Miracle Fat Burners

Can supplements shave off pounds?

miracle fat burners

miracle fat burners

Back in the 1990s a metabolism boosting herb Ephedra sinensis, also called Mormon Tea or Ma Huang, was the “fat burn miracle” ingredient. But while its weight loss popularity grew more by word of mouth and advertising exaggeration than scientific authority, its effects on heart rate and blood pressure were such that it amped up adrenaline with a drug-like effect and its use became notorious when certain dietary supplements with it led to deaths.

Mormon tea contains ephedra, the same active substance used in some asthma drugs and, although a traditional medicinal, was subject to abuse, thus the herb’s commercial availability was limited (though it is making a comeback and used in lean muscle building stacks with aspirin, caffeine and white willow bark).

Fortunately, ephedra and caffeine pills have been replaced by a number of milder and presumably safer herbs, which also happen to be recommended by fitness trainer Naomi Priestley who cites these plant-based weight-loss aids to help muscles recover quickly and burn fat for her students at the The Sweat Shoppe Heated Indoor Cycling in Los Angeles. “It’s important to eat right and exercise but adding a supplement is a way to accelerate results for clean energy, focus and endurance to boost metabolism and burn calories,” she tells HealthyLivinG.

Naomi’s choices are based on their potential to counteract obesity and are frequently combined together and sold as “fat burners.”

Green Coffee Bean Extract

Green Coffee Bean Extract (also known as GCBE or Coffea canephora robusta ) inhibits fat absorption and activates liver fat metabolism. GCBE combines caffeine with chlorogenic acid. Caffeine suppresses fat absorption while chlorogenic acid stimulates reduction of liver fatty acid levels.

Yerba Maté

Studies identify yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) as a candidate for countering obesity by influencing altered obesity genetics. Cell studies demonstrate yerba maté suppresses adipocyte (fat cell) differentiation, triglyceride accumulation and reduces inflammation by modulating genetically influential signaling pathways that regulate adipogenesis (fat formation).

“In addition, yerba maté modulates the expression of genes that are changed in the obese state and restores them to more normal levels of expression. In doing so, it addresses several of the abnormal and disease-causing factors associated with obesity. Protective and ameliorative effects on insulin resistance were also observed. Thus, as a general conclusion, it seems that yerba maté beverages and supplements might be helpful in the battle against obesity.”

Green Tea

Green tea, a powerful antioxidant and anti-ager, increases fat burning and reduces inflammation.


To investigate the effect of Panax ginseng on weight loss and the body’s population of friendly weight-loss causing bacteria, 10 overweight and middle-aged Korean women took extracts for 8 weeks, followed by assessment of body composition parameters, metabolic biomarkers and gut microbiota composition. “Significant changes were observed in body weight and body mass index… slight changes were observed in gut microbiota.”


Guarana (Paullinia cupana), originating in Brazil, was once thought to be simply an herbal jitter bug that made people jumpy with its caffeine content, but scientific investigation shows it influences genes related to fat formation. “An up-regulation of the anti-adipogenic genes Wnt10b, Wnt3a, Wnt1, Gata3 and Dlk1 and a down-regulation of pro-adipogenic genes Cebpα, Pparγ and Creb1 were… observed.”

Citrus aurantium and Rhodiola Rosea

Extracts from the immature fruit of Citrus aurantium tend to be some of the stronger of the new plant-based fat burners. In this study, they were combined with Rhodiola rosea, which has notable antistress properties. In an experimental study, C aurantium + R rosea produced a stunning “30% decrease in visceral fat weight compared with the other treatments. Only the C aurantium group had an increased heart rate (+7%). C aurantium + R rosea resulted in an elevation of weight-loss hormones including 15% increases in norepinephrine and 150% increase in frontal cortex dopamine compared with another group. “These initial findings suggest that treatments of C aurantium + R rosea have actions on central monoamine pathways and have the potential to be beneficial for the treatment of obesity.”

Although you can find these ingredients individually, supplement makers combine them into fat burning formulas. They definitely aren’t a miracle solution but they can enhance our efforts at weight loss.

Hiroshi Shimoda, Emi Seki, and Michio Aitani Inhibitory effect of green coffee bean extract on fat accumulation and body weight gain in mice BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006; 6: 9. Published online 2006 Mar 17. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-6-9 PMCID: PMC1513603 Alessandra Gambero and Marcelo L. Ribeiro The Positive Effects of Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) in Obesity Nutrients. 2015 Feb; 7(2): 730–750. Published online 2015 Jan 22. doi: 10.3390/nu7020730 PMCID: PMC4344557 Cláudio A. Cunha, Fábio S. Lira, José C. Rosa Neto, Gustavo D. Pimentel, Gabriel I. H. Souza, Camila Morais Gonçalves da Silva, Cláudio T. de Souza, Eliane B. Ribeiro, Alexandra Christine Helena Frankland Sawaya, Cláudia M. Oller do Nascimento, Bruno Rodrigues, Patrícia de Oliveira Carvalho, and Lila M. Oyama Green Tea Extract Supplementation Induces the Lipolytic Pathway, Attenuates Obesity, and Reduces Low-Grade Inflammation in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet Mediators Inflamm. 2013; 2013: 635470. Published online 2013 Jan 29. doi: 10.1155/2013/635470 PMCID: PMC3569937 Mi-Young Song, Bong-Soo Kim, and Hojun Kim Influence of Panax ginseng on obesity and gut microbiota in obese middle-aged Korean women J Ginseng Res. 2014 Apr; 38(2): 106–115. Published online 2014 Jan 9. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2013.12.004 PMCID: PMC3986624 Natália da Silva Lima, Erica de Paula Numata, Leonardo Mendes de Souza Mesquita, Pollyana Hammoud Dias, Wagner Vilegas, Alessandra Gambero, and Marcelo Lima Ribeiro Modulatory Effects of Guarana (Paullinia cupana) on Adipogenesis Nutrients. 2017 Jun; 9(6): 635. Published online 2017 Jun 20. doi: 10.3390/nu9060635 PMCID: PMC5490614 Jessica L. Verpeut, Amy L. Walters, and Nicholas T. Bello Citrus aurantium and Rhodiola rosea in combination reduce visceral white adipose tissue and increase hypothalamic norepinephrine in a rat model of diet-induced obesity Nutr Res. 2013 Jun; 33(6): 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.04.001. Published online 2013 May 8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.04.001 PMCID: PMC3808124 NIHMSID: NIHMS465738
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