Phenbuterol is the most recent fat-burner from MuscleMeds which contains a variety of stimulants and features Grains of Paradise extract as a key ingredient…
Caffeine triggers the release of Catecholamines (i.e. Noradrenaline, Adrenaline, Dopamine) which, in addition to enhancing focus and alertness, are inherently pro-lipolytic. Unfortunately, habitual Caffeine consumption tends to lead to tolerance, making it less and less effective as time goes on. Still, when combined with other stimulants (Synphrine, Rauwolscine, etc.), Caffeine may certainly help trigger lipolysis and ultimately, fat-burning. The exact does of Caffeine present in the Phenbuterol blend is undisclosed, but given that the formula also features Yerba Mate (another source of Caffeine), there is likely a significant dose (300-400mg).
Ilex paraguariensis, also known as Yerba Mate, is generally standardized for Caffeine content, but also contains compounds such as Quercetin and Ursolic Acid. A 1999 study from “Phytomedicine” found that 1.5g Yerba Mate had no influence on the metabolic rate of human subjects, but there was a decrease in respiratory quotient which is indicative of using more fatty acids for energy as opposed to glucose. However, given that this mild effect on fatty acid utilization is consistent with Caffeine consumption as well, any weight-loss effect can be attributed to Caffeine. In other words, Yerba Mate is simply another form of Caffeine, so in the context of Phenbuterol, it may contribute to increased energy and possibly lipolysis.
Advantra Z is a patented form of Bitter Orange Extract which is generally standardized for Synephrine (in this case 30%), but also contains several other alkaloids including N-Methyl-Tyramine, Hordenine, Octopamine, and Tyramine. Though all of these compounds have certain mechanisms by which they can induce lipolysis and ultimately contribute to weight-loss, Synephrine is the most well established so far.
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.
N-Methyl-Tyramine, Hordenine, and Tyramine share a similar mechanism of action in that they can inhibit the reuptake of monoamines (specifically Noradrenaline), thereby amplifying and/or extending the effects of Noradrenaline releasing stimulants such as Caffeine. Unfortunately, it’s tough to gauge the true efficacy of these compounds for two reasons. One, we don’t know the amount present in Advantra Z (because its only standardized specifically for Synephrine) and two, there are no human studies, just in vitro studies.
Overall, Advantra is certainly a key ingredient in Phenbuterol, and is responsible for the majority of the fat-burning potential.
GRAINS OF PARADISE
Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) is an herb similar to Ginger and contains a few of the same bioactive compounds. Like Ginger, Grains of Paradise has some implications for increasing metabolic rate, though this has only been the subject of one human study. A 2013 study, published in the “British Journal of Nutrition”, tested the effects of Grains of Paradise extract (containing several bioactives including 6-gingerol and 6-paradol) on Brown Adipose Tissue (induced by cold exposure therapy) in healthy human subjects . The primary function of Brown Adipose Tissue in all mammals is to turn food into heat, so it is generally activated by certain stressors such as cold exposure or calorie restriction. In this particular study, 12 of the 19 volunteers were determined to have significant Brown Adipose Tissue while 7 did not. The Brown Adipose Tissue positive subjects experienced an increase in the metabolic rate compared to the Brown Adipose Tissue negative subjects (in response to cold exposure), indicating the Grains of Paradise Extract was able to increase Metabolic Rate via activation of Brown Adipose Tissue.
These findings makes the extract of particular interest to those looking to lose weight through dieting, as it may very well encourage extra fat-burning during calorie restriction. While the inclusion of Grains of Paradise certainly helps to differentiate the Phenbuterol formula from other fat-burners with “would be” similar profiles, due to the lack of transparency, we have no idea how much is present.
Rauwolfia Serpentina is generally standardized for Rauwolscine (also known as alpha-yohimbine) which is a ‘stereoisomer’ of Yohimbine, meaning it is chemically similar in structure. Like Yohimbine, Rauwolscine is an Alpha Receptor Antagonist, meaning it blocks the receptors responsible for blocking lipolysis. By blocking these receptors, Rauwolscine is able to potentiate the effects of other stimulant fat-burners and allow more fat-burning than would normally occur from exercise alone. However, since Rauwolscine generally appears alongside Yohimbine, it hasn’t been studied much in isolation, and an optimal (effective) dose has not yet been established. Phenbuterol likely contains 1-3mg which would be consistent with other Rauwolscine-containing fat-burners.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Phenbuterol is a relatively concise blend of some standard fat-burning ingredients, but the inclusion of Grains of Paradise helps to differentiate it from other formulas with otherwise similar profiles. Unfortunatly, as mentioned above, it’s tough to gauge the efficacy of Grains of Paradise in the Phenbuterol formula because we don’t know the dose. Phenbuterol is a once daily formula, but the downside to a once daily stimulant blend is that the energizing effect will likely wear off. Most fat-burners we come across recommend multiple daily doses, which helps to spread the effects evenly.
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