As old as the hills. the original Stacker 2 fat burner contained the tried and true blend of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin that bodybuilders have been taking for years. An effective and proven blend to be sure, but not without some controversy. The “heavyweight” of this stack, ephedra / ephedrine, is a controversial supplement which may present serious health risks to some.
Of course, ephedra supplements are a thing of the past, as ephedra is now an illegal substance in many countries, including the U.S.
(Ephedra fans take heart — ephedra can still be obtained… safely and legally. For more information, check out my review of The Black Market Report On Ephedrine!).
Given the state of things “ephedra-wise,” it’s no surprise to find that the newest version of Stacker 2 is ephedra free (as is Stacker 3, which is a chitosan-based fat burner). Like so many fat burners and diet pills on the market today, this product claims to be “the world’s strongest fat burner.”
It’s not surprising either, to find out that it isn’t. With that said however, the newest version of this old favorite does contain some interesting ingredients, which are combined in a 267mg proprietary blend.
One of which is Cassia mimosoides extract, something I rarely see in fat burners. It’s a plant that is thought to contain a “lipase inhibitor.” Such inhibitors work by interfering with the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of fat.
Theoretically then, less fat gets absorbed by the body and stored in the fat cells. Supposedly, Cassia does not interfere with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, a problem common to pharmaceutical based products (see the review for Xenical).
Unfortunately, I was unable to find any real clinical data validating Cassia mimosoides’s efficiency as a lipase inhibitor (other than one that indicated existing data was “poorly documented” see — Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(1):151-8.)
The Stacker 2 blend also contains green tea and gugglesterones.
Green tea (reviewed here) has some benefit as a fat burner — especially when it is combined with caffeine, as it is here (Obes Res. 2005 Jul; 13(7): 1195-204). The problem is that there probably isn’t enough green tea extract to matter here – the clinical studies backing it used much, much more than the amount available in this product. 267 milligrams isn’t much when divided amongst 5 ingredients.
Several studies validate guggulsterones‘ thyroid-stimulating activity (Planta Med 1988;54:271-7, Curr Ther Res 1999; 60:220-7). It is thought guggulsterones increase the synthesis of T3, by the conversion of T4 to T3. A faster metabolism, especially when combined with proper diet and exercise, can certainly result in increased weight loss. Nonetheless, current studies show this is no weight loss miracle.
Other ingredients included are yerba mate and white willow bark.
Unfortunately, the exact amount of each ingredient in the proprietary blend is not revealed.
Stacker 2 also boasts a generous amount of caffeine (200mg). On its own caffeine’s got a well established record as a thermogenic, and does help with weight loss (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.
Stacker 2 should do one thing quite well: keep you awake and alert. It’s basically a glorified caffeine pill. The only real benefit I can see is that it’s fairly cheap. But then again, so is a bottle of generic caffeine and a decent, standardized green tea extract… which is what I’d recommend in place of Stacker 2.