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* Chitosan, a dietary supplement derived from chitin, a starch found in the (crushed) skeletons of shrimp, crab and other shellfish, is claimed to bind and trap fat, leading to its excretion and weight loss

* Chitosan, a dietary supplement derived from chitin, a starch found in the (crushed) skeletons of shrimp, crab and other shellfish, is claimed to bind and trap fat, leading to its excretion and weight loss. However, a systematic review of 14 human trials concluded that the effects are minimal (Obes Rev, 2005; 6: 35-42).

* L-Carnitine and other amino acids can improve stamina and build up lean body mass in those who are healthy, active and athletic (Nutrition, 2004; 20: 709-15). Sadly, this doesn't mean that it will work for people who are sedentary and obese.

* Apple cider vinegar has a long history of folk use and often as an appetite suppressant. However, there is no scientific proof that it aids slimming.

* Yerba mate, a South American herb (Ilex paraguayensis), in a preparation combined with the Amazonian stimulant guaran'a (Paullinia cupana) and the ancient Mayan aphrodisiac damiana (Turnera diffusa), was found to induce significant weight loss in overweight volunteers (J Hum Nutr Diet, 2001; 14: 243-50). However, more studies are needed before any conclusions as to effectiveness and safety can be made.

* Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is a popular addition to slimming supplements and tonics, but there are no studies to indicate that it's effective for weight loss.
weight-loss products, diet pills, slimming aids, effectiveness, Chitosan, L-carnitine, apple cider vinegar, yerba mate, guaran'a, damiana, gotu kola, clinical-trial evidence, folk use


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