Does Caralluma fimbriata extract help with weight loss?

I was asked about this herbal extract recently.  It’s being marketed in a weight loss supplement at the moment. 

Caralluma fimbriata is extracted from an edible cactus that is grown in India.  It is marketed as an appetite suppressant that will help people lose weight.  In the supplement on the market in Australia the dosage is 6g of Caralluma fimbriata.

So let’s talk about the research available on this extract. 

Remember that in the pharmaceutical industry a drug cannot be sold until there are several long term studies.  A good solid study would have at least 1500 volunteers with at least half receiving the active study drug, half receiving a placebo “non active” tablet, with the side effects closely monitored and results documented for at least 1 year.

There was one study on humans that ran for 60 days.  Fifty overweight volunteers were in the study with half receiving placebo. The dose of the extract was 1g per day.    The study found that there was a significant drop in waist measurement and appetite and a trend of weight loss that wasn’t statistically different between groups.

The only other study was on 18 rats.  The rats were given two different types of food (pellets or pellets and “cafeteria style food”  and given differing doses of Caralluma fimbriata for 90 days and there was an effect on appetite on the 3rd week of taking the extract in the highest dose and less weight gain in those receiving Caralluma fimbriata.

Bottom line:
This extract may or may not help with weight loss, there’s not enough research. There haven’t been any long term studies to show what kind of weight loss could occur and be sustained at 1 year.  Side effects are unknown at this stage.  It is constantly amazing how herbal extracts can be marketed as helping with weight loss with very small research studies compared to the medications that a doctor can prescribe.
Journal Nutrition Metabolism  2010: 2010:285301 Antiobesogenic and Antiatherosclerotic Properties of Caralluma fimbriata Extract

Appetite 2007 May 48 (3) : 338-44  Effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake, and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women.

4 thoughts on “Does Caralluma fimbriata extract help with weight loss?

  1. You may be interested to know of my experience. The extract, in the form of “Reducta” tablets, does seem to suppress my appetite. However I’ve been finding that it gives me an unpleasant, pepped-up feeling which seems to be affecting my heart. I’m susceptible to depression and that is also a bit bad at the moment although I think this is due to another cause. Needless to say, I’m going to discontinue using it for a while.

  2. Hi Bernard,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It will be interesting to see if your experiences are common when this herbal extract is studied further. I hope you are feeling better if you have discontinued the product and don’t forget to talk to your Doctor if you are feeling depressed. Cathie.

  3. It turned out that the pepped-up feeling was caused by caffeine – in tea. I seem to have some sort of sensitivity.

    In the end, it became apparent that the Reducta was doing nothing at all.

    And the big D is back under control, thank you.

  4. Yes, caralluma fimbriata DOES help with weight loss. I found it very effective! I take either ‘Reducta Hunger Reduction’ or the ‘Swisse Appetite Suppressant’ depending which is on special at the time. I make sure it contains no other ingredients. Green tea makes me nauseous on an empty stomach. In 6 months I lost 13 kgs. Yes, I modified my diet a little by decreasing carbs and sugar. And I try to walk for 30 minutes at least 4 days a week. I don’t often eat highly processed foods. Why do I think it’s the caralluma fimbriata and not diet and exercise changes that resulted in weight loss? Because I had previously reduced my food intake far more drastically while hitting the gym quite intensely and, without taking the caralluma fimbriata (CF) supplement, didn’t lose a bloody gram! CF isn’t a miracle supplement but if taken about an hour before a meal (twice a day) I feel fuller much quicker. After a couple of weeks of taking it I was feeling generally less hungry and my blood-sugar levels seemed to be much more stable. I wasn’t getting the headaches and dizziness that dieting usually causes me. I’m continuing to take CF because I feel better doing so. I haven’t lost any more weight in the last couple of months but I’m happy with the weight I am now, and am just wanting to maintain it, which I am. I’d like to say that if you are younger than I am (I’m 46 and female) and if you work harder at exercise and diet than I did, I think you’d be likely to lose more weight and far more quickly than I did. I lost the weight with CF not exactly effortlessly, but without much hard physical work and hunger suffering :). It seems to have also given me some decent muscle tone that i don’t really deserve. So, I’m very happy I discovered caralluma fimbriata and highly recommend it. The high cost of these products is dismaying, but it’s been worth it to me to get my healthy body back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *