The Abdominal Cuts fat burner makes several appealing claims; the ability to reduce abdominal, hip, and thigh fat, the ability to reduce sugar cravings and “enhance” lean tissue (whatever that means). Abdominal Cuts comes in a slick package and, if what I’ve heard from site visitors is true, is fairly aggressively promoted by GNC reps at their various locations.
Of course, if you’re visiting UltimateFatBurner.com and reading this review, you want to know if any of this is true. To answer that, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients label…
A single serving (3 capsules) of Abdominal Cuts is comprised of a 2400 mg proprietary blend of the following 7 ingredients…
1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) (reviewed in full here): The good news is that there is some real evidence that CLA is beneficial for weight loss. A recent meta-analysis (see American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 5, 1203-1211, May 2007) concluded…
“Given at a dose of 3.2 g/d, CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.”
There’s even some evidence to support the claim that CLA increases lean body mass in obese individuals at a dosage of 6.4 grams/day (see J Nutr. 2007 May;137(5):1188-93). I’m assuming this benefit is the one the retailers are referring to when they claim Abdominal Cuts can “enhance lean tissue”.
How much CLA does Abdominal Cuts contain?
Since the ingredients are lumped together in a proprietary blend, it’s impossible to say for sure. A full day’s dose (6 caps) contains 4800 mg of ingredients, so it’s certainly plausible that it contains the 3.2 grams/day shown to be beneficial in clinical studies. However, it definitely does not contain the 6.4 grams (6400 mg) shown to help increase lean muscle mass.
2. Gamma linoleic acid (GLA): Commonly derived from borage or evening primrose oil, GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid. Although it is commonly prescribed to treat illnesses that involve inflammation (i.e., rheumatoid arthritis) some studies have investigated GLA’s role in weight loss. One study (Int J Obes. 1983;7(6):549-53) concluded…
“It would appear that any antiobesity property possessed by EPO (evening primrose oil) is clinically insignificant.”
Another study (Swed J Biol Med. 1986;4:8-11) demonstrated GLA elicited a small amount of weight loss in people who have a family history of obesity.
At this point, GLA’s role in weight loss has not been clearly demonstrated, although it’s certainly a beneficial addition to anyone’s diet.
3. Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA): An omega 6 fatty acid commonly derived from safflower oil, there is some evidence that ALA lowers blood pressure, serum cholesterol and blood lipids (see J Hum Hypertens. 1990 Jun;4(3):227-33, Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Sep;44(3):336-40). Whether or not its included in Abdominal Cuts in a dose strong enough to elicit such beneficial effects is something we do not know.
4. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) & DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): These are the two main beneficial components of fish oil. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twenty years, you’re probably well aware that fish oils offer a huge array of well-established benefits. So let’s focus on weight loss, which—according to the Abdominal Cuts advertising—is one of the benefits you can expect to obtain from these ingredients.
As far as I can tell, these benefits are attributable to this study, which showed that combining a fish oil supplement (providing 1.9 grams of fatty acids) with aerobic exercise (45 minutes 3 times per week) improved body composition and reduced cardiovascular risk factors. However, as documented in this great article by Christian Finn, there were issues inherent to the study that compromised its results.
There’s some evidence that fish oil supplementation can effect level of leptin in rats (see Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 289: R486-R494, 2005). Leptin is a hormone that plays a role in appetite and weight management. Unfortunately, this same benefit has not been conclusively demonstrated in human studies.
And of course, there’s the issue of dose: with EPA and DHA listed fourth on the ingredients label, we can be pretty certain Abdominal Cuts contains nowhere near the 1.9 grams of fatty acids used in the study.
5. Sesamin: Sesamin is a “lignan”—a phytoestrogen also found in cereals, fruits, vegetables, and flaxseed. Sesamin offers all sorts of benefits; for instance, it appears to exhibit anti-hypertensive effects in humans (see J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2009 Feb;55(1):87-91).
It often finds its way into weight loss supplements on account of its ability to increase fatty acid oxidation (see Metabolism. 1999 Oct;48(10):1303-13), especially when it is combined with fish oil, as it is here (see Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Jun 1;1682(1-3):80-91). Unfortunately, all these studies are animal-based. At this time, there is no-human based data to validate sesamin’s fat burning characteristics in humans, so its value in this formula (and any other) is largely speculative.
6. Vitamin E: A fat soluble vitamin, a potent antioxidant, and a natural preservative.
So there you have it; the Abdominal Cuts formula in a nutshell. This product, is, in essence, a value-added CLA product.
CLA is where the bulk of the “weight loss” benefits lie (and to reiterate, they are modest at best).
GLA, ALA, fish oils and sesamin are all great, healthy additions to your diet, but evidence indicating much “fat burning” effect for any of these ingredients is pretty shaky.
From a “health” point of view, this is a decent enough product —if the most important ingredients are present in strong enough doses (something we can’t confirm).
Where this product falls short is cost. A full month’s supply (at the 6 caps per day necessary to provide enough CLA to offer some effect) will set you back about $90.
When you consider you can buy a month’s worth of CLA for about $16, and since the “weight loss” value of the remaining ingredients is either speculative or unproved, it’s hard to justify spending the extra cash.
- 1 month’s worth of a quality fish oil product(providing 1600 mg of omega-3′s per serving)
- 1 month’s worth of Sesamin
- 1-2 month’s supply of borage oil (providing 300 mg GLA per serving)
- 1 month’s supply (16 fl. oz) pure flax seed oil
… the value of Abdominal Cuts diminishes exponentially.
|Abdominal Cuts Summary|