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So-called "diet pills" don't work at all, according to a new study by Devon scientists.
Peninsula Medical School has been looking into the herbal remedies dieters spend millions on each year, and says there is no evidence they help with weight loss.
Unlike mainstream drugs the food supplements do not need to prove they work. Professor Edzard Ernst who was involved in the study says most are just useless, but some are dangerous: "some of them are actually harmful. One of them that comes to mind is banned in many countries but is still available over the internet and people have died."
The UK team reviewed existing information on ingredients like guar gum, bitter orange, calcium, green tea and other things listed as fat absorbers and appetite suppressants.
He hopes the study will stop people wasting their money: "there are millions being made on these bogus treatments and I would hope it does have an impact on the market and people use more sensible things like more exercise."
The findings still have to be looked at by other scientists before they become official but in a seperate study German researchers also found no evidence that supplements aid weight loss.