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EVLution Nutrition Trans4orm Review

Trans4orm is EVLution Nutrition’s stimulant-powered fat-burner, although it does contain some non-stimulant ingredients such as Garcinia Cambogia and Green Coffee Bean Extract…

EVLution Nutrition Trans4orm

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Garcinia Cambogia

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 efficacy does not carry over to humans. While it can’t be conclusively stated that Garcinia Cambogia is worthless as a weight-loss ingredient, the research is just not too encouraging at this point, though many companies still attempt to capitalize off the buzz.

Trans4orm contains 500mg (same dose as Lean Mode) of Garcinia Cambogia (per serving) standardized to (60%) 300mg HCA. In order to achieve a dose in-line with the only positive human study, users would need to consume 5 servings (not realistic because of stim-content), or stack the product with Lean Mode. Even then, it’s unlikely that Garcinia Cambogia would convey and noticeable benefit.

L-Tyrosine

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid (the body can produce it from Phenylalanine) which serves a precursor to Dopamine (by first being converted into L-Dopa) and Noradrenaline. Because of this relationship, Tyrosine is alleged to increase levels of these neurotransmitters, which would theoretically lead to performance enhancement. However, research has demonstrated that Tyrosine cannot outright raise Dopamine or Noradrenaline levels upon ingestion, though it can help maintain optimal levels when depletion might otherwise occur.

Upon ingestion, Tyrosine forms substrate pool, which can then be drawn from when an acute stressor (exercise, cold exposure, etc.) causes a temporary depletion of Dopamine/Noradrenaline. For this reason, Tyrosine can be useful for maintaining cognitive function during long-term, mentally strenuous exercise.

Trans4orm contains 500mg of Tyrosine which, despite not having any inherent weight-loss pontential, may help support a favorable fat-burning environment by maintaining optimal levels of Dopamine and Noradrenaline.

Caffeine

Caffeine generally serves a key ingredient in stimulant-based fat-burners because of it’s 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.

EVLution lists the Caffeine content of Trans4orm at 175mg per serving. At this dose, users are not likely to feel overwhelming and jittery (unless highly intolerant), but may feel noticeable rush of perceived energy. Combined with Synphrine (discussed below) Caffeine can help initiate the fat-burning process.

Synephrine Hcl

Synephrine a beta-agonist, and slight alpha-receptor antagonist, commonly extracted from Bitter Orange. It is commonly compared to the now banned Ephedrine due to a similar chemical structure, but the practical fat-burning potential is significantly less. That being said, Synephrine has shown efficacy in human studies and does have clear implications of weight-loss.

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.

Trans4orm contains 20mg of Synephrine, a sizeable but not overwhelming dose for most people. At two servings daily (40mg), Synephrine is a key driver of the fat-burning potential of the Trans4orm formula.

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Choline Bitartrate

Choline, once inside the body, is converted into the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine which is associated with many functions including (but not limited to) memory, attention, and muscle control. It is the neurotransmitter most closely associated with the “mind-muscle connection” (although this may be something of an over-simplification), and therefore of much interest to athletes and bodybuilders alike. While certain forms of choline may be associated with increased muscular power output (namely Alpha GPC), Choline Bitartrate is generally considered the least bioavailable choline source, though oral doses of 1000-2000mg have still been shown to increase serum choline levels significantly.

Choline itself does not really have any inherent fat-burning ability, so we suspect EVLution has included it primarily to assist with brain function which tends to be compromised during calorie restriction. Unfortunately, the amount of Choline in Trans4form, given a 257mg proprietary blend, is pretty negligible.

Pikatropin

Pikamilon (alternatively spelled ‘Picamilon’) is formed by combining Niacin (vitamin B3) and GABA (the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammals). Pikamilon is able to effectively cross the blood-brain-barrier where it is converted into GABA. Since GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter (as opposed to excitatory) it may produce anxiolytic effects when levels are increased beyond normal. However, Picamilon does not produce the sedative like effects of other GABA pro-drugs and instead is commonly used as a nootropic (cognitive enhancer) because it has also been demonstrated to increase cerebral blood flow due to its Niacin component (Niacin is a vasodilator).

Despite a fair amount of efficacy demonstrated in animal studies for both cerebral vasodilation and as a non-sedative anxiolytic, human studies remain scarce. However, the mechanisms by which Pikamilon can enhance cognitive ability do exist, making it yet another addition to the Trans4orm formula that is not necessarily intended for fat-loss.

Green Coffee Bean Extract

Green Coffee Extract (GCE) is similar to Garcinia Cambogia in terms of mechanism of action, but it holds much more promise in humans. GCE contains Chlorogenic Acid, which is the primary bioactive compound responsible for the weight-loss achieved in several 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%.

EVLution discloses that this particular Green Coffee Extract is standardized for at least 50% Chlorogenic Acid, but since they fail to disclose the dose of Green Coffee Extract, this is difficult to interpret. Given its position in a mere 257 proprietary blend, it is pretty clear that Trans4orm does not contain enough Chlorogenic Acid to achieve the statistically significant results from the afore-mentioned studies.

Raspberry Ketone

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.

EVLution does not disclose the exact dose of Raspberry Ketone, but it doesn’t really matter, because even at relatively massive doses, it is still largely ineffective. This is likely just another “buzz” ingredient, with no sizeable contribution to the efficacy of Trans4orm.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is widely considered the most bioavailable Choline source, and is often supplemented to preserve/enhance cognitive function. Like all cholinergic compounds, Alpha GPC’s mechanism of action is via increasing Acetylcholine levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter primary associated with learning, memory formation, as well as certain aspects of concentration and focus (though Noradrenaline and Dopamine play strong roles as well). Alpha GPC has been shown to increase Acetylcholine levels in rat brains with oral supplementation and, given the high oral absorption rate (compared to other Choline sources), this effect likely translates into humans as well.

Though we cannot be sure of the exact dose of Alpha GPC present in Trans4orm, it is pretty clear that it contains a very low, possibly insignificant, amount. Combined with Choline Bitartrate, there may be some sort of synergy with regards to cognitive function, but this purely speculative.

Piper Nigrum

Piper nigrum, also known as Black Pepper, contains Piperine. Several studies have found that black pepper extract, when combined with other supplements, has increased the absorption of those supplements (as measured by plasma levels). Piperine’s ability to increase absorption of other compounds is due to the inhibition of certain enzymes which breakdown most compounds, as well as the slowing of intestinal transit (increasing the amount of time these compounds are exposed to the possibility of uptake).

Rauwolscine

Rauwolscine (also known as alpha-yohimbine) is what is known as a ‘stereoisomer’ of Yohimbine, meaning it is chemically similar in structure. Because of this similarity, Rauwolscine produces similar effects, although perhaps to a milder degree. In the context of Trans4orm formula, Rauwolscine may help to facilitate fat burn, especially in combination with Caffeine and Synephrine.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which means it blocks the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, resulting in increased levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine controls skeletal muscle and is largely responsible for the ‘mind-muscle connection’. In addition to controlling the muscles, acetylcholine is also involved in learning, memory, decision making, and various other mental activities. Like Alpha GPC and Choline Bitrtrate, Huperzine-A is geared more towards improving cognitive function rather than directly impacting weight loss.

The Bottom Line

Most of the fat-burning potential of Trans4orm comes from the combination of Caffeine, Synephrine, and Rauwolscine, as the rest of the ingredients are either ineffectively dosed or play more of a “support” role in the formula. EVLution has certainly placed emphasis on the cognitive-enhancement properties of Trans4orm by including such ingredients as Alpha GPC and Huperzine, which makes it better suited for those on a calorie restricted diet.

Still don’t know which fat-burner is best for you?  Check out our Top 10 Fat-Burners List!

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