Active-PK Review - Benefits, Ingredients, Efficacy, Side Effects

By HighYa Research Team
Updated on: Dec 27, 2019

Medically Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S

What Is Active-PK?

Active-PK claims to boost your energy without the use of caffeine, dairy, synthetic additives, or animal byproducts. This is thought to be achieved by its action on an enzyme called 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)

To achieve the purported benefits of this supplement, LCR Health says to take two capsules of Active-PK daily with a glass of water, either with food or on an empty stomach.

Can you realistically expect to experience these benefits? To help you gain a better understanding, in this Active-PK review we draw on the knowledge of professional opinion and discuss how the supplement works, its ingredients, efficacy, side effects and whether this is right for you.

How Does Active-PK Work?

To understand how Active-PK works, it's important to get familiar with AMPK. This enzyme is found in all mammalian cells and is activated an intensity-dependent manner during physical activity.

AMPK activation promotes glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation, while decreasing protein and lipid synthesis. Simply put, this enzyme decreases energy consuming processes in favor of those that generate energy.

According to Dr. Barry Sears, “AMPK is an energy sensor that can be considered the enzyme of life, as it regulates every aspect of your metabolism leading to greater health and lifespan.”

LCR Health refers to AMPK as your body’s metabolic “master switch,” since it “tells your body to stop storing fat and start converting it into clean, usable fuel.”

Active-PK Ingredients and Their Efficacy

The Active-PK ingredients thought to be responsible for the purported benefits:

  • Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Leaf Extract 450 mg
  • Quercetin Dihydrate 100 mg
  • Berberine HCl 100 mg

Obese subjects randomized to 450mg daily of gynostemma pentaphyyllum over 12-weeks experienced significant reductions in body weight, body fat mass, percent body fat, and BMI.

Diabetic patients that were randomized to treatment with gynostemma pentaphyyllum at 6g daily over 12-weeks experienced significant decreases in fasting blood glucose levels, HbA(1C), and insulin resistance compared to controls.

In high-fat diet mice, supplementation with 0.8% quercetin produced short-term increases in energy expenditure; while present at 3-weeks, this was no longer evident after 8-weeks.

In 58 healthy subjects randomized to 1 g/day of quercetin or placebo, those receiving quercetin did not experience alterations in energy, fatigue, or sleep quality over 6-weeks.

Berberine reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity in obese, diabetic rats. Tese effects seemed to be related to berberine’s ability to activate AMPK in both fat and muscle cells. The AMPK-related effects of berberine were corroborated in another mouse study.

Regarding human studies, 30 randomized patients with heart disease, treatment with 300mg of berberine daily activated AMPK and reduced inflammation related to cholesterol.

In another trial, 24 subjects with metabolic syndrome were randomized; those that received 500mg of berberine three times daily over 3-months experienced remission, decreased waist circumference, and insulin secretion.

We contacted Dr. Erik A. Richter, professor of molecular physiology at the University of Copenhagen, for a professional opinion.

“In my professional opinion,” Richter said, “It’s not possible for over-the-counter ingredients to meaningfully boost AMPK levels and result in benefits such as increased energy, better brain function, and weight loss.”

However, he emphasized, “there are multiple pharma companies working on AMPK activators, so it is not an impossible future possibility.”

The Takeaway:

Gynostemma has been investigated in human subjects, specifically in obese and diabetic patients. Both studies found beneficial effects related to body weight, body fat, and blood glucose, though one study included doses more than 5x that which is found in Active-PK. More long-term research is needed to identify the benefits in other populations.

Quercetin has not been extensively studied. Animal studies point towards possible and short-lived benefits regarding energy, though this has not been corroborated in human subjects even at much higher doses than Active-PK offers.

Berberine has shown promise regarding its ability to reduce weight and insulin resistance. Most support is in animal models, while the limited human research has included larger doses than what is included in Active-PK.

As these ingredients have not been extensively studied, more long-term research with human subjects is needed to fully characterize the benefits.

Side Effects

The LCR Health website points out that because Active-PK contains all-natural ingredients, it’s safe to use and causes no known side effects. However, it’s important to emphasize that just because something is natural, this doesn’t automatically mean it’s completely safe.

While up to 5x the dose of quercetin found in Active-PK has been used safely over a 6-week span without serious adverse effects, it’s unknown if it’s safe for long-term use.

In a 12-week study, there were no episodes of hypoglycemia or adverse effects at gynostemma doses more than 5x the dose included in Active-PK.

In a 12-week study, 1500mg of berberine daily was not associated with serious adverse effects, though mild gastrointestinal symptoms are possible.

The LCR Health website recommends speaking with your physician before purchasing Active-PK, which is certainly something we’d advise as well.

The Takeaway:

While likely safe even at much higher doses, these ingredients have not been extensively investigated in long-term studies. More work is needed to fully characterize the potential harm.

Active-PK Cost and Return Policy

Active-PK is only available for purchase on the LCR Health website, priced as follows:

  • 1 Bottle: $89.95
  • 3 Bottles: $242.85 ($80.95 per bottle)
  • 6 Bottles: $455.70 ($75.95 per bottle)

All orders come with LCR Health’s 90-day Ironclad Guarantee, less shipping, which you can request by calling (800) 384-8308 or sending an email to

Active-PK vs. Similar AMPK Supplements

We found dozens of standalone jiaogulan, quercetin, and berberine dietary supplements during our research, many of which were priced well below $20 per bottle.

However, we encountered only a handful of top-rated options on Amazon that specifically advertised AMPK activation in their names. Here’s how their prices and ingredients compared to Active-PK:

Brand Price Ingredients
Active-PK by LCR Health $89.95 Gynostemma 450 mg, Quercetin 100 mg, Berberine 100 mg
Life Extension AMPK Metabolic Activator $21.97 Calcium 130 mg, Hesperidin 500 mg, ActivAMP Gynostemma 450 mg
LUZ AMPK Activator $35.97 Gynostemma 150 mg, Berberine 900 mg, Alpha-Lipoic Acid 300 mg, Resveratrol 150 mg
Takenutritionx AMPK Activator $36.99 Gynostemma 450 mg,
Quercetin 100mg,
Berberine 100mg
Botanic Choice AMPK Formula $50 ActivAMP Gynostemma 150 mg, Berberine 17 mg, Rosehip 400 mg
Horbaach AMPK Metabolic Activator $16.87 ActivAMP Gynostemma 450 mg

Price-wise, we can see that Horbaach’s AMPK Metabolic Activator is the lowest cost option among popular competitors above, by a decent margin.

It only contains 450 mg of Gynostemma, although as we discussed above, there’s insufficient reported clinical evidence that it can help humans lose weight, increase energy, or improve brain function.

Life Extension also contains the same level of Gynostemma as Active-PK, but at a much lower price. It doesn’t contain quercetin, but again, there’s insufficient clinical support that it can activate AMPK in humans.

From an ingredients perspective, Takenutritionx’s AMPK Activator features the same formulation and dosages as Active-PK, but at a meaningfully lower price.

Based on this, we can see that Active-PK isn’t necessarily the “revolutionary formula” advertised by LCR Health.

The Bottom Line: Is Active-PK Worth It?

So far, dozens of customers have given Active-PK an average rating of 4 stars here on HighYa, many of which reported excellent customer support, as well as benefits like reduced weight and inches around their waist, improved sleep, decreased cravings, and boosted energy.

LCR Health had similar Better Business Bureau feedback at the time of our research.

It’s important to balance the positives by pointing out that many HighYa readers reported no results with Active-PK, although a company representative responded in most of these instances to address the customers' concerns.

The available literature investigating these ingredients in human subjects is lacking. Also, there is no support for the energy boosting effect of Active-PK.

In terms of AMPK activation, the strongest support is in animal and laboratory models. Most of the benefits found in human subjects have been studied primarily in overweight and diabetic subjects.

Doses used in most investigations are much higher than what is offered in Active-PK – if the results are dose-related, you may not see a return on your investment with this product.

Erik Richter, seems to agree that the clinical evidence supporting LCR Health’s claims related to AMPK activation is currently insufficient.

While generally safe, these ingredients have not been studied in long-term human investigations. Discuss with your physician prior to use.

Finally, Active-PK comes with a much higher price than popular competitors on Amazon. Based on the available support for these products, it may be wise to start with a more cost effective supplement if you’re interested in boosting your AMPK.

» Keep Reading: Weight Loss Pills and Supplements 101: Everything You Need to Know

Read 228 Active-PK Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Customer Rating: 4.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 120 4 star: 71 3 star: 9 2 star: 3 1 star:  25
Bottom Line: 85% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 228
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  • Significant drop in fasting blood sugar

    • By Lowell R.,
    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Feb 27, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Fasting blood sugar is normally about 107. Blood work 45 days ago was 127. Started using the Active-PK product 30 days ago. Checked fasting blood sugar by skin prick 14 days ago - reading was 124. Skin prick this morning reading was 104.


    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Looking forward to more!

    • By AnnMarie W.,
    • Michigan,
    • Feb 26, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have felt slimmer in my abdomen area since I have been taking Active-PK for the last 30 days. It is kind of hard to explain the feeling, but there is more room when I put on pants. Which is always exciting! But from just taking these pills and no sit-ups is encouraging.

    I am looking forward to the next 30 days with Active-PK to see if the "slim" feeling continues to increase.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rapid onset with obvious effects

    • By William O.,
    • Florida,
    • Feb 22, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Active-PK has brought my weight down 5kg in 2 weeks while allowing me to feel fully energetic with a reduction in appetite for unhealthy substances together with a focusing of consumption-based pleasure-seeking on healthy food. I observe its effect also every day in the production of an unusual (odorless but voluminous) gaseous byproduct of visceral fat consumption. Active-PK makes all aspects of the day effortless and completely hunger-pang free, clearing my thinking for increased productivity.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Feeling good

    • By Wendy J.,
    • Yuma, AZ,
    • Feb 22, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been feeling good with more energy since starting the Active-PK. Have noticed that my stomach/abdomen area is getting smaller and is softer. It is easier to bend over to tie shoes, etc.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • LCR and blood sugar

    • By Kim C.,
    • Cleveland, OH,
    • Feb 21, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Just as I started taking LCR, I was hit with a severe cold. I kept taking LCR and was very pleased my blood sugar DID NOT spike to 300 mg/dL like it normally would when fighting a virus.

    So far I am very happy with LCR and plan to continue taking LCR, looking forward to controlling my type 1 diabetes and detoxing my body. I’m hoping to lose a few pounds too.

    Thank you for your work, care, and concern.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • New client

    • By Michelle S.,
    • Tennessee,
    • Feb 20, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I started the product a few weeks ago. I have had an increase in energy. I am using the product along with a weight loss program and exercise and I am down 6 lbs. I am looking forward to the final results.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • More energy and motivation

    • By Alex G.,
    • Queensland, Australia,
    • Feb 19, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have only been taking Active-PK for a few weeks but I have found that I have much more motivation and energy. I can keep myself busy all day and get a lot done around our house and farm. I have lost a kilo in weight and intend taking Active-PK for the immediate future.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Working out

    • By Dianne J.,
    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Feb 19, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    It gives me energy and allows me to work out with ease daily. I take it on an empty stomach and sail through my workouts, and I actually enjoy them now and look forward to working out.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Pay attention to side effects!

    • By Vjo D.,
    • Pomona, CA,
    • Feb 16, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used LCR's Active-PK for about one year with some very GOOD results - good energy, increased stamina, good maintenance of weight (though no NO weight loss). However, about 6 months in, my knees started to feel achy when standing from a sitting position. At one year, with my knees worsening, I did a better study on the side effects and found that the main ingredient of Active-PK, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum, carries a warning to not use more than 4 months or risk the development of the auto-immune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis. I stopped the product immediately. The other ingredients - Quercetin and Berberine, both have anti-inflammatory benefits and without those two ingredients, my left knee swelled up to about double in size, put pressure on the sciatic nerve and strained my knee ligaments. I've spent the last two months using other supplements to reduce swelling and heal my ligaments and muscles. All I can do about possible arthritis is pray! BE CAREFUL - don't use this product longer than 4 months.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    • Feb 20, 2020

      Company Response from LCR Health

      Hi Vjo. My name is Taylor and I am with LCR Health. I am sorry to read about your experience with Active-PK. Our raw materials have GRAS approval which are standards set by the FDA, defined as “Reasonable certainty in the minds of qualified scientists that the substance is not harmful under its intended conditions of use.” Immune activating ingredients like Echinacea, Astragalus, licorice and Gynostemma pentaphyllum should be avoided if one has an autoimmune disorder. LCR Health always recommends our customers to consult their physician prior to starting a new supplement if you have a medical condition or if you are currently taking medication. Please email me at so that I may file an adverse reaction report and offer you a full refund for your purchase. I want to thank you for sharing your experience with Active-PK with us. I wish you a wonderful day and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  • Feeling great and getting in shape

    • By John H.,
    • Arizona,
    • Feb 15, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    When I read about Active-PK I could tell I had some of the symptoms that it talked about. I have been using the product for 30 days twice a day and with a more controlled diet and exercise, I have lost 11 pounds and feel so much more alert and full of energy. Feeling like a kid again. By the way, I am 69 years old.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • More energy

    • By Virginia R.,
    • Indianapolis, IN,
    • Feb 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 82 years old and I have noticed that I have more stamina and energy since starting the PK. Not only that, but a result I didn't expect, which is bowel regularity.

    I have missed a couple of days taking PK, but it hasn't seemed to nullify the overall results. Maybe it will help my memory, too, after a longer period of use.

    I will continue this regimen because I truly like the results. I highly recommend it!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Showing 1-11 of 228

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Active-PK Review: Benefits, Ingredients, Efficacy, Side Effects