Metabothin Fat Burner Review — Does Metabothin Work?
American Generic Laboratories would like you to believe that Metabothin is a potent fat burner, thanks to its “ephedra extract” based formula…
“Have you been searching high and low for just the right diet and exercise supplement that will give you energy, curb your appetite and burn that unwanted fat away? Stop looking now! Your search ends with Metabothin with ephedra. This naturally formulated ephedra dietary supplement contains some of the most potent ingredients on the market today.”
But… but… isn’t ephedra illegal?
Well, not quite. It’s ephedrine alkaloids that are illegal. And yes, American Generic Laboratories knows this…
“Staff Notes: American Generic Laboratories’ Metabothin is a dietary supplement full of natural ingredients that will help burn fat, curb appetite and boost energy. Metabothin contains natural extracts like Ephedra Extract (not alkaloids)…”
Note the qualifier, “not alkaloids,” in parentheses… it means that there are no ephedrine alkaloids in this “ephedra.”
Therein lies the problem, since it was the ephedrine alkaloids that made ephedra effective in the first place. It’s akin to having “ephedra-free” ephedra. They could just as easily subbed “lettuce powder” or “dried grass clippings” – without the alkaloids, ephedra is utterly useless for weight loss.
In the case of Metabothin, “ephedra” is just a magical word.
This sleight-of-hand could be excused as “Marketing 101” if the rest of the Metabothin formula was up to snuff.
Except it’s not… Metabothin consists of a 730mg herbal proprietary blend, plus a smattering of minerals/vitamin E. The blend contains a potpourri of ingredients that looks more like the wares in 1960’s health food store than a serious weight loss formula.
Ephedra extract 10mg (leaves), Guarana Seed (40mg caffeine), Acacia rigidula extract, Citrus aurantium (25mg synephrine), Eleutherococcus senticosus root, lecithin, Ginger Root, Sarsparilla Root, Damiana Leaf, Bovine Complex, Nettles Leaf, Royal Jelly, Goldenseal, Spirulina, Gotu Kola, Theobroma cocoa extract (seed), Phenylethylamine HCl, Green Tea Extract (leaves) Yohimbe Extract (bark).
(As an aside, I’m amused by the inclusion of “bovine complex.” It sums up this formula nicely, I think. ;-))
In fairness, Metabothin does contain a few-odd ingredients common to many weight loss formulas, such as guarana (caffeine), Citrus aurantium, green tea extract and yohimbe – but most of these are either underdosed, not standardized and/or not very potent to begin with.
Take for example, Citrus aurantium…
This study (Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):79-88) concludes…
“While some evidence is promising, we conclude that larger and more rigorous clinical trials are necessary to draw adequate conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of C. aurantium and synephrine alkaloids for promoting weight loss.”
And this one (Am J Cardiol. 2004 Nov 15;94(10):1359-61) on the “Safety and efficacy of citrus aurantium for weight loss” concluded…
“An extensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, and the Cochrane Collaboration Database identified only 1 eligible randomized placebo controlled trial, which followed 20 patients for 6 weeks, demonstrated no statistically significant benefit for weight loss, and provided limited information about the safety of the herb.”
Even the positive studies collected by Nutratech, the makers of Advantra Z (a high-quality, standardized C. aurantium extract), do not support the notion that synephrine is anything to get excited about, from a fat loss perspective.
Likewise, green tea may “work”, but its effects are subtle at best. For instance, while one study (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5) indicates taking this supplement contributes to an elevated metabolism, the amount it is actually raised it (4%), is not a lot, and amounts to about 100 calories per day for the average person.
Obviously, if you have 20-30lbs. to lose, this isn’t much of a help.
And the yohimbe?
Yohimbe is a tree indigenous to Western Africa. The active ingredient in yohimbe is the alkaloid yohimbine. Yohimbe bark extracts are often added to fat loss supplements and/or “male” enhancement supplements, although the amount of yohimbine is variable, and often low.
Yohimbine acts upon alpha-2 adrenergic receptors), may encourage weight loss (studies indicating weight loss are promising but not revolutionary — see Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6.
Of course, neither the green tea nor yohimbe are standardized, and we have no idea whether sufficient amounts of the active ingredients are present.
What about the rest? There’s virtually no evidence that any of the remaining compounds contribute to fat burning in any way. This is not to say that they’re bad – they may offer other (modest) health benefits – but their roles in the Metabothin formula are obscure.
Under the circumstances, I have a hard time justifying the price of Metabothin ($44.95 – $49.95 on the sites I scanned) – there are better made products available for less; not to mention “roll your own” stacks made up of single ingredients. Inexpensive, standardized synephrine, green tea extract, yohimbe and other compounds/extracts are readily available from Bodybuilding.com or iHerb.com (our recommended retailers), so – if you’re interested in experimenting with them – there’s no reason to purchase branded “generic” products like Metabothin.
|Summary of Metabothin|