Looking for the complete story about LifeVantage Protandim? Read Lazy Man and Money's post about Protandim.

A lot of people ask this very question. The short answer is that it has never been sufficiently tested and this website has shown that the company in general shouldn't be trusted as they've been caught purposely lying to the public about Protandim as well as breaking FDA and FTC laws in promoting it.

I want to share a few words from Chris Redmond that may help you see it clearly:

"Let’s look at Protandim, and create two simple models or theories.

Theory one is that Protandim works as LifeVantage claims. Now, if this were the case we could reasonably expect and predict the following:

  1. Anecdotal accounts of all round improvements in health, exactly as described in LifeVantage literature.
  2. Serious debate about Protandim in the media as the anecdotal evidence is subsequently supported by General Practitioners and health professionals who are able to corroborate these anecdotal accounts
  3. LifeVantage to start multiple human trials of Protandim, confident that any cost will be an investment as the science behind their product is solid, and the results being experienced by customers confirms Protandim’s effectiveness.
  4. Results from the trials show beyond a reasonable doubt that Protandim works as described.
  5. Medical professionals across the globe have instant access to the results of these studies, and en masse begin to endorse Protandim, with the proviso it is not a medication.
  6. Demand for Protandim increases dramatically, production struggles to keep up with demand, and as more results from trials are published LifeVantage’s stock is exploding.

If this model is the one anyone recognizes I’d be interested to know.

The second theory is that Protandim does not work, and if this was the case we’d could reasonably expect to see:

  1. Anecdotal accounts of all round improvements in health, exactly as described in LifeVantage literature.
  2. A lack of serious debate about Protandim in the media as the anecdotal evidence is not subsequently supported by General Practitioners and health professionals who are able to corroborate these anecdotal accounts.
  3. LifeVantage to avoid using multiple human trials of Protandim, as the science behind their product is not solid and the results being experienced by customers is only anecdotal and can be explained perfectly by placebo.
  4. Results from any human trials that are carried out show that Protandim does not work, or that placebo is more effective.
  5. LifeVantage do not carry out further human trials, preferring to cherry pick any positive results of trials involving ingredients of Protandim.
  6. Medical professionals across the globe do not take Protandim seriously because it has no trails or evidence to support the claims of it’s manufacturer.
  7. Demand for Protandim decreases, LifeVantage’s stock is imploding, it is decided to sell Protandim via the tried and tested avenue of pyramid marketing.

I could go on, anybody could, but basically Protandim fits the model of an over-hyped product with zero hard evidence of any health benefit perfectly, and LifeVantage perfectly fit the model of a company who realize this.

(I've taken the liberty to "Americanize" some of the British English. Hopefully Chris forgives me.)

Originally posted 2013-02-07 18:39:05.

This post involves:


... and focuses on:

[This article is intended to serve as a summary of other articles available on this site. Comments can be left on those other articles.]

LifeVantage makes a big deal about Dr. Joe McCord. However a little research shows this is unwarranted.

For example, LifeVantage lied about Joe McCord inventing Protandim. The true inventor of Protandim is Paul Myhill who has no background in science. Paul Myhill admits the following in an interview with Blogtalk radio:

"Because the core composition came from a very unlikely source – me – we initially decided to hide that fact for marketing purposes and instead rely on the impeccable background of Dr. McCord."

Having said that, it's worth asking who much Dr. Joe McCord was paid to be part of the deception. A look into the company's SEC files shows that Dr. Joe McCord’s Financial Interest In LifeVantage/Protandim is significant which included a 10% ownership in the company when he signed on in 2004, worth millions. Since then he's been granted over a million stock options meaning that he can gain millions more if the company performs well.

In this sense, Dr. Joe McCord is acting as a celebrity endorser, which is best summed up in this Dave Chappelle short comedy bit (note: minor adult language):

Originally posted 2011-09-10 00:27:10.

This post involves:

Joe McCord

... and focuses on:

I just received an email from LifeVantage Protandim distributor Peter Davidson. It asked me to go to gotoabcnews.com to learn about something that "could make a significant difference" in my life.

In going to that website, it was big advertisement for Protandim. Clearly a LifeVantage distributor registered the domain with the intention capitalizing on ABC News' trademark for their own business purposes. Clearly this wasn't a website registered by ABC News for their own purposes. The website isn't used for the purpose of discussing ABC News or any other legit use. According to GoDaddy that seems to be Mike Garrard of Macy, Indiana.

It's disappointing, but hardly suprising, that LifeVantage can't keep its distributors from breaking spam law and trademark laws.

Originally posted 2011-09-06 02:08:08.

This post involves:

LifeVantage Protandim Distributors

... and focuses on:


[The following is a guest post from Vogel...]

Another knee-slapper regarding Protandim’s laughable research. Watch as the story unfolds…

Three of the published articles on Protandim (2 studies on skin cancer in mice, and one review article on the same topic) featured someone named Delira Robbins as an author.

  1. Robbins D, Zhao Y. The role of manganese superoxide dismutase in skin cancer. Enzyme Res. 2011;2011:409295. Epub 2011 Mar 23.
  2. Robbins D, Gu X, Shi R, Liu J, Wang F, Ponville J, McCord JM, Zhao Y. The chemopreventive effects of Protandim: modulation of p53 mitochondrial translocation and apoptosis during skin carcinogenesis. PLoS One. 2010 Jul 30;5(7):e11902.
  3. Liu J, Gu X, Robbins D, Li G, Shi R, McCord JM, Zhao Y. Protandim, a fundamentally new antioxidant approach in chemoprevention using mouse two-stage skin carcinogenesis as a model. PLoS One. 2009;4(4):e5284.

[Note: Here’s a video of McCord hyping up 2 of these studies at a Protandim distributor meeting.]

The most recent Protandim publication, featuring Robbins as primary author, was a review article (not actual research) on skin cancer, in which the product was hyped as a potential remedy. This study was leveraged by LFVN, who used it as PR fodder, blasting the news about the study in a corporate press release earlier this year.

In September 2010, LFVN also sent out a corporate PR blast about one of Robbins’ other studies (the one published in the crap online pseudo-journal PLoSOne), in which the company claimed that the study was funded by Louisiana State University.

Now here’s the punch-line. Delira Robbins is a grad student whose highest degree certification to date is a Bachelors of Science.

So in other words, this so-called expert who wrote this allegedly epic review article on Protandim and skin cancer, and authored/executed those 2 allegedly earth-shattering studies in mice, is a non-expert; she’s a simple science grad student at Louisiana State U with no legitimate expert credentials.

My strong hunch is that Delira Robbins' doctoral research, which appears to be focused solely on Protandim, is being funded by LFVN, either directly from a stipend or indirectly through funds paid to her supervisor Yunfeng Zhao.

Interestingly, I saw a couple of job ads that Zhao had recently posted for postdoctoral research fellows. (Notice how poor the salary is - sad.)

I checked the NIH grant database and it shows that no grants were awarded to Zhao, so I wonder where he’s getting the money to hire a post-doc, and whether that post-doc will be relegated to conjuring up more BS to feed LFVN’s PR spin doctors.

[Editor's Conclusion: This seems to be sound research and backs up what Protandim Inventor Paul Myhill said about encouraging research]

Originally posted 2011-08-23 04:32:00.

This post involves:

LifeVantage Lies, Protandim Studies

... and focuses on:

It's come to my attention that Montel Williams appears to be breaking the law according to the FTC and the FDA. How so? Well I watched this video on YouTube:

Here are some of the points that I found interesting:

  • Montel mentions going Against Medical Advice (AMA) at around 2:20 and 3:25. The paid endorser for LifeVantage is suggesting that doctors, who have spent most of their lives studying how to help people with their medical conditions, shouldn't be listened to. This is extremely dangerous information to spread and it's irresponsible for Mr. Williams who claims at 3:33 that there are a lot of people who rely on him.
  • At the 4:10 point in the video, Montel Williams claims to have seen some of the best MS doctors and that he's still dealing with the same issues. Montel, this isn't rocket science, simply read what the NIH says about MS treatment. It's pretty straight-forward (and there's no mention of Protandim anywhere there).
  • At the 6:15 mark Montel Williams says, "This isn't a double-blind study, this isn't a clinical study" and then claims that Protandim helped him with symptoms of MS. This is explicitly against the LifeVantage Policy and Procedures (see third bullet point below) and LifeVantage is not only condoning it, but paying a celebrity endorser to do it.
  • From 8:30 to 8:50 Montel Williams he clearly credits Protandim as having a therapeutic effect that can only be claimed from drugs as defined by the FDA (see the 4th bullet point below).

Allow me to make a few points about the video that are not explicitly mentioned:

  • Montel Williams is a distributor of LifeVantage according to this LifeVantage press release. It's also likely that he was paid speaking fees for this appearance as most celebrities are, but neither party is discloses such information as best I can tell.
  • No claims of any LifeVantage products, including Protandim, may be made about its ability to aid in any disease according to LifeVantage's Policies and Procedures (PDF) set forth by their compliance department:

    "No claims, which include personal testimonials, as to therapeutic, curative or beneficial properties of any products offered by LifeVantage may be made except those contained in official LifeVantage materials. In particular, no Independent Distributor may make any claim that LifeVantage products are useful in the cure, treatment, diagnosis, mitigation or prevention of any diseases or signs or symptoms of disease. Not only are such claims violations of LifeVantage policies, but they potentially violate federal and state laws and regulations, including the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and Federal Trade Commission Act."

  • The above quote by LifeVantage mentioned that such claims may violate the FDA's Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA is quite busy and very underfunded with the government deficient, but it does crack down on violations when it comes across them. One example is this letter to MonaVie distributor Kevin Vokes (PDF). A relevant portion of that is:

    "This is to advise you that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed your web site at the Internet address http://www.acai-berry.com and has determined that your products “MonaVie Original,” “MonaVie Active,” “MonaVie Combo,” and “MonaVie Gel” are promoted for conditions that cause the products to be drugs under section 201(g)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)]. The therapeutic claims on your web site establish that the products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The marketing of these products with these claims violates the Act."

  • The FTC has released it's own guidelines on endorsements, which clearly this is. According to the FTC:
    • Endorsements must be truthful and not misleading;
    • If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s experience represents what consumers will achieve by using the product, the ad must clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected results in the depicted circumstances; and
    • If there’s a connection between the endorser and the marketer of the product that would affect how people evaluate the endorsement, it should be disclosed."

    We have no way of determining the truth of Montel Williams' claims, but we do know that the FTC specifically mentions multiple sclerosis (MS) as one of those product that are targeted by miracle cures and that "Unfortunately, these products, devices, and treatments often are unproven and useless, making promises they can’t fulfill." In other words, the FTC indirectly has already claimed that it is not possible for Montel Williams to have told the truth.

    The advertiser, LifeVantage in this case, doesn't have proof that the endorser's (Montel Williams) experience represents what consumers will achieve by using the product. This video does not disclose the generally expected results... such as the product doesn't aid with any medical condition.

    Finally the connection between the endorser (Montel Williams) and the marketer (LifeVantage) doesn't seem to be disclosed in the video. However, LifeVantage deserves some credit for having disclosed the connection in a press release more than two years ago.

It looks to me that clearly Montel Williams is not only breaking LifeVantage's Policy and Procedures, but he's also breaking the FTC endorsement guidelines, as well as the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Update: It seems like he's willing to credit anything that is willing to put money in his product. Now he's crediting medical marijuana for his health:

“Prescription drugs nearly shut down my kidneys. Then a doctor suggested I try medical marijuana,” said Williams, who credits pot for improving his health and well-being.

Originally posted 2011-07-08 00:43:19.

This post involves:

FDA, Protandim and FTC

... and focuses on:

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One of the more interesting things about LifeVantage is its history. If you look at the LifeVantage website, the press releases start in 2008. What is interesting about this is that it whitewashes the company's history. LifeVantage doesn't mention that the company used to be called Lifeline.

Lifeline was famous for attempting to bring a product called CMX-1152 to market. It was developed by a company called CereMedix. Why is this notable? Well CMX-1152 was to be called Protandim and it just happens to do what Protandim claims to do today. Back in 2003 Lifeline issued a press release that it "attained the perpetual, exclusive, worldwide rights to an innovative oral supplement being heralded as the first real hope in the battle against oxidative stress."

I'm going to go out on a limb and presume perpetual, exclusive, worldwide licenses for innovative things are expensive, very expensive.

Everything was going well, except that years later the deal fell through. This article from The Scientist tells the story:

"According to a representative of Ceremedix who preferred to remain anonymous, Lifeline began calling CMX-1152 'Protandim,' although it is unclear who suggested the name. After the deal between the companies fell apart (for unknown reasons) Ceremedix dropped CMX-1152, and began concentrating on other therapeutic areas."


The Protandim that was introduced in February 2005 is a completely different formulation from 1152. Online searches bring up pages describing both. At one point, Lifeline filed a statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, saying that 'several erroneous and misleading statements' were made in a Denver network broadcast, and Protandim 'is in no way comprised of, or related to, Ceremedix's peptide.' Company representatives from Lifeline did not return requests for comment."

As the article points out, neither company has been forthcoming about the deal fell apart between the companies. It is worth noting that CMX-1152 isn't available today. Perhaps in further clinical testing it proved to be ineffective. That seems to be the only reason I can think of why it wouldn't be on the market in some capacity.

The educated reader probably has two thoughts at this point:

  • With what would appear to be a lot of money invested in the licensing of CMX-1152, a smart financial move for the company would be to find a product it can sell.
  • With years of mentioning Protandim in press releases building up the anticipation of the product, the company would benefit the most by producing a product to capitalize on the Protandim brand.

The ideal solution to this problem would be to create another product that has the same "innovative" and "break-through" benefits (words from the Lifeline press release mentioned above) of CMX-1152. The odds of being able to create such a product would clearly be astronomical since no one else has been able to do it previously. Based on the article in The Scientist, Lifeline was able to do it in just a few months. To make the odds even longer, Lifeline relied on Paul Myhill who had no medical background.

The history of Protandim should cause the wise consumer to wait until the company proves the product effective via clinical large scale, placebo-controlled, human trials and FDA approval.

Originally posted 2011-06-19 22:17:59.

This post involves:

Protandim History

... and focuses on:

It has come to my attention from Dr. Harriett Hall's article on Protandim (via Protandim Watch) that LifeVantage second patent application may break the FDA's law. The part that I'm looking at is the following quote on page 28 of the patent application:

"The compositions of the present invention are useful to prevent or treat the following disorders and diseases: memory loss; Parkinson’s disease; aging; toxin-induced hepatotoxicity, inflammation; liver cirrhosis; chronic hepatitis; and diabetes due to cirrhosis; indigestion; fatigue; stress; cough; infertility; tissue inflammation; cancer; anxiety disorders; panic attacks; rheumatism; pain; manic depression; alcoholic paranoia; schizophrenia; fever; insomnia; infertility; aging; skin inflammations and disorders; alcoholism; anemia; carbuncles; convalescence; emaciation; HIV; AIDS; immune system problems; lumbago; multiple sclerosis; muscle energy loss; paralysis; swollen glands; ulcers; breathing difficulties; inflammation; psoriasis; cancer (e.g.; prostate cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer); pain; cardiovascular disease (e.g.; arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis); ischemia/reperfusion injury; anxiety; attention deficit disorder; leprosy; arthritis (e.g., psoriatic arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis; and rheumatoid arthritis); hemorrhoids; tuberculosis; high blood pressure; congestive heart failure; venous insufficiency (pooling of blood in the veins; usually in the legs); sore throat; hepatitis; syphilis; stomach ulcers; epilepsy; diarrhea; asthma; burns; piles; sunburn; wrinkles; headache; insect bites; cuts; ulcers; sores; herpes; jaundice; bursitis; canker sores; sore gums; poison ivy; gastritis; high cholesterol; heart disease; bacterial infection; viral infection; acne; aging; immune disorders; dental caries; periodontitis; halitosis; dandruff; cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension; thrombosis; arteriosclerosis); migraine headaches; diabetes; elevated blood glucose; diseases of the alimentary canal and respiratory system; age-related physical and mental deterioration (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease and age-related dementia); cardiovascular disease; cerebral vascular insufficiency and impaired cerebral performance; congestive symptoms of premenstrual syndrome; allergies; age-related vision loss; depression; Raynaud’s disease; peripheral vascular disease; intermittent claudication; vertigo; equilibrium disorder; prevention of altitude sickness; tinnitus (ringing in the ear); liver fibrosis; macular degeneration; asthma; graft rejection; and immune disorders that induce toxic shock; bronchpulmonary disease as cystic fibrosis; chronic bronchitis; gastritis; heart attack; angina pectoris; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; kidney damage during coronary angiography; Unverricht-Lundborg disease; pseudoporphyria; pneumonia; and paracetamol hepatotoxicity."

This immediately reminds me of the quote from the FTC warning about scams that I referenced here: Protandim, Miracle Claims, Scientific Breakthroughs, and the FTC:

"Miracle products claim to cure serious conditions — often conditions that science has no cure for, like arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and HIV-AIDS. Some products even claim to be a ‘cure-all’ for several diseases and a host of symptoms. Often, the ads claim the products come with money-back guarantees. Unfortunately, these products, devices, and treatments often are unproven and useless, making promises they can’t fulfill."

It appears that every single one of the conditions that the FTC warns about is in the list. Even more interesting is that several conditions such as cancer, gastritis, cardiovascular disease, asthma, infertility, and diabetes are listed more than once. The patent lists "aging" three times (Fountain of Youth, anyone?).

It is interesting to read "The compositions of the present invention are useful to prevent or treat the following disorders and diseases:" and then find on LifeVantage's own FAQ: "Protandim is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." Clearly LifeVantage is confused about the intentions of its own product. One has to ask the question why should consumers have any trust in LifeVantage or Protandim when the company clearly doesn't know what their own product is intended to do?

Where does this patent perhaps break the law? Well section 201(g)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B) says that drug is defined as "articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals." From the words in the patent, LifeVantage views Protandim to fit the FDA's definition of being a "drug."

However, for such claims to be made, the product itself must be approved by the FDA through a process called the New Drug Application (NDA). To the best of my knowledge (and any doubters feel free to prove otherwise), LifeVantage has NOT filed with the FDA to classify Protandim as drug.

It seems one could view this patent application as violating the FDA's laws regarding dietary supplements (which is what Protandim is classified as).

Originally posted 2011-06-18 21:22:03.

This post involves:

FDA, Protandim and FTC

... and focuses on:

Some say you can judge an organization by its leadership. If that's the case, those interested in LifeVantage Protandim should take a look at Pro 10 Distributor Nancy Leavitt's illegal testimonial about the product she sells and skin cancer. Here it is on YouTube:

[Note: Mrs. Leavitt's lawyer sent me a DMCA take-down notice for alleged copyright infringement for embedding this video from YouTube.com. I have sent a DMCA counter-notice that the lawyer must initiate legal action against me and settle this in a court of law. It is my understanding that the lawyer must file law suit against me within 10-14 days. That 10-14 day has expired and I have not been notified of any lawsuit. Thus, I'm going to restore the embedded video from YouTube as the feature was designed by Google for the ease of use of the reader.

I apologize for any past inconvenience caused by Mrs. Leavitt and her lawyer. Considering the video's content, I can understand why Nancy Leavitt would want to make it more difficult for you to view it.]

As with all YouTube videos they can be taken down by their respective owners. I suspect the above video will be taken down soon. In the event that happens I made a copy for my records. In fact, there's a note at the bottom of the comments from Matt Leavitt asking that it be removed 9 months ago. That alone should be a major red flag that this product is being marketed illegally. However as it stands on May 31, 2011, this video, that was submitted on February 9th, 2010, has over 4400 page views.

In the video you'll find Nancy Leavitt saying the following:

- 0:13 - "The most important thing to know is that this product works 100% of the time. It's proven, it's documented and it's measurable."
- 0:41 - "I had real achy joints from teaching aerobics for so many years and after just a few weeks of using Protandim that subsided immediately."
- 0:51 - "I was also using some anxiety medication and I noticed all of my symptoms from anxiety started going away..."
- 1:02 - "I no longer struggle with ADD and joint pain is gone."
- 1:10 - "The most profound thing that happened to me, besides having more energy and better sleep... what was really miraculous to me... I've suffered and struggle with skin cancer for years."
- 2:05 - "I was using Protandim and also TrueScience and I've been using the product for 6 weeks and I wanted to wait to have the surgery done because #1 it is obviously expensive and causes different scars and such... after 6 weeks the using Protandim and TrueScience the two spots on my forehead disappeared and the spot on my leg completely disappeared as well. The symptoms of skin cancer... totally gone... it was just a miraculous thing for me."

Nancy Leavitt doesn't waste much time stressing the "most important thing" that the "product works 100% of the time." She fails to define what working is in that statement, but says that it's "proven", "documented", and "measurable".... three things that are impossible to apply to something is only generally defined as "works."

Nancy Leavitt then goes into litany of medical conditions that Protandim has cured as I showed above. With those medical cure condition claims in mind, let's review LifeVantage distributor policies and procedures:

"8.11.2 – Product Claims

No claims, which include personal testimonials, as to therapeutic, curative or beneficial properties of any products offered by LifeVantage may be made except those contained in official LifeVantage materials. In particular, no Independent Distributor may make any claim that LifeVantage products are useful in the cure, treatment, diagnosis, mitigation or prevention of any diseases or signs or symptoms of disease. Not only are such claims violations of LifeVantage policies, but they potentially violate federal and state laws and regulations, including the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and Federal Trade Commission Act."

So there is the evidence that the very top people in LifeVantage break LifeVantage's own rules. As LifeVantage mentions they potentially violate the FDA and FTC's policies. The FTC has released the following guidelines on such testimonies:

  • Endorsements must be truthful and not misleading;
  • If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s experience represents what consumers will achieve by using the product, the ad must clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected results in the depicted circumstances; and
  • If there’s a connection between the endorser and the marketer of the product that would affect how people evaluate the endorsement, it should be disclosed.

This video violates at least the two points. She didn't disclose that she is a paid LifeVantage distributor in the video. She also does not disclose that her results are different from the "generally expected results." It is hard to judge the first own without medical proof. In addition, we already covered how how the FTC feels about the claims Nancy Leavitt made. Specifically that article mentioned:

  • products that "claim to be a ‘cure-all’ for several diseases... often are unproven and useless, making promises they can’t fulfill."
  • "The reality is that phony miracle products can have dangerous interactions with medicines you’re already taking. They also might cause you to delay or stop medical treatment for your condition…"
  • products you should avoid “are promoted with phrases like 'scientific breakthrough,' 'ancient remedy,' or 'miraculous cure,' or scientific-sounding terms like 'thermogenesis'"

So we have Nancy Leavitt hitting all the major points of what the FTC is a scam and fraud. In regard to bullet point #1 above, she definitely calls it a cure-all (works 100%) for several conditions. In regard to bullet point #2 above, she admitted that it stopped her from treating her medical condition (skin cancer). Finally, In regard to bullet point #3 above, we have her claiming twice that Protandim was "miraculous."

A related article notes that MonaVie, another MLM, and their lawyers have made it a point to warn that these claims violate the FTC rules: MonaVie, FTC Guidelines, and Distributor Testimonies.

I haven't even touched the FDA violations here. I'll let someone in the comments get that ball rolling.

Originally posted 2011-05-31 22:13:03.

This post involves:

LifeVantage Protandim Distributors

... and focuses on:

, , ,

Brandon Cunningham is a LifeVantage Elite Pro 9 Distributor. One would expect that someone so high in the company to be an upstanding member of the sales organization. After all, if the people at the top are dishonestly scamming people, it's going to spread through the whole organization. This website has found time and again that this is the case. It would take years to go through every distributor's videos and point out all the logical fallacies. Brandon Cunningham is lucky enough to be one of the select few to be featured here. Why, because he's openly trying to suppress critical thinking.

It's with that in mind that I do a little dissecting of this video. Yes it's a long video, but I'll be covering a subset of it... at least in the first publishing of this.

Update: Brandon Cunningham is running scared now that he's been exposed for scamming others. He had the original video set to private. When I put up another copy, he had it taken down with a copyright violation claim. I can submit a counter-claim based fair use for the purposes of criticism, commentary, news reporting, and teaching. If I do they'll have to sue me to get it taken off. I'm very sure I'm in the right and I don't think they would sue me over it, but I don't currently see the point of playing cat and mouse. Brandon Cunningham is already exposed in the article and his action of having the video taken down is tacit admission that he's misleading and scamming others.

Here are some points where Brandon Cunningham tries to mislead his audience:

I'm going to start at towards the end, because he is asked by the audience how to address the criticism from the Protandim article on Lazy Man.

At the 1:36:25 point, an audience member asks for a "quick comeback for Lazy Man." Before getting to Brandon Cunningham's response, it's worth noting that these salespeople are looking for "quick comebacks", not to legitimately address the legitimate concerns of people who have done their research.

Brandon Cunningham's response is to use questions or in other words use the loaded question logical fallacy. He then goes into a full fledged ad hominem logical fallacy, attacking the source of the information instead of the validity of it. That Wikipedia article shows that ad hominem is the second worst type of argument in a disagreement after name calling. Brandon Cunningham combines both with his loaded questions about the name "Lazy Man." He then uses another loaded question to put forth an appeal to authority fallacy, suggesting that only a doctor could be reputable. This is ignoring the fact that a doctor, Joe McCord himself admitted that he didn't invent Protandim in a signed document.

Brandon Cunningham says (1:38:10) that he chooses to believe Harvard over "Lazy Man." That would make sense if Harvard had any opinion about Protandim. Instead LifeVantage Lied to SEC, Investors, Consumers about 'Harvard' Study. Here's something to note, no research in the "Harvard" study was conducted at Harvard. Brandon Cunningham is apparently too lazy to do the research and see that he was lied to. Most likely he just doesn't care because to face the truth would cause great internal conflict (see cognitive dissonance) about how he makes a living scamming others.

Brandon Cunningham goes on to point out that "he's done it to 15 companies" and then agrees with an audience member that he gets paid to do it. It's interesting that earlier in the presentation he mentioned that the industry has a ton of snake oil products. The logical conclusion here is that it is to Lazy Man's credit to help consumers steer clear of these companies and snake oil products. The audience member is wrong that Lazy Man gets paid to write these articles. No one is funding the articles, they are like any other article on the site or millions of other websites that depend solely on advertising. However, let's put the cards on the table. On one hand you have an unbiased person exposing a snake oil company and their lies and making the information available to the consumer for free. On the other hand, you have a biased Brandon Cunningham misleading consumers with logical fallacies to sell them snake oil. Which do you want to put your faith in?

At the 1:38:50 mark, Brandon Cunningham continues to ask loaded questions like, "Does he have enzymes in your body that he named like Dr. McCord?" Note that Dr. McCord did not name any enzymes in your body. Not that it matters because McCord isn't responsible for Protandim and destroyed his credibility by lying about it.

Cunningham then continues with the lies. He asks the rhetorical question of "Why are McCord's names on all the studies?" and answers it with "Hello, they have to be!" He goes on to describe how if he was an author of a book and gets a quote from someone else to include in the book he has to include a credit or he would get sued. In scientific papers, appropriate credit for a quote is given in references section. If you read any of the studies on Protandim, you'll see numerous such references. McCord's name appears as an author of the study, which indicates his core participation in the study. Once again Brandon Cunningham is lying to scam the audience.

At 1:40:25, Cunningham says, "If someone makes you feel silly for getting involved in this because of a blog, they just gave you the green light to make them feel silly for saying something stupid to you." Brandon Cunningham, this video of you saying stupid things just gave everyone the green light to make LifeVantage look silly for trying to deflect criticism and not address it.

At 1:40:45, Cunningham responds to a statement of "Dr. McCord is not the inventor" by asking the question, "Really, who is? How do you know that? Prove it. Put it back on them."

The answer is very simple. We know that Paul Myhill is the inventor and not McCord because LifeVantage itself has proved it multiple times. You can read the patent application of Protandim and see that the company listed Paul Myhill and William Driscoll as inventors. You can read LifeVantage's own co-founder Paul Myhill admit that McCord didn't invent it: "Because the core composition came from a very unlikely source – me – we initially decided to hide that fact for marketing purposes and instead rely on the impeccable background of Dr. McCord." Finally, there is the signed admission from McCord that Myhill and Driscoll invented Protandim. That's three sources from LifeVantage, including McCord, itself.

Brandon Cunningham, it has been extensively proven. Your inability to acknowledge it only goes to further prove that you are extremely dim-witted and/or purposely trying to scam people.

At 1:41:05 Cunningham says, "Your job should be to ask them questions... why they haven't done this." Since when is it a product salesman's job to ask a prospective customer questions about what he's selling? That's backwards. Maybe people don't want to do this, because they have a soul and a conscience. Maybe they don't want to make a living scamming others out their money by spreading lies and misleading them as you have done, Brandon Cunningham.

Getting back to the beginning

There's a lot of information in the video (it's two hours long) and this article is long. Nonetheless, I'll jump in a little into the video and point out a few more choose scam quotes from Cunningham.

At 24:15 - "You should be skeptical, because the opposite is gullible. It's not good to be gullible. Ask yourself this... if this is a scam, I guess ABC News is in on the scam. Ever thought of that way? If there is dirt to find, don't you think ABC News has more resources than you with Google... to find dirt? That's their job... to find dirt. It's not what happened."

Much of this misleading talk is explained in The Truth Behind LifeVantage’s ABC Primetime Video. First, the ABC News created the video in 2005, when they had no way evidence that LifeVantage and Dr. Joe McCord were Lying about the Creation of Protandim. It wasn't until years later that LifeVantage employees Paul Myhill and Joe McCord admitted to it. ABC doesn't have the benefit of a time machine to go back and fix a video that they released in 2005. The fact that they haven't been interested in covering Protandim in any way in the last 8 years should tell you something.

Second, ABC's job is get ratings. That includes inspirational and hopeful news pieces. You can tell at the beginning of the ABC video where they are very careful about not saying that it works. They say it's "science possibility", "a potential breakthrough", "down the road"... and that's just in the first 20 seconds of the video.

There was no breakthrough. There's no other media coverage, which is why they are pushing this 8 year old video. To quote Brandon Cunningham, "it's not what happened."

Brandon Cunningham, your logical fallacy is appeal to authority: "You said that because an authority thinks something, it must therefore be true." In this case the authority (ABC) did not say something was true, was very careful about stating it wasn't true, and didn't have the benefit of information that was revealed at a later time."

You are busted for scamming the audience about ABC.

At the 24:52, Brandon Cunningham says, "We now have many, many, many universities studying this product and that would mean they are in on the scam."

The truth is that no university is studying Protandim. There's no press release or any communication from any university stating an interest in Protandim. Researchers who are affiliated with universities may have done research, but that is different from the universities themselves stating interest and approving such research. Additionally, Paul Myhill, Inventor of Protandim, Admits Science is for Marketing. Those who read the studies and understand them can tell that they are full of fluff. In fact, Dr. Harriet Hall breaks down the ridiculousness of one "study" in comical detail.

Brandon Cunningham then shows he's completely clueless by misstating pubmed.gov as govmed.gov and then crossing out govmed.gov and making it medmed.gov. This illustrates why MLM is a terrible means of selling health products... the top sales people know how to scam not the "science."

Once he figures out the Pubmed.gov site, he fails to mention that the FDA considers using such a source in selling the product to be illegal in marketing supplements. Specifically the FDA has sent this this warning letter to Nature's Pearl. It specifically states:

"When scientific publications are used commercially by the seller of a product to promote the product to consumers, such publications may become evidence of the product's intended use. For example, under 21 CFR 101.93(g)(2)(iv)(C), a citation of a publication or reference in the labeling of a product is considered a claim about disease treatment or prevention if the citation refers to a disease use, and if, in the context of the labeling as a whole, the citation implies treatment or prevention of a disease."

You can read the warning letter further, but it is clear that Brandon Cunningham is breaking the FDA Act in citing Pubmed in conjunction with marketing Protandim.

At the 26:40 mark, Brandon Cunningham displays his ignorance by citing that Cherry 7-Up has "antioxidant" on it because it contains a minor amount of cherry. The truth is that Cherry 7-Up has "antioxidant" on it because it is fortified with vitamin E, not because it has cherries in it. It took 10 seconds to Google that information form 7ups website. Maybe Cunningham should give researchers using Google and other tools a little more credit.

At the 28:40 mark, Brandon Cunningham makes the point that he hadn't previous heard of Pubmed.gov, because he's not a doctor. That's the point... the information there isn't for the average person to read. For those people, Pubmed gives a guide to what works . Specifically it point out that the best information is clinical trials, which Protandim fails on every account according to ClinicalTrials.gov, a site with the U.S. National Institute of Health. Why isn't Brandon Cunningham addressing this? Because he's trying to scam you.

At the 29:15 mark Brandon Cunningham asks why universities aren't studying his fish oil or multivitamin. He point out that he was typing in name-brands. This is clear lunacy. It's like suggesting that research on milk doesn't apply to Lucerne milk, Land O'Lakes milk, and Hood milk, because the search result didn't come up when looking for specific brands. He then falsely concludes that universities were studying Protandim (again they are not) because it reduces oxidation where his fish oil and multivitamin do not. Actually multivitamins are antioxidants... and are more well studied than Protandim.

Brandon Cunningham, your strawman logical fallacy is busted.

Around the 37:00 minute mark, Cunningham states that at GNC, Protandim was selling at one bottle every other month. That's proof-positive that there's no demand behind the product without people making illegal medical claims like those that Cunningham has done. Cunningham then goes on to say that LifeVantage is traded on the Nasdaq and that you don't get there if you are a scam. It's worth noting that Enron was a much, much, bigger company at something nearing $100 billion dollars... and it was a scam. It's worth noting that Bernie Madoff's $50 billion pyramid scheme was busted. Billionaire Bill Ackman has put a billion dollars of his own money, enough to buy LifeVantage four times over, into showing that Herbalife, another publicly traded MLM, is a scam.

Clearly Brandon Cunningham is mistaken in assuming that something on the Nasdaq can not be a scam.

I could go on and I may update this article with more coverage. However, as you can tell, I've covered about 15 minutes of the video and exposed numerous misleading information, including outright lies, from Brandon Cunningham. No one with even moderate intelligence should believe what Cunningham is saying in this presentation.

Originally posted 2013-09-05 18:06:33.

This post involves:

LifeVantage Protandim Distributors, Protandim Marketing

... and focuses on:

This website and the extensive proof on this Protandim article shows that Protandim is a scam. LifeVantage, as they usually do, has provided even more evidence.

This time, LifeVantage has asked people to believe that for the third time (remember CMX-1152) that they've come up with a product that is a revolutionary breakthrough in helping with oxidative stress. A couple of the problems with that is that they A) provide no clinical studies (that aren't fudged), hence asking us to to take their word on it B) have lied about the creation of Protandim attributing it to Joe McCord instead of Paul Myhill who has no medical background (i.e. the truth).

So when LifeVantage releases a new formulation of Protandim in Japan, one has to wonder how gullible it thinks its customers can be. The press release cites:

"'As part of our ongoing Global R&D program at LifeVantage we conducted a proprietary cell bioassay test that allowed us to identify an ideal formula for Japan that causes significant Nrf2 activation,' said LifeVantage Chief Science Officer Dr. Darlene Walley."

LifeVantage's filed reports with the SEC shows that their R&D was less than 3 million dollars from June 2008 to September 2012 (the most recent quarter's financials)... a miniscule amount for a company based on science spend over 4+ years. In comparison, Pfizer spends an average of 8 billion in one year; which is over 2500 times what LifeVantage has spent over that time. Not only is that a significant red flag, but the fact that they ignored all the available bioassay tests that have been independently scientifically tested and instead used their own test makes it meaningless.

Update: As Vogel points out in the comments a LifeVantage press release from January of 2013 announced that the "formulation being distributed in Japan is the subject of a placebo controlled, double blind clinical study being conducted at Colorado State University." Vogel's notes, "It has now been more than a year since they made that statement and there hasn’t been a word uttered about it since; no published trial; not even registered on clinicaltrials.gov. It presumably either failed and got buried; the study wasn’t deemed acceptable for publication by any journal; or they simply lied about the study’s existence."

Originally posted 2013-01-23 02:50:52.

This post involves:

Darlene Walley

... and focuses on: