Hydroxycut Review 2019 – Why was it nearly Banned?

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Hydroxycut was developed by MuscleTech a Canadian company in 2000. It has a dark history but as of 2019 remains the most popular weight loss supplement in the world. A massive 2 million internet searches are made for hydroxycut every month. But why where previous incarnations linked to deaths and why did the FDA advise people to stop taking it ?. Does the new formulation work? Is it safe? What are the side effects? We find out using the best scientific research.

Check the best rated weight loss pills in 2019. We checked over 50,000 reviews !

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hydroxycut review 2019

  • The most searched for diet aid in the world.
  • Most products contain caffeine.
  • Caffeine is a proven weight loss aid
  • Average customer approval.
  • There is no science to confirm this supplement works.
  • Past formulations linked to health problems.
  • Past formulations linked to law suits.

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Rated no.8 on the Amazon bestseller list and consistently there or thereabouts due to slick brand promotion and numerous products which we list in full at the bottom of the page. Bear in mind, the bestseller list does not relate to how good customers found the product. The percentage of Customers who rated Hydroxycut hardcore elite excellent where between 44% and 74% with an average of 59% when including the sports variant which has a better rating.

what do other websites say ?


27% approval rating from 45 customer reviews.


3.6 out of 5


bad reviews centre around the stimulant effect elevated heart rate and inability to sleep and positive reviews mention the energy boost.



Hydroxycut’s maker, Iovate Health Sciences International, says it puts raw ingredients through extensive quality assurance procedures.

In 2009, Iovate recalled Hydroxycut after the FDA got reports of liver problems, seizures, and a muscle-damaging condition called rhabdomyolysis.

Those products aren’t on the market anymore, and Hydroxycut products no longer contain the ingredients that were in question.


Hydroxycut among 12 most popular weight loss pills supplements with the following note:

Unfortunately, there is only one study on this supplement and no data on long-term effectiveness. More research is needed.


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Does Hydroxycut work?

The official site does not provide substantial evidence that Hydroxycut can aid weight loss,It is said to be“science-based”but there are no scientific papers on the ingredients combined.

The only scientific evidence relates to 2 of the ingredients caffeine which can aid weight loss by raising your metabolism and Green Coffee Bean extract which gives limited benefits.

C. Canephora robusta a type of coffee from Africa another ingredient in some variants has limited research to confirm its benefits. The caption below is typical of many promotional techniques found on product websites but because results are accompanied by low calorie diet and exercise no one can be sure what benefit the hydroxycut has on its own.

science reviews hydroxycut

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials for green coffee.
by Igho Onakpoya, * Rohini Terry, and Edzard Ernst

“The evidence from RCTs seems to indicate that the intake of GCE can promote weight loss. However, several caveats exist. The size of the effect is small, and the clinical relevance of this effect is uncertain. More rigorous trials with longer duration are needed to assess the efficacy and safety of GCE as a weight loss supplement.“

Full scientific paper can be found here.


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In this curious article titled “Weight Loss in Animals and Humans Treated with “Weight level”, a Combination of Four Medicinal Plants Used in Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine”, published at Hindawi − a dubious magazine, which I dare not call scientific due to the caption

“Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine”.

The subject of the study is alchemilla vulgaris, olea europea, Cuminum cyminum and Mentha longifolia − the very mixture used in Hydroxycut along with caffeine.

Apparently, it is “traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine” which served as the principle for those who devised the composition of Hydroxycut.

ingredients of hydroxycut

Hydroxycut comes in many flavours from capsules, drops and gummies, but the key ingredients are:

1. Caffeine.

This is the central and probably the only effective element of the supplement.
World’s most popular psychoactive drug, caffeine barely needs a special introduction.

Though its weight loss aiding effects are unjustly obscure to the public. First, caffeine stimulates secretion of adrenaline, which in turn causes adipose tissue to break down triglycerides, which leads to increased fat bodies in the bloodstream. This alone, of course, does not lead to weight loss, but can aid that combined with exercise.

Moreover, there have been studies showing that caffeine can increase metabolic rate, thus enabling faster fat burning. On caffeine, one’s resting metabolic rate can increases by 3-11%.

The remainder of the ingredients consists of arbitrary herbal extracts:
(Due to lack of information provided by the manufacturer, it is to be speculated of the purpose of the following ingredients.)


2. Alchemilla vulgaris.

Also known as common lady’s mantle. A herbaceous plant. One of its uses is treatment of diarrhea(Approved by German Commission E). It also was historically used to treat throat and some female ailnesses such as metrorrhagia.
Perhaps it was included to prevent diarrhea as an adverse effect of caffeine.


3. Wild olive extract.

Historically the benefits of olive leaves have been used in traditional medicine practices as folk remedies for the treatment of various illnesses. However, scientific evidence for health effects of using olive leaf extract has been deemed insufficient by the European Food Safety Authority to prove any cause-and-effect relationship.


4. Cumin extract.

In Sanskrit, cumin is known as jiraka “that which helps digestion” and is called zira in Persian/Urdu. The seeds are powdered and used in different forms like kashaya (decoction), arishta (fermented decoction), and vati (tablet/pills), and processed with ghee (a semifluid clarified butter).

In traditional medicine practices of several countries, dried cumin seeds are believed to have medicinal purposes, although there is no scientific evidence for any use as a drug or therapy.


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5. Wild mint extract.

In ayurveda, Pudina is considered as appetizer and useful in gastric troubles. In Europe, wild mint was traditionally used to treat flatulence, digestive problems, gall bladder problems and coughs.

The Aztecs used it for similar purposes and also to induce sweating and cure insomnia. The oil was extracted and rubbed into the skin for aches and pains. The Native Americans also used it in several traditional ways. It is currently used in many countries for various ailments.

6.Green Coffee Bean Extract.

“Green coffee beans are coffee seeds (beans) of Coffea fruits that have not yet been roasted. When green coffee beans are roasted, the process reduces amounts of the chemical chlorogenic acid within them.

Therefore, green coffee beans have a higher level of chlorogenic acid compared to regular, roasted coffee beans. Chlorogenic acid in green coffee is thought to have health benefits….www.hollandandbarrett.com


what are the side effects ?


It is unclear whether the current version has serious adverse effects, but Hydroxycut has a nasty reputation. It had been sued after multiple cases of hematotoxicity due to the ingredient ephedra which was present before 2004. Hydroxycut was voluntarily recalled and later ephedra was banned by the FDA.

Wikipedia states

In 2004, the FDA banned ephedra after 155 deaths from heart attack and stroke were attributed to ephedra, including the death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler. It was the first banning of a dietary supplement by the FDA.[21][22]

Between 2004 and 2009 the new formulation which included hydroxycitric acid was linked to liver damage. The FDA advised people not to use it so in 2009 hydroxycut again shed its skin and reformulated an all new formula !

Following the reformulation, case reports in the medical literature have continued to link Hydroxycut to side effects. An article published in 2010 reported on a case of atrial fibrillation that the author suspected was due to epigallocatechin gallate in Hydroxycut Green Tea, a product that as of 2012 is no longer marketed. Another case published in 2013 reported on a patient who developed ulcerative colitis due to Hydroxycut Hardcore.


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How much weight can you lose on Hydroxycut?

On the official website, in the “Success Stories” section, you can find claims of losing up to 39 lbs(17.69 kg) in 17 weeks.


What is the dosage.

Dosage is individual for a specific product. For example, for Pro Clinical Hydroxycut it is 1 pill two times per day for the first three days and 2 capsules 2 times per day from then on,

Hydroxycut Hardcore it is just 1 capsule on day one, 2 capsules 1 time per day for days 2 and 3 and 2 capsules 2 times per day from day 4 and beyond.

Note that due to tolerance to caffeine the dosage increases over time.
View the dosage on the website in the “Products” section.


Why was Hydroxycut banned?

It wasn’t. There were several lawsuits against Iovate Sciences inc., resulting in two reformulations of chemical composition of Hydroxycut. In 2003 the ingredient ephedra was removed after law suits where filled linking it to cardiac problems .

Later in 2009 hydroxycitric acid was linked to liver problems and Iovate Health Sciences voluntarily recalled the hydroxycut and changed the ingredients. Wikipedia mentions the following.

On May 1, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers to stop using Hydroxycut products, due to 23 reports of serious health problems associated with the use of Hydroxycut, and at least one death, and to destroy any product that they may possess.[4][31] The warning stated “Although the liver damage appears to be relatively rare, FDA believes consumers should not be exposed to unnecessary risk. Consumers who have these products are urged to stop using them.”[32] Following the FDA warning, the manufacturer then agreed to voluntarily recall the products.[28]

Full Wikipedia overview can be found HERE if your into rather heavy reading !

Alexandra Danel and Claudia Herreros with Julie Fagan, Ph.D wrote the following in 2012 ..


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Hydroxycut: get ripped, or get ripped off?

Average weight loss with key ingredients was 20.94 lbs. in one 12-week study and 16.50 lbs. in one 8-week study. All groups followed a calorie-reduced diet.” We then contacted Iovate Health Sciences instead where I was able to get into contact with one of the representatives. He said that the 12-week study published on their website was in a peer reviewed journal article, The Open Complimentary Medicine Journal.

The Study was a randomized double-blind study conducted on 34-subjects. However, the interesting thing is that the study is not on Hydroxycut, it is only based on four ingredients in Hydroxycut. This means that although these ingredients may have been shown to be safe and effective in the study the other ingredients in Hydroxycut have not been proven to be safe and we do not know about how all these products interact with each other.

The second 8-week study is not available to the public and is used only for government purposes. We decided to figure out the product effectiveness from consumer reports. We took out reviews from a diet review website. The overall rating of Hydroxycut was 80% which means that 80% of people who tried it liked it.

One consumer states Hydroxycut is a product that ‘really’ does work. However, the consumer was concerned about the effects that it can have on the liver an until the company have proved the product is safe it is not worth losing your life over. Another consumer wrote that the product made her feel dizzy and made her heart beat faster.

Overall, there are many comments like this; some people state that they love the products, other state that they like it but are scared of side effects and some people post horror stories about what this product has done to them

About the author

Jason Currie

Jason Currie

Jason loves sports he is a certified sports nutritionist recognised by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). Jason loves dogs and his cat bella, he has a first class bachelor's degree in Exercise, Health and Nutrition and a Master's degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science. Jason has worked as a sports nutritionist and trainer for 6 years, and has helped hundreds of people transform their physiques. He has worked with many professional athletes, celebs including professional bodybuilders (men and woman). In 2016 Jason did a world tour and studied local cultures to further his knowledge traditional customs . He uses the latest research uncover the truth behind the gossip.

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