In 1971, writer Clifford Irving sold "The Autobiography of Howard Hughes" to McGraw-Hill publishers. The problem was Irving never talked with Hughes.
Irving spent 17 months in prison for the deception — and then went on to make big bucks from his next book "Hoax," detailing his fraudulent activities. (Richard Gere played Irving in the movie.)
That's a good parallel for claims that certain herbal medicines promote weight loss. A new study shows those assertions are about as reliable as Irving's were.
A global review published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism looked at 54 randomized, controlled trials of herbal weight-loss products. The researchers found that in most trials, there was no solid evidence of benefit, and when herbal medicines did beat a placebo, the weight loss wasn't statistically significant.
Herbal medicines frequently used included green tea, garcinia cambogia, white kidney bean, and African mango.
If you want a boost in your weight-loss efforts, ditch expensive — and dubious — herbal supplements, follow these three approaches that work together to produce safe, effective results:
1. Eat a plant-based diet free of added sugars, highly processed foods, and red and processed meats.
2. Take in fewer calories and increase calories burned with physical activity.
3. Eat between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. During off hours, drink water, tea, and coffee.
That's it. Done deal.