The Syntrax Fyre fat burner sports 8 ingredients, all packed into a 505 mg proprietary blend. I’m not a huge fan of “proprietary blends,” since they disguise the true amount of each ingredient in the formula. This, of course, makes it difficult to accurately assess the product for efficacy.
Nonetheless, let’s have a closer look at the Syntrax Fyre formula. What’s in it?…
1. Velvet bean extract (standardized for L-Dopa): Thought to be useful for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease because it contains a precursor (l-dopa) to the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dopamine is associated with the “pleasure system” in the brain. Theoretically, supplementing with a dopamine precursor like l-dopa may increase feelings of well-being. Unfortunately, the large majority of l-dopa is metabolized by the body, and only a tiny percentage crosses the blood-brain barrier and gets converted to dopamine. When l-dopa is given as treatment for Parkinsons, it is given with a drug like benserazide or carbidopa to prevent its being metabolised by the body.
When supplied like it is here, it is unlikely to have much effect on dopamine levels, and mood improvement.
Animal studies indicate velvet bean extract may have the ability to lower glucose levels as well, but then again… this effect has not yet been demonstrated in humans.
2. Coffee bean extract (standardized for caffeine): Caffeine is a thermogenic aid common to most fat burners, and found in foods like coffee, chocolate and sodas. It 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).
3. Green Leaf Tea Extract (standardized for catechins and EGCG): There’s plenty of evidence that green tea exhibits characteristics beneficial for weight loss (see the complete green tea review for clinical references) when it’s present in the correct amount and properly standardized (no way to tell if it is here).
Thus, it’s a good addition to any fat burner — a “no-brainer” actually.
4. Coleus forskohlii (standardized for forskolin): 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 concluded…
“Results suggest that CF does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinically significant side effects.”
Incidentally, the last study used 250 mg of 10% standardized coleus forskohlii—this formula standardizes this ingredient to 20%, but is unlikely to contain enough to duplicate the study results, as it’s listed 4th on the label (ingredients are presented on the label in order of prominence).
5. Barberry Bark Extract (standardized for berberine): An interesting ingredient to be sure, and one not often found in your typical fat burner. Berberine has anticonvulsant, hypotensive, antifibrillatory, antiarrhythmic and spasmolytic characteristics. Berberine has been shown to have mild weight-reducing and lipid-lowering effects in human subjects, albeit at doses much higher than are likely to be in Fyre.
6. Ginger root (standardized for gingerols): Ginger is often used in supplements for its anti-nausea properties, as well as its ability to aid in digestion. Ginger also contains gingerols, which are chemically related to capsaicin. There’s some who speculate ginger may also posses metabolism-boosting characteristics, but there’s little data to support that theory at this time.
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) albeit the dosage used (170 mg/kg) is too high to be transferred into humans (a 180 lbs. person would need to take about 14 grams a day).
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).
7. Bergenia Root Extract (standardized for bergenin): Bergenin is known for its ability to lower LDL (i.e., the “bad”) cholesterol (see J Lipid Res. 2006 Oct;47(10):2134-47. Epub 2006 Aug 2). The write up on the Syntrax web site states:
“Bergenin is a naturally occurring compound that is known for increasing norepinephrine-induced lipolysis and decreasing insulin-stimulated lipogenesis (increased storage of lipids).”
But this refers to a 14-year-old cell culture experiment in rat fat cells… it has yet to be demonstrated that it works this way in humans when taken orally.
8. Yohimbine:The standardized extract of the bark of the African Yohimbe tree, there is some data showing yohimbine is a somewhat effective weight loss supplement (see Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6) likely because of its action as an alpha 2-receptor antagonist. Evidence also validates its “lipid-mobilizing action.”
So what’s the bottom line on Fyre?
Well, the combination of green tea extract and caffeine is a good one, and adding yohimbe and Coleus forskohlii into the mix doesn’t hurt Fyre either.
The remainder of the ingredients are certainly interesting, but its doubtful they add a ton of real value to this compilation—there just isn’t that much clinical evidence validating their effectiveness.
The big problem is that we don’t know whether the helpful ingredients are there in doses strong enough to be effective. That makes a purchase a bit of a gamble.
Additionally, Fyre isn’t exactly garnering rave reviews across the Internet. While not outrageously expensive, visitor feedback is only so-so. The few people who have left comments on Real-Customer-Comments.com seem to like the product OK, but the reviews at Bodybuilding.com (before it was discontinued) tended to be less positive.