Review: BPI Sports’ RoxyLean ECA Fat Burner
I almost choked on my morning coffee as I reviewed the advertising for BPI’s RoxyLean ECA fat burner…
“RoxyLean ECA™ is an absolute blueprint of the ECA model. It is based on an exact ratio of stimulants, bronchial dilators, and blood thinning agents that not only duplicate the effectiveness of ECA but actually make it that much better.”
You see, you can include whatever ingredients you want at the same “precise ratio” as the good old Ephedra / Caffeine / Aspirin stack (that’s what “ECA” stands for, for those of you who don’t know), but it doesn’t mean anything.
You can’t assume that combining ingredients with similar characteristics will deliver similar results (on a molecular level, even similar compounds demonstrate significant differences). You have to demonstrate their effectiveness.
And while there’s plenty of clinical evidence to show the now illegal combination of ephedra, caffeine and aspirin is useful for weight loss (see Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Nov;28(11):1411-9, Obes Res. 2004 Jul;12(7):1152-7, Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Mar;25(3):316-24, Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Oct;30(10):1545-56, Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2005 Jan-Feb;32(1-2):47-53) the same cannot be said for RoxyLean ECA.
In short, assumptions without proof have a special name…”marketing.”
And that’s all this “ECA” claim is—advertising hype crafted out of thin air to convince you that this product—out of the millions out there—is the one most deserving of your hard earned dollars.
So, advertising hype aside, what does the RoxyLean ECA fat burner actually contain?…
Caffeine: The same stuff found in your coffee, chocolate, and sodas, caffeine graces the label of most stimulant based weight loss supplements on the planet.
Caffeine’s benefit as a mild thermogenic is well documented (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97) and it provides a vital boost of energy that many people find helpful.
N,N’-(Dithiobis(2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methyl-2,1-ethenediyl))bis(N-((4-amino-2-methyl-5-pyrimidinyl)methyl) formamide: One of the most common “dirty tricks” supplement manufacturers like to play on consumers is using uncommon chemical nomenclature on their ingredient labels. This makes their products seem more advanced, perpetuating the illusion that some advanced team of chemical engineers and research scientists formulated the product.
That’s certainly the case here, as this ingredient would be better served under the more common and recognized name of “thiamine disulfide.” Thiamine, of course, is better known as vitamin B1, and plays an important role in energy metabolism. It is even thought to play a role in appetite suppression. A certain novel version of thiamine (thiamine disulfide diisobutyrate) is being touted as a potent enhancer of physical and mental energy—especially when combined with caffeine.
Ah, but here’s the problem; thiamine disulfide diisobutyrate is lipid-soluble and can enter the brain. It is unclear whether thiamine disulfide does, however. In addition, it does not appear to be as bioavailable as other lipid soluble forms of thiamine. In short, the form of thiamine used in this product is an inferior choice for mood enhancement—especially when compared to sulbutiamine or fursultiamine.
Citrus limonium: Misspelled; should be “citrus limonum”, or “lemon.” Traditionally lemon has been used to treat scurvy and colds. It has also been used as an anti-inflammatory, a digestive aid, and a diuretic.
1,3-dimethylamine (DMAA): Geranium extracts are pretty popular in both weight loss supplements (see OxyElite Pro) and preworkout formulas (see USP Labs’ Jacked) for the incredible boost of energy they provide. But while geranium extracts are potent CNS stimulators, there is zero credible documentation that they facilitate dramatic weight loss.
Additionally, DMAA has been added to the World Anti Doping Agency 2010 prohibited list, so if you’re a competitive athlete, you’ll want to avoid this product.
Rauwolfia serpentine: Also known as “snakeroot”, rauwolfia has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It contains numerous alkaloids, many of which are particularly useful for treating high blood pressure although one, reserpine, has also been used as a treatment for schizophrenia. Since BPI Sports doesn’t reveal what they are standardizing this ingredient for (if they are at all), it’s impossible to speculate on its value in this formula.
However, rauwolfia does contain small amounts of yohimbine (a stimulant with mild weight loss characteristics) and rauwolscine (also present in USP Labs’ popular OxyElite Pro), a yohimbine alkaloid touted for its ability to act as an alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist.
Arguably, these would be the most useful ingredients in a weight loss supplement.
Aspidosperma quebracho: A south American tree species, and also a source of yohimbine.
Ramulus buxi S: Also known as “Chinese Box Twig”, and belonging to the Buxaceae family of evergreen trees and small shrubs, there is no published data that I could find on the possible mechanisms and chemical constituents of this ingredient. Normally “boxwood” is used for wood carving.
Hydrastis canadensis: Also known as “goldenseal“, a member of the buttercup family. Traditionally, it’s used to treat stomach ailments and boost the immune system. It contains two active alkaloids, hydrastine and berberine—compounds that are capable of destroying bacteria and reducing inflammation in-vitro. Perhaps more relevant to this product is its ability (via its berberine content) to lower blood sugar.
Scutellaria biacalensis: More commonly known as “baikal skullcap.” It contains a number of flavanoids, and although we don’t know if its standardized for any specific one in this formula, one named “wogonin” has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects. In a supplement that contains as many stimulants as this one, it seems the logical choice.
But who knows?
Salicin: Similar to aspirin, salicin is an anti-inflammatory derived from white willow bark. In this formula, the salicin is obviously intended to replace the aspirin in the ECA stack, despite the fact that there’s no evidence it works in a similar manner when combined with other stimulants. As with regular aspirin, salicin also exhibits blood-thinning characteristics.
OK, and there you have it; the complete BPI RoxyLean ECA formula deconstructed.
How’s it measure up?
Well, as to the “blueprint of the ECA model” claim, it’s total nonsense.
RoxyLean ECA isn’t significantly different than most of the stimulant based fat burners on the market today—it contains all the same core ingredients. It’s just that BPI has disguised the source of these ingredients making the product seem unique.
The ingredients that are more uncommon (goldenseal, baikal skullcap, etc) are very likely underdosed in this formula. And even if they are not, BPI hasn’t made it easy to determine their potential value by revealing for what—if anything—they are standardized.
That makes me think their main purpose is to “pad the label”, or make the label look more impressive. In the supplement world, when you have an ingredient that you are confident passes the “smell” test, you make sure your customers know it, presenting it front and center on the label. If you don’t, you use more ambiguous labeling as BPI has done here.
On the other hand, BPI is certainly correct about this product giving you energy.
The combination of caffeine, DMAA and yohimbine derivatives may very well take the top of your head off, depending on the dose of these critical constituents.
Based upon the feedback I’ve received from visitors on other BPI offerings, I suspect this is a very strong product, not suitable for individuals who have heart issues, or who have never taken a thermogenic.
Additionally, a serving of RoxyLean ECA comes in a single capsule, meaning you can’t reduce the dosage to assess your tolerance to this product. Consequentially, that means that even if you are tempted by the “energy” claims, you’re taking a risk if you decide to purchase the product and find it too strong for your liking.