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Accelis: the panacea for obesity? (Part 1)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 Posted by Peter Janiszewski, PhD
Since we have deviated slightly from our original blog purpose of examining various obesity cures, today’s post will be part 1 of 2 in which I evaluate a weight-loss supplement that I keep coming across. Posts which assess the claims of weight-loss supplements, exercise equipment or techniques, and other gadgets (such as the Slender Shaper which I blogged about a while back) will be a regular feature on this blog.

This week’s anti-obesity elixir is called Accelis. You can purchase this product at your local drug stores or directly from this website.

Here is a brief summary of the product as provided by the manufacturer:

“Accelis® is a revolutionary stimulant-free weight-loss product that can help you lose 10.65 pounds fast. Accelis® contains a patent-pending weight-loss ingredient in an absorption-enhanced softgel delivery system. It's so simple to use: You just take one serving each night and follow a balanced, active lifestyle.”

And now, let’s begin…

I guess I should just get used to the abuse of words such as ‘revolutionary’, ‘simple’, ‘fast’, ‘effective’, etc. in such exaggerated claims, so for the sake of time I will skip the semantics.

The claim is that you can lose 10.65 lbs (the extra decimal places really carry some authority, don’t you think?) over the course of 8 weeks with the use of this product. Notwithstanding the fact that a reference to the “one 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study, conducted at a major research center in Miami” on which this whole concoction is basing efficacy is nowhere to be found, the manufacturers do give us something to discuss.

First, this one study (which I could not find after serious PubMed and Google Scholar searching) did not actually assess efficacy of Accelis, per se, but the efficacy of “the active ingredient” in Accelis (discussed below).

Additionally, what is only unearthed by reading much fine print, is that the placebo group in this ‘study’ lost 5.87 lbs, so we are actually talking about a less than 5 lb weight loss accomplished during 8 weeks which may be attributed to the effects of Accelis’ “active ingredient’. As a simple comparison, a randomized-controlled trial from our lab published back in 2000 showed that men who went on a caloric-restriction diet (700kcal/day) lost over 16 lbs (in comparison to a control group) during 12 weeks. And remember there was no magic potions administered in this study – people simply ate less. Thus, the weekly loss in weight in our study of 1.4lbs is more than double that reported for the active ingredient in Accelis (0.6 lbs). If the weight-loss achieved through Accelis administration is indeed “fast”, then simple caloric restriction produces “warp-speed” weight-loss!

On this topic, if you want a really good laugh, click here to read the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of the Accelis website. My favourite FAQ is: “Is there a study on the key ingredient in Accelis?” Yes, this would be my first question as a consumer evaluating this product. And, nevermind the reference, or any real details, I am convinced of efficacy when a website pedalling some elixir simply answers “Yes there is” to this FAQ. That’s evidence-based medicine for you.

Click here to read Accelis Part 2, which includes info on the ingredients of Accelis, in particular the magical ‘active ingredient’, and final thoughts on this week’s anti-obesity elixir.


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3. Metabolic Syndrome Fighter "May" Cure All Diseases*

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We are PhD students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Our research focuses on the relationships between obesity, physical activity, and health risk. This blog is our attempt to consider the many "cures" for obesity that we read about on a daily basis. Enjoy.


The opinions expressed here belong only to Peter and Travis and do not reflect the views of any organization. Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

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