Garret DeVore Labs / Orovo X-treme Fat Burner Review
Orovo X-treme is brought to us by Garret DeVore Labs and the merry band of pirates over at BlackStone Nutrition, SyberVision, or whatever else they happen to be calling themselves these days. If you’re not aware, Garret DeVore labs holds the coveted top spot on our wall of shame for their shameful customer service record and “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
The Orovo X-treme weight loss product carries on this tradition, easily witnessed by an overview of the sales page.
Here’s a real gem…
“Orovo X-treme is so effective at fighting fat and combating even the most stubborn weight that it costs over $100 just to manufacture!”
Riiiiiiight. And I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.
Seriously… there’s absolutely nothing in this formula that would justify such a cost. Secondly, at the time of this writing (May, ’10) a search of eBay shows Orovo X-Treme selling for less than that. Last time I checked, companies that sell products for less than what it costs them to manufacture go bankrupt. This is utter nonsense, plain and simple.
And, since we have the “nonsense-o-meter” dialed up, let’s look at one more comment from the sales page…
“Orovo X-treme works as a detoxifier, targeting toxins at the cellular level and cleansing to the core.”
Really? The fact is, there is no ingredient here that accomplishes any such task, nor is any evidence put forward by the retailer to justify such a statement. At almost $100 per bottle, you deserve some proof.
Plus, “detoxing” has been thoroughly discredited by scientists as a meaningless marketing term (see here and here). A handful of herbal ingredients does absolutely nothing to remove deep-seated toxins that may be hiding in organ and muscle tissues, or fat stores.
Besides, in the world of genuine science, toxins have names. We know what they are and we know how to measure them. If this product actually targeted toxins and eliminated them, it would be easy to demonstrate. Yet no proof is offered.
Hmmm… why do you think that is?
So, what’s in Orovo X-Treme?
Each 3-capsule serving serves up slightly less than 900 mg of a grand total of 31 ingredients. Seems impressive, right?
Yes… you could be forgiven for being impressed by the size and breadth of the product’s label, but there’s a problem.
Just like pharmaceutical drugs, the “natural herbal” ingredients in weight loss products must be present in an appropriate dosage to have any effect. This product, for example, contains a 350 mg strong blend of 10 “superfoods.”
One of them is the very popular acai.
But how much acai can there possibly be in Orovo X-Treme? Most readily available acai products offer between 500-1,000 mg per dose. So if the acai here is present at a somewhat decent dose, it means none of the 9 other ingredients can be.
And what if each ingredient is present in equal amounts? In this case, the most acai this product can contain is 35 mg. That amounts to nothing, obviously.
And that’s the crux of the issue; it’s not that the 10 superfoods included in this formula aren’t healthful, beneficial, ingredients, it’s just that simple logistics dictates they cannot possibly be present in a dose strong enough to be useful for anything but making the label look impressive.
So the questions are…
- Which ingredients are present in a dosage high enough to be useful?
- Is there anything particularly special about the fat burning or thermogenic element of this formula?
Let’s have a look…
1. Caffeine: Not surprising to find this here—caffeine has a well established record as a mild thermogenic, and does deliver mild weight loss results (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97). It also cheaply and effectively addresses the most common complaint of dieters; lack of energy. The 200mg provided by a full dose will certainly be felt by all but the most hardened coffee-addicts.
2. Phenylethylamine (PEA): While not displaying any known thermogenic properties, PEA is an “amphetamine-related”, mood-elevating chemical naturally present in foods like chocolate and was once thought to be the reason people were “chocoholics.”
Unfortunately, PEA is too rapidly metabolized by the enzyme monamine oxidase (MAO) to be of much use. That’s why most products focused on squeezing the most from PEA also contain natural monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s—see Gaspari’s CytoLean as an example).
3. Razberi-K: The patented form of raspberry ketones. Raspberry ketones are similar in structure to capsaicin and synephrine — two compounds thought to enhance weight loss via the stimulation of norepinephrine (although real evidence to validate this theory is in short supply).
One study performed on rodents (you can view the specifics of the study here) did show that raspberry ketones prevented fat synthesis as well as the rise of blood triglycerides and overall, helped prevent obesity. Of course, the problem is that this is an animal study. So while raspberry ketones do show promise, their effect has yet to be demonstrated in any credible human studies.
4. Ginger Root: Ginger contains gingerols, which are chemically related to capsaicin.
It does demonstrate some mild thermogenic and metabolism-boosting characteristics, although a high dosage is likely necessary.
Some small animal studies performed on zingerone (a component of ginger) have been positive for weight loss (Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008 Aug;128(8):1195-201). Unfortunately, the human equivalent of the dosage used (170 mg/kg) is much, much higher than the mere 100mg supplied here… it’s a skosh over 1900mg for a 70kg (approx. 155lb.) man.
And that’s for a component of ginger… not ginger itself!
Ginger also seems to accelerate gastric emptying… the opposite of the sort of thing dieters want (Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 May;20(5):436-40).
5. Rhodiola Rosea: An adaptogenic herb used in Russian folk medicine. Positive effects on physical/emotional stress have been documented in several animal studies and small human clinical trials.
6. Wakame Seaweed: Often used as a source of fucoxanthin, an ingredient included in fat burners for its weight loss characteristics—although this is entirely based on the results of animal based studies.
7. Synephrine: The usual source of synephrine is Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange). Synephrine has been a common ingredient in weight loss supplements since ephedra became illegal, mostly because it is a “chemical cousin” to ephedra and was once thought to demonstrate many of the same weight loss benefits.
For instance, an early study stated that…
“Citrus aurantium may be the best thermogenic substitute for ephedra”.
But while anecdotal reports suggest it may offer mild appetite-suppressing qualities, follow up studies have not been kind to synephrine. for example, this more recent one states…
“There is little evidence that products containing C. aurantium are an effective aid to weight loss.”
For more on the current status of synephrine, see the full synephrine review!
8. Coleus forskohlii (30mg): While the effects of Coleus forskohlii and a corresponding positive effect on weight loss have been established in one study (Journal of Obesity Research August 2005, “Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated With Forskolin Consumption In Overweight and Obese Men”), the results were not overwhelming.
Another study was less positive (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2(2):54-62, 2005). It concluded…
“Results suggest that CF (coleus forskohlii) does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinically significant side effects.”
Additionally, if you check the study, you’ll see it was performed with 500 mg of Coleus forskohlii standardized to 10% (yielding 50 mg active ingredients). This product contains less than 1/16th of the amount of forskohlii used in the study, and what that amount is standardized to is not revealed (assuming that it’s standardized at all).
9. Guggulsterones: As noted in our glossary, guggul is a plant sterol extract often added to weight loss products. When properly standardized and present in the correct dosage (it’s not here, big surprise), there is some evidence it is moderately helpful, but certainly no weight loss miracle.
10. Thermodiamine: This impressive sounding ingredient is actually the patented form of evodiamine, an alkaloid extracted from a Chinese fruit. Some claim that evodiamine burns fat by increasing the body’s production of heat; and reducing its ability to store fat. Some retailers tout a “clinical study” validating its effectiveness, but neglect to mention this is an animal-based study, and not necessarily relevant to humans. To date, there’s no evidence showing evodiamine works in people.
11. Lipolide-SC: Another patented plant extract (clary sage), standardized for sclareolide. Theoretically, sclareolide is a cAMP stimulator (as is forskohlin). cAMP is what is called a “second messenger.” In other words, 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.
Is there any independent clinical evidence to support clary sage extract’s amazing fat-blasting powers?
12. Bioperine: A black pepper extract usually added to supplements for its ability to improve the bioavailability of certain ingredients.
13. Vinpocetine: An alkaloid derived from periwinkle that affects cerebral blood flow, memory and learning. Vinpocetine is often added to pre-workout, stimulant blends designed to improve focus, concentration and training drive.
14. Yohimbine HCL: Although a slightly less than optimal dose, this standardized extract of the bark of the African Yohimbe tree does have some small amount of evidence supporting the weight loss claims made for it (see Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6). Evidence also validates its “lipid-mobilizing action.”
15. ChromeMate: The patented form of chromium polynicotinate. Chromium plays a role in regulating insulin function and as such, is a common ingredient in many weight loss products.
However, studies show contradictory results when it comes to demonstrated benefits for dieters, although one study did indicate this particular form of chromium is beneficial.
And there you have it; the fat burning element of the Orovo X-treme product.
What’s the bottom line?
It’s a mostly under-dosed blend of tepid ingredients—frankly, it doesn’t hold a candle to some of the better formulated, readily available products you can buy offline for a third to a half of the price. Thus, the answers to the questions above are…
- Not many – mostly the caffeine.
- No. Sure, the blend of caffeine, synephrine, rhodiola and yohimbine will definitely give you a boost, but there’s no need to pay close to $100 for this benefit. Just about any thermogenic on the market will deliver similar benefits.
It seems Orovo/BlackStone Nutrition/Garret Devore Labs is continuing to do what it already has a long history of doing… treating its customers with utter contempt.
|Summary of Orovo X-treme|