Mitotropin Review: Gaspari’s Pre-Contest Fat Burner
Note: Mitotropin has been discontinued.
Mitotropin is Gaspari Nutrition’s heavy duty, extreme weight loss formula targeted directly at body builders. Mitotropin claims to be a “very powerful thermophoric mitochondrial uncoupling agent” and, with the aid of an accompanying 52-page manual, offers consumers the ability to…
“… take your physique to the next level and quite possibly the competitive bodybuilding stage.”
This is all Marketing 101, of course. But Mitotropin does come from Gaspari Nutrition, a company that has a reputation from making effective and well-formulated products (see our reviews for Cytolean, Novedex, SuperPump 250 and Halodrol Liquigels).
So Mitotropin definitely bodes a closer look. What’s in it?…
Well, according to the label information posted at Bodybuilding.com, a 3 “scored-tab” serving size contains 3 complexes comprising 3207 mg of total ingredients (a full day’s dose includes two of these)…
1. Mitotropin Uncoupling Complex™: A 1275 mg complex consisting of…
N-Acetyl L-Carnitine: Carnitine—in various shapes and forms—has been a common ingredient in fat burners for years. Unfortunately, the only positive results for weight loss have been obtained with multi-gram doses—far more than what is included in this product. And even then, the results are inconsistent.
Flax seed powder: A source of omega 3 fatty acids, flax seed may help with the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels.
Undaria pinnatifida Extract (standardized for 10% fucoxanthin): Fucoxanthin is popping up in more and more products these days; it’s in the updated Lean System 7, and it forms the foundation of the FucoThin fat burner. So what’s the story with this ingredient?
Well, fucoxanthin is a carotenoid present in seaweed and other marine vegetables. Most products I’ve reviewed that contain this ingredient claim Fucoxanthin can boost the metabolism and burn fat without causing the jitters.
The good news is there a small amount of promising evidence that indicates Fucoxanthin is useful for weight loss (see Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jul 1;332(2):392-7, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:196-9). The bad news is that to date, any published material has been based on animal studies.
Additionally, there’s the problem of low bioavailability of these compounds in humans. This study (see Br J Nutr. 2008 Aug;100(2):273-7) concluded…
“… results indicated that the plasma response to dietary epoxyxanthophylls was very low in humans even after 1-week intake of epoxyxanthophyll-rich diets.”
I guess I would question how effectively this ingredient could work if it has very low bioavailability.
Grape Seed Extract (standardized for 50% kaempherol): Kaempferol has shown anti-obesity activity in animal and in-vitro experiments, but human data is lacking.
Capsicum (Cayenne) Extract (standardized for 40% capsiate): Capsiate is an analogue of capsaicin—the chemical that gives chile peppers their “heat.” The theory is that capsaicin “revs” up your metabolism by creating heat, thus burning off extra calories.
There are several animal studies (see J Appl Physiol 95: 2408-2415, 2003, Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2001 Dec;65(12):2735-40, J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Aug;47(4):295-8) that bear this theory out, and a couple of human based studies as well (see Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2001 Sep;65(9):2033-6, Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2006 Dec;70(12):2824-35).
However, this study (Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Jan;292(1):R77-85. Epub 2006 Jul 13) says it best…
“Capsaicin has been shown to be effective, yet when it is used clinically it requires a strong compliance to a certain dosage, that has not been shown to be feasible yet.”
In other words, in order for capsaicin to have an effect on your metabolism, it has to be taken in doses much too high to make it practical.
3,3′ Diiodo-L-Thyronine, 3,5-Diiodo-L-Thyronine: These are metabolites of the T3 thyroid hormone. Theoretically, supplementation with thyroid hormone derivatives can raise the levels of T3 itself, increasing the metabolic rate and calorie burn. How effective are these compounds at doing so? Well, they’re mentioned along with a series of other thyroid hormone precursors in this study, where the authors state…
“Most of these compounds have interesting properties: counteracting lipid accumulation, reducing cholesterol level, and increasing lipid metabolism without cardiotoxic effects. Hopefully, further studies on basic mechanisms of such compounds will be harbingers of more knowledge on the metabolic effects of TH derivatives and on their possible clinical application.”
When conferring with Elissa about this, she informed me of an older study performed by the same research group that indicates some mitochondrial uncoupling may be part of the thermogenic effects. If so, then 3,5-diiodothyronine at least could have additive effects with the fucoxanthin – assuming the latter is bioavailable, of course.
One thing that isn’t discussed is the possible disruption of natural thyroid production. The aforementioned study references this possibility in its conclusion…
“… the results reported here do not exclude deleterious effects of T2 on a longer time scale as well as do not show that T2 acts in the same way in humans.”
John Berardi, writing on behalf of BioTest’s T2 fat burner (now discontinued, likely as a result of the growing disapproval of the FDA) dismisses this possibility, but admits that such effects are likely dose-dependent.
And of course, we know nothing about the dose in this product, so it is a possible issue.
2. Thermophoric Lypolytic Acceleration Blend™: A 1774 mg blend of ingredients designed to help you burn fat while feeling good. In essence, this element of the formula is very similar to the Cytolean fat burner; albeit slightly “souped up.”
Like CytoLean, this formula focuses on combining a couple of proven fat burners (i.e., green tea and caffeine) with two primary “feel good chemicals”…
L-tyrosine: A precursor to several important neurotransmitters, when taken in the appropriate dosage can effect performance, mood and well-being.
L-tyrosine is also a precursor to the thyroid hormone thyroxine (also known as T4) supplementation may have a positive effect on thyroid hormone levels which may contribute to an increased metabolic rate.
Unfortunately, clinical data validating l-tyrosine’s thyroid-and-metabolism boosting characteristics is in darn short supply.
Phenylethylamine: The “ampthetamine-related” chemical present in chocolate once thought the reason people became “choco-holics.”
Normally supplementation with phenylethylamine won’t do much for you because the majority of it gets metabolized by the enzyme known as “monamine oxidase.”
That’s why a large part of the remaining chunk of this complex (as well as the CytoLean formula) is devoted to natural monamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs. These include evodia rutaecarpa extract, hordenine, gingko biloba extract, uncaria rhynchophylla, and sinofranchetia chinensis.
In addition to these ingredients, Mitotropin also contains several ingredients not found in CytoLean…
Green Coffee Bean Extract: This refers to something called “chlorogenic acid.” Although there is some animal data that indicates this compound has weight loss benefits (see BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:9), there is currently no human-based clinical data available.
Synephrine: Long thought to be a credible alternative to ephedra in the battle of the bulge, clinical evidence shows “underwhelming” results for synephrine’s fat burning process.
Huperzine-A: A promising compound for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Huperzine-A works to inhibit the activity of another enzyme called “acetylcholinesterase.” This particular enzyme is involved in the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. There is some evidence that supplementation improves cognition, behaviour and mood of Alzheimer’s patients.
Missing from the Mitotropin formula (but present in CytoLean) is glucuronolactone, a carbohydrate commonly found in energy drinks like RedBull, RockStar and so on. Since it has no demonstrable effects on weight loss, this formula does not lose anything by its exclusion.
3. Free Radical Attenuation Matrix™: A 158 mg blend of the following; Turmeric (an anti-inflammatory), Artichoke Extract (Standardized For 15% 3-0-Caffeoylquinic Acid – an antioxidant and anti cancer agent), D-Alpha-Tocopherol (better known as vitamin E) and L-SE- Methylselenocysteine (a form of selenium). Pretty self explanatory, although I doubt these will provide much benefit at the low dosage provided here.
Mitotropin also comes with “Peak Condition Factor” capsules, which are taken on the last three days of the cycle. Although no further information is provided about these on the BodyBuilding.com web site, a quick trip over to the Gaspari web site indicates what I expected; this is a diuretic formula containing mostly ammonium chloride powder (not recommended for anyone with kidney issues) dandelion root extract and urva ursi.
So there you have it; the Mitrophin formula in a nutshell.
How Does Mitotropin Measure Up?
Well, on one hand, there have been no peer-reviewed, published studies performed on Mitotropin. The proprietary complexes disguise the amount of each ingredient, so it’s impossible to assess each one’s true value to this formula.
Additionally, the value of several of the ingredients in this formula, although promising, is largely speculative. And then, of course, there’s the price—this stuff is not cheap, with a 30-day supply costing about $56.
On the other hand, Gaspari has a track record of crafting potent, high quality products.
Visitor feedback on CytoLean, for instance, is mostly positive.
They’ve also provided a 52 page “how-to” manual that if followed, will no doubt lead to success (Rich Gaspari is a former body builder, after all).
Mitotropin also contains all the necessities; green tea and caffeine, some nootrophics for mood and focus, a few ingredients for appetite suppression—these, in conjunction with the training manual will probably yield results, whether or not the thyroid/fucoxanthin combo actually works as claimed.
It’s expensive yes, but it rapidly becomes less so when you look at Mitotropin in the correct context. For example, Gaspari’s CytoLean retails for 27.99 at BodyBuilding.com.
A single 3-tab dose of Mitotropin contains nearly the equivalent amount of ingredients as one, 3-capsule day’s worth of CytoLean (CytoLean’s proprietary blend is very similar to the Thermophoric Lypolytic Acceleration Blend™ found in Mitotropin).
So basically, you’re getting almost two months worth of CytoLean when you buy this product—plus all the other ingredients that are included in the Mitotropin formula. Taken at half dosage (3 scored tabs per day), this product might make a great alternative for CytoLean fans (at this dosage, the product will last for two months, which makes the paying almost $60 seem much more acceptable).
At the full, 6-grams per day dose, this stuff is likely to be super-potent (knowing Gaspari) and probably isn’t the ideal product for anyone who has not used stimulants in the past (I have a friend currently taking Mitotropin who has had experience with other potent products—like MX-LS7 and the full-blown ephedra-stack. In her opinion, this product is extremely strong at half the recommended dosage. Just for your information).
And if your other possible product options include Slim Fast and/or Slim Quick, then I’d definitely recommend giving this product a miss. It’s going to be WAY too strong for you.
if you’ve used this product, share you experiences with our visitors…