Controlled Lab’s REDuction Review: Fat Incineration Matrix?
Controlled Labs’ REDuction is a fat burner that boasts both an AM and PM formula. According to the advertising…
“The AM formula contains ingredients to not only control cravings, but also improve energy, mood, and focus during the day. The PM formula keeps your appetite under control, maximizes your metabolism overnight, and helps you sleep deeper to enhance lean mass.”
Of course, we’ve already reviewed the REDuction PM formula (available on its own), so our main concern here will be to put the AM formula under the microscope and see how it measures up.
The AM formula contains two complexes…
The “Red Sweat Thermo Complex“: A 380 mg blend of…
1. Raspberry Ketones: A phenolic compound derived from red raspberries, raspberry ketones have only really been shown effective in animal studies (you can view the details of the study here). You are not a mouse, and the results of animal studies do not necessarily translate over to humans.
An unpublished pilot study performed on Razberri-K (a patented form of raspberry ketones) demonstrated it enhanced post-exercise fat oxidation, although the results were apparently not large enough to be statistically significant.
2. Big Red™ (Cayenne Fruit Extract): Cayenne fruit (the active ingredient of which is called “capsaicin”) is often used to improve digestion. Topically as a cream, it can be used to treat arthritis. However, it may improve the efficiency of the circulatory system, as well as elevating the internal body temperature, and increasing fat burning ability through thermogenesis.
There is a small body of evidence that indicates that cayenne consumption can indeed elevate the metabolism (Br J Nutr 1999;82:115–23).
Unfortunately, it’s only at much higher doses (one study used 10 grams consumed along with meals!) that any effect is realized. This study (Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Jan;292(1):R77-85. Epub 2006 Jul 13) says it best…
“Capsaicin has been shown to be effective, yet when it is used clinically it requires a strong compliance to a certain dosage, that has not been shown to be feasible yet.”
In other words, in order for capsaicin to have an effect on your metabolism, it has to be taken in doses much too high to make it practical.
3. Citrus Aurantium Extract (60% synephrine alkaloids): Synephrine has been a common ingredient in weight loss supplements since ephedra became illegal, mostly because it is a “chemical cousin” to ephedra and was once thought to demonstrate many of the same weight loss benefits.
For instance, an early study stated that…
“Citrus aurantium may be the best thermogenic substitute for ephedra”.
And while anecdotal reports suggest it may offer mild appetite-suppressing qualities, follow up studies have not been kind to synephrine. for example, this more recent one states…
“There is little evidence that products containing C. aurantium are an effective aid to weight loss.”
For more on the current status of synephrine, see the full synephrine review!
4. Bioperine: A black pepper extract usually added to supplements for its ability to improve the bioavailability of certain ingredients.
And that brings us to the STIMuSLIM complex, the second complex in the PM element of Controlled Labs’ REDuction, which contains 1700 mg of the following ingredients…
1. Phenylethylamine (PEA): PEA is an “amphetamine-related”, mood-elevating chemical naturally present in foods like chocolate. It was once thought to be the reason people were “chocoholics.” Despite its mood elevating characteristics, PEA does not display any thermogenic properties.
Additionally, PEA is too rapidly metabolized by the enzyme monamine oxidase (MAO) to be of much use. That’s why most products focused on squeezing the most from PEA also contain natural monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s). REDuction does not contain an MAOI per se, but it does contain an ingredient which may inhibit its ability to be metabolised quickly, thus improving its efficiency (more on this is a moment).
2. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid): From our glossary…
“When taken in supplemental form, GABA has a mild sedative effect that can aid relaxation and sleep.”
3. Taraxacum Officinale Extract (root): More commonly known as dandelion root, this ingredient is often found in weight loss supplements for its diuretic qualities. See the complete dandelion root review for more information.
4. Natural Caffeine (200mg): The good old standard ingredient in fat burners and it’s not surprising, as caffeine has a well established record as a mild thermogenic, and does deliver mild weight loss results (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97). It also cheaply and effectively addresses the most common complaint of dieters; lack of energy.
5. Thiamine Disulfide: Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, plays an important role in energy metabolism, and is thought to play a role in appetite suppression. This novel, potent version of thiamine is being touted as a potent enhancer of physical and mental energy—especially when combined with caffeine (as it is in this formula).
6. Cocoa Bean (Extracted for 99% Theobromine): From our glossary entry on theobromine…
“Theobromine is structurally related to caffeine, and is one of the metabolites formed when caffeine is metabolized in the body. Theobromine is the primary alkaloid in chocolate/cocoa and also has stimulant effects, but is less potent than caffeine.”
And while studies have established caffeine’s effects on weight loss, no such studies have been performed on theobromine.
7. Citrus Aurantium Extract (95% Hordenine): Earlier I talked about how REDuction contains an ingredient which may inhibit the rapid metabolising of PEA. That ingredient is hordenine. According to the most credible research I’ve seen, hordenine isn’t a MAOI per se, but a highly selective substrate for MAO-B.
What does this mean in plain English?
It means that the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of phenylethylamine is really, really attracted to hordenine, meaning that if the two compounds are both present at the same time, it will prefer to act upon hordenine, allowing the PEA to slip into the bloodstream intact.
That’s the theory anyway. How well it works in the real world is a matter of some speculation.
Nonetheless, it shows us that Controlled Labs is at least making some effort to improve the efficiency of the PEA in its product’s formula.
On the other hand, you’ll also see hordenine included in fat burners for its ability to stimulate the release of norepinephrine, although there is no research to confirm this claim.
And that, my friends, wraps up the REDuction AM complex. If you’re interested in learning about the PM element of this product, you can read the complete REDuction PM review here (don’t worry, this review will open in a new window so you will not lose your place here!).
So how does this product measure up?
On one hand, it contains a lot of ingredients for which there is little or no supporting evidence. Other ingredients may be beneficial… when provided in dosages much higher than those found in this product. The ones that are helpful are pretty ordinary, run-of-the-mill ingredients.
On the other hand, the AM formula’s combination of caffeine, synephrine, thiamine disulfide, theobromine and possibly the PEA (if it is not metabolised quickly) should give you a pretty decent boost and may supress your appetite slightly.
When you consider that…
- The PM formula contains a pretty decent formula to help you sleep easier and more soundly.
- The product contains a month’s supply of both AM and PM formulas.
… paying $28 for the complete AM/PM REDuction formula seems like a pretty fair deal. Neither part of the formula is exactly ground-breaking, but this is reflected in the price. In essence, you’re paying $14 for a sleep enhancing formula, and $14 for a thermogenic. If you don’t need a sleep enhancing formula, there’s no point in paying for one, of course. In this case, you may want to spend your money on a product that’s 100% focused on boosting the metabolism.
Otherwise—when you recognize that this product’s benefits and formula are hardly revolutionary and have realistic expectations of what you can expect from it—Controlled Labs’ REDuction offers decent value for money from a reputable online retailer like BodyBuilding.com.