Weight loss supplements are an attractive option for anyone who is hoping to drop some pounds and get into better shape. They offer an effortless way to get rid of that extra weight and some even claim that you don’t need to increase exercise or follow a restrictive diet.
Lipozene is one weight loss supplement that makes such claims;
“Lose Weight. Without Changing Your Lifestyle!” and “Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals With America’s #1 Diet Supplement.”
- Clinically proven to help you lose weight!
- Still eat your favorite foods.
- No change in exercise required.
But are these claims true, or is Lipozene just another hyped up waste of your money?
Let’s find out.
What Claims Does Lipozene Make?
On their TV ad the following claims are made
- Researchers have discovered a capsule that helps to remove body fat.
- Clinically proven to reduce your body fat and weight.
- In a major university double blind study not only did participants lose weight but 78% of the weight lost was pure body fat.
- People were not asked to make any changes to their diet.
- All you have to do is take Lipozene twice a day.
- Lipozene is intended only for those who need to lose serious amounts of body weight.
- If you’re ready to get rid of pounds of body fat and weight, call the number on your screen.
- Lipozene is worth the price because Lipozene is clinically proven to work.
If you’ve seen the ad, you’ll also have noticed that they invite you to call and place your order, and that if you call within the next 10 minutes they will double the amount of Lipozene that you’ll receive and give you free shipping.
Well then, all of those benefits, plus a sweet deal. What’s not to get excited about?
Before we move on to talking about the ‘magic’ ingredients in Lipozene, and before we track down the clinical trial mentioned in the ad, I’m going to break down the commercial and show you what was going on because it’s a fair bet that you’re reading this review after seeing one of their ads.
The commercial began as all good sales pitches do by identifying the problem and sympathizing with their target market – all of the overweight and obese Americans sitting on their couches. “Have you failed on all of the diets that you’ve tried before, etc, etc?” Then they state an extreme option for fat loss that is frightening to most people and also unaffordable for the majority of viewers – Liposuction.
So what did they do there? They put your attention on your weight problems and put the idea in your mind that because you hadn’t yet been successful with diet plans, scary weight loss surgery might be your only option.
What comes next? A lovely graphic showing a trim body accumulating gross body fat, especially body fat around the belly. And after listing the blindingly obvious reasons why people get fat, they state that “Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes this body fat.” Then you’re told that there are dangers to Liposuction and that it is expensive.
What are they doing? Simply planting the suggestion in your mind that their product will give you Liposuction like results (especially for belly fat), without surgery and without a hit to your wallet. Everything so far in the commercial has been there to prime you for what comes next.
Now we move onto the product, with the announcement that “researchers have now discovered a capsule that helps remove this body fat”. The blue capsule appears on screen and its contents disappear into the ugly wodge of belly fat.
A capsule? Scientists discovered a capsule? Not a molecule or a compound, but a fully formed blue capsule. LOL. I bet they were surprised. That’s an eye roll moment for sure, but I guess they wanted to keep things simple, and to burn the idea of the special blue capsule into your brain.
What’s next? A box of Lipozene comes onto the screen while the narrator begins to tell you that the product is clinically proven.
The box is a nice touch, they’ve made it look like a prescription medication instead of a package with pictures of fit happy people, or tape measures on it.
The narrator now tells you that “in a major university double blind study, not only did the participants lose weight, but seventy eight percent of the weight lost was pure body fat. What’s even more amazing is that people were not asked to change their daily lives. It’s so easy, just take Lipozene twice a day, that’s it.”
So, she didn’t tell us which university, and she didn’t tell us how much weight was lost, but we did get a nice big number – 78%. Down in the teeny print at the bottom of the screen it did however briefly disclose that over 8 weeks participants in the unnamed weight loss trial lost an average of 3.86 pounds. We also learned that no changes to diet or exercise were required to achieve this amount of weight loss. And after being primed with the scary specter of liposuction, we’re now breathing a sigh of relief because all we have to do is take the blue pills twice a day. Phew!
Next we’re invited to order the product and promised that sweet order bonus if we call in the next ten minutes.
Do you know why companies do that? First, they know that their best chance of getting you to buy their product is while your brain is still affected by the commercial, by the music, by the soothing, concerned tone of the narrator, while your buttons have been firmly pushed, and before you’ve had a chance to think about it.
And secondly, they don’t want you to go away and research their claims, by say oh, googling for a Lipozene review like this one. They aren’t really giving you something for free either, they just increased the price of their base product so that they could make their generous sounding, time sensitive offer.
Next up comes “please remember Lipozene is intended only for those people who seriously need to get rid of body fat and weight.”
Well that makes it sound like a very powerful substance. But how powerful can be it be for the very overweight if it takes 2 months to help you drop 3.86 pounds? I’ll grant that this is supposedly achieved without any lifestyle modifications, but it’s still not much weight loss over two whole months.
“If you’re ready to get rid of pounds of body fat and weight, then call the number on your screen right now”, and we get a big golden seal on the screen showing that over 10 million bottles of pills have been sold.
Asking someone who has sat through a diet pill commercial – without switching channels – if they’re ready to get rid of pounds of fat, is like asking a starving child if they want a roast chicken dinner. Of course the answer will be yes, and they’re banking on you saying yes to yourself at this point. Once you’re internally agreeing with the person trying to sell you something, you’ll likely buy their product. And just for a little nudge, they roll out some social proof, with that 10 million sold seal. The “call right now part” isn’t just a turn of phrase, it’s an instruction and marketers know that instructions work.
The ad must have worked too because on their website that golden seal now has the number 25 million written on it.
“Lipozene is worth the price because Lipozene is clinically proven to work,”
What they’re doing here is deflecting a couple of concerns that you might have. Lipozene isn’t exactly expensive in the grand scheme of things, but in case you’re wavering, they tell you that the price is worth it and they follow that with “because it’s clinically proven to work.” That last little bit does two things. It reinforces the earlier vague message about its clinical trial, and it slips in a “because.”
Because is a powerful little word, and its effects have been studied. Back in the 1970’s Ellen Langer, a Professor of Psychology at Harvard, published a research study about the power of the word “because”.
People were asked to try to cut into a line of people waiting at the copying machine, with the following excuses:
- “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?”
- “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine because I have to make copies?”
- “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”
Look at that middle one, that is a lame reason isn’t it? Everyone in the line has copies to make.
What were the results? 60% compliance for the first one, jumping to a whopping 94% compliance on the third one and almost total compliance -of 98% for the lame “I have to make copies” excuse.
What a difference that tiny little word makes. So watch out for it, it’s got voodoo powers or something!
Okay, so I’m done breaking down the cheesy commercial. The reason that I covered it is that I wanted to show you how they were playing with you and the millions of other viewers. When companies do this, it’s a red flag that they’re spinning you a line.
What is Lipozene?
The active ingredient in Lipozene is plain old konjac root powder. That’s what you’re getting for your money. A run of the mill soluble fiber supplement. This fiber also goes by the name of glucomannan. And quelle surprise, glucomannan supplements retail for a fraction of the price of Lipozene.
Lipozene charges you $29.95 for 2 bottles of capsules. Each bottle contains 30 capsules and you need 2 capsules to make up one serving of 1500mg of fiber.
On their website they recommend that you take 6 capsules (3 servings a day). So for the money you get a 10 day supply of cheap fiber.
Remember the alleged study that they alluded to in the commercial? That took place over 8 weeks. So for an eight week supply (56 days totalling 168 servings), you would need to purchase 6 lots of Lipozene for $179.
A generic glucomannan supplement like the one from the Now brand, contains 60 1,725mg servings for $9.73 (on Amazon and if you’re a prime member, you can get that same product for $4.21). That means that you would get 180 servings for $29.19 or for $12.63.
Given that the only active ingredient in Lipozene is glucomannan, why in the world would anyone pay 179 bucks for a product that they get elsewhere for less than $30?
Does their tricky little commercial make more sense now? Companies that peddle overpriced generic ingredients by playing on your problems and emotions deserve your contempt, not your hard earned dollars.
In case you were wondering, the other non active ingredients in Lipozene are gelatin, magnesium silicate and stearic acid. These are common bulking agents and ingredients that prevent the product from clumping. They have no weight loss benefit at all.
I think that we’ve established that Lipozene is just an overpriced supplement. But does it and the glucomannan it contains work for weight loss? They did mention a clinical trial after all. Well let’s take a look.
Lipozene Clinical Trial
You know what? When I searched Pubmed for Lipozene, I got zero results. Pubmed is the National Library of Medicine database of medical research papers. I got zilch when I searched the Clinical trials.gov database too. So now we know that Lipozene itself has not got clinical backing. If a major university had conducted a clinical trial the results would have been published. But What about the active ingredient, glucomannan?
Does Glucomannan Help With Weight Loss?
Glucomannan fiber has an extraordinary capacity to absorb water. A single fiber capsule can turn an entire glass of water into a gel. It is a commonly used food additive for thickening food and it’s also the main ingredient in shirataki noodles.
When you take a glucomannan fiber supplement, with water before meals, it expands in your stomach and makes you feel full sooner, hence you eat less. It also slows down the rate at which food leaves your stomach, so the energy from your food will be released more slowly. In theory this should help with blood sugar spikes and insulin control.
Are there clinical trials and studies for glucomannan? Yes there are.
Glucomannan sounds good so far.
What did those trials discover?
Effect of glucomannan on plasma lipid and glucose concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure: systematic review and meta-analysis. (American Journal of clinical Nutrition 2008)
This review looked at 14 studies that had been carried out on glucomannan and concluded that;
“Glucomannan appears to beneficially affect total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, body weight, and FBG, but not HDL cholesterol or BP.”
Experiences with three different fiber supplements in weight reduction. (Medical Science Monitor 2005)
This study investigated 3 different types of fiber for their weight loss effects.
One hundred and seventy six men and women received either an active fiber substance or a placebo. The fiber supplements consisted of the glucomannan, glucomannan and guar gum or glucomannan, guar gum and alginate. As well as taking the fiber supplement the subjects followed a 1200 calorie diet over a 5 week period. Weight loss was around 0.8kg/week, and there were no significant weight loss differences between the different fibers.
The researchers concluded that glucomannan induced body weight reduction in healthy overweight subjects, whereas the addition of guar gum and alginate did not seem to cause additional loss of weight.
Participants taking the fiber supplement lost 3.7lbs more than those taking the placebo.
The effect of glucomannan on body weight in overweight or obese children and adults: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. (Nutrition 2015)
This review found that “In otherwise healthy overweight or obese adults, there is some evidence that in the short term GM may help to reduce BW, but not BMI.”
Safety and efficacy of glucomannan for weight loss in overweight and moderately obese adults. (Journal of Obesity 2013)
53 participants were assigned to take 1.33 grams of glucomannan or placebo capsules with 8 ounces of water one hour before breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 8 weeks. At 8 weeks, there was no significant difference between the glucomannan and placebo groups in amount of weight loss.
Researchers concluded that “Glucomannan supplements administered over 8 weeks were well tolerated but did not promote weight loss or significantly alter body composition, hunger/fullness, or lipid and glucose parameters.”
The efficacy of glucomannan supplementation in overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. (Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2014)
This review looked at 18 glucomannan trials and found that 9 of the studies met the quality standards required for inclusion in the review. They concluded that;
“The evidence from available RCTs [randomized controlled trials] does not show that glucomannan intake generates statistically significant weight loss. Future trials should be more rigorous and better reported.”
As you can see there are mixed results, and nothing spectacular leaps out. The most significant weight loss reported was while participants were following a restricted calorie diet.
Are There Any Side Effects From Taking Lipozene Or Glucomannan?
Yes. Research studies and consumers have reported side effects including;
- Stomach ache
- Gas and flatulence
- Allergies to the plant fiber
Is the small amount of weight loss that may (big question mark on that) be possible with glucomannan worth the risk of stomach pain and bowel issues?
That last side effect is interesting isn’t it? Fatigue. Why would a fiber supplement make you feel tired? Well, there a simple answer to that, you’re cutting down on the amount of calories that you’re eating. Cutting calories isn’t a bad thing when you’re replacing junk food with high quality energy from proteins, fats and vegetables.
But when you’re still chowing down on the foods that made you fat in the first place, those reduced calories can’t fuel your body, like ‘real’ food can. When you eat high carb foods, you get a blood sugar spike, then a crash which has you reaching for more food. You’ll probably still get a crash with glucomannan, but you’ll feel full, so you may not reach for for more food like you usually would. Result, you feel tired and lethargic and that calorie deficit may not be enough to even make you lose weight.
Have people Lost Weight With Lipozene/Glucomannan?
Yes some have. Have they kept it off once they stop taking the supplement? It seems that in the majority of cases the answer is no.
Tricking your stomach into feeling full doesn’t make you change your eating habits. There’s no shrinking the stomach which usually happens when you eat less food. and there’s no improved sensitivity to satiety signals.
If that fiber isn’t in your belly, you’ll stuff in as much food in as you used to and any weight lost will come rushing back.
Many people have reported zero weight loss from taking this fiber supplement, many haven’t even had a reduced appetite and some report weight gain. Plus if you’re an emotional eater, then you know that feeling full doesn’t stop you from eating.
44% of the reviews on Amazon are 1 star, another 11% are two star. That’s a lot of bad reviews.
Roger – “Lipozene = “fills” the stomach to simulate “full”, not a metabolism changer. Save yourself the money and eat a sponge”
Angelo P – “This product does not work . Those people in the tv adds must have been paid really good to lie.”
Uncle fester – “My wife & myself both took this & the Motablup for the same period of time (4 weeks) & followed the guidelines religiously. We both have jobs that involve a lot of walking & exercise daily BUT we both gained weight NOT lost it.. I gained nearly 10lb & my wife just under 6lb (she’s not a happy bunny). So this is why I’m giving a 1 star rating & I know that it will have different results for different people but 2 people in the same household…”
Albert – “I bought to help start losing weight but when I followed directions I actually gained weight so when I finished taking it I went back on my regular diet and I lost the weight I gained Lipozine did not work for me”
Joe – “Don’t waste your money. I know I purchased it, but I had to try it due to the hype. Besides, if used per the directions, each bottle only holds enough for 5 days worth. So both bottles do not last even two weeks. (What an expense!) Doesn’t even work along the lines of the placebo effect. I can see why it’s considered safe – because it doesn’t do anything.”
Nessa – “So I am over weight and wanted to try this product out. I took the product for one week.
Day One: Nothing.
Day Two: Felt mildly fuller when taking product.
Day Three and Four: Same as the day before but super gassy.
Day Five and Six: Same as previous but constipated.
Day Seven: I was so cramps, constipated, and gassy that I decided to take a laxative.
Day Eight: Didn’t take lipozene and still constipated, cramps, and gassy.
Day Nine: Finally felt normal.”
The Company Behind Lipozene Have Previously been In Hot Water With FTC
The manufacturers of Lipozene are company going by the name of the Obesity Research Institute. Sounds impressive, but it’s just a name. When you start a company, you can call it whatever you like.
Back in 2005 the Obesity Research Institute were peddling two other glucomannan supplements called Fiber Thin and Propolene.
The advertising claims made for these supplements generated legal action by the FTC. The lawsuit was settled for $1.5 million and the Obesity Research Institute were banned from making misleading claims for any product in the future.
You can check the full FTC ruling here.
They were banned from saying things like
“Causes rapid or substantial weight loss without the need to reduce caloric
intake or increase physical activity.”
“Enables users to lose as much as 8 pounds or more per month without the need to reduce caloric intake or increase exercise.”
Head over to the Lipozene website and you’ll see smiling pictures of happy slimmed down customers. Angela supposedly lost 20lb in 10 weeks with Lipozene, Ana lost 90lbs in 12 months, and good old Ron lost 15lbs in 12 weeks. That’s what they claim anyway.
I think they’ve calculated the odds and decided that a potential 1.5 million dollar FTC slap on the wrist again is worth it if they can shift 25 million bottles of their cheap fiber supplement and rack up sales of over 350 million dollars.
Let’s Sum Up
- Lipozene is a glucomannan fiber supplement.
- Lipozene is grossly overpriced.
- Lipozene doesn’t have clinical research backing.
Glucomannan fiber hasn’t demonstrated any significant weight loss benefits and it can cause unpleasant side effects.
The company behind Lipozene have been prosecuted over their misleading claims for other glucomannan supplements in the past.
They produce a commercial that pulls you along with some baseless claims and pushes your “I hate being so fat”, and your “ooh easy little magic pill” buttons.
Selling false hope to people is a really nasty thing to do.
Lipozene isn’t worth your money. It isn’t worth the possible gastrointestinal distress, and it isn’t worth weeks of your time.
You know, their blue pill puts me in mind of a quote from a famous movie.
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” ―Morpheus, to Neo.
Please don’t take the blue pill.