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Celevac

Celevac is produced by a large company and contains just one ingredient. It is advertised as an appetite suppressant, though evidence to this effect is not conclusive.

Below we have reviewed Celevac against our review criteria to help consumers make an informed decision.

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Celevac Pros
  • Appears to be safe with no severe side effects in normal doses
  • A few studies of a modified form of methylcellulose have found it to be effective in inducing weight loss
  • Noted to help with obesity by the NHS and other health officials
Celevac Cons
  • No studies of methylcellulose alone for weight loss available to the public
  • Few user reviews of its weight loss capabilities, and the general opinion is mixed
  • A few potential side-effects including blockage of the intestines if an overdose occurs

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Celevac Review

Celevac, produced by multinational pharmaceuticals company Amdipharm, is primarily a constipation aid that contains only one ingredient, methylcellulose. Initially prescribed to help with bowel problems by absorbing water into stools to make them softer, it later found use as a weight loss aid due to its potential appetite suppressing properties. With little media attention or customer reviews, and few studies of its use in weight loss, there initially appears to be little to support its effectiveness in this role; however, there is some scientific evidence to suggest that the ingredient might have benefits.

Claimed weight loss benefits

Celevac is described by the NHS as ‘absorbing water in the bowel and swelling’, which can ‘produce a feeling of fullness which helps control appetite as part of a treatment plan for obesity’. It is claimed to form a thick gel in the water of the intestines to try and limit the amount of food the user eats.

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How Celevac Works

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Celevac is a slightly modified form of cellulose, the primary carbohydrate found in plant cell walls. Cellulose is a non-digestible, fibrous carbohydrate that normally passes straight through the digestive system; along with starch and some other components, it forms dietary fibre, which is necessary for healthy bowel movements. Celevac has had some of the hydroxyl groups replaced with methyl groups, which causes it to be attractive to water (hydrophilic); when it is placed in solution, it swells to form a thick, sticky gel.

For constipation sufferers, Celevac should increase the amount of water in the faeces by absorbing it from the intestines; for weight-loss, it also absorbs water from the intestines, but its use comes from the period of time in which it remains in the intestines in the swollen gel state. This might make the user feel fuller and so, theoretically, they eat less. Celevac is considered safe by the NHS, who also mention that it may have uses in weight loss.

Methylcellulose

Methyl-cellulose has been treated with sodium hydroxide to replace the hydroxyl groups in its structure with methoxide. This causes methylcellulose to become a hydrophillic (water-attractive) white powder that dissolves in water below 40°C, absorbing some of it to inflate into a thick gel. When consumed, methylcellulose absorbs water in the gut and swells up, which can help create a feeling of fullness (and also passes into the colon to help create larger, softer stools to ease constipation). This might help to suppress appetite, causing less food intake and so helping users lose weight.

The effectiveness of appetite suppression may depend on the amount of Celevac taken, how much remains in the stomach and for how long, along with the reasons behind the users weight gain in the first place. Most Celevac tablets contain 500mg of methylcellulose, and the recommended dose is usually 3-6 tablets, twice a day (though this is generic advice for constipation, as this is the primary use of Celevac). Many users are overweight due to poor diets; they eat food with very little nutritional value (low levels of vitamins and micronutrients like iron) which causes the brain to continually make the individual to feel hungry until these needs are met. In this case, suppressing appetite is not an effective long-term treatment for weight-loss, as users will regain the weight after they stop taking the supplement (though this is true of most weight-loss supplements).

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Key Celevac Ingredients

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Celevac is actually the brand name for methylcellulose; this is the only ingredient contained within each capsule. Methylcellulose has had few scientific studies of its effectiveness, but a slightly modified form of methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), has been shown in some cases to be effective in reducing obesity in mice.

Methylcellulose

Studies have indicated that methylcellulose (or at least hydroxypropyl methylcellulose) might be beneficial for weight loss and fat loss. As mentioned previously, the fibrous substance is thought to absorb water in the gut, making the intestines feel fuller for longer. As such, it is understood to have an appetite-suppressing effect, potentially reducing the amount of food consumed. It has also been suggested to improve blood glucose levels and so has been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes.

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Clinical Studies

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Whilst Celevac as a whole product has not been scientifically studied for its potential weight loss effects, its key ingredient has. Since the product only contains one ingredient, the results of this research should be indicative of the potential effects of Celevac. Unfortunately most studies available are of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose; whilst not enormously different from methylcellulose, the substance is different enough for studies of its effects to not be considered highly reliable examples of the effectiveness of methylcellulose.

Methylcellulose

A study from 2011 in the Journal of Diabetes tested the effects of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) on weight loss, using obese mice. The mice were fed high fat, low fat or high fat plus HPMC diets, for 5 weeks, with body fat levels and production of fat regulatory hormones like adiponectin and lectin measured at the end of the study. The results showed a significant amount of weight lost in the HPMC-fed mice, with decreases in adipose and cholesterol levels as well; the researchers concluded that HPMC was effective in aiding weight-loss and normalising metabolic conditions that may induce obesity.

Furthermore, a study on HPMC and MC alone tested the effects of these compounds on the postprandial (after eating) glucose and insulin responses in 50 overweight men and women, 46 of whom completed the entire experiment. After fasting, the subjects ate one of five meals containing different amounts of HPMC or MC, with glucose and insulin levels measured before and after eating. The results showed lower glucose and insulin levels in the HPMC-fed subjects than the control groups, suggesting lower caloric intake.

Yet another study of HPMC, this time on hamsters, found that it could increase fat excretion when the hamsters were placed on a junk food diet. Golden Syrian hamsters were fed pizza, pound cake, or burgers and chips for three weeks, whilst taking HPMC or cellulose supplements. The researchers report greater excretion of both saturated and trans fats in all hamsters supplemented with HMPC compared to control hamsters, and also far greater excretion of fats in HPMC-fed hamsters than cellulose-fed hamsters. The results also showed a much lower body weight gain in HPMC-fed hamsters than the control hamsters.

One of the main side-effects of obesity in adults is low insulin sensitivity, which can make it hard to regain normal body weight as the body’s metabolic processes are severely compromised. A study on diabetic rats from 2012 tested the effects of cellulose and two types of HPMC in the diet, with glucose levels and liver/body adipose levels being recorded. Of the 36 rats tested (12 per group), it was found that food efficiency, urinary excretion of glucose, and general body fat levels were lower in the HPMC-fed rats than the control rats, which the researchers concluded meant HPMC was effective in reducing diabetes risk and helping in weight loss.

However, another study from Lancet tested the effects of methylcellulose on 85 obese patients, 47 of whom had mild diabetes, who took 0.5 grams of methylcellulose three times a day for twenty weeks. Methylcellulose was found to be ineffective in causing weight loss here, though no side effects were noted.

Another study, this time on the toxicity of methylcellulose, concluded that since no adverse effects had been seen in rats fed on up to 5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day, a dose of 5 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight in humans was likely safe; however, since this would be about 400 milligrams a day in an 80 kilogram human, and the dosages in a typical serving of methylcellulose tablets would be about 500 milligrams, this does not guarantee the safety of methylcellulose. Having said this, methylcellulose is occasionally prescribed by doctors for certain ailments, so it is unlikely to be dangerous in anything other than enormous dosages.

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Celevac Side Effects

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Celevac is not actually absorbed into the body from the gut, and so its side effects are limited. It works by absorbing water in the intestines and expanding to form a sticky gel, which fills up the surroundings, making the user feel fuller and decreasing the amount of food they eat. This means that the biggest risk with Celevac is of an overdose, which could lead to blockage of the intestines and severe problems that could even require surgery (though there are no recorded cases of this). The best way to avoid this is simply to stick with the recommended dose. Each tablet contains 500 milligrams of celevac, which is extremely unlikely to be enough to cause any kind of blockage; avoiding drinking excessively would also help minimise this risk.

Methylcellulose

A much more common side-effect is cramps, due to build up of food trapped around the methylcellulose gel, or due to certain foods being unable to pass through, which leads to a build up of gas in the intestines. These will pass, as the methylcellulose will only remain in the system for a short while; if they become too severe, users are recommended to seek a doctor. If the methylcellulose becomes lodged in the colon, this can cause a similar problem with faecal matter, leading to constipation; the same advice holds.

Hypersensitivity reactions (allergic reactions) have also been reported, but this is exceptionally rare as methylcellulose is derived from cellulose, present in most vegetables and fruit. If any nausea, vomiting, rashes, etc. become apparent then users should consult a doctor immediately. Methylcellulose is normally prescribed to aid with constipation, so in healthy individuals it may cause diarrhoea, as the faecal matter becomes very watery and loose. In severe cases, users are recommended to see a doctor; otherwise, drinking plenty of water and decreasing dosages when out of the house should prevent this becoming a real issue. Most side effects with methylcellulose will pass with time as the body adapts to it. Finally, methylcellulose drains water from the intestines and so is likely to cause dehydration in large dosages; drinking plenty of water is strongly advised.

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How to Use

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Amdipharm, the manufacturers of Celevac, do not give direct comment on the best way to take the product; however, the NHS guidelines state that ‘it is best to chew tablets before swallowing them’ and ‘do not take this product just before going to bed’. The last point is likely made because some users could find the swelling of Celevac in the intestines uncomfortable, affecting sleep patterns.

A dose of three to six tablets is advised, taken twice a day; since most tablets are 500 milligrams, this leads to a dosage of up to three grams a day, which is relatively high for supplements. However, this is advice for constipation aid; for weight loss, this dose may be too low to be effective. NetDoctor advise taking three tablets with every meal for slimming purposes, and between meals too; this adds up to over 5 grams intake a day. The risk of side effects becomes more prevalent with this dosage, although these are rare. Most studies have shown that methylcellulose is not toxic at normal concentrations, with one concluding no side effects in rats whose diet consisted of 5% MC for thirty-two weeks.

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Who Makes It?

The manufacturers of Celevac are Amdipharm Mercury Company Ltd. Based in London, AMC are a pharmaceutical company who provide products to over 112 countries, and is the merger of the company Amdipharm and the Mercury Pharma Group (2013). They originated in Ireland in 1946 as the company Antigen, and currently provide pharmaceuticals to healthcare authorities all over the world, including the NHS. They state over £250 million in 2013 sales revenues. The investor Cinven has supported this information, stating that the companies were successful independently and have become even more so together. AMC has several bases of operation in the UK, including Croydon, London and Basildon, along with offices in India, Ireland and Sweden.

A customer service team email address and telephone number is provided; the team is available working hours, with a 24/7 emergency medical information service. They sell a wide range of well-established pharmaceuticals including painkillers, analgesics, anti-depressants. AMC have recently made all their monetary transactions publically available to increase their transparency, with the list of payments available on their website. Additionally, comprehensive information on all of their products is available online, including Celevac. The independent business checker companycheck.co.uk has confirmed the company’s legitimacy and claim they have a net worth of over £30 million pounds.

Amphidarm Mercury Company are a successful and reliable company used by healthcare authorities all over the world. It is likely that Celevac will be effective in its primary role due to the credibility of AMC; however, it is worth bearing in mind that Celevac is primarily a constipation aid, not a diet supplement, so the reputation of the company does not guarantee weight loss success with Celevac.

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Where to Buy Celevac

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The best choice to buy Celevac is probably Amazon.co.uk, who offer Celevac at £7.99 for a 112 capsule pack. Amazon is a reliable retailer with a dedicated customer services team, multiple delivery options and extremely positive customer feedback; they are also the only online retailer to offer free delivery on a single pack order.

Chemistdirect is also a viable choice, offering the same product for £4.89 for the same pack, though the cheapest delivery option is £3.49 for next day dispatch, making it actually more expensive. They too appear to be a reputable company who receive strong reviews on Trustpilot, the customer reviews website.

Alternatively, Pharmacy2u and Pharmacyfirst offer similar prices, delivery options and returns conditions, so if not buying from Amazon any of the other three options are plausible. It is always worth looking around for deals and bundle packages online; however, avoid buying from third party sellers like those found on eBay, as the risk of being scammed is much higher.

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Does Celevac Meet our Approved Criteria

Money-back-guarantee: There is no mention of a money-back guarantee on the official website.

One-off payment: The product appears to be sold using a one-off payment from several online stores.

Manufacturing Standard: There is no mention of manufacturing standards, but the product must satisfy certain standards as it is available via the NHS.

Accompanying Diet Plan: There does not appear to be an accompanying diet plan.

Ingredients and quantities disclosed: A full ingredients list is provided.

Company contact details readily available: Full contact details are provided on the official website.

Celevac does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria as there is no money-back guarantee or diet plan.

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Overall Verdict

Although principally a treatment for constipation, Celevac is claimed to act as an appetite suppressant. There is little evidence available online to suggest that Celevac works, though there is evidence in favour of the anti-obesity effects of a slight variation on the key ingredient in this product and the NHS does promote its use as an obesity aid. Whilst it seems to be relatively safe, users might experience gastro-intestinal side effects.

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