I have a huge appetite, and from time to time I get cravings. You know, that rumble in your stomach for something that you know only one thing will satisfy. I have a craving, and the prescription isn’t more cowbell. For the past week, I have had this insatiable hunger for some ingredient bashing (if you recall, the last post on caffeine was more of a nod of approval than anything) and that ingredient is Zeal Burn’s very own Advantra Z. Although I had ravenously feasted on this with much vigor in the past in my Getting Burned by Zeal Burn post, it didn’t quite satisfy my hunger. So I am going to serve up a heap of steaming Advantra Z for us to feast on.
If there is one single ingredient that can potentially do the most harm to a person in this pill, this is it. This ingredient alone would be enough to make anyone not want to take it. Of course, Zeal still says:
Thermogenesis is the process in which the body raises its temperature, or energy output. By increasing the thermogenesis within the body, the metabolism is raised and fat cells are then utilized as energy to support this metabolic increase.
Advantra Z® – the ONLY PATENTED THERMOGENIC INGREDIENT for weight loss and sports nutrition. This ingredient is proprietary to Zeal Burn to:
- Stimulate thermogenesis
- Reduce weight
- Increase lean muscle mass to total body mass
- Improve athletic performance
- Suppress appetite
Advantra Z® will aid the body in preserving lean muscle while burning fat through increasing your body’s metabolic rate (thermogenesis).
Unlike ephedra-containing products, there have been no ill side effects for blood pressure observed with Advantra Z®, but of course always consult with your doctor if you are prone to high blood pressure.
Lies! All of them! Especially the bottom one. First, we need to learn what Advantra Z is don’t we? It goes by tons of names:
Bitter orange, Citrus Aurantium, Zhi-Shi, Methyl Synephrine, N-Methyltyramine, Naranja Amarga, Neroli Oil, Norsynephrine, Octopamine, Octopamine HCl, Orange Amère, Orange de Séville, Orange Peel Extract, Orange Verte, Seville Orange, Shangzhou Zhiqiao, Sour Orange, and Synepherine. Oh, don’t worry, there are more.
Key thing to remember here is that it is a branded ingredient. There is nothing different about it other than the brand. It is like comparing Green Giant broccoli with broccoli grown in the field next door to it. Same broccoli, different name and price. Well, I guess we ought to find out what the good folks at advantraz.org think about their own product:
Unlike ephedra which causes the heart to race and increases blood pressure, Advantra Z does not cause these negative side effects. Instead, Advantra Z mimics ephedra’s weight loss inducing qualities without producing these dangerous side effects.
Here’s why: ephedra and Advantra Z both increase fat-burning metabolism by stimulating beta receptors found on fat cells. The difference between ephedra and Advantra Z is which beta receptors these ingredients act on.
Ephedra stimulates B1, B2 and B3 receptors. But, stimulating B1 and B2 receptors increases heart rate and blood pressure, the side effects which caused the FDA to ban ephedra.
Only the B3 receptor promotes fat cell breakdown, the desired effect of both ephedra and Advantra Z. By activating only the B3 receptor, Advantra Z increases thermogenesis without causing the same side effects ephedra causes.
B.S. You can go to that page and note all of the nutratech funded studies that say it is ok. Remember the big red flag for telling if a study was phony or not? Say it all together kids. WHEN IT IS FUNDED BY A SUPPLEMENT COMPANY.
I once did a poll on who ate at burgers at least once a week. I only surveyed morbidly obese people in the parking lot of a burger place and then I followed up with them the next week to see how many died. I came to the conclusion that 99% of people eat burgers at least once a week and are unlikely to die from eating one burger a week. There you have it, burgers are healthy and should be eaten at least once a week to assure your survival to the next week, as survival rate was 100%. /sarcasm
They were right about one thing, synepherine has nearly the same chemical make up as ephedra. (Photos care of Wikipedia)
See, pretty dang close. The thing that really sticks out to me is the hydroxide chillin’ at the other end of the benzene ring with the synephrine. But wait, there is more. Halostachine:
This fun little buddy who comes from the halostachy plant (Arabic in origin) also raises blood pressure. Looks similar to the other two huh? Maybe we can make halostachine the next miracle ingredient in Zeal! Surely it is the next magical weight loss supplement! I am not saying chemicals that resemble this will raise your blood pressure or are good for losing weight. Just drawing a lay-chemist comparison, draw your own conclusion. I am depending on clinical studies to see whether things work or what they do. Once good hard evidence walks in the door, speculation gets to take a seat.
Furthermore, let us ask this 27 year old girl who had a nice case of ventricular fibrillation what she thinks of it now.
Even the Canadians don’t like it either.
Another atrocity is those crazies that are doing the Zeal “wellness plan” (sorry, I chuckled a little when I wrote “wellness plan”) are taking it three times a day. In a normal, healthy adult, one dose spiked their blood pressure for 5 hours! Imagine taking it every meal and having it built up in your body. Plus since the blend is “proprietary,” you don’t really know what dosage you are getting.
What is worse, is here is a 55 year old woman who admittedly had a history of smoking, but was taking a multicomponent supplement. You know, mixed up with caffeine? Nice arterial lesion. Poor woman, someone probably told her the stuff was safe.
Here is a 52 year old woman with the same issues.
In this one, we have an otherwise healthy 38 year old male who was only on it for a week. Symptoms showed when he increased his dosage to twice a day (instead of once).
27 not young enough for you, how about a healthy 22 year old female with some good old fashioned exercise induced syncope.
Or maybe a 22 year old African American male? Yes, this one had a G6PD deficiency.
Are things becoming a little more clear? Yes, this stuff sucks. It isn’t safe, especially when mixed with other ingredients in zeal. I have said it before and I will say it again. This stuff can interact with other things in the zeal system and wreak havoc. Stimulants, such as caffeine, which is found everywhere in the system intensifies the effects, and increases the risk of a cardiovascular event. One I haven’t mentioned before is the ginseng. Panang Ginseng (also in the zeal system) seems to increase the QT time on an ECG, and so does bitter orange, and this effect seems to compound each other. Interestingly, administering Advantra Z alone in a potentially supplement company sponsored study did not raise blood pressure, but when you mixed bitter orange with caffeine and other things (like in this “system”), it did. Bitter orange also interacts with a plethora of other drugs.
So, some people would still take the stuff if it works, potential side effects be damned. Here is the thing to remember. Write it down, chisel it in stone, whatever. It hasn’t been proven, and results are leaning toward it not working. One study did show it helped along with CALORIE RESTRICTION AND EXERCISE, and another study showed that it didn’t work at all. At least ephedrine worked somewhat. It did have the same negative side effects. Actually, in clinical trials, it gave a 0.9kg/month weight loss. That is a half pound a week. It just had the negative side effects, which are the same as the bitter orange. So, it did work, it was just not very good stuff. In case you haven’t caught my drift, bitter orange is like ephedra but less effective. Same negative side effects, no weight loss. This stuff alone puts the Zeal Burn on the top of the dung pile attracting the most flies.
I just want to add, I am not saying this is going to give everyone some cardiovascular event, but it could, and it has in otherwise healthy people in their 20’s. Some people can take it and have no problems. I have seen it. But then they could stroke out the next day. What if it happens when you are on a solo trail run? Those cardiovascular events are something that is tough to recover from, and could cause permanent damage. I wouldn’t risk it for the at best claimed mediocre results of Advantra Z. Something to think about before popping the burn pill 3 times a day.
Now, I am full. My appetite is satisfied, for now. I hope you will reconsider if you are taking ANY dietary supplement containing this stuff. Avoid at all costs, the risks far outweigh the benefits, and just because someone says it is good/safe, or it helped them lose a ton of weight, don’t buy into it. Think about it, if someone started taking a diet pill, they are trying to initiate a lifestyle change. They probably started exercising more, and started eating healthier (or replacing 2 meals a day with a 300 kcal shake). Just some food for thought to leave you with. Alright folks, I am going to sign off. As always, references below. Have a good one!