Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Plexus Slim is advertised as a safe and effective method for weight loss.  The goal is to see if Plexus Slim Pink Drink’s claims on weight control and other health benefits can be scientifically validated based on the available research of each active ingredient in the product.

DESIGN:

Literature searches of studies containing the ingredients contained in the Plexus “Pink Drink”.   Each ingredient with health benefit and weight control claims will be reviewed and complied.

Ingredients and Beneficial Claims

  1. Alpha Lipoic Acid
  2. Chlorogenic Acid (Coffee Bean Extract)
  3. Garcinia Cambogia
  4. Chromium

RESULTS:

Chromium (CR):  The majority of the results show zero evidence for assisting in weight loss.  A couple studies do show a small effect, however the results are statistically irrelevant.  In the studies that showed a small effect, the test subjects ingested between 600-1000 mcg of Chromium daily.  Plexus Slim only contains 200 mcg of Chromium.

Side Effects
Kidney disease: There are at least three reports of kidney damage in patients who took chromium picolinate. Don’t take chromium supplements, if you already have kidney disease.
Liver disease: There are at least three reports of liver damage in patients who took chromium picolinate. Don’t take chromium supplements, if you already have liver disease.
Diabetes: Chromium might lower blood sugar levels too much if taken along with diabetes medications. If you have diabetes, use chromium products cautiously and monitor blood glucose levels closely. Dose adjustments to diabetes medications might be necessary.
Chromate/leather contact allergy: Chromium supplements can cause allergic reactions in people with chromate or leather contact allergy. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and scaling of the skin.
Behavioral or psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia: Chromium might affect brain chemistry and might make behavioral or psychiatric conditions worse. If you have one of these conditions, be careful when using chromium supplements. Pay attention to any changes in how you feel.

Chlorogenic Acid (CA): The control trials I have access to show some small improvement over placebos.  There is also a systematic review that included three other studies that shared the same conclusion.  Most of these studies show a high risk of bias and the studies are all of poor methodological quality.  I systematic review calls for more rigorous trials.

Garcinia Cambogia (HCA): Garcinia Cambogia seems to show some improvement, but the effects are small.  Plexus doesn’t publish how much Garcinia is in their 530mg Plexus Slim Blend. In the studies that show improvement the test subjects took on average 3.06 grams of Garcinia per day.  The lowest dose that worked was 1000mg of HCA per day.  It would seem that it isn’t possible to get a meaningful dose from the Plexus Slim Blend.

Side Effects
Garcinia can cause nausea, digestive tract discomfort, and headache. Study HCA11 shows possible damage to testicles in lab rats.  Men should speak to a urologist before taking HCA.  Study HCA12 shows possible increased heart rate due to serotonin syndrome.  It is recommenced for those on antidepressants to consult a doctor for taking HCA.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): ALA seems to have fairly modest results in doses between 800 – 1800 mg per day.  More research is required to verify the results and to establish a recommend dose.  When it comes to Plexus Slim, there is not enough research to show that the unknown dose of ALA in the 530mg Plexus Slim Blend is high enough to see any results.

Side Effects
Diabetes: Alpha-lipoic acid can decrease blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Excessive use of alcohol/thiamine deficiency: Alcohol can lower the amount of thiamine (vitamin B1) in the body. Taking alpha-lipoic acid when there is a shortage of thiamine might cause serious health problems. If you drink a lot of alcohol or take alpha-lipoic acid, you should take a thiamine supplement.
Thyroid disease: Taking alpha-lipoic acid might interfere with treatments for under-active or over-active thyroid.

CONCLUSION:

Based on the available research of Plexus Slims ingredients, it is highly unlikely that the results people are reporting are because of the product.  It is more likely the result of their modified diet and/or exercise.  Plexus Slim is touted as being a safe product.  While a majority of people would not experience side effects.  There is enough evidence to suggest, the product is not 100% safe and anyone selling the product should inform everyone of the possible side effects and suggest customers to consult a doctor before using their product. High blood pressure and increased heart palpitations were the most commonly reported side effect to the Better Business Bureau.

Sources

cr1. Chromium picolinate supplementation for overweight or obese adults.
cr2. A double-blind, randomized pilot trial of chromium picolinate for binge eating disorder: results of the Binge Eating and Chromium (BEACh) study.
cr3. Chromium supplementation in overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.
cr4, A pilot study of chromium picolinate for weight loss.
cr5. Chromium picolinate and conjugated linoleic acid do not synergistically influence diet- and exercise-induced changes in body composition and health indexes in overweight women.
cr6. Chromium picolinate supplementation in women: effects on body weight, composition, and iron status.
cr7. Dietary supplements for body-weight reduction: a systematic review.
cr8. Chromium picolinate for reducing body weight: meta-analysis of randomized trials.
cr9. Effect of chromium supplementation and exercise on body composition, resting metabolic rate and selected biochemical parameters in moderately obese women following an exercise program.
cr10. Effects of niacin-bound chromium supplementation on body composition in overweight African-American women.
c
r11. The effectiveness of long-term supplementation of carbohydrate, chromium, fibre and caffeine on weight maintenance.
cr12. Chromium and exercise training: effect on obese women.
cr13. Effect of chromium yeast and chromium picolinate on body composition of obese, non-diabetic patients during and after a formula diet.
cr14. Effects of chromium picolinate on body composition.
cr15. Effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on body composition, strength, and urinary chromium loss in football players.
cr16. Chromium picolinate effects on body composition and muscular performance in wrestlers.
hca1. Oral hydroxycitrate supplementation enhances glycogen synthesis in exercised human skeletal muscle
hca2. Does Glycine max leaves or Garcinia Cambogia promote weight-loss or lower plasma cholesterol in overweight individuals: a randomized control trial
hca3. Super CitriMax (HCA-SX) attenuates increases in oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance, and body weight in developing obese Zucker rats
hca4. Reduction of adipose tissue and body weight: effect of water soluble calcium hydroxycitrate in Garcinia atroviridis on the short term treatment of obese women in Thailand
hca5. An overview of the safety and efficacy of a novel, natural(-)-hydroxycitric acid extract (HCA-SX) for weight management
hca6. Effects of Garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid)
hca7. The effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate on energy intake and satiety in overweight humans
hca8. The effects of 2-week ingestion of (–)-hydroxycitrate and (–)-hydroxycitrate combined with medium-chain triglycerides on satiety, fat oxidation, energy expenditure and body weight
hca9. Effects of (-)-hydroxycitric acid on appetitive variables
hca10. (-)-Hydroxycitric acid does not affect energy expenditure and substrate oxidation in adult males in a post-absorptive state
hca11. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial
h
ca12. High dose of Garcinia cambogia is effective in suppressing fat accumulation in developing male Zucker obese rats, but highly toxic to the testis.
h
ca13. Serotonin toxicity associated with Garcinia cambogia over-the-counter supplement.
ca1. The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people
ca2. Independent market study on the effect of coffee shape on weight loss—the effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee (coffee chape) on weight when used in overweight people
c
a3. The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.
ala1. Effects of alpha-lipoic Acid on body weight in obese subjects
ala2. Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation: a tool for obesity therapy?