Can four popular supplements help you cut that hard-to-lose belly fat?

Many of us are fighting the battle of the bulge – stubborn belly fat that just won’t go away no matter what you do.
 
Celebrity doctors have touted four supplements that help your body get rid of that fat starting with calcium pyruvate,  essentially a calcium supplement. 
 
But it’s not about the calcium. It’s about the calcium helping the pyruvate enter cells and burn fat more efficiently. You could take about 1,000 milligrams before a meal.
 
Paula Buerger, a nutritionist with Bay Care’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, said studies disagree on its effectiveness.
 
“According to Web MD, there's insufficient evidence as far as weight loss and obesity,” she said.
 
Number two:  Chitosan, which is believed to act like a barrier in the intestine, blocking fat absorption without the side effects of some man-made drugs.
 
Lauri Wright, an assistant  professor of nutrition at USF College of Public Health, is skeptical.
 
“It’s a fat derivative and some people believe it will actually help you burn fat, but there is no evidence of that,” she said.
 
Number three: Gamma Linolenic Acid, which is supposed to reduce inflammation.  “It’s been proven for rheumatoid arthritis to improve inflammation, so the manufacturer says if you stop the inflammation, you stop the fat cell from growing," Buerger said.
 
And finally, number four, saffron oil. The oil is thought to increase metabolism. 
 
“What people need to know is that the supplement industry is not regulated,” Wright said. “They can say anything they want, and they do say anything they want without any evidence to back them.”
 
She said consumers need to be careful because the unstudied supplements could interfere with medications.
 
Wright suggests managing belly fat with these methods:
 
1. Exercise thirty minutes a day to boost your metabolism
2. Eat breakfast
3. Rev up metabolism with three small meals and three snacks a day.
 
Wright said when people go for long periods of time without eating, their metabolism slows.
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