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The Low Down on Supplements



It’s no secret we all want to look our best.  We all want to be toned, thin, and fabulous.  So, many people are turning to fat burner supplements to help them achieve that goal. But do they work? Are they safe?  And when should you use them?  I hope to answer some of these questions.  I want to find out if there is a magical answer to all our big problems.

Fat Burners

To start, what are fat burners?  They are pills that can contain herbal ingredients such as Ephedra, HCA, Pyruvate, and Chitosan.  They all claim to be able to increase metabolism and suppress the appetite.  Do they work?  They are still being perfected, but when used within a cycle of proper dietary supplements, they certainly may be helpful.


Read: Foods That Are Proven to Burn Body Fat

One ingredient is Chitosan. This is used by doctors to help treat patients suffering from obesity, high cholesterol, and Crohn’s disease. We can thank shellfish for the sugar their hard outer skeletons provide. According to WebMD, it is also used to treat complications that kidney failure patients on dialysis often face. This includes high cholesterol, anemia, loss of strength and appetite, and trouble sleeping, and insomnia. It binds to fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which will prevent the body from absorbing them.


Grown in China and Mongolia, Ephedra is a powerful herb. This amphetamine-like substance stimulates the nervous system and heart and is used as an effective treatment for allergies, asthma, and sinus problems. Currently marketed as a weight loss aid, it is used for performance-enhancing, increasing energy, and used by bodybuilders.  If you decide to take any fat burner supplements containing Ephedra, always talk to your doctor first.  Never mix Ephedra with caffeine as it can be dangerous if you do.  They are still doing research to learn if using Ephedra is effective in weight loss.


Pyruvate is a product of sugar metabolism.  Its claim to fame is it increases fat loss, reduces cholesterol, and can improve endurance.   There is such a tiny amount of Pyruvate found in commercial supplements that it is hard for researches to determine if it works. The excellent news about Pyruvate is that it is safe to use.


Hydroxycitrate (HCA) is a natural food substance that comes from the fruit of the Garcinia cambogia tree found in southern India.  HCA claims to curb your appetite and increases glycogen storage without affecting muscle development or energy levels.  The verdict is still out on whether HCA is effective in weight loss and is continually being tested.

While no one is certain that fat burners work, they are a top seller in the supplement market.  If you want to add a weight loss pill to your lifestyle, the best thing you can do is to check with your doctor first.  It’s the best way to avoid any life threatening and unwanted side effects.