I originally published this Liproxenol exposé in early 2013 after an investigation into the company’s egregiously deceptive advertising.
As of this 2017 update, the product name has been changed to Liproxenol Max despite no indication that the ingredients are any different than in 2012.
Sadly, the website is still active and using the same misleading tactics. They claim “real results, real people,” yet they’re still showing the same fake before and after images from several years before.
On a positive note, the number of Google search results is extremely low (just under 2000) and this is corroborated by Google Trends. It’s not known if they’re still actively driving traffic to the product, but hopefully it will be pulled offline sooner than later.
Read on for the original review.
Original 2013 Review
I was alerted to Liproxenol recently when a questionable advertisement was served up in a Google ad. I was curious so I decided to dig deeper.
The company’s marketing claims it will help you “lose weight fast,” the three marketing buzz words that should set off your bullish*t detector.
Is Liproxenol a scam?
Review all the evidence of their ethical improprieties below, use your common sense, and then make an educated decision if you want to fork over your money.
The short version
- Misrepresented science – the company has misrepresented results from scientific articles in support of the product (the final product has never been tested).
- Fake testimonials – there is clear evidence that most, if not all, Liproxenol testimonials are dubious, and several are clearly fraudulent.
- Sham promo websites – a number of fake Liproxenol websites supposedly owned by “satisfied users” are littered 20 pages deep in Google. All are linked to the company that makes Liproxenol, presumably an SEO exercise to crowd out legitimate information and reviews on the product from Google search results (evidence below).
- Complaints – there are numerous independent consumer complaints against the company that makes Liproxenol related to unauthorized credit card charges (evidence below).
- Typical supplement hype – further investigation into the product and promotional materials reveals all the typical over-hyped supplement catch phrases and meaningless jargon such as:
- Fast-acting metabolic formula
- Amplify thermogenesis
- Destroy food cravings
- See impressive results
- Feel naturally energised
- Be slimmer in weeks
The long version
Who makes Liproxenol?
Liproxenol is made by JC Arnica. A dig into their background on WhoIs Domain Tools shows that JC Arnica Corporation is based in Panama City.
According to the website, Liproxenol was developed by Jeffrey Wilson, chief medical advisor of JW Labs. It gives a narrative testimonial where Wilson asks you (the consumer) if you’d like a supplement as good as a prescription weight loss medication but without the dangerous side effects.
He then goes on to state that Liproxenol is the product for you because it “contains ingredients proven in clinical trials to aid in weight loss.” There are a number of scientific references listed on the website which purportedly support the product, but further scrutiny of these references reveals a different picture – More on this to come. Stay tuned!
Before we delve into Liproxenol’s individual ingredients, you should be aware that the overall blend of herbs is only 480mg (1/2 gram) which, when spread across the five herbal ingredients, means that there is very little of each ingredient present (dilution effect).
Furthermore, we do not have a precise quantity for how much active ingredient is actually present in Liproxenol since these are whole herbs and not standardized extracts.
The ingredients found in Liproxenol appear to vary based on which website you consult. Some websites have more ingredients while others have less. Therefore, I have opted to stick with the one found on the Liproxenol Australia website.
- Vitamin B6 – vitamin B6 is involved in cellular metabolism which unlocks energy from the energy-containing nutrients such as carbohydrate, protein, and fat. However, whether or not taking extra facilitates weight loss remains in question.
- Chromium – chromium has been purported to facilitate weight loss. However, evaluation of chromium studies shows that, though there may be a small effect, the data is inconclusive.
- Garcinia fruit extract – Garcinia may have a small effect for short-term weight loss, but purity and dosage may be a mitigating factor.
- Green tea leaf extract – Catechins, the active ingredient found in green tea leaves may play a minor role in facilitating weight loss and maintenance. As with garcinia, purity of the extract and dosage must be considered, as well as other extraneous factors which may confound the green tea leaves’ effectiveness.
- L-carnitine tartrate – carnitine is involved in fat transport across cell membranes. The human body can synthesize it from lysine and methionine. The preponderance of evidence suggests that supplementation with l-carnitine does not have any appreciable effect on weight loss.
- Dandelion leaf powder – Dandelion may have a diuretic effect in the body, but this should not be mistaken for a reduction in fat.
- Cayenne pepper powder – Cayenne pepper may play a role in increased thermogenesis but there appears to be a dose-response relationship (i.e., more translates to a greater effect). Liproxenol contains a small amount of cayenne pepper but there is no evidence that this quantity is effective for fat loss.
Is there any scientific evidence to support marketing claims?
Overall, the research for the ingredients contained in Liproxenol is so varied that it does not directly support the product.
Liproxenol pills contain a total of 480 mg (half a gram) of mixed herbs but, in studies on the individual ingredients, considerably large doses were used.
It is therefore plausible that the amounts found in Liproxenol are so small that they are unlikely to have much of a physiological effect in the body.
In my investigation, I did not come across any studies that tested the finished product. The lofty marketing claims are more likely a stretch of the imagination than validated science.
Comparison of research to claims
Vitamin B6 – 5mg
The listed references for vitamin B6 are not evidence of efficacy for Liproxenol. For example, one study was a cross-sectional study which looked at statistical associations, but did not evaluate cause and effect as part of an intervention. The other reference is not actually a scientific reference at all, but marketing material for a course targeted at doctors who want to learn how to administer B6 and B12 in their medical practices.
Chromium picolinate – 50 mcg
Three studies were listed for chromium but, in actual fact, they do not support this product. First, all three studies used very large dosages ranging from 400 to 1000 micrograms compared to the 50 micrograms of chromium found in Liproxenol. We would need to see further studies using miniscule doses to get an indication of whether or not such a small amount is effective.
Proprietary blend of herbs – 480 mg comprised of the following:
Garcinia fruit extract:
- Liproxenol contains “garcinia fruit extract” which contains the active ingredient hydroxycitric acid. However, we do not have an exact quantity for how much HCA is found in this particular product.
- In all the studies quoted on the website, they used the isolated hydroxycitric acid bound to a calcium-potassium salt to make it soluble.
- Dosages were rather large and ranged from 1000 to 4500 mg per day. This is enormous compared to the combined total of 480mg of mixed herbs in the product, of which an even smaller amount would be garcinia.
- The studies listed as support are irrelevant, misleading, and do not appear to directly support claims of efficacy for Liproxenol.
Green tea leaf extract
- The studies listed for green tea leaf extract were variable and, as with the above ingredients, do not tend to support product claims.
The studies included:
- very large dosages of catechins (625 mg) plus caffeine (39 mg) and exercise
- a strictly controlled diet plus 250 mg of green tea leaf extract
- another study that used 90 mg of epigallocatechins plus 50 mg caffeine
- a mouse study
In short, the precise amount of green tea leaf extract in Liproxenol is unknown based on the product label. Therefore, we do not have a quantifiable amount of active ingredients against which we can make a reliable comparison.
- Two studies are listed which suggest 3 grams of carnitine per day can enhance fat oxidation (burning).
- These are legitimate studies but they do not appear to support product claims of product efficacy.
- Carnitine is only one ingredient amongst others which total 480 mg (or just under a half a gram total).
- The relative dosage consumers are getting in Liproxenol is likely to be insignificant compared to the rather large carnitine dosages used in the study.
- The third carnitine study listed on the website is a dead link and does not go anywhere.
Dandelion leaf powder
- The website lists a single study as support for dandelion as a diuretic.
- This was a preliminary pilot study which administered 8 mL of dandelion extract three times over one single day.
- The ingredients label does not disclose how much of the herbal blend is comprised of dandelion, we cannot reliably compare the study to the product.
- Therefore, as of this writing, this single study cannot be considered supportive evidence.
Cayenne pepper powder
The available studies on cayenne pepper (capsaicin) do indeed show that it has an impact on appetite and weight control.
However, you should know:
- Across these studies, the experimental dosages of capsaicin were much higher than anything offered by Liproxenol.
- Dosages ranged from 510 to 900 mg of capsaicin, to 6000 mg (6 grams) of capsinoids (which are less potent than capsaicin), to 10 grams of red pepper.
- The dosages and the means of administration are greatly varied and do not reflect the comparably miniscule doses found in Liproxenol.
- Some studies strictly controlled the dietary intake of subjects which is not reflective of a free living adult who is not moderating their calorie intake.
The marketing copy is heavily weighted with anecdotal testimonials presumably from satisfied users. However, I found some discrepancies which I think call these testimonials into question.
I did a reverse image search of the before and after images on their website and found the EXACT same images turn up on a number of other sites.
Here is a screen capture from the Liproxenol website.
Note her name above on the Liproxenol website is “Mary P”.
But then check out the screen capture from another questionable product called Meratol (below) which uses similar tactics and, amazingly, the EXACT same before and after photos! Only now her name is Pam and she’s from London.
Not convinced? Well how about the very next testimonial on the website.
Supposedly her name is Shea and she’s stripped off 35 kg.
But then in another advertisement for a completely different product, her name is Bonnie and she lives in South Africa!
Clearly somebody is lying in their marketing copy but, either way, you’d be very foolish to believe any of the testimonials now that you’re aware of these improprieties.
Recycled fake testimonials
Have a look at this screenshot image below. Read the testimonial of “Shea” above and then read the testimonial below. Same name, same title, same weight loss, similar testimonial, but different picture!!
Not only that, this before/after picture has been used on five other websites!
Questionable email testimonials
The company also provides four testimonials received via email (click here for screen shot). I decided to email the people to see if, in fact, they actually said what is stated on the website.
It has been over three weeks and I have not had a response from any of them. I would have thought that at least one would write me back, but so far nothing at all.
I also used an online email validator and 3 out of 4 came back as valid emails with the last one looking a bit suspect.
Also note they are all from free email accounts like Hotmail, Yahoo, and Rocketmail which are commonly used as “throw-away” email accounts. I am inclined to think they are sham email addresses.
False flag SEO spam campaign
The following table is a list of websites clearly linked to corporate JC Arnica. In total, there are 30 websites associated with Liproxenol, of which only 6 are official “above board” sites. The rest are deceptive spam sites which appear to have been created by JC Arnica or other parties solely to drive Liproxenol sales.
If you look at the IP addresses, registrar names, and the dates these websites were created, you will clearly see the pattern.
When you actually visit these sites, you will see they are made to look like different independent people posting about their experiences with the supplement.
The more you visit these sites, the more you can see they used the exact same templates with only a few minor changes.
Websites such as best4dietpills.com and thedietpillreview.com give the consumer the impression of being a “diet pill review” site but, in fact, just serve as more sales fodder for the same JC Arnica products.
This is clearly deceptive and meant to mislead consumers into purchasing Liproxenol and other associated products.
If you look at the syntax of these domain names, you can see they used hyphens in most of them. This is all a lot more than a coincidence given the fact that the domains were all registered on similar dates with the same registrar.
It is also worth mentioning that many of these spam sites serve to dilute legitimate Google search results and preclude consumers from getting legitimate objective information on this product.
If you look at the dates these sites were registered, you can see this was a deliberate and concerted effort to flood Google with crap early before those of us who represent the truth got our shake.
All the more disconcerting is that this garbage spans 20+ pages deep into Google when you search for Liproxenol.
I also suspect they have left fake comments on a number of message board forums on sites unrelated to Liproxenol. Many of them seem a bit fluffy and airy, as if they had to be fabricated. Given the lengths this company has gone to dupe the public (see below), I don’t believe anything is beyond their ethics.
Spam website screenshots (notice the similarities)
Looking at the following, you can see the similarities in their websites. They clearly used the same wordpress or generic HTML templates and then changed the photos.
All outgoing links on the pages point to the Liproxenol Australia website. This is a little (lot) more than a coincidence and should be a red flag to consumers for unethical behavior.
Exercise, eat healthy, and forget the pills
All photo and email improprieties aside, let’s pretend that all the testimonials are for real.
It is still important to recognise that anecdotal testimonials do not separate cause and effect from coincidence.
So if you’re exercising and eating right while you’re taking the supplement, then there is no way to know if your results were due to your healthy eating and exercise or the pills.
And, in fact, the advertising does state you should take the product in conjunction with healthy eating and regular exercise – a common ploy with these types of products.
In short, testimonials are amusing and entertaining, but they are the lowest form of “evidence” should not be considered proof of efficacy.
According to the company’s FAQ page, you should take 2 per day, one before breakfast and one more before lunch. However, because the research provided as evidence is so wide and varied and does not directly support the product, we have no way of knowing how much you should actually take.
To date, no clinical testing has been carried out on the final product to ascertain if it exerts any physiological effect in the body. As of this writing, a specific dosage appears to be, at best, guesswork on the part of the company.
Liproxenol side effects or drug interactions
The website repeatedly claims that the product is safer than prescription drugs, but based on my investigation, there is no evidence of product testing against diet drugs.
The individual ingredients do appear in the medical literature, but Liproxenol as a whole product has not been tested.
The reality is, we do not know how these ingredients may interact with one another or other prescription drugs you might be taking.
As with any supplement, you would be STRONGLY advised to talk to a qualified medical or allied health practitioner to see if there are any potential interactions. The reality is, people can (and do) die from drug-supplement interactions.
How much does it cost?
The price you pay depends on how many bottles you buy. They make it more enticing to buy more of the product by throwing in freebies, but either way, it isn’t cheap. According to the website, you can get:
- 4 bottles for $148 AUD with free shipping plus four bottles of Clear Cleanse Pro (another questionable product) and a digital pedometer.
- 3 bottles for $110 AUD plus three bottles of Clear Cleanse Pro and a digital pedometer. You pay $8.97 for shipping via Australia Post.
- 2 bottles for $74 AUD plus one bottle of Clear Cleanse Pro and no pedometer. You pick up the $8.97 tab for shipping.
- 1 bottle for $37 AUD, no freebies, plus you pick up the $8.97 for shipping. This particular offer is called a “starter” trial which implies that you’ll need more of it.
It’s never a good thing when you see a dietary supplement with numerous consumer complaints.
As of 2017, the Scambook website is littered with complaints from people who got sucked in by the advertising hype, ordered a bottle on their credit card, and then found themselves being charged over again each month.
Interestingly, the JC Arnica (the parent company) website claims that all their websites (including the one for Liproxenol) provide 24/7 customer support 365 days of the year and that they’re “available to customers whenever they need to reach us…”
Based on their shoddy reputation with consumers, this appears to be nothing more than hot air to allay consumer skepticism.
Where is Liproxenol sold?
Based on my investigation, Liproxenol is available online in country-specific sites for Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and the UK.
And now for the fine print. Damn, there’s always that fine print to go and screw things up!
The website states in its disclaimer:
The products & claims made on this site have not been evaluated by Therapeutic Goods Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Individual results may vary. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program
This is common on most dietary supplements (Australian example above) and appears to be an offshoot of the United States’ version of the supplement labeling stemming from the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act which, ironically, does nothing to educate anyone.
As long as a product is deemed a supplement and carries the generic stamp (above), then it is not subject to the same rigorous testing requirements as pharmaceutical medications.
Take home message
There are numerous improprieties surrounding Liproxenol.
First, the scientific studies listed as “evidence” for the product are not directly applicable to Liproxenol and do not constitute proof of efficacy. I did not find a single scientific study which has tested the final product.
The dosages of the ingredients appear very small and may not have the same effect as found in the listed studies.
Second, the testimonial photos and emails are questionable on a number of fronts and, I suspect, may be fraudulent.
Third, there are numerous consumer complaints pertaining to unauthorized credit card charges for product that was not ordered.
Fourth, the product uses virtually every questionable trick in the book to convince you to buy the product.
In closing, this product offers up a lot more hype and hope than genuine help. I recommend keeping your credit card safely in your wallet and steering clear of Liproxenol.
Transcript from the Liproxenol website
Pitchwoman: My name is Caroline. I wanted to tell you briefly about Australia’s leading all natural weight loss supplement.
Analysis: Leading supplement? Says who? Based on what? This is just an opinion and not based on any provided evidence.
Pitchwoman: Liproxenol is the fat loss secret that has helped more than 3 million people experience rapid weight loss easily and without any unwanted side effects, starvation, or off the wall diet restrictions.
Analysis: Liproxenol’s ingredients are, in fact, well known and pretty far from being a ‘fat loss secret.’ Furthermore, the whole product itself, which has small amounts of each ingredient and no quantification of active substances, has not been tested. As for 3 million people, we’ll just need to take their word for it.
Pitchwoman: Liproxenol’s proprietary blend of 7 clinically proven all natural ingredients has been praised by nutritionists, dietitians, and personal trainers alike. It is used by celebrities and has been featured in numerous magazines and on national networks.
Analysis:Clinically proven means nothing in this particular example. Clinically proven means a lot of things to a lot of different people. As I mentioned, Liproxenol itself did not appear in the scientific databases and is unlikely to have been tested. Praised by nutritionists, dietitians, and personal trainers? Which ones? Name names. I’m unaware of any legitimate health professionals which have staked their name and reputation on this product. Because it is “used by celebrities,” do not be fooled into thinking this is evidence. In fact, for many products like this, celebrities are not health professionals and you should not follow their lead.
Pitchwoman: One popular physician pronounced Liproxenol the most effective, safe, non-prescription weight loss supplement of the last 20 years.
Analysis: Which “popular physician?” It appears their doctor has not read the research and compared it to this product.
Pitchwoman: We’re so confident you’ll make Liproxenol your number one choice for rapid weight loss, we’re willing to let you try it risk free for a full 90 days. If you are anything less than thrilled with the results in that time, we will refund 100% of your money no questions asked.
Analysis: I suggest avoiding anything that suggests rapid weight loss is acceptable. You can try it “risk free” for 90 days, but based on real consumer experiences, there is a chance your credit card will continue to be charged for more Liproxenol without your consent or authorization.
Pitchwoman: And as a special bonus to celebrate our 5th year in business, we are giving away some incredible free special bonuses to help you lose weight even faster when you order today. But don’t wait. Due to the increased popularity of Liproxenol cause by all the media attention, supplies are limited. And we can’t guarantee these exclusive limited time online offers will still be available on your next visit. Now is the time to experience rapid weight loss and increased energy risk free and fully guaranteed. Do it today!
Analysis: This is typical of these types of products. You act like you’re giving the customer something extra of value because you’re a nice guy. But then you threaten to pull the offer away with a “limited time” clause. And if you don’t directly tell people what to do (Do it today!), they don’t do it.