If you watch morning television, your favorite programming will likely be interrupted by a bevy of infomercials, each claiming to have the product that will solve your particular problem. One of the most frequently promoted products via infomercials are diet pills.
The latest “miracle” diet pill to be hawked on infomercials is a dietary supplement known as Lipozene. Lipozene promises to help you lose weight without the hunger that goes along with most diet plans.
Can Lipozene really help you lose weight and, most importantly, is it safe?
What exactly is in Lipozene and why does it help you lose weight. Lipozene is made up of a natural polysaccharide known as glucomannan derived from the roots of the Konjac plant. This polysaccharide is poorly absorbed by the body, acting essentially as fiber when it arrives in the digestive tract.
As you already know, fiber can help to promote a feeling of satiety when consumed with a meal, giving a “full” sensation so you’re likely to stop eating sooner.
There have been studies documenting the effectiveness of glucomannan on weight loss. One such study was published in the International Journal of Obesity in 1984. It showed that two 500 milligram capsules containing glucomannan taken three times a day with meals resulted in an average weight loss of 5.5 pounds over a two month period.
The subjects who took the glucomannan capsules also experienced a lowering of cholesterol levels. No adverse reactions were seen in the group taking the capsules.
While there is evidence that glucomannan, the active ingredient in Lipozene, can promote weight loss, the FDA hasn’t approved this supplement for this purpose.
Furthermore, you can buy glucomannan less expensively in the form of Konjac flour which is marketed as a sauce, soup, and gravy thickener.
It can be added to foods and even used in baking as an additional fiber source. Simply google the term “Konjac flour”.
Although glucomannan, the active ingredient in Lipozene appears to be safe, it can cause gas and bloating, particularly if too much is used too quickly.
This can also happen when you suddenly increase the fiber content of your diet. It takes time for the bacteria in your intestines to adjust to the new fiber load.
Although Lipozene appears to be safe, the company selling the supplement has been accused of making exaggerated weight loss claims.
Although the use of glucomannan, or any fiber supplement for that matter, may help to promote weight loss in some people the results will likely be subtle unless accompanied by an otherwise healthy diet and exercise plan.
The Bottom Line
Glucomannan, the active ingredient in Lipozene probably does have some effect on weight loss but may not have the dramatic effect the infomercials would have you believe.
Instead of buying Lipozene, it may be more cost expedient to buy Konjac flour and add it to your baked goods, cereals, and soups as an additional fiber source.
You can also get the same effect using a high fiber cereal such as All Bran. Whatever you do, be sure to combine it with a healthy diet and regular exercise, which is the basis for any effective weight loss plan.
I’m a family practice physician with a strong interest in preventive medicine. I trained at the Medical College of Virginia where I earned a medical degree (M.D.) and a master’s degree after graduating with a double bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology.
My philosophy? Strive to be fit and fabulous at any age! I show people how to do that through my writing.
Read more about me here.