Metabolism is the body's way of converting food we eat into energy so we can perform daily tasks. When there is too much food to meet our energy needs, our body stores the excess as fat. A strong metabolism will burn more fat. A weaker metabolism will store more fat. Supplements can play a crucial role in your metabolic function.
According to the FDA, "Congress defined the term 'dietary supplement' in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a 'dietary ingredient' intended to supplement the diet. The 'dietary ingredients' in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars and metabolites. Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids or powders. They can also be in other forms, such as a bar, but if they are, information on their label must not represent the product as a conventional food or a sole item of a meal or diet. Whatever their form may be, DSHEA places dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of "foods," not drugs, and requires that every supplement be labeled a dietary supplement."
That being said, there are hundreds of supplements that may aid in increasing metabolism.
Vitamin Supplements That Increase Metabolism
The B Vitamins aid in converting food to energy, which will help increase metabolism. The B Vitamins, especially B12, also help increase your energy.
Vitamin C increases metabolism indirectly by increasing your immune system, which helps the body function properly. A University of Colorado study found that after giving Vitamin C to older adults, their resting metabolism increased by 100 calories per day. Additionally, both Vitamin C and E clean out toxic particles in the cells, keeping them healthy and allowing them to work properly, which can also increase metabolism.
Calcium will also speed up the metabolism if there is a deficiency. Magnesium and Vitamin D increase the absorption of calcium, so indirectly, magnesium and Vitamin D also effect metabolism.
Other Supplements That Can Increase Metabolism
L-Carnatine and NADH help convert fat into energy. Apple Cider Vinegar may increase fat metabolism.
Co-Enzyme Q10 helps provide energy to the muscles. The more muscle you have, the more energy you will burn. DMAE and CLA have been shown to increase muscle mass in the same way steroids do, but without the side effects of steroids.
Antioxidants help speed metabolism and burn fat.
Acai, Goji, Noni and Mangosteen juices have been getting a lot of attention as the latest weight loss miracle. There is very little scientific research to back up the claims, but they do seem to be full of antioxidants, which do help speed metabolism and burn fat.
Herbs That Increase Metabolism
Green tea is getting a significant amount of attention when it comes to metabolic function. Green tea mainly works as a metabolism stimulant because of the caffeine. Additionally, anti-oxidants found in green tea also aid in energy production and in keeping cells clean.
Chinese herbs such as schizandra, ginseng and mate can increase energy and combat fatigue, which could help increase metabolism.
Alfalfa, Burdock, Fennel and Parsley act as diuretics, ridding the body of excess water. Bladder Wrack Kelp, Guar Gum and Senna have a laxative effect, helping to cleanse the body. Chickweed, Garacinia Cantbogia and Kola Nut act as fat burners. Cayenne, Red Pepper, Citrus Aurantium and Cinnamon increase core body temperature, which is thought to increase metabolism. Dandelion Root, Nettles and Phyllium help cleanse the cells by removing toxins and free radicals. Nettles, Gymnema Sylvestre, Flax Seed, Guar Gun, Parsley, Phyllium, Garcinia Cantbogia and Kola Nut decrease appetite and cravings. Cardamom, Hawthorn and Citrus Aurantium aid in general digestion.
Warnings and Considerations
It is important to research any supplements you are considering taking. If you are currently taking prescribed medications, supplements may not be safe. Please consult your practitioner before making any changes.