The Thrive Patch is a weight loss patch that you apply to your skin. It’s sold as part of an 8-week lifestyle program created by the company Le-Vel.
The program claims to aid weight loss, support healthy digestion, promote healthy aging, and improve brain and immune function. However, evidence that it’s effective is lacking.
It’s sold through the company’s website and via advocates of the program in a multilevel marketing (MLM) scheme — meaning that people who use the program sell it to their friends.
The Thrive Patch is a weight loss aid that you apply to your skin like a plaster.
It’s sold as part of a lifestyle plan that claims to help you “feed your body more than 100 premium grade vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, digestive enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants, protein, fiber and more” (1).
The plan consists of three steps that people are advised to carry out daily. It costs over $300 for a 60-day supply.
The product line is advertised as containing vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics and amino acids.
These are taken in various forms. Participants take supplement capsules in the morning, a shake at lunch and change their Thrive Patch in the afternoon.
The patch stays on for 24 hours and is said to work by delivering its unique formula directly through your skin.
The Thrive Patch contains a number of active ingredients, including:
- ForsLean — the commercial name for the herb Coleus forskohlii
- green coffee bean extract
- Garcinia cambogia
- coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Cosmoperine — the commercial name for tetrahydropiperine, a compound extracted from black pepper
There are also other patches available — namely the Thrive Ultra Patch and Black Label Patch.
These patches include additional ingredients such as:
- satiereal saffron extract
- green tea extract
- yerba mate
- vitamin B12
Customers can choose to upgrade their regular Thrive Patch to either of these options for an extra cost.
No studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Thrive Patch for weight loss.
Three of the patch’s ingredients have been studied in this regard. However, the research is on the oral consumption of these ingredients, and there is currently no evidence of their effectiveness when used topically, as with a patch. The absorption and concentration in topical products are different than oral products, so this research doesn’t transfer over and the effectiveness of a topical format is unknown.
ForsLean comes from the herb Coleus forskohlii.
A 2015 study found the herb to be effective in reducing metabolic risk factors and promoting weight loss when combined with a low calorie diet in overweight and obese participants. However, researchers attributed the weight loss to the diet rather than the herb, unable to prove the herb had any additional effect (
A 2020 review suggested that the use of natural supplements such as Coleus forskohlii may not be entirely safe and is unlikely to lead to significant weight loss (
Green coffee bean extract
Green coffee beans are unroasted. They’re a source of chlorogenic acid, a substance that aids weight loss by blocking the absorption of carbohydrates.
A review of randomized controlled trials found that green coffee bean extract was effective in reducing body weight in participants with an overweight BMI, though these results were seen only after more than 4 weeks of supplementation (
Another review noted that coffee bean extract improved levels of fasting blood glucose, insulin, and total cholesterol (
One small study in 60 overweight participants also found that green coffee bean extract led to significant reductions in body weight and body fat and increases in lean body mass when compared to a placebo (
Garcinia cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement. It’s said to aid weight loss by increasing fat burning and reducing appetite.
Results of weight loss studies have been mixed, with the positive studies showing only marginal effects (
What’s more, while many studies have found Garcinia cambogia to be safe, others have reported cases of toxic liver disease and other health issues (
Effectiveness of the patch’s technology
Overall, there is not currently enough research to support the claim that any of the patch’s active ingredients are effective for weight loss.
Additionally, it’s unclear how much of each active ingredient the patch contains and whether they’re present in sufficient amounts to have any effect.
Dermal fusion technology — the technology used to deliver the ingredients — has also not been studied, and it’s impossible to know how effective it is at delivering the active ingredients from the patch through your skin.
This means that in addition to a lack of evidence for the effectiveness of the ingredients within the patch, it’s currently unclear whether the patches are even able to increase your blood levels of these active ingredients.
In addition to promising weight loss, the Thrive Patch claims to increase energy levels and improve brain function, appetite management, and digestive health.
As with the weight loss claims, the lack of studies examining these supposed benefits means it’s impossible to assess whether they are accurate.
Some of the ingredients in the Thrive products, including the Thrive Patch, have been linked to some possible benefits.
The capsules include the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus, which may help improve gut health in people with irritable bowel syndrome. However, this probiotic’s benefits for the general population are unclear, and in some cases it may do more harm than good (
The Thrive Patch also contains CoQ10, which has been linked to reduced muscle fatigue and a subsequent improvement in exercise performance, though more research is still needed (
Ultimately, while some of these ingredients may offer some benefits, it’s unclear how much of each ingredient the Thrive Patch contains, whether they’re present in amounts large enough to have any effect, and how well they are absorbed through the skin.
Additionally, given the lack of research and the vague nature of some of the claims, it’s probably wise to be skeptical about the effectiveness of the products.
Thrive patches are not recommended for anyone under age 18 or anyone who is pregnant or nursing (12).
Because the products haven’t been studied, no side effects have been listed on the Le-Vel website.
However, anecdotal reports on websites and forums suggest possible side effects such as skin rashes at the site of the patch, anxiety, nausea, stomach cramps, palpitations, and headaches.
These reports are hard to verify but may be attributable to the products taken by consumers using the plan.
Le-Vel has a rating of 2.45 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, where some users have commented that they developed a rash from using the patches over time.
Other side effects shared in these reviews include heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Some individuals have also written negative reviews on the customer service of the company, stating that it’s difficult to get in touch with anyone for assistance.
Also, keep in mind that many of the sales representatives are customers themselves and profit off selling the product.
This is because the company functions on a traditional MLM model, which means individuals are incentivized to purchase the product themselves and to sell products to their networks.
Unfortunately, many companies using this model make false promises in terms of both results and financial compensation (13).
Below are some commonly asked questions regarding Le-Vel’s Thrive Patch.
Do doctors recommend weight loss patches?
Because the safety and effectiveness of weight loss patches are unknown, doctors generally do not recommend these products as a method for losing weight.
Is the Thrive Patch unhealthy?
There is currently no research confirming the safety of the Thrive Patch. This means we don’t know whether this patch is health-promoting or damaging.
What’s more, anecdotal evidence suggests that these patches can cause some unpleasant side effects, such as rashes, nausea, and heart palpitations.
While there is no concrete evidence that the product causes adverse health effects, there is also no concrete evidence to suggest it’s healthy.
Which weight loss supplements work?
With so many different programs and products out there, it can be difficult to know which ones are safe and effective.
Generally speaking, many common weight loss supplements are not supported by significant evidence. Some can even have harmful side effects (
Still, nothing can replace the effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep.
The manufacturers of the Thrive Patch claim that it can aid weight loss and improve energy, brain function, appetite management, and digestive health.
Though some ingredients may provide such benefits, the available research is insufficient, and it’s unclear whether the patch’s dermal fusion technology can deliver these ingredients through your skin.
It’s also worth remembering that while the product has received numerous positive reviews, many people who use it also sell it. This makes it very difficult to differentiate between genuine recommendations and sales pitches.
The patch may help some people kick-start their healthy lifestyle — or it may be an expensive gimmick.
Without evidence from independent studies, it’s impossible to tell.
As with most health and lifestyle products promising seemingly unrealistic results, it’s always a good idea to keep a skeptical mindset.