Thrive Patch is a weight loss patch placed directly on your skin. Some have touted it to be a "weight loss wonder," but do actual results reflect this bold statement? This article reviews how Thrive Patch supposedly works and whether or not it can actually help you lose weight.
What is Thrive Patch?
Thrive Patch is used in the Thrive 8 Week Experience for improving health and weight loss. The product and program was created by Le-Vel, a global multi-level marketing (MLM) company, which claims to be the industry's "fastest growing health and wellness company." As an MLM, it means just about anybody who recommends the product to you is on the payroll. The patch features their innovative Derma Fusion Technology (DFT) to deliver ingredients through the skin, a process referred to as "wearable nutrition." The Thrive Experience is meant to benefit all areas of your life. According to the company, this is "hard to explain, and challenging to describe... It's something that can only be experienced."
How Does Thrive Patch Supposedly Work?
Thrive Patch delivers its "unique, premium grade, THRIVE Lifestyle Formula" through the skin. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. Le-Vel requires all customers to connect with a Le-Vel Promoter to first create a customer profile. Once you've registered, you can then embark on the eight-week premium lifestyle program, which includes taking vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics and amino acid capsules. But that's not all. You'll also need to take Le-Vel's daily protein shake. Finally, you can slap on your daily Thrive Patch, which comes in a variety of colors and designs. Simply clean and dry a lean area of skin, like on the bicep, and press on the sticky side of the patch. Leave it there for a full 24 hours before applying a fresh one. The company claims this DFT helps deliver the formula to the body over an extended period of time, which helps you "achieve premium results for a premium lifestyle." All these claims are completely unfounded though, as we will get to.
Thrive Patch Ingredients
Summary: Thrive Patch is part of Le-Vel's eight-week premium lifestyle program to help achieve weight loss and other health benefits. The patch, featuring their Derma Fusion Technology (DFT), is placed on the skin daily and must be taken alongside a suite of other supplements purchased through Le-Vel.
Thrive Patch contains the following six active ingredients.
ForsLean is the trade name for the herb Coleus forskohlii, a member of the mint family and a wild ancestor of the Kaffir potato. The plant's roots are widely used throughout India as a pickle condiment. According to Ayurvedic medicine, health benefits include reducing pain and inflammation, managing digestive disorders and improving skin issues. The manufacturer's website summarizes various clinical studies of the herb from the USA, Japan and India. While brief study details are outlined, none of the three USA studies are cited or inform about potential industry-influenced results. In a double-blind, randomized trial, 23 mildly overweight females took 250mg of ForsLean twice daily for 12 weeks. The product was not found to promote weight loss, but potentially slow weight gain (1). A similar study of 30 overweight or obese men using the same amount of ForsLean showed more promising results. It appeared to reduce body fat percentage, while increasing bone mass and testosterone levels (2). All clinical trials used oral ForsLean; topical preparations have not yet been studied. It's unclear if similar results can be found with the Thrive Patch's version of the product since dosing and absorption are not revealed.
2. Green Coffee Bean Extract
This extract comes from coffee beans that haven't been roasted, which increases its chlorogenic acid content. Some believe that chlorogenic acid helps with weight loss by preventing carbohydrate absorption after meals. Dr. Oz strongly endorsed green coffee bean extract in 2012. A study on obese adults taking the product 5 times daily for 8 to 12 weeks produced very mild weight loss compared to a placebo. More long-term and conclusive results on all populations does not exist. However, a 12-week study on 30 overweight volunteers drinking instant coffee enriched with chlorogenic acid showed positive findings. The enriched group lost an average of 5.4kg (11.88lb) compared to 1.7kg (3.74lb) without the enrichment (3). Interestingly, one of the often cited studies on green coffee bean extract touting its weight-loss benefits was retracted. Retractions typically occur when study results may have been tampered (4).
3. Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia cambogia is another weight-loss compound popularized in recent years. The extract comes from the fruit of a tropical plant. It contains high levels of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is thought to help burn fat and control appetite. HCA may sound familiar due to the trend yet controversial weight-loss product Hydroxycut. While rat studies on garcinia cambogia have been promising, human studies fail to match. In a 12-week, placebo-controlled trial on 135 overweight individuals, the product did not lead to weight loss (5).
4. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that helps support energy production in the mitochondria of cells. CoQ10 is produced by the body and is also found in certain supplements and foods like beef, chicken, herring, peanuts and broccoli. However, certain variables lower the body's production, including ageing, trauma and certain heart conditions. While CoQ10 supplementation is helpful during deficiency states, surpassing the body's needs does not offer additional benefits. Also, there is no evidence that it helps support weight loss.
5. White Willow Bark
White willow bark is a traditional remedy commonly used in China and Europe to help relieve pain, headaches and other inflammatory conditions. The active ingredient in the bark is salicin, similar to acetylsalicylic acid found in aspirin. While it may be helpful for pain and inflammation, it has not specifically been studied for weight loss.
Cosmoperine is the trade name for tetrahydropiperine, an ingredient derived from black pepper. According to the product's website, this ingredient is said to enhance the bioavailability of nutrients and support the patch's DFT. Supposedly the presence of Cosmoperine helps the other ingredients, particularly ForsLean, better permeate the skin.
What Does The Research Say?
Summary: Thrive Patch contains six active ingredients including ForsLean, green coffee bean extract, garcinia cambogia, CoQ10, white willow bark and Cosmoperine. Independently, these ingredients have limited to no impact on weight loss. Topically, they have not been studied.
There has been no research on Thrive Patch or its Derma Fusion Technology (DFT). DFT is Le-vel's catchy way of saying transdermal technology. This means ingredients are absorbed through the dermal layer, or skin, and into the circulation. It's an alternate delivery system to taking ingredients orally or through injections. This type of delivery system has been around for many years, with improvements in its technology over time. In 1979, the first transdermal drug was approved for the market that helped relieve motion sickness. You may also be familiar with the nicotine patch for helping people to quit smoking (6). Today, many companies are designing transdermal products and often use "chemical enhancers" to support ingredient absorption. Unfortunately, no research on Thrive Patch's chemical enhancer cosmoperine and its impact on ingredient absorption is found outside of the company's own website.
Thrive Patch Dangers & Side Effects
Summary: There have been no studies on Thrive Patch. Its active ingredients have been studied, but have only shown mild to no effect on weight loss. While Thrive Patch's DFT is a useful ingredient delivery system, evidence is limited regarding its effect.
Side effects are not clearly stated on Le-Vel's website, but some have been reported on third-party review sites. There have been reports of nausea, skin irritation and muscle cramping on numerous blogs and websites. Because the product has not been thoroughly studied, potential side effects are not clear. What is clear is that many users do not achieve the intended health benefits and weight loss that the company claims. The time and expense of taking on this extensive program often leads to disappointment.
Le-Vel and Thrive Patch Reviews
Summary: Thrive Patch may result in side effects, including nausea, skin irritation and muscle cramping. Though none are stated on Le-Vel's website, many have been reported on third-party review sites. Users should beware.
The internet has both plenty of raves and rants about Thrive Patch and its parent company, Le-Vel.
Le-Vel is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Despite this, it still has an A+ rating due to 75% of customer ratings providing positive feedback. Positive claims sound like this:
- "Thrive is absolutely incredible and has been the best thing that has ever happened to me."
- "5 Star - Their products are incredible, I've seen the most amazing results in both myself and others. As a business, they're also amazing. Wonderful leaders and great customer service!"
Keep in mind, it's possible these reviews are written by those with interest in the success of the company. Le-Vel is an MLM after all. Negative claims sound like this:
- "I fully believe that the positive reviews are from promoters or the company itself; people generally don't post positive reviews of a company. BEWARE OF THIS COMPANY IF THERE IS EVER A BILLING ERROR! There is no one to speak to. Everything is handled (very poorly) through an e-mail "ticket" system. They offered a promotion for a "buy 2/get 1 free" special. I was not given the free item and was told it had to be entered a special way that is not explained anywhere on their website. They refused to correct the error. It is a bad sign if there is no person to ever speak to."
- "Absolutely awful customer service - After a GLITCH in their system that auto shipped products that were not on auto ship not once but twice over night to a tune of $845 out of my bank account - I am still over 3 weeks later working on getting my money refunded. There is no way to speak to anyone - I removed my credit card information from their website and still had a transaction completed? I returned the product that was shipped to me and they immediately sent it back out to me? This the worst thing ever - Stay away !! No way of ever speaking to a person. SCAM !!!"
Thrive Patch Reviews
Customer reviews of the patch look like this:
- "If you are looking for a weight loss solution, you still have to put in the work to lose weight (eat right and/or exercise). There is no magic pill for that :) Personally, I think the DFT patch is a cool concept but I put it on my butt so people don't think I have nicotine patch out in public. I think it is more of promoter conversation starter and could be a sticker for all I know....LOL."
- "I tried the 8 week challenge and here is my review. I felt very high energy, but no appetite change. I also didn't feel any more motivated to workout...I actually felt less. I could not drink coffee - made me feel sick. I often felt nausea on an empty stomach. I gained 10 lbs over 2 months. Once I stopped taking Thrive I had a nagging headache for 2 days. I couldn't figure out why until I had a cup of coffee this morning and - BOOM, my headache went away. It was from caffeine withdrawal. I think this stuff is just overpriced caffeine powder and pills. The patches made my skin itch and left gooey sticky marks that stuck to me for days despite scrubbing them in the shower. I tried the normal patches they send (green) and the black labels. I spent over $400, and again, I gained 10 lbs. This would be good for someone who NEEDS more energy to get to the gym. It will not work if you don't change your diet or add in exercise. For me, it just set me back some $ and some lbs."
While the product itself has no guarantee of positive outcomes and could provoke side effects, most report headaches coming from their experience with Le-Vel.
Is Thrive Patch a Scam?
Summary: Thrive Patch and Le-Vel have mixed online reviews by hundreds of customers and potential company representatives. Some rave about the product, while others voice concern over its side effects and gimmicky nature.
Honestly, Thrive Patch is borderine a weight-loss scam. The science doesn't appear to hold up to marketing claims. The individual ingredients included in the patch have only been shown to promote mild to no weight loss when used orally. The effect of these ingredients - used in combination and when absorbed through the skin - is not known. And it's highly unlikely they do anything for you. Getting your hands on this product requires locking in with a MLM called Le-Vel, which many report offer subpar customer service and expensive products. Instead of wasting your time and money on Thrive Patch, consider actual proven weight loss strategies such as intermittent fasting.