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9 Bad side effects of fat burning supplements

side effects of fat burning supplements

Fat burning supplements promise to boost metabolism and lead to fat loss. The consumption of fat burning supplements has increased greatly in the past few years. Usually, obese people are of the opinion that these supplements are a blessing in disguise, but studies and research work carried out in the past few years have shown that they eventually turn out to be a bane. Despite the fact that fat burning supplements can speed up the weight loss process, they can even have some serious side effects. In this article, we have compiled a list of the potential side effects associated with these fat burning supplements.



Headaches are one of the most common side effects of fat burner supplements. This happens because of hypoglycaemia or more commonly known as low blood sugar. Headaches can occur directly from the ingredients of the supplements or as a result of not eating enough food. Monitoring blood pressure at regular intervals becomes even more important if you are diabetic. Make sure you have consulted your doctor before taking such products. Headaches can be an indication of a more serious problem, therefore, they shouldn’t be ignored.

Phenylalanine which is an amino acid is also one of the primary ingredients of fat burner supplements. This amino acid is not produced in your body naturally, however, it is involved in the production of some brain chemicals. Unfortunately, if you have a genetic disorder known as phenylketonuria, phenylalanine can lead to seizures.


Another major side effect of fat burner supplements is psychosis, or distorted sense of reality. Several fat burner supplements have properties similar to that of the banned drug, methamphetamine. Symptoms such as mood swings, distress, severe anxiety and paranoia are very common in those who take such supplements in high doses. The risk of the side effects increases greatly when caffeine or other supplements are added to the equation. These stimulants come into picture either from exterior sources, such as beverages and caffeinated drinks or ingredients within the supplements. The FDA also suggests that supplements which claim to burn fat may cause harmful interactions with your prescription medicines. Fat burner supplements may prove to be especially dangerous if you have been diagnosed with or at risk for an emotional disorder such as anxiety and depression.

Green tea extract is also one of the major ingredients of some of the most popular fat burner supplements available in the market. Although green tea extract plays an important role in promoting fat metabolism, it has been found in several studies that it is responsible for promoting increased anxiety. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that if you are suffering from anxiety, it’s better to stay away from green tea products.



Your ability to sleep soundly can also be affected by the fat burner supplements. You might wake frequently during the night, or may even have difficulty falling asleep. This negative impact on your sleeping pattern is because of the increased heart rate and metabolism caused by ephedrine or caffeine present in the fat burner pills. Caffeine has been classified as a psychoactive medicine which directly influences your nervous system. This side effect becomes even more pronounced because of the other added stimulants such as ginseng. Apart from messing up with your sleeping pattern, caffeine can also cause dizziness. This happens mostly when caffeine is taken in a different form than usual. Your immune system also gets weakened because of the inability of your body to get sufficient rest. This can lead to extreme fatigue. You may also become more susceptible to ailments such as common cold or flu.

Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations are another common side effect of fat burner supplements which are characterized by irregular and accelerated heart rhythms. The Food and Drug Administration released a report in December 2008 describing the side effects associated with the dietary weight loss supplements. It was clearly stated in this reports that the potentially harmful ingredients found in fat burner supplements can lead to some serious side effects, such as heart palpitation. Most of the fat burner supplements claim to work by inspiring the process of thermogenesis. It causes the blood to move faster throughout the body, thus elevating heat and leading to fat loss. However, studies have suggested that this process is not a safe or effective means of weight management. The University of Maryland Medical Center also suggests that the stimulants such as caffeine present in fat burner supplements are capable of speeding up your heart rate. If such things occur, it’s better to stop the use of these pills. Possible change of heart rhythm and increased heart rate could lead to life threatening problems.


Green Tea

It is a well known fact that green tea extracts are one of the common ingredients of fat burner supplements. Not only does green tea increases your metabolism rate, but it also has diuretic properties. In fact, green tea has been used as a diuretic for centuries. Thus, intake of green tea based fat burner supplements can possibly lead to dehydration because of the increased urination. Dehydration is a dangerous condition, especially during workouts or hot weather. According to The Vanderbilt University, even caffeine and other stimulants present in these supplements contribute to dehydration. You can collapse while doing heavy workouts if you are dehydrated. Other than this, dehydration is also responsible for a large number of other uncomfortable symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and nausea.

Drug interactions

According to the health care providers at the University of Maryland Medical Center, fat burner supplements based on green tea extracts can diminish or enhance the effects of several prescription medications. For instance, in some chemotherapy medications, adenosine which acts as a blood thinner is administered into the body of the patients to stabilize heart rhythms. Green tea can interfere with the working of adenosine. Similarly, it can interfere with lithium used for treating bipolar disorder, MAOIs used to treat anxiety and depression, and with clozapine which is used as an antipsychotic. Make sure that you have discussed with your health care provider before taking these supplements.

Gastrointestinal side effects

Gastrointestinal side effects

Fat burner supplements are also known to contain ingredients that may have laxative effects. This can cause discomfort to your gastrointestinal system including stomach, intestines and bowels. Stomach upset and irritation can also occur as a side effect of the stimulant herbs. Along with the abdominal pain, you may also experience intestinal gas. Your body may create an imbalance inside your digestive system as a response to the new drugs and supplements. The fat burner supplements increase the metabolism rate which in turn stimulates the bowels to work faster, this leads to diarrhea. According to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, the supplements containing stimulants can even cause vomiting and nausea along with diarrhea. You must avoid using supplements containing stimulants if you are on medications to control any gastrointestinal problems or if you have a pre-existing condition that affects your gastrointestinal system.

Other side effects

There are several other side effects associated with the usage of fat burner supplements. For instance, it may cause irritation because of the high strength ingredients, such as Bioperine contained in them. This compound is known to induce thermogeneis because of which the metabolism rate increases. However, thermogeneis in turn trig
gers some unpleasant side effects like respiratory irritation and even respiratory arrest.

Paralysis has also been linked with fat burner supplements in several cases. Although risk of paralysis from these supplements is likely not serious, still this condition may result in with liver, kidney or heart diseases, low blood pressure or diabetes. Skin rash is another potential side effect associated with the fat burner supplements. Skin rash mostly occurs because of guggul, another popular ingredient found in a large number of supplements. Although guggul can improve cholesterol levels and may help strengthen the heart, its usage may result in a number of side effects, including skin rash. Also, if you are pregnant or suffering from hyperthyroidism, it’s better to stay away from guggul based products as it can stimulate thyroid.


fat burner supplements may result in death

In the worst case scenarios, fat burner supplements may result in death. According to the Food and Drug Association, there have been cases where people have experienced life threatening side effects including stroke, heart attack and sudden death because of the consumption of questionable supplements for weight loss. In fact, ephredine, which is a primary ingredient of fat burner supplements was suspected of at least being partly responsible for the death of a prominent athlete. Because of this, FDA has banned the use of fat burning pills containing ephedrine. People who have a history of heart disease and high blood pressure or people with heart conditions who have not yet been diagnosed stand at a heightened risk for such serious side effects.

In fact, the safest and the recommended method for weight management and improved wellness is healthy balanced diet coupled with regular physical activity. You can even seek the guidance of a qualified nutritionist in order to achieve your weight related goals.

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