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We know that the supplement business is a BIG business.
Targeted to help you get your dream body with minimal effort, weight loss supplements are an extremely popular dietary inclusion for gym goers and home bodies alike.
But, as we know, the market is saturated with products, some of which work extremely well, and of course, some that don’t work at all.
On one end of the spectrum we have a number of supplements that are full of stimulants and diuretics that do typically promote weight loss, but often at a cost (which comes in the form of nasty side effects and occasionally negative health implications).
On the other end of the spectrum we have those supplements that advertise to promote weight loss and use only all natural herbal ingredients, but don’t actually do all that much.
And of course, in the middle, we have anything and everything in-between those two extremes.
One of the more recent weight management supplements to rise in popularity is Phen Caps.
Phen caps are a dietary weight loss supplement produced by a company known as Careworld, which are based out of Miami. Phen caps is advertised as a non-prescription alternative to the prescription compound Phentermine.
Phentermine is stimulant extremely similar to an amphetamine that has been shown to act as both a stimulant and an appetite suppressant through its interaction with the central nervous system.
It has been shown to help obese individuals lose weight, but does have some nasty side effects in certain individuals (hence its prescription status).
Phen caps advertise to help you lose weight by suppressing appetite and controlling cravings, while also improving digestive processes. Careworld suggest that Phen Caps work in a similar fashion, and to a similar degree, to the prescription medication Phentermine.
Ultimately leading to the suggestion that it promotes weight loss as well as a prescription medication, but with no prescription required.
Almost sounds too good to be true…..
While these claims are quite impressive, we need to take a deeper look into the supplement itself to see if it meets them. To do so, we need to take an in depth look at its list of ingredients to see how Phen caps influences weight loss, and whether it does work as well as it says it does.
Phen caps are comprised of nine active ingredients that combined are suggested to promote weight loss, boost energy, and supress appetite.
PEA (more commonly known as Phenylethylamine) is a trace amino acid found naturally occurring within the human body.
The Supplementation of PEA has been proposed to increase the secretion of the dopamine and serotonin (the happy hormones). As a result, PEA supplementation has been said to improve mood and create an overall feeling of wellbeing.
These positive sensations are suggested to limit food cravings associated with stress and unhappiness.
Unfortunately there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
Additionally, while Phenylethylamine has been identified as an important molecule within the brain , when supplemented orally it has been shown to be broken rapidly into ineffective compounds, rendering it somewhat useless.
Caffeine is an ingredient that is commonly occurring in weight management supplements, and often for good reason.
Caffeine ingestion stimulates both the brain and the central nervous system, which significantly reduces sensations of fatigue while increasing sensations of energy and alertness.
Once consumed, caffeine is shuttled into the blood and then liver, where it is then broken down into active compounds and shuttled to the brain. Once in the brain it stimulates the central nervous system, improving mood and simultaneously reducing feelings of fatigue.
This stimulation of the nervous system has also shown to impact the physiological systems of the body, which can promote weight loss directly.
Caffeine ingestion has shown increases in metabolism by up to 11%, while also increasing fat mobilisation by up to 13% .
This can promote additional weight loss over time, with specific emphasis on fat loss due to this role that caffeine plays in the breakdown of fat for energy.
Theobromine is found naturally occur in cocoa beans (and subsequently, in chocolate.
Theobromine is thought to produce effects similar to that of caffeine in regards to both mood and physical mechanisms, but without stimulating the central nervous system. Theobromine is thought to be approximately 10 times less effective than caffeine.
Additionally, it has been thought to act as both a mild diuretic, and has been suggested to lower blood pressure.
Despite this, there is limited evidence to suggest that Theobromine can promote weight loss is humans.
Caralluma is a succulent based plant (similar to those from the cacti family) found in India.
It has was used traditionally by hunters and gatherers who had been out for long durations searching food, where it was thought to supress appetite and thirst, staving of feelings of hunger.
There has been one human study demonstrating that Coralline does in fact reduce appetite, and as such it may play a role in weight loss through reduced hunger cravings .
Both Synephrine and Methylsynephrine are compound extracts more commonly known as bitter orange.
Bitter orange is a compound that has been shown to share similarities with the pharmaceutical product ephedrine, but acts less severely as a stimulant.
Synephrine is used commonly in thermogenic supplements due to its influence on metabolism. I fact, daily Synephrine consumption has been shown to cause significant increases in both resting metabolic rate, and fat metabolism .
Synephrine works differently to other metabolic boosters such as caffeine, where it inhibits specific fat storage receptors found in fat cells within the human body. This causes a considerable increase in the availability of fat to be broken down and metabolised for energy, which can promote fat loss over time.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that occurs naturally within the human body, and can also be consumed through both food sources and through supplementation.
L-Carnitine is involved in number of processes that promote energy metabolism, as such it has been suggested to promote weight loss through an increase in energy metabolism.
Interstingly, while L-carnitine supplementation has been shown to promote fat loss over time, there appears to be a ceiling effect, and as such it is only effective if you are deficient in L-Carnitine .
Raspberry ketones are a naturally occurring compound found in (would you believe it….) raspberries.
Rasberry Ketones have a similar molecular makeup Synephrine, which is why they have become increasingly popular as a weight loss supplement.
The supplementation of raspberry ketones in extremely high doses has shown to increase the breakdown of fats for energy in rats, which has led to subsequent weight loss. 
Interestingly, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that raspberry ketones supplementation will promote weight loss in humans.
Crateagus extract comes from a berry more commonly known as Chinese hawthorn. It has traditionally been used to promote heart health, but has more recently been investigated for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Interestingly, it has shown to reduce lipid absorption into the cells , making fat more available for a fuel source, which may lead to subsequent weight loss, although more research is needed.
Phen caps is a weight management supplement that contains a number of ingredients that can increase metabolism and improve our ability to break down fat for energy.
This is likely to lead to some weight loss over time.
Additionally Phen Caps include some questionable ingredients that have limited evidence to suggest their effectiveness in human populations or when supplemented orally, which is not ideal.
And in regards to the claims made by Careworld, it is extremely unlikely that Phen Caps will demonstrate similar effects to Phentermine. The ingredients included in its formula are not overly potent (certainly not to the grade of pharmaceutical compounds like Phentermine), and while they may promote some weight loss, it will be relatively small.
While the supplementation of Phen caps may promote some weight loss over time, it does not offer anything different from other natural weight management supplements on the market.
Although as a positive, none of its ingredients are renowned for producing harmful side effects. As such it may be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and a solid exercise regime to promote a little extra weight loss and curb hunger.
1. Irsfeld, Meredith, Matthew Spadafore, and Birgit M. Prüß. “β-phenylethylamine, a small molecule with a large impact.” WebmedCentral4.9 (2013). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24482732
2. Acheson, Kevin J., et al. “Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 33.5 (1980): 989-997. Viewed at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/33/5/989.abstract
3. Kuriyan, Rebecca, et al. “Effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women.” Appetite48.3 (2007): 338-344. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17097761
4. Stohs, Sidney J., et al. “Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes.” Int J Med Sci 8.4 (2011): 295-301. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21537493
5. Villani, Rudolph G., et al. “L-Carnitine supplementation combined with aerobic training does not promote weight loss in moderately obese women.”International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism 10.2 (2000): 199-207. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10861338
6. Morimoto, Chie, et al. “Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone.” Life sciences77.2 (2005): 194-204. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15862604
7. Wang, Tao, et al. “Regulation effects of Crataegus pinnatifida leaf on glucose and lipids metabolism.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 59.9 (2011): 4987-4994. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21425878
Emily has spent the last 8 years comparing, reviewing and analyzing ingredients in the supplements industry. She has worked extensively with dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers to separate fact from fiction and help people achieve their fitness goals. In her free time she works and enjoys the outdoors with her husband and 2 children. You can contact her via the "About Us" page.