Why You Don't Want to Use Xenadrine

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No doubt about it, achieving a healthy weight is hard. Like so many others, you may turn to weight-loss supplements like Xenadrine to help you reach your goals. Xenadrine is a supplement brand with a few weight-loss formulas.

These weight-loss supplements contain a mix of ingredients that purportedly help with weight loss. The makers of these supplements claim their products work as evidenced by two research studies available on their website.

But before you go and spend your hard-earned money on these supplements, you may want to take a closer look at the ingredients in Xenadrine and those weight-loss studies. Here is what you need to know about Xenadrine.

What Is Xenadrine?

Xenadrine is a supplement company best known for their dietary weight-loss products. They claim these supplements boost metabolism and energy, helping you lose weight when dieting and exercising.

Xenadrine has two primary weight-loss formulas—Xenadrine Clear and Xenadrine Pure. According to the makers of these weight-loss supplement, the key ingredients in these products are alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and curcumin. 

They claim ALA helps breakdown carbs, proteins, and fats. The role of curcumin is unclear. These weight-loss supplements also contain other active ingredients.

Xenadrine Clear has conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, and BioPerine black pepper extract. It also contains a naturally sourced caffeine—coffea robusta or coffee extract. 

Xenadrine Pure contains apple cider vinegar, garcinia cambogia, and BioPerine. However, it’s a non-stimulant weight-loss supplement, which means it’s caffeine-free. 

What Does Research Say?

The makers of Xenadrine reference two studies on their website that they say prove their supplements work. They suggest these studies show that the key ingredients in Xenadrine—ALA and curcumin—can help people lose more weight in less time.  However, the studies provided on the website don’t mention ALA or curcumin. In fact, these studies only look at green coffee bean extract, or coffea robusta. 

The one they refer to as the “first study” tested how well Svetol, a patented decaffeinated green coffee bean extract, induces weight loss in a group of volunteers. Though not mentioned in the study, the company's website indicates the volunteers followed a low-calorie diet when taking Svetol and lost about 11 pounds over 60 days.

In the “second study,” researchers tested the effects of a decaffeinated standardized green coffee extract on weight loss in a group of volunteers. The participants in this study were instructed to follow a healthy calorie-reduced diet and a moderate exercise program. Participants in this study lost on average about four pounds over 8 weeks.

Green Coffee Bean Extract

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) says there’s some evidence that green coffee bean extract may help you lose a little bit of weight. Research on how well green coffee bean extract helps with weight loss is ongoing.

A 2021 randomized, double-blind clinical study published in SAGE Open Medicine, looked at how supplementation with green coffee bean extract affected body weight in a group of healthy overweight adults. The authors of this study concluded that the volunteers taking the supplement lost more weight than the volunteers taking the placebo—6 pounds lost versus 1.5 pounds gained—over the 12-week study period.

Though notable, this study only included 60 volunteers. Additionally, the ODS notes that the few clinical trials testing the effects of green coffee bean extract on weight loss are poorly designed.


ALA is a short-chain fatty acid and antioxidant that supports cellular energy production. Though there are no Xenadrine weight-loss studies that include ALA on the official website, there’s some preliminary research that shows the antioxidant may benefit body weight. However, the evidence is limited and ALA may only help you lose small amounts of weight for a short-period of time.


Curcumin is a bioactive compound responsible for the yellow color in the turmeric. It's also a popular ingredient in weight-loss supplements and one of the key ingredients in Xenadrine. It’s believed that curcumin benefits overall health by improving gut health, acting as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and inhibiting the accumulation of fat.

According to a 2022 review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, curcumin may prevent obesity through its subtle health benefits. However, there’s no evidence that it promotes weight loss or prevents obesity.

There’s some evidence that individual ingredients in weight-loss products like Xenadrine may help drop unwanted pounds. However, these weight-loss supplements usually contain a combination of ingredients.

Unlike medications, dietary supplements aren’t regulated for safety or effectiveness. The effectiveness and safety of the various ingredients in weight-loss supplements are questionable and largely unknown.

What the Science Says

There are no studies that evaluate how Xenadrine, and its combination of ingredients, promote weight loss. But there are a number of reports and case studies in scientific journals that point out the adverse effects of Xenadrine. 

A 2022 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology looked at the adverse effects of a number of dietary supplements in a large group (26,000) U.S. Service members. Though the study included many dietary supplements with adverse effects, Xenadrine is mentioned specifically as a supplement of significant concern. The participants in this study noted that weight-loss supplements like Xenadrine caused uncomfortable side effects like heart palpitations.

There are also case studies linking Xenadrine to dilated cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a weak or enlarged heart. However, the Xenadrine products linked to this heart condition contained ephedra.

Ephedra stimulates stress hormone production, which is thought to play a role in the related heart conditions. Because of these adverse effects, ephedra is banned in the United States.

Possible Side Effects or Drawbacks

In addition to its link to heart problems, Xenadrine also has other drawbacks, including unwanted side effects, expense, and lack of regulation. Individually, many of the ingredients in Xenadrine are linked to various side effects.

ALA, for example, may cause a rash or gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain or nausea. Other ingredients may cause headaches, urinary tract infections (UTIs), respiratory problems, or liver damage.

Though price varies, Xenadrine is also costly and can put a serious dent in your monthly budget. The official website recommends taking two capsules twice a day, so one bottle lasts 30 days. For best results, they suggest using Xenadrine for 60 days in combination with diet changes and exercise.

Another drawback of Xenadrine and other dietary supplements is lack of regulation. Supplements aren’t reviewed or tested by the FDA before they hit the shelves. It’s up to the supplement maker to ensure their product is safe. And, though they can’t make false claims on the label, they don’t have to prove its effectiveness.


Given the limited evidence that the Xenadrine works, and may even cause unpleasant or serious side effects, why not skip it altogether. Instead, focus on lifestyle changes that lead to long-term weight management, like adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet.

You also can try making physical activity part of your daily routine. Eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise can help you reach your weight goals. Before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine, talk to a healthcare provider for guidance. 

Weight-loss supplements like Xenadrine perpetuate the diet culture belief that appearance and size are more important than physical and emotional well-being—that controlling what, when, and how much you eat and labeling food as good and bad is normal.

These beliefs lead to disordered eating. Weight-loss supplements feed into these beliefs, claiming to help control appetite, boost metabolism, and burn fat, all in an effort to help you reach your ideal size. 

A Word From Verywell Fit

Creating new habits to get to a healthy weight is hard, which is why so many people turn to weight-loss supplements like Xenadrine for help. But given the lack of evidence and potential health risks, Xenadrine is not the route that leads to long-term weight management. 

It is always best to talk to a healthcare provider before trying any dietary supplement. The active ingredients in these supplements can have powerful effects on your body or interact with other medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does Xenadrine work?

    According to the official Xenadrine website, the weight-loss supplement works by helping your body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. However, the evidence to support these claims is limited to nonexistent.

  • Are Xenadrine supplements safe?

    Talk to your primary care provider to see if Xenadrine supplements are safe for you. Weight-loss supplements may not be safe for people with chronic health conditions like liver disease or heart disease.

14 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  9. Riccioni G, Speziale G, Scotti L, et al. Dilated cardiomyopathy following use of xenadrine EFX. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2016;29(1):137-139. doi:10.1177/0394632015599701

  10. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus. Dilated cardiomyopathy.

  11. Murtaza G, Adhikari S, Siddiqui I, Lu H, Kuruvilla A. Cardiomyopathy related to a weight loss supplement: A case report and review of literature. J Investig Med High Impact Case Rep. 2017;5(2):2324709617711462. doi:10.1177/2324709617711462

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Additional Reading

By Jill Corleone, RD
Jill is a registered dietitian who's been learning and writing about nutrition for more than 20 years.