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Supplemental Products Used for Weight Loss - Journal of American ...

Supplemental Products Used for Weight Loss - Journal of American ...

Supplemental Products Used for Weight Loss - Journal of American

ABSTRACT REVIEWS Objective: To review the scientific literature on several dietary supplements and herbal products commonly promoted for weight loss. Data Sources: Recently published articles and abstracts identified through PubMed (May 1987−May 2003), MEDLINE (January 1966−May 2003), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (January 1970−May 2003), and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (January 1995−May 2003) using the search terms supplement, herbal, weight loss, obesity, overweight, conjugated linoleic acid, ephedra, ephedrine, chromium, Garcinia cambogia, hydroxycitric acid, chitosan, and pyruvate. Study Selection: Performed manually by the authors. Supplemental Products Used for Weight Loss Thomas L. Lenz and William R. Hamilton Data Extraction: Performed manually by the authors. Only single-agent, randomized, blinded, controlled studies with sufficient scientific rigor in overweight or obese subjects were included. Data Synthesis: Approximately 50 individual supplemental products and hundreds of combination products are promoted for weight loss. As a result, much confusion exists among health care professionals regarding the efficacy and safety of these products. Results for conjugated linoleic acid were positive in three clinical studies, with few adverse effects. Ephedra has been shown to be effective in promoting weight loss, especially when combined with caffeine, but it has a high adverse effect risk profile. The data regarding ephedra and ephedra combinations are conflicting, and many of the studies were poorly designed. Garcinia and chitosan have not shown much promise for weight loss, but little research has been done. Pyruvate has consistently shown positive weight loss effects. Conclusion: Overall, herbal products and dietary supplements promoted for weight loss lack sufficient supporting efficacy and safety data. More research is needed to draw definitive conclusions. Conjugated linoleic acid and pyruvate have the best supporting evidence, but larger and better-controlled trials are needed before pharmacists should recommend these agents to patients seeking to lose weight. Keywords: Obesity, overweight, weight loss, dietary supplements, herbal products. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2004;44:59–68. Received April 2, 2003, and in revised form June 25,2003. Accepted for publication August 5, 2003. Thomas L. Lenz, PharmD, is Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice; William R. Hamilton, PharmD, is Associate Professor of Pharmacy Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, Neb. Correspondence: Thomas L. Lenz, PharmD, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Creighton University Medical Center, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178. Fax: 402-280-3320. E-mail: tlenz@creighton.edu. Continuing education credits: See page 67–68 for learning objectives and test questions for this article, which is number 202-000-04-137-H04 in APhA’s educational programs. CE answer sheets are located inside the back cover of this issue. To take the CE test for this article online, go to www.pharmacist.com/education. cfm, and follow the links to the APhA CE center. Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests in any product mentioned in this article, including grants, employment, gifts, stock holdings, or honararia. Vol. 44, No. 1 January/February 2004 www.japha.org Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 59 Downloaded From: http://japha.org/ on 12/24/2012

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