CELEBRITIES have claimed that everything from green tea to acupuncture has helped them lose weight, but the secrets of the stars are all “bogus”, the “Quackbuster” has found.
While Sophie Dahl claims green tea helped her drop her dress size, Gwyneth Paltrow raved about the slimming benefits of acupuncture and Simon Cowell praised the value of natural diet pills.
But after spending several years looking into the alternative treatments Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, has said that he has not found a single one he would recommend.
He said that people by into alternative slimming aids despite the “overwhelming evidence” that they do not work.
“They are also misled to assume they are risks-free. This latter assumption is false too: apart from the harm done to the patient’s bank account, many alternative slimming aids are associated with side-effects which, in some cases, are serious and can even include death,” he said.
Those desperate to lose weight will try anything, but Professor Ernst has found that alternative diet remedies — such as green tea capsules, herbal supplements and acupuncture — are all "bogus".
Natural weight-loss remedies may have a more wholesome image than slimming pills, but some still have adverse side-effects, such as headaches, insomnia and stomach upsets.
The can also interfere with prescribed drugs, according to The Times.
Professor Ernst, nicknamed "the Quackbuster" for his attempts to expose alternative remedies which do not work, believes that the £1 billion-plus industry in alternative medicines is preying on the desperation of consumers who become “easy victims”.
Alternative slimming aids have proven popular with celebrities. Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams are also green tea believers and Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Elle Macpherson have all praised acupuncture.
The study, published this week in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, looked at evidence from three clinical trials into supplements containing African bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis), which is named as an active ingredient in a variety of herbal diet pills.
The team found that all the trials had major flaws, and the results could not be relied upon as there was either not enough data or weight reductions was too small to be clinically significant.
Professor Ernst has campaigned for alternative therapies, such as homeopathy, to be withdrawn from the NHS.
He has also criticised the Prince of Wales for putting his name to a detox treatment in his Duchy Originals brand.
Professor Ernst recommends that those wishing to lose weight eat less and do more exercise.