Appetite Suppressant Reviews

Medically reviewed by Anthony Dugarte M.D.

appetite suppressants

Appetite Suppressants

You’re trying to lose weight and the one thing you just can’t get around is hunger. Appetite Suppressants are supposed to curb those pains so you eat less and lose more, but not all are the same. Our research team focused on the benefits of the ingredient, potential side effects and relevant research supporting the claims. You deserve to know the truth about the supplement you’re looking to buy, so we’re here to give you just the facts with our appetite suppressant reviews.

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What are Appetite Suppressants?

Appetite Suppressants are sold in both herbal and medical varieties. The idea is to curb hunger enough to decrease calorie intake and promote weight-loss. The diet market is strewn with thousands of products that are supposed to work in this way, but few have the clinical support associated with prescription drugs in the same category.

Appetite Suppressant Ingredients

There are four main herbal appetite suppressants sold as part of weight-loss formulas and as standalone supplements. The most common are fiber, glucomannan, caffeine and hoodia gordonii.

Fiber

Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate found in some foods and supplements. It is resistant to digestion so it bulks up in the gut and, with water, helps promote healthy bowel movements. In terms of weight-loss, it is supposed to slow down the digestive process so food empties out of the stomach more slowly. That helps you stay fuller, longer.

The most common natural sources of fiber include beans, whole grains, popcorn, nuts, baked potatoes (in the skin), berries, bran cereal, oatmeal and green, leafy vegetables. Though sources seem abundant, most people are not taking in the amount they need.

Results from a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed “participants with obesity (body mass index ≥30) consistently reported lower fiber intake than did individuals with normal weight.”

Glucomannan

Glucomannan is a natural fiber found in the konjac plant. It is thought that it absorbs water working as a bulk-forming laxative, but it can also slow the digestive process to curb hunger.

There are no natural sources of glucomannan as it is only available in supplement form. You cannot consume it by adding certain foods to your diet.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and a variety of supplements. It is typically used to boost energy and metabolism, but it can also have an effect on hunger.

Less than 400mg is generally recognized as safe. Figuring as one cup coffee can contain between 70 and 250mg, it is important to take note of the total amount of caffeine you are consuming throughout the day. Drinking more will not reduce appetite even further.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause side effects such as: insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors.”

The Mayo Clinic goes on to state it may not just be the caffeine in coffee that helps dieters lose more. “In addition, some studies found that even decaffeinated coffee may contribute to modest weight loss, suggesting that substances or factors besides caffeine may play a role in weight loss.”

Hoodia Gordonii

Hoodia gordonii is derived from a plant similar to a cactus. It is found in the Kalahari Desert in Africa. According to folk lore, the natives chewed the roots of the plant when on hunting expeditions to curb hunger. This story led to worldwide notoriety as the next big appetite suppressant.

You cannot consume hoodia gordonii in foods. The only means of using it is via supplementation. You can find it as a standalone product or as part of a weight-loss pill that contains other ingredients.

According to the journal Current Obesity Reports, taking hoodia gordonii comes with the risk of side effects, including “headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.”

Research-Based Herbal Appetite Suppressants

There are some herbal appetite suppressants that are clinically proven to help promote weight-loss and curb hunger. Others do not have such support from science or appetite suppressant reviews.

Fiber

Dietary Fiber and Body Weight

According to the Nutrition, “The average fiber intake of adults in the United States is less than half recommended levels and is lower still among those who follow currently popular low-carbohydrate diets, such as Atkins and South Beach. Increasing consumption of dietary fiber with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes across the life cycle is a critical step in stemming the epidemic of obesity found in developed countries.”

Dietary Fiber and Weight Regulation

Another study published in the Nutrition states, “In view of the fact that mean dietary fiber intake in the United States is currently only 15 g/day (i.e., approximately half the American Heart Association recommendation of 25-30 g/day), efforts to increase dietary fiber in individuals consuming 25 g/day may help to decrease the currently high national prevalence of obesity.”

Glucomannan

Effect of Glucomannan on Obese Patients: A Clinical Study 

According to the International Journal of Obesity, “Results showed a significant mean weight loss (5.5 lbs) using glucomannan over an eight-week period.”

Glucomannan and Obesity: A Critical Review 

Another study in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine offers, “There is some evidence that GM [glucomannan] exerts its beneficial effects by promoting satiety and fecal energy loss.”

Safety and Efficacy of Glucomannan for Weight Loss in Overweight and Moderately Obese Adults

Unfortunately, not all studies came to the same conclusion. According to a review in the Journal of Obesity, “In summary, glucomannan supplements (3.99 g daily) were well tolerated but did not promote weight loss in overweight and moderately obese individuals consuming self-selected diets and maintaining usual physical activity patterns.”

Caffeine

Coffee for Morning Hunger Pangs: An Examination of Coffee and Caffeine on Appetite, Gastric Emptying, and Energy Intake 

The journal Appetite published a trial that shows caffeine does not have an impact on hunger. “No significant effects of decaffeinated coffee, caffeine or their combination were detected.”

Coffee, Hunger, and Peptide YY

It is also interesting to note that, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, decaffeinated coffee may be more effective at curbing hunger than the caffeinated variety. “Our randomized human trial showed that decaffeinated coffee can acutely decrease hunger.”

Hoodia Gordonii

Hoodia Gordonii: To Eat, or Not to Eat 

One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology appears to support this appetite suppressant, but in the end it actually warns dieters about using it. “We conclude that although Hoodia gordonii seems to have a desired effect on appetite and weight loss, this effect may at least in part be a secondary symptom of the serious adverse effects.”

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “There is no reliable scientific evidence to support hoodia’s use. No studies of the herb in people have been published.”

Bottom Line on Appetite Suppressant Reviews

There are two varieties of appetite suppressants – herbal pills and prescription pills. With herbal alternatives you are getting a natural solution to hunger, if you choose one that is clinically proven. In the case of prescription medications, you are more likely to see the benefits, but there are long lists of potential side effects to consider.

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