Once a popular diet pill on the shelves of UK stores such as Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy you would have a job to find it available these days, even online! Let’s take a deeper and more in-depth look at why.
- Contains clinically proven ingredient
- Weight loss results modest at best
- Unpleasant and potential serious side effects
- Requires low fat diet to work
- Lack of availability by retailers
- Contains 60mg Orlistat compared to 120mg in Xenical prescription drug
- Marketed by GlaxoSmithKline
- Unpleasant side effects reported by consumers
Alli, pronounced “Ally”, was first launched in the US in June 2007 as the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved weight loss aid available without prescription. Alli became available in 2009 in the UK when promoted as the lower strength over the counter version of the effective prescription drug, Xenical owned by Roche.
Whereas Xenical contains 120mg of the active ingredient Orlistat, Alli contains half the dose of 60mg. It was allowed to be sold in licensed chemists under the guidelines that staff ensured anyone buying it was over 18 years old and had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 28.
There were a number of anecdotal reports from consumers and watchdog organisations that suggested the “only sell to consumers with a BMI of 28 or more” was largely not enforced.
Alli is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and in 2011 they were reported to be trying to sell this brand along with other over the counter weight loss products they owned. It’s been reported that they took this decision due to the poor performance of Alli sales and the wish to diversify.
Looking at the Official Alli website now and it seems that GSK still own the brand. Maybe they struggled to sell it!
- Diet pill that coined the phrase “Alli Oops” due to the unpleasant side effects!
- Some UK retailers may have pulled the product off the shelve
- Fairly expensive for what is very modest weight loss
What Does Alli Claim To Do?
Alli claims to…
For every 2 lb you work to lose through healthy eating, alli can help you lose 1 lb more…
It does this by…
alli works by blocking 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed so makes your healthy choices even healthier.
So What Is Alli and What Are The Ingredients For Alli?
Alli belongs to the type of diet pills called Fat Binders that aims to reduce the amount of dietary fat absorbed in your meal. Studies have shown that up to 25% of the fat can be absorbed by blocking the enzymes that break down fats in the intestine. These undigested fats are then later removed from the body by the bowels.
There is only one active ingredient in Alli, which is Orlistat the ingredient found in higher strength in the prescription only drug, Xenical. As the dose is half that seen in Xenical no medical supervision is required when taking Alli.
So what is Orlistat?
- Orlistat (60mg): Clinically proven to help weight loss although the results have been fairly modest. Possible unpleasant side effects experienced by consumers led to the phrase “Alli Oops”. Recently the FDA has reported concerns of the small number of consumers suffering from liver injury.
So What Does All This Mean?
Alli is a non prescription, safer (although not side effect free, see below), over the counter versions of prescription drug Xenical.
When taken alongside a diet low in fat and regular exercise Alli can help in reducing calorie consumption by reducing the breakdown of some dietary fats in your meal.
Does Alli Have Any Side Effects?
The most concerning side effect reported concerns the cases of severe liver injury that have been reported with the use of this medication by the FDA.
Read the full FDA Report on Alli here
We should make clear that only 13 cases of severe liver injury have been reported worldwide between April 1999 and August 2009.
Other common side effects do occur though, the most common being consumers have reporting loose bowels when taking Alli, which has led to the phrase “Alli Oops”. This rather unpleasant Alli side effect occurs because of the urgent bowel movements from having oily, loose stools that contain excessive fats! The need to frequently need the toilet has meant consumers have been confined to the bathroom!
When taking Alli you are recommended to take a multivitamin with a meal because the supplement can reduce the levels of some essential fat-soluble vitamins.
Caution: Alli is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers, anyone taking warfarin or ciclosporin, and anyone allergic to Orlistat.
Warning: In 2010 the FDA said that Alli should carry new warnings about the potential of severe liver injury.
Any Alli Reviews From Customers?
There are mixed reviews from consumers who have tried Alli.
Some of positive reviews include…
Best product to aid a healthy eating plan for safe weight loss . Easy to take with each meal .I have tried many things on the market and Alli is the best .
In contrast negative reviews include…
This product worked in a way that it made me go to the toilet more often but it did not have any effect on weight loss overall!
Common themes amongst consumers with negative experiences are related to the need to frequently use the toilet. This was by all means not the experience for consumers taking Alli though.
So Does Alli Work?
There are a number of studies supporting the use of Orlistat in the treatment for obesity. Clinical trials undertaken by GSK with Alli showed that…
when used in conjunction with a reduced calorie, lower-fat diet, can help people lose 50 per cent more weight than by dieting alone
Interestingly trials with Orlistat have given mixed results with the weight loss achieved, with one study showing on average a 5-10% decrease in body mass during a one-year clinical trial.
This same study showed a significant number of the subjects regaining up to 35% of weight after stopping taking Orlistat!
More information can be found here: http://www.rxlist.com/xenical-drug/clinical-pharmacology.htm
It would seem that Alli can trigger modest reductions in weight loss although Orlistat can cause gastrointestinal side effects.
More information here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15266516
Where Can I Buy Alli?
Alli used to be one of the main weight loss brands promoted by High Street shops Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy, not to mention clearly visible on TV adverts day and night.
Now Alli seems to be UNAVAILABLE both online and on UK high street shops.
Anyone selling Alli are suppose to check the supplement is suitable by ensuring the Body Mass Index (BMI) is above 28. We have received reports that this rarely happens!
Alli comes in various packs from 42, 84 and 120 tablets, as you take up to 3 tablets per day only the largest pack contains enough for one month’s supply.
Out of Stock? Retailers who used to stock Alli now display “alli will be out of stock for the foreseeable future.” messages!
By carefully following a low-fat diet and regular exercise programme then Alli may offer modest weight loss at best.
We can see no reason why any consumers would wish to suffer the unpleasant side effects that seem to have affected many consumers, pay the relatively high cost for what is such little weight loss.
On top of this Alli seems impossible to get hold on at the moment!
For these reasons we reject Alli diet pills.