Does this "magic" pill really work?
February 13, 2014 2:08 PM   Subscribe

There is no shortage of diets for people who want to lose weight quickly: Atkins, the "Zone" diet, the Vegan diet, the Weight-Watchers diet, the Mediterranean diet, ... But there are countless articles and experts which seem to refute the "evidence" put forth by the creators of such diets. Question is, do you know whether the latest diet advertised by Dr. Oz (the " Garcinia Cambogia" extract-based diet) is safe / do you have any information on it?

Here are some articles I read about it (1 | 2 | 3 | 4)
posted by omar.a to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Here is what Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition has to say about it:
Collectively, research from controlled trials is not convincing that hydroxycitric acid (Garcinia cambogia) supplementation is an effective weight loss agent among overweight or obese individuals. Research is mixed as to whether it is an effective appetite suppressant.

However, dosages of up to 2800 mg/day for up to three months were well tolerated in clinical trials appeared non-toxic.
posted by Ouisch at 2:15 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ugh, Dr. Oz is a charlatan, and this is another example. Taking this stuff and exercising is no better than taking a placebo and exercising. It does not make you lose weight faster or help keep it off longer.
posted by amelioration at 2:15 PM on February 13, 2014 [25 favorites]

Dr. Oz doesn't advertise or endorse anything, especially not a diet or a supplement.

Now, he'll put any damn thing on his show, but it will come with disclaimers out the ying-yang and ultimately it's all "we need more research."

If a pill or supplement worked, it would be national news and your health insurance company would INSIST that you take it.

Save your money.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:17 PM on February 13, 2014 [24 favorites]

My boyfriend started taking it recently and he says that it is controlling his appetite. I am extremely skeptical, in part because he is a great hypnosis candidate -- and I suspect that a sugar pill would do the same thing for him if packaged correctly. I used to work with a guy who was taking raspberry ketones with no noticeable effect, while I was watching my calories and losing up to 10 pounds a month. There are prescription meds that are good appetite suppressants but your sensible primary care doctor won't prescribe them for you -- only a weight loss clinic will do so, and after an EKG and while monitoring your blood pressure. You can also get an appetite suppressant effect from caffeine and/or decongestants. Also, and this is the good news, once you start losing weight, your appetite tends to decrease, at least for a while.
posted by janey47 at 2:26 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Mrs w0mbat ordered some of this, and they kept on charging her credit card without authorization and sending more and more pills. They would not stop, so she got the credit card company to reverse all the charges and cut the pill company off from billing her again, but it was a hassle.

The credit card representative confided that there is kind of an informal agreement with companies like this, the deal being "OK, your company is dodgy as hell but we won't cancel your merchant account as long as you let us do chargebacks whenever a customer complains".
posted by w0mbat at 2:37 PM on February 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Here's the thing with all that stuff: If there were a magic pill that actually worked to cure people of obesity, there wouldn't be any question about it. Everyone would know. This is just a latest fad that still has traction because it hasn't been around long enough for the general public to realize it's nonsense.
posted by something something at 3:30 PM on February 13, 2014 [9 favorites]

I work in the Vitamin/Supplement industry and feel it's important to remind people that supplements are just that, and those used for weight loss purposes MUST be used in conjunction with diet and exercise to reap the most benefits.

That said, Garcinia Cambogia is and has been the MOST searched for term for at least the company I'm employed with. There is some clinical evidence of it's efficacy, but those clinical studies are generally performed on a population that is too small to really make the results conclusive.

Garcinia Cambogia is generally safe as long as you stick to the directions and don't over-dose (it won't enhance or quicken results). Is it a miracle diet pill that will allow you to continue eating/living the same yet melt the pounds off? No. Does it possess the capability to enhance the amount of weight loss when paired with diet and exercise? Yes.
posted by stubbehtail at 3:36 PM on February 13, 2014

Eat well and be active. That pretty much describes everyone I know who has lost weight and kept it off. The ones who rely on gimmicks end up disappointed and a little poorer to boot.

To answer your question, no, this shit doesn't work.
posted by futureisunwritten at 4:15 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

The only effective "diet" I know isn't one at all -- it is a complete change in approach to what you eat, and well supported by a lot of sound science. Check out "nutritiarian" eating as espoused by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He has a few books, but the seminal one is Eat to Live. After six weeks of eating like that, my cholesterol dropped 50 points, and yes, you will soon get to a healthy weight too.
posted by bearwife at 4:45 PM on February 13, 2014

I started taking Acidophilus back in the early fall. It was recommended to me by a pharmacist for dealing with various skin problems, notably a mild fungal infection on my scalp, and boils on my arms and backs. "Your flora is out of whack," he told me. The Acidophilus has helped.

While I didn't realize it, apparently Acipophilus and other probiotics aimed at gut flora can help regulate weight, if taken over many months.

It's been about 4 or 5 months since I started, and over the past month I have lost about 10 pounds. I've also been walking a lot more than I have (avg 90 min a day).

So there's that.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:09 AM on February 14, 2014

There are two FDA approved pills for weight loss (for the clinically obese, not just those looking to drop five pounds) on the market. No, insurance companies aren't making anyone take them. They're not very effective at all and have potential side effects, but at least they went through proper clinical trials.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 1:28 PM on February 14, 2014

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