Want the perfect workout program?Take Quiz
Fact checked by Robert Iafelice, MS, RD, LDNFACT CHECKED
August 01, 2023
There are a lot of 'cowboys' in the crowded diet supplement market. They push out weight loss pills filled with sub-standard ingredients at minimal dosages and then claim they'll solve all your weight loss problems. So, when you're looking for a quality weight loss supplement, it pays to search for a product with FDA approval. One such product that's been getting quite a lot of attention lately is Plenity, one of several popular prescription weight loss medications. In this Plenity review, we do a deep dive to discover whether Plenity can really help you lose excess weight and succeed on your weight loss journey.
Plenity is a prescription weight loss medication that was given FDA approval in 2019. It's an oral hydrogel capsule that doesn't stimulate, isn't absorbed, and isn't systemic. When combined with diet and exercise, the Plenity pill is intended to aid adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 40 in losing weight. That means that it targets overweight and obese adults.
A superabsorbent hydrogel known as hydrogel matrix serves as Plenity's main active component. It is made up of two ingredients; cellulose and citric acid. The hydrogel expands in the stomach when taken with water before a meal, decreasing hunger and producing a sense of fullness. It is designed to help people consume fewer calories, making it easier for them to follow a calorie-restricted diet.
The Plenity diet pill doesn't get absorbed into the bloodstream and doesn't get metabolized as it goes through the digestive system. It is eliminated from the body in a similar manner to food. Because it reduces the possibility of systemic side effects, this feature of Plenity enhances its safety profile.
According to some clinical trials, people who used Plenity along with a healthy diet and regular exercise were able to lose more weight, statistically significantly more than people who took a diet pill or a placebo. The weight loss seen with Plenity is modest, though, and it cannot treat severe obesity or serve as a replacement for a changed way of life.
On the face of it, the research supporting Plenity's ability to achieve weight management looks pretty good. But when you dig a little, you discover that the clinical studies were done with people who either had diabetes or were pre-diabetic. A trustworthy study should sample from a general cross-section of the population, which is not the case here.
Another problem with Plenity is that it relies totally on a single mechanism of weight loss; appetite reduction. While it may help to fill the stomach and fill you up, there are many other effective weight loss supplements and management supplements that use up to five mechanisms. These include fat metabolism and thermogenesis, increased energy expenditure, inhibition of dietary fat absorption, and hormone modulation.
There are only two ingredients in Plenity; cellulose and citric acid. These are combined into a hydrogel matrix designed to expand in the stomach and fill you up. This compares to other popular diet supplements, which contain a dozen or more ingredients designed to work through a range of weight loss mechanisms. As a result, there just isn't enough firepower in this prescription weight loss pill to support significant long-term weight loss. We think you would be much better off going with a product like PhenQ to see real results.
Overall Verdict: FAIL
A superabsorbent hydrogel known as hydrogel matrix is the only active ingredient in the prescription weight-loss drug Plenity. Let's drill down on the two compounds that make up this hydrogel matrix.
Cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer that serves as a structural element in plant cell walls. It may be produced from a variety of materials, such as cotton, wood pulp, and agricultural waste, and is one of the most prevalent organic compounds on earth. It is a complex carbohydrate that is made up of linearly connected glucose units.
Cellulose is a key component of the hydrogel matrix in Plenity, supporting both its structure and functionality. When the hydrogel matrix comes into touch with water in the stomach, it expands and turns into a gel-like material. This results in increased fullness sensations and decreased appetite.
The cellulose used in Plenity goes through specific processing to attain the appropriate qualities for the hydrogel matrix. It is converted into microcrystalline cellulose, which has small, improved water-binding particles. This alteration enables it to effectively take up water and create the gel-like structure that contributes to Plenity's satiety-inducing properties.
There are a number of characteristics that make cellulose ideal for use in Plenity. First off, it has a great affinity for water and is very hydrophilic. As a result, cellulose can take in and bind water, which causes it to swell and expand when hydrated. The hydrogel matrix's ability to create gels is influenced by cellulose's propensity to absorb water, which helps to give the stomach a feeling of fullness.
Cellulose cannot be broken down by human enzymes. As a result, it does not degrade or enter the bloodstream as it moves through the digestive system. Since cellulose cannot be digested, the Plenity hydrogel matrix stays intact throughout the digestive process without adding any calories or having any systemic impacts.
The safety of cellulose has been thoroughly investigated and proven. Regulatory agencies, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recognize it as safe for human consumption. Due to its functional qualities, cellulose has a long history of use as a dietary and food additive and as an excipient (ingredient enhancer) in medications.¹
Citric acid is an organic acid found in such fruit as lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits. It is frequently used as an ingredient in the food and pharmaceutical industries because of its acidity, flavor-enhancing abilities, and preservation benefits.²
Citric acid serves a number of functions in Plenity. The hydrogel matrix needs an acidic environment to develop and expand when it comes into touch with water in the stomach, which it helps to provide. Citric acid's acidity aids in the hydrogel's gelation process, causing it to swell and produce a gel-like substance that encourages sensations of fullness.
Citric acid might also contribute to Plenity's stability and preservation. As a preservative, it contributes to the preservation of the product's integrity and shelf life, guaranteeing its effectiveness over time. It helps in preventing microbial development and the breakdown of the hydrogel matrix.
It's important to note that the citric acid concentration used in Plenity is carefully selected to guarantee both its functionality and safety. The FDA has established rules governing the highest quantities of citric acid that may be used in food and pharmaceutical products, and the amount used is within the range considered safe for human consumption.
Although the specific effects of citric acid on weight loss in the context of Plenity may not have been thoroughly researched, it should be remembered that Plenity is primarily intended to encourage feelings of fullness and decrease hunger, which may result in a reduction in calories. The combined actions of the hydrogel matrix and the other Plenity ingredients, rather than just citric acid, are responsible for any weight loss results. So, taking citric acid by itself will not help you lose weight.
Plenity is designed to help people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25–40 kg/m² to lose weight. People in this range are considered to be clinically obese. The manufacturer states that it should be accompanied by an exercise routine. Weight loss is achieved through just one mechanism:
Plenity claims to be able to help you eat less so you can weigh less. Although it doesn't directly influence the neurons or hormones that control appetite, its hydrogel matrix physically encourages satiety and lessens desire.
The superabsorbent hydrogel matrix found in Plenity is made of cellulose, citric acid, and a hydroxypropyl cellulose cross-linked polymer. The hydrogel matrix swells in the stomach when taken with water before a meal, forming a gel-like substance that takes up space and increases gastric volume.
Because Plenity is a non-stimulant, non-systemic, and non-absorbed drug, the hydrogel matrix stays in the digestive tract and does not circulate throughout the body. It doesn't directly impact neurotransmitters involved in hunger and satiety signaling or appetite-regulating hormones like ghrelin or leptin.
The hydrogel matrix's physical expansion increases the feeling of satiety and decreases the stomach's ability to hold more food. By taking up space in the stomach, Plenity causes mechanical distension. This causes signals to be sent to the brain by stretch receptors in the stomach wall, communicating a sense of fullness and reducing the desire to eat.
Plenity helps people consume fewer calories and may reduce overeating or between-meal snacking by making them feel full. It encourages portion control and might help people stick to a strict diet that restricts calories, which is a crucial component of weight management.
As it is meant to aid weight management, support a healthy diet and lifestyle changes for weight loss, Plenity is prescribed together with a calorie-restricted diet and frequent exercise. It can make it easier to follow dietary advice and encourage people to choose healthier foods by helping them feel full and decreasing their hunger.
Plenity is typically well tolerated, with modest and temporary side effects. These may include
Bloating and fullness: One of Plenity's mechanisms of action is to make the stomach feel full. Because of this, some people could feel uncomfortable, bloated, or full. This side effect tends to go away as the body gets used to the medication.
Flatulence: The hydrogel matrix in Plenity is not absorbed by the body and moves through the digestive system undigested. Increased gas production and consequent farts may result from this. Again, flatulence typically goes away as the body gets used to Plenity.
Because it is a non-systemic drug that stays in the gastrointestinal tract, Plenity does not cause the same systemic side effects as other weight loss drugs, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, or mood.
Before beginning the drug, you should discuss with your doctor any possible allergies or known sensitivities to Plenity's substances, including cellulose and citric acid. Although they are uncommon, some ingredients can cause hypersensitivity reactions in some people.
As with any prescription drug, Plenity should only be used under the guidance of a medical practitioner who can give advice, keep track of your progress, and respond to any worries you might have.
There are a number of online forums containing verified user reviews for Plenity. The overall consensus of Plenity reviews is slightly negative, with an average of about 2.7 out of 5 stars. Here are a couple of typical Plenity review responses taken from Reddit:
Plenity should be taken by adults who want to reduce weight and have a BMI between 25 and 40 kg/m². The body mass index, or BMI, is a screening tool for determining weight status. It measures body weight in relation to height.
Plenity is designed for people who have tried and failed to lose weight through dietary and activity changes.
Because it is a prescription drug, Plenity should only be used with the advice and supervision of a healthcare provider. Using a thorough assessment of the patient's health, current weight, and weight loss objectives, the healthcare professional will decide whether to prescribe Plenity and whether it is appropriate for a specific patient.
The recommended dosage for Plenity is three capsules taken before lunch and dinner. That is a total of six capsules per day. It should be taken 20 minutes before a meal and accompanied by at least 16 ounces of water.
Here are three Plenity alternatives that do not require a doctor's prescription:
PhenQ is a popular weight loss supplement that contains 11 active ingredients. It is designed to promote long-term weight loss by:
Reducing fat accumulation
Crushing food cravings
A key ingredient in PhenQ is α-Lacys Reset® (a combination of alpha lipoic acid, cysteine base, and magnesium). When combined with Capsimax Powder, it has been shown to produce a thermogenic effect that helps reduce excess body weight and boost the metabolism. The capsaicinoids in Capsimax Powder also help reduce the body's ability to absorb excess dietary fats.
PhenQ includes three ingredients that reduce sweet cravings and promote a feeling of fullness: chromium picolinate, nopal cactus, and natural caffeine. The caffeine in the formula also combines with Capsimax powder to naturally boost energy levels.
To combat the mood struggles that often accompany losing weight, PhenQ includes the naturally occurring amino acid l-carnitine, which has been shown to provide cognitive support. Like other dietary supplements, PhenQ is not regulated by the FDA in the same way that prescription medications are.
If you want to know more about this product, check out our full PhenQ Review.
Hourglass Fit is a stimulant-free fat burner. It promotes safe, consistent, and sustainable weight loss in 3 ways:
Reducing caloric intake
To achieve these results, Hourglass Fit contains the following ingredients:
Some of these ingredients are thought to stimulate thermogenesis (the body's creation of heat) and raise metabolic rate. This may result in increased calorie expenditure and weight loss. The dietary fiber glucomannan is well-known for its capacity to increase feelings of fullness and decrease hunger.
Hourglass Fit contains 5-HTP, a naturally occurring compound derived from the amino acid tryptophan. 5-HTP is thought to boost the generation of serotonin and enhance mood. It also includes components like black pepper extract, which could promote nutrient absorption and raise energy levels, indirectly promoting weight loss.
Hourglass Fit is promoted primarily as a weight loss supplement made for women. It has a female-focused formulation. The manufacturer claims that the product can handle common weight reduction issues faced by women and account for hormonal variations.
Check out our in-depth Hourglass Fit Review for more information.
Leanbean is a weight loss supplement specifically designed for women. While it is designed to promote a feeling of fullness, just like Plenity, Leanbean also promotes weight loss by reducing tiredness and fatigue and supporting the metabolism.
The main hunger-suppressing ingredient in Leanbean is glucomannan, also known as konjac fiber. This is a soluble fiber with the capacity to increase sensations of fullness and decrease hunger. This may support calorie intake, restriction, and portion control in people.
Leanbean also supports thermogenesis, fat burning, and increased metabolism. Green tea extract and cayenne pepper, two ingredients in Leanbean, are thought to improve thermogenesis (the body's creation of heat) and boost metabolic rate. This might result in greater calorie and fat burning and weight loss.
Leanbean contains nutrients like green coffee beans, bean extract, and black pepper extract to give you more energy.
For a full ingredient breakdown, check out our full Leanbean Review.
The user results in Plenity's ability to help a person lose weight are mixed. While some people report immediate feelings of fullness, others do not. Overall, Plenity seems to have a modest effect on weight loss in people who are obese when accompanied by exercise and a reduced-calorie diet.
Plenity is designed for use in a certain group under a doctor's supervision. Before prescribing Plenity, medical practitioners can evaluate the patient's general health, medical history, and any possible interactions or contraindications. This makes sure the drug is safe and suitable for the patient.
People who purchase Plenity with a prescription have access to medical specialists who can keep track of their development, offer advice and respond to any worries or inquiries that could come up throughout the course of therapy. Regular follow-up appointments with the prescribing healthcare provider enable continued evaluation of the medication's efficacy and, if necessary, modification of the treatment plan.
No, Plenity is not the same as Phentermine. Both Plenity and Phentermine are unique drugs with different modes of action and applications in the treatment of obesity.
Plenity helps lose weight by producing a sensation of fullness and decreasing appetite. When coupled with water, the hydrogel matrix expands, taking up room in the stomach and maybe assisting people in consuming fewer calories.
Phentermine, however, works as a stimulant, reducing appetite and stimulating the release of specific brain chemicals that assist in regulating hunger. It is often prescribed for the short-term treatment of obesity, together with a low-calorie diet and exercise.
Plenity should not be taken by people who do not have a BMI of between 25 and 40 kg/m². It should not be taken by anyone who is known to be allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients; cellulose, citric acid, or hydroxypropyl cellulose. People with specific gastrointestinal conditions, such as severe inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal obstruction, or gastric outlet obstruction, should also not take this drug.
Plenity's safety during pregnancy or lactation has not been proven, and it has not been researched in pregnant or breastfeeding people. Due to the potential hazards to the mother and the child, it should not be taken by pregnant or lactating women.
People who have uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) should steer clear of Plenity. The hydrogel matrix's ability to expand may result in an increase in stomach volume, which could affect blood pressure.
Plenity is one of a number of prescription weight loss medications designed to help overweight and obese adults lose weight. It does so through a single mechanism; filling the stomach and inducing a feeling of fullness. While this may produce modest, long-term weight loss, we do not believe it has the potential to significantly impact your weight loss journey. We recommend investing in weight loss supplements that take a more holistic approach by using several weight loss mechanisms that include a greater range of clinically backed weight loss ingredients.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
September 24, 2023 1 Comment
September 23, 2023
September 21, 2023
At SFS we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases, killer workouts, actionable fitness content and more. As our motto goes - "You don't have to get ready if you stay #alwaysready!"