Le-Vel DFT Thrive Patch Review
Le-Vel is an MLM Company
Le-Vel is a multi-level marketing (MLM) business based out of Dallas, Texas. Some people call these pyramid, network or referral marketing and selling. It’s a popular (makes millions for the MLM company) approach—think Avon—but it’s also controversial because you don’t get paid in this kind of business; you get product. Although if you’re higher up on the food chain you are told to believe that you can make money. But the harsh reality is different with such business “opportunities”. Statistics show that 99.7% of participants lose money in MLM business ventures.  It is not difficult to see why such a failure rate exists when you think that one must sell and sell some more, and then recruit new sellers and recruit some more.
The Big Ego
Le-Vel also has a “greater purpose:” to build a “global brand …that encompasses ultra premium products.” Le-Vel, in its own words, says it intends on being “a global giant; our logo will be on many different products, wherever you go, our logo will go with you.” 
…will it help you lose weight? Maybe, though likely not. Will it hurt you? Probably not.
So the way this works is Le-Vel creates Thrive, a “lifestyle experience” that helps people “live, look and feel ultra-premium.” The product line then is comprised of supplements and shakes that provide weight management, lean muscle support, digestive and immune system support, healthy joint function, age-defying support and most importantly, helps to improve cognitive function—you’ll be smarter. 
This is what Le-Vel sells, and engages distributors to sell for them, and those distributors recruit others to sell, and on and on, and that is how—apparently—the brand will become a global powerhouse.
It’s products include primarily tablet-form supplements and shakes, alleged to help with all of the above. But the reason for this review is to take a much closer look at what Thrive may be perhaps best known for; its dermal fusion technology (DFT).
What is Thrive Patch?
Thrive Patch is a patch packed with its formula of dietary and proprietary ingredients that sticks to the skin and uses dermal fusion technology (DFT) to deliver the goods through your skin as opposed to popping pills or drinking shakes.back to menu ↑
What Does Thrive Patch Do?
Le-Vel says its Thrive brand is less a product line and more a premium lifestyle plan experience. You’re going to live, look, and feel Ultra Premium like never before! Results from the THRIVE Experience are high impact, and can differ slightly from person to person, depending on your 8-week goal, and which areas of your lifestyle need the most help. Whether your goal is to lose weight, get in the best shape of your life, or simply be the best you can be, we know the 8-Week THRIVE Experience will get you THRIVIN’ in all areas of your life! 
Thrive Patch Promise
That is a lot of claim. Thrive comes mostly in tablet-form supplements, but the star is the Thrive Patch. Thrive promises that people who use their products will
…enjoy premium support and benefits in the areas of weight management, cognitive performance, digestive and immune support, healthy joint function, muscle support, calms general discomfort and, implacably, age-defying & antioxidant support. Thrive is something that’s hard to explain, and challenging to describe… it’s something that can only be experienced. 
Polar Opposites: Faith (not spiritual) vs Science
In other words, you have to buy it and try it to believe it. And then sell it, and then get others to buy it and try it and sell it, and on and on.
Try to find an objective scientific study or clinical trial about the Thrive DFT Patch. And if you find one please let me know because—save the studies paid for by manufacturers—I was unable to find any solid science.
More Big Words
The Thrive Patch is described by Le-Vel as its premium lifestyle DFT; “…a technology driven breakthrough in Health, Wellness, Weight Management, and Nutritional Support.” 
Our DFT delivery system was designed to infuse the derma (skin) with our unique, premium grade THRIVE Lifestyle Formula, different than the Capsule & Shake formula, and to result in a delivery rate benefiting the individual over an extended period of time. Simply put—DFT helps you achieve premium results for a premium lifestyle. 
And Then The Kicker…
Then the kicker—if you use the patch in conjunction with the THRIVE 8-Week Experience—yes, with all the other supplements and shakes— “DFT promotes clean and healthy weight management and an overall healthy lifestyle. Individuals following this plan will experience ultra premium results, unrivaled in regards to Weight Management, Health, Wellness, Fitness, and Nutritional Support.” 
How, though? Exactly how?back to menu ↑
How To Get Started?
For a Big Deal There is a Big Setup
First you have to sign up. Yes, you must register with the company in order to buy its products, or find a distributor through its Facebook page. I have a real issue with this process:
There’s simply nothing in these patches that is “premium” or life-changing—again, in my informed opinion.
Don’t have a Customer Account yet? Let’s fix that! Get back with the person that introduced you to LeVel, or, if you came upon us yourself, visit our Facebook Page to find a LeVel Promoter who can help you get started. Simply post on our Facebook Page that you’re looking to get started with Thrive, and a Promoter will contact you asap to get you started. 
But that’s the way a MLM works. I was able to poke around other sites and found that the costs range from $100 a month to more than $250,  but it’s difficult to nail all that down without signing up or engaging with a distributor, and I was not willing to do either. You cannot simply go on the website and shop without first signing up. That’s the hook.
(You can find Thrive on Amazon.com, though Le-Vel doesn’t sell there, so it’s either through a distributor—which the company wouldn’t condone—or from some other seller. We’ll look at reviews from Amazon buyers shortly).
What’s Next After You Sign Up?
So assuming you go for it, you begin with the supplements: Activate, Boost, Balance, Move, Rest, Form, Pure, and Expand, which are formulated with vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics, and amino acids. Sounds like the ingredients in virtually every weight loss or weight management dietary supplement. Next the “lifestyle shakes,” which contain similar ingredients. And then you add the DFT patch. 
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I am not a fan of MLM businesses; they’re pyramid schemes, plain and simple. One person pressures another to buy and then sell, and then that person pressures another and the cycle keeps going and few people, save for those at the top of the pyramid, make a dime.
How Thrive Patch Works?
You already know how to swallow a supplement capsule and prepare and drink a shake, but here’s how the patch works: First you must clean and dry an area of skin—preferably in a “lean area” such as the bicep, shoulder or forearm (I found this funny because many of us looking to lose weight don’t necessarily have lean arms). Next, press the sticky side of the Thrive DFT patch onto your skin. They suggest you rotate applications, so choose another spot every other day or so. Not sure why. The patch stays there for 24 hours and you replace it with a fresh one daily. 
There are currently three patch types; the Thrive DFT, the Thrive DFT Ultra, and now the Thrive Plus Black Label DFT. (The latter sounds like a high-end scotch or something).
The Thrive Plus Black Label DFT claims to be superior and stronger than the previous iterations and includes L-Theanine, L-Arginine, Quercetin, Guarana, Yerba Mate, B-12. This blend appears to contain far more stimulants, and also it’s suggested it be applied to the buttocks. Hmmm.
Whichever Thrive Patch you choose, if you do, make sure to take the pills and drink the shakes, too “for premium results.” Whatever these ultimately are is opaque; I’m still in the dark and have read all there is to read on the Thrive patch.
Maybe it’s all about what’s in them? Let’s look at the ingredients.back to menu ↑
Thrive Patch Ingredients
Six Active Ingredients in Thrive Patch
Thrive Patch Ingredients include:
- Green Coffee Bean Extract
- Garcinia Cambogia
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- White Willow Bark
Let’s take a closer look…
ForsLean: Side Effects and Inconclusive Evidence
ForsLean is a product made from the subtropical plant Coleus forskohlii, which has been used for centuries as a medicine in India for conditions from abdominal pain to skin conditions. According to the website for the registered product ForsLean, Coleus forskohlii has been studied for several decades and has been found to have “diverse pharmacological benefits” including use in cosmetics and as a nutritional dietary supplement. 
Made by Sabinsa (the same company that makes the Thrive patch ingredient Cosmoperine), who says it “pioneered” the natural extracts of Coleus forskohlii in the early 1990s, Forslean boasts: “clinical investigations around the world have revealed the supportive role of forskolin for fat reduction and maintaining lean body mass.”  
We’ll check into that claim shortly. Know, though, that there are side effects from this ingredient and the evidence that it works as a weight loss aid is not definitive.
Green Coffee Bean Extract: Eye-roll
Green Coffee Bean Extract. This honestly may be the most contentious ingredient, but we’ll look at that more closely in the next section on the science behind Thrive DFT patches.
For now, the 411 is this: Green coffee beans are seeds of the plant Coffea frutis. Basically beans before roasting—a process that gives us the amazing and most consumed drink on the planet after water, good old coffee. But the process of roasting the beans reduces the chlorogenic acid content and so the unroasted bean with the chlorogenic acid extracted is what this ingredient is; like organic speed.
It’s not just that the whole thing is gimmicky; it’s worse than that. It’s a straight-up scam, in my opinion (and believe me, I’ve been researching this for two full days.)
Popular TV weight loss “doctors” claimed that all you had to do was consume green coffee bean extract and the fat would melt off your belly, sans exercise. The way it’s purported to work is to manage blood sugar and boost metabolism. There’s a huge problem with this ingredient that we will explore in the section on the science, or lack thereof, of the Thrive patch. 
Garcinia Cambogia: Statistically Insignificant
Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical plant containing hydroxycitric acid (HCA)—higher concentrations when it’s extracted. HCA, a citric acid derivative, is a complicated chemical compound that might possibly triangulate fat absorption and possibly lead to another pound or two of weight loss, although according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, it is statistically insignificant. We’ll look at the science shortly.
Coenzyme CoQ10: Get It At The Pharmacy for Cheap
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant our bodies create, is required for essential cellular function. The levels of this necessary antioxidant decrease with age and is often deficient in people with myriad serious illnesses, from cancer to Parkinson’s disease. 
The Mayo Clinic has done quite a bit of research and published its findings and it’s… unclear as to whether or not CoQ10 does much more than what its biology functions for: cellular health. Except for heart issues and high blood pressure, where CoQ10 MAY be effective, the supplement has so far failed to have been sufficiently researched to gauge results of its claimed effectiveness for every other malady, illness, or issues, including weight and athletic performance. The only possible benefit related to weight is this:
CoQ10 may help promote weight loss in obese people (because) levels of CoQ10 may be lower in people with a higher body mass index (BMI). More high-quality research is needed to confirm these findings.  (emphasis added)
In other words, obese people may be deficient in CoQ10 because of the obesity.
So again, will it help you lose weight? Maybe, though likely not. Will it hurt you? Probably not. And it may even help people with deficiencies or people with heart problems. The weight-loss industry includes it in supplements because of some evidence it can help lower cholesterol. And the Mayo Clinic says that the “evidence is conflicting for the use of CoQ10 in…exercise performance.” 
White Willow Bark: A Few Ifs and Obstacles
White Willow Bark is an ancient plant-based medicine that likely predates even Hippocrates. It’s been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, and was the precursor to aspirin. So if you’re an otherwise healthy adult who needs relief from, say, joint pain, this herb can be helpful. But beyond that use, there is absolutely no definitive scientific proof I could find that shows it is effective for any of the common conditions it’s associated with treating, like flu or tendonitis. Like aspirin, white willow bark shouldn’t be used by children (under 25 was the precaution when aspirin was linked to Reye’s Syndrome back in the 1990s) or people with a number of medical conditions, from asthma to stomach ulcers and, is contraindicated (bad interaction) for people taking beta-blockers, blood thinning meds, NSAIDs and a host of other meds and—in the case of dilantin, for example—it can be toxic. 
So why is it in here? WebMD explains, that as a weight loss aid, “early research suggests that taking willow bark in combination with ephedra and cola nut might cause slight weight loss,” but—and this is a fairly large but (no pun intended)—“it is not wise to use this combination because of safety concerns about ephedra. Ephedra has been banned in the United States due to severe harmful side effects.” 
Cosmoperine: The 6th Ingredient May Help Deliver The Above 5
Cosmoperine is basically what delivers the other products into the bloodstream via the skin. Not a weight loss ingredient, rather just the delivery guy. The maker of cosmoperine, Sabinsa, does say that in “studies”—which I could not find, save their own—the compound, known as tetrahydropiperine (derived from black pepper),
…when included in formulations with other biological actives, it enhances their bioavailability and utilization. Our studies with various products like Green Tea, Coleus Forskohlii Extract and Tetrahydro-curcuminoids showed increased topical permeation.” 
So it appears there’s a relationship between the two; this patch works better for this formulation. I was curious, so I found that a transdermal patch is often used “when there is a significant first-pass effect of the liver that can prematurely metabolize drugs,” explains a study published in the November 2008 Nature Biotechnology journal. In other words, allow the ingredients in Thrive to hang around a bit longer in the body before becoming metabolized. 
So there you have it.
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…the aggressive, pushy and almost cult-like feeling of the so-called Thrivers coupled with Le-Vel’s desire to be a global brand behemoth says it all: they don’t care about your love handles or belly fat; they care about getting rich off of your love handles and belly fat.
Thrive Patch Scientific Studies?
Try to find an objective scientific study or clinical trial about the Thrive DFT Patch. And if you find one please let me know because—save the studies paid for by manufacturers—I was unable to find any solid science. But, there’s quite a bit of research on the ingredients found in the Thrive Patch, so we’ll look at those.
Forget Green Coffee Bean Extract: Funding Cut, Study Retracted
First, let’s talk about green coffee bean extract. A 2012 widely-touted study titled “Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Linear Dose, Crossover Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of a Green Coffee Bean Extract in Overweight Subjects” was retracted two years later in 2014. Yes, you read that right: the study was retracted by its own researchers. 
Use your money for a much better investment, like pricey organic fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish every week for you and your family. You’ll probably be thriving then.
The study by Vinson, Burnham, and Nagendran, published in the 2012 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy journal, was pulled by two of the three authors of the study: “The sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data so we, Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham, are retracting the paper.” 
I have never seen a study retracted like this before. I’m sure it happens, but in a word: Wow.
No Garcinia Cambogia Was Not Tested In a Patch. Still Incomplete Evidence
Garcinia cambogia prevents fat production by blocking the enzyme that makes us fat and increases serotonin which could, if you’re happier, make you less hungry? That’s the claim: curbed appetite. Science does show HCA increases serotonin. But both the Obesity Journal and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say that there’s evidence of short-term and minor weight loss, though it is all based on incomplete evidence and trials.
Even Hydroxycut Pulled HCA From The Shelves
Not to mention that, eight years ago, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called out Hydroxycut, the HCA supplement, for being potentially damaging to the liver. Though there were researchers who pointed out there were a number of other ingredients in Hydroxycut, so they personally weren’t ready to convict HCA as the culprit. Hydroxycut was still, sensibly, pulled from the shelves.
If You’re Taking Other Meds, then Get the Green Light From Your Doctor!
People using G. cambogia for blood sugar control and possible pre-diabetes shouldn’t unless a doctor has okayed it and people looking to decrease bad cholesterol should not use G. cambogia if they’re already on a statin cholesterol medication. Clinical research, except that funded by G. cambogia supplement manufacturers, have debunked the claim that G. cambogia is effective for weight loss. There are however, a handful of conflicting studies that cast doubt on others’ research methods.
Forskolin Does Not Impress WebMD
According to WebMD, there is no evidence, or at least what’s out there is “insufficient,” for health care professionals to say Forskolin is effective for weight loss. In fact, there are at least a dozen other conditions proponents claim the plant-based compound is effective in treating, that WebMD says just ain’t so. back to menu ↑
Thrive Patch Testimonials
Better Business Bureau Mystery
I have seen reviews and blog posts that state Le-Vel was given a failing grade by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). But I found that as of right now, the BBB has given Le-Vel an A+ rating. Not sure where the disconnect is there, though one blog post was written in 2015. It has had 146 customer complaints reported to the BBB since it started up four years ago (2012).  
What I found on the BBB site was at once encouraging and concerning. First, Le-Vel is not a BBB-accredited business. That in and of itself isn’t a red flag (businesses that qualify still have to pay a fee for that little sticker), but what I thought was really odd was that of the 42 reviews, 35 were positive or neutral. There were only 7 negative reviews. Of the positive reviews praising the Thrive, more than half admitted they were distributors. One I found seemed to indicate that perhaps the reviewer was just using the product, but it’s not entirely clear.
No Strings Attached Happy Customer?
In 2015, Dane C.(A BBB Verified Reviewer) wrote,
I have been Thriving for about 3 weeks and I absolutely love it, I feel better all around. I feel more focus(ed) when completing tasks, I have sustained energy throughout the day. I have even lost a few pounds. I have had ZERO issues with the product or the company. 
Enjoyed The Product But Concerned About Irritation Marks From 4 Months Ago!
I decided to look for reviews where the Thrive Patch itself was highlighted. I found one and it was a “neutral” review, although it read rather negative to me; you be the judge:
“I really enjoyed the energy that Thrive gave me. However, the patch eventually irritated my skin. I still have two squares on my lower back from using this product 4 months ago. The salesperson initially offered to buy my product back if I continued use did not work. She did make an effort to do that even after I sent her pictures. The proprietary ingredients are not published. Thus you only have an idea of what is in this product.” (“Keisha C.” 2017) 
Did Nothing, Left Irritation Marks, Wants Government To Get Involved
I did find a reviewer who spoke about their experience with the Thrive Patch. And it wasn’t pretty. “Jennifer C.” wrote in the winter of 2017:
I was approached (and badgered) to try this product for a very long time, so eventually I gave in and tried a sample pack and continued for a while since they say you have to give your body 8 weeks to experience the necessary change and “feel it working”. It did nothing for me, costs waaaaay more than other comparable products and the patch left very irritating marks on my skin for an extremely scary amount of time. My experience is that these people who sell it don’t actually care about a customer’s experience and just “need you to join” so they can expand their pyramid scheme of an upline/downline that only allows you to get paid if you add people, not for actually selling the product. Seems that the FTC should be made aware of the business practices more than they are, but that’s just an opinion. Hope people do their proper research, since I cannot find anything to scientifically support their claims of what is in the products or how safe it really is. back to menu ↑
Money Back Prospects?
Nothing Gets People More Furious Than The Struggle To Get Their Money Back
Bottom line, there were a lot of positive reviews, save a couple of critical ones who mostly had issues with billing, delivery, and other order-related issues (and a lot of name-calling). Most of the positive reviews were from distributors, but—and this is where it becomes a head-scratcher—there are 146 customer complaints. That seems like a lot, though that could be relative. I dug in to see if what people had an issue with was related in any way to the Thrive patch.
Of the 146 complaints, 79 were related to problems with the product. I went through all 79 of them and for the most part, the problems people had were almost entirely related to billing issues with Le-Vel referred to as “shady” or “shifty,” in two cases. Among the complaints there were references to the Thrive patch: “It didn’t work for me,” and “It did nothing,” but in those cases, the complainant seemed most upset about billing problems. This isn’t surprising, since it’s the Better Business Bureau; the place to go to discuss business practices and not so much on the quality of a product. So I went hunting elsewhere. 
There’s no shortage of blog posts from people who describe their experience with Thrive patch, but there’s no way to know if they’re distributors. I did find a number of reviews from nutrition bloggers and—likely—reviews written by competitors, stating that Le-Vel has had Food and Drug Administration (FDA) complaints and action, but I could find no proof of that.
Customers on Federal Trade Commission Website Calling For an Investigation
But, interestingly, I did find an actual Federal Trade Commission (FTC) blog post, “Losing Weight Loss Claims,” about the FTC taking action against weight loss businesses who make false claims. It was not about Le-Vel or the Thrive patch, but commenters brought the company and its products up, arguing the FDA and the FTC should be investigating.
One commenter cited federal statutes but was told by the FTC blog moderator to file an official complaint, as the blog post was not the appropriate forum. I don’t know if that complaint was ever made, but this is a portion of the post by ‘Old Navy’ who argued the Thrive DFT patch being sold violates the law:
…the company makes similar claims for THRIVE DFT to those claims made for its dietary supplement products in tablet and powder form, including that it is useful for “healthy weight management.” In addition to various weight-loss claims and other structure-function claims (the as-marketed and sold Thrive patch violates specific sections of federal law). Of course, as I don’t need to tell you, a product intended for topical application to be absorbed through the skin cannot, by definition, by marketed and sold as a dietary supplement, because dietary supplements must, by definition, be intended for ingestion. Any products intended for topical application and dermal absorption may only be legally marketed and sold as cosmetics or drugs. If a product is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease, it is a drug. If a product is intended to affect the structure or function of the body, it is a drug, unless it is promoted specifically for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance of the body. Thus, the whole line of THRIVE DFT Diet Patches may not be legally sold as dietary supplements or cosmetics and are thus unapproved new drugs. 
No Luck on Amazon.com
I told you I found Thrive DFT patches on Amazon. I did. And now they’re gone. In the two days since I began researching. Wiped out. No references. Le-Vel has done a bang-up job of wiping its products off of public shopping sites. You can find some on eBay, but with no reviews and no authenticity guarantee, I didn’t spend much time poking around there. Reviews are nearly impossible to find…except I did find some curious Thrive patch comments and, in one case, a now-defunct Thrive group on SparkPeople.com; not sure why it was shut down other than it may have ended up inactive. The reviews there were mixed and, in most cases, more than a year old. So I ignored that one. 
Finally The Most Candid Review
I finally found a review in an odd place: on a post from a Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah) online news article about the dangers associated with diet pills and supplements, with Thrive DFT patches a focus.
“Utah Girl” wrote that she tried Thrive capsules and the shake and pasted on the DFT patch and she “discovered it raised my blood pressure significantly. I cancelled future shipments, and I will probably use it separately, rather than all 3 together, until it’s gone. I don’t want to waste that much money. I’m sure it is helpful for some people. But it was not for me.” 
That’s perhaps the most honest and candid “review” I could find.back to menu ↑
Is the Thrive Patch Worth a Try?
My personal opinion? Definitely Not. Run. Do not walk, run. I have a number of concluding thoughts about the Thrive DTF patch.
Business Model Is a Big Problem for Me
First, I am not a fan of MLM businesses; they’re pyramid schemes, plain and simple. One person pressures another to buy and then sell, and then that person pressures another and the cycle keeps going and few people, save for those at the top of the pyramid, make a dime. They make product, but if it’s crap, who cares? Plus this whole Facebook community is pretty scary stuff. It’s not just that the whole thing is gimmicky; it’s worse than that. It’s a straight-up scam, in my opinion (and believe me, I’ve been researching this for two full days.)
Ingredients are NOT Revolutionary or Ultra Premium
Second, the ingredients are not revolutionary. Each that I have described—should you choose to take them after consulting your doctor (please)—can be purchased on their own or in some other formulation. And please take a few minutes to re-read the ingredients and the science behind each. I think you may find there’s nothing in Thrive Patches that you can’t live without, and in fact, may be better off without. There’s no shortage of pretty good, healthy diet plans, safe and effective meal-replacement shakes, and okay-for-you energy-type supplements. There’s simply nothing in these patches that is “premium” or life-changing—again, in my informed opinion.
I Don’t Like The World Domination Vibe
And third, the aggressive, pushy and almost cult-like feeling of the so-called Thrivers coupled with Le-Vel’s desire to be a global brand behemoth says it all: they don’t care about your love handles or belly fat; they care about getting rich off of your love handles and belly fat.
Use your money for a much better investment, like pricey organic fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish every week for you and your family. You’ll probably be thriving then.