Feel the ACE Difference is the slogan on the Saba ACE website. ACE ― which stands for Appetite, Control and Energy ―is a supplement that’s said to contain the “top five most effective weight loss ingredients” that are “scientifically formulated into one pill!” Saba ACE contains a lot of ingredients and so, in this review, I’ll show the weight loss research on those ingredients and also in doing so, try to give you an idea of which of them has the best evidence. I’ve gotten a LOT of questions about this product so I hope this review helps you better understand Saba ACE so you can see if it might be right for you.
Who makes Saba ACE?
Saba ACE weight loss pills are a product of AMS Health Sciences, Inc. In my search, for info on the Saba ACE company, I located two websites:
The second website is a reference to the main company in charge of Saba Products – AMS Health Sciences. The company is located at 4000 N. Lindsay Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73105. As can be seen in the link, the building list “AMS” on the outside, so this is the physical address of the company. Whether they make Saba products at this location, I’m not sure.
There is no Better Business Bureau file for AMS Health Sciences or “Saba“. Looking at the company websites, it appears to me that the bulk of the products are sold via multi-level marketing distributors. The Saba website encourages people to “Join the Movement”, that is, to take advantage of “The Opportunity” to be a Saba distributor (“Saba Associate”). How much money the average Saba distributor makes per month, I do not know.
How to contact Saba ACE
The SabaForLife.com site lists these contact numbers:
- Corporate office: 1-405-842-0131
- Customer service: 1-866-758-Saba (7222)
When I tried to call Saba, the recording asks people to have their “ID number” handy for when they talk to customer service. This is reference to Saba distributors. People who are not distributors won’t have an ID number. I wanted to mention this in case those who were not Saba distributors contacted the company and were confused by this.
What does ACE mean?
I have to admit when I first heard of this product, the geek in me thought it might be a blood pressure supplement because “ACE inhibitors” are type of high blood pressure medication. For those who might have thought the same thing, let me say that Saba ACE has no relation to ACE inhibitors.
In the context of Saba products, ACE stands for Appetite, Control and Energy. These words, give us some indication of what ingredients might be in the supplement. For example, the product should contain ingredients that provide Appetite Control and those that provide energy. For me, controlling appetite usually means a product contains fiber or alters other factors that cause us to be hungry. Likewise, when I hear “energy” I usually think a product might contain stimulants, like caffeine. With that in mind, let’s start to look at the ingredients in Saba ACE.
Saba ACE ingredients
On the ACE weight loss page of SabaForLife.com, they say Saba ACE contains the “top five most effective weight loss ingredients.” When I looked at the ACE page of the SabaForLife website (which has changed since I wrote this review. ) the ingredients listed on that page were:
- Raspberry Ketones
- Saffron Extract
- Konjac Root Extract
Looking at this list, a few things occurred to me:
2. The other thing that I noticed is that there are more ingredients in the product than I saw on the website. Thanks to someone who sent me the Saba ACE label, I was to see what the product contains. Here are all the ingredients in 1 capsule:
Saba ACE ingredients
|Vitmain B6 (Pyridoxine)||4 mg (200% DV)|
|Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)||250 mcg (4166% DV)|
|Chromium (polynicotinate)||120mcg (100% DV)|
|Vanadium (as cheleate)||10 mcg (no known DV)|
|Propriotary ACE Blend||577 mg|
|Green tea extract|
|Raztone (raspberry ketone)|
|GCB Max (green coffee bean)|
|Panax ginsing extract|
|SaffroPur (Saffron extract)|
Saba ACE also contains gelatin, magnesium stearate and silica.
Looking at the product label, I want to mention a couple of things before we go any further:
1. The vitamins and minerals in Saba ACE do not help weight loss, so I won’t cover them.
2. The entire proprietary blend of Saba ACE only amounts to 577 mg per capsule. That may be significant if we knew how much of the ingredients researchers used to achieve a weight loss effect.
3. Of the 14 ingredients in the proprietary blend, notice that those touted as the “top five most effective weight loss ” begin to appear at the middle of the ingredients list. I’ve highlighted those in red to make it easier to see. This says to me, that Saba ACE contains less of these ingredients and more of first 5 ingredients.
Let’s now look at the 14 ingredients in Saba ACE proprietary formula – in order as they appear on the label – what those ingredients are and the relevant weight loss research I can locate.
Green tea extract
The scientific name for green tea is Camellia sinensis. They say the green tea used in the product is standardized to Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) and polyphenols. So, these are the extracts used in Saba ACE. Green tea is found in a LOT of weight loss products and while it is popular, the evidence that it helps weight loss is actually controversial. For example, in this 2013 study titled:
Effects of dietary supplementation with epigallocatechin-3-gallate on weight loss, energy homeostasis, cardiometabolic risk factors and liver function in obese women: randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 12 weeks of ECGC did not help weight loss more than placebo in 83 overweight women. This study used 300 mg per day.
To counter this, other studies note that green tea might work. For example, in 2002 a small study titled Recent findings of green tea extract AR25 (Exolise) and its activity for the treatment of obesity noted that a specific type of green tea called AR25 (also called Exolise) promoted weight loss in overweight women.
For more on green tea, see my review of Mega T green Tea.
Not many quality websites discuss this ingredient, so here is a synopsis of what I was able to locate. It’s pronounced “Fee-nil-ethyl-A-mean” (or just PEA) and is made from the essential amino acid, phenylalanine. According to this 2001 WebMd article on the PEA, the compound acts like an amphetamine (stimulant), although it is a short-lasting stimulant, likely due to the fact that when taken orally, PEA gets broken down quickly, so little probably gets into the body for long periods of time. Chemically, PEA “looks like” amphetamines.
The WebMd article also notes that exercise tends to increase PEA naturally and people who are depressed tend to have lower levels. Depressed people might tend to eat more. Since low PEA levels may play a role in depression and given its weak amphetamine-like activity, I can understand the rationale for it being in a weight loss supplement.
Having said that, I can’t locate a single published peer reviewed study of phenylethylamine and weight loss. When I looked at the comments for this phenylethylamine supplement on Amazon, many people say it helped their mood, but not everybody said it worked. Do read the comments as there are some that are very interesting.
This is the scientific name for caffeine. Why don’t they just call it “caffeine?” Caffeine is a stimulant that’s found in a LOT of weight loss supplements. The idea is that people who are more stimulated, might do more activity and in this way, maybe burn more calories. Caffeine and weight loss is interesting because some of its best evidence stems from combining caffeine with another stimulant, called ephedra (ephedrine). Ephedra is the herb that contains the drug, ephedrine. Ephedra is banned in supplements in the US due to some people who died from ephedra overdose. Caffeine is also combined with other things that chemically “look” like ephedrine. Keep reading…
The scientific name is Theobroma cacao and is a compound found in chocolate. Chemically, theobromine “looks” like caffeine but it is considered a weaker stimulant than caffeine.
Break the word up : Methy-Synephrine. Synephrine is a compound that “looks” like ephedrine― the drug that’s in ephedra. MethylSynephrine is a stimulant that might raise heart rate and blood pressure. Two other names for synephrine is bitter orange and Citrus aurantium. Another name for Methylsynephrine is Oxilofrine. The link provided shows that this ingredient may cause an athlete to fail some drug tests.
This is a trademarked version of raspberry ketones. I’m guessing that Saba ACE contains raspberry ketones because, chemically, it “looks ” like synepherine, a stimulant. The Raztone supplement is a product of a company called Applied Nutritional Research, LLC. The Better Business Bureau gives this company a rating of F as of 12/25/13. See the link for the BBB file.
Raspberry ketones rocketed to fame after Dr. Oz called it a miracle fat burner in a bottle. While there is some research on RK, it is less than most think. For example, when I reviewed it, I only saw two mouse studies showing it worked. See my review of raspberry ketones for more information about this supplement.
This raspberry ketones supplement has s over 1000 comments from consumers for those who want to check it out.
This is the actually scientific name for raspberry ketone. This means Saba ACE diet pills contain two different ingredients that are basically the same thing. Interestingly, the scientific name for raspberry ketones is spelled a bit differently on the Saba label than its usually written: 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one. I’m not sure if this is a typo or just a variation of the spelling. Again, see my review of raspberry ketones for more information.
This is green coffee bean. GCB Max is actually a supplement produced by a company called KPN Group. The GCBMax.com website lists company addresses for KPN in both Nevada and the United Kingdom. The Las Vegas address is 7477 W Lake Meade Blvd Ste. 170 Las Vegas Nevada 89128. While I can’t see what this address looks like from Google street view, the map says “Summerhill Plaza.”
The Great Brittan address for the KPN group is 10 Buckhurst Road, Bexhill-On-Sea TN40 1QF East Sussex. As can be seen from the link, this appears to be a residential area containing many houses. I am unable to locate a Better Business Bureau file for “TPN Group.”
From what Ive seen, its actually a specific brand of green coffee bean called Svetol that has a lot of of the weight loss research showing that it might help.
For more information see my Green Coffee Bean review for additional insights on this supplement.
Some weight loss pills contain L carnitine because it’s a molecule that helps us burn fat. As I said in my book about supplements, carnitine is like a “taxicab” helping to transport fat to the mitochondria where it is burned for energy. So, the idea is if you put more taxicabs on the road, you might be able to transport more fat and burn it for energy. The idea sounds good, but does it work?
In a 2002 rat study titled Effect of L-carnitine on weight loss and body composition of rats fed a hypocaloric diet, carnitine didn’t help rats lose weight any better than rats that ate just fewer calories.
Interestingly, there is some research that carnitine might help cats lose weight
But what about people?
I believe the reputation of carnitine as a fat burner started when it was discovered that low-birth weight babies burned more fat when they were given carnitine.
So what about adults?
In a human study published in 2000, titled L-Carnitine supplementation combined with aerobic training does not promote weight loss in moderately obese women, 8 weeks of carnitine supplementation did not help overweight women lose weight or fat more than a placebo. This study used 4 grams a day of carnitine which is much more than is in Saba ACE diet pills.
Based on what I’ve been able to find, the evidence that carnitine helps weight loss, is pretty poor.
Lotus leaf doesn’t do anything to help weight loss other than ―maybe ―providing some fiber. As an aside, I’ve noticed lotus leaf in various Chinese weight loss supplements such as:
Bottom line. Lotus leaf didn’t help those other supplements work (read my reviews to see what did -you’ll be surprised) and in my opinion, it doesn’t add anything to the effects of Saba ACE either.
This is also called glucomannan. In fact, glucomannan is the most common name Ive seen. Konjac root is a name I’ve only recently started to see (I think this is because calling an old ingredient by a new name makes it seem “new“). Konjac root is a fiber that expands when exposed to liquids. As it expands, it makes people feel full, making those people less likely to eat.
Incidentally, this is also a reason why nutrition professionals advise people to eat more foods like fruits and vegetables, that also have fiber and water.
Konjac root been an ingredient in other products I’ve previously reviewed such as:
Interest in glucomannan (konjac) dates back to at least the early 1980s when some research noted that it might help people lose weight.
More recently, in a study published in 2007, titled Effect of adding exercise to a diet containing glucomannan, glucomannan by itself (as well as when it was combined with exercise) also was noted to help people lose weight.
While not all research shows glucomannan helps, there is enough of it for me to think it might help some people ―especially those who eat healthy, watch their calories and exercise.
As an aside, in my review of what weight loss supplements work, I addressed konjac root as well as other things that might help.
Besides being found in various weight loss supplements, glucomannan/konjac is also sold by itself such as this product on Amazon. Since konjac is listed toward the bottom of the list, I don’t think Saba ACE has much of this ingredient.
There is a lot of hype on the internet about the weight loss benefits of garcina cambogia. There are some studies that show it works but there is also research showing it doesn’t. This ingredient is so popular that I have an entire review on garcinia cambogia so read that for more information.
Panax ginseng extract
Saba ACE doesn’t tell us what extract of ginseng they are using. Even so, I’m not aware of any research showing panax ginseng helps people lose weight. Likewise, I cant find any good proof that ginseng reduces appetite or increases energy levels.
Ginseng is said to be an adaptogen. This is a word used to describe how a molecule “adapts” to the needs of the person who is taking it. For example, ginseng might have both a calming and stimulating effect, depending on the needs of the person. If you have ever heard that Saba contains “natural adaptogens,” this is likely a reference to ginseng. There is no doubt that ginseng appears to do a LOT of things, but as for weight loss, I just don’t see any evidence for it. Regardless, I don’t think Saba ACE has much ginseng.
The name “SaffroPur” refers to a trademarked saffron extract. It’s scientific name is Crocus sativus. The funny thing is that when I goggled “SaffroPur,” and “who makes SaffroPur” I couldn’t find the company that makes it. Rather, mostly everything I saw about it was from Saba ACE distributors who all basically say the same thing ―that it’s “a popular spice in the Mediterranean diet” It’s as if everybody is repeating everybody else!
Having said that, does saffron help weight loss? I did some digging and found the following research:
A 2010 study titled Satiereal, a Crocus sativus L extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women. This was an 8 weeks study of 60 healthy, mildly overweight women. Half were given a placebo and half were given a saffron supplement called Satiereal. Women who received 353 mg per day of the saffron supplement eat fewer calories and lost more weight than women who took a placebo. This is more Saffron than is in Saba ACE.
Other saffron supplements might work just as well, however, this study specifically used brand called Satiereal. Here is Satiereal on Amazon for those who want to compare prices and read comments from others.
While I am not aware of any research on the type of saffron used by Saba ACE (SaffroPur), I don’t know if this matters because Saffron is the last ingredient in the list. This says to me that Saba ACE probably has little saffron.
Ingredients that are stimulants
Based on the product label, these Saba ACE ingredients are stimulants:
- Phenylethylamine (PEA)
- Trimethylxanthine (caffeine)
- Raztone (aka raspberry ketones)
- 4-4-hydroxyphenil butan-2-one (aka Raspberry ketones)
The label does not indicate how much caffeine is in Saba ACE.
Ingredients that might reduce appetite
Based on the product label, the following ingredients have some research that they may reduce appetite:
Ingredients that don’t work
Based on the ingredients – and looking only at the human research I could find – here is a list of ingredients in Saba ACE that I believe contribute the least (if any) to weight loss.
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- L carnitine
- Lotus leaf
- Panax ginsing
- Raspberry ketones
I know some people may not like that I listed some “sexy” ingredients (like raspberry ketones) in the list of things that probably won’t work. I did this because I just don’t see any good human research for them at the mome. I may change my opinion if any good research is published in the future.
Ingredients that might work
Out of all the ingredients in the Saba ACE formula, here are the ingredients I believe are likely to contribute the most to any weight loss effects that are observed when using this product:
- Kojac root (glucomannan)
- Green coffee bean
- Garcinia cambogia
Here are a few thoughts on each of these:
1. I feel the powered form of Konjac/glucomannan is better/safer than the pill form.
2. Super Citrimax appears to have most of the weight loss research.
3. The brand called Sevetol is the green coffee extract that appears to have been studied the most.
I wanted to distil the product down to what I feel are its active ingredients because :
1. I know some people may be sensitive to stimulants or have health issues where stimulants may be prohibited.
2. I’m not convinced that the stimulants in the product promote weight loss.
3. Weight loss supplements can be expensive. For example, here is Saba ACE on Amazon to compare prices.
I realize that the addition of the stimulant ingredients in the ACE formula may theoretically improve its effects ―maybe―but since the formula, itself, has never been tested, in peer reviewed research on humans, I feel its anyone’s guess.
Saba ACE side effects
While I’m not aware of any side effects from Saba ACE, as a general rule, I think it’s best to talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or heart disease or other heart problems, mental disorders, vision problems or any condition related to these. Several of the compounds in Saba ACE are stimulants and may interact with various medical issues and medications. For those who are going to try Saba ACE, I think it’s best to start with less than is recommended for the first week, to see if any side effects are noticed. I don’t recommend taking Saba ACE close to bedtime because the stimulant ingredients may keep people awake.
Here is a brief review of some of the theoretical side effects of some of the ingredients in the product. This list is not complete.
There is concern among some researchers that green tea may be implicated in liver problems and liver failure. Whether this is due to green tea itself or an extract of green tea ―or another ingredient in green tea supplements, or even a contamination product, I don’t know.
Caffeine and other stimulants might alter blood sugar levels. This may be a problem for some people with diabetes.
Vanadium might reduce blood sugars and/or interact with diabetes medications.
In a 1997 paper titled Does phenylethylamine have a role in schizophrenia?: LSD and PCP up-regulate aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase mRNA levels, it is mentioned that phenylethylamine (PEA) levels are increased in people with schizophrenia. Does this mean PEA might make schizophrenia worse? I don’t know. This is something to speak to a doctor or pharmacist about. People who have mood disorders or take antidepressants should also talk to a doctor before using PEA.
While not ‘scientific,” I did see someone online who commented on Amazon that PEA raised blood pressure. Since PEA may be a weak acting stimulant, this might make sense although I can’t locate any peer reviewed studies to show this happens. Those with blood pressure problems, kidney problems or heart disease should talk to their doctor just in case.
Synephrine (bitter orange) can raise blood pressure and heart rate. Since synephrine part of methyl-synephrine, it’s possible the same effects might also occur. Here is a case study where synepherine caused chest pains (angina). These reactions might be amplified when combined with caffeine and other stimulants. Synephrine might interact with many medications also.
I speculate that since birth control pills reduce the breakdown of caffeine, women who take birth control pills might feel the stimulant effects of Saba ACE more than women who don’t.
Does Saba ACE contain DMAA?
DMAA stands for Dimethylamylamine. Its scientific name is 4-methylhexan-2-amine. DMAA is actually a decongestant invented in the 1940s. At some point it started showing up in weight loss supplement, likely because of its stimulant effects. Chemically DMAA looks like amphetamines so it can raise blood pressure and heart rate. DMAA is a drug and should not appear in supplements. While I did not see DMAA listed among the ingredients in Saba ACE, I did see people online saying that it used to contain it and it has been reformulated. For more on DMAA, see my review of Plexus Slim.
Does Saba ACE work?
While on the surface, the ingredients in Saba ACE weight loss pills do contain things that might provide “appetite control” and “energy,” to me Saba ACE looks mostly like a big bunch of stimulants. Yes, there are some ingredients that might help control appetite (like konjac root /glucomannan), but I believe those ingredients are overshadowed by the providing energy ingredients (stimulants) such caffeine and other compounds (like methylsynepherine) which might enhance the effects of caffeine. I say this because most of the ingredients listed at the top of the ACE proprietary blend are indeed stimulants.
This says to me that Saba ACE has more of these ingredients and less of those listed toward the end of the list – which includes those I feel have the strongest evidence. It is possible that the addition of the stimulants might make Saba ACE work better, but since there is no published peer-reviewed evidence on the ACE formula, I can’t say for sure.
Do read the comments for Saba ACE on Amazon to see what others are saying.
What do you think?