What is skinny fiber and does it work? To me, the name skinny fiber is funny because I thought all fiber was supposed to help people lose weight. I did some digging into Skinny Fiber and discovered what this weight loss supplement contains and the research on its ingredients. Let’s take a look at Skinny Fiber and see if it might be right for you.
Skinny Fiber and weight loss
On the page of the products website (SkinnyBodyCare.com) called “3 for free” a page that tells how people can get 3 bottles of Skinny Fiber for free, they say “studies prove that when you use Skinny Fiber with others, it helps all of you stick with it and get results.”
But, there are no published peer reviewed studies on Skinny Fiber, so who is to is to say Skinny Fiber works better with a friend who also takes? I believe there are no studies on Skinny Fiber because if studies existed, I assume they would be listed on product website.
Even if there are no studies on Skinny Fiber itself, there are weight loss studies on some of the ingredients in Skinny Fiber so let’s now take a look at them to see what we can discover.
Skinny Fiber ingredients
According to SkinnyBodyCare.com, it appears that Skinny Fiber has the following ingredients:
- Glucomannan (a fiber)
- Caralluma fimbriata
- Chá de Bugre
Let’s look at each ingredient separately.
On the Skinny Fiber website they say:
“The biggest CHALLENGE to losing weight is that most of us are NOT getting enough enzymes from our food to properly DIGEST what we eat.“
But, they give no proof for this statement. Also, what enzymes are they referring to?
The truth of the matter is that we make enzymes. Sure, there are some enzymes in fruits and vegetables, but I don’t see how they play any significant role in weight loss. Enzymes eaten are quickly destroyed by the acidity of the stomach soon after they are eaten. While enzyme supplements may help people who have digestion issues, I am not aware of any proof enzymes help weight loss.
Just to double check I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Enzymes and weight loss
- Enzymes and obesity
I saw no studies to support the claim that lack of enzymes are the “biggest challenge” facing weight loss. Likewise, I saw no studies showing that enzyme supplements promote weigh loss either. If anyone is aware of this research, please let me know and I will update this review.
Glucomannan (also called Konjac root) is a fiber that helps people feel full. It’s in many weight loss products I’ve previously investigated including:
This fiber is added to weight loss supplements because there is indeed some research that shows glucomannan can help weight loss. Studies usually use about 1 to 3 grams per day. Two capsules of skinny fiber have a 1.15 grams total of its proprietary blend of ingredients. Since glucomannan is listed first in the blends ingredients, I take that to mean it is mostly glucomannan but how much skinny fiber actually contains I do not know.
This ingredient can also be found in other weight loss supplements including Healthe Trim that I previously reviewed.
In 2013, a study titled A pilot study investigating the effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on the risk factors of metabolic syndrome in overweight and obese subjects: a randomised controlled clinical trial researchers noted that Caralluma fimbriata (1 gram per day for 9 weeks) caused a 2.2 inch reduction in waist circumference relative to a placebo as well as decrease in waist to hip ratio. Those who received Caralluma fimbriata also appeared to have a decrease for the smell, taste and look of food. That of course, could lead people to eat less.
Tip. A pilot study is a “baby study.” Researchers start with pilot studies to see if their is a reason to perform a larger study with more people.
In a 2007 study of 50 men and women that lasted 60 days, titled Effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women, those who received 1 gram of Caralluma fimbriata per day were noted to have a significant reduction in waist circumference and hunger levels compared to those who received a placebo.
In 2010 a study titled the Antiobesogenic and Antiatherosclerotic Properties of Caralluma fimbriata Extract noted that rates which were given Caralluma fimbriata experienced less food intake and reduced body weight gain compared to rats that did not receive Caralluma fimbriata.This was a study of an extract of Caralluma fimbriata but the study does not say which specific extract of the herb was used.
Chá de Bugre
Also called Cordia ecalyculata and Cordia salicifolia. The Skinny Fiber website says that Chá de Bugre can “support a healthy metabolism” and is an “appetite suppressant.” I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Chá de Bugre weight loss
- Chá de Bugre obesity
- Cordia ecalyculata weight loss
- Cordia ecalyculata obesity
The only research I found was a 2010 mouse study titled Evaluation of the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of crude extracts of Cordia ecalyculata and Echinodorus grandiflorus noting that as much as 2000 mg per kilogram did not reduce body weight or food consumption.
Mice and humans are different, but any way you slice it, 2000 mg per kilogram of body weight is a LOT more Chá de Bugre than is in any weight loss supplement!
Chá de Bugre is a popular ingredient in so-called Brazilian diet pills, but I have to ask the question why, if there is no evidence it works ―and some evidence it might not work―is this stuff in a weight loss supplement?
See the side effects section for more on this ingredient.
Skinny Fiber ingredients that might work
Looking at the research on each of the ingredients in Skinny Fiber, I see two ingredients that might help people lose weight – glucomannan and Caralluma fimbriata. And, of those two, I think glucomannan might have the most evidence.
Skinny Fiber side effects
Because Skinny Fiber is basically a fiber supplement, I think its safe for short term use. That said, I was somewhat concerned by the finding that at very high levels, Chá de Bugre might break chromosomes (at least in mice). The term used in the Chá de Bugre study I mentioned above, is “clastogenic” (class-toe-jen-ik) which is fancy-talk for something that can damage chromosomes. This isn’t good because theoretically, this could lead to really bad things happening.
So, how significant is this mouse study for humans, I don’t know. What about using less than this mouse study used? I don’t know this either. Since it is listed last in the ingredients, there is not much Chá de Bugre in Skinny Fiber (that’s good). But, I’m not sure at what levels Chá de Bugre becomes toxic for people.
Who makes Skinny Fiber
On the product website (SkinnyBodyCare.com) there is no name for the company that makes Skinny Fiber. I find that strange. On the About Our Company page of the website, I see a pictures of guys in hard hats and smiling people giving me the thumbs up but nothing about the name of the company. Based on this, I assume that the name is Skinny Body Care.
I believe the pictures of guys in hard hats on the website are stock photos and are not representative of how the company looks.
On the website Whois.com, I discovered that the website SkinnyBodyCare.com was created on 10/14/2009 and registered by someone named Ben Glinsky. On the product website, Mr Glinsky is listed as the “CEO and Founder” of the company. On the Whois.com page for the website, the address given for the company is 3634 Long Prairie Rd. Suite 108-113 Flower Mound, TX 75022.
As you can see from the link I provided, this is a strip mall according to Google Street view. There is nothing wrong with this, but to me, it doesn’t look like anyone in hard hats is conducting scientifically precise supplement manufacturing at this location.
On the Contact Us Page of SkinnyBodyCare.com they list another address for the company:
341 W 6100 S Murray, UT 84107. As you can see from the link I provided, this is some sort of a manufacturing facility. The address also has this part also “MS #1420.” I’m not sure what “MS” stands for.
As an aside I will mention that this is the same address listed as the location of the company that makes the testosterone booster supplement called Nugenix. See my review of Nugenix for more information. I believe the Murray Utah address is where supplements are shipped from or perhaps made and shipped?
According to the Better Business Bureau file the BBB gives Skinny Body Care a rating of F as of 6/30/13. All complaints were resolved according to the BBB. See the BBB file for more information and the nature of the complaints.
How to buy Skinny Fiber?
If you try to buy Skinny Fiber at the product website ―SkinnyBodyCare.com ―you are asked for the name of the distributor who referred you. If you do not enter the name of a distributor, you can’t buy Skinny Fiber. Part of me liked this because it means the website isn’t competing for sales with distributors. So, from a Skinny Fiber distributor point of view, this is a good thing. That said, because no price was listed on the website, I’m not sure how much Skinny Fiber sells for, however here is Skinny Fiber on Amazon for those who know and want to compare prices.
Sellers of Skinny fiber have said that the product sold on Amazon is counterfeit, yet they can not prove to me that it is. The seller of the product listed on Amazon does say “skinny fiber.” See the comments below for a discussion of this issue.
How to return Skinny Fiber?
There is no customer service number listed on the Skinny Fiber website that I could locate. There is a return address of MS #1420 341 W 6100 S Murray, UT 84107, which as I stated above, appears to be where the product is shipped from. If people purchased Skinny Fiber from a distributor, I feel it’s best to get return information from the distributor rather than just send the product back for a refund. There may be extra steps needed to return the product. I would imagine that returning a product purchased on Amazon might be easier.
Does Skinny Fiber work?
While I won’t totally rule out that Skinny Fiber might help some people lose weight, I think it’s overpriced. Compare Skinny Fiber on Amazon to the ingredients that I feel are its active ingredients ―glucomannan and Caralluma fimbriata. Of these two, I believe glucomannan is the main ingredient. Could the same weight loss be obtained by taking only 1or 2 of these ingredients? It would be an interesting experiment that I hope somebody tests because as I said, I think Skinny Fiber is expensive.
What do you think?