What Is Relacore?
Relacore is a blend of vitamins and herbs advertised as a natural supplement to help users lose weight, specifically abdominal fat. The primary ingredient is magnolia bark (honokiol) along with vitamins C, B6 and B12, calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, passion flower, panax ginseng and other unspecified ingredients. The manufacturer claims that Relacore reduces stress, which in turn helps users lose weight. Relacore contains no stimulants, such as caffeine. It is available in a daytime and nighttime formulations, with a sleep aid added to Relacore PM.
How Does Relacore Work?
Physical and emotional stress causes the adrenal gland to produce cortisol, a hormone that regulates glucose metabolism, blood pressure and immune function. Too much cortisol can suppress thyroid function, lead to glucose imbalance and impair cognitive performance. It may also stimulate appetite in some people. Stress can also lead to unhealthy food choices and overeating. Stress-related weight gain tends to accumulate in the stomach, which may put one at risk for diabetes and other health problems. Studies have shown that magnolia bark reduces anxiety and feelings of stress without causing drowsiness. Lower stress levels–thus lower cortisol levels–may help Relacore users eat healthier and lose weight. Most notably, the instructions for Relacore stress the importance of exercise and healthy eating, which are proven methods for losing weight. Relacore does not claim to be a “fat burner.” It only claims to be effective for stress-related eating, not other causes of excess weight such as lack of exercise or too large portions.
Is Relacore Effective?
Relacore is classified as a dietary supplement and as such it is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Its effectiveness has not been studied in controlled scientific experiments, although magnolia bark has been shown to lower anxiety levels. No evidence exists showing that any of the vitamins and herbs in Relacore lower cortisol, that stress-related increases in cortisol result in weight gain or that lowering cortisol levels reduces weight, especially belly fat. The Federal Trade Commission recently admonished manufacturers of cortisol-lowering products, but not Relacore specifically, for promoting the products as weight loss pills without proof of effectiveness. Although Relacore is advertised as having no side effects, users have reported headaches, weight gain, heart palpitations, blurred vision, drowsiness, dizziness and fluctuations in blood pressure. High cortisol levels may be a symptom of Cushing’s syndrome (a disorder resulting from prolonged exposure of the body's tissues to high levels of cortisol). A doctor’s guidance is recommended before using Relacore or starting any diet or exercise regimen.