Alli Review (UPDATED 2024) – Is It Safe?

369 Review(s)
AVG Rating: 3.5/10

Alli is an over-the-counter weight loss medication designed to improve the effects of dieting on its own. This drug is intended for adults over the age of 18 following a diet low in both calories and fat.

This product belongs to a class of supplements used to block the intestines from absorbing about a quarter of the fat you consume on a daily basis. Those fats exit your body through bowel movements. Alli is FDA-approved and available at several major retailers. Keep reading for a close-up look at the kind of results you can expect to see from using Alli and who might benefit from such a product.

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Alli Overview

Alli is a meal replacement plan that claims to keep dieters full for 4-6 hours. Serving size is based solely on height (a little strange) and the formula contains yogurt, soy, and honey, plus amino acids and vitamins.

According to the official website, Alli has a low glycemic index, 27 grams of protein per serving, and works to enable fast weight loss. One thing we noticed right away is, the makers of Alli reference a number of scientific data points, but talk about them in vague terms. For example, there’s a lot of “science say this,” but they don’t bother to explain how their product is backed by science to the person visiting the website.

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Alli Claims

According to the Alli website, this product is clinically proven for people looking to lose about 5-10% of their body weight. The idea behind this product is, dieting can only do so much on its own. Alli seeks to prevent the body from absorbing about 25% of the fat you consume so it doesn’t get absorbed back into your body.

The website mentions that this product works best for adults with a BMI over 25, meaning, they are considered clinically overweight—so it’s not really a solution for people hoping to lose a few stubborn pounds.

Users are advised to take one pill with each meal, along with a multi-vitamin. Users should also follow a reduced-calorie diet, with little fat and engage in regular exercise. The mealtime dosing schedule works to block fats from each meal, so it’s critical that users follow the instructions.

Because the product blocks fat absorption, it stops being effective after you’ve lost a certain amount of weight—so if you’re under a 25 BMI, it probably won’t have much of an effect.

The site says it’s the only over the counter weight loss drug approved by the FDA—but this is only because the FDA doesn’t review herbal supplements, so it’s not like this is the only safe solution or the only solution that works. That said, there’s certainly something there.

According to the makers of this product, 90% of Alli users who ate a low-fat diet were able to stay on their diet for more than three months and were able to minimize any GI problems linked to their dietary regimen.

This is an interesting claim, as it doesn’t say that 90% of users reached their weight loss goals, just that they didn’t give up on their diet. There’s also no link to any clinical research that looks more closely at these participants and their results.

But it can be hard to stick to a diet and if Alli makes it easier, than that ultimately seems like a good thing.

Learn more about the diet supplements that could work for you. Click here for a look through our review archive for details.

Alli Ingredients

Alli is made from a single active ingredient, a drug known as Orlistat. Orlistat is a weight loss aid that works to block 25% of the fat you consume while taking this drug.

How it works is, Orlistat belongs to a class of drugs called lipase inhibitors. Normally, when you consume fats, your body breaks them down into smaller pieces so the body can absorb them. The enzyme that takes care of this is called lipase. Now, Orlistat works to block that enzyme, so the fat never goes through its full life cycle—instead, that undigested fat is passed through the intestinal tract during a bowel movement.

Orlistat was created to help obese or overweight people lose weight and it may help those who recently lost a lot of weight keep it off long-term.

One thing users should note about this product is, while it blocks calories from fat, you’ll still need to keep track of the other items you’re consuming — carbs, calories, and sugar.

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The Science Behind Alli

For the most part, the science of Alli holds up, but we found that this product isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone. The FDA found that this product may be linked to some adverse effects on the liver, while the product is safe for most users, there are some symptoms one should look out for. Itching, light colored stool, brown urine, yellowed eyes, or loss of appetite may indicate liver damage. Other side effects may include loose stool, more frequent bowel movements, gas with oily discharge, and abdominal pain. These side effects are related the fact that taking Alli results in undigested fats passing through the system, which may have some unpleasant effects on the digestive process.

This drug might interfere with your ability to absorb essential nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K—so the website (as well as WebMD) suggest you take a multivitamin within two hours of taking Alli.

This product should start working within two weeks. According to the Mayo Clinic, over 40% of users following a low-calorie diet while taking Alli saw a 5% reduction in their body weight.

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Word on the Street about Alli

Alli is in wide distribution and is recommended by a number of doctors, so there are plenty of people who have tried this product with varying degrees of success.

Apparently “bathroom accidents” are quite common with this drug, as taking it results in undigested fats. One user mentioned they had orange, oily bowel movements, such that it was affecting their life.

Another mentioned that Alli caused them to have dangerously low platelets in their blood.

While many people have given Alli good reviews, it seems that there were many others who felt that this product did more harm than good. According to some previous users, you can’t cheat on your diet at all—meaning, if you veer off course, you’ll see more of the orange leakage some people have mentioned in the comments.

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Is Alli Worth a Try?

It’s hard to say. On the one hand, we like that Alli seems to be a good resource for people trying to lose weight mostly through diet and exercise. It’s made by a reputable company that has obtained FDA approval, which is rare for a weight loss product.

However, this product is made almost exclusively for people who are significantly (or at least clinically) overweight. It likely won’t work for people who wish to lose couple pounds or boost their metabolism.

The other thing is—the product only blocks fat absorption. Fat isn’t necessarily a bad thing—in fact, many experts claim that consuming healthy fats keeps you full and can have a positive effect on the metabolism.

Alli doesn’t boost the metabolism, either. Users still rely on their body’s natural metabolism—whether it’s slow or fast. So, some users still might find that they aren’t losing weight as planned.

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Alli FAQs

  1. Do I need a prescription for Alli?
    No. Alli is an over-the-counter weight loss drug. The dosage of the OTC version contains 60 mg of Orlistat, while a stronger prescription version of this drug clocks in at 120 mg—used in the case of more severe obesity.
  2. What does Alli do?
    Alli blocks 25% of the fat from the food you eat, eliminating it through bowel movements.
  3. Where can I buy Alli?
    Alli is available from Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and other online retailers. A 60-count box typically retails for $40-50 depending on the seller.

What Really Works?

After looking at all manner of weight loss supplements, we’ve found that Sletrokor works best for users of all sizes hoping to jump start their metabolism. This product is made from a hand-selected blend of herbs and helps stave off hunger pangs, improve mood, and keep you energized. Learn more about the weight loss benefits of Sletrokor by clicking the link.

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