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Micheal Lovitch: Supplement Shams, The Dr. Oz Effect, & The Future of Custom Formulas

Posted by | August 08, 2014 | Podcasts | 4 Comments
Micheal-lovitch

Watch or listen to this week’s episode with Michael Lovitch…

 


Michael Lovitch has always been interested in the brain,
starting with his graduate school thesis on hypnosis as a normal avenue for human communication. Not the weird mystic guru kinds of things…he doesn’t believe in that stuff. But he focused on the good people with good expectations, and helped launch The Hypnosis Network.

He’d seen all kinds of people selling quack hypnosis programs on the internet, and thought he could offer something real. If Michael is anything, it’s real. So when he started consulting with doctors for The Hypnosis Network, he saw them cutting corners with supplements and couldn’t understand why they’d do that.

Well, aside from a little thing called money…because, sadly, for too many out there it’s all about the bottom line.

Fast forward a bit and Michael co-founds RealDose with Doctor Steve, a supplement company focused on giving you the exact dose of the exact plant species using the exact same extraction process as was used in the double-blind studies proving the herb’s effectiveness on real human beings.

Unlike the guys on late-night TV advertising free trials of their miracle elixir for just $4.95 shipping and handling, Michael takes his supplements very seriously.

In this podcast, Michael and I have a very candid conversation about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the supplement industry. We not only hear Michael’s thoughts on futuristic “3-D printable supplement packs,” but we also find out why he’s off chasing wild blueberries in Alaska.

On the show, we talk about:

  • How to stop getting scammed by online supplement shams.
  • The importance of Dr. Oz.
  • Why 90% of consumers can love a supplement, and 10% hate it!
  • Why Michael’s a “double-blind study” kind of guy.
  • How Alaskan blueberries could help battle childhood diabetes.
  • The future of health: Printable personalized supplements.

SHOW NOTES

Apparently it’s super easy to start a shoddy supplement company. You just go to an expo, pick up a manufacturer, slap your label on the bottle, write up a fake review and put it on the internet. Then you mark the product way up just so you can sell it for “the cost of shipping and handling.”

Often times, these low-cost supplement companies pay a dollar to the manufacturer and charge you five dollars shipping of offer it for $69.95 with a thirty day money back guarantee. But they have no location and don’t answer their help lines. Guess who’s winning?

Here are the six steps shoddy supplement companies take to sell you an inferior product online:

  • 1. You’re innocently checking out a news story on a reputable site like CNN, and you see a “Related Story” in the sidebar. If it takes you off of the CNN web site, it’s probably a fake news story about some “miracle cure.”
  • 2. Somewhere in the news story, you’re linked to a fake review site where the effects of the supplement are too good to be true!
  • 3. You will probably see “before and after” pictures, or the advertising will use sex appeal to sell you.
  • 4. The product says, “As seen on Dr. Oz” or Oprah, or some other celebrity. Unless it’s that celebrity’s product, they’re probably illegally using the name just to sell to you.
  • 5. They’ll offer up a free trial for just the low, low cost of shipping or give you a 30 day money back guarantee. Seriously, if the company doesn’t give you at least a year to see results of a supplement, the guarantee is worthless.
  • 6. They put you on auto-shipment with an option to cancel any time. Problem is, it’s nearly impossible to reach anyone to cancel the shipments.

Let’s talk for a minute about Dr. Oz. He was recently suing people that are selling millions of dollars in supplements by using his endorsement without permission… thinking specifically of garcinia. The thing is, what Dr. Oz does is a lot of work. He has to vet guests for his show, find new guest, research new content, make sure everything he promotes is well-tested and his information is accurate. What he does is a lot of hard work, and people take advantage of that.

What Dr. Oz and people like him do is important work because it gets people interested and talking. His show starts a buzz. What a good supplement company does is use that buzz as a starting point for their own in-depth research and development of a quality product.

Science vs. Real Science: There are great companies out there that have sort of a renegade approach to supplements. There are a lot of different ways to test the efficacy of a product. There’s the anecdotal sort of personal testing, which is the adventurous type. Then there’s the “real science,” which is the controlled research using petri dishes, rats, monkeys, or humans.

RealDose uses only double-blind clinical human studies to develop their quality products.

Michael is clear that he would never say you should only take supplements that are double-blind studied or you’re going to die. Instead, he says to do your homework. Ask yourself what makes sense for what you’re trying to accomplish, and as long as it’s not harmful, then go for it.

Some of the supplements I use for myself are Designs for Health and Thorn. But I also use some adventurous ones, like Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof. We need the renegades out there blazing a trail!

What can we do to make sure we’re getting the real stuff? First, determine what you want to accomplish. Second, read the ingredients and the research to see if it’s at least matching your goals. Finally, look at the refund policy. Any reputable company will give you a year to see the effects of a product. You could also call the help line, see if anyone actually answers. Check out where the headquarters is located and see if it exists.

To build a good supplement, you must start with the right ingredients. Let’s take rhodiola, for example: The research on rhodiola is from plants in Siberia. The reason these plants are beneficial is because of the harsh environment in which they’re grown. Why? Because you’re buying the plant’s defense mechanism, the secondary phytochemicals that the plant uses to protect itself. These are going to be different from different parts of the world.

… and those ingredients must be properly extracted. If you don’t use the exact same extraction process as used in the experiment, you’re going to end up with a different result. Period.

Those ingredients must be in the exact same dosage. What happens is that when a supplement is plastered all over the news, then sham companies wanting to turn a profit source the herb from places like China and then put a very low dose of it into the actual pill you’re swallowing. That’s how the low quality supplements can be affordable. You’re not having to pay for the science or quality… but you’re not getting results, either.

Another example is fish oil. Fish oil is a really popular supplement. But let me tell you, it’s completely different if it comes from healthy fish living in the wild than farmed fish fed turkey feces and soy protein isolate while being pumped with antibiotics. Then, the extraction process has to be right. If it’s not the right formula, it will be less absorbable. Why would you pay for something your body isn’t able to absorb?

The challenge of being an individual is that not every supplement that worked in the clinical studies is going to work the same for your biochemical makeup. That’s why the future of wellness is moving toward printing your own personalized supplements at home. In the future, there will be no supplement companies.

Research is showing that our genetic profiles are not necessarily based on race, but that we each of us are completely unique. That means we are all going to absorb nutrients differently and have different reactions.

But don’t go get a genetic test now! Don’t run out onto the internet and start your search, because there’s no-one out there doing legitimate personalized medicine right now. We’re talking about the future, but it will be here soon enough. You’ll be able to go in, get tested, know exactly what you’ll need to take and get it in a neat little pack to go.

Beyond that, the future of supplements is a community hub where your personal supplement pack will “3-D print” daily from a clutch of ingredients. How cool is that?

His futuristic process will take out the guesswork. Right now, even with fantastic products, you’ll get 90% of people that love them and another 10% that think you’ve lied to them. That’s because even double-blind clinical studies can’t take each individual’s genetic makeup into consideration.

What is a double-blind study anyway? Okay, well a single-blind study tests against placebo. One group is given the supplement while the control group is given a placebo. In a double-blind study, the people being given the pills don’t even know. It eliminates the placebo effect, or the power of positive thought!

Are there ingredients we should stay away from? There are contraindications, for sure. Like, you should stay away from grapefruit extract if you’re on certain medications. Or, too much fish oil thins the blood. It really all depends on your issues.

The kind of testing we do at RealDose goes way beyond the FDA’s CG-P testing. If a product passes that, you’ll be safe. But RealDose goes a hundred times further, testing for toxins and making sure that ingredients are tested for pesticides and then testing again to be sure they’re not lying. Everything is double-tested.

Testing is really important to Michael. “I think toxins are neuro,” he says. “And I don’t want to do anything to mess up anyone’s brain by accident.” Thanks, we appreciate it.

What’s in the works for Michael now? Chasing blueberries in Alaska. RealDose is working on the best red and purple polyphenol drink ever! It solves the great fruit dilemma: people trying to lose weight need the polyphenols in fruits, but can’t have the sugar. This drink will have all the benefits without the sugar.

The berries are being sourced from Alaska! Remember, you’re harvesting these fruits for their secondary polyphenols (their defense mechanisms), so you want fruits from the most hostile environments. The more harsh the environment, the better that mechanism. Imagine being a blueberry trying to survive in Alaska!

The implication of this drink for kids with diabetes is that parents can give them this instead of sugary orange juice. Michael is really interested in kids’ health in regard to the development of this drink.

Dr. Steve, co-founder of RealDose, is out there with his hands in the research in development of the best probiotic for weight loss. They’ve got the two best probiotic researchers in the world working on this project, and Michael’s really excited about that, too.

To find out more about Michael’s company, please check out
www.realdosenutrition.com

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4 Comments

  • Aaron says:

    Really enjoyed this. Some of my friends ask me about supplements and this will tell them everything they need to know.

  • This was a really good example of why I am struggling to find supplements. I don’t have the money to do too much experimentation, but I am defiantly into bio-hacking. I know we are not to the stage of printing our own supplements, but what is the story with the hormone treatment clinics that are offering supplements, b12, amnions, etc in their treatments?

  • Tim says:

    Very interesting podcast. Kudos to the guest for making an effort to create clean supplements that make sense. In the absence of real food, these supplements are probably a better alternative to the mass market cheapo supplements. My takeaway from this podcast, however, is to take as much fresh and whole vegetables, fruits and berries as possible, and maybe take such pills only when fresh whole foods are not readily available.

    One of the lines on this podcast “…you’re harvesting these fruits for their secondary polyphenols (their defense mechanisms), so you want fruits from the most hostile environments. The more harsh the environment, the better that mechanism…” definitly piqued my curiosity….

    What about fruits and vegetables that are bombarded with pesticides and such? Do they develop a defense mechanism as well to protect themselves from the onslaught of pesticides? Using that theory, would those fruits and vegetables be higher is such protective polyphenols (after thoroughly washing them, of course)? Also, say, a fruit/plant that typically grows in high altitudes and cold climates is cultivated in a warm climate? This fruit/plant would also would need to make a tremendous effort to survive in this harsh, warm climate. Does that make it possess more effective polyphenols?

  • Stephanie says:

    Great subject Abel! The interview uncovered a lot and seems like there is a lot more to tell and discuss on this subject. More like this can be a huge help to minimize problems associated with poor quality supplements.

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