Review: Evidence-based Clinical Research of Anti-obesity Supplements in Japan
Asuka Yasueda, Toshinori Ito and Kazuhisa Maeda
Affiliation: Department of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita city, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan.
Keywords: Anti-obesity, clinical trial, dietary supplements, evidence-based, Japanese market, weight management.
Background: The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically throughout the world, and weight reduction
through lifestyle management is urgently warranted. At present, numerous supplements advertised for their antioverweight
property are available in the Japanese market, but most of these lack proper evidence. Thus, we investigated
dietary supplements that have been tested in clinical trials.
Search Strategy: We researched anti-obesity supplements in the Japanese market using the google search engine in Japanese
with the key terms “anti-obesity supplements,” ”diet supplements,” and “weight reduction supplements.”
Results: We listed 49 companies that supply anti-obesity supplements. Of these, 11 had published clinical evidence of the
anti-obesity efficacy of their supplements. These products contain the following active ingredients: Angelica keiskei, bofutsusho-
san, capsaishin, DHA/EPA, forskohlii, garcinia cambogia, lactoferrin, L-carnitine, oligonol, tea catechin, and yeast
Conclusion: We obtained 11 supplements for which clinical evidence was published in medical journals in English. We
also found 10 products for which clinical or animal evidence was published in Japanese. We expect that many companies
will produce evidence of the efficacy of their products in the near future, thereby validating the use of dietary anti-obesity
supplements in Japan.
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