Shred Pro is Nvie Nutrition’s fat-burner which contains both stimulant and non-stimulant ingredients, but derives most of its potential from the stimulants as the non-stimulant ingredients are either ineffective or under-dosed…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
Caffeine generally serves a key ingredient in stimulant-based fat-burners because of its ability to release Noradrenaline, which induces 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 Caffeine to be an effective fat-loss agent, it generally must be combined with other stimulants or synergistic compounds.
Nvie Nutrition lists the amount of Caffeine in Shred Pro at 300mg per serving, more than enough to kickstart the fat-burning effects of the formula, though with repeated use the effects may become less apparent.
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.
The fat-burning capabilities of Guarana are mostly due to the Caffeine present so, in the context of Shred Pro, we’d consider it just another Caffeine source, bringing the total Caffeine content to 244mg per serving.
R-BETA-METHYL PHENYLETHYLAMINE HCL:
As far as Phenylethylamine’s direct effects on weight loss, studies are more or less non-existent. However, PEA triggers the release of Catecholamines (Noradrenaline, Adrenaline, etc.) the general physiological reaction of which is activation of the beta-adrenergic receptors which induce lipolysis. So the mechanism by which PEA may induce weight loss is theoretically sound, just not documented. Because the effects are generally short-lived, it is hardly a miracle weight-loss supplement on its own, but combined with compounds such as Hordenine (which blocks the rapid oxidation of PEA in the brain) the effects can be amplified and practically relevant. Nvie Nutrition lists the amount of R-Beta-Methyl PEA at 50mg.
WHITE WILLOW BARK (25% 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 such as Synephrine). 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”.
Shred Pro contains 50mg of White Willow Bark extract standardized to 25% (12.5mg) Salicin.
DENDROBIUM (60% ALKALOIDS):
Dendrobium, made popular by its inclusion in DS Craze, has become relatively pervasive in the pre-workout/fat-burner category because of its alleged stimulant properties. The original claim was that Dendrobium contained several Phenylethylamine alkaloids which were responsible for the focus and mood enhancement being reported by many users. However, studies investigating the chemical constituents have failed to isolate Phenylethylamine, and have shown that different species of Dendrobium tend to vary considerably in terms of their alkaloid composition. Ultimately, the jury is still out on Dendrobium, though rat studies have confirmed some cognitive benefit which may underlie some of the subjective reports of mental stimulation and enhanced focus.
Nvie Nutrition lists the amount of Dendrobium in Shred Pro at 30mg per serving, but given the lack of research, this dose is difficult to interpret.
GARCINIA CAMBOGIA EXTRACT (HYDROXYCITRIC ACID):
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.
Shred Pro contains 300mg of Garcinia Cambogia per serving, yielding 150mg of HCA. Unfortunatley, this is far less than what has shown efficacy in the one positive study.
GREEN COFFEE EXTRACT:
Green Coffee Extract (GCE) is similar to Garcinia Cambogia in terms of mechanism of action, but it holds much more promise. 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%.
Though GCE has shown mixed results in various studies, clear efficacy has been demonstrated at high enough doses (at least 300mg Chlorogenic Acid). Nvie lists Green Coffee Extract at 100mg, yielding 50mg of Chlorogenic Acid. Unfortunately, at such a low dose, it is not likely that any significant carb-blocking will occur.
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.
With 100mg of Raspberry Ketone per serving, Shred Pro is about average, but given the lack of efficacy, it doesn’t really matter much. Nvie is likely just capitalizing on the “buzz” behind Raspberry Ketone, rather than actually trying to increase the efficacy of the Shred Pro formula.
Capsimax is a brand name for Red Pepper Extract which is standardized for certain key bioactives. Though commonly standardized for Capsaicin content alone, Capsicum also contains other compounds, collectively referred to as Capsaicinoids, which include Dihydrocapsaicin and Nordihydrocapsaicin.
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.
A 2001 found subjects who consumed CH-19 Sweet (containing Capsinoids) had significantly higher core body temperatures and increased oxygen consumption (indicative of energy production) compared to the placebo group.
A later (2010) study, published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, found that Dihydrocapsiate supplementation (3-9mg/day) caused a small but noticeable increase in the resting metabolic rate of healthy human subjects.
Shred Pro contains 50mg of Capsimax, kind of a low dose compared to most other fat-burners, and certainly less than the 150mg used in the above-mentioned 2007 study.
DANDELION (TARAXACUM OFFICINALE):
Taraxacum Officinale, also known as Dandelion, has a long history of use in alternative medicine as a diuretic. A 1993 study published in “Pharmaceutical Biology” pointed to the high potassium content as a possible reason for the diuretic of effect, though various compounds have been isolated and alleged to contribute to this effect.
A 2009 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that supplementation with Dandelion Extract caused more frequent urination in subjects, but a specific mechanism of action was not identified.
With 150mg of Dandelion Extract per serving, Shred Pro may certainly increase urination and temporarily decrease water-weight, but users should be aware that diuretics don’t have any effect on fat, so upon stopping use that weight will likely come back.
Uva Ursi Leaf is used in folk medicine for the treatment of urinary tract infections. The active chemical compound in the plant is a glycoside known as Arbutin, which has diuretic as well as astringent properties.
As with Dandelion, Uva Ursi will not burn any fat. It may improve definition in the short term, but is not an effective long-term weight-loss supplement
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The formula starts off pretty powerfully, with nearly 350mg of total Caffeine plus R-Beta PEA. However, the non-stimulant ingredients that follow are all, for the most part, significantly under-dosed and, because of the high Caffeine content, taking multiple doses may be an issue. This leaves Caffeine and PEA to burn all the fat, but as mentioned above (in the Caffeine section), Caffeine’s effects tend to degrade with prolonged usage so, by itself, it is not an effective fat-burner.
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