Fat Burner Superior was a top-selling fat burner on Amazon, but then the listing for it suddenly disappeared. Weight Loss Development, the company behind it, claimed on their Facebook page that it simply sold out, but now it’s available out in other stores!
That means it’s our turn to analyze the ingredients in this very-high-stim, yet proprietarily-blended formula. Since we don’t know what doses we’re getting of any of the ingredients, it makes analysis difficult.
Our general impression is that most stimulant-lovers will indeed love this, but it doesn’t come without warnings, since we don’t know the dosing inside. Anyone who gets jittery or is stimulant-sensitive may want to stay away.
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A Quick Word On Safety
It’s likely that Amazon yanked it because it contains AMP Citrate, a stimulant ingredient which the FDA currently has in their crosshairs. They’ve been sending out warning letters to supplement companies using this ingredient (also known as “DMBA”), since it has never been evaluated for safety in humans at the high levels found in these supplements.
The testing agency that pressured the FDA to go after AMP Citrate claims heart attacks and strokes may happen, and that could very well end up being true. But right now research is thin and the whole thing reminds us a little too much of the flap over DMAA a couple of years back, where an effective ingredient was banned because a small amount of people overdid it with unsafe dosages and it could never fully be proven that it was found in nature.
We’re not unequivocally saying AMP Citrate is safe, nor are we claiming that it’s unsafe — just that there’s little research either way, so at this point customers should do their own due diligence and decide for themselves.
Also note that if you’re a drug-tested athlete or otherwise in a capacity where you’re subject to drug tests, you may want to steer clear as this could show up as a banned substance. As for the rest of the healthy population… most dieters simply love the stimulant.
Now let’s get down to the ingredient profile.
Fat Burner Superior Ingredients
This is a proprietary blend clocking in at 1305mg total, but note that this is for three capsules! The exact dosages of individual ingredients are not listed anywhere, but we’re presenting them in order from largest to smallest amounts according to the label order.
Since this is so stimulant-heavy, if you do buy this, we’re going to recommend starting with just one capsule to assess. Then consider taking two the next day. Three capsules is likely not necessary to take in one sitting.
Garcinia Cambogia Extract
You’ve probably heard this name before, as it’s one of the supplement ingredients that Dr. Oz got taken to task for in the Senate for recommending without proper scientific backing.
The thing about garcinia is that it actually did well in reducing body weight in rat studies by blocking the production of fatty acids. But rat studies don’t always equate to the same results in humans, and that was the case here.
Some studies paid for by garcinia manufacturers were cited as evidence of efficacy in humans, but they had poor methodology and also employed other proven fat-burning ingredients in a blend to make garcinia look more effective than it actually was.[1,2]
We expect garcinia to be dusted into products just to attract the Dr. Oz audience, and we won’t ever trash a product solely for throwing it in. But when it’s the lead ingredient in the blend, that’s something of a cause for concern.
Another “Dr. Oz ingredient”, raspberry ketones have pretty much proven to be useless in humans for fat burning at this point, yet they persist in weight loss products thanks solely to the power of the Oz.
We’ve been over and over these things in this space, so we’ll just break it down to the most important points for newcomers — the fat-burning results of raspberry ketones were only seen in rat studies where doses that are almost impossible to replicate in humans were used, and there aren’t any human studies with raspberry ketones in isolation that show any legitimate results.[3,4]
As with garcinia cambogia, we can live with it being dusted in to an otherwise quality product just to up sales a bit. But having this and garcinia leading a proprietary ingredient list is a red flag.
Fortunately, the third ingredient on the list is one actually backed by solid research. Yohimbe bark extract is a stimulant that has been shown to inhibit fat storage and suppress appetite.
The only question mark here is that yohimbe extract has highly variable quality. The label tells us that it’s standardized for 8% yohimbine, which is a good thing, but the actual plant variety that it is extracted from makes a big difference in quality and effectiveness. That’s something the label and marketing materials don’t tell us.
White Willow Bark
Now here’s an interesting one. White willow bark contains a precursor to aspirin and is commonly used for natural pain relief.
As to what it’s doing in a fat burner? It’s been shown in clinical trials to have antioxidants and some anti-inflammatory properties, but beyond that we’re honestly not sure why it’s here or why it’s so high up the ingredient list – but other fat burners have included it as well.
The anecdotal story is that white willow is able to “extend” the effects of the caffeine and other stimulants, in the same manner that aspirin is used in the “ECA” stack (which is ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin – a bit more defunct now that ephedrine is so difficult to buy).
Capsaicin, the compound that gives hot peppers their heat, is another science-backed ingredient that definitely induces thermogenesis. Here we run into another problem with the proprietary formula, however. Capsaicin varies in effectiveness according to how hot it is (in terms of Scoville Heat Units), and the dosage amount is also important. So how much heat are we actually getting here? No way to tell.
Chromium is a daily dietary mineral requirement, and it’s an ingredient that we’re happy to see as it’s one of the minerals that people are most frequently deficient in. It doesn’t have any particular qualities that contribute to burning fat, but exercise really does a number on depleting it, so it makes sense in almost any fitness supplement (yet is usually not included).
Chromium has also been associated with keeping blood sugar levels low, and when dosed properly, it could even lower appetite (or at least reduce occurrences of binge eating).
This is another ingredient that we’re usually happy to see. Studies have shown that it does help to oxidize fat and also helps muscles to recover more quickly from strain.
Now here’s the problem. That was in studies that used a standard 2g dose. This is near the middle of the ingredient list in a 1.3g blend, so the content here likely isn’t even close to enough.
With that said, we’re huge fans of LCLT and will always take some – it’s one of our favorite forms of l-carnitine, which is extra important for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone who doesn’t eat much meat.
This is AMP Citrate hiding under its chemical name. AMP Citrate is quite similar to DMAA and has similar, yet lesser effects.
It’s a general-purpose stimulant that provides a feeling of energy, improves focus and mood, and also increases blood flow and pressure.
Aside from being quite potent at all of these tasks, it also has a long half-life, potentially of up to eight hours. Studies indicate it also has notable synergy with (and enhancement by) the presence of a dose of about 250mg of caffeine.
We do want to reiterate here that since this is so chemically similar to DMAA, it’s just as likely to get flagged as a banned supplement by the FDA. Most users love it – but realize what you’re getting yourself into here – there’s no long-term research on it!
The good news is that it’s now been out for nearly two years and we cannot find any adverse reports on it. And most users love it when they find the dose that’s right for them. In this product, we’ll never know, but given Fat Burner Superior’s popularity, they must have done something right with it!
Another unique ingredient, and very similar to fellow oddball willow bark. There are rumblings that it elevates metabolism, but no actual strong scientific evidence to back them. All we know for sure is that it’s loaded with antioxidants and may be a potent anti-inflammatory as well.
Theobromine is the “cocoa chemical” that functions in a manner similar to caffeine, but with a much weaker effect in isolation. When it’s paired with caffeine, however, it enhances the effect and duration of stimulation.
Citrus Aurantium (Synephrine 99%)
As AMP Citrate is to DMAA, synephrine is to ephedra — a more recent, somewhat more legal / less regulated, and definitely much safer (but we’re not sure if 100% safe).
It’s another potent central nervous system stimulant, and provides the same sort of effects that the other amphetamine analogues do — energy, mood improvement and a focus boost.
Synephrine also has the benefit of acting in both a thermogenic and lipolytic capacity, making it a very popular fat burner ingredient. It’s also not under as much scrutiny from the FDA and has more study backing it as safe, at least at this time.
Here’s the issue with it — the safety of use is contingent upon not mixing it with other stimulants except for maybe a reasonable dose of caffeine. With AMP Citrate also in the mix, things are starting to get a little unpredictable. While the dosage of both here is likely way too low to cause too many adverse events, taking the “kitchen sink” approach with these potent stimulants is generally not good practice – especially when the proprietary formula is not disclosed.
The good news is that one of the most popular pre workout supplements on the market for the past few years, Cellucor C4 Extreme, had synephrine inside, and there were little to none adverse events reported despite the fact that millions of servings were sold. So we’re less concerned on the safety of this individual ingredient – just more concerned with the overall unknown stimulant quantities in general.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is primarily composed of four beneficial catechins, the one with which we’re primarily concerned for weight loss being EGCG. Again, we run into labeling issues here, as the label doesn’t make clear what the extract is standardized for.
So, assuming that this is standardized for EGCG as most other products are, the benefits you can expect to see are a lipolytic effect and appetite suppression. The thing about EGCG studies is that they used relatively high doses around 400 to 500mg to get these results, and that amount can’t possibly be in this blend.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Another overrated Dr. Oz Special … at least this one is tucked fairly far down the label. Unlike the other Oz Ingredients, this one actually does have some legit study indicating it may have a mild thermogenic effect and contribute to weight loss in obese and overweight individuals. However, that weight loss looked to be more lean mass than fat mass in the one study that wasn’t funded by green coffee bean suppliers.
The world’s most popular energy ingredient, there isn’t much to say here other than that we don’t know the dose and it’s pretty far down the label, so it may be as little as 100mg (or about one cup of coffee), but we’re thinking that a full three capsule dose is probably higher than that. A low dose would probably a good thing here since AMP Citrate and synephrine are also in the mix, however.
In all honesty, we typically use caffeine as our “barometer” as to where to start dosing. When caffeine is not disclosed, we are literally flying blind. That is why we recommend starting with one capsule to assess.
Coleus Forskolin 20%
Forskolin has some serious potential to aid fat loss by elevating cAMP levels in the body, which in turn helps to keep the body prioritizing burning other fuel sources as it feeds and protects muscle tissue.
Yet again, there’s a problem here. Forskolin is only really effective in high doses, and ideally you want an extract standardized for 90% or greater, not the 20% found here. Given that and the fact that it’s so far down the ingredient label, this appears to be a straight-up “dusting” just to get it on the label.
Warning: Diarrhea Side Effect!
As discussed in our Forskolin side effects section of the article linked above, the biggest issue with low-percent standardizations is that they can cause diarrhea. This is why we only stick to 95% standardizations. You either need too much and risk GI issues, or you simply get too little of the good stuff and it doesn’t work.
Either way, neither of those is really a good situation here.
Black Pepper Extract 95%
Black pepper extract is commonly found in fat burners these days as an accelerating catalyst for many of the other included ingredients. It also may block the formation of new fat cells, but only one preliminary study has indicated this so far and more study is needed to confirm it.
The Final Verdict
There are legitimate fat burning ingredients in this supplement, but dosing keeps popping back up as a big question mark. Whether a lot of these ingredients meet the clinical dosages used to get results in studies ranges from questionable to very doubtful.
Clearly, this product was popular on Amazon Prime, so it could have been dosed quite well, but that its success could have just been from the feel-good stimulant ingredients. We urge you to use at the lightest possible dose if you’re going to take this, and assess from there. Always follow the label (or go even lighter than what it says to do) under your doctor’s care – make sure you have a clean bill of health before using such stimulants!
Prioritizing garcinia cambogia and raspberry ketones as the two primary ingredients also gives an unfavorable initial impression. We’re usually OK with products that mix in the overrated Dr. Oz ingredients as long as they have other useful ingredients and aren’t overpriced, but we would really like to know exactly how much of this is garcinia and ketones before we spend any money on it.
We’re guessing that was the “amped” feeling that the one-two punch of AMP Citrate and synephrine brought on. Pair those with caffeine and the energy and motivation are probably going to feel great – but we still want to see doses before we would ever consider it in the high-energy section of our Best Fat Burner buyer’s guide.