Article edited for scientific accuracy by Illuminate Labs Blog Editor Taylor Graber MD
It Works is a supplement and health food manufacturer marketed towards women. Most of their products are clearly suggesting weight loss benefits just by their titles, like “Skinny Cold Brew” and “Slimming Gummies”.
In this article we’ll review several It Works product formulations including It Works Slimming Gummies, It Works Fat Fighter and It Works Super Greens to determine if they're likely to be effective, as well as offer some cheaper and better alternatives.
It Works Slimming Gummies Review
If you’ve read our Goli reviews page (ACV gummies with a similar formulation), you’ll know how we feel about exaggerated health claims for gummy products. We haven't yet come across an effectively formulated gummy product for any health goal.
It Works Slimming Gummies contain 500 mg of Apple cider vinegar (ACV). This is the exact same dosage as included in Goli. It’s significantly lower than the doses of ACV used in most medical research. The ACV in It Works is generic while that in Goli is standardized for 5% acetic acid which seems to be a better option, since most of the published research on ACV for weight management has a standardized formulation.
The only other active ingredient in It Works Slimming Gummies is 200 mg of a patented blood Orange fruit extract called Morosil. This is underdosed based on Morosil’s own site and clinical trial. They recommend 400 mg per day. Of course you could just double your dose of the gummies but in our opinion the fact that their servings don’t even reflect the accurate dosage of one of two active ingredients is a sign the company doesn’t know what they’re doing.
The Morosil clinical trial actually does seem somewhat impressive, with study participants losing more weight and waist circumference than placebo at 400 mg/day. If you do choose to take these gummies we recommend you double your serving size to achieve this dosage.
The inactive ingredients in this product are superior to those in Goli. It contains chicory root, which is a healthy prebiotic fiber, coconut oil, paprika and a few other non-toxic ingredients. We generally recommend against natural flavorings, but in the context of an otherwise safely-formulated product it's not a major concern. It’s good that the product has no added sugars.
Overall, we believe this formulation is superior to competitors like Goli, but the health claims are still inaccurate based on the listed dosage. It’s also incredibly expensive, with a retail price of $67. The most promising compound in this formulation is Morosil at 400 mg/day, which unfortunately is hard to buy in isolation.
It Works Fat Fighter Review
It Works sells a capsule supplement called Fat Fighter which has more active ingredients than the gummies. The first listed ingredient is chromium, which is a mineral that has been studied for weight loss. We haven’t seen any research suggesting the amount (150 mcg) in this product is effective. One study tested 1000 mcg of chromium for weight loss and found no benefit. A meta-analysis found that while there were improvements in some studies, “chromium as a weight loss aid remains uncertain.” Most of the dosages in the selected studies were higher than that in It Works Fat Fighter.
The second active ingredient is 500 mg of a patented cactus extract called NeOpuntia. There is one study on this compound for potential weight loss, but it simply measured fecal fat excretion. Basically, the compound can make you excrete more dietary fat than usual, but it doesn’t prove that leads to weight loss.
There’s an additional prop blend totaling 442 mg containing several other ingredients.
A meta-review found that garcinia was mildly effective for short-term weight loss but the dosages used in nearly all reviewed studies were significantly higher than the entire prop blend dosage in It Works Fat Fighter (of which garcinia is only a fraction).
White kidney bean extract has been shown to moderately impact weight loss in one study, but again is underdosed in the It Works Fat Fighter formulation. The study participants used 1000 mg of white kidney bean extract while the entire prop blend which includes other ingredients is less than half that dosage.
There are other ingredients in the Fat Fighter product, but we will assume they’re underdosed because, again, the entire dosage is 442 mg and there are 8 component ingredients. If they’re averaged this means only 55 mg per ingredient which is relatively low as evidenced by the studies above.
This product appears to use effective ingredients for weight loss but nearly all of them appear to be underdosed. It would probably make more sense to take one compound at a dosage proven to be effective, than to take many compounds combined in dosages lower than that in medical research.
It Works Super Greens Review
The Super Greens product contains two blends with a variety of plant compounds. There is no harm in taking a blended greens powder, provided it’s low in contaminants (which It Works doesn’t prove), but it’s a very cost-ineffective way to get micronutrients.
This product has a $65 retail price and only contains 30 servings. For $65 you could get fresh local greens for an entire month in much higher doses.
The entire greens blend combines for 4.8 g of greens. One cup of kale is 20.6 g or about 5 times as much.
It’s true that much of the weight of raw kale is water and fiber, but it’s just a point to illustrate how green powder products can be somewhat cost-ineffective. If you have discretionary income and want the convenience though, go for it.
We have no issues with this formulation as it’s just for general health and not making any specific provable health claims.
Better Weight Loss Alternatives
In our opinion the cheapest and most effective weight loss strategy is increasing insoluble fiber intake while reducing overall calories.
Fiber makes you feel full so it can reduce cravings and binging, and is well-established in medical literature as an effective weight management strategy.
Increasing insoluble fiber intake is also much cheaper than taking weight loss pills, whether they’re OTC supplements like It Works or FDA-approved medications like Plenity (which we reviewed here).
It Works produces decent but underdosed formulations for weight management in our opinion.
Generally the ingredients they use are effective and have been studied in medical research, and the inactive ingredients they use shouldn’t cause any harm.
These formulations are better than many supplement companies, but are still likely inferior to just taking effective doses of individual compounds or increasing insoluble fiber intake if the goal is weight loss.