Anoretix Fat Burner Review: 9 “Patented” Ingredients?
Words like “revolutionary,” and “powerful” are among the first words you’ll read upon arriving at the Anoretix web site. And you could be forgiven—given that Anoretix contains 9 patented weight loss ingredients—for thinking that it is, as the advertising claims—a fat burner so powerful that it outperforms ephedra, phentermine, and Alli combined.
Unfortunately, that is not even remotely the case. And while the Anoretix formula is a significant improvement over other “as sold on the Internet” products I have reviewed, there are a few problems you need to be aware of.
First and foremost, let’s address the biggest problem here…
The common misconception that the terms “patented” or “patent-pending” constitute proof of a product’s effectiveness.
As Elissa details in this blog post, these terms mean exactly nothing when it comes to proving that a product actually works (they are, however, great for marketing, and retailers are happy to capitalize on this misconception).
In other words, retailers do not need to provide proof of effectiveness to obtain a patent. Yes, really!
Now, let’s address the ingredient profile…
Although the ingredients are revealed, just how much of each is not (there is one exception — ChromeMate®. There is 200 mcg of ChromeMate® in this product—an acceptable amount). This is a “proprietary blend” some 1540 mg strong.
Retailers use “proprietary blends” under the guise of protecting their “exclusive” formula. This is rarely the true reason, however. No competitor is going to steal a formula when they can simply create one — after all, they don’t need to validate their claims of effectiveness with proof — and claim it as their own.
So what is the real reason?
It’s to prevent you from learning which ingredients are present in amounts so insignificant as to elicit no effect whatsoever. That’s been my experience anyhow.
For instance, a large number of the ingredients included in this formula need to be present in pretty significant amounts to elicit a response. CLA (Tonalin®) for instance, is a pretty decent ingredient, and research has shown it to promote “modest” fat loss.
And although studies have shown it to be beneficial in doses from .7 to 4.5 grams daily, the optimal dose for weight loss seems to be 3.2 grams daily (Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1203-11).
A complete day’s consumption of 4 caps of Anoretix totals 3080 mg (or 3.08 grams) of active ingredients — so there’s no way it can contain anywhere near the optimal dosage of CLA.
Another patented ingredient included in this formula — SuperCitrimax® — has shown some promising results for weight loss. If you review the Anoretix sales page, you can read all about a study performed at the Georgetown University Medical Center — on the “little South Asian fruit that is making waves in the medical community.”
When you check the study itself (see J Med. 2004;35(1-6):33-48) you’ll see that these results were obtained with 4666.7 mg of SuperCitrimax® (providing 2,800 mg HCA) divided into three daily doses.
Again, with 8 other compounds included in the Anoretix formula, and a total of only 3080 mg of active ingredients, we can be pretty darn sure there’s nowhere near the necessary 2,800 mg of HCA present in this formula.
NeOpuntia® (patented cactus extract) is yet another ingredient highly touted on the Anoretix web site. According to the advertising, “NeOpuntia® is the first effective vegetable fat-blocker” and was developed by French scientists.
They neglect to mention that the study validating the effectiveness of this ingredient (“Evaluation of the effect of patented fibre complex from Opuntia ficus-indica on the absorption of dietary fats in healthy volunteers (2003)”) was a tiny one — performed on 10 people.
That hardly constitutes irrefutable proof of the effectiveness of NeOpuntia®. The study also doesn’t seem to be published in any respectable journal, as far as I can tell. And, to top it all off, the participants in this study received 1600 mg of NeOpuntia® with each meal.
Again, a daily serving of Anoretix only contains 3080 mg of active ingredients, so we can be pretty certain the amount included in this formula falls way short of the 4800 mg dose of NeOpuntia® shown to be effective in this tiny study.
Now you’re beginning to see the problem, right?
Let’s quickly review the other ingredients in this product…
1. Advantra Z: A patented form of synephrine; an alkaloid that is derived from citrus aurantium. As a “chemical cousin” of ephedra, synephrine has replaced the ephedra content of many popular fat burners (ephedra now being illegal, of course). Retailers claim synephrine offers all the “fat burning” benefits of ephedra without any of the annoying side effects — sleeplessness, “the jitters”, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, etc, etc.
Unfortunately, the evidence to support these claims is a bit sparse. First of all, there are studies that show synephrine-containing products do elevate blood pressure and heart rate, despite claims that it is not a stimulant (see Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Jan;40(1):53-7. Epub 2005 Nov 29).
And it’s fat burning characteristics?…
This study (Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):79-88) concludes…
“While some evidence is promising, we conclude that larger and more rigorous clinical trials are necessary to draw adequate conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of C. aurantium and synephrine alkaloids for promoting weight loss.”
And this one (Am J Cardiol. 2004 Nov 15;94(10):1359-61) on the “Safety and efficacy of citrus aurantium for weight loss” concluded…
“An extensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, and the Cochrane Collaboration Database identified only 1 eligible randomized placebo controlled trial, which followed 20 patients for 6 weeks, demonstrated no statistically significant benefit for weight loss, and provided limited information about the safety of the herb.”
One study (“Increase in the thermic effect of food in women by adrenergic amines extracted from citrus aurantium”) performed at the University of McGill in Montreal and published in Obesity Research (Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1187-94.) was slightly more positive. But although it concluded that citrus aurantium did not have any effect on blood pressure and pulse rate, and did elevate the metabolism, the results were hardly earth-shattering…
“CA (citrus aurantrium) alone increased thermogenesis, on average, by 4% (52), a response that is statistically significant but not necessarily clinically significant, representing an average 1 kg over 6 months.”
2. Phase 2®: Advertised as a “carb blocker”, a recent UCLA study on Phase 2® concluded…
“Clinical trends were identified for weight loss, inches lost from the waist, energy, and decrease in triglycerides, although statistical significance was not reached. The reason that significance was not achieved was the small number of subjects who completed the study and the wide variability of the results within each group. Further studies with larger numbers of subjects are necessary in order to definitively demonstrate effectiveness.”
3. Forslean®: The patented version of coleus forskohlii, a cAMP stimulators. Camp is a “cellular regulator.” In other words, this compound is required to “spark” many intercellular processes. An increased concentration of camp can have such “total-body” effects as raised thyroid hormone levels and increased fat burning.
While the effects of coleus forskohlii and a corresponding positive effect on weight loss have been established in one study (Journal of Obesity Research August 2005, “Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated With Forskolin Consumption In Overweight and Obese Men”), the results were not overwhelming.
Another study was less positive (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2(2):54-62, 2005). It concluded…
“Results suggest that CF (coleus forskohlii) does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinically significant side effects.”
4. 7-Keto®: A metabolite of DHEA, a steroid hormone produced naturally by the bodies of both men and women. The good thing about 7-Keto® is that it displays no apparent side effects (i.e. no conversion to testosterone or estrogen, and no effect on the sex hormones).
What’s promising about this ingredient is its positive effect on thyroid hormone levels in obese people — again, without any adverse effects of any kind (see Journal of Exercise Physiology, Volume 2, Number 4, October 1999, J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Sep;18(9):629-34. Epub 2007 Apr 5, Current Therapeutics, (7):435-442 2000).
The dosage for these studies was 100 mg, given twice a day. Is there 200 mg of 7-Keto® in Anoretix? Who knows?
5. Bioperine®: Improves the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients, improving the efficiency of most formulas it is included in.
So now you know what’s in it… what really is the bottom line?
Well, from a marketing standpoint, stuffing a fat burner chock-full of patented fat loss ingredients is a great idea. It’s amazingly easy to market. After all, it’s a common mistake to believe that “patented” means 100% proven and effective. As we’ve seen, that’s not really the case.
But that’s not to say Anoretix does not contain some decent ingredients. It does. Unfortunately, we just don’t know how potent the dosages are, and whether or not they are present in large enough amounts to be helpful.
Some ingredients — like Tonalin®, NeOpuntia®, and SuperCitrimax® for example — are definitely not. It’s a simple matter of reviewing the studies and doing a bit of simple math to figure that out. Others — like 7-Keto® and Forslean® — could be, but we really don’t know.
Retailers often argue that lower dosages of certain ingredients are acceptable when they are combined with the correct combination of other ingredients in a “precise matrix.” This “unique blend” of ingredients work together, they say, “in a synergistic fashion” providing benefits up and above the sum of their respective parts.
That’s a typical response to criticisms such as mine.
The only problem is that there is no clinical, scientific evidence that this is the case. And unless there is, this is mere speculation. And, since the retailer’s mandate is to sell us products, it’s not hard to see there’s a very significant conflict of interest here.
The other issue I have with Anoretix is the price — it sells for $49.99 (the web site claims it “retails” for $127, and I ask… where, exactly, does it retail for this?).
Considering exactly what you’re getting, that is a lot of money (yes, despite the fact that this formula is using the patented forms of the various extracts). For a few bucks more, here’s what you could buy at a reputable online retailer like BodyBuilding.com…
- 1 Bottle 90 capsules NOW SuperCitrimax ($9.99)
- 1 Bottle 90 capsules Natrol Tonalin CLA ($14.49)
- 1 Bottle 100 capsules CNS Synephrine HCL ($8.25)
- 1 Bottle 60 capsules NOW 7-Keto Fuel ($19.99)
… and this would allow you to experiment with the full, most potent dosage of a few of the more promising ingredients in Anoretix.
In the end, this product would offer a lot more value if it decreased the number of ingredients in its formula, and instead, focused on delivering a potent dosage of a few of the core ingredients. As it stands, it’s an expensive product of indeterminable potency.
Anoretix does offer a full money back guarantee, and I’d love to hear from visitors as to whether they honor it.