Are thermogenic supplements safe
Fat burners to slim down - often a danger!
What ingredients do fat burners contain?
There is no legal definition of what the term "fat burner" means. They are therefore composed very differently, but usually contain one or more of the following substances. Some of these are not even approved for use in food - including dietary supplements.
The Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is obtained from the Indian herb Garcinia cambogia (Malabar tamarind) and used as Garcinia cambogia extract in fat burners. In animal experiments it was found that HCA inhibits an important enzyme in lipid metabolism. In a current overview study of eight smaller studies, the positive effect of Garcinia cambogia on body weight and BMI is described. It is unclear whether the conditions prevailing in the studies (initial situation of the participants, extract used, dosage) can be transferred to the consumption of the food supplements on the market, especially since there are no defined extracts and therefore those from manufacturers A and B were used Can make a massive difference between extracts.
HCA-containing extracts have caused damage to the testicles in animal experiments. For this reason, no experiments with higher doses could be made in human studies. And so there are strong doubts not only about the effectiveness, but also about the safety of HCA-containing slimming products. The Stuttgart Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Office examined samples. The stated HCA amounts differed greatly from the amounts actually determined.
The industrial chemical 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) is a toxic, fat-soluble substance that belongs to the group of nitrophenols and was used as an explosive for grenades during World War I. It was used for weight loss as early as the 1930s, but was quickly withdrawn from the market because of its harmful side effects. She will often today forbidden in dietary supplements for athletes, especially for bodybuilders, used.
DNP disrupts the normal energy metabolism in the body's cells. It prevents the formation of the energy carrier ATP in the cells. Instead, the resulting energy is released as heat, which manifests itself in fever or sweating. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) warned in 2015 against food supplements with DNP, as there were also deaths in Europe after consumption of such products. The European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed RASFF reported around 100 times the use of DNP in food supplements offered online in 2019 and 2020.
Synephrine, is often used as an alternative to the forbidden ephedrine or ephedra herb. It occurs naturally, among other things, in the Bitter orange (also bitter orange or Citrus Aurantium) is in fat burners often with caffeine (or ingredients containing caffeine such as guarana, green tea or coffee extract). Both substances act on the cardiovascular system and can affect themselves reinforce each other in their effect. This particularly affects the increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
Hardly too much synephrine is absorbed through fruits, but this can happen quickly through dietary supplements. You should therefore pay attention if the ingredient citrus aurantium extract can be found in the list of ingredients. According to the BfR, no more than 6.7 mg synephrine should be consumed per day with a dietary supplement. In many products, however, this amount is significantly exceeded.
Ketones (mostly raspberry ketone) are also offered to increase performance in sports and as "fat burners" for weight loss. There are no well-founded scientific studies that prove these effects. The statements relating to weight loss were based on the EFSA lack of evidence already rejected as scientifically unsound.
The forbidden yohimbine from the bark of the African yohimbe tree is usually found in fat burners as yohimbine hydrochloride (yohimbine HCL). It is advertised for bodybuilders to lose fat or improve athletic performance. Yohimbine can increase the concentration of free fatty acids in the plasma, but this does not necessarily promote weight loss, which depends on many other factors.
As health risks of yohimbine are among others. Called insomnia, anxiety, and vomiting. Yohimbine HCl increases cardiac output, which among other things. leads to increased blood pressure. The BfR therefore rates yohimbine as "not suitable for use in food" because of known risks. Yohimbe was classified in April 2019 with the EU Regulation 2015/650 as a substance whose use in food - and thus also in dietary supplements - is prohibited in the European Union (according to Annex III, Part A, Regulation (EG) 1925/2006).
Not all food supplements offered as "fat burners" contain dangerous substances.
In 2018, the magazine "Ökotest" tested fat burners and other slimming products that can be bought in pharmacies, drugstores, discounters and supermarkets without a prescription. The main ingredients in the fat burners tested were citrus fruit and guarana extract. The trace elements chromium and zinc as well as copper are also added to some products.
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