My Take on Supplements

by David Grisaffi

What about Supplements?

Question: How about fat burn and weight loss supplements? Do they work?

Answer: The answer to this question is yes and no. I will explain my answer later. All fat-burn supplements are basically the same.

For the records, the sole purpose of a fat burner is to help increase the metabolism. I guarantee you each fat burner will contain at least one or more of the following ingredients:


I didn't think there was a need to go into what caffeine is and how it works. Caffeine is by far the most popular energy and fat burn supplement on the market. Sources of caffeine are soda, coffee, chocolate, etc.


Guarana is really just another name for caffeine. It has also been shown to help treat diarrhea, decrease fatigue, curb the appetite, and help with arthritis pain.

Guarana also helps to reduce hangovers from alcohol abuse and headaches during menstruation.


Bee pollen is mainly used to increase energy, but has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.


Second to caffeine, ginseng is the most popular natural energy supplement. There are three main types of ginseng: Siberian, Asian (aka Panax, Chinese, or Korean ginseng), and American. Ginseng supplementation has also been shown to help stimulate the immune system, combat fatigue and stress, and help with male impotency.


Gingko is used mainly for increasing blood flow to the arteries (mainly the brain). The increased blood flow aids in concentration and memory function. Ultimately, it makes the circulation of nutrients throughout the body more efficient.


Aspirin in fat burners is used to thin out the blood, making the effects of herbs and additional ingredients more potent. It will more than likely be listed as white willow bark or extract. White willow is actually what aspirin is derived from.


The amino acid L-carnitine is used (and needed) to release energy from fat. Research shows that individuals who supplement with L-carnitine while engaging in an exercise regiment are less likely to experience muscle soreness.

You may see a label which has "acetyl" L-carnitine. This version of L-carnitine does basically the same thing as regular L-carnitine; metabolize food into energy.

Don't let these findings urge you to go out and buy a bottle of pure L-carnitine because it isn't effective as the studies show!


Vitamin B6 (aka Pyridoxine) in a fat burn supplement is used to process amino acids, the building blocks of protein. It also plays an important role in the regulation of the mental process and mood, and acts as a natural diuretic.


Chromium picolinate is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Chromium has been shown to increase HDL (High Density Lipids, good cholesterol), while lowering LDL (Low Density Lipids, bad cholesterol). However, it is chromium poly-nicotinate that actually stimulates a fat burning process.


The purpose of ma huang in a fat burner is to increase energy. The effects are similar to that of caffeine, but more potent. It stimulates the central nervous system, dilates the bronchial tubes, elevates blood pressure, and increases the heart rate.


Some weight loss formulas may also contain appetite suppressants such as Citrin* or Citrimax*. You may find it listed under a different name, but the "citri" prefix is what you're looking for.

The citrus extract [hydroxy citric acid (HCA)] is a chemical derived from fruits. It's supposed to help curb the appetite.

Some fat loss supplements contain herbal diuretics. This is to help rid excess water weight. Natural herbal diuretics include uva ursi leaves, buchu leaves, goldenseal root or extract, and juniper berries to name a few.

My take on supplements:

I believe that most supplements in their "original" form do work and can be a tremendous asset . . . The problem is that what you can buy in stores is only the "diluted" version of the real thing. For example, fat-burn supplements and lean muscle mass supplements in their original form (i.e. pharmaceutical grade) I believe are extremely effective.

To be up front with you, Don Lemmon's Multi Nutrient and Lemmon's Oil have no comparisons as far as quality, processing, nature, etc when it comes to vitamins, mineral and essential fatty acid supplements.

When 'researchers' perform before and after result studies, I believe them to often times be true. The problem is that they use the exact same study results, but sell a watered down version of the supplement in magazines, stores, and on TV, and make the exact same effectiveness claim. That's where the problem is!

Often times, the dosages used in experimental studies are an extremely high and concentrated version of the supplement. It may even come in the form of injection. All of which are usually doctor prescribed and closely monitored.

Bottom line: You don't really need fat-burn supplements or any other kind of supplement if you diet properly. They can be very misleading. What I don't like in particular is the word "fat burn." Fat burners burn very little fat. They're supposed to speed up the metabolism, which should ultimately burn fat. They do, but never long enough for anything to really happen. After taking them, you may feel a 15- to 30-minute allergic-like reaction or rush, and that's it.

Check out some info on the entire David Grisaffi's Flatten Your Abs Conditioning Manual

About the Author

David has an extensive nutrition and sports training background servicing students to pro athletes. He is an expert in program design, exercise prescription, author of Flatten My Abs Conditioning Manual and has over 75,000 getting his FREE Newsletter

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