Additional Diabetes Information:
As more and more people turn to dietary supplements to help combat excess weight and obesity, more focus is put on the ingredients used in these supplements. The following contain a brief description of the seven most commonly used ingredients in weight-loss supplements.
The acai berry is found in the Brazilian rainforest, and is harvested from the acai palm tree. Small and reddish-purple in colour, the acai berry is related to the cranberry and blueberry. Acai supplements generally use acai berry powder or extract, and acai berry juice is also occasionally used in supplemental beverages.
Hoodia gordonii is a leafless and spiny succulent plant that closely resembles the cactus, and is native to South Africa and Namibia. It is the fleshy stem of the hoodia gordonii plant that is used in supplements due to its appetite-suppressing properties. Traditionally eaten by the indigenous natives as a means to stave off hunger and thirst during long treks, hoodia gordonii has gained widespread acceptance as a weight-loss aid after famously being featured on CBS's 60 Minutes.
Like hoodia, caralluma is also a cactus-like succulent plant, though its size is smaller than that of hoodia. Indigenous to India and some parts of Asia, caralluma is entirely edible and is often used in tribal Indian cuisine. Weight-loss supplements containing caralluma usually do so in the form of extracts or powders.
Chitosan is an off-white powder commercially produced from chitin, which is what forms the shells of crustaceans. Due to its alleged strong absorbency and fat binding properties, chitosan is often sold in capsule form as a “fat binder” to aid in weight loss.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Resembling a small pumpkin, garcinia cambogia is the fruit of the garcinia evergreen tree, native to South India and Southeast Asia. The fruit contains the extract hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is alleged to have appetite suppressing and fat-burning properties. The effectiveness of most garcinia cambogia supplements is related to their percentage of HCA contained.
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, like other varieties of tea such as oolong and black tea. Green tea differs from having undergone a minimal amount of oxidation. Weight loss supplements usually take the beneficial antioxidant catechins from green tea, and extract it into a powder form to make into tablets. Supplements may be preferred over the drink, as supplements tend to contain higher concentrations of catechins, and can be made to not contain caffeine if unwanted.
Guggul is the resin produced from the Commiphora mukul tree native to India. Originally used as a paste in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for obesity, guggul is now prepared into an extract and then pressed into tablet form.