Liporexall Review: Patent Nonsense
On the Liporexall web site, the manufacturer stresses that all of the product ingredients are “patented (and patent-pending).”
So what? As detailed by Elissa in this blog post, the terms “patented” and “patent-pending” mean absolutely nothing when it comes to proving that a product actually works. In fact…
“A patent is simply a legally-recognized grant of property rights over an invention, formula, or design.”
Unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent retailers from using the term “patented” to sell products like Liporexall. They’re taking advantage of a common misconception: that the patent process involves some sort of critical demonstration or proof of a product’s effectiveness. That’s not the case at all. Let me sum it up…
“Patented” DOES NOT equal “proven to work.” And a product like Liporexall, which includes patented ingredients, does not necessarily work, either.
With that said, let’s have a look at the Liporexall formula. Each capsule contains 300 mcg of ChromeMate (a proprietary form of chromium picolinate), and a 460.5 mg blend of the 10 ingredients I will discuss in a moment.
First, however, let me say this…
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. 460.5 mg simply isn’t big enough to accomodate “clinically-proven” dosages of more than a couple of ingredients. All the rest are label dressing; they’re there simply to impress – not help – you.
Let me explain this more fully using one of Liporexall’s ingredients, Tonalin® as an example. Tonalin® is the patented form of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. A recent meta-analysis (see American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 5, 1203-1211, May 2007) concluded…
“Given at a dose of 3.2 g/d, CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.”
Great, right? Nope. Hardly. 3.2 grams/day is 3200 mg. If Liporexall contained nothing but Tonalin®, it would take 3 and a half days worth of pills to give you the amount of CLA shown to be helpful in clinical trials. But this is physically impossible: Tonalin® is only one of 10 ingredients in the blend, and by virtue of simple mathematics, cannot be present in the formula anywhere near a dosage strong enough to be effective.
As you’ll see, that’s an issue common to the Liporexall formula. Here’s the lowdown on the remaining ingredients…
1. Infinergy™ Caffeine Malate: Besides the “boost” it provides, caffeine exhibits modest thermogenic activity, and is therefore a common ingredient in most weight loss products and diet pills. Much ado has been made by retailers about this “special” form of caffeine (which is bonded with malic acid). They claim it outperforms the regular stuff. Unfortunately, there’s no published data to validate these claims. In reality, dicaffeine malate may work as well as, better than, or not as well as, regular caffeine.
If any ingredient is properly dosed in this formula, it’s likely to be this one! Most diet pills are great sources of caffeine, since users can “feel” it “working.”
2. SuperCitrimax® (Garcinia cambogia): The good news is that there is a study (see J Med. 2004;35(1-6):33-48) that validates SuperCitrimax’s modest weight loss properties. Unfortunately, it was performed with 2,800 mg of ingredient (and the individuals participating were restricted to a 2,000 calorie per day diet—they also walked 30 minutes per day, 5 days out of 7).
We’re back to the same issue again; if Liporexall contained nothing but SuperCitrimax®, it would take 3 days worth of pills to get the dose shown effective in the study.
3. Advantra-Z® (synephrine): After ephedra became illegal, retailers scrambled to find an effective alternative, and at one time, synephrine was thought to be it. However, clinical studies have not been kind to synephrine showing it demonstrates relatively insignificant weight loss effects (for the full review and accompanying clinical references, click here!).
4. PinnoThin™ (Korean Pine Nut Oil): This ingredient is also included as an appetite suppressant (it is thought to stimulate several appetite suppressing hormones—cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide 1).
The only published study I could find on this ingredient (see Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Feb 28;7:6) demonstrated mediocre results at best. I asked our scientific and technical advisor Elissa to have a closer look at the study and she reported…
“The results are pretty underwhelming – 2 g of Pinnothin taken 30 min before a buffet lunch reduced food intake by 9% – by weight in grams – and energy intake by 7%. The latter figure averaged to a whopping 50 calories.”
Notice too that the study used 2 grams (2,000 mg) of ingredient.
5. Phase 2® (white kidney bean extract): Advertised as a “carb blocker”, a recent UCLA study on Phase 2® concluded…
“Clinical trends were identified for weight loss, inches lost from the waist, energy, and decrease in triglycerides, although statistical significance was not reached. The reason that significance was not achieved was the small number of subjects who completed the study and the wide variability of the results within each group. Further studies with larger numbers of subjects are necessary in order to definitively demonstrate effectiveness.”
Whoop-tee-do. Hardly a weight loss miracle.
6. NeOpuntia® (prickly pear cactus): The Liporexall web site claims it can promote fat excretion by 27%, a claim based largely on this ingredient’s ability to attract fat and bind with it. They neglect to mention that the participants in the referenced study received 1600 mg of NeOpuntia® with each meal. That’s 4,800 mg of this ingredient per day—more than 5 times the total of ALL the ingredients in this formula.
7. 7-Keto®: A metabolite of DHEA, a steroid hormone produced naturally by the bodies of both men and women. The good thing about 7-Keto® is that it displays no apparent side effects (i.e. no conversion to testosterone or estrogen, and no effect on the sex hormones).
What’s promising about this ingredient is its positive effect on thyroid hormone levels in obese people — again, without any adverse effects of any kind (see Journal of Exercise Physiology, Volume 2, Number 4, October 1999, J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Sep;18(9):629-34. Epub 2007 Apr 5, Current Therapeutics, (7):435-442 2000).
The dosage for these studies was 100 mg, given twice a day. Theoretically, there may be enough 7-Keto® in Liporexall to be effective, but I highly doubt it, since its listed 8th on the ingredients label (by law, ingredients must be listed by prominence).
8. ForsLean®: A patented extract of Coleus forskohlii, a cAMP stimulator. cAMP is a “second messenger.” In other words, this compound is required to “spark” many intercellular processes. An increased concentration of cAMP can have such “total-body” effects as raised thyroid hormone levels and increased fat burning.
While the effects of Coleus forskohlii and a corresponding positive effect on weight loss have been established in one study (Journal of Obesity Research August 2005, “Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated With Forskolin Consumption In Overweight and Obese Men”), the results were not overwhelming.
Another study was less positive (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2(2):54-62, 2005). It concluded…
“Results suggest that CF (coleus forskohlii) does not appear to promote weight loss but may help mitigate weight gain in overweight females with apparently no clinically significant side effects.”
Incidentally, this study used 500 mg daily (10% CF extract).
9. Bioperine®: A pepper extract, Bioperine is usually included in products for its ability to increase the bioavailability of certain ingredients. And yes, there is published evidence to validate this claim (see Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6).
10. ChromeMate® (chromium polynicotinate): Chromium plays a role in regulating insulin function and as such, is a common ingredient in many weight loss products. Clinical data validating chromium’s weight loss is contradictory, although one study did indicate this particular form of chromium is beneficial. Nonetheless, chromium is no weight loss miracle.
At the end of the day, Liporexall is an extremely expensive, over-hyped product. I doubt it delivers any more than caffeine and ChromeMate in dosages that are helpful. And, as discussed already, any of the ingredients that have been shown to be helpful for weight loss are not present anywhere near the dosage they need to be. Other ingredients—Advantra-Z®, Phase 2® and PinnoThin®—offer so little in the way of benefits even at a full dose (which of course, is not present in this formula), all they do is take up valuable capsule real estate.
Bottom line? I’m having a hard time finding anything positive to say about Liporexall. Obviously, these marketers will do and say anything in their attempt to get you to purchase their product.
That’s good enough reason NOT to do so, in my opinion.