“It is well known that Lida Daidaihua has helped many people slim down without side effects. Besides the obvious slimming function, there are also many other positive effects. For example, it can increase energy levels, keep you far away from hunger and clear away toxins. To enjoy these incredible results, dieters only need to take 1 pill once a day – how easy is that? Still hesitate? Just give it a go!”
Apparently the slimming is “obvious”. These are some strong words and today we’re going to bust through them to get to the truth about the product and its benefits.
Lida Daidaihua isn’t just a ridiculous name – everything about the retail and wholesale of this product strikes us as confusing and shady. This could just be the result of imported products and a low-quality approach to sales copywriting, but it does make it difficult to trust the company itself and the products they sell through various third-party drop shippers.
We’ve found that there are big cultural differences in the way that supplements are made and marketed, with products either containing stimulants or being aimed at general-wellness, despite being marketed as slimming or fat-burning dietary supplements.
We do have to approach these products with a few things in mind, and Daidaihua is a great example of this:
- The countries where these products are manufactured have a much smaller obesity problem and a healthier diet on average
- The importance of traditional/herbal medicines is a big part of Eastern Asian dietary supplements
- Their focus is not on weight loss but on some form of well-being and general sense/perception of feeling better
These aren’t definitive reasons to consider them better or worse, but it is a crucial lens through which we need to look at these products.
What is Lida Daidaihua?
This was actually a difficult question to answer as there are many sites claiming to be the official source of the product. However, there are different accounts of what we can expect from the product and some sites don’t even describe what is in the supplement or what it does.
When you dig into the ingredient list, however, you get 4 active ingredients:
- Bitter Orange: a low-level stimulant that has some tenuous connection to benefits like very mild weight loss. This is very low compared to other compounds like theanine, but with even less confirmed benefits and a much higher risk of damaging your organs .
- Lotus Leaf: a common form of tea leaf on the Korean peninsula, but a compound with almost no research linking it to weight loss or health improvements. Even if we assume similarities to chamomile or other flower teas, there’s not much to commend this as a health supplement (yet?).
- Cassia Seed: This seed is relatively innocuous but there are suggestions in the literature that it may have a positive effect on cancer risk – we’re still lacking research but this is the first suggestion that Daidaihua may have positive health benefits.
- Rhizoma Alismatis: This is a common ingredient in various traditional medicines in eastern Asia, being used to combat hyperlipidemia and cancer (though research is lacking). On the other hand, it might cause liver damage  – something that seems to be exactly the opposite of a health supplement.
Does it Work?
No, not really.
If we consider this to be a weight loss supplement then there’s no doubt that It’s massively inferior to common weight loss compounds – even caffeine. Obviously, this product isn’t specifically designed to combat obesity – as mentioned above. With that said, it does seem to be ineffective for that purpose.
Beyond simply being ineffective for weight loss, it does appear to miss the general point of health and wellbeing. The ingredients in this product rely on anecdotal evidence that has either not been substantiated (i.e. guessing), or they’ve been the subject of scientific research for negative reasons.
For example, the inclusion of Rhizoma Alismatis is contra-indicated by the fact that it has serious concerns for hepatotoxicity. Given the risk we associate with liver damage and the absolutely crucial role that the liver plays in health, this seems unforgivable for a product that is aimed at longevity and general wellbeing.
You know what’s bad for your wellbeing? Liver damage.
Reliability: Can we Trust Daidaihua?
There are some serious problems with dealing with international supplements and other dietary adjuncts. While it’s a tough process to judge cultural differences regarding supplements, we’ve seen continued evidence that imported diet pills have been unreliable, unsafe, and often contain illegal substances that are harmful to your health.
Again, it’s important to be discerning with this process as there are definitely some legitimate compounds that can bring you great results. The market itself is not the problem, but the culture surrounding drop-shipped, Chinese-produced supplements that have a history of causing heart problems and dozens of associated deaths.
This isn’t a problem with Daidaihua specifically – there are no exacting analyses of this product – but it does reduce our confidence in this product. Independently of the effects it's going to have on your liver, this product requires serious caution to deal with the possible negative effects. The question here is: why not buy a domestic product?
Buying ‘Merican: Not just Protectivism
Whatever your political stance on economic beliefs, there are indisputable benefits to buying an American-made supplement instead of a lower-price, drop-shipped Chinese supplement.
The first of these is simply comparing Daidaihua to the market. There are countless products that are made in the United States that utilize research-backed ingredients and combinations. These are actually going to be effective without the guesswork associated with using traditional medicines and herbs that haven’t been explored in controlled human trials.
Perhaps the most important difference, however, is the implementation of FDA regulations and the serious penalties that come with selling products that have predictable negative effects on health.
Daidaihua, as an internationally-shipped product, is not subject to any review or quality control – this is why we’ve seen a spate of such products containing “off-label” products and using manufacturing practices that often result in cross-contamination (often with steroids), or simple, intentional inclusion of dangerous stimulants.
The conclusion of this is that there’s no real benefit to buying this product over a regular diet aid from the US aside from the mild difference in price. This shouldn’t really be a concern as there are no foreseeable benefits to Daidaihua, but many risks . The additional cost of a product that works and is less likely to harm you seems justified!
There are some real problems with Daidaihua and they’re not all the result of the company’s own actions – though, some of them are.
The product itself doesn’t satisfy our minimum criteria for being a good supplement: it’s not safe, effective, or beneficial to a well-balanced diet. If a supplement fails the first of these (safety) then there’s absolutely no reason to use it without huge benefits to trade off with.
Daidaihua’s liver risk and the uncertainty we have about the manufacturing processes behind it are a real concern. They put the user at risk with almost no real benefits, with all their claims being unsubstantiated (at least in English).
As a result, we’re going to have to give Lida Daidaihua a 1/5. It is unsafe (with risks of liver damage), generally-ineffective (no weight loss, not even much likelihood of health benefits) and it doesn’t seem to have much use as a complement to a healthy diet – perhaps the opposite!
 Haller, Christine A., Neal L. Benowitz, and Peyton Jacob III. “Hemodynamic effects of ephedra-free weight-loss supplements in humans.” The American journal of medicine 118.9 (2005): 998-1003.
 YUEN, M‐F., et al. “Traditional Chinese medicine causing hepatotoxicity in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection: a 1‐year prospective study.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 24.8 (2006): 1179-1186.
 Bonkovsky, Herbert L. “Hepatotoxicity associated with supplements containing Chinese green tea (Camellia sinensis).” Annals of internal medicine 144.1 (2006): 68.
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.