Anabolic Addiction’s Phenom V1 is a popular fat burner and claims to enhance your mood, suppress your appetite, and elevate your metabolism for increased calorie and fat burning. It does this, apparently, without the shakes, jitters and anxiety common to other weight loss supplements on the market.
Of course, this is all marketing 101. The proof, as always, is in the pudding. Or in this case, the ingredient profile. So what does Phenom V1 contain that makes it able to accomplish this?
Good question. A two capsule daily serving of Phenom V1 contains 200 mg of chromium, plus a 1560 mg proprietary blend of the following…
- Cocoa-theobromine: Theobromine is a xanthine, structurally related to caffeine and also demonstrating stimulant effects, although it is less potent than its chemical cousin. And while clinical studies demonstrate caffeine’s modest thermogenic effects (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97), no such evidence exists for theobromine.
- Cha de Bugre: Normally added to fat burners and weight loss supplements for its appetite suppressant qualities, there is exactly ZERO published data showing this ingredient does anything. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests it does offer a mild appetite suppressing effect, so it may offer some benefit here.
- Hoodia: Another ingredient lauded for its supposed appetite-suppressing qualities, there is also no evidence hoodia works as claimed. Also, issues with soaring worldwide demand, an “endangered species status” and long growing period means it’s very likely the majority of hoodia products on the market are counterfeit. See the full hoodia review for more details.
- Guarana: An antioxidant, diuretic and source of natural caffeine, guarana is a common ingredient in weight loss supplements.
- Green tea (50% extract): Green tea shows some real benefits for weight loss, but only if it’s present in a potent enough dosage, and standardized for the optimal amounts of critical polyphenols (i.e., EGCG). We don’t know if this is the case here.The green tea in Phenom V1 is standardized for 50%, but for what exactly is not revealed (green tea is often used as a natural caffeine source). And since it’s listed fifth on the ingredients list, it’s impossible to determine whether there’s enough ingredient here to be effective, even if it is standardized for the proper constituents.
- Caffeine Anhydrous: As discussed earlier, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant with established, albeit mild, thermogenic properties (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97).
- Maca: In animal experiments, has been shown to improve memory/learning and depression.
- Banaba (usually standardized for Corosolic acid): Traditionally, Banaba was used as a natural cure for diabetes in the Philippines. To date, several credible studies validate Banaba’s ability to lower blood glucose levels, therefore providing some benefit to those with non-insulin dependent diabetes, as well as overweight or obese individuals. (Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006 Aug;73(2):174-7. Epub 2006 Mar 23 , J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jul;87(1):115-7 , J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9):2242-7)There’s also some early preliminary evidence to suggest another chemical component of Banaba (called valoneaic acid dilactone) may be a potent alpha-amylase inhibitor (Yakugaku Zasshi. 2003 Jul;123(7):599-605.) Amylase is the enzyme required for the proper break-down of carbohydrates into glucose. If Banaba were indeed an effective amylase inhibitor, it would also give it “carb blocking” properties as well.
- Guggulsterone: Often added to weight loss supplements for its thyroid stimulating qualities. Evidence shows a positive effect for dieters, although it is evident guggulsterones are not a weight loss miracle.
- Glucomannan: Clinical evidence shows glucomannan (a konjac-derived fiber supplement) can aid in weight loss, and reduce blood sugar levels. Only one problem; in order to be effective, glucomannan needs to be consumed in large doses (i.e., multi-gram). With only 1560 mg and 11 other ingredients present in this formula, we can be certain this constitutes little more than label dressing in this formula.
- L-Theanine: An amino acid found in green tea, theanine is a common ingredient in sleep-promoting products.
- Magnolia Bark (1.5% Extract): Often used in weight loss supplements to improve mood and reduce the potential for stress-related eating. There is no published evidence to validate this claim, however.
As you can see, the effects of a great number of ingredients in this formula have been exaggerated by the manufacturer.
On top of that, the proprietary nature of this formula makes it impossible to assess the true value of this product.
Ingredients like green tea, banaba, guggulsterones and caffeine may be present in dosages potent enough to elicit some effect. But we can’t tell for sure.
Others, like Glucomannan, are definitely not.
In the end, this formula would definitely benefit from some trimming down—drop the ingredients that have little or no supporting evidence or need to be present in dosages too large to be effective in this product, and focus on the winners.