Diet-Tech is one of MuscleTech’s fat-burning juggernauts. If you’re like me, you’ll be excited at the prospect of not seeing 8-page Hydroxycut ads masquerading as independent commentary in your favorite fitness/health magazine.
Bad news is they will likely be replaced by ads no less annoying for Diet Tech. A while back, I reviewed the newest Hydroxycut formula, which was a fairly tepid formulation (not surprising since MuscleTech’s huge advertising budget makes it a prime target for frivolous lawsuits from the anti-ephedra establishment).
Diet-Tech represents what appears to be one of MuscleTech’s many new directions in the formulation of fat burners. As with the most recent Hydroxycut, the term fat burner may not be the most accurate description of Diet Tech. That’s because “fat burning” (via thermogenics) is actually secondary to balancing blood sugar and “filling you up” with fiber.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing. For some of you, Diet-Tech may be helpful in reducing cravings, increasing satiety (feeling of “fullness”), and possibly even reduce LDL cholesterol and blood lipid levels. And yes, Diet-Tech does contain some thermogenic ingredients… it’s just that they seem to play a secondary, rather than a primary role in this formula.
Let’s take a look at the formulation…
What’s In Diet-Tech?
i. Glucomannan and xanthan gum: 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.
Glucomannan’s power might well be magnified in this compilation when combined synergistically with xanthan gum, a thickener and emulsifier used in the food and pharmaceutical industry (xanthan gum is used in everything from ice cream to cosmetics to fire fighting foams — mmmm… tasty!).
Issue of note: Glucomannan may bind with and hinder the absorption of certain nutrients. Thus, it’s probably a good idea to use a high quality multi-vitamin when supplementing with glucomannan or glucomannan-based products like Diet-Tech.
(I wonder if the presence of glucomannan in such large large amounts may actually hinder the effectiveness of the rest of this formula?)
ii. Chromium polynicotinate: the most easily assimilated form of chromium, and probably your best bet as a chromium supplement. You can find a full review of chromium here, but in general, chromium is helpful in regulating insulin function and thus, moderating blood sugar levels.
iii. Alpha Lipoic Acid: A powerful antioxidant, potent blood sugar moderator, and all-round fantastic supplement (I use this daily — see my full review here).
iv. Green Tea extract: a powerful anti-oxidant, glucose moderator, and source of caffeine (a mild thermogenic). Green tea has been shown to increase metabolic rate — by about 4% in one study (that’s less than a hundred calories per day for an average individual).
There are plenty of studies showing that green tea is helpful for weight loss, and its a great addition to any weight loss supplement (see Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006 Feb;50(2):176-87, Am J Clin Nutr; 81:122-129, Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. 2000 Feb;24(2):252-8, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5).
v. Caffeine & Guarana extract: Caffeine is a well know thermogenic (fat burner), that works best when combined with the now banned ephedra. It does, however, offer well-established thermogenic properties on its own (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97), although some data indicates it offers greater benefits to lean individuals that those who are overweight (see Am J Physiol. 1995 Oct;269(4 Pt 1):E671-8).
Guarana, also standardized for caffeine also displays some diuretic and antioxidant properties. Additionally, the use of caffeine in conjunction with green tea is even more beneficial for weight loss (Obes Res. 2005 Jul; 13(7): 1195-204).
vi. Yerba Mate: derived from the dried leaves of the South American perennial tree — “Ilex paraguarensis”. It contains fairly high levels of caffeine, as well as vitamin C. It is also thought to suppress cravings and appetite, and a few studies show have shown it to promote thermogenisis as well as delay gastric emptying (helping you stay feeling fuller, longer).
So what’s the bottom line on Diet-Tech?
Diet tech is part fiber supplement, part blood sugar moderator, and part thermogenic. Glucomannan fills you up, alpha lipoic acid and chromium balance your blood sugar levels, and green tea and caffeine elevate your metabolism.
Not bad. My only concern is that the glucomannan content of this product will inhibit the absorption of other critical ingredients.
Regardless, while many of these ingredients are useful, and may slightly elevate the metabolism, it’s unlikely you’ll notice much in the way of results unless you have made significant changes to your diet and lifestyle. For many, the saving grace in the Diet Tech formulation is the glucomannan-xanthan gum combination, which will no doubt be effective in increasing satiety (the feeling of “fullness”), and reducing food consumption.
However glucomannan, for all its benefits, is a fiber supplement — and there are much cheaper ways to get fiber into your diet (consume high fiber fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains & consume a fiber supplement like Metamucil).
Nonetheless, Diet-Tech might be valuable for those of you who want a convenient and simple way to increase satiety prior to meals and are willing to sacrifice a few dollars to do so.