Reviews

NDS LipoRush Review

LipoRush is a stimulant-based fat-burner by NDS Nutrition, makers of Cardio Cuts. It contains a relatively diverse range of potentially (but not definitely) effective fat-burning compounds, as well as BCAAs (for some reason)…

LipoRush

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CAFFEINE

Caffeine is a well-established ergogenic aid/cognitive enhancer, and also happens to be the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Caffeine causes an increase in catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine), resulting in increased alertness, focus, and perceived energy. In most individuals, increased energy may lead to a more intense/longer workout. Because epinephrine and norepinephrine induce lipolysis, caffeine has often been implicated as a fat-burner, but human studies have demonstrated that tolerance builds fairly quickly so caffeine is not an effective long-term fat burner. That being said, it is a very effective ergogenic aid, and often forms the basis for stimulant based pre-workouts. LipoRush contains 275mg of caffeine, which is enough to produce noticeable effects in most people, especially when combined with the other stimulants present in the formula.

EMPLICA OFFICINALIS

Emblica officinalis (also known as Amla) is touted by the herbal medicine community to have a variety of benefits in humans, the most common of which are cognitive enhancement and blood glucose lowering. The cognitive benefits are the result of several antioxidant compounds found in Amla, as well as the possible inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that is largely accredited with controlling the “mind-muscle connection”, and increasing levels in the brain may very well result in enhanced physical performance. However, human studies generally include Amla with other herbs so its true efficacy has yet to be determined. While the preliminary evidence is promising, at this point we would still consider it a speculative ingredient.

BETA-PHENYLETHYLAMINE

Phenylethylamines are a class of compound which cause an increase in the catecholamine neurotransmitters (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine) and as such, is a relatively potent (though short lived) central nervous system stimulant. While studies testing the effects of PEA supplementation on exercise performance are limited, a boost in catecholamines may certainly translate into more energy in the gym, resulting in a more intense workout. As far as direct effects on weight loss, studies are more or less non-existent. However, the generally physiological reaction to increases in epinephrine and norepinephrine is activation of the beta-adrenergic receptors which induce lipolysis, so the mechanism by which PEA may induce weight loss is theoretically solid, just not documented. Because the effects are generally short-lived, it is hardly a miracle weight-loss supplement on its own, but combined with other beta-agonists/alpha-antagonists, will likely contribute to the overall effect.

HORDENINE

Hordenine (chemical name N, N-dimethyltyramine) is used in dietary supplements as a fat-burner as well as for increased energy. Hordenine has been shown in animals to augment adrenaline induced muscle contraction while not directly inducing contractions itself, which indicates it works as a catecholamine (Adrenaline) reuptake inhibitor (similar to Tyramine). Based on this theoretical mechanism of action, Hordenine is most effective when combined with catecholamine releasing agents (caffeine, PEA, etc.). However, we’d like to be very clear that there is very little research published on the use of Hordenine in humans, especially as it relates to physical performance and weight loss.

SYNEPHRINE

Synephrine, commonly extracted from Bitter Orange, became popular after the FDA banned ephedra as a dietary supplement for weight loss. While Synephrine has been touted as a replacement for ephedra, it is important to understand that it is significantly less potent (which is why it is not banned). However, that’s not to say it is completely useless. A 2011 study, published in the “International Journal of Medicinal Sciences”, found that supplementation of 50mg Syneprhine increased the metabolic rate in human subjects without affecting blood pressure or heart rate. Similarly to Ephedrine, Synephrine is a beta-receptor agonist and an alpha-receptor antagonist, the net effect of which is an increase in lipolysis. However, the practical implications of Synephrine a fat-burner have not been studied extensively in humans.

DENDROBIUM

Dendrobium is considered the new replacement for 1,3 Dimethylamylamine (DMAA), which the FDA has been adamant about removing from supplements in the past few years. The most popular claim attached to Dendrobium is that it allegedly contains PEA (mentioned above). However, it is important to understand that no study analyzing the components of Dendrobium have found that it contains PEA. Therefore, either the particular type of Dendrobium contained in these supplements is altered in some way, or the stimulant properties of Dendrobium are due to another compound entirely. The truth is dendrobium is a very new entrant in the supplement industry, and there currently are not enough studies from which to draw conclusions.

THEOBROMINE

Theobromine belongs to the same class of chemical compounds as caffeine, known as methylxanthines. While its stimulant properties are less potent than caffeine, it is alleged to increase heart rate to a greater degree. In theory, increasing heart rate could provide more oxygen for fat oxidation (burning fat), but this is truly just a theory. Very few studies have examined the effects of Theobromine on weight loss, and those that have, have studied the effects in conjunction with other stimulants such as caffeine and syneprhine. While it appears doubtful that Theobromine would have a meaningful fat-burning effect on its own, it is possible that it may contribute to the overall effect when combined with the other stimulants present in the LipoRush formula.

YOHIMBE EXTRACT

The primary active component of Yohimbe (Pausinystalia Yohimbe) is Yohimbine, which acts as an alpha-2 receptor antagonist, meaning it inhibits the receptor responsible for blocking lipolysis. By blocking the action of this receptor Yohimbine allows for more lipolysis to occur. A 2006 study showed that while there were no increases in strength, supplementation induced fat loss in athletes (soccer players). As previously stated, Yohimbine directly acts on alpha-2 receptor, but its fat loss capabilities may also be magnified by its ability to increase the catecholamine neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline which in turn induce lipolysis. However, its ability to increase catcholamines may degrade fairly quickly (a few weeks), so for Yohimbine to be truly effective as a weight-loss agent, it must be combined with something that activates the beta-adrenergic receptors in the first place (i.e. caffeine and other stimulants or exercise).

RAUWOLSCINE

Rauwolscine (also known as alpha-yohimbine) is what is known as a ‘stereoisomer’ of yohimbine, meaning it is chemically similar in structure. Because of this similarity, Rauwolscine produces similar effects, although perhaps to a milder degree. It is common for supplement companies to include both Rauwolscine and Yohimbine together since both compounds are naturally present in certain plants (Yohimbe).

DANDELION

Taraxacum Officinale, also known as Dandelion, has a long history of use in alternative medicine as a diuretic. A 1993 study published in “Pharmaceutical Biology” pointed to the high potassium content as a possible reason for the diuretic of effect, though various compounds have been isolated and alleged to contribute to this effect. A 2009 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that supplementation with Dandelion Extract caused more frequent urination in subjects, but a specific mechanism of action was not identified. Ultimately, while water certainly contributes to bodyweight, we do not view long term dehydration as a viable way to lose weight, and would caution users of diuretics to keep in mind that water is essential to health. Excess fat is what individuals looking to lose weight should focus on eliminating in the long-term.

UVA URSI

Uva Ursi Leaf is used in folk medicine for the treatment of urinary tract infections. The active chemical compound in the plant is a glycoside known as Arbutin, which has diuretic as well as astringent properties. While the diuretic effect of Arbutin may interest those looking to lose water weight, it is worth mentioning that Arbutin converts to Hydroquinone, a potentially toxic compound. While there is some evidence to suggest Hydroquinone may be carcinogenic, the evidence is not overwhelming enough for the FDA to ban products that contain Arbutin. The amount of Arbutin present in the LipoRush formula is likely insignificant compared to what has demonstrated these potentially harmful effects in animal studies, but individuals consuming other Uva Ursi/Arbutin containing products should be aware of the potential hazards.

GUM GUGGUL

Guggul contains what are known as guggulsterone, which have been investigated in regards to thyroid function and weight loss. In rats, supplementation at about 10mg/kg has been shown to increase iodine uptake and increase thyroid function. However, no human studies have confirmed these effects. Furthermore, as mentioned above, the connection between thyroid function and weight loss is much more complex than supplement companies would have you believe. Manipulation your thyroid function without properly understanding the potential consequences is risky to say the least. That being said, the amount of guggulsterone present in the LipoRush formula is likely insufficient to produce noticeable effects (or side-effects).

L-CARNITINE COMPLEX

L-Carnitine, in various forms, has been touted as a weight loss supplement by dozens of supplement companies over the years. It is well established that carnitine is involved in fatty acid metabolism (burning fat for fuel), but human studies have failed to prove that supplemental carnitine has any effect on weight loss. There are certain theoretical mechanisms of action by which carnitine supplementation could/should result in weight loss, but just isn’t any evidence to back these claims up. Several studies involving rats have come up short, as well as a 2000 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition which found that carnitine supplementation had no weight loss effect in moderately obese women. So, while there is too much doubt surrounding Carnitine as a weight loss supplement, several studies have shown that Carnitine can reduce muscle damage and thus speed up recovery from exercise. Why Carnitine is included in the “Water/Shred Blend” we’re not quite sure.

GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA

Glycyrrhiza glabra, also known as Chinese Licorice, is used throughout traditional Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments from indigestion to cognitive impairment. However, unlike the other herbs present in the LipoRush formula, there are virtually no studies upon which to draw inferences. NDS claims the benefits of Glycyrrhiza glabra pertain to adrenal signaling, though they don’t provide any supporting evidence. Given the low dose present in the formula combined with the lack of explanation, it appears Glycyrrhiza glabra is not of any particular importance and therefore should be disregarded for the purpose of determining the overall efficacy of LipoRush.

ASHWAGANDHA

Ashwagandha is an herb whose popularity transcends traditional Indian medicine and is now marketed by mainstream supplement companies, with most claims pertaining to its adaptogenic properties. A 2006 study, the subjects of which were rats, noted that supplementation of 100mg/kg Ashwagandha extract completely attenuated increased cortisol resulting from stress. A 2008 study noted an approximately 15% reduction in cortisol levels of human subjects consuming 250mg-500mg of Ashwagandha extract daily for 60 days. These results were replicated in a 2012 study, published in the “Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine”, in which subjects consuming 300mg Ashwagandha extract for 60 days experienced a 27% decline in cortisol. Several studies, mostly in animals, have noted some sort of cognitive benefit/neuroprotection at various doses of Ashwaganda but degree of efficacy and mechanisms of action remain unknown. Furthermore, the dose of Ashwagandha present in the LipoRush formula is likely negligible, considering it is listed second in a blend of 50mg.

RHODIOLA ROSEA

Rhodiola Rosea is yet another adaptogenic herb with a similar level of popularity as Ashwagandha in the mainstream supplement market where it too is marketed for a variety of alleged benefits. Various studies have noted cognition/memory related benefits. Most recently, a 2013 study, published in the “Central European Journal of Medicine”, found that Rhodiola Rosea supplementation effectively intenuated the memory-impairing effects of Scopolamine. Unfortunately, the cognitive effects of Rhodiola Rosea have not been studied in-depth in human subjects at this time. The alleged mechanisms of action are via monoamine oxidase inhibition, which would theoretically allow for increased levels of the adrenaline and noradrenaline.

L-GLUTAMINE

Glutamine has shown a lot of promise when it comes to fighting exercise induced immune system suppression. While it is true that our immune systems ultimately benefit from regular exercise, in the short-term, exercise actually temporarily lowers our immune defenses, thus making us more susceptible to infection during that time-frame. This temporary compromise of the immune system has been proven to correlate with lower levels of glutamine. For this reason, it is suggested that increased uptake of glutamine may help keep the immune system strong post-exercise. In addition, lower glutamine levels have been recorded in over-trained athletes, suggesting that higher levels of glutamine may help to prevent overtraining. However, the amount of Glutamine present in the LipoRush formula is ineffective and will not convey any of the above mentioned benefits to a meaningful degree.

BCAAs

While Leucine appears to be the most important BCAA in regards to muscle protein synthesis, a 2009 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that BCAAs (2:1:1) have a more pronounced effect on protein synthesis than the same amount of Leucine alone.

A 2004 study conducted by the American Society for Nutritional Sciences found that BCAA requirement was significantly increased by exercise and that supplementation had “beneficial effects for decreasing exercise-induced muscle damage and promoting muscle-protein synthesis”. A second study, published in the “American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism”, found that, while BCAA intake did not seem to affect amino acid concentration during exercise, it did have a protein-sparing effect during recovery. If you consume a diet rich in complete proteins, then you already receive enough dietary BCAAs to fulfill all normal physiological functions.

However, this IN NO WAY means you cannot derive added benefit from supplementing with BCAAs. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition tested the effects of BCAA supplementation in comparison to whey protein supplementation or simple carbohydrates (from a sports drink) in athletes. All subjects consumed the same diet and participated in the same physical training regimen. At the end of the 8 week study, the BCAA group significantly outperformed both the whey group and carbohydrate group in terms of lean body mass as well as strength.

Results like these make us question whether skeptics of BCAAs have even bothered to read the literature. There is more than enough evidence to conclude that BCAA supplementation can have a significant anabolic effect in both protein deficient AND non-protein deficient humans. However, the LipoRush formula contains nowhere near an effective amount of BCAAs to convey any of the above mentioned benefits. At only 50 grams between Glutamine, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, the inclusion of BCAAs is meaningless.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, while the net effect of this combination of ingredients would likely be fat-loss, the same efficacy could be obtained through supplementation with a purely stimulant-based fat-burner. At about $1.33, LipoRush is priced about average for fat-burners in general, but above significantly above average relative to purely stimulant-based fat-burners with similar ingredient profiles.

Still don’t know which fat-burner is right for you?  Check out our Top 10 Fat-Burners List!

Supplement Facts

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