Achieving optimal health is essential in an increasingly sedentary and affluent society. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has tripled on the planet since 1975. More than 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight, of which 625 million are obese.
With these data, the complications associated with obesity are also increasing. Heart failure is the leading cause of death in adults in high-income countries, and this clinical picture is promoted by overweight and obesity in up to 60% of cases. There is a clear correlation between a high body mass index (BMI) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), accelerated cellular aging, various types of cancer (gastric and colorectal, among others), depression, diabetes and others. clinical entities.
The general population is increasingly aware of the dangers of obesity and persistent overweight, so new solutions are being sought to reduce this condition. However, up to 80% of people do not try to follow a typical diet. Food supplements try to help in the weight loss process, and Mercadona’s Reduslim is one of the most popular. in the parapharmaceutical field. Here we put it to the test.
What are food supplements?
First, it is essential to delimit what a dietary supplement is in general, beyond the brand of the product and the surface where it is distributed. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) defines a dietary supplement as a compound whose purpose is to supplement (which is worth the redundancy) an individual food for a specific purpose.
Typically, these supplements contain one or more of the following ingredients: vitamins, minerals, elements typical of herbal medicine, amino acids, metabolites, or ingredients and extracts produced from the combination of these elements. Due to their predominantly “herbal” nature, it should be noted that these compounds are not considered drugs, but are classified as dietary supplements.
This distinction, even if it does not appear to be, is extremely important. Because they are classified as foods and not as drugs or drugs, the definition of their usefulness and effectiveness is limited to the seller of the product. In other words, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can take a harmful supplement off the market, but they don’t have to verify whether or not it is fully useful for the task it was designed to be used for.
For this reason, a supplement does not have to go through the entire process of lab analysis and testing to be listed for sale in a drugstore or large retail space. In these cases, it remains only to trust (or not) the opinions of nutritionists or the supposed properties that the sellers of the product defend. As you can imagine at this point, you should always look at these supplements from a skeptical point of view, as no one can assure you that their usefulness is real. Be careful and don’t be fooled.
What is Mercadona Reduslim? It works?
On this occasion we have in front of us the product Reduslim, which is mainly for sale in the large commercial chain Mercadona. According to the official product website, this compound in oral tablet form blocks the absorption of fast carbohydrates, provides a feeling of fullness, burns stored fat and improves digestion, speeding up metabolism.
They also claim that “scientists have shown that Reduslim is effective 99% of the time.” We will test this claim by dissecting each of the essential compounds contained in the tablets.: L-carnitine, glucomannan tuber extract, Garcinia camboyana fruit extract and Gymnema wild leaf extract. As we have not found these studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of Reduslim, it is time to turn to external scientific sources.
The clinical study Effects of L-carnitine supplementation on weight loss and body composition, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition in 2020, attempts to explore the effects of L-carnitine on weight loss, after having analyzed 37 different studies selected at random.
Apparently, L-Carnitine supplements appear to modestly reduce weight loss (1.21 kg) in obese people who diet with professional help. However, an optimal value of 2,000 milligrams of daily intake is established to observe significant effects, a value that cannot be verified if the tablet manufacturer does not publish the exact percentages of each compound.
2. Glucomannan tuber extract
Glucomannan is a high molecular weight polysaccharide found in the cell walls of some plants, so it is considered a type of dietary fiber. It is often used as a food additive for its emulsifying and thickening properties, but in recent years it has also become fashionable as a dietary supplement.
Sources that market it claim that when mixed with water, this type of fiber could take up space in the stomach, which would help increase satiety in patients trying to decrease their calorie intake. . So far, the scientific community has not been able to confirm these properties, so this ingredient has not been linked to weight loss, at least in the lab.
3. Cambodian Garcinia extract
The shrub referred to in the Reduslim table of contents is not really called that. It is actually Garcinia gummi-gutta, a vegetable that grows in southern India and found in the Clusiaceae family. Since 2012, this garcinia fruit concentrate has experienced a media boom as it is claimed to have miraculous abilities to reduce weight in patients.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only has the effects of garcinia on dieters not been confirmed, studies such as “The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight Loss Supplement” date that patients consuming this compound are twice as likely to experience gastrointestinal symptoms during treatment. Due to these studies (and the hepatotoxic potential of the compound), the withdrawal of this extract from the market has been requested on several occasions.
4. Wild Gymnema leaf extract
Again, the designation of this compound is not entirely correct. Suppose on the official Reduslim website it refers to Gymnema sylvestre, a climbing plant native to Asia, China and the Arabian Peninsula.
In this case, the outlook is a bit more encouraging. Studies such as “Effects of natural (-) – hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) extract and the combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss” have show that some obese patients have lost up to 6% more weight by consuming supplements of this plant. The number of samples is very low (60 patients followed), but the results are not bad.
The chemical compounds in this plant appear to adhere to receptors in the intestinal walls, helping to reduce the absorption of simple sugars from the gastrointestinal tract. This could cause insulin to secrete into the blood and lower blood sugar levels, although more research is needed to confirm these properties.
If there is one thing that we teach in schools that teach science subjects, it is that we are wary of words and pay more attention to numbers. Any biologist, nutritionist or healthcare professional should be skeptical when talking about dietary supplements because, as we have said, their sale is not regulated at the government level, except in exceptional cases where the compound is dangerous. .
We cannot guarantee that Reduslim Mercadona is a scam, but of course its effectiveness has not been proven either (or the studies that prove it are not publicly available). Maybe it helps reduce body mass or maybe not, however clearly impartial studies do not seem to indicate that its effectiveness is miraculous.
At this point and after the data presented, the ability to choose belongs only to the consumer. If you need more evidence to make a decision, check out the bibliography, as we cite the studies you’ve viewed and more.
- Ansari, RM and Omar, NS (2017). Weight Loss Supplements: Boo or Bane ?. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences: MJMS, 24 (3), 1.
- Huntington, MK and Shewmake, RA (2010). Weight Loss Supplements: What Is The Evidence. SD Med, 63 (6), 205-207.
- Maughan, RJ, King, DS and Lea, T. (2004). Food supplements. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22 (1), 95-113.
- Onakpoya, I., Hung, SK, Perry, R., Wider, B. & Ernst, E. (2011). The use of Garcinia extract (hydroxycitric acid) as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Obesity Magazine, 2011.
- Preuss, HG, Bagchi, D., Bagchi, M., Rao, CS, Dey, DK and Satyanarayana, S. (2004). Effects of a natural extract of (-) – hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus chromium linked to niacin and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 6 (3), 171-180.
- Talenezhad, N., Mohammadi, M., Ramezani-Jolfaie, N., Mozaffari-Khosravi, H. and Salehi-Abargouei, A. (2020). Effects of L-carnitine supplementation on weight loss and body composition: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 37 randomized controlled clinical trials with dose-response analysis. ESPEN clinical nutrition.