Editor’s Note (June, 2015): Like its progenitor, Zyatrim, Zyatonix also appears to be discontinued.
Zyatonix, the “New Super Pill” that “Actually Kills Fat Cells!” appears to be nothing more than a rebranded and re-labeled version of Zyatrim—which now appears to be discontinued (the two product labels are identical, save for the name change).
Before I discuss the ridiculous claim that “Zyatonix causes cell death”, let’s first ask why a company would rename and re-market an already existing product.
From a marketing perspective, this makes no sense. Consider one of the most popular diet supplements ever; Hydroxycut. Muscle Tech / Iovate has a goldmine just in the “name” or the “brand” of this product. In other words, people will buy Hydroxycut on the strength of its name alone, because it is highly recognizable (not necessarily because it the best product). If you’re selling something, building a powerful brand is one of the most effective things you can do.
Rebranding a product makes absolutely no sense; unless your product sucked in the first place. Then you may have to rebrand if you’ve garnered a ton of negative publicity and no one will buy it anymore. Deceptive billing practices and unscrupulous marketing tactics can cause retailers to do the same thing. Rebranding allows you to avoid negative publicity—by presenting your product as a brand new offering when it is in fact not.
Either way, this is not something that fills me with confidence or inspires trust.
Anyhow, back to the claim that Zyatonix causes fat “cell death” or “apoptosis”.
First, despite the mounds of scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo that you’ll find everywhere on the site (its role is no doubt to convince you that this product is on the cutting edge of scientific research) the retailers didn’t seem to be too interested in providing a listing of ingredients anywhere (I finally found a basic listing in the FAQ section, although the dosage is not revealed).
It also seemed a bit too convenient that the makers of Zyatonix “forgot” to include in their advertising material any of the supporting research that the ingredients actually work as claimed.
So what about fat “cell death?” Well, when I asked our scientific and technical advisor Elissa about it, here’s what she had to say…
Even if they had an “effective” ingredient, let’s face it, lots of things can trigger apoptosis on a cell culture sitting in a dish. Whether they do so when ingested orally in a non-toxic dose is an entirely different matter, and one that would need to be demonstrated by genuine clinical studies.
And…to push the “best case scenario” even further, a truly effective systemic agent capable of triggering fat cell death would not discriminate between “unnecessary” fat cells in a woman’s thighs…and equally unnecessary (from a body’s perspective) fat cells in a woman’s breasts. If the stuff really worked as claimed, female users would probably require breast implants.
Since there are no genuine clinical studies referenced to validate this claim (the “Research” on the web site link doesn’t actually link to any research—just more scientific sounidng mumbo-jumbo!) and since female users are not reporting the need for breast implants, we can assume this is nothing more than outrageous, unsubstantiated marketing spiel.
And what about the ingredients I did find? Well, although the amount of each ingredient is not listed (this is important; medicinal plants, food compounds and herbs that are typically found in weight loss products are much like pharmaceutical drugs; they need to be present in a potent enough dosage to have any effect—if we don’t know how much of each ingredient is included, we don’t know whether they will elicit an effect), here’s what Zyatonix contains…
1. Acacia rigidula: Apparently, there are “5 complex compounds” of the stuff included in Zyatrim. Acacia is a perennial tree native to Mexico. It’s especially interesting in that it is reported to contain a whole slew of alkaloids and amines — some previously thought to be only human inventions. A few of these compounds include nicotine, phenylethylamine, hordenine, methamphetamine and mescaline. It should be noted though that not everyone agrees that Acacia is likely to harbor such constituents.
Finding acacia in fat burners isn’t that uncommon. It is included in Lipo 6 X, and standardized for hordenine, a monamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). However, it’s pointless to speculate what if any value acacia offers to this formula, as we’re not informed what it is standardized for, and what dosage is present.
2. Methylsynephrine: A full review of synephrine can be found here. To summarize, its effects on weight loss are relatively inconsequential and largely over-exaggerated by retailers (and there’s no evidence to suggest methylsynephrine is any more effective than the regular synephrine).
3. Phenylethylamine HCL: You’ve probably familiar with this ingredient by now — it’s the “amphetamine-like” chemical commonly found in chocolate.
There’s no evidence that phenylethylamine (PEA) offers any benefit for weight loss, so I suspect many manufacturers include it for its “supposed” mood-elevating characteristics.
The problem is that phenylethylamine is rapidly metabolised by the enzyme monamine oxidase. This prevents all but the tiniest amounts from entering the bloodstream. That’s why the best PEA supplements (like Gaspari’s CytoLean, reviewed here!) also contain natural monamine oxidase inhibitors. Zyatonix could contain a MAOI, as it could be one of the compounds the acacia content is standardized for. Unfortunately, that information is not revealed on the web site.
4. Cassis Nomame Extract: included in weight loss products for its “ability” to inhibit the enzyme lipase which is required for the break down and deposit of fat. However, there’s very little clinical evidence to validate these claims. Check out this excerpt from this Pubmed abstract on “Nutraceutical resources for diabetes prevention”…
“There does not appear to be a natural lipase inhibitor functionally equivalent to orlistat, although there are poorly documented claims for Cassia nomame extracts.” (Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(1):151-8).
5. Theobromine: Derived from cocoa and similar in chemical to caffeine, this ingredient is no stranger to weight loss products. Despite that, it has a relatively insignificant effect on the central nervous system, and animal studies show it to be inferior to caffeine for fat burning (see Food Chem Toxicol. 1984 May;22(5):365-9). Frankly, Zyatonix would be better off with a decent dose of caffeine.
6. Yohimbe: A few studies bear out Yohimbe’s positive effect on weight loss (Isr J Med SCI 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6). However, its effects are not dramatic — although yohimbe is certainly an ingredient you can “feel” (yohimbe is a stimulant but some users notice feelings of cold / shivering / goose bumps) which is probably why many supplement retailers add it to their compilations.
At the the end of the day, what you have is an indeterminate amount of a relatively ordinary blend of ingredients, very few of which have much in the way of clinical evidence to validate their effectiveness.
Do I need to reinforce the fact that there isn’t a single study—in-house, peer-reviewed or otherwise— referenced on the web site to validate the “cell death” theory or any of the other claims made by the retailer?
Reputable retailers don’t hide their formulas. In fact, they are required by law to reveal the contents of their products. And while the makers of Zyatonix might argue they are not revealing their formula to prevent their competitors from “reverse engineering” their formula (ridiculous!), I would argue that anyone serious about copying any formula just has to buy the product and send it to a lab.
Zyatonix is expensive—nearly $40 a bottle for a bottle of 30 servings. For a comparable amount, you could purchase a product with some decent science behind it, as well as a solid, money-back guarantee.
Speaking of which – this product offers a 100% money back guarantee, as well, but I’d like to hear from you as to whether or not they honor it!
Is this something you should try? Frankly, the cost, the lack of forthrightness on the matter of ingredients and the lack of any clinical evidence to validate any of the claims makes this extremely difficult for me to recommend. However, I would love to hear about your experiences with Zyatonix…