Lipozene And Weight Loss: An Evidence Based Investigation

If only we could escape exercise and dieting and still remain slim. Experts say that there is no such ‘miracle’ weight loss pill but we can’t underestimate the capacity of science.

So there still lies a hope for this wonder drug and this hope is very well exploited by the weight loss industry.

Lipozene is one such diet pill which became popular overnight. The TV commercial for this drug had bold claims:

  • Weight loss breakthrough
  • 78% of every pound lost was pure body fat
  • Clinically proven to reduce body fat and weight
  • Lipozene is intended for those who seriously need to lose body fat and weight
  • Lipozene has effectively helped millions of people meet their weight loss goals
  • With over 20 million bottles sold, Lipozene is America’s #1 selling diet supplement.
  • There are no known side effects when taken as directed.

By the sound of these statements, it is obvious enough to doubt the efficacy of this supplement. Lets see how lipozene was designed with the intention of causing weight loss.

What does Lipozene contain and how does it work for weight loss?

The main ingredient of Lipozene is glucomannan fibre. The package lists a fancy name Amorphophallus Konjac. It is nothing but the botanical name of the plant, konjac which is the primary source of glucomannan fibre.

Glucomannan is a water soluble dietary fibre that is said to aid in weight loss by promoting satiety. It can absorb up to 50 times its weight of water. It absorbs water and swells in the stomach to give a feeling of fullness. It promotes excretion of fats and delays gastric emptying time.

So gradually it inhibits appetite and reduces calorie intake. The calorie deficit causes weight and fat loss.

Is there any scientific evidence supporting Lipozene’s role in weight loss?

There are no scientific studies involving Lipozene supplements that confirm its efficacy in reducing weight. The advertisement apparently lists a study to confirm its efficacy but its origin can’t be traced.

However there are studies that prove that glucomannan supplementation indeed cause weight loss.

1984 study: Effect of glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study

An 8 week clinical trial was conducted where 20 obese individuals were treated with purified glucomannan fibre. They were given two 500mg capsules with 8 ounces of water 1 hour prior to meals thrice a day.

There was no change in diet or exercise. At the end of the study average loss of 5.5 lbs was observed and cholesterol levels improved.

What does this mean?
8 week supplementation with 1g glucomannan fibre thrice a day can cause an average weight loss of 5.5 lbs.

1992 study: Chronic use of glucomannan in the dietary treatment of severe obesity

25 severely obese individuals were kept on a low calorie diet either with or without glucomannan supplementation. The daily dose was around 4 grams.

Glucomannan in conjunction with a low calorie diet caused significant fat loss, improvement in lipid and cholesterol levels and greater adherence to diet.

What does this mean?
Glucomannan supplementation increases weight loss outcomes of a low calorie diet.

lipozene featured image

2005 study: Glucomannan and obesity: a critical review

This review claims that 2-4g of glucomannan supplementation is well tolerated and causes significant weight loss. The main mechanism involved is appetite control and excretion of fats.

Additional it improves metabolic parameters such as blood lipids, cholesterol and glucose levels.
Researchers conclude that further investigation is required to assess whether glucomannan can combat the high prevalence of obesity in US.

What does this mean?
Dose of 2-4g of glucomannan can cause significant weight loss and this dose is well tolerated.

2008 study: Effect of glucomannan on plasma lipid and glucose concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure: systematic review and meta-analysis

In this study a rigorous literature review was conducted and 14 studies were included. It was found that glucomannan significantly reduces cholesterol, body weight and fasting blood glucose levels.

In other words it improves metabolic health.

What does this mean?
A review of 14 studies relating to glucomannan reports that glucomannan has a significant beneficial effect on body weight and metabolic health.

Some scientists have a different opinion on glucomannan’s role in weight loss. A few recent studies on glucomannan supplementation and its effect on weight loss have delivered contrasting results.

2013 study: Safety and efficacy of glucomannan for weight loss in overweight and moderately obese adults

In this study individuals were given either glucomannan pills (1.33g) or placebo prior to breakfast, lunch and dinner for 8 weeks.

At the end of 8 weeks, weight loss was observed in both groups and no significant difference in weight loss was observed in either group.

What does this mean?
This study presents that glucomannan supplementation does not cause any better weight loss than placebo treatment.

2014 study: The efficacy of glucomannan supplementation in overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

This is perhaps the most recent review. A meta analysis of 8 clinical trials showed that the weight loss caused by glucomannan and placebo was not significantly different.

Adverse events such as abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea and constipation were reported.

What does this mean?
A recent review of trials relating to glucomannan and body weight demonstrated that glucomannan supplementation does not affect body weight significantly.

Who created Lipozene?

Lipozene’s parent company is Obesity Research Institute. This is not their first product based on glucomannan. The fibre was the active ingredient in two now-defunct products, Propolene and FiberThin.

Federal Trade Commission has taken legal action against the marketers of these products by charging a fine of $1.5 million and barring them from making false claims about dietary supplements.

The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Obesity Research Institute, LLC, modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for Lipozene, a weight loss supplement.

These details are mentioned only to present facts to you and to enable you to take a sound judgement regarding use of Lipozene.

Dosage

The dose as prescribed by the manufacturers of Lipozene is 2 tablets (1500mg) 30 minutes before meal thrice a day. That is way more than the dose used in clinical trials which 1 g thrice a day.

Also the pills cost around $30 for 60 pills. Two tablets thrice a day would be around $90. Manufacturers of generic glucomannan pills (generic pills are exactly same pills but lack the brand name) sell it at approximately one-third of the price.

Precautions & Side Effects

Glucomannan pills can swell in the food pipe and cause an obstruction which is a life threatening situation. It is important to drink at least 8 ounces of water with it.

Glucomannan may interfere with absorption of some nutrients, so it is advisable to take a multivitamin supplement with it.

The primary use of glucomannan is to treat constipation. So taking it at such doses is likely to increase risk of diarrhoea. Users have reported mild to severe diarrhoea. Also this fibre gets fermented in the colon and causes gas, bloating and abdominal pain.

The amount of glucomannan required to cause significant weight loss is likely to cause severe side effects. So it is advisable to keep these adverse events in mind and it would be wise to consult a health practitioner before taking it.

Conclusion

Lipozene does not seem to stand up to its bold claims. However that does not mean glucomannan lacks the weight lowering property.

It is important to note that it acts only as an appetite suppressant so you are going to lose weight while you are taking it. On abstaining, you are likely to regain the weight since the pill has not caused a change in lifestyle. Also the side effects associated with it cannot be ignored.

If you are still interested in trying glucomannan  go for generic pills or food sources such as Japanese Shirataki noodles.

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