A few years back, I saw an ad for a weight loss product that made me aspirate the sauerkraut I was eating. Like most companies, they used one of those usually suspicious, always-dramatic before-and-after shots.
The "before" shot showed the upper body of a pretty girl with a significant stomach bulge. Her arms and shoulders, while not exactly fat, were a little pudgy.
The "after" shot showed her in a bikini – tanned, juicy, and incredibly fit; ready to go on stage to compete in a figure contest.
The trouble is, I KNEW the girl in the photo. She was an accomplished fitness competitor and the "unsightly" bulge in her before-shot was her gestating baby. Of course she lost 9 pounds (and 4 ounces)! She named it Corey, who I suspect is now in middle school suffering from some sort of eating disorder.
Ignoring my inflamed trachea and nasal passages, I wrote an article pointing out how sneaky and plain wrong it was that this company had portrayed a pregnant woman's baby bump and pregnancy-pounds as generic fatness and then claimed that their product had miraculously transformed her into a fitness model.
About three weeks later, a process server came to my house, pounded on my door until I answered, and served me with a lawsuit. The supplement company was suing me for 10 million dollars. I ended up avoiding a costly legal defense by promising to back off and never to hurt their feelings again.
That, however, is just one personal reason I generally have contempt for the fat loss market. The other reasons? Many companies habitually use scurrilous advertising. They usually make unrealistic promises and unsubstantiated claims. They often employ sometimes crude, sometimes sophisticated psychology to prey on desperate fat people.
Look, a fat-loss product shouldn't be marketed to truly obese people who refuse to try plain old dieting and exercise. It won't help them. Fat-loss supplements, if they're truly legit, should be marketed towards people who already diet and exercise and want to fine-tune or "finish" a physique.
Think of a fat-loss product as the sandpaper you might use on a woodcarving before you apply varnish – you've arrived at the basic shape you want, but you just need to erase a few imperfections or lumps here and there.
That's who and what Biotest's Hot-Rox® Extreme was designed for – competitive bodybuilders and other physique athletes who want to hone their physiques.
That, or people with a stubborn pocket of residual fat around the belly or love handles that need a bit of extra help – not for the people you typically see in "before" pictures.
The Stubborn Body Fat Solution
Hot-Rox® Extreme is comprised of three main ingredients, all contained in a novel self-microemulsifying delivery system (gelucire) that's used in the pharmaceutical industry to increase absorption of compounds that ordinarily don't like to be absorbed.
These active ingredients are:
- Forskolin 1,19 Carbonate
- Yohimbine HCL
- Raspberry Ketone
Individually and in some cases, together, these compounds have the following effects:
- Increased thyroid secretion of T4 (through elevated levels of cAMP), which leads to increased burning of fat.
- Increased production of protein kinase (again, by elevating cAMP), which leads to increased levels of hormone-sensitive lipases, which helps break down triglycerides.
- Increased activation (by cAMP) of brown adipose tissue, which leads to more burning of fat.
- The blocking of andrenergic receptors that predominate in certain fat-deposition "trouble areas" like the abdominal area, love handles, and lower back.
- Stimulation of mitochondrial uncoupling, an extremely thermogenic (heat-generating) process that burns calories.
- Increased testosterone levels, leading to not only additional burning of fat, but increased muscle and sex drive (through elevated levels of cAMP).
- Decreased appetite, thus making it a bit easier to maintain a diet.
- Suppressed adipocyte differentiation and fat accumulation.
Here's a quick rundown of each of the three main ingredients:
Forskolin 1,19 Carbonate
This plant-derived substance is the workhorse behind Hot-Rox® Extreme and it has a body of solid research to back its use in not only burning fat, but building muscle too. It's often regarded as the closest thing science has to "exercise in a pill" for its body-comp altering effects, even in people who don't exercise.
It does all this primarily by stimulating production of an enzyme named adenylate cyclase, which in turn increases levels of a cellular messenger called cyclic AMP, or cAMP for short.
Here are the highlights of a few studies involving forskolin:
- Female subjects in an 8-week study lost a mean of 9.17 pounds of weight while experiencing gains in lean body mass (without weight training).
- The total body weight of a mixed group of men and women in a 12-week study decreased from 74.7 kilograms to 73.5 kilograms while experiencing increases in lean body mass (without weight training).
- The forskolin users in a mixed-sex group of 50 test subjects experienced a 1.78 percent increase in lean body mass (compared with a 0.20 decrease in the placebo group) and a decrease in mean body fat from 35.8 to 34.0 percent (while the placebo group showed an increase in body fat from 38.8 to 39.0 percent).
Even by itself, forskolin (sold as Carbolin 19®) is a potent fine-tuner of bodies, but especially so when combined with the other components of Hot-Rox® Extreme.
Long ago, before the advent of drugs like Viagra and its erection-friendly cousins, yohimbine was the go-to treatment for erectile dysfunction. Nowadays we appreciate it more for its ability to increase thermogenesis and selectively target stubborn areas of body fat.
Here's a short explanation of how it works: Fat cells have two receptors for catecholamines, among which are epinephrine and norepinephrine (more commonly known as adrenaline and noradrenaline). These receptors are known as alpha-receptors and beta-receptors.
The alpha-receptor acts like a negative feedback loop for norepinephrine, which causes it to put the kibosh on fat burning. That's why it's harder to get rid of fat that contains more alpha-receptors.
For some reason, there are lots more of these alpha-receptors in the lower abs of men and thighs of women. That's where yohimbine comes in. It blocks the alpha-receptor, thus making the fat easier to burn off.
Yohimbine hasn't been the subject of many fat loss studies (mostly because of its aforementioned rep as an erectile dysfunction drug), but the one most often cited involved its effects on body comp and exercise performance in soccer players:
After 21 days, soccer players who took yohimbine saw a marked decrease in percentage of body fat compared to those who were given placebo (9.3 +\-1.1 vs. 7.1 +\-2.2%). Likewise, post-supplementation fat mass was significantly lower in the yohimbine vs. placebo group (7.1 +\- 2.2% vs. 9.2+\- 1.9%).
The scientific evidence behind these phenolic compounds is a lot less conclusive than that supporting its Hot-Rox® Extreme ingredient brothers. Still, the theory, supported by some animal studies, a couple of in-vitro studies, and one human study, is that raspberry ketones stimulate fat loss by causing a chemical called hormone sensitive lipase to enzymatically slice apart fat molecules.
In that aforementioned human study, researchers had 45 women split into two groups: One group followed a calorie-restricted diet and performed an exercise program while also being given a daily dose of a supplement that contained raspberry ketones. The control group followed the same diet and the same exercise program, albeit without the raspberry-ketone containing supplement.
After eight weeks, there were significant differences between the two groups in body weight, fat mass, lean mass, hip girth, and energy levels. However, it needs to be stated that while the supplement they took did indeed contain raspberry ketones, it also contained capsaicin, caffeine, garlic, ginger, and citrus aurantium.
Another study, this one conducted in-vitro and published in Pharmaceutical Biology, found that treatment of adipocytes (fat cells) with raspberry ketones suppressed adipocyte differentiation and fat accumulation in a concentration dependent manner, prompting researchers to conclude, "These findings suggest that RK [raspberry ketones] holds great promise for an herbal medicine with the biological activities altering the lipid metabolism in 3T3-L1 adipocytes."
Okay, that's a bit of an awkwardly written synopsis, even for scientists. What they meant to say was that they thought that raspberry ketones had a lot of potential to be a valid fat-fighting supplement.
How to Use Hot-Rox® Extreme
When you've got stubborn love handles, uncooperative pockets of fat around the belly, or chubby thighs that just won't quit, or if you're a physique athlete trying to hone your physique into diamond-hard shape, take one or two capsules of Hot-Rox® Extreme two times a day, each time on an empty stomach. Allow at least six hours between doses.
Be careful, though, as this product provides an energy kick that might make first-time users a bit fidgety (the product also contains a bit of caffeine to help curb appetite, provide a bit of energy, and to work synergistically with some of the other ingredients).
Start with one capsule, taken twice a day, and build on that as tolerated. Don't exceed four capsules in a 24-hour period, though.
Related: Get Hot-Rox® Extreme Here
Related: A Supplement That Works Without Exercise
- Godard, et al., "Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese males," Obesity Research, 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.
- Kamath, "Efficacy and Safety of Forslean in Increasing Lean Body Mass," Department of Ayurvedic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India, 2005.
- Lopez HL, Ziegenfuss TN, et al. "Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women," J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2013 Apr 19;10(1):22
- Majeed, et al., Diterpene forskolin: A possible new compound for reduction of body weight by increasing lean body mass," Nutraceuticals, March/April 2002, pp. 6-7.
- Ostojic, SM. "Yohimbine: The effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players," Res Sports Med. 2006, Oct-Dec;14(4):289-99.
- Park KS. "Raspberry ketone, a naturally occurring phenolic compound, inhibits adipogenic and lipogenic gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes," Pharm Biol 2015 Jun;53(6):870-5.
- Scarpace PJ, Matheny M. "Thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue with age: post-receptor activation by forskolin," Pflugers Arch. 1996 Jan;431(3):388-94.
- Tsuguyoshi, "Clinical report on root extract of Perilla Plant (coleus forskholii) in reducing body fat," Asanto Institute, Tokyo, Japan, 2001.