Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Numerous dietary supplements that promise to help you shed weight quickly are available. The effectiveness, particularly the long-term effectiveness, and safety of these products are often questionable.
Herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals, all considered dietary supplements by the Food and Drug Administration, don't have the same rigorous testing and labeling process as over-the-counter and prescription medications do.
Yet some of these substances, including products labeled as "natural," have drug-like effects that can be dangerous. Even some vitamins and minerals can cause problems when taken in excessive amounts. Ingredients may not be standard, and they can cause unpredictable and harmful side effects. Dietary supplements also can cause dangerous interactions with prescription medications you take. Talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.
Mind-body therapies — such as acupuncture, mindfulness meditation and yoga — may complement other obesity treatments. However, these therapies generally haven't been well-studied in the treatment of weight loss. Talk to your doctor if you're interested in adding a mind-body therapy to your treatment.
June 10, 2015
- AskMayoExpert. Obesity. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Defining overweight and obesity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Jensen MD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2014;63(25 Pt B):2985.
- Bray GA. Pathogenesis of obesity. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- What are overweight and obesity? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe#. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Bray GA. Obesity in adults: Etiology and natural history. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Bray GA. Obesity in adults: Health hazards. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Understanding adult overweight and obesity. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/understanding.htm. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Nutritional disorders. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 9, 2015
- Sacks F, et al. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009;360:859.
- Moyer VA, et al. Screening for and management of obesity in adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012;157:373.
- Bray GA. Obesity in adults: Drug therapy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Greenberger NJ, et al. Treatment of obesity: The impact of bariatric surgery. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Endoscopy. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- Nelson DW, et al. Analysis of obesity-related outcomes and bariatric failure rates with the duodenal switch vs. gastric bypass for morbid obesity. Archives of Surgery. 2012;147:847.
- Weight control and complementary health practices: What the science says. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. http://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/weightloss-science. Accessed March 9, 2015.
- FDA approves first of kind device to treat obesity. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm430223.htm. Accessed Jan. 27, 2015.
- Pharmacological management of obesity: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2015;100:342.
- Kim SB. Surgical management of severe obesity. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 12, 2015.
- Ikramuddin S, et al. Effect of reversible intermittent intra-abdominal vagal nerve blockade on morbid obesity: The ReCharge randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014;312:915.
- Hensrud DD, et al., eds. The Mayo Clinic Diet. Intercourse, Pa.: Good Books; 2013.