Which weight loss supplements are best?

ConsumerLab.com reviews the evidence and tests the quality of popular products.

Dozens of supplement ingredients have been touted for weight loss, but which have the strongest evidence showing they work and, among those, which products are highest in quality? To answer these questions, ConsumerLab.com, the independent health and nutrition product evaluator, reviewed the clinical evidence for more than 20 ingredients and tested the quality of more than 50 products.

ConsumerLab found that no supplement has a large weight-loss effect, but certain ingredients may have a modest, short-term effect equating to 1 to 3 pounds lost in a month. From a quality standpoint, however, more than one-third of products used for weight loss have failed to pass ConsumerLab.com's testing, most often for containing less of an ingredient than claimed.

Shown in the table below are the supplement ingredients which, in ConsumerLab.com's assessment, may have a modest weight loss or slimming effect and the percentage of products selected for testing which were CL Approved for quality. Ingredient names link to ConsumerLab.com's reports which provide quality ratings and reviews of specific products, by brand, and information about efficacy, dosage and side effects.

Supplements that may help with weight loss as evaluated by ConsumerLab.com


Weight loss effect

Percentage of products passing all quality tests

7-keto DHEA

May provide additional weight loss in overweight people on calorie-reduced diets.


CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)

May help with slimming by increasing proportion of lean body mass to fat.


Garcinia cambogia extract

May cause modest weight loss. Appears to work better in women than men and when person is not markedly obese.


Green coffee bean extract

May cause modest weight loss.


Green tea extract

May aid weight loss and protect against weight gain.


Herbal stimulant blends

Caffeine from herbs may help with weight loss.

None approved (due to potentially dangerous high caffeine content)


Although not tested, ConsumerLab.com has summarized the evidence for many other ingredients in a comparison table within its Weight Loss Supplement Review, including Cha de Bugre, chitosan, diuretic herbs, ephedra, glucomannan, hoodia, L-carnitine, Pyruvate and 1-dihydroxyaxetone, raspberry ketone, acai, stimulant laxatives (such as aloe and senna) and white kidney bean extract. ConsumerLab.com has also tested products with calcium, chromium and vitamin C, which, although proposed for weight loss, do not appear to be effective for that use.


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