I’ve seen those little Sensa banner ads, littered all over the Internet, even some on TV. But, I still had NO IDEA what it was and how it could possibly help someone lose weight. The claims seemed a little too good to be true, so I thought I’d put the Myth or Not formula to the test and see how the evidence supports the weight loss claims here. Can Sensa help you lose weight? Let’s find out…
What is Sensa?
Sensa is a crystal-based product that interacts with your gustatory system or how you interpret TASTE. Basically, these crystals are sprinkled on food. The hypothesis is that the crystals stimulate receptors in your brain so that your sense of smell is enhanced and you feel full earlier than normal. The end result is that you will eat less and lose weight.
What does “clinically proven” mean?
The Sensa website cites clinical trial data to support their claims, so my first spot to look for reviewed, high-quality data is in PubMed at the National Library of Medicine. I’ve written other posts using this approach (e.g. can breastfeeding help you lose weight?), and think it’s the best way to find the data. In this case though, there’s nothing. The Sensa site includes two posters from inventor Dr. Alan Hirsch (that’s it!), but this data does not appear to have ever been published. Red flag. Now, the data might have been published (happy to review it if anyone can point me to it), but very difficult to say it’s been clinically proven when all we see are two posters. No review of the safety, no comparison to other drugs and few details about the trials themselves (where they were conducted, who did it, etc.).
My initial conclusion here — not enough data to say if it’s been “clinically proven” or not.
Does Sensa work? Not really sure, and I’m not going to (personally) find out.
I’m a skeptic. There, I admit it. My initial belief right out the gates for 99.9999% of supplements for weight loss is that they either do not work or pose significant safety concerns. Even drugs that go through FDA’s approval process often end up with safety issues after they’ve been on the market for awhile. Supplements or natural products shouldn’t be thought of as any safer. Even though I may have some bias, the data (or lack thereof here) speaks for itself.
MYTH: Sensa will help you lose weight
It would be FANTASTIC if there was a magical powder that could be sprinkled on your food and help melt away the pounds. Having personally dealt with the frustration, depression, etc. that comes with struggling with weight loss, I understand and yes, have even considered trying weight loss supplements to help kick start the process. In the end though, I have yet to find a product that has convincing clinical data that tells me it’s safe and effective. In fact, the majority of data that I have seen that shows safe, effective weight loss all points to simply following a sound nutritional program paired with routine exercise. Go figure.
This is purely my opinion, but as always, I’d strongly recommend a visit to your doctor and pharmacist before trying any type of supplement for weight loss. I imagine there are people that probably have had success with this product and would certainly be interested to hear more about your experience.