Right off the bat, it's important to note that this product isn’t actually related to the gastric band surgical procedure. While they both represent an attempt at short-cutting willpower, diet, and a healthy lifestyle, that’s as far as the likeness goes. Clinico, the producer of this product, seems to have chosen the name because it’s intended to be successful. This is an open question, and today we’re going to use science to highlight whether or not the pill is as effective as the invasive procedure after which it’s named.
The main reason for choosing this name is because the pill is aimed at reducing appetite.
This is intended to work by reducing calorie intake and improving adherence to a diet. Clinico, naturally, offers no explanation as to how this is achieved.
Our warning alarms really begin when a company, such as Clinico, chooses not to disclose the ingredients in their product. As far as manufacturing practices go, this is about as bad as it gets (and it makes the review process far more difficult than necessary). The official website is mostly advertisements, brightly-colored testimonies, and a distinct lack of information on the ingredients, studies, and mechanisms for their ambitious claims.
This is always the big question. As Clinico provides no information on their supplement's ingredients and exactly what it does, it is difficult to easily decipher how the Gastric Band Pill works.
As the pill is primarily meant to work through reduction of appetite, alongside claims that it “maximizes your metabolism”, it can be assumed that, as with many other dietary supplements, the ingredients are thought to stimulate hormones which can make the brain believe the stomach is full. But this is a mere assumption: we’ve already seen time and time again how supplement companies are more than happy to make claims of metabolic support with either ineffective ingredients (such as Garcinia or Raspberry ketones), or totally irrelevant ingredients that have no clinical basis.
The only reference made to the Gastric Band Pills’ ingredients is: “It contains not only medical plant and herbal elements but also a massive spectrum of minerals, salts and face elements” – this does little to enthuse us about the product. The use of natural ingredients has been discussed in previous articles, but to reiterate: natural is not the same as effective or healthy. If anything, we’re more concerned by the potential for heavy metal contamination and excessive salt intake based on this statement.
Clinico claims that their gastric band pill is “a natural, cheaper alternative” as it acts to suppress appetite without the need for surgery, specifically gastric band surgery. For context, this is a procedure costing around $10,000 and only being offered to the morbidly obese. Clearly, this is an exaggeration on Clinico’s part. This is even bolder a claim in light of the lack of clinical trials to back up this information.
The claim of boosting metabolism is both widespread in the supplement industry as “jargon”, but is also difficult to evince. We’ve already seen that Clinico is secretive with their ingredient list, so we have two reasonable assumptions:
Sadly, we can’t differentiate between the two cases or discuss the finer scientific literature surrounding this product because the manufacturer has not made these details public.
Clinico state that the Gastric band pill is so effective that the result is “automatic”, an incredibly irresponsible statement implying that no change in diet or exercise regime is necessary. This contributes to a continued “magic pill” culture that doesn’t seem to be rooted in science nor in the best interests of consumers. A supplement company that promotes their own, undisclosed ingredients as automatic, without a discussion of the importance of diet and exercise, is attempting to sell weight loss in a single product.
The only insight into the workings of the Clinico Gastric Band Pill are the images available on the internet. These are barely legible as they are, and don’t constitute an official source of information on the product. We’ve discussed them below, but if you’re looking for a definitive source, you’re going to either have to buy the product or rely on google images – neither of which are a good guide to supplements.
If you’re willing to go along with the google images information on the product and don’t mind a small leap of faith, you’ll be underwhelmed with the quality of the ingredients. After lots of research and some hard squinting, we’ve identified the following ingredients:
A natural stimulant derived from the seeds of a South American tree. Guarana has a high caffeine content, making it a common stimulant. Some believe Guarana to have many weightless properties, as it is said to boost metabolism through induction of thermogenesis, but food-based thermogenesis is a more common effect of proteins and other foods.
The only metabolic advantages of this product are the result of its effect as a stimulant: there are some mild side-effects worth considering with this product, such as nausea, headaches, insomnia, digestive discomfort and a racing heart. We expect a mild effectiveness, but no greater than other caffeine-based supplements on the market.
Yerba mate is a tea brewed from a plant found in South America. Yerba mate is another source of caffeine, in addition to Guarana, and we’re starting to suspect that the main purpose of this product is to increase stimulant intake which has been suggested to reduce overall hunger but has also been linked to many side-effects (like those mentioned above).
Yerba contains some interesting ingredients, but studies on its effectiveness for weight loss have shown negligible results or incredibly modest results through high dosage. Overall, it doesn’t seem to be any more effective in weight loss than regular green tea – we’re still looking for the active ingredient in the Gastric Band Pill!
This final ingredient is well known in the weight loss supplement industry and should supposedly act to suppress appetite. The problem is that research doesn’t seem to back up the effectiveness of this ingredient. The bioactive ingredient that is supposed to suppress appetite has poor penetration of the blood-brain barrier.
Beyond this, some studies actually suggest that Hoodia is mildly toxic. Clearly, with a lack of concrete benefits and a modest risk of causing you tangible harm, it may be safer and wiser to avoid Hoodia altogether. This is another example of Clinico exaggerating the benefits of ingredients and brushing the risks out of sight. While these products may all be ‘herbal and natural’ the greater problem is that they are clearly stimulant-based (which is problematic in high doses) and include compounds considered to be mildly toxic.
In short? Not really.
This product may have some mild effects on the metabolism but they are primarily the result of a huge dose of caffeine. The herbal extracts don’t seem to have any special properties above and beyond their effects as stimulants. From what we’ve seen of the science and the overall effectiveness of the product, you can expect similar effects to a mixture of coffee and energy drinks throughout the day, with the added effects of mild toxicity.
We’re usually pretty skeptical of wonder supplements that claim to automatically burn your fat, and unsurprisingly the Gastric Band Pill is comparable to many other such pills: ineffective, full of hyperbole, and genuinely dangerous to health. We consider this product to be genuinely unsafe for use as it has more negatives than positives, and its overall effectiveness for weight loss is well-summarised as more than a black coffee but probably less than a Matcha tea.
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The Gastric Band Pill claims to help you lose weight without making any drastic changes to your everyday diet or lifestyle. Unfortunately, Clinico seems to have no clinical evidence or official ingredient list to allow us to provide a definitive analysis of the product. This is especially concerning when one of the ingredients has already been identified as toxic, and the consumer isn’t provided with the necessary information to decide whether they’re going to take the risk until after they’ve bought the product.
This is a clearly-suspicious company ‘over-marketing’ an underperforming supplement as the key to weight loss without putting in any hard work. This is the usual story of the supplement industry, and products like this are symptomatic of everything that is wrong with the industry itself. Avoid this supplement, this company, and any other company that hides ingredient lists or doesn’t provide adequate evidence: your money and health are too precious to gamble on a ‘gastric band’ pill.
Amanda is a gym instructor and a diet and nutrition fanatic that has reviewed 100s of supplements for the benefit of consumers. She struggled with obesity 7 years ago and after losing more than 30lbs, dedicates most of her time in helping others achieve similar results and transform their lives.
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