Cellucor CLK

As I just stated in my facebook post, I’m not a huge fan of supplementation. I’m going to be a pharmacist in a few short weeks, and I know that a lot of the supplements are not FDA approved and that some really shady business can go down. So, I set out on my path to see what I thought of Cellucor CLK fat burner after I looked at the actual data that is presented below. You can form your own conclusions as I do myself, but then you’ll know what’s actually out there.

Four ingredients:

  1. Raspberry Ketones
  2. DHEA
  3. Linoleic Acid
  4. L-Carnitine


I’m actually on a drug information rotation currently, and have access to Natural Standard which is a database specifically for non-traditional medications so this isn’t just google searching.


Raspberry Ketones-

Literature Review:

Anti-obese activities of raspberry ketone (2002)

  • 34 patients
  • Patients were given six tablets in the morning and six tablets in evening
  • Outcomes evaluated: change in body weight, and body fat mass
  • 3-4 weeks : statistically significant reduction in body weight and body fat (p<0.01)
  • Inclusion, exclusion, standardization, interactions (drugs and food), dropout percentages, adverse effects and toxicity information not included in study (enough for me to stop reading)
  • Lacked randomization, blinding and placebo control
  • My conclusions from this: I know you guys aren’t reading studies regularly and so the last two bullets probably mean not much at all. They do however mean a lot to me. When a study lacks all of those things; that means it’s a joke. You HAVE to report those things, or your argument is basically invalid. If they are including patients that were also on a 1000 calorie diet, we should know that because that would confound the results and the result of weight loss could be from that, NOT the drug in question. Nevertheless, because they were able to show a difference, they report this and then people worship it, it goes on Dr. Oz and becomes viral. Quite impressive marketing actually.

Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

  • 5 patients (males age 24-55)
  • Raspberry wafer 30 minutes prior to meal
  • Outcomes evaluated: total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides, and free fatty acids (taken 1,2,3,4 hours post meal)
  • Reduced total cholesterol and increased HDL, decreased triglycerides but increase in free fatty acids (did not show statistical significance)
  • Information lacking: standardization, interactions, drop outs, adverse effects, toxicity, randomization and blinding
  • My Conclusion: Again, the above are lacking. The study was a little more reliable, and therefore is taken a little more seriously but this study was actually looking at cholesterol panels and not weight loss. I just thought it was interesting and of note if you are one of those people that may have higher cholesterol.


Literature Review:

DHEA 50 mg vs placebo daily for six months Villareal (2004)

  • Randomized controlled trial (this is the highest quality trial out there)
  • 56 patients (50% men 50% women)
  • Objective: to see if DHEA (7-keto)decrease abdominal fat and improves insulin sensitivity
  • Assigned to 50mg of DHEA for 6 months or placebo
  • Statistically significant findings in the reduction of visceral (5”)and subcutaneous fat(5”)
  • Statistically significant change in insulin sensitivity
  • My Conclusions: This was the most promising study. If there was one study that I believed, it was this one. This is also the only ingredient that I find promising in the formulation of CLK. I don’t, however, endorse this product. I think with proper diet and regular exercise, you can do the same thing without spending so much extra money. But again, this is for you to decide for yourself.

100mg of DHEA (7-keto) vs placebo twice daily for 8 weeks

  • Randomized controlled double blind placebo trial (again, the strongest available)
  • 100mg twice daily or placebo + exercise 3 times weekly for 60 min
  • 30 patients
  • Circulating levels of hormones and body weight
  • Loss of body fat: 1.8% 7-keto vs 0.57% placebo (p=0.02)
  • Lack of information and blinding procedures
  • My Conclusion: This study had fewer patients, wasn’t designed as well, lacked information to make me believe them and so I don’t hold much water to this one however I do believe that DHEA has the potential for helping weight loss….possiblyyyyy.

Linoleic Acid

  • Safflower oil-non conjugated form
  • Unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid
  • Meta-analysis 15 randomized controlled trials-this just means they combined all of the data from 7 trials to make one statistical testing that will give a recommendation
  • Four studies-serious flaws in methodology (disregarded basically)
  • Other 3-reveal statistically significant different in weight loss and fat loss of the linoleic acid over placebo
  • Author’s conclusion (that I agree with): “The magnitude of these effects is small, and the clinical relevance is uncertain.” – Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):468-76



  • Survey of patients who had taken this (83% women) who had used alternative weight loss methods.
  • 16 randomized trials using 4 different ingredients (including carnitine)
  • One indicated lack of significant difference in use of carnitine but further study needed
  • Another randomized controlled trial looked at patients with type 2 diabetes and weight loss-statistically significant differences found
  • My conclusion: There have not been any studies done on this ONE ingredient. It has always been in combination with other products and information excluded such as whether the patients were on some hardcore dieting regimen. The randomized controlled study was looking at patients with type 2 diabetes, which is one population in America and is a rather large one, but we can’t extrapolate this data to the rest of the population. I don’t stand by this ingredient much from what I’ve found. It is lacking any sort of real data.

I quoted that one thing, so I referenced it. I’m not going to reference all of these articles, because well, I have other things I need to do. However, if you are interested in a certain one then I can find it for you. I know I keep stating it but these are my opinions, therefore you can come to the conclusions that you wish, but I do not think the data is there to justify using this product.

This was just one evaluation on one supplementation. I'm going to continue as time goes on doing different ones, but it takes time to look into. I just get questions on these sort of products all the time, and thought I'd try to answer.

with love and supps,


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