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 support@LCRHealth.com.

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 197 Active-PK Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 4.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 97 4 star: 64 3 star: 9 2 star: 3 1 star:  24
Bottom Line: 83% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 197
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  • 27 out 30 people found this review helpful

    Brain fog going, going, GONE!

    I have been taking Active-PK for almost a month now and my horrible "brain fog" is almost completely gone! I was so "foggy" that almost EVERY time I would walk into a different room, either at work or at home, I would forget what I was going after. My mind is SO MUCH clearer. I am thinking clearer and getting more done.

    This is what I currently notice, but as other bodily functions get better, I will let you all know.

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

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  • 52 out 54 people found this review helpful

    Fantastic drop in A1C level in first 90 days

    My husband and I started taking Active-PK 90 days ago. He has seen a significant weight loss, but he was also making serious changes to his food intake. He is 66 and has seemed to have turned into the Energizer Bunny!

    Myself, one the other hand, have not seen the weight loss or incredible increase in my energy. However, I started taking the product hoping it would help me with my diabetes. I have been experiencing increasing A1C levels. I am 59 years old and had managed to get my A1C down to a "normal" reading of 6.0 just two years ago.

    I truly could not improve my diet anymore. I have spent endless hours studying glycemic loads of foods, tracked all my eating while recording glucose levels, cutting out foods that severely spiked my blood sugar, and given up all alcohol except an occasional glass (never more than two) of wine.

    All my doctor could say was that I was getting older. No way I was going to accept that answer. Then I watched this advertising video and understood the potential of Active-PK in helping my body improve the use of the glucose. And...

    Just 90 days after starting this supplement, I had my first appointment with my doctor to have my quarterly A1C level review. During my prior visits I saw my A1C go from 6.5 to 7.6 with each higher A1C reading, the doctor increased my oral medication.

    The last visit my A1C was 7.6 and this one 6.9! Hooray! I have made no other changes in my diet since starting this product. It is summer, and I am very active, but still, no way that much of a drop came from the additional activity. I'm looking forward to what the next 90 days reading will be!

    I have NEVER written a review of a product in my life. Then again, I have never had one effect my life so positively.

    If my A1C continues to improve, which I can't imagine it won't, I will be a customer for life!

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

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  • 22 out 23 people found this review helpful

    Progress not perfection

    Both in our sixties, my wife and I started Active-PK two weeks ago. Without noticing, we both experienced a gradual energy increase, especially the Mrs. who seemed to be in an endless slump, never wanting to go anywhere or do anything. Our grandsons, 19 and 21, visited and she prepared meals every day while we also showed them around the Upstate. I was totally amazed. We also started eating healthier as our energy levels gradually increased with no jittery or uneasy side effects whatsoever. The wife has renewed past interests including doing more around the house and playing outdoor games. I enjoy the gym three times weekly.

    For us, embracing the fact that progress, not perfection, is do-able. A shared desire for fresh fruits and vegetables along with a more active life style kicked in and seems to be a natural course of action.

    Bottom line, give Active-PK a try. It's a win-win, especially with their 90-day money back guarantee. Will update our progress in the next couple of weeks. Thanks Cowboy.

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

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  • 24 out 25 people found this review helpful

    This product WORKS.

    I never buy infomercial products, but the video made a lot of sense, so I ordered. I have been on ActivePK for 90 days. My sugar cravings are gone. I'm able to sustain a 1350/daily calorie diet. I am losing weight! I feel good, and my blood sugar seems more stable than I can remember for a long time. I don't feel emotionally overwhelmed by "dieting" or feel "deprived." I want to eat healthy foods rather than bingeing on sugar and carbs. I feel that this product has "smoothed out" the weight loss process for me. I will stay on it until I hit my goal weight. 38 pounds to go!

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

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  • 17 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Great product

    I lost 7 lbs in three weeks. I did not change my eating habits, but I did drink seven glasses of water a day, sometimes eight glasses, and I still lost 7 lbs. Yes I would recommend this to a friend and I am about to order again.

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

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  • 24 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Pretty amazing stuff

    • By Bryan Arnold,
    • California,
    • Nov 23, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been taking Active-PK for a month now. I started the first two weeks with 2 a day and wasn't seeing much result. I bumped it up to 4 a day (I'm a pretty big guy). My cognitive functions have increased drastically. I'm sharper and think much clearer. My energy level has increased, and my desire for junk food has decreased immensely.

    Although I haven't seen much weight loss, all the other effects are far worth it. You must keep in mind this product talks about attacking deep tissue fat, the fat that is unseen. In researching belly fat, I've found there are two different fats the deep tissue fat and a fat just below the skin surface. You can't see the deep tissue fat.

    But none the less, I will keep using for the other effects and if I lose some weight with it, great.

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

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    I feel lighter and less tiered

    I have been taking Active PK early in the morning, and I feel lighter and less bloating and have less craving for food. My knees and legs and arms were swollen before and no diet would work, until my husband introduced me to Active PK. I feel great and I have more energy.

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

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  • 18 out 18 people found this review helpful

    My results of Active-PK.

    • By Hilda P.,
    • Queensland, Australia,
    • May 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 72 years old, and get short of breath. I am very healthy in every other way, chest x-rays and all other tests keep coming back normal.

    I walk twice a day, but hills get me a bit and I have to slow down.

    I took Active-PK (3 months supply) for about 3 weeks with no outstanding results then suddenly noticed my breathing was getting better and better. It had in fact improved by about 85%.

    So I was absolutely wrapped. I am ordering another months supply. Even though I love the product, ordering 3 months in one go is a bit expensive for me.

    All the best.

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

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  • 15 out 16 people found this review helpful

    It works fast!

    • By Chuck M.,
    • California,
    • Jul 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I lost 15 lbs in just over three weeks. I know it's not advertised as a weight loss product, but deep fat has weight just like body fat. Being an Exercise Physiologist I'm always a little apprehensive of this type of product, but this one works.

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

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  • 10 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Very good product!

    • By Wayne W.,
    • New South Wales, Australia,
    • Jul 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The product is very good, it helps bring my blood sugars down and helps with my liver pain and I am ready to purchase more. I love it very much. I am going to definitely purchase another bottle ASAP.

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

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  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    So many people need this

    • By Amir K.,
    • Nevada,
    • Jul 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    There are so many others that Active-PK can work wonders for. I now have complete confidence when sharing this product with others on my network. Letting them know that it has increased my energy output and that my weight loss is also increasing.

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

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