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Stiftung Warentest: Slimming products usually don't help you lose weight

The slimming business is booming. It is all too tempting to take the slimming supplements that are advertised as promising rapid weight loss. But they hardly help and there is no lasting effect.

In its February issue, Stiftung Warentest took a closer look at 20 common over-the-counter slimming products. She comes to the conclusion that exercise and a change in eating habits, to a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, is more effective and healthier. On top of that, your wallet is also spared. Accordingly, it is determined that "All satiety capsules, fat burners, fat and carbohydrate blockers are not very suitable in the test." Stiftung Warentest also criticized the fact that there are no independent studies on the long-term effects. With 15 products, there was not even a noticeable weight loss effect. The tested means were all in a price segment between 99 cents and four euros per daily dose. According to the manufacturers, various methods should lead to weight loss. Some allegedly slow down appetite, while others are said to speed up fat burning or bind ingested food fats.

Five remedies showed slight weight loss With five remedies, short-term weight loss could be demonstrated, according to Stiftung Warentest. These agents contained either the fat blocker "Formoline" or "Glucomannane", a starch-like substance that is also used as a food additive (E 425), taking into account certain concentration levels. This fiber, derived from the kojak root, helps a little in losing weight, as the European Food Safety Authority confirms. However, if you do not switch your eating habits to a reduced-calorie diet at the same time, this effect does not have any lasting effect.

Formolines, which are present in crustacean shells and beans, increase the satiety effect and fat binding, but also only help to reduce the weight permanently.

According to the test report, these substances can also trigger allergic reactions. Other agents can cause constipation because they swell in the stomach and are supposed to give you a feeling of fullness. A positive aspect is that no hazardous substances have been detected, as was the case in previous tests.

In the past, scientists had found substances such as dinitrophenol, or DNP for short, that life-threatening reactions such as shortness of breath, drop in blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, rapid overheating of the body and multi-organ failure can trigger.

In general, most of the appetite suppressants that act in the brain have had strong side effects in the past, as reported by Hans-Georg Joost, scientific director of the German Institute for Nutritional Research (DIfE). Some made people addicted, others triggered cardiovascular diseases. In addition, all remedies have one thing in common: after stopping the preparations, the weight skyrocketed again.

If you want to permanently lose weight, you should change your diet and exercise regularly. From a medical point of view, people with a body mass index of 30 should do something about their overweight, Stiftung Warentest explains. Risk factors such as arteriosclerosis and its consequences such as heart attack and stroke can be reduced more effectively (fr)

Image: Juliane Drechsel /

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