Review: SEI Pharmaceuticals Excellean
Manufactured by SEI Pharmaceuticals, Excellean™ is a stimulant free weight loss supplement based upon 4 friendly fats. Despite appearing to be a near carbon copy of Revolution’s Abdominal Cuts, it’s pretty amazing stuff, according to the label…
“Excellean™ is a combination of 100% natural healthy oils that are clinically proven to support body-fat reduction particularly in stubborn fat cells around the stomach, hips and butt. Excellean™ has also been shown to support a healthy metabolism, increase lean muscle gains, suppress sugar cravings, antioxidant supply and anti-inflammatory assistance.”
Pretty incredible stuff for a product that doesn’t contain any stimulants, right?
Well, let’s see just how well the scientific data corroborates the advertising hype, shall we?
A single capsule boasts 1000 mg of the following 4 ingredients (the label recommends taking 1-2 capsules, 3 times per day)….
1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): CLA is a non-essential fatty acid, and a pretty common ingredient in non-stimulant based products, so it’s no surprise to find it here.
There’s pretty good reason for that too; it’s one of the few “jitter-free” ingredients that actually has some clinical data validating its use.
To illustrate, consider this; a recent meta analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionconcluded that…
“Given at a dose of 3.2 g/d, CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.”
At a higher dose—6.4 grams/day to be exact—one study suggests that CLA supplementation increases lean body mass in obese individuals.
Of course, no discussion on CLA is complete without a discourse on whether or not the product it is included in contains a dose that corresponds to the positive clinical study data.
In this case, SEI Pharmaceuticals doesn’t fully break down the ingredients on the label, but instead presents them as part of a proprietary blend.
What we can be sure of is this; if you take a single pill 3 times per day, you are definitely not getting enough CLA, since a single capsule contains 1,000 mg of ingredient (if Excellean contained nothing but CLA, 3 capsules would still fall short of the recommended dose by 200 mg).
Given the additional 3 ingredients Excellean contains, it’s not unreasonable to assume that you’ll need to take the full 6-capsule per day dose in order to obtain an adequate amount of CLA.
I’m not a fan of making assumptions about anything. But since SEI Pharmaceuticals hasn’t been completely transparent with their label data, I really don’t have any choice.
Of course, even at the 6 capsule per day dose, you’re going be short on the 6.4 grams of CLA needed to increase lean body mass.
Remember, the study that demonstrated an increase in lean muscle mass was performed on obese individuals. There’s no evidence to suggest CLA exhibits the same effect on highly trained athletes.
2. Fish Oil (source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) eocosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)): Unless you’re really, really new to supplements you’re probably aware that fish oil and its two main constituents (EPA and DHA) offers a myriad of benefits.
But Excellean is a weight loss supplement. Does fish oil offer any benefits for dieters?
There isn’t a ton of data to support this argument.
For example, one study showed that the combination of aerobic exercise (3 45-minutes sessions a week) with a fish oil supplement (providing 1.9 grams of fatty acids) improved body composition and reduced cardiovascular risk factors. However, there were serious flaws in the study—and that means we can’t really trust the results.
That said, while the jury may be out on the effectiveness of fish oil for weight loss, there’s no doubt it’s a healthy, beneficial supplement.
3. Flax Seed Oil (source of alpha-linolenic acid): An omega-6 oil, flax seed oil is also a well documented “healthy” oil. As to its weight loss applications, there really aren’t any “specific” benefits. At the appropriate dose however, evidence (see clinical data here and here) suggests it lowers blood pressure, serum cholesterol and blood lipids. It’s also a precursor to EPA and DHA which are commonly associated with fish oils, and accordingly, offers many similar benefits.
4. Evening Primrose oil (source of gamma linolenic acid or GLA): Also an omega-6 oil, GLA is commonly found in supplements that address inflammatory issues like arthritis. That said, it occasionally shows up in weight loss products, despite clinical evidence that demonstrates its weight loss effects are “clinically insignificant.”
OK, so there’s the ingredient breakdown.
Where does that leave Excellean?
Well, while there’s no doubt this is a “healthy” supplement, in reality it is little more than a “value-added” CLA supplement. The weight loss benefits of the product are confined almost entirely to CLA, and the benefits offered by the other ingredients are minimal at best—especially since we can’t confirm the dosage of any of them.
And that is a problem, since this is not a cheap product (GNC sells it for about $50/bottle). At the 6 caps per day serving you’ll need two bottles to get through the month.
That’s a fair chunk of cash, especially when you consider that for one-fourth of that amount, you can buy a 40-day supply of CLA (5 caps per day). If you want the benefits of fish oil, you can get a month’s worth of a quality product for less than $20. Unless you have arthritis, there’s no need for the evening primrose oil, and since many of the benefits of flax seed oil are duplicated by the fish oil, you can skip that one too.
At the end of the day, product cost makes a recommendation for Excellean impossible.
|Summary of Excellean|