PhenGold is a weight loss supplement manufactured by a brand called Health Nutrition Limited. The brand claims that their supplement “enhances your body’s natural fat-burning abilities” and “reduces cravings” with their “clinically proven ingredients.”
But does PhenGold actually have research-backed ingredients for weight loss, or are these just marketing claims? Does the supplement contain any questionable additive ingredients? And how do real users rate and describe its effects?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in PhenGold based on medical research to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective for weight loss or if it’s a waste of money.
We’ll also publish our thoughts on whether or not PhenGold is likely to cause side effects, highlight some questionable health claims made by the brand, and share real, unsponsored user reviews of PhenGold
PhenGold contains 11 active ingredients, and some do have research backing for weight loss.
Green tea was shown in a 2012 meta-study to modest weight loss ranging from 0.4 pounds to 7.7 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. The dose in PhenGold is equivalent to the doses used in the lower range of the clinical trials analyzed, so we would expect any weight loss effect to be closer to 0.4 pounds than 7.7 pounds.
Caffeine intake is also associated with weight loss, and the 225 milligrams (mg) in PhenGold is an effective dose. It’s equivalent to slightly more than two cups of coffee.
A medical review published in the Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition journal found that caffeine causes weight loss and fat loss.
Green coffee may be effective for weight loss. As we documented in our review of another weight loss supplement called Truvy, clinical trials have shown this ingredient to have a dose-dependent effect on weight loss, and the 4:1 extract at a 100 mg dose is effectively dosed.
We can’t identify any other ingredients in this supplement that we consider effective for weight loss.
Cayenne pepper is included at what seems to be a strangely low dose of 200 mg. This is 9x less than the amount in one single teaspoon of cayenne pepper, according to the USDA.
Overall we consider PhenGold to be potentially effective for weight loss given that it contains three research-backed ingredients which appear to be effectively dosed.
We don’t recommend the supplement overall. Since only three of the 11 ingredients are effectively dosed for weight loss based on our research review, we don’t believe it’s worth $59.99. That being said, it is a better formulation than the majority of weight loss supplements we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health.
Questionable Health Claims on PhenGold Website
There are a number of questionable health claims on the PhenGold website, including the chart above which has no citation. PhenGold does not appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, so what data is the manufacturer using to create this chart?
If this chart is just made up for illustrative purposes, with no data backing, that would be highly fraudulent. We hope that the brand clarifies this.
The brand also makes strange claims about some of the ingredients in their supplement.
They claim that the plant Rhodiola rosea burns fat. We have not come across any medical studies suggesting that this plant causes fat loss, and the citation that the brand links to has nothing to do with fat loss – it suggests that rhodiola can reduce feelings of weakness.
The manufacturer also claims that l-theanine, which is an amino acid typically taken for stress reduction, “boosts metabolism.”
We haven’t come across any clinical evidence of this effect, and there are no citations on their website that prove it.
Will PhenGold Cause Side Effects?
Since PhenGold has not been studied in any clinical trials, it’s impossible to determine for certain whether or not it causes side effects. However, we can make an educated guess based on its active ingredients.
Caffeine is the only ingredient in this formulation we consider to have a chance to cause side effects. It’s included at a safe dose for healthy adults, but individuals sensitive to caffeine may experience side effects like anxiety from a 225 mg dose, and those individuals should probably avoid this supplement.
There are no other ingredients in this formulation that we consider likely to have side effects, and there are no ingredients overall that we consider a health risk. It’s also a good thing that the inactive ingredients are entirely safe and non-toxic.
Overall we do not consider PhenGold likely to cause side effects in most consumers.
Real, Unsponsored PhenGold User Review
A YouTube channel called “Total Shape” published a video on PhenGold that includes a review of the ingredients and their personal experience taking the supplement. The packaging has been since rebranded but this is the same supplement we’ve reviewed in this article:
Can Food Supplements Cause Weight Loss?
There are several food-based weight loss supplements with significant research backing.
Dietary fiber is associated with weight loss in clinical trials, especially when combined with caloric restriction.
A landmark medical study found that moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline) combined with dietary fiber intake (a minimum of 20 grams per day) caused an average weight loss of 16.03 pounds over 6 months. That’s a pace of 32 pounds per year of weight loss in overweight individuals simply by adding fiber to a moderately-restricted-calorie diet.
The fiber supplement we recommend is SuperGut Fiber Mix, which costs $59.
It contains a clean and effective formulation: a blend of three different types of unflavored dietary fiber and zero additive ingredients. It can be mixed into liquids or foods. Interested consumers can buy SuperGut fiber at this link to the product page on the brand's website.
We recommend using two fiber mixes per day, which provides 16 g of fiber. Diet should provide the remaining fiber necessary to meet the 20 g minimum threshold.
MCT oil is derived from coconuts, quickly absorbed by the body and increases metabolic rate, which causes fat loss. A meta-study on MCT oil documented weight loss of 1.12 pounds over 10 weeks. This equates to a potential annualized weight loss of 5.84 pounds with MCT oil supplementation.
We recommend Bulletproof MCT Oil as our top MCT oil product, because it has a clean and effective formulation. The only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts, and the product has no questionable additives. Interested consumers can buy Bulletproof MCT Oil at this link to the product page on the brand's website. This supplement only costs $15.50 for over a month's worth of product.
The effective dose range of MCT oil for weight loss (based on the medical review) is 1.7 g to 10 g per day. Bulletproof's MCT oil provides 14 g in one tablespoon, so around two-thirds of one tablespoon should be a maximally-effective dosage.