Alli is a weight loss supplement produced by the prescription drug manufacturer GlaxsoSmithKline. The active ingredient in Alli is Orlistat, a drug that falls under the class of lipase inhibitors. Lipase inhibitors work by preventing a portion of the fat ingested from being absorbed by the intestines. This fat is then excreted in the stool. Studies have shown that lipase inhibitors perform their best when 40% of an individual’s day-to-day caloric intake is acquired from fat. According to the Alli website Orlistat has been used in over 100 clinical studies. Alli is meant to be taken with meals to prevent fat from being absorbed by the body.
Alli is a lower dose version of a prescription drug called Xenical, which also uses Orlistat, but at a higher dosage. Alli uses 60 mg of Orlistat whereas Xenical uses 120 mg. Like any weight loss substance Alli is meant to be used in conjunction with diet and exercise. The official Alli website claims that it will prevent 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed which means you will lose 50% more weight than you would from dieting alone.
Alli may cause fatty stool, oily bowel movements, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain and urgent bowel movements if large quantities of fat are consumed. It is advised to keep your meals around 15 grams of fat or lower. If you can’t stay away from high fat foods Alli is not for you, as you will likely experience a much higher rate of side effects. One other side effect of lipase inhibitors is that they can inhibit the absorption of vitamins as well, which is why you should take a multivitamin while using any lipase inhibitor.
Who is Alli for?
Alli is only recommended for people who are 30 or more pounds overweight.
How much weight will I lose?
According to clinical studies of prescription-strength Xenical (which carries twice the dosage of Alli) the average weight loss after a year is only 5 to 7 pounds more than with diet and exercise alone. With the lower dosage of Alli you will likely see even less weight lost. Keep in mind though that the more overweight you are the more weight you will lose. With that said, it is clear that the claim about losing 50% more weight on Alli is false.
What do the users have to say?
After reading through user reviews on various websites and forums it seems many users had issues with the side effects, including gas, oily stool and intestinal discomfort. Others stated that the supplement did not help them lose any weight at all. As with any supplement there were both positive and negative reviews however I am always skeptical of the positive review because big companies will often pay people to write bogus positive reviews about their product. For a giant like GlaxoSmithKline this is pocket change.
Is Alli worth it?
A 60 pill bottle of Alli comes with a food journal and a healthy eating guide for about $50. While I do appreciate the healthy eating guide and food journal, this product is way over-priced and, in my opinion, not worth it. If your taking 2 or 3 capsules a day one bottle isn’t even going to last you a single month. Something that costs over $50 dollars a month and is only going to help you lose a few extra pounds in an entire years seems like a rip off to me.
If you’re looking to lose weight there are much better, less expensive, side effect free supplements available. I personally am a fan of thermogenic fat burners because they help increase the metabolism which causes you to burn calories at a higher rate while simultaneously increasing your energy levels. They assist you in burning fat rather than just losing weight.