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Episode 70: Weight Loss Supplements And Nutraceuticals


Weight Loss Supplements And Nutraceuticals

Do weight loss supplements actually work? Is there any scientific evidence to back up claims these supplements make? Dr. Sandra Lerner joins me in this episode, as we try to demystify the tall claims these weight loss supplements make.

Dr. Sandra Lerner is a Board-Certified physician in Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine, and she does practice Obesity Medicine full-time. She had gained about 40 pounds because of a stressful practice and a stressful life, but she changed her lifestyle, she changed the way she lived, and she lost about 65 pounds. She uses that experience, knowledge, and skills to offer private weight loss coaching to her patients and her clients. 



Key Highlights: 

Tune in to my conversation with Dr. Sandra and learn:

  • How weight supplements gained popularity
  • A shift in what was considered the ideal body type to a leaner, more athletic body type both in men and women was when weight loss supplements were popularized
  • How these supplements have changed over time
  • The problem with these supplements being labeled as dietary and not medication
  • What you may not know are in these over-the-counter supplements
  • A study that showed about 10% of them contained things that aren’t listed on the label like thyroid hormone, phenytoin, which is a seizure medication, SSRIs, fat, desiccated thyroid, desiccated testosterone, and more
  • Why most people ignore the negative side effects and reactions of these supplements
  • The manufacturers can put whatever they want on the label as long as it doesn’t claim that it can cure or treat a certain condition
  • Why these supplements are not regulated by the FDA
  • Where does funding of research of these supplements really come from?
  • Dr. Sandra’s opinion on supplements labeled as nutraceuticals
  • Why something labeled as “natural” isn’t exactly less harmful
  • A better and safer alternative to taking dietary supplements for weight loss



From Dr. Sandra Lerner: 

“There isn’t a lot of evidence for dietary supplements. But I would say that there is one place where I feel like it can be supportive. And that that place is when we talk about losing weight, we talk about sort of a three-pronged approach of healthy nutrition, healthy sleep, and activity level. Sometimes supplements can be helpful with maintaining healthy sleep habits. And these are all things that can be discussed with your physician and reviewed to see what kind of combinations work for you best. But there’s a place for them, but I think it is limited.”

From Dr. Avishkar Sabharwal:

“It’s a big no-no, in my opinion, if you are thinking about using weight loss supplements directly. There are better and smarter and more efficient ways to get the job done.”




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