Those foolish enough to read WDDTY cannot fail to have noticed that the inside cover has for some time carried an ad by Abundance and Health Ltd. for dietary supplements.
The introductory blurb leaves me somewhat perplexed. Firstly, because there’s only so much Vitamin C you can take into your system before you excrete it (it’s water-soluble) and secondly, WTF is Glutathione? I’ve never heard of it. Well, that’s easily sorted anyway. Stand back while I perform the Rite of WikiPedia using only the power of my mind and a computer keyboard…
Ah, it’s an antioxidant. Moreover, Wikipedia says: “Glutathione is not an essential nutrient, since it can be synthesized in the body from the amino acids” and I for one would tend to accept that, since otherwise we’d be hearing a lot more about glutathione deficiency from the medical establishment. How much are this lot charging for something we do not, in fact, need?
The website says: only £55.95 for a box of 30 sachets and it’s supposed to last you between two and four weeks. The page also claims that “Physicians and researchers all over the world are excited about GSH”. Maybe they are, but certainly not about taking it in oral form. Trying to raise glutathione levels with oral supplements isn’t very effective.
This lot make the clear claim that their oral glutathione is effective in raising blood levels. I think the Advertising Standards Authority might be interested in that (checks with the Nightingale Collaboration) Yes, they were very interested in that: witness this post dated 9 January 2013. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks as if Abundance and Health’s idea of compliance is to change the name of the product and set up a new web domain. Is the ASA aware of this unashamed jiggeryfuckery?
From now on, I shall drop any pretence of assuming good faith on the part of Abundance and Health, because if you admit you can’t provide evidence for your claims and simply sell the same thing under a different label while maintaining some of the claims, you are quite blatantly not in good faith.
On to the Vitamin C, mainly because I mentioned it above, even though the glutathione rubbish and attitude towards the ASA alone are enough to show this lot are probably scammers.
They’ve dropped most of the dodgy health claims that the ASA objected to in the original ad, but still would have you believe that their powders (or gels or whatever the damn things are), are the most efficient way to supplement your vitamin C. This is complete bollocks: if your diet is balanced you don’t need any extra vitamin C, and 1000 mg is way over the adult daily requirement of 40 mg. Need a bit more? Eat some fruit. Incidentally, contrary to a statement elsewhere on the site, you can overdose on vitamin C: symptoms include stomach cramps, the squits and farting. Ask the NHS if you don’t believe me.
There’s a lot of pseudoscientific gibberish about bioavailability, which I shall pause only to sneer at, as we’ve already seen the whole thing is a waste of electrons. It’s only there to gull the marks. There’s the mind-boggling price of £29.95 for a box of 30 (Boots currently sell 20 tabs for £2.59). Now there’s a barefaced rip-off if ever I saw one.
And there is this astounding claim:
New research shows Altrient C makes skin 33% firmer
Really? I do not think that claim would stand up to close scrutiny. Let’s have a closer look:
Abundance & Health, today announces positive results of a 4 week clinical trial investigating the anti-aging skin firming properties of their lead product Altrient® C, the world’s first liposomal vitamin C gel sachets.
4 weeks? FOUR WEEKS? That’s not a clinical trial, those take years.
The placebo-controlled trial was conducted by Aspen Clinical Research, the clinical and cosmetic industry researchers.
This perfectly real and apparently pukka company is in Utah, so I looked up the US suppliers for A&H: Livon. Do you know, they don’t mention this amazing discovery at all?
The trial involved 60 participants with non-firm aging skin aged between 31 and 65+.
Not only is it a ridiculously short “trial”, it’s a ridiculously small one. If, in fact, it ever happened.
50% took 3 sachets of Altrient C a day for 4 weeks and 50% taking a placebo.
Remember what the NHS says the side effects are if you go over 1000 mg/day? Well, at least we know now why the “trial” was so brief.
Participants’ skin firmness and elasticity were measured at three points through the trial by Cutometer MPA 580, the Courage + Khazaka electronic GmbH elasticity measurement device.
It seems Aspen Clinical do use this device, but not over periods as short as 4 weeks. The conclusion is, of course, that “100% would change their current anti-aging routine by not just adding Altrient C to their skin regime, but replacing all products they currently use with Altrient C”, because if you’re going to spout complete bollocks, go all the way. The bigger the lie, the more likely people are to believe it.
Seriously, would you replace your moisturiser, aftershave lotion, hand cream etc with an overdose of incredibly expensive vitamin C?
Footnote: In her blog post of 24 Jan 2014, Lynne McTaggart whinged that people had “reported virtually every single one of our advertisers to an advertising standards body”, as if it had been done on purpose just to spoil her birthday party. No, I shit you not, that’s exactly how it reads. Obviously it doesn’t occur to the Blessed McTaggart (Saint and Martyr) that the advertisers were reported because they were not complying with advertising standards. And in this case at least, continue to do so.