Update 3/10/20. Feel the ACE Difference is the slogan on the Saba ACE website. ACE ― which stands for Appetite, Control, and Energy ―is a supplement that's said to contain the “top five most effective weight loss ingredients” that are “scientifically formulated into one pill!” Saba ACE contains a lot of ingredients and so, in this review, I'll show the weight loss research on those ingredients and also in doing so, try to give you an idea of which of them has the best evidence. I've gotten a LOT of questions about this product so this review helps you better understand Saba ACE so you can see if it might be right for you.
Who Makes Saba ACE?
Saba ACE weight loss pills are a product of AMS Health Sciences, Inc. In my search, for info on the Saba ACE company, I located two websites:
The company address is 2008 Brengle Ave Orlando, FL 32808-5604 .
It appears to that the bulk of the products are sold via multi-level marketing distributors. The Saba website encourages people to “Join the Movement”, that is, to take advantage of “The Opportunity” to be a Saba distributor (“Saba Associate”).
The Better Business Bureau gives SabaForLife.com an rating of “A+” See the BBB file for updates.
The SABA company may be a subsidiary of another company called Lachman Enterprises. This company also lists its address as 2008 Brengle Ave in Orlando FL.
How To Contact Saba ACE
The SabaForLife.com site lists these contact numbers:
- Corporate office: 1-405-842-0131
- Customer service: 1-866-758-Saba (7222)
What Does ACE Mean?
ACE stands for Appetite, Control, and Energy. The product is not a blood pressure supplement. It has no connection to blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors.
Saba ACE Ingredients
On the ACE weight loss page of SabaForLife.com, they say it contains the “top five most effective weight loss ingredients.” When I looked at the ACE page of the website the ingredients listed on that page were:
- Raspberry Ketones (click to see my review of this)
- Green Coffee Bean Extract (click to see my review of this)
- Saffron Extract
- Konjac Root Extract
- Garcinia Cambogia Extract (click to see my review on this)
Saba ACE Ingredients
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||4 mg (200% DV)|
|Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)||250 mcg (4166% DV)|
|Chromium (polynicotinate)||120mcg (100% DV)|
|Vanadium (as chelate)||10 mcg (no known DV)|
|Proprietary ACE Blend||577 mg|
|Green tea extract|
|Raztone (raspberry ketone)|
|GCB Max (green coffee bean)|
|Panax ginseng extract|
|SaffroPur (Saffron extract)|
Saba ACE also contains gelatin, magnesium stearate, and silica.
Looking at the product label, I want to mention a couple of things before we go any further:
1. The vitamins and minerals in Saba ACE do not help weight loss, so I won't cover them.
2. The entire proprietary blend of Saba ACE only amounts to 577 mg per capsule. That might be significant if we knew how much of the ingredients researchers used to achieve a weight loss effect.
3. Of the 14 ingredients in the proprietary blend, notice that those touted as the “top five most effective weight loss” begin to appear at the middle of the ingredients list. I've highlighted those in red to make it easier to see. This says to me, that Saba ACE contains less of these ingredients and more of the first 5 ingredients.
Let's now look at the 14 ingredients in Saba ACE proprietary formula – in order as they appear on the label – what those ingredients are, and discuss the relevant weight loss research I can locate.
Green Tea Extract
The scientific name for green tea is Camellia sinensis. They say the green tea used in the product is standardized to Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) and polyphenols. So, these are the extracts used in Saba ACE. Green tea is found in a LOT of weight loss products and while it is popular, the evidence that it helps weight loss is actually controversial. For example, in this 2013 study titled:
Effects of dietary supplementation with epigallocatechin-3-gallate on weight loss, energy homeostasis, cardiometabolic risk factors and liver function in obese women: randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 12 weeks of ECGC did not help weight loss more than placebo in 83 overweight women. This study used 300 mg per day.
To counter this, other studies note that green tea might work. For example, in 2002 a small study titled Recent findings of green tea extract AR25 (Exolise) and its activity for the treatment of obesity noted that a specific type of green tea called AR25 (also called Exolise) promoted weight loss in overweight women.
For more on green tea, see the review of Mega T green Tea.
Not many quality websites discuss this ingredient, so here is a synopsis of what I was able to locate. It's pronounced “Fee-nil-ethyl-A-mean” (or just PEA) and is made from the essential amino acid, phenylalanine.
PEA acts like an amphetamine (a stimulant), although it is a short-lasting stimulant, likely due to the fact that when taken orally, PEA gets broken down quickly, so little probably gets into the body for long periods of time. Chemically, PEA “looks like” amphetamines.
This is the scientific name for caffeine. Why don’t they just call it “caffeine?” Caffeine is a stimulant that's found in a LOT of weight loss supplements. The idea is that people who are more stimulated, might do more activity and in this way, maybe burn more calories. Caffeine and weight loss is interesting because some of its best evidence stems from combining caffeine with another stimulant, called ephedra (ephedrine). Ephedra is the herb that contains the drug, ephedrine. Ephedra is banned in supplements in the US due to some people who died from ephedra overdose. Caffeine is also combined with other things that chemically “look” like ephedrine. Keep reading…
The scientific name is Theobroma cacao and is a compound found in chocolate. Chemically, theobromine “looks” like caffeine but it is considered a weaker stimulant than caffeine.
Break the word up: Methy-Synephrine. Synephrine is a compound that “looks” like ephedrine― the drug that's in ephedra. MethylSynephrine is a stimulant that might raise heart rate and blood pressure. Two other names for synephrine is bitter orange and Citrus aurantium. Another name for Methylsynephrine is Oxilofrine. The link provided shows that this ingredient may cause an athlete to fail some drug tests.
This is a trademarked version of raspberry ketones. I'm guessing that Saba ACE contains raspberry ketones because, chemically, it “looks ” like synephrine, a stimulant.
See The review of raspberry ketones for more information.
This is the actually scientific name for raspberry ketone. This means Saba ACE diet pills contain two different ingredients that are basically the same thing. Interestingly, the scientific name for raspberry ketones is spelled a bit differently on the Saba label than its usually written: 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one. I'm not sure if this is a typo or just a variation of the spelling. Again, see my review of raspberry ketones for more information.
This is green coffee bean. GCB Max is actually a supplement produced by a company called KPN Group. The GCBMax.com website lists company addresses for KPN in both Nevada and the United Kingdom. The Las Vegas address is 7477 W Lake Meade Blvd Ste. 170 Las Vegas Nevada 89128. While I can't see what this address looks like from Google street view, the map says “Summerhill Plaza.”
The Great Brittan address for the KPN group is 10 Buckhurst Road, Bexhill-On-Sea TN40 1QF East Sussex. An online search for this address shows this to be a residential area containing many houses.
From what I've seen, it's actually a specific brand of green coffee bean called Svetol that has a lot of of the weight loss research showing that it might help.
My Green Coffee Bean review has additional insights on this supplement.
Some weight loss pills contain L carnitine because it’s a molecule that helps us burn fat. Carnitine is like a “taxicab” helping to transport fat to the mitochondria where it is burned for energy. So, the idea is if you put more taxicabs on the road, you might be able to transport more fat and burn it for energy. The idea sounds good, but does it work?
In a 2002 rat study titled Effect of L-carnitine on weight loss and body composition of rats fed a hypocaloric diet, carnitine didn’t help rats lose weight any better than rats that ate just fewer calories.
Interestingly, there is some research that carnitine might help cats lose weight
But what about people?
I believe the reputation of carnitine as a fat burner started when it was discovered that low-birth-weight babies burned more fat when they were given carnitine.
So what about adults?
In a human study published in 2000, titled L-Carnitine supplementation combined with aerobic training does not promote weight loss in moderately obese women, 8 weeks of carnitine supplementation did not help overweight women lose weight or fat more than a placebo. This study used 4 grams a day of carnitine which is much more than is in Saba ACE diet pills.
Based on what I've been able to find, the evidence that carnitine helps weight loss, is pretty poor. To make matters worse, some research hints that carnitine may be linked to heart disease. Nobody knows if supplements do this. I only wanted to mention this to help others doing their own research.
Lotus leaf doesn’t do anything to help weight loss other than ―maybe ―providing some fiber. As an aside, I've noticed lotus leaf in various Chinese weight loss supplements such as:
Bottom line. Lotus leaf didn’t help those other supplements work (read my reviews to see what did -you'll be surprised) and in my opinion, it doesn’t add anything to the effects of Saba ACE either.
This is also called Glucomannan. In fact, glucomannan is the most common name I've seen. Konjac root is a name I've only recently started to see (I think this is because calling something by a new name makes it seem “new“). Konjac root is a fiber that expands when exposed to liquids. As it expands, it makes people feel full, making those people less likely to eat.
Incidentally, this is also a reason why nutrition professionals advise people to eat more foods like fruits and vegetables, that also have fiber and water.
Other supplements containing konjac fiber include:
Interest in glucomannan (konjac) dates back to at least the early 1980s when some researchers noted that it might help people lose weight.
More recently, in a study published in 2007, titled Effect of adding exercise to a diet containing glucomannan, glucomannan by itself (as well as when it was combined with exercise) also was noted to help people lose weight.
While not all research shows glucomannan helps, there is enough of it for me to think it might help some people ―especially those who eat healthily – watch their calories and exercise.
As an aside, in my review of what weight loss supplements work, I addressed konjac root as well as other things that might help.
Glucomannan has more weight loss evidence than most of the ingredients in Saba ACE.
There is a lot of hype on the internet about the weight loss benefits of Garcinia Cambogia. There are some studies that show it works but there is also research showing it doesn't.
This ingredient is so popular that I have an entire review on garcinia Cambogia so read that for more information.
Panax Ginseng Extract
Saba ACE doesn’t tell us what extract of ginseng they are using. Even so, I'm not aware of any research showing panax ginseng helps people lose weight. Likewise, I can't find any good proof that ginseng reduces appetite or increases energy levels.
Ginseng is said to be an adaptogen. This is a word used to describe how a molecule “adapts” to the needs of the person who is taking it. For example, ginseng might have both a calming and stimulating effect, depending on the needs of the person. If you have ever heard that Saba contains “natural adaptogens,” this is likely a reference to ginseng.
There is no doubt that ginseng appears to do a LOT of things, but as for weight loss, I just don’t see any evidence for it. Regardless, I don't think Saba ACE has much ginseng.
The name “SaffroPur” refers to a trademarked saffron extract. It's scientific name is Crocus sativus. Having said that, does saffron help weight loss? I did some digging and found the following research:
A study titled Satiereal, a Crocus sativus L extract, reduces snacking and increases satiety in a randomized placebo-controlled study of mildly overweight, healthy women. This was an 8 weeks study of 60 healthy, mildly overweight women. Half were given a placebo and half were given a saffron supplement Satiereal on Amazon called Satiereal. Women who received 353 mg per day of the saffron supplement eat fewer calories and lost more weight than women who took a placebo. This is more Saffron than is in Saba ACE.
Other saffron supplements might work just as well, however, this study specifically used brand called Satiereal. Here is Satiereal on Amazon for those who want to compare prices and read comments from others.
While I am not aware of any research on the type of saffron used by Saba ACE (SaffroPur), I don’t know if this matters because Saffron is the last ingredient in the list. This says to me that Saba ACE probably has little saffron.
See the CraveFix 96 review for more on Saffron.
Ingredients That Are Stimulants
Based on the product label, these Saba ACE ingredients are stimulants:
- Phenylethylamine (PEA)
- Trimethylxanthine (caffeine)
- Raztone (aka raspberry ketones)
- 4-4-hydroxyphenil butan-2-one (aka Raspberry ketones)
The label does not indicate how much caffeine is in Saba ACE.
Ingredients That Might Reduce Appetite
Based on the product label, the following ingredients have some research that they may reduce appetite:
- Konjac root
- Garcinia cambogia
- Chromium (maybe…)
Ingredients That Don't Work
Based on the human research I could find – here is a list of ingredients in Saba ACE that I believe contribute the least (if any) to weight loss.
Ingredients That Might Work
Out of all the ingredients in the Saba ACE formula, here are the ingredients I believe are likely to contribute the most to any weight loss effects that are observed when using this product:
- Kojac root (glucomannan)
- Green coffee bean (maybe)
Here are a few thoughts on each of these:
I wanted to distill the product down to what I feel are its active ingredients because :
1. I know some people may be sensitive to stimulants or have health issues where stimulants may be prohibited.
2. I'm not convinced that the stimulants in the product promote weight loss.
3. Weight loss supplements can be expensive.
I realize that the addition of the stimulant ingredients in the ACE formula may theoretically improve its effects ―maybe―but since the formula, itself, has never been tested, in clinical research on humans, I feel its anyone's guess.
SABA And The FDA
In a warning letter dated July 25 2014, the FDA noted several supplement claims that are not authorized under current US law. Here's the FDA letter for those who want to read it.
Does Saba ACE Have DMAA?
DMAA stands for Dimethylamylamine. It's a decongestant invented in the 1940s. At some point, it started showing up in weight loss supplement, likely because of its stimulant effects. Chemically DMAA looks like amphetamines so it can raise blood pressure and heart rate. DMAA is a drug and should not appear in supplements. While I did not see DMAA listed among the ingredients in Saba ACE, I did see people online saying that it used to contain it and it has been reformulated. For more on DMAA, see my review of Plexus Slim.
Saba ACE Side Effects
Here some things to consider when taking this supplement. This list is not complete:
- Pregnant/nursing talk to your doctors
- Start with less for the first week
- If you have any health issues ask your doctor. This includes heart and blood pressure issues, mental disorders, vision problems or any condition related to these.
- There is concern among some researchers that green tea may be implicated in liver problems and liver failure. There is also at least one case report of Saba ACE being linked to liver failure. Whether this is due to green tea itself or an extract of green tea ―or another ingredient I don't know. Case reports are based on only 1 person so whether or not this really is true is hard to say at the moment until more research is done.
- Caffeine and other stimulants might alter blood sugar levels. This may be a problem for some people with diabetes.
- Vanadium might reduce blood sugars and/or interact with diabetes medications.
- Stop taking Saba Ace at least 2 weeks before surgery.
- One paper mentioned that phenylethylamine (PEA) levels are increased in people with schizophrenia. Does this mean PEA might make schizophrenia worse? I don’t know. This is something to speak to a doctor or pharmacist about. People who have mood disorders or take antidepressants should also talk to a doctor before using PEA.
- Synephrine (bitter orange) can raise blood pressure and heart rate. Since synephrine is part of methyl-synephrine, it's possible the same effects might also occur. Here is a case study where synephrine caused chest pains (angina). These reactions might be amplified when combined with caffeine and other stimulants. Synephrine might interact with many medications also.
Does Saba ACE Work?
Saba ACE just looks like a big bunch of stimulants. Generally, the weight loss proof for stimulants is not very good. If it really works, it may because the supplement has glucomannan (konjac fiber). But to know for sure, it would take clinical studies.