Hydroxycut, a product struggling to find its niche
HYDROXYCUT is a slimming pill marketed as the #1 brand of weight loss supplements in the USA.
It enjoys very strong exposure both on the internet and in the best-known supermarkets such as WalMart and GNC.
Hydroxycut has been extensively tested and reviewed on the web, but that didn’t stop us from carrying out our own investigation to find out what’s really going on.
Is Hydroxycut a safe and effective weight loss pill?
Or is it just another scam masked and propelled by an aggressive advertising campaign?
Let’s find out together through our usual investigation and testing.
Hydroxycut: the range
When we talk about Hydroxycut, we’re not talking about a single product, but a whole range of supplements with different names and effects.
So let’s take a look at what they currently offer, as the company apparently has a rather chequered history.
More on that later. For now, let’s start by analyzing their 8 flagship products.
1. PRO CLINICAL HYDROXYCUT:
Pro Clinical Hydroyxcut is a weight loss formula based on 4 essential ingredients:
- Alchemilla extract;
- Wild olive extract;
- Cumin extract;
- and Field Mint Extract.
The manufacturer claims that these ingredients have been clinically proven as effective weight-loss aids, but ONLY when combined with a proper diet and exercise.
No scientific evidence is provided on the product’s official website to substantiate these claims. These claims are associated with user testimonials whose veracity remains to be proven.
2. PRO CLINICAL HYDROXYCUT CAFFEINE FREE:
Based on the same formula as the previous product (alchemilla, wild olives, cumin and field mint), but without caffeine and stimulants.
Despite this difference in the compositions of the two products, the potential results promised are exactly the same.
This is incomprehensible, given that it is precisely the caffeine and stimulants removed from the latter composition that are supposed to make the standard formula so effective.
No testimonials for this version of Hydroxycut.
3. PRO CLINICAL HYDROXYCUT MAX:
Again, this is the same formula as the standard product, except that they’ve added other ingredients “more suitable for women” which are: folic acid and iron.
We didn’t know that iron was more suitable for women than men, but hey, since they say so!
The Max! with an exclamation mark seems to indicate that the product is more powerful than other formulas, but there’s no proof or scientific study to back this up.
Note in passing this claim “it’s an advanced product for sexier, more sophisticated women who are confident and know what they want in a weight loss formula”!
4. PRO CLINICAL HYDROXYCUT INSTANT DRINK MIX:
Still the same ingredients, but this time in the form of 21 sachets to be mixed with water.
It’s the same formula as the original Hydroxycut, with the same references on the website, the only difference being the packaging.
We noticed that whatever the product formula, it’s always the same references that are given!
The recommended dose is 3 sachets a day with each main meal.
At this frequency, a box should run out after a week. The cost of prolonged treatment then looks very high.
5. HYDROXYCUT ACAI WITH GREEN COFFEE EXTRACTS:
The two essential ingredients in this formula are acai berry and green coffee. No other ingredients (apart from green coffee) are mentioned.
This time, on the official website, reference is made to a study indicating that green coffee may be effective in weight loss. But no further details.
There’s no information on the quantity or efficacy of acai berry. So we assume that this is just an unsubstantiated assumption.
A product may contain very good ingredients, but this is no guarantee of its efficacy, because what’s important beyond the composition is the dosage of each ingredient, which is a determining criterion of its proclaimed efficacy.
6. PRO CLINICAL HYDROXYCUT HERBAL:
Another return to the original formula, but this time it’s stimulant-free and caffeine-free like the basic caffeine-free version.
The only difference is that this time: it’s gluten-free.
Once again (as with all versions), the same references and studies are presented.
No testimonials or other useful information are mentioned.
7. PRO CLINICAL HYDROXYCUT CLA:
Sorry, but we’re going to repeat ourselves once again: it’s still the same formula with the 4 basic ingredients!
This time, 3,000mg of conjugated linoleic acid is added.
And as always, there’s no mention of linoleic acid’s expected effects on weight loss or its possible side effects.
The same studies and references are provided time and time again.
During our research, we found a single orphan study which proves that consuming 3.2g of conjugated linoleic acid can lead to a weight loss of 90g per week. So basically, it’s almost the same effect as a single bar of chocolate.
8. HYDROXYCUT HARDCORE:
Looks like we saved the best for last.
If we were marketing pros, this would certainly be the case. Because it seems that this last product is made for those looking for a “hardcore” answer to the weight loss question.
However, the two hardcore ingredients in this formula are only caffeine and green coffee. We wonder what this formula has in common with the others already presented!
As we all know, these two ingredients are commonly found in the majority of weight loss supplements. So how is this hardcore formula one of them?
What Hydroxycut claims can do for you
Sorry to disappoint you, but in reality the promises are mediocre.
We can understand that the manufacturer employs well-crafted marketing formulas and striking advertising slogans to convince you that the conjunction of these 4 ingredients present in all the formulas of these different versions of Hydroxycut can really help with weight loss, but apart from that, we can’t find anything.
Still, we dug even deeper to find studies that have actually been carried out on the subject.
And we found this study. It’s a study that was carried out in Israel in 2010, the purpose of which was to examine and study these herbs used in traditional Greco-Arab and Muslim medicine.
The mixture researched consisted of :
1. ALCHEMILE (60mg);
2. WILD OLIVES (50mg);
3. CUMIN (25mg);
4. FIELD MINT (20mg);
5. VITAMIN C (7mg);
6. CALCIUM (148mg);
The sum of these amounts was equivalent to 310mg per dose.
According to the same study, to benefit from the effect of this blend, subjects should take 3 doses of 310mg per day before each meal, corresponding to a daily total of 930mg.
BUT… and it’s a but with a capital M…
No version of Hydroxycut claims to contain sufficient active ingredients!
One question worried us right from the start of this review: why does the manufacturer try to remain discreet about the exact composition of each of its products?
The answer: it’s certainly because they’re aware of the study that’s been made public, and that the dosage of their products doesn’t meet the researchers’ recommended dose.
This is a practice that many manufacturers of slimming products engage in, simply mentioning a successful ingredient without really determining the dose used!
Is Hydroxycut effective?
Hydroxycut seems to contain good ingredients, a fact that no one can deny.
However, the effectiveness of a product depends not only on the ingredients used in its composition, but also on the dosages and quantities of these ingredients present in the product.
The problem with Hydroxycut is that the absence of any information on the dosages contained in its composition makes it impossible to comment on its efficacy. And in our experience, a manufacturer who believes in its product and offers consumers an effective pill isn’t afraid to display all the information useful to consumers in a framework of absolute transparency.
Hiding information is a dubious maneuver!
We’ll say it again at every opportunity: never consume a product without knowing its exact composition, ingredients and dosage.
Side effects Hydroxycut
To date, no study has been able to determine the efficacy of Hydroxycut, or the side effects that may occur following treatment with this herbal blend.
Another point that doesn’t really work in Hydroxycut’s favor. Mentioning probable side effects in a clear manner allows consumers to be on their guard against future health complications.
Things become a little more complicated and not exactly reassuring when we learn that earlier versions of Hydroxycut were withdrawn from the market in 2004 and again in 2009 due to certain side effects deemed dangerous by the official health authorities controlling dietary supplements.
In our search for the cause of the product’s first withdrawal from the market, we found that the first versions marketed up until 2005 contained ephedrine, a substance which represents an increased risk of addiction and has been banned by the US Food and Drug Administration due to its harmful effects on health.
Ephedrine has been suspected of being the direct cause of at least one death. Hydroxycut was obliged to reformulate its composition by eliminating this dangerous substance.
In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration again issued a warning about Hydroxycut’s newly revised formula.
This time, the FDA warned against the use of Hydroxycut and certain liver disorders. The warning was categorical, ordering the immediate cessation of all consumption of Hydroxycut products. Below are links to official publications.
- Consumer Advisory: FDA Questions and Answers about Hydroxycut.
- FDA Consumer Advisory dated May 1, 2009.
As a result, Hydroxycut products were withdrawn from the market and reformulated a third time.
A year later, in 2010, and in the interests of consumer protection, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined the manufacturer $5.5 million for false advertising and false promises.
Where can I buy Hydroxycut?
If, despite all that’s been said above, you still insist on buying Hydroxycut, you should know that it can be ordered directly online from the manufacturer’s official website.
In the USA, in addition to the official website, Hydroxycut can be purchased over the counter from a number of retailers.
The use of Hydroxycut is strongly discouraged and we decline all responsibility. If you use it, it will be at your own risk!
Our opinion about Hydroxycut
Despite its reputation as one of the most popular slimming pills on the market, Hydroxycut’s history and track record are not exactly reassuring.
Its evolution over the years has been linked to a number of scandals.
The overlapping so-called “new formulas” don’t seem to offer anything new in terms of either efficacy or safety.
We’re waiting for the FDA to give its verdict on this latest formula, and we don’t know how many times it will have to be reformulated before it is definitively approved!