15 branded ingredients that drive effective weight loss supplements’ popularity

Discover how scientifically backed ingredients are revolutionizing weight loss supplements, offering effective solutions for managing weight, enhancing metabolism and promoting overall health.

Lisa Schofield, Writer/Editor

June 10, 2024

8 Min Read

At a Glance

  • Some studies are conducted on those who ate nutritious diets and exercised.
  • Thermogenesis is for those who rely on exercise to burn fat.
  • Controlling runaway appetite is another way to lose extra pounds.

[Editor’s note: This article is just one that’s in our wide-ranging digital magazine on the topic of weight management — content of interest for marketers, product formulators and business executives alike. Download your free copy right now.]  

Ingredient suppliers have invested considerable resources to provide effective ingredients that address common blocks to weight loss in those who want to embark on a healthy lifestyle and get into shape. 

Jordi Riera, chief business officer at Kaneka Probiotics, affirmed the category’s potential, noting, “With a growing market encompassing a range of demographics and user needs, there is a need for scientifically backed, safe and effective supplements that address specific aspects of weight management.” 

A recent Nutrition Business Journal survey of 1,029 consumers ages 20 to 73 found that nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents were using supplements to help them manage their weight, slim down and reduce fat. 

Several ingredient suppliers have tested their weight management products in populations that ate nutritious diets and exercised, reflecting the mindset that a supplement can enhance broader-approach weight loss effects. 

An example is Micropyhyt’s PhaeOptim, derived from the microalgae strain Phaeodactylum tricornutum, and standardized to 4.4 mg of fucoxanthin. According to Christel Lemaire, marketing manager, in a 12-week double-blind randomized study, 37 overweight but healthy women followed a calorie-restricted diet with supervised exercise, also supplementing with 220 mg/day of PhaeOptim or placebo. Greater reductions in total energy intake and a 2.5-fold improvement in aerobic capacity were observed in the PhaeOptim group when compared to placebo at six weeks and 12 weeks. 

Related:Weight management IRL – digital magazine

Slendacor, a patented blend of turmeric (Curcuma longa), moringa (Moringa oleifera) and curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) from PLT Health Solutions, has also been studied in healthy, non-obese men and women. According to Steve Fink, VP of marketing, consistent body weight reductions were observed, starting with statistically significant weight loss at two weeks. Participants averaged a total weight loss of nearly 12 pounds by the end of the study. The subjects taking Slendacor lost 2 inches in waist circumference and had no reduction in lean body mass. Further, Fink noted, “Slendacor was shown to be six times more effective than diet and exercise alone in reducing weight, and four times better than placebo at improving body mass index.” 

Thermogenesis 

Related:11 common protein myths debunked by sports nutrition researchers

Thermogenesis is a sought-after benefit by those who rely on exercise to burn fat, and it remains an attractive subcategory of weight management — along with relevance for sports nutrition — giving it crossover appeal. 

Slendacor’s mechanism of action was shown in studies to increase expression of UCP1 (uncoupling protein) and promote a metabolic shift from white to beige or brown adipose tissue. A 2021 human clinical trial found that in only one week of a single daily dose of Slendacor, resting energy expenditure (REE) without a stimulant effect increased 15.2%. 

“In 2023, Slendacor received an updated license from the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) of Health Canada and can make nine allowable claims,” Fink shared. 

A preclinical study showed that Sabinsa’s CurCousin induced thermogenesis in high-fat diet-induced obesity models. CurCousin features the active calebin-A, an analog of curcumin. Anurag Pande, Ph.D., VP of scientific affairs, noted, “Sabinsa’s R&D discovered calebin-A is an excellent metabolic support compound and developed a nature identical synthetic form with 99% calebin-A.” 

A human clinical study of twice daily doses of 25 mg CurCousin for 90 days showed a significant reduction in body weight and body mass index in the calebin-A group compared with placebo, as well as marked changes in serum biomarkers like leptin, adiponectin and cortisol, along with improved blood lipid profiles. 

Related:New Amazon policy requires supplements in three categories to have third-party verification

The unique compound homoeriodictyol, found in Mibelle Biochemistry’s SantEnergy Nu Santa herba (Eriodictyon californicum, also known as Yerba Santa and a member of the borage family) leaf extract, “has shown caffeine-like energizing and stimulating effects,” Torsten Grothe, Ph.D., head of food and health at Mibelle, reported. “It activates the activity of the human adenosine receptor, a protein expressed in adipose tissue that regulates lipolysis and inflammation. The same receptor also mediates the benefits of caffeine.” 

In that aforementioned clinical study of 50 obese women, subjects consuming 400 mg of SantEnergy Nu for 12 weeks demonstrated a significant reduction in body weight and body fat, as well as normalization of the satiety hormone leptin. Grothe noted the participants were instructed not to change their current lifestyles during the study duration. 

“We will continue research on the mechanisms involved,” he said, “but it appears that SantEnergy Nu is able to increase energy and normalize satiety hormones to control appetite.” He also suggested that could make the supplement a candidate for helping individuals with known leptin resistance. 

Appetite management 

For consumers who gain weight slowly because they overserve themselves with comfort foods, one way to lose that weight is to control the runaway appetite that led to the extra pounds. Reducing food intake while attempting to eliminate high-fat, high-calorie foods is an effort often met with failure (not to mention creating constant hangry-ness). 

Normally, the hunger signal occurs when the body needs macronutrients to process — but appetite is the craving, the desire to masticate something tasty. And this is the sweet spot (pun intended) for weight management supplements. 

CitruSlim, from HP Ingredients, is a proprietary blend of a patented full-spectrum Italian citrus bergamot polyphenolic extract and a patented Eurycoma longifolia (the latter is commonly known as tongkat ali) extract. In a 12-week human clinical study, bergamonte — a key ingredient in CitruSlim — significantly reduced body weight and body mass index (BMI). This correlated with a significant reduction of circulating hormones balancing caloric intake, including leptin, ghrelin and upregulation of adiponectin. 

CitruSlim was then evaluated for body weight management impact in 97 obese individuals. The participants supplemented with either CitruSlim high-dose (HD, 400 mg), low-dose (LD, 200 mg) or placebo for 112 days. At the end of the study, CitruSlim HD and LD significantly reduced BMI compared to the placebo group, leading the authors to conclude CitruSlim was tied to body weight reduction in obese participants. 

Kemin’s Slendesta promotes early-onset satiety. Its featured compound, proteinase inhibitor II (PI2), was shown to aid in appetite control for effective weight management by enhancing the production of cholecystokinin, which promotes feelings of fullness. 

A newer offering is WellVine, a coastal chardonnay upcycled whole food product made from pressed and milled coastal chardonnay grapes, from Sonomaceuticals LLC. According to Fanny Lee, Ph.D., research program manager and author of published research exploring WellVine’s benefits, a secondary outcome from a recent small clinical trial found that participants who consumed WellVine blends (higher ratio of chardonnay extract blended with WellVine and higher ratio of WellVine blended with chardonnay extract), experienced reduced subjective feelings of hunger. 

Here’s where it gets a little interesting — while ghrelin levels were the same, the WellVine blend was found to increase satiety through influencing the hormone peptide YY, responsible for controlling appetite, Lee pointed out. “We are unclear of what mechanistically contributed to the decreased feelings of hunger,” she commented. “More work needs to be done, as this was a secondary aim of the study and the hormones did not align with the subjective feelings observed, pointing to the complexity of eating behavior.” 

Biotics 

The biotics field is blooming with new prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic strain development and research. 

According to Lizbeth Cabigas, business development manager at AIDP, “Prebiotics can modify microbiota by targeting bacteria that is already present in the large intestine.” Her company’s PreticX is a xylooligosaccharide (XOS) that she said is able to promote gut bacteria balance through increasing Bifidobacterium and optimizing the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. She added, the ingredient “changes the gut microbiome, and allows for improved metabolic health and effective weight management.” 

The probiotic strain Lactoplantibacillus plantarum SKO-001, isolated from Angelica gigas, from Kolmar BNH, may promote weight loss by managing the gut microbiome. In a 12-week human study of 100 participants, those who supplemented with the probiotic exhibited reductions in body fat percentage, body fat mass and adiponectin levels, as compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the subcutaneous fat area and leptin levels were significantly reduced in the L. plantarum SKO-001 group. 

Garcinol, the constituent in Sabinsa’s Garcitrin, has been known to influence gut microbiota such as Akkermansia muciniphala, which can lead to weight loss, according to Pande. Results of a murine study showed an association between garcinol and reduced weight gain and relative visceral adipose tissue fat weight in a dose-dependent manner in subjects on a high-fat diet. Furthermore, the researchers found garcinol not only reversed high-fat-diet-induced gut dysbiosis — as shown by the reduced Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratios — but also helped control inflammation by increasing the intestinal commensal bacteria, Akkermansia

That’s 10 branded ingredients — but that's not all! To discover 5 other branded ingredients targeting weight management, including those that also help with blood-sugar management, download the free Natural Products Insider digital magazine here.  

About the Author(s)

Lisa Schofield

Writer/Editor

Lisa Schofield is a veteran writer and editor who got her start interviewing rock stars for national music magazines. She now writes and edits content for B2B media and suppliers in the natural health product industry. She has served as editor for Vitamin Retailer and Nutrition Industry Executive, and prior to that as associate editor for Whole Foods.

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