Trim Spa: Supplement Review

TrimSpa X32, an ephedra-free supplement promoted as “Your Dream Body Diet Pill,” is marketed as a fast-acting, simple and safe method of curtailing appetite that “causes rapid and substantial weight loss.” Although available over the counter, it is not yet approved by the FDA. TrimSpa rocketed to fame shortly after Anna Nicole Smith became its spokesperson and is widely distributed on the internet and in stores around the country.

As the story goes, Anna Nicole Smith discovered TrimSpa in April 2003 and reportedly lost 30 pounds in just a few months. She was contacted by TrimSpa later that year and asked to serve as its spokesperson. She ultimately lost a total of 69 pounds while taking the product.

In January 2007, Goen Industries agreed to pay $1.5 million in fines to the FDA for making unsubstantiated advertising claims about TrimSpa. Other weight loss manufacturers fined at the same time included the makers of Xenedrine EFX, CortiSlim, and One-A-Day WeightSmart.

Before TrimSpa’s dramatic commercials were seen on the air, the product was marketed through hypnosis and stop-smoking seminars offered by Goen Seminars Institute. In October 2003, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General sued Goen Seminars and Alexander Goen for bait and switch tactics, claiming that they used their seminars as a front for product sales.

Ironically, it was about this time that Anna Nicole Smith became the product spokesperson, appearing in flashy TV commercials made famous by the phrase, “TrimSpa, Baby!”

In light of the media hype and attention following Anna Nicole Smith’s death, it seems important to examine the safety of TrimSpa and its merits as a product for weight loss. Anna Nicole Smith may have had her own doubts; after her death, it was revealed that she had Slim-Fast products in her refrigerator, a violation of her TrimSpa contract.

As TrimSpa executive Alex Goen made clear in public statements on Court TV, “It would definitely be a violation…it would definitely be one of those things we would question. We would not want her taking any other weight loss products.”

TrimSpa and Anna Nicole Smith Exposed

Until recently, Anna Nicole Smith loomed as a larger-than-life character in our collective mindset, a Marilyn Monroe wanna-be surrounded by controversy and turmoil. She burst onto the scene in 2003 in highly touted TrimSpa commercials after claiming to have lost a weight using the product. With the sad facts emerging after her death fueling wild speculation and conspiracy theories, it’s clear that much more was going on beneath Anna Nicole Smith’s heavily made-up façade.

Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston, Texas, on November 27, 1968. She would go on to become an exotic dancer, Playboy Playmate and Playmate of the Year, Guess jeans model, TrimSpa spokesperson, reality TV show star, and B movie actress. She married an 89-year-old oil billionaire when she was 26, then sued his estate for $474 million after his death, a suit that continues to this day.

The world grieved with her after the tragic death of her son, Daniel, in the Bahamas shortly after the birth of her daughter, Dannielynn, in September 2006. Anna Nicole Smith’s saga ended on February 8, 2007, when she collapsed and died in Florida after returning to the U.S. with her lawyer and partner, Howard K. Stern.

Just a few days before her death, a lawsuit claiming false advertising was filed against Anna Nicole Smith, the TrimSpa parent company Nutramerica Corp, its manufacturer Goen Technologies Corp, and its executive director, Alexander Goen, aka Alexander Szynalski.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 2 women and one minor who accused the company of engaging in deceptive business practices to promote the product and of violating California’s unfair competition law. While their suit claims harm, the exact nature of the harm is not known.

TrimSpa’s homepage has since been replaced with a simple, black and white memorial to Anna Nicole Smith. With the increasing scrutiny of its products and the death of its dramatic spokesperson, many doubt whether TrimSpa itself will survive.

Scientific Support

No research studies have been done on the ephedra-free formulation of TrimSpa and there are few actual studies of most of the ingredients, despite industry claims. In September 2006, one research study was conducted on TrimSpa when it contained ephdra, an herb since banned by the FDA. Participants were given a TrimSpa formulation containing over 30 different ingredients, including 15 mg of ephedra and 60 mg of caffeine 3 times a day for 7 days in a crossover pattern, with 7 days between treatments.

Standard doses of TrimSpa did not induce changes in heart QT interval (a measure of heart function) or blood pressure in most patients, but a dramatic change was seen in the QTc interval of one participant, suggesting the need for a larger study to determine whether the results were artifact or caused by the product. Prolonged QTc intervals have been associated with sudden death.


TrimSpa is a diet pill that claims to contain a fat blocker, carbohydrate blocker, and other thermogenic herbal components designed to suppress appetite and reduce weight. The basic formula includes the 9 ingredients listed below, plus 11 others that are not quantified. Anna Nicole Smith actually used the formulation of TrimSpa containing ephedra for her weight loss in 2003 (which is no longer available).

There are four product formats offered by TrimSpa – TrimSpa X32, Energy, Ultra, and Metabospa. Each offers a different program for weight loss and results are said to vary depending on the program selected.

• Chromium, as chromium dinicotinate glycinate, 150 mcg 125% daily value
• Vanadium, as vanadium amino acid chelate, 30 mcg
• Glucomannan, 400 mg
• Sodium carboxymethylcellulose, 100 mg
• Citrus naringinine, 10 mg
• Glucosamine HCI, 100 mg
• Cocoa extract, (standardized for penhylethylamine (PEA), tyramine and 10% theobromine, 325 mg
• Green Tea Extract, (40%)(standardized for epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), polyphenols, and 40% caffeine), 250 mg
• Hoodia Gordonii Cactus, (whole plant/less roots), 150 mg

The Safety Of Trim Spa

Although websites promoting TrimSpa provide glowing reviews of the product, there are many more reviews by people claiming that the product did nothing at all for them. Out of 20 reviews on one weight loss website, 8 were positive and 12 were negative. In particular, many people mentioned feeling agitated, nervous, jittery, and breaking into sweats after taking just 2 tablets. Most felt it was of little help with appetite control and expensive when compared to other products.

Adverse effects of TrimSpa may include gastrointestinal obstruction, esophageal swelling, and blockage of the throat if not taken with enough water. Other side effects may include chest pain, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Women who are pregnant or nursing and anyone allergic to shellfish, taking an anticoagulant, diabetic, or adversely affected by caffeine should avoid this product. If taken late in the day, it may cause insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, and restlessness.


Cost varies considerably, depending on where TrimSpa is purchased. Many websites advertise TrimSpa for as little as $9.99 -$14.99 for 30 tablets to $19.99 - $24.99 for 75 tablets. TrimSpa is available directly from the company’s website for $39.95 (quantity unknown).


1-2 tablets, 2-3 times a day, taken ½ hour before meals. Maximum 6 tablets a day.



TrimSpa claims that chromium is “an important nutrient that aids in controlling glucose (blood sugar) and carbohydrate cravings. …A lack of chromium in the diet can result in weight gain, sluggishness, and can trigger a craving for sugar and other carbohydrates.”


While chromium is an essential trace mineral and cofactor for insulin, it has never been substantiated to be of benefit as an aid to weight loss.


Some sources report toxicity, including kidney damage, with doses of more than 600 mcg per day of chromium taken long term. As little as 200 mcg per day may be associated with toxicity. reports that TrimSpa may contain as much as 42% more chromium than claimed, leading to toxic doses at the highest recommended daily intake.

In addition, trace amounts of hexavalent chromium were found as a contaminant in TrimSpa. Hexavalent chromium is an industry by-product that is a known carcinogen and was the subject of the lawsuit highlighted in the movie Erin Brockovich.

About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)