expenditure, and preserving muscle.

5-HTP
Take under medical supervision: 600 to 900 mg daily for no more than 12 weeks 2 stars[2 stars]
5-HTP has been shown to reduce appetite and to promote weight loss.
7-Keto DHEA
100 mg twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
7-Keto DHEA was found in a single randomized controlled trial to promote weight loss in people with overweight and obesity.
Borage Oil
5 grams (providing 890 mg of gamma-linolenic acid) per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Borage oil may help reduce the amount of weight regain after substantial weight loss.
Calcium
800–1,200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Calcium supplementation, especially in conjunction with vitamin D and in people with calcium-poor diets, may support healthy weight and body fat loss.
Casein Protein
30 grams per day2 stars[2 stars]
Casein protein supplements may support weight loss in people on a low-calorie diet.
Chili Peppers
6 to 10 mg of capsinoids or 135 mg of capsaicin per day2 stars[2 stars]
Compounds from chili pepper have been found to slightly increase energy expenditure, fat-burning, and weight loss.
Coleus
250 mg of standardized extract twice daily2 stars[2 stars]
Clinical trials suggest coleus may help regulate body weight and improve metabolic health.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
1.7–8 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Although the evidence is conflicting, the majority of the evidence shows CLA can help people lose body fat, and may promote a small amount of weight loss.
DHEA
25 to 50 mg daily; DHEA-sulfate levels should be monitored periodically during supplementation 2 stars[2 stars]
DHEA appears to improve body composition and metabolic health, particularly in elderly people.
Fish Oil
Around 2,000 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day2 stars[2 stars]
Fish oil and its fatty acids, EPA and DHA, may support health metabolism in people with overweight and obesity.
Fucoxanthin
Seaweed extract in an amount providing 2.4 to 3.0 mg of fucoxanthin per day2 stars[2 stars]
Fucoxanthin, an antioxidant found naturally in some types of seaweed, might prevent the growth of fat tissue and reduce abdominal fat.
Garcinia cambogia
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
HCA may aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite and by reducing the conversion of carbohydrates into stored fat.
Glucomannan
Adults: 3 to 4 grams daily; adolescents: 2 to 3 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with glucomannan may promote slight weight loss in overweight adults, but findings are mixed.
L-Tryptophan
1,000 mg three times daily before meals2 stars[2 stars]
Preliminary clinical trials suggest that serotonin precursors such as L-tryptophan might help control appetite and promote weight loss.
Pyruvate
6 to 10 grams daily combined with an exercise program2 stars[2 stars]
Combining exercise with pyruvate may help support body weight and fat loss.
Yohimbe
Yohimbe extract providing 5 mg of yohimbine four times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Yohimbine, a nervous system stimulant found in yohimbe bark, may help weight loss by raising metabolic rate, reducing appetite, and increasing fat burning.
Bitter Orange
An amount providing not more than 70 mg of synephrine alone, or not more than 40 mg of synephrine in combination with up to 320 mg of caffeine1 star[1 star]
Bitter orange contains synephrine, which might promote weight loss.
Guar Gum
5 to 15 grams per day1 star[1 star]
Guar gum, another type of fiber supplement, has not been effective in controlled studies for weight loss or weight maintenance.
Guaraná
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Guaraná contains caffeine and the closely related alkaloids theobromine and theophylline, nervous system stimulants that may curb appetite, increase energy expenditure, and increase weight loss.
Guggul
500 mg of an extract standardized to contain 5% guggulsterones three times per day1 star[1 star]
Limited evidence suggests guggul extract may improve metabolic health, lower cholesterol levels, and support weight loss.
Hemp Protein
25 to 30 grams of hemp protein powder per day 1 star[1 star]
Increasing protein intake with hemp protein may help promote metabolic health and weight loss.
Hoodia
Unknown1 star[1 star]
Some clinical trials suggest hoodia may be effective at curbing appetite.
Pea Protein
15 grams per day1 star[1 star]
Pea protein, like other proteins, may support weight loss by curbing appetite and improving metabolic health.
Relora
250 mg three times daily1 star[1 star]
Relora may reduce psychological and physiologic effects of stress and may help prevent weight gain in those who increase their eating in response to stress.
Rice Protein
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Rice protein may be a good choice for dieters who are vegan or sensitive to dairy and want to boost protein in their diet.
Sesamin
50 to 200 mg per day1 star[1 star]
Sesamin is substance present in sesame oil that manufacturers claim may enhance fat burning by increasing the activity of several liver enzymes that break down fatty acids,.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.