AUTHORITY NUTRITION

Plexus Slim Review: Weight Loss, Side Effects and More

Written by Helen West, RD on August 28, 2016

Plexus Slim is a powdered weight loss supplement that you mix with water and drink.

It's sometimes called "the pink drink" because the powder turns the water pink.

Plexus Slim is claimed to help you lose weight by making you feel more full. It is also claimed to help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The recommended dose is one drink per day, to be taken half an hour before a meal.

Learn more about Plexus Slim in this objective and 100% independent review.

What Is in Plexus Slim?

Like many weight loss supplements, Plexus Slim is a mixture of ingredients, all of which are claimed to help with weight loss.

The main ingredients in Plexus Slim are:

  • Chromium: 200 mcg.
  • Plexus Slim Blend (green coffee bean extract, garcinia cambogia extract and alpha lipoic acid): 530 mg.

Unfortunately, not a single scientific study has been done on Plexus Slim.

However, its 4 main active ingredients have been studied separately in many research studies. The theory is that a combination of these 4 ingredients will have a significant effect on your weight.

In order to determine if Plexus Slim is likely to work for weight loss, we will now review each of the 4 ingredients separately.

Bottom Line: Plexus Slim contains chromium, green coffee bean extract, garcinia cambogia and alpha lipoic acid.

Active Ingredient 1: Chromium

Chromium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in metabolizing carbs, fat and protein.

For this reason, it's a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements. It's also sold as a weight loss supplement on its own.

In some studies, chromium has been shown to improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity, which can lower insulin levels (, ).

In the form of chromium picolinate, chromium has also been shown to help reduce some people's appetite and carb cravings (, ).

In theory, these effects could help people eat fewer calories, as well as burn more fat due to lower insulin levels. This has led to speculation that chromium may aid weight loss.

However, although chromium appears effective in some people, science has yet to show that it consistently improves blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in everyone ().

Also, despite the promising theory, studies so far have failed to show any effect of chromium on body weight or body fat (, , ).

Bottom Line: Chromium has been shown to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in some people. However, studies haven't found that chromium supplements have any effect on weight or body fat.

Active Ingredient 2: Garcinia Cambogia Extract

Garcinia cambogia extract is a popular weight loss supplement extracted from a tropical fruit of the same name.

Several studies show that animals lose large amounts of weight and belly fat when given garcinia cambogia (, ).

This effect is thought to be caused by a natural substance found in garcinia cambogia, known as hydroxycitric acid, or HCA.

HCA is thought to help with weight loss by making it more difficult for your body to store excess energy as fat. It does this by blocking the action of a fat-producing enzyme called citrate lyase (, ).

It's also claimed that garcinia cambogia could help reduce your appetite by increasing levels of the hormone serotonin in the brain.

Despite causing impressive amounts of weight loss in animal studies, the effects in humans have been much smaller and inconsistent (, , , , , , ).

One review found that, over 12 weeks, the average amount of weight lost by people taking garcinia cambogia supplements was just 2 lbs (0.88 kg) more than in those who took a placebo ().

It's also worth noting that many of the studies in this review combined taking garcinia cambogia with dieting, which may have influenced the results.

On its own, garcinia cambogia is unlikely to help you lose much weight.

Bottom Line: Garcinia cambogia is claimed to help you burn fat and control cravings. However, it hasn't proven to be very effective in humans.

Active Ingredient 3: Green Coffee Bean Extract

Green coffee beans are just normal coffee beans that haven't been roasted.

Like roasted coffee beans, green coffee beans contain some caffeine. In some studies, caffeine has increased metabolic rate by up to 3–11% (, ).

However, the potential weight loss effects of green coffee beans are thought to come from an ingredient called chlorogenic acid.

Before roasting, coffee beans contain significant amounts of chlorogenic acid.

Chlorogenic acid is thought to decrease the amount of carbs absorbed from your gut when you eat. This leads to lower blood sugar and insulin levels (, ).

In animal studies, chlorogenic acid decreased body fat and improved the function of the fat-burning hormone adiponectin ().

Some small human studies have also provided positive results ().

Most notably, one experiment followed the weight change of 30 obese people over 12 weeks. People were given either normal instant coffee or instant coffee supplemented with added chlorogenic acid ().

They found that those drinking instant coffee with chlorogenic acid lost an average of 8.2 lbs (3.7 kg) more than those drinking normal instant coffee.

However, many of the studies on green coffee beans have been quite small and sponsored by the companies that sell it.

That doesn't invalidate their results, but it is worth keeping in mind as industry sponsored studies are much more likely to have a positive outcome ().

A recent meta-analysis pointed out that many of the studies looking at green coffee beans had poor designs. As a result, they may exaggerate the potential benefits ().

Larger, better-designed studies are needed to determine if green coffee beans can help you lose weight ().

Bottom Line: Green coffee beans have been shown to cause modest weight loss in some studies. However, the current evidence in humans is weak.

Active Ingredient 4: Alpha Lipoic Acid

The final active ingredient in Plexus Slim is alpha lipoic acid (ALA) — a fatty acid that plays an important role in energy metabolism.

It's a powerful antioxidant thought to have potential as a weight loss aid ().

You make ALA inside your body. It also naturally occurs in foods, so you do get a small amount from what you eat.

Studies show that ALA can decrease blood sugar levels and help relieve symptoms of nerve damage in people with diabetes (, , ).

Research also shows ALA supplements can reduce markers of inflammation associated with insulin resistance, liver disease, cancer, heart disease and several other health conditions (, , , , , , ).

Its anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-reducing effects have led to investigations into ALA as a weight loss aid.

One small, 10-week study found that women on a diet who also took ALA lost significantly more weight than those who followed the diet alone ().

Other studies have found similar results (, , , , ).

However, many studies investigating the effects of ALA on weight loss have used dosages of around 300 mg per day. It's not clear how much ALA is in Plexus Slim.

At the moment, most studies investigating ALA are small and short in duration. Larger studies are needed to assess its effectiveness.

Bottom Line: Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) may help you lose weight in the short term. Long-term results are unknown. It's also not clear if there is enough ALA in Plexus Slim to help with weight loss.

Safety and Side Effects

No serious side effects have been recorded for Plexus Slim, and overall it appears to be a safe supplement.

However, like many other diet supplements, more research is needed about its long-term effects and safety.

Some people have reported unpleasant but non-serious side effects such as bloating, gas, nausea, stomach ache and constipation.

Plexus slim also contains caffeine, which can cause side effects such as headaches, dizziness, anxiety and insomnia if too much is taken.

At their recommended doses, the other ingredients in Plexus Slim are generally considered safe (, , , ).

However, at very high doses — above recommended amounts — some ingredients such as alpha lipoic acid could be dangerous ().

Bottom Line: No studies have investigated the safety or side effects of Plexus Slim, but all the ingredients are considered safe at the recommended dosages.

Does Plexus Slim Work For Weight Loss?

Early research shows that some of the ingredients in Plexus Slim may help you lose weight in the short term.

Yet it's unclear how much of these ingredients Plexus Slim contains. Therefore, it's impossible to know if they're available in the right amounts to work.

There also isn't any research about their effects on long-term weight loss.

Overall, Plexus Slim may help you lose a little bit of weight if combined with a healthy diet and exercise, but it is unlikely to help significantly on its own.

More about weight loss supplements:

An evidence-based nutrition article from our experts at Authority Nutrition.

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