In the UK, people spend $25.6 million USD a year on weight loss products with false promises. In the US, it’s more like $5 billion. Few people report the scams. Why?
“Floreat Emptor.” Let the purchaser flourish is the motto of the weight loss industry, says Michael Lean, MD. Lean believes that supplements and food products marketed for weight loss have largely escaped stringent controls for safety and efficacy.
The Office of Fair Trading in the UK suggests most victims of health scams are women, aged between 35 and 64, yet fewer than 1% report the fraud to authorities.
Lean says it’s not for loss. “Uphill struggles are often worthwhile.” Lean believes that the food and beverage industry needs to move toward an evidence-based system, where health claims have the same scientific proof as drugs. Lean says weight loss supplements must stand up to randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analysis.
This level of scientific scrutiny comes at a cost. Lean suggests that manufacturers collaborate to fund University run trials. The stakes are too high for anything less, Lean says.
Lean’s presentation was the segway for ingredient companies to present their latest weight loss products and the science to make their case to prove to Lean and the audience that there are well researched ingredients for weight loss. Four companies laid down their science for the first ever “Slim Slam, Make your case for your weight loss ingredients.”
The four companies that held up well to the scrutiny and pressure included:
Sabinsa’s Forslean presented by Vladimir Badmaev, MD. Forslean is made from the Coleus forskohlii plant and was developed to not only to assist in weight loss, but also or the aging community to prevent sarcopenia.
Nutrition 21Chromex Chromium Picolinate, presented by James Komorowski M.S., Vice President, Technical Services and Scientific Affairs. Chromex chromium picolinate may reduce elevated blood glucose, hunger and appetite.
Lipid Nutrition, Clarinol™ CLA, presented by Corey Scott, MD, Clarinol contains two active CLA isomers, c9,t11 and t10,c12, that have been identified as being helpful in reducing the amount of body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
AHD, Lura Lean, presented by John Alkire, AHD president. LuraLean is made from a refined glucomannan ingredient with unique viscocity properties that help contribute to weight loss.
Interhealth Nutraceuticals Super CitriMax, presented by Dr. Debasis Bagchi, Senior Vice president of Research and Development. CitriMax is a natural fruit extract standardized of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), known for its ability to suppress appetite and reduce caloric intake.