ProduLife’s Acaluma Slim Review
Acaluma Slim, a weight loss product made by the U.S. company Produlife, specifically targets the Hispanic market in both the States and Puerto Rico. For that reason, most of the promotional material found online is in Spanish. Since my Spanish is a little rusty (and by “rusty” I mean I don’t have any), I needed to use Google’s translation tool to find out a little more about Acaluma Slim from the official web site.
As far as weight loss products go, Acaluma is a pretty simple one; it contains a mere 3 ingredients—CLA (or conjugated linoleic acid), L-Carnitine and Slimaluma (a brand name used for Caralluma Fimbriata, an Indian succulent, or cactus).
Not surprisingly, the retailers talk a lot about clinical studies, assuring us this product is pretty special—even claiming that the combination of CLA and L-carnitine improves the efficiency of Slimaluma, resulting in greater weight loss in a shorter period of time.
Unfortunately, there’s no clinical data to validate this statement.
Regardless, let’s take a closer look at the specific ingredients…
1. Conjugated linoleic Acid (CLA): A non-essential fatty acid found in low concentrations in meat and dairy products. A small body of clinical evidence shows that supplementing with CLA has mild weight loss effects, although results obtained in human trials are inconsistent and less dramatic than those obtained from studies performed on rodents.
Animal studies also suggest CLA can improve blood pressure, but to my knowledge this same effect hasn’t yet been demonstrated in humans.
All that aside, even if we accept the most positive studies for CLA and weight loss, we still have a problem; nowhere in the sales copy does the retailer actually reveal how much CLA their product contains. And that’s critical because dose size has a LOT to do with effectiveness. And CLA needs to be taken at a significant dosage (a minimum of 3 grams) to offer the greatest benefits.
Does a daily serving of Acaluma Slim contain 3 grams or more of CLA?
Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to assess the value CLA may offer to this formula.
2. Slimaluma (Caralluma fimbriata): As indicated earlier, Caralluma is a succulent / cactus native to India. It’s finding its way into more and more weight loss products on the basis of positive “clinical evidence.”
Unfortunately, most of the clinical studies validating Caralluma’s weight loss effects are animal based. I was only able to find one published human-based study, and its results, while positive, where not overwhelming. See for yourself…
“While there was a trend towards a greater decrease in body weight, body mass index, hip circumference, body fat and energy intake between assessment time points in the experimental group, these were not significantly different between experimental and placebo groups. Caralluma extract appears to suppress appetite, and reduce waist circumference when compared to placebo over a 2 month period.”
Additionally, we also have the same problem as we do with CLA; we can’t confirm this product contains an effective dose. Does a daily serving of Acaluma Slim contain 1 gram (1,000 mg) of ingredient like the participants in the clinical trial received?
Once again… who knows?
3. L-Carnitine: I’ve got a full review of L-carnitine here if you’re interested.
For now, suffice to say this is an ingredient that’s been included in fat burners for eons, on the supposition that supplementation increases the body’s ability to mobilize and burn fat.
Problem is, clinical data on L-carnitine is inconsistent and contradictory—some studies show no effect on weight loss, while others do. And even if you were to uncritically accept the positive clinical data, you’ve got two other issues…
- The retailers do not reveal the amount of L-carnitine their product contains.
- Positive studies were conducted with large doses of ingredient—anywhere from 3-6 grams per day. Because of the logistics of capsule size (the largest capsule most people can tolerate—size 00—holds a maximum of 600-1000 mg of ingredients) there’s no way you can get optimal doses of all ingredients in this formula unless you’re taking a ton of capsules several times a day. Since a bottle of Acaluma contains 60 caps—apparently a 30 days supply—we can be sure that neither CLA nor L-carnitine are present at anywhere near optimal doses.
So where does that leave us with Acaluma Slim?
Well, as you’ve seen, it contains two ingredients for which a small amount of supporting clinical evidence exists. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether it contains a potent dosage of any of the ingredients, which makes assessing its overall value very difficult.
Yet another problem is that it’s hard to know exactly what the retail cost of the product is—there’s no price posted on the web site that I could see, but I did find a bottle listed on eBay for just over $40. If this is an accurate indication of Acaluma’s price, it is very expensive indeed, considering that for about $30 you can buy…
- Now brand’s Slimaluma Plus(contains an effective dose of caralluma, green tea and yerba mate standardized for caffeine): 60 caps (a one month supply) retails for just a hair over $14.
- PrimaForce CLA 180 caps: A one month’s supply retails for about $16.
Here’s the bottom line…
If you really want to experiment with the Acaluma Slim formula, you can buy the core ingredients—at the dosages shown useful in the clinical studies—for much less money. Not that we necessarily think it’s a worthwhile experiment, but that would be the way to do it if you were interested.