Detonate XT is a multi-ingredient fat-burner by Gaspari which makes use of stimulant and non-stimulant ingredients.
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. Furthermore, Detonate XT only contains 200mg Hydroxycitric Acid per serving, about 1/6th the amount that was shown to be effective in the one 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. Detonate XT contains 150mg of caffeine which, when combined with the other stimulants in the formula, may certainly produce a noticeable sensation of focus/alertness.
VELVET BEAN EXTRACT:
Velvet Bean is a member of the legume family which contains a significant amount of the compound L-Dopa. L-Dopa is a direct precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine which, as mentioned above, is directly involved with mood, focus, and pleasure/reward. Unfortunately, most of the studies done regarding Mucuna Pruriens (and L-Dopa) have tested the effects on subjects with Parkinson’s Disease (classified by low Dopamine levels). So, while Mucuna Pruriens may be beneficial to people with Parkinson’s disease, it’s hard to say how supplementation may affect healthy individuals with normal Dopamine levels to begin with. Interestingly, multiple studies have confirmed that Mucuna Pruriens (containing L-Dopa) are more beneficial in treating Parkinson’s Disease than pure L-Dopa alone. These findings suggest that Mucuna Pruriens may contain other compounds that work synergistically with L-Dopa to achieve greater Dopamine increase than just L-Dopa by itself.
Sceletium tortuosum, also known as Kanna, is an herb mostly indigenous to South Africa which has a long history of use as a mood elevator/anxiolytic. Kanna contains two types of alkaloids, mesembrine tortuosamine, which are alleged to convey the psychoactive effects. A 2011 study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that Sceletium tortuosum extract had limited anxiolytic effects in rats subjected to psychological stress (in the form of restraint). While no mechanism of action has been established, the results of the study indicated that the herb does not act as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). There are currently no human studies, just anecdotal evidence which does seem to suggest an apparent narcotic-anxiolytic effect of Sceletium tortuosum. Gaspari does not disclose the exact amount of Sceletium tortuosum in the Detonate XT formula, but even if the exact amount were disclosed, it would be difficult to determine its efficacy because a standard dose has not been established.
The primary active component of Yohimbe (Pausinystalia Yohimbe) is 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). As previously stated, Yohimbine directly acts on alpha-2 receptor, but its fat loss capabilities may also be magnified by its ability to increase the catecholamine neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline which in turn induce lipolysis. 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).
Citrus Aurantium, also known as Bitter Orange, is generally standardized for Synephrine, which became popular after the FDA banned ephedra as a dietary supplement for weight loss. While Synephrine has been touted as a replacement for ephedra, it is important to understand that it is significantly less potent (hence it not being banned). However, it’s closely related chemical structure may induce similar effects as Ephedra, while maintaining a much stronger safety profile. 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. Similarly to Ephedrine, Synephrine is a beta-receptor agonist and an alpha-receptor antagonist, the net effect of which is an increase in lipolysis. While more studies are needed to determine the degree of efficacy, there is strong preliminary support for Synephrine as a fat-burner.
PIPER NIGRUM EXTRACT:
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). Piperines ability to increase absorption of other compounds is due to the inhibition of certain enzymes as well as the slowing of intestinal transit, effectively increasing the amount of time these compounds are exposed to the possibility of uptake. So, while Black Pepper Extract has no direct effect on weight-loss it may certainly enhance the formula by increasing the absorption of the other ingredients.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The stimulant component of the Detonate XT formula is solid, but the inclusion of Garcinia Cambogia may disappoint. Not only is Garcinia Cambogia most likely ineffective in humans, but the dose present in Detonate XT is significantly less than what has demonstrated efficacy in the one positive human study that exists. So, stimulants such as Yohimbine and Synephrine may trim away some of that belly fat, the added benefit of Garcinia Cambogia is likely insignificant. That being said, about 42 cents per serving, Detonate XT is certainly priced at the lower end of similar stimulant containing fat-burners, so it may be worth a shot.
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