Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to weight loss.
Every year more consumers are looking for supplements to aid in their weight loss goals. With more people from industrialized nations dealing with obesity due to modern conveniences and diet, the potential for a pill that melts off weight can seem enticing.
As we noted in our Drink2Shrink review and our review of dicyclomine 10 mg for weight loss, the majority of commercial weight loss supplements that we've reviewed have been severely lacking in clinical evidence.
Peptides are an increasingly popular category of weight loss supplement. In this article we'll analyze whether peptides are effective for weight loss, explain why we consider their use for this purpose to be unsafe, and examine whether collagen peptides can cause weight loss.
Can Peptides Cause Weight Loss?
Peptides are chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Generally proteins contain 50 or more amino acids, while peptides can contain as few as two.
A few specific peptides have been studied in clinical trials for their weight loss effects.
A medical review published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal found that peptides from milk have an appetite suppressant effect, and could theoretically cause weight loss due to this effect.
MOTS-C is a peptide that has been shown in medical research to decrease fat accumulation in an animal study. It’s theorized to work by downregulating certain metabolic pathways that become dysfunctional in obese animals and people.
Ipamorelin is another peptide which has been used for weight loss because it’s a precursor of human growth hormone (HGH). We know from medical studies that exogenous HGH supplementation increases body fat loss, so users of ipamorelin figure that by taking the peptide they’ll reap the same benefits.
It is actually proven in medical research that ipamorelin causes release of HGH, but we cannot locate any studies proving ipamorelin to directly cause weight loss.
Overall we find the medical research on peptides for weight loss to be unconvincing. While there are some theoretical benefits, we have not come across any clinical trials with human participants clearly proving any peptide to cause weight loss, and to be safe for use over long durations of time.
Why Peptides for Weight Loss are Unsafe
Most peptides are only cleared for medical research, and don’t have nearly the same safety and toxicology studies that pharmaceutical drugs and many dietary supplements have.
A compound can be both effective but unsafe due to the unknown nature of the long-term risks associated with its ingestion.
It’s surprising to us that so many health sites online are touting the magical benefits of peptides for all types of health outcomes including weight loss, without linking to one single safety study in most cases.
We find it to be illogical to use peptides for weight loss given the lack of safety data on their use in human trials. There are many weight loss supplements as well as lifestyle modifications that are proven effective in clinical studies and which we would consider to be much safer options than peptides.
Do Collagen Peptides Cause Weight Loss?
Collagen peptides are one of the most popular dietary supplements, and for good reason. They're proven in medical studies to have significant benefits to skin, and are one of the most promising dietary supplements for anti-aging in our opinion, especially given their lack of side effects.
Collagen is a type of protein, so it's more of a food product than a dietary supplement.
While we do recommend collagen generally for skincare and joint health, we don't recommend collagen peptide supplementation for weight loss. We cannot identify any medical research suggesting that collagen is effective for weight loss. The vast majority of clinical trials on collagen relate to skin, joints or pain relief.
Our Clean Weight Loss Picks
There are food-based nutrients which have been shown in medical studies to be effective for weight loss.
Dietary fiber was shown in a medical review published in The Journal of Nutrition to cause 16 pounds of weight loss in 6 months when combined with moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline).
Supergut Fiber Mix is our top fiber supplement, because it contains three different types of fiber powder, and retails for only $1.75 per serving at a subscription rate.
MCT oil was shown in a meta-study to cause more than one pound of weight loss over 10 weeks. This equates to potential annualized weight loss of 6 pounds per year with less than one tablespoon's worth of MCT oil per day.
Bulletproof MCT Oil is our top MCT oil product, because the only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts. and it currently costs only $15.50 for over a month's worth of product.
Ginger intake "significantly decreased body weight" according to a 2019 meta-study on ginger and weight loss that analyzed data from 14 clinical trials.
Pique La Ginger is our top ginger product, because it's an organic tea in convenient crystallized form, and all that's needed is to pour the powder into a glass and add hot water.
All three of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.