Bio X4 is a probiotic supplement manufactured by a brand called Nucific which claims it supports weight loss. We’ve seen very poor results in our previous reviews of probiotic weight loss supplements such as Floraspring and Provitalize, so we’re curious to explore whether Bio X4 is backed by good science.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Bio X4 based on medical research to determine whether it’s likely to be safe and effective. The supplement is relatively expensive at $99 per bottle, so for that price consumers should expect a premium, potent formulation.
Ingredient Review - Probiotic Blend
Bio X4’s probiotic blend contains 4 billion colony-forming units (CFU), which is the metric for probiotic dose.
The brand only lists the species and genus of probiotic, and not the strain, which is a sign of a poorly-formulated product.
Probiotics have a genus (Lactobacillus), a species (rhamnosus) and a strain (GG). Different strains have different effects, so it’s important to accurately list this information and not only list the generic species.
Nucific also only lists the total dose of their probiotic blend rather than the dose of each individual ingredient.
One of the probiotic species included (L. acidophilus) was actually found to increase weight in both human and animal studies, based on a medical review, so we find it strange that Nucific included it in a weight loss supplement.
Without the strain listed, it’s challenging to evaluate the other ingredients for efficacy. One medical study found that B. animalis subspecies lactis 420 prevented obesity in animals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the generic B. animalis included in Bio X4 will.
Overall the species and dose of probiotic used in this supplement seem safe. They are all well-studied. We just don’t believe there’s any proof that this blend of probiotic species is effective for any health claim, nor does the company provide any data suggesting so, so we’ll assume this blend is ineffective for weight management.
Ingredient Review - Digestive Enzyme Blend
Digestive enzymes are produced naturally by the body and we haven’t seen any evidence that healthy adults benefit from supplementing them.
There is medical research suggesting that specific disease states, such as IBS, may benefit from digestive enzyme supplementation, but patients with chronic conditions would be taking specific medical treatments rather than this product, so we don’t really see the purpose of including this category in a generic probiotic supplement.
Ingredient Review - Weight Management Blend
There’s only one ingredient in Bio X4’s “weight management blend”, so it’s not much of a “blend”, but in any case the ingredient is Green Tea Extract standardized to 50% EGCG.
One clinical trial found that green tea extract significantly reduced weight, but the dosage was 856.8 milligrams (mg) or nearly 10x the dose in Bio X4.
A thorough medical review of green tea extract and weight loss was published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2009. The researchers examined results from 15 individual trials on the topic, and found that green tea increased weight loss on average.
The lowest dose used in any of the trials was 270 mg/day, which is significantly higher than the 100 mg of green tea extract in Bio X4.
Another medical review reported that for a supplement containing green tea extract to be approved for weight management claims by Health Canada, it must have between 126 and 300 mg EGCG. Bio X4’s green tea extract contains 50 mg EGCG, or less than half the required dose.
Based on the available research, and considering that Nucific doesn’t publish any of their own, we conclude that the weight management blend is underdosed and ineffective. We wouldn’t recommend green tea extract for long-term use in any case because there are so many safer alternatives for weight loss. There are toxicity concerns with high dose green tea extract used over long periods of time.
Ingredient Review - Craving Control Blend
Bio X4’s Supplement Facts panel finishes with another single-ingredient “blend”, which is something we’d not seen prior to reviewing this product.
The ingredient in this blend is a patented plant extract called Slimaluma.
One medical study found that this plant extract was effective for reducing weight, but the daily dosage was 1 gram (g), or over 5 times the dose in Bio X4.
A more recent medical review analyzed much of the available research on the plant extract in Slimaluma, and found that when the studies were properly controlled with a placebo, there was no statistically significant effect of supplementation on weight loss.
All of the clinical trials analyzed by the study authors in the second-linked review had doses significantly higher than that in Bio X4.
We conclude that the Craving Control blend is another ineffective and underdosed ingredient blend.
Unfortunately there isn’t much medical research proving that dietary supplements are effective for weight loss. In fact, a 2021 medical review published in the Obesity journal analyzed a variety of different weight loss supplements across 315 clinical trials and found them all to be ineffective on average.
However there is one food supplement that is proven to aid weight loss efforts in medical research, and that’s dietary fiber. We have discussed this at length in other weight loss supplement reviews, but medical research has shown that increased dietary fiber conclusively leads to improved weight loss outcomes.
The above-linked study details that an additional 14 g/day of fiber intake is associated with a decreased calorie intake of 10%, and additional weight loss of 3.8 kilograms (equivalent to 8.38 pounds) over 3.8 months.
The cheapest way to increase dietary fiber intake is to simply eat high-fiber foods, most of which are healthy because they’re necessarily whole foods.
Beans are incredibly high in fiber and nutrients, and when purchased dry are one of the cheapest foods available, as we detailed in our article proving that it’s possible to eat healthy from the Dollar Tree.
Fiber supplements are also available for consumers who don’t like fibrous foods. Look for a powdered supplement without added sugar or sweeteners. Psyllium husk powder is a fiber supplement that’s often sold free of additives.