Undated, LA(KSLA)- You've probably seen the commercials: Eat whatever you want and still lose weight, just be sure to sprinkle your food with Sensa crystals first.
"I've been heavy most of my adult life."
Since starting Sensa a little over a year ago, Wendy has lost almost 90 pounds. She says it's the first diet that's ever really worked.
"I intentionally would serve myself less food and then I would sprinkle it and I could walk away full."
The sprinkles Wendy is talking about are scented Sensa crystals.
The urge to eat is not governed by the stomach, but the satiety of the brain
Dr. Alan Hirsch invented Sensa. In addition to enhancing taste, he says the scent triggers a reaction in the brain that makes a person think they're full. As a result, people eat less and lose weight.
Dr. Frank Greenway is a scientist at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Over the years, he's spearheaded a number of studies involving weight loss drugs.
We ask him to weigh-in on the sprinkle diet.
"I have no proof that it works or that it doesn't work." Greenway acknowledges the research posted on Sensa's web site.
But, he found it troubling he wasn't able to find any of Dr. Hirsch's work published in mainline scientific journals.
"I think its incumbent upon a scientist who claims something to able to show other scientists what they've done," says Greenway.
Greenway stops short of saying Sensa doesn't work - but he's skeptical if it.
Critics have done little to dampen the enthusiasm of people like Wendy who believe the sprinkle diet helped them lose weight.
In fact, since starting Sensa she's begun exercising at home with her kids, and running. She also tries to eat healthier.
Regardless of where you stand on the science, most experts would agree that's a good thing.
In response to the lack of published research documenting the effectiveness of the sprinkle diet, a Sensa spokesperson offers the following statement:
"Doctor Hirsch has spent many years researching the effects of different odors on weight-loss. Dr. Hirsch has more than 25 years of experience and nearly 200 published studies to speak to his extensive experience in the field."