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What Are the Side Effects of the Diet Pill Lipozene?

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
What Are the Side Effects of the Diet Pill Lipozene?
As with all supplements, Lipozene may cause side effects and interact with medications. Photo Credit Jacques LOIC/Photononstop/Getty Images

Making long-term changes in your eating habits and physical activity remains the proven way to slim down. However, because shedding pounds is neither fast nor easy, some dieters try diet pills in efforts to get quicker results. The bad news is that so far, most commercial weight loss supplements fail to produce significant, lasting weight loss, and Lipozene is no different. As with all supplements, Lipozene may cause side effects and interact with medications. Consult your physician before taking Lipozene, especially if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, or take any kind of prescription medications.

Lipozene's Active and Inactive Ingredients

Glucomannan -- a type of dietary fiber -- is derived from konjac root, a starchy root vegetable similar to a yam. In Asia, it's tradition to extract the flour from konjac root and use it to make noodles, tofu and snacks. As the active ingredient in lipozene though, the glucomannan fiber is supposed to slow the emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine and increase fullness so you eat less; hence, its proposed weight loss benefits.

Lipozene comes in capsule form and as with most supplements, it contains fillers, binders and color. Gelatin, micro-crystalline cellulose, magnesium silicate, stearic acid, titanium dioxide and FD&C blue #1 serve as the inactive ingredients in the powder and external capsule. These additives are common and on the Food and Drug Administration's GRAS, or generally recognized as safe list. Still, some people have sensitivities to additives, so take this into consideration if you know you're sensitive to any of these substances.

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How Lipozene Is Supposed to Work

As a soluble fiber that slows gastric emptying by absorbing water and expanding in the stomach, glucomannan should theoretically boost satiety, but researchers say it doesn't translate to enhanced weight loss. They came to this conclusion after reviewing nine clinical trials and finding that glucomannan failed to cause meaningful weight loss. The average difference in weight loss between people who took glucomannan and those who took a placebo was less than half a pound, according to the authors. The results are found in the 2014 issue of The Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Lipozene

Because sudden changes in fiber intake can cause gastrointestinal disturbance, the most common side effects of ingesting glucomannan are bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, constipation and watery stool. The symptoms are mild and should go away as the body adjusts to the increased fiber intake.

Avoiding foods that irritate the gastrointestinal tract may help ease digestive symptoms. Consumers can reduce symptoms by temporarily avoiding raw vegetables and vegetables that promote gas, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, corn and green peppers. Other foods that may aggravate GI symptoms include spicy and heavily seasoned foods, whole grains, dried fruit, seeds, nuts and fermented foods like sauerkraut.

Lipozene May Affect Medications or Blood Sugar

Glucomannan may reduce the absorption of oral medications, resulting in decreased effectiveness of the drugs. It's necessary for consumers to tell their doctors about any medications they're taking before considering Lipozene or any other weight loss supplement. Taking medication one hour before or four hours after taking a glucomannan-containing supplement helps avoid interactions.

People with diabetes must have their doctor monitor them carefully while taking Lipozene, as it may cause hypoglycemia -- lower than normal blood glucose. Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling shaky, weak, tired or dizzy. Patients should discontinue use and contact their doctor if they experience serious bouts of low blood sugar while taking Lipozene. If hypoglycemia occurs, eating 15 grams of carbs -- such as 2 tablespoons of raisins or 1/2 cup of fruit juice -- helps raise blood sugar temporarily.

Rare But Serious Side Effects

Though glucomannan is considered safe as a dietary fiber, rare but dangerous side effects have been reported with use of glucomannan supplements. There are case reports of cholestatic hepatitis, a condition that occurs when bile ducts become obstructed. Bile is a fluid the liver produces and the gallbladder releases to break down dietary fat.

Rare cases of esophageal and gastrointestinal obstruction have also been reported because of glucomannan's ability to absorb water and expand. Another side effect of the soluble fiber absorbing water is that it's necessary to increase fluid intake to avoid dehydration or other complications. The Lipozene instructions recommend taking the product with 8 ounces of water. Anyone taking it needs to drink plenty of water and may want to add other fluids such as low-sodium vegetable juice, clear broth, no sugar added fruit juice and unsweetened herbal tea.

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