Sensa and Post-Cancer Diet

Ask the Nutritionist

Q: I have read a lot about Sensa ® in the media. As a cancer survivor would this be something I should be cautious about?

A: Sensa ® is a patent-pending weight loss supplement consisting of a powder that you sprinkle on all your food. Dr. Alan Hirsch, the company’s founder, says Sensa® causes weight loss by suppressing appetite using scents, causing one to eat less and lose weight. He claims six months on Sensa® can lead to a 30.5 pound weight loss. However, there have been no weight-loss studies testing Sensa’s® effectiveness in weight loss outside of Dr. Hirsch’s work.

The ingredients in Sensa’s ® are maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, silica, and natural and artificial flavors. Maltodextrin is a food additive made from corn that is used as a thickener and artificial sweetener. The natural and artificial flavors are made from soy and milk, so vegans, vegetarians and those with food allergies need to be cautious. The ingredients are “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however, the product itself has not been approved or tested by the FDA.

More research needs to be done to determine if Sensa ® is safe and effective. It is not a recommended weight loss program. Weight loss is best attained and maintained by eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein and exercising regularly.

Talk to your doctor about your weight concerns and he/she may be able to refer you to a dietitian who can help you create a plan to achieve your goals. You can check out healthful recipes in the Health Library to get you started.

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