Looks like Ultimate Trim has met the ultimate fate of most questionable online products: it appears to be discontinued.
It looks like some things have changed since the last time I looked in on the Ultimate Trim web site. The “lose 20 lbs. fast” claim has vanished, along with the media logos and quotes from Oprah and Dr. Nicholas Perricone.
In fact, statements like…
“Results not typical. Most people who follow the Ultimate Trim program lose 5 – 15 pounds in 6 months.”
… on the “Testimonials” page are refreshingly honest. While I tend to doubt that this burst of integrity was completely voluntary (in light of the number of regulatory and class action lawsuits hitting the industry lately – more on this below), still, I have to give credit where credit is due.
Even the price has dropped – it’s about half of what it once was.
So is there anything to the Ultimate Trim claims? Is there any reason to spend $70 $34 on this product? Let’s have a look at the product formulation…
1. B-Vitamins (B6, Folate, B12): Many people take megadoses of B12 in the belief that it will boost their energy, but there is little evidence that it will help, unless a deficiency is present.
2. Caralluma fimbriata (extract and powder): The Ultimate Trim sales copy makes much ado over the “fat burning powers” of this “wonder” ingredient. Despite all this, I was only able to find one positive study on Caralluma (see Appetite. 2007 May;48(3):338-44. Epub 2006 Nov 13). It concluded…
“While there was a trend towards a greater decrease in body weight, body mass index, hip circumference, body fat and energy intake between assessment time points in the experimental group, these were not significantly different between experimental and placebo groups. Caralluma extract appears to suppress appetite, and reduce waist circumference when compared to placebo over a 2 month period.”
While positive, I would hardly describe the results of this study as a rip-roaring endorsement of Caralluma’s amazing fat burning and appetite suppressing powers. Incidentally, it also appears to be the only published, peer-reviewed study on Caralluma’s possible benefits for dieters.
Additionally, the clinical study calls for 1 gram (1,000 mg) of Caralluma extract daily — and we can’t confirm whether or not Ultimate Trim contains that much active ingredient – particularly since Caralluma is supplied in the form of both extract and whole plant powder.
Although Caralluma is listed first (ingredients are listed on labels in order of prominence), there are 5 other ingredients included here as well. In essence what that means is that if Caralluma is included in a dose strong enough to replicate the rather underwhelming results shown by the study above, the other 5 ingredients will be present in much lower – and potentially suboptimal – doses.
3. Green tea extract (providing 90mg EGCG): Green tea and an essential catechin thereof, EGCG, have been shown to be helpful for weight loss (read the full review of green tea here!). And 90mg of EGCG, taken 3 times/day, is a physiologically-active dose, according to one short-term study.
4. Rhodiola rosea: Also a powerful adaptogen and antioxidant, there is some evidence that Rhodiola supplementation can improve athletic performance (Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307) and improve mental performance (Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71).
5. Theobromine: A caffeine-related alkaloid found commonly in chocolate, theobromine is a stimulant, albeit not as potent as caffeine.
6. ATP: Or adenosine triphosphate. It’s a nucleotide present in all cells in the human body. Its roles are many and complex; it’s involved in everything from cellular metabolism, muscle contraction, cardiac function to the metabolism of glycogen in the liver. Does ATP help with weight loss? If it does, it isn’t reflected in any clinical study I could find (I did find it helps mitigate weight loss in small cell lung cancer patients). It may improve strength a (tiny) bit, but the required dose (>200mg) is likely higher than what’s included in Ultimate Trim.
7. Cayenne: probably standardized for capsaicin, a chemical that gives chile peppers their “heat.” The theory is that capsaicin “revs” up your metabolism by creating heat, thus burning off extra calories. However, this study (Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Jan;292(1):R77-85. Epub 2006 Jul 13) says it best…
“Capsaicin has been shown to be effective, yet when it is used clinically it requires a strong compliance to a certain dosage, that has not been shown to be feasible yet.”
In other words, in order for capsaicin to have an effect on your metabolism, it has to be taken in doses much too high to make it practical.
So what’s the bottom line on Ultimate Trim? From a fat loss perspective, what you’re left with is a single ingredient that has only one credible study validating its effectiveness (Caralluma), plus one other useful ingredient (green tea). It’s an ok combo for the kind of modest, “5 – 15 pounds in 6 months” weight loss noted above, but it’s not like Ultimate Trim is required to achieve it. In fact, that’s a result that can be managed (and often surpassed) with just diet and exercise alone.
Nonetheless, those interested in experimenting with the ingredients in this formula needn’t buy Ultimate Trim to do it. For less than half the cost of this product ($15.93, to be exact), you can pick up your own Slimaluma (Caralluma extract) and standardized green tea extract combo from iHerb. Another $8.81 will get you a high-quality Rhodiola extract, if you think you could use an additional lift (use the coupon code FAT259 to receive $5 off your first order).
Same active ingredients, in known quantities, for less $$$ – what is there not to like?