How Effective Is A Weight Loss Supplement?

Diet supplements have become a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry in America today. Hundreds of new diet supplements come out of the market every day, all claiming to be the answer to all your weight problems. The influx of diet supplements in the market today has alarmed the US government, prompting them to come up with stricter rules against bogus weight loss supplements.

All about supplements

A weight loss supplement is said to aid in weight loss. It can either help burn fat or suppress the appetite. A weight loss supplement usually has supposed weight loss ingredients including vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, and amino acids. It is easy to spot a weight loss supplement, since product labels usually contain the words "dietary supplement."

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Are they drugs?

That is one thing dietary supplements are not. A drug is mainly intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent diseases. Before being sold to the public, all drugs must undergo clinical studies to determine their effectiveness, safety, possible interactions with other substances, and appropriate dosages. Furthermore, the US FDA should approve these drugs.

Meanwhile, the US FDA does not authorize or test dietary supplements. Hence, a weight loss supplement claiming to be the cure for weight loss would be considered unauthorized, and thus illegal. A weight loss supplement is also not meant to replace conventional diets.

No scientific evidence

Currently, there is no evidence to support the claim that a weight loss supplement is great for weight loss. Since most of these supplements remain untested, it is hard to tell the long term effects and side effects of these supplements. But if you are still thinking of buying a weight loss supplement for weight loss, make sure to check for these quality standards:

o Look for ingredients with the U.S.P. notation, which indicates the manufacturer followed standards established by the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.

o Realize that the label term "natural" doesn't guarantee that a product is safe.

o Consider the name of the manufacturer or distributor. Supplements made by a nationally known food and drug manufacturer, for example, have likely been made under tight controls because these companies already have in place manufacturing standards for their other products.

o Write or e-mail to the supplement manufacturer for more information. Ask the company about the conditions under which its products were made.

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