Thermadrol is a fat burner sold exclusively via the Internet and a 1-800 number. According to BigNutrition.com, who sells Thermadrol at Thermadrol.com…
“Due to our extreme amount of active ingredients, our products are not found in retail stores.”
This, unfortunately, is not a valid reason for not selling a product in an off-line environment, especially this product contains a perfectly ordinary ingredient profile. The “our product is so strong we dare not make it readily available to the public” argument pretty much disintegrates when you consider the incredible potential for sales any product will obtain by being stocked in every Wal-Mart in North America, for instance.
This is marketing 101. Plain and simple.
While I have yet to receive any negative feedback regarding Thermadrol, their customer service and their willingness (or unwillingness) to honor their guarantee, I have become very wary of supplement manufacturers who only do business online or via telephone orders. I’ve recently written an article on the best fat burner purchasing strategies, and I suggest you read it if you’re in the habit of buying products from companies that do not make their stock available in stores.
Thermadrol promises weight loss of “up to 10 pounds in just 7 days.” The words, “up to” are key… this represents a maximum or outlier. In reality, your weight loss (assuming you lose any weight at all) will be much less than this. And it’s not hard to understand why. Ten pounds of fat is the equivalent of a caloric expenditure of 35,000 calories, or 5,000 calories per day. While caloric requirements vary by weight and body composition, most men require fewer than 2,500 calories per day, women less than 2,000. The guarantee is, of course, totally bogus, since it is physiologically impossible to lose 10 pounds of fat in 7 days (unless you spend the next 7 days running non-stop). If you lose much more than a pound or two in that first week, it’s most likely due to water loss and reduced food bulk in your system.
Thermadrol’s claim to fame is that is contains 20 active ingredients, making it “way” more powerful than any other fat burner on the market. And while Thermadrol’s ingredient list is a comprehensive one, it suffers from three problems…
- The science showing the majority of ingredients to be effective as weight loss agents is either nonexistent, or ambiguous at best.
- In a formula boasting this large an ingredient profile, it’s physically impossible to include a decent dosage of any but a few of the more prominent ingredients into a manageable capsule and/or serving size. Tiny doses of ingredients look impressive on the label, but since they are not present in amounts large enough to elicit any effect, they constitute little more than “label dressing.”
- There is exactly zero proof that “more ingredients = more weight loss.” In fact, the more ingredients you have, the less likely it is that any coherent thought went into planning the formula.
Thermadrol contains significant amounts of…
1. Green tea: One of the few “bright lights” in weight loss supplements world. Catechins like EGCG and stimulants like caffeine (also present in this formula) are largely responsible for green tea’s positive effect on weight loss.
However, we’re not informed what the green tea is standardized for in the Thermadrol formula – assuming that it’s standardized at all. This makes it difficult to assess just how potent it is—how much of the critical polyphenols and catechins are included in this formula?
2. Advantra Z® (Citrus aurantium extract standardized for synephrine): Synephrine was once thought to be a credible alternative to ephedra as a fat burner, but recent clinical studies suggest otherwise. This study (Am J Cardiol. 2004 Nov 15;94(10):1359-61) on the “Safety and efficacy of Citrus aurantium for weight loss” concluded…
“An extensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, and the Cochrane Collaboration Database identified only 1 eligible randomized placebo controlled trial, which followed 20 patients for 6 weeks, demonstrated no statistically significant benefit for weight loss, and provided limited information about the safety of the herb.”
3. Hydroxycitric acid or HCA: This ingredient’s carb blocking effects have for the most part been discredited. An early study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1596-600) indicated that hydroxycitric acid has no positive weight loss effects, concluding…
“Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo.”
For what it’s worth, there is a proprietary form of HCA, known as SuperCitrimax™, which is bonded to calcium and magnesium to increase potency and bioavailability.
Although real data is relatively hard to come by, one clinical study performed at Georgetown University Medical Center (1: Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2005;25(3):133-44 — you can review the details of the study here) showed that not only was SuperCitrimax™ effective, it significantly outperformed plain citrimax as a weight loss agent.
That’s good news, considering citrimax isn’t exactly a “home run” in the weight loss department.
Unfortunately, the bad news is that it took a lot of SuperCitrimax to do it – over 4600mg (providing 2800mg HCA). That’s waaaay more HCA than Thermadrol provides.
Of course, there are 17 other ingredients included in the Thermadrol fat burner. Let us take a look at a couple to illustrate the “label dressing” problem I outlined earlier…
i. L-Carnitine: Data indicating carnitine’s effect on weight loss are contradictory. Some suggest it may have a positive effect, others suggest otherwise. One positive study, performed with 3,000 mg of l-carnitine daily, did show positive results (see Metabolism. 2004 Aug;53(8):1002-6). How much carnitine does Thermadrol contain? 150 mg per serving, or 300 mg per day. That’s exactly 1/10 the amount shown effective in the study.
ii. Cayenne powder: Probably standardized for for capsaicin, a chemical that gives chile peppers their “heat.” The theory is that capsaicin “revs” up your metabolism by creating heat, thus burning off extra calories. 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.”
iii. Hoodia gordonii 20:1: Hoodia took the supplement world by storm several years ago… and bellyflopped just as spectacularly. Although it may yet be redeemed, there are no independent published studies (even after all these years) on how effective it is for weight loss. Nonetheless, the 30mg of extract in Thermadrol is a pretty paltry amount compared to other commercial Hoodia products, such as Source Natural’s Hoodia Complex (250mg of 20:1 concentrated Hoodia) or NOW Food’s Tru Hoodia Complex (300mg – equivalent to 6,000mg whole plant).
iv. Apple Cider Vinegar: A perennial – and virtually useless – diet supplement ingredient. Thermadrol includes 30mg – an amount so ridiculously small, that it might as well not be there at all.
As for the other ingredients?
Licorice root and ginger root aid in digestion, and bioperine increases the effectiveness of the ingredients. B vitamins are essential for fat metabolism, and caffeine is well known and proven thermogenic. Chromium and Gymnema sylvestre may help balance blood sugar levels and regulate insulin response, even at this dosage.
When you boil it all down, there are only a few ingredients included in this formula that are both proven to be effective, and present in a potent dosage.
Thermadrol’s saving grace is its relatively low price (for an online product), although I would argue there are better products available for the money. Should you decide to try it, please share your comments and tell us what you think.
Shortly after posting this review I was contacted by Steve Paglianite, President of BigNutrition.com, the exclusive distributor for Thermadrol. Click here to learn what Steve had to say…