Running this website, you could probably guess that I watch a LOT of infomercials. Out of all of them, I have to admit, that my favorite is the Nutribullet infomercial. Why? Because, it makes me want to eat better! Admit it—who doesn’t want to eat more fruits and veggies after watching everything that little blender can do? Having said that, while I was shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond recently, I saw something interesting―a Nutribullet supplement called “Superfood Fat Burning Boost.” The package said it was “Premium Quality” and that “Just one scoop per day will have you supercharge your weight loss!” Wow! I had no idea Nutribullet was in the supplement business. So I purchased this product and decided to write a review on it, in case others were as intrigued as I was.
Fat Burning Boost Ingredients
According to the label, each package has a 30-day supply and 2 full teaspoons contains the following ingredients:
|Calories 10||% DV|
|Total Fat 0.5 g||<1%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrates 2g||<1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
%DV=daily value and is based on eating 2,000 calories per day
The label also indicates that the Fat Burning Boost supplement contains these ingredients in the following order:
- Organic cacao powder
- Organic whole chia seed
- Organic green tea powder
- Organic cinnamon powder
- Organic ginger powder
- Organic tumeric powder
The powders used in the product are vegan and organic. I called Nutribullet, who told me all of the ingredients come from the US.
Because product ingredients in the US must be listed from the most to the least, we can assume that the main ingredient in the Fat Burning Boost is organic cacao powder, and the least is turmeric.
If the Fat Burning Boost really does burn fat, the evidence will lie within these ingredients. But which ones do this? I searched the National Library of Medicine for each of these ingredients as they pertained to weight loss, and these are the ingredients that might have an effect:
Its scientific name is Theobroma cacao, but we know it better as chocolate. Chocolate/cacao has some caffeine, which has a mild fat-burning effect. This is the reason why so many fat burner supplements contain caffeine. Personally, I’ve never really felt caffeine by itself caused much weight loss, because when I look at the research, caffeine is always combined with something else, such as ephedra or green tea.
Green Tea Powder
Green tea also contains some caffeine and is probably the reason we see green tea showing up frequently in weight loss supplements. Theoretically, it’s possible that the caffeine in green tea and cacao might cause modest weight loss, but how much I’m not sure. The research on green tea and caffeine is controversial. Not all of it says it works.
Since caffeine is in both cacao and green tea, I assume there is some caffeine in the Superfood Fat Burning Boost also. But how much? Caffeine is not listed on the package, so I called Nutribullet and asked. The customer service rep likewise could not tell me how much caffeine was in the product.
I admit I could be wrong, and there may be no caffeine in this product. But, other than the caffeine in cacao and green tea, I see no good weight-loss proof for either of these ingredients.
These two ingredients—cacao and green tea—are the only ingredients in the Fat Burning Boost that, as far as I can tell, have any weight-loss evidence. The proof for each is controversial, so whether it works or not I could not say for sure. If it works, I think the effect would be small and would only be noticed in those who were also consuming fewer calories.
The Nutribullet.com website states that the Fat Burning Boost supplement is also supposed to:
- Decrease body fat
- Balance blood sugar
Let’s look at these two claims separately.
Decrease Body Fat
There really is no good proof to show that the product reduces body fat. Here’s why I say this:
1. As I mentioned above, the only “fat burner” ingredients in the supplement are green tea and cacao, but, as I mentioned above, their proof is not very good.
2. I see no evidence that if someone only took the supplement, it would cause her/him to decrease body fat.
3. When I searched the National Library of Medicine for “Fat Burning Boost” and “Nutribullet” and “Magic Bullet Blender,” no research showed up. This says to me that this supplement has not been tested clinically to see if it really reduces decrease body fat.
Balancing Blood Sugar
This claim may have some merit. When they say “balance blood sugar,” I take this to mean “decrease blood sugar.” Looking at the 6 ingredients in the product, I think it’s possible there be an effect. Here’s why I say this:
1. While chia seeds don’t appear to help weight loss, they do contain fiber and fiber might help reduce blood sugar by slowing digestion. Two teaspoons of the Fat Burning Boost contain about 1 gram of fiber. That’s not much, but it’s possible it might contribute a little bit to helping blood sugar, just as any dietary fiber might.
2. The product also contains both cinnamon and ginger. Here is a brief summary of some of the evidence for each:
In 2009, the study titled, Effectiveness of cinnamon for lowering hemoglobin A1C in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled trial, noted that in the 109 people studied, taking 1 gram (1,000 mg) of cinnamon a day for 90 days, reduced A1C levels by about 1% (0.83% to be exact), compared to people who did not use cinnamon.
This may not seem like much, but every 1 percent decrease in A1C levels decreases the risk of diabetes-related death by about 21%. That’s huge.
This study used Puritan’s Pride Cinnamon 500 mg, for those who are interested.
Tip. A1C refers to Hemoglobin A1C. It’s an indicator of how bad a patient’s diabetes is getting. It sounds complicated, but it basically refers to “sugar-coated hemoglobin.” Hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells), doesn’t have much sugar coating it. As a patient’s diabetes gets worse, A1C levels increase, which means more hemoglobin is coated with sugar. By measuring A1C levels, doctors can tell how bad a patent’s diabetes is getting.
In a study from 2013 titled, Synergistic effect of green tea, cinnamon and ginger combination on enhancing postprandial blood glucose, 22 healthy, non-overweight people were given a combination of cinnamon, ginger, and green tea together as well as individually. It was noted that the combination of cinnamon, ginger, and green tea reduced blood sugar after a meal better than the herbs did individually.
It’s worth noting that cinnamon, green tea, and ginger are all in the Fat Burning Boost supplement. Might this study be a reason for their use in the product? Maybe. The problem, however, is that we are not told how much of these herbs are in the Boost supplement. This makes analyzing individual studies difficult.
To be fair, not all studies show cinnamon works. For example, this 2008 review of several prior cinnamon studies, titled, Effect of cinnamon on glucose control and lipid parameters, noted no significant effects of cinnamon on A1C, blood sugar levels, or triglycerides levels in people with diabetes.
Studies aside, if cinnamon is going to work, it would appear that it would take about 500–1,000 mg per day to have an effect.
My review of Glucator V2 has more information on cinnamon.
How much cinnamon is in the Fat Burning Boost? They don’t tell us.
The label of the supplement says that “ginger, which in the right amounts, has been shown to be a metabolic activator that helps improve fat burning.” These words sound impressive but they are actually very vague. Here’s why I say this:
- What are the right amounts of ginger?
- What exactly is a “metabolic activator?”
They don’t tell us.
For the record, I’m not aware of any good proof that ginger burns fat in people. In one Nutribullet YouTube video, I saw registered dietitian Sarah Lefkowitzthe (an employee of Nutribullet) say that because ginger is spicy it raises metabolism. In truth, eating ANYTHING will raise metabolism (it’s called the thermic effect of food), but whether or not that translates into significant weight loss is something else.
Tip. For more on the Thermic Effect of Food, see my review, What Weight Loss Supplements Work?
Because of the vague nature of the words Nutribullet uses, I’ll discount them and just focus on why I think ginger is in the product: blood sugar lowering. Here are some of the reasons I say this.
A 2013 study titled, The effect of ginger powder supplementation on insulin resistance and glycemic indices in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial noted that 3,000 mg (3 g) of ginger powder, given to people with diabetes for 8 weeks, improved blood sugar, insulin levels, A1C levels, and cellular inflammation more than a placebo did.
In a 2014 study titled, The effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus also noted that ginger improved diabetes symptoms. The amount of ginger used in this study was 1,600 mg (1.6 g) per day.
How much ginger is in the Fat Burning Boost? They don’t tell us.
This herb―like ginger ―also gets a lot of attention for being anti-inflammatory. While I’m not aware of any human research showing that tumeric lowers blood sugar levels, I did find a very interesting rat study from 2013 were tumeric appeared to cause the growth of insulin-producing cells. If the insulin-producing cells were re-grown, this might cure diabetes.
Does tumeric do the same thing in people? Right now, there is no proof either way.
For more information about turmeric, see my reviews of:
- Zyflamend (arthritis supplement)
- Protandim (life extension supplement)
- Arthri D (arthritis supplement)
Based on the ingredients I see in the product, I think if people are healthy, then the Fat Burning Boost is pretty safe. When I googled “Nutribullet Fat Burning Boost side effects,” I also didn’t see much in the way of negative comments.
That said, I feel it’s best to start this―and all supplements that you’ve not taken before―with less than is recommended for the first week. This should cut down on any side effects that might occur.
The package I have says to “enjoy 1–3 servings per day.” Again, I think it’s best to start with only 1 serving (2 teaspoons) per day for the first week and to increase slowly to your desired amount.
I do feel that people who take medications should talk to their doctor/pharmacist before using this product. I say that because some of the ingredients might―in theory―interact with some medications. Below is a short list of things that I think warrant considering if you have medical issues. This list is not complete:
- Both ginger and tumeric might interact with blood thinner medications.
- Tumeric might interact with some anti-cancer drugs, so show the product to a registered dietitian or oncologist if you have cancer.
- As noted above, some of the ingredients might lower blood sugar. That means, for people who take diabetics medications, their blood sugar might go lower than expected.
- If the product does contain caffeine, it may be wise to not use it close to bedtime.
Let me be clear: I have no evidence the supplement does any of this. I’m taking a guess based on what I know. I’d rather say it than not say it, because we are all different and I never know who reads my words.
Who Makes the Nutribullet?
Nutribullet blenders are a product of Nutribullet LLC which is located at PO Box 4575, Pacomia, CA 91333-4575. According to the Better Business Bureau file, they give Nutribullet LLC a rating of “A-” as of 3/12/14.
The contact number for the company listed with the BBB is 855-446-8874. The package of the Fat Burning Boost supplement lists a different contact number of 855-346-8874.
It’s noteworthy that NutriBullet LLC is really owned by another company called Capital Brands LLC. This is a marketing company. Its website lists several other brands they promote, such as Youthology and Back to Life.
Capital Brands lists an address of: PO Box 4564, Pacoima, CA 91333-4564
They also list a contact number of: 310-996-7200.
Who Is David Wolfe?
David Wolfe is the pitchman you may have seen in the Nutribullet infomercials. Watching the infomercial, I remember hearing him saying that his parents were both doctors. On his website, davidwolfe.com, it says he has “over 20 years of dedicated experience and understanding of the inner workings of the human body,” but it does not list any college degrees or formal education in nutrition, medicine, or science. He may have them but they are not listed. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve seen him so many times on TV that I became curious. If anyone knows more about him, other than what’s on his website, please leave a comment.
How Does It Taste?
When I bought the Fat Burning Boost supplement from Bed Bath and Beyond, I discovered that it doesn’t contain any directions on how to use it.
- Do you mix it with water?
- Do you add it to the smoothies (or as they call them, “NutriBlasts”)?
I had no idea. So I called Nutribullet and asked them.
They told me that the product should not be mixed with water because it probably would not taste very good. Smelling the powdered formula makes me think they are right. It has an pungent odor that some may not find pleasant.
That said, I did decide to mix it with orange juice to see what that tasted like.
I mixed the product in the Vitamix that I’ve owned for over 12 years. I mixed 2 teaspoons of the product with 8 oz of orange juice for about 10 seconds.
I have to say, it didn’t taste too bad. There is an aftertaste which I attribute mostly to the ginger. You can definitely taste the ginger! It didn’t burn my mouth and I could definitely taste and feel the chia seeds in my mouth (the chia seeds were in my teeth for some time afterwards). I’d guess that most people probably would not be able to taste the product if it were mixed with a smoothie.
One thing the Nutribullet customer service rep did say was that the product is to be used only once per day. This is different than what is seen on the product label, which says 1–3 times per day.
Does It Work?
Based on the evidence for the ingredients, I don’t think the Fat Burning Boost contributes significantly to weight loss or fat burning. Even the Nutribullet customer service rep I spoke with said it’s best used in conjunction with eating healthy. Based on that, I don’t think people need this product. It’s possible that some people might notice a reduction in their blood sugar, but that would depend on how much of its blood-sugar-lowering ingredients it contains. For those with a glucose monitoring device, this is pretty easy to test. Personally, I’d rather people just buy the Nutribullet, because I think it’s a great machine.
Here is the Fat Burning Boost supplement for those who want to see what others have said about it.
What do you think?