Diet pills are an attractive option for people who find weight loss difficult.
For starters, they offer a seemingly easy way to get rid of excess weight.
Many also promise to help you burn fat without strict diets or exercise regimens.
Lipozene is a weight loss supplement that promises to do just that, with exceptional results.
But can it actually help you lose weight and is it safe to use? This article reviews the evidence.
Lipozene is a weight loss supplement that contains the water-soluble fiber called glucomannan.
In fact, glucomannan is the only active ingredient in Lipozene. It comes from the roots of the konjac plant, also called elephant yam.
The glucomannan fiber has an extraordinary ability to absorb water. A single capsule can turn an entire glass of water into a gel.
For this reason, it is often used as a food additive for thickening or emulsifying food. It is also the main ingredient in shirataki noodles.
Lipozene is a commercial glucomannan product that claims to offer all these benefits.
It also contains gelatin, magnesium silicate and stearic acid. None of these help with weight loss, but add bulk and keep the product from getting lumpy.
Bottom Line:Lipozene contains the soluble fiber glucomannan, which is claimed to keep you fuller for longer so that you eat less and lose weight.
In observational studies, people who eat more dietary fiber tend to weigh less.
The exact reason is unknown, but there are a number of ways that soluble fiber could help you lose weight (2).
Here are some potential mechanisms behind the weight-reducing effects of glucomannan, the active ingredient in Lipozene:
- Keeps you full: It absorbs water and expands in your stomach. This slows the rate at which food leaves your stomach, making you fuller for longer (3).
- Low in calories: The capsules are low-calorie, so they will help you feel full without adding extra calories to your diet.
- Reduces dietary calories: It may reduce the absorption of other nutrients, like protein and fat, meaning you get fewer calories from the food you eat (4).
- Promotes gut health: It may indirectly influence weight by promoting good bacteria in your gut. This could make you less prone to weight gain (5, 6, 7).
Many other types of soluble fiber can have these effects.
However, the super-absorbent properties of glucomannan cause it to form an extra-thick gel, perhaps making it even more effective for feeling full (8).
Bottom Line: Lipozene may help you feel full, reduce the number of calories you get from food and promote the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut.
In one study, 176 people were randomly assigned to a 1,200 calorie diet plus either a fiber supplement containing glucomannan or a placebo pill (10).
Those who took the fiber supplement lost around 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg) more over 5 weeks, compared to those who just followed the diet.
A recent review also concluded that in the short term, glucomannan may help reduce body weight in overweight or obese people (11).
However, some researchers believe that the weight loss benefits of fiber supplements usually disappear after about 6 months. The results are better when combined with a calorie-controlled diet (10, 12).
This means that for long-term results, you will still need to make changes to your diet.
Bottom Line: The glucomannan in Lipozene can help you lose small amounts of weight when combined with a calorie-controlled diet. One study found that people taking glucomannan lost 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg) more weight.
Soluble fiber is linked to various health benefits.
Therefore, taking Lipozene may have other benefits besides weight loss.
The potential health benefits include:
- Reduced constipation: Glucomannan can help treat constipation. The recommended dose is 1 gram, 3 times a day (13, 14, 15).
- Lower disease risk: It may lower blood pressure, blood fats and blood sugar. These are risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes (1, 16, 17).
- Improved gut health: Glucomannan has prebiotic properties. It feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut, which produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids that may lower the risk of several diseases (6, 18).
The manufacturers recommend that you take 2 capsules of Lipozene 30 minutes before a meal with at least 8 oz (230 ml) of water.
You can do this 3 times per day for a maximum of 6 capsules spread throughout the day.
This is equal to taking 1.5 grams, 3 times a day (or 4.5 grams a day), which just exceeds the amount known to be effective for weight loss — between 2 and 4 grams per day (9).
However, the timing is quite important, as glucomannan doesn't affect weight unless it's taken before a meal.
It's also important to take it in capsule form — rather than the powder from inside the capsules — and to wash it down with lots of water.
Glucomannan powder is very absorbent. If taken incorrectly, it could expand before it reaches your stomach and cause a blockage.
Additionally, you may want to start with a small amount and increase it gradually. Suddenly including lots of fiber in your diet can cause digestive distress.
Lipozene is usually well tolerated. However, people occasionally report nausea, stomach discomfort, diarrhea and constipation.
If you're taking any medications, especially diabetes medication such as sulfonylureas, you should consult your doctor before taking Lipozene. It may reduce the effectiveness of the drug by blocking its absorption.
Nevertheless, this can usually be avoided by taking your medication at least an hour before or 4 hours after taking the supplement.
Finally, the benefits of Lipozene and glucomannan are the same. This means you could buy an unbranded, cheaper glucomannan supplement if you wanted to.
Also, glucomannan is the main ingredient in shirataki noodles, which cost even less.
Bottom Line: The recommended dosage for Lipozene is 2 capsules, 30 minutes before a meal with a minimum of 8 oz (230 ml) of water. You can do this for up to 3 meals per day, or a maximum of 6 capsules daily.
There's definitely some evidence suggesting that the glucomannan in Lipozene could help you reach your weight loss goal.
However, it's important to note that it's not a "silver bullet" for weight loss and won't help you lose a significant amount of weight on its own.
To lose weight and keep it off, you'll still have to follow a healthy diet and exercise.