SomnaSlim Review: The Best Night Time Diet Pill?

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in Kitchen Sink, Thermogenics

“Lose weight in your sleep”, boasts the advertising for the night time diet pill SomnaSlim, “or get your money back, guaranteed!”

Wow! Now that’s taking the whole “losing weight is easy” thing to an entirely new level.

Nonetheless, it’s not difficult to see why such claims such as this one manage to ensnare customers. It is, after all, an appealing thought; as you sleep comfortably, SomnaSlim‘s unique blend of herbs works unobtrusively in the background, incinerating fat and transforming your body into a lean, mean, sexy machine. A night time diet pill? Lose weight while you sleep? Where do I sign up?

Of course, this is nothing but fantasy. Both your metabolic rate and your caloric requirements are at their lowest when you’re sleeping. And there is no miraculous blend of herbs that is going to crank up some internal fat burning furnace while you’re dreaming of hot fudge sundaes and endless buffets.

But what about a product that helps you sleep better? Will that help you lose weight? After all, in the SomnaSlim FAQs it states…

“Did you know that there is a correlation between not enough sleep and gaining weight? Somnaslim will help put you to sleep and burn fat…at the same time!”

Well, there is a study (Arch Intern Med. 2005 Jan 10;165(1):25-30) that does confirm that reduced amounts of sleep is associated with overweight and obese status.

However, the authors of this study torpedo the SomnaSlim statement when they state…

“We caution that this study does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between restricted sleep and obesity. Investigations demonstrating success in weight loss via extensions of sleep would help greatly to establish such a relationship.”

Ooops. I guess the SomnaSlim retailers either missed this, or decided to conveniently overlook it.

That said, is there any merit to the SomnaSlim formula? Let’s have a look at what’s in it…

i. Garcinia cambogia (200 mg): Standardized for hydroxycitric acid, an early study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1596-600) indicated that hydroxycitric acid has no positive weight loss effects, concluding…

“Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo.”

ii. Melatonin (2 mg): An antioxidant, this ingredient is well known for its role in sleep regulation.

Plus a 1200 mg strong blend of the following…

iii. Valerian root: Commonly recognized for its use as a natural sleep aid, although research suggests it appears to work best when used in conjunction with hops.

iv. Glucomannan: A fiber supplement that has shown benefits for weight loss, albeit at much higher doses than what is included in this product.

v. Decaffeinated green tea: Green tea, because of its unique blend of EGCG, caffeine, and various other polyphenols, happens to be a pretty useful weight loss supplement. However, to my knowledge, all studies validating green tea’s effects on weight loss have been performed on versions containing caffeine. There is no proof decaffeinated versions work anywhere near as well. In fact, because of caffeine’s well-established effects on the CNS, we can be nearly positive that it does not.

vi.Aloe Vera: The SomnaSlim web sites states “there are too many benefits of Aloe vera to list them all here.” Really? While preliminary research data indicates it may offer additional benefits, the only truly established one is the one you already know about; the benefit it offers your skin when used topically.

vii. Passion Flower: A mild sedative and sleep aid.

viii. Phase 2: Advertised as a “carb blocker”, a recent UCLA study on Phase 2® concluded…

“Clinical trends were identified for weight loss, inches lost from the waist, energy, and decrease in triglycerides, although statistical significance was not reached. The reason that significance was not achieved was the small number of subjects who completed the study and the wide variability of the results within each group. Further studies with larger numbers of subjects are necessary in order to definitively demonstrate effectiveness.”

Whoop-dee-do. Hardly a weight loss miracle.

ix. Chitosan: Advertised as a fat blocker, clinical data shows chitosan offers little to no weight loss benefits (see Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Sep;28(9):1149-56, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jul 20;(3):CD00389, Singapore Med J. 2001 Jan;42(1):6-102, J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Oct;25(5):389-94).

x. Gymnema: In doses of 400 mg per day (many times what is included in this product) gymnema has demonstrated antidiabetic effects. Animal studies also indicate it may inhibit the ability to taste sweet or bitter.

xi. 5-HTP: Often used as an alternative treatment for depression. At high doses (900 mg/day) it has been shown to help improve appetite control and weight loss. In this formula, it is unlikely to be present as any more than “label dressing” dosages.

As you can see, the bulk of the SomnaSlim ingredients included to encourage weight loss either have not been proven to do so at all, or are present in dosages far below what has been proven useful in published clinical studies. As a weight loss product, SomnaSlim is a bust.

Frankly, the value of this formula lies with the melatonin and valerian root combination, which will probably help most people sleep more soundly. Despite this, there are still two major problems with SomnaSlim…

  1. It is retailed by an anonymous company. We’re not fans of companies who do not reveal who they are; there’s only one good reason for not doing so, and that’s to avoid accountability to the consumer. How can you get a refund from a company if the only information they provide to you is an e-mail address that they can ignore as they wish?
  2. $15 a bottle is incredibly expensive when you consider that you can buy a an ample supply of melatonin or valerian root for less than $10 each at a reputable online retailer.

At the end of the day, the take home message here is a simple; there is nothing in this formula that justifies it being advertised as a “night time diet pill.”

Summary of SomnaSlim
  • Contains some useful ingredients for weight loss, like green tea extract.
  • Contains some ingredients known to be useful for facilitating relaxation and sleep.
  • Most weight loss ingredients are underdosed.
  • Includes useless ingredients (chitosan, aloe vera).
  • No proof that the product helps users lose weight during sleep.
  • Anonymous retailer lacks accountability.

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