Herbal medicines for weight loss ineffective?
Researchers from the University of Sydney reviewed herbal weight loss medicines. This is the first study in 19 years. They have found insufficient evidence to recommend current treatments. The lead author Dr. Nick Fuller said that many overweight and obese people who are reaching epidemic proportions worldwide are using such supplements as an alternative approach to maintaining or losing weight.
Herbal medicine as a means of weight loss
“The problem with dietary supplements is that, unlike medicines, clinical evidence is not required before they are available to the public in supermarkets or chemists,” said Doctor Fuller of the Boden Collaboration for Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise, and Eating Disorders at the University of Sydney based in Charles Perkins Center.
The systematic review and meta-analysis analyzed the latest international research results in this area. This resulted in 54 randomized controlled trials. In these, the scientists compared the effects of herbal medicines with placebo for weight loss in over 4000 participants. Herbal medicines that had a statistically higher weight loss than placebo, the weight loss was less than 2.5 kg. For this reason, these are not of clinical importance.
“This finding suggests that there is insufficient evidence to recommend any of these herbal medicines to treat weight loss. In addition, many studies have had poor research methods or reports. Although most supplements appear safe for short-term consumption, they are expensive and do not cause clinically meaningful weight loss. “
Recent data on the use of weight loss supplements from a US study showed that 16 percent (12 percent of men and 19 percent of women) reported use in the past year among people trying to lose weight.
Herbal medicinal products, as they are generally known, are products that contain a plant or combinations of plants as an active ingredient. They come in various forms, including pills, powders, or liquids.
Common herbal supplements for weight loss are green tea, garcinia cambogia, white kidney beans and African mango. The authors write that between 1996 and 2006, 1000 dietary supplements for weight loss appeared without an evaluation of their effectiveness.
These substances can come onto the market with sponsors. Manufacturers are not required to provide evidence to support their claims. The authors note that only 20 percent of new entries are checked annually to ensure that they meet this requirement.
“The growth in the industry and the popularity of these products underscore the importance of more robust studies on the effectiveness and safety of these dietary supplements for weight loss,” said Dr. Ink pen.
The review ruled out studies in which herbal medicine did not cover the entire plant, consisted of vegetable oils, or was combined with other nutritional supplements such as fibers and proteins. This analysis will be reported in a future article.
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