Does FORCE™ TOTAL BODY OXYGENATOR work?

FORCE™ TOTAL BODY OXYGENATOR, oxygenator, workout supplement

Does FORCE™ TOTAL BODY OXYGENATOR work?

This blog comes at the request of a twitter follower and I will be writing about some more supplements in the near future, so feel free to contact me if there’s anything you’d like me to look into! For now lets focus on Force, a pre workout supplement by Limitless World Wide.

What does FORCE™ TOTAL BODY OXYGENATOR do?

Many professional athletes travel to high altitude locations to train. Training in an area with ‘thinner air’ means that their body must compensate for the decrease in oxygen. The body does this by producing more red blood cells and hemoglobin. Oxygen binds to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells and the cells deliver the oxygen around your body. So increasing these two components increases oxygen delivery to your muscles, allowing you to sustain aerobic respiration longer. Aerobic respiration is our most efficient means off creating ATP, or energy, so this means you can exercise longer before becoming fatigued. Altitude training has the same effect as blood doping – but is a hell of a lot more work and legal. More red blood cells = more oxygen to your muscles = better physical performance. Force claims to be a ‘total body oxygenator’ that has the same effect as high altitude training, allowing you to train longer or get through the day easier.

First, the term oxygenator generally refers to a device that exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide. Surgeons use these during heart operations to make sure the patient is still receiving oxygen. They may also be used in fish tanks to make sure the oxygen levels in the water are high enough. However, a very general definition for the term oxygenator is something that causes the infusion of oxygen, which, I guess is what the marketers of this product were going for. So, does Force infuse your body with Oxygen?

Is FORCE™ TOTAL BODY OXYGENATOR an oxygenator?

In a study (presumably run by the makers of Force), 24 subjects were tested on an ergometer for 30 minutes. Pulmonary ventilation, peak oxygen intake and heart rate were continually monitored throughout the test. Pulmonary ventilation and peak oxygen intake significantly increased when the subject took Force one hour before hand. What does this mean? Pulmonary ventilation is just the rate at which gas enters and leaves your lungs. It is the sum of tidal volume, how much air is in each breath, and ventilation rate, the amount of breaths taken per minute. So, for pulmonary ventilation to increase, either the size of your breath must increase or the amount of breathes you take, or both.

Peak oxygen intake refers to the absolute most amount of oxygen an individual can transport and use, this is considered the best way to determine an individuals cardiovascular fitness. What factors affect peak oxygen intake? First is the supply and transport of oxygen into the mitochondria (where the energy is produced), and the second is how quickly the mitochondria can use the oxygen to produce energy. Generally the supply of oxygen to the mitochondria is the limiting step. Since a supplement cannot increase the volume of your blood or the amount of blood vessels in your muscles in one hour, Force most likely increases peak oxygen intake by increasing the diffusion of oxygen from the lungs to the blood or increasing the amount of blood the heart pumps each beat.

It is also worth mentioning here that when they claim there was a significant difference in pulmonary ventilation they say their p-value (a way of determining how statistically significant something is) is less than 0.07. The scientifically accepted p-value for significance is 0.05, meaning most scientists would not consider these results to be significant.

What is in FORCE™ TOTAL BODY OXYGENATOR that causes the increase in Pulmonary Ventilation and Peak oxygen Intake?

The makers claim the key component is notorious in Eurasia for increasing health and longevity and promoting wellness, though they don’t tell you what the component is. A look at the supplement facts shows that it contains Niacin (or vitamin B3), Rhodiola rosea root extract, Beta alanine and Cayenne fruit powder. The Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root or rose root, is most likely the active ingredient. It is not currently approved by the FDA to treat any disorders and the FDA has actually forcibly removed some products containing it from the market. A study in 2000 showed that it reduced mental fatigue among physicians working a night shift. Similarly, another study in 2003 showed reduced cognitive fatigue. Finally, it caused a significant increase in blood oxygen saturation in men living at high altitude. So there is substantially scientific evidence that the active ingredient of Force does actually causes a similar effect to high altitude training.

So there you have it, there may actually be something to FORCE™ TOTAL BODY OXYGENATOR, but we really need someone outside the company to do a study on its effectiveness before we get too excited!

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Garcinia Cambogia – Do any weight loss pills actually work?

After trying Green Coffee Bean, Raspberry Ketone, African Mango and Green Tea for 30 days with disappointing results, I’ve decided to move forward and try Garcinia Cambogia to figure out if any of these weight loss supplements really do work.  My first step was to order a 30 day trial supply from Pure Garcinia Cambogia.  The suggested use is to take one capsule twice a day with a full glass of water – easy enough.  I then noticed it said on the front of the bottle there were 60 pills and on the side that there were 30 … I counted … there are 59.  So this morning I weighed myself and took my first pill.  Again, I will make no changes to my diet and monitor if the supplement has any effect on my body.

What is Garcinia Cambogia? Also known as Garcinia gummi-gutta, gambooge, brindleberry, brindall berry, Malabar tamarind, assam fruit, vadakkan puli and kudam puli, Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit bearing plant grown in southeast Asia, India and West and central Africa.  The fruit looks like a yellow, green or reddish pumpkin and can vary in size between an orange and a grapefruit.  It is commonly used in the preparation of curries.  So why is it suddenly marketed for weight loss? About 6 months ago Dr. Oz described it as a “magic” weight loss aid and that really got the ball rolling.

The theory is that the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) in the fruit can cause massive weight loss.  There are animal studies that show that this compound has the potential to modulate lipid metabolism.   Its also believed that HCA can increase serotonin levels.  Serotonin is an incredibly important neurotransmitter that has been shown, along with many other things, to play a role in satisfaction and a feeling of fullness.  Additionally HCA many decrease levels of ATP Citrate Lyase, which is an enzyme that functions in converting metabolized carbohydrates to fatty cells.  A study in rats even shows that taking HCA can slow glucose uptake. 

Unfortunately, a study in 1998 of 135 people found that the fruit didn’t cause any more weight loss than placebo.  More recent trials of 706 people found very small weight loss, but because of the insignificance of the amount of weight lost, and flaws with the trials, there is not any conclusive evidence that this stuff works.  This doesn’t sound too promising so far…

What about side effects? Could taking this stuff be dangerous? Apparently, if you consume Garcinia Cambogia well above the recommended dose you may experience nausea, headaches or some laxative effects.  Its important to order Garcinia Cambogia from a trusted retailer and to make sure you are getting a daily dose between 500-1500 mg of 50% HCA.  I’m going to give this stuff a try, I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

Do any diet/weight loss pills actually work?

I’ve always been curious about diet supplements that claim to dramatically increase weight loss – sometimes they’ll even claim you can lose weight without dieting or exercising.  Seems way to good to be true.  I finally caved and decided to try one and carefully monitor its effect on my body and write a full product review.  I bought a 30-day trial of Tru Body Wellness ULTRA LEAN by Tru Body Wellness – if you’re like me you’ll be happy to know they offer a 30 Money Day Money Back Guarantee.  The tag line for this product is 4 Ultimate Weight Loss Supplement Products ALL in 1 pill.  So taking this one pill allowed me to investigate the claims behind 4 popular diet fads.  I took two pills a day for 30 days without making any changes to my diet or exercise.  I did not gain or lose any weight, nor did I experience any side effects.

Alright, let’s start by breaking down what’s actually in these pills; Green Coffee Bean 400mg, Raspberry Ketone 200mg, African Mango 150mg and Green Tea 50mg.

Lets go through them individually:

1. Green Coffee Bean.  In a small study these beans were shown to increase weight loss compared to placebo.  In 22 weeks, 16 overweight men lost an average of 17 pounds without changing diet of exercise.  One theory as to how green coffee bean may increase weight loss is because it contains Chlorogenic acid, a plant compound, which may have some effect on keeping down glucose absorption.  A larger study is currently underway.

2. Raspberry Ketone.  This is the compound in red raspberries that is responsible for their smell.  There is definitely an aroma associated with these pills because of the raspberry ketone component.  Because there are only small amounts of them available in nature, raspberry ketone supplements are generally biosynthesized.  There is currently no clinical evidence that they are responsible for weight loss in humans.  The myth that raspberry ketone helps with weight loss comes from the idea that it enhances the activity of a hormone adiponectin, which plays a role in weight regulation and blood glucose levels.  There have also been two studies, one in mice and one in rats, that showed that raspberry ketones might help prevent rodent’s from becoming obese.  Not overly compelling…

3. African Mango.  African mango is a nickname for the fruit produced in Central and West Africa by a tree called Irvingia gabonensis.  Its been suggested that the high soluble fiber in the seed can “melt away belly fat”, by reducing appetite, lowering blood cholesterol levels, reducing fat cell growth, breaking down fats and improving blood sugar control.  That’s quite a claim!  A few studies have backed these claims up but were sponsored by manufacturers of the supplement.  More research needs to be done but it does seem like this might really aid in weight loss.  At the very least it is high in fiber so will help you feel more full. 

4. Green Tea.  Green tea contains a substance called EGCG, an antioxidant that is thought to have a calorie burning effect.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming 90mg of EGCG and 50mg of caffeine at mealtime increased energy expenditure by 4%.  This sounds promising but the study only had a sample size of 10, and 4% increased energy expenditure probably wouldn’t have a worthwhile effect on weight loss anyway.

Right on the bottle you’ll find this product claim: Tru ULTRA LEAN combines Green Coffee Extract, Raspberry Ketone, African Mango and Green Tea into one capsule.  This powerful combination assists in increasing metabolism, energizing, suppressing your appetite and cravings, while turning your body into a fat burning machine.  Use in combination with a sensible diet and exercise plan.  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

So lets break down these claims one by one:

1. Will this supplement increase your metabolism?  First let’s talk about what your metabolism really is.  Your metabolism is all of the chemical reactions in your cells that are necessary for life.  Including how we convert our food into fuel and then how efficiently we use that fuel – this translates into how quickly we burn calories and how easy it is for us to gain or lose weight.  There are several factors that can affect your metabolism; age, sex (darn you men!) and how much muscle mass you have.  However, a lot of it just comes down to genes, some people just have a faster metabolism than others.  The good news is you can increase your metabolism! Exercising, for example, particularly weight training, will increase your muscle mass.  Muscles cost more calories to sustain even while at rest so just having greater muscle mass will increase your resting metabolic rate!  A pound of muscle burns about 35 calories a day compared to the pathetic 2 calories a pound of fat burns.  Another way you can increase your metabolism is to change your eating habits.  When you wait a long time in between meals your metabolism starts to slow down because your body wants to preserve calories, essentially you’re in starvation mode.  Eating little snacks in between meals (see my previous post on low calorie snacks!) will help keep your metabolism up.  So back to the point, it’s really impossible for me to evaluate whether or not this product increased my metabolism just from taking the supplement for 30 days.  I will say, however, that I did not gain or lose and weight while taking this supplement so… it doesn’t appear to have had any effect.  However, maybe in combination with dramatic changes to diet, exercise and lifestyle it may aid in revving up your metabolism.  Although, even if these supplements do have an effect, it seems unlikely that they would increase metabolism enough to have any significant effect on weight loss by themselves. It also probably depends on the person; I have a very high metabolism to begin with, so perhaps it would have more effect on someone with a more sluggish metabolism – who knows.  To conclude, I’m going to go out on a limb and say no, this supplement does not increase metabolism, at least not in a substantial enough way to aid your weight loss.

2.  Does this supplement boost your energy?  This is an interesting one.  I would take one pill in the morning when I woke up and then one mid afternoon.  I really do think I noticed some sort of energy boost from my morning pill, but maybe it was just me waking up in the morning.  I didn’t notice any difference with the afternoon pill but I’m normally pretty sleepy then anyway!  The energy boosting effect was negligible at best, non-existent at worst.

3. Here’s the best one, does this have an effect on your appetite? My vote is yes! I really felt less hungry after I took the pill and I think it helps you make sensible diet choices throughout the day.  Perhaps the African Mango really does suppress apetite!

4. Turns your body into a fat burning machine?  This claim is just plain ridiculous marketing sensationalism.

5. This ones not listed on the bottle, but lets take a minute to think about the placebo effect.  If you’ve hit a plateau with your diet and you start taking a supplement that you believe is going to help, maybe it will give you some added motivation that really will lead to weight loss!  Additionally I think if you invest money into buying a supplement you’re more likely to stick to your diet and exercise regiment.

The bottom line, if you are looking for something to supplement your diet and exercise this may be for you, but its certainly not going to turn you into a “fat burning machine” all by itself.  From my experience this supplement could definitely make it easier to avoid cravings  and exercise better portion control, but that’s really about it.

 

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