When it comes to taking those extra pounds off, roughly one in four Americans have tried weight loss supplements. People have had varying levels of success with them, but no matter the brand, it’s always a good idea to do a little background research on what’s actually in these products. It’s important for both your health and your peace of mind, especially because there can sometimes be consequences.
Just ask several women in the Charlotte area who say they failed routine company drug tests and were subsequently fired from their respective employers after consuming a popular weight loss tea. They allege that the samples they submitted came back positive for tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is commonly found in marijuana. The packaging said the product contained no THC, but additional lab testing found trace amounts that experts say could’ve contributed to the results they got. It’s a difficult situation for everyone involved.
Even if you’re not doing anything that requires a drug test, it’s always a good idea to take an extra peek at what’s in your weight loss supplements, as there can sometimes be a few suspicious ingredients in the mix. A recent 2020 study from NSF International, Harvard Medical School, and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands discovered that a number of popular weight loss supplements have several banned ingredients that could lead to health issues like high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. These include dimethylamylamine (DMAA), dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), and octodrine.
Staying safe when taking a supplement doesn’t have to be scary or difficult! In addition to reading nutrition labels to see a full list of ingredients, there are a number of steps you can take:
- Do some research online looking at your specific supplement. Using a search query like “[PRODUCT] review” will likely get you plenty of information. (And if you can’t find any information on a supplement whatsoever, that’s also a red flag!)
- Check if a product has the NSF International certification mark or a similar approval showing that it’s been subjected to larger testing and scrutiny before appearing on the market.
- If you want to see if anything you’re taking could include banned substances, the FDA keeps an up-to-date list of products and reasons for taking them off of the market.
And of course, you can talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional about any questions or concerns you have. It’s always good to stay safe!