Curb ‘N Burn Review: Curb Your Appetite And Burn More Calories?
Curb ‘N Burn is brought to us from Lab88, the makers of MetaboSpeed XXX (a product advertised as the “diet pill of the stars”—to my knowledge, no stars have admitted to using the product). If you spend some time on the Curb ‘N Burn web site, you can read all about Lab88’s ethics and credibility, and their commitment to both the quality of their products and their customers. When you consider that Lab88 got into trouble for fabricating testimonials and using people’s photos without obtaining their permission, it’s all a bit much to swallow.
Nonetheless, the Curb ‘N Burn formula claims to “curb your appetite” and “burn more calories.” Does it? Well, let’s see.
Curb ‘N Burn contains 8 ingredients, although only 3 of them are featured prominently on the sales site. Unfortunately, although the ingredients are revealed, just how much of them, and what potency they are standardized to, is not. This makes this impossible to accurately assess the efficacy of the product formula.
Because the 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. When the retailer doesn’t reveal the exact amount of the ingredients, we can’t assume that they are.
Given the dubious nature of the supplement industry, we’d be better off assuming that they are not. Especially when it you consider that from the retailer’s point of view, it makes good sense to reveal the exact dosage—when it’s included in doses beneficial to you. To be frank, not revealing the exact amounts is a very definite “red flag.”
That said, what’s in Curb ‘N Burn?…
1. Acai berry: At the time of this writing, acai is probably one of the “hottest” superfoods on the market. And, despite the fact that acai is a worthwhile source of antioxidants, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest it has any value for weight loss. Certainly nothing that justifies Lab88’s claim that Acai “multiplies the weight loss effects” of this formula.
Incidentally, the Lab88 folks are using Dr. Oz’s comments to validate the value of Acai on their site. They may want to be careful; Oprah and Dr. Oz are suing companies that have been advertising products with the implication that they had been endorsed by Winfrey or Oz.
2. Hoodia gordonii: I’ve discussed Hoodia many times on this web site, and a full review of it can be found here. Suffice to say there are two major issues with hoodia…
- Despite all the talk of the miraculous P57 molecule and its appetite suppressing characteristics and what-not, there is not one shred of peer-reviewed clinical evidence that validates hoodia’s effects on either appetite or weight loss.
- Hoodia is an endangered species, and takes several years to grow to maturity. According to Mike Adams of NewsTarget.com, up to 80% of the Hoodia sold on the market is counterfeit, with 60% of the products sold in the U.S. failing laboratory verification.
3. Chromium:According to the retailers of Curb ‘N Burn, you can “burn calories with chromium.” Really? Clinical evidence validating chromium’s weight loss benefits is contradictory, with some evidence showing a benefit, while some other studies show no benefit. Because of its role in glucose metabolism, chromium is a “no-brainer” ingredient in any weight management product. However, it’s role in most products is simply supportive; no one credible suggests you can “burn calories” with chromium.
4. Milk Thistle: A source of silymarin, a type of flavonolignan and antioxidant that offers liver-protecting qualities. Beneficial? Sure? But in a weight loss product? Why?
5. Biotin: A B-vitamin that plays an important role in energy metabolism.
6. Banaba Leaf: (usually standardized for corosolic acid): Traditionally, Banaba was used as a natural cure for diabetes in the Philippines.
To date, several credible studies validate Banaba’s ability to lower blood glucose levels, therefore providing some benefit to those with non-insulin dependent diabetes, as well as overweight or obese individuals. (Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006 Aug;73(2):174-7. Epub 2006 Mar 23 , J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jul;87(1):115-7 , J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9):2242-7)
There’s also some early preliminary evidence to suggest another chemical component of Banaba (called valoneaic acid dilactone) may be a potent alpha-amylase inhibitor (Yakugaku Zasshi. 2003 Jul;123(7):599-605.) Amylase is the enzyme required for the proper break-down of carbohydrates into glucose. If Banaba were indeed an effective amylase inhibitor, it would also give it “carb blocking” properties as well.
Another study (J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1999;45;791-5) shows that banaba suppresses weight gain in genetically diabetic obese mice. However, there is no data validating this effect in non-diabetic animals or humans.
Of course, although we can assume the banaba is standardized for corosolic acid in this formula, there’s no guarantee that it is, or that its even present in a dosage strong enough to elicit some effect.
7. Astragalus: Derived from a perennial plant that grows in northern China and Mongolia. Used in Chinese medicine for centuries, mostly for its immune-boosting effects, there is a small body of evidence it may be useful in this regard. The makers of Curb ‘N Burn suggest it “regulates” the metabolism, but I was unable to find any published evidence to validate this claim.
8. Fenugreek: According to the makers of Curb ‘N Burn…
“Fenugreek has mild laxative property which may help clean the digestive tract and promote weight loss.”
Fenugreek does offer benefits that make it a worthwhile addition to any weight loss product, but it’s not because it’s a laxative (any weight loss obtained by taking a laxative is temporary at best). Nope, it’s because it can lower blood sugar levels in diabetics (see Eur J Clin Nutr. 1990 Apr;44(4):301-6) as well as positively affect both cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
Of course, the amount of Fenugreek used in these studies was significant—25 and 100 gram doses. If you’re lucky, a daily dose of Curb ‘N Burn contains 2 grams (2,000 mg) of ingredients. So we can be certain Fenugreek provides little more than label dressing (i.e. “it makes the label look impressive but adds no credible value to the formula) in this product.
Fenugreek also offers antioxidant benefits as well.
So there you have it; Curb ‘N Burn in a nutshell. It’s a rather underwhelming and overpriced formula, containing only two ingredients that have some positive clinical data behind them AND may be present in doses potent enough to offer some benefit (chromium and banaba). Hoodia’s effects are speculative at best, acai and silymarin offer antioxidant benefits but no verified weight loss benefits, fenugreek and astragalus are unlikely to be present in doses beyond that of “label dressing.”
In other words, there’s no reason to believe this product will either “curb your appetite”, or “burn more calories.”
What do you think?
Update: While the Curb ‘N Burn product still appears to be available on Lab88’s own web site, the “curbnburn” URL now leads to a sales site for “Phentirimine.” What is/isn’t in Phentirimine is not listed on either the web site, or on that of its parent company, “LabQ2.” To say that this is a “red flag” is the understatement of the year. It’s never a good idea to order any supplement (particularly an expensive one) in the absence of full disclosure of the ingredients and their amounts.