The Nopalina website offers a whole range of different creams, capsules, and drinks, claimed to help with several aspects of health, including obesity, arthritis, and diabetes. The website does however make a range of claims that are not backed by any scientific evidence.
- None of the ingredients have been reported as dangerous when taken in small quantities for short time periods
- Some of the ingredients have been linked with other health benefits
- A few of the ingredients have been suggested to help to increase satiety and suppress the appetite
- The official website states that products are made in a facility that adheres to Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines
- A lot of important information is lacking from the official website, including a full ingredients list and list of people who should not take the product
- A number of claims are made on the official website that are not backed by any scientific evidence
- The product is likely to cause side effects relating to the gastro-intestinal tract
- Full contact details are not provided and there is no offer of a money-back guarantee
Based in the United States, Nopalina is the name of a brand that manufactures and sells a large range of different health supplements. The products vary from capsules claimed to help to support the cardiovascular system to teas that are advertised as having the potential to aid the urinary system.
Many of the products sold by Nopalina are also intended to help with weight loss. What appears to be the main product sold by the company, called simply ‘Nopalina’, is a weight loss supplement that you use to make a drink.
The products sold by Nopalina do not appear to have been clinically tested and a number of the claims made on the official website are not backed by scientific evidence.
Nopalina Claimed weight loss benefits
The main product that appears to be sold under the Nopalina brand name is said on the official website to work by increasing satiety. This means that it should fit into the ‘appetite suppressant’ category of weight loss supplements. The product is also said to have a variety of other health benefits (e.g. for digestive problems and cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood). It is the soluble fibre content that is claimed to help increase feelings of satiety, potentially preventing snacking and over-eating, and therefore aiding weight loss. The active ingredients in the Nopalina supplement have not been definitively proven to work by suppressing the appetite.
How Nopalina Works
The Nopalina supplement is a powder that you consume in the form of a drink; the product is claimed to target just one of the five key areas of weight loss – appetite suppression. The main ingredients are different sources of soluble and insoluble fibre. It is the soluble fibre content of the supplement that is claimed by the retailers to have appetite-suppressing effects. The company does not disclose how the product works to increase satiety or precisely which ingredients are involved in the process. Several of the ingredients have also been linked with improvements in obesity-related parameters, such as blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
How Each Ingredient Works
Flax seed is a commonly used ingredient in weight loss supplement that is claimed primarily to help suppress the appetite. The ingredient is said to be high in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre is often said to act as an appetite suppressant because it is difficult for the body to break down. As such, the fibre stays in the digestive system for longer than other substances, making the body feel fuller for longer. This might, in turn, help to prevent snacking and eating more food after meals.
The outer shell of wheat is also often consumed as a source of dietary fibre. As with other sources of dietary fibre, this ingredient is said to add bulk to the gastrointestinal system, remaining in the stomach for longer than other foods and therefore increasing feelings of satiety. Because of these potential effects, consuming wheat bran whilst you are trying to lose weight is thought to help people stick to a calorie-restricted diet.
In common with flax seed and wheat bran, oat bran is also a source of dietary fibre. As with the above two ingredients, oat bran is thought to absorb water in the gut and so help to keep the digestive system packed with food – thus tricking the body into thinking that it is full for longer periods of time. The ingredient is low in calories but is said to have appetite suppressing qualities, helping an individual to reduce their energy intake and better stick to a portion-controlled eating plan.
Senna leaves are often claimed to have weight loss benefits, but precisely how it works in the body to achieve this is rarely discussed in detail. In contrast to the first three ingredients in Nopalina, senna leaves are not added to this product for their fibre content. Senna leaves are best known for having a laxative effect, and this might be why they are claimed to aid weight loss. Acting as a laxative, the ingredient might help the consumer to lose weight in the short term; this weight will however be water weight, ratehr than coming from fat stores, and so will not be a long-term solution to weight loss.
Psyllium husk is a form of soluble fibre; soluble fibre is thought to have weight loss properties because it might help to keep a person feeling fuller for longer by expanding and taking up space in the digestive system. Psyllium husk is also commonly used as a laxative ingredient; once again, this might cause the consumer to see a drop in the numbers on the scales, but only in the short term, since any initial weight loss will be the result of water loss rather than of fat loss.
Opuntia ficus is a type of cactus that offers a source of fibre and pectin. The extract is often added to weight loss supplements based on claims that it can suppress the appetite and increase fat loss. It has been said that Opuntia ficus extract can act as a fat binder, potentially attaching to fat molecules in the gut that have been consumed in the diet, making them too large to pass through the lining of the digestive system. As such, the fat molecules are said to be excreted from the body without being absorbed and stored.
Fruit Extracts (Orange, pineapple, apple, grapefuit)
Extracts of fruits, like apples and oranges, often contain pectin – a type of fibre. Pectin is thought to help maintain a healthy digestive system. The substance is a source of soluble fibre that is digested by the body at a slow pace. For this reason, it is said to help to suppress the appetite and help a person to stay fuller for longer.
Key Nopalina Ingredients
A full ingredients list does not appear to be provided on the official product website, though they do mention some of its components. The product tagline is ‘flax seed plus fibre’, indicating that these are the key ingredients in Nopalina.
On the Amazon website for Nopalina, a photograph is provided of the ingredients list, though this does not disclose ingredient quantities. The ingredients are mainly different types of dietary fibre, as well as one or two substances that can act as laxatives.
Obtained from the outer husk of flax seeds, this extract is a fairly common addition to weight loss supplements. Besides its claimed benefits as an appetite suppressant, flax seed is also thought to aid the treatment of a range of health conditions. Some examples include irritable bowel syndrome, coronary artery disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, amongst many more. The ingredient is high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids; it is these components that are thought to provide its claimed health benefits.
This ingredient is made from the outer shell of a plant known commonly as wheat. Like flax seed, wheat bran is high in dietary fibre and as such, is best known for its supposed digestive benefits. Besides being touted as a good supplement for general digestive health, wheat bran has been said to help with the treatment of an array of health conditions, including, for example, irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and several different forms of cancer.
Oat bran is similar to wheat bran; this ingredient is obtained from the outer layer of whole oats. Oat bran is used in traditional medicine to help with health conditions similar to those thought to be aided by wheat bran. These include high blood pressure, digestive conditions, high cholesterol, diabetes, and several types of cancer, amongst other conditions. It is thought that the ingredient might help to reduce cholesterol levels and so reduce the risk of heart disease, but it has not been proven to significantly effect the majority of the conditions mentioned.
This ingredient is extracted from the leaves of the senna plant, which is known as a herb. Senna leaves are best known for the treatment of constipation since they have laxative effects when consumed by humans. The ingredient has, in fact, been approved by the FDA for use as a laxative in non-prescription products. Sennosides are the key active component of senna leaves that are understood to irritate the inside of the digestive tract and trigger a laxative effect.
Psyllium husks are a source of dietary fibre and are widely sold in supplement form for this reason. As with senna leaves, Psyllium husk is regularly sold as an over the counter medication for constipation. It acts as a laxative, increasing movement in the intestines. It is a bulk-forming laxative, meaning that it increases the amount of water in stools. Psyllium husk can be used to treat digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. It is also claimed to help to reduce cholesterol levels.
This ingredient is extracted from a form of cactus that is commonly known as the prickly pear. The young catuses are consumed as food in parts of Mexico and the extract can be used to make medicines. The ingredient contains dietary fibre and pectin, which are thought to give the cactus a selection of health benefits. In traditional medicine, the ingredient has been used for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and blood glucose, and digestive problems.
A number of fruit extracts have also been added to this supplement, including extracts from oranges, pineapples, apples, and grapefruits. This is presumably for their pectin content, which is another form of fibre that is thought to make the stomach feel fuller and prevent overeating. Pectin consumption has been suggested to help with diabetes, high cholesterol, and diarrhoea. It has also been said to help prevent certain types of cancer and can be used as a thickening agent in cooking.
This product does not appear to have been the subject of any clinical trials. Some of its key ingredients however, have been studied for their potential weight loss effects. Most of these studies are pertaining to the impacts of consuming high quantities of fibre for weight loss. Despite some positive preliminary results, none of the ingredients in Nopalina have been definitively proven to aid weight loss.
Clinical studies are projects undertaken by scientists that aim to test the impacts of a certain product or ingredient in a controlled environment. These studies are written up and reviewed by experts in the field, typically making them a reliable source of information on health products.
Clinical Studies On Each Ingredient
Clinical Studies on Flax Seed
Very few clinical studies have been performed to test whether or not flax seed can help to improve weight loss. There are however a few studies that are relevant to this matter and so can be discussed here. One study looked at the effects of flax seed supplementation on the appetite. This study involved two trials; the first had 24 subjects whilst the second had 20. The first trial looked at the effects of a flax drink and compared them to a control and the second compared the effects of a flax drink with those of flax tablets. Following an overnight fast, the participants were given one of the treatments and then recorded their appetite for two hours after, before being given a buffet-style lunch. The amount consumed during the lunch was recorded.
The results suggested that the flax drink could increase feelings of fullness and satiety when compared to the control drink, and as such, less food was consumed during the all-you-can-eat lunch. The authors did not report any significant difference in appetite ratings for the flax drink and the flax talets, and the participants consumed similar amounts of energy during the lunch. It was therefore concluded that flax seed consumed in either tablet or drink form can help to suppress the appetite and so reduce energy intake.
A similar study was published in 2013, where the authors investigated whether or not flax seed supplementation could act as an appetite suppressant in young men. The trial involved 18 men, who were given different meals at different points during the study. They randomly received one of four treatments following an overnight fast. The first was a control meal containing no flax seed; the second contained a low dose of whole flax seed; the third contained a medium dose of whole flax seed, and the fourth contained a high dose of flax seed. Appetite was recorded on a scale by the participants and lipemia and glycemia were also measured. As with the study above, subjects were then given a buffet-style lunch where they could eat as much as they desired.
The results of this study indicated that after the meal containing a high dose of flax seed, participants generally felt more satieted and full than when they consumed the control meal with no flax seed. As such, the authors concluded that flax seed consumption might help to suppress the appetite; the amount of food consumed after supplementation however, was not seen to differ between treatments. Other studies have indicated that flax seed can also help to improve glycaemic control in obese individuals and so might be useful in the treatment of diabetes.
Clinical Studies on Wheat Bran
There do not appear to be any studies that investigate a potential link between wheat bran and weight loss. Wheat bran contains a lot of indigestible fibre and as such, is understood to have a laxative effect – increasing the bulk of stools. This might lead users to lose some weight in the short term, but the weight lost will not have come from fat stores. A 1992 study looked at the effects of wheat bran consumption on fat levels in the blood following the intake of a meal. This was a very small study, involving just six male participants. The subjects were given a low-fibre meal either on its own or containing one of three treatments (oat bran, rice bran, or wheat fibre/germ). Measurement were taken for seven hours after consumption. The authors reported no changes in blood glucose or insulin responses between the different treatments. Blood fat levels and cholesterol however, were lower following the consumption of a meal supplemented with oat bran, wheat fibre, or wheat germ.
Clinical Studies on Oat Bran
As with wheat bran, oat bran does not seem to have been tested for any potential weight loss effects. The ingredient has however been associated with improvements in some obesity-related parameters. Studies have shown that oat bran consumption can help to reduce blood cholesterol levels significantly. Other studies have indicated that oat bran can reduce blood pressure and improve blood lipid levels in men and women.
Clinical Studies on Senna Leaves
Very few studies have been performed on senna and weight loss. We found just one trial that was relevant to this topic. Here, the authors looked at 31 traditional Chinese medicinal herbs for weight loss, including senna leaf extract. The trial was looking specifically at any effects on fatty acid synthase (an enzyme involved in breaking down fat) inhibition. No significant effects were documented for senna leaf consumption.
Clinical Studies on Fruit Extracts (Orange, pineapple, apple, grapefuit)
A study published in 1997 tested the hypothesis that pectin could help to boost satiety. The trial involved a total of 74 US army employees of normal weight – 49 of whom were male and 25 of whom were female. The subjects undertook an overnight fast before being given their treatment. They each took part for two days; on one of the two days they were given orange juice alone and on the other they were given orange juice with 5, 10, 15, or 20g of additional pectin. Participants recorded their satiety on a scale for four hours and then, four hours later, were given ice cream. Satiety was again measured for an hour after ice cream consumption. The results showed a significant difference in satiety with the addition of pectin to orange juice, but the dose of pectin did not seem to make any difference to satiety.
Nopalina Side Effects
The official Nopalina product website does not mention any potential side effects that might be caused by the supplement. The website implies that children over the age of 8 can use the product without consulting a doctor; we would never recommend that those under the age of 16 take supplements without consulting a doctor first.
There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the product page stating that the product is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease and that the statements made have not been evaluated by the FDA. By looking at the individual ingredients in the product, it is clear that Nopalina has the potential to cause side effects.
Side Effects Associated With Each Ingredient
Side Effects associated with Flax Seed
Flax seeds are thought to be likely safe for adults when consumed orally in sensible doses. As they are high in fibre, flax seeds might cause some side effects, particularly relating to the gastrointestinal tract. For example, flax seed consumption can increase the number of bowel movements and cause bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, and stomach ache. In high doses, concern has been voiced that the ingredient might cause intestinal blockages. Flax seed is not recommended for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, have low blood pressure, problems that might increase the chances of gastrointestinal obstructions (e.g. narrow oesophagus or swollen intestine) or those with a bleeding condition. Consult a doctor before taking if you have diabetes.
Side Effects associated with Wheat Bran
Though generally thought to be safe for consumption, wheat bran might also cause some side effects. Again, these are associated with the gastro-intestinal tract due to the ingredients fibre content. In large quantities, wheat bran might cause flatulence and stomach discomfort. These side effects might reduce as the body gets used to the heightened fibre intake. It has been suggested that this ingredient might interact with the medication digoxin.
Side Effects associated with Oat Bran
Oat bran is very similar to wheat bran and as such, carries similar potential side effects. The ingredient is thought to be safe for most people. It might cause bloating, gas, and stomach pain. It is recommended that you start with a low dose and gradually increase this to allow your body to get used to the amount of fibre – this should reduce the risk of side effects. If you have a condition that might increase the chances of you suffering from an intestinal blockage, then it is recommended that you avoid oat bran.
Side Effects associated with Senna Leaves
Senna is approved by the FDA as a short-term medication available over the counter for constipation. The ingredient might not be safe if taken in large doses for long periods of time (more than two weeks). If a laxative like senna is taken for too long, the body can become dependent on it. Senna leaf extract does carry some side effects. It is very likely that the user will suffer from diarrhoea and possibly accompanying stomach cramps and gastrointestinal pain. Diarrhoea can also lead to dehydration. It is not recommended for people with electrolyte imbalances, potassium deficiency, heart conditions, or gastrointestinal problems.
Side Effects associated with Psyllium Husk
Pysllium husks have also been associated with side effects. As with senna leaves, this ingredient is used as a treatment for constipation and, in turn, is very likely to cause loose stools or diarrhoea. These effects can trigger stomach cramps and discomfort. The ingredient might cause choking; to avoid this side effect, it should be taken with at least one glass of water. Consult a doctor before taking this ingredient if you have a pre-existing gastro-intestinal condition.
Side Effects associated with Opuntia Ficus
This ingredient has not been approved by the FDA and all potential side effects might not yet be known. As such, it is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is deemed possibly safe when taken in supplement form by mouth for short periods of time; the safety of the ingredient in higher doses and for longer periods of time is not yet known. Some side effects have been reported; examples include: increased frequency of stool, diarrhoea, loose stools, bloating, nausea, and headaches. Secondary effects, such as dehydration, might also occur. The ingredient might alter blood glucose levels so consult a doctore before taking if you have diabetes and avoid the ingredient if you have had, or have scheduled surgery within two weeks.
Side Effects associated with Fruit Extracts
Though thought to be safe when taken in food amounts, fruit extracts could cause side effects when taken in higher quantities. The insoluble fibre (pectin) in these ingredients can cause diarrhoea, loose stools, flatulence, and stomach pain. Digoxin, lovastatin, and antibiotics might interact with pectin supplements.
How To Use
The official product website provides some information with regards to how this supplement should be used. It is stated that one tablespoon of the Nopalina drinks powder should be mixed with 8oz (a large glass) of water, milk, or juice. The company recommends taking the product twice day. If you are suffering from constipation, they recommend increasing the dose to two tablespoons of Nopalina twice a day. There is no mention of whether or not you should also increase the quantity of juice, water, or milk in this case.
Since a full ingredients list is not provided, we would recommend that all potential customers consult a doctor before taking this product. Although it is stated on the website that those under 8 years should ask a doctor before use, we would suggest that any child under the age of 16 should avoid this product unless it has been recommended by a doctor. Some of the ingredients are understudied and might cause unreported side effects, which could harm children.
The product is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not take this product if you have any health condition that might increase the likelihood of you suffering from a gastrointestinal blockage (such as intestinal swelling or narrowed oesophagus). Similarly, the product is not recommended for those with digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome as some of the side effects could worsen the condition. Consult a doctor before taking if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, particularly if you have diabetes or a heart/blood condition.
Who Makes It
The product is manufactured and sold by the company ‘Nopalina’ – the same name as the drinks powder product. Besides this supplement, the company sells an array of health products, claimed to target diseases and condtions ranging from cardiovascular problems to liver conditions. These products come in the form of drinks powders, capsules, teas, and juices.
The ‘about us’ section of the website states that the company has more than 17 years of experience and offers superior quality products that are manufactured in a laboratory that complies with Good Manufacturing Practice standards. The manufacturing facility is said to be based in Chicago and the goods distributed to North and South America, and Europe.
Nopalina has social media accounts and a contact telephone number is provided, but no postal address or email address is revealed. There is a section of the website for tips, which has a number of different juice and smoothie recipes on. There does not, however, appear to be a diet plan provided with the Nopalina products. There is no mention on the official website of a money-back guarantee, though there are numerous multi-buy offers and packages.
There are numerous claims made on the official Nopalina website about how the products work to improve certain conditions and body systems. These claims are not, however, backed by any scientific evidence and the disclaimer states that they have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Where To Buy Nopalina
The main place to purchase this product appears to be from the official Nopalina website. The company also have a US amazon store, but it does not appear to be available to purchase from any well-known high street health retailers. The product being reviewed here, Nopalina Flax Seed Plus Fibre, is sold in a 1lb powder pack.
Nopalina Flax Seed Plus Fibre is sold for $10.99 (around £8.80) on the official product website, which is said to be a ‘special price’. There are no multi-buy discounts or deals for this product. The product will be shipped by UPS or USPS. The price of shipping is not disclosed and when you go to checkout, you are taken to a PayPal page. It is not stated on the website whether or not Nopalina ships this product to other countries, or how much this might cost.
On the USA Amazon site, a 1lb pack of Nopalina Flax Seed Plus varies in price depending on which seller you opt for. There are a number of Amazon health retailers that stock the product and it ranged in price from $16.58 (around £13.20) to $18.50 (around £14.80). The cheapest Amazon option is via a seller called ‘Naturaly’, which offer free shipping to the US. Customers from other parts of the world will have to proceed to checkout to see how much the product will cost to ship to them.
Does Nopalina Meet our Approved Criteria
Money-back-guarantee: No, there does not appear to be a 30-day money-back guarantee.
One-off payment: Yes, the payment seems to be one-off without a recurring payment plan.
Manufacturing Standard: It is stated that the products are manufactured in a GMP-certified facility.
Accompanying Diet Plan: No, there is no mention of a diet plan with this product
Ingredients and quantities disclosed: No, a full ingredients list is not provided on the official website.
Company contact details readily available: No, only an online form and telephone number are available on the Nopalina website.
Nopalina does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria because it fails to provide a moneyback guarantee.
Nopalina is a supplement that is consumed by mixing the powder into a drink. It is claimed to work principally as an appetite suppressant, but also to have added health benefits such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. None of the ingredients have been reported as dangerous for adults in good health when taken in small quantities in the short-term. A full ingredients list is however not provided by the company and most of the ingredients have not been clinically proven to have any weight loss effect. Due to its mix of fibrous ingredients, product is likely to cause gastro-intestinal side effects, particularly diarrhoea and stomach cramps. It is not suitable for all users.
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