An investigation into the effectiveness of fat burners – Which ones really work?
A swift google search using the term ‘fat burners’ produces nearly 4 million hits.
There are a host of diet pills, supplements and natural foods which claim fat burning properties, making it somewhat impossible to investigate the validity of more than a few within a short article.
The focus here will be upon four ingredients which are widely contained in some of the most popular ‘fat-burning’ diet products today: garcinia cambogia, green tea, raspberry ketones and green coffee.
The 4 most popular fat burning ingredients:
1. Garcinia Cambogia
This is a citrus fruit native to South East Asia and India which is claimed to have fat burning qualities.The active ingredient, which is extracted from the fruit, is hydroxycitric acid.
This acid has been shown to inhibit specific enzymes that normally turn excess carbohydrates into fat, and instead, helps to burn off energy and stored fat.
The limited clinical trials into the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia as an aid to weight loss have been mixed: some studies have suggested Garcinia Cambogia lacks weight loss properties, but is effective in promoting fat loss.
An early study carried out in 1998 concluded that “Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss beyond that observed with placebo”.
However, more recently, a large clinical study involving 89 women revealed that the garcinia group lost significantly more fat than the placebo group. Dr Oz, the US celebrity doctor also gave Garcinia a glowing endorsement.
2. Green Tea
The fat burning properties of green tea, a hugely popular ingredient in many fat-burning diet products, is based upon the presence of polyphenols and caffeine.
These ingredients have been shown to enhance thermogenesis and boost the metabolism so that more calories are burned.
It appears that green tea has been proven to offer other significant health benefits, including helping to protect against diabetes, liver dysfunction and even certain forms of cancer.
The University of Maryland have summarised all the available research, benefits and precautions on green tea.
3. Raspberry Ketone
Early clinical studies suggesting that raspberry ketone may have a role to play in breaking down fat were in fact carried out on animals.
One human study investigated the use of raspberry ketone, alongside five other supplements thought to enhance weight loss.
Each of the participants lost significant weight, though it was not possible to assess what proportion of this weight loss was attributable to raspberry ketone alone.
4. Green Coffee
There is evidence from scientific trials to suggest that green coffee may reduce levels of fat in the body.
One particular brand which shows promise as an effective green coffee supplement is Svetol – Read the full Svetol review here
Natural fat burners
Dieters who are trying to choose between the huge numbers of products which claim to have fat-burning qualities should remember that regular foods can produce similar effects.
Around one third of the calories contained in lean meat are burned in digesting the proteins. Whole grains similarly burn many of the calories within them through the digestive process. Hot peppers and chillies can also be very effective natural fat burners, either raw or within recipes.
These foods are excellent fat burners that arguably work more efficiently than diet pills. In chillies, fat burning qualities derive from the presence of the compound that gives them their spicy kick – Capsaicin.
Capsaicin heats up the body dramatically, causing it to melt additional calories.
According to dieticians, as much chilli and hot sauce as possible should be consumed in foods in order to achieve this fat burning effect, and it can be produced from eating raw, dried, cooked, or powdered peppers and chillies.
The worlds first capsaicin fat burner…Capsiplex
Since its release, Capsiplex has been hailed as the ‘Miracle diet pill’ in the media and has continued to go from strength to strength thanks to its clinically proven formula.
Green tea, in its more natural drink form, can be purchased in any supermarket or health food shop: nutritionists claim that drinking four cups of green tea each day will shed around 6lb in eight weeks.
Coffee, unfortunately, is less effective as a drink since most of the chlorogenic acid in green coffee beans is lost during the roasting process.
Dangerous fat burners
Anyone who reads newspapers on a regular basis must be aware of the dangers of buying online diet pills without being aware of the potential dangers.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, in just one month, seized £12 million worth of counterfeit and unlicensed medicinal products and closed down 1300 online websites selling drugs which were based in the UK.
One problem with online fat burners is that although each ingredient within a product may be harmless, in combination, those ingredients can be dangerous. One young person died having consumed a product containing the stimulant DMAA in quantities equivalent to drinking 40 cups of coffee.
Sarah Houston died following her use of DNP – purchased online which had been used as a fat burner by bodybuilders, but which was actually intended as a pesticide.
Some have included ingredients, such as sibutramine, which was taken off the market having been shown to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
The important message is that careful research must be carried out before purchasing and using any product billed as a fat burner.
Given the huge variety of products and foods which are claimed to have fat-burning qualities, it is important to look beyond the claims of the manufacturers to assess the validity of those claims.
There is scientific evidence that the ingredients discussed in this article may be beneficial to those who are trying to lose weight, but before purchasing any fat burning diet pill it is essential to do your research, and ensure that the manufacturers’ claims are backed up by science, and above all, that the product you are buying is safe.