Supplement Perspectives

Weight Management Products: Does the Public Even Care? (Part 2 of 2)

Mark Becker concludes his post on weight management products with four recommendations—and some more counsel.

In my first post, I gave an overview of why America’s obesity rates continue to skyrocket. Today I will examine supplements that can play a supporting role in weight management. Ready to find out more? Let’s go.

Pure Green Coffee Bean Extract: This has generated significant buzz in recent months for its ability to improve energy levels, fat metabolism, and weight loss. Researchers have discovered that unroasted green coffee beans possess a natural polyphenolic antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which is related to chlorophyll. Chlorogenic acid inhibits the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The presence of chlorogenic acid in the body triggers the body to convert stored fat in the body into energy, rather than using glucose in the liver to create energy. This essentially melts the fat off the body while increasing metabolism and lowering blood pressure. And studies show efficacy.

In fact, according to a study on green coffee bean published in the Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity journal, a group of 16 adults supplemented with green coffee bean for only 12 weeks. Over the course of the study, the subjects lost an average of 17 pounds each. This was 10.5 percent of their overall body weight and 16 percent of their overall body fat! These results are very compelling and could be an effective weapon against the obesity epidemic moving forward. Manufacturers have been quick to develop green coffee bean supplements and natural products retailers have been quick to stock their shelves.

Psyllium: If including fiber-rich food into the diet is a key to losing weight, why not a fiber-rich supplement? A fiber supplement, such as psyllium, can delay gastric emptying and stay in the stomach longer, which helps with satiety. And there is plenty of research. In fact, a recent study found that overweight and obese people who took a fiber diet supplement daily reported less hunger after meals than people taking a placebo.

Green Tea Extract: Studies show that substances in green tea may offer several weight-loss-promoting effects, such as speeding up your metabolism and suppressing the appetite. Green tea contains caffeine, which is known to increase thermogenesis (a biological process involved in burning calories). According to a 2007 report from the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, green tea may fight the decrease in metabolism that typically accompanies weight gain. According to the report's authors, green tea may also inhibit the effects of catechol-O-methyltransferase (an enzyme known to trigger the breakdown of brain chemicals involved in regulating appetite).

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in small amounts in dairy products and red meat. Some studies have found that CLA can help you lose body fat and increase lean body mass.

As the obesity epidemic rages on, the topic of weight management will continue to be a hot button on several health fronts. And as summer approaches, people tend to care more about what they look like in board shorts or a bikini. The focus for the manufacturer is not lose sight of what really matters: formulating healthy, innovative, science-based natural products that will reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions that impact weight management.

In short, manufacturers are in a position to have a dramatic impact on the weight management concerns faced by consumers nationwide. I have no doubt our industry will continue to launch compelling new weight management products. I have no doubt our industry will continue to generate compelling new science in the area of weight management.

The question remains: will consumers implement a strategy in their daily nutrition routines that will promote a long-term solution to their weight management challenges?

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