Positive publicity for the fat-fighting supplement Relora has led to a sharp increase in sales of the product - so much so that Relora's manufacturer Next Pharmaceuticals is having to work overtime to meet demand.
Relora claims to be the first ingredient to reduce the excessive belly fat associated with metabolic syndrome, a stress-related condition. A positive reviews in consumer magazine Woman's World in the US led to the surge in demand.
"Although there is no shortage of raw materials, the manufacturing process of this patent-pending extract is complicated and requires a greater lead time than we had with the appearance of the article and the overwhelming positive response," said Charles Kosmont, CEO of Next Pharmaceuticals.
Stauber Performance Ingredients, Next's exclusive distributor, will begin shipping Relora again by mid-July, with full capability by mid-August.
Kosmont warned consumers to be on their guard, however, as the buzz surrounding the product had prompted several unscrupulous companies to advertise Relora when they were not in fact selling it. "Our patent on Relora has been published and we are aggressively sending a warning letter to any company we believe might be selling an imitation product," Kosmont said. "Any company infringing Relora's patent is taking a very expensive risk."
Despite the positive effect on sales caused by the magazine article, Next is not sitting on its laurels and has launched a major PR campaign to support Relora, including a national radio tour with Dr James LaValle, author of a new book, Breaking Your Metabolic Code which highlights the benefits of Relora.
Relora contains two patent-pending proprietary plant extracts, one from Phellodendron amurense and the other from Magnolia officinalis. Next Pharmaceuticals developed Relora over a three-year period of screening fractions from plants around the world, conducting pharmacology and toxicology studies and running human trials.
These trials showed that eight out of 10 stressed individuals felt more relaxed and, seven out of 10 enjoyed more restful sleep after taking the supplement. Nine out of 10 said it was gentle on the stomach.
Relora has also been shown clinically to normalise the hormone levels associated with excess belly fat, a symptom of metabolic syndrome. A trial completed earlier this year at the Living Longer clinic in Cincinnati studied the effects of Relora on cortisol and DHEA, two hormones related to anxiety, and at least in the case of cortisol, also related to food cravings and over eating in stressed individuals.
Researchers found that the natural plant extracts in Relora lowered cortisol levels by 37 per cent and increased DHEA by 227 per cent. "These findings are statistically significant and support the positive results we have obtained with this ingredient over the past year," said LaValle, Living Longer Wellness Director and principal investigator for the study.
"More than 20 per cent of American adults have metabolic syndrome, a type of obesity often characterised by increased abdominal and facial fat that is also associated with increased risk for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and cancer. This stress-related condition is associated with elevated cortisol levels. The new findings with Relora are very exciting because it is the first natural product for lowering cortisol, decreasing stress and its associated increase in cortisol that has been shown to cause the excess fat deposits seen in metabolic syndrome."
Additional studies are planned this year which Next hopes will provide further evidence of Relora's role as a valuable dietary supplement and beverage or bar ingredient for weight control.