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Fat Mass

Fat Mass is a term for adipose tissue, the scientific name for any body fat you carry on you as a form of energy storage. Although not unhealth per se, many people termed obese carry too much body fat and a reduction of fat mass is seen as healthy and desirable.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Feb 6, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect fat mass
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-a Minor Very High See all 6 studies
There appears to be a fat reducing effect associated with green tea, but it is minor and unreliable
grade-a - Very High See all 11 studies
There doesn't appear to be a significant nor reliable reduction in fat mass even in diabetics given chromium supplementation according to the literature.
grade-a - Moderate See all 20 studies
Evidence is too unreliable to conclude an inhernet effect of CLA on fat mass. There may be a context-dependent reduction in body fat and explanation for the observed variability, but at this moment in time too much evidence concludes no effect
grade-b Notable Very High See all 4 studies
It is thought that most weight lost with ephedrine administration is due to fat mass, due to a slight muscle preserving effect; studies that note reductions in fat mass support this hypothesis
grade-b Minor Low See all 7 studies
There may be a decrease in fat mass associated with HMB supplementation when combined with resistance training, but this reduction is not a large magnitude and usually does not occur; quite unreliable
grade-b Minor High See all 3 studies
There appears to be a fat reducing effect of L-Carnitine supplementation, but this may be limited to elderly persons; limited studies in otherwise healthy youth and adults fail to note an effect
grade-b Minor Low See all 3 studies
Mixed effects on overweight/obese persons, but it appears that normalizing a deficiency may aid fat loss in persons of higher body weight. Insufficient evidence to suggest the role of Vitamin D in lean persons
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 6 studies
Inclusion of dietary protein in the diet above the recommended daily intake appears to aid the process of fat loss during hypocaloric diets (eating less than required to sustain body weight). There is currently no demonstrated benefit with whey protein over other protein sources.
grade-b - Very High See all 3 studies
Supplementation of colostrum has failed to increase fat mass in subjects relative to baseline, similar to the same doses of whey protein which usually also fail to influence fat mass.
grade-b - Very High See all 9 studies
Creatine reliably increases lean mass (water at first, then muscle with more prolonged supplementation) but does not appear to significantly alter fat mass.
grade-b - Very High See all 8 studies
No significant influence on fat mass appears to exist with DHEA supplementation in youth or in elderly persons
grade-b - High See all 5 studies
The majority of the evidence currently does not support a role for supplemental Pyruvate in weight loss. The limited evidence to suggest fat loss are in obese women under severe caloric restriction, of which pyruvate was twice linked to increase the already drastic weight loss
grade-b - Very High See all 3 studies
Fat mass does not appear to be significantly influenced with either short term (2 week) or long term supplementation.
grade-c Notable - See study
The reduction in fat mass under the influence of clenbuterol is greater than that observed with other fat burners such as ephedrine or yohimbine
grade-c Notable - See study
Fat mass is reduced with yohimbine ingestion and appears to affect both obese and lean individuals
grade-c Minor - See study
The amount of fat lost appears to be more with 7-keto than with placebo when either of them are paired with a low calories weight loss regiment.
grade-c Minor - See study
A slight reduction in fat mass has been noted with long-term usage in persons with impaired glucose tolerance. No evidence supports the usage of arginine as a fat burner in otherwise healthy persons
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
Some studies suggest a fat loss effect, possibly secondary to an increase in workout volume.
grade-c Minor - See study
Somewhat effective in reducing fat mass in obese and overweight persons.
grade-c Minor - See study
A lone study measuring fat mass in athletes given fenugreek noted a reduction in fat mass, which was not to a remarkable degree
grade-c Minor - See study
Fat mass appears to be reduced more in groups consuming grapefruit relative to placebo
grade-c Minor - See study
Lone study to measure fat mass noted a decrease associated with green coffee extract consumption, but this is similarly confounded with industrial influence.
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in fat mass has been detected, but may be due to industry influence; independent trials are needed. Mechanism appears to be from suppressing food intake
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant effects on fat mass
grade-c - - See study
Fat mass does not appear to be altered with D-aspartic acid supplementation alongside exercise.
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant influence on fat mass with routine supplemental fish oil
grade-c - - See study
The addition of glutamine supplementation to an exercise regiment has failed to outperform placebo in reducing fat mass.
grade-c - - See study
No significant reductions in fat mass are noted, secondary to a lack of influence on appetite
grade-c - - See study
No significant interaction between leucic acid and body fat has yet to be detected
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on fat mass
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on fat mass by itself
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on fat mass in obese persons
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant influences on fat mass are noted with tribulus terrestris
grade-c - - See study
No significant reductions in fat mass were noted when ursolic acid (150mg thrice daily over 16 weeks) was used, when compared to placebo.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Pharmacological doses of niacin in obese dyslipidemics does not appear to confer fat loss properties.
grade-c - - See study
Does not appear to significantly influence fat mass
grade-d Minor Moderate See 2 studies
There was a trend to reduce fat mass over 30 days when supplemented to otherwise healthy people, but this failed to reach statistical significance. In untrained persons doing strength training, it may improve fat loss, however.
grade-d Minor - See study
May decrease fat mass to a greater degree than an isocaloric amount of long chain fatty acids.
grade-d - Very High See 2 studies
Fat mass does not appear to be influenced with supplementation of cocoa flavanols
grade-d - - See study
No significant known influences on fat mass
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See study
No significant reduction in total fat mass, although in obese diabetic women a slight reduction in abdominal fat mass may exist.
grade-d - - See study
No known significant interactions with zinc supplementation on fat mass.