‘Ice Hack’ Weight Loss Supplements ‘Not Convincing,’ Dieticians Say

‘Ice Hack’ Weight Loss Supplements ‘Not Convincing,’ Dieticians Say

The viral weight-loss method dubbed the “ice hack” likely doesn’t help you shed the pounds, according to dieticians, despite the claims of its maker and influencers online.

“People are losing so much weight without having to make restrictive diets or crazy exercise programs with this weight-loss hack,” said YouTube user Lyrics de Músicas in a viral video that has amassed over 37,000 views. “The first time I heard about it I confess I was a little skeptical, but my own mother lost almost 23 pounds in just a few weeks doing this ice hack.”

The YouTube channel, which has over 2.1 million subscribers, contains videos that almost all discuss the ice hack and other weight-loss methods.

The ice hack, despite the video showing a glass full of ice, has nothing to do with frozen water but involves taking a dietary supplement called Alpilean.

“The ‘evidence’ in the claims for the Alpilean supplements is not convincing and I can’t find evidence that the ingredients they claim increase body temperature actually do that,” Rosemary Stanton, a nutritionist and senior visiting fellow at the School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, told Newsweek.

Stock images of a person holding ice in their hand and several health supplements. The viral “ice hack” diet actually involves taking Alpilean supplements. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Alpilean is a dietary supplement that contains a “proprietary blend of 6 alpine nutrients designed to target and optimize low inner body temperature,” according to their website. They say that overweight people have a low inner body temperature, and that these supplements will increase it to aid in weight loss.

“Science has now proven that low inner body temperature is a real cause of your belly fat”, Alpilean states on their website.

Alpilean cites a paper published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2019, which found a significant association between body temperature and obesity markers in men and postmenopausal women. However, no association was found in pre-menopausal women, and the paper actually finds that body temperature increases with weight, not decreases, as Alpilean implies.

The ingredients of Alpilean include dika nut, golden algae (fucoxanthin), drumstick tree leaf, bigarade orange, ginger root, and turmeric root.

Stock image of a turmeric root, one of the ingredients in Alpilean. iStock / Getty Images Plus

“While there is a reference list provided – they are not trials of this combination of supplement into one pill,” Clare Collins, a laureate professor in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle in Australia, told Newsweek.

These ingredients are all advertised to “target inner temperature”, and thus aid in weight loss.

“I can’t find any reliable evidence to support these supplements,” Stanton said.

“A review of supplements for weight loss included a few of the ingredients in Alpilean but didn’t give them much support.”

Dika nut, also known as Irvingia gabonensis, was looked at a few years ago and not recommended as a weight loss aid. A subsequent report looked more widely but the evidence was poor.

“A very new report from Thailand found some benefits [of dika nut] in a short study (only 12 weeks, small sample, 300mg of the kernel extract) and found no benefits for metabolism, inflammation, RTL, and aerobic capacity after the supplementation. [The study was] supported by Blackmores [an Australian health supplements company] – so some conflict of interest,” Stanton said.

In essence, there is very little evidence to support that any of the ingredients of these ice hack supplements can aid with weight loss. Additionally, the evidence showing them to increase body temperature is weak, and the link between obesity and body temperature itself is also shaky at best.

“My overall opinion is that there is little point in people wasting their money on these supplements,” Stanton said.

Newsweek contacted Alpilean for comment.

Skinny teas are a similar fad diet product often sold online to people seeking fast weight loss solutions. These also contain a myriad of natural ingredients that are supposed to aid in losing weight, however, studies have shown that these teas often have minimal impact on weight unless combined with a reduction in calorie intake and increased exercise, which would be expected to cause weight loss anyway.

“I would encourage people to read the fine print which I suspect (you could check that) is along the same lines as the skinny tea manufacturers,” Collins said.

Skinny tea fine print often states that the product “should be consumed in conjunction with a low kilojoule diet and daily exercise” and that “individual results may vary,” a Conversation article by Collins shows.

Even if these supplements and teas did help to lose weight, the weight lost by crash diets is often regained fairly rapidly afterwards.

“The danger of any quick weight loss pill/diet is that the lost weight returns, usually with a few bonus [pounds],” Stanton said.

There are a multitude of videos advertising these Alpilean supplements on Youtube. A few weeks ago, Snopes reported that YouTube has removed a paid ad for this ice hack, citing its policy against “spam, deceptive practices, and scams.”

YouTube’s guidelines for this specific policy state that the company “doesn’t allow spam, scams, or other deceptive practices that take advantage of the YouTube community.”

Is there a health issue that’s worrying you? Do you have a question about weight loss supplements? Let us know via health@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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