While VPX Meltdown can still be found here and there, VPX has phased it out in favor of its new "MD2 Meltdown" — which will be covered in a future review.
If you’ve been doing a little research on the VPX Meltdown fat burner, you’ve probably seen the advertising…
“The Euphoria of 40,000 Chocolate Bars that removes fat like a Blow Torch!”
Um… OK. Not quite sure where the numbers are coming from, or how consuming 40,000 chocolate bars would make anyone feel anything but extremely ill. But let’s just put that aside for a moment, and take a closer look at VPX’s Meltdown fat burner.
First of all, let me say this; despite the advertising silliness, VPX’s products tend to be extremely potent. Their Redline energy/fat burner drink (reviewed here) is pure rocket fuel, and visitors report the Redline capsules to be much the same (you can read and leave feedback on Redline here!).
So I have little doubt that the new Meltdown product will have you “wired for sound.”
But what of its fat burning abilities? Ahhh… and therein lies the rub. Let’s take a closer look at the formula…
1. Fat Catabolizor™: contains caffeine, Huperzia serrata extract and yerba mate.
i. Caffeine: A standard ingredient in most fat burners since time immemorial. And there’s good reason for that — there is research that shows it has thermogenic properties (see Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50, Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97).
ii. Yerba mate: another common ingredient. It has anti-oxidant properties, it’s a diuretic, and it contains both caffeine and polyphenols. However, only a relatively few human studies have been performed on mate for weight loss.
In two such studies (J Hum Nutr Diet. 2001 Jun;14(3):243-50 and Eur J Med Res. 2006 Aug 30;11(8):343-50) yerba mate was used in conjunction with other ingredients, making it impossible to accurately assess benefits to any one particular ingredient. It could have been any one, or any combination of them that could have led to the weight loss.
One recent animal study (Arch Biochem Biophys. 2008 Feb 26) did show positive results, but animal-based studies are a start… and only that.
iii. Huperzia serrata extract (standardized to 1% huperzine A): A Chinese moss that contains an alkaloid (huperzine A) with neuroprotective and cognitive effects.
2. Lipolytic Trigger: 3′-5′-Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate or cAMP. A cellular regulator, supplementation with cAMP should boost the body’s own fat burning ability.
That’s the theory anyway.
In practice, supplements containing natural cAMP-boosting compounds like Coleus forskohlii or clary sage are helpful, but have hardly generated rip-roaring results.
3. Super Synephrine™ B-3 Activator: Consists of methyl-synephrine HCL. This synephrine derivative is increasingly found in fat-burning supps, on the strength of claims that it’s more potent than its parent compound (which isn’t saying much, since—as a fat burner, at any rate—synephrine is pretty wimpy stuff; see Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1187-94, Am J Cardiol. 2004 Nov 15;94(10):1359-61, Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):79-88).
And these claims of increased potency have not been confirmed by any published, peer-reviewed human studies.
As it turns out, methyl synephrine also has another use: as a drug. Known as Oxilofrine, it’s also banned by WADA as a stimulant. Nutrex Research, which uses methyl synephrine in its “Lipo-6” and “Ignite” products, is currently involved in a class-action lawsuit in New Jersey over it. Stay tuned… (FYI, the Nutrex complaint is here).
Unfortunately, clinical evidence validating synephrine’s effectiveness as a fat burner isn’t exactly setting the world on fire (see Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1187-94, Am J Cardiol. 2004 Nov 15;94(10):1359-61, Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):79-88).
4. Iphoric® Potent Methyl β-3 PEA Matrix: Ahh… here’s where the “40,000 chocolate bars” reference must come from. PEA, or phenylethylamine is the “amphetamine-related” chemical present in chocolate.
Several fat burners are including PEA in their formulas—these include Gaspari’s CytoLean (reviewed here) and Nutrex’s Lipo 6x (reviewed here) —mostly for an “euphoric effect” since as there isn’t any real evidence PEA supplementation leads directly to weight loss (although some retailers insist it can stimulate the metabolism. There’s no data to confirm this, either).
Unfortunately, supplementation with phenylethylamine won’t do much to improve your mood. That’s because the majority of it gets metabolized by an enzyme known as “monamine oxidase” (MAO). That’s also why hordenine is found in this formula, as it’s a natural monamine oxidase inhibitor.
VPX claims their methyl PEA matrix is much more potent than your typical PEA, but really, we don’t have any independently-conducted scientific data to verify this claim.
Nor do we have any evidence that this variety of PEA is any more efficient at evading breakdown by MAO and surviving intact to enter the bloodstream.
5. NorEpiphex™ α2-Andrenergic Blockade Complex: Here you’ll find three variations of yohimbe—a less common but not rare fat burning ingredient.
Much has been made of yohimbe’s role as a “alpha-2-antagonist” and therefore its potential as a fat burner. Data however, is conflicting. A newer study (Isr J Med Sci. 1991 Oct;27(10):550-6) showed promising but not earth shattering results while other older studies were not so positive (J Pharmacol. 1986 Jul-Sep;17(3):343-7, Int J Obes. 1991 Sep;15(9):561-5 Therapie. 1989 Jul-Aug;44(4):301).
I’m of the opinion supplement retailers add yohimbe to their products not because its a potent fat burner, but because it is an ingredient you can “feel”. It definitely has stimulant effects, and it’s not uncommon to feel chills or shivers with this ingredient. In general, consumers like products they can feel “working.”
6. NorEpiphex™ M-MAOxidizor-I™: Here’s the hordenine that functions as the MAOI (monamine oxidase inhibitor) in this formula (actually, it’s a highly selective substrate for MAO-B).
If you include ingredients that inhibit the action of the MAO enzyme that metabolizes PEA, the greater the likelihood that some PEA will survive breakdown, enter the bloodstream and contribute to that “euphoric effect.”
That’s how it works in theory anyway. Once again, there’s no real clinical data to confirm any of this.
Well, there you have it… the VPX Meltdown fat burner in a nutshell.
There’s more than a few interesting ingredients in this formula. Many, however, are “souped up ” versions of fairly common ingredients that have failed to live to the hype surrounding them (eg. yohimbe, PEA, synephrine).
And while VPX claims these versions are more potent, effective versions of the originals, we don’t have any independently verified clinical proof of that.
Other ingredients look promising, but there’s little human clinical data to base theb claims on.
So we really need to take the “fat burning blowtorch” references with a grain (more like a chunk, actually) of salt.
VPX has a reputation for making products so potent they take the top of your head off, and I’m highly doubtful anyone looking for that sort of product will be disappointed with VPX Meltdown. The synephrine / caffeine / yohimbe combination pretty much guarantees this.
Additionally, since my initial review of this product, a handful of published clinical studies have appeared. These have validated some of VPX’s claims – for example one study (see J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Dec 16;5:23) concluded…
“These data suggest that Meltdown enhances REE (resting energy expenditure) and fat oxidation more than placebo for several hours after ingestion in fully rested and post-exercise states…”
An interesting finding from a second study, however, is that it did not improve mood – in fact, the researchers wrote…
“Significant increases in tension and confusion were seen in SUP.”
In a way, I’m not surprised. If VPX`s other offerings are any indication, Meltdown likely to be strong, so please assess your tolerance by starting your experiment with the lowest possible dosage.
Meltdown is available at BodyBuilding.com, a trusted online retailer.