Hydroxycut isn't just one product. It's a family of dietary supplements sold without a prescription as weight loss aids.
The active ingredients in most Hydroxycut products are:
- Lady's mantle extract (Alchemilla vulgaris)
- Wild olive extract (Olea europaea)
- Komijn extract (Cuminum cyminum)
- Wild mint extract (Mentha longifolia)
Some Hydroxycut products include a green coffee bean extract. And some Hydroxycut products include caffeine.
Does Hydroxycut Work?
Two studies show that Hydroxycut works for weight loss. They're both posted on Hydroxycut's web site but haven't been published in medical journals. Hydroxycut's maker, Iovate Health Sciences International, funded both studies.
In one study, people took a Hydroxycut product that included caffeine or a placebo for 8 weeks while they also cut calories. Those taking Hydroxycut lost an average of 16.5 pounds, compared to the average 2.12 pounds lost by people taking the placebo, according to Hydroxycut's maker.
In a smaller study that lasted 12 weeks, dieters taking the key ingredients (including caffeine) that are in Hydroxycut lost about 20 pounds on average, compared to 1.7 pounds for those taking a placebo.
Is Hydroxycut Safe?
Iovate says it puts raw ingredients through extensive quality assurance procedures.
In 2009, Iovate recalled Hydroxycut after the FDA got reports of liver problems, seizures, and a muscle-damaging condition called rhabdomyolysis. Those products aren't on the market anymore, and Hydroxycut no longer contains the ingredients that were in question.
Unlike drug manufacturers, the makers of supplements don’t have to show that their products are safe or effective before selling them.
The warnings on Hydroxycut labels say the products shouldn't be used by anyone under 18, and to seek medical attention if any "unusual symptoms" occur.
The labels also advise users to consult a doctor before using Hydroxycut if they or a family member have ever been treated for or diagnosed with any medical condition.