Alli is a weight loss pill approved by the FDA which claims to help reduce 25% of the fat you eat. It’s also made to help a person reduce an extra pound for every 2 pounds lost on their own.
A low calorie and reduced fat diet are needed, and it’s made specifically for overweight people. Only people with a BMI of 25 or higher are advised to supplement. Results are expected within the first 2 weeks when taken alongside diet and exercise. The company mentions that studies have shown people losing between 5 to 10 pounds in 6 months. Are all these claims true? What can Alli really do, and is it safe? This review has all the information you need about Alli.
|Orlistat 60 mg||FD&C Blue No. 2||Edible Ink||Gelatin|
|Iron Dioxide||Microcrystalline Cellulose||Povidone||Sodium Lauryl Sulfate|
|Sodium Starch Glycolate||Talc||Titanium Dioxide|
Orlistat: Known as a lipase inhibitor, it blocks some of the absorption of fat in the body. This fat is then removed through the stool. It’s made specifically to work alongside a low calorie diet. It’s known to often produce side effects such as:
A one year study published by the Cochrane Library showed that
“current anti-obesity agents (Orlistat) appear modest”
This year study showed people losing around 4.4 to 6.6 pounds. After stopping treatment most people regained weight quickly.
In this yearlong study, this means that people lost around 0.36 to 0.55 pounds a month.
FD&C Blue No. 2: Water soluble food coloring with no nutritional value. A science journal called The Lancet revealed that it caused hyperactivity. Other studies showed it lead to an increase of brain cancer and abnormal cell function.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the FDA to ban it from being used in foods. According to them, this ingredient is unnecessary and potentially toxic.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Commonly used in cleaning products such as detergents and shampoos. It’s effective for cleaning stains. It removes oils from the skin and it’s known to potentially cause eye and skin irritations.
Sodium Starch Glycolate: White powder extracted from many starchy foods. It’s used to help tablets and pills dissolve better when absorbed. Since it can come from potential allergens, those allergic to gluten or corn can experience allergies.
Since this is an FDA approved over the counter, it can produce some weight loss effects. However, a long term study showed that people can only lose up to a maximum of 6.6 pounds in a year.
There’s also 10 out of 11 ingredients only added to make the pill look and absorb in a certain way. Some of these additives are potential allergens which can potentially cause hyperactivity, allergic reactions, skin irritations, and even abnormal cell development.
Orlistat is the only active ingredient and it’s not been shown to be a long term solution for weigh toss, since many people who stop taking it quickly regain their weight.
At around a half a pound of weight loss or less each month, there are cheaper and more effective alternatives.
There are no direct sales but Alli is available in many retail stores. The average price for 120 pills is $69.99. This means that at the advised 3 capsules a day, the daily price would be:
$69.99/40= $1.74 for a daily serving.
The lack of significant weight loss is a major negative factor. Overall, the brand hasn’t shown itself to be a long term weight loss solution. Also, losing fat through one’s stool is known to potentially lead to colon cancer and lesions.
The key advice ingredient Orlistat has been linked to cases of liver injury, and there are also cases of people taking Alli who have experienced difficult side effects.
According to their reports:
“severe liver injury as a potential safety concern with Orlistat use”
These cases revealed the following problems with Orlistat:
The FDA also adds that if you experience yellowing skin, fever, vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite, or dark urine, that you should seek the help of a healthcare professional as soon as possible. These are the signs of liver damage.
The potential for liver injuries was also a concern mentioned by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research board, which overlooks drug safety. In their research they believed Allis key active ingredient was a potential health hazard.
In order to use this brand it’s advised to have no more than 15 grams of fat in one meal. The company highly suggests limiting calories and fats, since fat heavy meals can produce side effects for up to 3 days.
The way Alli is meant to work is by limiting the absorption of fats by up to 25%. However, this same effect also reduces the body’s ability to properly intake fat soluble vitamins. So this reduces the effects of vitamins A, E, K, beta carotene and D. All of which are essential for proper health. Low amounts of these ingredients can potentially lead to:
Vitamin A: Blindness, increased risk for serious and potentially fatal infections, dry skin, and miscarriage.
Vitamin D: Brittle and misshapen bones, muscle aches and soreness, light-headed feelings, increased risk for bone fractures, advancement of certain cancers.
Vitamin E: Muscle weakness, damage to the retina which leads to blindness, improper nerve function, anemia, improper fat digestion, and damage to the immune system.
Vitamin K: Uncontrolled bleeding increased bruising, stomach pains, severe deformation of bones.
By limiting the intake of these important vitamins it can lead to dangerous side effects. Also, supplementing with additional vitamins or whole foods can be costly and hard to maintain. It’s unknown what kind of an effect Alli might have from person to person.
GlaxoSmithKline is a British company that makes pharmaceuticals. Their US offices can be found below:
Phone Number: (800) 671-2554
They’ve been subject to many controversies:
Several reviews are available from online customers. Here’s a summary of the most common opinions:
“did not see any results”
“the stomach discomfort was not even close to worth it”
“Ineffective! Didn’t work at all”
“no effect at all”
There are over 600 negative reviews available online. People often fall under 2 categories, those who felt no change in weight loss whatsoever, and those that experienced difficult symptoms and prevented them from supplementing any further.
Those that claim weight loss also mention they started an extreme lifestyle change with lots of dieting and exercise. So it’s unknown if Allis is only beneficial in small amounts, if at all.
Key points that should be considered about Alli include:
The main issues with this brand are due to the lack of customer support, and the many claims that it causes embarrassing stomach issues.
There’s also a FDA warning that it may cause liver injuries, and in fact one user of Alli did suffer from liver damage. The brand may produce modest weight loss benefits in some, but it’s not as effective as the other alternatives available.
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