BSN’s Atro-Phex Review & Information: Does Atro-Phex Work?

[contentblock id=1 img=gcb.png]Atro-Phex is the latest fat burner from BSN, a company renowned for its sports-enhancement products like NO Xplode, Syntha-6, Axis-HT and Nitrix. Atro-Phex isn’t BSN’s first fat burner offering — others include Thermonex (reviewed here) and Cheater’s Relief (reviewed here!).

There’s been some major effort put into the packaging of this product. It comes in a “snazzy” red box, and the capsules are not packed loosely, but come in blister packs.

So one thing’s for certain… Atro-Phex sure looks cool.

But what’s in it?

A single, 1-capsule serving of Atro-Phex contains a proprietary 680 mg blend of ingredients. I dislike “proprietary blends” since they disguise the true amount of each ingredient, making it very difficult to assess for efficacy.

In other words, you can never really tell if an ingredient is merely “label dressing” (i.e., it looks great on the label, but there’s so little of it in the formulation it’s impossible for it to elicit any sort of effect) or whether it is present in a strong enough dosage to be useful. The latter, in my opinion, becomes less and likely the more intensive a formula becomes.

And this is one intensive formula. The Atro-Phex ingredient profile is divided into 5 “matrices”…

1. ATRO-EFX™: An interesting blend of ingredients here, I was actually looking forward to having a closer look at these ingredients until I discovered the “fat burning” element of the Atro-Phex appears to be almost identical to that of another fat burner — Spectra Force Research’s Thermophoric Diet Caps.

So much for innovation.

Ingredients include…

  • Beta-phenylethylamine, a spin on that famous “amphetamine-related” chocolate-derived “feel good” chemical that’s finding its way into more and more fat burners these days (see Gaspari’s CytoLean and Nutrex’s Lipo 6 X). Its effects on weight loss however, have yet to be demonstrated conclusively.
  • Caffeine (labeled as methylxanthine): common to most fat burners, caffeine’s fat burning characteristics are well known (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97).
  • Hordenine, a monamine oxidase inhibitor, likely included to prevent the aforementioned phenyethylamine from being metabolized by the enzyme monamine oxidase.
  • N-acetyl-l-tyrosine ethyl ester monohydrate, an “acetylated derivative” of the amino acid tyrosine — that is alleged to be more stable and effective.Tyrosine is included in fat burners for a number of reasons — it enhances mood and focus, is a precursor to important neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, and some say it enhances fat burning since it is a precursor to thyroid hormones T3 and T4 (there is little real evidence to validate this claim however).
  • i-FAS50TM: A “precise and synergistic ratio of fatty acid synthase regulators,” consisting of green tea, fleece flower (Fo-ti), and Chinese mistletoe. Fatty acid synthase is an enzymatic system that is involved in the process of turning carbohydrates into fat. Early animal studies suggest the inhibition of fatty acid synthase can lead to dramatic weight loss. Studies also suggest that green tea, fleece flower and loranthus parasiticus are all useful for inhibiting fatty acid synthase (see Life Sci. 2004 Mar 26;74(19):2389-99, Int J Cancer. 2003 Oct 10;106(6):856-62). How supplementation will bear out on human weight loss has yet to be established.
  • Phenylalanine: Phenylethylamine (that’s the chocolate “feel good” chemical, right?) can be naturally synthesized from phenylalanine via a process called enzymatic decarboxylation. Additionally, phenylalanine is involved in the release of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone thought to control satiety.
  • Bitter orange extract: A source of naringin, a citrus flavanoid also found in grapefruit, and responsible for grapefruit’s distinctive bitter taste.Most of us have heard how it’s important to be careful consuming grapefruit juice along with certain medications — studies reveal that naringin interferes with certain enzymes which can affect the metabolism and breakdown of these drugs. There is also some evidence that the effects and levels of caffeine can be extended when consumed with naringin.
  • Advantra-Z®: A patented source of synephrine. Long thought to be a credible alternative to ephedra as a thermogenic ingredient, clinical data validating synephrine’s fat burning abilities is in short supply. This study (Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):79-88) sums it up nicely…

    “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.”

  • Bioperine: Included for its ability to increase the bioavailability and absorption of certain ingredients.
  • Yohimbine HCl: The standardized extract of the bark of the African Yohimbe tree is yohimbine. This compound is often used as a natural aphrodisiac. It is also sold as a drug (in the U.S., a popular brand is Yohimex containing 5.4 milligram of yohimbine hydrochloride per tablet) and is used to treat impotency, dilate the pupil of the eye, and stimulate fat loss (studies indicating weight loss are promising but not revolutionary — see Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6).
  • Razberi-k or “raspberry ketones”. These are similar in structure to capsaicin and synephrine — two compounds thought to enhance weight loss via the stimulation of norepinephrine (although real evidence to validate this theory is in short supply). One study performed on rodents (you can view the specifics of the study here) did show that raspberry ketones prevented fat synthesis as well as the rise of blood triglycerides and overall, helped prevent obesity.

2. Mood & Mental Performance Optimizers:  Vitamin B6, plus periwinkle alkaloids vinburnine, vinpocetine, and vincamine. The last three ingredients facilitate blood flow to the brain.

3. Aqua-Retic™ Matrix: Includes juniper, a common diuretic as well as dandelion, which also displays diuretic characteristics.

4. Insulin Support & Weight Management: Contains one ingredient — Cinnulin PF®. Cinnulin is a water-soluable cinnamon extract which, according to the product web site has been shown in clinical trials to decrease fasting blood sugar.

5. Pro-Thyroid Stimulator: Includes 7-keto DHEA and Dicana™ — a patent-pending diiodothyroacetic acid isomer. One study has shown that 7-keto does have a positive effect on thyroid hormone levels in obese people (see Journal of Exercise Physiology, Volume 2, Number 4, October 1999). Diiodothyroacetic acid is a thyroid metabolite that may have a positive effect on metabolism, although to date, most positive studies have been animal based.

Phew! I told you there were a LOT of ingredients in Atro-Phex. So, with all that out of the way, what’s the bottom line?

[contentblock id=2 img=gcb.png]Well, the Atro-Phex formula certainly is an interesting one.

Regardless, many of the ingredients don’t have much in the way of human-based clinical trials to validate their effectiveness on weight loss.

And there have been no clinical trials performed on this product to date to confirm any sort of “synergistic effect” (i.e., that the sum of the effects of all the ingredients is greater than that of what each one delivers individually).

To me, it looks like Atro-Phex is a fat burner in need of an identity. Was BSN trying to make Atro-Phex “look” like all things to all people by throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the formulation?

Who knows?

All I know is that when a 680 mg “proprietary blend” contains as many ingredients as this one, it’s extremely likely that a large percentage of them do nothing but “spice up the label.” Personally, I’d prefer a less intensive, more focused ingredient profile, with the emphasis on ingredients that have at least some decent clinical data behind them—like Isatori’s LS7 or any of our recommended thermogenics.

Nonetheless, BSN is an extremely popular brand, capable of creating products that meet the needs of their receptive audience, so maybe you’ll want give it a try? (You can buy it online at BodyBuilding.com).

So far, visitor feedback has been pretty positive. Perhaps they’ve got the balance right with this product? We’d love to hear from Atro-Phex users… what do you think?

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38 Comments

  1. I just ordered atro-phex because I heard good things about it, but I was wondering if I can take this while using my whey protein and creatine pills?

    Editor’s comments: There’s no reason why you shouldn’t. Just be careful about mixing pre-workout supplements like NO-Xplode with them – they both contain a ton of stimulants.

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  2. I received a free sample of Atro-phex with my Oxygen magazine this month so I though I would give it a try. DON’T DO IT! I have been miserable all day. My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I was agitated and unfocused all day and I only took one pill. That was at 7:00 AM and now at 10:30 PM, I can still feel it’s effects. I’m sure I won’t sleep well, so this one pill will probably cost me two days of feeling bad. I’ve tried other fat burners, supplements, etc. and you don’t have to be this miserable to give your program an edge.

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  3. I’ve been on Atro Phex for less than a week now and I can already see the difference. No side effects. I started with one pill in the morning and one in the afternoon. I’m up to taking two at a time now. No jitters or any crazy side effects. Unless, you think “sexy” is a side effect – then bring it on! LOL.. Just drink alot of water. I’m also taking creatine too, so the both is very dehydrating. I’m drinking about a gallon of water a day and then some.

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  4. I have been on Atro Phex for a week and since my last body fat measurement exactly a month ago, I’ve lost 3% body fat. Keep in mind that I have a pretty consistent workout and my nutrition is dialed in. I take two pills at a time and I have no negative side effects whatsoever…. only side effect is waking up sexy each day!

    LOL.. ok… all jokes aside. This stuff works. I wouldn’t say that I have such a high tolerance for stimulants/caffeine. I drink one/two cups of coffee in the morning. I’m a regular user of Superpump or NO Explode and have cycled off right now. So I take two pills when I wake up. Two pills in the afternoon – about 5 or 6 hrs later as recommended.

    I have a whey protein in between. I work out about 5pm, and take my creatine after my workout. I have my casein protein before I go to bed. Remember all this followed by a consistent work out and nutrition!

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  5. I’m 15, <9% bodyfat, I am a huge wrestler i am lookin for something that will help burn a little bit more fat without actually takin a true fat burner. Is Atro-Phex a true fat burner and will it cause strokes and heart attacks like a fat burner in furture years? Would it hurt my young body to supplement with Atro-Phex?

    Editor’s comments: Jacob, none of these products are recommended for anyone under 18 years old. And at under 9% bodyfat, you really don’t need one.

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  6. I too have a mild heart murmur and took Atro Phex about a year ago and it caused me to have irregular heartbeat. I get an irregular heartbeat simply from too much caffeine as well, and this product is loaded with it. I am about to try this product again for the 2nd time and am interested to see how it affects me this go round.

    I just finished taking Accutane a week ago. Does anyone know if it is not ok to start this product so soon after taking accutane?

    Editor’s comments: That’s a question for your doctor, Kristen.

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  7. I’ve been using this product for 4 weeks and already lost 6lbs. I have been receiving so much energy that all I want to do is work out. Awesome Product!

    A buddy of bought me GNC AMP Creatine for muscle build up…. Is it safe to take both?

    Editor’s comments: As long as the creatine product doesn’t contain stimulants; normally there’s no issue with combining creatine with a thermogenic.

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  8. Have been taking AP for nearly a month now and it is working fine. However, soon as I try to take the 3rd capsule (afternoon) I get serious heart/muscle palpitations. Honestly, its scary – I’ve just gone through that tonight. I am not sure if I should continue with 2 caps a day from tomorrow.

    If there was someone out there to tell me that palpitations are normal and I shouldn’t worry then I will probably keep using it, otherwise, quite frankly, I find it dangerous right now!

    Editor’s comments: Beks, heart palpitations are DEFINITELY something you should be concerned about. We recommend dramatically lowering your dose, or discontinuing the product altogether.

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  9. I’m 18 years old, 5’3 and 130lbs, I cheer 3 times a week for my college but want to get back to my old working out habits. I feel like I have a lot of stress and no time living at school so I need something effective that works fast. I saw an ad for Atro-Phex in a magazine and thought something like this would help.

    I was looking for some feed back, should I buy this stuff or not? I’m thinking about just trying it and buying the 48 caps bottle but I’m not sure if i need it? i do have a muscular build being a cheerleader for some years but have also gained fat from having so much off time and stress.

    What do you recommend?

    Editor’s comments: Anadelina, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s no product on the planet that’s going to melt the weight off you fast. Some products help a little, but it’s still up to you to do the hard work – dieting and exercising.

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  10. alright so ive been using this for almost a week so it might be premature to pass any judgement but heres what im thinking…atrophex is an “aqua-retic”, it makes you piss your water weight and hence all my recent muscle definition. great. but it makes you thristy as hell so youre putting all the water you just pissed out back in again….right??? and around and around it goes while bsn pockets your money. i mean i want to follow through with the rest of the product because its 10x better than coffee for focus and spunk. but in terms of the body building time line- im not sure when this product is appropriate. this is like a post bulking phase product yeah? get massive for a couple months and then shrink wrap it with atrophex? or can i use it to help bulk because im seeing very significant increases in my 2 rep max weight. idk. s.o.s…. thanks

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  11. I am 5 ’12 and was 220 pounds. This stuff is great. I lost 5 pounds the first week of taking this with a good diet and exercise. After a month and a half. I have lost 20 pounds. I only take two pills a day. Any more than that it hurts my stomach no matter how much water i drink. I want to loose 10 more pounds. Hopefully this will get me there.

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  12. I had a sample of this product in my SynthaSix. This stuff was good, I took all four pills and went out for a jog and had a great run and my appetite was destroyed on the stuff. This was a year ago and I didn’t properly take it for weeks or whatever so it may not be a great review, but I do remember it working great!

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  13. I’ve been taking this product for 4 days and I love that it gives me energy. I’ve noticed the difference in my stomach which is also great.

    I’m a little concerned about the chest pains I’ve been getting at night when in bed and I’m not sure if I should continue taking it?

    I only take it once a day and would love to continue but not if it’s going to give me heart problems. Overall it seems to work but it might not be for me :(

    Editor’s comments:
    We’d recommend that you stop taking the product and get checked out by your doctor – chest pains are nothing to mess around with.

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  14. Hi, i have a question for you. I am 18, 6′ and 155 lbs. I have good sized muscles but would like to be more toned. The main place i want this is my stomach! I have always wanted six pac abs but could never get there. I have strong abs and i think with the loss of some fat, i can reach my goal. The only thing everyone talks about with this product is the fact that you lose weight, yes i am going to lose weight from getting rid of fat, but i want to focus on the FAT BURNING part of it and not lose any muscle or make my arms look to small. Would you recommend this product to me? Will i have a six pac when i am done or at least lose the stubborn fat? Thanks!

    Editor’s comments: Any time you reduce calories, lean muscle mass is threatened. That’s why bodybuilders go on “building” and “cutting” phases. For the most part, losing weight while gaining or maintaining muscle is a contrary goal. You can work to eliminate muscle loss, but you can’t prevent it. And this product will not help with that.

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  15. I’m 16 and I just wa looking at Atro-Phex and was doing a lot of research on it to see if I should take it. Could someone respond to this and tell me if I should?

    Post a Reply
    • Editor’s comments: Ethan, this product is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. We suggest you lose weight the old fashioned way; learn how many calories you need daily, and do not consume more than that. Get more active, too.

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  16. What would happen if you do take it underage?

    Post a Reply
    • Editor’s comments: You’d observe less of an effect.

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