AMPK is an abbreviation of 5’ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, an enzyme which is found throughout the body’s cells. This enzyme acts as a signalling pathway that regulates cell growth and energy metabolism, with low levels of AMPK often signalling old age, obesity, or inactivity. In recent years, some supplement manufacturers have begun focusing on this highly important “youth enzyme”, producing products that are said to activate AMPK and deliver anti-ageing, weight loss, and athletic-performance boosting effects.
We take an in-depth look into Active-PK, to see whether this AMPK activator has the ability to deliver on its promised benefit of weight loss.
Active-PK is produced by LCR Health, a Los Angeles-based manufacturer led by Dr R. S. McClain. This company appears to act as a sub-division of a larger group called Live Cell Research, a medical-themed manufacturer that is known for its generous money-back guarantee and generally strong product line-up. It’s hard to know what distinguishes LCR Health from its parent company, as both have an almost identical way of presenting themselves and selling their expertise. They also sell essentially the same products – Active-PK is actually an identical copy of an existing Live Cell Research product called LA-3.
There is only one active ingredient in Active-PK that can cause side effects, although evidence from customer reviews suggests that these side effects are not uncommon.
Gynostemma extract is known to sometimes cause severe nausea and more frequent bowel movements. It may cause additional problems when used on a long-term basis.
On the official LCR Health website, one 60-capsule bottle of Active-PK costs $46.99 plus shipping and handling (an additional $3.95). Bulk-buy options are cheaper per bottle and remove all shipping and handling charges – 3 bottles costs $117, and 6 bottles costs $216.
Those hoping to find better deals on 3rd party websites are out of luck, as Active-PK is, unfortunately, only available to buy from the official LCR Health website.
Active-PK is a weight loss product that claims to target abdominal fat in particular. This relatively unusual approach to weight loss claims to work through its ability to activate the AMPK enzyme, which is associated with numerous anti-aging, weight loss, and exercise performance effects. Using just three key ingredients, Active-PK is said to boost AMPK levels and activity, which then burns belly fat.
This product is just one of two produced by LCR Health, an American supplement manufacturer based in Los Angeles. LCR Health is a sub-division of Live Cell Research, a more established manufacturer known for their medical-themed products and a good reputation for customer service, and generally good products.
The directions for use are as follows:
Both of LCR Health’s products are themed on the idea of improving “general health” whilst using new and relatively untested understandings of medical science, from stem cell to AMPK activation. The division/company is led by Dr. R.S. McClain, a medical doctor that appears to have an active interest in new or novel treatments (including traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture). The company can be contacted via the contact details supplied on the official website.
Active-PK claims to help dieters to lose weight and belly fat through its ability to activate the AMPK enzyme. The AMPK enzyme is described as the body’s “master switch” on the LCR Health website; when activated, the AMPK enzyme is said to instruct the body to stop storing fat and instead work to convert it to energy. The full list of benefits mentioned on the LCR Health are:
The theory behind AMPK activation is still not fully understood, and very few human trials have been conducted to investigate the effects of supplementation in humans. It’s a chicken and egg scenario – although we know that people with low AMPK activation tend to be overweight, unfit, or diabetic, we don’t know whether these factors cause the lack of AMPK or the other way around. Put simply, it isn’t clear whether taking supplements to boost AMPK levels will have the intended effect, or whether we should simply be recommending that people exercise more and eat better!
Customer reviews for all AMPK-activating products (not just this one) are generally mixed, suggesting that manufacturers are currently either failing to boost AMPK levels or that boosting them simply doesn’t do very much.
Whatever the case, this product is probably not the best way to approach AMPK activation. Only one of its three ingredients has been included in a quantity that is even close to being useful (gynostemma leaves). Although gynostemma has been found to raise AMPK levels in rats, it has never been tested on humans and it may have no effect on the waistline. We would argue that this product’s overall effects are slight at best, and non-existent at worst.
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The three ingredients included in Active-PK are listed below. The ingredient quantities listed below are correct for 2 capsules.
Active-PK features only one ingredient that may cause occasional side effects. Gynostemma extract can be used safely on a short-term basis, but even then can occasionally cause severe nausea and more frequent bowel movements. Its long-term safety is unknown.
The potential for experiencing nausea on this product seems to be high, with multiple customer reviews mentioning negative experiences with bouts of nausea and even vomiting. Caution is recommended.
The customer reviews we were able to find online were mixed. Some customers reported enjoying success (although notably, few claimed to lose weight, instead praising the product for reducing “brain fog”, giving energy, and helping to fight diabetes). The majority claimed that the product does nothing. Side effects were reported on occasion and some customers even claimed to gain weight during the period in which they used it. LCR Health often actively replies to customer comments directly, frequently reminding customers that the expected time period in which to expect results was 2 months or more.
Already taking it daily for a month, but my weight is not going down. I gained 2 pounds even though I exercise regularly and eat healthily. I don’t recommend this product.
I am onto my second bottle now. My weight is exactly the same. I took two tablets early in the morning every day until the last week, where I only took one tablet in the morning. I now just take the one tablet daily. I was getting very bad nausea every night from the tablets. The sickness was terrible. I didn’t feel sick in the beginning, it built up over time. Taking just one tablet is better. I also got very painful leg cramps in the calf muscles in the beginning. They seem to have eased up now.
I have been taking Active-PK for three months now. I have gained about 5 lbs. I continue to crave carbs. I do not notice a loss of belly fat but, to be honest, I did not measure pre or post… I have one more month supply but am not sure if I will reorder this product.
My husband and I started taking Active-PK 90 days ago. He has seen a significant weight loss, but he was also making serious changes to his food intake. He is 66 and has seemed to have turned into the Energizer Bunny! Myself, one the other hand, have not seen the weight loss or incredible increase in my energy. However, I started taking the product hoping it would help me with my diabetes… Just 90 days after starting this supplement, I had my first appointment with my doctor to have my quarterly A1C level review. During my prior visits I saw my A1C go from 6.5 to 7.6 with each higher A1C reading, the doctor increased my oral medication. The last visit my A1C was 7.6 and this one 6.9! Hooray! I have NEVER written a review of a product in my life. Then again, I have never had one effect my life so positively. If my A1C continues to improve, which I can’t imagine it won’t, I will be a customer for life!
Like its parent company, Live Cell Research, LCR Health offers a generous and comprehensive money-back guarantee. All products purchased through the official website can be returned within 90 days for a full refund. To quote the website:
“If for any reason this revolutionary formula does not meet your expectations, simply send it back for a full refund of the purchase price. You can even use the entire supply and simply send back the empty bottles — that’s how confident we are that you’ll love this incredible health breakthrough.”
Active-PK is only available to buy from the official LCR Health website. One 60-capsule bottle (a one-month supply) costs $46.99 plus $3.95 in shipping and handling. Discounts are available for bulk purchases – 3 bottles of Active-PK costs $117, and 6 bottles cost $216. Both of the bulk purchase options come with free shipping and handling.
Customer reviews are often a great guide for those who want to know whether a product works, and the product reviews we have seen for this product on highya.com tell us one important thing – it is inconsistent at best. Most customers appear to be dissatisfied with their (very expensive) purchase, with some even claiming to have gained weight whilst using Active-PK. Even positive reviews tend not to mention fat loss as something they appreciated, suggesting that even positive results are mixed or may differ from person to person.
The theory behind AMPK activation is fairly flawed from the outset, as the theories guiding it are all very unproven. It isn’t clear whether this product’s key ingredient even raises AMPK levels at all (it has only ever been proven to work on rats), and the only other ingredients have been provided in quantities that are far too low to be effective. The process of raising AMPK levels with supplements has not been conclusively proven to result in weight loss in the first place, and it is entirely possible that that the overall approach represents a misunderstanding of the cause-and-effect chain!
It isn’t all bad. LCR Health (and its parent company, Live Cell Research) seem to have their hearts in the right place, giving customers clear information on the product page and helping customers out with a truly excellent money-back guarantee. This truly takes the risk out of purchasing from them, giving customers the ability to “give it a try”. Ultimately, we still can’t approve the product though, as we’re fairly sure that most customers will see little benefit from trying it out.
Overall, we do not recommend Active-PK to our readers.
|Clinically Proven Ingredients|
|Side Effect Free|
|Positive Customer Reviews|
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.