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Does It Work for Weight Loss ?

The over-the-counter weight loss supplement Alli Diet Pill contains the same substance as the prescription drug Xenical (Orlistat), but at half the strength (60 mg versus 120 mg). Xenical was approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity, to be used in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet and exercise.

Mechanism of Action

Alli Diet Pill (similar to the prescription drug Xenical) inhibits the intestinal absorption of fat, by blocking the pancreatic enzyme lipase which breaks down fat in the gut. The active ingredient responsible for this action is a saturated derivative of lipstatin — a natural inhibitor of pancreatic lipase derived from a bacteria.

Fats cannot be absorbed from the intestine prior to being broken down into simpler molecules, since the original fat molecules are too large to pass through the intestinal wall.

On the whole, it is estimated that Alli prevents the absorption of approximately 25% of all fats ingested.

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So Does It Work for Weight Loss?

The official Alli website claims their product in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet will achieve 50% more weight loss than dieting alone. More specifically, one can expect a gradual modest weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week. (The official site offers a free diet plan with specific steps to follow while using this supplement.)

I am not aware of any clinical studies being conducted for the over-the-counter product Alli Diet Pill. However, as far as the prescription drug Xenical is concerned (which is basically Alli at double strength), clinical studies indicate that about 45% of subject using it went on to loose 5% or more of their body weight, and about 20% of subjects went on to loose 10% or more of their body weight. Also, a significant reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes was noted among these subjects.

Side Effects:

The good part about Alli is that it doesn't cause any of the side effects commonly occurring with fat-burners (stimulants). With Alli, you won't experience any jitteriness, nervousness, insomnia, rapid heart rate or increased blood pressure. However, what Alli Diet Pill does cause is greasy stools, flatulence (excess gas), diarrhea and stool incontinence - particularly if taken in combination with a high-fat diet. This happens due to the fact that a large part of the fats ingested remain unabsorbed in the gut, resulting in the symptoms described above.

Also, Alli may reduce the absorption of certain fat-soluble vitamins, which get trapped in the gut along with the unabsorbed fats. As such, in order to prevent vitamin deficiencies, a daily multivitamin supplement is recommended, taken at least 2 hours apart from the Alli dose.

Dosage and Administration:

The recommended dose is 1 capsule with each fat-containing meal, not to exceed 3 capsules per day.

According to the label on the bottle, Alli Diet Pill should not be taken by:
  • persons taking treatment with cyclosporine
  • persons suffering from malabsorption (difficulty absorbing food)
  • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Alli can interfere with other prescription medications, including the blood thinner Warfarin, and certain medications for diabetes or thyroid disease. Consult with your physician in such cases, as the dose of Alli may need to be adjusted.


Alli can be purchased online, as well as in all major drug stores, grocery stores and discount/warehouse stores. We have found the product online carried by multiple vendors, with prices ranging between $43 and $100 (for 120 pills).


Please note: This product is for the use of adults only. Pregnant or nursing women should not take this product. Please be aware that any weight loss supplement may be associated with certain side effects and/or health risks. It is prudent to talk to your physician prior to using this or any other weight loss product, especially if you are taking other medication or suffer from a preexisting medical condition.

Disclaimer: Although the information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, its accuracy and completion are not guaranteed. Prior to using this or any other weight loss supplement, please refer to the instructions included by the manufacturer with the product purchased.

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