Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meltdown: Thermogenic Effect of an acute ingestion of a weight loss supplement.

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of a weight loss supplement on resting oxygen uptake (VO2), respiratory quotient (RQ), caloric expenditure (kcal), heart rate (HR), and blood pressure (BP) in healthy and physically active individuals.
Methods
Ten subjects (5 male, 5 female; 20.2 ± 1.2 y; 172.2 ± 8.9 cm; 71.5 ± 17.2 kg; 17.3 ± 2.6% body fat) underwent two testing sessions administered in a randomized and double-blind fashion. During each session, subjects reported to the Human Performance Laboratory after at least 3-h post-absorptive state and were provided either 3 capsules of the weight loss supplement (SUP), commercially marketed as Meltdown® or 3 capsules of a placebo (P). Subjects then rested in a semi-recumbent position for three hours. VO2 and HR were determined every 5 min during the first 30 min and every 10 min during the next 150 min. BP was determined every 15 min during the first 30 min and every 30 min thereafter. The profile of mood states was assessed every 30 min.
Results
Area under the curve analysis revealed a significant 28.9% difference in VO2 between SUP and P for the three hour study period. In addition, a significant difference in energy expenditure was also seen between SUP (1.28 ± 0.33 kcal·min-1) and P (1.00 ± 0.32 kcal·min-1). A trend (p = 0.06) towards a greater utilization of stored fat as an energy source was also demonstrated (0.78 ± 0.23 kcal·min-1 and 0.50 ± 0.38 kcal·min-1 in P and SUP, respectively). Significant elevations in HR were seen during hours two and three of the study, and significantly higher average systolic BP was observed between SUP (118.0 ± 7.3 mmHg) and P (111.4 ± 8.2 mmHg). No significant differences were seen in diastolic blood pressure at any time point. Significant increases in tension and confusion were seen in SUP.
Conclusion
Results indicate a significant increase in energy expenditure in young, healthy individuals following an acute ingestion of a weight loss supplement. In addition, ingestion of this supplement appears to modify mood and elevate HR and systolic BP following ingestion
Reference
Thermogenic effect of an acute ingestion of a weight loss supplement
Jay R Hoffman , Jie Kang , Nicholas A Ratamess , Stefanie L Rashti , Christopher P Tranchina and Avery D Faigenbaum
Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, PO Box 7718, Ewing, New Jersey 08628, USA

My take on it?
I had always thought that Ephedra was a nifty weight loss supplement so I wondered how long it would be before someone tried to do an end run around the FDA ban on it.
The supplement studied here (Meltdown) contains synephrine, which certainly sounds like it is related to ephedrine . . . but the authors don't make that clear.
Whilst more studies will no doubt be done on this one, I think the side effects of increased anxiety and confusion may be problematic, not to mention the increased Systolic BP. Additionally there seems to be an increase in vasoconstriction (hence the increased SBP), that could be problematic if this supplement were used in conjunction with exercise in the heat.

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