Skinny Fiber review and investigation – Does it really work?
Skinny Fiber is a natural weight loss supplement that enables customers to “eat less and feel full”. This claim, made prominently on the labelling, suggests that Skinny Fiber is predominantly an appetite suppressant.
It is manufacturered by a US company that goes by the name of SkinnyBodyCare.com. Discovering more about the product takes a little searching since the official website focuses purely on signing up potential customers for a 90 day challenge, which entitles them, amongst other things, to a free tee-shirt, and persuading people to become distributors.
To discover the precise ingredients and potential weight loss benefits of Skinny Fiber, we had to browse the websites of a number of Skinny Fiber distributors, which seem to be key in marketing this product.
What are the ingredients in Skinny Fiber?
This weight loss supplement, in the form of a capsule, is claimed to be stimulant free and contains no caffeine; it does however include Chá de Bugre, which has a stimulant effect, so the ‘stimulant-free’ claim is not entirely true.
Its three main ingredients are glucomannon, carulluma and Chá de Bugre, complemented by a total of ‘seven digestive enzymes and antioxidants’.
- Glucomannon is a dietary fibre derived from the konjac root which, once in the stomach, expands to up to fifty times its size.
- Caralluma, a plant from the cactus family, is claimed to suppress both appetite and thirst, as well as blocking certain fat-forming enzymes.
- Chá de Bugre, from a Brazilian tree, is also claimed to be an effective appetite suppressant as well as helping to fight cellulite.
Even on the distributor websites, there is little information on the nature of the digestive enzymes and antioxidants in Skinny Fiber or how their inclusion will aid weight loss.
Is Skinny Fiber effective as a weight loss supplement?
According to limited research, its main ingredient glucomannan may suppress appetite and increase bowel movements. It can also reduce cholesterol and help to maintain a healthy metabolism.
See report on clinical trial at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16320857. It should be noted that Glucomannan has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
One worrying problem relating to the use of glucomannan is that it can cause choking or blockage of the oesophagus. Because of this risk, glucomannan-based products should never be taken immediately before sleeping, and must always be ingested with plenty of water.
Finally, the limited research on glucomannan suggests a daily dosage of 3000mg; Skinny Fiber contains only two-thirds of what appears to be the optimum amount.
There is even less clinical evidence supporting the effectiveness of Caralluma (or caralluma fimbriata) as a weight loss tool. Just one study in 2007 investigated the use of 1g of caralluma on 50 Indian adults, noting a reduction in waist circumference and hunger levels compared with the placebo group. (See full report of this study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17097761). No information is provided on any website as to the quantity of Caralluma in Skinny Fiber.
Chá de Bugre
Chá de Bugre is widely used in Brazil as a substitute for coffee and has a stimulant effect. Whilst the berries may be beneficial for health, there is no evidence supporting their effectiveness in terms of weight loss.
What is most worrying about the inclusion of this ingredient is that its export is heavily controlled by the Brazilian government. As a result, it is unlikely that diet supplements would include genuine Brazilian Chá de Bugre, but are more likely using a low-grade leaf powder which is often inaccurately described as Chá de Bugre.
None of the webites promoting Skinny Fiber provide any scientific evidence to suggest that the “digestive enzymes and antioxidants” in this product will aid weight loss. In terms of effectiveness, there is some evidence that glucomannan and caralluma may suppress the appetite.
Although the level of glucomannan is significantly less than the optimum dosage suggested by the researchers, and there is no way of finding out whether the level of caralluma in this product equates with the level (1g) used in the only published clinical trial to date.
What are customers saying about Skinny Fiber?
Apart from the usual ‘testimonials’ on websites designed specifically to market the product, which, in our experience lack credibility, the only reviews from UK customers are on Amazon. Only three customer reviews have so far been submitted: one awards 5 stars, the second 4 stars and the third 1 star. It is, of course, difficult to draw conclusions from such a small number of reviews.
- Contains no caffeine.
- Contains glucomannan, which clinical trials suggest may suppress appetite and aid weight loss.
- Seems rather expensive for an appetite suppressant.
- Very little scientific evidence to support ingredients other than glucomannan.
- The official website operates the notorious autoship programme: customers may experience difficulties in extricating themselves from this type of arrangement.
- The official website focusses upon encouraging customers to sign up for the autoship programme and 90 day challenge; it is uninformative about the product itself and how it works.
Is Skinny Fiber worth buying?
Cost varies from distributor to distributor, and on some sites, including the official website, it is impossible to discover the price without first completing online forms with personal information – an exercise we were not prepared to perform.
On Amazon UK customers can purchase 120 tablets for $45. In terms of dosage, customers can choose to take four or six capsules each day, so 120 would last either 20 or 30 days. For a supplement that appears to do little beyond suppressing the appetite, this seems quite expensive.
It is not entirely clear whether the company offers a money-back guarantee. It appears from the terms and conditions on the official website that SkinnyBodyCare.com may offer a 30 day money-back guarantee, although it is up to individual distributors to decide for themselves whether to offer a similar guarantee.
If Glucomannan is the active ingredient within Skinny Fiber, and it is certainly the one that finds most support from clinical trials, perhaps it would be worth researching other glucomannan-based products that contain the optimum daily dosage (3000mg) at a significantly lower price.
Those who opt for a product containing this ingredient must remember the warnings: always take glucomannan with plenty of water to reduce the risk of choking, and never take it just before bedtime.