Dietary supplements unsuitable for losing weight and more of a risk

Dietary supplements unsuitable for losing weight and more of a risk

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Lose weight with food supplements: Not very effective and sometimes dangerous

With the beginning of the new year, many people have decided to reduce existing excess weight and to live healthier from now on. Help is promised, for example, by food supplements that are supposed to support weight loss and are often touted as "natural" or "purely vegetable". “Most of the time, success is doubtful. Some slimming products can even be harmful, ”warns the consumer advice center in a recent press release.

The advertising promises phenomenal weight loss with the dietary supplements, but according to the consumer advocates, these do not help to reduce the weight permanently. In addition, medical advice should be given before taking the drug, as there may be interactions with other medications and considerable negative effects can occur if overdosed and / or long-term use. In a recent release, the consumer advice center has assessed the different dietary supplements.

Ready-made diet drinks as a substitute for food

A common variant of diet supplements are ready-made drinks that are taken instead of meals. Powders for mixing diet shakes and the corresponding ready-made drinks or formula diets promise that you don't have to eat anything else. However, caution should be exercised since the body needs more than is contained in such mixtures. Replacing all meals with such powders can pose a risk. The preparations must therefore display the warning "Must not be used for longer than three weeks without medical advice," explains the consumer advice center. Instead of replacing all meals with these ready-made drinks, it is better to use this as a substitute for only one main meal. An introduction to weight loss, but it only works if you eat less calories.

The consumer advice center also recommends paying attention to the sugar content of the finished drinks, as it often contains a lot of sugar. Artificial flavors and artificial sweeteners are also unnecessary in the powders for nutrition.

Appetite suppressants only effective for a short time

According to the consumer advocates, food supplements that act as appetite suppressors usually contain mate or guarana extracts and have a hunger-reducing effect, while at the same time stimulating and slightly draining. But these are also the critical sticking points. Because the drainage may help you lose weight quickly, but this is not real fat loss. And the hunger-suppressing effect does not last long. As soon as the funds are no longer taken, the weight is quickly back.

Yo-yo effect is pre-programmed

In the case of preparations with swelling and dietary fibers, the filling effect is used, but at the same time enough liquid must be added, since otherwise there is a risk of an intestinal obstruction. Although these preparations really fill you up, you can get used to the effect if you take them for a long time. If the funds are then no longer taken, there is a risk of hunger for too large portions. In addition, these preparations also sometimes contain additional active ingredients with a laxative or draining effect, so that the weight loss is only partly real. With the "appetite brakes, the yo-yo effect is programmed if they do not slowly slip out and are replaced by high-fiber vegetables and grains", the consumer center advised.

Impending adverse effects

Another variant of the dietary food supplements are the so-called "fat burners", which target the metabolism and fat burning. For example, they are used by athletes and bodybuilders to reduce their body fat percentage. "The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has rated the excessive promise of fat burners as scientifically unsafe," emphasizes the consumer advice center. A large number of plant extracts are often mixed together in the fat burners and even if the individual substances are not present in quantities hazardous to health, the effects of these mixtures of substances cannot be assessed and there are unexpected and undesirable effects.

Fat burners can lead to high blood pressure and rapid heartbeat

In addition, many of the substances contained can interact with medicines, according to consumer advocates. In addition, the substances contained often have an effect on the cardiovascular system and the higher the proportion of the corresponding substance, the higher the risk of these products, reports the consumer center. "The combination with caffeine (e.g. as green tea, mate, guarana), as is often the case in products with synephrine (also known as bitter orange extract, Citrus aurantium), increases the effect of many substances and can lead to high blood pressure and rapid heartbeat or even heart attacks", warn consumer advocates. Ephedrine, which was often used in fat burners, has therefore been banned in Europe and the USA for some years.

Easily available, but by no means harmless

The consumer advice center concludes that it is often the best case if the dietary supplements do nothing. However, consumer advocates warn that dubious preparations from the Internet may contain illegal and extremely harmful substances. And even those who use drainage or laxatives to lose weight endanger their health. Overall, food supplements are not suitable as slimming agents, even if the advertising gives this impression. Although they are easily available on the Internet, "they are therefore far from harmless," concluded the consumer center. (fp)

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