Supplements for Weight Loss

Being overweight carries countless health risks, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and joint stress. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will make you drop pounds effortlessly in your sleep.

Beware of any snake oil concoctions that promise such a feat - most are virtually ineffective and some are downright dangerous. Even "natural" products like ephedra and herbal diet teas should be avoided - the latter just act as laxatives or diuretics that temporarily reduce water weight but not body fat. A sensible diet and exercise is the only way to healthy weight loss, but certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and other dietary supplements may enhance the process.

Chromium helps build muscle, and the greater your muscle mass the more calories you burn at rest. This mineral also helps the body convert fat to energy and regulates glucose levels, both of which may help you lose body weight.

Essential fatty acids like evening primrose oil or flaxseed oil seem to block the storage of excess body fat.

Taking fiber-like psyllium makes you feel full and acts as a kind of appetite suppressant. Some scientists believe overeating may be triggered by low levels of serotonin, and so taking supplements of St Johns wort or 5-HTP, both of which increase production of this neurotransmitter, may counteract these urges.

Avoid crash diets, which will only deplete you of essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to metabolize, energize and function properly.

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