Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Natural Herbs or Foods and Weight Loss…or not?

Considering the main topic of this newsletter is diet pills and weight loss drugs, we wanted to report on a single natural food or herb that is touted for weight loss and present the current research. Amazingly, after searching through the peer-reviewed journals, we found almost no actual research regarding the most common weight-loss ingredients. We searched apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, ginseng, green tea, and even some of the less common ingredients like turmeric and rhubarb. Though there were a few animal studies regarding one or two of these ingredients, and a few actual studies on green tea, a couple of the searches brought up absolutely nothing (i.e. apple cider vinegar). Yes, we could have chosen one of those rare random studies to report on, but we think a stronger take-home message this month is to beware of what you hear or read. As our fruitless search has shown, the ingredients in most weight loss supplements have barely been researched, and though they may seem harmless because they are common household ingredients, taking large doses of them has not been satisfactorily tested (or even tested at all). When there are actual studies regarding natural ingredients and weight loss, we’ll get back to you.

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