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My mom spends $40/mo on that shady "Protandim" vitamin stuff

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Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,555
20
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My brother-in-law somehow managed to convince himself to become a distributor of the stuff, and in turn, he convinced my mom to start paying $40 a month for it.

Like any other multi-level marketing scheme, it concerns me. It seems strange that there exists this magical "free radical" vitamin supplement that the medical community has somehow "overlooked". The only way to get it is to pay a ridiculous amount of money through multi-level distribution.

Upon further research, it's even more concerning that the pill has NEVER been evaluated by the FDA, and the combination of herbs used in the drug have absolutely no established/known benefit from antioxidant effects.

It's also concerning because my mom isn't exactly in a great financial situation, and I hate to see her throw money away monthly on something she really doesn't need. She claims that she feels better from the drug, however I want to tell her that instead she should eat more fruits and vegetables, and have a lower calorie intake. Then she would feel just as good, if not better.

What are your thoughts? What should I tell her?

Edit: Maybe I should have taken this to Health and Fitness. But maybe I could get some good advice here nonetheless.

I am restoring FrankR's posts to their original state in case the FTC just happens to want to take a look. It's not nice to try to fool ATOT.

Admin allisolm
 
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Rifter

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,518
744
126
I thought if it was being sold for human consumtion the FDA had to approve it?
 

brblx

Diamond Member
Mar 23, 2009
5,501
1
0
not for supplements iirc. dont ask me what makes it such. pretty sure ephedrine flew as a 'supplement' for a while.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
55,266
3,716
126
Looking at your location...I'm not surprised.

The Mormons seem to be the biggest fans of MLM marketing/scams in the country.

FWIW, nearly none of the "supplements" are properly evaluated by the FDA. It's a loophole the shady companies sleaze through with their outrageous claims and promises. How else could "Smiling Bob" have made millions?
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,555
20
81
I thought if it was being sold for human consumtion the FDA had to approve it?
Doing a quick search, "Like all dietary supplements, Protandim has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and "is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

I don't know if "evaluate" == "approve" in this situation. But it looks like the FDA doesn't need to bother with dietary supplements. http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/ConsumerInformation/ucm110417.htm
 

Kanalua

Diamond Member
Jun 14, 2001
4,860
1
0
The Mormons seem to be the biggest fans of MLM marketing/scams in the country.
Sadly, this is true. As a Mormon who lived in Utah for 10 years, I hate getting invites to these stupid MLM meetings!

Here in Hawaii the MLM thing is big, too (not Mormons, just people here in general). A couple of friends of ours are Melaleuca freaks. They want you to subscribe to their product line for $60 a month!!! I'm an attorney and I've been hit up by PrePaid Legal Services people quite a few times. Really? I need to pay for an overpriced attorney referral MLM?
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,555
20
81
Looking at your location...I'm not surprised.

The Mormons seem to be the biggest fans of MLM marketing/scams in the country.

FWIW, nearly none of the "supplements" are properly evaluated by the FDA. It's a loophole the shady companies sleaze through with their outrageous claims and promises. How else could "Smiling Bob" have made millions?
Yup, both my mom and my bro-in-law are mormon. I extracted myself from the church years ago but most of my family is still LDS.

I'm afraid it will be tough to talk some sense into my mom. But I think I could do it with the correct reasoning.
 

FrankR

Banned
Jul 17, 2011
34
0
0
The medical community has not somehow "overlooked" it, in fact, following an ABC Primetime TV show on Protandim in 2005, 25+ universities picked up on it, and have been doing research on Protandim including:

Louisiana State University
University of Colorado
Harvard Medical
Michigan State University
Ohio State University
University of Kentucky
Virginia Commonwealth University
University of Minnesota
etc..

It was even published in the American Heart Association's journal of medicine, who's board of editors are all doctors. Today many doctors know about it because of network marketing (you think Pfizer is going to tell them about it?), and give it to their patients. Many also before 2009 (when they converted from retail to MLM), found about it, and joined the Protandim 'cause', early on. Just because it wasn't brought to the attention of most doctors by a big pharmacutical company doesn't mean it doesn't work.

You could have bought it at GNC for $50, where ridiculous amounts of money went to pay GNC. Now you can get it at $40., its not in GNC anymore, because GNC couldn't sell it fast enough to make it profitable. But lets be fair, the medications your mother likely takes are WELL OVER $40, where ridiculous amounts of money are going to big pharmasutical companies already.

You say the combination of herbs used in Protandim have absolutely no established/known benefit from antioxidant effects, that's completely not true. There are 8 peer reviewed and published studies that show it does. Of course if your waiting on a 10,000 FDA style clinical you won't find that, but it doesn't mean it doesn't work.

You might not be a fan of network marketing there is a lot of crazy stuff out there, but Protandim is actually validated by some fairly respectible third parties. The company is publicly traded (LFVN), and there is real science behind it, frankly like nothing else in the supplements world. The only negative stuff I've seen is posted by anonomous people hidding behing a blog or two... in comparison Dr McCord one of the most respected Phd's in free radical biology, with credentials that are off the charts.

Do some research about it.. search pubmed.gov type protandim.

Watch the video at http://www.theabcvideo.com/ and see for yourself what its about before you judge your mom or brother in law too harshly.

Your Mom may not be able to afford it, but if it really works in her, she may not be able not to do without it. I've personally met people who take Protandim with the most amazing life changing stories, its good to be skeptical if you don't know much about it, but its even worse to reject it because of how its sold today.

You should be more skeptical about supplements sold typical retail where the profits are consumed by big corporations with huge media advertisements, with no science validation whatsoever.
http://www.studynrf2.com/blog/index.php/2011/06/protandim-and-the-fda/
 
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lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,005
4,057
126
Lots O'Stuff
Care to share some of these peer reviewed papers? I don't care enough to look myself.

For the OP... If your mother feels she's getting value from the pills, let her be. Even if it's just placebo, if it works, it works. Personally, I'm not a fan of supplements, and think a proper diet and exercise will make you as good as you'll get, but for ~$1 per day, who cares? People waste more money than that on worse things...
 

iGas

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2009
6,240
1
0
The medical community has not somehow "overlooked" it, in fact, following an ABC Primetime TV show on Protandim in 2005, 25+ universities picked up on it, and have been doing research on Protandim including:

Louisiana State University
University of Colorado
Harvard Medical
Michigan State University
Ohio State University
University of Kentucky
Virginia Commonwealth University
University of Minnesota
etc..

It was even published in the American Heart Association's journal of medicine, who's board of editors are all doctors. Today many doctors know about it because of network marketing (you think Pfizer is going to tell them about it?), and give it to their patients. Many also before 2009 (when they converted from retail to MLM), found about it, and joined the Protandim 'cause', early on. Just because it wasn't brought to the attention of most doctors by a big pharmacutical company doesn't mean it doesn't work.

You could have bought it at GNC for $50, where ridiculous amounts of money went to pay GNC. Now you can get it at $40., its not in GNC anymore, because GNC couldn't sell it fast enough to make it profitable. But lets be fair, the medications your mother likely takes are WELL OVER $40, where ridiculous amounts of money are going to big pharmasutical companies already.

You say the combination of herbs used in Protandim have absolutely no established/known benefit from antioxidant effects, that's completely not true. There are 8 peer reviewed and published studies that show it does. Of course if your waiting on a 10,000 FDA style clinical you won't find that, but it doesn't mean it doesn't work.

You might not be a fan of network marketing there is a lot of crazy stuff out there, but Protandim is actually validated by some fairly respectible third parties. The company is publicly traded (LFVN), and there is real science behind it, frankly like nothing else in the supplements world. The only negative stuff I've seen is posted by anonomous people hidding behing a blog or two... in comparison Dr McCord one of the most respected Phd's in free radical biology, with credentials that are off the charts.

Do some research about it.. search pubmed.gov type protandim.

Watch the video at http://www.theabcvideo.com/ and see for yourself what its about before you judge your mom or brother in law too harshly.

Your Mom may not be able to afford it, but if it really works in her, she may not be able not to do without it. I've personally met people who take Protandim with the most amazing life changing stories, its good to be skeptical if you don't know much about it, but its even worse to reject it because of how its sold today.

You should be more skeptical about supplements sold typical retail where the profits are consumped by big corporations with huge media advertisements, with no science validation whatsoever.

The FDA does know about Protandim, see more from here:
http://www.studynrf2.com/blog/index.php/2011/06/protandim-and-the-fda/
I'm not sure if this link below is correct or not but the ingredients are not exactly difficult to get, and I have eaten all 4 ingredients in natural and/or extract form except for thistle.

Protandim Scam?

Protandim... a Horrible Value

Since all the items that make up Protandim can be easily found online, I decided to look to see if it is a good value for the money. I found many places selling Protandim $45 for 30 pills online (or $55 at Amazon - Protandim, 30 caplets). That makes its cost about $1.50 (or more) a pill. As for the five ingredients in Protandim here's what they are, and their prices on Amazon:

Milk Thistle - Available at Amazon.com for $23.10 for 400 pills - Milk Thistle Extract, Maximum Strength, 200-Count Bottles (Pack of 2). The cost is 5.8 CENTS per pill.
Tumeric - Available at Amazon for $4.00 for 100 pills - Turmeric 720 mg 100 Caps - This works out to be 4 cents per pill. Of course you can just get this huge jar of the spice for $4 - Turmeric powder.
Green Tea - Available at Amazon for $13.29 for 250 pills - NOW Foods Green Tea Extract, 250 Capsules / 400mg - That works out to be 5.3 cents a pill. Green Tea itself (in its natural liquid form) is very cheap too.
Ashwagandha - Available at Amazon for $20.38 for 240 pills - Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry) 570 mg Tablets' 120 tablets (Pack of 2) - That's the most expensive so far at 8 cents a pill.
Bacopa - I'm with you Angela when you said, "I have no idea wtf bacopa is" - However, once again pick it up at Amazon for $13.76 for 125 pills - Planetary Formulas Bacopa Extract, 225 mg, Tablets, 240 tablets - Though Amazon says the price is 6 cents a tablet, my math says it comes out to a whooping 11 cents a tablet.
(Note: All price accurate as of January 25th, 2011. Of course they will vary slightly depending when you are reading this.)

Add up all five ingredients and it comes to 34 cents. It seems like a bargain compared to $1.50 a pill right? Well, it gets better. Protandim is 675mg of a secret blend of the ingredients. The quantities that I mentioned above were over 2000mg of a known blend. You get three times as much product for nearly 1/5th the price! You should be able to save money over the ingredients I found, I didn't spend time searching for the best price.

So even if you believe Protandim is the Fountain of Youth, buy it the way I suggested above and you'll save more than $400 a year for the rest of you life. No need to thank me - just send money via Paypal to lazymanandmoney@gmail.com ;-).

As a final note on this a Protandim supporter might bring up the quality of the ingredients above (in fact one person did that in the comments below). This is a silly argument since we don't know the quality of the ingredients in Protandim.

Protandim Financial Information

When I realized that LifeVantage was publicly traded, I decided to look into the financials. Clearly a company that has developed the Fountain of Youth must be doing extremely well. By extremely well, I mean, "better than Google" well. What I found was not too shocking. LifeVantage is an over the counter (OTC) traded company (LFVN.OB), with a market capitalization of 25M. The cash flow of LifeVantage looks pretty dire for the company. They have 2M to their name and are losing 4.50M over the past 12 months. I never pretended to be a stock market wizard, but it looks like they need to raise more cash in less than 6 months at this rate.

Further Resources from Protandim Scams

Protandim, Miracle Claims, Scientific Breakthroughs, and the FTC
Nancy Leavitt, LifeVantage Pro 10 Distributor, Makes Illegal Claim That Protandim Made Her Skin Cancer Vanish
Chemins (Protandim’s Manufacturer) Used Illegal Manufacturing Practices
 

TakeNoPrisoners

Platinum Member
Jun 3, 2011
2,600
1
76
FAIL

Each post gets you paid $20? Sound familier? If it was so fantastic I think my doctor would have known about this stuff. I think I trust somebody NOT getting kickbacks for drugs over somebody who is paid to advertise it.
 

crab

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2001
7,331
19
81
I find it funny that my doctor actually did recommend this to me.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,555
20
81
I'm not sure if this link below is correct or not but the ingredients are not exactly difficult to get, and I have eaten all 4 ingredients in natural and/or extract form except for thistle.

Protandim Scam?
Interesting. I guess it just goes to show how ridiculously overpriced the pill is.

Also, that's one hell of a flamewar going on in the comments section. It's like watching an argument between atheists and the Westboro Baptist Church. Bookmarked for later.
 

Miramonti

Lifer
Aug 26, 2000
28,645
91
91
The medical community has not somehow "overlooked" it, in fact, following an ABC Primetime TV show on Protandim in 2005, 25+ universities picked up on it, and have been doing research on Protandim including:

Louisiana State University
University of Colorado
Harvard Medical
Michigan State University
Ohio State University
University of Kentucky
Virginia Commonwealth University
University of Minnesota
etc..

It was even published in the American Heart Association's journal of medicine, who's board of editors are all doctors. Today many doctors know about it because of network marketing (you think Pfizer is going to tell them about it?), and give it to their patients. Many also before 2009 (when they converted from retail to MLM), found about it, and joined the Protandim 'cause', early on. Just because it wasn't brought to the attention of most doctors by a big pharmacutical company doesn't mean it doesn't work.

You could have bought it at GNC for $50, where ridiculous amounts of money went to pay GNC. Now you can get it at $40., its not in GNC anymore, because GNC couldn't sell it fast enough to make it profitable. But lets be fair, the medications your mother likely takes are WELL OVER $40, where ridiculous amounts of money are going to big pharmasutical companies already.

You say the combination of herbs used in Protandim have absolutely no established/known benefit from antioxidant effects, that's completely not true. There are 8 peer reviewed and published studies that show it does. Of course if your waiting on a 10,000 FDA style clinical you won't find that, but it doesn't mean it doesn't work.

You might not be a fan of network marketing there is a lot of crazy stuff out there, but Protandim is actually validated by some fairly respectible third parties. The company is publicly traded (LFVN), and there is real science behind it, frankly like nothing else in the supplements world. The only negative stuff I've seen is posted by anonomous people hidding behing a blog or two... in comparison Dr McCord one of the most respected Phd's in free radical biology, with credentials that are off the charts.

Do some research about it.. search pubmed.gov type protandim.

Watch the video at http://www.theabcvideo.com/ and see for yourself what its about before you judge your mom or brother in law too harshly.

Your Mom may not be able to afford it, but if it really works in her, she may not be able not to do without it. I've personally met people who take Protandim with the most amazing life changing stories, its good to be skeptical if you don't know much about it, but its even worse to reject it because of how its sold today.

You should be more skeptical about supplements sold typical retail where the profits are consumped by big corporations with huge media advertisements, with no science validation whatsoever.

The FDA does know about Protandim, see more from here:
http://www.studynrf2.com/blog/index.php/2011/06/protandim-and-the-fda/
Defensive first post...lol.

I know a lot of people who have steered clear of it and are still alive. So there.
 

FrankR

Banned
Jul 17, 2011
34
0
0
FAIL

Each post gets you paid $20? Sound familier? If it was so fantastic I think my doctor would have known about this stuff. I think I trust somebody NOT getting kickbacks for drugs over somebody who is paid to advertise it.
Your doctors office is visited by drug salesman DAILY. Drug companies make deals with YOUR DOCTOR to prescribe their version of some blood pressure med, or cholesterol med etc.. your DOCTOR's office is getting a kick back from DRUG COMPANIES. MOST doctors offices receive a referral fee when they prescribe drugs in their offices. Does this make your doctor invalid? No, its just how marketing and product sales work.

As for Protandim, many Doctor's do know about it, but because their insurance's only allow them to deal in pharmaceuticals, you won't find your doctor giving your Protandim in the office.

Do some research about Protandim. Some of the most respected journals of medicine have published research on Protandim. E.g: http://bit.ly/qRYVpb
 

dud

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2001
7,633
72
91
If the FDA hasn't verified the manufacturer's claims then it has got to be good.
 

FrankR

Banned
Jul 17, 2011
34
0
0
I'm not sure if this link below is correct or not but the ingredients are not exactly difficult to get, and I have eaten all 4 ingredients in natural and/or extract form except for thistle.
Yes its true you can make your own Protandim if you want.

http://www.studynrf2.com/blog/index.php/2011/07/protandim-is-overpriced/

People can make their own coffee for $20 per month as an example, but they go to Starbucks each and every day for $200 per month.

Side note: I first heard about Protandim from my doctor too.
 
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sourceninja

Diamond Member
Mar 8, 2005
8,807
64
91
Your doctors office is visited by drug salesman DAILY. Drug companies make deals with YOUR DOCTOR to prescribe their version of some blood pressure med, or cholesterol med etc.. your DOCTOR's office is getting a kick back from DRUG COMPANIES. MOST doctors offices receive a referral fee when they prescribe drugs in their offices. Does this make your doctor invalid? No, its just how marketing and product sales work.

As for Protandim, many Doctor's do know about it, but because their insurance's only allow them to deal in pharmaceuticals, you won't find your doctor giving your Protandim in the office.

Do some research about Protandim. Some of the most respected journals of medicine have published research on Protandim. E.g: http://bit.ly/qRYVpb
My doctor has prescribed me using all sorts of home remedies to cure illnesses (for example, using a tiny amount of bleach in a foot bath to help cure a infection on my toe, using apple cider vinegar to cure ringworm, etc. He's kept me alive so far, I'll trust him over the internet.
 

BeauJangles

Lifer
Aug 26, 2001
13,943
1
0
If the FDA hasn't verified the manufacturer's claims then it has got to be good.
The FDA doesn't evaluate supplements. Period.

It doesn't matter whether you buy from GNC, Amazon, or the whacko who launched a website last week... none of them are evaluated by the FDA and, if they say they are, that's completely illegal.
 

Fausto

Elite Member
Nov 29, 2000
26,521
2
0
Frank must be one of those guys who works for a company and is paid to search for instances where a product is being bashed and then swoop in to defend them. I had this happen when I was yelling about getting fucked over by AutoZone a while back.
 

BeauJangles

Lifer
Aug 26, 2001
13,943
1
0
Frank must be one of those guys who works for a company and is paid to search for instances where a product is being bashed and then swoop in to defend them. I had this happen when I was yelling about getting fucked over by AutoZone a while back.
Yup. MLM schemes are sketchy, even if the products are legitimate.
 
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