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

LifeVantage and its Protandim distributors make a big mention about searching PubMed.gov for Protandim. Why? Well, because that is the system that they've chosen to exploit. And that's why Paul Myhill, Inventor of Protandim, admitted that it was for marketing purposes.

It is worth asking the question of, "Where are the clinical studies?" The product has been around 6 years and the studies aren't there. Using LifeVantage's own logic go to ClinicalTrials.gov and search for Protandim (or just click that link).

Two of the studies were on alcoholism, which is something that unrelated to any of the thousand of claims I've seen on Protandim. Both of them are appear to be from Dr. McCord's home-base of University of Colorado, which has clear ties to Joe McCord. One of the studies has a status of "Enrolling by invitation", but it was supposed to have been completed earlier this year. The other one on this topic is a status of unknown and it was supposed to have been completed a year and a half ago (summer of 2010).

other clinical trial attempted was on "Protandim and the Metabolic Syndrome" and that has been withdrawn. Seems like the results weren't what LifeVantage, listed as a collaborator, was looking for.

This speaks volumes about how irrelevant Protandim is with scientists. The three "current" clinical trials have/had ties to LifeVantage. More importantly none of them seem active.

Update: There are some great comments and clarifications in the comments by Vogel.

Originally posted 2011-12-22 01:30:02.

This post involves:

Protandim Studies

... 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:



I've often read about LifeVantage distributors claim that Protandim was featured in the Today Show. This turns out to be another case of a somewhat misleading claim. It turns out that the Today Show itself didn't endorse Protandim in any way... in fact, they went out of their way to take the mention of the product out of their website. I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Here's the clip from the Today Show:

If you don't want to watch the whole video, you can skip ahead to the 1:50 mark.

It sounds like a pretty ringing endorsement from nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, right? What she doesn't mention is that she was a paid spokesperson for Protandim. You can see it listed in a list of clients on page 16 of CV (Microsoft Word Document). The timing is also noteworthy. Elizabeth Somer was a spokesperson in 2006 (according to that CV). The accompanying article of the video is from July 26th, 2006. This seems to be at a minimum a violation of the FTC's truth in endorsement guidelines.

In any case, we know that there was only one study at that point and that not only did LifeVantage appear to rig the data in the Protandim human clinical trial, but they used biased subjects of company insiders and investors in it.

It seems like the Today realized after the after fact that they had been had and Elizabeth Somer used the segment to market her client for her own financial gain. If you go back to the accompanying article, you'll notice that they purposely left out any mention of Protandim.

It is clear that the Today Show doesn't support Protandim.

Originally posted 2011-12-21 02:35:56.

This post involves:

Protandim Marketing

... and focuses on:

,



Christi Baus suggested I take a look at here website about Protandim at Christ Baus. I think she expected it to be a compelling reason to buy the product, but it turns out that there is a lot of misleading information there - some of it seems like outright lies. In case here website has changed, you can see a screenshot of it here.

Let's go into a few of the problems that I found on the site.

Myth: Trump, Kiyosaki, and Buffett support Network Marketing

For one you say that Trump, Kiyosaki, and Buffett support Network Marketing (i.e. the name that MLMers use for MLM because it sounds better, Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, MLMs, and MonaVie

Christi also suggests that people "Get the facts as featured in Wall Street Journal." This is misleading as the link is to an advertisement by the Direct Selling Association that is a lobbyist group for MLM. It is nothing more than informercial in print. It clearly doesn't represent the opinions of any WSJ editors.

Christi Baus' distorted view on illegal pyramid schemes

She had some interesting points about illegal pyramid schemes:

"You must be able to join the business without having to purchase any products what so ever. You can join LifeVantage for only $50."

That $50 option (the starter kit) says that "Note: When ordering a Starter Kit, you must also place an initial product order of 100 PV or more in order to qualify for commissions."

In other words you can not join the business (qualify for commissions) without purchasing product. Also, while it is not stated here, you must continue to purchase product or you will lose the ability to qualify for commissions (i.e. be in the business).

Cristi also said about legit opportunities vs. illegal pyramid schemes,

"You can only be paid when product is purchased by a downline distributor or your own customers."

I did not see this in anything the FTC has written. In fact, the FTC has shut down pyramid schemes when this is the case (JewelWay for example). The FTC wouldn't care if people were paid a bonus of $10,000 for making no sales to any distributors or customers. Of course, businesses don't typically give away $10,000, so this point is never tested, but it is irrelevant.

The third claim Christi makes about MLMs and illegal pyramid schemes is:

"You can not be paid for enrolling people into the business."

This is true, but it extends to further than that. The quote from the FTC is:

"Another sign of a pyramid scheme is if the money you make depends more on recruiting — getting new distributors to pay for the right to participate in the plan — than on sales to the public."

So if the money one makes from one's downline is greater than the amount of product that one makes from sales of the product oneself, it is likely a pyramid scheme.

As it was earlier established, to be in the business one must buy product and thus if one is paid based on that person's initial purchase, one is being paid for enrolling people in the business. The two are interlinked and are one in the same.

Protandim and Pharmaceutical Companies

Christi makes the point that pharmaceutical companies are trying to do what Protandim already does. Ask yourself that if Protandim actually worked, why wouldn't they just buy LifeVantage - it's a publicly traded company penny stock company. It doesn't make sense until you realize that Protandim actually creates free radicals: Cheap Curcumin in Protandim Activates Nrf2 by Stimulating Free Radical Production.

Perhaps the pharmaceutical companies are trying to activate Nrf2 without creating free radicals.

Christi Baus makes the claim of:

"Did you know that the specific combination of herbs, the exact ratio of each one is the reason it works, 1800% more effective than the sum of the parts."

What Christi doesn't mention is that this statement has no scientific proof to it. There is no untainted, unfudged data that Protandim does anything for humans to begin with. There's no data that the exact ratio plays any part. It is worth mentioning that it is illogical as this is not the case with any other natural product. We don't suggest that there's a magic ratio that cake becomes extra healthy.

Christi Baus' "Who to BELIEVE?" section

The first quote that is interesting is:

"Look at the studies that are being released by Harvard, Ohio State U, LSU and the American Heart Association. Go to Pubmed.gov and search for Protandim, all the studies will pop up."

I've been to Pubmed.gov and none of these organizations have released any studies that support Protandim. In the case of Harvard, Ohio State U, and LSU none of these schools endorse Protandim in any way. Go ahead and search Harvard's website for Protandim - there's nothing there. For more about the "Harvard" lie: read: LifeVantage Lies to SEC, Investors, Consumers about “Harvard” Study.

The truth about these schools is that they have one person who may or may not have been paid by LifeVantage to conduct a test and publish a paper. In almost every case LifeVantage's Joe McCord was involved in the study making it anything but biased.

As for the American Heart Association, they published a paper "Chronic Pulmonary Artery Pressure Elevation Is Insufficient to Explain Right Heart Failure", which if you read the conclusion had absolutely nothing to do with Protandim.

Final Thoughts

Christi didn't have much to offer on her website that wasn't already addressed here. Though it is clear that she's trying to throw out big names such as Harvard, Wall Street Journal, Warren Buffett, and Donald Trump to make it seem like they support Protandim. However, just like LifeVantage itself, when you dig a little deeper you find that none of these people or organizations support LifeVantage or Protandim, nor do they stand by the product doing anything at all for the consumer.

Originally posted 2011-12-16 20:06:46.

This post involves:

LifeVantage Protandim Distributors

... and focuses on:



[The following is another guest post by frequent commenter and researcher, Vogel.]

I just stumbled on a research article that mentions Protandim. It was published in FASEB J (a pretty good journal) in 2009. The study used an in vitro skeletal muscle model to identify factors that might improve muscle function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients. A variety of drugs and supplements, including Protandim, were tested. An increase in muscle contraction (tetanic force) was used as the benchmark for potentially useful compounds. While some of the compounds tested produced a significant increase in tetanic force (e.g., glucoocorticoids, which are used currently in the treatment of DMD), Protandim not only failed to increase tetanic force, it actually decreased it, suggesting that, if anything, Protandim would have negative effects in DMD patients. This is what the study reported:

"The glucocorticoids methylprednisolone, deflazacort, and prednisone increased tetanic forces at low doses, indicating a direct muscle mechanism by which they may be benefitting DMD patients" (p. 3325)

"At high concentrations, 6 of the compounds (Protandim, Haelan 951, coenzyme Q10, alanine, losartan, and ursodeoxycholate) significantly inhibited mdx mBAM tetanic force." (p. 3326)

"...the antioxidative compounds Protandim, coenzyme Q10, and Vital Detox, as well as the membrane stabilizer poloxamer, were ineffective in increasing mdx mBAM tetanic force..." (p. 3332)

The key author of the study was Brian Tseng, who also coauthored the 2010 Protandim study in DMD mice, funded in part by LFVN [Qureshi et al. J Diet Suppl. 2010 Jun 1;7(2):159-178]

So, isn't it interesting to see how Protandim succeeds in research trials only when McCord’s name is on the paper, and fails when it's not. Isn't also interesting that LFVN never mentioned the existence of this study on their website, instead displaying only studies that they believe shows their product in the best light.

We’ve seen evidence of data rigging; now we have evidence of negative data suppression as well.

Originally posted 2011-11-23 02:10:44.

This post involves:

Protandim Studies

... and focuses on:



The following is a guest post from Vogel. In the interest of getting this out there as quickly as possible we'll keep it in its raw/unformatted form and make it more reader friendly soon.

I just came across a video that can rightly be called a smoking gun. The following video was posted to YouTube by LifeVantage distributor Christi Baus from Daily Life Source on October 3, 2011, accompanied by the following caption:

“A young boy with a failing heart, gets a second chance thanks to Protandim.”

[Editor's Note: The video has been taken private by Christi Baus. However, it serves the public interest to have this illegal act available for consumers to witness.]

The video, shot on the first day (April 14, 2011) of the LifeVantage Convention held at Salt Lake City’s Convention Center, opens with company president and former CEO David Brown passing a microphone to a distributor from South Dakota named Randy Antonsen, who proceeded to tell a 6-minute story about the ongoing medical treatment of his 7-year old son’s heart condition and alleges that it was Protandim that somehow miraculously cured him. The damning (i.e. illegal) portion of Antonsen’s “testimony” came at the 4 minute mark, as follows (the disjointed syntax is not a transcription error):

Antonsen: “We started him (Paul) on Protandim, and I’ll let my wife explain how I got to that, but we started him on Protandim in December of this (sic) year. Without the cardiologist knowing about it, because we researched about it and they did not know the knowledge of it, so we researched it quickly and basically uh, found out the information, started him on Protandim, went in January of this year and they gave us records of July of last year – his function was 31% — his function, and from what we can gather from our best of knowledge – he was supposed to have an appointment, hadn’t made it – best of our knowledge is that his function – we’re going to have an appointment soon, so we’re hoping it continues that way –his function went to 45 [CROWD CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] And the left side of his heart in July of last year was 51 centimeters and at his last appointment it dropped down to 41…When we were there in Iowa City, we decided — I asked the doctor; I asked the transplant doctor — I told him, I says, I says ‘can you explain him to me’. He looked me in the eye and he says ‘we have no medical explanation for him’. He, by the doctor’s explanation, he should not have been running around; he should not have been active. Matter of fact you put him in a room with perfectly healthy kids and you can’t tell the difference between him and anyone else.

More background details on Antonsen and the LifeVantage conference can be found here and here

At the very least, what we’re witnessing here is the President of the company, David Brown, giving his tacit blessing to the use of disease-cure testimonials in the training of LifeVantage distributors and the marketing of Protandim. Not only did Brown do nothing to stop this illegality from taking place (i.e. Brown aided and abetted this illegal activity), it is a fairly safe assumption that Antonsen’s illegal testimonial was pre-arranged and orchestrated by LifeVantage senior staff with prior knowledge that distributor would be violating US law.

LifeVantage can never again argue that they are not directly complicit in the use of illegal medical claims in the marketing of Protandim.

Now let’s consider some of the broader implications. LFVN is a publicly-traded company, and in their annual filings to the SEC, they have identified various risk factors that can impact the company’s business and the shareholders investment. The risk factors discussed pertain directly to the claims that Antonsen made with Brown’s oversight and blessing. The following risk factors are included in LifeVantage's 10K filing:

“Adverse publicity could also increase our product liability exposure, result in increased regulatory scrutiny and lead to the initiation of private lawsuits.”

We are subject to the risk of investigatory and enforcement action by the FTC: We will always be subject to the risk of investigatory and enforcement action by the FTC based on our advertising claims and marketing practices. The FTC routinely reviews product advertising, including websites, to identify significant questionable advertising claims and practices. The FTC has brought many actions against dietary supplement companies based upon allegations that applicable advertising claims or practices were deceptive or not substantiated. If the FTC initiates an investigation, the FTC can initiate pre-complaint discovery that may be nonpublic in nature. Any investigation may be very expensive to defend and may result in an adverse ruling or in a consent decree."

The FDA may determine that a particular dietary supplement or ingredient is adulterated or misbranded or both, and may determine that a particular claim or statement of nutritional value that we make to support the marketing of a dietary supplement is an impermissible drug claim, is not substantiated, or is an unauthorized version of a “health claim.” Any of these actions could prevent us from marketing that particular dietary supplement product, or making certain claims for that product. The FDA could also require us to remove a particular product from the market. Any future recall or removal would result in additional costs to us, including lost revenues from any product that we are required to remove from the market, which could be material. Any product recalls or removals could also lead to liability, substantial costs, and reduced growth prospects.

LifeVantage’s form 10-K filed with the SEC acknowledges directly that the use of medical claims could result in censure by the FTC and/or FDA leading to investigations and regulatory actions that substantially harm the value of the company’s stock.

Based on what we saw from the David Brown video, he is failing, as the company President, in his responsibilities to the company’s shareholders by placing the company at risk for regulatory action by the FDA and FTC.

Editor's Addition

I'd like to add that the not only is this video proof of criminal activity, but it also shows that LifeVantage Policies and Procedures are simply window-dressing for the FTC and FTC. Here's a reminder of one section of it:

"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."

As you can see LifeVantage only includes this clause so that they can protect themselves in the case that a LifeVantage distributors makes an illegal medical claim. They have the signed document that effectively says, "It isn't our fault that our distributors break the law. We have it in writing that we told them not to." However, at every opportunity they get, they are pushing information at distributors that leads them to believe that they can make these claims.

In addition, this article mentioned that they flew the boy to the event and surprised him on the stage. Imagine putting a boy on stage in front of hundreds of people and then surprising him. That sounds like a checklist of things NOT TO DO to a person with a heart condition. Then again, if you are LifeVantage, why do you care about the welfare of the boy, when you can use him to convince distributors that the product helps with medical conditions that it simply hasn't been shown to do.

LFVN has nowhere to hide now. No more plausible deniability or trying to blame this on low-ranking distributors. The cat is out of the bag. Illegal marketing is at the core of the marketing strategy for Protandim. This is unlikely to end well for LifeVantage.

Originally posted 2011-11-21 22:34:03.

This post involves:

Illegal LifeVantage Actions

... and focuses on:

, , , ,



Eagle-eyed investigator Vogel has come up with a few startling pieces of information regarding the only study of Protandim in humans. The study titled "The induction of human superoxide dismutase and catalase in vivo: a fundamentally new approach to antioxidant therapy", was done by Nelson SK, Bose SK, Grunwald GK, Myhill P, McCord JM.

Specifically, it has been discovered that the study used subjects who were company insiders. Watch this outdated spot on PBS' Health Quest:

At the 5:05 mark, Sally Nelson, a LifeVantage employee, interviews two participants in that clinical study, Steve Ossello and Reed Madison. Steve Ossello calls it "a major breakthrough and a life-changing event for [him]." What the video doesn't tell you though is that Steve Ossello and Reed Madison are top-ranked LifeVantage distributors.

It gets worse... a lot worse. It turns out that both Steve and Reed are partners at the investment bank Aspenwood Capital in Denver, and Aspenwood provided a 3.5 million and a $5 million investment in Lifevantage.

Reed Madison's Linked-In page discloses that he was an investment banker for LifeVantage since 2004. Steve Ossello's Linked-In page shows that he worked with Reed Madison at Keating Investments prior to Aspenwood Capital. In fact, Steve Ossello with Keating gave Lifeline $8 Million in funding in June, 2005.

Another article, Colo. Doctor Invents 'Anti-Aging' Pill from ABC7 News in Colorado says that McCord invented Protandim which is a lie - as we know. However, it also quotes another participant of the study, Leigh Severance. The article makes Leigh Severance sound like just an enthusiastic support of Protandim when it reads: "... Leigh Severance swears by this new 'anti-aging' pill. He said he'll take it until the day he dies but jokes that if the pill really works, he'll be around for a long time."

Leigh Severance isn't a normal study participant - he held the title of Director and Member of the Executive Committee at LifeVantage. That filing says:

"H. Leigh Severance became a director of Lifeline Therapeutics in January 2005 as the designee of Keating Securities pursuant to Keating Securities contractual right to designate one member of our board of directors."

There's that Keating Securities again.

This filing seems to show that he certainly had a lot of stock in LifeVantage. I guess it is pretty easy to swear by something when they are paying you well and you likely get a lifetime supply of free product. ABC7 News never disclosed the relationship between Severance and LifeVantage.

Bottom-Line: LifeVantage chose at least 3 participants in the study who were clearly financially biased. If all the above information wasn't enough to establish this, all three are documented insiders with the SEC with Madison and Ossello having around 100,000 shares as of June 2005 and Severance having over a million. It is worth mentioning that these are the only three people in the study who I have the names of. For all we know, all the participants could have been company insiders like these three.

It is particularly important to note that when relying on test like TBARS diet can drastically alter the results. Is 16.5 million dollars motivation to alter a diet for a month to make the results look great? I don't know anyone who would turn down that offer.

Originally posted 2011-10-12 22:09:31.

This post involves:

Protandim Studies

... 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:



[Update: It looks like Michelle Skaff has scrubbed her site clean. Seems like an admission of guilt.]

You would think that Michelle Skaff as a LifeVantage Pro 7 distributor and member of the LifeVantage Ownership Circle would know better, but then again this is one of the least surprising findings on this site. Michelle Skaff runs the website, Our Health and Abundance according to the GoDaddy Registry information.

Our Health and Abundance looks to be a repository of conflicting information. It's purpose is clearly to pitch Protandim with the tagline of "Featuring: Testimonials, Doctors, Vets and Pets for Protandim." It includes categories on the sidebar of diseases such as: Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, and Diabetes. However in small letters at the bottom of the page is the disclaimer, "*Products not intended to cure, treat or prevent disease*." This would seem to fall afoul of the FTC's endorsement guidelines where you can not suggest Protandim plays a role in disease and then in small letters negate the whole statement.

When you dig a little further you can see that there are a number of illegal claims on a Protandim testimonial page. There you can find Protandim distributor Don Wheat crediting Protandim helping his throat cancer and Protandim distributor Alithia Rutherford credit Protandim with helping with headaches (though the site categorizes the testimonial under Multiple Sclerosis as well as many other testimonies involving various diseases.

Michelle Skaff's own LinkedIn Page contains illegal claims about Protandim:

"Featured on ABC, NBC, PBS, and in Sanjay Gupta's book, Chasing Life, Protandim is proven to be a scientific breakthrough for our health based on it's ability to activate the powerful survival genes in our bodies that reduce aging, oxidation, inflammation and impact diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. It has been researched by LSU, Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Colorado and and other leading universities based on it's powerful ability to activate the survival genes within our cells, which are millions of times more powerful then what we might consume externally.. If you are serious about your health, learn about this product and science."

I bolded the parts where she illegally claims that Protandim does impact diseases. However it also worth pointing out that Harvard and MGH have not researched Protandim.

It is quite clear that Michelle Skaff is using testimonials to pitch Protandim as an aid to many, many diseases despite her own disclaimer and LifeVantage's that it isn't intended for such purposes. There's a word in the dictionary for this and it's called fraud.

Originally posted 2011-10-11 16:13:28.

This post involves:

LifeVantage Protandim Distributors

... and focuses on:



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:

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