The Plexus Slim Accelerator Plus supplement (Accelerator +) is said to have “Synergistic benefits help increase the effectiveness of Plexus Slim.” The product is also claimed to “increase energy”, “suppress appetite” and “speed up weight loss and fat inches.” Sounds good but does it work? Is it safe? Accelerator Plus is a new formula that is significantly different from the original Accelerator formula. It contains new ingredients, some of which I've never seen before. Because of this, I will review the Accelerator Plus weight loss supplement according to the research on itself ―if any exists ― as well as its ingredients. By the end of this review, my goal is that you have a better understanding of whether the product lives up to its touted benefits and if you need it. Also see my review of Plexus Boost for more info.
Who Makes Accelerator Plus?
The Accelerator Plus is a product of Plexus WorldWide Inc. which is located in Arizona. I cover
the company and other things in my review of Plexus Slim so do read that for additional information. As of 12/9/13 the Better Business Bureau gives Plexus WorldWide a rating of B+. Check the BBB file as they update ratings regularly.
Accelerator Plus Ingredients
According to the bottle, Plexus Slim Accelerator Plus has the following ingredients:
|Niacin (Niacinamide)||20 mg 100% DV|
|Vitamin B6||30 mg 1500% DV|
|Vitamin B12||500 mcg 8334% DV|
|Calcium (Calcium glycinate)||50 mg 5% DV|
|Chromium (Chromium picolinate)||1.5 mg 1250% DV|
|Proprietary blend, composed of||950 mg|
|Yerba mate leaf extract|
|Hawthorne leaf extract|
|Green tea leaf extract|
DV=Daily Value based on a 2000 calorie per day diet
Other ingredients listed. The bottle indicates that the product also contains vegetable capsules and something called NuFlow. NuFlow is an ingredient used to stabilize the powder in the Accelerator and prevent it from clumping. According to its website, it’s a substitute for silicon dioxide.
Accelerator Plus Research
I searched the Plexus Slim website for research on the Accelerator but did not find any. The product website does say that :
“When taken with Plexus Slim, the Accelerator + helps speed up weight loss or helps people overcome weight plateaus.”
But ,they offer no proof that the combination of these products provides any added benefits over Plexus Slim alone. If we go back to the In the non-published clinical trial on Plexus Slim, it appears that the 8 people in the trial did not use the Accelerator but rather only Plexus Slim alone.
Tip. For more on the Plexus Slim clinical trial, see my review of Plexus Slim New Formula.
So, where is the proof that the Accelerator Plus adds any benefits to Plexus Slim alone?
Since the Accelerator Plus supplement appears to have no published peer reviewed studies on it, let's now analyze the product by its ingredients and see what we can learn. I will show the weight loss research on each ingredient ―with an emphasis on the Accelerator's proprietary blend ―and in this way, hopefully shed some light what might be going on.
The Vitamins and Minerals
The Accelerator Plus supplement contains these vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B6
I don’t believe any of these ingredients contributes significantly to the product. That said, I do want to touch on a couple of the ingredients because they show up a lot in other supplements.
The form of niacin used in Accelerator Plus is niacinamide. Some people report flushing of the face after taking niacin but niacinamide should not do this.
2. Vitamin B12
The Accelerator Plus supplement has 500 mcg of this vitamin which is 8334% more than people need to be healthy. In some circles vitamin B12 is thought to help people lose weight ― despite any proof that it does. For more info see my review on Vitamin B12 and weight loss.
Vitamin B12 might also be in found in weight loss supplements because some medications that treat diabetes can deplete B12 levels. Since people who take weight loss products may have type II diabetes and take these types of medications, on the surface, it might seem logical to add vitamin B12. That said, since we store vitamin B12, it often a couple of years for a deficiency to show up.
While lack of B12 may make people feel tired (due to anemia), vitamin B12 supplements does not boost energy levels in those who are not lacking in this nutrient.
2. Chromium Picolinate
Chromium is often used in weight loss supplements because of some evidence that it might help insulin work better, and in this way help reduce blood sugar levels. This is actually somewhat controversial because not all research supports that chromium works. For example, in this 2012 study, insulin was less efficient (in other words, insulin didn’t work as well) in those who received chromium picolinate.
For more information, see my review of Chromium Picolinate and Weight loss.
Accelerator Plus Proprietary Blend
I will list the relevant weight loss research on the ingredients in the proprietary blend in order as they appear on the Accelerator Plus label. This is because ingredients are often listed in order of abundance. In other words, since yerba mate is the first ingredient in the list, the Accelerator Plus likely contains the most of this and the least green tea extract, since this ingredient is listed last.
It's scientific name is Ilex paraguariensis. In some studies it's also called “yerbe mate.” I searched the national library of medicine for:
- “Yerba mate and weight loss”
Most of the studies I saw involved giving yerba mate to lab rats or mice. Since I'm not big fan of mice or rat studies as the sole basis for the use of supplements, I'll only briefly list them here:
What about people? What I didn’t see were any human studies showing that herba mate helped people lose weight. What's up with that? Herba mate contains caffeine and this may be why it's in Accelerator Plus.
In this 2001 study titled, Weight loss and delayed gastric emptying following a South American herbal preparation in overweight patients, a solution containing yerba mate, guarana and Damiana, was noted to help people lose weight. But this study isn't relevant to our discussion because it involved the use of other herbs that are not found in Accelerator Plus.
This is a phytochemical that is also a heart stimulant. It is also sometimes called Norcoclaurine. I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Higenamine and weight loss
- Higenamine obesity
- Higenamine metabolism
I cannot locate any human studies on higenamine ―alone―and weight loss.
I did find a 2013 study titled Acute oral intake of a higenamine-based dietary supplement increases circulating free fatty acids and energy expenditure in human subjects. In this study, researchers noted that a supplement that contained higenamine, given to 16 healthy people, increased calorie burning and the amount of fat being used for fuel.
While this is an interesting study, the supplement used also contained caffeine and yohimbe. Since Accelerator Plus does not contain yohimbe, this study is not relevant.
Tip. For more on yohimbe, see my review of the male sex supplement Androzene.
Another reason why I don’t feel the study is relevant is because the people tested were “healthy” and in their 20s. What about people who are not healthy and older?
Hordenine is a phytochemical that comes from barley. It might also be listed in supplements by its scientific name Hordeum vulgare. Hordenine is a compound that has a stimulating effect in the body. Technically compounds like this are called sympathomemetic because they mimic the effects of adrenaline. This means that hordenine appears to have some stimulant properties. How much this effect might be in people I don't know.
In an attempt to determine if hordenine helped weight loss, I searched the National Library of Medicine for these terms:
- Hordenine obesity
- Hordenine weight loss
- Hordeum vulgare weight loss
- Hordeum vulgare obesity
I found no studies that specifically tested hordenine to see if it helped weight loss in either humans or lab animals. Granted, lack of evidence does not necessarily mean something doesn’t work, but it makes me wonder if hordenine was chosen to be an ingredient in Accelerator Plus specifically because of its alleged stimulant properties?
The scientific name for this herb is Crataegus monogyna. Accelerator Plus actually lists “hawthron leaf extract” as an ingredient, but they don’t tell us what extract of the hawthorn leaf they use. That makes evaluating this herb difficult because different extract might have different effects.
Hawthorn is said to make the heart pump better and because of this, in the past, the herb was used in some settings to help, a serious medical condition called congestive heart failure. How much it helps is open to debate. I also want to point out that at least one study I found noted hawthorn appeared to make heart problems worse.
Warning: Do not self medicate with hawthorn if you have heart problems. Speak to your doctor first. See the side effects section for more information on hawthorn.
While there is no evidence that hawthorn helps weight loss, because of its effects on heart pumping, I speculate that the idea behind why this herb is in Accelerator Plus is for this reason:
A heart that pumps more blood also pumps more oxygen and nutrients to tissues and organs, in the hopes that this will give people more energy.
This is my wild guess given the premise of what Accelerator Plus is supposed to do.
To the PS Ambassadors: can you please leave a comment and give me a reason why hawthorn is in the Accelerator Plus? Other than my speculation, I can't find a good reason.
I've seen hawthorn in other supplements I've looked at before such as:
- Zi Xiu Tang (weight loss supplement)
- Slim Trim U (weight loss supplement)
- Avalowerin (blood pressure supplement)
I've also written a review of Hawthron as well.
The scientific name for this is 5-hydroxytryptophan. As the name suggests, 5 HTP is derived from tryptophan, a non-essential amino acid that we naturally make every day. 5 HTP helps us make a brain chemical called serotonin. Elevated serotonin levels appear to improve mood as well as reduce appetite.
Having said that, there is some evidence that 5 HTP might help weight loss in people. For example, in a small 1998 study titled Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients, 750 mg of 5HTP a day for 2 weeks, lost weight and reduced their intake of carbs and fats.
These results were somewhat similar to a small 1992 study involving 20 overweight women, where 900 mg of 5 HTP for 12 weeks resulted in weight loss and carb intake.
In a 1989 study titled, The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects, 19 women were given 5 HTP or a placebo for five weeks. In this study 5 HTP caused the women to lose weight and eat less food. The amount of 5 HTP used in this study was 8 mg per kilogram of body weight.
Tip. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds. So, for a 200 pound person in this study, this would equal 200 / 2.2 =91 kg and 91 kg x 8 mg = 727 mg per day.
How much 5HTP is in Accelerator Plus? They don’t tell us but I'm guessing it is less than used in these three studies. I say this because the entire proprietary blend of all the ingredients in Accelerator Plus only adds up to 950 mg, and 5HTP is near the bottom of the ingredients list. This says to me that there is probably little 5HTP in Accelerator Plus. Maybe less would work just as well, I don’t know?
For those who are interested and want to compare prices, here is a 5 HTP supplement on Amazon that generally gets high marks from people.
Green Tea Leaf Extract
Green tea contains many compounds and we are not told what extract of the green tea leaf Accelerator Plus contains. Could the extract used by caffeine? Green tea also contains other compounds such as theobromine and Theophylline which have some structural similarities to caffeine. Ultimately, I don’t know, so If anyone has the answer, please leave a comment and let me know.
Stimulant Ingredients in Accelerator Plus
- Herba mate
- Hordenine (maybe)
- Caffeine (if it contains caffeine)
Summary of Ingredient Actions
Looking at the ingredients in the proprietary blend as whole, they seem to fall into two categories:
- Those that act as stimulants
- Those that might raise serotonin levels
This is somewhat analogous to how some weight loss drugs work are supposed to work. That said, how effective the combination of ingredients in Accelerator Plus would be, I can't say, since there doesn’t appear to be any published research on the product.
Ingredients With The Most Evidence
Based on the research I could locate, it appears that 5 HTP has the most human evidence that it might help some people lose weight. That's not to say 5 HTP is a slam dunk because there aren't a lot of studies, but there is more in support of 5 HTP than the other ingredients. Theoretically, is possible that weight loss benefits might be greater with the combination of ingredients in Accelerator Plus but without proof, it's hard to say.
For those who want to compare prices, here is 5 HTP on Amazon
Accelerator Plus and Plexus Slim: Better Together?
On the product website the claim is made that Plexus Accelerator Plus has “Synergistic benefits help increase the effectiveness of Plexus Slim.” But the company provides no proof that this is true. Even in the clinical study used to tout the effectiveness of Plexus Slim, there is no mention of any Accelerator used. Theoretically, if the Plexus Accelerator plus does what the company says it will do, there may be an enhanced effect, but until somebody tests the combination against plexus slim alone, it's anyone's guess.
Accelerator Plus vs. The Old Accelerator
Remember, Accelerator Plus is the new version of Plexus Accelerator. I cover the ingredients in the original Plexus Accelerator, in my review of Plexus Slim, so do read that for additional information, but here is a quick side-by-side comparison of the old Accelerator vs. the new Plexus Accelerator Plus for those who were curious:
Accelerator Plus ingredients
Old Accelerator formula
|Vitamin B12||Dark chocolate|
|Chromium picolinate||Green tea extract|
|Yerba mate leaf extract||Vanadium cheleate|
|Green tea leaf extract|
*See my review of Plexus Slim for more about the ingredient called Gerana X
Comparing both old and new products side-by-side, it appears that the only ingredients that the Accelerator + has in common with the old formula are:
- Green tea
Accelerator Plus Side Effects
If you are have experienced any side effects from Accelerator Plus please leave a comment so others can benefit.
The Plexus Slim website does say this about the Accelerator Plus:
Warnings: Plexus Worldwide, Inc. products are not intended for expectant or nursing mothers. If you have a heart condition, high blood pressure or any other cardiovascular condition, please consult with a physician before taking this product. Not intended for children under the age of 18. Avoid taking Plexus Worldwide, Inc. products with cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, PPA, or products containing high amounts of caffeine. Before starting this or any other supplementation, consult a physician first. If unpleasant effects occur, discontinue use.
Given the ingredients in the product, I think these cautions are appropriate. Here is a short list of theoretical issues that occurred to me as I was writing this review.
Since herba mate contains caffeine, it might increase blood pressure in some people. In a 2013 review of herba mate and cancer research studies titled Maté consumption and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a meta-analysis, researchers noted that consumption of herba mate was associated with cancer of the esophagus. Some research suggests that smokers who use herba mate may be at a greater risk than non-smokers. Would taking capsules that contained herba mate for short periods of time do the same thing? I don’t know.
Higenamine can accelerate heart rate ,and as far as I can tell, has not been adequately tested in humans for safety. For more info see this review on higenamine at WebMd.
Stop all supplements at least 2 weeks before having surgery. Many supplements can increase bleeding which is dangerous if you are having surgery. Do not use the product while pregnant or breast feeding.
There is some evidence that hordenine might cause a false positive test result for opiate use. Because hordenine can have a stimulating effect, theoretically, it might increase heart rate and blood pressure, although I can't find any evidence that it does.
Hawthorn, can interact with high blood pressure medications. . I believe people who have:
- Heart problems
- Blood pressure problems
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
or who take medications for these health issues, should speak to their doctor before taking hawthron or supplements that contain this herb. Since many of those who take this Plexus Slim supplements may be overweight, it's possible they may have some of these health problems.
Some people have reported heart palpitations and dizziness after taking the hawthorn. Hawthron can also interact with many types of medications such as those used to treat high blood pressure. Because Plexus Slim does not tell us the hawthron extract they use, or how much is in the Accelerator Plus, it's impossible to know what side effects ―if any ―people might experience.
5 HTP helps make the hormone melatonin, which can make people sleepy. Having said that, would the Accelerator Plus make people feel tired by its raising of melatonin? I'm not sure. If you read through the comments, there have been people who said they felt sleepy after taking Accelerator Plus.
Because 5 HTP can raise serotonin levels, theoretically it might interact with antidepressant medications that also raise serotonin. This combination might ―in theory ―make serotonin levels go to high and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of this condition can include but are not limited to:
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Muscle twitching
For more on this condition see the serotonin syndrome and other 5 HTP research topics review at NYU Medical Center website.
I can't discuss 5 HTP without mentioning Eosinophilia–myalgia syndrome (EMS), which is a very rare disorder characterized by debilitating muscle pain and high levels of immune cells called eosinophils. This disorder was big news in the late 1980s because it resulted in the deaths over 30 people. All of these people were taking the amino acid, tryptophan.
Now, while it is still debatable what caused EMS in these people ―tryptophan itself or a contamination product in the tryptophan ―I mention this because there is speculation ( only speculation and not confirmed fact) that 5 HTP itself may also raise the risk of EMS. Given how many people have taken 5 HTP over the years, I think the risk ―if it really exists ―is pretty low. I mention EMS is not to scare anyone or be controversial, but rather because I felt I would be remiss if I did not mention it. For more information on EMS, see the EMS Network website.
Does Accelerator Plus Work?
There is no doubt that there are some powerful words and testimonials on the web about how great the Plexus Accelerator Plus is and even the name “Accelerator” implies that the supplement will speed up weight loss and metabolism. That said, I can't find any good proof that the Plexus Accelerator plus raises metabolic rate in humans or that it causes extra calorie burning or weight loss. If you read the comments below, take note that some say Accelerator Plus doesn't work. Interestingly some say the same thing about the new Plexus Slim formula also.
Of of all the ingredients in the product, only 5 HTP has any evidence that it works in human. I think this is also the ingredient responsible for making people sleepy, a side effect some have reported. I see no good proof that Plexus Slim works better with the Accelerator Plus than without it. Maybe it does or doesn’t.
For those who are interested and want to read comments by others, here are Plexus products on Amazon if you want to see what others are saying.