A chemical byproduct of tryptophan that increases serotonin in the brain and central nervous system, leading to altered appetite, mood, and more. As such, 5-HTP is listed as possibly effective for treating depression and fibromyalgia, although there is insufficient evidence showing it’s effective for weight loss or any other condition. There isn’t enough known about 5-HTP to provide dosing recommendations, although some users have acquired eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) from the use of supplements containing the ingredient, although it’s unknown if this was the result of contamination.
A tree found in parts of Africa whose seeds are claimed to help reduce body fat and lose weight. However, clinical evidence is lacking showing this to be the case, and dosing and common side effects are largely unknown.
A chemical that stimulates the central nervous system and is effective for, among other things, treating headaches, migraines, and asthma, as well as improving mental alertness. However, as a standalone ingredient, there is insufficient clinical evidence showing it can reliably help users lose weight. Caffeine dosing ranges between 250mg and 600mg, and common side effects include insomnia, restlessness, nausea, increased heart rate, and more.
Capsaicin a compound that makes cayenne peppers spicy, and is often used as a cream to reduce arthritis pain, as well as an ingredient in weight loss supplements. While many manufacturers claims capsaicin induces thermogenesis to help you lose weight, there is insufficient clinical evidence to support this.
An Indian cactus that contains chemicals thought to decrease appetite and help users lose weight, although there is insufficient clinical evidence to support this. No dosing information is available for caralluma, although common side effects include digestive upset and stomach pain. Long-term safety is unknown.
See Green Coffee Bean.
An essential trace element that’s often used to treat type 2 diabetes and improve weight loss by helping our bodies maintain normal blood sugar levels, although there is insufficient clinical evidence available to support this. Dosing ranges between 0.2mcg and 600mcg, depending on age and the condition being treated. Some common side effects include headaches, nausea, skin irritation, and impaired thinking.
See Green Tea.
A proprietary ingredient found in several weight loss supplements that’s based on naturally occurring fibers claimed to prevent up to 500 calories from being absorbed into your body per day. There is some promising evidence associated with FBCx, although the majority of this comes directly from the manufacturer. A typical dose of FBCx constitutes 2 capsules with each meal (6 capsules per day).
A flowering plant native to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, and some parts of Africa, this is often claimed to “melt away” belly fat, although there is insufficient clinical evidence showing forskolin can provide any kind of health benefits. Dosing and common side effects are unknown.
See Hydroxycitric Acid.
A sugar made from the root of the konjac plant that may act like a fiber and absorb water in the stomach to treat constipation, diabetes, and high cholesterol, which clinical evidence has found to be “possibly effective.” However, there is insufficient evidence showing it can promote weight loss or provide any other benefits. Dosing ranges between 3 grams and 11 grams per day, and side effects appear to be uncommon.
Unroasted (e.g. green) coffee beans that contain high levels of chlorogenic acid, which may help the body better process sugar and balance metabolism, although there is insufficient clinical evidence showing this to be the case. Dosing typically ranges between 80mg and 200mg daily, and most users do not experience any side effects.
Contains high levels of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a catechin that has been studied extensively as a treatment for everything ranging from HIV to weight loss. At this point however, there remains insufficient clinical evidence showing it’s effective for any of these.
A shrub native to India and Africa that has traditionally been used to treat diabetes and coughing, and to boost weight loss, by decreasing the amount of sugar absorbed by the intestine, and by increasing insulin production in the body. However, there remains insufficient clinical evidence to support any of the supplement’s claims. There isn’t enough known about gymnema to provide dosing guidelines or common side effects.
A succulent native to South Africa that’s thought to suppress appetite and boost weight loss, although there isn’t enough clinical evidence available to support this. There also isn’t enough known about hoodia to provide dosing recommendations or to understand common side effects.
Usually comes in 50% or 60% formulations, and often combined with calcium and/or potassium. However, calcium has been shown to limit the effectiveness of HCA. Despite this, many GC supplements manufacturers continue to include it.
A proprietary ingredient created by InterHealth Nutraceuticals Incorporated that blend Sphaeranthus indicus flower heads and Garcinia mangostana fruit rind to help manage weight. There have been 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies conducted by the manufacturer, which they claim proves its efficacy. However, there is no third-party clinical evidence available supporting these claims.
A chemical derived from red raspberries that’s claimed to increase metabolism and promote weight loss, although there is currently no clinical evidence showing that it provides these benefits in humans. There isn’t any dosing information available for raspberry ketone, although it may cause side effects such as increased blood pressure, jitteriness, and rapid heartbeat.
A sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant species that’s often used as a sugar substitute. Because Stevia isn’t converted into glucose in the human body, and because it contains no calories, it’s often touted as being a healthier option for diabetics or for those looking to lose weight. However, in and of itself, Stevia does not cause weight loss.
A proprietary ingredient manufactured by Integrity Ingredients Inc. that’s derived from a tree native to China and Korea, and is claimed to help burn fat and suppress hunger. Typical dosing ranges between 10mg and 20mg, although there is no third-party clinical evidence available to support the manufacturer’s claims.
This ingredient is often promoted as a starch blocker that can prevent your body from transforming starches into sugar, thereby helping you lose weight. And while there have been some studies showing that white kidney bean extract can help users lose fat, it doesn’t appear that this necessarily translates into weight loss. Dosing generally ranges between 2,000mg and 3,000mg per day, and common side effects include gas and bloating.
A perennial plant found in areas of the Andes that features tuberous roots similar to jicama, and is often made into a sweet-tasting syrup containing up to 50% fructooligosaccharides (FOS). There are only a handful of trials that studied the relationship between yacon syrup and weight loss, and while they appear promising, there is insufficient clinical evidence showing it can reliably provide any weight loss benefits.
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