Well I was browsing digg as usual when I came across a link for “the pink patch“, curious fellow that I am I wondered what it was.
Turns out that the latest way to extract money from teen girls low self-esteem is to sell “diet patches”, think of them like nicotine patches but for people with (perceived or actual) weight problems. As much as I’m curious I was also sceptical, the only way to lose weight is to expend more energy than you put in as food – smaller portions, more exercise (must try this some time!). Can you really just stick a patch on and lose weight? I doubt it.
- FAST — You’ll start to burn more fat instantly! Proven to be the quickest way to infuse your body with all-natural weight loss ingredients for amazing results!
- FRESH — Revitalise your body with the energy of the Pink Patch! With the weight coming off, you’ll feel recharged not to mention how amazing you’ll look!
- FREE-SPIRITED — Don’t give up your social life and become a slave to the gym to achieve that perfect body. Simply put on the Pink Patch and take off that stubborn stone – it’s that easy.
There’s more wild claims too …
You can still have pasta, tea biscuits, fizzy drinks, pizza, and chicken nuggets if you want to. The Pink Patch controls your appetite so you don’t gorge. You’ll simply eat less! With the Pink Patch, you won’t be bored with salads!
Sounds like an ad for amphetamines, no? You’ll eat less and salad will be exciting?
Ingredients of a diet patch
What are the ingredients of the pink patch and what do they do?
The people at “the pink patch” kindly tell us what’s in their patches, amid the marketing guff, of course they can’t tell you the proper names for stuff – you might think it was a con … so here’s an analysis of what goes into their “proprietary formula”:
What are the ingredients in the Pink Patch?Proprietary Formula: Fucus Vesiculosus, Extrac, 5-HTP, Guarana, Zinc Pyruvate, Yerba Mate, Flaxseed Oil, Lecithin, L-Carnitine
- Fucus Vesiculosus (extract)
Seaweed. That’s right and they even mistyped it, “Extrac” that follows is just saying that it’s a part of the seaweed. The particular seaweed here is Bladderwrack and is probably used as a source of iodine, it’s often found in misleadingly named “Kelp tablets”. Iodine can help to mitigate the effects of an over-active thyroid, one of the medical causes of weight gain. Bladderwrack also contains alginic acid, this is a laxative but is also used to “seal” the stomach as a remedy for heartburn.
Derived from the seed pods of the West African plant Griffonia simplicifolia, 5-Hydroxytryptophan is broken down by the body to produce serotonin; this is used as an anti-depressant but has been associated with hypertension and heart valve damage. 5-HTP is closely allied to Tryptophan, banned by the FDA. It’s a tricky type of drug that messes with serotonin; serotonin mediates moods and body temperature, but is also associated with the vomit reflex.
This is a seed containing guaranine, an alternate name for caffeine. Guarana contains 3 times the caffeine of coffee beans. Anecdotal evidence associates its excess use with seizures, studies have also linked it to fat cell reduction. Pretty much what goes for caffeine goes for guarana. Buzz, buzz, buzz.
- Zinc pyruvate
Another diet patch with near enough the same ingredients, Trim 24-7, states this to be “a combination of highly unstable pyruvic acid and other substances like calcium, sodium or potassium, added to stabilize pyruvic acid”. Pyruvic acid is formed by the metabolism (chemically breaking down) of glucose in the body. One of the pathways then is production of energy, just as with glucose.
- Yerba Mate
This is a South American holly plant used to make tea, very popular in Argentina. Yerba Mate contains xanthines which like the low dose of caffeine and the theobromine (found also in chocolate) Yerba Mate contains is a well known stimulant. It has been associated in studies with anti-depressant action as well as relaxation of smooth muscle tissue. As a tea Yerba Mate has laxative properties and is associated with cancers of the mouth and throat.
- Flaxseed Oil
Also known as Linseed Oil, is used as a supplement due to it’s high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. One proponent describes it thus: “contains omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, fiber, protein, and zinc and also provides approximately 50% more omega-3 oils than what you could get from taking fish oil, minus that horrible ‘fishy’ after taste.”. Whilst Omega-3 fatty acids are currently considered something of a wonder drug the specific type, ALA, in flaxseed has been associated (but not conclusively) with increased instances of prostrate cancer and macular degeneration (loss of sight). The EPA and DHA types of Omega-3 fatty acid, derived from fish are not associated with these negative side effects.
Is an emulsifier/surfactant and is found, amongst other things, in egg yolk, sunflower oil and soy-bean oil. The lecithin’s precise formulation depends on it’s origin, so soy bean lecithin differs from that in sunflower oil. Emulsifiers stabilise mixtures of oils and water. Lecithin is also associated with reduced cholesterol. Lecithin is a common food additive and has E-number E322 in the EU.
The naturally occuring L sterioisomer of carnitine (beef steak is the best natural source, hence the name “carnitine”) is used by the body to process fats and produce energy. It’s also known as Vitamin BT. Carnitine deficiency is a serious problem, carnitine supplements are shown to improve metabolism of fat in the heart and other organs.
Is it good?
So there you go. A mixture of known “dieting” supplements along with a couple of stimulants and some antidepressants. The perfect thing for a growing girl. You could just have a meal of potato (starch makes glucose), avocado (vegetarian source of carnitine), mushroom (serotonin source), fish and egg followed by a Yerma Mate, Guarana, Bladderwrack and linseed tea – so perhaps an omelette and a cup of [rather unusual] tea. All you’re missing then is the little pink sticky patch so don’t forget to buy yourself a packet of sticking plasters too!
Is it any good. Well some of the ingredients will perhaps give you a bit more pep and stop you turning to food if you’re depressed. Others do genuinely help to “burn fat”. Whether any of these things can be delivered via a patch has to be seen. Moreover the idea that all you need do is apply a patch is probably self-defeating, even the tobacco replacement patches are sold with the warning that quitting smoking requires will power … quitting nicotine will too when you come to wean yourself off the patches … but that’s a rant for another time.
The weight loss will be healthy and gradual. Expect an average weight loss of 1-1.5 kg per week. To accelerate the benefits of the Pink Patch it is recommended to eat sensibly and follow an exercise program.
My advice: skip the patch and go straight for the healthy eating and exercise program.