Weight loss supplements derived from herbs are all natural, although that does not mean they actually work. Scientific research reveals which supplements work and which ones don’t work. Here is a list of top 6 herbs based on real science.
Science Behind Weight Loss Supplements
Scientists worldwide are continually studying the potential for herbs that might help with weight loss. The best research is available to the public by searching through the PubMed online medical database at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Anyone can conduct a search for studies on any herb, using search terms to find the titles and abstracts of articles of interest.
Examining the research on common herbs that are marketed for weight loss shows that certain herbs can be very helpful. On the other hand, other well-known herbs have no scientific support for weight loss or anything remotely related to it. They are weight loss scams.
Green tea is an example herb that is supposed to help with weight loss. A recent PubMed search on ‘green tea’ as a search term yielded 4,536 articles. Modifying it to ‘green tea and weight loss’ yielded 88 articles. This an example of a well-researched herb for weight loss. A quick inspection of these articles shows that green tea is the best of all the herbal weight loss supplements.
Additional searching on other herbal supplements for weight loss shows that numerous herbs are well-supported by scientific studies. Several could contend for the top 6 list. These are the ones that appear to be the best at the moment:
- Green tea (Camellia sinensis)
- Banaba (Lagerostroemia speciosa)
- Gymnema sylvestre
- African mango (Irvingia gabonensis)
- Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.)
The mechanisms of action, when known, vary among these herbs. The most common mechanisms entail antioxidant (anti-inflammatory) power, enhanced fat cell metabolism, and blood sugar and insulin regulation.
Many reputable supplement manufacturers offer one or more formulas that include these herbs. In my opinion, the best of these are:
Optimized Irvingia: with discount and free Weight Loss Guide from the Life Extension Foundation (formula also includes green tea and other weight loss ingredients).
Pure Weigh-FM by Pure Encapsulations (formula includes green tea and banaba, plus other weight loss ingredients).
GlucoFunction by Pure Encapsulations (formula includes Gymnema sylvestre, bitter melon, cinnamon bark, plus other weight loss ingredients).
The manufacturers of these products are two of the best in the entire supplement industry. Take a look at their formulas and see what you think.
Herbal Weight Loss Supplements to Avoid
This is a much bigger topic, although it is easier to explore. The reason is that some of the most widely marketed ‘weight loss’ herbs have very little research to sort through, and sometimes none at all. Two of the top examples are hoodia and acai berry.
The research on these herbs regarding weight loss is nearly nonexistent. The few studies that do exist show no significant effect for reducing weight. Indeed, the marketing programs for these and many other so-called weight loss herbs are scams.
Commenting on weight loss supplements,
I was looking at your sight to see what I can also learn from you on the functions of Raspberry Ketones which became all the rage a few weeks ago when Dr. Oz reported on them. Your input?
Dr. Dennis Clark says
Hi, Mikki: When Dr. Oz ventures into plant biochemistry, my specialty, he stumbles. The last time I paid any attention to what he says it was some wild stuff about resveratrol and anti-aging. Since then I don’t spend any time to see what he is promoting, unless I want to say something about watching out for celebrity endorsements. PubMed doesn’t have anything exciting about raspberry ketones, unless you consider this mouse study: Life Sci. 2005 May 27;77(2):194-204.
“Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone.” Seems like pretty good stuff…for mice.
All the best,