Protandim Scams FAQ
This page attempts to answer some frequently asked questions that are often made of the site. In some cases the questions come as pointed accusations, so I've left them in that form (as opposed to true questions). Like many FAQs, it is a work in progress and will be updated over time.
Who are you? Why won't you give us your name? What are your credentials? Why should we trust you?
Those questions and many similar ones are addressed in this article: MLM Distributors asking for Credentials.
Also, unlike LifeVantage's website, I allow discussion in the comments on the articles, even if it differs from my own viewpoint. This helps ensure that the articles are factual. If the articles were incorrect, commenters would point out the mistakes, and I would correct them.
What is your motivation for creating Protandim Scams
I created this site to spread truth about the company and the product. People were feeding me so much information that LifeVantage was hiding from the public that I felt compelled to organize that information, supplementing it with my own research. For example, before I started publishing the truth that Paul Myhill created Protandim, LifeVantage was lying to consumers about Protandim being McCord's invention. In addition LifeVantage hid all information about its original Protandim product CMX-1152.
You make money from this site. You have advertising here.
Both statements are true. USA Today and CNN both have advertising on their sites as well... reporters need to eat. Your child's teacher is paid a wage as well. As a society, we seem to agree that there is nothing wrong with reporters and educators getting paid. As you can probably tell, it took (and continues to take) a LOT of time to write the articles here.
Furthermore, I make far less than one dollar an hour working on this website. Maintaining this website means passing up many opportunities that would be financially more rewarding. However, helping people to avoid being scammed out of their money is a reward that transcends financial quantification.
Lastly, I have no financial motivation in your decision. I don't make a penny if you decide to buy it or skip it. I don't ask for a penny of your money. The person trying to sell you on Protandim likely expects you to spend hundreds of dollars buying the product, and he/she is going to get paid if you say yes. That means you can get truly unbiased information here.
Do you sell a competing product?
Nope. I never have and I never will.
Is this site funded by any pharmaceutical companies or involved with Big Pharma in any way?
Nope. It is common for MLM distributors to make that accusation. Here's a quote from an article on Skeptoid about MonaVie a fruit juice.
"Now the default comment that I'm going to hear is the accusation that I'm on the payroll of Big Pharma, who are mortified that consumers will learn they can replace medical treatment and drugs with these ponzi-pyramid juice drinks. Of course this makes no sense, since $40 a bottle is far more than it costs to buy apples for a week or simply eat a healthy diet like your doctor recommends; and if profit was their motivation, Big Pharma would be the first ones selling superfruit juices."
In Protandim's case it isn't fruit juice, but the concept is clear... MLM distributors need to invent an enemy so that they can seem like the hero for saving people from it.
Do you just hate MLM (network marketing, direct sales, etc.)?
When it comes to health-based products, yes. There is something called the placebo effect where people will perceive that a product works because their mind expects it to. (That's a bit of an oversimplification, but see Wikipedia article for more information.) If everyone in America took a product such as an inert sugar pill that is proven not to work for any medical condition, 100 million people would claim that it helped them. It's not just their opinions of it helping them, the placebo effect can lead to better lab scores on a variety of tests. This is why science has created a placebo-controlled study.
When a distributor of an MLM product comes to you and says that this product helped them, you should ask, "Are they in the 30% that are effected by the placebo effect?" The consumer has no way of knowing. I have not seen any MLM company put forth a large-scale, placebo-controlled study to show that their product actually works. Any reputable company with a reputable product would do that.
Furthermore, there's the monetary motivation behind distributors pushing MLM products. The FTC endorsement guidelines say that a distributor can not give a testimonial about what the product does for them unless the company has scientifically shown it to be a "typical result" of using the product. MLM companies encourage these testimonials, because it helps them sell product.
As for the non-health based MLM companies, I look to see that they pass the FTC's guidelines for not being pyramid schemes. I haven't found an MLM company yet that makes all the information necessary publicly available (and independently audited) to determine whether it is or is not a pyramid scheme. For example, one test for a legit MLM is that 70% of the product is sold to people who are not distributors of the company.
There are many legit businesses that have no connections with pyramid schemes. If there's a question that it is illegal, not only might I be scamming others, but the business could dry up with stroke of the FTC's pen. It doesn't seem smart to get involved in such a thing.
Why are you so negative?
Negativity is in the eye of the beholder. If you were in the business of stealing old ladies' purses, you'd consider laws that legal enforcement negative. If I were a car salesman selling lemons and you told people that I'm selling a junk car, it might be natural for me to call you negative. If someone were in the business of scamming others, it would be natural to call the person exposing that scam, "negative."
This website says that Protandim is a scam, but I can find results of scams for anything such as "moon landing scam", "America scam" or "Apple computer scam." What makes this different?
It is true that almost any company and/or product can be paired with the term "scam." That's where it becomes important to actually read what the person is claiming and seeing what his/her sources are.
Some have written nonsense like, "The internet is a fabulous research tool, but you have to take everything with a grain of salt." If you have to take everything with a grain of salt, it isn't a fabulous research tool. Rather than discount all sources of information as not being trustworthy, it is worth examining the information presented on a case by case basis. If ESPN were to write an article about my favorite sports team losing last night, I wouldn't presume it was wrong based on the fact that it was on the internet. That clearly wouldn't make any sense.
I was told to do a search on PubMed.gov for Protandim and only trust the information that I found there.
You were misguided... most likely by a Protandim distributor or by LifeVantage itself. Many people don't understand what PubMed.gov is, how it works, and that it is intended to be source for scientists and not marketing for consumers. Someone will direct you there to shield you from important critical decision-making information that is available elsewhere. If they were really interested in giving you information from real researchers, doctors, and medical professions showing how Protandim works on people, they'd direct you search for Protandim on ClincialTrials.gov, which is also run by the National Institutes of Health funded by your tax dollars. You won't see Protandim distributors direct you there, because the studies are all failures and haven't gone anywhere for years. This is a prime example of why you can't trust what LifeVantage and/or a Protandim distributor might tell you. They are looking only to maximize their profit. This means they that will attempt to hide any information that might stop them from making the sale.
If you want to include PubMed in your research (and you should), take the time learn what PubMed is and how it works before blindly assuming that search results mean anything (there are thousands of search results for vitamin E, but one wouldn't logically conclude it could help with any medical condition from the information available). Here's a good place to learn about PubMed, peer review, and fraud in journals: PubMed, Impact Factor, Peer Review Journals, and Fraud
Another website said that I should try Protandim. That seems fair enough. Should I?
Only you can make the decision to try a product. However, it is worth noting that with health products there is something called the placebo effect, which, for 30% or more people will make it appear that the product is working when it isn't. For this reason, countries all over the world have instituted placebo-controlled studies for dozens of years to show that a product actually works. If it were my hard-earned money, I would want to see the results from such trials and make sure that a standards body like the FDA (or equivalent in another country) has approved the product to help with the condition that you looking for.
Once you understand the placebo effect, it become obvious that someone could be selling a magic pickle that cures all sorts of ailments and 30% of people would swear that it worked for them. Furthermore, if you experience a placebo effect, it may cover up an underlying problem which, if left untreated, could cause you more problems down the road.
"Trying the product" is a very bad idea and only helps LifeVantage continue to sell an untested to unsuspecting and uninformed customers.