PhenBlue is claimed to target four of the five key areas of weight loss using a selection of different ingredients. The product has not however been proven to work in these ways.
Below we have reviewed PhenBlue against our review criteria to help consumers make an informed decision.
- Promotes exercise and diet as part of a healthy weight loss programme
- Some of the key ingredients have been subject to early research
- No ingredient quantities disclosed
- Lack of independent consumer reviews
PhenBlue is marketed as a safer alternative to Phentermine, a banned prescription medicine that was dominant in America and used for weight loss among the clinically obese. PhenBlue is claimed to work as a strong appetite suppressant but uses the increase of chemicals found naturally in the body to do so. Unlike Phentermine, this is alleged to make it suitable for long term, over the counter use and allows users to avoid any serious side effects. Evidence to support these claims however is not widely available.
Claimed weight loss benefits
The manufacturers of PhenBlue claim that their diet pill possesses 3 of the 5 main weight loss factors. The website emphasises that it works as a fat burner through its thermogenic agents, a metabolism booster, appetite suppressant and as well as these, encourages consumers to take the pill with a diet plan. PhenBlue claims to speed up thermogenesis and thus increase the rate of fat burning via its thermogenic ingredients including the stimulant caffeine anhydrous and 7-Keto-Dehydroepiandrosterone Acetate. These ingredients are also said to boost metabolism. 5-HTP is broken down within the body to supposedly create a chemical that the body uses to reduce appetite. As well as this, the pills include EGCG (Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate) that is said to boost the body’s metabolic rate and increase the oxidation of fat. Also, it includes a plant extract called Forskolin, which is believed to help build lean muscle mass making it easier for users to burn off calories.
How PhenBlue Works
PhenBlue claims to work as the ‘fastest yet safest’ possible weight loss pill. It is said to work just like Phentermine, a prescription medicine that was used in America in the 1970s. Phentermine is a psychostimulant drug used as an appetite suppressant. It is said to work by targeting the hypothalamus part of the brain that regulates hunger and encourages it to stop telling your body that you need more food; it does this by releasing a neurotransmitter and small amounts of adrenaline into the body.
As well as potentially being an appetite suppressant, the adrenaline might also work outside of the brain to stimulate the body’s fat cells to break down. The drug, having once been the ‘go-to cure’ for weight loss, is now generally only prescribed in rare or serious cases of obesity in the United States and was banned in the UK in 2000 due to safety concerns. This is because it can potentially result in a number of fairly severe side effects including palpitations and psychological dependence.
The main difference between Phentermine and PhenBlue according to the PhenBlue website is that apart from its ‘scientifically engineered’ proprietary formula, it can, (unlike Phentermine), be taken for as long as the dieter wishes with no risk of addiction or loss of effectiveness. The website also boasts that PhenBlue can be legally bought over the counter due to the way it works and its much safer ingredients. PhenBlue does not appear to actually contain any phentermine.
Caffeine anhydrous is said to help the body to burn more fat by speeding up the thermogenic process (increasing the internal body temperature) and stimulating the body to boost the metabolism. Caffeine is also sometimes claimed to work as an appetite suppressant, though clinical evidence in support of this claim is lacking.
A naturally occurring chemical called 5-HTP is used within the pill. This chemical is used naturally in the body to suppress the appetite. Normally, the body produces 5-HTP and converts it into serotonin, which is then used to control appetite and mood. Serotonin however cannot be delivered via the bloodstream directly to the brain while 5-HTP can.
To increase energy expenditure and burn more fat, PhenBlue uses an ingredient known as 7-Keto-Dehydroepiandrosterone Acetate which supposedly causes thermogenesis. The ingredient itself is thought to activate three different thermogenic enzymes in the body. These enzymes might then start burning fat due to an increase in heat.
Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate (EGCG) is one of the key catechins present in green tea extract; it is thought to work to boost the metabolism. EGCG is believed to cause thermogenesis and activate metabolizing enzymes, which increase the oxidation of fat.
The Forskolin extract is said to act as an extra way to decrease the body’s fat mass. It supposedly achieves this by encouraging the growth of lean muscle. Muscle requires more calories to be maintained and as such, a greater muscle mass should help to increase the metabolism in the long run.
Key PhenBlue Ingredients
There are five ingredients in this weight loss supplement: caffeine anhydrous, 7-Keto-Dehydroepiandrosterone Acetate, Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate and Forskolin extract as well as the 5-HTP. It is worth noting that the supplement does not contain phentermine.
PhenBlue boasts that its pills are extensively researched and that they are all natural and safe to use. The website emphasises that ‘the PhenBlue proprietary formula is made up of the highest quality ingredients in order to ensure the fastest and easiest weight loss results that can be achieved outside a prescription’. No evidence is however provided in support of this claim.
The manufacturers of PhenBlue claim that their pills have been ‘scientifically designed to ensure the fastest yet safest possible weight loss’. The website includes a page titled ‘PhenBlue Ingredients’ which lists their ingredients along with their uses; they link to a selected five research references, two of which relate to studies concerning rats rather than human subjects. They do not claim to have tested the pill itself as part of any clinical study, which means that we can only provide information regarding each separate ingredient.
The first document referred to on the PhenBlue website relates to the use of Caffeine Anhydrous; it is not a clinical study but a review published by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois. In short, it states that caffeine can be found in all sorts of food and drink and that while moderate consumption is considered safe there are negative effects should your body be exposed to too much of it. In terms of the effects of caffeine on weight loss, this publication simply notes that the two have recently been linked. This ‘research’ therefore provides no evidence as to the effects of caffeine on weight loss and serves no purpose in backing up the claims of PhenBlue.
In a study contained in the US National Library of Medicine, the effects of caffeine relating to energy expenditure and weight loss were examined. Both obese and normal weight subjects took part in a series of four different trials. In the first trial 8mg/kg of caffeine was given to half of the normal weight subjects while the other half received a placebo. The results showed that the caffeine increased the subjects’ metabolic rate significantly during the 3 hours after consumption and fat oxidation was also significantly increased during the last hour of the test.
The second and third trials involved only 4mg/kg of caffeine and this was given to both obese and normal weight subjects. The metabolic rate of all of the subjects increased significantly but considerable increases in fat oxidation were only observed in those subjects who were of a healthy weight to begin with. In the last trial, the caffeine was taken with a meal to see if it increased the rate of thermogenesis. It did in fact do this; the thermic effect of the meal was noticeably increased after the caffeine and fat oxidation was greater.
These results show that caffeine might increase the metabolic rate of both individuals who are obese and those of healthy weight but that it only increases fat oxidation (the breaking down of fatty acids to release energy) in the latter group of people.
The manufacturers of PhenBlue refer to a study tested on rats in order to provide evidence that 5-HTP suppresses the appetite. The experiment found that this ingredient made the rats eat more slowly and consume less food than they normally would without the 5-HTP supplementation.
A trial was carried out in Italy using 19 obese female subjects to evaluate the effects of 5-HTP on their eating patterns. The subjects received either 8mg/kg per day of 5-HTP or an equivalent amount of placebo for 5 weeks during which they could choose to eat whatever they wanted. Their food intake was measured using a 3-day diet diary. Those who were given the 5-HTP for the duration of the study ate less than those on the placebo and, following this, they had also lost weight.
The PhenBlue website also references another study on rats to prove its claims that 7-Keto-Dehydroepiandrosterone Acetate (7-Keto-DHEA) speeds up the thermogenic process. The trial concerned the voluntary ethanol intake in male rats when treated with 7-Keto-DHEA and made no reference to how this ingredient affected thermogenesis.
There have however been human trials concerning the thermogenic effects of the ingredient showing that it might increase the metabolic rate of human subjects. A study, which can be found in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, involved 40 overweight subjects on a calorie-restricted diet; this included 30 women and 10 men. Each were randomly given 1 of 3 treatments to last for a period of 7 days. Some were given 7-Keto-DHEA, some a combination of thermogenic compounds including 7-Keto-DHEA, and the rest a placebo. By the end of the study, each subject had taken all 3 treatments with a 7-day wash out period in between them.
During the placebo treatment the resting metabolic rate of the subjects actually decreased by 3.9% (due to the calorie restricted diet); it increased by 1.4% however when the subjects used the 7-Keto-DHEA alone and 3.4% when it was used in combination with the other thermogenic compounds. There were also no serious or adverse side effects reported. These results indicate that 7-Keto DHEA does speed up the thermogenic process.
The website also refers to a study involving rodents to support its statements concerning EGCG (Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate) only this time they refer to a trial done on high-fat-fed mice. The results of the study showed that while EGCG could boost metabolism in the short-term, if used long-term it actually increased the chances of obesity.
Trials done in Berlin show that this might also be true for human subjects. These trials involved 6 overweight men who were given 300mg of EGCG per day for 2 days whilst similar subjects were given a placebo. Researchers assessed their energy expenditure and fat oxidation levels.
The results showed that while the resting energy expenditure of the subjects did not differ significantly, the subjects who received the EGCG had considerably lower respiratory quotient values. This means that more fat was being oxidised in those taking the EGCG. This seems to prove claims that EGCG will boost the metabolism although the authors of the study itself recognise that more trials, involving more people with a broader range of age and BMI, are needed to be able to define the optimal amount of EGCG that should be used for weight loss.
The last document referenced by PhenBlue is an article about Forskolin and how it can help fight obesity. The contents of this article however is not available to consumers without paying an additional fee; with just the title to go on it is fairly useless in terms of validating the manufacturer’s claims.
There are very few clinical studies available concerning Forskolin and those that have been done are relatively small in terms of how many test subjects are used and also quite limited regarding the physical traits and gender of those subjects. One study looked at the effects that this plant extract on people. Thirty overweight and obese men were given either Forskolin or a placebo daily for a total of 12 weeks. The results showed that those who had been given Forskolin showed a greater decrease in body fat and greater lean body mass than those on the placebo.
PhenBlue Side Effects
PhenBlue diet pills have been marketed based on the premise that they provide no serious side effects as opposed to the weight loss prescription alternative Phentermine, which caused severe symptoms including heart problems and psychological dependency in its users. While extremely little information is given on the website about side effects caused by the pills and despite the lack of credible consumer reviews, it would seem that PhenBlue is capable of the same side effects that result from many other stimulant based supplements. This includes nausea, insomnia and the headaches.
Apart from these mildly unpleasant side effects there seems to be no major concerns as to any other serious conditions that may result from use with one exception. There is a very small chance (dependent upon the quantity of the ingredient 5-HTP and the length of the period in which the pills are used) that a user may develop Serotonin syndrome. This condition is caused by an excessive accumulation of Serotonin in the body and so it is a rare but potential side effect that could result from the pills should their quantities of 5-HTP be particularly high.
As with all products that contain stimulants, there is a risk of nausea and/or insomnia with caffeine intake. Given that we have no information about the amounts of caffeine or EGCG contained in the pill, the severity of these side effects cannot be predicted. However, should you experience either of them for a prolonged period of time upwards of 5 days, we recommend that you stop using the pills and consult a GP.
7-Keto Dehydroepiandrosterone Acetate
7-Keto DHEA may have the potential to increase male hormones within the body; it does this at a slower rate than DHEA itself but the potential side effects are an issue all the same. The ingredient has been said specifically to increase male hormone levels, which are what goes on to cause these unpleasant effects such as acne and hair loss. Although not severe, these are undesirable symptoms and should you experience them it is recommended that you stop using the pills.
This product may cause serotonin syndrome. This is usually caused by a reaction to serotonergic agents such as 5-HTP or a large excess of serotonin in the body. While it is very rare that you would experience this while taking the pills, as there is no information as to the amount of 5-HTP that the pills contain and thus how much Serotonin is being created it is important that consumers are aware and can spot the signs of this potentially life threatening condition. It must also be remembered that different people may be more or less sensitive to amounts of Serotonin and thus we recommend that you monitor your symptoms carefully when using the pills. You may have Serotonin syndrome if you experience: rapidly increased heart rate, shivers or sweats, dilated pupils, tremors, or hyperthermia.
How to Use
The manufacturers of PhenBlue seem to be quite forward about the fact that these pills on their own will not make much of a significant difference to your weight. They emphasise that using the pills ‘should not be considered to be a weight loss program all on its own but is designed to be used in conjunction with a complete plan’. By this it means that users must also be on a calorie restricted diet and regular workout routine for at least the duration in which the pills are being taken for best weight loss results.
PhenBlue says on its website that the capsules should be taken approximately half an hour prior to breakfast and then again half an hour before lunch. This would mean that they advise you to take two capsules per day however, when compared to an image of a 1-month’s supply of PhenBlue this doesn’t make sense as the 30 capsules provided would not last for the whole duration of the month. It is likely that this is just a mistake on PhenBlue’s part with the image but if you do end up purchasing PhenBlue, it goes without saying that you should read all information on the packaging just to be clear about the recommended dose.
The manufacturers also emphasise that it is very important that you drink the right amount of water when consuming the pills. Before breakfast, you should swallow the capsule with a full glass of water and then this is reduced to a minimum of 8 ounces for the second capsule before lunch.
In terms of who should not be using the pills, the website only mentions those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine. Based on the ingredients in the pill, our experts would recommend that as well as this, you should also not consider these pills if you have high blood pressure, any family history of heart defects, are pregnant and/or nursing, are diabetic, or if you have any other medical condition or are taking any other medication that might be interfered with by the pills.
It is recommended that you always consult a GP before using any diet pill, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
Who Makes It?
Unlike other diet pills, PhenBlue clearly states its manufacturer on its website; the company behind the pills is Intechra Health. They are advertised as an experienced diet pill company that offers various other weight loss and health benefiting products on their own separate website. Based in America, Intechra Health describes itself as ‘devoted to helping customers improve their quality of life’.
All products sold by the company are made in a Good Manufacturing Practices certified (GMP) facility in America. The Intechra Health website also provides its own health and well-being articles and weight loss forums for consumers who are currently using its products. You can sign up to the website and share your experiences with other consumers. It is also helpful to read the reviews on the forums before trying out a product for yourself. There are also no complaints listed against the company on the Better Business Bureau website although it should be remembered that in terms of international shipping, the company is not of the highest standard.
Where to Buy PhenBlue
Like most other diet pills, PhenBlue is sold through its own independent website. It can also be bought on auction sites such as Ebay and Amazon.com through third party retailers. We would advise; however, that if you are considering purchasing these pills that you buy directly through the main website. The auction sites are not affiliated with the manufacturers – you may not receive the product advertised.
The pills are sold in 4 different quantities; 1, 2, 3 and 6 month supplies with one bottle of 30 capsules claimed to last for the duration of a month. PhenBlue operates on a discount system whereby the more pills you buy, the more money you supposedly save. Prices are as follows: A 6 month supply costs $279 (£177.83); a 3 month supply costs $149 (£94.97); a 2 month supply costs $119 (£75.85); a 1 month supply costs $64 (£40.79)
PhenBlue is based in the United States and seems to have some issues about shipping internationally. For orders within the US, a shipping fee dependent on the service required will need to be paid on all orders under $120 (£76.49). All orders over this amount qualify for free shipping,
International customers are not given the option for standard international delivery so although PhenBlue does ship worldwide, this comes at a price ranging from $27.15 (£17.31) for first class international delivery to $48.85 (£31.14) for priority shipping. This is per order regardless of whether you buy 1 bottle or 6.
Does PhenBlue Meet our Approved Criteria
Money-back-guarantee: There is no mention of a money-back guarantee.
One-off payment: The product appears to be sold using a one-off payment.
Manufacturing Standard: Made in a GMP-certified lab.
Accompanying Diet Plan: There does not appear to be an accompanying diet plan.
Ingredients and quantities disclosed: Ingredient quantities are not disclosed.
Company contact details readily available: Full contact details are available on the official website.
PhenBlue does not meet our ‘Approved’ criteria as there is no money-back guarantee or diet plan and some information is lacking from the official website, including ingredient quantities.
Based on the scientific evidence relating to each ingredient used in the proprietary formula of PhenBlue pills, it would seem that there is potential for the supplement to aid weight loss. Research into the ingredients is however still in the early stages and the product as a whole has not been clinically tested. The company behind the product is based in America; it seems to be established but does not provide information regarding ingredient quantities. There is no money-back guarantee.Google+
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