Appuloss Review: A Fat Burner In Search Of An Identity?
Appuloss is “a unique proprietary complex of the most pivotal thermogenic agents internationally studied.” That’s according to the product advertising, anyway. In reality, it contains a couple of ingredients for which there is some clinical evidence of effectiveness, and a few more for which there is not. In most cases, the doses are small… much smaller than used in any corresponding positive study.
Let’s have a closer look at the formula. What’s in Appuloss?…
1. Acacia rigidula: This perennial tree harbors a whole variety of chemical compounds, some previously thought to be only human inventions. A few of these compounds include nicotine, hordenine, methamphetamine, mescaline, and the main ingredient it is being standardized for in this compilation, namely phenethylamine (it should be noted that not everyone agrees that Acacia is likely to harbor such constituents.)
Phenethylamine is the “feel good” chemical commonly found in chocolate and is closely related to amphetamine in structure. Does this mean that scarfing back truckloads of chocolate and other phenylethylamine-rich compounds will make you feel great — a clean, legal, near-amphetamine high if you like?
That’s because the majority of phenylethylamine gets metabolized by an enzyme known as “monamine oxidase.”
This prevents all but the slightest amounts of phenylethylamine from reaching the bloodstream.
That’s also why you’ll find hordenine in this formula.
It’s included for its ability to “inhibit” the action of the monamine oxidase enzyme that metabolizes phenylethylamine (the compounds that inhibit monamine oxidase are called MAOIs).
Theoretically, with the enzyme monamine oxidase severely compromised, the phenylethylamine could reach the bloodstream unscathed. There it could travel directly to the brain and evoke a “feel good” feeling.
The acacia is also standardized for tyramine. It’s normally metabolised by monamine oxidase as well, but may encourage the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine if the action of monamine oxidase is inhibited by the hordenine included in this formula.
As you can see, there are a lot of “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” here; there is no evidence phenylethylamine-rich compounds lead to weight loss—with or without the presence of a MAOI. It is an interesting blend of ingredients though; similar to that found in Nutrex’s Lipo 6 X.
2. Epichasine™ complex: This is a trademark blend of white, green, and kuding teas, standardized for ECGC and other important polyphenols. And although there is some real evidence that green tea may be helpful for weight loss (white tea is basically “immature green tea” and is likely to offer similar benefits), this formula contains a mere 50 mg of Epichasine™.
One study that showed a positive increase in energy expenditure (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5) was performed with three servings of green tea that contained 90 mg of ECGC per serving—many times the ECGC found in this formula. I have no doubt that Epichasine™ is a useful ingredient… just at a much higher dosage than included in this formula.
3. Caffeine: A well known stimulant, caffeine’s fat burning characteristics are well established (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97). In the appropriate doses, it also seems to improve the efficiency of green tea’s fat burning characteristics (Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204).
4. 750 mg Proprietary complex of…
i. Konjac: Also known as glucomannan, konjac is basically a fiber supplement. It adds bulk to the stomach without calories, and reduces appetite and increases satiety.
Several clinical studies validate glucomannan’s ability to lower LDL cholesterol and blood lipid levels — as well as blood sugar levels (J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Feb;22(1):36-42, Diabetes Care. 2000 Jan;23(1):9-14, Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2005 Jun;15(3):174-80).
One study (Int J Obes. 1984;8(4):289-93) showed that 1 gram of glucomannan, taken with 8 oz. of water one hour prior to meals, has a significant influence on weight loss — almost 6 pounds of fat lost in two months, with no changes in eating habits. It should be noted that a single day’s dosage of Appuloss contains 1500 mg of the 3-ingredient proprietary complex. That means you won’t be receiving anywhere near the 3,000 mg daily dose of konjac found effective in these studies.
ii. Cissus quadrangularis: The good news is that a couple of studies performed at the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon do validate this ingredient’s effectiveness for weight loss. It also appears to be helpful for lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing serum lipids and “improving cardiovascular risk factors.” (See Lipids Health Dis. 2007 Feb 4;6:4, Lipids Health Dis. 2006 Sep 2;5:24.).
The bad news is that there’s no way to confirm that the Appuloss formula contains the 300 mg of cissus found effective in the study. Additionally, the lead author of the positive studies referenced above, Julius E Oben, has a patent on Cissus quadrangularis as a fat loss agent. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the results of these studies are not legitimate, it certainly calls their “objectivity” into question. There certainly appears to be a conflict of interest here.
iii. Rhodiola rosea: A powerful adaptogen and antioxidant, there is some evidence that rhodiola supplementation can improve athletic performance (Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307) and increase energy (Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71), and possibly even lipase activation, or the release of fatty acids.
However, the big problem with rhodiola studies is that there are significant inconsistencies between the results of studies performed in Europe and North America, and the majority of the positive studies, which were performed in Eastern Europe. What that means is that although rhodiola is a promising supplement, its benefits cannot yet be stated with any real authority.
At the end of the day, Appuloss’ biggest problem is one faced by many products on the market; it can’t really decide what it wants to be—I’d say it’s facing a bit of an identity crisis. It would be far smarter to “beef up” the elements of the formula that have some decent science behind them (i.e., green tea, cissus, and konjac—caffeine is OK at the dose included here), and dump the ones that do not (acacia, rhodiola). That would make the product much more potent, in my opinion. As it is, you can’t benefit from some of the better ingredients in the formula, as they are not present in a potent enough dosage.
I’ve seen Appuloss sold online for as little as $19.95 per box. Recognize, however, that represents a 15 day supply of the product, should you take the recommended 4 capsules per day.