Japanese Hokkaido Weight Loss Pills are another in a long line of weight loss supplement from Japan, China, Vietnam etc. aimed predominately at Americans. I admit I’ve never heard of these pills until it was brought to my attention by one of the readers of my blog. At various websites these pills are said to be “in high demand” and when I checked Ebay I saw some people selling them for over $60! Do these slimming pills work? Let’s see what the research says. This review contains updated and new information, thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who tested Hokkaido weight loss pills and discovered what I suspected from the start…
Hokkaido Pills Ingredients:
- Dill Extract
- Chinese rose extract
- Trumpet Creeper extract
- Evening primrose extract
Is there any evidence that these ingredients help people lose weight? Let’s look at the research and see:
Dill extract. They don’t tell you what “extract” they are talking about but when I searched for weight loss research on dill, I found nothing. Dill does seem to have a diuretic effect so it may act like a natural water pill. I’m guessing that is why it’s in the ingredients.
Women who may be pregnant should avoid Hokkaido Weight Loss Pills. There is some speculation that dill may cause menstrual bleeding. I cannot find any research or case studies to substantiate this however but it is something to consider.
Chinese rose extract. Again, they do not tell us what specific extract they are talking about. What is the scientific name of the Chinese rose they are using? If anyone knows, let me know and I will update this review.
Trumpet Creeper extract. If you search for research on Trumpet Creeper, online it can be a little difficult to find because its scientific name is Campsis radicans. Another name –albeit less scientific – is cow itch, which is a reference to how farm animals sometimes get a rash when they rub against it. This makes sense since the name “radicans” is the same classification as poison ivy (Rhus radicans).
That said, I could not locate any weight loss proof that Trumpet Creeper works. When I goggled Trumpet Creeper and weight loss, many sites that came up had to do with sites that sell weight loss pills and that was no help. I then checked the National Library of Medicine and also couldn’t find anything. One problem with my search is that we are not told what extract of Trumpet Creeper is in Hokkaido weight loss pills.
Evening primrose extract. This is also called GLA which stands for gamma-linolenic acid. The lack of evening primrose weight loss research makes me very skeptical. One study from the 1980s found evening primrose oil did not help weight loss.
Because evening primrose oil effects blood clotting, people taking blood thinners should avoid this product. There is also some perplexing cancer research that hints that evening primrose oil might either reduce breast cancer growth or speed up breast cancer growth, depending on how much is used. Bottom line, if you have a history of cancer talk to your doctor first.
The product Abdominal Cuts also has evening primrose oil. See that review for more info.
Evening primrose oil is sometimes used for PMS symptoms –with mixed results. Like Dill, women who may be pregnant should not use evening primrose oil.
It may be very dangerous. If you have my book on supplements see the chapter on evening primrose oil for more on its other uses.
Update 11/9/12. The FDA alerted the public that Japanise Hokkaido Pills contained the weight loss drug called sibutramine, a weight loss drug that was removed from the US market in 2010 because it posed significant health risks. Here is what the FDA said in their warning about Hokkaido pills:
“Sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. This product may also interact, in life-threatening ways, with other medications a consumer may be taking.
This explains the very strange symptoms people have been reporting in the comments.
As for lotus, again there is no human weight loss research. I did locate one test tube study where lotus and L carnitine reduced fat buildup inside fat cells. This is interesting but it’s a study of fat cells in test tubes. You are MUCH more complex than a test tube.
You may recall that lotus is one of the ingredients in Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen weight loss supplements.
On one of the websites that sells Hokkaido Pills they spelled “primrose” wrong and there is broken English. Nobody is perfect but ingredient typos – and broken English on websites make me wonder about who put this websites together.
Do Hokkaido Weight Loss Pills work?
Based on the research I can find, I say no, this stuff cannot possibly work - if these are the only these ingredients in the pills. If people are losing weight, I am interested in hearing about it. Since I wrote this review, the FDA has confirmed what I thought all along – that Hokkaido pills do in fact contain the weight loss drug sibutramine.
What do you think?