PGX (PolyGlycopleX) is a proprietary dietary supplement that contains polysaccharides (a type of carbohydrate). Typically touted as a natural weight-loss aid, PGX is said to suppress the appetite and reduce food cravings. PGX is also marketed as a fiber-rich supplement that can help with certain health conditions.
Why Do People Use PGX?
In addition to using PGX for weight loss, some consumers take PGX supplements to keep their cholesterol in check. Proponents claim that taking PGX can lower your levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
Benefits of PGXSo far, research on the health effects of PGX is fairly limited. However, there's some evidence that PGX may offer some benefits. Here's a look at key findings from the available studies:
1) Weight LossPGX may influence certain hormones involved in controlling satiety (the feeling of fullness), according to a 2010 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For the study, 54 healthy adults took either PGX or a placebo for 21 days. By the study's end, members of the PGX group showed a significantly greater increase in levels of satiety-related hormones (compared to members of the placebo group). However, the study's authors noted that PGX may have a different effect on overweight people.
2) DiabetesPGX may aid in blood-sugar control (a key element of diabetes management), suggests a 2010 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In a series of experiments involving 10 participants, researchers found that PGX helped reduce post-meal spikes in blood sugar.
A 2011 study in Frontiers in Pharmacology indicated that PGX showed promise in diabetes management. In tests on diabetic rats, the authors found that eight weeks of treatment with PGX led to a significant reduction in insulin resistance and blood-sugar levels. In addition, PGX appeared to help lower cholesterol levels, body weight and food intake.
SafetyPGX is known to cause a number of minor side effects, including gas, bloating and constipation. Little is known about the safety of long-term use.
Where to Find PGXWidely available for purchase online, PGX is sold in many natural-food stores and in stores that specialize in dietary supplements.
Brand-Miller JC, Atkinson FS, Gahler RJ, Kacinik V, Lyon MR, Wood S. "Effects of PGX, a novel functional fibre, on acute and delayed postprandial glycaemia." Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec;64(12):1488-93. Epub 2010 Oct 6.
Carabin IG, Lyon MR, Wood S, Pelletier X, Donazzolo Y, Burdock GA. "Supplementation of the diet with the functional fiber PolyGlycoplex is well tolerated by healthy subjects in a clinical trial." Nutr J. 2009 Feb 5;8:9.
Grover GJ, Koetzner L, Wicks J, Gahler RJ, Lyon MR, Reimer RA, Wood S. "Effects of the Soluble Fiber Complex PolyGlycopleX on Glucose Homeostasis and Body Weight in Young Zucker Diabetic Rats." Front Pharmacol. 2011;2:47.
Reimer RA, Pelletier X, Carabin IG, Lyon M, Gahler R, Parnell JA, Wood S. "Increased plasma PYY levels following supplementation with the functional fiber PolyGlycopleX in healthy adults." Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Oct;64(10):1186-91.