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What are fat binders?

21 Apr 2021 • 1 min read

Wondering what on earth fat binders are? Suppose you’re trying to lose weight to help support your health and overall wellbeing. In that case, it might be worth getting to grips with exactly what these supplements are and how they could work as part of a healthy weight loss programme.

What are fat binders?

Fat binders are essentially a form of supplement or medical device which people can use to help them lose weight.

They usually come in a tablet or capsule form, and their sole purpose is to prevent fat from being stored in the digestive tract.1 As fat binders can help limit how much fat is stored in your body, they’re beneficial for people who are trying to lower their fat intake.   

How do they work?

Now we’ve answered the question “What are fat binders?”, let us take a look at how they work.

Unlike fat burners, which pretty much do what they say on the tin, fat binders stop your body from storing any fat which could then contribute to weight gain.  

They’re called “binders” as they attract the fat molecules in food and attach themselves to them before digestion. This prevents the fat from being absorbed by the body. The fat binder (and its new cargo) is then released as waste when you go to the loo.3

Fat binders are generally made from a combination of herbal and plant extracts, with chitosan often being a key ingredient. Chitosan is a natural form of sugar that’s abundant in some plants. As well as being a common element of fat binders, it’s also used for many other medical purposes such as wound healing and in the creation of contact lenses!4

Fat binder side effects

While fat binders can have great results for some people, they should only be taken alongside a healthy and balanced diet.

There are not any significant known side effects of taking fat binders. Nevertheless, they can, in some cases, cause stomach aches and diarrhoea. Fat binders may also interfere with certain medications, so you should speak to a medical professional before trying them if you take things like blood thinners.

As fat binders may reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients (including essential vitamins and minerals), they should only be used as a short-term solution. You will, however, sometimes find that some fat binder tablets have been enhanced with added vitamins to make up the shortfall. If in doubt, have a chat with your doctor to see whether fat binders might be suitable for you.

Keen to try out these popular supplements as part of your weight loss regime? Discover our full range of fat binders made from a range of naturally-derived ingredients.

Last updated: 6 April 2021



Author: Bhupesh PanchalSenior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

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