Phosphacore Fat Burner Review: Slash 1″ Of Belly Fat Every 28 Days?
Phosphacore, claims the advertising copy, is backed by university research…
“In a recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity, subjects taking the active ingredient in Phosphacore lost an average of over 1 full inch from their waistlines in just 28 days.”
And what is this miraculous “active ingredient”? To their credit, the makers of Phosphacore don’t hide its identity: it’s conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Is CLA a miracle belly fat melter, as claimed on the Phosphacore sales site?
Hardly. There’s a lot less to that study than meets the eye. Of course, the odds are good that the makers of Phosphacore never really read it, since…
- the study was only 28 days long, so claiming that users will see the same loss “every 28 days” is a bit of a stretch;
- they don’t seem to understand that there’s a difference between inches and centimeters.
Why does the second point matter? It’s simple, really: the subjects in that study didn’t lose “over 1 full inch from their waistlines in just 28 days” – as claimed on the site. They lost over 1 full centimeter – 1.4cm, to be precise.
For the record, a centimeter is approx. 0.4″. As such, 1.4 cm is a skosh over half-an-inch. Last I heard, half-an-inch is considerably less than “over 1 full inch.”
“Waist circumference was not significantly different after 4 weeks compared to placebo (P=0.51). However, the CLA group experienced a significant mean decrease in waist circumference with 1.4 cm (P<0.01), while in the placebo group the mean decrease (0.7 cm) was not significant (P=0.08).”
Given that the subjects’ waistlines were greater than 94cm at baseline, losing 1.4cm is a bit like getting a $50 discount on a Cadillac – it’s real and measurable (or “significant” in a statistical sense), but not exactly the stuff that weight loss dreams are made of.
But that’s the story with virtually every study mentioned on the Phosphacore sales site… like Dorothy in “The Great and Powerful Oz’s” throne room, it’s tough to be impressed when you see what’s hiding behind the curtain. For example, when they say…
“Replaces Fat with Muscle: In another new study from Medstat Hospital in Lillestrom, Norway, people taking Phosphacore lost over a fifth of their fat (21.3%) within mere weeks of use.”
It means there are a lot of details that have been swept under the rug. In the actual study, no “muscle” was actually measured – in fact, the authors explicitly state:
“In this study body composition was measured using the near infrared technique, which has been shown to be a simple and reliable method compared with other indirect methods such as bioimpedance, caliper and underwater weighing… The choice of method in the present study did not allow measurements of lean body mass…”
Emphasis mine. The authors did conclude that an increase in lean mass “seems likely,” but there is no hard data to confirm this.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the subjects did gain some muscle, however, since the subjects were recruited from a gym, and were doing “a standardized physical exercise programme for 4.5 h per week.” The researchers concluded…
“The strenuous exercise performed by the participants in the present study may also have a positive influence on the effect of CLA.”
Gee… ya think?
Point being, they were not your usual sedentary, overweight/obese, middle-aged fat loss study subjects. They were young (18 – 30 years of age), had normal BMIs (< 25kg/m2), and were experienced exercisers accustomed to performing “strenuous” 90 minute workouts, 3 days per week. And it took 12 weeks – not quite the “mere weeks” as described on the Phosphacore site.
For what it’s worth, CLA does seem to help with moderate weight/fat loss – if the dose is high enough. For example, one study (Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1203-11) stated…
“Given at a dose of 3.2 g/d, CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.”
Other evidence does indicate that CLA is a decent, if not revolutionary weight loss supplement (see Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):1118-25, Br J Nutr. 2007 Mar;97(3):550-60, Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Mar;31(3):481-7. Epub 2006 Aug 22, Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1203-11), although I’ve never ever heard from anyone who has experienced ground breaking results with it. It is, however, a viable alternative for individuals who cannot handle caffeine or other stimulant-based fat burners. And CLA on it’s own is certainly cheap enough (Phosphacore is a different story altogether), so it won’t break the bank if you want to experiment with it.
Phosphacore also contains indeterminate amounts of…
1. Vitamin C: A common antioxidant, more information on Vitamin C can be found here.
Does supplementing with vitamin C help with weight loss? That’s what the makers of Phosphacore seem to be implying…
“Too little Vitamin C in the blood stream has been found to correlate with increased body fat and waist measurements. Nutrition researchers from Arizona State University report that the amount of vitamin C in the blood stream is directly related to fat oxidation – the body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source – during both exercise and at rest.”
Unfortunately, that ASU report doesn’t claim that there’s a linear relationship (which is what “directly related” implies) between plasma vitamin C and fat oxidation. What it states is that those with “poor vitamin C status” oxidize less fat during exercise than those whose vitamin C status is sufficient.
In other words, people deficient in vitamin C (to the point of being “at risk for clinical scurvy”) do not utilize fat for energy as efficently as those who get enough of this critical nutrient.
As such, if you’re “depleted” or “deficient” in vitamin C, you may struggle with losing body fat (among other things), although this isn’t a foregone conclusion. A later study by the same author (Carol S. Johnston) concluded:
“These data indicate that when dietary energy is tightly controlled, vitamin C supplementation does not promote the loss of body fat.”
2. Phosphatidylserine: According to the makers of Phosphacore, this ingredient is responsible for a 30% reduction in the stress hormone cortisol—which can contribute to fat storage, especially in the abdominal region. In reality, the only study I could find indicated…
“The findings suggest that PS is an effective supplement for combating exercise-induced stress and preventing the physiological deterioration that can accompany too much exercise.”
Did you get that? That’s “exercise-induced” stress, and at a daily dose of 600 mg. If you’re over-training, it’s hardly likely that being overweight is a serious issue for you. The advertising doesn’t address the correct context of this study. Nor is it revealed how much phosphatidylserine is included in the product to determine whether supplementation might offer some benefit—even if it’s only to athletes.
Now that we know what’s in it, let’s sum up the problems with Phosphacore…
- For what it is, it’s fairly pricey (a single bottle sells for $37).
- While the ingredients are revealed (if you look hard enough) the dosages are not. This makes it impossible to assess the true value of this formula.
- Phosphacore is not “clinically proven.” There have been no published studies performed on the Phosphacore formula. And even the studies on the ingredients aren’t conclusive. There’s some decent data to support fat loss claims for CLA; but vitamin C and phophatidylserine? Not so much.
- While CLA shows some promise, it certainly doesn’t exhibit the sort of dramatic results promised by the sales copy.
If you like the “sound” of CLA, go ahead and try supplementing with it (in fact CLA is one of the few products we recommend on our “recommendations page“), but buy a readily available version. There’s no need to spend $40 on Phosphacore.
Studies indicate that CLA is most effective when consumed in the 3.2 to 4.7 grams per day range. Most CLA supplements (including the PrimaForce Max CLA) contain 1,000 mg of safflower oil per serving, usually standardized for about 70% CLA per serving.That means to obtain the ideal dosage for weight loss, you need to consume between 5-7 caps per day, instead of the recommended 3 (which will only provide you with 2.1 grams of CLA). That means a 180 capsule bottle will last you between 25 and 35 days. But at $16, it’s still a good value.
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