Weight Loss and Obesity (Holistic)

About This Condition

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.
  • Aim for total nutrition with a multivitamin

    Extra vitamins and minerals will help ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs, especially if you are avoiding certain foods.

  • Find a diet that fits

    For long-term success, choose a healthy diet that you can stay with.

  • Create a custom exercise plan

    Exercise you truly enjoy is much easier to stick to, so find activities that fit your personal style, fitness level, and workout opportunities.

  • Find support

    Improve your chances for long-term weight loss by joining a group while you adjust to new diet and exercise habits.

  • Get a boost from pyruvate

    Combining exercise with 6 to 10 grams a day of this supplement may help speed up your metabolism

  • Try 5-HTP

    Taking 600 to 900 mg of 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) per day may help curb your appetite.

These recommendations are not comprehensive and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Continue reading for more in-depth, fully referenced information.
  • Eat healthy

    Follow in the footsteps of successful long-term dieters by avoiding too much fat and eating a regular breakfast.

  • Control appetite by controlling blood sugar

    Choose foods with a low-glycemic index to help avoid blood sugar swings that can stimulate cravings.

  • Maintain your weight with exercise

    Make exercise a regular habit to help keep body weight stable.

  • Avoid the yo-yo

    Adopt realistic diet and lifestyle changes you can stick with, and get help forming healthier habits, to avoid frequent ups and downs in weight.

  • Spice up your diet

    Add cayenne pepper to your meals to help curb appetite and increase calorie burning.

These recommendations are not comprehensive and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Continue reading for more in-depth, fully referenced information.

About

About This Condition

About two-thirds of the adult U.S. population is overweight.1 Almost one-third not only exceeds ideal weight, but also meets the clinical criteria for obesity. In the 1990s, rates of obesity more than doubled, and are currently rising by over 5% per year.2 , 3 Excess body weight is implicated as a risk factor for many different disorders, including heart disease, diabetes, several cancers (such as breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and cancers of the uterus, colon, and kidney), prostate enlargement (BPH), female infertility, uterine fibroids, and gallstones, as well as several disorders of pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and gestational hypertension.4 The location of excess body fat may affect the amount of health risk associated with overweight. Increased abdominal fat, which can be estimated by waist size, may be especially hazardous to long-term health.5 , 6

For overweight women, weight loss can significantly improve physical health. A four-year study of over 40,000 women found that weight loss in overweight women was associated with improved physical function and vitality as well as decreased bodily pain.7 The risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other diseases increases in overweight men and women in all age groups.8 Losing weight and keeping it off is, unfortunately, very difficult for most people.9 , 10 However, repeated weight loss followed by weight regain may be unhealthy, as it has been associated with increased heart disease risk factors and bone loss in some studies.11 , 12 Rather than focusing on weight loss as the most important health outcome of a change in diet or lifestyle, some doctors advocate paying more attention to overall fitness and reduction in known risk factors for heart disease and other health hazards.13

Excess body mass has the one advantage of increasing bone mass—a protection against osteoporosis. Probably because of this, researchers have been able to show that people who successfully lose weight have greater loss of bone compared with those who do not lose weight.14 People who lose weight should, therefore, pay more attention to preventing osteoporosis.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Support

Many doctors give overweight patients a pill, a pep talk, and a pamphlet about diet and exercise, but that combination leads only to minor weight loss.15 When overweight people attend group sessions aimed at changing eating and exercise patterns, keep daily records of food intake and exercise, and eat a specific low-calorie diet the outcome is much more successful. Group sessions where participants are given information and help on how to make lifestyle changes appear to improve the chances of losing weight and keeping it off. Such changes may include shopping from a list, storing foods out of sight, keeping portion sizes under control, and avoiding fast-food restaurants.

Exercise

According to most short-term studies, the effect of exercise alone (without dietary restriction) on weight loss is small,16 , 17 partly because muscle mass often increases even while fat tissue is reduced,18 and perhaps because some exercising people will experience increased appetites. The long-term effect of regular exercise on weight loss is much better, and exercise appears to help people maintain weight loss.19 , 20 People who have successfully maintained weight loss for over two years report continuing high levels of physical activity.21 Combining exercise with healthier eating habits results in the best short- and long-term effects on weight loss,22 , 23 and should reduce the risk of many serious diseases.24 , 25 , 26

Avoid weight cycling

People who experience "weight cycling" (repetitive weight loss and gain) have a tendency toward binge eating (periods of compulsive overeating, but without the self-induced vomiting seen in bulimia), according to a review of numerous studies focusing on weight loss.27 The researchers also found an association between weight cycling and depression or poor body image. The most successful weight-loss programs (in which weight stays off, mood stays even, and no binge eating occurs) appear to use a combination of moderate caloric restriction, moderate exercise, and behavior modification, including examination and adjustment of eating habits.

Eating Right

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

Recommendation Why
Choose low-glycemic-index foods
Diets that emphasize choosing foods with a low glycemic index, such as vegetables and whole grains, have been shown to help control appetite in some studies.
Diets that emphasize choosing foods with a low glycemic index have been shown to help control appetite in some, though not all, controlled studies. A controlled study in two phases found no difference in weight loss between a low- and a high-glycemic-index diet in the first 12-week phase, but when the diets were switched for a second 12-week phase, the low-glycemic-index diet was significantly more effective for weight loss. A preliminary study reported that obese children using a low-glycemic-index diet lost more weight compared with a similar group using a low-fat diet.
Feast on fiber
Fiber adds bulk to the diet and tends to produce a sense of fullness, helping people eat fewer calories.
Adequate amounts of dietary fiber are believed to be important for people wishing to lose weight. Fiber adds bulk to the diet and tends to produce a sense of fullness, helping people consume fewer calories. While research on the effect of fiber intake on weight loss has not produced consistent results, a recent review of weight-loss trials that did not restrict calories concluded that higher fiber diets improved weight-loss results, especially in people who were overweight.
Try a low-carb, high-protein diet
Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets are popular among people trying to lose weight. Some research suggests that their effectiveness is due to the fact that people eat fewer calories while on them.

Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets such as the Atkins diet are very popular among people trying to lose weight. In a preliminary study, overweight individuals who adhered to a very-low-carbohydrate diet (25 grams per day initially, increased to 50 grams per day after a certain weight loss target was achieved), with no limit on total calorie intake, lost on average more than 10% of their body weight over a six-month period. The participants also engaged in aerobic exercise at least three times a week, so it is not clear how much of the weight loss was due to the diet. An analysis of other preliminary studies of this type of diet concluded that its effectiveness is primarily due to reduced calorie intake. Recently, three controlled trials found people using low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets lost more weight in six months than those using diets low in fat and calories. However, 20 to 40% of these dieters did not stay on their diets, and were not counted in the results. In addition, one of these trials continued for an additional six months, at the end of which there was no longer a significant difference in weight loss between the two diet groups. A recent 12-week controlled trial found that overweight adolescents also lost more weight with a low-carbohydrate diet than with a low-fat diet, even though they consumed 50% more calories than did the children on the low-fat diet. That study suggests that the weight loss occurring on the Atkins diet is not due entirely to calorie restriction. Blood tests suggest that low-carbohydrate diets induce a condition called mild metabolic acidosis, which might increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.

The effect of low-carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk is also an unresolved issue. The short-term studies discussed above found that blood cholesterol levels did not worsen with these diets. Other heart-disease risk factors (triglyceride levels and insulin sensitivity) actually improved with a low-carbohydrate diet. Some studies, however, have shown a worsening of certain cardiovascular risk factors in people using a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for up to one year. Adverse changes included increases in blood levels of homocysteine, lipoprotein(a), and fibrinogen, and a decrease in blood flow to the heart. Individuals wishing to consume a very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss or for other reasons should be monitored by a doctor.

Some research has investigated weight-loss diets that are high in protein, but moderate in fat and not as low in carbohydrate content as the diets discussed above. While this type of diet does not usually lead to greater weight loss than other diets when calorie intakes are kept equal, one controlled trial found greater body fat loss in women eating a diet almost equal in calories and fat but approximately twice as high in protein and lower in carbohydrate compared with a control group's diet. Another controlled trial compared two diets similar in fat content but different in protein and carbohydrate content. People allowed to eat freely from the higher protein diet (25% of calories from protein, 45% calories from carbohydrate) consumed fewer calories and lost more weight compared with people eating the lower protein diet (12% of calories from protein, 59% calories from carbohydrate).

One small study has shown that the most effective weight-loss diet for any particular person might depend on whether or not they have insulin resistance. In obese people with insulin resistance, weight loss was greater with a low-carbohydrate (40% of calories), high-fat (40% of calories) diet than with a high-carbohydrate (60% of calories), low-fat (20% of calories) diet. In contrast, obese people who did not have insulin resistance lost more weight on the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.

Cut back on calories
People who have successfully lost weight report eating fewer snacks of low nutritional quality and eating breakfast regularly. They also report getting less calories from fat and more from protein.

Calories in the diet come from fat, carbohydrate, protein, or alcohol. Weight-loss diets are typically designed to limit calories either by restricting certain foods that are thought to result in increased calorie intake, and/or by emphasizing foods that are believed to result in reduced calorie intake. Some currently popular diets restrict fat while emphasizing fiber and a balanced intake of healthful foods. Others restrict carbohydrates, either to extremely low amounts as in the Atkins diet, or to a lesser degree, emphasizing foods low in the glycemic index or high in protein. Discussions of the research on these diets follow; however, it should be remembered that no diet has been proven effective for long-term weight loss, and many people find it difficult to stay on most diets.

Low-fat, low-calorie, high-fiber, balanced diets are recommended by many doctors for weight loss. According to controlled studies, when people are allowed to eat as much food as they desire on a low-fat diet, they tend to lose more weight than people eating a regular diet. However, low-fat diets have not been shown to be more effective than other weight-loss diets that restrict calories. Nonetheless, a low-fat, high-fiber, balanced diet has additional potential benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer.

Preliminary research indicates that people who successfully lost weight got less of their total calories from fat and more of them from protein foods. They also ate fewer snacks of low nutritional quality and got more of their calories from "hot meals of good quality." Other preliminary studies find that dieters who maintain long-term weight loss report using fat restriction and eating a regular breakfast as key strategies in their success.

Find a diet that fits
For long-term success, choose a healthy diet that you can stay with. With each weight fluctuation, it becomes easier to gain weight and harder to lose it, so make changes that last.

People who go on and off diets frequently complain that it takes fewer calories to produce weight gain with each weight fluctuation. Evidence now clearly demonstrates that the body gets "stingier" in its use of calories after each diet. This means it becomes easier to gain weight and harder to lose it the next time. Dietary changes need to be long term.

Choose breast-milk over formula
In one study, breast-feeding during infancy was associated with a reduced risk of developing obesity during early childhood (ages three to four).
In a preliminary study, breast-feeding during infancy was associated with a reduced risk of developing obesity during early childhood (ages three to four years).
Uncover food allergies
Although the relationship between food sensitivities and body weight remains uncertain, chronic food allergy may lead to overeating and obesity.
Although the relationship between food sensitivities and body weight remains uncertain, according to one researcher, chronic food allergy may lead to overeating and obesity.

Supplements

What Are Star Ratings?
Supplement Why
3 Stars
Alpha-Lipoic Acid
600 mg one to three times per day
Multiple clinical trials have found alpha-lipoic acid can slightly decrease body weight and may reduce waist circumference in people with abdominal obesity.
In a placebo-controlled trial, 360 people with obesity received 1,200 or 1,800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid per day or placebo for 20 weeks. The alpha-lipoic acid group experienced significantly greater weight and fat loss compared to the placebo group: the average weight loss was 6.1 pounds with 1,800 mg per day of alpha-lipoic acid, 3.3 pounds with 1,200 mg per day, and 2.1 pounds with placebo. A similar trial followed 81 participants with overweight and obesity for 24 weeks and found those taking 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid per day experienced slightly more weight and percent body fat loss compared to those given placebo. Another placebo-controlled trial included 97 women with overweight or obesity who followed a calorie-restricted diet and were given 300 mg of alpha-lipoic acid or placebo daily for 10 weeks. The women who received alpha-lipoic acid lost an average of 3.3 pounds more than women who received a placebo. An eight-week cross-over design trial found 1,200 mg of alpha-lipoic acid daily not only led to mild weight loss but also resulted in reduced waist circumference, suggesting it may reduce the most dangerous type of body fat. Meta-analysis of multiple randomized controlled trials has further added to the evidence that alpha-lipoic acid has a small effect on short-term weight loss. Alpha-lipoic acid may even decrease weight gain associated with the use of antipsychotic medications. It is not clear how alpha-lipoic acid works, but some evidence suggests it may reduce inflammatory, appetite, and metabolic signaling.
3 Stars
Amylase Inhibitors
1,200 to 2,400 mg per day of white kidney bean extract
Amylase inhibitors, like phaseolamin from white kidney beans, reduce digestion and absorption of dietary carbohydrates and may aid in weight loss.
Amylase inhibitors are also known as starch blockers because they interfere with digestion of dietary starches and other complex carbohydrates, slowing digestion in general, reducing absorption of glucose, and preventing blood glucose spikes. Phaseolamin is an amylase inhibitor from white kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and has been widely studied for its potential to support weight loss. In a placebo-controlled trial that included 120 participants with obesity, those treated with 2,400 mg per day of white kidney bean extract lost 2.24 kg (4.9 pounds) after 35 days, while those taking placebo lost only 0.29 kg (0.6 pounds. In another trial, mildly overweight adults with stable weight for six months or longer took either 445 mg of white kidney bean extract or placebo daily for 30 days; those taking white kidney bean extract lost 2.93 kg (6.4 pounds), while those taking placebo lost 0.35 kg (0.8 pounds). They also lost more body fat and had greater reductions in waist, hip, and thigh circumferences. A meta-analysis that included 11 clinical trials (including some unpublished data from supplement manufacturers) with a combined total of 573 participants found white kidney bean extract, at a dose of at least 1,200 mg per day for a minimum of four weeks, can promote weight loss in people with overweight and obesity. A separate meta-analysis in the same publication, which included three trials with a combined total of 110 subjects, found white kidney bean extract also reduces body fat.
3 Stars
Blue-Green Algae
1 to 4.5 grams daily
Blue-green algae, or spirulina, helps promote reductions in weight, body fat, waist circumference, and triglyceride levels.
Blue-green algae, or spirulina, is a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. It also provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, and one constituent from spirulina has been found to inhibit pancreatic lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme. In one placebo-controlled trial, 64 people with obesity took 1 gram of spirulina or placebo daily for 12 weeks; those taking spirulina lost 3.5 pounds and reported a significant decrease in appetite, while those taking placebo lost 1.4 pounds and reported increased appetite. Another placebo-controlled trial that included 52 subjects with overweight or obesity found 2 grams of spirulina daily taken during a 12-week reduced-calorie diet program reduced appetite and enhanced weight loss, body fat loss, and waist circumference reduction. In a multi-phase crossover trial, people with overweight or obesity had more improvement in body weight and fitness during a six-week exercise program if they were given 4.5 grams of spirulina daily compared to placebo, and the synergistic effect of spirulina and exercise was more profound in those with obesity. In addition, spirulina had positive impacts on body weight and some markers of fitness even in the absence of exercise. Comprehensive reviews and a meta-analysis of results from five controlled trials add further weight to findings that spirulina can reduce body weight, body fat, waist circumference, and appetite, and may have positive effects on cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with overweight and obesity.
3 Stars
Chitosan
1 to 3 grams per day
Chitosan is type of fiber that has been shown to have a small positive impact on weight loss.
Chitosan is a fiber extracted from the shells of crustaceans such as shrimp and crab or the cell walls of fungi. It is sometimes used in the food industry as a thickener and emulsifier. In a placebo-controlled trial, 96 subjects with overweight and obesity took 2.5 grams of chitosan per day or placebo for 90 days. Despite having similar calorie intake, those in the chitosan group lost an average of 3.1 kg (almost 7 pounds) while those in the placebo group had no significant change in body weight. In addition, the chitosan group had decreased body fat, abdominal fat, and waist circumference, had reductions in high HgA1c (a marker of glucose regulation), and reported improved quality of life. Two meta-analyses, one that included data from 14 randomized controlled trials with a combined total of 1,101 participants and another that included data from 15 trials with 1,130 participants, showed chitosan mildly reduces body weight and body fat in individuals with overweight or obesity. Findings from another trial suggest taking 2 grams per day of vitamin C along with 3 grams per day of chitosan may induce greater weight loss than chitosan alone. Chitosan has been shown to reduce fat absorption in laboratory animals, but controlled human trials have found chitosan has little to no impact on fat absorption. Although more research is needed to understand how chitosan induces weight loss, one possibility is that, as a prebiotic fiber, it may alter the gut microbiome composition in ways that promote healthy metabolism.
3 Stars
Chromium
500 to 1,000 micrograms per day
Supplementing with chromium has beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism and can help support weight loss.
The mineral chromium plays an essential role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats and may improve insulin sensitivity. Chromium has also been found to enhance weight loss. Three meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials in subjects with overweight and obesity have concluded chromium has a small positive impact on body weight when used in doses of 200–400 micrograms per day for 12–16 weeks. Some evidence further shows chromium may help in regulating mood and appetite, and one placebo-controlled trial found chromium had positive effects in women with overweight or obesity who also had binge eating disorder: chromium supplementation resulted in reduced frequency of binge eating and greater weight loss compared to placebo, and 1,000 micrograms per day was more effective than 600 micrograms daily.
3 Stars
Coffee
3 to 4 cups of coffee or 180 to 200 mg of green coffee extract per day
Coffee from roasted coffee beans and green coffee extract have both been shown to support weight loss.
Active compounds found in green and roasted coffee beans, such as caffeine, chlorogenic acids (antioxidant polyphenols), and prebiotic fibers, may contribute to beneficial effects on metabolism. A comprehensive review of the research indicates drinking three to four cups of coffee daily has a positive impact on metabolic health and lowers the risk of death from any cause. Green coffee beans are thought to have greater potential to support weight loss due to their higher chlorogenic acid content compared to roasted coffee beans. Meta-analyses of 15–16 controlled clinical trials indicate green coffee extract has small weight- and waist circumference-reducing effects in people with overweight and obesity.
3 Stars
Fiber
5 to 7 grams daily
Several trials have shown that fiber supplementation from a variety of sources accelerated weight loss in people who were following a low-calorie diet.
Numerous clinical trials have shown supplementing with viscous (gel-forming) soluble fibers such as psyllium, guar gum, pectins, glucomannan, and beta-glucans (found in oat bran, mushrooms, and other sources) results in decreased body weight and waist circumference, even in individuals eating a regular diet. In addition, although the effects may be small, fiber supplement-related weight loss is more profound in those with overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It is thought viscous fibers work in part by promoting a sense of fullness and slowing the absorption of glucose from the intestines. In addition, some types of fiber may have beneficial metabolic effects due to their prebiotic properties—their ability to build colonies of health-promoting bacteria in the intestines. Byproducts of fiber fermentation by gut microbes include short chain fatty acids and other compounds that help regulate immune function, appetite, fat burning, energy expenditure, insulin sensitivity, and glucose metabolism, all of which can impact weight loss.
3 Stars
Green Tea
An extract supplying 100–460 mg of EGCG per day
Green tea extract rich in polyphenols may support a weight-loss program by increasing energy expenditure and fat burning.
Green tea contains caffeine and polyphenols known as catechins (such as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG), which may work synergistically to support weight loss. Meta-analyses and reviews of multiple randomized controlled trials have found green tea extract has a small positive effect on weight loss and fat loss in people with overweight and obesity. Research shows green tea extracts can inhibit carbohydrate- and fat-digesting enzymes, improve gut microbiome balance, activate normal adipose tissue metabolism, and possibly raise energy expenditure by increasing heat production.
3 Stars
L-Carnitine
250 to 2,000 mg per day
The amino acid L-carnitine is thought to be potentially helpful for weight loss because of its role in fat metabolism.
The amino acid L-carnitine is thought to be potentially helpful for weight loss because of its role in fat metabolism. L-carnitine has been found to reduce fatigue and hunger and improve weight loss effects of fasting. Multiple controlled trials and three meta-analyses have shown that supplementing with L-carnitine can lead to small reductions in body weight in people with overweight and obesity. In a placebo-controlled trial that included 60 overweight women with polycystic ovary syndrome, taking 250 mg of L-carnitine daily for 12 weeks resulted in weight loss, waist circumference reduction, and improved glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity.
3 Stars
Multivitamin
Daily multivitamin-mineral; follow label instructions
Extra vitamins and minerals help ensure people get the nutrition they needs, especially people on a weight-loss diet who are avoiding certain foods.
Diets that are low in total calories may not contain adequate amounts of various vitamins and minerals. For that reason, taking a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement is advocated by proponents of many types of weight-loss programs, and is essential when calorie intake will be less than 1,100 calories per day.
3 Stars
PolyGlycopleX (PGX)
5 grams three times daily with meals
PGX has been found in multiple randomized controlled trials to support weight loss and improve metabolic health.
The synthetic viscous fiber called polyglycoplex, or PGX, has been reported in several studies to improve metabolic health and support weight loss. In a one-year placebo-controlled trial with 290 participants with overweight or obesity who also had type 2 diabetes, 15–20 grams per day of PGX improved metabolic parameters and led to mild, sustained weight loss and waist circumference reduction. Another placebo-controlled trial in 118 overweight adults showed PGX, at 5 grams of granules three times per day, reduced calorie intake, waist circumference, and body weight after 12 weeks. A one-year controlled trial comparing 5 grams of PGX to 5 grams of psyllium husk, taken three times per day with meals, found PGX was more effective for achieving and maintaining weight reduction. PGX appear to work by suppressing appetite and increasing fullness. In addition, some evidence suggests it may also have prebiotic properties, improving composition of the gut microbiome.
3 Stars
Probiotics
Up to 9x109 (nine billion) colony forming units daily
A growing body of research shows probiotics can increase weight loss in those with overweight and obesity.
People with obesity exhibit differences in gut microbiome composition compared to normal-weight individuals. Multiple controlled trials, meta-analyses, and reviews show probiotic supplements containing various Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains can help to reduce body weight, waist circumference, fat mass, and percent body fat, and may improve cholesterol levels and other markers of metabolic health. These effects may be due to the influence of microbes present in the gut on appetite, mood, inflammatory status, nutrient intake and absorption, and metabolism. One analysis determined the best effects on body weight reduction were associated with the use of two or more strains of probiotic bacteria, doses below 1010 [ten billion] colony forming units per day, and probiotics in foods (versus capsules and powders).
3 Stars
Soy
Refer to label instructions
Soy appears to have several effects on the body that might help with weight loss.
Animal and human studies have suggested that when soy is used as a source of dietary protein, it may have several biological effects on the body that might help with weight loss. A preliminary study found that people trying to lose weight using a meal-replacement formula containing soy protein lost more weight than a group not using any formula. However, controlled studies comparing soy protein with other protein sources in weight-loss diets have not found any advantage of soy. When soy protein is used for other health benefits, typical daily intake is 20 grams per day or more.
3 Stars
Vitamin D
2,000–7,000 IU per day
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.
People with obesity are more likely to have poor vitamin D status than their normal-weight counterparts, and low vitamin D may contribute to the systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolic disturbances associated with obesity. The value of vitamin D supplementation in weight loss programs is becoming increasingly apparent. In a placebo-controlled trial that included 44 vitamin D-deficient participants with obesity, supplementing a weight loss diet with 50,000 IU of vitamin D per week for 12 weeks restored healthy vitamin D status, decreased levels of a marker of inflammation, and led to greater weight and body fat reduction than diet and placebo. In a study with 205 overweight or obese participants enrolled in a three-month weight loss program, those with sufficient baseline vitamin D status lost more weight than those with baseline vitamin D insufficiency, and among those with vitamin D insufficiency, those who began taking 2,000 or 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day lost more weight than those who did not take vitamin D. Interestingly, a placebo-controlled trial in 218 women with overweight or obesity and vitamin D insufficiency who were randomly assigned to take either 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily or placebo for 12 months found only those who became vitamin D-sufficient through supplementation had greater weight loss compared to placebo.
3 Stars
Whey Protein
Around 28 grams one to three times per day
Whey protein may help people on weight-loss diets by suppressing appetite, increasing energy expenditure, and preserving muscle.
Whey protein, like other supplemental proteins, may aid people on a low-calorie weight-loss diets by suppressing appetite and preserving muscle. Protein from whey and other sources also increase heat production and energy expenditure. Furthermore, whey protein has been shown to have positive effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health generally, with effects such as enhancing blood glucose control, lowering blood pressure, and improving lipid levels. In one clinical trial, 56 participants with type 2 diabetes and overweight or obesity ate similar lunches and dinners along with either a high-protein breakfast with 28 grams of whey protein, a high-protein breakfast with mixed protein, or a high-carbohydrate (control) breakfast for 12 weeks; at the end of the trial, those in the whey protein group lost an average of 7.6 kg (16.7 pounds), those in the mixed protein group lost 6.1 kg (13.4 pounds) and those in control group lost 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds). In addition, whey protein had greater benefits on blood glucose control than mixed protein. In a meta-analysis that included nine controlled trials in subjects with overweight and obesity, whey protein supplement use was found to slightly reduce body weight and body fat and improve markers of cardiovascular health.
2 Stars
5-HTP
Take under medical supervision: 600 to 900 mg daily for no more than 12 weeks
5-HTP has been shown to reduce appetite and to promote weight loss.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), the precursor to the chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) serotonin, has been shown in three short-term controlled trials to reduce appetite and to promote weight loss. In one of these trials (a 12-week double-blind trial), overweight women who took 600 to 900 mg of 5-HTP per day lost significantly more weight than did women who received a placebo. In a double-blind trial with no dietary restrictions, obese people with type 2(non-insulin-dependent) who took 750 mg per dayof 5-HTP for two weeks significantly reduced their carbohydrate and fat intake. Average weight loss in two weeks was 4.6 pounds, compared with 0.2 pounds in the placebo group. This amount has not been established as a safe long-term treatment and should not be tried without a doctor's supervision; people taking antidepressants or other medications should be aware of potential drug interactions.
2 Stars
7-Keto DHEA
100 mg twice per day
7-Keto DHEA was found in a single randomized controlled trial to promote weight loss in people with overweight and obesity.
7-Keto DHEA (3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone) is a derivative of DHEA that may influence hormone signaling related to fat production and distribution. 7-Keto DHEA was found to promote weight loss in in one double-blind placebo-controlled trial. The trial included 30 participants with overweight or obesity who engaged in a cross-training exercise program for 60 minutes three times per week, were instructed to eat a diet providing 1,800-calories per day, and were given either 100 mg of 7-keto DHEA or placebo twice daily. After eight weeks, those receiving 7-keto DHEA had lost more weight and lowered their percentage of body fat more than those taking a placebo. In addition, they had increased levels of active thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine or T3), which plays a major role in determining metabolic rate.
2 Stars
Borage Oil
5 grams (providing 890 mg of gamma-linolenic acid) per day
Borage oil may help reduce the amount of weight regain after substantial weight loss.
In a double-blind study of obese people who had previously lost an average of about 66 pounds, supplementation with 5 grams of borage oil per day (providing 890 mg per day of gamma-linolenic acid) significantly reduced the average amount of weight regained over the next 12 months (4.8 pounds in the borage oil group versus 19.3 pounds in the placebo group). Studies in animal models of obesity suggest borage oil inhibits weight gain by promoting energy production and reducing fat accumulation.
2 Stars
Calcium
800–1,200 mg daily
Calcium supplementation, especially in conjunction with vitamin D and in people with calcium-poor diets, may support healthy weight and body fat loss.
A meta-analysis of 41 trials found increasing calcium intake through diet or supplements does not enhance weight loss. Nevertheless, some controlled trials have found supplementing with calcium, particularly when combined with vitamin D, may increase weight loss and body fat reduction. In a 14-week trial, participants on a low-calorie/high-carbohydrate diet lost more weight if they were given 800 mg of calcium daily than placebo, and had greater fat reduction if they were also given 400 IU per day of vitamin D; however, participants on a low-calorie/high-protein diet experienced similar weight loss as those on the low-calorie/high-carbohydrate diet but had no added effect from calcium or calcium plus vitamin D supplementation. Another trial that included 135 early-postmenopausal women found getting 1,500 mg of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D per day through diet, supplements, or a combination improved weight and body fat loss during six-month on a low-calorie diet. Calcium plus D has been found to reduce not only body weight and fat but also waist circumference in women with obesity.
2 Stars
Casein Protein
30 grams per day
Casein protein supplements may support weight loss in people on a low-calorie diet.
Casein, the main protein in milk, may prevent weight gain and aid weight loss due to its effect on appetite, calorie burning, and body composition. Numerous studies in animals suggest casein promotes thermogenesis (heat production) and prevents weight gain and body fat growth even in animals with genetic predisposition for, or eating a diet designed to cause, weight gain. In humans, casein protein supplements taken at bedtime have been found to increase resting metabolic rate in healthy active adults, but not in obese men and women. Protein supplements composed of casein, whey, and soy have all demonstrated similar positive effects on weight loss in clinical trials in subjects with overweight and obesity.
2 Stars
Chili Peppers
6 to 10 mg of capsinoids or 135 mg of capsaicin per day
Compounds from chili pepper have been found to slightly increase energy expenditure, fat-burning, and weight loss.
Research has suggested cayenne chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) and chili extracts may help people lose weight by increasing energy expenditure, modulating metabolism in adipose tissue, interfering with dietary fat absorption, and decreasing appetite. In a placebo-controlled trial that included 80 participants with obesity, taking 6 mg of capsinoids from chili pepper daily for twelve weeks resulted in two pounds of body weight loss compared to one pound of body weight loss in those taking placebo. A four-week placebo-controlled trial in 44 participants with overweight and obesity also noted a non-statistically significant trend toward weight loss and increased energy expenditure and fat-burning in those taking 10 mg per day of capsinoids. In addition, a trial in 91 subjects who had lost 5–10% of their body weight found those receiving 135 mg per day of capsaicin (extracted from chili pepper) for three months had a sustained increase in fat burning and regained less weight compared to those receiving placebo. Other clinical evidence suggests only people with metabolically active brown adipose tissue (a type of fat tissue that produces heat) have increases in fat-burning and energy expenditure in response to taking chili pepper extract.
2 Stars
Coleus
250 mg of standardized extract twice daily
Clinical trials suggest coleus may help regulate body weight and improve metabolic health.
Coleus forskohlii is an Ayurvedic medicinal plant used historically to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, eczema, digestive colic, respiratory ailments, painful urination, insomnia, and seizures, as well as overweight and obesity. Laboratory research suggests forskolin, an active compound from coleus, may reduce excessive inflammatory signaling by fat cells. In a preliminary clinical trial, six overweight women were treated with 250 mg of Coleus forskohlii extract, standardized to contain 10% forskolin, twice daily for eight weeks. On average, the women lost ten pounds of body weight, and body fat was reduced by 8%. In a 12-week placebo-controlled trial that included 23 mildly overweight women, those receiving a standardized coleus extract, at a dose of 250 mg twice daily, lost 0.6 kg (1.3 pounds) of body weight while those receiving placebo gained 1.3 kg (2.9 pounds); although the difference was not statistically significant, it did suggest a possible role for coleus in slowing weight gain. A similar trial that included 30 women with overweight and obesity being treated with a reduced-calorie diet found taking coleus resulted in the same weight loss as placebo; however, coleus had greater positive impacts on insulin levels and insulin resistance, suggesting it may improve metabolic health generally.
2 Stars
Conjugated Linoleic Acid
1.7–8 grams daily
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.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found mainly in dairy products. In numerous randomized controlled trials lasting from 12 weeks to two years, CLA supplementation has been found to reduce body fat in people with overweight and obesity. Although some trials have reported weight loss attributable to CLA, others have found no effect of CLA on body weight. A meta-analysis of seven placebo-controlled trials lasting six months or longer concluded CLA use is associated with small increases in weight loss and fat loss. One trial evaluated the effect of CLA on weight and fat regain in 101 participants with overweight or obesity who had lost 8% or more body weight: after one year, those taking 3.4 grams of CLA per day had regained the same amount of weight and fat as those taking placebo (olive oil). Importantly, conflicting evidence has emerged regarding the impact of CLA on oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Therefore, the use of CLA by people with type 2 diabetes or signs of insulin resistance should be carefully monitored.
2 Stars
DHEA
25 to 50 mg daily; DHEA-sulfate levels should be monitored periodically during supplementation
DHEA appears to improve body composition and metabolic health, particularly in elderly people.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a steroid hormone made in the adrenal gland. In addition to its role as a precursor for both testosterone and estrogen, DHEA may have independent functions that affect immune activity and metabolism. DHEA production declines with age, and low levels have been linked to a variety of health problems including higher body weight and percent body fat. In a placebo-controlled trial that included 61 postmenopausal women with obesity, 100 mg per day of DHEA for three months resulted in greater weight loss and reductions in waist circumference, as well as improvements in blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and other metabolic parameters, compared to placebo. In another trial that included 125 elderly men and women, taking 50 mg of DHEA per day for 2 years decreased abdominal fat, improved glucose metabolism, and lowered levels of inflammatory chemicals. A six-month placebo-controlled trial also found 50 mg of DHEA per day led to reduced abdominal fat and improved insulin sensitivity in elderly subjects with low DHEA levels.
2 Stars
Fish Oil
Around 2,000 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day
Fish oil and its fatty acids, EPA and DHA, may support health metabolism in people with overweight and obesity.
Fish oil contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids—primarily EPA and DHA— that may promote healthy metabolism by reducing insulin resistance and inflammatory signaling by adipose tissue. Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids appear to increase the sense of fullness improve the metabolic functions of fat tissue. One placebo-controlled trial enrolled 65 women with overweight or obesity, as well as depression; depression symptoms were reduced and weight loss was greater in those who received a combination of 1,080 mg of EPA and 720 mg of DHA daily after 12 weeks. A meta-analysis of data from eleven randomized controlled trials with a combined total of 617 participants found omega-3 fatty acids from fish can improve metabolic health by reducing waist circumference and triglyceride levels in individuals with overweight and obesity, but have little effect on weight loss.
2 Stars
Fucoxanthin
Seaweed extract in an amount providing 2.4 to 3.0 mg of fucoxanthin per day
Fucoxanthin, an antioxidant found naturally in some types of seaweed, might prevent the growth of fat tissue and reduce abdominal fat.
Fucoxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family, and is found naturally in some types of seaweed, such as wakame. Laboratory studies suggest fucoxanthin reduces inflammation and oxidative stress and may inhibit dietary fat absorption by inhibiting fat-digesting enzymes known as lipases. It also appears to improve lipid metabolism and increase fat burning. In a placebo-controlled trial, 151 premenopausal non-diabetic women with obesity took either a supplement providing 300 mg of seaweed extract (providing 2.4 mg of fucoxanthin) plus 200 mg of pomegranate oil, or placebo daily for 16 weeks; those taking the supplement had greater reductions in body weight, body fat, liver fat, waist circumference, triglyceride levels, and levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein. The same supplement, taken in in amount providing 3 mg of fucoxanthin per day, was reported to change the character of adipose tissue in two subjects to a type associated with increased heat production and energy expenditure.
2 Stars
Garcinia cambogia
Refer to label instructions
HCA may aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite and by reducing the conversion of carbohydrates into stored fat.
(-)-Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), extracted from the rind of the Garcinia cambogia fruit grown in Southeast Asia, has a chemical composition similar to that of citric acid (the primary acid in oranges and other citrus fruits). Preliminary studies in animals suggest that HCA may be a useful weight-loss aid. HCA has been demonstrated in the laboratory (but not yet in clinical trials with people) to reduce the conversion of carbohydrates into stored fat by inhibiting certain enzyme processes. Animal research indicates that HCA suppresses appetite and induces weight loss. However, a double-blind trial found that people who took 1,500 mg per day of HCA while eating a low-calorie diet for 12 weeks lost no more weight than those taking a placebo. A double-blind trial of Garcinia cambogia (2.4 grams of dry extract, containing 50% hydroxycitric acid) found that the extract did not increase energy expenditure; it was therefore concluded that this extract showed little potential for the treatment of obesity at this amount. Nonetheless, another double-blind trial found that using the same amount of Garciniacambogia extract significantly improved the results of a weight-loss diet, even though the amount of food intake was not affected.
2 Stars
Glucomannan
Adults: 3 to 4 grams daily; adolescents: 2 to 3 grams daily
Supplementing with glucomannan may promote slight weight loss in overweight adults, but findings are mixed.
Glucomannan is a viscous soluble fiber from konjac root that has demonstrated multiple positive effects on metabolic health, including lowering cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood glucose levels. Studies examining its possible role as a weight loss aid, however, have had mixed results. One placebo-controlled trial in 20 participants with obesity found taking 1 gram of glucomannan three times daily at mealtimes for eight weeks, while making no other changes, led to a weight loss of 5.5 pounds. However, an eight-week placebo-controlled trial in 53 adults with overweight and obesity found 1.33 grams of glucomannan three times daily with meals did not impact weight loss. A meta-analysis of findings from eight randomized controlled trials did not find a significant effect of glucomannan on weight loss in people with overweight and obesity.
2 Stars
L-Tryptophan
1,000 mg three times daily before meals
Preliminary clinical trials suggest that serotonin precursors such as L-tryptophan might help control appetite and promote weight loss.
Tryptophan is the amino acid precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter with a critical role in mood, appetite, and metabolic regulation. High serotonin levels in the brain are associated with a sense of fullness, while low levels are linked to hunger. Unfortunately, low-calorie diets trigger decreased serotonin signaling, deterioration of mood, increased hunger and cravings, and higher likelihood of weight regain. A study that included ten healthy normal-weight men found 2- and 3-gram doses of tryptophan reduced calorie intake compared to placebo when taken before a buffet-style meal, and in a controlled trial, increasing doses of L-tryptophan from 1 gram to 2 grams to three grams before meals resulted in progressively fewer calories and carbohydrates being consumed during the meal. In a crossover trial with eight participants who had chronic obesity and food cravings, taking 1 gram of L-tryptophan before each meal as part of a six-week weight loss program led to greater weight loss than placebo, but the difference was not statistically significant, partly due to the small size of the trial.
2 Stars
Pyruvate
6 to 10 grams daily combined with an exercise program
Combining exercise with pyruvate may help support body weight and fat loss.
Pyruvate, a compound made from glucose and used to make energy in the body, might aid weight-loss efforts. One early controlled trial found that pyruvate supplements enhanced weight loss and resulted in a greater reduction of body weight and body fat in 14 women with obesity consuming a low-calorie, low-fat diet. Another trial that included 26 overweight participants in an exercise program found those given 6 grams of pyruvate daily for six weeks had greater body weight and body fat loss compared to those given placebo. However, a placebo-controlled trial in 23 women in an exercise program reported 5 grams per day of pyruvate for 30 days had no significant effect on weight or fat loss. A meta-analysis that included six controlled trials found pyruvate supplementation was slightly more effective than placebo for promoting weight loss, but can cause adverse side effects such as digestive upset and increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels.
2 Stars
Yohimbe
Yohimbe extract providing 5 mg of yohimbine four times per day
Yohimbine, a nervous system stimulant found in yohimbe bark, may help weight loss by raising metabolic rate, reducing appetite, and increasing fat burning.
The ability of yohimbine, a chemical found in yohimbe bark, to stimulate the nervous system and promote the breakdown of fat tissue has led to claims that it might help weight loss by raising metabolic rate, reducing appetite, and increasing fat burning. A placebo-controlled trial that included 20 women on a low-calorie weight-loss diet found those taking 5 mg of yohimbine four times per day had increased energy expenditure and greater weight loss after three weeks. However, a similar trial that included 47 men, taking 43 mg per day of yohimbine for six months resulted in no effect on weight loss. Because of its effects on the nervous system, yohimbine increases heart rate, blood pressure, and impulsivity; therefore, it is recommended those wishing to use yohimbine for weight loss first consult their health care practitioner.
1 Star
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 caffeine
Bitter orange contains synephrine, which might promote weight loss.

Citrus and citrus extracts have long been used to promote weight loss, and research suggests, in general, they have small positive effects on body weight and waist circumference. Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) and its active constituent, synephrine, are sometimes included in weight-loss formulas. Synephrine has been found to activate a type of nerve receptor that helps regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Studies in healthy adults have noted single doses of bitter orange extract increased fat-burning during exercise in men and women, and energy used during digestion, a major avenue for expending calories, in women, but not men. Synephrine is a weak stimulant, and is often combined with stronger central nervous system stimulants, particularly caffeine, which may increase calorie-burning. Two clinical trials examining the effect of combination supplements containing bitter orange extract have noted positive effects on weight loss. However, in a randomized controlled trial using bitter orange alone in subjects with overweight and obesity, no weight loss was attributable to the supplement after six weeks.

Reports on the possible blood pressure-raising effect of single doses of bitter orange extract in healthy individuals have been mixed. An industry-sponsored review of 20 published and unpublished studies with a combined total of approximately 360 subjects concluded taking bitter orange or synephrine, alone or in combination with other ingredients (one of which was usually caffeine), for six to twelve weeks has been associated with slight weight loss and has had no substantial adverse effects on heart rate or blood pressure.

1 Star
Guar Gum
5 to 15 grams per day
Guar gum, another type of fiber supplement, has not been effective in controlled studies for weight loss or weight maintenance.
Guar gum is a viscous soluble fiber that is often used as a thickener and emulsifier in foods. Like other similar types of fiber, guar gum has been found to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improve glucose metabolism, which may contribute to improved ability to lose weight. Although controlled trials have found guar gum can induce greater weight loss compared to placebo, a meta-analysis of eleven trials found the difference to be non-statistically significant. Since guar gum can cause digestive symptoms, the researchers who performed the meta-analysis concluded guar gum's potential harm was greater than its potential benefits with regard to weight loss.
1 Star
Guaraná
Refer to label instructions
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.
Guaraná (Paullinia cupana) contains caffeine and the closely related alkaloids theobromine and theophylline. These compounds stimulate the central nervous system and may curb appetite, increase energy expenditure, and promote weight loss. Laboratory research suggests guaraná extract may limit the negative metabolic impacts of a Western-style diet, such as weight gain, fat accumulation, insulin resistance, lipid metabolism disorders, and fat tissue dysfunction, while increasing heat production and energy expenditure. In a placebo-controlled trial, a combination of guarana (providing 240 mg per day of caffeine) and ma huang (Ephedra sinensis, providing 72 mg per day of ephedrine, another stimulant alkaloid) led to greater reductions in body weight, body fat, and triglyceride levels; however, the drop-out rate in the supplemented group was high due to adverse side effects related to overstimulation.
1 Star
Guggul
500 mg of an extract standardized to contain 5% guggulsterones three times per day
Limited evidence suggests guggul extract may improve metabolic health, lower cholesterol levels, and support weight loss.
Guggul is a resinous compound extracted from the mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat conditions including heart disease, lipid disorders, and obesity. Laboratory research suggests guggul and its active constituents, guggulsterones, may improve fat tissue function and stimulate breakdown of fat for energy. Investigations into its ability to lower high cholesterol levels have had mixed results, and one open trial found patients with metabolic syndrome lost a small amount of weight after taking a combination of guggul, curcumin, and chlorogenic acid for four months.
1 Star
Hemp Protein
25 to 30 grams of hemp protein powder per day
Increasing protein intake with hemp protein may help promote metabolic health and weight loss.
Researchers have found plant-based protein supplements can help reduce appetite and improve blood glucose control, support cardiovascular health, and may help promote weight loss while preserving muscle mass. Most hemp protein supplements contain ground hemp seeds; while they have less protein than other protein supplements, they are high in prebiotic fiber and contain a healthy balance of fatty acids, which may also contribute to reduced appetite, improved glucose metabolism, and body weight management. Whether hemp protein has real benefits or drawbacks compared to other sources of protein for people trying to lose weight is not known.
1 Star
Hoodia
Unknown
Some clinical trials suggest hoodia may be effective at curbing appetite.
Hoodia gordonii is a succulent plant that grows in the desert in southern Africa. One small clinical trial found that hoodia latex and inner plant significantly reduced food intake. However, in a placebo-controlled trial, 1.11 grams of hoodia extract taken twice a day for 15 days had no effect on caloric intake or body weight compared with a placebo. Adverse effects of hoodia included nausea, vomiting, and increases in blood pressure and bilirubin levels (a possible indicator of liver stress). Another placebo-controlled trial found 3 grams of a frozen hoodia product taken daily for 40 days led to reduced hunger, food cravings, and self-reported food consumption, accompanied by weight loss; only mild, short-term adverse side effects were reported. More research is needed to determine if hoodia has a potential role in treating obesity.
1 Star
Pea Protein
15 grams per day
Pea protein, like other proteins, may support weight loss by curbing appetite and improving metabolic health.
Researchers have found plant-based protein supplements can help reduce appetite and improve blood glucose control, support cardiovascular health, and may help promote weight loss while preserving muscle mass. Protein supplementation has been shown to increase fullness and reduce appetite, and pea protein appears to preform equally to whey and milk protein in this regard in studies in healthy adults. Compared to whey protein and milk protein, 15 grams of pea protein daily was found to be better at inducing satiety (a sense of fullness) in overweight people.
1 Star
Relora
250 mg three times daily
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.
Relora, a product that contains bark from Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense, was found in uncontrolled research to reduce cortisol release associated with stress, decrease perceived stress, improve energy and reduce fatigue, and improve mood in subjects with moderate stress. An industry-sponsored pilot trial included 28 women with overweight and obesity who reported increasing their eating in response to stress; those given Relora, at a dose of 250 mg three times daily, maintained stable weight over six weeks, while those given placebo gained weight.
1 Star
Rice Protein
Refer to label instructions
Rice protein may be a good choice for dieters who are vegan or sensitive to dairy and want to boost protein in their diet.
Researchers have found plant-based protein supplements can help reduce appetite and improve blood glucose control, support cardiovascular health, and may help promote weight loss while preserving muscle mass. Dieters who are vegan or sensitive to dairy may benefit from supplementing with rice protein. Animal research suggests rice protein may induce weight loss by improving fat metabolism.
1 Star
Sesamin
50 to 200 mg per day
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,.
Sesamin, a lignin found in sesame seeds and oil, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body. In laboratory research, sesamin has demonstrated positive impacts on blood glucose control, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism. It has also been found to increase mitochondrial activity, leading to increased fat burning, energy production, and exercise capacity in an animal model of high fat diet-induced type 2 diabetes. In healthy humans, supplementing with 10 mg per day of sesamin, along with other antioxidants such as 6 mg of astaxanthin or 55 mg of vitamin E, was found to decrease fatigue. In 44 women with rheumatoid arthritis, 200 mg of sesamin per day for six weeks resulted in greater reductions in body weight and body fat and improvements in other metabolic parameters compared to placebo, however the differences were not statistically significant.

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