Weight Loss Aids

G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN


HydroxycitricAcid (HCA)

AKA Garcinia Cambogia
AKA Citrimax
(A trademarked name like coke is to cola)

Rind of the garcinia cambogia fruit
Inhibits enzymes needed to covert carbohydrates and protein to fat. Increases fat burning and glycogen synthesis in the liver. High glycogen levels send satiety signals to the brain.
500-1000 mg 30 to 60 minutes before each meal
HCA is safe
Initial fanfare was based on three small studies, all of which included other substances. A larger study in JAMA using HCA alone resulted in the loss of 2 pounds more than placebo over 9x` days
Mineral chromium attached to a picolinic acid molecule
Increases insulin sensitivity, allowing for more efficient delivery of nutrients into the cells for metabolism, which in turn causes an increase in lean mass.
200-800 mcg per day
One in vitro study showed toxicity to chromosomes ovarian cells of Chinese hamsters. No evidence of toxicity when dosed appropriately in humans.
Chromium picolinate remains controversial with an equal amount of negative and positive studies. It probably works best on persons who are marginally deficient. Even in the best-case scenarios, it falls well short of the sensational claims by many marketers.
Active compound derived from root of Coleus Forskohilii, a plant in the mint family.
Increases C-AMP which increases hormone sensitive lipase, the enzyme that breaks down stored fat.
250 mg of 10% extract BID
Reported side effects - May cause hypertension and tachycardia. May cause bleeding if combined with anticoagulants.
Initial 12-week study with 30 subjects: Placebo lost 1 pound, Forskolin lost 10 pounds. Large trials are needed!
5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP)
Metabolic intermediate of tryptophan
Increases serotonin production, which in turn increase satiety signal in the brain. This reduces the amount of calories consumed. Also reduces carb cravings.
50-100 mg 30 minutes before each meal
Should not be used with drugs that alter serotonin metabolism (i.e. Zoloft or Prozac). May cause sleepiness, especially at night.
A few small studies on humans have shown that it can curb appetite and thus stimulate weight loss. Larger studies are needed. Patients with heart disease should check with cardiologist

Ephedra (Ma huang) Sales were banned in US in April 2004

Chinese herb used to make ephedrine (an over-the-counter asthma drug) Pure ephedra contains 6% ephedrine.
Increases Thermogenesis by acting as beta 3 agonist. Binds receptor cells and stimulates lipolysis (breakdown of fat for energy). Ephedra also decreases lipogenesis.
90-150 mg 30 to 60 min. before breakfast & lunch. Workout formulas recommend 300 mg before exercise.
High rate of side effects including palpitations, sweating, nausea, hot flashes, chills, dry mouth, insomnia, urinary frequency & hypertension. OD’s cause psychoses, convulsions, heart failure, coma & death.

Contraindicated for people with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, angina, prostate disorders and thyroid problems. Ephedra is a banned substance in NFL & Olympics. The most dangerous “natural” weight loss product also causes weight loss & appetite suppression (for those who don’t get side effects)

450 mg of guarana contains approximately 100 mg of caffeine like compounds
Similar to caffeine. Increases Thermogenesis. Beta 3 agonist.
450 mg guararna 60 min. before each meal. PM dose – skip dinner dose if sleep problems.
Side effects similar to caffeine - palpitations, anxiety, trembling, insomnia, & urinary frequency.
The caffeine like compounds are affected by other substances causing a slower, longer lasting boost than the quick jolt associated with caffeine which is commonly combined with guarana in many weight loss formulas.
Biproduct of glucose metabolism
Increases fat utilization in humans. In animals can increase basal metabolic rate.
5-15 gm total per day in divided doses with meals.
High does may cause diarrhea and borborygmus
Hit the market with a lot of fanfare and multilevel marketing activity. Also marketed to athletes as an ergogenic aid for endurance. Recent studies unimpressive.
Dipeptide made with lysine, methionine, niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), iron, & vitamin C.
Transports fat into the mitochondria
1000-2000 mg per day in divided doses with meals.
Diarrhea has been reported with high doses.
Studies for weight loss show those who sell it highly exaggerate the effects. The "acetyl" form is promoted to reduce cholesterol and increase mental acuity.
Derivative of the polysaccharide chitin found in the exoskeletons of shell fish
A fiber that possesses a positive ionic charge that chemically bonds with negatively charged lipids and fats, preventing their absorption
500-1000 mg with each meal
Appears safe at 2 gm per day. May bind vitamins A,D, E & K. Take 4 hours apart.
Can also lower cholesterol. FTC won 10 million dollar lawsuit from one company whose motto was "lose weight without exercise"
Isolated from citrus acrantium which is isolated from the rinds of bitter oranges
Increases BMR by increasing E and NE release. Increases lipopolysis
200-400 mg/day in single or double doses
Appears safe at recommended dose
Preliminary date shows metabolic increases occur without increasing B.P. or heart rate.
A soluable dietary fiber from Konjac flour which is milled from a plant native to the far east
A fiber that swells when taken with adequate fluid. This causes satiation. Also used to treat constipation.
1-4 gr/day in divided doses
Do not take before bed. (A few cases of throat blockage.) Most negatives are bloating and gas.
Small human studies look promising – Well tolerated with few side effects and 2-3 lbs a month weight loss without diet or exercise.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea leaves (contain polyphenols one of which is the catechin epigallocatechin gallate [EGCG])
The active compound EGCG, a powerful antioxidant also increases Thermogenesis above and beyond what the caffeine it contains does.. One small study showed a 4% increase in calories and a 10% increase in fat oxidation over a 24 hour period
The goal is to ingest 300-500 mg of catechins daily. Only purchase products that are standardized and disclose the percentage of catechins. For example, if a 200 mg capsule contains 50% catechins, dosing would be 3-5 capsules (600-1000 mg of extract0.
EGCG is very safe. People with caffeine sensitivity may experience its side effects – insomnia, nervousness, & palpitations.
Based on small studies, Green tea extract shows a lot of promise. The fact that it protects against some forms of cancer and heart disease make it a perfect supplement if the large trials mimic the small ones (which rarely occurs with “natural” products).
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)
Palm kernel oil, coconut oil
Mobilizes stored fat. Spares protein. Increase BMR. MCT’s are burned, not stored.
1 tbs. with each meal
G.I. upset
Do not use in cooking. Effects are subtle at best for most
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Omega six fatty acid found in beef & dairy. Corn oil & poultry contain small amounts.
Animal studies show reduced fat stores and increase lean mass. Anti tumor, anti atherogenic and antioxidant properties have also been seen in lab animals.
3-5 grams per day
G.I. upset
Subjects who took 4.5 grams daily for a year gained 1.5 pounds of muscle and lost 4 lbs of fat without diet or exercise changes.
(Gymnema sylvestre)
A plant in the milkweed family. Native in tropical regions of India
Called the “sugar destroyer” by advertisers. Increases insulin-producing cells in animal studies. Chewing leaves inactivates taste buds for sweet on the tongue.
200 mg BID
Appears safe
Human studies are needed to support weight loss claims. In one study, diabetics were able to lower their insulin amounts.
A soluble deitary fiber from Konjac flour which is derived from a plant native to the far east
A fiber that swells when taken with adequate fluid. This causes satiation and delays stomach emptying. Used to treat constipation and can also lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
1 - 4 gr/day before each meal
Do not take before bedtime. (A few cases of throat blockage) Most negatives are bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Small human studies look promising - Well tolerated with few side effects and 2-3 lbs a month weight loss. Needs larger study for validation.
White Kidney Beans
Purified kidney bean extract
Blocks enzymes required to digest starch (carbs)
1 to 6 grams (1,000 to 6,000 mg) before meals
If you can't digest, you can't absorb. If you can't absorb you can't store. Sounds good - all we need is evidence. Weight loss studies mixed.
Hoodia - Hoodia Gordonii - Let the buyer Beware

916 E. Imperial Hwy.
Brea, CA. 92821

(714) 990-0824
Fax: (714) 990-1917



Copyright 2003, G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN, 916. E. Imperial Highway, Brea, CA 92821, (714) 990-0824