Ab Igniter is Top Secret Nutrition’s multi-action fat-burner which contains a mix of stimulant and non-stimulant ingredients. Most of these ingredients have demonstrated at least preliminary efficacy with regards to weight-loss…
GREEN COFFEE BEAN EXTRACT:
A 2007 study, published in the “Journal of International Medical Research”, found that 12 weeks of Green Coffee (yielding 450-500mg Chlorogenic 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.
These findings conflict with an earlier 2006 study in which Green Coffee Extract (yielding 140mg Chlorogenic Acid) supplementation did not result in weight loss over the same 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, efficacy has been demonstrated using higher doses. Ab Igniter contains 125mg of Chlorogenic Acid per serving, requiring multiple doses to achieve a scientifically validated dose.
GARCINIA CAMBOGIA EXTRACT:
The primary active compound in Garcinia Cambogia is Hydroxycitric Acid, which is alleged to favorably influence body weight via inhibition of ATP Citrate Lysase, an enzyme required for the synthesis of fatty acids from carbohydrates (de novo lipogenisis). While inhibition of this enzyme 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.
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 atleast 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. Ab Igniter contains 250mg of Garcinia Cambogia Extract per serving, with an undisclosed HCA content. Regardless of the dose, the formula contains much less HCA than what has demonstrated efficacy in the one positive study mentioned above.
Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world, and is a well-established ergogenic aid. Caffeine consumption causes an increase in catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine), which induce lipolysis (breakdown of fats). However, the weight loss effects of caffeine tend to fade with prolonged use, so caffeine is not very effective as a fat-burner in the long term. While caffeine’s weight loss potential is negligible, it increases focus and perceived energy in most people, which generally leads to more intense workouts (thus burning more fat), and may act as a mild appetite suppressant in some. Ab Igniter contains 250mg of caffeine which, when combined with the other stimulants in the formula, may certainly produce a noticeable sensation of focus/alertness, and may potentiate the effects of the other stimulants present in the formula.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT (80% POLYPHENOLS EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE, 45% EPICATECHIN):
Multiple studies have confirmed Green Tea Extract appears to be able to induce fat-loss. 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. EGCG is an antioxidant found in green tea, and is a member of the group of antioxidants known as catechins. In addition to its antioxidant properties, EGCG has demonstrated the ability to induce fat loss when combined with caffeine, more than just caffeine alone. EGCG works synergistically with caffeine with regards to its effect on noradrenaline. As mentioned above, caffeine boosts noradrenaline while EGCG inhibits catechol-o-methyl transferase (COMT), the enzyme responsible for the degredation of noradrenaline. So, caffeine increases noradrenaline, while EGCG prevents its degradation, a synergy which results in excess fat-being burned. The weight-loss benefits of EGCG by itself are negligible, but it can certainly potentiate the effects of other stimulants (like caffeine). Ab Igniter contains 90mg of EGCG per serving, meaning several servings must be consumed to achieve the minimum effective dose of 400mg.
Raspberry Ketone, a molecular constituent of Raspberries, have become a popular weight-loss additive in dietary supplements. However, the evidence for raspberry ketone as a fat-burning ingredient is extremely limited and there is actually no direct evidence the ingredient is effective in oral supplemental doses. In vitro studies using very high concentrations have shown positive results, but human studies are non-existent. The only human study that exists grouped RK in with several other popular weight loss ingredients so the effects cannot be attributed to raspberry ketone. In rat studies RK failed to show any significant fat-burning effects. The overall consensus of the scientific community is that raspberry ketones are nothing more than industry hype.
Caralluma fibriata is a cactus-like plant indigenous to India, with a history of usage as an appetite suppressant. A 2007 study found that 1000mg of Caralluma fibriata extract was able to suppress appetite in overweight subjects, resulting in roughly 2.5% weight-loss over a 60 day period. These findings were replicated in a 2010 study using rats, although this study also noted that appetite suppression did not begin until around 45 days of supplementation. Since the human study did not measure this, there is no way of telling whether this holds true in humans as well until more studies are conducted. Ab Igniter contains 100mg of Caralluma fimbriata extract, the concentration of which is unknown.
GRAPE SEED EXTRACT:
Grape Seed Extract is alleged to convey a wide variety of health benefits and appears to possess some slight anti-obesity mechanisms. While these mechanisms do exist, the significance is likely negligible. A 2010 study which measured body weight of rats consuming Grape Seed Extract failed to note any reduction after 30 days of supplementation. These findings were in-line with those of a previous human study in which subjects consuming 200 and 400mg of Grape Seed Extract experienced beneficial changes in cardiovascular health, but no reduction in BMI or body weight after 12 weeks of supplementation. So, while there are certainly some health benefits associated with Grape Seed Extract supplementation, weight-loss is not one of them.
NELUMBO NUCIFERA (HIGENAMINE):
Higenamine, commonly reffered to as Norcoclaurine, is the active compound found in Nelumbo Nucifera and has gained some traction in the supplement industry as a stimulant fat-burner because of the chemical similarities it shares with ephedrine (now banned). Like Ephedrine, Higenamine acts as Beta(2)adrenergic agonist, meaning it stimulates the beta(2) adrenergic receptors which induce lipolysis (fat breakdown). In addition to its fat-burning potential, Higenamine has also been demonstrated in vitro to increase acetylcholine levels, though these findings have not yet been replicated in humans. Overall, there is certainly preliminary support for Higenamine as a fat-burner and potential ergogenic aid, but because no human studies exist there is no recommended effective dose.
GINGER (ZINGIBER OFFICINALE):
Ginger is a very common household digestive aid, commonly prescribed by loving mothers for stomach problems. However, a 2012 pilot study from “Metabolism” found that 2 grams of Ginger consumed with a meal increased caloric expenditure for several hours following the meal in overweight men. Ginger has also been shown to increase Insulin secretion via acting as a serotonin receptor antagonist (serotonin normally suppresses insulin to some degree) in mice, though a human study using 1 gram of Ginger failed to replicate this results.
Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon, the fruit of which contains caffeine. Although guarana is touted as being a sort of “slow-release” form of caffeine, a study published in the “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology” found there was no difference in the absorption rates of caffeine from guarana as opposed to caffeine anhydrous (synthetic) in rats. Human studies have yet to be confirmed, but given these preliminary findings, there is certainly no reason to believe guarana would absorb any differently in humans. In regards to weight loss, the efficacy of guarana for burning fat is limited to the caffeine content, and there is no evidence to suggest guarana has any additional benefit beyond that of caffeine alone. Guarana has become somewhat popular in recent years as a result of an overall movement toward ‘natural’ products because consumers see it as a ‘natural’ source of caffeine but in terms of function, it is the same as any other source of caffeine. However, since Ab Igniter contains 10mg of Guarana per serving, yielding 2.2mg of caffeine per serving, it is more or less useless.
Yohimbine acts as an alpha-2 receptor antagonist, meaning it inhibits the receptor responsible for blocking lipolysis. In blocking the action of this receptor Yohimbine allows for more lipolysis to occur than would normally be permitted by the alpha-adrenergic receptors. A 2006 study showed that while there were no increases in strength, supplementation induced fat loss in athletes (soccer players). While Yohimbine acts directly on alpha-2 receptors, its capacity for lipolysis may be further magnified by its ability to increase the catecholamine neurotransmitters (adrenaline and noradrenaline), which in turn induce lipolysis. By doing so Yohimbine both induces lipolysis directly, while simultaneously preventing its inhibition. However, its ability to increase catcholamines may degrade fairly quickly (a few weeks), so for Yohimbine to be truly effective as a weight-loss agent, it must be combined with something that activates the beta-adrenergic receptors in the first place (i.e. caffeine and other stimulants or exercise). Ab Igniter contains 3mg of Yohimbine HCl per serving, and though this dose may not be particularly effective by itself, it may certainly potentiate the effects of the other stimulants in the formula and contribute to overall fat-burning.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
In terms of ingredient profile, the Ab Igniter formula certainly has potential for burning fat. With the exceptions of Garcinia Cambogia, Raspberry Ketone, and Grape Seed Extract, every ingredient in the formula (mostly stimulants) has demonstrated some degree of efficacy with regards to weight-loss. The only issue is that the dose of Green Coffee Extract is far less than what has been demonstrated to aid weight-loss and taking multiple doses is not really an option considering the caffeine content. For those who are stimulant-resistant, two doses may be appropriate but we would recommend no more. At about 50 cents per dose, consuming two doses a day is reasonable and when combined with a rigorous exercise program may result in moderate weight-loss. Just to be clear, any weight-loss potential is entirely stimulant-based as the non-stimulant ingredients are either under-dosed or just generally ineffective.
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