Paper highlights safety of some weight management ingredients

The safety of weight management products has become a heated issue in several state legislatures with thermogenic, lipotropic, and satiety ingredients specifically being questioned. California, New Jersey, New York​, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Rhode Island​ have all introduced legislation limiting access to dietary supplements just this year alone.

In order to address these safety concerns, researchers have come up with the paper Dietary Supplements for Weight Management: A Narrative Review of Safety and Metabolic Health Benefits​, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients​.

“As scientists, we want to make sure that discussions around weight management are based on the available science, and not just advocacy viewpoints. Recent legislations have very broad and vague definitions of weight loss and muscle building supplements and it is concerning that it will lead to the restriction of various supplements or ingredients with known beneficial health effects. So we wanted to provide a balanced, objective review of the safety and related health outcome evidence for some of these ingredients,”​ said first author Eunice Mah, PhD, Principal Scientist at Biofortis Research.

Ingredients in focus 

The paper examines the safety of six dietary supplement ingredients – caffeine, green tea extract (GTE), green coffee bean extract (GCBE), choline, glucomannan, and capsaicinoids and capsinoids.

Mah explained that these specific ingredients were chosen because they represent a range of types of ingredients having differing metabolic activities and are often associated with weight loss or weight management. Caffeine and green tea extracts are popular thermogenic ingredients that have been shown to increase resting metabolic rate. Along the same lines, capsaicinoids and capsinoids are also believed to have thermogenic properties. Choline and GCBE are examples of lipotropic ingredients, which are ingredients that help with fat metabolism. Lastly, she said glucomannan is a fiber that may help with satiety, which is an important factor when trying to reduce food intake.