Hydroxycut isn’t just one product. It’s a family of dietary supplements sold without a prescription as weight loss aids.
The active ingredients in some Hydroxycut products include:
- Papaya (Carica papya)
- Maqui (Aristotelia chilensis)
- Blackberry (Rubus fructicosus)
- Amla extract (Phyllanthus emblica)
- Saffron extract (Crocus sativus)
Some Hydroxycut products include a green coffee bean extract. And some Hydroxycut products include caffeine.
As of today, the active ingredients are:
- Lady’s mantle extract (Alchemilla vulgaris).
- Wild Olive Extract (Olea europaea).
- Komijn Extract (Cuminum cyminum).
- Wild mint extract (Vaccinium myrtillus).
Does hydroxycut work?
The manufacturers of Hydroxycut claim on the website that taking Hydroxycut Pro Clinical will help people lose more weight than dieting alone and significantly reduce body mass index (BMI). To support their claims, the website mentions two clinical studies that used the “key ingredients” in Hydroxycut Pro Clinical. They claim that average weight loss with key ingredients (lady’s mantle, wild olive, komijn, wild mint) plus a calorie-reduced diet was 20.9 lbs. vs. 1.7 lbs. for the placebo group in a 12-week study and 16.5 lbs. vs. 1.7 lbs in an 8-week study. The average BMI reduction with key ingredients was 10% vs. 0.9% with placebo in the 12-week study, and 8% vs. 0.8% in the 8-week study.
Hydroxycut is basically a blend of several different ingredients that are supposed to lead to weight loss.
Caffeine is definitely the most potent of them.
Numerous studies show that caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11% and enhance fat burning by about 10-29%.
However, keep in mind that this is a short term effect and it is well known that people develop a tolerance to caffeine .
There are no good studies showing that caffeine leads to weight loss in the long term.
Unfortunately, I did not find any studies that tested the active herbal ingredients in Hydroxycut individually.
However, there is one study that used the 4 herbs together (Lady’s mantle extract, Wild Olive Extract, Komijn Extract and Wild mint extract).
In this study, a group of researchers gave this combination of herbs to chickens and rats. The herbs reduced body weight gain in chickens by about 20% and significantly boosted the metabolic rate in rats .
But keep in mind that what works in test animals doesn’t always work in humans. They also used very large doses, so take all of this with a big grain of salt.
Is Hydroxycut safe based on the latest reformulation?
Remarkably, even after these two shakedowns by the FDA and the massive lawsuit, Hydroxycut reformulated all their products again, removing hydoxycitric acid, green tea extract, and virtually every other ingredient except caffeine. Today, Hydroxycut weight loss supplements remain hot sellers on the internet and in stores throughout the U.S. But is Hydroxycut safe based on this latest reformulation? Perhaps not: even the newest formulas, once again featuring different Hydroxycut ingredients, are still being reported to cause serious cases of liver injury[7-9], muscle injury, and gastrointestinal injury.
Although it is difficult to prove a causal relationship between Hydroxycut (or any other drug or supplement) and liver damage or other adverse effects, in cases published in peer-reviewed medical journals, Hydroxycut appears to be the culprit. The liver, muscle, and gastrointestinal injuries began after starting Hydroxycut and improved after stopping it. In addition, the subjects underwent extensive lab testing to rule out other causes.