Scientific Proof

     To continue our talk about supplements, everyone claims to have the best supplement on the market.  No one would advertise otherwise because it would be financial suicide.  Who can you believe when you’re not a scientist and don’t understand all the technical stuff?  You have to find a reputable company that can scientifically prove or back up all of their statements and claims.

Scientific publications:

The ultimate in scientific proof is articles or studies accepted for publication in peer-reviewed professional journals.  Only a very small percentage of articles submitted are ever accepted for publication.  Articles are only published once the scientific community has reviewed and agreed with the accuracy of the information presented.  Most supplement companies never have even one article accepted for publication.

Scientific studies:

*Be careful of studies done only in test tubes, cell culture dishes, or on animals

*Look for clinical studies and trials done on real people with real scientifically proven results

*Double blind studies, where neither the participant nor the tester knows who’s receiving the test product versus a placebo, aren’t needed to measure nutrient delivery or absorption because this can be done by simple lab/blood/urine tests.  They are necessary to measure a health outcome (decreased pain, improved mood).

*Look for independent clinical and laboratory studies done by researchers from leading universities.

*Studies must be done on the finished product by that particular company.  Most advertising just quotes studies done on products made by other companies, or studies done on an individual ingredient only.  They have no research or proof that their own product actually works.  Unfortunately, these marketing tricks are very common and very misleading to consumers.

Beware of:

*Comments such as “our scientists have shown” because this means the company’s own staff thinks so, but the scientific community at large may not agree, or the findings may not be represented in a totally ethical manner.

*Comments such as “this product contains ingredient X which has been shown to” because this just means the ingredient may have been proven to do something BUT it doesn’t prove the ingredient as made in their product has been proven to have the same results.  These comments just piggy-back on the success of others and prove nothing about their particular product.

*Advertising journals, because these will print articles for a price and may have no credibility.

*Articles in newspapers, magazines, and books.  Are they factual?  Proven?  Where did the information come from?  Who’s paying for the study or the article?  Who’s behind it?  Does the article just help sell the paper or magazine?

*Companies who base their credibility on one particular product.  While this one product may be beneficial, this does not guarantee the effectiveness of all the other products.

What about reports that claim a particular vitamin may be detrimental or pose a danger?  The first question you need to ask is “were tests and research done on a synthetically produced vitamin or vitamin isolate or were they done on a whole-food, balanced, high-quality vitamin?”  Reports discussing potential negative effects of vitamin/mineral supplements are almost always done on synthetic products or isolates.  And yes, these types of supplements could have detrimental side effects, especially when taken in high amounts.  Hopefully you know this is because they are synthetic, isolates or chemically produced.  They are fake reproductions of Mother Nature.  They don’t adhere to the essential “laws of nature”.  High-quality, pure, whole-food supplements do not have the same detrimental side-effects as synthetically produced products.

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