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4 Supplements for Weight Loss

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
    • Summer is here, and so is the desire to lose those extra pounds.
    • Attempting to lose weight is difficult, and along with a good diet and exercise program, a weight loss supplement may help. 
    • Find out which ones work, and how fatty acids may help you keep a healthy body weight.

Summer has a way of reminding you about those extra pounds you put on during the holidays. Whether you’re swimsuit shopping or simply wearing less clothing to keep cool, extra weight takes center stage when the temps begin to rise. 

It’s tempting to look for quick fix solutions to get rid of a few extra pounds. In reality, we know that simply doesn’t work. There’s no miracle pill or program that can make you lose weight. Weight comes off when you achieve a caloric deficit, by either eating less, exercising more, or a combination of both. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t look for ways to support your body on your weight loss journey. Supplements for weight loss are extremely popular, and can help make sure your body gets what it needs to function at optimum levels. 

Not sure where to begin? We can help. We’ll fill you in on whether or not it’s worth it to take a supplement while you try to lose weight, and look at some of the most popular choices. We’ll also talk about what causes us to pack on the pounds, and how a little fatty acid may be the key to helping us shed fat. 

Should You Take Supplements for Weight Loss

The first thing you should understand about weight loss supplements is that they aren’t meant to be a quick fix. Unlike diet pills, supplements don’t claim to melt away pounds without any dietary or physical effort on your part. 

Supplements for weight loss work by supporting your body as a whole. Oftentimes when we are cutting calories or burning more energy, our bodies can become depleted or deficient. 

Supplements help ensure our bodies get what they need in order to:

  • Make up for gaps in our diets;
  • Support our metabolism;
  • Power us through workouts; and
  • Keep us focused and balanced.

Supplements work synergistically with the body to help support total wellness. Along with a balanced diet and exercise plan, a supplement can be a good decision and a vital part of your health stack. 

Let’s look at some of the most popular supplements that support weight loss. 

1. Chitosan

An up and coming supplement, chitosan is a compound found in the hard external shell of crabs, lobster and shrimp. Chitosan is technically a fibrous sugar, but it is thought that consuming chitosan can block the absorption of fat. 

Chitosan is used for individuals with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but only as supplementation to prescribed medications. It can also be used to help in wound healing in hospital settings. 

When it comes to weight loss, there’s not much concrete evidence that taking a chitosan supplement will help your body block the absorption of the fat you eat. In fact, studies show that individuals taking a chitosan supplement on a high fat diet absorbed just as much fat from their diets as individuals who did not take a chitosan supplement. 

Additionally, absorbing fat from the diet won’t necessarily help you lose weight. In terms of weight gain, fat isn’t the number one offender. An unbalanced diet and overconsumption of calories (from fat or other macronutrients) can cause weight gain. 

2. Chromium Picolinate

Chromium is a mineral naturally found in foods that plays a major role in how your body handles the hormone insulin. Insulin helps your body process carbohydrates, fat, and protein. 

Chromium picolinate is a synthetic form of chromium that the body is better able to process than the chromium found in food. Chromium is sometimes given to people who are insulin resistant, in addition to their prescription medication, as it may help the body’s insulin function. 

Because chromium interacts with insulin, which helps the body process macronutrients, it is thought that it can assist with weight loss. Chromium picolinate may also reduce appetite, which can be a useful tool when dieting. 

However, studies show that chromium picolinate supplementation does not affect lean body mass index.

3. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid found in some meats and dairy products. CLA is an omega-6 fatty acid. While omega-6 fatty acids are essential, the average American has too much omega-6 in their diet. 

CLA does have health benefits, however the average person does not need to consume a CLA supplement to get additional omega-6 fatty acids in their diets. Taking in too many CLAs has negative health impacts. 

Still, CLA remains a popular dietary supplement for promoting weight loss. Of all the supplements we’ve reviewed thus far, CLA may be the one studied the most. Research has shown that it may be able to suppress appetite and help the body burn fat. 

While studies support the use of CLA in connection with a healthy diet and exercise program for weight loss, the risk of overconsumption of omega-6 may not be worth the end result. 

The same studies that support CLA for weight loss show only a moderate advantage for weight loss in individuals who take it. The negative health risks of too much omega-6 are: 

  • High blood pressure;
  • Higher risk of blood clots;
  • Heart attack;
  • Stroke; and 
  • Water retention.

However, looking to a fatty acid to help with weight loss is a step in the right direction.

How Did We Gain This Much Weight?

Supplements, surgeries, and numerous fad diets. We’re spending a fortune trying to lose weight. How did we end up overweight and unhealthy? 

It started in the late 1970’s. Heart disease had become the number one killer, taking out Americans in large numbers and killing us at younger and younger ages. 

The government responded by issuing dietary guidelines telling us to avoid all fat. Over the next 20 years, we saw a four-fold decrease in fat intake. Unfortunately, we got it wrong. 

What should have made us healthier ended up making us sicker. Childhood obesity levels and occurrences of childhood diabetes rose significantly, and Americans ended up heavier and more unhealthy. 

Obesity is a pandemic and it’s characterized by more than just excess weight. Our obesity epidemic is complicated by:

  • High blood pressure;
  • High cholesterol;
  • Insulin resistance; and
  • Excess weight around the midsection. 

These conditions make up a condition called metabolic syndrome, which place you at a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Clearly, avoiding all fat is not the answer to losing weight. 

4. Pentadecanoic Acid for Healthy Body Weight

Turns out, not all fat is bad. In fact, some fats like pentadecanoic acid are associated with positive health markers like:†*

  • Healthy body weight;
  • Balanced immunity;
  • Heart health;
  • Healthy metabolism;
  • Red blood cell health; and
  • Liver health.

An increasing body of research suggests that pentadecanoic acid, an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid, may be the first essential fatty acid to have been discovered in over 90 years. 

Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0, has been shown to help support healthy weight and metabolism by supporting your body from the cellular level.* 

Here’s how. 

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Cellular Health

It all starts with cells. As we age, our cells age. When our cells age, they become fragile and weak, leaving us weaker, less energetic, and less able to maintain a healthy body weight. 

C15:0 helps support cell health by:*

  • Supporting cell membranes. What makes our cells weak? Flimsy cell membranes. C15:0 digs deep into cell membranes to fortify and support them, keeping them strong and able to defend themselves from external stressors. 
  • Boosting mitochondrial function. Our cells’ mitochondria keep them powered and able to carry out their normal cellular function. When they age or become damaged, mitochondrial function declines. C15:0 helps support mitochondrial function by bolstering the mitochondria and increasing cellular energy while simultaneously decreasing cellular stress. 

When we approach weight loss from the cellular level, we learn that taking care of our cells helps us not only lose weight more effectively, but maintain healthy weight once it is achieved. 

Weight Loss

If a decreased metabolism is holding you back from reaching your weight loss goals, C15:0 can help.* 

C15:0 helps support a healthy, thriving metabolism by interacting with receptors in the body called PPARs.* PPARs control metabolic function, and C15:0’s interaction with PPARs can help keep your metabolism working as it should.* 


You probably aren’t getting much C15:0 in your diet. Found in trace amounts in some meat and whole fat dairy products like whole milk and full fat butter, C15:0 has virtually been erased from the American table. 

Even if you consumed a lot of whole dairy, you still wouldn’t get enough C15:0, and you’d have to deal with the over-consumption of omega-6 fatty acids found in those products. 

Fortunately, there’s a solution. Fatty15 is the daily supplement that helps support your body from the cellular level by giving you all the pentadecanoic acid you need, without any of the bad stuff you don’t.* 

The Takeaway

Supplements can be a great way to stay healthy and make sure your body is functioning properly while you’re attempting to lose weight. It’s important, however, to make sure you’re taking a supplement backed with enough research to make it worth your while. Fatty15 is a great supplement to support your healthy weight, metabolism, and cellular health

You can meet your weight loss goals, and fatty15 can help support your cells and metabolism while you do it.* 


Chitosan Supplementation Does Not Affect Fat Absorption in Healthy Males Fed a High-Fat Diet, a Pilot Study|Nature 

A Pilot Study of Chromium Picolinate for Weight Loss|NCBI 

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Body Fat, and Apoptosis|PubMed 

Efficacy of dietary odd-chain saturated fatty acid pentadecanoic acid parallels broad associated health benefits in humans: could it be essential?

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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