Lipozene is a popular diet weight loss supplement which is sold around the world, and you may be wondering whether it will help you lose that extra weight.
Also, you may be wondering exactly what is in this supplement, whether it works, whether it is safe if it has side effects or additional benefits, and if it is worth investing your money and hopes for getting fitter with its help.
Read on to find out all you need to know about Lipozene, so you can decide whether this diet pill is the best solution for your weight loss woes and if you can lose weight by taking it and without making a change to your calorie intake, your diet, and your activity level.
So, what is Lipozene?
Lipozene is the brand name with glucomannan as a primary and only active ingredient. It is offered by Obesity Research Institute LLC and can be found online and in brick and mortar stores around the world.
The supplement is also known under the name Amorphophallus Konjac.
It is the ability of this dietary fiber to absorb large amounts of water that makes it so special. A single capsule of the fiber can transform a whole glass of water into gel.
This is the reason why it is used as an additive to some types of food, as it can naturally thicken or emulsify them. It is the main ingredient of shirataki noodles as well.
Due to this extraordinary ability, ever since it was introduced to the western world back in the 1990s, glucomannan has been considered to have multiple health benefits, including constipation relief, cholesterol reduction, treating insulin resistance, and for normalizing blood sugar levels and managing type II diabetes, type I diabetes, and for treating insulin resistance (2, 3).
It is also considered very beneficial for promoting natural weight loss, which is why Lipozene has become such a popular weight loss supplement.
The historical records show that konjac root has been used in China, Japan and other parts of Asia for centuries to achieve blood statis, detoxify the organism, to treat coughing and asthma, as well as for treating skin problems and burns, hernia, suppress tumors and to reduce breast pain (4).
Obesity Research Institute LLC developed Lipozene using glucomannan as the main ingredient with the claim that users can lose weight naturally without changing their diets or lifestyles by taking it.
According to the official website of the company, more than 25 million bottles of Lipozene have already been sold.
The name of the company is a tad misleading though, because although it calls itself a “Research Institute”, it hasn’t conducted any researches and only acts as a retailer for Lipozene and for MetaboUP Plus.
The other non-major and inactive ingredients used for making Lipozene are gelatin, stearic acid, microcrystalline cellulose, titanium dioxide, FD&C Blue No.1, and magnesium silicate which add to the bulk of the product and prevent it from becoming lumpy during storage (5).
How does Lipozene work and aide weight loss?
The company recommends a daily dosage of two capsules taken 30 minutes before each meal, three times a day with at least 8-oz of water. This makes a total of 4.5 grams of the main ingredient glucomannan and is slightly higher than the recommended daily dosage of the konjac root (6).
Timing is particularly important because the supplement can help promote weight loss only if it is taken prior to a meal.
Also, glucomannan should be taken only in capsule form, as the powder form can expand too much before reaching the stomach and may cause a blockage.
The supplement is well tolerated usually when introduced to the diet gradually.
If you take medications, you should talk to your doctor about taking Lipozene, and should always take your medication at least four hours after you have taken the Lipozene.
The supplement is said to help boost weight loss by using the ability of the glucomannan which is an insoluble and fermentable dietary fiber to travel through the digestive tract without being digested and broken down.
It has an impressive ability to thicken all substances, which allows the glucomannan to expand the stomach and make the person feel full, even after consuming a very small meal.
As the substance moves through the digestive tract it also activates the bowels to work harder and move faster, which too is claimed to enhance weight loss.
According to studies, soluble fiber can help promote weight loss (7).
These are the ways in which glucomannan can help people lose weight:
- It keeps the stomach full by expanding the stomach (8)
- It is low in calories
- It reduces the overall caloric intake by reducing the absorption of fats and proteins (9)
- It can promote gut health like some other probiotics for weight loss, which could minimize the weight gain (10,11,12)
But does Lipozene really work as a weight-loss supplement?
A study from 1984 showed that 1g of glucomannan taken before meals can help people who are obese to lose an average of 5.5 lbs. for a period of eight weeks (13).
This though is not the number which is used in the numerous advertisements of the dietary supplement. Instead, the advertisements claim that 78% of the pounds lost thanks to Lipozene are pure fat and that the people did not, in fact, make any changes in their diets and lifestyles when achieving these weight loss results.
An interesting fact is that in 2005, the FTC fined the company with 1.5 million dollars for false advertising for its FiberThin and Propolene products which are both based on glucomannan and used to be offered by the Obesity Research Institute. The FTC based the fine on violations such as claims that weight loss results were achieved with any major changes in the calorie intake or on lifestyle changes (14).
In 2011, a group of disgruntled customers sued the company successfully for achieving no actual results from taking the weight loss supplement and received a payout of $5 million (15).
Yet another lawsuit was filed in 2016 which claimed that the company is continuing to falsely advertise Lipozene despite the court order from 2005 by the FTC (16).
In 2014 the FDA sent warning letters to two companies for labeling Lipozene as a drug, even though glucomannan is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a medicinal ingredient, as well as for insufficient product testing methods (17, 18).
A five-week study found that the people assigned to a 1,200 calorie per day diet and a glucomannan supplement lost about 3.7 lbs. more than those in the placebo group (21).
Another study concluded that glucomannan can help obese or overweight people to lose weight in the short term (22).
A 2015 review of available data on weight loss and glucomannan supplements found that the insoluble fiber can help reduce the body weight in obese or overweight adults, but without reducing their BMI (23).
Two other studies from Norway and Spain concluded that the subjects taking glucomannan supplements lost an average of 1.76 lbs. per week as compared to the group taking a placebo, and that the subjects taking the supplement had reduced bad LDL cholesterol levels and felt more full and satiated (24, 25).
On the other hand, a study by Rush University found no significant weight loss in subjects given the supplement as compared to those given the placebo (26). Following this, another nine other studies reached the same conclusion (27).
Nutritional Sciences Professor Vladimir Vuksan from the University of Toronto also has claimed that after 20 years of research he has found no evidence of significant weight loss from taking low doses of glucomannan and other similar nutritional fibers (28).
Still, taking fiber supplements can help weight loss but not in the long term. For long-term results, researchers suggest that the supplement intake is combined with a calorie-controlled diet (29, 30).
Overall, it can be concluded that while fiber can promote weight loss, but it cannot help remove the fat from the body.
Fiber can help a person feel fuller and less hungry, but in many cases, people eat a lot not because of hunger, but due to stress, boredom, depression and other psychological reasons.
Also, long-term and healthy weight loss without decreasing the caloric intake and without increasing the activity levels is not really possible.
Plus, you can get fiber from various other foods and products like vegetables, fruits, full-grain bread, and others, instead of taking dietary supplements.
An important fact we should note is that there are no scientific studies performed for Lipozene as a product itself!
Dangers of taking Lipozene (glucomannan)
Since there is no hard scientific evidence that glucomannan can cause weight loss, the National Institute of Health has reported that the supplement has little or no effect on the body or the weight. Thus the biggest danger of taking glucomannan supplements is a loss of money, effort, and false hopes.
At the same time, the NIH has issued warnings that there are potential risks and side effects of taking glucomannan, including flatulence, loose stools, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and constipation (31).
Another potential risk of taking glucomannan solid tablets is a blockage of the throat or the intestines, which is deemed likely unsafe for children and possibly unsafe for adults by the Therapeutic Research Centers Natural Medicine, which has been also claimed by the NIH (32).
Another potential danger from taking too much glucomannan supplements is the danger of malnutrition if a person stops consuming the essential nutrients to maintain a healthy body and live a healthy life.
But overall in comparison to other weight loss supplements being offered, Lipozene is a relatively safe one.
So, does Lipozene have any other health benefits?
Like other soluble fibers, Lipozene can have other health benefits, including:
- Relieving constipation by encouraging quicker bowel movements (33, 34, 35)
- Helping improve gut health by producing beneficial short-chain fatty acids which can help improve the immune system and lower the risk of developing some diseases (36, 37)
- Reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (38)
- Helping improve metabolic syndrome symptoms (39)
- Reduce cancer and other disease risk by boositng the activity of antioxidants in the body (40)
- Improving the symptoms of diabetes by lowering fasting blood sugar levels (41, 42)
There is some scientific evidence which suggests that Lipozene (and other glucomannan supplements or products like shirataki noodles) can help a person lose weight.
But still, more studies and experts confirm that the supplement alone cannot help with long-term weight loss. It may be helpful when a person also starts a lower calorie diet and starts exercising more or increasing their activity levels.
Lipozene which is offered by Obesity Research Institute is just one of the dietary supplements with glucomannan as a main active ingredient. There are various pure glucomannan supplements available on the market as well as less expensive shirataki noodles.
While science supports that there could be moderate and short-term weight loss as a result of taking Lipozene or other glucomannan supplements and that there could be some potential health benefits from it, there have been no actual scientific studies on Lipozene as a product.
Even though the risk and side effects of taking Lipozene are not as dangerous as those of other weight loss supplements being offered on the market, there still are some risks such as choking, intestinal blockage, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, malnutrition, and constipation.
So, does Lipozene really work? Well, when taken in proper dosage and the right timing, it can help some people to lose more weight than before.
Still, there are healthier ways to lose weight and to keep it off, by making simple changes to your diet and increasing your activity levels.
Also, there are less expensive ways to take glucomannan, if this is what you want, by buying cheaper supplements with the same active ingredient or adding it to your diet through shirataki noodles.