Update 8/22/19. Have you heard about Stemulite Fitness Formula? I have, via the several emails, I received from people looking for answers about Stemulite so I decided to take a look at it.
The Stemulite website is very busy, with a video touting Stemulite that plays almost instantly. There are also several testimonials from Stemulite users including several professional athletes.
According to t the Stemulite website, Stemulite is supposed to:
- Increase strength
- Improve endurance
- Increased muscle mass
- Improve recovery time between workouts
- Improve sleep – especially deep sleep
While the Stemulite website does not say what the ingredients in Stemulite are, a related website metabolicresearchinc.com does give us this information.
Metabolic Research is a is a publicly-traded biotechnology company (OTC symbol MTBR.PK) that is the maker of Stemulite. Given that it is a biotechnology company, I was surprised that I did not see any published peer-reviewed studies on Stemulite itself. As such, there is really no way of telling (other than the testimonials) how the ingredients in Stemulite work in living systems (like you and me).
Does Stemulite Grow Stem Cells?
The name Stemulite sounds like a prescription medication but it is not. Stemulite is a dietary supplement. Supplement companies often give scientific-sounding names to their products to give the impression that they work like drugs. That's just marketing and there is nothing wrong with it, but you need to be aware of this when you choose supplements.
The name Stemulite also gives the impression that it stimulates the growth and differentiation of stem cells, dormant cells which have the potential to repair tissue damage. As I will show you, the name Stemulite is derived from one of its ingredients – not because it turns on the proliferation of stem cells. There is no published peer-reviewed proof that Stemulite activates stem cells.
According to Metabolic Research, Stemulite is composed of the following ingredients
- Alpha Lipoic acid (300 mg)
- Acetyl (L-carnitine amino acid): 200 mg
- Beta Glucan: 50 mg
- SerraPeptase™ (Serratiopeptidase): 50 mg
- Quercitin: 50 mg
- Melatonin: 2 mg
- Eggplant Extract: 10 mg
- Indium: 5 mg
- Mexican Yam Extract
Let’s now look at the published peer-reviewed evidence for each ingredient
Alapha lipolic Acid (ALA)
We make ALA in our bodies and its found naturally in meat and various vegetables. It’s said on the Metabolic Research website that ALA helps the mitochondria produce energy (ATP). This is true, but there doesn't seem to be any published studies that ALA supplements give healthy people more energy.
Metabolic Research also mentions that defects in the mitochondria are implicated in playing a role in the aging process. This is true too. Free radical damage may interrupt mitochondria function, resulting at least some of the aspects of aging.
ALA is an antioxidant and helps us regenerate vitamin E, another antioxidant. But, is alpha-lipoic acid going to reduce mitochondria damage caused by daily living or better yet, exercise? Is ALA the “elixir of life” as is hinted on the Metabolic Research website? There are no studies showing that ALA slows the aging process or makes people “younger”.
One study I did discover found that 600 mg of ALA helped people with heart disease to walk farther But, Stemulite is marketed to healthy people – not people with heart disease.
Acetyl L carnitine is a form of L carnitine. We can convert them into each other as needed. As I reviewed in my book Nutritional Supplements, What Works and Why carnitine is a “taxi cab” molecule: it takes fat from fat cells to the mitochondria where it can be used to make energy. Mostly this supplement is studied in people with dementia where a few studies suggest it may help some people.
This supplement is also found in weight loss products even though most of the evidence says it doesn't work. As far as improving exercise, a little research suggests it may help some people while other research suggests it doesn't work.
Those who take blood thinner medications or who have seizures should use caution with l carnitine.
This is a soluble fiber and is one of the reasons why oatmeal helps lower cholesterol levels. Stemulite gets its beta-glucan from mushrooms, To their credit, Metabolic Research Inc does point out that beta-glucan supplements do not prevent or treat cancer, which some pseudo-experts try to make people think happens.
To their credit also, Metabolic Research points out that the research on beta-glucan and cancer is on intravenous beta-glucan – not supplements.
Beta-glucan may ramp up various immune system cells which theoretically may reduce disease risk. Since intense exercise (like running a marathon) reduces the immune system, in theory, beta glucan may help recovery from exhaustive exercise.
But there does not appear to be any published peer-reviewed studies showing that beta-glucan supplements help recovery time in athletes or other healthy people. Since beta-glucan is also in oatmeal and other foods, would they work just as well? I don’t think anyone knows the answer to this yet.
also called SerraPeptase. This is an enzyme that breaks down protein. It may also reduce inflammation. I'm guessing Stemulite includes this as a way to help recovery after exercise. By reducing inflammation and speeding the breakdown of worn-out cells, in theory, serratiopeptidase may help however there are no published peer-reviewed studies that prove this.
Also, because it’s a protein enzyme, would it not be significantly destroyed in the stomach when taken orally?
This is an antioxidant and it may reduce inflammation too. Quercetin is one of the reasons why people are told that red wine and grapes are good for us. As with ALA mentioned above, antioxidants can help reduce free radicals which can do us harm. But those who exercise regularly tend to have higher levels of natural antioxidants. This is one of the reasons why people who work out regularly are healthier than non-exercisers.
Quercitin does appear to have some healthy effects (especially when obtained from food) but does it help you exercise better or recover faster? One study found that 1000 mg of quercetin (there is only 50 mg in Stemulite) did not reduce muscle soreness, muscle damage or inflammation although it may have improved immune system functioning in humans. To achieve this effect 500 mg was taken twice a day for 3 weeks and during 3 days of exhaustive exercise.
This is a hormone made in the brain and is probably the main reason why Stemulite is said to improve “deep sleep”. Many studies show that melatonin will help people fall asleep faster and help regulate our internal body clock. As such melatonin is often used to help jet lag.
Use melatonin and supplements that contain melatonin with caution if you are younger (think puberty and up to age 21 or so). There is some evidence that high levels of melatonin may adversely affect the development of testes (gonads). Since young people make more melatonin than older people, supplemental melatonin may make their levels even higher which may affect gonad development.
Likewise, people with diabetes should talk to their doctor before using melatonin. Melatonin seems to make people less able to use insulin. This is called insulin resistance and is one of the hallmarks of diabetes. Melatonin used to be called the “fountain of youth” but that name has no basis in fact.
Eggplant has many components. What extract from eggplants does Stemulitte have? Basically, we are led to believe that the extract will activate stem cells, which, I imagine, would help us repair exercise-induced damage. Quoting Metabolic Research Inc, eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes contain “a powerful alkaloid which acts as an agonist on the acetylcholine (AChR) receptor which when activated is the most effective stem-cell and growth factor combination yet discovered”. This may also be where the “stem” in Stemulite comes from.
Has this claim been tested in humans? What are the side effects of inducing the production of stem cells in humans?
There is a LOT that we do not yet know about stem cells and I would be very skeptical of any supplement that claims to induce stem cell growth. I am skeptical of any supplement that makes these claims without published peer-reviewed human research.
There appear to be no published peer-reviewed studies showing that the mineral indium has any immune system modulating effect in humans.
Yams contain small amounts of the hormone DHEA which a precursor to testosterone (and estrogen). DHEA was very popular in the 1990s where it was called “the fountain of youth” (a debunked claim). DHEA does not improve fitness or strength. I’m admittedly am skeptical of DHEA supplements because I’ve seen them so often marketed over the years to the fitness industry with less than stellar results.
Can You Trust Athlete Testimonials?
The Stemulite website has testimonials from several pro athletes including football players Kevin Boss and Garry Brackett among others. But, I have to ask the question, can you trust the nutrition insights of a pro athlete? I ask this because of several well-publicized instances where pro athletes didn’t seem to know what supplements they were using – and using stuff that just didn't make sense.
Probably the most famous case involved baseball player Raphael Palmiro. When he tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2005, he said that he thought he was injecting himself with vitamin B 12. Why would a professional athlete need vitamin B 12 injections?
Vitamin 12 is stored in the body. It would take 3-5 years before the average healthy person would run out of vitamin B12. Unless Palmiro is a vegetarian, he was never in danger of a vitamin B12 deficiency and his insights into nutrition are less than impressive.
Forget graduating from college, how many pro athletes have ever taken a class on nutrition or dietary supplements? I'm just asking the question because if professional athletes are going to endorse dietary supplements, then we should have some faith in their ability to point us in the direction of quality products.
Does Stemulite Work?
Based on the evidence, I come to the following conclusions:
- Of all these ingredients in Stemulite, melatonin has the most clinical evidence – for helping sleep. There is no proof that melatonin improves recovery from exercise.
- There does not appear to be any published peer-reviewed studies that specifically examine the unique ingredients in Stemulite or the amounts of ingredients found in Stemulite.
What do you think?