With claims to be the “#1 Weight Loss Supplement brand” in America and massive exposure both on the Internet and offline in stores like Wal-Mart and GNC, Hydroxycut is virtually a household name.
Much has already been written about this massive company, but we decided to do our own research, and see what we can pull together. Do Hydroxycut really make safe, effective products that great for weight loss or is it all just one big scam? Let’s see what we can find shall we.
- No proper indication of ingredient quantities
- No proper details for company on the main website
- Questionable Testimonials
- Horrific history
Watchdog Rejected Diet Pills
Lets start off by seeing what they are offering nowadays, this is because they have a pretty chequered history to say the least. We’ll cover that a bit further down, but for now lets look at each of the 8 main products they are pushing:
Pro Clinical Hydroxycut
Pro Clinical Hydroxycut is said to be a weight loss formula that uses four main ingredients, these are Lady’s mantle extract, wild olive extract, komijn extract and wild mint extract. These are all claimed to be clinically proven to help you lose weight, but the key thing is ONLY when combined with diet and exercise.
None of the evidence is offered on the website for this product. The claims are backed up by linking to the success stories on the website, but these are all from people who have been paid to say they have lost weight.
Pro Clinical Hydroxycut Caffeine Free
Virtually the same formula (lady’s mantle extract, wild olive extract, komijn extract and wild mint extract) as the standard Hydroxycut, but without the caffeine or stimulants added.
The exact same weight loss claims are given for this product, but find it strange to do this if it doesn’t contain the stimulants and caffeine that supposedly make the original formula so effective.
No testimonials are given for this version of Hydroxycut so its not clear if it really works.
Pro Clinical Hydroxycut Max!
Once again the same main ingredients as the original formula, but this time with “female-friendly” ingredients added, folic acid and iron. We had no idea iron was only female friendly but there you go!
The Max!” with an exclamation mark seems to claim it’s even more effective than the other formulas, however any evidence or proof that this blend of Hydroxycut links to the same studies as the other blends.
We particularly like this claim, “It’s an advanced product for edgier, sexier women who are confident and know what they want in a weight loss formula.”
Please, do people really fall for this rubbish?
Pro Clinical Hydroxycut Instant Drink Mix
The same ingredients as before, this time in a pack of 21 sachets to be mixed with water. It looks like it’s the original Hydroxycut formula as the same studies are linked to once more.
We are definitely noticing a pattern here, it doesn’t matter which product they are talking about, the same studies to prove it is effective are linked to.
One thing to note is that they recommend you take 3 sachets per day with meals, so a pack of these drink mixes would only last a week. This would work out very expensive if you took these for any length of time.
Hydroxycut Acai with Green Coffee Extract
This time they have dropped the pro clinical” part of the name as presumably it was getting a bit long!
The key ingredients are said to be acai berry and green coffee extract and no mention is made to any other ingredients (except for caffeine). This time they are showing a link to a study showing green coffee extract can be effective for weight loss but offer no further details.
They are not making any claims for acai berry to be effective, so we presume it’s just a marketing angle.
No testimonials are given for this version.
Pro Clinical Hydroxycut Herbal
Okay, we are back to the original formula again, this time without the stimulants and caffeine like the caffeine free version. However they have made this one gluten free, and that seems to be the only thing that is different.
Once more the same studies are referred to for the ingredients, so it doesn’t matter which blend is used the same claims are being made.
No testimonials are referred to or very much else in fact. This one seems very lacking in detail.
Pro Clinical Hydroxycut CLA
Now we are starting to sound like a broken record, but once more it’s the same old blend of lady’s mantle extract, wild olive extract, komijn extract and wild mint extract as the other products. This time with 3,000mg of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) added in.
No claims are made as to what exactly CLA does, or whether it’s effective for weight loss. The same studies as before are linked to for the product as a whole.
We found one study where consuming 3.2 grammes per day of CLA may help lose up to 90 gramme of fat PER WEEK. This about the same as a chocolate bar!
So it looks like we have saved the best till last, have we?
Well by the sounds of the marketing blurb then possibly so. They have gone overboard with the “hardcore” angle in an effort to appeal to those seeking a hardcore answer to weight loss.
The key ingredients seem to be green coffee extract and caffeine, to deliver “extreme energy.” We have no idea why this should be regarded as hardcore, as it’s available in many other standard supplements.
There are no testimonials for this particular product.
- Paid testimonials
- Hydroxycut was banned in 2004 and again in 2009 by the FDA
- Linked to serious illnesses in former versions
- Offers no real evidence
What Do The Hydroxycut Products Claim To Do?
Well not a lot actually, there is some very clever writing involved that lead you to think that the products will help you lose weight. In actual fact all the claims are made with regards to a particular set of ingredients, which appear in most of the products.
These are the same ones used throughout: Lady’s mantle extract, wild olive extract, komijn extract and wild mint extract. Unfortunately that is all the information that is given by the manufacturers.
We had to dig a bit deeper to find the actual study showing the exact research that was undertaken.
The study can be found here.
This was a study undertaken in Israel in 2010 and was studied as these herbs were traditionally used in Greco-Arab and Islamic medicine. The exact composition of the test ingredients was:
The present study evaluated Weighlevel, a combination of four herbal remedies that are traditionally known for their weight reduction effects. The Weighlevel combination contained 60mg Alchemilla vulgaris L., 50mg Olea europaea L., 20mg Mentha longiforia L, 25mg Cuminum cyminum L., 7mg Vitamin C, and 148mg Tricalcium phosphate (TCP).
So this would give us the following:
- Lady’s Mantle (60mg)
- Wild Olive (50mg)
- Komijn (25mg)
- Wild Mint (20mg)
- Vitamin C (7mg)
- Calcium (TCP) (148mg)
Crucially this adds up to 310mg per tablet.
In the study the subjects were told to take 1 tablet before each meal 3 times per day (total of 3 tablets per day).
This gives a total of 930mg per day of the formula.
BUT….and it’s a huge BUT….
None of the Hydroxycut products include enough of the active ingredients!!!
They are deliberately secretive about what is exactly in each product, precisely because there aren’t enough of the ingredients included, to be effective for weight loss.
Here’s the label for Hydroxycut:
As you can see they have hidden the ingredients in a “proprietary blend.” This is done to hide the exact amounts of each ingredient.
In this case 2 caplets contains a 340mg blend of Hydroxyboost, Hydroxyprovia and Hydroxagen all combined together. These are the ingredients that they claim are effective, however it is impossible for there to be enough of the active ingredients, as referenced by the Israeli study.
This is the whole basis for all the claims they make; they refer to the study using 930mg per day but then fail to deliver that amount.
So What Does All This Mean?
On the surface of it Hydroxycut appears to contain a number of good ingredients.
But the main problem is that Hydroxycut are not indication how much of any of these ingredients are contained in the product. This is a big problem as anyone doing any research cannot see if it will be effective or not. There is simply not enough information available to make an informed decision.
Never buy or consume a product where there is no indication of what is in it!
Does Hydroxycut Have Any Side Effects?
No studies have been done either into the effectiveness of Hydroxycut or indeed if there are any side effects from ingesting the mix that they have come up with. There could possibly be long-term damage to the body; at this stage it is impossible to say one way or the other. There does seem to be high dosages of caffeine in this product but without proper indications whether this is at dangerous levels.
Previous versions of Hydroxycut have been outright banned by the FDA.
Any Hydroxycut Reviews From Customers?
Well sort of. They have several “testimonials” from athletic looking people on the main website. However each of these people have been paid to say what they are saying!
Also the before and after pictures all look suspiciously like they have been photoshopped. It is not possible to say if they have or not, but without seeing properly verified pictures then it look’s very suspicious. Also several of the success stories do not show any “before” pictures, it is simply the paid person spouting how great Hydroxycut is.
So Does Hydroxycut Work?
Well the testimonial says it does, but as we have shown, is it possible to believe these?
There’s no indication what is in Hydroxycut in what quantity so it is impossible to say one way or the other.
The clinical studies that are linked to all over the main website, show that a certain quantity of ingredients in a specific combination is needed. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this amount is included in any of the variations of the products.
Where Can I Buy Hydroxycut ?
Hydroxycut can be bought online direct from the main merchant, as well as a whole host of outlets including CVS Pharmacy, Kmart, Price Chopper, Meijer, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens and Supercentres.
This is where it gets really interesting, as the whole Hydroxycut brand has got a frightening history.
The very first incarnations of Hydroxycut contained Ephedrine, which was outright banned by the FDA in 2004, when serious side effects due to the banned ingredient accumulated. This included at least one death and led Hydroxycut to “reformulate” the products.
However in 2009 more problems arose with the new formula, and led the FDA to issue another warning.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to immediately stop using Hydroxycut products by Iovate Health Sciences Inc., of Oakville, Ontario and distributed by Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, N.Y. Some Hydroxycut products are associated with a number of serious liver injuries. Iovate has agreed to recall Hydroxycut products from the market.
As a result the products were recalled and eventually re-formulated into the products we are looking at today.
That’s Terrible, But What About the Claims They Make?
As you might have guessed for a company that produced a product like Hydroxycut, that was linked to serious illnesses, then the truth about the products themselves is not all what it appears.
A year later in 2010 the Federal trade Commission fined the companies behind Hydroxycut $5.5 Million to settle false advertising charges!!
As part of its on going efforts to stop bogus health claims, the Federal Trade
Commission is requiring a major marketer of dietary supplements to pay $5.5 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised that its supplements could help consumers lose weight and treat or prevent colds and other illnesses.
The complaint against Iovate Health Sciences USA also names its Canadian parent company, Iovate Health Science Group, Inc. (now known as Kerr Investment Holding Corp.), and a Canadian subsidiary of that company, Iovate Health Sciences, Inc., as defendants in this case.
This relates to a number of products the companies were pushing, Accelis, nanoSLIM and several cold remedies.
They were said to run adverts with deceptive claims that their weight loss supplements were clinically proven to cause weight loss, but no evidence was supplied. There were also some crazy claims, like “lose 32 lbs. FAST”
As a result the FTC banned them from making similar things in the future. This is why the website nowadays doesn’t really say a lot. They constantly link to the studies but offer no exact details about what these studies were.
Even now in 2012 they are still pushing the Authorities as far as they can. In a settlement earlier this year they were fined another $1.5 Million to end a lawsuit instigated by 10 California counties. Once again it was for misleading claims, and the fact that one of their products contained more than the allowable dose of lead!
So To Recap Hydroxycut caused Liver Problems and The Company was Fined $5.5 Million For Misleading Weight Loss Claims???
Yes, unfortunately, that is the long and short of it. Not only that but there are absolutely masses of lawsuits against the companies involved. These include class action lawsuits for damages allegedly incurred from consuming Hydroxycut.
Add to this the fact that Hydroxycut has been banned twice by the FDA, and millions of dollars in fines then you have a pretty sorry mess.
People have been hurt and people have suffered from consuming former versions of Hydroxycut, according to the FDA.
Is the new version going to be the next on the list?
Despite it being one of the most well known diet pills and supplement on the market, Hydroxycut also seems to have the worst history behind it.
The claims behind the “new” version are pretty empty, and do not seem to stack up.
Also the paid testimonials look highly dubious, despite this being one of the strongest claims behind the product.
Let’s hope it’s not too long before the FDA or FTC take another look at Hydroxycut.
We reject Hydroxycut diet pills!
Watchdog Rejected Diet Pills
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