Doctor’s select nutraceuticals claims to be a “natural all-in-one formula for weight loss”. This is a common line, with buzzwords like ‘natural’ having no FDA-approved status and simply being a marketing trick. You know what else is natural? Rycin. We need to be careful when we look at ‘natural’ products as they are not necessarily safer or more effective than their synthetic counterparts, and the term natural can be applied to pretty much anything. The take-home for today is simple: natural products aren’t the same as effective – or safe – products!
What is it?
Doctor’s nutraceuticals (DN hereafter) is a combination of various popular ‘weight loss’ ingredients, claiming that the combination of these ingredients is synergistic and can improve the overall effects of weight loss. The active ingredients are as follows:
- Matcha tea
- Garcinia cambogia
- Probiotic/prebiotic fibre
- Green coffee bean extract
- Raspberry ketones
- White kidney bean extract
- Cayenne pepper extract
We will use this article to discuss the effectiveness of these ingredients and establish the overall effectiveness of the product, as well as how it stacks up compared to market alternatives in terms of value.
Matcha tea has attained something like cult status recently – whilst it is primarily just fancy green tea, it has become popular due to its taste and versatility above and beyond its use as a tea. The main benefit to matcha is the content of green tea catechins – these are found in all types of tea leaf, and contribute to weight loss in a small way. EGCG is the main catechin associated with weight loss, but it can only improve weight loss with incredibly small magnitude: 50mg of EGCG is necessary to burn around 5g of fat above and beyond normal levels . Matcha contains more EGCG than most green tea brands, meaning that a gram of pure matcha (not the tea) may contribute to burning an additional 15g of fat per day. This is an incredibly small amount, considering that we can quite easily burn this amount of fat with a modest increase in physical activity. With that said, we do see an increase and this is a positive start.
Our main reason for approving of this, however, is the fact that EGCG is a powerful antioxidant and we are more likely to see benefits to health and wellbeing than we are to weight loss. This is another benefit to DN’s effective – antioxidants protect against diseases associated with aging . This is always a good thing!
In one of our recent articles, we explained in detail how garcinia cambogia works and the short version is this: it doesn’t. Unlike Match and other sources of green tea catechin, garcinia is a fad ingredient and the science has repeatedly come up with no conclusive effects of garcinia. Many argue that it curbs appetite and/or reduces the conversion of calories to body fat but these are simply not true . Whilst garcinia will not improve weight loss, it does seem to improve the effectiveness of marketing, as the myth of garcinia’s effectiveness is something we’ve had to dispel repeatedly.
Glucomannan is a combination of sugar and insoluble dietary fiber. The benefits come from the dietary fiber part – a soluble fiber is one that reacts with water to form a gel-like substance in the stomach and intestines. This is used to aid in digestion and regulate the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. This is not, properly speaking, a weight loss aid – it may disrupt the absorption of some negative compounds in the body but it does not assist in the burning of fat. We’re big advocates of consuming more dietary fiber, as it has many health benefits , but glucomannan is not unique in its effects and we can’t see the additional benefits of this ingredient.
As with glucomannan, fiber sources are not unique and we cannot see the value of this addition to a balanced diet. Whilst Matcha may improve health markers above and beyond that of a balanced diet, pre/probiotic fiber sources should already be present in the diet. Whilst these can improve digestive health, glucose metabolism and blood lipid profiles, they can be found in various food sources and supplementation should not be necessary for those consuming a diet rich in vegetables and wholegrains . Again, this is also not effective in the burning of body fat.
Green coffee bean extract
Green coffee bean extract is another incredibly popular weight loss product, with many products claiming that there are huge benefits to its consumption for the sake of weight loss. There are some possible effects, though they are either the result of caffeine (a widely available stimulant)  generally rather small even compared to the effects of other ingredients such as EGCG.
Our favourite effect of green coffee bean extract is the improved antioxidant effects associated with chlorogenic acid, one of the active ingredients in green coffee bean. This can assist in the maintenance of good health, so there are definitely some positive effects to green coffee bean, but these are not necessarily superior to those found in those who have a healthy diet and supplement caffeine in the form of black coffee.
Raspberry ketones do not work. Despite their recent popularity and the raving reviews that we might find on the internet, raspberry ketones have been consistently proven to be ineffective in humans with a healthy or reasonable dose. The problem with ketones is that all of the credible studies on their effectiveness were conducted on mice and rats – in these studies, the test subjects were fed an astronomical concentration of raspberry ketones. These concentrations cannot be reasonably scaled up to human consumption – it would require huge quantities of ketones to be consumed .
Steven has researched over 500 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. He has also worked with nutritionists specializing in weight loss while coaching people on how to transform their physiques and live healthy lives.