You've heard it before: To lose weight, you need to eat less and move more. But with busy lifestyles and easy access to fast food, many consumers look to "quick fixes." No wonder Americans spend $1.3 billion on weight loss supplements each year.
According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, one in seven adults uses weight-loss supplements. The problem? Many supplements go unregulated. Just last year, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced a ruling establishing stricter regulations for dietary supplements. The rules will ensure that supplements adhere to quality manufacturing, do not contain contaminants or impurities, and use accurate labeling. But these rules won't entirely apply until 2010.
How can you evaluate supplements in the meantime? Here are some tips for consumers looking to purchase high-quality supplements:
- Look for clinical trials. Many weight-loss supplements make too-good-to-be-true claims, but the best supplements will have clinical trials to back up their promises. For example, DEX-C20 Caralluma, a new diet supplement derived from a cactus-like plant, is currently undergoing a 100-person, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
"In the initial 10-person efficacy study, 10 out of 10 patients lost weight," says Dr. Richard M. Goldfarb, medical director at Bucks County Clinical Research, an FDA-approved clinical research facility.
- Choose a supplement that offers a weight-loss plan. Some supplements claim "miracle" cures. Other supplements give you advice on how to enhance your weight loss by offering information on diet and exercise plans.
- Consider the side effects. Look out for warnings on the package. If you take prescriptions, check with your doctor to make sure that you can safely take supplements.
For more information, visit www.dexC20.com.