Reviews

Nubreed Phantom Review

Phantom is Nubreed Nutrition’s stimulant-free weight loss supplement which contains several ingredients capable of encouraging weight-loss as well a few that are questionable…

Nubreed Phantom

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PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE

Carnitine is an amino acid that is heavily involved with the metabolism of fat for energy. It is required for the proper transport of fatty acids in the mitochondria to be burned, and Carnitine deficiency has been shown to hinder fat-burning capacity. Based on this relationship, it has often been suggested that supplemental Carnitine may increase the rate at which fatty acids are burned and ultimately facilitate weight loss.

A 2002 study, published in “Metabolism”, found that Carnitine supplementation (1g/day) increased fatty acid oxidation rates in humans without Carnitine deficiency. A 2004 study from the same journal found that L-Carnitine supplementation (3g/day) increased fatty acid oxidation in overweight subjects while having no effect on protein synthesis or breakdown.

However, a 2005 study, published in the “International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research”, found that Carnitine supplementation failed to influence weight-loss in rats. The results of this study were in-line with an earlier (2002) study in which L-Carnitine supplementation (4g/day) failed to influence fat mass, body mass, or resting lipid utilization in moderately obese women.

A more recent (2010) study found that Carnitine supplementation did favorably influence fatty acid utilization in rats, but this study did not measure fat mass post-supplementation.

Carnitine certainly has mechanisms by which it “should” burn fat, but in practice, the results haven’t been overly encouraging. Propionyl-L-Carnitine, the form that Nubreed elected to use for Phantom, has been shown to be more potent at inducing Nitric Oxide related effects, but its unclear whether it is superior at influencing fatty acid utilization.

Phantom contains an undisclosed dose of Carnitine, but given an 800mg proprietary blend, we’d estimate anywhere from 200-400mg per serving.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT

The fat loss potential of Green Tea extract has been known for some time, but it was originally thought to be primarily due to the Caffeine content. However, more research points to the catechin known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as the compound primarily responsible for these effects.

A 2009 study, published in “The Journal of Nutrition”, found that subjects consuming 625mg Green Tea Catechins (EGCG) alongside 40mg Caffeine paired with exercise lost an average of 2.2kg (4.8lbs) compared to the subjects in the control group (consuming just Caffeine), who lost an average of 1kg (2.2lbs). These findings were corroborated by a 2009 meta-analysis, published in the “International Journal of Obesity”, which concluded that Green Tea extract tended to cause about 1.2kg (2.6lbs) reduction in bodyweight, and that effects could be amplified with Caffeine in non-caffeine tolerant individuals.

EGCG can effectively block Catechol-o-Methyl Transferase (COMT), the enzyme responsible for the degradation of Catcholamines such as Noradrenaline. The result is an indirect increase in Noradrenaline, a potent lipolysis-inducing neurotransmitter. So, while EGCG is not likely to induce noticeable weight-loss alone, when combined with Caffeine or other Noradrenaline-releasing stimulants, it can be quite synergistic. Most of the efficacy has been demonstrated using doses of 400-500mg EGCG daily, and the less caffeine-tolerant the individual, the better. Nubreed does not disclose the exact dose of Green Tea Extract, nor the EGCG standardization, of Phantom, but we estimate 150-250mg per serving, in which case three servings a day may yield an effective dose.

ALPHA LIPOIC ACID

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a potent anti-oxidant with wide variety of health implications, but for the purpose of this review we will focus on its potential for weight loss.

A 2009 study from the “Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry” found that ALA supplementation significantly decreased appetite in rats fed a high-fat diet, resulting in less weight gain than rats fed the same diet without ALA. These results indicate that ALA may be able to influence weight-loss beyond appetite suppression.

However, another 2009 study (using similar methods as the first one) noted that the weight-loss in the ALA group was not significantly different than the group who consumed the same diet without ALA, indicating that reduced appetite was the predominant reason for weight loss. Furthermore, a 2011 study, published in the “American Journal of Medicine” found that obese individuals who consumed 1800mg of ALA daily for 20 weeks experienced moderate weight loss compared to the control group.

Needless to say, Phantom doesn’t contain quite as much ALA as were used in the above mentioned studies, but ALA is inherently a pro-weight-loss compound. Therefore, at whatever dose is present in the Phantom formula, it may provide some degree of benefit.

GUGGULSTERONE Z&E 95%

Guggulsterone has been investigated primarily 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, the dose used in these studies is much higher than what is commonly ingested in the form of herbal supplements. Nubreed does not list the exact dose of Guggulsterone, but it’s a safe bet that Phantom contains less than the 10mg/kg dose used in the above-mentioned study.

CAYENNE (80,000 HU)

Cayenne has become a relatively popular fat-burner additive which is generally standardized for the active compound, Capsaicin. Capsaicin has been shown to increase lipolysis (fat burning) in rats as well as humans. A 2007 study noted an increase in fat oxidation (relative to placebo) during low intensity exercise in healthy adult males who consumed 150mg of capsaicin one hour before exercise. These findings make capsaicin of interest to those looking to decrease fat without the use of stimulants and, while some supplement companies certainly overstate the efficacy of Capsaicin as it pertains to weight loss, all studies certainly indicate fat burning potential.

Generally speaking, Cayenne tends to be standardized to about 40,000 HU, but Nubreed lists this particular form at 80,000 HU, meaning a smaller dose may go further.

ZINGIBER OFFICINALE

Ginger is a very common household digestive aid, commonly prescribed by loving mothers for stomach problems. However, a 2012 pilot study from “Metabolism” found that 2 grams of Ginger consumed with a meal increased caloric expenditure for several hours following the meal in overweight men. Ginger has also been shown to increase Insulin secretion via acting as a serotonin receptor antagonist (serotonin normally suppresses insulin to some degree) in mice, though a human study using 1 gram of Ginger failed to replicate this results.

Ginger is inherently pro-fat-loss, but the dose of Ginger present in the Phantom formula likely isn’t enough to convey extremely any noticeable benefits (but may contribute to the overall effect).

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. There is some evidence to suggest Hydroquinone may be carcinogenic, though the evidence is not overwhelming enough for the FDA to ban products that contain Arbutin. The amount of Arbutin present in the Phantom formula is likely insignificant as far as causing any actual harm, nor are the diuretic effects caused by it likely to be particularly significant (a good thing in our opinion).

3,5 DIIODOTHYRONINE

3,5 diiodothyronine, also known as T2, is one of the primary Thyroid Hormones which, until recently, was thought to be relatively inactive compared to the others. However, recent research indicates that T2 can influence Thyroid signaling, though perhaps to a less potent degree than the other Thyroid Hormones. For individuals with a healthy functioning Thyroid, 3,5 diiodothyronine supplementation likely won’t induce any considerable changes with regards to bodyweight. On the other hand, individuals with low levels of Thyroid hormones which may be causing weight-gain, or preventing weight-loss, may benefit.

EVODIAMINE

Evodiamine is a pungent plant extract which appears to mimic the thermogenic effects of Capsaicin in rats. However, no human studies have been published at this time testing the effects of the extract on humans. Due to this lack of research, its tough to gauge the exact efficacy of a given dose of Eviodiamine but, in the context of Phantom, it may verywell contribute to the thermogenic effects of Capsaicin and Ginger.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Phantom contains several non-stimulant weight-loss agents some of which, given the right dose and conditions, can be moderately effective for weight-loss. Nubreed doesn’t disclose the exact dose of any of the ingredients, but given a proprietary blend of 800mg, three servings a day may yield moderately effective doses.

Still not sure which weight-loss supplement is right for you?  Check out our best fat burners list.

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