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POG Cuts FTS Review

Cuts FTS is the most recent release from Physiques of Greatness. It is a combination of several well-established fat-burning ingredients which are mostly effectively dosed…

POG Cuts FTS

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GREEN TEA EXTRACT

The weight-loss benefits of Green Tea Extract have been known for some time, although until recently the true mechanism of action remained a mystery. The Caffeine content was originally thought to be the driving force behind the fat-burning effects, but recent research clearly indicates that the true compound of interest is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which can synergistically enhance the fat-burning capabilities of Caffeine.

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.

Cuts FTS contains 250mg of Green Tea Extract per serving, yielding 150mg of EGCG. As mentioned above, EGCG should be dosed at approximately 400-500mg daily, meaning users of Cuts FTS would need to consume around 3 servings a day.

GUARANA

Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon, the fruit of which contains Caffeine, as well as related chemical compounds such as Theobromine and Theophylline (both cardiac stimulants with less of a mental effect). 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.

So, in the context of a weight-loss supplement, Guarana’s function is essentially the same as Caffeine and may be synergistically enhanced by EGCG. Cuts FTS contains 250mg of Guarana, yielding 55mg of Caffeine per serving. This brings the total Caffeine content of Cuts FTS to just over 300mg per serving.

CAFFEINE

Caffeine tends to be the primary stimulant driving force behind most fat-burners because of its ability to release Noradrenaline, an inherently pro-lipolytic neurotransmitter. 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 Caffeine to be an effective fat-loss agent, it generally must be combined with other stimulants or synergistic compounds.

FTS Cuts contains 250mg of Caffeine Anhydrous which, in addition to Guarana, brings the total Caffeine content of the formula to a little over 300mg.

THEANINE

Theanine is seriously under-utilized ingredient in stimulant-containing fat-burners, probably because it tends to be expensive. Theanine and Caffeine is one of the few combinations that can actually be considered synergistic, rather than merely additive.

In a 2008 study, published in “Nutritional Neuroscience”, researchers investigated the cognitive effects of a combination of Theanine and Caffeine compared to Caffeine alone on various measures of cognitive performance. Participants received either 50mg of Caffeine or 50mg of Caffeine and 100mg of Theanine before completing various tasks including word recognition, visual image processing, and attention switching. While Caffeine was able to increase alertness and accuracy during the attention switching tasks, the combination of Caffeine and Theanine was able to improve both performance and speed, while reducing the subjects’ susceptibility to distraction.

Another 2008 study from “Biological Psychology” found that, while 150mg of Caffeine increased alertness and improved (decreased) reaction time, adding 250mg of Theanine further improved reaction time, alertness, and decreased the number of headaches reported from Caffeine.

A 2010 study, also from “Nutritional Sciences”, found that the combination of 97mg of Theanine combined with 40mg Caffeine significantly improved focus and attention on various cognitive tests, compared to placebo.

Another 2010 study, this one published in “Appetite”, noted an improvement in task-switching ability using the same 97mg Theanine/40mg Caffeine combination.

Physiques of Greatness lists Theanine at 100mg per serving which, despite being far short of the “optimal” dose (double Caffeine content), may certainly reduce some of the negative effects of excessive doses of Caffeine (jitters and what not).

WHITE WILLOW BARK ( 15% SALICIN)

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). 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”. That being said, with only 25mg of Salicin per serving, Cuts FTS may not yield a particularly effective dose.

7-KETO DHEA

7-Keto DHEA is a metabolite of DHEA which has been the subject of a fair amount of research, particularly with regards to its weight-loss potential.

A 2000 study found that 200mg 7-Keto given to subjects who were on a calorie restricted diet resulted in more weight loss than the placebo group (consuming the same diet) over an 8 week period.

A 2007 study, published in “The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry”, found that 200mg of 7-keto DHEA raised the metabolic rate of subjects on a calorie restricted diet by 1.4%, whereas the placebo group experienced a 3.9% reduction in metabolic rate (the normal reaction to calorie restriction). However the length of this particular study was only 7 days, not long enough to measure weight loss, though this provides a likely mechanism of action for the first (2000) study.

Cuts FTS contains 50mg of 7-Keto DHEA per serving, meaning four servings would be needed to achieve a clinical dose of 200mg.

HIGENAMINE

Higenamine, also known as Norcoclaurine acts as Beta(2)Adrenergic Agonist (same mechanism as Ephedra), meaning it stimulates the Beta(2) Adrenergic Receptors which induce lipolysis (fat burning).

Overall, there is certainly preliminary support for Higenamine as a fat-burner and potential ergogenic aid, but because no human studies exist there is recommended effective dose. Since Higenamine acts as a Beta Receptor Agonist, it may synergistically enhance the fat-burning effects of Alpha Receptor Antagonists such as Yohimbine (also in the FTS Cuts formula), though this relationship has not been the subject of any published studies thus far.

BLACK PEPPER

The primary bioactive found in Black Pepper is Piperine (FTS Cuts contains a 98% standardization). 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).

YOHIMBE EXTRACT

Yohimbe (Pausinystalia Yohimbe) is generally standardized for the compound, Yohimbine, which acts as 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 to occur.

A 2006 study showed that while there were no increases in strength, supplementation induced fat loss in athletes (soccer players).

Physiques of Greatness list the exact dose of Yohimbine at 2.55mg which, despite being far less than the dose used in the above-mentioned study, may still contribute significantly to the fat-burning effects of Cuts FTS, especially in combination with Caffeine.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, Cuts FTS has the potential to be a moderately effective fat-burner, assuming the right dosing. In order to receive some notable benefit, users will need to consume atleast 2 servings daily, but clinical doses of certain ingredients may require 3-4 servings. Given the high stimulant content, we wouldn’t recommend this formula to anyone who is even remotely stimulant-sensitive. That being said, at about $1.20 per serving, multiple servings makes Cuts FTS a relatively expensive weight-loss solution.

Still not sure which fat-burner is right for you? Check out our Top 10 Fat-Burners List!

References

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