Weekly Gems from Ronda Gates.
This week after a business trip that took me cross-country and back in thee days I stopped at a friend's home to retrieve some belongings I'd stored in her shed. My friend asked, "How are you doing?" My response, "I'm tired" generated an enthusiastic; "I've got just the thing for you." She raced inside her home and returned with six small bottles (six doses) of a new nutraceutical product* that she insisted had "changed her life."
"I can't believe how much energy I have since I began using this product," she insisted. "Tomorrow morning, when you wake up take one bottle then take a second at lunch. Don't take it later or you'll have too much energy to go to sleep."
"What's in it?" I asked. "It's a concentrated juice product filled with all that good antioxidant stuff," she responded. "It's all natural-a secret formula that will give you energy, reduce stress, and prevent aging. It's so great I'm even giving it to my (16 year old) daughter.
I don't take any "medicinal" product without thorough research to find out what's in it. To date no "miracle potion" has passed my lips. I've seen one incarnation after the other come and go through the years as I have aged gracefully without them. They're often marketed with the words "secret" ingredients" or "proprietary formulas" (that means they made it up and probably won't tell you what they are).
A couple of days later my friend called. "Did you try that product?" I admitted I hadn't. When she asked why I reminded her of my pharmacy, nutrition and fitness background. I told her I believed healthy living was the best medicine for gaining energy and reducing stress. To date, I added, I hadn't found anything that prevented aging. Besides, I added, "I don't take anything unless I know what's in it and I haven't taken the time to research the ingredients."
My friend could sell ice to an Eskimo and ignored my response. She said she'd call me in the morning to be sure I took the first dose. I demurred and when I hung up I logged on to the Internet. As expected there were a host of sites selling the potion that contained concentrated juices (means no fiber), a lot of herbs and, indeed, a series of trademarked proprietary formulas.
One of the (natural) ingredients was ginkgo biloba. If I took this it would prolong my already too long clotting time, setting the stage for me to bruise easily and bleed longer than I need to if I got injured. It contained ginseng but did not cite the source-a red flag since ginseng is often imported from countries where there are no regulations for purity. There were a bunch of other non-prescriptions ingredients-vitamins, including those concentrated juices known for their antioxidant properties, and mild stimulants-probably relatively harmless but drugs nonetheless. However, the red flags for the $3/dose product were at the bottom of the page.
Warnings: Do not take if allergic to corn. Not intended for use by pregnant or breast feeding women, or those under age 18. If you have any medical conditions or are taking medications (over-the-counter or prescription), please consult your doctor before using this product.
Recommended Use: Ageless should not be taken with long-term use of NSAIDs like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or indomethacin, or prescription COX-2 inhibitors like Vioxx, Celebrex, Mobic, or Bactrex, in order to avoid the amplification of the known side effects of those products.
When my friend called early the next morning I gave her the bad news. I also asked if she was aware of the warnings re who should not take the product and if she knew about disease states that progressed silently. She admitted she was surprised at the contraindications and asked, "What's silent progression of disease?" "Let's have lunch Wednesday and you can tell me about it." When Wednesday rolled around I discovered "lunch" was to occur at a presentation extolling the virtues then selling the product. "It will give you a chance to ask questions," my friend explained. Politely I talked boundaries, expressed my lack of interest in listening to another slick, media savvy presentation and said I was not willing to set myself up in that venue. My friend listened to my ten minute explanation of my concerns then admitted she was stunned at all I'd discovered that she'd not been told by the principle who suggested she get in the mutli-level marketing loop.
Last I heard my friend was abandoning the opportunity to be a distributor but was continuing to take the product.
This unusually long E-newsletter is written with the hope that my readers will remember the adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," and "beware of what you don't hear" when you're being oversold with good news.
And, if someone offers you any products by Oasis Wellness, be sure to check the ingredients and warnings before you buy.
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