ProFibe Review: Does it work?

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Expert rating: 3.4/5

Customer rating: stars-icon voted

Intro: What is it?

ProFibe is a powdered flavorless drink meant to reduce cholesterol and fat.  It’s actually a patented formula which mixes 2 fiber sources and citrus pectin with soy protein. It can be added to foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, or simply as a drink.

It’s even safe for children in smaller portions.  It was created by Dr. James D. Cerda through the University Of Florida.  This brand is recommend by a Dr. Daniel G. Knauf; though you’ll see in this review how limited his opinion is of this brand. So what benefits can you actually gain from this?  Is it worth purchasing? This full review has all the important details you need to know about ProFibe.

Secure Meal Replacement Ingredients

There’s just one flavor available, though customers report not tasting the vanilla:

Protein from non GMO Soy Guar Gum Citrus Pectin Arabic Gum Vanilla

Citrus Pectin: Marketed as the main ingredient in ProFibe.  Taken from the seeds, pulp, and skin of citrus fruits.  It’s a gelling ingredient that provides fiber. It’s used to reduce cholesterol and it’s mostly found in citrus peels, though other foods carry pectin. Unfortunately, due to the way this ingredient works, from batch to batch it can have reduced benefits.  The American Asthma Cancer Society site lists asthma as a potential side effect.  According to Live Strong.com, the effects on:

“fetal development or on breast-fed infants are as yet undetermined”

Therefore caution must be exercised with this ingredient.

Macronutrients and Calories

Total Calories 50 Calories From Fat 5 Total Fat 0.5g, 1% Sodium 65mg, 3%
Total Carbohydrates 7g, 2% Dietary Fiber 6g, 23% Protein 4g Calcium 4%
Iron 6%

Calories

There’s only 50 calories added, of which 5 come from fat. The total amount of fat this product provides is:

5/50= 0.1 times 100= 10% fat per serving.

This means you can expect a moderate amount of fat; the FDA lists any food with 20% fat or more as a high fat food.

Fiber

There’s a high amount of fiber at 6 grams per serving.  About 20 to 25 grams of fiber are recommended a day for the average person according to UCSF Medical Center.

Just as important as quantity is the quality of fiber. This brand has fiber from:

Guar Gum: Ground up guar beans that are often found in processed foods as a cheap thickener and emulsifier. It’s sometimes used as a laxative. According to a study by Web MD, guar gum:

does not seem to help people lose weight.”

Live Strong.com also mentions this additive:

“may get stuck in the esophagus or the small intestine”

The FDA requires anyone selling this ingredient to provide a label which warns of a potential choking hazard.  The Linis Pauling Institute also mentions it can block the absorption of important vitamins and minerals.

Other possible side effects include gas, loose stools, diarrhea, and dangerously low blood sugar.

Arabic Gum: An extract of hardened tree sap taken from the Arabic tree.  It’s a common food stabilizer and thickener. The US National Library of Medicine published a study which showed it lead to:

viscous sensation in the mouth, early morning nausea, mild diarrhea and bloating abdomen”

According to Web MD, not enough evidence is available to show any weight loss benefits.  They also mention side effects can include loose stools, gas, and bloating.

Both of these fiber sources are potentially dangerous.

The Quality of ProFibe’s protein

Only one form of protein is added at 4g:

Non GMO Soy Protein: Defatted soybeans that provide protein. It’s unknown if the soy protein provided in ProFibe is a soy isolate or concentrate blend. Isolates have more protein by weight, but concentrates have the benefit of being a long lasting source of protein.

Soy has long been criticized as providing phytoestrogens.

According to the University of Connecticut, they can lead to:

“lower testosterone and higher cortisol levels”

Cortisol is a stress hormone that when over flooding the body can lead to weight gain. Cortisol is also harmful since it can cause a negative change in hormones, making it hard for the body to repair itself.

The Mayo Clinic has also listed a long 23 symptom list; here are the most dangerous possible side effects:

  • Eczema and skin issues.
  • Damage to the pancreas.
  • Growth failure.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Immune system damage.
  • Intestinal inflammation.
  • Menstrual changes.
  • Asthma and breathing problems.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

They also mention that people with hormone sensitivities to be careful as it may increase the risk for cancer.  A study published by the National Library of Medicine showed it could lead to:

“growth of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer”

Another study by the same group also showed:

“might suppress thyroid function and cause goiters in healthy people” 

It’s recommended by the serving size to start with a half portion size, and then eventually leading up to 2 to 3 servings a day. So this means you can get 12 grams of soy protein.  The recommended protein intake per day is:

Men: 56 grams a day.

Women: 46 grams a day.

This is of course for sedentary people; more active people might need more. So with this brand the average man would still need 44 grams of protein, women would need 32 grams of protein.

The Price and Quality of ProFibe

There’s an intro pack which is the cheapest product sold by the company. It’s equal to 44 servings and it costs $38.95. Since the maximum amount of this drink is 3 servings a day, this equals:

$38.95/14.66= $2.65 a day for 3 servings.

Without knowing exactly the amino acid profile, the kind of protein or clinical studies, it’s unknown what this brand has to really offer. Many studies have showed that the cheap fiber sources and protein can promote dangerous side effects.

ProFibe’s Clinical Studies

The company’s website features a headline which reads “Clinical Research”. On the fiber section the company says “clinical studies show”, however they never list the study, so it’s unknown how useful this study truly is.

The Guar Gum clinical study provided actually showed a:

“reduction of the rate of absorption certain nutrients”

This is featured by the website and it’s actually a negative. Nowhere in this study is there one positive thing to say about Guar Gum. Someone from the website must have accidentally published this negative study. Due to this mistake, it’s likely this ingredient is not useful.

Another study into the effects of high dietary fiber does mention fiber is healthy in clinical studies. However, this is already known and is actually common sense. More important than the quality is the kind of fiber added. Clinical studies have shown the added fiber isn’t as optimal as other forms of fiber. It’s also commonly added to processed foods.

Finally, they use the recommendation of M.D Daniel G, Knauf, who actually mentions that he recommends an Atkins diet and aerobic exercise for weight loss. The company itself never mentions that these types of lifestyle changes need to be done.  He also mentions if cholesterol is not lowered with ProFibe:

use of statin drugs should be considered.”

He also is a doctor of Cardiovascular Surgery, not nutrition or diet.

Another study listed was for proving Citrus Pectin was useful, this study showed:

40% reduction in cholesterol”

However, they never publish this article, instead they ask for people to email them to get the results. Since one of the clinical studies published by this company was actually negative, it’s unknown if this same study actually speaks of benefits.

Business

The name of the company is also ProFibe, they can be found through the following:

Phone Number: (386) 761- 8100

Address: 2040 S. Ridgewood Ave

South Daytona, Florida 32119

Email: info@profibe.com

Their return policy is only for unopened products, and even if damaged during transit they do not offer a return. There were no reports from customers online of how the company deals with customers. After researching the company, it was revealed their address links to a 14 square foot studio.

Customer Opinions

A few reviews are available from online customers:

“I cannot stomach it”

“I was NOT able to be in public”

“Does not mix well just by stirring”

“It has no taste, unless you burp”

People mention there’s no taste and that it can mix without detection in foods. However, there are also accounts from people who mention they had to use the bathroom frequently to relieve themselves.

There were certain people who mentioned they had taken it for a reduction of cholesterol, there are mixed reports on whether or not this effect is possible.

Conclusion

ProFibe has many main points which should be considered:

  • The quality of protein is poor: The product provides just 4 grams of protein per serving, and they fail to mention if they use soy protein isolate or concentrate. This is important in order to understand the full effects of the protein. The company fails to provide any clinical studies or description of the protein. Also, soy has been linked to many different side effects according to legitimate clinical studies. This may include increased estrogen production, thyroid issues, skin conditions, loss of testosterone, and much more. No proof is provided to prove whether or not the protein added has a high amount of amino acids.
  • The “science” behind this product is flawed: One of the clinical studies provided by the company about their fiber actually went against their claims. It’s possible they thought people wouldn’t’ read it, and customers would assume it was a positive study. They also add the recommendation of a doctor, who mentions this product isn’t guaranteed to work. He’s also not a nutritionist, he deals with cardiovascular surgery. The doctor also reports adding the Atkins Diet and aerobic exercise in order to experience weight loss. Finally, one other clinical review is mentioned, but it’s not available for reading.
  • There are potentially harmful additives: Every ingredient except the vanilla flavor is known to cause side effects. There’s a long list of potential symptoms one might experience when using this formula. This may include vomiting, gas, bloating, choking, blockage of the intestines, and the numerous effects which soy may have. Some customers have reported not being able to move freely without having to use the restroom. The long term use of ProFibe has also not been documented.
  • Very few minerals and vitamins are provided: Only calcium, sodium, and iron are included into the micronutrient blend. There’s also only 6%, 4%, and 2% of each individual one. This low amount isn’t enough to satisfy the dietary needs. Both Guar Gum and Acacia Gum have been shown to potentially decrease the absorption of vitamins and minerals. These 2 issues together reduce the nutritional profile significantly. Especially since fiber is filling, it might make it harder to get the rest of your nutrients through whole foods. Another thing lacking from this is the amount of bioavailability found in the citrus pectin. Due to the nature of pectin, it may change in the amount of beneficial effects it may have. From batch to batch the strength of pectin can change considerably.
  • Customers have reported embarrassing side effects: Due to the added fiber, the company mentions a half serving should be enough to start off. Eventually you can take around 3 servings a day. Customers who used this product have said they quickly had to use the restroom. It caused quick bowel movements to some. There are even reports from people saying they couldn’t go out in public. The majority of the ingredients here are fiber sources from cheap substances found in processed foods.

This drink only features 5 ingredients, but all together they may be too much to handle for some. Not only have customers reported side effects, but clinical studies have verified other potential symptoms. This brand has a lot of flawed clinical studies provided, and it has a low quality protein.

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