Diet pills don’t work

Bad news for those still searching and hoping for a magic pill to make body fat disappear: It doesn’t exist.

Melinda Manore, an Oregon State University researcher, reviewed the evidence surrounding hundreds of weight loss supplements and found no evidence that any single product results in significant weight loss.

In fact, many have detrimental effects on ones health, according to Manore.

A few products – including green tea, fiber and low-fat dairy supplements – can help a person have a modest weight loss of 3 to 4 pounds. However, Manore said, most of the supplements were tested as part of a reduce calorie diet.

“For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact,” Manore said.

Manore looked at supplements in four different categories: products that block absorption of fat or carbohydrates, stimulants that increase metabolism, products that claim to change the body composition by decreasing fat, and appetite suppressants.

She found that many products had no randomized clinical trials examining their effectiveness. In addition, most of the research studies didn’t include exercise.

“I don’t know how you eliminate exercise from the equation,” Manore said. “The data is very strong that exercise is crucial to not only losing weight and preserving muscle mass but keeping the weight off.”

Most products showed less than a 2-pound weight loss benefit compared to the placebo groups, according to Manore’s research.

“What people want is to lose weight and maintain or increase lean tissue mass,” Manore said. “There is no evidence that any one supplement does this.”

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