Update 3/10/20. What is skinny fiber and does it work? To me, the name skinny fiber is ironic because I thought all fiber was supposed to help people lose weight. I did some digging into Skinny Fiber and discovered that there is some research on some of its ingredients. That will be the focus of this unbiased review. Does it have a secret ingredient? People may have heard about the enzymes in Skinny Fiber. Do they help with weight loss? That will also be addressed in this review. This review will help you decide if Skinny Fiber is right for you. See the Skinny Body Max review too.
What Is Skinny Fiber?
Skinny Fiber is exactly what the name says: a fiber pill supplement that is touted to help with weight loss. There is research on some of its ingredients and those clinical studies will be summarized below.
Skinny Fiber Research
Is there any clinical evidence showing Skinny Fiber really helps people lose weight? Searching the product website reveals no research studies on the product.
Likewise, searching the National Library of Medicine (Pubmed.gov) for “skinny fiber” and “skinny fiber weight loss” reveal no studies either.
Fortunately for this review, there are weight loss studies on some of the ingredients.
Let's now take a look at them to see what we can discover.
Skinny Fiber Ingredients
According to the label I've seen, each bottle has 120 capsules and a serving size of the product is 2 capsules. In 2 Skinny Fiber Pills there are the following ingredients:
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 0 grams||<1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 1 gram||<1%|
|Protein 0 grams||<1%|
|Sodium 5 grams||<1%|
|Proprietary Blend 1160 mg||N/A|
|Glucomannan (tuber) powder|
|Caralluma Fimbriata (whole plant) powder|
|Cha de Bugre (leaf) powder|
|Proprietary Enzyme Blend 260 mg||N/A|
N/A = no daily value established
The product also contains these other ingredients:
- Gelatin capsule
- microcrystalline cellulose
- magnesium stearate
These additional ingredients likely play no role in the effects or benefits of Skinny Fiber. Because gelatin is the first ingredient listed, it makes up most of these ingredients.
Let's look at each active ingredient in Skinny Fiber separately.
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 skinny fiber pills have a 1.15 grams total of its proprietary blend of ingredients.
Since glucomannan is listed first in the blend's ingredients, I take that to mean it is mostly glucomannan fiber.
This is a cactus-like plant, rumored to have appetite-suppressing effects that grow in India. The idea behind how it works is that chemicals in the plant are said to reduce chemicals in the brain that cause us to want to eat. That is the theory anyway.
The plant is sometimes called a “famine food” likely because it's used during times of famine when there is not much food to eat. Given that it might reduce appetite, this leads some to suspect that it may also help weight loss. Does it?
Here's what the research says:
In one study involving 43 people, researchers noted that 1000 mg Caralluma fimbriata per day, given for 12 weeks, caused a 2.2-inch reduction in waist circumference relative to placebo as well as a decrease in the waist to hip ratio. Those taking Caralluma fimbriata also appeared to have a decrease in the smell, taste, and look of food. That of course, could lead people to eat less.
The people in this study also followed a lower calorie eating plan. People ate 500 fewer calories than normal. It's also interesting to note that both groups lost similar amounts of weight. Also, those taking carralluma fimbriata did not lose more weight than the placebo group.
In another study involving 50 men and women, those who received 1000 mg 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. There was no clinical difference in body weight.
In this investigation, researchers saw that rats given Caralluma fimbriata experienced less food intake and reduced body weight gain compared to rats that did not receive Caralluma fimbriata.
In a small study conducted on 15 kids with a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome that causes excessive appetite, 1000 mg of caralluma seemed to reduce appetite when given over a 10 week period. Even though this study lasted 10 weeks, the study does not mention if body weight was reduced.
On the flip side, a study published in 2015 that noted Caralluma fimbriata did not work. This study involved 89 overweight people who were randomly given either a placebo or 1000 mg of caralluma per day for 12 weeks. Those taking caralluma did not have any improvements in weight loss or reduction in appetite.
Summary of Caralluma Fimbriata Research
Studies can be complicated so here is a quick rundown on the Caralluma Fimbriata research to help you
|Study Year / Type Of Study||Amount Used||Study Results|
|(2017) Rat study||100mg/kg (see above for human dosage)||Weight reduction|
|(2015) 15 kids with Prader-Willi syndrome). Lasted 10 weeks||1000 mg/day||Reduced appetite. Weight loss data not mentioned.|
|(2015) Human study (89 people). Lasted 12 weeks||1000 mg/day||No reduction in body weight. No reduction in appetite.|
|(2013) Human study (43 people). Lasted 12 weeks||1000 mg/day||Reduced waist circumference, reduced smell and taste for food. compared to placebo. No change in body weight|
|(2010) Rat study||various amounts||Rats weighed less and ate less food|
|(2007) Human study (5 men /women). Lasted 60 days||1000 mg/day||Reduced waste circumference and hunger compared to placebo. No significant changes in body weight.|
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.” Is there any proof it does this?
No human evidence on Chá de Bugre and weight loss could be located. A mouse study published in 2017 noted that Cha de Bugre, both alone and when combined with Spirulina reduced appetite in mice.
Another mouse study noted that acha de bugre did not reduce body weight or food consumption.
The Enzyme Blend
When Skinny Fiber first came out, its website said this about the enzymes:
“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.“
That working has changed and they now say that:
“When we don’t get enough enzymes from our food, our bodies can’t properly digest what we eat, causing use to often have a weaker immune system and gain weight.”
But, it's important to know that our bodies make enzymes. While there are enzymes in food, when we eat them, they are quickly digested in the stomach. Might enzymes be of help to someone who has digestion issues? maybe. But for healthy people, evidence that they help weight loss is lacking.
The label says that 2 Skinny Fiber pills contain 260 mg of the following enzymes:
- Amylase (carbohydrate digesting enzyme)
- Protease (protein-digesting enzyme)
- Lipase (fat-digesting enzyme
- Glucoamylase (sugar digesting enzyme)
- Papain (protein-digesting enzyme)
- Cellulase (carbohydrate digesting enzyme)
- Bromelain (protein-digesting enzyme)
One thing to remember is that enzymes that are eaten are quickly destroyed by the acidity of the stomach soon after they are consumed. Because of that, those enzymes don't get into the blood to do anything.
Enzymes are safe and won't hurt anyone. They might add a little bit of protein but as for helping with weight loss, it would take human studies to know for sure.
How Much Sodium?
If you looked closely at the label above, you saw that 2 capsules contained “5 grams” (5000 mg) of sodium, which the label also indicates is less than 1% of the Daily Value for sodium. But 5 grams is not 1% of the Daily Value for sodium. In fact, 5 grams is far
more than most people should be consuming. Most medical experts advise people to keep sodium to 1500 mg to 2300 mg (1.5 to 2.3 grams). If Skinny Fiber really has 5g, this would put people way over what they should be getting.
Could this be a typo and that the product really has only 5 mg of sodium rather than 5 grams?
If I am wrong, and Skinny Fiber really has 5 grams of sodium (in only 2 capsules), then people watching their sodium intake should be aware of this.
Skinny Fiber Active Ingredients
And, of those two ingredients, I feel glucomannan has the most evidence.
Ingredients With Limited Evidence
No human weight loss evidence could be located or the following ingredients in Skinny Fiber:
- Chá de Bugre
If evidence is found, this review will be updated as it becomes available. If anyone is aware of evidence for any of these ingredients, please share in the comments below.
Skinny Fiber On TV
On January 22, 2014, Skinny Fiber was featured on The Balancing Act, a TV show on the LifeTime Network. The interview featured the CEO of Skinny Fiber and a woman named Kayla, who lost 40 pounds while taking the product. Kayla has a Facebook page where she lists she is a Skinny Fiber distributor. There is nothing wrong with this, but it was not mentioned in the Balancing Act segment.
In the Balancing Act interview, when speaking about why Kayla was able to 40 pounds, the company CEO said:
“The reason that this product was able to work is because the enzymes were able to get her body in a condition where losing weight was possible.”
But, as already mentioned above, there is a lack of evidence that enzymes help weight loss. In fact, the very name – “Skinny Fiber” – tells you that it's the fiber -not the enzymes that are promoting weight loss.
Think about it, they don’t call it “Skinny Enzymes” do they? The simple answer is that Skinny Fiber is a fiber supplement.
Segments seen on the Balancing Act are called “Branded Entertainment Segments.” In other words, the segments feature different brands (products) in a way that is meant to both inform and entertain people.
When I called The Balancing Act, I was told that while the Skinny Fiber segments are not “infomercials,” the companies featured on the show do pay a “pre-production fee” prior to being on the show.
I was told that companies that do not pay this pre-production fee would probably not be featured on The Balancing Act.
So how is this not an infomercial?
There is nothing inherently wrong with this partnership between companies and broadcast media. I bring this up for those who didn’t know what they were watching.
Protandim has also been featured on The Balancing Act so see that review for more information.
Skinny Fiber 90 Day Challenge
There is a Skinny Fiber 90 Day Challenge. To quote Ben Glinsky, in the Balancing Act interview, the reason for the 90-day challenge is that:
“the enzymes that we have in this product have to build in your body and until your body gets healthy enough with those enzymes to be able to let go of that extra fat, losing weight is almost impossible.”
What enzymes is he talking about? He doesn’t tell us.
In my opinion, the reason for the Skinny Fiber 90 Day Challenge is to get people to do something on a regular basis. If they do something regularly, it becomes a habit.
If people spend 90 days trying to lose weight, many of those people will be successful to some extent. There is nothing wrong with it. It gives people goals to aim for and that is a good thing.
Many weight loss companies offer a “challenge” that lasts about 90 days or so. In my opinion, this can all be traced back to the book, Body For Life by Bill Philips, which got people to exercise, eat well and take supplements made by EAS (Bill Philips was the owner of EAS).
It was a win for people because many lost weight and it was a win for EAS because they made a lot of money from people who purchased their supplements. For those who are curious, the supplement company, EAS, was later purchased by Abbot Labs, a pharmaceutical company.
How Much Does The 90 Day Challenge Cost?
Let's do the math for those who are thinking about doing the Skinny Fiber 90 day Challenge:
1 Bottle of skinny fiber costs $59.95. 1 Bottle has 120 capsules which is a 2 month supply (if taking only 2 pills per day). If you are taking 4 pills per day, a bottle of 120 pills will last a month (120 ÷ 4 = 30 days).
If taking 4 capsules per day the 90-day challenge would cost:
59.95 X 3 months = $179.95 (shipping and handling might be extra).
I believe glucomannan is the active ingredient in Skinny Fiber. And Glucomannan is a lot less expensive.
How Many Pills Per Day?
Some distributors advocate taking 2 capsules per day Skinny Fiber at least 30 minutes before eating. This should be done with the biggest meals of the day. For some, this might be 4 pills per day. Take pills with 1 -2 glasses of water.
As with any new supplement, it's best to start with less than is recommended. For example, starting with only 1 pill per day for the first week, followed by 2 pills the following week, and so on until reaching what the company recommends.
How Much Water?
People need to take Skinny Fiber with enough water to completely swallow the capsules. This is to ensure they don't get stuck in the throat. Drinking water during weight loss programs is also advocated because it can also help curb appetite.
Water is good although it should be remembered that drinking so much water that drinking too much is not always the best. There is a medical condition called hyponatremia (high-poe-nay-tree-me-ah). Also called “water intoxication.” This condition results when too much water is consumed.
Basically, the water consumed dilutes the electrolytes in the blood. This can cause headaches, fatigue, confusion and even loss of consciousness. In rare cases, people have died from hyponatremia. This very rare condition is mentioned not to scare anyone, but to rather give people something to think about if they encounter advice that places an unusually high emphasis on drinking water while taking weight loss supplements.
As a rough estimate, aim for drinking half your body weight in water per day. So, for someone who is 180 pounds, this would be 90 oz per day. Looking at the color of your urine can also give an indication too. Yellow urine might mean you are becoming dehydrated.
While the urine test is popular, it should be remembered that the vitamin, riboflavin can also make urine look yellow too. Those who are taking multi vitamins should check how much riboflavin is present if using the urine test for hydration. Skinny Fiber does not have riboflavin.
Does It Contain Caffeine?
Skinny fiber has no caffeine or other stimulants. It is basically a fiber pill supplement.
Does It Contain Gluten?
Skinny Fiber appears to be gluten-free.
Is It Organic?
There is no mention of whether or not Skinny Fiber is organic.
Does Skinny Fiber Contain HCG?
No. skinny fiber does not contain the HCG hormone or any other hormones. Here is the review of HCG diet research for those who want to know more about this.
Skinny Fiber vs. Metamucil
As stated above, it is believed that glucomannan (konjac root extract) is the main active ingredient in Skinny Fiber. Metamucil is another fiber supplement that is marketed to help people lose weight. Metamucil contains a fiber called psyllium. As mentioned in the Metamucil review, there are studies that psyllium fiber can help with weight loss too.
So what's better: Skinny Fiber or Metamucil? At this time there are no head-to-head- clinical studies comparing these products to each other. There are also no studies comparing glucomannan fiber to psyllium fiber either for weight loss.
Could the other ingredients in Skinny Fiber make it better? Of course it's possible. But, that would take clinical studies to prove.
Skinny Fiber Complaints
When looking at online complaints about any product, ask yourself if what you are reading is reasonable or not. For example, someone might complain that they did not receive a product on time. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person complaining and ask yourself if what they are saying would be a problem for you.
The Skinny Fiber Lawsuit
In the comments section below, I was made aware of a lawsuit involving Skinny Fiber. It appears to involve another company called Master Strategies LLC which it said, owns the trademark to Skinny Fiber. Instead of going into detail here, I'll just refer you to the bloggers website to read more about this. Update. It appears the judge has dismissed this lawsuit.
Skinny Fiber Side Effects
Skinny Fiber is likely very safe for most healthy people. That said, here are a few things to consider if you are not healthy. This list is not complete.
- Stop taking Skinny Fiber at least 2 weeks before having surgery.
- Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Drink sufficient water to completely swallow the pills. This is to reduce the chance of choking if the capsules get stuck in the throat. This is a remote chance but it should be kept in mind. Remember, glucomannan expands when it comes in contact with liquids.
- One mouse study noted that at very high levels, Chá de Bugre might break chromosomes. That would be bad if it did because it might lead to conditions like cancer. However, another mouse study noted that Cha de Bugre – both alone and when combined with Spirulina – did not have any effect on chromosomes. Better research should be done to resolve this issue.
Skinny Fiber And Breast Feeding?
Women who are breastfeeding to speak to their doctor about the supplements they take. This is because of the possibility that some supplements may pass from the mom to the baby in the breast milk. It's probably wise to not use this product while they are breastfeeding.
Who Makes Skinny Fiber?
The company is called Skinny Body Care and its website is SkinnyBodyCare.com. This website now redirects to another site called Valentus which has its own dietary supplement line.
The company address used to be 341 W 6100 S Murray, UT 84107. MS #1420.
423 Bussen Underground Rd St. Louis, MO 63129.
It's not known if these addresses are still valid.
How to Return Skinny Fiber?
The contact page of the product website does not list a phone number. They do however list this US address: 423 Bussen Underground Rd St. Louis, MO 63129. This address corresponds to a company called United Fulfillment Center. This may be the company that takes orders and ships Skinny Fiber to customers. The phone number to the fulfillment center is 314.894.3200.
This address is different than the original address found for this product: MS #1420 341 W 6100 S Murray, UT 84107. For those who purchased Skinny Fiber from a distributor, 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.
Does Skinny Fiber Work?
Skinny Fiber is a fiber supplement. Because it uses a type of fiber that has been shown to help weight loss, I would not be surprised if some people said it worked. The main active ingredient in Skinny Fiber is likely glucomannan (konjac fiber). Depending on cost, that might be the lesser expensive way to go.