Contributing Author: Nicholas Rogers, CLS (ASCP), MBA
Finding a dupe for Herbalife’s Prolessa Duo wasn’t easy, but we were determined to bring it to you. In the process, we learned that this might be the absolute worst product, both in price and quality, that we have looked into.
What Is Prolessa Duo?
The Prolessa Duo is CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), Palm Oil, and Oat Oil. It’s a weight management supplement that claims to burn fat and help its users lose weight. Eating a clean diet and exercising regularly are critical in seeing the full benefits of this product. It is most commonly used in the popular “Fat Burning Donut Shots” at the “nutrition shops.”
Okay, but what really is Prolessa Duo? An extremely overpriced CLA powder combined with a now defunct SLIMShots dietary supplement, that’s what! Even if it did work, who could afford this stuff long enough to see any potential benefits?
Why was this dupe so hard?
The biggest hurdle we faced with duping the Prolessa Duo was the CLA. Nobody really makes this in a powder form. I can only assume it’s because there is minimal proof that CLA even works.
Herbalife itself does not disclose the clinical testing results, describe how the ingredients work, or provide the clinical trial studies for consumers to review. Since Herbalife doesn’t want to provide you with any information, we will do our best to explain it. I won’t bore you with too much of the science, but instead give you the basics and sources so you can head down that rabbit hole if you want to know more.
Let’s dig in.
The “Duo” consists of two parts: CLA + Palm Oil & Oat Oil
What are CLAs?
CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acids, which are naturally occurring fatty acids found in meats and diary products. CLAs can be considered a trans fatty acid but are not counted as a trans fat due to their structure. While most trans fats are harmful to your health, the structure of CLA’s don’t pose much of a threat.
There are many different forms of these acids, but the two most common found in supplements are CLA-9 and CLA-10. The main difference is that CLA-9 is naturally produced in animals while CLA-10 is primarily synthetically produced. Those found in supplements are made by chemically altering the linoleic acid found in vegetable oils.
The Negatives and Side Effects of CLA
It’s important to point out that CLA-10 has been shown to negatively impact cholesterol levels and insulin resistance when taken in high doses. When it comes to supplements, it’s also the stronger form in terms of weight loss benefits. The most reported side effect of CLA use is GI related issues, including upset stomach and diarrhea.
The Source of CLAs in Prolessa Duo
Safflower oil is a type of vegetable oil that is chemically altered to produce CLA supplements. Safflower oil is actually a poor source of CLA and only contains 0.7 mg of CLA per gram. The majority of safflower oil supplements that contain these acids, like Prolessa Duo, have been chemically altered to contain a high amount of CLA. Safflower oil is high in omega-6 fats, which most people already consume in excess. Having too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats in your diet can be harmful to overall health.
Palm Oil & Oat Oil – Fabuless(TM)
Does anyone remember a product called SLIMShots? I don’t remember ever seeing this or hearing about it. This weight loss supplement was sold at drugstores like CVS and Walgreens over a decade ago. A 28-day supply ran about $40 and contained a proprietary ingredient known as “Fabuless.” Sound familiar? It’s almost like Herbalife integrated the name into their product, Prolessa Duo. Let’s check out the ingredients in the Fabuless SLIMShots — Palm Oil, Oat Oil and Water. Doesn’t that sound familiar, too?
After quite a bit of digging (it’s no longer even listed by the manufacturer), we found this old statement from a PR website:
Fabuless is a patented blend of natural oat and palm extracts in water. “It is believed that the emulsion is digested at a slower rate than typical foods, allowing it to penetrate deeply into the last part of the intestinal system, the ileum,” stated Ron Boger, executive vice president of SlimShots. “At this stage of digestion, satiety hormones are released and the brain receives a message of fullness. This mechanism, called the ‘ileal brake,’ is what helps you eat less,” he said.
So, let’s just simplify all that marketing talk. Fat slows down digestion, and eating fat makes you feel full longer. The SLIMShots product was touted as being more complex than just oils and water; however, it was simply just oils in water. But, did it actually work? Considering they no longer make it, I’m going to guess that’s a big no. If you want to know why it didn’t work, here are a few studies:
Emulsified Lipid: This study indicates that, while barely suppressing the appetite, the product only worked when taken with yogurt, not by itself or with any solid foods.
No efficacy: This study indicates the product did not work at all.
So now we know for sure that at least half of the expensive Prolessa Duo is a complete waste of money.
Does Prolessa Duo work?
Unfortunately, Herbalife doesn’t directly provide any success stories or clinical data to support their claims that the Prolessa Duo actually decreases body fat and reduces calorie intake. They make it very difficult to confirm the product’s actual effectiveness.
Remember that we learned the Palm Oil + Oat Oil part of the Duo is nothing to get excited about. That leaves us with the CLA, which isn’t new and has been studied plenty in the past with very underwhelming results. While there are studies that show these acids may have some weight loss benefits, it’s a crazy stretch to call any product like Prolessa Duo a “Liquid Lipo” or “Fat Burner” or promote it with statements like “Want Abs?” and “Get Rid of Your Muffin Top” as these Herbalife distributors do to reel you in.
Review Study: This one shows that most individuals who used chemically derived CLA only lost on average 0.11 pounds per week.
Long-term use of CLAs: This shows that, used as a weight loss supplement, CLAs resulted in a loss of only 2.9 pounds after daily use for 6-12 months. If you’re using Prolessa Duo supplement with CLA, that’s going to get real expensive.
Waistline Study: It shows CLAs didn’t shrink the waistline in men or women. Doesn’t sound like we’ll “Melt Bodyfat” according to the study.
Fat Reduction: This 8-week trial showed that using a daily serving of CLA had no impact on body fat reduction in women.
Clinical Studies Review: Shows the majority of clinical studies found no conclusive evidence for the effectiveness of CLA on health and weight loss.
The efficacy of long-term conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation on body composition in overweight and obese individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials – PubMed (nih.gov)