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

Since many distributors just want to complain that they hate the FDA, I've created a place to put their comments. This helps clean up other topic threads for discussion related to Protandim.

It is important to note that a personal grudge against the FDA or any conspiracy theory doesn't impact Protandim in anyway. In fact, LifeVantage is free to market its product in other countries (they are in Japan for example) and can show extensive clinical trials there if they want to be approved by the Japanese equivalent to the FDA, Japanese Ministry of Health & Welfare.

Often the point of making a claim against the FDA is to get people to buy a natural product, like Protandim, even if it isn't proven to help people. Here is a related article: Health MLM Mind Game: The FDA Approves Drugs with Side Effects that Kill People

Originally posted 2012-05-30 20:50:10.

This post involves:


... and focuses on:

A friend of mine sent me to Colorado Voices: A time when risk was considered a good thing and asked for my opinion.

I felt it missed on some obvious points. First, the points about mankind not making steady progress in a few areas seems flawed.

For example: Samuel Pierpont Langley had unmanned flights before the Wright brothers, and he was able to design a plane that did achieve flight before the Wright brothers... he just didn't have the funding to another shot at it until later. The Olds Motor Company used an assembly line before Ford. They actually patented it. It was Ford that was credited with it because he perfected it.

Neither the Wright Brothers or Ford were cases of progresses in leaps and bounds.

Most importantly, LifeVantage and Dr. Joe McCord Lied about the Creation of Protandim!

However, I wanted to do a little more research on the Steven and Jennifer that the article mentioned. The author, Michael J. Alcorn, makes the claim that with Steven living 11 years with ALS which is more than 90% of people, "he's certainly better off than most." He also makes the claim, "They think it's due to Protandim, and it's hard to argue with that."

Unfortunately, it is very easy to argue with them. You see, he is referring to Steve Bishop and Jennifer Bishop, who are Pro 4, Protandim distributors. I found an MP3 of a call-in show where they spread their testimonial about Protandim and Steve's ALS.

Interestingly, Steve admits that he didn't take Protandim until November 2009, some 8.5 years after his diagnosis with ALS. In other words he had already out-lived 80% of ALS patients by 3.5 years (if we are to believe Michael Alcorn's statistics as quoted in the article)... without Protandim. So logically, there's little reason to credit Protandim.

However, the Bishops have a financial incentive to crediting Protandim. At the 16:30 minute mark, Jennifer admits that Steven hasn't been able to work since being diagnosed in 2001 and that he hasn't been able to work. In her words, "Thank God, LifeVantage as the business... we were living off half the income." Steven chimes in saying, "I was kind of outliving my retirement... when your prognosis is not good you just don't worry about the finances so much."

What's interesting is that the Bishops are not new to the MLM field. Jennifer has been with the MLM SendOutCards since 2008. It seems more obvious to wonder if they joined LifeVantage, because they knew they could leverage Steven's unfortunate condition medical condition to solve their financial problem. In fact, Jennifer's life coaching business, Living Your Potential, LivingYourPotential.com, now just go her LifeVantage page. I guess she views that as the solution to everyone's life coaching needs.

I hate to pick on people who clearly haven't had very good luck for a decade. However bad the luck has been, it is no excuse to violate the LifeVantage distributor agreement:

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."

I wish Steven continued success with his fight with ALS. I only ask that they do so within the FDA and FTC laws. It seems like a reasonable request, doesn't it?

Originally posted 2012-04-25 05:07:46.

This post involves:

Illegal Medical Claims

... and focuses on:


Remember the big press release about Darlene Walley being the New LifeVantage Chief Science Officer? Well that didn't last long. Seeking Alpha has their 3rd quarter, 2013 conference call with the following:

"Jim Galloway – Galloway Enterprises: Hi, Doug. You were just talking about new products and science and everything. There were enthusiastic comments about the new Chief Science Officer when she joined the company last fall, but no mention of the fact she departed after over – only several months. What transpired, and how is the lack of a Chief Science Officer affecting the company? And what’s the job description of the Chief Science Officer and the budget for that department?

Doug Robinson: Let me try to hit all of your questions, Jim. You’re absolutely right. We made an announcement last October for a start date in November of a new Chief Science Officer. And after only five months or so, it was determined, really, by our Chief Science Officer, that she’d like to go back and pursue consulting, which is the world that she came from before she joined us. And so we honored that resignation and we parted ways."

There are at least four interesting things about this:

1. LifeVantage didn't deem the Chief Science Officer important enough to talk about until they were asked about it specifically. With the press release about her showing up, why was there no official recognition that she left?

2. Would it surprise anyone if the requirements for the position required making misrepresentations about the product as it appears Joe McCord did such as LifeVantage and Dr. Joe McCord Lied about the Creation of Protandim! and Joe McCord Illegally Says that Protandim is about Cancer Prevention?

3. The LifeVantage Chief Science Officer pays very, very well as we know from Dr. Joe McCord’s Financial Interest In LifeVantage/Protandim. Seems like it must have been a pretty tough gig to throw all that money away.

4. Despite spending 5 months at the position according to LifeVantage, the gig wasn't important enough to her to make her LinkedIn page (as of this writing).

Originally posted 2013-07-02 22:57:55.

This post involves:

Darlene Walley

... and focuses on:

It can be difficult keeping track of LifeVantage's lies about Protandim. Because of this a recap is necessary.

LifeVantage started out with a product called CMX-1152 and Protandim and it was supposed to reduce oxidative stress. Unfortunately for LifeVantage, it didn't work and/or the business deal fell through. So LifeVantage turned to Paul Myhill someone with no science background to invent a new Protandim from basic items you might find in your spice rack.

Because consumers wouldn't likely buy a product without any science or reputation behind it, LifeVantage hired Dr. Joe McCord, to lie and say he created Protandim. For this McCord was paid millions - tens of millions.

Later, Paul Myhill admitted that McCord was used for marketing reasons. However, LifeVantage pretended that never happened and continued to tell the lie that Joe McCord invented Protandim. This website exposed the lie and people started to ask Myhill and LifeVantage questions.

This is when the LifeVantage spin began. We started to hear all sorts of things from distributors that it was somehow a combined effort from Myhill, Driscoll, and McCord. This was the new story that LifeVantage was selling to distributors and to the public. In fact, McCord came right out and said it:

"What I was presented with was a list of 41 potential ingredients for a product they wanted to call Protandim. And I went through the list and penciled out rapidly about 36 of those ingredients because they were either not of interest or not likely to be effective. What I was left was 5 botanicals..."

However, this doesn't seem to be the truth either. In Paul Myhill's opening letter that LifeVantage’s Communications are Downright False and Misleading, Perpetuate an Ongoing Fraud he said:

Since 2008, I have been pleading with the company to correct its marketing materials - to reflect that Joe is not the 'Inventor' or 'Creator' or 'Scientist behind' Protandim; that Protandim wasn't 'developed after 40 years of research;' and that it didn't consist of a 'laundry list' of 40 ingredients that Joe whittled down to the current formula. This is all simply untrue. I'm sure the company will try to put some sort of further spin on this now and try to convince people otherwise, but the truth is the truth and will always come out in the end. Darkness can't hide from the light."

The CORE botanical formula I forwarded to Joe included the current five botanicals, plus one additional one - all in the EXACT same proportions/weights as the current formula (all 1/3 of the original to get it into one pill), but with Milk Thistle subsequently bumped up at my suggestion. The other ingredients were part of an "all-in-one" (multi-formula) addition to that CORE botanical formula that I developed. Given such indisputable facts (and that the initial patent was filed one month before we even met Joe), how am I NOT the creator? How is Joe THE creator? The simple email record, and even a letter from Joe himself, clearly show that the current company communications are downright false and misleading . . . and, in the eyes of many, perpetuate an ongoing fraud - one that the SEC and FTC should be made aware of.

I initially stated that "nobody lied," desiring to give this current management team the benefit of the doubt and chalking it to human error and the discontinuity of company management in general. But then, month after month went by with the same erroneous materials still being widely distributed by the company, despite their own admission to me that Joe isn't the creator. These same materials are on the company website TODAY. I just don't get how a company can keep doing that, with full knowledge that the materials are sending the wrong message to current and new distributors. Many times I wrote emails (which I'd be happy to share with you) and each time nothing was done to take down the offending materials.

Myhill did indeed share the letter from McCord himself:

So we have Lifevantage lying to consumers about McCord creating Protandim. They were caught with that lie. They changed the story to make it seem like McCord had a significant role in creating LifeVantage with McCord himself telling the new lie. However, the signed letter from McCord back in 2005 proves that LifeVantage and McCord were caught in another lie.

With this public relations disaster going on and LifeVantage stock tanking Myhill changed his tune and deleted his posts from Facebook. One week after Myhill released the letter, LifeVantage issued a press release detailing how the company made "a substantial charitable donation" to the Traffic Jam Campaign, a charity founded by Myhill that pays him a salary. The press cites Paul Myhill's communications in various social media forums (Facebook) for creating "misunderstandings" regarding the company. Myhill responded with the statement: "I fully support LifeVantage and its mission, its corporate integrity, its marketing strategy and efforts... I recognize and appreciate the extensive contributions of Dr. Joe McCord and others in the Company in developing, testing and refining Protandim..." Doug Robinson, CEO of LifeVantage chimed in with "We also remain committed to conducting our business, as always, with the highest degree of integrity and transparency."

If there's a high degree of integrity and transparency, where's the press release apologizing for the illegal marketing of Joe McCord as the creator? Where are the refunds to consumers to relied on the information that it Protandim was created by reputable doctor?

Originally posted 2012-04-24 02:05:15.

This post involves:

Joe McCord, LifeVantage Lies

... and focuses on:

When the inventor of Protandim, Paul Myhill calls out LifeVantage for perpetuating an ongoing fraud - one that the SEC and FTC should be made aware of, who are we to argue? This site has published evidence that this has been going for years.

So here's a screenshot from Paul Myhill's Facebook Page along with the full text:


Needless to say, the company and I are not on good terms right now. Quite frankly, Doug Robinson's email to the LifeVantage distributors is fraught with error and misrepresentation. In fact, he gave very little attention to me personally on this matter, hardly exchanging a word with me concerning it. He simply didn't have the time for me.

It is very well documented that the company was founded on a pledge to give shares, and a percentage of profits, to the charitable cause that it helped to start - rescuing orphaned and abandoned children from being abused, exploited, trafficked and enslaved. This was my "Why?" for joining Bill Driscoll in starting LifeVantage in the first place . . . and it is a cause that he graciously took on as his own and championed also. I'm sure he's getting many hugs in Heaven as a result of the 15,000 children who are free from slavery today because of our work together.

I will be more-than-willing to make public all that documentation, especially since it was all public information to begin with. This charitable pledge was also the basis for which I assigned my invention (not Dr. McCord's invention!) to LifeVantage. As soon as Bill and I assigned the patent to LifeVantage the pledge was sadly taken out of company materials, almost immediately. I naturally felt quite betrayed. Again, I can provide full documentation supporting this and it can be easily verified in the public record - through company press releases, investor presentation materials, SEC filings, etc. My resignation letter was also a matter of public record and alludes to the fact that this pledge - which was foundational to the company and my very involvement in it - needed to be kept, otherwise it would represent a promise broken to the original founders and all of LifeVantage's stakeholders. The erasing of the pledge from company materials was the main reason for my departure, which the original Board and transition management team can certainly attest to. I was quite the thorn in their sides, constantly verbalizing the need to keep the pledge. As such, there is no disputing the existence of the original commitment. It's simply undeniable.

I have been quite clear in my communications with LifeVantage management that the company still owes the charity now known as Traffic Jam 100,000 shares as part of its original pledge to match the Founders' donation of shares to that same charitable vehicle. This amount was supposed to match Bill Driscoll's gracious donation of 100,000 shares that came in a couple of months late. I'm sure if he were alive today he'd be greatly disappointed that the company never followed through on that commitment . . . and other commitments. Bill and I had our differences, but I also owe it to him as my brother-in-arms to get his shares matched, as he fully expected would be done when he made his generous gift in the first place. I owe it to his memory and legacy. And I owe it to his family - to see more children rescued because of his gift and defense of the pledge.

Despite the implication made in Doug's letter, I never approached the company to ask anything for myself. In fact, it was David Brown who suggested that I become a "Goodwill Ambassador" for the company with a job role that would give me a greater platform to share the "correct" company history and bring attention to the fine work of the Traffic Jam Campaign. It was through that process that compensation (as with any job) was sought to channel to Traffic Jam. I have quite a few emails that show that this compensation was for the purpose of supporting the work of Traffic Jam. I'm on record multiple times stating that I gave everything away . . . and would give it away again.

It is with great sadness that I write this on the eve of my Birthday - not exactly the "gift" I was hoping for . . . or hoping to give. Since 2008, I have been pleading with the company to correct its marketing materials - to reflect that Joe is not the "Inventor" or "Creator" or "Scientist behind" Protandim; that Protandim wasn't "developed after 40 years of research;" and that it didn't consist of a "laundry list" of 40 ingredients that Joe whittled down to the current formula. This is all simply untrue. I'm sure the company will try to put some sort of further spin on this now and try to convince people otherwise, but the truth is the truth and will always come out in the end. Darkness can't hide from the light.

The CORE botanical formula I forwarded to Joe included the current five botanicals, plus one additional one - all in the EXACT same proportions/weights as the current formula (all 1/3 of the original to get it into one pill), but with Milk Thistle subsequently bumped up at my suggestion. The other ingredients were part of an "all-in-one" (multi-formula) addition to that CORE botanical formula that I developed. Given such indisputable facts (and that the initial patent was filed one month before we even met Joe), how am I NOT the creator? How is Joe THE creator? The simple email record, and even a letter from Joe himself, clearly show that the current company communications are downright false and misleading . . . and, in the eyes of many, perpetuate an ongoing fraud - one that the SEC and FTC should be made aware of.

I initially stated that "nobody lied," desiring to give this current management team the benefit of the doubt and chalking it to human error and the discontinuity of company management in general. But then, month after month went by with the same erroneous materials still being widely distributed by the company, despite their own admission to me that Joe isn't the creator. These same materials are on the company website TODAY. I just don't get how a company can keep doing that, with full knowledge that the materials are sending the wrong message to current and new distributors. Many times I wrote emails (which I'd be happy to share with you) and each time nothing was done to take down the offending materials.

I'll be glad to once again share that whole "Protandim Development History" with you, which is backed up by meticulous documentation, the full email record, plus personal notes and commentaries. It spanned over 20 blog entries. I'm an "open book." I had nothing to hide. I shared it all.

I'm sure, though, that if I were to re-post Protandim's development history, the company would claim that I was then "giving away company secrets" and would once again try to silence the true history of the product's creation - MY creation of Protandim - that occurred for almost ten months before I even met Joe. The reality is that the company misrepresentations have gone on for so long now that they have no choice but to try to silence the truth. Just you wait and see. I can almost hear the "cease and desist" letter being typed up right now. And I can almost picture the new "watered-down" version of the history that the company will now come up with.

Doug mentioned in his letter that I found the company response unacceptable. Well, one of those unacceptable conditions was that I sign a new set of releases (to silence me telling the true Protandim story again) and that I pull down my "LifeVantage / Protandim Founder's Page" on Facebook which, of course, would be in addition to my blog that was already pulled down. Do you see the common theme here? Silence. Silence. And more Silence. I'm a high-justice person who stands for truth and integrity and, despite the company trying to buy that silence by offering for Traffic Jam to be featured at convention, I told them that I couldn't in good conscience do that. I'm not signing away my voice. My "Founder's Page" stays. My voice stays. And my appeal to get the company to meet its commitments . . . stays.

Do you want a company of integrity? Well, then, don't let them silence the truth any more. Protandim wasn't an "idea" that Bill and I took to Joe. It was a full formula that even Joe stated in a letter was almost at its "final embodiment." And the company's charitable pledges to Traffic Jam wasn't an "idea" that I just came up with. It was represented in multiple press releases and SEC filings and collateral materials. If you don't believe me, go to EDGAR and check yourself for at least the SEC part of it.

Ever wonder why the company took down all the archived press releases? Because it backs up what I'm saying and what I've been asking, not for myself, but on behalf of trafficked and enslaved children.

Given the erroneous wording in Doug's email, I can only assume now that the company has chosen the issue of the 100,000 shares to try to discredit me - making it sound like I've been making selfish and unreasonable demands of the company - while at the same time trying to discredit the true history of Protandim's development. Doug, of course, fails to mention in his email that the "great deal of material" that I posted on the Internet concerning "my view" of that development was 1.) Taken down by me as a sign of "good faith" and 2.) Was only posted in the first place after I reached out to the company multiple times beforehand - with no response.

I'm not sure how Doug can call it "my view" of Protandim's development anyway, considering that it included hundreds of emails (that were copied or sent to dozens upon dozens of people) as well as a number of other source documents that were widely circulated. It's not just "my view," as demonstrated by the substantiated, well-documented evidence. Of course, if the company has its way, you probably won't see any of that document and you'll just have to accept Doug's words that it was simply "my view" of events. Where was Doug during the development of Protandim? Who is he to challenge the clear evidence? Can he not see the patent was initially filed a full month before Joe even came into the picture? Does he not see whose name is on the patent?

For months, I've taken steps of "good faith" and have expected the company to do the same - to act in "good faith" to take down the erroneous marketing materials that were propagating that Joe was the inventor/creator of Protandim. Sadly, the company never reciprocated. The 100,000 share issue, unfortunately, has now become the easy point of contention that allows LifeVantage to not have to give credit to me for my invention. By making it so public and contentious, LifeVantage now has a convenient excuse to not have to include Bill and me in our rightful place in the company history. Something that should have been celebrated can now be easily swept under the rug because I'm the "bad guy" with "unreasonable" expectations who asked the company to honor its commitments. It now allows them to feel better about themselves somehow - for so long being negligent in getting the real story about Protandim's development out there; for so long casting me in a "false light" by commission and omission; for so long keeping up the erroneous materials to the point of malice and great hurt.

Company of integrity, Doug says? How about keeping its original promises to match the founders' shares to rescue children? How about keeping its original promises to give 10% of pre-tax net profits away for children and related humanitarian causes? How about filing an 8-K correction notice with the SEC every time the erroneous message of Joe being the "creator" went out? How about the promise to correct the development history while at the same time keeping up the offending materials that lead people to believe Joe was the inventor? How about David's promise to "make it happen" for me to have a "Goodwill Ambassador" role with the company, to help further the purposes of Traffic Jam? How about the company's constant encouragement for distributors to use the copyrighted material of ABC News for commercial purposes? How about all those big distributors who came over with down-lines allegedly "stolen" from Zrii? How about ALL the mentions of diseases when it's clearly not permitted in the marketing of a supplement?

Integrity? Company of integrity? Actions speak louder than words.

This is a very sad day for me folks. The "petition" that Doug mentioned in his letter was merely me throwing up my arms in bewilderment and wondering why on earth the Board wasn't fulfilling the matching pledge with a measly 100,000 shares when the evidence was so clear that 100,000 shares were missing (Believe me, I was asking for these shares long before the recent run-up in price). Even a math flunkey could see that the numbers didn't add up and 100,000 shares were still owed. Instead of bringing the match to completion, with an amount of shares that pales in comparison to the fat stock options the executives are getting, they chose to make this big issue out of it. It could have been a cause for celebration. Instead, the company has chosen to create yet another public relations nightmare. I didn't ask for that. They did it. And I'm baffled by it.

I started off with 5 million shares. Why on earth would I make all this fuss about 100,000 shares if it were not true? I'm a man of principle and the principle-of-the-matter is the shares are still owed. Gosh, by their reaction, you'd think I asked for the moon.

I merely responded by saying that I would put out the public information and ask distributors to let their voices be heard - for integrity and common sense. But somehow that's now something portrayed as me being devious and destructive. Hello? Why would I try to destroy the stock of the company I'm trying to get shares from? Hello?

Conversely, I don't believe the LifeVantage Board has acted in its fiduciary duty in this matter. I believe they are acting in a destructive manner. Why on earth would they bring about such a disruptive episode in the midst of such growth and promise? The missing shares are soooooooo obvious that they are missing from the match. I gave 200,000 shares. Bill gave 100,000 shares. the company gave 200,000 (matching mine) and, hello again, Bill's shares didn't get matched. 100,000 shares missing. You don't need a mathematics degree to figure that one out. Why would the Board put so much at risk - the airing out of this laundry - instead of just issuing the shares to help rescue kids?! And celebrating it!

. . . Unless, of course, they were needing something to make me look "bad" or "unreasonable" so they don't feel so bad about the incorrect company communications about who invented the product. And to release themselves from an obligation to correct that history in a way that celebrates Bill's and my involvement.

. . . Now they can just quietly remove the "creator" tag from Joe and hope that nobody notices. Just like they did when they removed the "inventor" tag from him.

Doug's letter concludes by asking distributors to not get involved in anything that "disparages" the company. Wow. I asked the company to honor its commitment with a measly 100,000 shares to stop 11 year-olds from getting raped 20 times per day; to stop 7 year-olds from having to shoot their parents before being forcibly conscripted into a child militia. Now, if any distributor goes along with supporting what is clearly in the public record, and honoring their own conscience to see the pledge fulfilled for children such as these, they are in violation of their distributor's agreement. Seriously?

Looks like the strong arm of silence rearing up again.

My apologies for rambling on in this open letter. Obviously I'm a passionate person - the same passion that brought Protandim into being in the first place. And, obviously, I'm quite upset right now - not just by these events, but how they've now been represented in Doug's email.

Unfortunately, it's the distributors and the children who lose out because of the Board's baffling conclusion and Doug's irrational choice to send out his email. Quite wreckless, if you ask me. Certainly not acting in the best interests of the shareholders. They turned a public relations celebration into a public relations nightmare.

I apologize to all of you that it has come to this. It certainly wasn't my intention.

I want you all to know that I love you all and do indeed wish you the best. I will STILL use my "Founder's Page" on Facebook as a place of encouragement and, given this recent turn of events, as a place of clarity and truth.


I really don't think there's much to add. We tend to agree with what Paul said about the ongoing fraud and we've had LifeVantage already attempt to try to silence the truth with legal threats.

Originally posted 2012-04-20 19:15:04.

This post involves:

LifeVantage Lies

... and focuses on:

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Dr. Harriet Hall has written about Protandim again. I had covered her last writing here: Dr. Harriet Hall on LifeVantage Protandim. That article covered how there were a lack of clinical trials and that there is POEMS: Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters.

So what does Harriet Hall have to say now? She analyzes the second human trial... making note that it doesn't qualify as a clinical trial. She points out that it isn't listed on LifeVantage's website and "coincidentally" the research shows that Protandim didn't work.

Dr. Hall covers a lot of technical detail, but the important details are summed up in these paragraphs:

"To recap their chain of reasoning: alcoholics might develop lung disease, that lung disease might be correlated with abnormal epithelial permeability, protein levels measured by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) might be a valid measure of permeability, permeability might be affected by underlying oxidative stress, and Protandim might reduce oxidative stress by stimulating the body to produce its own antioxidants. Do they perhaps think that lots of “mights” add up to a “mighty” argument?

Why would they want to study this particular mixture of 5 herbs? The second listed author, Joe McCord, has a vested interest: he is an officer of the LifeVantage company, the manufacturer of Protandim. They explain that Protandim is “a nutraceutical with a lengthy history of use in homeopathic, Ayurvedic, and traditional Chinese medicine.” An interesting statement, since Protandim was invented only a few years ago by a person with no medical background and it was patented in 2007. Doubly interesting since it belies the common myth that natural medicines are not profitable because they can’t be patented.

How many Protandim customers are alcoholics taking it for lung injury due to alcohol abuse? I would guess not many. Why on earth would they pick an esoteric detail like this to study and why would they look at Protandim’s influence on lab tests instead of looking for a useful clinical benefit?"


I really don’t get it. Why did they do this study? Why did they use twice the recommended dose? What was the IRB thinking? Why didn’t they study something with a useful clinical endpoint? As an e-mail correspondent said, 'They make claims about diabetics being able to go off of insulin or reduce insulin... why not do a trial on that?' That’s an excellent point: a diabetes trial would not involve invasive procedures and would be far easier to carry out and far more meaningful. When advocates do esoteric, convoluted laboratory studies instead of straightforward simple clinical trials, it raises the suspicion that they believe at some level that such clinical trials wouldn’t help their case.

No, on second thought, I think I do get it: they want to prove, by any means possible, no matter how circuitous or far-fetched, that Protandim does something, anything, antioxidantish (not a word? Well it is now!).

One thing that I like about Dr. Hall is that she boils it down to a level that the average person can understand. You don't need to understand the study. She explained it in enough detail that you can see that it doesn't make sense. The conclusion supports what this website, and Protandim inventor Paul Myhill has claimed long ago: Paul Myhill, Inventor of Protandim, Admits Protandim's Science is for Marketing.

When will LifeVantage answer Dr. Harriet Hall's questions? My guess is that they never will. Why? They have no answers and Dr. Harriet Hall is right.

Originally posted 2012-04-10 04:48:52.

This post involves:

Protandim Marketing, Protandim Studies

... and focuses on:

Many Protandim distributors point to a study published in American Heart Association's Circulation as proof that the American Heart Association (AHA) says that Protandim works.

If you don't read the study and just see the words "Protandim", "American Heart Association", and "Circulation journal" it would be easy to come to that conclusion. However, if you read the study, you are likely to come up with a lot more questions than answers. I've put them in a FAQ form:

Q: Did they study Protandim?

A: No, the study was Right Heart Failure and Chronic Pulmonary Artery Pressure Elevation. The background and the conclusion of the study do not mention Protandim in any way.

Q: The study was done on humans, right?

A: Not it was done on rats, kind of. The quote that got my attention was "A mechanical animal model..."

Q: Was Protandim used in the study

A: Not entirely. If you read the study, an "alcohol-based extract of Protandim" was used. LifeVantage does not sell an alcohol-based extract of Protandim.

Q: The rats ate the Protandim just like a human would, right?
A: No, they had it injected in them (see intraperitoneally). LifeVantage does not seem to sell an injectable form of Protandim. I can find nothing on LifeVantage's website this being a typical delivery method of the product.

Q: The amount of Protandim that was used was similar to what a human would consume, right?
A: Nope. Friend of ProtandimScams, Vogel, explains it best here:

"The rats in the study weighed 200 grams. Protandim was first extracted in ethanol and then 25 mg of the ethanol extract was injected into the abdomen. In medicine, dosing calculations for humans are based on a presumed average body weight of 70 kg. The normal 'dose' of Protandim for humans is one 675 mg capsule (so the dose is 675 mg per 70 kg body weight or roughly 9.64 mg/kg). The rats in the Protandim study received 25 mg per 200 g bodyweight -- this corresponds to a dose of 125 mg/kg.

In other words, the dose that the rats received in this study was roughly 13 times higher than what humans would take. Compounding the dosage problem is the fact that (a) an ethanol extract was used, which would be more potent than taking it in non-extracted form, and (b) it was directly injected into the abdomen which would greatly increase bioavailability as compared to oral ingestion and would result in an even greater dosage inequity. Thus, this study was poorly conceived and is utterly irrelevant to humans. In order to ingest a comparable dose to what the rats in this study received, a person would have to consume about a full bottle (30 capsules at $50) of Protandim per day."

Recap: The study's purpose was unrelated to Protandim. It didn't involve Protandim's intended audience. The form of Protandim wasn't delivered how the intended audience is supposed to use it. The amount of Protandim was many, many times the suggested amount for its intended audience.

The only conclusion one can make is that this study has zero relevance to its intended audience - humans. It is much more important to focus on the clinical trials of Protandim, which are very disappointing.

Originally posted 2012-03-10 18:44:53.

This post involves:

Protandim Studies

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Recently, Donny Osmond was a guest on Dr. Phil. I was watching this closely as those with connections to LifeVantage said that the company promoted this appearance at their annual get-together. I was prepared for a mention of Protandim. Here's how it went down with the YouTube Video to follow:

Donny Osmond: Non-stop energy.
Dr. Phil: I can not even imagine. For example last night, you did a show last night, that was 90 minutes starting at 7:30, then you went through that, then you came here, you're here this morning.

Donny Osmond: That's right...
Dr. Phil: Doing all this...

Donny Osmond: It's non-stop. I don't sleep anymore. (Laughs)
Dr. Phil: So where do you get the energy. Seriously, I mean look at you. We've known each other a long time. You don't ever get older.

Donny Osmond: Well thank you. It's quick funny because people are kind of shocked when they hear that I'm 54 years old and they say, "How do you keep your youth?" I have found something Dr. Phil that I think is the closest thing to the Fountain of Youth.

Dr. Phil: Oh you do have a secret?
Donny Osmond: I have a secret and I've never really talked about it. I've been doing this for the last two years. It's called Protandim and it works and I'm telling everybody about this.

Dr. Phil: You feel differently.
Donny Osmond: I do.

Dr. Phil: Because you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

The video goes on from there, but it isn't relevant to Protandim in any way. It's worth watching just to get the full context of the exchange:

There are several concerning things by this video. If you read the title, you know the one that I'm most concerned about. However, before I get to that one, I'd like to address the others.

  • Protandim Being Compared to a Fountain of Youth - This is completely irresponsible, especially coming from a paid company spokesman like Donny Osmond.
  • "It Works" - This is the kind of marketing that MonaVie distributors have been making for years in the comments here. In the case of Protandim which isn't intended to make someone be younger, look younger, nor treat, prevent, or cure any disease... these companies can only make vague statements like these in hopes of misleading consumers to think, "Hey, I've got [fill in the blank condition] and could use anything that "works."
  • Dr. Phil's "We've known each other a long time." - Now we know why he let Donny Osmond endorse a product he's paid to endorse without adhering to the FTC guidelines (see below).
  • Donny's "I've been doing this for the last two years." - This is proof positive that Protandim hasn't made him any younger. Even according to Dr. Phil, "You don't ever get older." It is classic question, which came first the chicken or the egg. In this case we know what came first. Donny Osmond has looked young for a long time (my wife notes his obvious plastic surgery) and he got a contract with LifeVantage because of it. The cause of the LifeVantage contract was that Donny Osmond, it was not a case where he looks young due to Protandim. This is another case where LifeVantage misleads consumers.
  • Donny's statement of "I have a secret and I've never really talked about it." - Really? Since he became the spokesman for Protandim he's talked about several times. The only thing that's a secret is that he's a paid spokesman and isn't disclosing it.

And that last point segues to the biggest point Donny Osmond and LifeVantage are not heading to the FTC guidelines for celebrity endorsements. Here's a quote from the FTC:

Celebrity endorsers also are addressed in the revised Guides. While the 1980 Guides did not explicitly state that endorsers as well as advertisers could be liable under the FTC Act for statements they make in an endorsement, the revised Guides reflect Commission case law and clearly state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers. The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.

I've bolded the last sentence for effect. It specifically addresses this case of Donny Osmond not disclosing his relationship with LifeVantage on a talk show. The average Dr. Phil viewer would not be aware of LifeVantage hiring Donny Osmond to be its spokesman and this is clearly a deceptive advertisement as defined by the FTC.

The FTC goes into it more detail, in their official guidelines... specifically in section 255.5 under Example 3:

"Example 3: During an appearance by a well-known professional tennis player on a television talk show, the host comments that the past few months have been the best of her career and during this time she has risen to her highest level ever in the rankings. She responds by attributing the improvement in her game to the fact that she is seeing the ball better than she used to, ever since having laser vision correction surgery at a clinic that she identifies by name. She continues talking about the ease of the procedure, the kindness of the clinic’s doctors, her speedy recovery, and how she can now engage in a variety of activities without glasses, including driving at night. The athlete does not disclose that, even though she does not appear in commercials for the clinic, she has a contractual relationship with it, and her contract pays her for speaking publicly about her surgery when she can do so. Consumers might not realize that a celebrity discussing a medical procedure in a television interview has been paid for doing so, and knowledge of such payments would likely affect the weight or credibility consumers give to the celebrity’s endorsement. Without a clear and conspicuous disclosure that the athlete has been engaged as a spokesperson for the clinic, this endorsement is likely to be deceptive. Furthermore, if consumers are likely to take away from her story that her experience was typical of those who undergo the same procedure at the clinic, the advertiser must have substantiation for
that claim."

I wish my crystal ball was as functional as the FTC's because they saw this coming a mile away. It is similar in many ways. The big difference is that laser vision correction surgery is FDA approved and "Protandim as a Fountain of Youth" is, well, the exact opposite. We still have the celebrity endorser not disclosing the paid relationship with the company. As the FTC points out this endorsement is likely to be deceptive (the FTC was erring on the side of caution, it IS deceptive.)

I think one could make a case that consumers are likely to take away that Donny Osmond is a typical example of a Protandim taker and clearly the advertiser, LifeVantage, can not substantiate the "closest thing to the Fountain of Youth" claim.

Originally posted 2012-02-09 05:17:46.

This post involves:

Donny Osmond

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This website has already covered Dr. Joe McCord’s Financial Interest In LifeVantage/Protandim, which was estimated to be worth dozens of millions of dollars picked up some extra money on the way out. However, it's the agreement that he signed that could raise some eyebrows.

According to the 8-K disclosure, the agreement will mean LifeVantage will give "twelve (12) equal monthly payments to Dr. McCord in the aggregate amount of $1,700,000." That's a lot of money, but the agreement that McCord made to get the money is perhaps more interesting:

"The Agreement contains provisions relating to, among other things, confidentiality, non-disparagement, return of company property, and a general release of claims in favor of our company."

What kind of confidentiality does LifeVantage need from McCord? It's not like Protandim has changed its formulation or that it is any kind of secret. If LifeVantage is running a strong organization that isn't a scam, why would they need to put McCord under a non-disparagement agreement?

One person close to me read this and suggested that this looks like hush money.

It was noted that in this 10-K filing with the SEC that McCord was making $10,000 a month ($120,000 a year) plus $0.50 for every bottle of Protandim sold as of June 2011 (his salary may have been updated since then). Getting $1.7 million is certainly a good amount of money compared to that base salary.

The other interesting thing in that 10-K is the termination clause:

"Termination. Either party may terminate the employment agreement without cause upon 180 days notice to the other party. If a party commits a breach of a material provision of the employment then the agreement can be terminated by the other party for cause. If the Company were to terminate the agreement for cause then Dr. McCord shall be not entitled to any further compensation after the date of termination."

LifeVantage was under no obligation to give McCord 1.7M on the way out. In my opinion, it is suspicious, especially considering Dr. Joe McCord’s Financial Interest In LifeVantage/Protandim. Is it possible that the heat from the lying about Protandim got to LifeVantage and they decided it was best to part ways with him? They had already tried to give the New LifeVantage Chief Science Officer job to Darlene Walley, but she didn't last long at the position. Maybe the money was some kind of golden parachute to get him out?

Originally posted 2013-07-02 01:31:42.

This post involves:

Joe McCord

... and focuses on:


I recently came across a magazine in which LifeVantage's leading scientific advisor Joe McCord is pitching Protandim as a product that helps prevent cancer.

The magazine, Prosper, is essentially an infomercial for hire. The business model is to create a publication for MLMs, so that distributors have something to give prospective distributors. There is a clear partnership between LifeVantage and the producers of the magazine. One of the things that stands out about the magazine are profiles of something like 50 distributors, where we learn the top LifeVantage distributor came from Zrii which lead to a lawsuit between Zrii and LifeVantage.

Back to the magazine. In it, there is an article that quotes Joe McCord:

Author Natalie Hollingshead: "While several of the seven peer-reviewed studies done on Protandim show the supplement’s potential to reverse age-related conditions, the main focus is on prevention."

McCord: "It’s all about prevention. All of those diseases I named are very difficult to treat. For instance, every cancer has multiple mutations that are in any of thousands of different sites. Every cancer is very unique and that is why it is very hard to cure. Prevention is much easier to bring about than a cure."

Here is the whole article, but you can see the illegal claim on page 2:

Page 1
Page 2

This is a clear violation of the FDA laws regarding the marketing of dietary supplements as drugs. See Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). DSHEA is quite clear that you can't get away claims that even imply such things.

Later on in the magazine (page 11) there is a disclaimer that says, "This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." This is requirement for dietary supplements. However, those exact words contradict what McCord is claiming in the article.

It looks like LifeVantage has decided that it will gamble with the fact that FDA won't ever look at the magazine since it is only intended to be being distributed to prospective LifeVantage distributors.

Originally posted 2012-02-25 01:56:25.

This post involves:

Illegal LifeVantage Actions, Joe McCord

... and focuses on: