Estrin-D is yet another in a series of deceptively advertised as seen on T.V. products I’ve encountered lately. Claiming to be formulated for menopausal and perimenopausal women (when I first reviewed this product the web site I reviewed said “pre-menopausal women) — Estrin-D has very little to do with a unique formula, and everything to do with a slick marketing campaign targeting a very desperate segment of the population.
I have no doubt that some very smart marketing minds put the Estrin-D “experience” together. I’ve received a lot of inquiries into Estrin-D, and rightly so, given the claims this product makes. For instance…
“… the active ingredients in Estrin-D caused easy, automatic, permanent weight loss without calorie-counting and without diet rebound.”
“… experienced a significant decrease in overall body weight—an incredible 1603% more weight loss (over 16 TIMES more) than those who took a placebo—without following a complicated diet program or following a prescribed exercise regimen.”
The retailers than go on to reference an Estrin-D clinical study “supposedly” published in Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Fact is, there is no such study performed on Estrin-D. The trial they are referring to (Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 14: 243, 2001) was one performed on several ingredients included in the Estrin-D formula (damiana, guarana and yerba mate). In this study, menopausal women taking the three herbs (not Estrin-D itself ) lost more weight than the women who used a placebo.
Even if the study was positive, there would still be reason for caution. After all, we don’t know if the quantity, potency and ratios of the herbs used in the study were the same as those present in Estrin-D. After all, none of the retailers of Estrin reveal its exact ingredient profile. I had to go searching through a popular weight loss forum to find it.
Hardly anything to validate the claims made on the Web site. But considering that Estrin-D is brought to us by Klein Becker, a company already in serious trouble with the FTC for making false and unsubstantiated claims about several of its products and misrepresenting the fact that one of its directors was a medical doctor, it’s hardly surprising.
Here’s something else…
When I went looking to find the ingredients of Estrin-D, I was alarmed to see that no one selling the product was willing to actually tell you what was in the darned stuff. Why should you care? Well…
If you’re ever looking at any product, trying to to determine whether its worth buying, always look for an ingredients list — even if you are not sure of the value of the compilation. Any company that won’t show you what is in their product should be approached with caution, in my opinion. Full disclosure is, at the very least, an expression of a company’s confidence in its product. Failure to do so should raise a red flag in your mind!
After some digging at my favorite search engine, I also was able to find a listing of the ingredients in a health forum. Here’s the breakdown…
Yerba Mate: Contains caffeine, may delay gastric emptying, causing you to stay fuller, longer
Guarana: herbal source caffeine, also an anti-oxidant with diuretic properties.
Damiana: herbal known for its qualities as an aphrodisiac and often found in male enhancement formulas. when combined with guarana and yerba mate, it may delay gastric emptying and provide some weight loss effect.
Green Tea: a powerful antioxidant and a source of caffeine, and seems to exhibit a powerful glucose moderating action. In other words, Green Tea seems to lower post-meal blood sugar levels by inhibiting the action of a digestive enzyme called amylase.
Ginger: aids in digestion, gastrointestinal maladies, and even soothes inflamed joints
Kola Nut: herbal source of caffeine
DHEA: an androgenic hormone, capable of converting into estrogen and testosterone. It’s both an interesting and controversial supplement. As far as weight loss goes, however, Will Brink, author of Fat Loss Revealed, calls DHEA a “bust”.
Schisandra: may boost immune system, and provide resistance to stress
Scutellaria: also known as skullcap — reported to have benefits as a sedative.
Tibetan Ginseng: generally considered to be helpful for overall health and well-being.
Cocoa nut: probably included here to provide some of the feel good effects of chocolate, caused by the presence of three endogenous neuroamines — Phenylethylamine, Tyramine, and Theobromine.
Jujube: possible benefits as general health tonic
Theasiensis complex: green Tea all over again!
Bottom line on Estrin-D?
This product provides plenty of caffeine and very little else to justify its cost. Of course, since I had to find the list of ingredients second-hand, it’s hard to tell just how much caffeine it actually does contain. Judging from the compilation of herbs I’d say it’s significant (one unconfirmed report I reviewed indicated a day’s worth of pills contained a whopping 900 mg — 9 cups of coffee worth!)
Some of the other ingredients — green tea and yerba mate for example — are worthwhile and show promise, but they do not provide a miracle cure. You certainly cannot, as the makers of Estrin-D state, lose weight without counting calories or exercising.
It’s also important to note that caffeine has many of the side-effects associated with ephedra (nervousness, increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, and so on) and although common in many foods (coffee, chocolate, various soft drinks, etc., etc.) may not be for everyone. It’s also possible that because of its high caffeine content, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking this product.
And as far as the whole “menopausal” slant on this product goes? A total crock. This is a very typical ephedra-free fat burner product, with a couple of herbs known for their feel-good qualities thrown in to boot. There’s nothing here that specifically tailors this product to menopausal women. If you want a blast of caffeine, buy an expresso. It’s much cheaper.
|Summary of Estrin-D|