Do weight loss gummies actually work?

Raagini Yedidi, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Raagini Yedidi, MD, 

Written by Amelia Willson 

Raagini Yedidi, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Raagini Yedidi, MD, 

Written by Amelia Willson 

last updated: May 17, 2024

8 min read

Key takeaways

  • While there isn’t a lot of research on weight loss gummies, specifically, there are some studies that suggest that some of their ingredients may support weight loss.

  • Gummy ingredients that may promote a small amount of weight loss include apple cider vinegar, caffeine, green tea, green coffee beans extract, and garcinia cambogia.

  • As over-the-counter dietary supplements, weight loss gummies are not regulated by the FDA, so it is up to consumers to gauge whether they are safe and effective.

Weight loss supplements come in all shapes and sizes, from powders and pills to gels and even gummies. Like other weight loss supplements, you can find over-the-counter weight loss gummies at your local drugstore. These gummies claim to help you lose weight faster, but do they actually work? Read on to find out.

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Do gummies for weight loss work? 

There is not a lot of research that specifically looks at gummies for weight loss and their efficacy. There is, however, some research on the ingredients that can be found in many weight loss gummies, such as apple cider vinegar, caffeine, green tea, green coffee bean extract, and garcinia cambogia (a tropical fruit). While more large-scale and long-term studies are needed, the results of animal and human research do suggest that some of these ingredients may lead to a small, but statistically significant, amount of weight loss—usually a few pounds. In addition, people consuming these ingredients may experience small reductions in their body mass index (BMI), body fat, and waistlines.

Which gummies help with weight loss? 

Weight loss gummies usually contain one or more of the following ingredients to help with slimming down. Below, we review the research behind each one and whether it can help towards reaching your weight loss goals. 

1. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for centuries to heal wounds and boost overall health. Various animal and human studies have shown that ACV offers health benefits, including weight loss, but ultimately, more large-scale and long-term studies are needed

When it comes to weight loss gummies, manufacturers often claim that ACV helps you lose weight by increasing satiety (fullness) and revving up your body’s ability to burn fat and calories. In one study, people with obesity took 15 mL of ACV daily for 12 weeks, resulting in an average weight loss of 3.5 pounds. Four weeks after they stopped consuming ACV, their body weight, BMI, and waist circumferences all returned to their baselines from the beginning of the study. 

Apple cider vinegar is generally considered safe when eaten in food or taken medicinally on a short-term basis. About 2 tbsp with each meal is considered a safe amount. ACV may interact with insulin or other medicines that lower blood sugar or potassium levels. You should talk to your healthcare provider before taking weight loss gummies that contain ACV given the potential for medication interactions.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine may also be included in weight loss gummies and other supplements. Supplemental sources of caffeine can include herbs such as guarana, yerba mate, and kola nut. Specifically, caffeine may help with weight loss by burning fat and by stimulating noradrenaline and dopamine (two neurotransmitters involved in mood, memory, appetite, and more), which can lead to both weight and fat loss

One meta-analysis of 13 studies found that caffeine can reduce body weight, body fat, and BMI. Moreover, caffeine seemed to have a dose-dependent effect on weight loss, with higher doses leading to greater reductions in weight and fat. However, a majority of the included studies combined caffeine with other weight loss-promoting ingredients, so it’s tough to parse out how much of the effects can be attributed to caffeine intake alone. 

Caffeine is generally considered safe, but you do want to be mindful of not exceeding the daily recommended limit. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that taking up to 400 mg of caffeine daily is safe for adults, but if you consume more than that, you can start to experience side effects such as jitteriness, anxiety, headache, and dizziness. That 400 mg total includes caffeine from all sources: coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, and weight loss gummies, if you choose to take them.

3. Green tea extract (GTE)

Speaking of caffeine, green tea or green tea extract (GTE) is another common ingredient in gummies for weight loss. 

Green tea is one of the most popular beverages around the world, enjoyed for its flavor as well as its health benefits as an antioxidant. (Quick refresher: Antioxidants prevent cell damage and inflammation by removing free radicals, aka unstable molecules that, in excess, can cause oxidative stress and wreak havoc on the body.) Another potential perk of green tea? Weight loss. Several studies have found that taking GTE or drinking green tea for a period of weeks can lead to weight as well as fat loss and reduced BMI.

Because green tea can come in both caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties, you may be wondering how much of that weight loss can be attributed to green tea specifically vs. the caffeine it contains. Well, you're in luck, as one group of researchers set out to answer that exact question. They found that over a period of 12 weeks, people who took green tea or GTE with caffeine experienced a larger decrease in their body weight, BMI, and waist circumference compared with those who took decaf green tea or GTE.

Green tea is generally considered safe, even in doses as high as 5 cups per day. Side effects of too much green tea are usually digestive in nature (think: abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, and indigestion or upset stomach). However, one form of GTE, known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), can impair liver function when consumed in high amounts, so the recommended daily limit for EGCG is about 300 mg per day. 

4. Green coffee bean extract (GCBE)

Green coffee bean extract (GCBE) is another popular ingredient in weight loss gummies. GCBE is extracted before roasting, when the coffee beans are still green. As a result, it contains a potent amount of chlorogenic acid (CGA), which endows the ingredient with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. 

A meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials found that GCBE supplements can help reduce body weight, BMI, and waist circumference over a short-term period of up to 12 weeks. It may have beneficial effects for blood sugar control and blood pressure as well. 

GCBE is considered safe and well-tolerated in doses up to 1,000 mg per day for up to 12 weeks, with mild side effects that may include headache, dizziness, nausea, and stomach upset. Similar to green tea, green coffee extract may or may not include caffeine, so be sure to check the caffeine content of any weight loss gummies that list GCBE as an ingredient.

5. Garcinia cambogia

Also called hydroxycitric acid (after the rind of the fruit that the extract comes from), garcinia cambogia is believed to help with weight loss by affecting appetite and preventing fat storage. 

Early studies have found that garcinia extract can lead to a small, but statistically significant, amount of weight loss. However, in one study, the people taking garcinia cambogia were twice as likely to experience digestive side effects than those taking a placebo. More recent studies have found similar results: In a 2020 meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials, people taking garcinia cambogia supplements lost an average of 3 pounds and experienced reductions in their BMI, body fat, and waist circumference. But there have also been studies that reported non-significant weight loss when taking garcinia cambogia.

Some weight loss gummies that combine garcinia cambogia extract with other ingredients have led to dangerous side effects in some people, including liver damage, heart arrhythmia, and even death. Check the list of ingredients and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Are weight loss gummies safe? 

As a dietary supplement, weight loss gummies are not regulated by the FDA. Meaning, the makers of dietary supplements (a large category that includes vitamins, herbs, probiotics, and weight loss gummies) are not required to submit their products to the FDA for approval before they go to market. So, if there’s an issue with a product—or if it doesn’t actually do what it claims to do—the FDA may only find out after it’s already being sold, and that’s if consumers or their healthcare providers choose to report it. In other words, it’s up to you (with help from a healthcare provider, of course) to assess whether a weight loss gummy seems safe to take. 

Generally, the ingredients listed above are considered safe when consumed in amounts at or below the daily recommended limits. However, these safety guidelines apply when the ingredient is consumed on its own and may not hold true when combined with other ingredients. Also, certain ingredients—such as green tea extract or garcinia cambogia—may pose an increased risk of liver damage and other serious side effects for certain people, including those with type 2 diabetes and taking certain medications. If you have any questions, talk to your healthcare provider before adding a weight loss gummy to your daily routine.  

What are keto gummies for weight loss? 

Keto gummies for weight loss are marketed to people who are following a ketogenic or keto diet, which emphasizes eating low-carb, high-fat foods in hopes of achieving ketosis (a type of metabolism that burns fat). With a keto diet, you severely limit the amount of carbs you eat, so your body uses ketones (molecules your body creates when it breaks down fat) instead of carbs for fuel. The idea is that by inducing ketosis, you encourage more fat burning, which leads to more weight loss. 

So, back to keto weight loss gummies: These supplements contain medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which help give your body energy and exogenous ketones (meaning that they come from outside of your body). You may see ingredients such as D-beta-hydroxybutyrate (D-BHB) and ketone salts on the packages of keto weight loss gummies, which are the exogenous ketones. Research does suggest that exogenous ketones can increase your levels of circulating ketones and help induce a similar metabolic state to ketosis. However, your body usually produces ketones naturally when glucose is in short supply, because ketones are a byproduct of your body breaking down fats for energy. Consuming exogenous ketones isn’t the same as the ketones produced in your body, because the exogenous ones did not require the breakdown of your body’s fat in order to be produced. There is some thought that consuming them may help your body stay in a state of ketosis, but this hasn’t been commonly accepted in the medical community. More studies on the long-term effects of keto gummies is required. 

Alternatives to gummies for weight loss 

While weight loss gummies can be safe, they may not drive all that much weight loss. If you are looking for a more effective way to slim down—or for other techniques in addition to weight loss gummies—read on for three proven strategies for weight loss. 

1. Eat healthier

The formula for successful weight loss goes something like this: If you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. Typically, this can be achieved through a combination of diet (calorie restriction) and increased physical activity (calorie burning). Experts have found that eating 500–600 fewer calories per week can lead to a weight loss of about 1 pound per week. 

Focusing simply on fewer calories is only one part of dieting, however. The other part is eating healthier. You can do this by minimizing (if not eliminating) your intake of less healthy foods from your diet (e.g. fatty, fried, sugary foods) and boosting your consumption of healthier options (e.g. fruits, vegetables, lean fats). Or you might want to adhere to a specific weight loss diet, such as intermittent fasting or the Mediterranean diet

Dieting can be tough, especially in the beginning as your body gets used to the change. To help with the hunger pangs, try eating more fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which can help you feel more full.

2. Move more

Studies show that people who combine exercise with a diet experience more weight loss than those who focus only on exercising. In general, for weight loss, experts recommend a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise, with the goal of working out all of your major muscle groups at least twice per week. Adding in resistance training is important because it helps reduce the loss of muscle mass that can occur when losing weight. Furthermore, adding muscle mass can boost your basic metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories even at rest.

How much should you exercise? You can opt for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week. 

Not only can working out help you lose weight overall, but it can help you lose more belly fat, which can lead to other benefits for your cardiometabolic health. 

3. Consider medication

For some people, taking weight loss medication can help them achieve clinically significant weight loss (around 5% to 10% is the baseline most health experts recommend). Currently, the FDA has approved six prescription medications for weight loss:

Wegovy Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Saxenda Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Zepbound Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Wegovy, Saxenda, and Zepbound are all injectable medications, which can lead to an average weight loss of 8% to 21%, depending on the drug. Qsymia, Contrave, and Xenical are oral tablets that work as appetite suppressants. Some of these medications, including Wegovy and Zepbound, are available through the Ro Body Program, which offers a comprehensive personalized treatment plan that includes:

  • A prescription for weight loss medication, if appropriate

  • Insurance concierge services to help you get coverage for your medication

  • Metabolic testing

  • Tools and resources to track your progress

  • 1:1 on-demand coaching and support from a licensed healthcare provider

The bottom line: Weight loss gummies can be a helpful tool for some people in their weight loss journey, along with diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. If you’re trying to decide if they’re the right choice for you, talk to your healthcare provider.


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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May 17, 2024

Written by

Amelia Willson

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Raagini Yedidi, MD

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