In the TV commercial for NV Clinical, actress Tami Roman peaks out from behind a drugstore isle and says “Tell her the first two weeks of weight loss can be the hardest.” Since every box of NV Clinical contains the words “Lose Weight Fast,” the idea is that one of the benefits of this product is that it's supposed to make those first two weeks easier. To further support the weight loss power of NV Clinical, the actor playing the pharmacist in the TV commercial says that the key ingredients in the product are “backed up by two clinical studies.” Besides Tami looking good in that black dress, it was the “two clinical studies” part that really got my attention. So, in this review, let's look at the weight loss research of NV Clinical and NV Clinical Sprinkles and see what we can figure out.
NV Clinical ingredients
As shown on NVClincal.com, the ingredients (in 3 caplets), are as follows:
|In 3 capsules. 20 capsules per container||% DV|
|NV Weight Loss Complex||400mg|
|Indian Sphaeranthus (Sphaeranthus indicus) flower||N/A|
|Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) (rind)||N/A|
|NV Super fruit Complex||309 mg|
|Cranberry extract (Vaccinium macrocarpon) fruit||N/A|
|Goji (Lycium barbarum) (fruit)|
|Pomegranate (Punica granatum) (fruit and seed)|
|Grape extract (Vitis vinifera) (fruit)|
|Litchi (Litchi chinensis) (fruit)|
|Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) (fruit)|
|Tumeric (Curcuma longa) (root)|
If you remember, the TV commercial for NV Clinical indicates that there are 2 clinical studies supporting two of the ingredients in NV Clinical caused people to lose weight. What are those two key ingredients? They don't tell us. In fact, when I contacted the company that makes NV Clinical, they wouldn't tell me either.
So, let's briefly review the weight loss research on each of the ingredients and try to see which ones they might be referring to.
Tip. The NV in the name of the product refers to “Envy” ―as in “people will envy your weight loss.”
NV Weight Loss Complex ingredients
Also called Sphaeranthus indicus. I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Sphaeranthus indicus weight loss
- Indian Sphaeranthus weight loss
In a study published in 2010 in the journal, Pharmaceutical Biology, researchers noted that Sphaeranthus indicus decreased insulin resistance in mice. For more information, see this review of Sphaeranthus indicus from the International Journal of Ayurveda Research.
Thanks to a commenter, I was made aware of a 2013 study titled Efficacy and tolerability of a novel herbal formulation for weight management, that appeared to indicate that a combination of Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana reduced body weight more than a placebo in 60 overweight people (55 completed the study) who were followed for 2 months. The people in this study walked 30 minutes per day and consumed 2000 calories per day. Here is a summary of the results:
People getting the supplement:
- lost 11.2 pounds compared to 2.95 lbs in those getting the placebo
- decreased waist size by 4.66 nches compared to 2.52 inches in those getting the placebo
- showed an increase in adiponectin levels compared to those getting the placebo
This is actually is a study of another supplement called Meratrim. In this investigation, the people used 400 mg of Meratrim twice per day. It is only a single study but its interesting.
For those who want to check it out, here is Maratrim on Amazon.
Also called Garcinia mangostana. I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Mangosteen, weight loss
- Garcinia mangostana, weight loss
I located a study published in 2009, in the Journal of Nutrition, titled Evaluation of Mangosteen juice blend on biomarkers of inflammation in obese subjects: a pilot, dose finding study.
This investigation was primarily only interested in testing whether mangosteen could reduce cellular inflammation in 40 overweight individuals. In people receiving mangosteen, a reduction in inflammation was observed. Those getting mangosteen juice also appeared to have a reduction in body mass index (BMI) although this effect was not significant.
Here is a brand of Mangosteen juice that got high marks on Amazon for those who are interested.
Tip. Mangostene (Garcinia mangostana) is related to Garcinia cambogia so if you research the scientific name for his fruit, almost all weight loss claims and research you see have to do with Garcinia cambogia. See my review of Garcinia cambogia for more information.
I then searched the Internet for “mangosteen weight loss” and found that several websites mention a study conducted by the American Chemical Society. I searched for this investigation, but was only able to locate what looks like a Press Release from the website Supplement website, NewHope360 noting that the study was to be presented at the American Chemical Society's Idaho meeting in June 2007.
I can't tell if this study was ever published. What I can say is that this appears to be a test tube study and not a human study. Also, if you read the press release, the head researcher says :
” The results show that Mango-xan (the supplement used in this study) has the potential to be used as a weight management tool in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise.”
They also go on to say that:
“Future research is needed to determine dosage and efficacy of Mango-xan using human clinical trials.”
I searched for human research on the supplement called “Mango-xan” but could not locate any studies.
For more information on Mangostene, see my review of the antioxidant supplement Vemma.
Based on what little research I could locate, I conclude that there is no good proof that the NV Weight Loss Complex of ingredients provides any significant weight loss benefits. Now, let's look at the NV Super Fruit Complex and see what can be discovered.
NV Super fruit Complex ingredients
I was informed by the makers of the product that there are 225 mg of caffeine in 3 caplets of NV Clinical.
Caffeine is popular in weight loss pills and it's been a component in several products I've already reviewed including:
See those reviews for additional information.
But, here's the thing; if you look at the caffeine-weight loss research, a lot of it involves combinations of caffeine with other things, like green tea or ephedra. This is important because it might mean that caffeine ―by itself ―might not be as good for weight loss as some people think. This may be why most supplements contain caffeine, as well as other ingredients.
For example, in this review, published in Obesity Reviews in 2009, that looked at previous studies of caffeine only vs. caffeine and catechins (catechins are found in green tea, for example), researchers noted that fat burning was only significantly increased when caffeine plus catchins were taken together.
Might this be why so many weight loss supplements that contain caffeine, also contain green tea?
Also called Vaccinium macrocarpon. I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Cranberry, weight loss
- Vaccinium macrocarpo, weight loss
And did not find any weight loss studies. That said, I speculate that cranberry may be in this product for another reason. Here's what I think.
In the body, caffeine is broken down by an enzyme called “cytochrome P450.” This is a complicated family of enzymes that does many things. There is some evidence that cranberry may inhibit the P450 enzyme (at least some parts of it). If this turns out to be true, by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down caffeine, cranberry might prolong the stimulation effects of caffeine in the body. Could it be that cranberry is in NV Clinical to help caffeine work better? I am, of course, speculating here but it's the only thing I can come up with.
Also called Lycium barbarum. I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Goji, weight loss
- Lycium barbarum, weight loss
and uncovered a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition titled, Lycium barbarum increases caloric expenditure and decreases waist circumference in healthy overweight men and women: pilot study, 8 overweight men and women were randomly given either goji juice (120 ml or about 4 oz per day) or a placebo for 14 days. The Goji juice used in this study was called “GoChi” produced by FreeLife International. All subjected were instructed to eat only 1200 calories per day.
At the end of the 2 week study, those getting Lycium barbarum had:
- Reduced waist circumference
- Increased resting metabolic rate (RMR)
compared to those who received the placebo. Both results were deemed significant.
Interestingly, this study makes no reference to weight loss between groups. I take that to mean there were no significant differences in weight loss between placebo groups and those getting Goji juice. That potentially could be a weakness of this study. Remember, this was a very small study (only 8 people) that only lasted 2 weeks, which is not long. Still, it's interesting.
For more information on Gogi, see my review of:
Also called Punica granatum. In a study published in 2009, Pomegranate oil prevented mice from gaining weight when they were fed a high fat diet. The mice also had better insulin sensitivity as well.
In 2010, a study published in the journal, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism noted that a pomegranate-containing product called “Xanthigen” was shown to reduce body weight in over a 16 week period when it was randomly given to 151 obese women. Xanthigen is composed of both pomegranate as well as Fucoxanthin (an iodine containing compound). This study doesn't specifically tell if pomegranate itself promotes weight loss. For more on Fucoxanthin, see my review of Apidexin.
How to test your iodine levels
As was reported in the book, The Fatigue Solution, by endocrinologist, Dr Eva Cwynar it's possible to see if you are low in iodine. Get some USP tincture of iodine (not the clear version) and paint a 3 inch circle on your skin. The skin will look red/orange when you apply the iodine tincture. If the color disappears in 1-3 hours, you may be lacking in iodine. If, it takes 4-6 hours for the color to go away, your iodine levels are probably OK. Here is tincture of iodine on Amazon.com. Remember, do not drink this brand of iodine! If you feel you are deficient in iodine, go to your doctor for a more accurate test of your iodine levels.
Also called Vitis vinifera. In 2008 a study titled Grape seed extract (Vitis vinifera) partially reverses high fat diet-induced obesity in C57BL/6J mice was published in the journal, Nutrition Research and Practice. As the title says, this was a mouse study but it appears that it helped mice lose weight after they were made overweight with a high fat diet.
Also called Litchi chinensis and Lycium chinense. Litchi also goes by the names Lycium, lychee and Chinese wolfberry, among many others. I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Litchi chinensis, weight loss
- Lycium, weight loss
- Litchi, weight loss
and no studies showed up.
Litchi is often touted online as a “super fruit” that helps weight loss, however I can't locate any studies that ever investigated this claim. When I searched online, I found MANY websites that extolled the weight loss benefits of Litchi, but none of those sites showed me any proof either.
Therefore, I concluded that there are no published peer reviewed research proving (or disproving) that Litchi fruit helps people lose weight.
Also called Vaccinium myrtillus. I searched the national Library of medicine for:
- Vaccinium myrtillus, weight loss
- Bilberry, weight loss
And found no studies in humans or lab animals.
Also known as Curcuma longa, Curcumin, Curcuma, Curcuma aromatica and Curcuma domestica
I searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Tumeric, weight loss
- Tumeric, obesity
- Curcuma longa, weight loss
- Curcuma longa, obesity
- Curcumin, weight loss
- Curcumin, obesity
I saw no human or animal weight loss research for tumeric . In a study published in 2012, in the journal PLOS One, titled, Curcumin Prevents High Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Obesity via Attenuating Lipogenesis in Liver and Inflammatory Pathway in Adipocytes, curcumin, appeared to help improve insulin resistance and gaining weight in mice that were fed a high fat diet. This is a mouse study but it's interesting. There are many tumeric supplements such as the one I linked to that appears to mostly have positive comments.
NV Clinical Research
The website for NV Clinical says tha:
“NV Clinical's exclusive formula contains key ingredients backed by two human clinical trials that show people lose on average 5 lbs over the first two weeks and continue to lose 1-2 lbs per week, up to 8 weeks.”
The thing is, the NV Clinical website does not tell us the titles of these clinical studies. Therefore we don't know :
- Which of the “key ingredients” are they talking about?
- Where are these clinical studies published?
So, I called the customer service number on the NV Clinical website to try to discover the names of these clinical studies. The call center person I spoke to could not tell me but did put me in touch with someone at Wellnx.com, the Canadian company that makes NV Clinical as well as other supplements, like SlimQuick.
When I asked for the titles of the studies, I was told that “this information is not available to the public.”
Hmmmm…Why don't they tell us the names of the studies? All they told me were the study results, which were basically:
The two clinical studies they mention in TV commercials involved 60 people and lasted 8 weeks. People taking the key ingredients in NV clinical lost more weight.
Since they wouldn't tell me where the studies are published, I conclude that either:
1. They don't want us to know the 2 key ingredients to prevent us from just buying those.
2. The studies are not peer reviewed.
Remember a “clinical study” is not necessarily a published peer reviewed study.
See my Supplement Questions Page for more information on both of these terms.
Weight loss evidence for NV Clinical ingredients
Since the makers of the product wouldn't tell me what the 2 key ingredients in NV Clinical were, here is a summary of the ingredients that I noted had some research:
- Goji berry (Human study of another supplement)
- Pomegranate (Human study of another supplement)
- Grape extract (mouse study)
and maybe caffeine.
Keep in mind, I'm not saying these ingredients will work. Rather, I just wanted to summarize that these were the only ingredients in NV Clinical where I found some specific weight loss studies.
Do NV Clinical Sprinkles work?
NV Sprinkles and NV Clinical do not have the same ingredients. On the NVClinical.com website they say this about NV Sprinkles:
“This revolutionary formula has been shown in a clinical study to significantly reduce hunger and decrease food intake by 25%!”
But, here's the thing; they don't tell us the name of this study or where its published. I asked and nobody would tell me.
Rather, they only tell us:
“In a clinical study, overweight women consuming the NV Clinical Sprinkles core formula reduced food intake significantly more vs. placebo (-25% vs -8%) and reduced hunger levels at 4.5 hours after lunch following 8 weeks of supplementation, when compared to baseline values.”
That sounds impressive but it really doesn't tell us much.
They say NV Sprinkles is a “revolutionary formula,” however if you look closely at the label, you see that NV Clinical Sprinkles has only 1 ingredient ―500 micrograms of Chromium picolinate.
Chromium picolinate is not revolutionary. In fact, it's been in MANY weight loss products over the last 20 years ―despite the overwhelming lack of evidence that it works.
As proof of this, here are some of the published, peer reviewed studies noting that chromium picolinate does not help people lose weight:
Keep in mind that NV Clinical Sprinkles has 500 micrograms of chromium picolnate.
- 2010. A pilot study of chromium picolinate for weight loss. 1,000 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work
- 2008. Chromium picolinate and conjugated linoleic acid do not synergistically influence diet- and exercise-induced changes in body composition and health indexes in overweight women. 400 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 2007. Chromium picolinate supplementation in women: effects on body weight, composition, and iron status. 200 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 2002. Effects of resistive training and chromium picolinate on body composition and skeletal muscle size in older women. 924 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 2001. The effect of chromium picolinate on muscular strength and body composition in women athletes. 500 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 2001. Effect of chromium supplementation and exercise on body composition, resting metabolic rate and selected biochemical parameters in moderately obese women following an exercise program. 400 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 1999. Effects of resistance training and chromium picolinate on body composition and skeletal muscle in older men. 924 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 1998. Chromium picolinate effects on body composition and muscular performance in wrestlers. 200 micrograms used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 1996. Effects of chromium and resistive training on muscle strength and body composition. 200 micrograms per day used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 1995. Effects of chromium picolinate on body composition. 400 micrograms per day used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
- 1994. Effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on body composition, strength, and urinary chromium loss in football players. 200 micrograms per day used. Results: Chromium doesn't work.
Of course, if we look hard enough, we're bound to find a study saying “chromium works,” but if we look at the sheer number of studies published on this topic since the early 1990s, then I see no good proof that it does.
I believe NV Clinical Sprinkles is an attempt to tap into the popularity of Sensa ―the original sprinkle weight loss supplement. See my Sensa Review for more information.
Tami Roman and NV Clinical
Tami Roman is the attractive women in the NV Clinical commercials and website. She's their spokesperson and an actress, appearing in several TV shows according to the Internet Movie Database. On The NV Clinical website ,she is quoted as saying “I LOST OVER 5 POUNDS IN MY FIRST 2 WEEKS! AND 25 POUNDS IN TOTAL!”
So how did Tami lose weight? If you scroll to the bottom of the NVClincal.com website you see that Tami consumed only 1350 calories per day for 15 weeks― along with NV Clinical Sprinkles.
That's not a lot of calories.
Having a goal ―whatever that might be ―can help people lose weight. In fact, A USA Today article (march 7 2013) quoted a diet study noting that people lost more weight when they were given cash prizes.
It is my opinion that Tami Roman lost weight because she ate less food. I see no good evidence that NV Clinical Sprinkles had anything to do with her weight loss. It's worth noting that they also say on the website, “ Tami's results are not typical.”
How much is NV Clinical?
On NVClincal.com they say each bottle is 49.99 (shipping is free). When I searched online, I saw a product called “NV Hollywood's Diet Pill” that had identical ingredients ―and was less than $20.
Here is NV Clinical on Amazon for those who want to compare prices.
How to return NV Clinical
There is a 30 day return policy on NV Clinical products purchased from their website. The 30 days starts when you buy the product ―not when the product arrives. Here are the steps to return NV Clinical supplements:
1. Call customer service at 480-829-0154. Another customer service number they list is 1-877-370-6152.
2. Obtain a CRA number (Consumer Return Authorization number).
3. Place the CRA number on the outside of the package to be returned.
4. Make sure they tell you where to return the product. The website does not give you an address.
5. Do not send the packages “return to sender” as they will not process your refund.
Note. You will have to pay shipping / handling to send it back.
People can avoid this issues if they get it locally or buy NV Clinical from Amazon.
NV Clinical side effects
I am not aware of any significant side effects from NV Clinical itself. Looking at the ingredients, I think in healthy people, NV Clinical is likely safe. That said, since it's possible that some overweight people may not be totally “healthy,” here are some theoretical / potential side effects that people may want to speak to their doctor about.
- Caffeine may cause rapid heart rate and may reduce blood sugar levels. These effects may be magnified in women who take birth control pills and some medications that treat heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Pomegranate might lower blood pressure by interacting with blood pressure medications.
- People who are sensitive to aspirin should talk to their doctor before using cranberry as it contains a metabolite of aspirin called salicylic acid.
- Litchi might have a blood thinning effect so people who take blood thinner medications should talk to a doctor first.
Does NV Clinical work?
As far as I can tell, NV Clinical itself appears to have zero published peer reviewed proof. In addition, even in those few ingredients that did have some human research, the studies were often conducted using totally different products! As for the “two clinical studies” mentioned in TV commercials, your guess is as good as mine why the company wouldn't tell me their titles or where they were published. To me, NV Clinical just looks like an expensive caffeine supplement and NV Clinical Sprinkles has even less proof that it would work. Those who do try NV Clinical, hoping to have the same results as Tami Roman, need to do what Tami Roman also did ―eat fewer calories. Even at the bottom of the NV Clinical website it says “Regular exercise and a reduced-calorie diet are essential for achieving your weight-loss goals.”
What do you think?