My Reviews - Berry Thin, Acai Berry Thin, Raspberry Ketone, Green Coffee Bean Extract etc. - Dieting Pills
Almost every day supplement companies announce new 'miracle' weight loss supplements in the form of dieting pills promising desired dreams in no time, at acceptable prices. Such marketing campaigns are well organized and thoroughly prepared with having only one goal - make money to those companies.
Note: this is serious 3300+ words article, not a coloring book. If you want to believe in miracle supplements, find doctor Oz and similar shows on YouTube and watch them endlessly. But, if you want to know what is going on 'under the hood', feel free to continue ...
Having said that, are those companies really evil, are those pills worthless, or there are some truth in claims that those pills actually work?!
Here are our opinions, based on common sense, based on what we have learned over years and what can be found on/off-line on a daily basis - please read Disclaimer. And in the end, if you disagree with us, feel free to send us a comment (via e-mail, for example). Also, there are several sites where you can read what science studies say dieting pills and their compounds and, after all, what other people say about them - those three sites are of course Yahoo, Google and Bing.
We are going to talk little bit about dieting pills in general and we will compare several dieting pills and fat loss supplements and give OUR opinion about them. So, lets start ...
What are dieting pills?
Dieting pills are supplements in tablet/pill/capsule form with all necessary ingredients inside. One should use them according the recommendations - usually, one consumes 1-2 pills, few times per day, often before meals. Of course, nobody should be taking any of these, before consulting her/his doctor - better safe than sorry!
There are several way dieting pills act (or should act!) in the human body - most of them use at least two methods in trying to help users lose their excess fat.
These pills have compounds that send (or are supposed to do that) signals to the brain that we are not hungry and there is no need to eat. Such pills enable us to eat less or even to skip entire meals - after all, if we want to lose weight, we simply have to burn MORE calories than we consume.
Good thing is that these pills actually can help in postponing next meal and/or helping us eat smaller meals. On the other hand, such pills can lead to elevated blood pressure, can cause tremors, muscle cramps and similar. Longer usage can even lead to bulimia and anorexia - but for such adverse effects, doses of active ingredients must be usually much higher than that they are present in recommended doses - after all, supplements companies don't want to get sued, so most of these supplements have long list of who shouldn't consume them.
Energy pills are stimulants that try to accelerate human metabolism and thus increase energy consumption. Some of them are often advertise like 'just one pill spends more energy than 30 minutes of running' - have you ever tried to run 30 minutes at decent tempo? You were probably breathing rather hard and sweating all over. If that pill burns so many calories, then we need oxygen to burn them, right? Have you ever seen somebody taking such pills and breathing as if that person is running? Or at least walking at faster pace?
Of course, this is simplification, but it emphasize one of the problems with these pills.
One of the areas these pills are good is helping us staying focused and energetic while being hungry. This is very important since feeling weak, lightheaded and sleepy is one of the symptoms of hunger.
Most used compound is ordinary caffeine that can be found in coffee, green tea and in other similar beverages. Also, other extracts are used - the more exotic it sounds, the better (at least for achieving high price on the market). One should be very careful about the amounts - read the labels.
People sensitive to caffeine can benefit from caffeine pills since they will provide them decent energy kick and help them to stay focused. Even 50mg of caffeine can help such people stay focused and avoid eating due to feeling week.
Caffeine is present in various forms, but it is often available in doses between 70 and 200mg.
Problem with other compounds is that they are present in very small amounts - also milligrams - and required doses for any significant effects are much higher.
So, can these pills provide energy burst and help one lose some fat? Yes, they can. Problems are relatively high required doses (except caffeine and some other compounds) and low available doses.
Also, these pills really increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, can cause jitters, tremors, muscle cramps etc. much more than appetite killers - 'great' for heart attack or at least panic attack.
Seriously - you have been warned. Consult your doctor before taking such supplements!
Note: pills like berry thin, raspberry ketone, acai berry thin and similar are like warm milk with Xanax compared to dieting pills offered by sport supplements companies - and even such pills have questionable effects!
Macronutrient blockers are type of dieting pills that enable person to eat 'cheat meals' without properly digesting eaten meal.
These pills can be divided into carbohydrates blockers, fats blockers or they are combination of the two.
Usually, it is recommended to consume certain amount of pills before, during and after the meal in order to prevent certain amount of carbs and/or fats from being properly digested.
Great, right? Not so fast ... Carb blocker pills block good (complex) and bad (simple) carbs and they interfere with proper absorption of certain minerals and water soluble vitamins. Fat blockers can't distinguish between good and bad fats and they also prevent fat soluble vitamins absorption.
Note on fats: human body needs around one third of polyunsaturated fats, one third of monounsaturated fats and one third of saturated fats - so, fats are not 'bad', even saturated ones. Their problems are amounts and ratio in modern cuisine!
Dieting Pills Ingredients
Dieting pills contain many compounds for various reasons. To impress potential buyers those names should sound exotic, scientific (full or shorten chemical formulas etc.) and even popular - raspberry ketone for example - nothing to do with keto diet and we all know that raspberries are healthy, right? :)
L-Carnitine is 3-Hydroxy-4-Trimethylazaniumyl-Butanoate (also written in several other variations), C7H15NO3, an ammonium compound synthesized from the essential amino acids lysine and methionine. L-carnitine takes part in numerous metabolic process in the body and including (among many other things) an important role in fatty acid metabolism.
Normal human nutrition provides somewhere between 100 and 200mg of carnitine daily, while vegan diet provides at most 1-5mg of carnitine per day.
But, as said before, carnitine is produced in human body primarily in the liver and kidneys from the essential amino acids lysine and methionine and its is very hard (but really very hard) for carnitine deficiency to occur.
On the other hand, carnitine is marketed as fat loss supplement and often sold in pills and even ampules containing up to, or even more, than 2g per single dose.
How efficient it is? If you have carnitine deficiency, then you can benefit from taking it, but in that case I would worry more about your kidneys and liver and not so much about losing fat using carnitine ...
Fortunately, it is rather cheap supplement and if you like to waste some of your money, go on :)
Raspberry ketone is compound responsible for the aroma of red raspberries and occurs in various fruit including raspberries, cranberries and blackberries, to name just a few.
Depending on the variety of raspberries, growing conditions and other factors, extraction of pure raspberry ketone is usually 1–4 mg per kg of raspberries. So, to get 'usual' dose of 100mg of raspberry ketone, one should eat between 25 and 100kg of raspberries per day.
Fortunately, raspberry ketone has been used as a chemical additive in perfumes and cosmetics for a long time and it is rather easily produced artificially - with price of pure raspberry ketone being few dollars for a pound of raspberry ketone.
Now, if you have time you can search for studies regarding raspberry ketone effects - yes, those studies do exist and they show that raspberry ketone really help in 'destroying' fat in fat cells or they changed fat metabolism in rats and prevent their weight increase when fed with high fat diet.
Well, if you do the research properly, you will find out that those studies involved live mice fat cells in test tubes and mice that were fed with huge doses of raspberry ketone.
For example, average daily intake of raspberry ketone through normal nutrition is around 0.25 to, at most, 1mg/kg/day - individuals taking supplements usually have their intake between 2-5 mg/kg/day. Early studies on mice used doses around 100mg/kg and those studies that showed weight prevention in rats used up to 20g/kg of raspberry ketone - that means that 100kg guy should consume 2kg (4.4 pounds) of raspberry ketone to achieve same effect.
Raspberry ketone reviews - miracle weight loss or scam? Are raspberry ketones the secret to quick weight loss? Just eat your berries, fresh, preferably from your own garden ...
Note: here are two PubMed.gov articles to check (both open in the new window):
- Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone
- Raspberry Ketone Protects Rats Fed High-Fat Diets Against Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis
Needless to say anything more ... Don't trust me? Forget doctor Oz and use your own brain and search, read and try to understand(!) what you have red ... Also, feel free to search for l-carnitine, raspberry ketone, resveratrol and other compounds often found on labels of dieting pills and look for 'double blind' studies and read carefully what they say!
Resveratrol is a phenol compound produced naturally by several plants when injured or when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as fungi and bacteria.
If you search around scientific studies about resveratrol, you will find not even single one serious study proving that this compound help fight cancer, help fight heart diseases, that it accelerates metabolism (or do anything similar) in order to speed fat loss etc. All studies that show its effects were done on mice, yeast and similar object.
If you find a studies on humans that prove positive effects on fat loss, please send me an email.
This is just one another 'might' and 'can' compound found in dieting pills.
Note: there are tests about oral consumption of resveratrol - drinking red wine. Resulting increase in plasma resveratrol after drinking 600 ml of red wine on an empty stomach was negligible (resveratrol increase was found only in 2 out of 5 subjects - increase was below 2.5ng/ml), but if you do need volunteers for such test, I will volunteer - I will even make a barbeque :)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is a type of vinegar made from cider or apple must and contains acetic and malic acids - and this is one of the compounds that actually can help in fat loss.
One of the methods that apple cider vinegar can help in fat loss is appetite suppression - so, feel free to added it to your salads and other similar meals. There aren't direct studies to prove or disprove this theory.
However, there are studies showing that consuming apple cider vinegar, without changing other life habits (consumed calories, physical activity) can lead to fat loss.
In one double-blind experiment, three groups of people were consuming 30ml, 15ml and 0ml of apple cider vinegar for 12 weeks. Their weight loss was 1.7kg for 30ml and 1.2kg for 15ml group - so consuming apple cider vinegar MIGHT help in reducing body weight.
Amounts of this compound vary from supplement to supplement, but it is rather low, when compared with doses used in studies.
Also, this compound is very acidic - in concentrated form it can even cause acid burns. Longer effects on bone health, bone calcification and similar are still unclear.
IMHO, feel free to use it as salad dressing. If you find it in dieting pills, those few 100mg of this compound would not make a significant change.
Caffeine is powerful thermogenic even in lower doses. It can be found in many plants and beverages like coffee, green tea, guarana and similar.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, even 50mg dose will give you a nice energy boost. 200mg will kick even heavy coffee users and 400mg will help you achieve PR (personal record) in any athletic event.
So, caffeine can help you function even on low calorie diets and can help you stay focused and do your daily duties.
On the other hand, it can cause elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, can cause jitters, tremors etc. Nice energy supplement, but be very careful - elevated blood pressure and heart rate can cause heart attack. And if you are obese, reason more to be careful even more.
IMHO, caffeine must be part of any serious fat loss supplement, but ...
Kelp is a large seaweed - algae - and it has many potential benefits for human health.
Some of kelp species are edible - they can be consumed as a side dish in many meals with or without other seafood. Edible kelp is rich in iodine and many other minerals and vitamins. It is also rich in fibers (considering amount of calories) and when consumed as food, it is very fulfilling and keeps one satiated for longer period of time.
But, few 100mg of kelp or kelp extract can have rather limited effects on human body and its metabolism.
Green Tea and Green Tea Extract
Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant, that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing.
Green tea does not accelerate metabolism enough to produce immediate weight loss, but, it has been shown that a green tea and green tea extract containing polyphenols and caffeine induce thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation.
This energy boost and increased metabolic rate (around 4-5%) was without increased heart rate.
So, if you want to do yourself something good, have a cup of green tea, without sugar (nasty, but one gets used to it rather easily).
If you are not morning person, have a cup of green tea early in the morning.
Green tea extract is part of many dieting pills, but there is no 'standardized' green tea extract - 400mg of green tea extract on a label can be a lot, but also it can be nothing.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
A green coffee bean extract is an extract of unroasted, green coffee beans.
Efficiency and mechanism of green coffee bean extract action have been the subject of controversy. There is tentative evidence of various health benefits, but the quality of the evidence is poor - meaning, there are no independent double-blind studies on large enough number of participants over longer period of time.
Long story short - it contains, among other compounds, caffeine. It will provide you with some increase in energy. How much depends on your caffeine sensitivity and amount of available caffeine.
(Other) Plants Extracts in General
Extracts of various plants can contain beneficial compounds in various amounts and ratios: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, caffeine etc. How effective they are - it is questionable for various reasons, like:
- type of original plant,
- how was that plant grown,
- how extract was processed,
- how supplement was stored,
Such extracts can help, but again, at what amounts? I don't know about you, but I will rather have a bowl of mixed berries for snack, instead of some 'miracle' supplement that promises everlasting youth because it is based on berries! :)
Water soluble vitamins are often present in dieting pills, especially vitamin B complex, with amounts of B-12 going up to 5000% (50x) RDA. These vitamins are important since they take part in energy processes in organism. Any excess is easily removed from the body, just be sure to drink plenty of water.
Dieting pills also contain other compounds that supposedly help human shed off unwanted excess fat without changing in eating and working out habits, but if it is too good to be truth, then its probably not ...
Dieting Supplement Reviews
Here are some dieting supplements that can be often found on the market and are sometimes very aggressively promoted in the media. Please, feel free not to agree with us ...
Berry Thin Review
Active ingredients in Berry Thin are:
- Raspberry Ketone,
- African Mango Extract,
- Green Tea Extract,
- Apple Cider Vinegar,
- Grapefruit Extract.
Or, it can be written - useless, questionable due to small amount, good, good, useless, questionable due to small amount, questionable due to small amount, questionable due to small amount!
Bottle of this thing costs tens of dollars and if you like to waste your money, feel free. If I were you (and I am not You!), I would rather buy a nice green tea and enjoy it, instead of Berry Thin!
Just my 2c regarding this supplement.
Acai Berry Thin Review
There are several versions of this supplement on the market, most of them contain:
- Acai Berry Extract,
- Green Tea Extract,
- Caffeine (pure),
and other compounds.
Note on caffeine: caffeine can be present in various forms, mostly as part of plant extract and in the form of pure caffeine.
Acai berry extract contains strong antioxidants that (should) fight free radicals in the body. Green tea extract contains caffeine and other compounds that actually CAN create energy boost, but there are cheaper options than such pills.
Long story short: there are no scientific double-blind studies that show that acai berry (extract) consumption affects body weight, promotes weight loss or has any positive health effect.
Acai berries have vitamins, minerals, fibers and other macro and micronutrients that are beneficial - eat them fresh, frozen, dried, but don't drink them in the form of pills!
Recommended Dieting Pills
If you want to lose some weight, go to your doctor and check your health first. After consulting him/her, go on the balanced diet (for example, Mediterranean Diet in combination with Carbohydrate Cycling Diet), start to workout and sleep enough - you can't expect that some 'miracle' supplement can replace proper nutrition, regular exercise and letting your body to regenerate and repair itself.
Note: these supplements are our recommendations - again, feel free to disagree with us. Also, we have provided affiliate Amazon links that open in the new windows. If you want to lose your weigh, dieting pills are NOT REQUIRED. But they can help - first, eat healthy, start to exercise, sleep enough. After that is done, dieting pills can help.
Pure caffeine - there are numerous sport supplement companies that sell pure caffeine. Such supplements can be often found locally and don't have to be ordered from web-shops.
Remember, dieting pills are not 'last solution for helpless', but a nice addition in your arsenal for achieving desired goal - losing unwanted body fat! There is no pill and no workout that can outrun bad nutrition.