Proprietary Blends: Secrets and Lies

By Jim F

3044-proprietary-blend.jpgWhenever I look at the nutritional labels on diet supplements – there is often an anomalous ingredient called a “proprietary blend”.

The blend lists its ingredients but without the amounts.

What is a Proprietary Blend?

A supplement that lists a “proprietary blend” on the bottle can be there for one of two reasons:

(a) to prevent the competition from knowing exactly what ratios and amounts of each ingredient present in the formula to prevent the competition from copying their formula exactly (commonly referred to as a ‘knock off’) or

(b) to hide the fact the formula contains very little of the active ingredients listed on the bottle in an attempt to fool consumers.

Sadly, the latter use is far more common then the former. They see a long list of seemingly impressive ingredients listed in the “proprietary blend” none of which are there is amounts that will have any effects. This is commonly referred to as “label decoration” by industry insiders.

The former use of the term is a legitimate way for a company of a quality formula from having the competition copy or “knock off” their formula and the latter use of the term is to scam people.

Danger of Hidden Amounts

Nutritional Label of Xenadrine EFX
A mix of vitamins, minerals, and a mystical blend

As consumers, we really have no idea of the exact details of a proprietary blend.

Most people have neither the time or inclination to research all that info just to decide if they want to use a product and thus the many “proprietary blends” on the market that are no more then a long list of under-dosed ingredients.

Xenadrine EFX is a good example.

The nutritional label lists something called “Proprietary Thermodyne Complex”. Which in turn contains three more proprietary blends:

Ingredients for Proprietary Thermodyne™ Complex: Tyroplex™ (proprietary blend of l-tyrosine and acetyl-l-tyrosine), Green Tea Extract (standardized for epigallocatechin gallate, caffeine and polyphenols), Seropo™ (proprietary cocoa extract standardized for PEA[phenylethylamine], tyramine and theobromine), Yerba Mate (standardized for caffeine and methylxanthines), dl-Methionine, Ginger Root (standardized for gingerols), Isotherm™ (proprietary blend of 3,3′,4′,5-7 pentahydroxyflavone and 3,3′,4′,7-tetrahydroxyflavone), DMAE (2-dimethylaminoethanol), Grape Seed Extract (standardized for catechins).


  1. Jenn

    Has anyone tried ACE? I would like to get some insight/opinions on if you think it’s safe or not? I have looked up the ingredients and my only concern at this point is the proprietary blend 780 mg.

  2. Tedi

    I just purchased Phentarmine from GS Labs in Utah. Different appearance and effects compared to physician prescribed phentermine. Didn’t do my homework, and pretty sure I got ripped. Does anyone know how much 1060 mg. of phentermine “proprietary blend” is compared to a genuine 30 mg capsule of the real stuff?

    • Virginia Call

      Yes I to just bought the same stuff…doesnt look anything like the prescription pills they show on the web-site that you are ordering. And the effect are definately not the same as the prescription ones I took. And if you notice on the bottle it is also spelled differently…with an “a” instead of an “e”. Yea was for sure a waste of money!

  3. been there

    Phentermene was not taken off the market. fenfluramine was prescribed along with the Phentermene and used together, caused the heart valve problems. Phentermene is still available by prescription for weight loss.

  4. been there

    You obviously have never had a weight problem or a medical condition that limits your ability to lose the weight. Your approach to what “FAT” people should do is lacking in common sense and compassion. I pray you never have to endure the conditions that others less fortunate deal with daily. Not everyone is skinny or will be skinny. I found your post to be distasteful, lacking compassion, empathy and down right ignorant on your part. Do your homework on obesity, diabetes and disabilities before you comment on how someone should eat, exercise or diet. I agree, don’t put something in your body (chemicals) if your doctor has not recommended it for you.

  5. Neri

    I took Xenadrine Ultra for a week. I stopped taking it because I started feeling ill. I had eye pain, red eyes, some blurred vision, headaches, I felt my heart racing and just wasn’t feeling well. The week I was off the Xenadrine Ultra I saw a doctor who then diagnosed me with exudative macular detachments secondary to VKH-Syndrome. Since taking Xenadrine Ultra I’ve lost most of my vision and working on regaining it. I’ve been taking 60MG of Prednisone on a daily basis for the past 4 wks to illiminate the inflamation in both eyes, got Kenalog injection in both eyes(not fun) used Atropine & Pred Forte eye drops as well. I still have some fluid remaining in both eyes with unrestored vision. I had NO past medical history, just wanted to lose a few pounds and lost more than I bargained for. Stay away from Xenadrine Ultra and ALL diet pills.

  6. TJ

    Are there any men out there that have taken solos slim? Have you experienced erectile dysfunction or changes?

  7. kelsey

    Ive been taking Solo Slim extra strength everyday for about 4 months. Ive lost 35 pounds. I also take zoloft but i had only experienced the dry mouth and insomnia(but Im only 19 and the insomnia does not bother me)

    Recently however Ive noticed my blood being extremley thin and having a hard time clotting. Anyone else experience something similar?

  8. Holly

    Did your heart rate ever get back to normal. I am worried that I may have done permanent damage. I stopped taking it a few days ago and still am having heart racing and feels like my beats are irregular. I hope I didn’t screw myself up permanently.

  9. betty

    Has snyone out there ever started hearing voices after taking solo slim diet pills?

  10. nyki

    hi i have been taking solo slim off and on for year.. i love this pill.. i dont like the idea of taking 3 pills aday so this one day pill was up my alley.. yes i have heard of the side effects.. my heart normally skips beats. but not when i am taking this pill. i took NV in 08 and ended up goin to the hospital cause my heart felt like it was gonna jump out of my chest..thing is as i read these comments i think to myself one why are u taking a diet pills when u have serious condition like seizures.. not smart and if your dr is saying its ok and you have this then that doctor needs to be sued.. it says on the website that one of the ingrediants could cause heart attacks and stroke.. so u are taking it at your own risk..if u have any bad side effects then u should stop taking it not prolong taking it like some of the ppl that had severe side family and my husband can see the total weight change in me.. if u feel light headed, ITS CAUSE U NEED TO EAT UR BLOOD SUGAR COULD BE LOW…there is no safe diet pills and if u take any diet pill u are gonna have to accept that there will be side effects.. so u cant blame a company for not listing all the ingredients. u should be smart enough to know just cause something says all natural doesnt mean its safe HELLO!!!

    i will continue taking it till i have a side effect that is alarming.. its a great weight loss pill..

  11. LR2010

    Solo Slim is not good for you. I took it for 10 days and i stopped 4 days ago. At first i got a sore throat and i figured it was a cold/flu. Then i got a weird sensation in my throat that felt like a pill was stuck in there. I looked online on what this could be and i found globus sensation could be it. After much stress and what not and other symptons like difficult breathing, my chest was tight i decided it was time to go visit the doctor. I didnt mention anything about the pill because i stopped taking it when i went. It was about 3 days after. The doctor said i just have a virus infection and gave me throat medication. It could be a viral infection but i believe it has a lot to do with the pill. I had high blood pressure too when i went to get checked up, even though it was 130/82 (which isn’t too bad). Im only 19! I shouldn’t have high blood pressure. I also have dry mouth right now but since i stopped the pills i am hoping it will go away. Anyway i just read all those comments above my about solo slim and i am realizing that all those symptons i had must be side effects from the pill. I advise to anyone who is taking the pills to STOP. It’s not good for you. Eat healthy. Eat God-made food. Natural is the best way to diet. It’s a longer process and you don’t get the results you want fast but the point is you will be much healthier and won’t have bad side effects due to pills. I was always against diet pills so i don’t know why i even tried solo slim. Really stupid mistake.

    And just to throw out there to anyone that wants healthier skin and to get rid of black heads (and pimples) and wants smooth, shiny skin.. try putting honey on yourself and going into a steam room. The best results ever! It even helps with getting rid of cellulite. The results for getting rid of cellulite might be longer but the more you do the better your skin looks. I started in September 2009 and i still continuing to put honey on whenever i go to the steam room. Its amazing stuff that actually works! And its natural 🙂

  12. JS

    I have had a few side effects, no sleeping well, and a little dizzy and a little
    sick feeling, but im not really over weight, just trying to ride a few extra pounds.
    I am on the extra strength every day, I just think its to much for me every day so, im cutting back to every other day to see how it goes. I really think it is safe
    if your healthy, if you already have health problems yeah anything you take could cause problems, but if the average normal person takes it the right way im sure they will be fine.

  13. Tamara

    Ellen, that is strange that it would just stop working. Were you weighing in a consistent manner? Always same scale on hard surface, same time of day and relatively same amount of clothing. I have never heard of soloslim working for however long then just stopping.

  14. Tamara

    2wks on soloslim-extra strength and down 16 lbs (146 to 130). I have been an RN 20 years and I know that anything that facilitates that much wt. loss in such a short time span definately isn’t healthy.I take 2 capsules a day (1 in a.m. and 1 around lunch). I have gone an entire day not eating (but I do take various vitamins and minerals and I stay hydrated with water or G2). It is 5p.m. and I have not ate all day. Yes, I know this is not healthy but neither is the emotional and physical side effects of being overweight. I have high BP (partly attributable to the weight gain I experienced ,partly genetics) however it is not any higher taking soloslim I believe because of the weight loss. I DO have an increased heartrate, and occasionally I feel an arryhthmia and pounding chest. Always a little jittery and have increased anxiety. I am sleeping well but that is because I stay up later than I did before taking the pill or I will take a tylenol p.m. or anti-anxiety med from the vitamin store. Anyways, the cardiac issues are the most worrisome. Once acheiving my goal weight (20 more pounds. should take 1 more month. yes my normal weight is 110. I gained over 30lbs. in a short period secondary to tons of emotional trauma in 2009 which made me want to eat and sleep all the time and gaining weight just snowballed the depression and thus the weight gain even more). Anyways once at goal wt. I plan to take (if any)as few pills as possible. I am dealing with the problems that made me gain wt. in the first place so hopefully I will get to my goal wt. and never have to take soloslim again. My advice for the side effects: take the amount that works for you, STAY HYDRATED & lay off the caffeine (will decrease the cardiac side effects).Stay up later to help with the sleep issues &/or take a sleep aid and perhaps an anti-anxiety herbal med. And EAT! DO NOT get DEHYDRATED. So get the fat off and try leading a healthier life style! Happy ‘losing’ friends!

  15. DWG

    WOW! Really? If your overweight stop eating so much and start exercising! I don’t mean to sound calous or mean, cuz that’s not the point here. If it’s psychological get help! Stop thinking that pills will cure all your ill’s whatever that may be. You are born with willpower and just need to use it! How bout that lady w/ the cart? If she would have put the fork down she wouldn’t hurt when she walks. Or maybe she needs to see a doctor for a thyroid issue, or a shrink for the psycho issue’s. However it’s all a choice. Not just willpower. You have the power of choice exercise it! Yes pun intended!

  16. dofdetroit

    First off, I am very sorry to hear about what has happened with your sister taking NV. For myself, NV was the best thing that worked for me! After buying so many of these diet pill products, I came across NV and saw great results after about 2 weeks. I took NV faithfully for about 2 years continuously, and then the manufacturer discontinued it! The guy in the health store where I was purchasing it stated that it wasn’t selling enough & that’s why they discontinued it! I guess I was in that very slim margin of people that are all associated with these kinds of products. There may be people few and far between that any given weight loss product does wonders for, and then you have the many people who don’t see any results. I was very upset that I had found something to help me lose weight & then it got discontinued. NV really did work for me! I lost weight & maintained it, my hair, skin & nails was absolutely flawless! I saw great results…. Unfortunately now, I’m out here once again buying different products that just hasn’t worked the way NV did 🙁

  17. mblair131

    I’ve was taking Solo Slim for two and half months and did lose about 13 lbs. I was not overweight by any means but just couldn’t lose those last ten pounds no matter hard I worked out. I was happy when I started to lose the weight. I continued to workout and my appetite was suppressed. I recently stopped taking it because I usually have a low blood pressure, somewhere around 99/64. That’s normal for me but I recently had to go the doctor and my blood pressure was 117/79. That worried me even though its in the normal range. The other thing that scared me, and this may seem weird, was that my hair was falling out. Some of my friends also said I was looking gaunt and gray.

  18. Melissa

    Hi Michele,

    Would you be open to having an e-mail conversation with me about this? I started solo slim and now have unexplained rapid heart rate. The cardiologist has me wearing a heart monitor for 30 days.



  19. Ellen

    I took solo slim extra strength and it worked great for the first 5 days. I lost 5 pounds. It made me have no appetite and thinking of food make me feel sick. But after those 5 days the pill stopped working!!! I took it for a few more days and still nothing so I stopped for almost 2 weeks and tried to take them again and still nothing!! I want them to work again!! Anybody have any advice or answer to whats going on??

  20. ellen

    I took solo slim extra strength and it worked great for the first 5 days. I lost 5 pounds. It made me have no appetite and thinking of food make me feel sick. But after those 5 days the pill stopped working!!! I took it for a few more days and still nothing so I stopped for almost 2 weeks and tried to take them again and still nothing!! I want them to work again!! Anybody have any advice or answer to whats going on??

  21. julie

    i also love the solo slim pill and have slim side effects but i havent tried not taking them.
    u said u felt hungry all day are you scared how it is going to be when you stop taking them? I love them and they have helped me not eat junk at night but i am scared about gaining the weight back and some when i stop taking them.

  22. julie

    i have been taking solo slim for a couple months now and i can tell a big difference in my body. i have lost about 10 pounds and i am not that over weight i just have the extra fat around my stomach that is hard to get rid of.
    The only major side affects i have is the dry mouth and sometimes when i dont eat breakfast after a half hour of taking the pill i feel so sick that i want to throw up and i have to lay down for a little bit. But something else i have noticed since taking it is that when i do work out my heart rate is a lot higher than it normally is. like whithin about 10 minutes of cardio my heart rate is up to almost 200 and it usually isnt.
    My boss said that if you take pills that increase your metabolism when you are young it can mess up your metabolism when you get older so i am scared of the long term side effects and if that can actually happen. if anyone has any insite about that i would like to hear it.


    It is true that solo slim will help you lose weight. I lost 35 pounds with it, however, the backflow is it made my heart skip beats (prolong QT syndrone. As a result, I stopped taking it. So my advice is to get an ekg done on your heart rhym… good luck.

  24. wendy

    Been taking solo slim for about a week. I have to say this is a PRO review. This is the only diet pill I’ve taken that has not made me feel dizzy or have my heart race. Because of this I avoided diet pills for a number of years but a friend’s pro review made me reconsider.

    I think this stuff is amazing! In fact, I have to say the opposite of those who complained of insomnia, this pill has finally got me on a regular sleeping schedule and I’m up at 6 a.m. on the weekends refreshed rather than lying in bed half awake til 10.

    The appetite suppressant also works wonders. I’m never hungry. Still, I’m forcing myself to eat every 4-5 hours (small healthy snacks) even though I’m not hungry and I drink a ton of water a day to help the pills process. I also limit myself to one can of diet cola a day (I used to drink a lot more!).

  25. Anna

    I have been taking Solo Slim for 1 1/2 months now, and I have lost 35 lbs, I am a recovered drug addict, I have been clean for about 4 years, I was addicted to meth. I have been doing exactly what the directions say, take one pill in the morning and eat a healthy breakfast 20 minutes afterwards, I have been eating breakfast lunch and dinner-all healthy! And drinking lots of water! After stopping my meth use, I swelled up huge, and didnt have the energy, or strenght to drop the weight, I am 31, I am now down to the size I feel comfortable at, so I plan on not buying another bottle of Solo Slim, and trying to keep my eating habbits the same, I have started taking one pill on monday and one on Tuesday, skiping wednesday, and a pill on thursday and friday, and skiping Saturday and sunday! I will ween myself of this pill, because alls it is, is leagal meth, and there are long term effects on everything we take, down to carrots help your eyesight, remember you are what you eat! It can be a great kickstart, but to depend on it would be an addiction, and you would be co-dependent! I have had some kidney pain and throat irratation, along with fast heart rate, and similar symtoms as everyone else, these are the symptoms of speed, I know the feeling all to well! I wouldnt make it a life long habbit, in fact I would not recommend anyone take this product longer than 3 months! That’s how similar it is to meth, its just legal! Like (heroin and oxy’s or methodone)theres (Solo-slim and Meth! Drugs are where the money is at, everything is legal in discuise don’t be fooled by the distributers, the drug dealers on the street care more about there consumers than the manufacters, and distributers of legal supplements! It’s barrowed time useing any substance, make sure you don’t depend on anything to feel better about your self!

  26. Sony

    oh and if those of you who take solo slim get constipated? take Flax Seed oil… the two go hand in hand.. I take the flax seed oil capsules cause the straight oil would make me gag otherwise… I take about 4-5 capsules a day, which you can take alot more cause flax seed oil is the healthiest thing on the planet…our bodies need it.

  27. Sony

    my friend and I started taking Solo Slim extra strength 2 months ago. we walk 5 miles every other day, watch what we eat, and we have both lost 40 pounds each and we feel great. only side effects we’ve had was the dry mouth which causes us to drink more water, which is a good thing anyhow. I talked to a few neutritionist? (spelling?) and was told extra strength was for those needing to lose 50 or more pounds, which my friend and I clearly needed and I have 30 pounds more I need to loose, she has 80 more to go. I’ve not felt dizzy or weird from the Solo Slim at all. it may just depend on the individual and how their system takes it.

  28. Annie

    I was reading all comments about solo slim. I’m 36 years old and I weight 162 lbs. I would like to loose weight. I’m seriously thinking about take solo slim, but after all I read I’m not sure at all.

  29. wolfcamp

    One thing to remember when browsing so called review sites is every supplement has things wrong with them but one they recommend or is their choice of 2009 you are on a deceptive advertising site for that particular product.

    For what its worth.

  30. wolfcamp

    Date of my post is Monday August 17, 2009 7:12pm

  31. wolfcamp

    I am on my seventh month of taking Solo Slim. I have lost 64 pounds without changing the content of my diet or exercising. Side effects, dry mouth and drank more water to overcome it and still do. Constipation, and drank prune juice when necessary to combat it. I have lowered my blood pressure by loosing the amount of weight that I have. I have better cognitive function and recall then I did when I was over 270lbs. I am 5’11” and 47 years old. I cycled off and on the solo slim taking a week off after being on for 60 days. On my third 60 day cycle, I did a bottle of the extra strength and then went back to the regular strength.

    Everyone is different in how their body will work or not work with the product. Seek medical advice and check up before starting any supplement, nutritional or exercise program. The only FDA approved Diet pill I am aware of is Alli, I may be wrong. I tried it and did not like it. I like hydroxy cut (Sp?) but I got too jittery for my liking.

    I am not able to discount what other have reported of severe medical issues they claim to be caused by Solo Slim but be informed and ask for proof showing medical findings that any product facing blame for a medical issue is the culprit. No, not from the poster, get it from an actual medical organization or the FDA and not what someone posts as being from one. Educate yourself anything in excess is dangerous to include the consumption of water.

  32. Karen

    Hi, I’m in Greenville, NC, too. A friend of mine at church had lost over 25 pounds using Solo Slim, so I bought some last Monday and started taking it Tuesday morning. Even though I work out about 4-5 days a week, at my age my metabolism wasn’t letting me loose weight. Anyway, Thursday evening I started itching all over my body and had to take a Benedryl. I thought it was because I got some sun that day. Friday, Saturday, still itching. Woke up today and wasn’t itching so much, but took 2 benedryl to sleep last night. Then decided to look up Solo Slim and itching and sure enough, there it was! I feel so stupid about even trying this pill. I did loose 2 pounds since Tuesday, but the itching is unbearable!

  33. Jane

    Please do not take Solo Slim!

    I took this weight loss pill for about 2 weeks before I had a seizure and was admitted to the hospital.

    This drug has caused me to have a permanent heart arrhythmia, constant chest pain, and distorted vision. I am only 21 years old and am constantly fearing for my life.

    Be careful and be well. Love who you are!