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Supplements do not reduce weight gain

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Food supplements promoted as slimming aids will not help people aiming to fight weight gain, according to experts.

Supplements including those based on cabbage, fibre and plant extracts are no more effective in helping people shed pounds than a placebo pill, researchers from the Peninsula Medical School at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth have said.

Their study reviewed existing data on supplements including guar gum, bitter orange, calcium, glucomannan (a dietary fibre), chitosan (listed as a fat absorber), chromium picolinate (often sold as an appetite suppressant) and green tea.

At the International Conference on Obesity in Stockholm, they said there is no evidence to support claims the supplements help reduce body weight.

They wrote: “The findings from systematic reviews fail to provide sufficient evidence that any food supplement can be recommended for reducing body weight.

“A wide range of herbal and non-herbal food supplements is currently being promoted for weight loss.

“While mainstream drugs for body weight reduction must demonstrate efficacy before receiving a licence, food supplements do not need to meet this requirement.

“Few food supplements have therefore been submitted to clinical trials, and many healthcare professionals feel uncertain about their therapeutic value.”

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