We take a look at AC Complex to find out whether it is worth a try and whether it is worth the expensive price tag.
AC Complex Pros
- Should not cause too many side effects
AC Complex Cons
- Supplement is expensive
- No clinical evidence that it will work in the way as described
- Just one customer feedback comment in years and it was negative
- No money-back guarantee
AC Complex Review
AC Complex Facts
- Principle ingredient is Garcinia Cambogia
- 180 capsules (one month’s supply) costs $102.75 if you buy from the Nu Skin website
- Nu Skin is a MLM business that operates worldwide
AC Complex also referred to as My Victory AC Complex or Pharmanex AC Complex is part of the Nu Skin range of supplements. This makes it a bit confusing for the casual buyer but in truth, all the names are correct. The printing on the supplement bottle reads My Victory controls cravings Boosts burn AC Complex.
The Pharmanex name refers to a supplements company bought out by parent company Nu Skin in 1996 and now a major brand in this company’s portfolio.
Nu Skin is a major direct selling company (multi level marketing) that is listed on the US Stock Exchange and is a rival to more well-known direct selling company Herbal Life. This means that AC Complex is backed by a massive corporation unlike some of the smaller concerns that we regularly cover for the Watchdog.
AC Complex contains Garcinia Cambogia as its principle ingredient. This natural fruit extract is believed to help you lose weight without effort because it contains high levels of hydroxycitric acid, a type of citric acid, which is supposed to help prevent fat from being formed in your body. In addition, it is supposed to have an effect of raising your serotonin levels too.
AC Complex also contains Forskohlii extract derived from a tropical plant and a source of Forskolin a chemical compound that is believed to stimulate the thyroid hormones. Other ingredients in AC Complex include Gymnema Extract, a branded Pharmanex Ginseng supplement, and Banaba a plant extract believed to reduce blood sugar levels.
At first glance, this supplement looks OK. However, our main concern is that we know most of these ingredients have undergone very little in the way of clinical testing even though the product information on the Nu Skin claims otherwise.
How to Take AC Complex
Take two capsules three times daily with your meals or with My Victory AC Shakes.
Nu Skin is a major MLM business that operates all over the world including China, one of its major areas of activity. We have covered multi level marketing in a previous review and it can be a controversial business model. Nu Skin appears to be one of the biggest operators in this field.
Anyone can join and sign up to become a distributor. As with all MLM concerns you buy a batch of products to sell direct to customers and also train people to become distributors themselves establishing a downline. You then get paid a bonus or percentage on all the sales that they make too. The Nu skin website provides all details.
Sounds good, but where it runs into pyramid selling – which is illegal – is when the bulk of your earnings come from signing up distributors rather than selling products. Nu Skin has been accused of pyramid selling and other misdemeanours but at the time of writing maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business bureau.
Nu Skin is based in Provo Utah. The company was founded in 1984 and is listed on the Stock Exchange. Nu Skin had revenue of $217 billion in 2013 so we guess that people are buying these supplements somewhere!
AC Complex Concerns:
- Principle ingredient is Garcinia Cambogia
- The name of this supplement is confusing. Is it My Victory AC Complex or Pharmanex AC Complex? Why does the Nu Skin website not make this clear?
- Why is this supplement so expensive? There are plenty of similar supplements on the market for less than half the price?
What Does AC Complex Claim To Do?
According to the Product advertising, AC Complex:
- Helps control appetite
- Supports energy levels while dieting
- Supports a healthy metabolism
- Helps maintain healthy lean muscle mass
In addition it,
Provides the TrueDose Guarantee: 100% of the clinically effective doses of Garcinia, Gymnema, and Forskohlii extracts when used together with My Victory AC Shake.
There is zero information about the ‘TrueDose guarantee’ and we are guessing it is just a snappy marketing slogan to imply that the so-called correct amounts of each ingredient are contained in each serving. (That is if you combine it with the Shakes.)
However, none of the claims about the ingredients are strictly true. The ingredients contained in AC Complex have not undergone extensive clinical testing and do not come with any definite evidence that they work. The serving size is equally unknown. In this case, the words ‘clinically effective’ do not really mean anything at all.
So What Is AC Complex and What Are The Ingredients For AC Complex?
AC Complex is a diet pill that is supposed to help reduce your appetite and increase the metabolism. Serving size is equal to two capsules. Amounts here refer to two capsule serving.
- Chromium Chelate (180mcg): Trace mineral, which enhances the way the body uses insulin and may be useful against diabetes. However, chromium is present in a normal diet and the body needs very little. Medical opinion is that supplementation is unnecessary. Here combined with amino acids.
- Garcinia Cambogia (725mg): This natural purple fruit found in India and South Asia is also known as the Gambooge or Brindleberry. The rind is rich in Hydroxycitric acid and some evidence has suggested it may help modest weight loss but additional study is needed to confirm these results. The major problem with Garcinia Cambogia is that results of clinical testing are inconclusive and many of the testing methods have been criticised. One of the biggest clinical tests was carried out on 135 obese subjects and had promising beginnings but concluded “Garcinia Cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo.
- Forskohlii (141.7mg): Much touted plant extract believed to stimulate thyroid hormones, metabolic pathways and testosterone. It may have multiple medical applications but it lacks evidence. There is no evidence at all that it will promote weight loss although it may be effective for other applications.
- Gymnema Extract (64.3mg): Natural Australian herb that is unique in reducing the taste of sugar when the leaves are chewed. Research into this herb is ongoing. The preliminary results have been positive but it requires further testing for supplement use.
- Pharmanex Ginseng (33.3mg): Branded Panax Ginseng supplement which may contain additional ingredients. Panax Ginseng is known as an adaptogen meaning it can promote general well being and it is used to boost mental performance and to combat fatigue. However, the effects can be unpredictable and it is known to cause a range of side effects.
- Banaba (16mg): Herbal extract derived from a native South Asian tree. Banaba leaves are well known in traditional medicine and it may help lower blood sugar levels. This makes Banaba potentially useful for diabetes treatment but it requires further clinical evidence.
So What Does All This Mean?
Nu Skin claims that these diet pills contain the optimum serving of active ingredients but the truth is that there is no agreed serving size for any of them. The principle ingredient Garcinia Cambogia has had very little clinical testing and of this there is very little evidence that it will work for weight loss.
Ingredients such as Gymnema look extremely promising but require further testing into safety and efficacy and the effects of Panax Ginseng and Forskohlii can be very unpredictable.
Results may be variable and long-term safety is questionable because although these are natural plants, they still can be dangerous and cause unpredictable effects.
Does AC Complex Have Any Side Effects?
There is very little independent feedback available for AC Complex, despite this supplement being sold around the world. This means we cannot bring you many true life experiences.
We could find only one customer review for this supplement. This customer experienced an upset stomach,
I developed severe diarrhoea. As soon as I stopped talking this product the condition disappeared.
Looking at the ingredients list, potential side effects may include:
- High or low blood pressure
- Menstrual disorders
- Facial flushing
- Mood changes
- Digestive discomfort
Avoid if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
Seek the advice of your doctor if you are diabetic because this supplement may lower blood sugar levels.
Ask your doctor first if you have a medical condition or are taking prescription medication in case of interactions.
If you experience side effects cease taking.
Any AC Complex Reviews From Customers?
Just one customer review and this customer complained about diarrhoea and inadequate customer service. He wrote,
I returned a partial bottle and an unopened one and the Company only gave me credit for the one bottle. I thought there was 100% money back guarantee. I returned this product in August and the Company won’t refund for the partial bottle until I can provide proof of postage and weight. Who would keep a postal receipt that long, obviously they received the two bottles what more proof do they need? I am terribly disappointed in this company.
This one review was left in 2011 on Amazon and despite AC Complex still being available for sale; nobody appears to have tried it.
So Does AC Complex Work?
AC Complex may help a bit but you need to remember that none of the ingredients come with much evidence that they will work in the way as described. Garcinia Cambogia is the principle ingredient and although it has been hyped by Dr Oz and proclaimed the miracle of weight loss, there is little to prove that it actually is.
Respected medical organization, The Journal of Obesity investigated the evidence for Garcinia Cambogia and found that many of the clinical tests were flawed. They concluded that although Garcinia may cause some short term weight loss the size of the effect is small and has been exaggerated.
The conclusion was that,
Future trials should be more rigorous, longer in duration, and better reported.
Where Can I Buy AC Complex?
As ever with supplements that are sold via MLM, actually buying AC Complex is not as easy as just clicking on a buy it button and having it delivered.
To buy from the website, you have to first register for an account and for many people it all seems a bit of a rigmarole. Beware if you do join the site you may inadvertently sign up for reoccurring automatic delivery (ADR) .
One bottle of 180 capsules (one month’s supply) costs $102.75. So it is extremely expensive.
If you sign up to be a distributor yourself, the price is reduced to $79.00 but strangely, it does not appear to be that easy to find a distributor to simply buy the supplement in the usual way. There are some online sellers but they only appear to be marketing the distributor programme and not the supplements.
An easier and cheaper option is to buy via Amazon. There are several sellers offering AC Complex for around $50.00 for 1 month’s supply. However, at the time of writing there only appears to have been one customer since 2011.
What About A Guarantee
No guarantee. We searched through the extensive Terms and Conditions on the Nu Skin website but there is no mention of a guarantee. You could try contacting the company but according to the one customer feedback comment, you need to keep your postage receipts if you return unwanted supplements.
We are not very impressed with AC Complex. This supplement is very expensive if you buy direct from the product website and it just does not seem worth the expense. It is a very ordinary looking supplement crammed with unproven ingredients and we just cannot see it doing much for your weight or your pocket.
We are concerned that Nu Skin appears to be veering dangerously close to being a pyramid scheme. We say this because it is so easy to find out about the compensation plan for distributors but not quite as easy to actually buy from them.
However, this supplement is available via Amazon unlike many other MLM supplements so you can pick it up there. Our focus however is on the supplement and not the business model.
The big question is whether AC Complex will support weight loss and work in the way as described? We don’t think it will.
AC Complex looks to be a mediocre looking and overpriced supplement that really does not have anything going for it so it is an easy decision. It is not good enough to add to our approved list so we have no other option but to reject it.
We reject AC Complex.