Driven Sports Lean Xtreme Review: Fat Loss & More?
Driven Sports’ Lean Xtreme fat burner makes several claims; to assist fat loss, boost the immune system, ensure adequate testosterone production AND reduce cortisol levels.
And all in one product. Really?
Lean Xtreme packs a refreshingly few ingredients into a single serving, 395 mg capsule. Unfortunately however, the manufacturer has not deigned to reveal the exact amount of each, instead hiding behind a “proprietary blend”.
As you know in any product, even the most helpful of ingredients must be present in a dose strong enough to elicit an effect—much like prescription drugs. Using a “proprietary” blend makes it difficult to determine whether or not this is the case.
So let’s get right to it. What’s in this product?
1. Green Tea Extract (50% EGCG): According to the Lean Xtreme advertising, green tea is added…
“… for the wide array of health benefits, including its amazing ability to further advance the immune system, boost fat loss.”
Yes, there is some evidence green tea provides benefits for dieters. It’s also a potent antioxidant, and yes, it’s probably even fair to say green tea can “enhance” the immune system (see studies here, here and here).
As far as ingredients in fat burners go, green tea is pretty much a no-brainer.
2. Coleus Forskohlii (40% Forskolin): Forskolin is a cAMP stimulator (cAMP is a “cellular regulator.”
Put simply, this compound is required to “spark” many intracellular processes. An increased concentration of cAMP can have such “total-body” effects as raised thyroid hormone levels and increased fat burning). This study (using 250 mg twice daily doses of 10% standardized forskolin) showed a modest weight loss effect.
Another study (funded by Sabinsa, a company that has a patent on the forskohlin derived Forslean) found that forskolin did raise testosterone levels but stated…
“The actual change in serum total testosterone concentration was not significantly different among groups…”
In other words, although testosterone levels were increased by supplementation, there was not enough difference between the test subjects and the control group to be considered significant. This confirms what you and I already know; if forskolin offers any benefits at all, it is a weight loss aid, not as a testosterone booster.
That said, the forskohlii in Lean Xtreme is present at a fairly high concentration. Testosterone-boosting “benefits” aside, it is entirely possibly this formulation contains enough forskolin to provide benefits on par with the above referenced weight loss study.
3. Phosphatidylserine: a phospholipid commonly used to slow cognitive decline, it is used in this formula for its “anti-cortisol” characteristics (cortisol is the nasty stress hormone everyone is going on about these days).
And yes, there is some preliminary evidence that indicates phosphatidylserine does have some effect on exercise-induced cortisol (J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008; 5 : 11, Fahey, et al., Hormonal Effects of Phosphatidylserine (PS) during two weeks of intense weight training), when administered in the 600-800 mg range.
Considering the relatively small amount of ingredient per capsule of Lean Xtreme (395 mg), its hard to imagine you’ll get that much here—even from the maximum dose of 4 caps per day.
4. 5-AT (5-Etioallocholen-3b,7b,17b-Triol): A steroid metabolite and a derivative of DHEA, there’s some speculation that 5-AT might have a cortisol-suppressing effect as well.
Clinical data validating this theory is sparse, although an abstract presented in 1997 seems to validate this conclusion (Norbiato, et al., In Vitro Immunomodulatory Effects of Delta 5-Androstene-3b,7b,17b Triol (AET) in Hypercortisolemic Patients (Las Vegas, NV: Conference on Cortisol and Anti-Cortisols, 1997).
Nonetheless, an abstract is not a peer-reviewed study, and that’s what must be performed before we can be sure of 5-AT’s cortisol suppressing qualities.
5. 7-OH (3b,7-Dihydroxy-5-Etioallocholen-17-One): This is a metabolite of DHEA with similarities to 7-Keto DHEA. Several studies have validated 7-Keto’s effects on weight loss (see Journal of Exercise Physiology, Volume 2, Number 4, October 1999, J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Sep;18(9):629-34. Epub 2007 Apr 5, Current Therapeutics, (7):435-442 2000), it’s too early to say whether this variation will offer the same benefits.
Numerous theories abound about 7-OH’s possible effect on cortisol suppression via various mechanisms. To date, however, I am unaware of any clinical data bearing this out.
Just to be sure, I checked in with our scientific and technical advisor Elissa, who confirmed I was correct. She was none too pleased with Driven Sports’ product nomenclature and explained…
“Using chemical names for familiar ingredients is a sneaky tactic some companies use to make their supplements seem far more high-tech and cutting edge than they really are.
The use of the term “etioallocholen” takes this one step further, as this it’s outdated… waaaay outdated.
The ironic thing about this is that Driven Sports is…
1. Trying to impress customers with how “scientific” this supplement is; yet…
2. Using chemical nomenclature that NO self-respecting, 21st century chemist would use.
According to the authors of “Het Anabolenboek”, Willem Koert and Aede deGroot“, this naming convention dates back to before the Second World War, and was replaced circa 1950. They refer to it as “confusing and misleading” – a description I wholeheartedly agree with. Personally, I think it speaks volumes about the brain trust behind this supplement.
Either the manufacturers are a) ignorant of the correct terminology; or b) deliberately attempting to confuse. Neither option reflects particularly well on them.”
And there you have it. Lean Xtreme in a nutshell.
Short of the green tea & forskolin combination, most of the benefits attributed to this product stand on very shaky scientific ground—there simply isn’t the evidence to quantify the claims. They are based mostly on speculation.
Lean Xtreme isn’t an outrageously expensive product, but it doesn’t exactly “over-deliver” on value. If you’re comfortable making a purchase based on the speculative value of 7-OH and 5-AT, then maybe it’s worth it to you.
|Summary of Driven Sports Lean Xtreme|