BSN Cheater’s Relief Fat Burner Review & Information
Cheater’s Relief by BSN is marketed as an “advanced carb and fat inhibitor.” I was eager to review this product as I’m a pretty big fan of BSN’s sports performance supplements—like NO Xplode and Cellmass..
Cheater’s Relief does contain an intensive blend of ingredients, but unfortunately, only a scant few have any real evidence demonstrating effectiveness as either fat or carb blocking. Let’s have a closer look at them…
1. Cassia Nomame: included in weight loss products for its “ability” to inhibit the enzyme lipase which is required for the break down and deposit of fat. However, there’s very little clinical evidence to validate these claims. Check out this excerpt from this Pubmed abstract on “Nutraceutical resources for diabetes prevention”…
“There does not appear to be a natural lipase inhibitor functionally equivalent to orlistat, although there are poorly documented claims for Cassia nomame extracts.”
In other words, there is little solid evidence to validate the “fat-blocking” claims made for this ingredient.
2. Chitosan: a fiber supplement derived from the shells of crustaceans, it was once thought chitosan was an effective “fat-blocker.”
Unfortunately, clinical evidence has indicated otherwise. Check out this excerpt from a recent clinical study…
“Results obtained from high-quality trials indicate that the effect of chitosan on body weight is minimal and unlikely to be of clinical significance.” (Obes Rev. 2005 Feb;6(1):35-42)
3. Opuntia Ficus Indica (prickly pear cactus): This is often included in weight loss products as both a fiber supplement and “organic fat binder” (see the Proactol review as an example).
There does seem to be an increasing body of evidence to suggest that prickly pear cactus helps reduce blood lipid levels and other Metabolic Syndrome indicators—especially blood sugar levels (see Adv Ther. 2007 Sep-Oct;24(5):1115-25, Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2002 Oct 31;114(19-20):840-6, Arch Invest Med (Mex). 1989 Oct-Dec;20(4):321-5, Arch Invest Med (Mex). 1989 Apr-Jun;20(2):197-201).
However, its effects on fat binding and consequently weight loss, have not been demonstrated in any human-based, journal-published studies.
4. Cheater’s Relief also contains a “Carb Relief-Insulin Regulator-Calorie Re-Direction Blend”. This contains 3 blood sugar moderators (4-Hydroxy-Lean (from fenugreek) R-ALA and Cinnulin — derived from cinnamon) and carb blockers (hydroxycitric acid derived from garcinia cambogia and Phaseo-Lean, derived from white kidney bean extract).
While I do like the blood sugar moderators in this compilation (cinnulin and the R ALA especially) the carb blockers are no “home run.” For example, the clinical data validating the effects of white kidney bean extract is pretty ambiguous. An early UCLA clinical study on phaseolus vulgaris (white kidney bean extract) concluded…
“Clinical trends were identified for weight loss and a decrease in triglycerides, although statistical significance was not reached.”
On the other hand, more recent studies have determined that white kidney bean extract can indeed inhibit the action of the enzyme necessary to convert carbohydrates to glucose (alpha amalyze), although the results of supplementation have not been overwhelming.
The other problem here is dosage; a single capsule of Cheater’s Relief offers up 510 mg worth of the nine ingredients.
Admittedly, the serving size varies according to both the carbohydrate and fat content of your meal (up to 8 capsules, 4 prior to the meal and 4 after), but regardless, it’s extremely unlikely this product contains an effective dose of white kidney bean extract (the study I mentioned earlier used 1,000 mg of active ingredient twice daily in combination with diet and exercise).
And hydroxycitric acid is no clear winner either. Studies are inconclusive, some showing positive results (Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Jun;26(6):870-2), others showing no effects (Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15;71(1-2):87-94.).
In fact, a newer, more potent form of hydroxycitric acid (called SuperCitrimax) may be the most effective form of HCA yet, but it is delivered in a huge dosage; nearly 3,000 mg of active ingredient is required to ellicit the effect demonstrated in the positive study.
Cheater’s Relief does contain interesting ingredients. They fall into two categories; they either have very little credible supporting clinical evidence validating their effectiveness, or if they do, they are extremely likely to be under-dosed.
Perhaps some day new studies will validate the effectiveness of some of the ingredients in this profile, but for now, we need to be skeptical.
Of course, the blood sugar moderating element of this product is decent enough, but it on its own doesn’t justify a purchase of Cheater’s Relief.
Although it’s cautioned not to expect miraculous results, the best way to experiment with a carb blocker is to purchase the most promising ingredients in isolation, and take them at the dose shown effective in the supporting clinical studies.
For example, Now Foods makes an affordable white kidney bean extract product (you’ll need to take a minimum of 4 a day), as well as a Super Citrimax product (you’ll need to take a minimum of 7 per day to duplicate the dosage shown helpful in the clinical study).