“Science gives the thumbs up.” So said the internet summary for Dietspotlight Burn, a weight loss supplement I had not heard of until someone mentioned it to me. What made this product interesting was that it is produced /marketed by a website that provides reviews of dietary supplements. That a supplement review website would make their own line of dietary supplements intrigued me, so I decided to do some investigating. What I discovered surprised me. Does DietSpotlight Burn (also known as “Burn HD”) really work and if yes, what is the active ingredient? does it have any side effects? Who makes it? This review will cover all this and more, so let the fun begin.
DietSpotlight Burn Benefits
According to the products website (DietSpotlight.com), the ingredients in the product are touted to:
- Boost metabolism
- Spark fat loss
- Boost energy
Most weight loss supplements make similar claims. So lets look at the research on the product itself and then its ingredients and see what we can figure out about it.
DietSpotlight Burn Research
If there is clinical research on this weight loss supplement, it cannot be located.
- Pubmed.gov (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov (lists clinical studies currently going on)
for “DietSpotLight Burn,” but found no clinical studies on this supplement.
Just to cover my bases, I also performed a Google search for “Dietspotlight Burn clinical research.” Unfortunately, this also did not reveal any studies either.
While I like to see clinical evidence, lack of evidence doesn't necessarily mean something doesn't work. But it does mean we will have to look at the individual ingredients in this product to get a better idea about it.
Let's do that now.
Dietspotlight Burn Ingredients
According to DietSpotlight.com, 1 bottle has 60 capsules (a months supply). One capsule has the following ingredients:
|Green Tea Extract (standardized to 70% EGCG)||200 mg|
|Meratrim (sphaeranthus indicus flower and garcinia mangostana fruit rind)||400 mg|
|ChromeMate (chromium polynicotinate)||100 mcg|
|Natural Caffeine USP||75 mg|
It's recommended to take 2 capsules per day – 1 capsule in the morning before breakfast and another capsule before lunch.
So, if you took 2 capsules / day you would be getting:
- 400 mg of green tea extract
- 800 mg of Meratrim
- 200 micrograms of ChroMate
- 150 mg of caffeine
For the most part, these ingredients are common to MANY weight loss products you may have heard of. Let's take a brief look at each ingredient now as it pertains to weight loss.
Green tea (it's scientific name is Camellia sinensis) is a healthy botanical that I often add to smoothies. It contains a wide range of antioxidants and is highly studied for more conditions than you can shake a stick at.
But, for all the research out there, when it comes to weight loss, I'm not convinced it works. That's because the research is split with some studies saying:
If it does reduce body weight, I feel caffeine is needed. Decaffeinated green tea doesn't seem to work according to at least one study. Fortunately, DietSpotlight Burn does include caffeine so no worries there.
Supplement labels often tell us how much EGCG it has. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is one of many bio-active compounds in green tea known as catechins (pronounced cat-a-kins). In case you wondered, EGCG is pronounced “epi-galo-cat-a-kin gal-ate.” (Now ya know why they call it EGCG!)
Generally, I'm not a fan of focusing on only 1 thing (like EGCG) because I think it misses the big picture. There are thousands of compounds in green tea (and other botanicals). Concentrating only one of those compounds in a supplement might not give us the same result as if we drank the tea – or added it to smoothies.
As a rule, I prefer the whole plant to an extract. That's just my preference. I feel the tea provides a more broader spectrum of nutrients. Green tea extracts are not without controversy. See the side effects section below.
Here's my smoothie recipe in case you were curious.
ChroMate is a trademarked name for chromium polynicotinate (chromium poly-nick-o-tin-ate). What's that? Basically, it's the mineral chromium bound to the vitamin, niacin. This is done to improve absorption of the mineral.
ChroMate is a product of a company called InterHealth Nutraceuticals (which is now owned by a Swiss company called Lonza whose website is Lonza.com).
It's well known that chromium can reduce blood sugar levels. DietSpotlight mentions that reduced blood sugar can lead to increased hunger. That's all fine and good, but can chromium help people lose weight? Chromium is, after all, common to many weight loss supplements. While the Diet Spotlight website does not specifically say chromium helps weight loss, they do list a weight loss study– from 1997. Either way, I have to respectfully disagree.
The overwhelming majority of clinical studies show chromium does not help weight loss. (click to read review)
Niacin, which forms part of the type of chromium used in ChroMate, has been getting attention that it might be good for the aging process. See the The Nicotinamide riboside review for more on the anti-aging reputation of this vitamin.
Caffeine is caffeine whether it's “natural” or made in a laboratory. Companies that make weight loss supplements have been adding caffeine to their products for decades. The reasons for this include:
- caffeine might raises your metabolism (burn more calories)
- caffeine might spur you to do more stuff (like exercise)
- Caffeine promotes fat burning (called lipolysis)
- Caffeine seems to reduce hunger
This is all fine and good but, if caffeine really -significantly – helped weight loss, couldn't you just drink diet coke or cup of coffee? DietSpotlight Burn has 75 mg of caffeine per capsule (150 mg per 2 capsules).
I'd bet many people reading this drink more than 2 cups of coffee per day. Most people don't lose weight drinking coffee or diet soda. Because of this, I have doubts about caffeine containing supplements. Could caffeine be present to help the green tea work better? Maybe. But, I still feel green tea is iffy at best as a weight loss supplement.
What Is Meratrim?
Meratrim is another ingredient in Diet Spotlight Burn. It's a product of InterHealth Nutraceuticals (the same company as ChroMate, mentioned above) and is composed of 2 botanical ingredients:
- Sphaeranthus indicus
- Garcinia mangostana
Sphaeranthus indicus, also known as East Indian Globe Thistle is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that is said to help blood sugar as well as many other things.
Garcinia mangostana is fancy name for mangosteen, which some may have heard about from other products it's been in such as Vemma. (click to read review).
Let's now look at the weight loss research on Meratrim.
MeraTrim Weight Loss Research
There are some studies on Meratrim as it pertains to weight loss.
In one study, published in 2016 800 mg of Meratrim (or a placebo) were given to 50 healthy, overweight people for 16 weeks. People were instructed to eat only 2000 calories per day and walk for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Those getting Meratrim lost significantly more weight than those taking a placebo.
Before this, a study, published in 2013 also noted that 800 mg of Meratrim helped people lose weight. This study involved 50 overweight people who took either Meratrim or a placebo for 8 weeks. In this study, people consumed 2000 calories per day and walked 5 days per week for 30 minutes.
The Diet Spotlight website also shows a graph that is said to be the results of an 8 week study showing how Meratrim improves weight loss by an average of 11.4 pounds. But, as is clearly shown on their site, this graph comes from a study that was “presented at 58th Annual Meeting of American College of Nutrition, 11/12/15, Orlando FL.”
Studies that are presented may not necessary be peer reviewed clinical studies. It may be a fine study, but until it is published in a medical journal for the world to see, I view it as less important than the other clinical studies mentioned previously. When this study becomes published, I'll update this section.
Two capsules of DietSpotlight Burn provides 800 mg of Meratrim. That's good because it's got the amount the published clinical studies have used too.
But, what is interesting is that the published studies only used Meratrim.
In other words, they did not give people Meratrim plus caffeine, green tea and chromium. It was Meratrim by itself.
I believe this is significant and something readers should pay attention to.
DietSpotlight Active Ingredient
Based on the two published clinical studies summarized above, if Dietspotlight Burn really works, I believe it's because of Meratrim. I believe Meratrim is the active ingredient. Could the caffeine, green tea and chromium in the supplement promote greater weight loss?
Sure, it's possible, but that's speculation without research to prove it. Remember, the researchers conducting the Meratrim studies gave people Meratrim alone – and nothing else.
For the public, this is good news because Meratrim is LESS EXPENSIVE than DietSpotlight Burn.
The Free Sample: Do You Qualify? Probably
On the DietSpotlight website, there is a simple form to complete to see if you qualify for a free, 15 day sample. To check if you qualify, you need to enter your:
- exercise habits
- zip code
When I did this, I got an unexpected answer.
Just as a test, I wanted to know if anyone was disqualified from getting a 15 day free sample.
So, entered data for an 18 year old girl who was 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighted only 55 pounds.
Anyone who weighs 55 pounds should NOT use a diet supplement.
Yet, the DietSpotlight website said “Congratulations.” I qualified for the free sample.
What's up with that?
In addition, their website goofed the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation. Someone who is 4 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 55 pounds would have a BMI of 11.9 (very underweight) according to the National Institutes of Health.
The Diet Spotlight website said the BMI was 8.25 – even more unhealthy than the NIH calculated.
Yet, even with this really low BMI, they still would have sent me a free sample.
I tried to get a free sample again – but this time, I said I weighed only 30 pounds.
I still qualified for the freebie sample.
I then entered no information and just clicked the big honkin green “click here to see if you qualify” button.
Again, I qualified for the free sample.
This aspect of the Diet Spotlight website needs to be upgraded to weed out those who should not be getting free samples of weight loss supplements.
How Much Is The Free Sample?
I called the Diet Spotlight customer support phone number (844-964-3258) and was told that the 15 day free sample costs $3.95. Taking advantage of this option will enroll people in an auto-ship program. Those enrolled to receive auto-shipments, have 18 days – from the time they order the product – to opt out of the autoship program.
This is important. It's NOT 18 days after you get the product. It's 18 days after you call them and order.
How Much Does DietSpotlight Burn Cost?
The FAQ page of the product website tells us that buying just a single bottle (1 month supply/ 60 capsules) costs $109.95. When I called their customer support, I was told that for those who sign up to receive automatic shipments each month, the cost is 89.95 + $5 shipping ($95.90). Either way you slice it, I think this supplement is expensive.
Meratrim, likely the active ingredient, costs a LOT less.Here's Meratrim on Amazon.
DietSpotlight Platinum X
Those who call to order DietSpotlight Burn may be introduced to Platinum X. This is a year-long program that includes supplements as well as counseling with a health coach, online support and other tools to help people lose weight. The cost for Platinum X is $249 billed every 3 months ($996 per year).
I was told that for those who did not achieve at least 15%-20% of their weight loss goal would receive another year of Platinum X absolutely free. In other words, it doesn't look like you would get a refund.
That said, some studies have shown that weight loss is improved when people get coaching. As such, it's theoretically possible that weight loss would be better with Platinum X than just using the supplements by themselves.
Other DietSpotlight Supplements
Previously, the product website has sold other weight loss supplements. Those that I have looked at before include Leptigen and Avesil. Here's the ingredients in DietSpotlight Burn, Leptigen and Avesil side-by side.
|DietSpotlight Burn (1 capsule)||Leptigen (1 capsule)||Avesil (1 capsule)|
|Green Tea Extract (standardized to 70% EGCG)||Green Tea Extract (standardized to 70% EGCG)||Green Tea Extract (standardized to 70% EGCG)|
|Meratrim 400 mg||Meratrim 400 mg||Meratrim 400 mg|
|ChromeMate 100 mcg||ChromeMate 100 mcg||ChromeMate 100 mcg|
|Natural Caffeine USP 75 mg||Natural Caffeine USP 75 mg||Natural Caffeine USP 75 mg|
These look like the same thing to me. To be fair, Avesil, once contained an ingredient called ashwagandha (osh-wa-gon-da). That's what it had when it was reviewed here. It appears ashwagandha was replaced by Meratrim, likely because of its better research.
Regardless, the question remains; why has the Diet Spotlight company been putting the same ingredients in bottles and giving them different names?
What Is Burn HD?
After this review was created, the product name was changed-again- to “Burn HD.” Burn HD is the same thing as DietSpotlight Burn. It has the same ingredients – Meratrim, Chromate and green tea extract – as “DietSpotlight Burn.”
So my question again is, why do they keep changing the name of their product?
Who Makes DietSpotlight Burn?
I'm always interested in who makes dietary supplements, so let's briefly take a look at the company in case you too were wondering.
According to the Better Business Bureau, DietSpotlight.com is located at this address: 75 Valencia Avenue, Suite 1000
Coral Gables, FL 33134. An online search for this address (minus suite 1000) reveals an office building.
According to Whois.com – a website that provides information about other websites – we see that the administrative person for DietSpotlight has an email address from greenbracket.com. This is the website of Green Bracket LLC.
Green Bracket LLC, located at 4135 Laguna Street, Coral Gables, FL 33146, shares its address with another company called Triton Web Properties (TritonCorp.com).
The founder/ CEO of DietSpotlight, Green Bracket and Triton Web Properties is the same person. So all three companies are the same.
According to this Bloomberg summary of the company, Triton Web Properties is involved buying websites, producing content for those websites and helping websites get ranked in search engines.
The Bottom line to all this is that the parent company of DietSpotlight is Green Bracket LLC / Triton Web Properties.
SupplementReviews.com has a very interesting review of the Diet Spotlight company for those who want more information.
DietSpotlight: What's Good/ Not So Good?
Here's a quick summary of what I liked and didn't like about this supplement.
|What's Good||Whats Not So Good|
|Money back guarantee||Product lacks clinical studies|
|Does not contain unusual stimulants (caffeine only)||Very expensive|
|Does not contain ephedra/ephedrine||Same ingredients as other products|
|Contains the amount of Meratrim used in clinical studies||Everybody qualifies for a free sample|
|Why do they keep changing the name of the supplement?|
One thing I did like about the company was their “Donate the Weight” initiative. Basically, when someone obtains one of their free samples, they donate 1 meal feed the less fortunate. I can appreciate that. I'm not sure how much they have donated. See the free sample section above for more info.
DietSpotlight Burn Side Effects
Even though the product seems to lack clinical research, I think DietSpotlight Burn (now called Burn HD) is probably safe for most healthy people. Based on the ingredients in the product, here are some things people should be aware of. Speak to your doctor if any of this applies to you. This list is not complete.
- Supplements containing green tea extracts have been associated with liver problems. While the risk appears to be very low, there have been some who needed liver transplants. What caused this? Was it the green tea or something in in these supplements? Obviously more research needs to be done to better understand what is happening. The risk seems to be associated with green tea supplements and not drinking green tea.
- Dietspotlight Burn contains caffeine. This may lead to insomnia if taken close to bedtime. This is likely why they say to take the product with breakfast and lunch only.
- Stop taking Dietspotlight Burn at least 2 weeks before having surgery.
- The product is not intended for women who are pregnant breastfeeding.
- The product is not intended for those under 18.
For more personalized information on whether DietSpotlight Burn is right for you, speak to your doctor /pharmacist especially if you take ANY medications or have any health problems.
How To Contact DietSpotlight
The Better Business Bureau provides this contact number: 844-964-3258. The company did not have a BBB rating when this review was created. Ratings often change with time so check the BBB site for updates and more information. Also see the BBB file for Green Bracket for more information.
Does Dietspotlight Burn Work?
Without clinical testing on the product itself, it's difficult to know for sure. That said DietSpotlight Burn (or as they call it now, Burn HD) does include an ingredient (Meratrim) that, at least two company-sponsored studies seems to show, helps people lose weight (when combined with eating fewer calories and exercise).
For consumers, this is good news because Meratrim is much less expensive than DietSpotlight Burn. For unknown reasons, DietSpotlight.com has promoted several weight loss supplements that despite having different names, appear to contain the same ingredients.
Here's Meratrim on Amazon.Check out how much less it costs.