Well, the new version of Xenadrine has finally arrived… and it’s called Xenadrine Hardcore. Many of you have expressed interest in seeing this product reviewed—after all, Cytodyne (the makers of this product) has a significant brand awareness, and many of you were fans of the original ephedra-based Xenadrine RFA-1.
So… is the new Xenadrine really all that “hardcore?”
As far as I can tell… no. And before you say I am beating up on Xenadrine, let me say that I personally have used Xenadrine RFA-1, Xenadrine EFX, Taraxatone, and their now discontinued meal replacement Cytodyne, and thought they were all decent products.
Unfortunately, Cytodyne’s (and therefore Xenadrine’s) credibility is a little tarnished these days, and any claims they make have to be viewed with a hearty dose of skepticism.
In 2003, a $12.5 million false advertising judgment was handed down against Cytodyne and Xenadrine RFA-1.
What’s that mean?
It means that Judge Ronald Styn of San Diego Superior Court found that Cytodyne’s advertising was not supported by scientific research.
What’s worse, Judge Styn ruled that Cytodyne Technologies…
“… had not just exaggerated the findings of clinical trials it commissioned… but had also cajoled some researchers into fudging results in published scientific articles.” (From New York Times article “Studies of Dietary Supplements Come Under Growing Scrutiny“)
That’s bad news.
Despite that, that’s have a look under the hood of the new Xenadrine formula.
First of all, the ingredients fall under the label of “EphenyLide Proprietary Thermogenic & Nootrogenic Factors.” Despite the fancy label, this consists of many common, longtime fat burner ingredients (guarana, yerba mate, caffeine, green tea and oolong tea as well as sage leaf, tyrosine and vinpocetine (both brain “energizers”) and “chocolate seed extract” (standardized for caffeine related xanthines, none of which have any scientifically demonstrated effect on weight loss).
While several of these ingredients can be helpful when present in the correct amount and properly standardized for the right compounds, there’s nothing revolutionary here. And certainly nothing “hardcore.”
The rest of the formula appears to be derived from…
i. Blue-green algae: rich in protein, b-vitamins, a highly bioavailable source of iron, and phenylalanine. It’s the presence of this last compound that often spurs claims of appetite reduction and weight loss. However, the FDA has reviewed these claims and was unable to find any evidence supporting blue-green algae’s role in encouraging weight loss and appetite suppression. Blue-green algae also contains GLA (gamma linoleic acid), an essential fatty acid. People with GLA deficiencies may find GLA supplementation somewhat useful for weight loss.
ii. Brown algae: also known as bladderwrack, this algae is rich in iron, potassium, and is an exceptionally rich source of iodine. You’ll often find bladderwrack in “thyroid elevating” fat burners for this reason. Iodine is required by the thyroid glands to manufacture proper levels of thyroid hormones. Low thyroid levels equate with low energy levels and weight loss, so it goes to figure that supplementing with an iodine rich ingredient may prove beneficial — especially to those suffering from low iodine levels.
Special note: there is also a danger in supplementing with especially rich sources of iodine — it can lead to either hyper or hypothyroidism. Heavy metal toxicity is also a concern when supplementing with Bladderwrack.
iii. Wakame — another Japanese seaweed often used in miso soup, and other recipes. It’s rich in in protein, calcium, iodine, magnesium, iron and folate.
Bottom line on the algae content of Xenadrine Hardcore? Possibly useful, but any benefits are likely to be quite subtle. There’s really no evidence indicating these ingredients have any weight loss effects.
And the other ingredients?
As previously mentioned, certainly some are helpful. For example, the combination of green tea and caffeine is a good one (Obes Res. 2005 Jul; 13(7): 1195-204), but it’s pretty common these days. . As for the others? Well, their effect on weight loss is either attributed to caffeine content, or their effects are disputed and not verified by any double-blind clinical studies.
Is Xenadrine Hardcore worth taking? Well, it’s really up to you… just don’t expect miracles. Without an accompanying proper diet and exercise program, I’d be surprised if you experienced any results.