Hot Rox Fat Burner Review: Is Hot Rox Effective?
Hot Rox is Biotest’s much hyped entry into the world of ephedra free fat burners. With most major supplement companies no longer producing ephedra based products, the rush to develop a stimulant free fat burner that actually works has been in earnest.
In face of stiff competition, Hot Rox claims to deliver what other ephedra free fat burners have yet to do…
Exceed the fat burning power of the best ephedra supplements. If Hot Rox accomplishes this, it will be no small feat. Ephedra has been proven a powerful and effective fat burner — even if it’s somewhat controversial — especially when combined with caffeine and aspirin.
So what’s in Biotest’s new offering?
Thankfully, not the usual ephedra free suspects. Hot Rox sports a pretty unique formulation (of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it does anything), designed to maximize thyroid activity, as well as boost thermogenisis (fat burning). Let’s take a closer look at Hot Rox. What’s in it?
1. Acetyl-l-tyrosine and 5-HTP: Acetyl-l-tyrosine is the more easily assimilated version of the amino acid l-tyrosine (reviewed here). 5-HTP and acetyl-l-tyrosine may have the ability to help maintain levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine — helpful in maintaining positive mood while dieting.
In a much higher dose than included here, 5-HTP is somewhat useful for weight loss and appetite suppression.
It’s also thought that because l-tyrosine is also a precursor to the thyroid hormone thyroxine (also known as T4) supplementation may have a positive effect on thyroid hormone levels which may contribute to an increased metabolic rate.
Many supplement retailers use the fact that tyrosine is a T4 precursor to make claims about its fat burning prowess.
Unfortunately, clinical data validating l-tyrosine’s thyroid-and-metabolism boosting characteristics is in darn short supply.
2. Caffeine: a moderately effective thermogenic common in most fat burners, with demonstrated metabolism-boosting effects (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97).
In this formula, however, caffeine may help to improve the performance of one other ingredient in this formulation — sclaremax.
3. MDX Complex: Comprised of A7-E, sclaremax, and guggulsterone — here lies the backbone of the Hot Rox formulation. According to Biotest, A7-E is a thyroid supercharger, increasing levels of T3 thyroid hormone up to 30% (at this point though, there’s no irrefutable data to indicate that this is the case — but we’ll see).
A7-E is Biotest’s slightly modified version of 7-keto — modified to increase bioavailability and half life. Although I haven’t seen any studies performed on A7-E, there is some data that indicates 7-Keto has value for weight loss (see J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Sep;18(9):629-34. Epub 2007 Apr 5, Current Therapeutics, (7):435-442 2000).
Does A7-E work as well as the “regular” 7-Keto? BioTest would like us to believe it does. Unfortunately, there’s no clinical evidence to prove that it does.
A7-E is supported by guggulsterones, which are also believed to have a postive impact on thyroid hormones as well as positively influencing cholesterol levels. Several studies validate the value of guggulsterones (Planta Med 1988;54:271-7, Curr Ther Res 1999; 60:220-7).
Theoretically, this combination of a “modified” 7-keto and guggulsterones may be a good one. But until there’s some real clinical evidence supporting this, we need to be somewhat skeptical.
Sclaremax (actually the extract of the Salvia sclarea plant), may be more effective than Coleus Forskohli at increasing cyclic AMP (a cell regulating compound), consequently raising thyroid hormone levels and further spurring weight loss. Alas, the effectiveness of sclaremax is also largely undocumented at this time—and the effects of coleus forskohlii, although supported by a small amount of human-based clinical data is hardly earth shattering.
Also in this formulation is Coenzyme B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate), which is essential for amino acid absorption, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and the proper functioning of numerous enzymes.
The remainder of the Hot Rox formulation includes various other B vitamins…
a) Niacin (Vitamin B3): Plays an important role in the release of energy from fats and carbohydrates, as well as the metabolism of proteins, and the creation of red blood cells. Controls cholesterol levels, and may cause a “flushing” effect.
b) Thiamin (Vitamin B1): Plays an important role in energy metabolism. Dr Atkins, in his Vita-Nutrient Solution, calls thaimin a “brain energizer”.
c) Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5): A precursor to coenzyme A which is necessary for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates and the synthesis and degradation of fats. Also useful for controlling cholesterol.
Now that you know what’s in Hot Rox, what’s the real bottom line?
Although the Hot Rox formulation is definitely interesting, the main ingredients don’t have much supporting clinical evidence indicating they have much influence on weight loss. And while it may be that it is this particular combination of ingredients that is effective as a weight loss agent, there isn’t any clinical evidence to support that theory either.
I see that the Hot Rox formula has changed somewhat since I first reviewed it. Gone are the B-vitamins and the 5-HTP, and in is Yohimbe.
The jury is still out on Yohimbe’s effectiveness as a fat burner. Some studies show moderate weight loss success (Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6), while others are inconclusive.
When Hot Rox first came out it was incredibly expensive — anywhere from $50-70 and up for a 3-week supply. Now it’s much more reasonably priced, and several visitors have written to tell me they’ve seen it sold locally for under $20 for 72 capsules. And at that price, Hot Rox is not such a bad deal (I’d try it myself for $20) although I’m of the opinion there are currently much more effective and potent products available in the marketplace.
Nonetheless, the majority of visitors who wrote to tell me of their Hot Rox experiences were quite happy with the product. You can read some of the feedback here.