Does it Work? Unsure if the latest product or service lives up to it's claims? From popular products to the latest scams, discuss it here before you buy!

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Old 12-02-2002, 03:02 PM   #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Silicon Valley, California
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Default Great reading regarding supplements...

I subscribe to the ThinkMuscle newsletter ( - they have some pretty thought-provoking articles...anyway this showed up in my email today and wanted to share with y'all - especially at this time of year when we're all more suspectible to those 'MIRACLE DIET PILLS' (yeah...riiiiiggght).

Message from the Editor in Chief: Things Can Be Different
by Bryan Haycock

In this issue we take a look at the dishonesty in the dietary supplement industry. I wanted to address this issue, not so that we might all sit around and complain and point fingers, but so that we could all wake up to the situation, and perhaps move towards improving things. Improving things is all our responsibility, both those that sell supplements, and those that buy them.

Those that sell supplements can do their part in a number of ways.

∑ One, they can do their part by first refusing to sell supplements that donít work, even if there is consumer demand. (I think I can hear the entire industry laughing now.) Iím talking both about selling compounds that donít work no matter what the dose, as well as those that donít work because of the minuscule amounts you put in your products. This will have the effect of improving consumer confidence, and repairing the reputation that exists that all supplements are worthless.

∑ Two, they can stop using deceptive advertising. Simply put, stop making false claims, and stop making people think your products are going to magically transform their bodies over night.

∑ Three, they can stop pretending you are physicians and your products drugs. Pretending you are selling drugs is the fastest way to get the supplement industry under the thumb of the federal government.

∑ Four, they MUST stop ripping people off! Stop diluting your supplements with filler. Make sure that if your label says youíve got 100 milligrams in each capsule, youíve got 100 milligrams or more. Now I want to add here that sometimes it is not the companies fault at all, it is the bottler that is tampering with the formulas. You must make sure that if you are not doing your own bottling in house, that you are using a manufacturer that doesnít dilute the product to increase their profits. If youíve got your name on the label, it is your responsibility to make sure the product meets label claims.

As consumers there are things you can do as well.

∑ One, always remember that consumer demand controls this industry. Every product you see on the shelf is there for one reason, because people are willing to buy it. Now, supplement companies will try to manipulate demand (and you) by creating deceptive advertisements and flooding the magazines with them. Itís your responsibility to take back control. Do your homework before you buy anything so that you donít end up buying worthless products. This will quickly help to get worthless products off the shelf.

∑ Two, demand that supplement companies demonstrate their expertise in human physiology.

∑ Three, make them show you the independent peer reviewed studies that justifies them selling each particular ingredient. If there is none, make them tell you this up front.

∑ Four, make them show you that the product will work as formulated (i.e. potency), not just theoretically with 10 times the dose.

∑ Five, get to know the company. Keep in mind that there are real people behind all the ads. Email them. Visit their website. Email the individuals responsible for the product formulas. Ask them both about their products as well as products they donít sell. Try to get a feel for their honesty, or lack thereof.

As you can see, there is a lot that we can do, both as consumers and as supplement companies, to improve the integrity of our industry. Only good can come from a push to improve the level of honesty in advertising, and the level of education of consumers. It is ThinkMuscleís, and my own purpose, to do just that.
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