Standard Process=Standard Nonsense

Standard Process is a company that has been selling dietary supplements since 1929. It was founded by a dentist, Royal Lee, who developed a number of unconventional theories about the role of nutrition in health and disease. In essence, Dr. Lee and his successors take rational, scientific principles and extend them well beyond reason and evidence to promote claims that the particular plant and animal extracts they provide have near magical medicinal qualities. This is the very paragon of pseudoscience, the presentation of unsupported, often irrational hypotheses, mingled with scientific terminology and a sprinkling of tangentially related actual scientific facts to create a set of faith beliefs that appear to be scientific but do not actually conform to the philosophy, methods, or data of legitimate science.

It is quite reasonable and demonstrably true, for example, that nutritional deficiencies can cause disease, and that  supplementation with the appropriate nutrients can prevent and treat such diseases. This does not, however, support the generalization that all disease is associated with nutritional deficiencies, or that all disease can be ameliorated with proper nutritional supplementation. Food and nutrients of appropriate kind and quantity are unquestionably necessary for health and even life, but that has very little to do with whether or not the specific theories about the benefits of particular foods and nutrients sold by Standard Process are true.

Of course, Standard Process products are not simple vitamin and mineral supplements. They contain complex mélanges of plant and animal ingredients. The marketing materials talk a lot about the value of “whole foods.” The claim is frequently made that plant and animal tissues contain combinations of chemicals (never called by that dirty word, of course) that provide greater health prevention and treatment benefits in combination that individual nutrients can alone. And it is taken as a given that “processing” of any kind, including cooking, ruins the nutritional and health value of foods. The key to healthful supplements are that they contain whole, unprocessed, natural ingredients, preferably organically produced.

All of these are fairly standard arguments seen in the marketing materials for alternative approaches to nutrition. The evidence does not generally support such claims. Organic food appears to be no healthier than conventionally produced foods, though there may still be some environmental advantages to organic production methods. And while cooking and other kinds of processing do alter the nutrient content of foods, this is a pretty well-understood phenomenon. Some nutrients become more available, and those that are diminished by cooking can be effectively replaced. So the evidence does not support claimed health benefits for raw foods in humans or pets. “Natural,” of course is a meaningless marketing term. Synergy can exist between compounds in a whole plant, but it requires complex, thorough investigation to document that it actually does occur in any particular plant. And finally, the issue of “processing” of foods is a complex mishmash of fact and mythology. In general, “processed food” is used as a synonym for “junk food,” but clearly every time you wash, chop, season, or cook your food, you are “processing” it, and usually improving it. Claims about the nutritional inadequacy or deleterious effects of commercial pet foods are not supported by real evidence.

What is particularly odd about the emphasis in Standard Processes’ marketing materials on natural, unprocessed, whole foods is that their supplements cannot in any reasonable way be described by any of these buzzwords. They are complex mixtures of herbs, plant extracts, vitamins and minerals combined with “Protomorphogen” and “Cytosol” extracts. highly processed substances derived through proprietary processes from animal tissues, These mixtures are then compounded into tablets or powders. So mixtures that would never be found in nature in forms that are the result of extensive technological processing are sold as natural whole foods?

The animal tissue extracts represent another element to Dr. Lee’s unproven, pseudoscientific nutritional theories. It is true that deficiencies in the function of some glands can be remedied by supplementation with relevant substances from the same gland. However, it is usually true that purified isolates or synthetic forms of these glandular products are superior to whole organ supplements, and often the supplement cannot be given orally anyway. And none of this has any relevance to the broader claims that whole gland products or gland extracts prevent or treat disease through the action of numerous, often unidentified substances.

Ultimately, the idea that treating kidney disease by feeding ground up kidneys to the patient, as an example, is not a scientific hypothesis but yet another form of sympathetic magic. This is a descriptive term from anthropology which refers to a form of magical belief found in most cultures, that things which resemble one another in some superficial way can be used to influence each other. Mandrake root must be an aphrodisiac or fertility treatment because the root resembles a human penis; voodoo dolls that look like a particular person can be used to harm them; and diseases that involve a particular organ can be treated by feeding supplements made from that or a related organ.

There does not seem to be any real research evidence to support the claim than glandulars in general, or the “special” gland extracts sold by Standard Process, have any significant health benefits. Those who promote the use of these products support their assertions with clinical experience, case reports and uncontrolled case series, and reference to pre-clinical research showing that some chemicals from some glands have some effects. Much of the supporting research comes from publications devoted exclusively to promoting these products or alternative therapies in general. And, of course, there are plenty of anecdotes and testimonials to miraculous cures brought about by these products, which have their usual lack of probative value. Well-designed and conducted clinical trials published in mainstream peer-reviewed journals do not appear to exist, despite the fact that the company has been producing and marketing supplements for over 70 years.

As is usual with pseudoscience, claims about the products and unsupported theories are mingled with tangentially related facts from legitimate scientific theory and research. One example of the marketing materials for the Standard Process veterinary product line illustrates this technique. The document, published in Standard Process’ own pseudojournal Whole Food Nutrition Journal, begins with a list of known nutrient deficiency diseases. It then proceeds to point out that the transition from “traditional” to “modern” diets is associated with health problems. This has, of course, some truth to it, though it has nothing to do with the claims that will later come about the specific relationship between Standard Process supplements and health, and it ignores the fact that so-called “traditional” diets are themselves associated with nutritional deficiency diseases.

The infamous Pottenger study is mentioned, which is a common warning sign of veterinary nutritional pseudoscience. This is a poorly designed experiment from the 1940s that involved feeding milk and meat, either cooked or raw, to cats. The cats fed the cooked meat developed nutritional and developmental diseases, which is often cited as evidence that raw foods are healthier than cooked foods. Unfortunately, the complete lack of experimental controls or proper evaluation of the subject, and the simple fact that both diets were grossly deficient and utterly unlike the commercial pet foods the study is usually used to criticize, make the results meaningless. Pseudoscience at its best, or worst.

The pattern continues throughout the document, and is characteristic of the rest of Standard Process advertising. A mixture of hypotheses and outright fantasy with vaguely related scientific information to create the false impression that the whole is sound.  What the company is pretty careful not to do is make direct claims that its products prevent or treat actual diseases. Thanks to the ridiculously lax regulation of dietary supplements, it is possible to suggest, imply, and in a multiplicity of clever ways mislead the consumer, and even veterinarians, into believing the products have proven value in disease treatment or prevention. However, straight out claims that the products are medicinal are not allowed. The company and its founder have been sanctioned numerous times in the past by the Food and Drug Administration for illegal claims about their products. The current leadership is now more careful. However, believers in these supplements, primarily chiropractors and naturopaths as well as “holistic” veterinarians, devise and teach each other strategies for deciding which supplements to use when.

Bottom Line
The theories about the relationship between food, nutrients and health invented by Dr. Lee and still promoted by Standard Process are unscientific and not supported by scientific evidence.

The marketing claims that the products are beneficial because they are unprocessed, natural, whole foods are both meaningless and inconsistent with the real nature of the products, which are highly processed, artificial mixtures of compounds.

The promotional materials used to advertise these products to veterinarians and consumers are highly misleading pseudoscience, mixing unproven and unscientific ideas with bits of real science that do not actual have anything to do with the validity of the claims made about the company’s theories or products.

There is no evidence beyond individual opinion, anecdotes, and poorly designed case series to indicate that Standard Process products have any value in treating or preventing disease. More than 70 years after the company began manufacturing and selling supplements, there are still no good quality clinical trials demonstrating that any of their products are effective for the prevention or treatment of any medical condition.

Ultimately, the choice to use these products is a gamble, trusting that notoriously unreliable forms of evidence such as anecdotes can accurately guide us in the absence of any real scientific evidence.

 

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124 Responses to Standard Process=Standard Nonsense

  1. Somewhat confused too says:

    Skep, you’re killing me with this.
    “…objective evidence concerning what is true and false. The cult of personality doesn’t work very well in modern medicine, where you need to provide evidence for your claims.”

    You’re right I’m not getting it, so let’s take a look at midwifery. From the thread, I would assume you consider this practice “quackery”, correct? If midwifery didn’t work, there would be a lot of dead babies and it would be illegal to practice, correct? If an expecting mother asked me about my experience, I would tell her. Are you suggesting that I provide her with a clinical studies/research (objective evidence) that it does work? I’m not sure that’s necessary, but I must be missing something. If a midwife loses a baby, she would lose her license. If a doctor practices bad medicine, what happens?

    Additionally, the results of botched clinical trials are not always made public and typically, the pharm company simply continues with the research until they get a marketable product that won’t kill more than 10-20 percent of its’ customers.

    Many of the diseases (HIV /AIDS, etc…) we face today didn’t exist 50 years ago, so how are today’s doctors equipped to handle the onslaught of patients whose bodies are simply deteriorating twice as fast as they were 50-100 years ago for no apparent reason (but one’s diet). What about man-made viruses, diseases, etc…? What about the testing that was done and the drugs that given to minorities and physically/mentally impaired children in the 40s, 50s, and 60s? You call that progress?

    I’m not saying alternative therapies are better than modern medicine. I prefer health care that enables my body to heal itself naturally, instead of being pumped with a bunch of synthetic drugs. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to see a medical doctor for something simple, let’s say chronic constipation. That’s an over kill. I want to see a medical doctor when I have a broken arm or planter faciitis (oh, wait that’s a foot specialist, probably not a “real” doctor). I’m saying that alternative medicines/therapies appear to be a viable options for issues/conditions (with a few supplements) that the body can cure. If a medical doctor is going to tell me to take Miralax and ND (or a NRT practitioner) will probably advise something less intrusive.

    I’m missing what’s wrong with that.

  2. skeptvet says:

    I’m not sure what midwifery has to do with anything, since I don’t recall every commenting on that or evaluating the evidence concerning it. I don’t have an opinion on the subject, and this is a thread about Standard Process supplements, so I’m not sure what the relevance is. I don’t think our discussion is going to be very productive if we are talking about entirely different things.

    The point you seem not to be able to appreciate is that we are are imperfect, and our personal experiences mislead us about the nature of the world in many ways. This is an established fact of cognitive psychology, and I can refer you to books on the subject if you like (you mmight start with the short and accessible Don’t Believe Everything You Think by Tomas Kida). If you take a medicine, whether conventional or alternative, and you get better, it doesn’t necessarily mean the medicine made you better. And if you take a medicine, conventional or alternative, and die, it doesn’t necessarily eman the medicine killed you or even that it would not be a useful therapy for others with a similar disease. Medicine is complex, and there are many many things happening in every patient all at once, so simplistic associations like “I took the pill and got better, so the pill worked” are simply inaccurate.

    That’s why clinical trials are so useful. Sure, sometimes negative results are suppressed by industry, but that doesn’t mean that scientific research oesn’t work, only that people don’t always like the results of research that contradicts what they want to believe. And the fact that people are dying of degenerative diseases and cancer in their 80s instead of polio as children does mean that science and medicine work better than what went before, which was essentially the same folk medicine that has now been relabeld “alternative medicine.” We aren’t experiencing these diseases because modern medicine is a failure but because when we eliminate some causes of mortality (such as most childhood infectious disease), we have the time to live long enough to experience others. Modern medicine is constantly improving, but nobody is suggesting we’ll ever be in a place where no one gets sick or dies. The fact that we can routinely expect to live about twice as long as ever before in human history is clearly a sign we’re doing something right.

    So what’s wrong with alternative medicine? Well, people claim to be able to treat diseases based only on their faith in ideas or their personal experiences, and often they are wrong. We know homeopathy does not and cannot work. 150 years of study, we are as certain of this as can be. Yet people sell it to sick people instead of medicine that might actually work, and people suffer and die as a result. This is wrong. Now not everything labeled “alternative” is like homeopathy. Some of it may work well. However, we can’t tell just by trying it out, only by studying it usingt he methods of science. Otherwise, alternative medicine is more religion than medicine.

  3. Somewhat confused too says:

    “…objective evidence concerning what is true and false. The cult of personality doesn’t work very well in modern medicine, where you need to provide evidence for your claims.”

    You’re right, I am misunderstanding your point issue (above). How is this supposed to play out in a casual conversation? Where is the average person to get “objective evidence” of modern medicine about cures for cancers, Gladstone, heart attacks, and other health issues? Patients typically take what they’re doctor’s say as their fate and only recourse. I believe some patients are too trusting and/or they want a quick cure/remedy.
    Where does the average patient get access to clinical studies for prescribed pharm/medicines? What if I did have the evidence but was apprehensive because the side effects are too risky for me; should I take the meds anyway?
    Your process makes sense, but I’ve never had a conversation (even with my docs) where objectives evidence was a key factor in my decision making.
    For example, let’s take a look at midwifery. From the thread, I would assume you consider this practice “quackery”, correct? If midwifery didn’t work, there would be a lot of dead babies and it would be illegal to practice, correct? If an expecting mother asked me about my experience, I would tell her. Are you suggesting that I provide her with a clinical studies/research (“objective evidence”) that midwifery is a safer option to having a baby at the hospital? I’m not sure that’s necessary, but I must be missing something. If a midwife loses a baby, she would lose her license. If a doctor practices bad medicine, what happens?
    Additionally, the results of botched clinical trials are not always made public and typically. Pharm companies simply continues with the research until they get a marketable product that won’t kill more than 10-20 percent of its’ customers. Or they won’t answer/return calls (the largest pesticide company, for example).
    Putting faith in modern medicine is hard to swallow. Many of the diseases (HIV /AIDS, etc…), we face today, did not exist 50 years ago, so how are today’s doctors equipped to handle the onslaught of patients whose bodies are simply deteriorating twice as fast as they were 50-100 years ago for no apparent reason (but one’s diet)? What about man-made viruses, diseases, etc…? What about all the testing that was done on and the drugs that were given to minorities and physically/mentally impaired children in the 50s, and 60s? You call that progress? This research kept a secret. Why?
    I am not under the false illusion that alternative therapies are better than modern medicine. I prefer health care that enables my body to heal itself naturally, instead of being pumped with a bunch of synthetic drugs. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to see a medical doctor for something simple, let’s say chronic constipation. That’s an over kill. I want to see a medical doctor when I have a broken arm or planter faciitis (oh, wait that’s a foot specialist, probably not a “real” doctor). I’m saying that alternative medicines/therapies appear to be a viable options for issues/conditions (with a few supplements) that the body can cure. If a medical doctor is going to tell me to take Miralax, then I would hope, a ND will probably advise something less intrusive.

    I have the feeling I’m still missing your point though.

  4. skeptvet says:

    How is this supposed to play out in a casual conversation? Where is the average person to get “objective evidence” of modern medicine about cures for cancers, Gladstone, heart attacks, and other health issues? Patients typically take what they’re doctor’s say as their fate and only recourse. I believe some patients are too trusting and/or they want a quick cure/remedy.
    Where does the average patient get access to clinical studies for prescribed pharm/medicines? What if I did have the evidence but was apprehensive because the side effects are too risky for me; should I take the meds anyway?
    Your process makes sense, but I’ve never had a conversation (even with my docs) where objectives evidence was a key factor in my decision making.

    Patients need to be informed consumers of healthcare just like they are with other kinds of “products.” You need to learn which questions to ask and then you have a right to expect informative and evidence-based answers from your doctor. I was recently offered a new medicine, and I asked my doctor about the evidence for it. She was able to turn to the computer in the exam room and pull up the only two research studies on the drug and print them out to me in under a minute. The tools are out there for doctors and patients to both practice evidence-based medicine, rather than rely solely on opinion, authority, and habit. Nothing is perfect, but it is possible for you to go to your physician, or to an advocacy group (think American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, etc), the Cochrane Collaboration, the US Preventative Services Taskforce, the NIH’s guidelines clearinghouse, and many other resources to evaluate the evidence for yourself. There’s even a patient advocacy project called Ask for Evidence specifically devoted to this.

    Now, that’s not to say you don’t have to have trust in your doctor. If we could know everything our doctor knows, we wouldn’t need one, so you have to take their advice and recommendations seriously, more seriously than your own internet research. But trust is built through good communication, and part of coming to trust your doctor’s advice should be knowing that he or she can and will give you good, science-based reasons for their recommendations when you ask.

    So my point is simply that individual belief and personal stories are unreliable and misleading, and when there is better, more objective scientific evidence, we can and should expect it to be the basis for the medical care we receive and we give our pets.

  5. Somewhat confused too says:

    Well stated. Sorry about the duplicate post. My computer has errors. I’m going to get that book (but I have to tell you, an ND referred me to it before). Will definitely keep a watch on this blog. Very informative.

  6. Un-healthy nut says:

    In the “Bottom Line” it says there is no scientific evidence of a relationship between food, nutrients, and health. REALLY??? Or how about the statement “What the company is pretty careful not to do is make direct claims that its products prevent or treat actual diseases.” Again I say REALLY, could that be because the FDA, being supported financially by big Pharmaceutical company’s, says it’s against the law to make this statement. Now I’m not saying that I know anything about the truth or falsity or Standard Process’ statements, but yours definitely seem biased and not based in reality.

  7. skeptvet says:

    Perhaps your own bias shows in your deliberate and misleading quoting of my conclusion:

    “The theories about the relationship between food, nutrients and health invented by Dr. Lee and still promoted by Standard Process are unscientific and not supported by scientific evidence.”

    Of course there are relationships between food, nutrients and health. However, the specific relationships Dr. Lee claims are not supported by cientific evidence.

    As for blaming Big Pharma, have you considered that Dr. Lee is making a pretty impressive pile of money selling this product, without having to jump through any of the hoops the government requires of Big Pharma to do so? Why is that ok?

  8. Parry Romberg says:

    A wise, yet hardly standout M.D. told me the best advice once regarding online medicinal debate. If there are two very polarized opinions on the subject, the answer is probably someplace in-between. That seems to be clearly what is happening here. As unscientific as it is to say, just because something cannot be explained, or more directly has not or cannot be demonstrated under proper study does not mean that it is false. 9 out of 10 Americans believe in God. Does that make any scientific sense? No, but even if a mass delusion, it’s still worthy of study, understanding and perhaps misunderstood value. http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/americans-continue-believe-god.aspx

  9. skeptvet says:

    Unfortunately, you begin with the Middle Ground Fallacy. The fact that there are two different opinions does not imply that the truth must lie between them. It is just as likely that one opinion is true and the other false.

    And as far as this debate goes, there really arent’ two oppositte poles, there are simply those who believe that Standard process works because of their personal experiences and those of us who believe you can’t know whether or not it works solely on the basis of anecdotes. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, only that claiming it does on the basis of anecdotes is unjustified. Since there is a positive anecdote for everthing ever tried, accepting these as the sole evidence means one has to believe in everything.

    And the fact that 9/10 (actually, it’s closer to 8/10) Amerticans believe in God again says nothing about whether or not they are right (that would be the Bandwagon Fallacy). Certainly the belief of so many people is important for many reasons, but the number of believers says nothing about whether the belief is true or false.

    The core debate here, as always, is how we decide what is true about the world. Either you accept individual experience as reliable, des[pite the enormous evidence it is not, or you accept that anecdotal evidence is deeply unreliable and science is better, though of course not perfect. Supporters of Standard Process seem to share one characteristic of religious believers in that they get offnded by the suggestion their belief might be wrong, and they don’t feel any evidence beyond their own belief is required. I think we are better off if we rely on science and evidence rather than experience and faith to decide which medicines work and which don’t. You are free to disagree, but I haven’t heard any convincing argument against that position, only complaints that it feels wrong.

  10. Hmmm says:

    SkepVet I hear what you’re saying and I have to disagree.

    I use Standard Process nutrients, and I know, and this is the truth, that the nutrients I get from SP do the same work on me as the “vetted medications” claim they will do, and then some. Without giving personal medical, it’s hard to really describe. Other than it does the same job, the work it does exceeds the performance of the vetted meds, and it has zero side effects for a literal smidgeon of the cost.

    You can call it what you want, but I don’t see any validation for any of this you claim, myself.

  11. skeptvet says:

    Everyone is entitled to their personal faith. But faith and personal experience have proven to be very poor guides to what works compared with science.

  12. Jeanne says:

    Alternative Medicine verses Medical Drugs
    There is really no way anyone could say Medical Therapy is better than
    Natural Alternative unless they have never tried Alternative Medicine.
    After being in the Health and Nutrition Industry for over 30 years I can
    say for treating diseases the natural is the only way.
    Liked your website.
    Jeanne..Certified Nutrition

  13. skeptvet says:

    Oh, well, that settles it then. 😉

  14. v.t. says:

    Jeanne, is that a fly-by post, or would you care to provide evidence to back up your, well, totally baseless and factless opinion?

  15. Amanda Stewart says:

    All I know is that taking Standard Process products has given me a 50% plus increase in feeling in my feet which are numb. Something that the medical profession has been unable to do, just shrugging their shoulders and not knowing what’s wrong with me. I don’t care about superior medical viewpoints. You can’t fix me but These tablets have helped.

  16. Deanna tedesco says:

    The biggest problem is see is that medical Dr’s are completely brainwashed when it comes to seeing the real value or potential value in an alternative treatment. If I see 10 dr for the same issue and try tons of Perscription meds that do nothing but cause more issues, why wouldn’t I want to try homeopathy or a whole food product like Standard Process. There is a place in this world for medical dr’s , but there is also a place in this world for herbs, whole food and proper nutrition. We are what we eat !!! And in my opinion our bodies are suffering from what we have been putting in them for decades and even generations. I was raised on TV dinners and it’s no wonder my body is failing, and my children are suffering as well , it will only get worse untill we go back to eating the way God intended, but that’s a whole new discussion. I do understand the value in clinical trials, but honestly we a nations have to come togeather and say my body is making to much cholesterol for a reason ??? I’m not taking that Lipitor !! Let’s put some research money into more natural cures and treatments like standard process ! Let’s start making medical students learn how proper and improper nutrition affects our genetics and health.
    I know my thoughts are all over the place here, I read the initial thread because I’m going to try a standard process supplyment for my damaged bladder ( long story) , so far all the dr ‘s I have seen don’t have answers , take this , try this … My medicine cabinet is full of drugs that don’t help . There is a place for natural remidies and dr Lee is most certainly on to something as are those that support it !
    I have really lost faith in the medical community, and dr’s have become robots just handing out drugs … It’s madness !! How can we trust anything ??? They said stay away from butter , ok ..so why is heart disease worse ? Our brain needs that fat !!! I could go on, but my point is … Don’t bash something because there are no clinical scientific proof, your brainwashed if you think something is only good if it has a blessing from the FDA …. For god sakes read what you wrote
    Deanna

  17. skeptvet says:

    When you respond to substantive criticism of something with no evidence but only cries that anyone who disagrees with you is “brainwashed,” there is no reason for anyone to take you seriously. You are clearly defending your personal faith, and that’s a matter of religion more than science, so there’s likely no point to a debate about it.

  18. Daniel says:

    skeptvet,

    So are you of the opinion that there is zero value in SP’s supplements? Let’s say a medical doctor prescribed 250mg dose of Magnesium, would you feel comfortable getting that suppliment from SP?

    Or, is your issue simply the “larger” claims that these alternatives are the only way and can lend themselves to curing cancer, etc.

    I’m of the opinion, there is a lot to proper nutrition and a healthy lyfestyle. For instance, my doctor told me my cholesterol was high and wanted to put me on a statin immidiately. I told him no, that I would handle this on my own.

    At my 3-month follow-up I had lowered my LDL about 30 “points” and increased my HDL by about 10. (can’t remember my triglycerides, but it was better as well). He asked me how I did it.

    I told him the following:

    1. I cut out fast food
    2. I switched ALL of my beef to grass-fed
    3. I started taking a 1/2 dose of red yeast rice
    4. Added a salad per day to my diet

    That was it. No Statin for me, I simply chose a healthier life-style.

  19. CEP says:

    Deanna Tedesco’s comment does offer a good point in that the current medical model often times does not spend enough time determining the root of the issue.

    Doctor’s are very quick to consider drugs that also do not have clinical studies offering significant evidence of more benefit then cost in the long run, there has simply not been enough time to see the long-term side effects (in humans). Doctor’s should be considering more natural preventive care options before resorting to pharmaceuticals.

    I would like to see more significant evidence for both increased nutritional intake through whole food supplements and many of the pharmaceuticals that shouldn’t even be legal. There simply has not been enough time to explore the consequences of either (just my personal opinion). I can understand both sides of this debate, however, it is evident that humans were not meant to be eating Doritos and Oreos. Science has proven that proper nutrition can improve healthy and can decrease the risks (many articles on that). I really do hope the Standard Process gets some scientific backing on their product if it is really as effective nutritionally as they claim, but I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist though so I highly doubt that you will seen any of articles of that sort in the near future. You barely can find articles that are disproving of the Monsanto “vision”. That’s a whole other conversation.

  20. skeptvet says:

    The appeal to nature fallacy is, well appealing, but it isn’t correct. The assumption here is that “pharmaceuticals” are inherently less safe and more harmful than “natural” remedies. That flies in the face of the history of human health, which is about millennia of unrelieved suffering which only began to change in a meaningful way with the advent of science, and with the strong current evidence for the harm so-called “natural” products can do. Sure, doctors doo all kinds of things they shouldn’t. But that is not evidence against the value of science or for the value of made up “natural” remedies.

    As you say, the “conspiracy” issue is another conversation, but also not, I’m afraid, a compelling reason to eschew scientific medicine in favor or stuff like Protandim.

  21. skeptvet says:

    There are a number of problems with your argument. While everyone is in favor of a “healthy lifestyle,” what that is can’t be effectively determined without research. The assumptions that “natural” is healthy and “drugs” are unhealthy simply doesn’t hold up much of the time. And unfortunately, the evidence currently suggests that the healthiest diet is mostly fruits and vegetables, some lean protein, and way fewer calories than most of us can tolerate in the long run. It is simple, but not easy or we’d all be lean and fit.

    In the case of your own choices, for example, you may very well be taking a statin. Red Yeast rice only effects cholesterol because it has the exact same chemical in it as is in Lipitor (lovastatin). Only it is less safe and effective than the “drug” because the amount is inconsistent and unpredictable. Now theoretically, the government has changed the regulations so the manufacturer is supposed to remove the lovastatin from the red yeast rice, in which case it won’t do anything to your cholesterol. This product is a classic example of the misconception that chemicals in plants are somehow better than chemicals taken out of plants and put into pills.

    As for the rest of the changes you made in your diet, I have no doubt any doctor would applaud those. If they consistently lower your cholesterol to an appropriate level, good for you. If, like most people, you are inconsistent in your dietary habits over the long term and your cholesterol creeps back up as your willpower slips, well the “natural” approach might not be the better choice.

  22. Cecile says:

    Interesting discussion here, but some of the comments kill me. I wonder if Daniel has more ideas to drop cholesterol, if you already don’t eat fast food, do eat salad daily, rarely eat lean beef and your cholesterol is still over 300 mg/dl….maybe the red yeast rice would do it? Sometimes it’s genetic and all the good food in the world isn’t going to help.

    I have researched SP products enough to decide that I wouldn’t want to deal with a company started by someone who was convicted of false claims about what his products could actually accomplish. The real ‘convincer’ was an article that explained what Catalyn really is. They claim it’s a complete multivitamin, but yet it only lists 6 vitamins on the label and in very small concentrations. But best of all it lists all of those 6 vitamins again in their chemical names as “Other ingredients”, meaning they are added after to the processed “whole food” mix…they are not the main ingredients. Basically, you are buying a mostly starch pill with some vitamins thrown in. Pretty deceiving to me. Here’s the article that explains it well. http://rense.com/general94/cata.htm

    Yes, pharmaceutical companies are trying to make money off of us with lies, but so is SP…they are no better.

  23. CEP says:

    The article is not a study and does not contain data or evidence to support the claims. The product could very well do all that it is intended to do but research does not support that either. Somewhat of a draw it seems…until there is real supporting or disproving data.

  24. skeptvet says:

    Not quite. The issue is that the company makes positive claims, and very dramatic ones, for the product without evidence. This article does cite the little evidence that does exist, and it is not supportive of the company’s claims. The appropriate response to such claims is to point out that there is no evidence for them and so the accuracy of them cannot be evaluated. This doesn’t mean the product doesn’t work, which I’ve never asserted. But it does mean that there is no good reason to believe it does.

    So it’s not exactly a draw. The company claims things without evidence, while this article points out that there is no evidence for those claims. I believe my assertions are limited and fact-based, whereas the company’s claims are broad and unsupported.

  25. andrea says:

    Our vet recently recommended a supplement for our dog’s sensitive digestive system. My husband spoke to the vet and bought the product without doing any research. Needless to say, when I saw the list of ingredients (bovine stomach and spleen, porcine (pig) spleen, veal bones, etc.), I was beyond horrified. As someone who takes a natural approach to my own diet (I still take traditional medicine and visit a regular doctor as necessary), I do know my fair share about nutrition and food. I went to the Standard Process website to try and make sense of this and it just convinced me that this company is a scam. I wanted to know why this would be recommended for my dog’s particular condition, but the site doesn’t address at all how feeding a powder made of obscure animal body parts would help my dog. I then wanted to see where the parts come from- no information whatsoever. All the site says is that they follow USDA and FDA standards. That does not say where they get the animals (I suspect these are slaughterhouse leftovers), or how the animals were raised or if they were treated with antibiotics or hormones or both. Other people raised these concerns on Standard Process’ Facebook page and the responses were so vague as to completely confirm my suspicions. We will be returning these supplements and I thank the Skep Vet for addressing this head on. Regardless of whether these supplements help or don’t help people and animals, we at least have a right to know where the ingredients come from and how these combinations of ingredients are supposed to work.

  26. Terri says:

    My father-in-law has diabetes. He was attempting to control it by totally eliminating ALL foods with any amount of sugar. He would not even eat a banana because it would cause a spike in his blood sugar, as evidenced by the results of his daily blood glucose testing via Ascensia Blood Glucose Monitor. He refused his very favorite dessert, apple pie, because it would cause his blood sugar to soar to 200-230. Although he maintained his blood glucose levels fairly consistently at an average of 120, he had lost quite a bit of weight due to his self-imposed extremely restricted diet. Because of his age, his PCP was concerned that he was TOO thin -and that he NEEDED to GAIN weight. A friend recommended he see his doctor. This physician (not a chiropractor or naturopath or any other alternative health care provider – but a family practice physician) recommended StandardProcess Diaplex (3 three times a day) and Gymnema (1 three times daily). He began eating some of his favorite foods again, including bananas and apple pie. One evening, he had TWO slices of pumpkin pie but in the morning, his blood glucose was only 114. That had NOT ever happened in the past. He now maintains a blood glucose reading between 90 – 110 – all while eating foods he previously refused to eat because of their sugar content! (Please be aware that he maintains a diabetic type diet, eating any forms of sugar selectively and reasonably. I mention the sugary foods above and the results of daily blood glucose testing as proof of efficacy.) he is elated that he now has more freedom and a less restrictive diet. And his A1C proves the effectiveness of his blood sugar control with the Standard Process products! (I do not sell Standard Process. I am only relaying my father-in-laws experience and the clinical evidence (daily blood glucose monitoring as well as A1C testing) of clinical effectiveness.

  27. Rob Frye says:

    I have personal experience with Standard Process canine supplements, specifically their Adrenal Support and Hepatic Support. Both were prescribed by an old-school vet who happens to practice holistic medicine as well as conventional. My new 10 year old rescue Labrador was feeling very poorly and looking very sad: VERY skinny waist, drooping belly, with heavy hair loss creating many bald areas and a very dull coat. He ran blood tests and found her to have a poor liver count. He also felt she may well have Cushings, so he did a day-long test for this with positive results for pituitary Cushings disease.

    Due to the nastiness of conventional treatments for Cushings, he prescribed the S/P Adrenal Support, along with S/P Hepatic Support for her poorly-functioning liver. I administered these two supplements faithfully as prescribed, and within one month I could see an improvement in her physical appearance. He ran another blood test on her liver numbers, and this situation had improved fairly significantly. He also felt her appearance changes were a positive sign on the Cushings as well. It’s now been about 3 months on the S/P products, and my girl is a new dog. Her waist has filled out, her belly has receded, her coat looks great, nice and shiny with the bald spots all filled in and very little shedding. Best of all, she’s now as happy as a clam at high tide!

    At the beginning of this treatment, I was quite skeptical of these natural supplements. But I’m here to tell you that these products have produced amazing results for my dog! I continue to feed her these two wonderful products, and I will continue to do so. The change in her is astounding! Best results I’ve ever seen in a sick doggie! I recently asked the vet about doing a follow-up test on the Cushings. He told me that she looked so good he didn’t see the need. “With Cushings, all one can hope for is some kind of improvement, as it will never be cured by anything we vets can do. She’s showing this in spades, so at this point we’ll save her the indignity of further testing.” Say what you will about this company, all I know is these two particular S/P products worked wonders for my good dog, and I’m well pleased!

  28. skeptvet says:

    I’m happy for you and your dog, but of course I have to remind everyone why such anecdotes are so unreliable, and why we have to demand better quality, scientific evidence from our vets and from the companies that sell them, and us, products for our pets:

    Medical Miracles: Should We Believe?

    Testimonials Lie

    Alternative medicine and placebo effects in pets

    Placebo effects in epileptic dogs

  29. Rob Frye says:

    WOW! “Unreliable anecdotes”? These two S/P products have saved my dog from the misery of these diseases, and the misery of conventional medicines ‘treatments’! They changed her life for the better, there is NO doubt about it. I’ve watched it occur with my own eyes!

    But you sir will likely never be convinced, as you apparently have an agenda to discredit this company. Too bad you are so closed-minded to natural remedies that you paint them all with the same brush, even those which may actually be of benefit to our pets, and us. My vet swears by these S/P products, as he has seen them help many of his patients, including my old girl- with no harm or side-effects found. They flat-out WORKED! To just poo-poo these types of incredibly positive results is stupid, and ignorant! I’m not saying there aren’t natural remedies’ out there that are scams. Certainly there are. I’m only saying that in this case, on scientifically diagnosed diseases, these two S/P products WORKED to help alleviate them! I’ve seen it happen, and I’ve seen the before and after test results on her liver!

    I don’t know if you are familiar with the ‘conventional medicine-big pharma’ method of treatment for canine Cushing’s, but let me just tell you it’s an expensive, complicated, time-consuming, adrenal-damaging procedure that I’m SO glad I did not have to resort to for help! Standard Process saved me, and my good dog, from that awful fate. I just sprinkle the simple S/P dosages on her food twice a day, and she has been transformed! Period, no doubt about it! Night and day!

    And for that, I sincerely thank Standard Process!

  30. Rob Frye says:

    To address skepvet’s ‘testimonials lie’ etc: I might add that again, I’ve always had little faith in most supplements. I’ve tried many of the joint foods and back pain supplements that never did anything for me.

    I’m 68 years old, and I’ve had many Labrador dogs during my life, so I’m not a newbie when it comes to caring for my dogs. Been there, done that, dealt with more vets than I care to count. Some good, some not so much.

    So when the vet suggested we try these products for a month, I did not think they would do any good for these problems, and was certain we’d be back for the conventional method. I continued to think this as I was faithfully adding this stuff to her food. I even called and asked her vet if we were actually doing her more harm by waiting a month before starting conventional therapy.

    So believe me, when I began to see some tell-tale improvement in her after a few weeks, I was a bit skeptical. But as she continued to improve, her coats’ bald areas filled in, her belly tightened up, her waist was filling out, I seriously thought “can this actually be happening?” Well, yes, it was! I wasn’t imagining it, it wasn’t a ‘placebo affect’. She was getting better, and obviously so! Trust me, I had to keep looking at her and reminding myself that yes, she WAS bald, and yes she DID have a hanging belly, etc. The treatment was working! Now after about 3 months, she looks better than ever and is pretty much unrecognizable as the dog of 3 months prior. A miracle? No. Amazing? Yes! True? Yes! That’s all I can say.

  31. skeptvet says:

    It’s funny that when confronted with evidence that anecdotes are unreliable and that people often see what they want to see, instead of considering the possibility that you might be mistaken, you decide I have some evil agenda. You call me closed-minded for trying to suggest that things may not always be what they seem, yet you insist that your observations are absolute proof and incontrovertible. I think there’s a touch of inconsistency there.

    In any case, I didn’t say the product didn’t work. I said that there is little reason to believe it works, and little justification for selling it, without better evidence than anecdotes. Every therapy ever used, from bloodletting, to prayer, has people who swear it works just as you swear SP helped your dog. Either everything works for somebody, or anecdotes can’t be trusted. As always, I’ll let everyone considering the question make up their own mind.

  32. Rob Frye says:

    So, you think I’m just imagining all of this? You’re an idiot!

  33. Rob says:

    So skeptvet. Do you think there are any health risks to taking Standard Process supplements?

  34. skeptvet says:

    Risks are identified the same way benefits are. First basic theoretical mechanisms are validated in pre-clinical studies, then the actual effects in real patients are identified in controlled clinical studies. In the case of Standard Process, this evidence doesn’t exist, so we don’t know if it works OR if it is safe. Anecdotes can suggest both benefits and risks, but by themselves they aren’t reliable proof of these. Both miraculous cures and horrible harm are reported by individuals for most every therapy out there, and determining which reports are accurate and which are in error requires controlled research.

    So I view the safety as just as unproven as the efficacy. And claims about both by the company or users simply aren’t justified without supportive evidence. There are certainly many, many examples of harm done by therapies that many people claimed to have used safely and effectively, so again these claims by themselves simply don’t tell us the answer:

    The Harm Complementary and Alternative Medicine Can Do

    Evidence Concerning the Safety and Efficacy of Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

    What’s the Harm?

  35. Dr Holly says:

    Well, this 20-year scientist (me) has had GREAT success with Standard Process products, and I’ve seen awesome results in those around me as well. So grateful to have access to alternatives!!!!

  36. skeptvet says:

    Being a scientist doesn’t matter if you are not reasoning scientifically. If you believe you can claim the product works on the basis of personal experience, rather than controlled evidence, then you are ignoring science no matter how well-versed in it you may be.

  37. believer says:

    I use these supplements for my high blood pressure which is triggered by anxiety.
    Since I refuse to take western meds to calm my anxiety and lower my bp because I’m only 45 and don’t want to be on prescriptions for the remainder of my life, I’m trying sp products first. It’s going on week 4 that I’ve been tracking my bp while taking cataplex d n my bp numbers are lower than they’ve been in a few years. I really don’t know what else to contribute this forever to. Maybe my diet? I am more aware of what I’m eating, and trying not to eat bad carbs and fat. However, those foods have never been a problem for me. I’m not a big drinker either. 2-3 glasses of wine a week, if that. I’d say these supplements are doing me mite good than harm.

  38. skeptvet says:

    I’m glad things are going well for you, of course, but I’ve already addressed many times why such stories don’t really tell us if a medication is safe and effective or not. If they did, we’d have to believe every such story and no medical therapy ever tried could be viewed as a failure since there are positive stories for every one, from bloodletting to faith healing to herbal remedies. And the idea that being on a concoction like this is somehow safer than being on medicines which have been tested to identify their risks and benefits is simply a dangerous misconception. Whether this works or not, and whether it is safe or not is something we don’t know without appropriate research, so using it is a kind of medical roulette.

  39. Justin says:

    Skeptvet, I disagree with you concerning raw diets for animals. I would like to comment on the raw / whole foods for dogs. I have 2 border collies, now 7 and 8 years old. They are very active as we have several acres and they are allowed outside to run whenever they want. 4 years ago, our male border (3.5 years old then) began exhibiting symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, no appetite. Countless times back and forth to the vet , allergy testing , antibiotics, etc. Nothing was ever found, and he would eventually get better. Finally, a friend and reputable breeder kept insisting I try a raw diet. I discussed it multiple times w/h my vet, and other breeders , who all claims dog foods are perfectly balanced and healthy for dogs as they are all anti-raw diet. Even you seem to agree that raw is not better than kibble. At one point, my vet practically tried selling me some special ” big box name kibble she had on her shelves, which was the “cure all” for my dogs symptoms. I declined and decided to give a raw diet a shot. 4 years later, both dogs are still on the raw diet, and not once of the “horrible ” things that could happen, happened. My wife and I have never became ill (nor the dogs for that matter) from E coli or Salmonella poisoning. They are fed a variety of ground meats w/h bone such as venison, chicken, quail, organ meet, sardines, eggs, pumpkin, etc. Both dogs have NOT once gotten diarrhea since being on the raw diet. Their diet cost almost as much as the “premium dog crap food from pet retail stores”. I will never return to kibble as now I see what any ” Premium brand dog food” does to your animal. It slowly kills them inside. It is pure crap and garbage.

  40. Pingback: Veterinary Chiropractic – Stigmatized By Pseudoscience | heatherclemenceau

  41. J says:

    So you believe that every thing the FDA approves is safe ans that pharmaceutical companies have aee best interest in heart ? I suggest you look up the johnson and johnson scandel.

    I dont think that many of these scientific trials being ran on most of the drugs today would even remotely resemble thr scientific method.

    The end of the argument is this, there is no money in supplements for BIG Pharma becuase the supplements cant be patented and thus no research is being done on supplements.

    And numerous drugs are being recalled yearly even though they were “throughly researched” by the fda.

    If you take vitamins your a hippie and if you take valium your just drinking the cool aide.

    To dismiss alternative medicine outright is foolish and anyone who is atleast not open to the idea that there is more to medicine that what your doctor who sees 40 people a day to just refill their beta blocker prescribes is ignorant.

    Now if you will excuse me , its time for my coffee ground enema

  42. skeptvet says:

    Sorry, but you’re wrong on several counts.

    1. The purpose of regulation is to restrain the inclination of companies to pursue profit even when their products don’t work or harm people. Regulation of healthcare products is imperfect and needs much improvement. However, it still makes healthcare safer and more effective than the absence of regulation and allowing anyone to sell anything with any claim they like and no evidence, which is what everyone did before the FDA and what supplement manufacturers get away with now because they have fooled the public and bought their own politicians.

    2. The is HUGE profit to be made in supplements, to the tune of billions of dollars every year. And the Big Pharma companies are already getting into that game. Big corporations make most of the money from these products, so you’ve been misled if you think they are any less profit driven or more interested in your well-being than Big Pharma. The only thing different about the supplement industry is that they are less regulated so they get away with more.

  43. Justine says:

    Wow what a debate. After reading through everything I can say I clearly see both sides. Skepvet has some great facts and is right. There is no conclusive data that Standard Process supplements work. Only personal testimonies with no real supporting scientific evidence. I myself have taken Standard process supplements when I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and had multiple anxiety attacks every week. Doctors were very quick to inform me Meds were the only way to go. I did however decide to take Standard Process vitamins and minerals first. After all the risks were not as great as most medications and I figured if they dont work ill try the meds. One week of taking the Standard Process supplements Catalyn and Min Chex I immediately felt a decrease in anxiety. I haven’t had an anxiety attack in 3 months now and my T4 was just rechecked and is now normal. However, I have no scientific proof it was the Standard Process supplements. I do believe if I had taken the Synthroid I would be much worse off. My conclusion is that I wish I would have been part of a scientific study to determine if it was the Standard Process supplements that worked or not. Im now wondering if there is a way for people who decide to use the Standard Process supplements to become a part of a clinical trial to establish some scientific data on these supplements, and why it hasn’t been done before?

  44. virginia smedley says:

    For years I used Standaard Process and found it to do wonders for me. Especially for my heart. Used Dr Wests suggestions. I have since become allergic to wheat. Have had to stop standard process. However I continued to use two products that stopped colds & flu’s in its tracts. If you get it in time, Can’t remember the products or how to use them. I need help finding this info

  45. Thomas Sauvageau says:

    First of all I want to thank you for writing this article. For someone like me that is trying to investigate the legitimacy of claims that Standard Process makes in promoting the positive health benefits of whole foods reading the conglomerate of responses has been enlightening.

    I’m left with a sense that the only argument being made to discredit the claims that Standard Process makes is the lack of “reliable evidence” based on findings not being found by “reasoning scientifically”. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Of course I couldn’t agree more. Logically, it seems strange that there wouldn’t be scientific evidence and perhaps that needs to be the question that is truly asked here. Why not? Wouldn’t that be a prerogative of the company to help satisfy questions for question-seekers such as myself?

    Be as it may, I’m having a hard time agreeing with your opinion, especially as succinctly as it is put, that this company and the products they produce lack merit simply on the basis that there is no scientific evidence. In my explorations I’ve found numerous testimonies similar to the ones posted here. Now trying to be as objective as possible I have to admit there are numerous ways that testimonies such as these can be created. The company could hire people to create these testimonies to create trust for their product. Or perhaps in psychology we learn of the Pygmalion Effect where when we expect something to happen it does, or we at least notice it more when it does happen thus thinking that a product is a miracle product which might result in a testimony such as the ones written here. But for all the logical ways I can see positive testimonies written for false reasons, logically and intuitively I can’t see those being the driving factors for the testimonies that I’m reading.

    And in the end intuition is about all we have in regards to making a decision whether a product is what it claims to be or not. Even that all encompassing scientific study still requires our intuition to draw a judgement on whether I will trust that scientific study to lead me to a conclusion to trust that product.

    Intuitively after reading this article and the responses I’m honestly led to believe more in the idea that these products are what they claim to be. Part of this conclusion is drawn on the way you make your argument. Whereas your argument of the lack of proof is valid, it seems odd to draw such a negative opinion based on that one aspect. Continuing from there that leads me to the second reason I believe these products are what they claim to be due to the vast amount of positive personal testimonies people have experienced with these products. That as well gives precedence to the issue of you taking such a strong stance against a product based off of one argument and not based off of an objective look at the whole argument.

    So again I will say thank you for writing this article and thank you to those that responded. This was a great tool to use to educate myself and come to a further conclusion about whether to personally trust the claims that Standard Process makes.

  46. skeptvet says:

    I’m left with a sense that the only argument being made to discredit the claims that Standard Process makes is the lack of “reliable evidence” based on findings not being found by “reasoning scientifically”.

    Not exactly. There are several levels on which claims for a medical treatment should be evaluated. These include a plausible mechanism of action consistent with established knowledge, proof-of-concept research in vitro or in lab experiments, observational and epidemiologic evidence, and ultimately controlled clinical trials. Most new therapies that are proposed will make it partway along this gauntlet but ultimately fail to achieve the final proof of safety and efficacy necessary to be accepted and widely used. Many good ideas simply turn out not to be true, and since living organisms are incredibly complex, simple theories of fail to deliver real benefits. Standard Process has delivered almost no evidence at any of these levels, so t here is no reason to believe the company’s claims.

    You’ll notice that I didn’t mention testimonials or anecdotes among the kinds of evidence we should use to judge a treatment. This is because this type of personal experience, while very psychologically persuasive, is very poor and unreliable evidence. Every therapy ever invented, from prayer to bloodletting to ritual sacrifice to homeopathy to…… has had testimonials to support it. Either every idea is true and every treatment works, or anecdotes aren’t reliable. The evidence of science and history are powerful that the answer is anecdotes are misleading and should only be used to suggest possibilities to be studied, not to decide if a treatment really works or not.

    There have been many studies conducted and many books written about why, exactly, we testimonials are useful only as marketing, not as evidence, and the failure to recognize this is the most important reason ineffective therapies persist. Here are a few articles discussing this important subject:

    Why We’re Often Wrong
    Testimonials Lie
    The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicine
    Why We Need Science: “I saw it with my own eyes” Is Not Enough

    Don’t Believe your Eyes (or Your Brain)
    Medical Miracles: Should We Believe?

  47. Lorri Tappero says:

    I am not a vet, nor am I trained in nutrition or supplements although have a basic understanding of them. I am simply a dog owner who had a very sick pet suffering from Valley Fever. We started our journey last April when he was diagnosed. I took him to my regular vet who determined he had Valley Fever. We started him on one of the 3 medications used to treat Valley Fever which is the most common and the mildest if the 3. After 2 weeks he became very ill. The drug affected his liver and pancreas. We stopped and waited until he recovered then started him again but at a lower dose…..thinking we could increase it over time & possibly his body would tolerate it. As soon as the dosage was increased, he reacted again. I was referred to another vet who was more knowledgable about the disease we were treating. We tried the same thing and got the same reaction. This vet suggested we try the second of the three drugs. Although stronger, he said some dogs could tolerate it better. As soon as we started, my dog became very ill. So ill, I wondered if he would survive. The medication did permanent damage to his pancreas and consequently he became diabetic. He sent me to yet another Valley Fever expert who did clinical studies on new drugs. I was able to get him into the study to test a new medicine for treating Valley Fever. Two days into the trial, he reacted again. She told me there was nothing more I could do for him and that I had tried, but that he would not survive. I asked her about holistic treatment. She said it was not very hopeful but she could refer me to a holistic vet if I wanted to give it a try. We set up an appointment. She began her analysis and treatment of him two months ago. Part of the treatment plan included Standard Process whole food supplements. He has responded very well to the treatment and is doing better now than ever. He is recovering. We have even been able to lower his daily dosage of insulin daily. So maybe my dog is an enigma, but I can say that these supplements have saved his life or prolonged it and have given him some quality of life.

  48. skeptvet says:

    It’s usually impossible to ignore the implications of such anecdotes, despite the overwhelming evidence that they often don’t mean what we think they mean. Your conclusions are perfectly reasonable, but I would at least consider that there are plenty of explanations for the outcome you are seeing besides a real effect from this supplement:

    Why We’re Often Wrong
    Testimonials Lie
    The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicine
    Why We Need Science: “I saw it with my own eyes” Is Not Enough
    Don’t Believe your Eyes (or Your Brain)

  49. KAO says:

    Thanks to everyone!
    My take-a-way from reading all this is…gather all my own personal experiences and perceptions with and of people I know personally, and add to that the testimonials of people I do not know hoping they are not deliberately lying , take some of my hard earned money and give it to a possibly unscrupulous company in exchange for what could be characterized as modern day “snake oil” and, IF I get the results the company purports and I truly desire to receive, then I will have done so with with full warning I am participating in a fraud and in violation of true scientific methods…and yet won’t give a hoot and be pleased with an improved condition…just like many others. IF I don’t get the desired results I can wash the egg off my face as I have had to do many times before for various reasons, take another look at what else might help that complies more closely with the principles of logic and reasoning and try that. Hmm, should I take a chance and place an order? I hate to be duped and loose money to boot but I would sure like to feel better than I do right now. Looking at the pros and cons, guess I’ll give SP a try with expectations that the products are in reality quite bogus so if I get beneficial results I can be pleasantly surprised and glad I gave it try in spite of Skeptvet’s plea of “buyer be very aware” and strong appeal to leave emotions out of the conference room when decisions need to be analyzed logically and rationally.
    Thanks for the enlightenment!

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