Embarking on a weight loss journey may seem like a daunting task when you’re just getting started, but once you immerse yourself in the fitness community, you become aware of the numerous strategies people use to drop pounds. And apart from the obvious weekly exercise and diet, many folks today are exploring more experimental options, such as adding dietary supplements for weight loss into their daily routines.
Like any respective health choice, an individual’s response and the overall success rate of this method will vary depending on the supplements’ formula. Since these products tend to feature ingredients unfamiliar to the casual customer, the effectiveness of certain dietary supplements may still be ambiguous depending on a number of factors.
Expectations can be clouded by misleading product marketing, but prioritizing your health is most important. Educating yourself on the benefits, risks, and variable forms of these supplements is vital when determining which ones, if any, are right for you.
Understanding Dietary Supplements Makeup and Safety
The popularity of dietary supplements experienced a spike as we approached the turn of the century, and that’s largely because of increased exposure. Many brands have established themselves across numerous mediums. Commercials, gyms, and social media influencers are just some of the entities pushing them.
What Are Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements are available at many local stores and can come in a variety of forms. You may commonly think of basic vitamins, but capsules, drinks, energy bars, gummies, and powders are just some of the other ways they can be consumed.
The key word regarding these products is “supplement” because they are not intended to replace healthy foods in your daily eating routine, but instead, aid you in fulfilling your nutritional goals. Often, they are taken to assist with a medical condition or to help with other particular ailments one may face, such as loss of vision or heart disease.
In modern times, more than one-third of Americans take some type of dietary supplement routinely, and those 65 or older intake an average of more than four different supplements per day. However, a product manufacturer’s described dosage isn’t always necessarily the best choice, and your healthcare provider will better assist you in recommending a different amount.
Surprisingly, dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) but are still required to post a Supplement Facts label on the packaging and pass the same routine tests as other over-the-counter drugs. And despite a lot of scientific research dollars spent testing the effectiveness of these products, the jury is still out on just how beneficial they truly are.
Depending on your personal medical condition or varying ingredients, supplements can pose risks or adverse side effects due to their strong chemical makeup. If you’re prescribed other medications, are pregnant, or recently had or have plans to undergo surgery, these are just a few examples of when you should contact your doctor before considering adding dietary supplements to the mix.
Common Ingredients & How Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss Work
In addition to the nutritional components of these products, there are other substances within dietary supplements that you must consider. These include binders, fillers, and flavorings that help them become more palatable or serve as catalysts in the digestion process.
Types of Supplements
While they’re sold in different compositions, you’re probably already familiar with the basic categories many supplements fall under. Additional specialty options can also exist for categories like weight loss management. Most can be simplified as follows:
Amino acids are among the most specific types of supplements, and that’s because most of us produce them naturally. Some of these are essential, meaning your body is unable to produce them, and you must get them from your diet. They include glutamine and tryptophan, among others.
There are two classifications of botanical supplements. The first is the herbs, such as echinacea and ginseng, which are found among us and are ingredients in many products we already consume. The second is botanical compounds, which include things like caffeine and curcumin, and also have a long history of addressing various diseases across medicine.
These are some of the most popular supplements, and calcium, magnesium, and zinc are just a few of the many compounds in this category. Usually, we intake minerals naturally, but certain circumstances, such as pregnancy, call for additional supplements due to biological deficiencies during the process.
Commonly referred to as probiotics, these are live microorganisms primarily utilized to address digestion and gut health. Probiotics are found in foods like yogurt and even beauty products, and though they’re often compared to germs, they’re much more natural bacteria that actually help fight disease and even produce natural vitamins in the same way our bodies do.
Vitamins are the most normalized adoption of dietary supplements, and major focuses on particulars like Vitamin B12, C, and D are essential in daily health. Multivitamins, or a combination of different vitamins in small doses for those who may be deficient, are among the most popular, making up over 40% of all supplement sales.
Supplement Applications and Effects
One of the difficult aspects of dietary supplements going mainstream is that there are so many options to choose from. Many companies offer popular choices like fish oils, copper, and melatonin, but determining which manufacturer, dosage, and health claims are reliable is a separate challenge.
Whether you’re exploring brands like Vitamin Shoppe, Nature Made, or Thorne, it’s crucial to understand how your body will respond to different supplements. For instance, folic acids can help decrease the chance of birth defects, and vitamin B12 keeps blood and nerve cells healthy. On the contrary, Vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of people who are on blood thinners, and herbal concoctions like kava can have long-term negative effects on your liver.
Remember, dietary supplements are not going to replace your personal nutritional diet, but less desirable consequences may also arise if supplements are combined, abused, or replace medications. This is why contacting a medical professional is highly advised, because the possibility of a bad reaction is not uncommon, especially when trying a new product.
Are Supplements Safe & Effective?
An important factor to take into account is that too much of any ingredient could lead to unwanted side effects, and you likely get many nutrients from your daily food consumption anyway. If you experience any abnormal results from a supplement, you’re encouraged to stop usage completely and consult your doctor for evaluation.
Since the FDA doesn’t approve or even begin evaluating the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements until they hit the market, it’s up to the companies to ensure their products are safe and not in violation of the law under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Nutrition facts, serving size, ingredients, and labeling all must be compliant with basic drug requirements if the supplement claims to treat, prevent, cure, or alleviate the symptoms of any disease. The FDA does monitor these companies’ claims and facilities periodically, however.
In many cases, multivitamins are the most common way for the average individual to partake in dietary supplement consumption. They’re much more convenient than taking multiple products at once and pose the least risk to long-term health when taken in moderation. Many supplements can benefit your overall well-being and can help correct deficiencies in a variety of health categories. The most positive results tend to come from people who genuinely need to re-correct or compensate for these shortcomings to boost nutritional well-being.
The risks that come with dietary supplements are most notably associated with one’s personal health condition because, ultimately, these products are intended to “supplement” your body’s needs. Many times these products have strong active ingredients that come with side effects, and learning how they react in your body is crucial. Too much of any supplement can be harmful, but if you’re on additional medications, participating in clinical tests, or even having surgery, you need to be careful when evaluating how the ingredients will affect you.
If you’re exploring the idea of taking dietary supplements or already do so regularly, there are some basic guidelines to follow to ensure your safety.
- Consult your medical professional on which supplements might work best for you.
- Undergo evaluation to see which nutritional aspects your body may be lacking.
- Read labels, ingredients, instructions, and dosage carefully before consumption.
- Be wary of overzealous claims, such as superlatives like “natural” or “safe.”
- Ease into routine usage to see full effects on daily health and well-being.
Laser Fat Removal vs. Supplements
Apart from taking dietary supplements, another alternative those pursuing weight loss may consider is laser fat removal. This relatively new technology has taken the fat reduction industry by storm, offering a quick, painless, and effective method for those looking for expedited results.
Erchonia’s Emerald Laser uses a non-surgical, green laser lipolysis technology that is supported by clinical results. Ten 532-nm lasers are used to pass through the skin and target the wall of the fat cell, creating a tiny hole in the surface and consequently activating the lipids within. This allows them to pass through the pores and be safely eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system.
While Emerald Laser targets the fat cells, it does not destroy them. This is an important difference between Emerald Laser and other laser lipo machines. Destroying the cells can lead to abnormal fat cell growth in other parts of the body, creating a potentially dangerous situation in which fat grows around the organs. This is similar to how supplements would organically be absorbed in the body.
Emerald Laser Technology
Just like dietary supplements and the weight loss journey, Emerald Laser treatment doesn’t generate visible results overnight. The patient should expect to undergo a minimum of eight treatments. This cool laser method is non-invasive, and the treatment can be used by anyone with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 20 to 40. Our method can be applied to a variety of areas around the body.
The Emerald Laser has no known or reported side effects. This has been consistent through multiple clinical tests, including three separate double-blind trials. In fact, the FDA even developed a new OLI-Fat Reduction Laser category, which elevated the Erchonia product as the Gold Standard for low-level laser technology.
Advantages of Emerald Laser
The advantages over other fat reduction systems are numerous:
- Emerald Laser is effective, with multiple double-blind studies demonstrating proven results.
- Emerald Laser sessions take less than 30 minutes, so you can schedule appointments before or after work or even on your lunch break.
- There is no required downtime after each session.
- Laser lipolysis is non-invasive and does not require anesthesia or even local numbing.
- Most patients notice some results after a few weeks, with full results achieved in 12.
On average, a patient can expect to see around 6″ of circumference reduced after treatment is completed. Emerald Laser was the first lipo laser system to receive FDA market approval for patients with a BMI over 30, so book your free consultation today. Slowly but surely, clinics throughout the United States are learning about this technology and embracing it, so check to find a provider near you!