It is no secret that the supplement industry is an extremely lucrative and mysterious business. There are a large amount of people who don’t even know what a dietary supplement actually is. Dietary supplements are not monitored like food and drugs. However, it is important to understand they are still regulated to an extent. It seems to be a common misconception that there is no regulation. In 1994 the DSHEA was signed by President Bill Clinton. It basically puts them under the food umbrella, and leaves the safety research and effectiveness rating for the manufacturer. Furthermore, they are not allowed to claim that a supplement can treat or cure any diseases. Companies claiming to do such are subject to complaints to the FTC and FDA. For more information about how a dietary supplement is defined, visit the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/QADietarySupplements/default.htm#what_is
Of course, you are going to want to know about me. I work for a government healthcare agency. Just know that my views are not that of the US government. There, now you can’t say Uncle Sam made you read this. I have a degree in dietetics and nutrition, I am a DTR (Diet Technician Registered) and have also been graced by being able to work for a great guy with a PHd in naturology. I have access to a ton of evidence based resources, including the ADA nutrition care manual, and the Natural Database. If you are interested in the effects of natural supplements, dropping the money on a subscription to the latter would be a great move.
Now on to what I am making this whole blog about, Zeal. Zeal is a line of nutrition supplements sold by Zurvita inc. This is their company website: http://www.zurvita.com They claim to be a Christian company, and I have no doubt that they are. They are a multi level marketing company (Pyramid seller). I have found that this allows them to fly below the FTC radar, and make outlandish claims about the effectiveness of their supplement without having to advertise it. Actually, compare the two:
Why did I pick zeal to target in this particular blog?
This stuff has taken my church by storm. It is alarming that people are using this as a prescription substitute and they guy who started it in our church doesn’t seem to show up anymore, and sees no problem with this being used as a replacement. Lesson 1 about supplements: DO NOT STOP TAKING YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS UNLESS INSTRUCTED BY A DOCTOR. Furthermore, supplements and food can interact severely with prescription medications. This company seems to be similar to AVOcare and Herbalife. Where are those guys at now? Frankly, I have dealt with their “consultants” both online and in person, and they appear to be doing nothing but lying and making false claims constantly. They don’t appear to have researched it as well. Why you would not research a product you sell is beyond me. Most certainly, the lies started somewhere. Maybe a greedy person in the supply chain? Oh, wait, I found this nugget on their site (this is a youtube version reposted by someone else, but it is their official video none the less.)
I have not dealt directly with their corporate office, however while they seem to be on the tip of the misleading spear. In fairness, you can find buried in their site advice about asking your doctor first. Whenever I have asked about the potential dangers of certain ingredients on their sites, with supporting documentation, my comment is immediately deleted. It is almost if they are trying to hide something.
I don’t know what scientific studies they have been reading, but there is one place that has tons of scientific studies, it is pubmed. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed They have studies which are good, bad and ugly. It is fantastic actually. However, I know most of us can’t evaluate the validity of scientific studies. Here is the quick and dirty: Not sponsored by a manufacturer, large number of people (n=>100 if possible), and a large amount of listed controlled factors. In dietary supplements, we would be looking for controlled exercise and caloric intake. Think about it. If it works in 3 people, is it going to work in everyone? I am sure the studies that musclepharm (which from what I have seen everything they make is garbage) are legit, right? I am sure that going to the gym twice a day and consuming huge amounts of calories has nothing to do with it, right?
My goal of this blog is to pair actual, scientific studies with the claims made by zeal, the corporation. I will for not ignore the fact that just about everyone of their consultants has claimed it can cure arthritis, diabetes, and every other ailment in existence. I plan to show what works in this supplement, what is dangerous, and for who, and why you shouldn’t take supplements without first consulting your physician. At the end of the day, supplements are a fantastic way to fix nutritional deficiencies and supplementing (not replacing) prescription drugs. Thanks, and I hope you all enjoy my blog and learn a thing or two about supplements along the way.
Now that this blog has grown, and my hits on this page have gone up quite a bit, I will make a little directory here for you to get to where you want to go easily.
Zeal Wellness Drink:
Zeal Protein Shake:
Overall Rating of Zeal For Life
***New rule: If you spam my site, or are otherwise a jerk to me, especially if you can’t post any real information, I will leave the body of your comment as per my rule on allowing all comments, but I will also edit it and add in a funny little jab at you. It makes me laugh. Enjoy.