In addition to diets, many patients are trying dietary supplements as a means of achieving quick weight loss. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), a dietary supplement is defined as a product other than tobacco that contains a “dietary ingredient” and is intended to supplement the diet. Dietary ingredients include vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, and metabolites. Which Rapid Fat Burning Supplements Really Works Dietary supplements must be labeled as such and can come in many forms, including powder, tablet, liquid, or capsule. They should not be used as a conventional food or as a sole meal or diet.10
Dietary supplements can play an important role in health promotion and the prevention of chronic disease.10 However, concerns over their safety, dose, and advertising must be considered. A primary concern is that DSHEA does not require pre-market safety approvals for dietary supplements. Manufacturers are not required to disclose any information they have about the safety or alleged benefits of their supplement products.10 In one example, animal studies showed promise for the supplement hydroxycitrate, the active compound found in the Garcinia cambogia plant. However, a human trial11 found no benefit for weight loss. Nevertheless, hydroxycitrate is still being promoted for weight loss based on the animal studies.
Another concern is that dietary supplements may be described as “natural” or even “drug-free,” in advertising. Some patients may interpret this to mean that there are no safety concerns associated with the use of these products. Metabolife 356, for example, is marketed as a dietary supplement but contains ephedrine derived from the herb ma Huang and caffeine from the herb guarana. Ephedrine and caffeine are technically drugs, but when used in a dietary supplement, they are classified as herbs. Although controversial, there are safety concerns for ephedrine and even greater concerns when it is combined with caffeine. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed labeling changes for dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids and has suggested limiting the dose per tablet because of several reports of adverse reactions and deaths associated with its use.12
Additional concern related to dietary supplements is the lack of congruency between doses and forms of products used in studies and those shown on the label of the supplement product. In the case of the dietary supplement pyruvate, for example, the dosage used in weight-loss studies ranged from 25 to 30 g/day. What Supplements To Burn Hand Fat Really Works The typical dose found in products sold in health food stores and through mail-order companies contains only 400–600 mg pyruvate per capsule, with recommendations to take 2–3 capsules 2–3 times daily, which translates into 2.4–3.6 g/day.13
Because many patients choose to self-medicate with dietary supplements for weight loss despite the controversy and lack of evidence supporting their use, it is imperative for health care professionals to be aware of the safety concerns associated with weight-loss supplements.