Skip to content

Surprising Side Effects of Taking Flat Belly Supplements, Says Science

It's not just a flatter belly you may get from these popular supplements, experts say.

When people try to lose weight, it's not just trimming off a few pounds they're usually after—achieving a flat belly is often part of the finished product they're aiming for. While exercising and eating a healthy, portion-controlled meal plan are essential for achieving both weight loss and a leaner midsection, many people also turn to flat belly supplements in the hope they'll help them shed weight and slim their waistline faster. However, it's not just a whittled waistline you may experience when you take flat belly supplements. Before you pop a pill to trim down your midsection, read on to discover the side effects of taking flat belly supplements, according to science. And for some supplements that are definitely worth taking, check out The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.

You may experience reduced anxiety.

man relaxing after work breathing fresh air sitting at home office desk with laptop

Green tea, an ingredient found in numerous flat belly supplements, may promote greater mental wellbeing as well as weight loss, according to recent research. According to a 2020 study published in Plant Foods in Human Nutrition, L-theanine (L-THE), an amino acid found in green tea, has been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress, while a 2014 review published in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal found that individuals who took green tea over a 12-week period lost more weight than a control group.

For the latest health and weight loss news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

You may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Woman having heart attack at home

If you're taking krill oil to flatten your belly, you may find yourself enjoying some unexpected benefits for your cardiovascular health, as well. According to a 2014 study published in the journal Nutrition Research, 12-week supplementation with krill oil among a group of 300 people who typically ate little fish resulted in lower levels of serum triglycerides—a type of fat in the bloodstream that can influence a person's risk of cardiovascular events—but didn't increase their levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

Your gut health may improve.

happy woman hands on belly

Psyllium husk-based flat belly supplements may do more than just regulate your digestion—there's evidence that they may support your gut health, as well. A small 2019 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that psyllium husk supplementation had particularly pronounced benefits on the gut microbiome of constipated participants.

Your blood pressure may improve.

female physician checking male patients blood pressure at clinic

Whether you've been diagnosed with hypertension or just want to get your blood pressure into a healthier range, flat belly supplements containing hibiscus may be able to help. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research found that, among a group of 46 study subjects with hypertension, those given hibiscus sabdariffa supplementation reduced both their average systolic and diastolic blood pressure by "significantly higher" percentages than those in the control group. For more simple ways to get your blood pressure into healthier territory, check out the 20 Healthiest Foods That Lower Blood Pressure.

You may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

woman's abdomen and belly button, she is touching her slim stomach with two hands

Ginger has long been touted as potentially beneficial for individuals trying to shed a few pounds, and it may even have benefits that extend beyond your weight. According to a small 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, among a study population of just 33 participants, those who took daily ginger supplements over a 28-day period reduced their levels of Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a marker of inflammation associated with colorectal cancer, by an average of 28%.

Similarly, a 2016 study published in Oncotarget found that dandelion root, another common ingredient in flat belly supplements, was found to prompt cell death in colorectal cancer cells, as well. And for some more additions to your diet that may have a protective effect, This One Food May Lower Your Colorectal Cancer Risk, New Study Says.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
Filed Under