‘Fat-burning’ Silicon Valley wonder drink

It is the latest Silicon Valley trend — a chemically engineered drink that seems to allow the body to achieve the fat-burning benefits of fasting without having to cut back on food.

San Francisco start-up HVMN — pronounced “human” – says the new drink, HVMN Ketone Ester, claims to produce the same effects in the body as days of fasting, a process called ketosis.

However, the first product of its kind costs $33 (R407) for a 65ml bottle.

Geoff Woo, the company’s CEO, is 28, a Silicon Valley-based Stanford graduate and the co-founder of HVMN.

Brianna Stubbs, HVMN’s lead researcher, is a former British rowing world champion who joined a study on the effects of ketone esters in competitive rowers, while she was a student athlete at Oxford University.

Some scientists, however, have been sceptical about the benefits of the product, unsure that the benefits shown in studies on rats and other animals will ultimately translate to better health in humans.

Miguel Toribio-Mateas, chair of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy, said: “When it comes to physical and mental performance, translating animal research into meaningful results in humans can be a stretch.”

Martin MacDonald, founder of Mac-Nutrition Uni, said the use of ketone ester supplements was “certainly interesting”, but added that “at present the research is rather underwhelming”.

He said: “When we look at things that people actually care about, like body fat levels or performance, they just do not seem to translate to any meaningful difference to the consumer”. – The Sunday Telegraph