According to FDA, weight-loss dietary supplement products commonly contain undeclared drugs, which could be harmful, so we advise caution. FDA’s article "Beware of Products Promising Miracle Weight Loss” and video have more information about potentially harmful weight-loss supplements. Many of the same resources that we mention in the FAQ on safety of performance-enhancing products also apply here. What’s more, reliable evidence for the effectiveness of any over-the-counter weight-loss supplement ingredients is lacking, and some weight-loss products contain ingredients that are potentially problematic. For information about how to lose weight without using dietary supplements, visit HPRC’s Fighting Weight Strategies, which provides joint-service and service-specific programs to help you maintain overall health and body weight.
This fact sheet from the Office of Dietary Supplements contains in-depth information about common ingredients in weight-loss supplements that you may find informative. (A version for healthcare professionals is also available.)
Updated 8 September 2015