Stimerex ES is advertised as “…a pharmaceutical-grade weight loss formula containing a new fat burner technology proven to be 29% more effective as a Fat Burner than Redux®!”
Forgive me if I’m not impressed by comparison with dexfenfluramine, a prescription appetite suppressant (not a “fat burner”) that’s been off the market since 1997. And where’s the so-called proof that Stimerex ES is 29% more effective? To my knowledge, there are no published peer-reviewed weight loss studies on Stimerex ES, let alone any comparing it to Redux.
But that’s Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals for you. I can’t say I have the highest regard for the company… let’s just say that honesty isn’t its strong point. Not so very long ago, the CEO was fined $50,000 and sentenced to 50 months in prison for “illegally selling knockoff prescription drugs over the Internet.”
Nice bunch of folks, eh?
The attempt to impress does not stop with bogus comparisons to banned prescription drugs, unfortunately. You’re also supposed to be amaaaaazed that Stimerex ES contains 25mg of ephedra.
Well whoop-ti-doo. Ephedra alkaloids – the active compounds that made ephedra valuable as a weight loss ingredient – are illegal for use in weight loss supplements. I imagine the folks at Hi-Tech know this, too – if you look at the label, there’s nary a mention of those alkaloids, a sign that the so-called “ephedra extract” is effectively devoid of their presence. That’s the only way they could legally be selling a product “with ephedra.”
Anyhow, to make a long, extremely dull story short, the ephedra in this product is nothing to brag about. So what else does Stimerex ES have to offer?
1. Acacia rigidula extract: Acacia rigidula, or “blackbrush” contains a range of phenethylamine alkaloids and biogenic amines. At the current time, there isn’t a shred of human or animal data to suggest it has any effect on weight loss.
2. Theobroma cocoa extract: Theobromine is a xanthine – a derivative of caffeine, an ingredient that has mild stimulating effects. It has stimulating effects, but no known impact on weight loss.
3. Phenylethlamine HCl: known as the “love chemical”, and also present in chocolate, this chemical can release dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain. This adds a “feel good” element to Stimerex ES formula.
4. Citrus aurantium extract: standardized for synephrine, ephedra’s “chemical cousin,” it was originally thought synephrine could replace ephedra as the premier thermogenic in most fat burner compilations (this based on promising animal studies). Unfortunately, human-based studies have been less exciting. Results were lackluster, they suffered from methodological flaws, or were done using a combination of ingredients (making it impossible to attribute results to any specific ingredient). This extract from this PubMed abstract…
“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.”
… tells the tale of Citrus aurantium’s ineffectiveness for weight loss.
5. Green Tea extract: A worthwhile ingredient in any fat burner, studies indicate green tea can elevate the metabolism as well as provide a myriad of other benefits. A full review of green tea is available here!
6. Yohimbe extract: Hardly a benign ingredient, the standardized extract of the bark of the African Yohimbe tree is often used as a natural aphrodisiac. It is also sold as a drug (in the US, 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.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration…
“Yohimbe is a tree bark containing a variety of pharmacologically active chemicals. It is marketed in a number of products for body building and “enhanced male performance.” Serious adverse effects, including renal failure, seizures and death, have been reported to FDA with products containing yohimbe and are currently under investigation.”
There is a small amount of evidence indicating Yohimbe is useful for weight loss, but results are only promising — not revolutionary — see Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6).
7. Naringen [sic]: Naringin is a citrus flavonoid common to grapefruit, a full review of naringin can be found here! Generally, naringin is used to prolong the effects of the ingredients in a product formula.
8. 6′,7′-Dihydroxybergamottin: Also known as “DHB,” this grapefruit compound is sometimes added to supplement formulas as an “amplifier,” as it can inhibit certain drug-metabolizing enzymes.
9. Caffeine: A common stimulant/thermogenic found in most fat burners displaying mild “fat burning” properties. Some evidence indicates the combination of caffeine and green tea (as is found in Stimerex), offers greater benefits (Obes Res. 2005 Jul; 13(7): 1195-204).
So, what’s the bottom line on Stimerex ES?
As noted above, there have been no clinical studies performed on it, so any claims made by the manufacturer and its retailers have to be taken with a big, fat “grain of salt.” As seen in this FTC report, making false or misleading claims and exaggerated product results are common to the weight loss industry.
Secondly, because most of these ingredients hide behind a “proprietary blend,” it’s difficult to assess whether enough of the better ingredients are present in sufficient dosage to facilitate weight loss. In addition, I’m disinclined to reward “bad behavior” – I prefer to give my supplement dollars to more ethical companies.
In the end, it is these reasons that make it difficult for me to recommend Stimerex ES. While I don’t doubt it lives up to its name, there are already plenty of stimulant products on the market… which means Stimerex ES is neither unique nor necessary.