Spa has certainly gotten a sales boost with Anna Nicole’s
radical weight loss. Was it due in part to Trim Spa? Who
knows. Did she use Trim Spa while eating right and exercising?
Perhaps. The bottom line is, it’s a powerful celebrity endorsement
and it’s sending millions to seek out the Anna Nicole solution.
As with most "revolutionary
products" promising weight loss, Trim Spa has people
confused, and while many use it, few understand what they’re
The original Trim Spa product was
a caffeine + ephedrine stimulant.
When the FDA put the pressure on manufacturers to stop using
ephedrine, researchers went back to the drawing board. The
Trim Spa EF (Ephedra-Free) sold today is a very different
product than the original. Here was the ingredient panel
of the original:
- guarana seed extract yielding caffeine
- ma huang extract containing ephedrine
- ginger root
- black pepper
- long pepper
- cayenne pepper
- kola nut
- Siberian ginseng root
- cinnamon twig
- lemon verbana
- chamomile flower
- licorice root
Most of the herbs
have either stimulant or diuretic properties. As with all
ephedrine based products, the weight loss is a combination
of water loss and reduction in body mass due to calorie deprivation.
The stimulants crank up your circulatory system and ephedrine
acts on neurotransmission to minimize appetite. Was if effective?
That depends who you ask. Was it safe? That also depends who
you ask. If you haven't yet read it, you'll find the realities
of ephedrine based products here.
The new Trim Spa
ingredient panel has very little resemblance to the original.
It does contain some stimulants,
although nothing as questionable as ephedrine.
is found in chocolate, and in Trim Spa. It’s a mild stimulant,
similar in structure to caffeine although not as potent.
It also tends to increase urine flow in humans which suggests
it has application as a diuretic. Theobromine also has a
“feel good” property to it which is why it’s theorized that
chocolate acts as an opioid peptide. In chocolate, and in
Trim Spa, theobromine is combined with phenylethylamine,
another mood enhancer. Both theobromine and phenyletylamine
are included in the "proprietary formula" as "Cocoa
Trim Spa also contains one primary
ingredient from the original. Caffeine. It's a component
of green tea.
and vanadium are also in there. Both of these minerals have
been sold as fat loss aids, chromium being a component of
glucose tolerance factor (GTF) and vanadium theorized to mimic
insulin. These compounds remain unproven and the research
often quoted to validate these types of products is sometimes
skewed and was rarely if ever replicated.
most interesting ingredient is an herbal extract of Hoodia
gordonii cactus. It was used originally by tribespeople
in the Kalahari desert to ward off hunger during long treks
or times of famine. It appears to have legitimate appetite
suppressing properties and has been approached with great
interest by the pharmaceutical companies (who keep in mind
have not yet found a weight loss drug that “works” despite
several releases). Pfizer obtained the rights to use Hoodia
gordonii to create their experimental appetite suppressing
drug presently called P57.
Citrus narginine is another
ingredient, an extract of grapefruit. It is also theorized
to suppress appetite.
Trim Spa utilizes as a primary
ingredient Glucosamine, the same compound being used
effectively by many who suffer connective tissue maladies.
There is some vague research to suggest that glucosamine might
hold glucose in the digestive tract for a longer period of
time allowing insulin to transport glucose efficiently inhibiting
the likelihood of fat storage.
other ingredients, Glucomannan and Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose
are both used in OTC weight loss products to create a feeling
of gastric fullness.
The ingredient list is ingenious.
Combine appetite suppressants, stimulants, compounds that
make your stomach feel "full," and diuretics and
you can guarantee weight loss. Will some of it be water loss?
Absolutely. Might the water loss deceptively lead you to
believe the product is contributing to long term and healthful
weight loss? Yup. If you take in fewer calories than your
body is going to utilize will you lose weight? Sure, but
if you fail to meet metabolic demand you risk muscle loss
(validated by the scale as “good” while loss of muscle ensures
long term metabolic slowdown) and you also risk the alteration
of endocrine production to allow the thyroid to further slow
I did say it’s ingenious, but I
mean from a marketing standpoint. if the idea is to put out
a product that does not contain ephedrine and that demonstrates
a reduction of pounds in many people, whether or not it leads
to long term weight reduction, or whether or not it leaves
users reliant upon the product, then the ingredient list is
The challenge is, Trim Spa's ingredients
do nothing to increase metabolism for the long term. The weight
loss can be deceptive, can include the loss of lean body mass,
and can leave you with an altered metabolism, one that becomes
quite efficient at restoring lost bodyfat. That doesn't make
it bad. For individuals who really do have an appetite control
issue, for those who may have flawed neurotransmission warding
off a feeling of satiety, an appetite suppressant has its
application. New products brought to the marketplace are often
developed with some curative or medicinal intention. Once,
however, the big-money machine gets hold of a "hot seller,"
it suddenly is sold as miraculous, as a "must-have,"
and a solution in and of itself.
Another question that is difficult
to find the answer to is . . . did Anna Nicole use the original
ephedrine based formula? If so, is that in any way representative
of results people can achieve the present formula?
There are many questions that remain
unanswered, and supplement companies will continue to provide
answers even if they're unfounded. While Trim Spa may have
some virtue for those who understand the ingredients, for
those who understand the mechanisms by which these ingredients
“work,” and for those who make it a part of an overall program
incorporating supportive eating, resistance exercise, and
aerobic movement, the illusion that the product is a miraculous
weight loss solution is simply that. An illusion.
The Good, The Bad, and The
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