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Once upon a time, this popular weight-loss supplement was branded with the scarlet "e" - as in ephedra, the dangerous substance that was banned by the Food and Drug Administration. In accordance with the ruling, today's Hydroxycut is free of the controversial herb. The use of Ephedra has been linked to insomnia, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, seizure and stroke.

According to the website, consumers can lose 4.5 times the weight than diet and exercise alone. The active ingredients of Hydroxycut include Gymnema sylvestre extract, chromium polynicotinate, Garcinia cambogia extract and hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is the ingredient in Garcinia cambogia, an Indian herb used to keep blood sugar levels even. The makers of Hydroxycut maintain that the HCA they use is better absorbed by the body, making it more effective.

In addition, the green tea extract is said to increase the amount of calories burned on a daily basis. The gymnema sylvestre found in Hydroxycut promotes normal blood sugar levels. When combined with diet and exercise, all of these ingredients promote weight loss.