Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder is Inner Armour’s powder-form fat-burner. The ingredient profile is pretty straight-forward and should look familiar to anyone who has experience with fat-burners…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
GREEN COFFEE EXTRACT:
Green Coffee Extract is generally standardized for the active component, Chlorogenic Acid, which has demonstrated to be moderately effective for weight-loss in humans throughout multiple studies.
A 2010 study from “Food and Chemical Toxicology” found multiple anti-obesity effects of Chlorogenic Acid administered to mice including increase beta-oxidations (fat-burning). While this increase in fat-burning may have been partially responsible for the significant weight-loss noted in rodents, Chlorogenic Acid has an alternative mechanism of action that applied for to humans: Inhibition of carbohydrate absorption.
A 2007 study, published in the “Journal of International Medical Research”, found that 12 weeks of Green Coffee (450-500mg Clorogenic Acid) supplementation resulted in a reduction (6.9%) in glucose absorption in healthy volunteers. Researchers also noted average weight loss of 5.4 kg (almost 12 lbs) over the duration of the study in the group receiving the Green Coffee Extract.
A 2006 study, this time using a smaller dose of Green Coffee Extract (yielding 140mg Chlorogenic Acid), found no such weight-loss benefit over a 12 week period. The obvious difference between these two studies is that the dose of the first (positive) study was about 3 times the dose used in the second (negative) study.
A 2012 study found that adults who consumed GCE (containing about 315mg Chlorogenic Acid) daily lost an average of 8kg with the average reduction in body fat being about 4%.
Though GCE has shown mixed results in various studies, clear efficacy has been demonstrated at high enough doses (at least 300mg Chlorogenic Acid). Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder contains just 200mg of Green Coffee Extract per serving, with an undisclosed level of Chlorogenic Acid. So, multiple servings per day are most likely needed to yield meaningful results.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT (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.
Unfortunately, Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder contains just 50mg of Green Tea Extract per serving, and even if this particular extract was almost entirely EGCG (not likely), at least 6-10 servings would be needed to yield an effective dose, even in combination with Caffeine.
Despite the popularity of Raspberry Ketone, it has never actually demonstrated any efficacy for weight-loss in actual humans and, even in rat studies, has produced lackluster results using massive concentrations.
A 2010 in vitro study found that treatment with Raspberry Ketone increased fatty acid oxidation and lipolysis in adipocytes (fat cells). However, the amount/concentration of RK used in this study is beyond what could practically be consumed in oral supplement form.
A 2005 study, seeking to determine the weight loss effects of raspberry ketone on rats fed a high fat diet, noted dose dependent anti-obesity effects using doses of .5-4 grams/kg. This would roughly correspond to a 150lb person consuming 34-130 grams daily, a highly impractical dose.
In a 2012 study, similar effects were observed in rats, though this time with a focus on fat accumulation in the liver resulting from a high fat diet. The only human study that exists grouped Raspberry Ketone in with several other popular weight-loss ingredients so the effects cannot be attributed to raspberry ketones alone.
On a molecular level, Raspberry Ketone certainly demonstrates anti-obesity effects, but the doses used to achieve these effects are far more than what the average human could practically consume. Furthermore, Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder only contains 50mg per serving, a seriously negligible amount that wouldn’t even make the slightest impact on body fat.
Caffeine triggers the release of Catecholamines (i.e. Noradrenaline, Adrenaline, Dopamine) which, in addition to enhancing focus and alertness, are inherently pro-lipolytic. Although this mechanism can certainly burn fat in the short-term, prolonged Caffeine consumption generally results in tolerance build-up so the effects become less potent over time. However, Caffeine can still increase increase focus and perceived energy resulting in improved workouts as well as amplify the effects of other stimulants. Caffeine is actually the only ingredient in the Shred Factor Thermogenic Factor blend that isn’t under-dosed. With 250mg per serving, users will most likely experience increased alertness and focus, which improve workouts (if taken as a pre-workout).
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, where they are oxidized (burned) for energy through the process known as “beta-oxidation”. Carnitine deficiency has been shown to hinder fat-burning capacity. Because of this integral role in the fat-burning process, Carnitine supplementation is alleged to burn-fat, and while it may certainly help normalize fat-burning capacity, human studies regarding weight loss are mixed.
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, though this study did not measure fat mass post-supplementation.
Unfortunately, while Carnitine does possess the mechanisms necessary to burn excess fat, Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder contains a mere 100mg, not enough to noticeably impact fatty acid utilization. Even 10 times this dose would hardly be sufficient.
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.
With 50mg of Cayenne Pepper per serving, Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder like doesn’t contain enough Capsaicin to favorably impact body weight, but could possibly (slightly) raise metabolic rate and “encourage” excess calorie burn.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder consists of several effective fat-burning compounds, but the formula as a whole is under-dosed. Even at 2-3 servings per day, the true weight-loss potential is pretty limited, with only Green Coffee Extract being dosed somewhat effectively. At about $1 per serving, Shred Factor Thermogenic Powder is pricey compared to similarly dosed formulas we’ve seen. Ultimately, if looking for an effective powder-delivery fat-burner, there are much more effective options out there.
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- Thom, E. “The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people.” Journal of International Medical Research 35.6 (2007): 900-908.
- Vinson, Joe A., Bryan R. Burnham, and Mysore V. Nagendran. “Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects.”Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity: targets and therapy 5 (2012): 21.
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