Weekly Gems from Ronda Gates.
Contrary to popular belief, information about vitamins, minerals, diet products and herbs offered to the pubic does not have to be true. So, it ranges in quality from sound information (supplement a healthy diet with vitamins and minerals) to outrageous (that you can take a pill to lose weight) to harmful (all pills are safe).
Dietary supplements do not get the same scrutiny given to prescription and most over the counter drugs. There is only one (very weak) law to protect you. A claim cannot be made unless it is supported by research.
Knowing this, you would believe that supplements that promise to give us energy, reverse the aging process, promote weight loss and cure disease work. The creative and believable marketing by companies who sell these products provide literature and package products that support these claims. Here is an example. Research that shows a side effect of injectable human growth hormone (HGH) (used to stimulate the pituitary of young children who are not growing normally) is weight loss. This has resulted in marketing, by more than 50 companies of a similar to HGH synthetic pill (supplement) for weight loss (and to improve energy, to improve sexual response, prevent aging, build bodies, smooth face wrinkles, improve immunity and more). Not only is the supplement a different product, the literature fails to mention that pills do not elicit the same effect. Most the literature reads as though the research was done on the pill itself and adds lots of testimonials from doctors who sell or are paid to endorse the product as well as successful users.
The FDA's Office of Special Nutritionals, is the agency that is supposed to keep an eye on supplement advertising and remove products that support my slogan, labels don't lie, but liars write labels, Sadly the agency is small and has limited resources (personnel and money) to do its job. When they act they avoid the small stuff (weight loss, energy, aging) and focus on companies whose products are intended to treat, prevent, mitigate or cure DISEASES. Their effort is designed to make an example and, hopefully, force other unscrupulous companies from parting you from your well earned dollar.
Here are a few of the FDA's response to some recent claims.
Doctor's Nutraceuticals (is that a great name, or what?) was asked to stop making claims that their products, "Doctor's Nutraceuticals Arthri-Care(tm)" Doctor's Nutraceuticals PMS Support" treat or prevent joint pain and discomfort and premenstrual syndrome:
Jarrow Formulas for saying their:
Watson Nutritional Products Group Inc., and PharmaTrend Company Inc. must stop claiming their dietary may "reduce platelet aggregation and vascular plaque" and "preserve immune function during combined radio and chemo therapy."
Weidner Nutritional International can no longer claim that their two phase system, "Sinus Free provides the nutritional support your body needs to prevent, mitigate or treat allergies.
Selfcare, Inc. can no longer say:
Te Nation, Inc. can no longer make these claims about their tes (teas): Echinacea Te: "Colds, flu and other yuckiness have ruined our days" and "world of colds, flu and achiness, enjoy a cup of sanctuary." Ginger Te: "Stomach aches, fevers and migraines have plagued us" and "a natural remedy for practically anything that makes you wish you had an airsick bag." Throat Te: "Sore throats have been a pain in the neck."
Lane-Labs-USA, Inc. must stop saying inferring that Immunofin intends to prevent, treat or cure the common cold or influenza. They can no longer use the words, "be prepared for cold and flu season."
I could go on and on. It is not my intention to blast these companies selling supplements but to make you aware of the clever language that abounds in the marketplace. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
P. S. Clever marketing words include: pharmaceutical grade, natural, endorsed by, scientific research, studies, highest quality products
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