Weighing In On Weight Loss

Four Natural Supplements


I am wondering if you could provide some insight on how to navigate all the new weight loss supplements on the market. 
Sheila, Thornhill









With obesity rates rising, it is an exciting time for the research and development of products targeted at weight reduction.  Obesity is defined as a BMI greater than 30, however one does not need to be obese or even markedly overweight to reap the benefits of weight reduction or change in body composition.  Carrying even a small amount of excess weight, especially around the abdomen, can greatly affect quality of life and increase the risk of illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory conditions and cancer. 

While achieving a calorie deficit is important through reducing caloric intake and increasing expenditure (via physical activity), it may not be enough.  Barriers such as high blood glucose and insulin levels, constant hunger, not burning sufficient calories or an inability to utilize fat for fuel should also be addressed.

Green Coffee Bean :

Our bodies have the ability to utilize both carbohydrates and fat for energy.  Consuming a diet rich in carbohydrates increases blood sugar and insulin levels, preventing the body from utilizing fat for fuel.  Chlorogenic acid, extracted from the European green coffee bean, reduces carbohydrate absorption from the small intestine, decreasing circulating blood sugar, and fat storage by inhibiting an enzyme known as glucose-6-phosphate.  By stabilizing blood sugar levels, green coffee bean extract allows the body to utilize fat for energy production.  Green coffee bean is a good choice for individuals with unstable blood sugar levels or diabetes, those consuming a higher carbohydrate diet, and anyone wishing to stabilize their weight.

Raspberry Ketones :

This aromatic compound is responsible for the sweet scent of raspberries and enables the body to use stored body fat more easily for fuel through a process called fatty acid oxidation.  Raspberry ketones stimulate hormone sensitive lipase, causing fat cells to release stored fat and making them more available to be burned for energy and released from the body.  By improving the body’s ability to burn fat, rather than carbohydrates for energy, it is a good option for those looking to lose weight, increase lean body mass and improve endurance during exercise.
African Mango: Constant hunger and cravings make it easy to over-indulge during a weight loss program, sabotaging our efforts to maintain a caloric deficit.  Albumin from African mango, reduces feelings of hunger  by increasing the availability of leptin (our satiety hormone) by lowering C-reactive protein.  Through this mechanism, African mango reduces appetite, improves insulin sensitivity, lowers cholesterol and improves metabolism.

Garcinia Cambogia:

This Asian fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a compound that helps to reduce appetite and fat storage.  By inhibiting an enzyme (ATP citrate lyase) that converts carbohydrates to fatty acids, it spares liver glycogen, reduces fatty acid accumulation and may benefit  individuals who overeat due to hormonal or emotional reasons by increasing our happiness hormone, serotonin.


*The recommendations provided in this article are not meant as medical advice and may not be suitable for all readers.  All individuals wishing to embark on a weight loss program should obtain proper guidance from a qualified health care provider.



Dr. Suzanna Ivanovics, ND operates a naturopathic practice in downtown Toronto and is a consultant at The Big Carrot. Have a question? Write to Suzanna at dr.suzanna.nd@gmail.com

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