By Denise Dador
LOS ANGELES (KABC) --
Store shelves are packed with weight loss supplements that promise to help drop pounds, lose inches and burn fat fast.
There are tablets, gummies, chewables and capsules - all containing ingredients such as green coffee beans, green tea, raspberry ketones and garnicia cambogia.
But a new Consumer Reports survey of about 3,000 Americans shows one in four has used weight loss supplements. The survey also found more than 90 percent couldn't lose the weight they wanted and keep it off. About half reported at least one side effect such as a faster heart rate, jitters and digestive problems.
Consumer Reports also said that those looking to lose weight shouldn't assume natural products are all safe. For example yohimbe, an African tree bark extract, is marketed as a weight-loss supplement, but it may cause elevated blood pressure and panic attacks.
"There's no supplement out there with enough evidence to show that it's going to help you lose weight, and some ethical manufacturers even add banned prescription drugs to supplements," said Patricia Calvo, deputy content editor of health and nutrition at Consumer Reports.
In fact, hundreds of weight-loss supplements have been recalled by the FDA for containing drugs rarely listed on labels. These drugs are linked to heart risks, severe hepatitis, liver failure and even death.
Calvo suggests staying away from supplements because they're unregulated, don't often work and could cause harm.
Instead, those wanting to drop a few pounds should stick to the tried and true methods: diet and exercise.
Consumer Reports said to lose weight successfully, people must practice portion control, eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and reduce their sugar intake. Another tip is to eat more meals at home because it provides a better way to control caloric intake.