Update 1/13/20. Plexus MetaBurn is a weight loss supplement by the supplement juggernaut Plexus Slim, makers of the original Pink Drink as well as many other health and wellness supplements. The supplement is touted to deliver a fat-burning metabolism boost to your weight loss goals. But does it really work or is it a scam? In this Plexus MetaBurn review, you'll learn about the clinical research on the supplement as well as its ingredients, like green tea and Grains of paradise. Does it really help the thyroid as some people say? If you know the research, you will know if it's right for you.
Plexus MetaBurn Benefits
From the Plexus website, this is what MetaBurn is supposed to do:
- Supports fat burning*
- Helps your body reduce abdominal fat*
- Supports metabolism and aids in weight loss^*
- Supports mood and focus*
- Supports energy*
Plexus MetaBurn Research
There appears to be no published clinical research on MetaBurn itself, proving it works. Neither the Plexus website (PlexusWorldWide.com) or clinical research databases reveal any studies. Therefore, to figure out if the supplement works, we have to look at the ingredients in the product.
Let's do that next.
Plexus MetaBurn Ingredients
Each capsule contains 550 mg of a proprietary blend made up of following 11 ingredients:
- N-Acetyl L Tyrosine
- Green tea (Camellia Sinensis) leaf extract
- Caffeine (camellia sinensis & Paullina cupana)
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) root extract
- Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) seed extract
- Forskohlii (Coleus forskohlii) root extract
- AstraGin (Astragalus membranaceus) root extract
- Chinese ginseng (Panax notoginseng) root extract
- Guarana (Paullinia cupana) seed extract
- 5-HTP (Griffonia simplicifolia) seed extract
From this, we can say most of the MetaBurn proprietary blend is made up of:
- N-Acetyl Tyrosine
- Green tea
With lesser amounts of the remaining ingredients.
Taking 2 capsules per day (the recommended dosage) provides 1100 mg total for all the ingredients.
Because this is a proprietary blend, we are not told how much each of these ingredients are present. But, do we know the first ingredient (N-Acetyl L Tyrosine) is present the most, while the final ingredient (5-HTP) makes up the least of the blend.
- Hyppromellose (vegetarian capsule)
- Microcrystaline cellulose
- Dicalcium phosphate
- Sunflower oil powder (sunflower oil, modified tapioca starch)
These ingredients are involved with the veggie capsule and helping the various ingredients mix well together. They do not effect the results or benefits of MetaBurn.
The Plexus website mentions 3 specific ingredients in MetaBurn. They call these featured ingredients. They are:
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea)
- Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta)
See below for more on these ingredients.
Video: MetaBurn Review
N-Acetyl L Tyrosine
This ingredient is listed first so it makes up most of the proprietary blend. This is a form of the amino acid tyrosine. N-Acetyl L Tyrosine (NALT) is not the same thing as N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), often used to boost glutathione levels.
When N-Acetyl L Tyrosine gets into the body, it breaks down to the amino acid, tyrosine.
Does NALT have any weight loss proof?
Researchers in Denmark showed that a tyrosine containing supplements promoted fat loss. Because the supplement contained several ingredients (including 300 mg of caffeine) it's impossible to know which ingredient caused this result.
Tyrosine, along with iodine, helps us make thyroid hormone, a well-known booster of metabolism.
Tyrosine also increases dopamine production. Dopamine has anti-depressant and anti-stress effects in the body. Might another reason for the use of tyrosine be because of this effect? In other words, less depressed people might be more likely to go outside and do more physical activity?
Tyrosine might also improve mental focus too.
Green tea is common in weight loss supplements because it has caffeine and a compound called ECGC. If green tea really works, I think the weight loss effects would be mild at best. For more on green tea research see:
For the record, I like green tea because it's full of antioxidants. I often add it to my smoothies.
Theanine is an amino acid. Black tea has a lot of theanine while green tea has very little. Theanine seems to have anti-anxiety /anti-stress properties. One small study noted theanine may also have antidepressant effects too. This study involved giving 250mg of theanine to 20 depressed people for 8 weeks, along with anti-depressant medications.
Theanine is also popular as a brain booster, being found in some nootropic supplements. That said, researchers tend to combine theanine with caffeine rather than giving people theanine by itself. Because of this, it's not known what effect theanine- alone -would have. This may be a reason why Metaburn has both theanine and caffeine.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) is sometimes called an adaptogen or adaptogenic herb. This is fancy talk which means the herb adapts to what your needs are. The word adaptogen is often used with the herb, ginseng, but other herbs -like rhodiola– may have this property too.
Various studies have noted Rhodiola might help improve mood and fatigue levels. Several people have also told me they feel better and have less brain fog when they take Rhodiola too. The herb seems to work by altering various brain chemicals.
I have seen Rhodiola used in some weight loss supplements but weight loss/fat burning evidence for this herb cannot be located.
Grains of Paradise
The scientific name is Aframomum melegueta although this spice is also called Alligator pepper and Guinea pepper. Grains of paradise is sometimes confused with capsicum but they are not the same. The spice comes from Africa. Compounds in Grains of paradise act as a stimulant. Because of this, it's becoming popular for weight loss.
But does it work?
In one investigation, researchers gave 30 mg of grains of paradise to 22 healthy, non-overweight women for 4 weeks. Those same people were then given a placebo for 4 weeks to see if changes occurred.
When women took grains of paradise, an increase in calorie burning was seen. The women also were seen to have reductions in visceral fat (belly fat) but not subcutaneous fat (the jiggly fat directly under the skin). This study did not mention if weight loss occurred.
In another study, an extract of grains of paradise increased production of brown fat as well as calorie-burning when it was given to 19 healthy, non-overweight men for 4 weeks. Brown fat burns more calories than regular white fat. The idea is if we have more brown fat, we burn more calories -and this leads to better weight loss.
The amount of grains of paradise extract used in this study was 40 mg. This study did not mention if people lost weight.
When used as a spice, grains of paradise is probably a fine thing. But when it comes to being an effective weight loss substance, I am not yet convinced.
Also called coleus forskohlii and forskolin. Its scientific name is Plectranthus barbatus. Like much of herbal medicine, the uses and reported benefits of this mint family of plants are numerous. Coleus forskohlii is popular in weight loss supplements because it's supposed to increase our production of a fat-burning enzyme, called hormone-sensitive lipase.
The more hormone-sensitive lipase we make, the more fat and body weight we lose.
That's the theory anyway.
As covered in the coleus forskohlii review, the weight loss research on this herb has problems. If forskohlii works, its effects are best when combined with eating fewer calories.
In one study, researchers in Australia put people on a diet and gave 30 them either:
- 250 mg of coleus forskholii
for 12 weeks.
Both groups lost similar amounts of weight. Interestingly the group taking coleus forskholii had improved insulin functioning, which means it could be of possible help to those with insulin resistance (pre-diabetes).
Study Problem. Even though the people ate 500 fewer calories per day, they only lost 1-2 pounds after 12 weeks. I'd expect more weight loss than this.
See the Coleus Forskholii review for more on the weight loss research.
AstraGin gets its name from the herb, astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous), one of the herbs which make up this compound. AstraGin is a product of a company called Nuliv Science (NuLivScience.com). Nuliv Science holds the US Patent for Astragin. AstraGin is a compound derived from:
- Astragalus membranaceus
- Panax notoginseng
As this video shows, AstraGin is used to help boost absorption of the other ingredients such as amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Some nutrients (like turmeric for example) are not be absorbed well by the body. To compensate for this, supplement companies have been adding nutrient enhancers to their products for a long time.
For example, you may have noticed black pepper or a substance called BioPerine in your supplements. Both black pepper and BioPerine are other nutrient absorption boosters. How Astragin stacks up to BioPerine/black pepper is not known.
The MetaBurn label says they are using panax notoginseng which is one of the 2 herbs which makes up AstraGin. I'm not sure if they are using this ginseng separately from what is found in AstraGin or not.
Panax notoginseng is similar to Panax ginseng you may be familiar with. The reasons why this form of ginseng is used in MetaBurn are not known. Various studies have noted panax notoginseng may help the heart and other issues.
No weight loss effects could be located.
Guarana Seed Extract
The scientific name for guarana is Paullinia cupana. While they don't tell us what extract is being used, my guess is the extract is caffeine. Guarana is a source of natural caffeine. While caffeine has a mild fat-burning effect it's possible this may be magnified when combined with other ingredients.
This is why guarana/caffeine often occurs alongside other compounds.
Ironically, at least one investigation noted 100 mg of guarana given to cancer patients might increase body weight and appetite. This was a small study so more research is needed to know if guarana helps those with cancer.
The final ingredient in Plexus MetaBurn is 5 Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP). This is an interesting molecule derived from the amino acid tryptophan. I say it's interesting because 5-HTP has evidence it may help both:
- Weight loss
The reason for both may be linked to the ability of 5-HTP to boost serotonin levels. The neurotransmitter, serotonin, plays a role in both eating behavior and depression levels.
In one investigation researchers saw 5-HTP reduced food intake when it was given to 20 people for 2 weeks. This is interesting although it should be mentioned there seems to be more anti-depression research on 5-HTP than for weight loss.
Fat Burning/Metabolism Boosting Ingredients
- N-Acetyl Tyrosine
- Coleus Forskohlii
- Grains of Paradise
Antidepressant/ Anti-Stress Ingredients
The following ingredients may have anti-depression effects:
- N-Acetyl L Tyrosine
Plexus MetaBurn FAQ
1. How Many Capsules Per Day Do I Take?
The directions on the label suggest 2 capsules per day. When starting any new supplement, I suggest taking less for the first week to see how you respond.
2. How Many Capsules Per Bottle?
Each bottle has 60 capsules. So if you took 2 capsules per day, a bottle will last you 1 month.
3. How Much Caffeine Does MetaBurn Have?
The label tells us each capsule has 80 mg of caffeine. So, 2 capsules have 160 mg of caffeine.
4. Plexus MetaBurn Price
The Plexus website lists a bottle at $46.95 if you purchase it only once. If you sign up for reoccurring orders, the cost is $39.95.
5. Plexus MetaBurn Guarantee
Plexus MetaBurn comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. The same is true for all Plexus Supplements too.
6. Is MetaBurn Vegan?
The Plexus Slim website says MetaBurn is 100% vegetarian. Vegetarians may not be the same as vegan. MetaBurn is also non-GMO and gluten-free.
7. Before and After Pictures
I saw some before and after pictures but I tend to view pictures like this with a grain of salt. Do you personally know anyone who has tried Plexus MetaBurn? What results did they have?
8. Does It Really Reduce Fat From Certain Areas?
The Plexus website says MetaBurn “helps reduce stubborn fat from hips, thighs, and waist.” This sounds great but there is no proof the supplement only targets these areas. Nothing does this to my knowledge. We lose fat all over the body at the same time.
9. How Do You Take It?
Is it better to take MetaBurn with or without food? I called the company and was told it's up to you. The company does not have any specific guidelines on how to take it.
10. Does MetaBurn Work Better With Other Plexus Supplements?
For example, would the results you get from MetaBurn work better if you took it with:
There is no proof either way. I'm sure some people do combine various plexus supplements. I'd like to say there would be an enhanced effect but it would take clinical research to know for sure.
Does MetaBurn Help The Thyroid?
Some plexus ambassadors have said Metaburn might help the thyroid. In theory, they are correct in that tyrosine helps us make thyroid hormone. Low levels of thyroid hormone cause hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is complicated.
Don't take MetaBurn for hypothyroidism without talking to your doctor and pharmacist. For example, tyrosine which is in Metaburn might lower your TSH levels. This might alter the results of your thyroid blood tests.
Does MetaBurn Help Adrenal Fatigue?
There seems to be no clinical proof the supplement -itself – improves adrenal fatigue. It might or might not. There is no concrete proof either way. Some might say the Rhodiola in MetaBurn helps the adrenals by reducing cortisol levels.
But, in one small study, 600 mg of Rhodiola did not lower cortisol levels, when it was given to 26 men for 4 weeks. It's possible women might have a different response, although this would take research to know for sure.
Adrenal problems are often said to be associated with belly fat accumulation. There seems to be no evidence either way for the claim Rhodiola burns belly fat. This is likely done to a lack of anyone looking into this issue.
Plexus MetaBurn Side Effects
In healthy people, Plexus MetaBurn is likely safe. For those who are not healthy, here are some things to consider. This list is not complete so always check with your doctor:
- Start with less than recommended for the first week
- Don't take if you are under 18
- The supplement contains caffeine. Be careful if you are sensitive to caffeine.
- Don't take close to bedtime. The product contains caffeine.
- Do not take if you are pregnant/breastfeeding
- Ask your doctor/pharmacist if you take any medications including but not limited to antidepressants, diabetes or blood thinners
- Consult your doctor/pharmacist first if you have thyroid problems
Does Plexus MetaBurn Work?
So, what's the verdict on Plexus MetaBurn? Without clinical research, it's hard to say although weight loss research does exist on some of its ingredients. My opinion is the weight loss effects of MetaBurn would be minimal in those who did not eat fewer calories.