The One Supplement That Experts Say Is Practically Useless For Weight Loss

When it comes to healthy weight loss, experts often emphasize that eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and sticking to a consistent exercise program are key. Another way many people support their weight loss journey is by taking supplements, vitamins and other nutrients in pill form.

We reached out to registered dietitians, nutritionists, and other health experts to learn more about a common supplement that's actually good for your health, but might not work as well if your goal is weight loss. Read on for tips, advice, and insights from Krutika Nanavati, RD, RD, RD, RD, RD, RD, RD, MPH, RD, Clinic Spots, and Trista Best, RD, LD, MPH, RD, Balance One Supplements.

read more: 4 Daily Supplements You Should Be Taking Over 40 to Fight Bloating and Lose Your Waistline, According to Experts

Why Vitamin C Supplements Are Often ‘Useless' for Weight Loss

Nanavati explains that while vitamin C is an important nutrient, taking it as a supplement may not guarantee the desired fat loss results. “You don't need huge doses of it,” Nanavati said. “It also doesn't really prevent the common cold, based on the findings,” she noted. “People don't get consistent results from taking vitamin C on a regular basis.”

One big reason you might not benefit from taking vitamin C supplements is that it is water soluble. “Because it's water soluble,” says Nanavati, “excess vitamin C is excreted in the urine.” This means it won't boost your immune system, and if you take in more than your body needs, your body will It just ends up being excreted from the body. “There's no need to add it as an extra supplement,” she confirms.

Additionally, the fact that most vitamin C supplements are synthetically derived makes them “very different” from natural vitamin C compounds. As Nanavati emphasizes, synthetic vitamins are not as well absorbed as natural vitamins. In the end, as Best points out, your best bet is always to make sure you're eating foods rich in vitamin C to actually reap the benefits of this immune-boosting vitamin (rather than buying supplements).

Tips for Creating a Diet Rich in Vitamin C

In order to effectively lose weight and get enough vitamin C, Best recommends eating more high-fiber fruits such as bananas to promote metabolism. “Fiber-rich fruit can improve digestion, especially for people over 40.” For people over 40, she adds, “it's important to get more of the nutrients that bananas provide, like potassium and vitamin C.”

She notes that the fiber in bananas will keep you feeling full longer after meals, which will “reduce snacking that can affect or exacerbate current chronic conditions.” Fiber also improves digestion, adds bulk to stools and keeps bowel movements regular, she says.

“These properties prevent bloating and weight gain.” She concludes that the nutrient also acts as a “prebiotic to feed beneficial gut bacteria and keep the gut healthy and balanced.” Bananas are a high-fiber fruit, she suggests , which can be added to your breakfast smoothie “to improve flavor and nutritional quality.”

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