Last updated on October 29th, 2018
A Real Review
This Active Pk review will look at all things connected with the supplements and what they do for you.
Most reviews and articles you will read on the internet are utter fluff. This one isn’t.
This review will detail:
- What it is and what it isn’t
- How it works, how cam it benefit me
- What is in the formula, what are the ingredients
- Where to buy from. Who gives the best offers and pricing
Active PK contains an ingredient nicknamed “the immortality herb”.
Unfortunately, 3 bottles of the stuff won’t bestow you with everlasting life, but it’s a great topic of conversation when you’re in the hospital waiting room getting ready for a colonoscopy or something.
Hey, perhaps you could sell some Active PK while you’re there.
People dig this sort of stuff. It’s got a kind of clinical, pharmaceutical vibe, and the marketing blurb jacks your mind-brain up on science-waffle about AMPK.
Throw in the odd “only natural ingredients” and “caffeine free” and people will be willing to part with wads of cash for the opportunity to try it.
“How do I know if I’m a good candidate?” – apparently that’s one of the FAQs the company gets asked all…the…time.
The company’s response starts with this: “One of the amazing things about it is it can work for anybody…”
You’re amazed, I can tell.
Oh, and sure, “it can work for anybody”……except loads of people. But I’ll get to that.
First let’s look at what it is supposed to do for you.
What Does It Do?
The bottle’s label calls it a “Longevity Activator”, which is probably as close to “Immortality Potion” as the FDA agent allowed them to get, in between his or her bouts of hysterical laughter down the phone.
Longevity. Okay, for serious, that’s a thing. There are a bunch of ingredients, compounds and enzymes that have been shown to enhance longevity, but what is it?
It’s kind of a non-committal way of saying “life extension” but rather than the absolute promise of adding years to your life, it’s more like adding life to your years.
So, the inclusions in this bottle of pills are supposed to light up the AMPK enzyme, which does a bunch of fancy things that ultimately lead to:
- Less fat
- Less fatigue
- Reduced cravings
- Remove inches on your waistline
The company that makes Active PK – LCR Health (Live Cell Research) – go on to cite Harvard Medical School, saying a slimmer waistline is “one of the most effective paths to a longer life”.
No sh!t, guys. I’m so relieved we rolled out the Harvard Medical School card on that one. I thought getting fatter by the day would help me live until I’m 200 years old, just like John Candy and Elvis did.
Right, AMPK – what’s that about?
AMPK is an enzyme – stands for Adenosine Monophosphate Activated Protein Kinase.
This enzyme is responsible for breaking things down, like fat and glycogen/carbohydrate and oxidizing (burning) them. It also handles some other enzymes that help towards this goal.
It also increases the uptake of both fats and carbs from the blood into cells.
Rather than say it “tells your body to stop storing fat and start converting it to energy”, which is how the diet pill industry will phrase it (and LCR health do), it’s more a case of triggering an increased turnover of available fuel, be it fat or carbs.
It’s definitely a good thing as far as fat reduction goes. And yes, it should increase energy when and if AMPK is activated.
What they won’t tell you in the marketing hype is the downside of activating the enzyme.
There’s a downside to AMPK activation? How could this be?
Enzymes, hormones and catecholamines can have some heavy influence on the body’s metabolic balance.
If they are central enough, like AMPK, insulin, mTOR and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) they can induce a cascade of reactions which add up to have major effects.
For example, mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) lights up the anabolic pathway for increased muscle growth, and thus any compound that activates it (e.g. Leucine) can be considered anabolic too.
The AMPK enzyme, on the other hand, is catabolic. It breaks things down. However, while it doesn’t directly break down muscle protein – and hence muscle – it can inhibit its growth.
Now that’s all fine and dandy in the normal metabolic cycle of your body. Our AMPK pathway triggers naturally but when we lift weights, the catabolism is more than matched by the anabolic response that follows. It’s called supercompensation, and it’s why your muscles grow from training.
Basically, we can’t have anabolism without catabolism.
But when you start taking ingredients that keep pinging that AMPK enzyme, you will keep suppressing the anabolic pathway.
Like I said, good for fat loss. Not so great for muscle growth.
Ingredients – What’s in the Formula
There are 3 ingredients in the formula:
- Gynostemma Pentaphyllum leaf extract – 450mg
- Quercetin dihydrate – 100mg
- Berberine HCl – 100mg
That Gynostemma Pentaphyllum leaf extract is a branded version called ActivAMP made by Gencor.
It’s also called actiponin.
A study with actiponin, cited by Gencor, involved 80 obese (but not diabetic) people split into a placebo and test group.
The actiponin group reduced the following measurables significantly:
- total abdominal fat area
- body weight
- body fat mass
- percent body fat
- BMI (body mass index)
The study used the dosage that’s present in every two capsules of Active PK.
Bizarrely, LCR Health don’t talk much about Gynostemma’s ability to activate AMPK, or the study referenced above. They seem more interested in pushing its anti-cancer and heart disease reducing abilities.
Quercetin is well researched flavanoid.
Bioflavanoids like quercetin tend to have antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. It’s not particularly potent on its own but can be synergistic with other bioflavanoids like those in Green Tea.
As the sales page for Active PK says, quercetin is found in abundance in fruits like apples, berries, red grapes, and in onions and green leafy vegetables.
So why do we need 100mg of it in this supplement? I’m not really sure, because to get any benefit of taking it in higher quantities than are in fruits and vegetables, you’d want to be taking 1 or 2 grams of it.
That’s ten or twenty fold the dose.
Berberine is pretty good for blood glucose reduction after a carb rich meal. It’s also fairly reliable at helping balance cholesterol so you’ve got more HDL and less LDL kicking about.
And yes, it activates AMPK.
The thing is, dosage is usually more in the region of 1000mg (10 times what is in Active PK) and it’s usually split up into a few doses to avoid stomach issues.
Remember earlier when I said lots of people can’t take it? That’s partly because of the berberine, and berberine can interact badly with different kinds of medication, the most severe reaction being to certain sorts of antibiotics.
If you are taking any medication, particularly macrolide antibiotics then either steer clear or at least ask your doctor before using.
Side Effects and Precautions
Like I said, you’re going to have to ask your doctor about this if you are taking any prescription medication.
No website is a replacement for your own physician when it comes to making these calls. If you are on regular or short-term medication (like antibiotics) it’s difficult to find clarity from the internet as to whether or not there will be counteractions with another product.
I see these AMPK activators in all sorts of products, including the more bodybuilding focused fat burners.
As discussed earlier, AMPK is not an anabolic metabolic lever. It is catabolic by nature. That’s not in itself a negative thing. The balance of the human body’s metabolic and endocrine systems is tweaked on a daily basis.
In order to grow muscle, we must do things to tip the balance in favour of anabolism. Those things include a stimulus (resistance training), energy (food), and rest. If those elements are manipulated correctly then your muscles will supercompensate and grow larger.
We can of course add supplements to tip the balance even more towards anabolism. During all of this, it is metabolic levers such as mTOR and insulin which are triggering the cascade of reactions that ultimately lead to muscle growth.
HOWEVER, if we take a supplement which fires up the AMPK pathway on a daily basis, we are effectively reducing the potential for muscle growth.
Knockout mice (in this case, mice without AMPK) grew muscle quicker and larger than regular mice.
Rats with their AMPK down-regulated even experienced increased muscle protein synthesis.
All of this to say: if your goal is muscle growth, it’s counterproductive to use a supplement like this in the hope of getting shredded as well.
IF on the other hand your whole diet and training is geared around weight loss, then you’re more likely to get the results you desire from an AMPK activator.
What’s the Verdict
The major selling point for this product should be the Gynostemma extract which has a supportive scientific study involving human obese subjects. What’s more, the dosage from that study is the same as that which is included in the formula.
For tackling obesity, I might therefore give it a shot, especially if your diet is under control and you are doing a mixture of aerobic and intense cardio exercise in your week.
If you have not got those areas of your life in order yet, then any supplement will be mostly useless. You can’t fight a calorie surplus with an AMPK activator and expect the supplement to win.
For people who’s primary goal is muscle, but who are looking to use a supplement to get rid of a few percent body fat, using Active PK would be counterproductive in my opinion. The AMPK signalling will always be countermanding the stimulus of your resistance training.
Where To Buy Active PK
If you want to purchase the official website is a good place to start.