The supplement industry is out of control

“Research has recently discovered an incredibly effective way to shrink your prostate,” trumpets the landing page. “We don’t know how long this video will be up, the medical industry sure does not like it… watch it now while you can.”

Well, just because I am concerned about prostate issues, I did watch it. But now I want that hour of my life back. The first thing that annoyed me is that there’s no progress bar, so you can’t skip to the money shot at the end. You have to watch the. whole. thing.

So I did. And here’s this guy dressed in a doctor’s coat, spewing the awfullest marketing drivel I have ever heard, mostly involving scare tactics about what could happen if your enlarged prostate is not treated, and how ineffective / painful / inconvenient / expensive traditional treatments are.

For years, the good doctor (I looked him up, and find absolutely no hits on Google for his name) “wrecked his brain” [sic] regarding a better solution, and after 40 minutes or so of frightening you into thinking you’re going to die, finally introduces his own “Prostate well-being formulation” which is affordable and effective.

The remainder of the video discusses all the ingredients at length and makes significant claims for all of them. (Yes, the official website includes the standard “Nutritional Miranda” popularized by Orrin Hatch, to wit:

“Statements made by Mediamap Limited, PhytoThriveLabs and Fluxactive Complete have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA does not evaluate or test herbs. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease.”

but it’s well-hidden in a separate disclaimer page. And, this product is nothing more than a compendium of herbs (a formula “based on decades of science”), not one of which has any tested and proven effect on prostate health.

But hey, we’ve got over 60,000 customers, so it’s got to be good, right? Right?

Some of the claims made during the course of this video imply:

  • Stop prostate cell growth
  • Reduce insulin levels
  • Cayenne, Vitamin E
  • Rare and powerful anti-inflammatory effects
  • Bulletproof your prostate
  • Rejuvenate your DNA, reduce arthritis
  • Enhance blood flow
  • Increase ability to pee
  • Increase sexual function – transform you into a MAN as well
  • Increase libido and quality of erections.
  • Nerve tonic
  • Add years if not decades to your life expectancy
  • Regain your dignity (Today is your last chance!)
  • Feel a surge of energy you haven’t felt in decades
  • Repair inflammation and cellular damage over time
  • Achieve the prostate of a 20-year-old

Then comes the financial pitch. “I don’t care about money, says the good doctor. “I just want to help people.” Customers have told me they would pay thousands of dollars for a single bottle. 🐂 💩

“For a limited time (scarcity) this is the largest discount I’ve ever offered. Buy the multiple-bottle discount packages. One-time offer! Buy the multi-pack today to avoid future disappointments and price increases. Order at least three bottles! But if you don’t want [horrible symptoms], take advantage of our 6 bottle package! Make the right investment in your health. Act NOW while supplies last, because we may discontinue production any day now if we can’t make this great formulation. (scarcity) If you don’t, you’ll be hooked for life and pay large money for treatment, including that $30,000 surgery. The longer you wait, the greater your risk of complications like Urinary Tract Infections, Testicular Tumors, and a whole host of others. Time is running out! Buy this Product. Make the Right Decision! I’m not trying to scare you, these are real risks of doing nothing.

The video claims to offer a 60-day risk free money-back guarantee, even if you return empty bottles. But! The official return policy (also buried in a totally non-obvious link) says:

“All items purchased online can be returned within 60 days after they have been received by you. We accept returns of all unopened items within 60 days of receiving them for a full refund minus any shipping fees.”

So I would suggest you might have a hard time returning empty bottles for a refund, even if the product did nothing for you.

But wait, there’s more!

  • Act right away and complete order in the next 5 minutes, get the Fast action Upgrade Kit (questionable digital documents that cost them nothing)
  • Biohacking secrets ($97.00) – hack your mind and body with modern techniques
  • Supercharge your body ($97.00) – Charge your immune system, best exercises, foods to adopt
  • Includes 20 helpful videos
  • 1-day detox miracle guide – ($67.00) – only need to use it once a month. Flush out the toxins. Designed to flush out all heavy metals and other toxins. ¹
  • 10 ways to turbocharge your Testosterone ($67.00)

More disclaimers:

Results will vary. But these ingredients will have same effects on everyone. Guaranteed. This remedy will work for you. Absolutely. But you have the 60-day money-back guarantee. “The information presented on or through the Website is made available solely for general information purposes. The Company is not making any warranty about the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this information. Any reliance you place on that information is strictly at your own risk. The Company disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on those materials by you or any other visitor to the Website, or by anyone who may be informed of any of its contents.”

In other words, “Let the buyer beware.”

So what’s in this miracle formulation?

  • Ginseng
  • Vitamin E
  • Ginko Biloba
  • Oat Straw
  • Vitamin B3
  • Hawthorn
  • Muira Puama
  • Epimedium Saggitatum
  • Tribulus
  • Catuaba
  • Damiana

All of these ingredients are claimed in various places to have all sorts of health benefits. None, if any, have been rigorously scientifically proven with double-blind, randomized, placebo-based trials. But the herbal supplement global market is a $30 billion affair, and far too many producers want a slice of that pie regardless of how effective their products are, and as long as they include the “nutritional Miranda,” the FDA can’t touch them.

It’s hard for the average consumer to get accurate information about any given product. Go to google and type in “Fluxactive Complete scam or legit” and you’ll get pages and pages of things like this… all placed by affiliate marketers. The bottom line of these pages is “Buy this product now so that I can get a commission on the sale.” And these are the top results, thanks to black-hat SEO techniques which have essentially ruined searches on the internet.

Even YouTube is awash with deceptive videos:

And there are literally pages of these, each posted by affiliate marketers. Each one of these claims to show that FluxActive Complete is a scam, but in the end they recommend that you purchase the product through their affiliate link, hoping to make a commission on the sale.

From a product analysis website in India:

“There’s a lot of attention around Fluxactive, so is it a fraud or a real health supplement? At this point, it’s uncertain. What is known is that the product has not yet been subjected to scientific testing, and some users have reported negative consequences after using it, such as a rash and nausea. While Fluxactive Complete may be beneficial to some people, it is not a full health care and should be treated with caution.”

The sad part of this whole deal is that there are virtually thousands of herbal nostrums, placebos, and nocebos² being marketed in this way. Until the nutritional market can be appropriately regulated, which means repealing Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, Nutritional supplements need to be treated like drugs, not food. Sadly, the lobbying effort to preserve this status is massive, given the quantities of money to be made on vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements.

The sad part of this whole deal is that there are virtually thousands of herbal nostrums, placebos, and nocebos² being marketed in this way. Until the nutritional market can be appropriately regulated, which means repealing Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, Nutritional supplements need to be treated like drugs, not food. Sadly, the lobbying effort to preserve this status is massive, given the quantities of money to be made on vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements.

The bottom line: Be careful out there, and make good choices with your health. Don’t waste money on compounds that are advertised in this manner. Consult your doctor. If this were really an effective way of treating enlarged prostates, the medical machine would be all over it.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Footnotes

¹ Heavy metal poisoning is treated with chelating agents such as:

  • Dimercaprol.
  • Dimercaptosuccinic acid (succimer).
  • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA).
  • Penicillamine.

.Heavy metal poisoning cannot be treated with herbs, minerals, or other “natural” remedies, despite many such claims.

² A nocebo is a treatment that has negative effects upon the patient rather than the desired benefit.

4 responses to “The supplement industry is out of control

    • It was Orrin Hatch. Because of legislation passed in 1994, the Food and Drug Administration has been unable to demand testing before a dietary supplement is brought to market or to stop companies from making unproven claims. Congress is the only one who can reverse that bill, and the nutritional lobby pumps millions of dollars into congressional war chests on a regular basis.

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