The claims are quite bold to be sure: “Lipozene can help you lose weight without ever changing your diet or exercising, and customers can’t stop raving about how great it works in their Lipozene reviews.”
As you know, I’m not a huge fan of “miracle” supplements, even a fiber supplement, that make grandiose claims and have little to no evidence to back up their praises.
Lipozene, a popular weight loss supplement, is a purported “weight loss supplement” that’s been on the market for well over a decade, like other weight loss pills. The major selling point seems to be the fact that the only active ingredient in Lipozene is glucomannan, a plant-extracted fiber that comes from the konjac plant, aka elephant yam. Glucomannan absorbs water and has some potential health benefits.
But does Lipozene work? Let’s look at the facts, the customer Lipozene reviews, what science has to say, and whether or not you should consider Lipozene in your supplement regimen.
What Is Lipozene?
This brand-name weight loss supplement, also known as Amorphophallus Konjac, is actually made with a fiber, glucomannan, derived from the konjac root found in parts of east Asia.
People in China, Japan and other parts of southeast Asia have used konjac root products, such as the konjac sponge, for centuries as part of traditional Chinese medicine to detoxify the body, suppress tumors, achieve blood stasis (a tenet of many diseases, according to ancient practices, that involves the proper movement of blood through the body), eliminate phlegm, treat asthma and cough, correct skin disorders and burns, treat hernia, and reduce breast pain. (1)
Since being introduced in the 1990s to western countries, glucomannan products are used for resolving constipation, regulating cholesterol, treating insulin resistance, managing type II diabetes, weight loss, diverticular disease, treating hypoglycemia and naturally solving type I diabetes. (2)
By developing Lipozene using only this one active ingredient, Obesity Research Institute LLC claims that customers can naturally lose weight (proven by clinical studies!) without changing lifestyle habits or eating different foods. This fat burner has, according to the Lipozene website, sold over 25 million bottles. Lipozene hosts many late-night infomercials to share the “incredible” results.
The company name is a bit misleading, however, as this “research institute” is not known to conduct any actual research and functions only as a sales organization for two products: Lipozene and MetaboUP Plus.
The recommended dosage of Lipozene is two capsules, 30 minutes before meals, up to three times per day. This equals 4.5 grams of glucomannan, which is slightly higher than the tolerable daily dosage of the root. (4)
How does Lipozene work? Well, glucomannan is an insoluble fermentable dietary fiber, in contrast to a soluble fermentable fiber or soluble fiber, that travels through the stomach without breaking down. More than most other high-fiber products, glucomannan has an astounding ability to thicken substances. When Lipozene tablets hit the stomach, they expand stomach contents and suppress appetite, resulting in a “full” feeling after a very small meal.
As the product travels through your digestive system, it activates the bowels to move more rapidly, another method by which Lipozene can result in a loss of pounds.
Because of its health-related claims, Obesity Research Institute has been the brunt of various federal warnings and class action lawsuits.
In 2005, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined the company for false advertising to the tune of $1.5 million for claims made about FiberThin and Propolene, both of which are other glucomannan-based weight loss supplements previously sold by the Obesity Research Institute. The main violations involved are known as “Red Flag” claims, which refer to unsubstantiated assertions that a product results in major weight loss without dietary or lifestyle changes. (5)
A group of customers successfully sued the makers of Lipozene in 2011 for false advertising with no real results, resulting in a $5 million payout. (6) Another lawsuit was filed in 2016 claiming Lipozene is still violating the 2005 court order by the FTC by continuing to falsely market its products to have unproven results. (7)
Two manufacturers received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014, one due to improper labeling that would classify Lipozene as a “drug” (since glucomannan is not an FDA-approved medicinal ingredient) and the other about insufficient testing methods. (8)
What the Customer Lipozene Reviews Say
Depending where you look, customers are all over the board when it comes to Lipozene. On its own website, Lipozene boasts the hundreds of four- and five-star Lipozene reviews, alongside which are a few low ratings. Customers claim everything from three-digit weight loss numbers to the ability to eliminate medications for diabetes, as well as complaints on occasion about little to no results or poor customer service. (10)
It’s a bit of a different story on Amazon, where the Lipozene review rating is only 2.5/5. The majority (49 percent) of Lipozene reviews are one-star, with 19 percent of reviews giving it five stars and a smattering of the in-between ratings.
Some of the negative Lipozene reviews call it a “waste of money” and “very disappointing,” warning customers not to order it based on bad customer service experiences and a lack of effectiveness. More than 200 positive reviews rave about losing 10 pounds in just a week, immediate results, a total loss of over 100 pounds and a lot of general praise. (11)
Consumer Health Digest shows an 81 percent positive rating for Lipozene reviews. (13)
Other retailer websites have a mixture of positive and negative feedback about Lipozene, which is not uncommon for most weight loss supplements, due to how each person’s body reacts differently to substances.
What the Science Lipozene Reviews Say
OK, so the customers aren’t exactly in agreement, but there seems to be at least a good number of Lipozene review sources with positive results. But does Lipozene work, according to science?
To be honest, these results are mixed here as well. Another complication of parsing through all the studies out there is that they are specific to glucomannan, which you can purchase in supplement form for up to half the cost of brand-name Lipozene (and not all of which contain the same inactive additives).
Overall, a review of available data on glucomannan and weight loss conducted in 2015 found that there is some evidence that supplementary glucomannan might reduce body weight in “otherwise healthy overweight or obese adults,” although these results did not extend to reducing BMI. (14)
A study in Norway tested glucomannan for weight loss and found it resulted in an approximate loss of 0.8 kilograms/week (about 1.76 pounds) versus placebo. (15) In 2008, Spanish researchers also discovered a weight loss correlation, as well as a reduction in LDL cholesterol and improved satiety (the feeling of being full). (16)
However, other results conflict with these results. Rush University conducted a study including 53 participants that found glucomannan to be well-tolerated but not to result in any significant weight loss versus placebo. (17) A review of nine studies in 2014 came to the same conclusion. (18)
Does Lipozene Work?
That’s really the million-dollar question, isn’t it? (Or, based on Lipozene’s payouts to date, the $6.5 million question.)
Ultimately, there is no sufficient evidence to suggest Lipozene works any better or worse than dietary and lifestyle adjustments alone would to stimulate weight loss.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times about Lipozene claims, Vladimir Vuksan, a nutritional sciences professor at the University of Toronto, explains that through two decades of researching glucomannan and other nutritional fibers, he has found the small doses in Lipozene have shown no evidence of “significant weight loss.” (19)
According to Vuksan, it would take between 20 and 30 grams of glucomannan each day to lose substantial amounts of weight — an amount that would cause your gut to “explode,” in his words.
Is fiber an integral part of losing weight for many people? Yes.
Does one fiber have the ability to drain fat off your body? No.
The bottom line here is that Lipozene alone likely does not have the immediate results of weight loss that the makers insist. When asking, “Does Lipozene work?” remember that there truly is not one single thing that will truly aid in safe, lasting weight loss. Rather, losing weight by eating whole, life-giving foods and exercising wisely, combined, is the only really effective way to do it.
Is Lipozene Safe?
Compared to many of the dangerous weight loss supplements on the market, Lipozene is relatively safe. However, there are some minor issues to consider.
Because glucomannan expands in liquid (the dosage instructions include taking Lipozene with at least eight ounces of water, 30 minutes before meals), one danger it poses is a choking hazard. Dry-swallowing Lipozene can result (and has) in choking over expanding fiber.
Overdosing on Lipozene could potentially cause intestinal blockages, although no public reports exist where this has occurred.
Anecdotal reports include complaints of migraines, nausea, extreme dizziness, heartburn and stomach discomfort when taking glucomannan supplements (not necessarily Lipozene). (20) At least one person has reported internal bleeding.
Because of the way glucomannan expands and inhibits appetite, one real concern I have for people taking these supplements is a lack of nutrition. Appetite suppression can serve some people who regularly overeat unhealthy foods, but taking Lipozene along with a healthy diet could actually result in less absorption of valuable vitamins and other nutrients, as well as under-eating.
Don’t forget, eating the right, nutrient-dense foods is much more important than eating less calories, especially if the “less calories” you’re eating still include empty foods like french fries and processed sugars.
One last reason I believe Lipozene may not be safe, particularly over a long period of time, is that one inactive ingredient Lipozene contains is FD&C Blue No. 1. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database of cosmetics ingredients rates FC&C Blue No. 1 as moderately worthy of concern because of the risks of biotoxicity, accumulation in the body and an incomplete body of evidence about carcinogenicity. (21)
Potential Health Benefits of Lipozene
When it comes to Lipozene, there are some benefits to note, as well as possible side effects. It’s very important to remember here that the benefits listed all refer to Lipozene’s only active ingredient, glucomannan. There are no listed studies that investigate Lipozene tablets specifically, and other methods of consuming glucomannan will afford the same results (potentially without the added side effects).
1. Constipation Relief
It’s possible that glucomannan, like that found in Lipozene, might relieve constipation. A variety of studies show it has the ability to encourage bowel movements and release stubborn waste. (22, 23, 24)
This seems true for both adults and children, though I do not recommend providing Lipozene pills to children in any case — or adults for that matter. (25)
2. Lowered Heart Disease Risk
Limited evidence has found that glucomannan products have the ability to positively alter some heart disease risk factors. One study found that glucomannan supplementation lowered LDL cholesterol and high triglycerides. (26)
This might be because of the way glucomannan can potentially increase the activity of an antioxidant in the body known as glutathione peroxidase. This antioxidant protects from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and may improve heart disease, cancer and other disease risk. (28)
3. Improved Diabetes Symptoms
A well-documented feature of glucomannan is its ability to improve diabetes symptoms and risk factors. In addition to lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, glucomannan has been found to lower fasting blood sugar levels, according to research. (29)
In general, it’s acceptable to assume glucomannan might have mild to moderate benefits for those suffering from diabetes, including high-risk patients. (30)
4. Weight Loss
Some of the above studies have also found minor weight loss benefits by using glucomannan products like Lipozene. This is most likely due to two factors.
For one, Lipozene does increase satiety, the feeling you get when you’re full of food, without actually eating as much as it would normally take. (31) Like I mentioned above, this is not always a great way to lose weight because it doesn’t involve eating better food, just a smaller amount.
The other weight loss factor is that some evidence finds glucomannan causes some fat and protein not to digest entirely but pass through the system unprocessed. This means that if you eat, say, 1,000 calories in a meal, you may not absorb all the protein and fat, only getting 700 of those calories (in this arbitrary example). (32)
Again, there are better and more lasting ways to lose weight that involve eating the kind of protein, fat and other nutrients you want to absorb.
Side Effects of Lipozene
Yes, you read that right. While glucomannan products tend to have a constipation relief effect, other individuals find the opposite. In Skinny Betty’s Lipozene review above, she also recounts her own personal story of severe constipation resulting in anal fissures after a month of Lipozene supplements.
If that sounds awful, it’s because it is. While this severe of a reaction is not experienced by the majority of people taking Lipozene, it may be a risk.
Generally another common issue with too much fiber, diarrhea can occur when your body produces the water necessary to remove the excess fiber, resulting in painful diarrhea.
Among the online customer Lipozene reviews, diarrhea was one of the most common complaints, with some people insisting they were unable to attend work or other normal activities because it was so constant.
Dry-swallowing Lipozene or other glucomannan supplements can often result in choking as the liquid in the throat causes the major expansion of this fiber.
Dosage instructions always include drinking the tablets/capsules with an eight-ounce glass of water, which not only helps the fiber absorb in your stomach and curb appetite, but also ensures enough hydration for the pills to reach the stomach without expanding.
4. Abdominal Discomfort
Another recorded side effect of Lipozene is abdominal discomfort, including everything from excess flatulence to potential intestinal blockage from expanding fiber.
A few anecdotal reports show complaints of vertigo within short time periods of beginning a Lipozene regimen. While there is no evidence to determine why this might happen, it’s possible a lack of nutrition could lead to that lightheaded feeling.
6. Unhealthy Weight Loss
Above all, my biggest concern with Lipozene is the way it encourages you to curb eating altogether. Several individual customers said in their Lipozene reviews that they were excited because they had been able to go “X” number of days without food.
Starving the body is not a good way to lose weight. Yes, you may shed pounds, but it’s not the way to go about it. Weight loss by starving yourself is not sustainable, nor helpful in reducing your risk for illness and disease.
Should You Take Lipozene?
I see no reason to recommend Lipozene. It might be a way to lose weight fast, but diet pills are generally just not the way to do it if you actually want to keep weight off.
While I do believe occasionally consuming glucomannan as a powder or flour (mixed into smoothies is one great method) can be beneficial for a few reasons, I recommend staying away from capsule and tablet versions of glucomannan, including Lipozene.
If you’re interested in the ingredient but are wary of supplements, you can try shirataki noodles, made with glucomannan.
Better Alternatives to Lipozene
Want to burn fat the healthy way? There are some incredible nutrients and supplementary items you can add into your diet and lifestyle, proven to make a difference.
- Fat-Burning Foods — Let’s be honest, losing weight has a great deal to do with the food you eat, far more than some “magic” pill. Try consuming apple cider vinegar, bone broth, chia seeds, chicken, coconut oil and other great fat-burning foods.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid — The name sounds a bit intimidating, but conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a polyunsaturated fat that the body can’t produce on its own and must receive in the diet. Great sources of CLA include full-fat dairy, beef and butter.
- Grapefruit Essential Oil — Using grapefruit essential oil can boost metabolism, reduce appetite cravings safely and gently increase energy levels.
- Herbal Teas — Teas, like matcha green tea, roobios tea and yerba mate, contain antioxidants helpful for weight loss as well as anti-aging.
- Probiotics — Quality probiotic supplements and foods promote proper bacteria in the gut and are associated with better weight loss and lowered risk of obesity. (33)
- Chromium — At the proper doses, chromium supplements can increase lean muscle, reduce food intake and promote fat loss.
Healthier Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
Long-term weight loss is more of a marathon than a sprint — we’ve all heard phrases similar to this one, but are we taking them to heart?
Although it can be difficult to take that first step, the best way to begin is the look at the habits you have that are behind your weight gain.
Do you eat fast food? Are you loading up on refined carbohydrates and sugar on a regular basis? Do you drink diet soda, thinking the lack of calories will help you lose weight? Have you introduced whole, life-giving foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and grass-fed meats into your diet? Do you cook most of your food at home? Do you exercise?
Herein lies a major reason it’s so hard to get rid of stubborn fat — a lot of changes at once becomes overwhelming.
Instead of staring at an endless list of things you have to change, start with one. Kick the soda (or diet soda), and replace it with filtered water and some kombucha for the fizz you might miss. Give yourself small goals to reach, like only going out to eat once a week if you normally go out three times. Thoughtfully purchase groceries and cook at home, considering the things that you know to do but tend not to follow through.
By slowly changing your lifestyle, rather than crashing through diet after diet, you’ll be able to lose weight and keep it off. I’ve seen it happen many times. As you begin making these small changes, you begin to recognize how much better you feel and then want to continue changing the habits that still weigh you down.
If you choose to use Lipozene, you should be aware of a few precautions.
Lipozene may interact with Starlix and other medications for diabetes because they may low already lower blood sugar. If you are taking medications for diabetes or regularly have low blood sugar, consult your physician regarding the interactions of these medications and supplements. (34)
In fact, the way that glucomannan can inhibit the stomach from fully breaking down nutrients and other substances means any oral medication may not be able to totally break down and absorb into your system. Again, you should always consult your doctor before beginning any new supplements, such as Lipozene, to confirm how it could interact with your medications and personal body chemistry.
No studies have been conducted on the safety of Lipozene for pregnant or nursing mothers. If you are pregnant, nursing or intend to become pregnant, it’s best to avoid Lipozene altogether.
Lipozene is a weight loss supplement sold by Obesity Research Institute LLC. Its only active ingredient is glucomannan, a fiber of the konjac root, commonly used in ancient Chinese medicine. While there are pure glucomannan supplements on the market, Lipozene markets and sells its products for 50 percent to 200 percent more of the price of these other products.
Customer Lipozene reviews are all over the place, with some people insisting it’s a miracle, while other Lipozene reviews see no weight loss whatsoever. Still others experience side effects that they lay out in their Lipozene reviews.
The science supports a potentially moderate amount of weight loss when using glucomannan supplements, as well as a few benefits for diabetes and heart disease risk factors. However, no individual studies have been done on Lipozene itself.
While Lipozene side effects aren’t as dire as many weight loss supplements on the market, they still cause reason for some concern. These side effects can include constipation, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and intestinal blockage, choking, and improper nutrient absorption.
Does Lipozene work? Possibly, in proper doses, for some people, Lipozene might encourage marginally more weight loss than previously experienced. However, there are healthier ways to lose weight and keep it off. If you want to try glucomannan, there are alternative ways to consume it through your diet, including powder, flour and shirataki noodles.