Update 8/21/19 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. By the end of this review, you will have a better understanding of whether Accelerator Plus is right for you.
Who Makes Accelerator Plus?
The Accelerator Plus supplement 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. When this review was created, the Better Business Bureau gives Plexus WorldWide a rating of A+. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
Plexus Accelerator+ 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|
|Folic acid||400 mcg (100% DV)|
|Vitamin B12||500 mcg 8334% DV|
|Calcium (Calcium glycinate)||16 mg 2% DV|
|Chromium (Chromium picolinate)||150 mg 125% 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
- Hemicellulose (vegetable capsule)
- Rice flower
- Magnesium stearate
- Titanium dioxide
Previously, the product also contained NuFlow which was used to stabilize the powder in the Accelerator and prevent it from clumping. NuFlow is no longer listed.
Accelerator Plus Research
I searched the Plexus Slim website for research on the Accelerator but did not find any. The product website has stated 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 on what might be going on.
The Vitamins and Minerals
The Accelerator Plus supplement contains these vitamins and minerals:
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.
Niacinamide is getting very sexy in the anti-aging world. See the Nicotinimide Rriboside review for more insights.
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 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 the lack of B12 may make people feel tired (due to anemia), vitamin B12 supplements do 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.
Its scientific name is Ilex paraguariensis. In some studies, it's also called “yerba 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 a 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? I didn’t see any human studies showing that herba mate helping 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. Searching for clinical databases for:
- Higenamine and weight loss
- Higenamine obesity
- Higenamine metabolism
does not show any studies showing this compound works.
In one investigation, 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 that the people tested were “healthy” and in their 20s. What about people who are not healthy and older?
Hordenine is also a phytochemical extract. It's derived from barley. It scientific name is Hordeum vulgare. Hordenine is a stimulant. Technically, compounds like this are called sympathomimetic because they mimic the effects of adrenaline. This means hordenine seems to have some stimulant properties. In an attempt to determine if hordenine helped weight loss, I searched clinical databases for:
- Hordenine obesity
- Hordenine weight loss
- Hordeum vulgare weight loss
- Hordeum vulgare obesity
I found no studies showing if hordenine helped weight loss in 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 “hawthorn leaf extract” as an ingredient, but they don’t tell us what extract of the hawthorn leaf they use. This makes evaluating the herb difficult because different extract might have different effects.
Hawthorn is said to make the heart pump better and because of this, 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. In one study, 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 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 guess given the premise of what Accelerator Plus is supposed to do.
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 Hawthorn 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.
There is some evidence that 5 HTP might help weight loss in people. 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 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. 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. Maybe less would work just as well, I don’t know?
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.
Accelerator Plus Stimulant Ingredients:
- Herba mate
- Hordenine (maybe)
- Caffeine (if it contains caffeine)
Summary of Ingredient Actions
Looking at the ingredients in the proprietary blend as a whole, they seem to fall into two categories:
- Those that act as stimulants
- Those that might raise serotonin levels
This is 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 Evidence
Based on the research, 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.
Accelerator Plus And Plexus Slim: Better Together?
On the product website, the claim was 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 it's touted to 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 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 chelate|
|Green tea leaf extract|
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
Plexus Accelerator is not available in stores like Target, Walmart, Costco, CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid. It can only be purchased by Plexus Ambassitors or on the Plexus website.
How Much Is Accelerator+?
The supplement costs $39.95 for a one month supply. This price is valid if you are only ordering for a single month. If you go on auto-shipments, the price is $33.95.
Accelerator Plus Side Effects
I'm not a fan of stimulant-based weight loss supplements. I think the risks outweigh the benefits. I feel the same way about stimulant weight loss drugs too. If you are have experienced any side effects from Accelerator Plus please leave a comment so others can benefit.
Here are some things to consider when taking this supplement. This list is not complete:
- If you have any problems with your heart, blood pressure, kidneys or liver, speak to your doctor first. Show them the ingredients. If they are not familiar with the ingredients, show them to a pharmacist or dietitian.
- If you take ANY medications, speak to your doctor, pharmacist or dietitian first.
- Stop taking at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- The product may cause irregular heart beating
- Don't use if you take any blood thinner medications
- Don't take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Since Yerba mate contains caffeine, it might increase blood pressure in some people. In a 2013 review of Yerba mate and cancer research studies titled Maté consumption and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a meta-analysis, researchers noted that consumption of yerba mate was associated with cancer of the esophagus.
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. See the Kratom review for more insights.
Some research suggests smokers who use yerba mate may be at a greater risk of cancer than non-smokers. Would capsules that contained yerba mate for short periods of time do the same thing? This is unknown.
Higenamine can accelerate heart rate, and as far as I can tell, it has not been adequately tested in humans for safety.
The Plexus Slim website has said 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 shortlist of theoretical issues that occurred to me as I was writing this review.
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 hawthorn or supplements that contain this herb. Since many of those who take this Plexus Slim supplement 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. Hawthorn 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 hawthorn extract they use, or how much is in the Accelerator Plus, it's impossible to know what side effects ―if any ―people might experience.
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 too 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
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 of over 30 people. All of these people were taking the amino acid, tryptophan.
While it is still debatable what caused EMS ―tryptophan itself or a contamination product in the tryptophan ―I mention this because there is speculation 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. See the EMS Network website for more information.
Does Accelerator Plus Work?
I can't find any good proof that the Plexus Accelerator plus raises the 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.