APPROACHES TO OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITYHerbal and Dietary Supplements for Weight LossAlraei, Raghda Ghussen MS, RD, CDNAuthor Information Department of Nutrition Sciences, School of Health Related Professions, UMDNJ University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark; and Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, Brooklyn. Corresponding Author: Raghda Ghussen Alraei, MS, RD, CDN. Nutrition Services, 476 73rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11209 ([email protected]). The author thanks Dr Jane Ziegler for her assistance and continued support. Topics in Clinical Nutrition: April 2010 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 136-150 doi: 10.1097/TIN.0b013e3181dbb85e Buy Metrics Abstract Overweight and obesity are growing health problems in the United States, with approximately one-third of adults being obese and more than one-third are overweight. Many overweight individuals turn to dietary and herbal supplements for weight loss, and millions of dollars are spent on these products. However, there are concerns about the safety and efficacy of many supplements. Supplements are believed to help weight loss by several mechanisms of action, including increasing energy expenditure, increasing satiety, increasing fat oxidation, blocking dietary fat absorption, modulating carbohydrate metabolism, increasing fat excretion, increasing water elimination, and enhancing mood. This topic is changing rapidly, and this review gives a perspective of the current state of the evidence on selected dietary and herbal supplements and combination products. Many supplements have not been studied in randomized controlled trials and require more research to determine efficacy. Nutrition and healthcare professionals need to discuss use of dietary supplements with patients and report any adverse events to the Food and Drug Administration. Additional regulations on production, sales, and marketing of these supplements would be needed. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.