07-31-2003, 01:07 PM
I know that diet pills are bad, but, this "Patent Lean", says it's not a stimulant, contains no ephedrine, no PPA, and has no drug side effects. Anyone ever try this? I am curious, but, would like more info!
07-31-2003, 06:38 PM
Well, basically...the active ingredient in this is 3-Acetyl-7-Oxo-Dehydroepiandrosterone - or basically, DHEA. There are a bunch of other pills out there that are identical to PatentLean - Lean System 7 is the one that comes to mind automatically. I note that in the advertisements I've seen on the Web, the PatentLean folks are lauding the fact that they have a US patent on their 'exclusive ingredient'. Well whoop de doo - just because a patent is issued, doesn't mean the product WORKS like they say.
Here's what Supplementwatch says about DHEA:
Supplement DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
Description DHEA is an androgenic hormone produced in the adrenal glands. In the body, DHEA is converted into other hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone or cortisol. Some natural products include wild yams as a source of DHEA. A metabolic precursor to DHEA, DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone-3-sulfate) can be converted to DHEA and vice versa. DHEA levels are known to decrease with age - particularly after the age of 40, but perhaps as early as ages 20 - 30.
Claims Slows aging
Stimulates libido/increases sex drive
Promotes weight loss
Builds muscle mass/increases strength
Theory Because DHEA levels decline with age (up to 90% reduction) and functions as a direct precursor to testosterone and estrogen, it is often promoted as a "fountain of youth" type of supplement. The theory is that by boosting blood DHEA levels, sex hormone levels can be elevated and some of the conditions associated with aging can be alleviated. Such conditions as muscle wasting, bone loss, loss of strength and endurance and reduced sex drive may be potential targets for DHEA supplementation.
Scientific Support DHEA supplements, at 50 – 100 mg per day, have been shown to increase muscle mass and improve overall feelings of well-being among a group of 40-70 year old subjects who took the supplements for 6 months. Another small study (9 elderly men) showed a link between 5 months of DHEA supplementation (50mg/day) and improvements in markers of immune system function (lymphocytes, natural killer cells and immunoglobulins). Several studies have shown an increased serum testosterone levels following regular DHEA supplementation (50-100mg/day).
Safety The FDA banned the sale of DHEA as a therapeutic drug in 1996 until its safety and value could be reviewed. DHEA products on the market as dietary supplements are regulated under a 1994 law, the dietary supplement health and education act (DSHEA). Although it is difficult to show clear side effects from DHEA supplements, several publications have raised concerns regarding of altered hormone profiles, liver abnormalities, increased cancer risk (prostate in men and breast in women) and other steroid-like effects (increased facial hair, acne, mood swings). Since DHEA is converted into testosterone, there have been concerns that chronic use in men might worsen prostate hyperplasia or even promote prostate cancer.
Of the potential adverse effects associated with high dose DHEA supplements, virilization in women may result from increased testosterone levels, while gynecomastia may result in men from an elevation in estrogen levels. Because of these potential adverse effects, DHEA dosages should be limited to between 25 and 100 milligrams daily. If you take DHEA, you should inform your physician. It is important to note that although such concerns are certainly possible and logical, they are only suspected risks - which may not apply for all individuals who may derive benefits from DHEA supplements.
Value DHEA supplements tend to be relatively inexpensive and widely available from a number of manufacturers. A recent publication, however, analyzed several DHEA products on the market and found a dramatic difference between the amount of DHEA stated on the supplement label and the amount actually present in the product. The range of actual DHEA present was over 150% to zero. Only 7 of the 16 products (44%) analyzed were found to have a DHEA content within the typical pharmaceutical product specifications of 90-110% of the labeled claim. Of the remaining products, no DHEA was detected in 1 product, and trace amounts were detected in 2 other products. The latter 2 were labeled as containing naturally occurring DHEA, with no specific amount indicated on the label. This finding underscores the importance of choosing your supplements from a reputable manufacturer that you can trust to perform adequate quality control and ingredient analysis.
Dosage Effective doses have ranged from 50-100 mg per day, depending on the condition under investigation. Based on the current positive findings with 50-mg dosages and the adverse effects that may be associated with excessive DHEA supplementation, a daily dose of 50 mg per day seems reasonable
NOTE: Competitive athletes should be aware of the potential for DHEA supplementation to alter the testosterone-epitestosterone ratio so it exceeds the 6:1 limit set by both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and NCAA in their screening for testosterone doping.
Here's a rather interesting article I found on Quackwatch...
DHEA: Ignore the Hype
News reports have called DHEA "the mother of all hormones." A new book calls it a "superhormone." On the Internet, it's billed as the "fountain of youth hormone."
In the court of media and public opinion, DHEA is king, a pill that can help us live longer, lose weight or gain it, prevent cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's, and combat AIDS and other infectious diseases. The crescendo of praise for this hormone has drowned out the serious cautions that top researchers in the field are raising:
"The one thing you should tell your readers is that we know very little about DHEA. The hype is out of control, and I can't stress enough that it should be used with caution, if at all, until we know more," says Samuel Yen, MD, professor of reproductive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. News reports and advertisements widely cite his studies of people who took DHEA supplements for three months as proof that the hormone "works."
"No one should take DHEA except under the supervision of a physician, who should routinely check steroid and cholesterol levels, glucose tolerance, and prostate health in men," says John Nestle, MD, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Virginia Commonwealth University, who studies DHEA's effects on diabetes and blood clotting.
"DHEA is the snake oil of the '90s. It makes me very nervous that people are using a drug we don't know anything about. I won't recommend it," says Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD, professor and chair, department of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Her studies of natural DHEA levels in older people suggest that higher levels may protect men against heart disease.
"Selling potent steroid hormones in health food stores or by mail could be a disaster in the making. DHEA should be classified as an investigational drug and used only in clinical research until we figure out what it does and its side effects," says Peter Hornsby, PhD, associate professor of cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine. His team has just identified the body's DHEA-making cells.
Why such strong statements from researchers who think DHEA may someday have a medical use? To date, there's no solid proof that DHEA supplements have any real benefit for humans. There's also no proof that they are completely benign. "Unfortunately, we don't see the problems associated with hormone use until years later," says Peter Casson, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. He cited as an example the higher of breast cancer in women who took diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent a miscarriage, which was discovered only after years of use.
What Is DHEA?
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a steroid hormone, a chemical cousin of testosterone and estrogen. It is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, which sit atop each kidney. For the first few years of life, the adrenals make very little DHEA. Around age six or seven, they begin churning it out. Production peaks in the mid-20s, when DHEA is the most abundant hormone in circulation. From one's early '30s on, there's a steady decline in DHEA production, so the average 75-year-old has only 20% of the DHEA in circulation that he or she had 50 years earlier. At all ages, men tend to have higher DHEA levels than women.
By definition, hormones are chemical messengers made in a gland or tissue that start, stop, or otherwise orchestrate activity in some other issue. That makes DHEA a hormone in name only, since no one knows exactly what it does in the body. For years it was thought to be a kind of chemical trash left over from making other hormones. Today, "we still haven't been able to identify any mechanism of action," says Dr. Casson.
In fact, about the only thing that researchers can agree on is that DHEA is easily converted into other hormones, especially estrogen and testosterone.
The Food and Drug Administration isn't sure what to do with DHEA supplements. Ten years ago the agency told companies to stop selling DHEA, which was marketed at the time for weight loss, and classified it as an unapproved new drug, obtainable only by prescription. Then in 1994, DHEA was reclassified as a dietary supplement, allowing sales over the counter.
Much of DHEA's reputation as a wonder hormone comes from experiments in which mice or rats were fed daily doses. Such studies have shown that DHEA can prevent or delay the onset of cancer, "hardening" of the arteries, lethal viral infections, lowered immunity, obesity, and diabetes. But what works in rodents doesn't necessarily work in humans. That may be especially true in this case, because rats and mice produce only about 1/10,000 the DHEA we do.
An early human study that pointed to possible benefits for DHEA came from Dr. Barrett-Connor's group. They measured DHEA levels in blood samples taken from almost 2,000 men and women between 1972 and 1974 and looked at how many died from heart disease. In 1986, they reported that men with high DHEA levels were far less likely to have died of heart disease, while women with high DHEA levels were at greater risk. A more detailed analysis published late last year, however, showed that men with above-average DHEA levels back in the early 1970s were only 15% less likely to have died of heart disease, while there was no association between DHEA levels and heart disease in women.
The longest and perhaps most carefully conducted work in humans comes from Dr. Yen and his associates. In their latest study, published last year in a special issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences devoted to DHEA and aging, eight men and eight women aged 50 to 65 took either 100 milligrams of DHEA or an identical placebo pill each night for three months. For three months after that, they took the opposite pill.
Within two weeks of starting DHEA, circulating levels of the hormone were a bit higher than normally found in young adults. Lean body mass increased slightly in both sexes, as did muscle strength, which also improved with the placebo. Fat body mass decreased in men but increased a bit in women. There was also a rise in some chemical markers that suggested improvement in immune function, though the number of colds and other illnesses was not measured.
An earlier study from Dr. Yen's group showed that three months of daily 50-milligram doses of DHEA significantly improved the sense of "well-being," it did not improve sex drive, as advertisements for DHEA often claim..
Another study in which volunteers took DHEA suggests that this hormone may help treat the autoimmune disease lupus. Trials looking at DHEA's ability to boost the immune system and maintain mental function in older adults are in progress.
Experiments on a few dozen people over six months hardly constitute proof that a treatment works. "What we really need at this point are some long-term clinical trials to identify clear benefits and risks," says Dr. Nestler.
One reason why such trials are crucial is that DHEA has side effects, some of which may be irreversible. Since DHEA is converted into testosterone, some women who take it grow body or facial hair and, if they are under age 50 or so, can stop menstruating. DHEA has also been shown to decrease levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol in women, and could increase the risk of heart disease, the leading killer of older women. "We have no idea what DHEA might do to the risk of breast cancer," says Dr. Nestler.
In men, the increased levels of testosterone seen with daily DHEA pills could stimulate the growth of a tiny prostate tumor that would otherwise have remained dormant. Excess testosterone could also cause the prostate to enlarge, making urination difficult.
The Bottom Line
Much of the popular and scientific interest in DHEA stems from our culture's emphasis on youth. If levels of this hormone decline with age, the thinking goes, we could avoid the health problems that accompany aging -- or even extend our lifespan -- by keeping DHEA levels high. Many people are already taking DHEA just in case this turns out to be true. That wouldn't be a problem if this substance were as safe as vitamin C. But as a potent steroid hormone, DHEA has the potential for far-reaching side effects throughout the body.
The rush to take DHEA is a curious paradox, especially when compared with the slow, almost grudging acceptance of hormone replacement therapy for older women. After menopause, hormone supplements that boost dwindling levels of estrogen help prevent osteoporosis and may protect against heart disease. There are also some known or suspected risks with estrogen replacement, such as a possible increase in the risk of breast cancer. Despite mounting evidence that the benefits substantially outweigh the risks, most women in the US choose not to start hormone replacement therapy.
With DHEA and aging, there are no proven benefits and some potentially serious risks. Yet people are flocking to use this virtually unregulated substance, which troubles HealthNews associate editor Arthur Feinberg, MD.
"The potential for irreversible side effects is real," he says. "So given that there's no convincing evidence for any benefit of DHEA, I feel strongly that people should not take it."
Again, the makers of PatentLean aren't CALLING their product DHEA, but IMO it's close enough...they might have just added an extra ingredient but basically it's DHEA
08-04-2003, 10:09 AM
My suggestion to you would be to try doing a search on the active ingredient in PatentLEAN (3-Acetyl-7-Oxo-Dehydroepiandrosterone -- also known as 7-Keto) and make your own decision. When I read up on 7-Keto, I'd look at websites that published the results of the clinical trials (and avoided the sites that try to "sell" weight loss products).
Best of luck to you,