Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Supplements & Weight loss

There are many dietary supplements for body-weight reduction and here is a brief look at several supplements that are suggested to enhance weight loss.

Chromium which is an essential mineral as well as a cofactor to insulin. It enhances the activity of insulin activity and effects, lipid, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It is suggested to reduce the percentage of body fat, increase lean muscle mass and show increase in basal metabolic rate. There have been several meta-analysis’ that suggest there was a reduction in body weight across the board however it was minimal  Chromium is often depleted in the processing of foods thus supplementation is generally used however is found in relatively high amounts in tomatoes, onions, oysters and whole grains. Chromium is most effective in reducing sugar cravings which leads to the decreased consumption of many refined, high sugar and high calorie foods, which then lead to weight loss.

Psyllium is also suggested to have weight loss benefits. Psyllium is a fibre from the husk of the seeds from Plantago ovata and is water soluble. Many randomised controlled trials could not offer evidence of weight loss. However, the soluble fiber found in psyllium husks can help lower cholesterol. Psyllium can help relieve both constipation and diarrhea, and is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and other intestinal problems. Psyllium has also been used to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes

Guar Gum is another dietary fibre that was assessed on its benefits to weight loss. Guar gum is found in the guar bean used in Indian cooking however it is often extracted and found in baked goods and dairy. When given in supplemental form it also was shown in a similiar meta-analysis to have no benefit on weight loss

Chitosan is found in chitin which forms the crustacean's exoskeleton (i.e.: shrimp, prawns etc.) It is a polysaccharide and claims to reduce the absorption of fat and where it was given in supplemental form, of five random controlled trials that were double blind this could not be proven without doubt.