Reviews

Legion Phoenix Review

Phoenix is Legion’s fat-burner, and just so happens to be one of the most effective fat-burners we’ve come across. Just like Legion’s pre-workout Pulse, Phoenix contains clinically validated ingredients at clinically effective doses, and utilizes a fully transparent label…

Legion Phoenix

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Naringin

Naringin is a polyphenol commonly found in Grapefruits and some other citrus fruits. A 2008 study from “Phytotherapy Research” found that Naringin was able to stimulate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) activity in vitro, a mechanism which can induce fat-loss via the release of Adiponectin (a protein which facilitates the breakdown of fat). These results lend credibility to the already established notion that Naringin is one of the main polyphenols responsible for the weight-loss benefits of Grapefruit, noted in several studies. Phoenix contains 600mg of Naringin, a highly effective dose which may potentiate the effects of Hesperedin and Synephrine (also found in Phoenix formula).

EGCG

Multiple studies have confirmed Green Tea Extract can influence fat-loss to a statistically significant degree. Although this effect was originally thought to be related to caffeine content, more recent research has pointed to a green tea 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.

Further research has revealed that 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 which induces lipolysis. 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.

Phoenix contains a highly effective 400mg dose of EGCG, eliminating the need for multiple servings per day.

5-HTP

5-HTP is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Serotonin which, unlike Tryptophan (also a precursor), can effectively cross the blood-brain-barrier and convert into Serotonin. Despite a few positive studies from the late 80s/early 90s demonstrating that 5-HTP can suppress appetite, it is rarely used in weight-loss supplements these days.

A 1989 study, published in the “Journal of Neural Transmission”, found that 5-HTP (8mg/kg) reduced appetite and food intake, resulting in weight loss over a 5 week period in obese female subjects. These findings were replicated in a 1992 study from the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” using 900mg/day, and again in a 1998 study, published in the “International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders”, using 750mg/day. The primary mechanism of action is via increasing satiety, that is, the feeling of fullness resulting from food intake. Legion has included 150mg of 5-HTP in the Phoenix formula which is less than what was used in all three studies, but may suppress appetite to some degree.

Tyrosine

Tyrosine is an amino acid which acts as a precursor to the Catecholamine neurotransmitters, Dopamine and Noradrenaline. Tyrosine is generally used to attenuate depletion of these neurotransmitters during exercise, but Legion has included it in the Phoenix formula because 5-HTP supplementation tends to deplete these neurotransmitters (regardless of exercise). Tyrosine simply serves as a way to maintain balance among neurotransmitters in the brain. Phoenix contains 150mg of Tyrosine, the same dose as 5-HTP.

White Willow Bark

White Willow Bark contains Salicin which, upon ingestion, is metabolized into Salicylic Acid, the same compound behind the analgesic/anti-inflammatory properties of Aspirin. While Salicin has no clear implications for weight-loss on its own, it has been shown to enhance the effects of Ephedrine (and Ephedrine-like compounds such as Synephrine). The mechanism of action here is via inhibition of prostaglandins, hormone-like molecules which tend to normalize the metabolic effects of beta-agonists like Ephedrine, rendering them less effective.

Salicin/Salicylic Acid was shown to potentiate the effects of Ephedrine (in mice) in a 1987 study, published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, as well as a 1993 study from the “International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders”. Phoenix contains 120mg of Salicin from White Willow Bark Extract.

Hesperidin

Hesperedin, similar to Narangin, is a polyphenol commonly found in citrus fruit. A 2008 study from “Phytotherapy Research” found that Hesperedin was able to stimulate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) activity, in vitro. Stimulation of PPAR receptors is generally associated with the release of adiponectin, a protein involved in the breakdown of fat. A later (2012) study noted that injections of Hesperedin in the stomachs of rats stimulated brown adipose tissue, generally indicative of an increase in metabolic rate. Although this study used injections, the dose used was within the practical limits of oral consumption. Phoenix contains 100mg of Hesperedin per serving which, when combined with Narangin and Synephrine, may certainly contribute to the overall fat-burning capacity of the formula.

Synephrine

Synephrine is a compound commonly isolated from Bitter Orange, which is similar in chemical structure (and function) to Ephedrine. It acts as a beta-receptor agonist, directly inducing lipolysis and allowing for more fat-burning than would otherwise normally occur.

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. Legion has included the exact dose, 50mg, used in this study in the Phoenix formula, adding a safe (but effective) stimulant fat-burner. The effects of Synephrine may be further enhanced be Hesperedin and Narangin.

Combination of Synephrine, Hesperidin, and Naringin

A 2011 study, published in the “International Journal of Medical Sciences”, found that, while Synephrine alone (50mg) was able to achieve a 65kcal increase in resting metabolic rate (RMR), the combination of Naringin (600mg) and Synephrine (still 50mg) resulted in an RMR increase of 129kcal. Furthermore, the addition of 100mg Hesperedin to that combination elevated RMR by 183kcal. Legion has done their homework on this one, and is the first fat-loss supplement we’ve seen to include precise doses of each of these three ingredients, completely consistent with those used in the above-mentioned study.

Forskolin

Forskolin, the active compound present in Coleus Forskohlii, has been demonstrated to increase Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP), the result of which is an increase in the rate of fat-loss.

A 2005 study, published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition”, found that 50mg daily (two 25mg doses) for 12 weeks was able to prevent weight gain compared to the control group in overweight women. Another 2005 study found that the same dose (25mg twice daily) was able to favorably influence body composition (i.e. less fat, more lean mass), which corresponded with an increase in Testosterone over 12 weeks. A more recent 2011 study noted a roughly 2.5% decrease in BMI after 2 months of supplementation.

Forskohlin is one of the most effective non-stimulant fat-burners on its own, and can potentially amplify the effects of other fat-burning compounds. Phoenix contains a highly effective 50mg dose of Forskohlin per serving, the same dose demonstrated to induce weight-loss in the above-mentioned studies.

Hordenine

Despite its escalating popularity in pre-workout and weight-loss supplements, Hordenine remains very under-researched. In vitro and animal studies indicate that its primary mechanism of action is via Momoamine Oxidase inhibition, with oral doses being shown to augment Noradrenaline-induced muscle contraction while not directly inducing contractions itself. So, rather than acting as a stand-alone stimulant, Hordenine can amplify/extend the effects of other stimulants by blocking the reuptake of Noradrenaline (and other Monoamines). By blocking its reuptake, Hordenine allows more Noradrenaline to remain in the synaptic space, ultimately extending/augmenting its lipolytic effects. Phoenix contains 25mg of Hordenine per serving.

The Bottom Line

Phoenix is, without a doubt, one of the most well-formulated, comprehensive fat-burners out there and has a surprisingly strong safety profile due to the only stimulant being Synephrine. What makes Phoenix particularly effective is that the key ingredients are all, for the most part, clinically dosed and exactly in-line with what has demonstrated efficacy in studies. This takes the guess work completely out of the equation and adds an element of certainty that is generally lacking with most fat-burners.

Still not sure which fat-burner is right for you? Take a look at our Top 10 Fat-Burners List!

References

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  4. Thielecke, Frank, et al. “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate and postprandial fat oxidation in overweight/obese male volunteers: a pilot study.” European journal of clinical nutrition 64.7 (2010): 704-713.
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  16. Stohs, Sidney J., et al. “Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes.” International journal of medical sciences 8.4 (2011): 295.
  17. Henderson, Shonteh, et al. “Effects of coleus forskohlii supplementation on body composition and hematological profiles in mildly overweight women.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2.2 (2005): 54-62.
  18. Godard, Michael P., Brad A. Johnson, and Scott R. Richmond. “Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men.” Obesity Research 13.8 (2005): 1335-1343.
  19. Jagtap, Madhavi, H. M. Chandola, and B. Ravishankar. “Clinical efficacy of Coleus forskohlii (Willd.) Briq.(Makandi) in hypertension of geriatric population.”Ayu 32.1 (2011): 59.
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