How Does Hydroxycut Work?

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Hydroxycut supposedly burns fat, improves metabolism and reduces appetite, according to HowStuffWorks. This weight loss supplement contains stimulants, including green tea extract, guarana extract and Garcinia cambogia.

The green tea in Hydroxycut has high caffeine levels and is made from a Chinese evergreen shrub's dried leaves, says HowStuffWorks. Guarana seeds contain twice the amount of caffeine in coffee beans. Consuming huge amounts of caffeine increases a person's blood pressure and body temperature and purportedly causes the body to burn more calories. The rind of Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, which is purported to inhibit an enzyme that transforms excess carbohydrates into fat.

HowStuffWorks states that Hydroxycut used to contain the Chinese herb ephedra, which boosts thermogenesis, the body's process of generating heat by increasing the metabolism above the normal rate. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of ephedra in 2004, after 155 deaths from heart attack and stroke were reportedly related to its use. Other negative health issues attributed to the supplement are liver problems, heart palpitations and elevated blood pressure. The FDA received 23 reports of severe liver problems that were linked to Hydroxycut. Common side effects of the use of Hydroxycut include heart palpitations, headaches, sleepless nights and sweaty palms.