Archive for the ‘scams’ Category

Health Food Scam: Colloidal Silver, Part Two

1 August 2009

Alonzo’s note: Rosemary Jacobs posted a reply to the initial blog posting on the subject of colloidal silver. Instead of including it in the comments, I have taken it upon myself to give her message its own blog posting. I have taken the liberty of adding paragraph divisions and a few other modifications. Ms Jacobs is welcome to post to this blog on this topic whenever she wishes.

This blog was brought to my attention and I was asked to comment on it.

I will try to be brief but that will be difficult since I have been researching silver and argyria for decades since I have had argyria for over 50 years. I have had a website warning people about the silver scam for over 10 years. Please look at it and contact me privately if you want references or more info.

While Alonso’s blog is excellent, there are a few errors. Silver was discontinued because it didn’t work and it discolored lots of people. Silver like alcohol, peroxide, clorox, etc. is a disinfectant that kills many pathogens on contact but not inside people who ingest it like an antibiotic does. There are approved topical drugs that contain silver. Without pulling the citation from Ontario, I believe that the authors themselves concluded that the evidence does not actually demonstrate that silver was the cause of the man’s injuries and death. I and most researchers do not think that the large body of evidence available indicates that silver causes other problems besides argyria, gray skin, although it is very possible that it may in some people but not most. No one knows how many people really ingest silver or how much they ingest since the industry is not regulated.

Lab analysis has shown that silver supplements as well as other virtually unregulated “dietary supplements” often carry inaccurate labels. Some silver supplements have no detectable amount of silver. Others have more or less than the label indicates. Neither are the labels correct about the type of silver in them, but that is irrelevant since there is a great deal of evidence indicating that silver and only silver in any form or all by itself is what causes argyria. What is not known is the toxic amount, the amount that will discolor the average person. Silver forms strong chemical bonds with tissue throughout the body including that in the skin. It isn’t the protein that some silver supplements are bound to that does this. It is the silver which many salesmen refer to as “pure silver”. And large particles don’t get “trapped” anywhere.

If salesmen had an understanding of basic chemistry, they’d know that. There are many cases of argyria caused by silver supplements. There are attorneys getting out-of-court settlements on the behalf of those with the courage to admit that they have been conned and hire an attorney to represent them in a timely fashion, before the statutes of limitations expire. But unfortunately, aside from Jones & Karason I only know of one other person who has admitted publicly that she got argyria from a silver supplement. The others are terribly embarrassed. They feel like idiots. As one said to me, “I feel so stupid. I believed the salesman who told me it was nontoxic and that I could take as much as I wanted. I believed him till I turned gray!” Many people who got argyria from supplements took far less than Paul did and many followed the labels on the products they were sold. (This goes for both commercial brands and home brews made from kits.)

There isn’t a shred of evidence that ingesting silver in any form or amount offers any health benefits whatsoever. There is no evidence in the med. lit. and argyric people have the same health problems as other people and we die at the same average age as everyone else. I was told by an ABC producer who interviewed me and Karason that Oprah got Paul to have a physical which showed that he has prostate cancer. I haven’t verified that, but I had breast cancer at the age of 42 in 1984 even though according to many silver promoters cancer is one of the ton of diseases that silver in our bodies is supposed to prevent and cure.

Rosemary
rosemary@rosemaryjacobs.com
http://rosemaryjacobs.com/

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List Of Ex-Scientologists Who Have Spoken Out

8 July 2009

This is what happens when the Real World prevents me from devoting enough time to maintaining this blog on a regular basis.

The latest number of ex-Scientologists who have come out and spoken-out against the church of Scientology has grown to 801 names. Given the sheer size of the list, I will not keep updating the list.

Instead, I will direct you to Why We Protest’s wiki page.

http://wiki.whyweprotest.net/List_of_ex-Scientologists_who_have_spoken_out

They will update the list as information becomes available to them.

Thanks to Anonymous for all their hard work.

“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked, Part Four

12 June 2009

I received several replies to previous entries from “Terry Conspiracy” -who I suspect of being Alex Jones or some one who knows him, since he keeps trying to plug Jones’ website in his replies, even though I delete that part – and his replies consist of a mixture of personal insults directed at me, as well as repeats of previous 9/11 Truther misinformation.

Rather than allow him to dominate the reply section of my blog, much the same way as Colloidal Silver proponents tried to do when I wrote about that, I’m going to reply to some of his points here.

It is obvious to me that Terry has never taken the time to watch any of the videos I have linked to in previous entries. It is apparent that he is fully convinced of a conspiracy and will not entertain even the possibility that he is wrong.

 

    Thermite and Thermate 

 

Nano Thermite: the “scientific paper” which is mentioned by 9/11 conspiracists is actually a Open Access website, which bills itself as a scientific journal. The very fact that this “scientific paper” has not been quoted in any other science journal doesn’t bode well for its accuracy. The OA journal, mentioned in a previous blog, is never quoted by other science journals. In the scientific community, if your paper doesn’t get read, it has no value. If it doesn’t get quoted by other researchers, it is pointless to publish there in the first place. The big hue and cry over this paper is that it tells conspiracists what they want to hear. Never mind all the scientists and engineers who present findings to the contrary, this one paper is all they want to hear about. Thermite was used by the cleanup crews to remove the large metal pieces of the structures that could not be removed as a whole pice. The claim that thermite brought the towers down is not backed-up by survivors, who would have seen thermite burning, as well as the large amount of smoke.

Thermate residue: okay, thermite-theorists say that residue from thermite was found on-site, ergo thermite was used. It goes like this: if A, B, C, and D are all components of X, then X was definitely present. This may be true only if A,B,C and D could come from no other source. Let’s go through what the components of thermite would be and see if there could have been other sources from the WTC site.

Thermate ingrediants and their likely sources from WTC:

  1. iron: found in paint and electronic devices;
  2. sulphur: the third most common construction material in the WTC was gypsum-based drywall, which is 18.62% sulphur.
  3. aluminum: WTC facade, the 767s and vehicles;
  4. potassium: used in concrete;
  5. manganese: used in structural steel, paint, batteries and ceramics;
  6. flourine: used in Freon and 200,000 lbs of Freon cooled the WTC complex, which was the largest air-conditioning system in the USA;
  7. titanium: used in paper and paint, which were very common at the WTC. Both 767s used in the attacks were 2% titanium and WTC7 was clad in polished steel and titanium;

So, all seven items from this list were already common at the WTC site prior to the attacks.

About 2 billion pounds of dust covered Lower Manhatten after 9/11. Steven Jones, one of the authors of the “study” estimated that it would have taken 1000 pounds of thermate to bring down each tower, for a total of 3000 pounds of thermate. Since thermate is 2% sulphur. that means 60 pounds of sulphur would be used. Based on Jones’ estimates, the WTC dust would have consisted of 0.000003% sulphur. But, USGC tests showed that the dust consisted of 5.4% sulphur. Where did all that extra sulphur come from?

Okay, if you assume that thermate was used to bring down the towers, then a good way to make that conclusion would be to find the residue of thermate in the WTC dust. This residue is only caused by the use of thermate and there would be no other way to explain its presence. The two main byproducts of thermate use are:

  1. aluminum oxide (41%)
  2. barium nitrate (29%)

What shootsdown the idea that thermate was used to bring down the towers is that neither of these elements was found either by the USGS or by Steven Jones himself. Finding aluminum is not the same as finding aluminum oxide, which has three oxygen atoms.

So, while we can find all seven component elements of thermate at the WTC site, we can easily explain their presence. However, 9/11 Truthers cannot explain the absence of the residue of thermate use at the site. If they could not find aluminum oxide and barium nitrate at the WTC site, then no thermate use occurred. It would be impossible to use thermate to bringdown the WTC towers without leaving traces of these two elements.

Lack of aluminum oxide + lack of barium nitrate = no thermate used at WTC.

Attack on the Pentagon on 9/11

I know I’m wasting my time expecting Terry to watch a video, since he obviously never has. But, you can see the actual damage caused by the 757 as it made its way to the Pentagon, which included:

  1. knocking down a lamp post, which damaged a taxi cab;
  2. knocked down another lamp pole, which fell near some trees;
  3. a third lamp pole being struck caused the light fixture to enter starboard engine intake;
  4. a fourth lightpole was struck, which caused the engine to billow smoke;
  5. a fifth lampost was struck and knocked-down; and
  6. a generator and ground structure were struck and damaged right before the plane hit the building.

All of these are outlined, along with photographs in the following video

If the Pentagon were hit by a missle, as conspiracists like to claim, then how did a missle knockdown all those lamposts, the generator and the ground structure? A missle would have bypassed all of these and simply hit the building.

Despite what 9/11 Truthers claim, there was a lot of  wreckage found at the site of the attack, including airplane debris and personal items of the passengers. Pieces of the 75 fouund after the attack included portions of the fuselage, landing gear, doors, engine parts, and the cockpit.

As far as the damage to the building, as compared to the actual size of the jet, the body of a 757 measures 12 feet, four inches wide. Measurements of the hole indicate that it is about 18 feet wide. Considering how the plane entered the building at an angle, the proportions match-up pretty well. Damage from the wings impacting the Pentagon can be seen in the video linked above.

Despite claims that the building wall is 9 feet of reinforced concrete, the exterior wall is actually only 18 inches thick at the impact site.

Conclusion

You know, I could go on all day with this. But, I don’t have the inclination or time.

Conspiracy theorists believe what they want anmd will not accept any evidence to the contrary. I would like to respond to this statement from Terry Conspiracy

spyderblog, you should retract & apologize or lose all credibility in my eyes.

Terry, in my eyes, you don’t have any credibility of any kind. You refused to watch any of the videos whose links I have provided and I think you were simply looking for a new convert to your cause. You people cherry-pick isolated items and tout them as evidence, when they really aren’t evidence.

I will not retract and I have nothing to apologize for, to you or anyone else.

Believe what you want, but I think the 9/11 “Truth” movement is losing steam and will hopefully soon be relegated along with the conspiracy theories of reptile men and fake moon landings.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked, Part Three

8 June 2009

One claim to supposedly prove the views of 9/11 Truthers is that remains of nanothermite were found in the soil around Ground Zero. They support this claim by stating that a scientific paper on the subject, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe”, was published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal, which is an Open Access online journal published by Bentham Science Publishers. It claims to be a “peer-reviewed journal” whose aim is to “provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in chemical physics”.

It is interesting to note that the chief editor of this publication, Professor Marie-Paule Pileni,  resigned following the publication of the article by Danish chemist Niels Harrit.

Among her reasons was that the paper was published without notifying her and that it deals on a topic unrelated to chemical physics or physical chemistry. Stating,

“I was in fact in doubt about them before, because I had on several occasions asked about information about the journal without having heard from them. It does not appear on the list of international journals, and that is a bad sign. Now I can see that it is because it is a bad journal”, says Marie-Paule Pileni and continues:

“There are no references to the Open Chemical Physics Journal in other articles. I have two colleagues who contributed to publishing an article which was not cited anyplace either. If no one reads it, it is a bad journal, and there is not use for it”, is the harsh verdict.

One thing that lends credibility to any scientific paper is when either it or the journal in which it appears is cited in other scientific journals and Open Chemical Physics Journal is never cited in other scientific journals. A journal’s reputation partly hinges on how often it is cited in other journals of the same venue.

Even on their webpage, listing their Endorsements, only one of the quotes provided even mentions Bentham by name. The rest only give their individual endorsements to Open Access Journals.

Now, what people seem to be misunderstanding about scientific journals is that they appear to believe that is something appears in a scientific journal, then it is an official endorsement by the scientific community that the conclusions of the published article. Actually, it is not.

What an article actually does is it puts the conclusions of the researcher out there for other members of the scientific community to read and attempt to either verify or disprove the conclusions presented in the article. If other researchers can replicate the experiments and come to the same conclusions, then the viewpoint of the original author can be considered accepted by the scientific community. If other researcher cannot replicate the results, then the paper and its conclusions are marginalized and eventually ignored.

That’s it. Just because something appears in a scientific journal does not mean that it it accepted as completely factual by scientists. It simply means that the article got through that particular journals peer-review panel. The fact that Open Chemical Physics Journal is never cited by other publications in the same field, does not appear on any list of scientific journals for chemistry and its own editor resigned after the article was published does not bode well for this journal.

If you want a better explanation of the Scientific Method and the role of peer review journals, watch this video by potholer54.

Okay, a few questions I have about the article, a complete copy of which I cannot find beyond the synopsis and I quote from it, specifically the portion detailing how the tested samples were collected

One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.

I’m no scientist, but this paper was published eight years after the 9/11 Attacks and its sample were collected over a period of a week by three different people. The samples were not collected by the authors of the paper, so there is not accountability for how the samples were collected and how they were stored between the time they were collected and when they were tested, which are topics that would come up in peer review.

There is no archive from the website itself for me to study and I’m not a chemist.

But, I think all the hoopla over this paper in the 9/11 Truth movement shows one reason why some real scientific journals oppose Open Source. People also oppose Wikipedia because it is Open Source where anyone can access it, so they doubt Wikipedia’s credibility.

So, let another group of chemists collect samples and test them. This is the replication phase of peer review. If another group of researchers can collect samples and achieve the same results, then we could have something to talk about.

This is one problem I have with the 9/11 Truth movement: it doesn’t matter if a real scientific journal details how the towers fell, showing documentation as how their conclusions were reached and it doesn’t matter if

    thousands

of engineers disagree with what the 9/11 Truth movement thinks. If just one group, consisting on a total of nine people tells them what they want to hear and those nine people write an article that appears in a self-proclaimed “scientific journal”, then they will go with the minority and discount what thousands of other experts say on the subject.

This shows the basic dishonesty of the 9/11 Truth movement. They only believe what they want to believe and will discount any opposing viewpoints. You could show them all the proof there is and they still won’t be convinced. You could build a time machine and take them back to the event itself and it wouldn’t change their minds.

I understand that there will always be people out there who won’t trust official explanations and sometimes that a healthy thing for a democracy. But, in the case of the 9/11 Truthers, it’s just sad and pathetic.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked, Part Two

6 June 2009

In the comments section for the first entry on this topic, someid4 wrote this:

All I can say is, you obviously have not done your homework!

Please tell me, If 9/11 was pulled off by guys in caves, like the government wants us to believe….. then which one of the guys in the cave got NORAD to “stand down”?

What about the thermite?

I feel so bad for the people who fall for this “false-flag” government deception….9/11 happened to bring about the “patriot act”….”homeland security”….PERIOD.

I must say you “de-bunked” 9/11 about as good as Glen Beck “de-bunked” FEMA camps……oh thats right, he DIDNT!

Well, if you had taken the time to watch RKOwen4’s videos, you would have seen his evidence debunking these pet theories of the “9/11 Truthers”.

Realizing that not everyone has the time or inclination to look for a debunking of their favorite theory, I have decided to do the work for you.

“NORAD Stand Down Order” Debunked

Dick Cheney Never In Charge of NORAD

Norman Mineta – No Stand Down Order

NORAD “Stand Down” Disproven

Claims About Thermite Debunked

Thermate Chemical Signatures Disproven

Columns Cut not by Thermite

“Molten Metal” Explained

No Pools of Molten Steel

So, it looks like one of us hasn’t done his “homework”, but that person isn’t me.

It was you.

I understand that there are some people out there making their money by selling books, DVDs, tapes, CDs, magazines, etc expounding the 9/11 Truth movement’s diatribe.

If more people realizing that the 9/11 Truth movement is full of crap takes money out of their pockets, then that’s just too bad.

Class dismissed.

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Messianic Judaism is a Fraud

24 January 2009

You may have heard about Messianic Jews by now. I think most people have heard about the Jews for Jesus, although there are other groups of “messianic Jews” or “Hebrew Christians” out there. You may have even wondered if there have always been congregations of Jewish Christians, who prayed in Hebrew, kept Kosher and observed the various Jewish High Holy Days. Have there even been Mesianic Jewish Rabbis out there, you wonder?

Actually, no. None of that is even remotely true.

The general lack of success in converting Jews to Christianity stems from several sources:

There is a long history of Christian persecution of the Jews, from the Roman Empire when Christianity became the state religion, to the Crusades and Middle Ages, pograms in Russia and culminating in the Holocaust of World War 2. Christians seemed to be hell-bent on either expelling the Jews from where they lived, converting them on pain of death or just plain killing them. Needless to say, most Jews, even the most secular ones, didn’t really look at Christianity as a source of goodwill for the Jewish people.

Next was the religious incompatibility between Judaism and Christianity. For every scriptural quote a minister or priest had to convince Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, rabbis have a ready response. From a stricly Jewish standpoint, using only the Bible (what Christians call the “Old Testament) it isn’t very hard to refute any claims of Jesus being the promised Messiah.

Third, even secular Jews have grown-up in a household where, at least, the cultural aspects of being a Jew were evident. We always have a devout grandparent or uncle or even a prent that observes at least some aspect of the Jewish faith. Embracing Christianity, for a Jew is like stepping out of this comfortable spot and into a foreign country. Historically, Jewish culture has found little welcome in Christian churches. In fact, Judaism was often looked at as passe and as a religion whose time had come and gone, being replaced by the “New Covenant” of Jesus.

So, how to get past al this and get Jews to convert to Christianity? Furthermore, why do most Messianic Jews believe many of the same things that evangelical Protestants believe and not as the Catholic or Orthodox do, considering that those branches of the Christian church are far older and have much larger followings?

A few decades ago, some of the evangelical Christians hatched a plan to launch a movement tht could evangelize to the Jews on a large scale and in a more organized fashion. They understood the problems I have outlined above and sought a way they could share the Gospel with the Jews in a way that Jews would feel more comfortable.

The actual founding father of the Messianic Jewish movement is Moishe Rosen (born Martin Meyer Rosen) who founded the group Jews for Jesus, the largest and most successful of the Messianic Jewish organizations, with his wife in 1969. Apparently coming from a Jewish family himself, though they were not devout.  According to Rosen, his father attended an Orthodox synagogue, but wasn’t very religious. Rosen and his wife converted to the Baptist Church and Rosen was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1957.

Wanting to find a way to bring more Jews into the Church, in 1973 Rosen left the employment of the American Board of Missions to the Jews (now called “Chosen People Ministries”) to incorporate a separate mission which later became known as Jews for Jesus Ministries.

However, Rosen never broke with the Baptists. In 1986 he received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon and in 1997, the Conservative Baptist Association named him a “Hero of the Faith.”. Rosen has referred to himself both as a Messianic Jew and as a Christian.

Jews for Jesus is far from the first attempt by Christians to convert Jews. As I said, there have been numerous attempts over the centuries to convert Jews to the Church. Even Martin Luther gave it a try, though he was unsuccessful and, in his anger, published the notorious book On the Jews and Their Lies, which called for Jews to be expelled or killed, their synagogues and homes burned and their books destroyed.

Learning from past mistakes, Christians have taken a more subtle aproach. By offering an environment where they would see a rabbi, see Hebrew symbols and hear Hebrew or Yiddish spoken, they create Messianic synagogues where these things are readily apparent. At two conferences – one in Switzerland and the second in Thailand – it was realized that most Jews simply didn’t want to stop being Jews, even if they weren’t particularly observant to begin with. Once a Jew converts to another religion, he stops being a Jew and most of us simply don’t want to do that. It’s simply one step too far for many of us Jews.

So, the messianic movement was born.

Prior to the 1960s, there were no Messianic Jewish synagogues. There were no Messianic rabbis. It’s all a fraud.

Messianic Judaism is a modern, invented religion, born of a plot hatched out of the frustration of evangelical Protestants from their previous lack of missionizing success.

Messianics claim that Orthodox rabbis have converted from Orthodox Judaism to Messianic Judaism. Michael Esses once claimed to have been an Orthodox rabbi who converted to Christianity and became one of the leading missionaries to the Jewish people. He even presented a diploma from the non-existant rabbinical college The Sephardic Yeshiva of New York. This fraud was exposed by his wife, when the couple divorced and she published a book which contained a copy of instructions Michael had given to the printer who created his fraudulent diploma in the first place.

Tuvya Zaretsky was the director of the Los Angeles office of Jews for Jesus. It was publicly revealed during a television interview of Zaretsky in Philadelphia, when the host asked him if that was his real name. Zaretsky, reluctantly admitted that his real birth name was, in fact, Lloyd Carson. But, he was simply following the example of Martin (later Moishe) Rosen.

The chief supporters of this great fraud being committed against the Jewish people includes several powerful Protestant denominations:

  • Southern Baptists, chief underwriters of Jews for Jesus;
  • Seventh Day Adventists, they publish Shabbat Shalom magazine;
  • Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church; and, of course,
  • Assemblies of God;

Jews for Jesus’ budget surpasses $11 million and they have missions around the world, including in the USA, Moscow, South Africa, Argentina and even Israel.

Jews for Jesus has an insideous method for converting elderly Jews to the Messianic movement. They will find elderly Jews who are living in nursing homes whose families seldom visit them. Once they have this information,they will send young missionaries to visit them in the homes and try to convert them. Jews for Jesus also published Modern Maturity magazine. this despicable tactic targets elderly people who are lonely and desperate to have the attention of anyone younger than themselves, especially people of the age that their children and grandchildren would be.

Jews for Jesus even offers its expertise to Protestant churches and instruct them of how to prostelytize to Jews.

I get a real laugh at some of these Protestant preachers who try to pretend to be Jewish or try to use Jewish symbols to somehow justify their message. I see ministers wearing tallis during their sermons, often incorrectly. One guy I saw yesterday was wearing it around his neck like a gym towel. I posted a comment and let him know about his mistake. His response was to delete my comment. Sadly, I think that they get enough credibility from their viewers to continue to do it, otherwise they would not do it in the first place or would stop doing it.

The chief strength that the messianic  movement has it its outreach. They actually reach out to the lonely people in the Jewish community, university students far from home for the first time, the elderly, the deaf and for many others. They enthusiastically welcome new faces into their “synagogues”, while most Jews tend to remain at arms length from an unfamiliar person who comes to their shul for the first time.

My grandparents weren’t particularly religious, neither were my parents. So, I grew-up not being devout. I’m still not religious. But, even though I haven’t gone to shul myself in years and the state of the Jewish religion plays little part in my own life, I find the history of the Messianic Judaism movement, its tactics and its goals to be despicable.

 

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Health Food Scams: XanGo Juice

15 January 2009

Made with the fruit mangosteen – not to be confused with mangos, which are a different plant- and other juices, it is marketed by the corporation XanGo, LLC which is a multi-level marketing company founded in 2002 and based in Lehi, Utah. They are the current leader in marketing products made from mangosteen juice.

Mangostten is part of a group known as the Guttiferae, a family of mainly tropical trees and shrubs that secrete an acrid yellow resinous juice. Mangosteen’s scientific designation is Garcinia mangostana, named after a French explorer, Jacques Garcin.

Marketing materials for XanGo Juice claim numerous health benefits for humans. These include:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-microbial
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-viral
  • anti-cancer
  • anti-ulcer
  • anti-hepatotoxic
  • anti-rhinoviral
  • anti-allergic effects

Promotional literature for the product claims that antioxidants from the inedible rind of the fruit provide health benefits. But, none of these claims has scientific proof established by peer-reviewed research and human clinical trials.

The company’s website states that “research shows xanthones (an alleged component of XanGo juice) possess potent antioxidant properties that may help maintain intestinal health, strengthen the immune system, neutralize free radicals, help support cartilage and joint function, and promote a healthy seasonal respiratory system”; however, they also add a footnote with the following disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

Notice how they add the disclaimer at the bottom of the label, likely knowing that the majority of people who even glance at it won’t read it all the way through to the end.

A scientific advisor for the company, David A. Morton, PhD , said in 2006 there is “emerging evidence that mangosteen has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-microbial properties”, yet acknowledged the only study of humans consuming mangosteen juice was conducted as a test of dysentery therapy in Singapore in 1932.

By the way, Dr Morton’s brothers, Joe and Gordon, helped found the company in the first place. It’s just a coincidence, right?

Yeah, right.

In 2007, the Mayo Clinic stated there was laboratory evidence that the xanthones in mangosteen had anti-inflammatory activity, but there was no evidence demonstrating such anti-inflammatory effects in humans. Quoting Mayo Clinic, “”there are no published clinical trials showing evidence that either the fruit or its juice — marketed under the name XanGo juice — is an effective treatment for arthritis, cancer or any other disorder in humans.”.

But, they said it had anti-inflammatory properties, didn’t they? Or maybe they just think it has anti-inflammatory properties?

Well, multi-level marketing companies seldom let inconvenient facts get in the way of profits, don’t they?

As far as XanGo’s effectiveness against cancer, the American Cancer Society’s profile of mangosteen juice states there is no reliable evidence that mangosteen juice, puree, or bark is effective as a treatment for cancer in humans.

And wouldn’t you just know that the government would have to step in at some point and not in a small way either. On September 20, 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to XanGo LLC in response to the company’s promotion of Xango juice as a drug (meaning that it could treat or prevent a disease, such a cancer or arthritis), in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)]. The agency’s letter further warned that Xango juice had not been properly tested for safety and efficacy, and as a proposed new drug it could not be legally sold in the US without prior approval of the FDA, and that the company could face enforcement action including seizure and/or injunction of products or suspension of business. Under FDA drug labeling rules, XanGo LLC, as manufacturer, is responsible for satisfying scientific criteria to make health claims on its product labels and all marketing materials. As far as I know, the case remains open.

Dr. Ralph Moss, author of several natural remedy books, said this in reference to XanGo Juice, “In my opinion, what we have here is simply an overpriced fruit drink.”

On visiting the XanGo website, he heard various claims of the anti-cancer benefits of XanGo given by Dr. J. Frederic Templeman, a Georgia family practitioner who has written a small book on mangosteen.

Dr Templeman mentioned that there are 44 scientific publications on this topic. But, as Dr Morton discovered, there are just 29 articles on the topic of Garcinia mangostana in PubMed, the US National Library of Medicine database which contains over 14 million citations. A total of four of these studies relate to cancer.

An over-priced fruit drink. That pretty much sums it up for me, too.

Look, I’m not saying that people don’t have a right to eat and drink something. Neither am I saying that people and businesses don’t have the right to make money.

But, I draw the line when a company or an individual makes health claims about their product that are either untrue or unverified by science.

As I’ve said in previous entries on health, you can do pretty well for yourself by eating and drinking foods that you can find in your local supermarket. For the cost, you can’t beat sweet potatos, blueberries, strawberries, yams and other foods which have been proven to be good for you. They are less expensive than these fad health foods and do the job that these “alternatives” can only claim to do for you. That is: to keep you healthy and help you live a long life.

You might wonder if there could possibly be any harm in drinking XanGo. You may actually like the taste and don’t mind spending the money. Consider the case of a patient with severe acidosis (acidity of the blood plasma) possibly attributable to a year of daily use of mangosteen juice. The amount the patient drank everyday is not specified and neither is the brand. The drink he consumed was infused with xanthones, as occurs in the manufacture of XanGo juice. The authors of the case report proposed that chronic exposure to alpha-mangostin, a xanthone, could be toxic to mitochondrial function, leading to impairment of cellular respiration and production of lactic acidosis.

And you thought it was just another brand of juice, didn’t you?

No, it’s not a juice. It’s a business and a business exists for the sole purpose of making money.

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Health Food Scam: Acai Berries

11 January 2009

From deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest comes the newest superfood: the Açaí berry. It has been hailed as a natural way to lose weight, slow the effects of aging and fight cancer.

Yeah, sure.

Okay, despite what you have heard about it, the acaí berry isn’t everything it’s cracked-up to be. Like many other so-called “superfoods” or “superfruits”, you can live a perfectly healthy life without ever eating an acaí berry or drinking acaí berry juice.

Acai palms, of the species Euterpe oleracea, consist of seven types of palm trees native to Central and South America. The name of the plant comes from the Tupian word ïwasa’i, ‘fruit that cries or expels water’.

The plants grow quickly, which is a good thing, since global demand has increased in recent years and acai are now grown mostly for their fruit and their hearts of palm. In a study of three traditional Caboclo (i.e. people of mixed Amerindian and European blood) populations in the Amazon region of Brazil, the açaí palm was described as the most important plant species because the fruit makes up such a major component of diet (up to 42% of the total food intake by weight) and is economically valuable in the region.In Brazil, as a whole, acai is consumed in many varieties and in various meals of the day, including in ice cream and as a flavored liqueur.

But, that’s not why you’re reading this blog, is it? You want to know if acai is something you should include in your diet. Okay. Okay. I’ll get to that.

First, is the acai better than all other fruits? Well, no it isn’t. As mentioned in a previous blog, the Kakadu “billy goat” plum has the highest level of Vitamin C of any fruit. So, they can’t make a claim contrary to that without evidence. About 80% of the volume of each berry consists of the pit and the berry itself has such a high fat content that it is usually available outside the harvest area only in juice form or in products like yogurt.

Acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) is exported as a thick pulp and sold in a capsule, powder or juice form at health food stores and via the Internet. But, acai was virtually unknown outside the USA until 2001, when two brothers, Ryan and Jeremy Black, began to sell acai through Sambazon Inc., promoting its antioxidant properties. Today billion-dollar beverage giants, including Coca-Cola., Pepsi, and Anheuser-Busch., are adding the fruit to their beverage lineups, according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s also found in products from Stonyfield Farm and Haagen-Dazs. Procter & Gamble Co. recently infused acai into its Herbal Essence shampoos and conditioners. So, acai is a big money-maker. Sales of acai products jumped to $13.5 million in 2007, up from $435,000 two years before that, according to natural-food tracker Spins Inc.

As far as the medical claims of the proselytizers of the acai berry, they make numerous claims about how great the berry is, often without supporting evidence, so that it’s hard to keep up.

For one thing, they claim that acai products are helpful for weight loss. However, the US Federal Drug Administration has not evaluated acai for its efficiency in losing weight. Despite acai products being linked to popular TV talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, in the later part of 2008, ABC News reported that Oprah’s lawyers began investigating potential claims against acai supplement manufacturers who suggested that frequent Oprah guest Dr. Mehmet Oz had recommended their product or acai berry products in general for their use in losing weight. Actually, what Dr Oz had said was that acai looked like a product that had health benefits and that was it. Dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, another frequent Oprah guest, also mentioned acai – along with other foods – as being “full of nutrients”. But, Drs Oz and Perricone never said anything about acai’s supposed weight-loss qualities.

Susanne Talcott, a Texas A&M researcher who conducted a human study that showed acai is absorbed by the body and has the potential to bring some health benefits, says

“Most [weight loss] claims I am aware of are not validated at all,”

and further that

“[The study] is a good start, but no basis for some of the outrageous claims that are made and unfortunately believed by consumers”.

Like many other supposed “superfruits”, marketers tend to ignore science, and the Real World in general, in order to boost sales. In this case, it seems that they had realized that people might be more likely to buy their product if Oprah had appeared to endorse it. Makes sense. After all, when Oprah recommends a book on her show, sales of that book do tend to go up. Plus, the perceived endorsement of a cardiothoracic surgeon, like Dr Oz, couldn’t hurt. Even if it was a total frakking lie.

In a comparative study of Acai against ten other fruits juices derived from the natural pulp, the ratings of their antioxidant capacity went like this:

  1. acerola
  2. mango
  3. strawberry
  4. grapes
  5. açaí
  6. guava
  7. mulberry
  8. graviola
  9. passion fruit
  10. cupuaçu
  11. pineapple

So, you’re better off drinking commonly available grape juice, instead of acai juice. If you can find them, you could also get your hands on some mangos or strawberries. The acerola is another plant that grows in Central America, including Puerto Rico and it has been found growing in Hawaii, probably introduced there by Puerto Rican immigrants during the plantation days. Acerola and mango might not be readily found in most US groceries, but strawberries and grapes can be found in various forms on supermarket shelves.

In yet another study, sponsored by Pom Wonderful (which markets pomegranite juice, hence the spiffy name), three commercially available juice brands, containing unspecified percentages of acai juice, were tested against other types of juices and drinks for their in vitro antioxidant capacity. Like the other study, acai didn’t do as well as other, more commonly available, drinks. The rating were highest for:

  • pomegranate juice (good thing for Pom Wonderful);
  • Concord grape juice;
  • blueberry juice; and
  • red wine.

Acai ranked roughly equal to:

  • black cherry; and
  • cranberry juice

And above:

  • orange juice;
  • apple juice; and
  • tea

So, what is so great about Acai? Seriously?

Now, I’m not saying that it doesn’t have nutritional properties. While the dark variety has higher ratings than the white, Acai uniformly does worse in scientific studies when compared to other fruit juices. In a study of different açaí varieties for their antioxidant capacity, a white species displayed no antioxidant activity against different oxygen radicals, whereas the purple variety most often used commercially was excellent against peroxyl radicals, good against peroxynitrite and poor against hydroxyl radicals. Freeze-dried açaí powder was found to have high antioxidant activity against superoxide (your body produces this to fight invading germs, but levels that are too high can be lethal) and peroxyl radicals and milder activity for peroxynitrite (can damage a wide array of molecules in cells, including DNA and proteins) and hydroxyl radicals (can damage virtually all types of macromolecules: amino acids, carbohydrates, as well as mutate nucleic acids, and also peroxidize lipids). The powder was reported to inhibit hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidation in white blood cells, and to have a slight stimulatory effect on nitric oxide production, which helps your body function better. Extracts of açaí seeds were reported to have antioxidant capacity against peroxyl radicals, similar to the capacity of the pulp, with higher antioxidant capacity against peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals.

Sorry about all the technical words, but science is seldom simple.

In simpler language, Dr. David Katz, associate clinical professor of public health and medicine at Yale University says that the hype surrounding acai often gets in the way of the science and that we’d do just as well just eating more fruits and vegetables and while there is some merit to the rich antioxidant content of exotic fruits such as acai, consumers can get the same punch in dark chocolate and an array of other foods, such as oranges, tomatoes and blueberries.

Anyway, yes Acai can do your body some good. However, the simple fact is that there are plenty of readily-available foods on grocery shelves all across the USA that are just as good for you, if not better. But, the acai-peddlers are counting on a number of things to market their product, despite the scientific evidence against various claims that they have made about it.

For one thing, they know that a lot of people are desperate to lose weight and they want to do it without a lot of execise. So, offering something they can simply eat attracts a lot of buyers. People buy acai from stores who don’t even market it as a weight-loss product, but they buy it for the purpose of losing weight.

Second, they also understand that people don’t like growing old and will spend big bucks to slow the effects of advancing years upon their bodies. This is simple, but understandable, vanity and it plays right into the hands of the acai pimps.

Third, everyone has a dread fear of cancer and hyping acai as an anti-cancer supplement plays right into peoples’ deepest fears. My mother died of ovarian cancer, my grandmother of pancreatic cancer, so being afraid of getting cancer myself is something I understand completely.

So, while acai does have some nutritional value, it isn’t an outstanding “wonder food”, as it is marketed. You can live just as well by eating more of the commonly-available foods I have already mentioned.

Ultimately, the marketers of the acai berry products are using fear and vanity to sell their product and it is a product that we really don’t need.

Anyone who relies on fear and vanity to sell you something is some one who should not be trusted and you shouldn’t give them your money.

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Health Food Scams: Goji Berries

11 January 2009

For the sake of clarification, the Goji berry, is actually called the Wolfberry. Wolfberry is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum and L. chinense, two species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco).

Although its original habitat is obscure (most likely southeastern Europe to southwest Asia), wolfberry species currently grow in many world regions. Only in China, however, is there significant commercial cultivation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Germplasm Resources Information Network, it is also known as Chinese wolfberry, goji berry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll’s tea tree, or matrimony vine. Unrelated to the plant’s geographic origin, the names Tibetan goji and Himalayan goji are in common use in the health food market for products from this plant.

With a reputation in Asia as a highly nutritious food, wolfberries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for about 1,900 years. Their undocumented legend, however, is considerably older, as wolfberries are often linked in Chinese lore to Shen Nung (Shennong), China’s legendary First Emperor, mythical father of agriculture, and herbalist who lived circa 2,800 BC.

Wolfberries have long played important roles in traditional Chinese medicine where they are believed to enhance immune system function, improve eyesight, protect the liver, boost sperm production, improve circulation, etc, etc, etc. Not surprisingly, the supposed health benefits from Goji have been confirmed mostly by Chinese health officials, while none have been confirmed in Western circles. No peer-reviewed research has confirmed health benefits from consuming Goji products by any reputable Western authority in clinical testing. Remember, the Chinese are the ones growing it in the hopes that we will buy it and they know we won’t buy it unless they tell us how astonishingly great it is for our health. I’m surprised that they don’t tell us that it will make the blind see, the deaf hear and raise people from the dead, to be honest.

Starting just a few years ago, wolfberries (a.k.a. Goji berries) have entered the American and European health food markets as one of the “superfruits” (i.e. fruits supposedly of high nutritional value) and is expected to be part of a billion dollar market by the year 2011. This is what a billion looks like: $1,000,000,000. The primary marketing angle for Goji berries centers around their high nutrient and antioxidant values, which are pretty good, I must admit.

Despite what you have heard about “Tibetan Goji”, the bulk of commercially-produced Goji comes from the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of north-central China and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of western China, where they are grown on plantations, not on moutain tops. Commercial volumes of Goji also grow in the Chinese regions of Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hebei.

As with other Chinese-grown agricultural products, the US Food and Drug Administration has found high residual levels of insecticides and fungicides on some imported Goji, which led to the seizure of those shipments. While some American retailers talk about “organically-grown Goji” and show a Green label on their product, that label does not come from the FDA, but is the China Green Food Standard, which is administered by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture’s China Green Food Development Center, which does allow a certain amount of insecticide, fungicide and herbicide use even for products labelled as “organic”.

Further, despite marketers’ claims of “wild-crafted” or “wild harvested” Goji, Tibetan farmers do use the pesticides and fertilizers in their agricultural sector and they have no certification process for organically-grown produce.

To make matters worse, when marketers claim that their Goji products were grown in the Tibetan and Mongolian Himalayas, they ignore the simple fact that the Himalayas do not extend into Mongolia, which is about one thousand miles away from the Himalayas. Also, Goji grown on the mountains bordering the Tibetan plateau would be few and far between, since the region is inhospitable to commercial agriculture of any kind, beyond the sparse, low bushes that can grow there in the 10,000 foot elevation, unfriendly climate and poor soil quality. Nighttime temperatures there are below freezing and there is six months of perpetual frost out of the year, which would certainly prevent the maturation of any fruit. It is in the Tibetan plateau itself, with its valleys and plains where Goji is grown. So, Goji is not a magical fruit harvested from wild plants growing in the mountains, but harvested from plantation-grown wolfberry plants.

Much of Goji’s marketing centers around its high Vitamin C levels and it is claimed by some marketers to have the highest Vitamin C level of any plant in the world. However, clinical studies have shown it to have similar level of this vitamin as many citrus fruits and of strawberries. To further debunk this claim, it also has a lower level of Vitamin C than numerous other fruits and berries, such as the Australian Kakadu “billy goat” plum. So, why isn’t somebody selling kakadu plums in America,since they do have the highest Vitamin C levels of any fruit? Well, Australia isn’t as exotic a place as Tibet. Remember, it’s all about marketing.

While touting the benefits of Goji, an individual, named Li Qing Yuen, is often mentioned as a man who ate Goji berries daily and lived to be over 240 years old. Any solid proof of this man’s very existence is lacking and is likely to be just a myth or just as likely to be an outright lie invented so that people will buy Goji products in the hopes of living longer.

In January 2007, marketing statements for a goji juice product were subject of an investigative report by CBC Television’s consumer advocacy program “Marketplace”. In a review of medical literature pertaining to each proposed claim of health benefits from Himalayan Goji Juice summarized that 22 of 23 claims had no evidence for providing a health benefit beyond that inferred from preliminary in vitro or laboratory animal research. For cancer specifically, four studies were reviewed and it was concluded that the research was too preliminary to allow any conclusion about an anti-cancer effect of consuming wolfberries or wolfberry juice.

By one specific example in the CBC interview, Earl Mindell – a writer and nutritionist who currently lives in Beverly Hills, CA (you think he’s got money? I think so) and is associated with FreeLife International, a multi-level marketing company based in Milford, Connecticut that (surprise!) sells Goji juice – claimed the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York had completed clinical studies showing that use of wolfberry juice would prevent 75% of human breast cancer cases, a statement false in three ways:

  1. no such project has been undertaken at Memorial Sloan-Kettering;
  2. according to the National Cancer Institute of the US National Institutes of Health, no natural or pharmaceutical agent has been shown in clinical trials to fully prevent breast cancer, only to reduce its risk; specifically, there are no completed or ongoing clinical trials in the United States testing the effects of wolfberries or wolfberry juice on breast cancer outcomes or any other disease; and
  3. beyond preliminary laboratory studies and one Chinese clinical trial described only in an abstract, there is no scientific evidence for wolfberry phytochemicals or wolfberry juice having cancer-preventive properties.

A little bit more about Earl Mindell’s educational background: Mindell received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University in 1963 or 1964. He earned a Master Herbalist Diploma from Dominion Herbal College in 1995. Mindell’s Ph.D. was conferred in 1985 by Pacific Western University, an unaccredited distance-learning institution. Sounds to me like if Earl goes out of business selling Goji juice, he could get a job with a creation science organization, am I right?

Significant in nutrient and phytochemical composition, wolfberries are being developed as new products in the functional food industry under FDA regulatory review since December 2006 for label and marketing claims as being also conducted in 2007 by the European Union. During 2006, the FDA placed two goji juice distributors on notice with warning letters about marketing claims. These statements were in violation of the United States Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act [21 USC/321 (g)(1)] because they “establish the product as a drug intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” when wolfberries or juice have had no such scientific evaluation. Additionally stated by the FDA, the goji juice was “not generally recognized as safe and effective for the referenced conditions” and therefore must be treated as a “new drug” under Section 21(p) of the Act. New drugs may not be legally marketed in the United States without prior approval of the FDA, as stated in these letters.

Goji marketing is just the latest example of people trying to cash-in on the health food craze that this country experiences every few years. Now, it’s Goji. A few years ago, it was noni juice. Before that, it was something else. In a few years, a new product will enter the market for people to be told that it is the “one food you really need to live a long and healthy life” and Goji will be just another footnote.

A common statement among people who sell products like Goji is that the medical industry doesn’t really want you to get better. They want you to stay sick, so that doctors can make money off of your illness and buy expensive houses, boats and cars for themselves. Doctors are demonized to such a degree that it is astonishing! To actually claim that your doctor doesn’t care if you live or die is the worst kind of slander. If you’ve ever met a doctor who was an oncologist or cardiologist and asked them if they remember the very first patient who died under their care, they will all remember. They remember them all. Every single one and it hurts them to remember. Doctors are human beings, not soulless Terminators. I will grant a certain amount of soullessness to the HMOs and pharmaceutical companies, though.

It is, in my honest opinion, the people who market bogus healthcare products who are the dangerous ones. I don’t Truthfully believe they care about you or your health. They only care about the money you give them to buy whatever it is they are selling. If you actually do get better, then you’ll buy more of their product, encourage others to do the same and they will use your testimonial to sell more of their product. If you don’t get better, no one will know about it but yourself, your family and your doctor. The marketer certainly won’t mention it in their brochures.

While I am all in favor of people eating healthier foods, I draw the line at people who latch onto the latest health food fad in the hopes of making big money off of people’s fear over sickness and high medical bills. To be honest, what we need in this country is what Michael Moore proposed in his 2007 movie “Sicko“, which calls for a national healthcare plan for every American. If an American was guaranteed health care, they’d be less likely to be exploited by the money-hungry marketers of Goji, Noni and fad supplements.

While Goji does have a lot of nutrients in it, it is far from the miracle food it has been marketed as. Yes, it would be a good thing to have in your diet. But, given the expense, you could just as well do without it completely with a balanced diet.

PS: I acknowledge my use of the Wikipedia article on Goji.

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Health Food Scams: Alaskan Blueberries

11 January 2009

A friend asked me what I know about Alaskan Blueberries (Vaccinium alaskensis), which some company is marketing as yet another “superfruit”. I had to admit that I hadn’t heard anything about it and decided to do some research on the topic.

Okay, first of all, it is called the “Alaskan blueberry” but it doesn’t only grow in Alaska. Its known range extends as far south as Oregon. So, be wary of people that tell you that it only grows in one place in the Whole Wide World. It’s that kind of “very rare plant” angle that some multi-level marketing (MLM) companies try to exploit, in the hopes that some one might either not own a computer or a library card, be literate or even willing to checkout a product’s background before they spend their hard-earned money on the latest Superfad.

Now, blueberries, in general, are very good for you. They have been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risks of certain cancers, reduce stroke damage in test animals and have a high level of antioxidants, among other things. So, yes, adding blueberries to your daily diet – say one cup of blueberries everyday – can help you be healthier.

This particular species of blueberry is known to grow well in forest openings, like clearcuts and areas that had been hit by forest fires. It will grow until the forest begins to overgrow the area and then the blueberries will appear less and less. They had been used as food by Native American tribes in the area, as well as by a number of animals, such as deer, bears, rabbits and mice.

But, are Alaskan Blueberries some sort of miracle food? To be completely Truthful, I haven’t seen any evidence that blueberries from Alaska are any better for you than blueberries from anywhere else.

One angle in-use is that Native Americans ate them. Well, so what? Native American tribes,  for the most part, tended to be hunter-gatherers and ate whatever they could find or kill. Hence, the term “hunter-gatherer”. They ate them because 1) they weren’t poisonous; and 2) they were available. Some animals used parts of the Alaskan blueberry plant to make their nests. Does that mean we should build our houses out of Alaskan blueberry bushes?

Currently, the MLM that is marketing Alaskan blueberry products is some bunch called Kiyani Inc. Here’s their website if you’re interested.

On their website, they claim that the antioxidant value of their product was rated higher than two other products out on the market. Who did the rating? A company called Brunswick Laboratories.

So, who is Brunswick Lab? I have no idea, except that they seem to do an awful lot of work for MLMs out to market their superfoods. Coincidence? Maybe. Kiyani says that Brunswick is a “nationally-respected testing facility”, but, I have to ask: respected by whom? There is nothing about them on Wikipedia or on any website unrelated to a multi-level marketing company that I can find.

You see a pattern here? Have you noticed it, yet? If you have, you’re one of the few that has caught-on to the multi-level marketers’ main angle. Here’s what’s going-on for those who haven’t noticed:

All these superfoods seem to come from faraway places that most people have never been or even seen. I mean, if you’re in Alaska, Alaska blueberries are nothing special. Heck, they’re just blueberries to Alaskans, right? They grow close-by so, they’re not very expensive at the neighborhood stores. They grow wild, so you could pick your own, if you want and if you’re very careful to avoid bears. But, if you live in another part of the USA, Alaska is this faraway land of ice and snow. A mysterious place that you have only seen in movies or the occasional Discovery Channel show. It’s also where Sarah Palin, the super-hottie and intelligence-challenged Governor comes from. So, when some multi-level marketer tells you that there’s a miracle food growing in Alaska that will help you be healthy and happy, you might be more willing to shell-out some bucks for a jar of Alaskan blueberry jam. I guarantee you that you’ll be paying more for that jar than John Q. Citizen in Eskimoland is going to pay for it at his local supermarket.

Just like Goji comes from faraway Tibet or Mongolia and Noni comes from the exotic South Pacific, Alaska blueberries have the benefit – for the multi-level marketers, anyway –  of coming from a place that is a distant locale to the suckers that are going to be buying it from the MLMs. Yeah, I said “suckers”. because only a sucker would forego all the available healthy foods that they can easily get at any supermarket to buy something from some MLM that’s going to cost you more than the thing is worth. Hey, you can buy blueberries from the store you normally shop at and you want to buy some marked-up bottle of blueberry juice from somebody who only cares about lining their pockets and couldn’t care less if you really got healthier? Come on, people! Read their websites, sometime. They talk about the “golden opportunity” for you to make money selling their product. It’s all about the money and nothing else.

I’m going to do you a favor, right now. I’m going to list some real superfoods that, if added to your daily diet can really help you be healthier and I’m going to do it for FREE. Here goes:

Sweet potatoes were a staple food of the Maori people of New Zealand. (Hey! That’s a faraway place that most people have never been to, right?) These things are chock-full of vitamins and dietary fiber. They are one of the best things you can add to your diet, in fact. But don’t confuse them with yams, because they are two different plants. But, speaking of yams…

Yams are another food that is high in nutritional value. Not as good as sweet potatoes. But, if you can’t find real sweet potatoes at the store, get yams instead. Yams are one of the staple foods of Western Africa, where they make it into something called “fu fu”. If you don’t know what fu fu is, Google it. I’m not going to post a recipe for fu fu right now. All you’ll need is yams, a food processor and some other things I can’t remember off the top of my head. Just Google it, okay?

But, wait! (insert sound effect here) There’s more!

Natto can be found at any Asian grocery that caters to Japanese. It looks like beans suspended in snot, it smells like rotten cheese and tastes kind of funky. But, the good news is that you can get used to it. Natto is very good for you and some of the older generation in Japan eat it every morning. Consumption of natto can help prevent strokes. Just mix it with wasabe and shoyu and it will taste better. Put it over a bowl of steaming rice and dig in!

But, wait! There’s more!

Tea, the second most consumed beverage in the world, right behind water. It’s Number Two after plain water! How many studies detailing the health benefits of tea do you need to see before you drink a few cups of tea everyday? Fresh-brewed iced tea, made with ordinary Lipton bag tea is way better for you that Coke or Pepsi. For hot tea, I suggest PG Tips, the most popular brand of tea sold in England, which is now available at in the USA, by the way, and you can even find people selling cases of it on eBay.

Oh, what else? Let’s mention: nuts of all kinds, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, citrus fruits.

That’s all I’m going to list for now. There are more examples I could give, but I think the point has been made. There a lots of foods available at your local grocery store that you can add to your daily diet and be healthier. That doesn’t give all you people an excuse to not exercise, though. You don’t just sit down at the dinner table, eat all these healthy foods I’ve just mentioned and then go sit on the couch to get fat. Get into a habit of some kind of daily exercise program, even if it’s only going for a walk.

I’m not making any money off this blog. I’m not going to make a cent steering you away from multi-level marketers trying to sell you a product that you could live quite well without.

My only obligation is to the Truth and that’s what I just gave you.

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