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Side Effect Belly Fat Supplement Warning for 7-Keto, Forskolin, Relora & Caraway

Tim Boyer's picture
7-Keto supplement

Belly fat busting supplements are very popular due to the promise that they provide an edge in fighting fat. Unfortunately, the side effects of some supplements are rarely discussed. The following is a short list of the 4 belly fat busting supplements 7-Keto, Forskolin, Relora and Caraway seeds that describes not only what advantages they offer toward fighting belly fat, but a description of potential side effects that might help you recognize if you are experiencing a complication from your supplement.


Belly Fat Busting Supplement #1: 7-Keto DHEA

The supplement 7-Keto DHEA, known more informally as “7-Keto”, is a by-product of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is a natural chemical that is converted into the body building steroid hormone androgen as well as the sex steroid hormone estrogen.

Unlike dehydroepiandrosterone, 7-Keto does not lead to an increase in steroid hormones. Rather, 7-Keto stimulates the thyroid gland, which in turn results in speeding up the body’s metabolism—an important component of 7-Keto related weight loss that has been suggested to be beneficial to overweight women. Another weight loss factor associated with 7-Keto is its ability to actively induce liver enzymes that cause thermogenesis—the generation of cellular heat. Other roles 7-Keto plays in health are:

• Improving lean body mass
• Building muscle
• Boosting the immune system
• Enhancing memory
• Reducing signs of aging

Weight loss due to 7-Keto is generally attributed to findings from a small double-blind study where 30 obese participants were placed on an 1800 kcal/day diet with one hour of exercise three times per week. Fifty percent of the participants took 200 mg of 7-keto DHEA/day while the other 50 percent were control subjects who received a placebo. In two months, the 7-Keto DHEA group lost an average of 6.34 pounds compared to a loss of 2.2 pounds for the control group.

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The potential side effects of 7-Keto are not well-studied. One study showed that a dose of 200 milligrams of 7-Keto DHEA for 4 weeks had no adverse effects. However, other sources warn that because 7-Keto does cause an increase in thyroid hormone levels that it may affect bone loss and cause cardiac problems. For women who are pregnant or nursing, it is recommended by health authorities to not take 7-Keto until more definitive safety studies have been done.

Belly Fat Busting Supplement #2: Forskolin

Forskolin comes from the root of the plant Coleus forskohlii and has a long history as a traditional medicinal plant used to treat high blood pressure, angina and asthma. Its mechanism of action is basically vasodilation of blood vessels and inducing the heart muscles to contract with increased force. Currently, it is prescribed intravenously by some doctors for treating heart failure; as an inhalant for asthma and as eye drops for glaucoma.

Taken orally, forskolin is used for the treatment of a wide range of conditions including:

• Allergies and skin conditions
• Urinary tract and bladder infections
• Menstrual cramps
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Sexual dysfunction

However, the consensus is that there is not enough medical evidence that taking forskolin for the aforementioned examples (with the exception of cardiac and asthma related treatments) is effective.

For weight loss, forskolin is believed to create a natural “furnace in your cells so that fat cells are burned away.” The result of one small study indicates that forskolin may be used in weight management, but is still under investigation.

Side effects of forskolin include headaches, decreased blood pressure and a rapid heart rate due to its vasodilator properties. It does carry a warning by cancer researchers that it may have a role in causing cyst enlargement in women with polycystic kidney disease. And, that it may cause an increase in the likelihood of internal bleeding. Medical authorities warn that forskolin should not be taken by patients currently using cardiac medications or blood thinners.

Belly Fat Busting Supplement #3: Relora

Relora is a combination of extracts from the plants Magnolia Officinalis and Phellodendron Amurense, which together are believed to reduce stress and anxiety by regulating the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream. Some studies have shown that obesity in the abdominal region (belly fat) is especially closely linked to stress and increased cortisol levels. Other benefits attributed to Relora are aiding restful sleep and as an appetite suppressant. The most promising research results that supports the aforementioned benefits of Relora is reported in an April 2008 edition of Nutrition Journal.

Common side effects associated with Relora include drowsiness and a slight decrease in blood pressure.

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Other side effects include:

* Allergic reactions
* Dry mouth
* Headaches
* Nausea and/or gastrointestinal discomfort

Because of its link to treating anxiety it is contraindicated with the use of medications for treating depression and other mental conditions without the prior approval of a physician.

Belly Fat Busting Supplement #4: Caraway seeds

Seeds from the Caraway plant are one of the more common “cure-all’s” known to man over many centuries of fact and fiction. Evidence of consumption of caraway seeds dates back to the Stone Age, and is recorded as being used to treat possibly anemic young ladies during the Roman era. German folklore has it that parents placed caraway seeds beneath their children's beds to protect them from witches.

Today, Caraway seeds are recommended by herbalists as a natural health supplement that can take care of everything from fighting mouth bacteria to inducing breasts to increase lactation.

Its touted benefits include treating:

• Poor appetite
• Infection
• Constipation
• Menstrual cramps
• Poor blood flow
• Menstruation

Its use in fighting belly fat, however, is somewhat inglorious. Worldwide incidental reactions to caraway seeds have shown that one of its primary properties is the relief of digestive problems such as heartburn, gas, loss of appetite and mild abdominal spasms. It’s recommended use as a belly fat busting supplement is more about relaxing the intestinal tract to aid flatulence in releasing built-up gas from “bad bacteria” that causes the feeling of bloating, than it is about actual weight loss.

However, one noted side effect is that it can result in gas release in the wrong direction, which manifests as excessive belching and acid reflux.

More importantly, health authorities strongly recommend that pregnant and breast feeding women should not take caraway seeds in medicinal doses because it has a history of inducing menstruation and could cause a miscarriage. There is also the possibility that caraway seeds might lower blood sugar levels and could adversely affect patients with diabetes.

The take home message to all of this is that before taking any kind of natural health supplements such as 7-Keto, Forskolin, Relora and Caraway seeds is that there are almost always contraindications and risks for any supplement that claims to be an easy way to fight belly fat. Do your research, talk to your physician and find out what doses are reasonable and recommended.

Image Source: Courtesy of Wikipedia


Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults” Journal of Exercise Physiology. Oct1999;2 (4); Colker CM, Torina GC, Swain MA, Kalman DS.

Safety and pharmacokinetic study with escalating doses of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone in healthy male volunteers” Clin. Invest Med. 2000 Oct;23(5):300-1;. Davidson M.

“Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men” Obes Res, 2005. 13(8):1335-43; Godard MP, Johnson BA, Richmond SR.

Effect of a Proprietary Magnolia and Phellodendron Extract on Weight Management: A Pilot, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial” Alternative Therapies January 2006; R. Garrison and W.G. Chambliss.

“Effect of a proprietary Magnolia and Phellodendron extract on stress levels in healthy women: a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial” Nutrition Journal 2008, 7:11, 21 April 2008; Douglas S Kalman, Samantha Feldman, Robert Feldman, Howard I Schwartz, Diane R Krieger, Robert Garrison



Hi thank you for your talking the time to put this article together. I just last night watch the episode of Dr. Oz where he talks about these 4 exact supplements & I was very impressed with his pitch about all of them. I really wanted to start taking these but knew I better do some research before buying anything. I came across your article & am thinking twice about trying now because of the side effects of them. I think we should always look to the saying "if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is" before just going out & buying something based on one person saying its good for you. I will def do some more research on these products now, Thank you :)
Hi, yes we all from time to time get caught up in a good sales pitch; and, to be fair, not all pitches on all supplements are harmful. However, there are always exceptions with any medication or supplement and with what you are currently taking, which is why you should always do your research, talk to your doctor and a pharmacist or better yet a pharmacologist. Good luck and thanks for your input. : ^ )
I too saw the Dr OZ show and bought 7 Keto and Forskolin. I took them both in the morning, and by 2:30, felt faint, and my heart rate went way up! I called my doctor and was told to go to the ER ASAP since I have a history of heart disease. My heart rate was over 200, I was in tachycardia, and out of normal sinus rhythm! All from taking those 2 supplements. I learned my lesson and will always research it more and trust TV shows less. I now have to wear a heart monitor for the next 3 weeks due to this. And believe me, it is uncomfortable!
I saw that show today and I was looking online for the product when I saw the side effects. I am glad because I have thyroid problems and I am sure I would be the one ending up in the ER. You never know I am doing the Xocai healthy chocolate High Antioxidant Protein Shake and had good results after 17 lbs I am not going any place. I love the product and will continue but figured I would have a go at this product since a heart surgeon ok'd it on the show. Thanks everyone for the feedback.
Thank you all for your kind warnings, I also have thyroid problems (Hashimoto) and I want very much to lose weight, but the risk of using this "miracle" pills looks too high for me. I'm from Romania and was looking to buy online some of this 4 products, after watching Dr. Oz show a few days ago - this is how I found you, people. You have been so helpful to me, thanks again for sharing and I wish you all the best !
Thank you for the article...very informative. In addition, thanks for all the input to those of you who tried it. I too am a heart patient and have Vtach and SVT, not to mention diabetes and stomach issues. So glad GNC didn't have any of these in stock when I went to buy them earlier today...before I did my research.
Really???? From just two pills ???? I find that hard to believe...
People with cardiac complications using blood thinners should be ware... And yes using just one capsul could cause complications ... Some people don't realize that the side affects could kill you!! Believe it or not!! The TV Doctors don't claim anything they only present products...... And also read all the pros and cons before you committ to purchases including Terms and Conditions....
I saw the Dr Oz episode too. My daughter went out the next day to find 7 Keto and it was all sold out already because of that show. The man in the store recommended Tonalin CLA instead, which she bought. I looked it up online and it seems very safe. Ive been taking it for a few days with no side effects yet. I wont take the other 3 now because of this article!
Good advice! I, too, saw this show and instantly went online & bought Relora and 7 Keto. I have been taking Tonalin CLA from GNC for about 3 years daily (1,000mg), and have never had any adverse reactions to it. Only now, after already spending close to $50 bucks, am I seeing that "if it sounds too good to be true...", just like the person said above! I won't be taking these either. Maybe I can find someone who can benefit from these, like maybe my Sister, who seems to be able to take ANYTHING w/out adverse reaction!! Thanks for letting me put my 2 cents in! Hopefully, it'll help someone save their money!
Yes! Thank you for the information. Like Stephanie I believe that you have to do some research yourself on the products. When you know of the side effects you can stop using the products if they effect you in this negative way. I am having second thoughts also after reading your article. Thanks for your valued information.
You are welcome! Good health to you.
Just have a question ? Is it safe to take any 2 or 3 of these product together?
Hi, The only way to get an accurate answer to this important question is to contact your doctor and a pharmacist or pharmacologist. I have found that pharmacists are typically pretty helpful and quick on getting back to people with questions about meds and supplements. Good luck.
I bought all the supplements (excluding the caraway seeds). I have not lost a pound after 8 days. I tape the Dr. Oz shows, and I noticed that every show he has he is telling you to get this magic supplement. I liked him better when he was on Oprah once in a while. He has been pushing the supplements too far. If you bought every thing he tells you to buy you would be broke. He should go back to the medical field and quick trying to be a star on TV..
Thats so true , I took 7 keto after I saw the show and I had a severe anxiety attacks for a week . End up in the hospital . No medication or supplement does miracles . Change diet and workout is the only way to go . I got so turned off by dr oz . He makes tons of money and we watch and put our health in risk !
I agree with you, that's why i always go to google and research even further, because i don't want to put my life in danger following his advice.
You are so right, every day there's something new he suggest, and he talks so dang fast,its like someones paying him to promote their product and he does not what to leave them out, I to enjoyed him more on Oprah, he seemed sincere, and Professional. I also think being a star has caused his Medical field to suffer, I don't Trust him any longer.
I agree totally. I have tried forskolin and the other one, and NOTHING happened. I have had it with Dr. Oz and all this kind of stuff. I had protein in my urine the last time I went to the doctor and my son made me stop taking the forskolin. That might have not been the problem, but I'm glad I stopped.
Yea I bought forskolin on my second bottle and nothing I think I have gained weight. I read where everyone is losing but I think they delete messages if someone puts that it don't work
I've been taking 250mg of Forskolin standardized 20% and have had success with fat loss. The pounds have not decreased a lot but I've lost about 3 clothes size.
On my third week and no weight loss at all nothing spent 121.00 for three bottles this is a scam.
Dr. Oz is getting paid big time for all the pills he is promoting. That's why he loves promoting them, money, money, money!!!!
What would be a safe and good supplement o give a boost when a few pounds need to come off? I am over 50 and the last 10 lbs are inpossible. workout everyday, I walk , yoga, meditate, and hello 10 lbs. thank you!
You dont need supplements just up the intensity in your workouts or start some type of circuit training. cut off all carbs for the last 10 lbs its mostly water retention.
Do not cut out ALL carbs! Your body needs carbs for fuel - to give you energy. However, there are good carbs and bad carbs, so you need to do your research and cut out your Bad carbs to promote weight loss. Or, better yet, talk to your Doctor about what foods you can and cannot have. Good Luck!
Unfortunately the formula is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise. If you are exercising regularly then you need to modify your food intake
So true! I always say weight loss is energy out and calories in. I think the people who say they lost weight "but did not do anything different" must have already been exercising, etc.!
How effective are these drugs if you have hypothyroidism and are tataking synthroid? seems like the drug may have no additional benefits over simple diet and exercise???
I have been taking Relora for three weeks. I have Hashimoto's Disease which causes hyothyroidism. I take levoxyl (thyroid med), zoloft (anxiety), and xanax (as needed for insomnia). I began taking this med over three weeks ago for belly fat and appetite suppression after seeing it discussed on a talk show. I developed severe abdominal pain prior to, during, and after my menstrual cycle (unlike ever before). I also developed severe gastro related problems which subsequently required hospitalization. After extensive medical tests and another visit to the ER nothing could be found. I told the healthcare professionals about all my prescribed meds but didn't think to tell them about Relora. After continued usage and severe gastro problems I decided to check the supplement's side effects on the internet and was shocked to find out that it causes all of the symptoms which I developed. Do yourself a favor PLEASE check with your doctor prior to taking anything including NATURAL herbs. I'm still regretting my mistake.