Lipodrene and Meltdown diet pills both promise to melt fat and give you energy. While no pill in the world has ever been proven to melt fat, these products will both give you plenty of energy -- both formulas are comprised almost entirely of stimulants. The problem is that some of these stimulants have uncertain safety records, and there is little known about interactions between various stimulants. Add to this the fact that individual ingredients are hidden behind "proprietary blends" that don't tell you how much you get of each ingredient, and you have a recipe for danger. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements, so their safety and effectiveness is not guaranteed -- consult your doctor before use.
Possibly Effective Ingredients
Like many diet pills, both Lipodrene and Meltdown are based on ingredients that have shown some promise in weight loss, but are not yet proven. Meltdown contains caffeine, which may temporarily dull your appetite, but each serving contains as much as three cups of coffee. Too much caffeine can cause nervousness, tremors, irregular heartbeat and nausea. Theoretically, you could reduce these effects by taking a single capsule at a time, but since the recommended serving is three capsules, this would probably reduce the effectiveness of the product. Lipodrene contains green tea extract, which may help increase the amount of calories you burn, but the effective dose has not yet been quantified and the effects have not been reliably verified.
Potentially Dangerous Ingredients
Both supplements contain synephrine, also known as "bitter orange." Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky says that although it may be slightly effective, it can cause migraines, elevated blood pressure, fainting, heart attack and stroke. Synephrine is a stimulant. It is especially dangerous when combined with other stimulants, as it is in both Meltdown and Lipodrene. Meltdown also contains yerba mate, another stimulant, which has been linked to higher risk of oral, esophageal, lung and bladder cancer. Side effects include anxiety, nausea, vomiting and insomnia. Both supplements also contain yohimbe, which the National Institutes of Health rates as "possibly unsafe," due to possible irregular heartbeat, seizure, heart attack, kidney failure and death.
The FDA banned ephedra alkaloids in 2004 due to safety concerns, despite its effectiveness as a weight loss drug. Since then, supplement makers have used ephedra extract, which is legal, to capitalize on the reputation of ephedra's effectiveness. Unfortunately, ephedra extract does not seem to affect weight loss and is simply a marketing tool, like the remaining ingredients in each supplement. Lipodrene contains hoodia, theobromine and cassia, and Meltdown contains barley and toothed clubmoss. None of these ingredients has been proven effective for weight loss. Both supplements round out their ingredients labels with chemical names like N-Methyl-B-phenylethylamine and 3'-5'-cAMP. These ingredients are enzymes and amino acids that are there to add credibility to the supplement. They do not affect weight loss, and they are unlikely to carry side effects in healthy adults.
If you're looking for an energy boost, both pills certainly deliver. In fact, the sheer amount of stimulant in each supplement means you should tread carefully. If you are caffeine-sensitive, steer clear. If you are looking to lose weight, these pills are unlikely to help. No chemical triggers fat loss -- even prescription diet pills rely on appetite suppression to make you eat less, and you can do that on your own. Even if Meltdown and Lipodrene were effective, they would not be worth the risk. Each major ingredient in each formula comes with a lengthy list of harmful side effects, so their combined effect is that much more dangerous. Some of the herbal ingredients may have a diuretic or laxative effect, which may make you feel lighter, but that is water loss, not fat loss. It will come back when you discontinue the pills. Fat loss comes from lifestyle changes including a reduced-calorie diet and regular physical activity.
- Lipodrene: Lipodrene with Ephedra
- VPX Sports: Meltdown Fat Assault
- "Consumer Reports"; Legal Ephedra?; March 2010
- MayoClinic.com: Bitter Orange Weight Loss Supplements: Do They Work?; Katherine Zeratsky; November 25, 2009
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Mate
- National Institutes of Health: Yohimbe