Lose Body Fat with Natural Supplements, But Which Ones?
To successfully lose body fat, there are a variety of options you can choose from, yet some of them sound too good to be true, and that’s because they are. However, there are natural supplements that can be a helpful part of a weight loss and body fat reduction program, and a new study offers two suggestions, while previous research provides more options.
You can lose body fat
Many studies have explored the problem of how to effectively low body fat and weight, and some have looked at the role of calcium and vitamin D. In a new study, investigators from Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences assigned 53 overweight and obese adults to follow either a calorie-restricted diet alone (about 500 calories per day) or the same diet supplemented with 500 milligrams of elemental calcium and 125 International Units vitamin D3.
All of the participants were consuming less than 600 mg of calcium per day before they entered the study, which lasted 12 weeks. Eighty-five percent of participants in the supplement group and 78 percent from the diet only group completed the study (total of 42 subjects).
Here is what the researchers found:
- People in the supplement group had a significantly greater loss (55.6%) in body fat than did those in the diet-only group.
- There was no significant difference in body weight between the two groups, however.
- Individuals in the supplement group also showed a greater decline in visceral fat mass and visceral fat area than did those in the control group
- It should be noted that a critical part of the success of this trial was the reduced calorie intake. However, the addition of calcium and vitamin D appeared to improve the amount of body fat lost.
Other natural supplements for body fat loss
Seaweed supplements have been shown to help reduce body weight and fat. At the University of Copenhagen, researchers found that obese individuals who were on a calorie-restricted diet for 12 weeks and who also consumed a seaweed supplement lost 4 pounds more than did participants who did not take the supplement.
In another study, Newcastle University scientists reported that fibers called alginate, present in brown seaweed, reduced the amount of fat absorbed by the body by about 75 percent. Dr. Iain Brownlee, who headed the study, noted that their “initial findings suggest alginates could offer a very real solution in the battle against obesity.”
Black pepper is another natural way to fight excess fat. The secret to black pepper’s weight and fat loss abilities is an ingredient called piperine, which also is responsible for pepper’s unique taste.
A 2010 study found that black pepper and piperine boosted the metabolism of mice fed a high-sugar, high-fat diet and caused them to lose significantly more body weight and fat than control mice. Subsequent research than helped explain how piperine works by interrupting the activity of genes that control the formation of new fat cells.
Green coffee bean extracts are yet another natural supplement for body fat loss. In addition to caffeine, which boosts metabolism and thus can help with weight loss, green coffee beans also contain other substances that can benefit dieters.
One of them is chlorogenic acid (CGA), which has an ability to disrupt the activity of an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphatase. This trait appears to allow CGA to reduce the amount of fat absorbed from food while also stimulating fat metabolism.
The bottom line
Losing weight and body fat is a challenge, and most people can benefit from all the help they can muster up. You can get help in losing body fat by adding natural supplements to a healthy, reduced calorie eating program, consulting your healthcare provider for the most appropriate doses, and exercising.
Okumura Y et al. Adiposity suppression effect in mice due to black pepper and its main pungent component, piperine. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 2010; 74(8): 1545-49
Park UH et al. Piperine, a component of black pepper inhibits adipogenesis by antagonizing PPARy activity in 3T3-L1 cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2012 Apr 18; 60(15): 3853-60
Zhu W et al. Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very-low calcium consumption: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal 2013; 12:8