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Protandim

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Hutan, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    I have heard about Protandim, a supplement in pill form. The cost is NZ$40 per week.

    It is sold through a multi-level marketing structure. I have heard that people are being paid for sales with skin care products that are part of the Life Vantage range; they have to sell the skin care products to make money.

    Apparently Protandim will be making presentations around New Zealand very soon. It was claimed that the product reduces oxidative stress and ensures mitochondria are healthy. It was claimed that the product is totally safe.

    This review of Protandim looks useful:
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/i-was-wrong-about-protandim/

    The multi-level marketing approach is a particularly clever one; higher level marketers can make all sorts of suggestions about efficacy verbally that are amplified as they are passed down the chain. But, there's no record of the claims that are made.

    Here's the New Zealand site
    https://nz.lifevantage.com/products/protandim-dual/
    Edited to remove details that might identify people.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  2. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I choose not to question the efficacy of anything sold, repeatedly, by MLM marketing.

    The reasons for this are simple;

    The whole point of pyramid schemes (which includes MLM) is to make money for those at the top, at the expense of those on lower levels, which includes end customers.

    What is sold is completely irrelevant - if the idea was to make money selling something then different marketing techniques would be employed, the idea is to make money out of the distribution chain, not out of the 'product'.

    As for the ingredients - surely everyone with ME has tried all of them, there's nothing that isn't easily available in there.

    I can't see a particular ratio of various things making any difference in this case.

    So it's just another overpriced supplement, with somewhat dubious 'evidence', with the added problem of its marketing.

    milk thistle, causes me issues with a few days,
    as far as I know ashwagandha is sort of restricted in some countries because of its side effect profile (although it had no noticeable effect on me),
    green tea extract is also questionable re side effects.

    The mixture is probably not benign in all cases.
     
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Beware if they start offering "money back offers" for people to try it for a period of time.

    That's what happened when "Forever Living" began to target ME groups in the 1990s with their aloe vera juice claims. It was the usual thing. Someone who claimed to have had ME starting joining groups. They offered money back to anyone who wanted to try it. What could possibly go wrong?

    PWME who did buy it and found that they got worse had the money back claim refused because they didn't complete a course of it. I wasn't aware of anyone who recovered or got their money back in the end.
     
  4. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the warning, @Hutan. Is there any law in New Zealand about advertising and selling products like this and making medical claims?
     
  5. JES

    JES Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    According to Wikipedia:
    I can buy those herbs individually, they are all very accessible and cheap, so I see no reason why you would want to buy this expensive product even under the hypothetical that it was somehow proven to work.
     
  6. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd guess if challenged they would say it's the particular active ingredients extracted from them, and the dosage that is significant. Which of course is nonsense, since it hasn't been shown in any clinical trial to be effective.
     
  7. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LifeVantage Corporation (Nasdaq: LFVN) today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended June 30, 2019.
    • Fourth quarter revenue in the Americas decreased 2.9% year over year, while revenue in Asia/Pacific & Europe increased 24.4% year over year;
    Fiscal Year 2019 Highlights:
    • Revenue increased 11.2% to $226.0 million;

    • Revenue in the Americas increased 7.7% and revenue in Asia/Pacific & Europe increased 21.6%;

    • Adjusted EBITDA increased 22.4% to $18.2 million;
    "We are proud to report a strong finish to fiscal 2019, generating the highest annual revenue in the Company’s history while exceeding our fiscal 2019 adjusted EPS guidance,” stated LifeVantage President and Chief Executive Officer, Darren Jensen. “We continue to see positive trends in our active member counts, reflecting successful execution of each of our 2019 strategic initiatives. We have also expanded our geographic footprint and enhanced our innovative product offering.

    Good question; I don't think MLM marketing is illegal here. I guess LifeVantage learned things from the FDA process in 2017 where they were told they couldn't say that it helps Alzheimers, cancer etc; I can't find anything like that.
     
  8. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm pretty sure there are rules around advertising that say you are not allowed to claim your product treats or cures anything. But the rules are so weak that a sentence like this makes it all legal:
     
  9. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Personal experience with the individual components would confirm this.

    I've never tried milk thistle. Ashwagandha, green tea and turmeric had zero effect for me, neither positive nor negative.

    Bacopa caused nausea, cramps and what WebMD calls
    I don't know how dangerous that is but it sure is unpleasant. My bottle of bacopa quickly went into the bin.
     
  10. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Green tea has caffeine which is a no no for me I feel worse overall after an initial few hours boost because it aggravates my insomnia. But might explain if people feel perked up by this supplement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  11. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    The data for what is in a cup of green tea is all over the place, but it looks like there might be 100 mg of EGCG (a key active chemical) and around 25 mg of caffeine.

    The total amount of 'green tea extract' in Protandim's tablet is 75mg, so the content of any component is going to be less than 75mg. I found it stated that 98% of the (Protandim's) green tea extract is polyphenols and 45% is one specific polyphenol, EGCG, so that's 34 mg of EGCG, substantially less than what you would get from a cup of green tea.

    Caffeine isn't a polyphenol, so at most, if the stated content is correct, there is 1.5mg of caffeine in a tablet. Way less than what you would get from a cup of green tea.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  12. Subtropical Island

    Subtropical Island Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Googled pyramid schemes
    https://comcom.govt.nz/consumers/dealing-with-typical-situations/pyramid-schemes
    But not sure if this counts as a ‘gimmick’ product - see the link. Maybe. I’ll leave that to someone else with more spoons.

    There is of course consumer protection law (https://www.consumerprotection.govt...umer-issues/misleading-prices-or-advertising/) but I imagine it’s sadly covered by @Ravn pointing out the disingenuous disclaimer. If you’re clued up enough to complain, you’re clued up enough not to buy in the first place so you won’t be able to complain.

    There’s advertising standards authority complaints but that’s industry self regulation and is really just going to mean they tidy up their language to cover their butts. Good for serious breaches only.
     
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  13. Subtropical Island

    Subtropical Island Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh, and there’s medsafe:
    https://medsafe.govt.nz/regulatory/DietarySupplements/Regulation.asp
    Which says it has to be a substitute for a food you might consume as part of your diet, not impinge on biosecurity (can’t be a new plant or animal or other organism to the country and adequate measures taken for organisms which might impact our primary industries -farming), contain any medicines (specifically including folic acid) nor controlled drugs, nor make any health claims.

    This is the guideline for therapeutic substances: https://medsafe.govt.nz/regulatory/Guideline/GRTPNZ/manufacture-of-medicines.pdf
    Which appears to accept a list of overseas authorities certifications.

    Stopping now as likely to be getting OT.
     
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  14. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks SI

    It could be worth checking out claims of dietary supplements like Protandim against that meaning. Possibly also LP and its knockoffs.
     
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  15. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I suspect it all comes down to precise wording and legal interpretation of it.

    My magnesium supplement (which I take for other reasons, not ME) states: "helps to relax muscles and to maintain an already normal blood flow. It can also support a steady heart rhythm and a healthy immune system, as well as keeping bones strong".

    Then there's the standard "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease".

    To me the first quote suggests the supplement can prevent, alleviate, treat, or compensate for a defect, and that it is capable of and intended to influence or modify a physiological process. But I suspect weasel phrasing like "supports", "helps", and "already normal" are legally interpreted differently, especially together with the second quote.
     

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