Muscle Asylum Project’s Arson Review: Insane Fat Incinerating Compound?

Arson is a fat burner brought to us by “Muscle Asylum Project”, a company that is taking the “hardcore” marketing angle to the extreme. You don’t need to read much of the advertising to see it; Arson will turn you into a walking anatomy chart, you’ll get inhumanely shredded, yada, yada, yada. The warning I’ve seen posted on several web sites states…

“Keep out of reach of housewives, part-time bodybuilders, and aspiring actors/models. Do not store or use any flammable, combustible, or corrosive substances in the vicinity of this product. Never take more than the recommended dose. Do not use for toning, sculpting, leaning out, or ‘dropping a few pounds.'”

All quite entertaining stuff to be sure — I got a good chuckle over the above. Somebody over at the Muscle Asylum Project marketing department has a sense of humor… I think (I’m really hoping they’re not serious).

All kidding aside, how does the Arson formula measure up?

Well, if you consider that Muscle Asylum Project is really a division of Muscle Tech or Iovate (or whatever they are calling themselves these days) the outrageous hype shouldn’t surprise you.

At the same time, staff reviewer Elissa informs me Iovate’s R&D department is probably one of the better ones in the industry, and they do throw a fair bit of research money around.

That’s why it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Arson’s formula is decent – based upon some solid, fundamental ingredients that work. It will not, of course, turn you into a walking “anatomy chart” or anything even remotely similar. But I have no doubt it will probably help, when coupled with a good diet program and training program.

So what’s in it?

The “Internal Combustion™” matrix combines 300 mg of caffeine with green tea (standardized for 90% polyphenols, 75% catechins and 45% EGCG). Green tea (reviewed in full here) is a great addition to any fat burner. When used in combination with caffeine, however, research shows it may be even more helpful for weight loss (see Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204).

A daily dose of Arson (2 caps twice daily) will provide 600 mg of caffeine… that’s a HUGE amount. If you are sensitive to caffeine, I highly recommend you assess your tolerance to this product by cutting the dosage in half — at least to begin with!

“Internal Combustion™” also features relative fat burning newcomer cissus quadrangularis. The good news is that a couple of studies performed at the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon do validate this ingredient’s effectiveness for weight loss. It also appears to be helpful for lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing serum lipids and “improving cardiovascular risk factors.” (See Lipids Health Dis. 2007 Feb 4;6:4, Lipids Health Dis. 2006 Sep 2;5:24.).

There are a couple of “downsides” to these positive studies though.

First, Arson is a proprietary blend of ingredients. So we can’t be sure if a daily dose contains the 300 mg of the Cissus quadrangularis extract found to be helpful in the studies. It’s certainly possible, since this is a 995 mg blend. However, only a trip to the lab can confirm this for sure.

Additionally, the lead author of these studies, Julius E Oben, has a patent on Cissus quadrangularis as a fat loss agent. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the results of these studies are not legitimate, it certainly calls their “objectivity” into question. There certainly appears to be a conflict of interest here.

Rounding up the “Internal Combustion™” blend is white willow bark (standardized for salicin) and theobroma cacau extract (standardized for theobromine — a caffeine-related chemical found in chocolate. It’s benefit for weight loss is largely speculative).

The second matrix in Muscle Asylum Project’s Arson, VasoBurn™, is much smaller — offering a mere 189 mg of ingredients. It boasts a smattering of the amino acid leucine, some xanthinol nicotinate ( potent form of niacin which boosts memory and cognitive function), plus…

Yohimbine: The standardized extract of the bark of the African Yohimbe tree, this compound is often used as a natural aphrodisiac. It is also sold as a drug (in the U.S., a popular brand is Yohimex containing 5.4 milligram of yohimbine hydrochloride per tablet) and is used to treat impotency, dilate the pupil of the eye, and stimulate fat loss.

Because it can cause unpredictable effects on blood pressure, Yohimbe should be approached with caution. A few studies bear out Yohimbe’s positive effect on weight loss (Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6) but its effects are hardly earth-shattering.

5 variations of Gamma-Butyrobetaine: A precursor for endogenous carnitine synthesis, carnitine is an age-old, and practically useless fat burning ingredient.

Uridine-5′-Monophosphate Acid: This ingredient was a little tougher, and I needed to call Elissa on board to help (good thing she’s got a Masters Degree in Food Sciences). Although we can’t be 100% certain for the reasoning behind its inclusion in this formula, uridine monophosphate is precursor for the synthesis of CDP-choline, and enhances the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.

Acetylcholine helps regulate mood and memory. Most of Muscle Tech’s products contain an ingredient or two that focus on the “mental” element of dieting (see xanthinol just above), so it makes sense to me. There certainly aren’t any human studies that indicate that Uridine has “fat-torching” powers or anything.

So there you have it.

Muscle Asylum Project’s Arson is a decent, but hardly revolutionary, product. Combined with a smart diet and exercise program, it may give you an edge—yes, even if you are a housewife, a part-time bodybuilder, or aspiring actor or model.

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47 Comments

  1. Last Spring I took Arson for 2 six-week cycles. I have activity-induced asthma and I’m usually only able to go for a light jog for about 20 minutes before being out of breath and struggling (I’m in decent shape, too).

    I started out taking 1 pill twice a day and, over the course of a week or two, only changed the dosage to 2 pills twice a day (the pills were in my system, so I didn’t think 6 pills a day was needed). I went to the gym for weight training, and then went home for a run and not once, all day, was I out of breath or fatigued. In fact, when I set out to run, I kept it at a good pace, and when I normally would’ve cashed-in, I suddenly had the energy to keep going.

    I know the product doesn’t have any time of medicinal cure, but the vasodialation is incredible. Yeah, the increased energy is a plus, too; but my main concern was the asthma coughs and the hard time breathing.

    I’m 5’6″ 172lbs as of right now, and that’s a little too heavy for my liking. I started out at about the same weight last year, and got down to a solid 159. That was only with weight training and eating fast food all the time (I was young and dumb). I wasn’t ridiculously ripped, but I was happy with the way I looked afterward. This time around I’m going to hit a diet plan hard, maybe stack with whey, and stick with 2 pills twice a day. The bottle I got is the “New and Improved” formula, so we’ll see. I didn’t think they needed to change anything, anyway.

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  2. I would just like your opinion. Im currently taking jack3d and kre-alkayn EFX would it be ok to take arson with those supplements? I work out 4-5 times a week as well as 15-20 minutes of cardio and with taking those 2 supplements i noticed great size and strength when working out but i cant seem to burn fat! Im just trying to get more defined and lose body fat. Any suggestions?

    Editor’s comments: Joe, combing Arson with Jack3d is going to provide you with a ton of stimulants. It would probably be a good idea to skip your second dose of Arson any day you plan to take Jack3d. In other words, substitute one serving of Arson for your serving of Jacked on the days you are training. Stacking the two together is not likely to be a good idea, given the amount of stimulants either product provides.

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  3. What about taking arson with kre-alkaline?

    Editor’s comments: You can take a thermogenic fat burner with a creatine supplement like Kre-Alkalyn if you like (your biggest concern is mixing or combining stimulant based supplements). However, thermogenics are normally used in cutting phases and creatine in mass-builiding phases.

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  4. I have been taking ARSON for about 3 weeks on a pretty regular basis. I can a little change but not much was really required. Is this the kind of pill that when I stop any weight lost will come back?

    Also, I took 3 pills one morning but not the second dose that day. In the middle of the night I woke up with my face feeling hot from the inside out. No visible signs on the service. It’s 8:30 am and the sensation is still there. Remember it has been 24 hours since I took the last dose. Any thoughts?

    Editor’s comments: Suzy, Arson contains xanthinol nicotinate, a potent form of niacin. It may have been something similar to a “niacin flush” you were feeling.

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  5. I have been taking arson for about a month now. I don’t like the way it makes me feel, I get jittery, and sick to my stomach every time I take it. Is this just a side effect of my body just getting used to it, and will eventually stop, or should I stop taking it?

    Editor’s comments: If you’re still experiencing these side effects after a month, it’s unlikely they will ever subside. We suggest you stop taking the product.

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  6. I thought arson pills were good for my diet turns out I was wrong. I took one arson pill and it had me feeling depressed. I felt like I couldn’t breath, my brain felt out of place – it was so serious I was driving to the gym and had to stop on the side of the road to get a grip of myself. Anyway never again will I take a pill of Arson!

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  7. I’ve used arson in two of my cycles so far. First time was in 2008 and the second in 2010. My first cycle was outstanding. I lost 19 pounds within about 3 weeks and after the fat loss I started seeing massive gains in muscle almost 15 pounds. This could of been some of my other supplements but I was very impressed with the results. My second cycle I wasn’t so pleased. It almost seemed like they changed the formula. Only losing about ten pounds in fat with no muscle gain.

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