Does Meratrim work for weight loss? What to know
LAST UPDATED: Sep 06, 2023
4 MIN READ
HERE'S WHAT WE'LL COVER
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight through diet and exercise alone, you may be wondering if it’s time to try a supplement. There are a lot of weight loss supplements out there. One of them is Meratrim.
The question is: Does Meratrim work for weight loss? Let’s take a look at the science.
What is Meratrim?
Meratrim is a supplement marketed for weight loss that combines the extracts of two herbs: Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana. It was developed by InterHealth Nutraceuticals and can be purchased over-the-counter, either online or in local pharmacies and vitamin shops.
Both of the herbal extracts in Meratrim are used in traditional holistic medicine: Sphaeranthus indicus, also known as East Indian globe thistle, is used in Ayurvedic medicine, and Garcinia mangostana, or mangosteen, is used throughout Southeast Asia. Sphaeranthus indicus is purported to help with wound healing, anxiety, pain relief, and regulating blood sugar levels, according to animal studies. Mangosteen, on the other hand, is a popular anti-inflammatory that has been used to treat skin infections, wounds, and other conditions.
To develop Meratrim, InterHealth Nutraceuticals funded a small study examining the combination of Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana and found that people using the supplement experienced increased weight loss and better measures of various biomarkers and parameters that favor weight loss in comparison with placebo.
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Does Meratrim work for weight loss?
A small number of studies have found that taking Meratrim for two to four months can help people lose an additional 8 pounds, when compared to placebo. Additional benefits of the supplement may include improved cholesterol and blood sugar.
Studies of Meratrim in people with obesity
In one small study of people with obesity, both groups followed a 2,000-calorie daily diet and walked for 30 minutes, five days a week for 8 weeks. Both groups lost weight, but those who took 400 mg of Meratrim twice a day lost more weight than the control group taking a placebo, suggesting that the supplement may accelerate weight loss efforts.
For example, four weeks into the study, the Meratrim group had lost around 6.5 pounds, while the placebo group had lost around 2 pounds. At eight weeks, the Meratrim group had lost just over 11 pounds on average, or about 4.6% of their body weight, while the placebo group had only lost around 3 pounds. Waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, and triglycerides also decreased more significantly in the Meratrim group.
The differences between the two groups became clear as early as two weeks into the study. These results are promising, but it’s worth remembering that the study was funded by InterHealth Nutraceuticals, the makers of Meratrim.
Another study, also funded by InterHealth Nutraceuticals, produced similar findings. In this study, 100 people with obesity were organized into two groups: one group received two 400 mg doses of Meratrim daily and the other received a placebo. Like in the previous study, all participants followed a 2,000-calorie diet and walked five days a week for 30 minutes and again, the Meratrim group shed 8 more pounds than the placebo group, and experienced larger reductions in their BMI, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides. They also shaved nearly twice as many inches off their waists and hips as those taking a placebo. Finally, those taking Meratrim reported greater improvements in their self-esteem and physical abilities.
Both of these studies were double-blind and placebo-controlled, which is the gold standard for clinical studies. Even so, there is a potential for bias in these results, as research shows that corporate-sponsored studies — like these ones for Meratrim — tend to have more significant results.
Can Meratrim help people who are overweight?
The above studies looked at the effects of Meratrim in people with obesity. A later 2016 study involved people with overweight, but not obesity, and followed participants for 16 weeks. By the end of the study, those taking Meratrim lost more body weight and experienced greater reductions in their BMI, waist and hip circumferences, LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. The Meratrim group lost 11.2 pounds, or 6.7% of their body weight, while those taking the placebo lost 2.5 pounds.
How does Meratrim work?
Weight loss supplements can work in a few different ways. Some may reduce your appetite, others may affect your digestion. Meratrim works by burning fat cells and reducing fat accumulation.
In clinical studies, researchers have noted that the participants taking Meratrim experience an increase in their adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a hormone involved in lipid metabolism, the process by which your body absorbs and breaks down dietary fat. Higher levels of adiponectin tend to correspond to lower levels of visceral fat — the kind of belly fat that can increase both your cardiovascular and metabolic risk when you have too much of it.
In one study, the researchers suggested that the decrease in waist-to-hip ratio may indicate that Meratrim helped redistribute body fat, and in particular, was more effective at reducing visceral fat. However, they acknowledged that they did not study body composition in the study, so we won’t know if Meratrim has these effects until more research is conducted.
Side effects of Meratrim
Generally, Meratrim is considered safe and well-tolerated. In the studies we reviewed above, participants reported some minor side effects, but they were evenly split between both the placebo and Meratrim groups so it’s unclear if any of the side effects were directly due to Meratrim. One study reported that those taking Meratrim experienced indigestion, nausea, and gastritis, but ultimately concluded that those side effects were not specific to Meratrim.
A study of Meratrim in rats found that when applied directly, Meratrim is not irritating to the skin, and mildly irritating to the eye (since humans take Meratrim orally, this shouldn’t be a problem). Otherwise, however, no significant side effects were observed.
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The bottom line on Meratrim
It is possible that, when combined with diet and exercise, Meratrim can help you lose more weight than diet and exercise alone. However, diet and exercise are still important elements of the weight loss process, and were included in all of the Meratrim studies done to date.
It’s also worth noting that the three studies of Meratrim in humans were conducted on a short-term basis: just 8–16 weeks. More research on the effects of Meratrim is needed to understand if the supplement helps people lose weight and keep it off in the long term.
Successful weight loss and maintenance requires a long-term approach that incorporates lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, and where appropriate, medication. Experts recommend a comprehensive approach that includes diet and exercise, as well as other changes to eating habits and lifestyle that could impact your weight. Therapy, medication, and personal coaching can all be helpful.
If you’re considering a weight loss supplement like Meratrim, schedule an appointment with your health provider. They can help you determine whether Meratrim is a safe option for you.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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