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Old 03-28-2012, 12:05 AM
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Default "The 7 - Supplement Industry Sins" P.I

"The 7 - Supplement Industry Sins"

by Crain, R.

It seems like there's a pill or powder to do virtually anything these days. The industry is full of shenanigans and hijinks! Unscrupulous supplement salesmen will say and do anything to take your hard earned money. Unfortunately, there are a few tricks that have become commonplace. Now, I'm not saying that the majority of companies use tricks to sell their products. It is true there are many credible companies out there and they do have "truth in advertising". By the way, there is nothing wrong with good marketing. It's empty and exaggerated promises of muscle mass and fat loss that I take issue with. So let's review some of the most prominent sins of the industry.

SIN #1: Before and After Pictures - This is one marketing tool that has spiraled out of control.

Truth: First, it was pictures showing drastic changes in 16 weeks, then 8 weeks, then only 4 weeks, now there is a product ad that shows before and after photos after only three days! That is ridiculous. Of course, the fine print says stuff like "results not typical" and "with a strenuous exercise and diet program". There are only a few credible before and after ads that can be trusted. Now that everyone is doing before and after contests, it's hard to sift through legitimacy and hype. Keep in mind, that many of these before and after stars were in great shape to begin with and just got out of shape for the pictures. It's unbelievable but some of those pictures are actually reversed! If before and after pictures look too good to be true, they probably are. Companies are selling the dream of a great body in their ads so they have to show VERY dramatic results with their products. That way, you will buy into the hype and dream about doing the same thing--buying their product of course. Of course, many products are legit and can help you maximize your fitness efforts but just be careful about exaggerated before and after pictures.

SIN #2: Proprietary Blend - This is when the exact amounts of ingredients are not listed, only the total amount of the blend is stated.

Truth : The manufacturers guilty of this will explain that they cannot list the exact amounts of the ingredients because their formula is so special that they do not want it to be copied. What a crock! Credible companies are not afraid of being copied. Imitation is the best form of flattery I say! Besides, most people trust the original. The proprietary blends just hurt the consumer because he or she cannot tell what is exactly in the product. One of the sneaky things about listing a bunch of ingredients in a proprietary blend is that a cheaper ingredient could be prevalent while the more expensive ingredients in the blend could be very low and hidden. For example, if you have an 800 mg proprietary blend of acetyl l-carnitine, green tea extract, guarana, and L-tyrosine, the blend may be mostly green tea extract as it is fairly inexpensive and the other ingredients are just there in small amounts as "window dressing". Protein blends are also proprietary these days so that the less expensive whey protein concentrate can be the majority of the blend yet whey isolate is also listed giving the consumer a false sense of purity and high quality use of ingredients. Most credible manufacturers will tell you exactly what is in their products AND the exact amounts. They have nothing to hide.

SIN #3: Borrowed Research - Using someone else's funded product research to validate the claims of your own product.

Truth: THIS one really chaps my hide! Many companies like EAS, Pinnacle, and Muscletech actually sponsor a lot of quality clinical research at good universities. Some other companies simply "borrow" this research and claim that since they have the same ingredients in their own products that the results will be the same as shown in the studies. This is a problem. Quality and purity of ingredients is always an issue. When a company invests in clinical research on its products that tells me they are credible. The makers of "snake oil" oops I mean liquid serum creatine, are guilty of using research on powdered creatine on their web site to support their liquid product. Many companies will reference general studies on an ingredient to support their own products. Sometimes, the studies that are referenced used high amounts of an ingredient (or even a different form of that ingredient) while the product being supported by those studies uses low amounts. A lot of companies use a study published in 1995 by Welbourne entitled "Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load" to support the claim that their pure glutamine product increases GH levels. But the study had only 9 people in it and only a one dose response was measured. Also, the L-glutamine was mixed with a cola drink containing sodium bicarbonate so it was not pure L-glutamine. Anyway, you get the point. It is really important to scrutinize clinical research used to support products. Many companies really think that since the consumer may not have a scientific background, they will be impressed with a
research reference section or terms like "clinically proven". Many of these so called scientifically based products have "in-house" pilot studies to support them and not independent, peer reviewed published studies which are much more reliable. Ask companies questions about the research they are using to support their products and get copies of the full text studies if possible. Credible companies should have studies on file or will refer you to places where you can get them like medical libraries.

Sin #4 : Patent Pending - This means that a patent application has been filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a special ingredient, combination of ingredients, or claims associated with a product or ingredient. A patent helps protect a unique concept or ingredient from being copied by other companies or people without the consent of the patent holder.

Truth : It is definitely not easy to get a patent. It takes time and there is a lot of scrutiny involved by the patent reviewers. However, to file a patent and hence claim "patent pending" only takes a few things: a good idea, around $800, visiting their web site at United States Patent and Trademark Office , and following step by step instructions listed on the site. That's it. Of course, you can always get a lawyer to file but that obviously costs more. So when marketers claim that their product is patent pending, it is not that impressive. Patent pending just means that the paperwork has been filed and is being reviewed and it may or may not get approved. This is a lengthy process. Now once they actually receive the patent, then that is something fairly credible even though there are issues with this too. Just don't be fooled by "patent pending" as you too can have a pending patent by going to United States Patent and Trademark Office!

TO BE CONTINUE...
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
SIN #3: Borrowed Research - Using someone else's funded product research to validate the claims of your own product.
I have to laugh at this one.. Cause i bet all the comaonies mentioned have used someone else's research before.. I would venture a guess here and say they used someone else's research to even look into a compound.. Some univeristy's or scientists work ..


It only makes sense.. .. If 3 companies conduct seperate research and all have the exact same findings.. Why would anyone else test the same ingrediant in the same manor.. What would be the need or what would they expect to be different???

It's certainly not cost effective. Nor is it needed..



Quote:
SIN #2: Proprietary Blend - This is when the exact amounts of ingredients are not listed, only the total amount of the blend is stated.

Truth : The manufacturers guilty of this will explain that they cannot list the exact amounts of the ingredients because their formula is so special that they do not want it to be copied. What a crock! Credible companies are not afraid of being copied. Imitation is the best form of flattery I say! Besides, most people trust the original. The proprietary blends just hurt the consumer because he or she cannot tell what is exactly in the product.
isn't this flattery contridicting the other statement above that i quoted
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