The weight loss supplement industry is huge and it seems like new diet pills, powders, and teas come out almost daily. Some have unpleasant side effects. Others are so dangerous they have to be taken off the market. It can definitely be hard to tell the safe weight loss supplements apart from the unhealthy or dangerous ones. The supplements on this list are considered safe weight loss supplements because they work with your body, have minor, limited side effects, and have been tested in a variety of clinical trials.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that occurs naturally within the body. L-carnitine is important factor in fat metabolism. It helps transport certain fatty acids so they can be metabolized and used for energy. Some people are deficient in L-carnitine, which can make it difficult to lose weight. Canitine supplementation in these individuals may help produce fat loss. There are mixed results on whether L-carnitine helps nondeficient people lose weight, but it does help with a variety of other conditions. It has been proven to reduce the risk of heart attack, ease symptoms of peripheral artery disease, treat chemotherapy-induced fatigue, and slow the progression of HIV so it's not a bad supplement to take. Side effects are rare, and typically seen at very high levels of use. The most common side effects seen are nausea and abdominal pain. They are usually easily gotten rid of by lowering the dose. That being said, L-carnitine is generally considered a very healthy and safe weight loss supplement.
CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, is a kind of free fatty acid that is found in certain meats and dairy products. Meat containing CLA includes cow, sheep, goat, and deer meat. According to various studies done on animals in 2002, 2003 and 2007, CLA promotes muscle formation and prevents the accumulation of fat within the body. Some research shows that CLA helps get rid of stubborn fat deposits, but it's best used to prevent weight gain and aid in muscle formation. CLA is a pretty safe weight loss supplement, with only minor side effects, such as indegestion, heartburn, and diarrhea, seen at higher doses. In addition to weight loss, CLA also shows promise in preventing cancer and keeping the body's blood vessels clean.
Green tea is a well known drink and a powerhouse in the world of safe weight loss supplements. Like white and black teas, it comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, but it is the most minimally processed of the three. The lack of processing allows it a larger amount of polyphenols. One of these polyphenols, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is responsible for most of green tea's fat loss properties. Green tea triggers weight loss through thermogenisis. Thermogenisis is the increase of energy expenditure via increased body temperature. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, extensive research has also indicated that green tea inhibits cancer growth, prevents blood vessels from becoming clogged, lowers blood pressure, blood glucose and bad cholesterol, reduces inflammation caused by certain autoimmune disorders and even treats hepatitis. Green tea does contain caffeine so caffeine related side effects, like anxiety, nausea and sleeplessness, are possible. That being said, green tea has 1/4 the amount of caffeine contained in an average cup of coffee, so most people would have to drink 12 to 16 cups of green tea to get significant side effects. Drinking two to three cups of green tea a day, on the other hand, has virtually no side effects.
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5. "Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) prevents body fat accumulation and weight gain in an animal model"; Journal of Food Science; Park Y, Albright KJ, Storkson JM, Liu W, Pariza MW. ;October, 2007
6. "High intake, but not low intake, of CLA impairs weight gain in growing mice."; Lipids; Hayman A, MacGibbon A, Pack RJ, Rutherfurd K, Green JH.; July, 2002
7. "CLA and body weight regulation in humans."; Lipids; Risérus U, Smedman A, Basu S, Vessby B.; February 2003
8. "Green tea extract thermogenesis-induced weight loss by epigallocatechin gallate inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase"; Journal of Medicinal Food; Shixian Q, VanCrey B, Shi J, Kakuda Y, Jiang Y.; 2006
9. "Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss."; Journal of Nutrition; Maki, K.C., Reeves, M., Farmer, M., Yasunaga, K., Matsuo, N., Katsuragi, Y., Komikado, M., Tokimitsu, I., Wilder, D., Jones, F., Blumberg, J., Cartwright, Y.;February, 2009
10. "Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans"; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Abdul G Dulloo, Claudette Duret, Dorothée Rohrer, Lucien Girardier, Nouri Mensi, Marc Fathi, Philippe Chantre, Jacques Vandermander; December, 1999