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Cutler Nutrition Pro Stim Review

Pro Stim

Pro Stim is Cutler Nutrition’s stimulant-fueled fat-burner which contains several stims that have appeared in other BPI Sports products (Cutler Nutrition is a BPI brand)…

 

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Pro Stim is Cutler Nutrition’s stimulant-fueled fat-burner which contains several stims that have appeared in other BPI Sports products (Cutler Nutrition is a BPI brand)…[Skip to the Bottom Line]

CAFFEINE:

Caffeine generally serves a key ingredient in stimulant-based fat-burners because of its ability to release Catecholamines (Noradrenaline, Dopamine, etc.), which induce lipolysis (fat-breakdown). Although this mechanism can certainly burn fat in the short-term, prolonged Caffeine consumption (by itself) generally results in tolerance build-up so the effects become less potent over time. This was demonstrated in a 1992 study in which 24 weeks of Caffeine intake (200mg/day) failed to induce weight-loss in humans. For this reason, for Caffeine to be an effective fat-loss agent, it must be combined with other stimulants such as Synephrine.

Like most of the Cutler Nutrition products, the lack of transparency makes it difficult to determine the level of each ingredient and the Caffeine content of Pro Stim is not exception. Given a proprietary blend of 520mg, we’d estimate the Caffeine content of Pro Stim to be between 200 and 300mg.
GARCINIA CAMBOGIA EXTRACT:
The primary bioactive in Garcinia Cambogia is Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), which is alleged to reduce body weight via inhibition of ATP Citrate Lysase, an enzyme required for the synthesis of fatty acids from carbohydrates (de novo lipogenisis). Theoretically speaking, blocking this enzyme would essentially stop excess carbs from being stored as fat. While inhibition of ATP Citrate Lysase has resulted in weight-loss in rodents, the implications for humans are less promising, because de novo lipogenesis occurs less in humans than rodents. Garcinia Cambogia has produced mixed results in humans.

A 1998 placebo controlled study found that 1500mg HCA daily failed to reduce bodyweight to a significantly greater degree than the placebo group.

A 2000 study, published in “Physiology & Behavior”, found that Garcinia Cambogia (1200mg HCA daily) significantly reduced bodyweight over a 12 week period compared to the placebo group.

However, a 2011 study found that 10 weeks of supplementation with 2 grams Garcinia Cambogia Extract (60% HCA) failed to reduce weight in overweight subjects, compared to placebo group.

So out of the human studies, 2 have failed and 1 has demonstrated efficacy using the same dose as one of the failed studies. Clearly these results are difficult to interpret, and there are no valid explanations for this discrepancy at this time.

Because of the popularity Garcinia Cambogia has gained in recent years as a potential weight-loss agent, several reviews have been done which have sought to determine its efficacy based on the evidence. Every review (and there have been at least four) has concluded that, while Garcinia Cambogia may be effective in rodents, this effect does not carry over to humans. While we aren’t so quick to dismiss Garcinia Cambogia, we are inclined to agree that, when looking at all the research, it doesn’t appear to be very effective in humans.

Given a 520mg proprietary blend, it is undeniable that Pro Stim contains far less than what was shown to be effective in the only positive study (discussed above). For that reason, we’d consider Garcinia Cambogia a pretty unimportant ingredient in the Pro Stim formula that doesn’t really convey and weight-loss benefit on its own, or in combination with the other (mostly stimulant) ingredients.

ILEX PARAGUARIENSIS:

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 Pro Stim, it may contribute to increased energy and possibly lipolysis.

PLUMBAGO ZEYLANICA:

Plumbago zeylanica is an Ayurvedic herb with a somewhat documented history of use as a vitality-booster and possible aphrodisiac. However, in the context of Pro Stim, it’s safe to assume that Cutler Nutrition is primarily concerned with preliminary research which indicates the herb has stimulant properties.

A 2001 study, published in “Phytotherapy Research”, found that Plumbago zeylanica extract has clear Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant action in rats, with the mechanism of action appearing Dopamine-related.

The weight-loss potential of Plumbago zeylanica is unknown, though given its stimulant properties, it may certainly influence lipolysis in some way. Unfortunately, until human research is conducted, we won’t know the degree of efficacy (if there is any efficacy at all).

PSORALEA CORYLIFOLIA:

A 2008 in vitro study from “Biochemical Pharmacology” found that alkaloids from Psoralea corylifolia showed catecholamine (Dopamine, Nordarenaline, Adrenaline) reuptake inhibition properties. These findings reinforce the hypothesized mechanism of action from an earlier (2007) study from the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” in which injections of Psoralea corylifolia induced locomotion in rats.

Currently, no human studies exists but given that Psoralea corylifolia appears to inhibit Catecholamine reuptake at relatively low doses (in vitro), the stimulant effects may be relevant following oral consumption of the extract. Although Cutler Nutrition doesn’t disclose the exact dose of Psoralea corylifolia in the Pro Stim blend, an optimal dose has not yet been established (due to lack of human research), so it would be impossible to interpret anyway. For reference purposes, BPI Sports also makes use of Psoralea corylifolia in such formulas as 1.M.R. Vortex and Pump HD.

PAUSINYSTALIA YOHIMBE:

Pausinystalia yohimbe contains Yohimbine, 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 than would otherwise be possible from exercise.

A 2006 study, published in “Research in Sports Medicine”, found that Yohimbine supplementation (20mg/day) induced relatively significant fat loss in athletes (soccer players). These results conflicted somewhat with those of an earlier (1991) study from the “International Journal of Obesity” in which Obese men did not benefit from long-term Yohimbine supplementation. However, the obvious difference between these two studies was that in the failed study the subjects did not exercise.

As previously stated, Yohimbine directly acts on alpha-2 receptor so for it to be truly effective as a weight-loss agent, it must be combined with something that activates the fat-burning process in the first place (i.e. stimulants or exercise). Cutler Nutrition does not disclose the amount of Yohimbe or the standardization (%) for Yohimbine content, so it’s tough to gauage the efficacy in the context of Pro Stim. However, it generally only takes a few mg for Yohimbine to magnify the fat-burning effects of other stimulants, so there is no reason to suspect a less than effective dose here.

COLA ACUMINATA:

Cola acuminata is an African fruit which contains, among other things, Caffeine. Traditionally, the fruit is modified in some way (ground, pounded, chewed, etc.) to convey the cognitive benefits. Cutler Nutrition has opted to use Cola acuminate seeds, the benefit of which is essentially the same as the Caffeine Anhydrous also found in the Pro Stim formula.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

With the exception of Garcinia Cambogia, every ingredient in the Pro Stim formula is a stimulant. Considering that the dose of Garcinia Cambogia is too low to be even potentially effective, all of weight-loss potential is stimulant-dependent. While a few of these ingredients have nothing more than preliminary evidence backing them, the combination of Caffeine and Yohimbine alone is enough to guarantee some fat-loss (when combined with exercise). Whether or not individuals respond well to Pro Stim would primarily depend on stimulant-sensitivity and level of exercise.

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REFERENCES
  1. Bopaiah, C. P., and N. Pradhan. “Central nervous system stimulatory action from the root extract of Plumbago zeylanica in rats.” Phytotherapy Research15.2 (2001): 153-156.
  2. Zhao, Gang, et al. “Bakuchiol analogs inhibit monoamine transporters and regulate monoaminergic functions.” Biochemical pharmacology 75.9 (2008): 1835-1847.
  3. Zhao, Gang, et al. “Inhibitive effects of Fructus Psoraleae extract on dopamine transporter and noradrenaline transporter.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 112.3 (2007): 498-506.
  4. Acheson, K. J., et al. “Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 33.5 (1980): 989-997.
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  6. Heymsfield, Steven B., et al. “Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial.” Jama 280.18 (1998): 1596-1600.
  7. Egras, Amy M., et al. “An evidence-based review of fat modifying supplemental weight loss products.” Journal of obesity 2011 (2010).
  8. Watson, John A., and John M. Lowenstein. “Citrate and the Conversion of Carbohydrate into Fat FATTY ACID SYNTHESIS BY A COMBINATION OF CYTOPLASM AND MITOCHONDRIA.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 245.22 (1970): 5993-6002.
  9. Kim, Ji-Eun, et al. “Does Glycine max leaves or Garcinia Cambogia promote weight-loss or lower plasma cholesterol in overweight individuals: a randomized control trial.” Nutrition journal 10.1 (2011): 94.
  10. Mattes, Richard D., and Leslie Bormann. “Effects of (−)-hydroxycitric acid on appetitive variables.” Physiology & behavior 71.1 (2000): 87-94.
  11. Egras, Amy M., et al. “An evidence-based review of fat modifying supplemental weight loss products.” Journal of obesity 2011 (2010).
  12. Lowenstein, John M. “Effect of (—)-hydroxycitrate on fatty acid synthesis by rat liver in vivo.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 246.3 (1971): 629-632.
  13. Martinet, A., K. Hostettmann, and Y. Schutz. “Thermogenic effects of commercially available plant preparations aimed at treating human obesity.”Phytomedicine 6.4 (1999): 231-238.
  14. Ostojic, Sergej M. “Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players.” Research in Sports Medicine 14.4 (2006): 289-299.
  15. Sax, L. “Yohimbine does not affect fat distribution in men.” International journal of obesity 15.9 (1991): 561-565.
  16. Gurguis, George NM, Bernard J. Vitton, and Thomas W. Uhde. “Behavioral, sympathetic and adrenocortical responses to yohimbine in panic disorder patients and normal controls.” Psychiatry research 71.1 (1997): 27-39.

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