Green Tea Extreme Review: The Ultimate Green Tea Diet?
I first heard of Green Tea Extremewhen a piece of unsolicited bulk e-mail (aka “spam”) touting its benefits arrived in my mailbox. Since sending spam is illegal in many countries (including the U.S.), this immediately raised a “red flag”, and instantly called the credibility of Green Tea Extreme and its retailers into question.
Nonetheless, I decided to have a closer look at the product.
When I checked it out, I found that the web site selling the stuff claimed that Green Tea Extreme was “America’s #1 Selling Green Tea.” Not too surprising. Heck, everyone says that.
I also found plenty of “media” references extolling the benefits of green tea, plus an excerpt of a discussion between Oprah and Dr. Perricone. In this discussion, Dr. Perricone guarantees Oprah a minimum of 10 lbs. of weight loss in 6 weeks simply by switching from drinking coffee to green tea.
Of course, neither Dr. Perricone or Oprah endorse this product — the reference is only used to add some credibility to this product. In fact, Oprah is now suing 40 dietary supplement retailers who used her name without permission.
And of course, there are plenty of the obligatory testimonials, lots of impressive looking data, and even an excerpt from a clinical study performed on green tea.
Although Green Tea Extreme is advertised primarily as a “green tea” supplement, it actually contains two other ingredients.
According to the product web site this makes it “The World’s Most Powerful Weight-Loss Combination!”
Really? Uh, hardly. Useful, but not revolutionary, I’d say.
The first additional ingredient in this compilation is…
1. Citrus aurantium: Standardized for synephrine, a chemical “cousin” to ephedra. Long thought to be a credible alternative to ephedra as a thermogenic ingredient, clinical data validating synephrine’s fat burning abilities is in short supply. This study (Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):79-88) sums it up nicely…
“While some evidence is promising, we conclude that larger and more rigorous clinical trials are necessary to draw adequate conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of C. aurantium and synephrine alkaloids for promoting weight loss.”
One study (Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 May;30(5):764-73), performed on the exact combination of ingredients in the Green Tea Extreme formula did not show earth-shattering results.
2. Guarana: Contains about 10% caffeine, and exhibits antioxidant and diuretic properties. When used in combintation with green tea (as it is here) it is helpful — mostly because of the caffeine content it contains (the combination of caffeine and green tea for weight loss is a good one). One green tea / guarana study did show an elevation in 24 hour energy expenditure (see Br J Nutr. 2005 Sep;94(3):432-6).
There’s no denying green tea is a smart addition to any fat burner. There is some real clinical data that it and its main constituents (polyphenols and catechins like EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate) show some real promise for weight loss (see the full green tea review for validation and clinical references).
Unfortunately, there’s nothing about green tea or its active constituents that validate the “lose up to 25 lbs. in 25 days claim.”
Despite green tea’s promise, there are a few problems with Green Tea Extreme. First, although we are told the amount of green tea in the formula (500 mg), just how potent this extract is—or exactly how much EGCG or caffeine is it standardized for—is not revealed.
A quality green tea product will indicate just how much of the critical polyphenols and catechins it contains. For example, the now discontinued Thermo Dynamx from EAS (reviewed here), contained 360 mg of polyphenols and 270 mg of catechins, including 140 mg of EGCG (that’s over 600 mg of active ingredients — making it WAY more potent than Green Tea Extreme!).
Second, Green Tea Extreme is very pricey. The aforementioned EAS Thermo Dynamx fat burner (based on green and oolong tea extracts combined with caffeine) retailed for $21.50. And it’s a decent product. Green Tea Extreme, a product of indeterminate strength and potency, sells for $38 (and no, neither the citrus aurantium nor the guarana add enough value to this formula to justify the price difference).
It’s not like the Green Tea Extreme formula doesn’t offer some value (how much so is impossible to really assess). But there are simply better, more potent fat burners and green tea formulas available for much less money. When you factor in the fact this company appears to condone spamming and uses the “free trial offer“, it’s simply not worth experimenting with it.
Green Tea Extreme offers a $1 “free trial.” Do NOT sign up for this, or you will find yourself added to a recurring billing program (you will be shipped a new bottle of product every 30 days and your credit card will be charged accordingly). They call this the “Green Tea Extreme Lifestyle program.”
There are also serious inconsistencies in their “terms and conditions” page. For instance, on their order page the Green Tea Extreme retailers say…
“You will have 20 days from your original order date to decide if it is right for you. If you are enjoying it do nothing and at the end of your 20 day trial period you will be charged the low rate of only $38.95 for the bottle you received. If you find the product is not right for you, simply return the unused portion within 30 days of original order date and you will not be charged.”
I can be a bit dense on occasions, but this appears to be completely contradictory.
On the one hand, they say you have 20 days to try the product to make a decision whether you want it or not. If you do nothing after 20 days, you will be billed for the bottle you received, but if you do not want it, you need to send it back after 30 days. As far as I understand it, you will already be billed for the product after 20 days… whether you send it back after 30 days or not. There’s nothing here that says anything to the contrary.
If you happen to click the pop-up link to review the “Terms and Conditions” you need to agree on before you can order, you’ll find that this 20 day grace period has shrunk to a mere 15, although it confusingly states again that “If you find Green Tea Extreme is not right for you, simply return the unused portion within 30 days of original order date and you will not be charged.”
This sort of thing makes me very, very suspicious. I’ve received all sorts of complaints from people who have been duped with similar programs — see the 7 Day Free Trial Scam article here for more details. I’ve never, ever found any good reason for confusion in a “terms and conditions” policy. From my perspective, it certainly appears like the retailer is reserving the right to charge you for your bottle and add you to their “Green Tea Extreme Lifestyle program” with or without your permission.
A good enough reason to avoid this product.