Lipodrene Review

Lipodrene with Ephedra is a diet supplement that has been marketed as the #1 weight loss product in America. The supplement was originally created by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and is sold all over the country in many different health and vitamin stores.  Many people know this supplement as the “yellow hexagon,” due to its very vibrant color and unique shape. [1]

Hi-Tech was founded in 1994, and contact information is: 6015 B Unity Drive, Norcross, GA 30071, 888-855-7919.

On Hi-Tech’s home website, one 90-tablet bottle of Lipodrene with Ephedra 25mg costs $69.95 before shipping. A trial-size 20-count bottle is $14.95 before shipping. Ephedra Warehouse and a few other supplement web-stores also offer it (Amazon does not) for around $35 for the 100-tablet bottle. You may even find it in the nutrition shop at your gym. [1] [2] [3]

Lipodrene Claims

For Advanced Appetite Control And Metabolic Stimulation! Lipodrene Is A Must Try If You Are Having Trouble Losing Weight, Whether Your Weight Loss Goals Involve 5, 25, Or 75 Lbs.! [3]

Lipodrene, the “Yellow Hexagon,” is the original Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Fat loss formula! Lipodrene was engineered based on volumes of scientific and clinical data with hundreds of Published studies by the most prominent Universities and Medical Journals in the world, including the following: University of Chicago International Journal of Obesity American Journal of Clinical Nutrition New England Journal of Medicine “This technology is unmatched by any other weight-loss or ‘fat burner’ product currently available.” [3]

“Lipodrene Targets Fat In The Most Stubborn Areas such as:  Abs, Hips, Thighs, Buttocks” [3]

We’ll look at this claim in the Science section below.

Lipodrene is Hi-Tech’s original Weight Loss & Energy Enhancement Supplement and has become the benchmark standard for the weight loss industry. It’s everywhere. Anyone who has shopped around for a good weight loss product has seen the yellow hexagon Lipodrene tablets in tens of thousands of health food stores and internet retailers. Now, more than fifteen years after its introduction, and after more than 1billion tablets sold, Lipodrene not only remains Hi-Tech’s flagship weight loss aid, but also America’s #1 selling weight loss aid for one simple reason: When it comes to weight loss ingredients, Lipodrene has them all! [1]

Lipodrene’s formulation contains 25 mg of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Inc Thermo-Z brand ephedra extract and its proprietary Thermo-Rx stimulant blend of extremely clean phenylethylamine alkaloids from acacia rigidula plant extracts. Often called the ephedrine imposter, acacia rigidula is seen as one of the most effective metabolic stimulator on the market today!… The “yellow hexagon” (named for the pill’s shape and color) is backed by double-blind placebo controlled studies and the effects of the study were released at the Arnold Classic. … Whether you want to simply transform yourself into a leaner, more attractive body, or you want to get jacked and ripped to shreds, Lipodrene is the right move to lose weight and feel great all day! [4]

NOTE: When I Googled “yellow hexagon double-blind placebo-controlled study,” all I got was one link to a Lipodrene sales page and scientific links to those types of studies in general and on other products. There was no record of any study in any journal or even a mention of a study outside those marketing blurbs. And no news of this “breakthrough” being announced at the Arnold Classic, which seems to be a combination of Scottish Highland Games (athletic events) and ComicCon for bodybuilders. [5] One would think this would make the media somewhere outside the fitness world.

But there is some small print under “The Science” on the Hi-Tech Lipodrine with Ephedra sales page that’s worth reading, since it seems to contradict everything they’ve just said:

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease. This product should not be used in place of or as a substitute for recommendations by your healthcare professional. No clinical study has been performed on Lipodrene®. These statements are based upon the active ingredients: Acacia Rigidula, Ephedra, Theobromine, Yohimbe, Citrus aurantium, Caffeine, Green tea, 5-HTP, 5-methoxytryptamine and Phenylethylamine. WARNING: this product can raise your blood pressure and interfere with other drugs you may be taking. Talk to your doctor about this product. [1] (emphasis added)

There are cautions mentioned on both sales pages and bottles (though not on ALL sales pages): [3]

Directions: Take 1-2 tablets in the morning and 1 tablet after lunch. Do not exceed 4 tablets daily. Take for up to 8 weeks (requires 2 bottles). Men or women can take this product.

Warnings: Not for use by individuals under the age of 18 years. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Individuals who consume caffeine with this product may experience serious adverse health effects. Individuals who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine should consult a licensed health care professional before consuming this product.

Lipodrene Ingredients [1]

A little research gives some insight into what each ingredient claims to do (in parentheses):

Proprietary blend with Thermo-Rx and Extend-Rx Technologies 560mg:

NOTE: This includes 25mg Acacia rigidula extract as stated above in the marketing blurbs, but the bottle itself never mentions it. More below. [6] [7]

Ephedra Extract 25mg (leaves): (fat burner, stimulant)

Senegalia Berlandieri Extract (leaves) [Yielding 200mg Phenylethylamine Alkaloids Including: Methylsynephrine, N-Methyl-B-Phenylethylamine, N,N-Dimethylphenethylamine, Phenylethylamine]: (This is actually another Acacia plant, Acacia berlandieri.) [8]

Phenylethylamine HCl: (affects mood) [9]

Synephrine HCl 25mg: (Bitter orange: touted as a fat burner but there’s not much evidence to support that, nor of its safety; it cooperates with caffeine to increase the effects of each.) [10]

Theobromine: (Similar to caffeine but one-tenth as potent.)

Green Tea Extract (45mg EGCG): (caffeine source)

Methylhexanamine HCl: (This is DMAA – there are strong FDA warnings about this substance!!!! In fact, as of 2013 the FDA has ruled that dietary supplements containing DMAA “are illegal and the FDA is doing everything within its authority to remove these products from the market.” More below.) [11]

Hoodia Extract: (A succulent plant with fat burning and appetite suppressant claims, but very little supporting science – mostly hype.) [12]

Cassia Nomame Extract (plant): (fat burner/anti-absorption – insufficient science to support claim) [13]

Naringen (fruit): (It cooperates with caffeine to increase the effects.) [14]

6,7 Dihydroxybergamottin (fruit): (Found in grapefruit, it specifically increases the effectiveness (i.e., absorption and half-life) of other supplements and substances – both positive AND negative effects.) [15]

5-Methoxytryptamine HCl: (Apparently something produced in the chemical transformation between l-tryptophan and serotonin, so possibly mood- or sleep-related – unsure; I found little useful information beyond a basic definition.)

L-5-Hydroxytryptophan: (mood/sleep) [16]

Yohimbine HCl: (more below) [17]

Caffeine (Anhydrous) 100mg: (more below)

Other Ingredients:  Dextrose, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Sodium Starch Glycolate, Starch, Triacetin, Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Yellow #5 Lake, Silica, FD&C Yellow #6 Lake

The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Lipodrene

Let’s start with Lipodrene’s claim that it can “target fat” in specific areas.  I didn’t even have to go to a medical site for this one; it’s available on a fitness site. [18]

So can you target fat loss to a specific area of your body? “The short answer is no.”  There’s no evidence anywhere that doing 500 crunches is going to exclusively burn your belly fat. What it will do is help burn the overall fat your body has stored up, so eventually the tummy fat will shrink anyway. And those crunches will strengthen your abdominal muscles, which will be better for your body overall. You can target muscle growth very easily in your abs, butt, back, shoulders, arms, legs, or chest. [18]

Build muscle, burn fat. You just don’t get to choose what shrinks first. Only what builds first.

Now let’s look at the science behind the ingredients.

Ephedra Extract

Ephedra products have a long and controversial history: see our general review here. [20] After the main alkaloid ephedrine was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004, manufacturers took two routes to account for the hole in their supplement line: they manufactured synthetic ephedrine —legal and known as Ephedrine HCL—or they created Ephedra extracts, which essentially meant removing only the banned ephedrine from ephedra and leaving the rest of the alkaloids in place. Combining ephedra—extract or synthetic—with caffeine and similar stimulants does seem to enhance the overall effectiveness, but it comes with a lot of warnings as well, so caution is always stressed.

Acacia Rigidula

(in those proprietary blends; it’s not mentioned ANYWHERE on the ingredient label, but Hi-Tech crows it in the marketing), and Senegalia Berlandieri (scientific name Acacia berlandieri )

Researchers have warned consumers to avoid dietary supplements labeled as having the active ingredient Acacia rigidula, with marketing claims it aids weight loss, boosts energy, and sharpens attention. Testing by an FDA study found no compounds which chemically resembled Acacia rigidula in any of the 21 supplements it tested…which has never been used in herbal remedies or medicines, and as such is actually illegal to use in any dietary supplement anyway.

But it found about half of the 21 “natural acacia” products tested by researchers—ten of which are made by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals—did contain a lab-made stimulant called BMPEA (beta-methylphenylethylamine). It has a chemical structure very similar to amphetamine, which leads researchers to theorize it will have a similar effect on the body, and therefore warn against its use despite marketing claims. On April 22, 2015, the FDA sent warning letters to five companies which manufacture dietary supplements with BMPEA, asking them to cease distribution of those products.  Since then, the FDA has backed off a bit in the absence of any actual deaths or life-threatening side effects, but they certainly haven’t removed it from the radar. [19]

Methylhexamine HCl (DMAA)

Hi-Tech has been in the FDA’s crosshairs about DMAA since 2013, when federal marshals seized about $2 million worth of diet pills, as the company ignored warnings from the agency to stop making pills containing DMAA. The company, in response, sued the FDA for its “bullying” tactics. The legal action is still ongoing. [21]

Yohimbe

An evergreen tree found in Africa, Yohimbe has been touted for its use in treating sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction, and as an aphrodisiac. It seems to increase both blood flow and nerve impulses, so it’s also been used in dietary supplements claiming weight-loss and performance-enhancement qualities. However, there’s not enough clinical evidence to back up any of those claims. And the more severe side effects include seizure, rapid or irregular heartbeat, heart attack, and kidney failure. [22]

Anhydrous Caffeine

We’ve all heard warnings about caffeine in general; it’s great in moderate doses and can be really bad if you overdo it. And combining it with other stimulants, natural or otherwise, should be done with extreme care. But there are two types of caffeine: that found naturally in plants like coffee, tea, chocolate, and some other plants, and anhydrous (“containing no water”) caffeine, which is produced in a laboratory and may be many times more potent than the natural version (essentially a concentrate). [23]

Word on the Street About Lipodrene

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals has a fairly long and troubled association with both the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Since 1994 its CEO, Jared Wheat, has gone from convicted drug smuggler (marijuana) to corporate executive of a dietary supplement conglomerate and has spent more than one stretch in prison for various charges of false advertising claims. [24]

Despite all this, Lipodrene is still wildly popular. It isn’t for everyone, and a great many reviews stress due caution in taking it.

Reviews from EphedraWarehouse.com (both 2013 – average 4.5 stars, 155 reviews): [2]

“Katie K. From Minnesota” – Good stuff. … Gives me LOTS of energy quick, but I do agree with previous reviews to take it with protein (i do a hardboiled egg)to minimize the jitters. I have to remind myself to eat and even then only eat a small amount because it controls my appetite so well. Lost about 1/2 pound a day without exercising to start-so I’m gonna keep it going and add in some workouts! Will definately repurchase!

“Michelle Mehlos from Woodland Park”—I have been cutting these into fourths….taking one fourth in the morning and another fourth at lunch…otherwise it is too much at one time. They are working great, for me, like this. Thanks.

Reviews from A1Supplements.com (both 2017 – average 4.5 stars, 256 reviews, all reviews have “individual results” disclaimer): [25]

“Alpha” says,

Lipodrene gives you the real wings! … I take one in morning 5am and it last pretty much all day. You can expect just very focused energy… They are almost as close to adderall as you can get without the harsh side effects. If you take 2 or more your gunna shake and feel weird, just stick to the directions take one a day in morning and you will be golden! … I will buy these over and over again!

“Mark” says,

Best energy product on the market period but not a miracle weight loss. Nice clean energy. First week or two can be rough but I suggest you split the pill initially. As with any product tolerance builds fairly quickly but ultimately you shouldn’t be taking more than 2 a day. I have tried a butt load of products and with any of these not a miracle for weight loss. When combined with clean eating it will give you that extra edge.

Reviews from MySupplementStore.com (both 2016, average 4.5 stars, 98 reviews, all reviews have “individual results” disclaimer): [3]

NOTE: This time I purposely went looking for something other than 4- and 5- star. There aren’t many on any site, but I felt they should be represented.

“Tayuna” says,

Didn’t Like It. The first day I took one pill before my workout and although I did feel more energized I also was slightly lightheaded. The second day I did the same thing, one pill before workout but afterwards I felt awful! My head was hurting very badly and I was nauseous. Haven’t taken anymore of the Lipodrene …

“steve” says,

bad. DO NOT BUY THIS!!! This product made me extremely sick! I ended up in the hospital. I have a high tolerance for drugs as I took adderall for years but with these I had never felt so sick. I could not stop throwing up. All I could do was try and eat to help that feeling go away. Do not buy! Please! They are just cheap nasty pills filled with many different chemicals!

As with any supplement, different people have different reactions. Our body chemistry is as unique as our fingerprints. Almost every review with more than a single sentence offered both warning and recommendation to follow instructions explicitly, and to increase water intake while using Lipodrene with Ephedra. Many praised the ability to cut the tablets if needed. So, used with care, the reviews do seem to bear weight.

The Bottom Line: Is Lipodrene worth a try?

Insufficient Data to Praise or Pan. I find it hard to praise this supplement. As popular as it is, my own greatest concern with Lipodrene with Ephedra is the fact that Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals refuses – and has a long, somewhat shady history of refusing – to follow FDA and FTC court orders. Not guidelines – actual court orders. And they hide ingredients from their customers. There are other ephedra extract and ephedrine HCl supplements out there that are just as effective and that (generally) have more transparency and more trustworthy reputations.

However, the reviews speak of effectiveness on a very broad scale. So to be fair, I can’t pan it, either. If it sounds like something that will help you, start small and slow and be very mindful to follow the directions. Always let your doctor know when you add supplements to your diet/workout routine, so possible side effects can be monitored.

Review Sources
  1. https://hitechpharma.com/collections/weight-loss-energy/products/lipodrene
  2. http://www.ephedrawarehouse.com/lipodrene-ephedra-diet-pills.html
  3. https://www.mysupplementstore.com/hi-tech-pharmaceuticals-lipodrene-w-25mg-ephedra-extract-100-tabs.html
  4. https://www.lipodrene.org/science-supported-formula/
  5. http://www.arnoldsportsfestival.com/
  6. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/news/20150407/bmpea-acacia-rigidula-supplments#1
  7. http://www.livescience.com/41336-weight-loss-supplements-acacia-rigidula.html
  8. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SEBE2
  9. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1274-phenethylamine.aspx?activeingredientid=1274&activeingredientname=phenethylamine
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16436104https://examine.com/supplements/synephrine/
  11. https://www.fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements/productsingredients/ucm346576.htm
  12. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/hoodia-lots-of-hoopla-little-science#1
  13. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1504-cassia%20nomame.aspx?activeingredientid=1504&activeingredientname=cassia%20nomame
  14. http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/naringin.php
  15. https://www.mysupplementstore.com/6-7-dyhydroxybergamottin
  16. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-794-5-htp.aspx?activeingredientid=794
  17. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-759-yohimbe.aspx?activeingredientid=759&
  18. https://www.thebodycoach.com/blog/can_you_target_fat_loss_to_specific_areas_of_your_body_123.html
  19. http://www.livescience.com/50396-supplements-acacia-rigidula-amphetamine.html
  20. https://www.evolutionary.org/untested-stimulant-found-in-dietary-supplements/
  21. https://blog.priceplow.com/dmaa-supplements/lawsuit
  22. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-759-yohimbe.aspx?activeingredientid=759&
  23. http://hprc-online.org/dietary-supplements/opss/operation-supplement-safety-OPSS/opss-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-1/what2019s-the-difference-between-caffeine-and-caffeine-anhydrous
  24. http://www.cnbc.com/2014/09/04/for-ex-pot-kingpin-new-troublehealth-supplements.html
  25. https://www.a1supplements.com/hi-tech-pharmaceuticals-lipodrene-with-ephedra?p=2#Reviews

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