Busted: the Reality of 5 Popular Health Supplements

Weight loss” is a term you simply cannot avoid these days. Everyone, it seems, is in the race to lose that extra bit of flab. Being health-conscious is a wonderful thing, of course, but the awareness of what is right for you is key. Today, the internet is filled with health gurus providing countless choices in attractive health supplements we should use for losing weight. With their quick-fix solution to our weight issues, their recommendations can often be hard to resist.

There are plenty of myths surrounding these weight loss supplements which we can easily fall prey to. The reality, though, can be hard to accept. Here, we debunk 5 of the most famous health supplements and explain why they shouldn’t be trusted.

#1. Raspberry ketones

Raspberry ketones are natural substances that are found in red raspberries. They are also found in other fruits like blackberries, cranberries, fresh berries, peaches, grapes, apples, and kiwis. These natural chemicals give raspberries their natural aroma and have been used as a flavoring agent in soft drinks, ice cream, and different processed foods.

Of late, raspberry ketones have also become popular for their supposed weight-loss abilities and have been sold as a weight loss supplement. 

Weight Loss Supplements Raspberry ketones

Do they actually work, though?

Before you actively begin consuming the raspberry ketone weight loss tablets in the hopes of losing weight, bear in mind that not a single study to date has been done purely based on raspberry ketones in humans. The only study that included raspberry ketones included a blend of substances - caffeine, garlic, capsaicin, ginger, and synephrine, along with raspberry ketones.

In that study, which lasted eight weeks, the people who had used the supplements lost 7.8% of their fat mass. However, there was no conclusive evidence to prove that the weight loss was because of raspberry ketones. Only after extensive studies have been conducted on humans with regards to raspberry ketones, can we fully analyze if they can actually aid in weight loss.

For now, it would be better if you opt for the natural fruits that contain raspberry ketones.


#2. Matcha green tea powder

Weight Loss Supplements Matcha green tea powder

Matcha green tea powder is one variant of green tea that has become really popular in recent years as a potent natural weight-loss drink. Celebrities are raving about it. Models are swearing by it. Even famous cafes and restaurants are serving it in lattes, soups, and desserts.

This traditional Japanese tea is basically a stone-ground powdered green tea. Made from leaves of a tea plant, also known as the Camellia sinensis, the Matcha green tea powder can be easily mixed into liquids. It includes various vitamins and minerals but is mostly sought after because it contains abundant amounts of catechins – a type of antioxidant. Since a person is essentially consuming whole tea leaves while drinking matcha, it is considered the more effective source of catechins than normal green tea where the leaves are disposed of after infusion.

Various studies have been done to analyze the effects of standard green tea on weight loss with vague results. However, there have been no studies done to confirm the benefits of matcha on weight loss.

Hence, you can consume matcha tea if it makes you feel better. Moreover, it certainly has beneficial vitamins and minerals in it which will benefit you. As of now, however, you cannot rely on it to lose your extra flab. 

#3. Garcinia cambogia supplements

In recent times, you would have, perhaps, heard or read the name 'Garcinia Cambogia' on several platforms. A tropical fruit native to India and Southeast Asia, Garcinia Cambogia has been actively marketed as a weight-loss wonder. Claims have been made that it can help you lose weight without even doing any physical work. 

Weight Loss Supplements Garcinia cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia contains a substance called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is said to assist weight loss. A number of studies have been taken to analyze this with mixed results. A few studies have claimed to have had great weight-loss results using HCA. Many others have stated that it has no bearing on the person's weight.

Researchers have noted that a majority of the studies done on Garcinia Cambogia have used animals as test subjects. The results of the tests done on humans using garcinia are too general to be proved effective. 

A detailed review has been posted in the Journal of Obesity gathering nine different studies that have used Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss. The review observes the mixed results of the supplement on weight loss with a few studies yielding substantial results while the others stated there was no difference. 

Since HCA is being made available in the forms of pills and powder, as well as the fact that it comes from a fruit makes it an instantly appealing product. However, there are too many uncertainties at present with Garcinia Cambogia's effect on weight loss, and hence, it cannot be relied upon.

#4. Caffeine supplements

In recent years, a number of diet supplements containing caffeine have claimed that it can help reduce weight. The theory that caffeine can increase metabolism has been oft-repeated.

How much of that is true, though?

Weight Loss Supplements Caffeine

The pace at which you burn your calories at rest is called your resting metabolic rate (RMR).

It is common knowledge that the higher your metabolic rate, the easier it would be for you to lose weight. This is where caffeine becomes an attractive option for those wanting to lose weight quickly.

Research studies that have been conducted on volunteers have stated that caffeine can increase RMR by 3-11% and those who consumed larger doses had a higher effect, with an increase of 11-12%.

However, further comprehensive studies have also indicated that caffeine intake made no notable changes in the participants' appetite or the amount of food they consume throughout the day. The findings concluded that caffeine might have a minor effect on food consumption briefly after consuming caffeine. However, the effect doesn’t last long and wears off pretty quickly.

Thus, caffeine does accelerate the body’s metabolism, but only briefly. Moreover, the body builds up a tolerance to the effects of caffeine with regular consumption. You can therefore not depend on caffeine for your weight loss. 


#5. Alkaline water

Weight Loss Supplements Alkaline water

Drinking water is good for you. Of course, you know that. Can drinking a particular form of water actually help you lose weight, though? Can there be such a thing as healthier water? Well, if the hype is to be believed, alkaline water seems to be the answer to that question. 

Alkaline water supposedly has multifarious health benefits: clear skin, weight loss and even fighting skin cancer being some of them. It is its purported ability to aid weight loss which has really made it famous lately.

What exactly is alkaline water?

Simply put, alkaline water is water that has a higher level of pH than tap water. PH is the measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. Tap water has a pH of around 7, and alkaline water’s pH is about 8 or 9. Alkaline compounds are salts and metals that, when added to water, make it more alkaline.

Is alkaline water good for weight loss?

Unfortunately, there isn’t any substantial evidence out there to back the claims of alkaline water’s benefits for weight loss. The research and tests that have been done for alkaline water have been animal-based, and its effects on humans are not yet backed by science. In fact, noted dieticians have said that when we consume highly acidic or highly alkaline food or beverage, it gets neutralized in the digestive system before it enters the bloodstream.

Alkaline water is being touted as the next big miracle cure. It is even being promoted by known celebrities. However, these claims are not being backed by any proper scientific evidence. It appears to be more of another popular nutrition fad.

It would be prudent if we concentrate on consuming plain water on a regular basis. It does a great job of keeping us hydrated and healthy. 

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