Editor’s Note (June, 2015): Zotrin/Zotril does not appear to be available for sale anymore. Presumably, it’s been discontinued.
Sigh. Read the advertising literature for Zotrin (Zotril) for either men or women, and you might think you had stumbled upon the holy grail of weight loss supplements.
Zotrin (Zotril) ads are pretty heavy on the hype, and pretty darn thin on the clinical proof . Nonetheless, a “double blind” study is referenced as justification for the outrageous claims (it’s easy to make results sound pretty amazing when they are expressed in the form of percentages — i.e., “those on Zotrin experienced 1603% more weight loss”).
However, a quick review of the ingredients doesn’t reveal anything revolutionary. Yerba mate and guarana both provide caffeine (and several minerals and amino acids inherent to these plants), which on its own is a relatively good fat burner, but won’t provide earth shattering results.
There is also some evidence that this combination of yerba mate and guarana — in addition to damiana, which is also included in this formula — may delay gastric emptying somewhat, allowing you to feel fuller, longer (see J Hum Nutr Diet. 2001 Jun;14(3):243-50).
Mate and guarana may also impart a slight diuretic effect.
Barberry is included in the formulation, perhaps for its effect on liver function, including increased bile production. L-tyrosine is included as well—it’s an amino acid and a precursor to several neurotransmitters. Retailers claim it may have a positive effect in elevating the metabolism, since it’s also a thyroid hormone precursor, although there is no evidence to validate this claim at this time.
Microcrystalline cellulose also finds its way into the Zotrin formula, as a naturally derived stabilizer, texturizing agent, binding agent, and fat replacer. Zotrin (Zotril) for women contains herbals like Chasteberry and Black Cohosh, both herbals known for their apparent ability to regulate the menstrual cycle.
Other ingredients include sage leaf (anti-microbial, anti-viral), chlorella (an algae with detoxifying effects, and various other health benefits), St John’s Wort, and Shisandra.
Zotrin (Zotril) for men contains…
1. Passionflower extract (an anti-stress, anti-anxiety agent)
2. Ginseng (useful for energy, immune stimulant, an adaptogen, and as an aphrodisiac)
3. Maca (also known as Peruvian ginseng, its benefits are doubtful)
4. St John’s Wort (mood stabilizer and antidepressant)
5. Schizonepeta, commonly used in Japanese traditional medicines to cure skin disorders.
All ingredients in both Zotrin (Zotril) formulas are moderately helpful as mood elevators (especially at this relatively low dosage) but offer little to make this an effective fat burner. In fact, the main benefits of Zotril, as “proclaimed” by the advertising…
- Zotrin (Zotril) delays gastric emptying
- Zotrin (Zotril) reduces the time to perceived fullness
… are just as easily accomplished by supplementing with a fiber supplement prior to meals and snacks — the orange flavored metamucil works best! (tastes like watered down orange crush, and there’s no “gritty” taste).
While the combination of yerba mate, guarana and damiana has been shown to be helpful in one clinical study, Zotrin does sell for an outrageous price — US$80 per bottle and up! For that reason, and the fact that despite there are better products available for much less money I’d recommend staying clear of Zotrin.