3 Weight Loss Supplements Women Need That Doctors Rarely Recommend

By on August 6, 2013
Over 30 percent of American women are currently dealing with obesity–and according to recent statistics, some 15 percent of them are also using dietary supplements to make the journey easier.

“Losing weight can dramatically improve your emotional and physical health, but it can be a slow process,” says Hilary Parker, a contributor to “So it’s no wonder that 15% of American adults use diet supplements to boost weight loss, opting for a range of products that claim to decrease appetite, block fat absorption, or increase metabolism.”

But not all supplements work, according to researchers–and some can carry serious side effects, such as heart problems and an increased risk of stroke. Yet figuring out which supplements are safe–and not-so safe–isn’t always an easy task. So which weight loss supplements are the best for women?

Oddly Enough, Calcium Really Matters

We often associate calcium supplements with osteoporosis or health concerns linked to old age–but it also matters when you lose weight.

“Studies suggest that getting the recommended daily amount of calcium can also help you lose weight,” writes “Low fat dairy products can give you calcium to help you lose weight and protein to help increase muscle mass.”

In turn, dieting can have an adverse effect on bones–sometimes accelerating the rate of bone loss. While strength training can mitigate some of these effects, the best way to stop it is with adequate calcium supplementation. Your best bet: A daily 1,000 milligram dose of calcium everyday can help combat bone and weight loss in a jiffy.

Add a Dose of Whey Protein

Most people associate whey protein with bodybuilders, who consume it by the gallon-full, but it’s not just great for building muscle mass–it’s also a great appetite suppressant.

“Whey protein, which as you can guess is derived from the whey of milk, is an easily digestible form of protein,” says Melanie Haiken, a contributor to Forbes. “It contains high levels of the amino acid cysteine. And having more muscle helps with weight loss too.”

And better yet, pairing whey protein with a weight resistance program can help maintain muscle mass on a diet, which in turn can help mitigate the effects of metabolism slowdown, which often occurs while dieting. What this means: You’ll be able to diet eating more calories, making it easier to shed those pesky last pounds.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid Can Also Help

It sounds counter-intuitive, but adding a certain fatty acid to your diet could help you lose weight, called conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. Derived from dairy products, this chemical was shown in a study to help people lose more body fat than those who took a placebo–and now researchers say it may be one of the best supplements for women looking to get lean. But the story isn’t always rosy, according to Parker.

“Research on CLA has shown some concerning side effects, mostly because it is a special type of fat similar to trans fats,” says Parker. “For example, blood tests that follow inflammation can be higher in some people taking CLA, and it may adversely affect cholesterol levels and liver tests.”

Bottom line: It’s a great supplement, but it’s not perfect.

Readers: What other supplements do you take to lose weight?

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