Advantra Z® – The bitter and the sweet (mostly bitter)

I have a huge appetite, and from time to time I get cravings. You know, that rumble in your stomach for something that you know only one thing will satisfy. I have a craving, and the prescription isn’t more cowbell. For the past week, I have had this insatiable hunger for some ingredient bashing (if you recall, the last post on caffeine was more of a nod of approval than anything) and that ingredient is Zeal Burn’s very own Advantra Z. Although I had ravenously feasted on this with much vigor in the past in my Getting Burned by Zeal Burn post, it didn’t quite satisfy my hunger. So I am going to serve up a heap of steaming Advantra Z for us to feast on.

 If there is one single ingredient that can potentially do the most harm to a person in this pill, this is it. This ingredient alone would be enough to make anyone not want to take it. Of course, Zeal still says:

 

Thermogenesis is the process in which the body raises its temperature, or energy output. By increasing the thermogenesis within the body, the metabolism is raised and fat cells are then utilized as energy to support this metabolic increase.

Advantra Z® – the ONLY PATENTED THERMOGENIC INGREDIENT for weight loss and sports nutrition. This ingredient is proprietary to Zeal Burn to:

  • Stimulate thermogenesis
  • Reduce weight
  • Increase lean muscle mass to total body mass
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Suppress appetite

Advantra Z® will aid the body in preserving lean muscle while burning fat through increasing your body’s metabolic rate (thermogenesis).

Unlike ephedra-containing products, there have been no ill side effects for blood pressure observed with Advantra Z®, but of course always consult with your doctor if you are prone to high blood pressure.

Lies! All of them! Especially the bottom one. First, we need to learn what Advantra Z is don’t we? It goes by tons of names:

Bitter orange, Citrus Aurantium, Zhi-Shi, Methyl Synephrine, N-Methyltyramine, Naranja Amarga, Neroli Oil, Norsynephrine, Octopamine, Octopamine HCl, Orange Amère, Orange de Séville, Orange Peel Extract, Orange Verte, Seville Orange, Shangzhou Zhiqiao, Sour Orange, and Synepherine. Oh, don’t worry, there are more.

Key thing to remember here is that it is a branded ingredient. There is nothing different about it other than the brand. It is like comparing Green Giant broccoli with broccoli grown in the field next door to it. Same broccoli, different name and price. Well, I guess we ought to find out what the good folks at advantraz.org think about their own product:

Unlike ephedra which causes the heart to race and increases blood pressure, Advantra Z does not cause these negative side effects. Instead, Advantra Z mimics ephedra’s weight loss inducing qualities without producing these dangerous side effects.

Here’s why: ephedra and Advantra Z both increase fat-burning metabolism by stimulating beta receptors found on fat cells. The difference between ephedra and Advantra Z is which beta receptors these ingredients act on.

Ephedra stimulates B1, B2 and B3 receptors. But, stimulating B1 and B2 receptors increases heart rate and blood pressure, the side effects which caused the FDA to ban ephedra.

Only the B3 receptor promotes fat cell breakdown, the desired effect of both ephedra and Advantra Z. By activating only the B3 receptor, Advantra Z increases thermogenesis without causing the same side effects ephedra causes.

B.S. You can go to that page and note all of the nutratech funded studies that say it is ok. Remember the big red flag for telling if a study was phony or not? Say it all together kids. WHEN IT IS FUNDED BY A SUPPLEMENT COMPANY.

I once did a poll on who ate at burgers at least once a week. I only surveyed morbidly obese people in the parking lot of a burger place and then I followed up with them the next week to see how many died. I came to the conclusion that 99% of people eat burgers at least once a week and are unlikely to die from eating one burger a week. There you have it, burgers are healthy and should be eaten at least once a week to assure your survival to the next week, as survival rate was 100%. /sarcasm

                They were right about one thing, synepherine has nearly the same chemical make up as ephedra. (Photos care of Wikipedia)

 Image 

Synephrine

 

Image

 Ephedrine

See, pretty dang close. The thing that really sticks out to me is the hydroxide chillin’ at the other end of the benzene ring with the synephrine. But wait, there is more. Halostachine:

 

Image 

This fun little buddy who comes from the halostachy plant (Arabic in origin) also raises blood pressure. Looks similar to the other two huh? Maybe we can make halostachine the next miracle ingredient in Zeal! Surely it is the next magical weight loss supplement! I am not saying chemicals that resemble this will raise your blood pressure or are good for losing weight. Just drawing a lay-chemist comparison, draw your own conclusion. I am depending on clinical studies to see whether things work or what they do. Once good hard evidence walks in the door, speculation gets to take a seat.

Furthermore, let us ask this 27 year old girl who had a nice case of ventricular fibrillation what she thinks of it now.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20055074

Even the Canadians don’t like it either.

http://hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/bulletin/carn-bcei_v17n2-eng.php

Another atrocity is those crazies that are doing the Zeal “wellness plan” (sorry, I chuckled a little when I wrote “wellness plan”) are taking it three times a day. In a normal, healthy adult, one dose spiked their blood pressure for 5 hours! Imagine taking it every meal and having it built up in your body. Plus since the blend is “proprietary,” you don’t really know what dosage you are getting.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16317106?dopt=Abstract

What is worse, is here is a 55 year old woman who admittedly had a history of smoking, but was taking a multicomponent supplement. You know, mixed up with caffeine? Nice arterial lesion. Poor woman, someone probably told her the stuff was safe.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15026566?dopt=Abstract

Here is a 52 year old woman with the same issues.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15830849?dopt=Abstract

In this one, we have an otherwise healthy 38 year old male who was only on it for a week. Symptoms showed when he increased his dosage to twice a day (instead of once).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15819293?dopt=Abstract

27 not young enough for you, how about a healthy 22 year old female with some good old fashioned exercise induced syncope.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15301335?dopt=Abstract

Or maybe a 22 year old African American male? Yes, this one had a G6PD deficiency.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17615852?dopt=Abstract

Are things becoming a little more clear? Yes, this stuff sucks. It isn’t safe, especially when mixed with other ingredients in zeal. I have said it before and I will say it again. This stuff can interact with other things in the zeal system and wreak havoc. Stimulants, such as caffeine, which is found everywhere in the system intensifies the effects, and increases the risk of a cardiovascular event. One I haven’t mentioned before is the ginseng. Panang Ginseng (also in the zeal system) seems to increase the QT time on an ECG, and so does bitter orange, and this effect seems to compound each other. Interestingly, administering Advantra Z alone in a potentially supplement company sponsored study did not raise blood pressure, but when you mixed bitter orange with caffeine and other things (like in this “system”), it did. Bitter orange also interacts with a plethora of other drugs.

So, some people would still take the stuff if it works, potential side effects be damned. Here is the thing to remember. Write it down, chisel it in stone, whatever. It hasn’t been proven, and results are leaning toward it not working. One study did show it helped along with CALORIE RESTRICTION AND EXERCISE, and another study showed that it didn’t work at all. At least ephedrine worked somewhat. It did have the same negative side effects. Actually, in clinical trials, it gave a 0.9kg/month weight loss. That is a half pound a week. It just had the negative side effects, which are the same as the bitter orange. So, it did work, it was just not very good stuff. In case you haven’t caught my drift, bitter orange is like ephedra but less effective. Same negative side effects, no weight loss. This stuff alone puts the Zeal Burn on the top of the dung pile attracting the most flies.

I just want to add, I am not saying this is going to give everyone some cardiovascular event, but it could, and it has in otherwise healthy people in their 20’s. Some people can take it and have no problems. I have seen it. But then they could stroke out the next day. What if it happens when you are on a solo trail run? Those cardiovascular events are something that is tough to recover from, and could cause permanent damage. I wouldn’t risk it for the at best claimed mediocre results of Advantra Z. Something to think about before popping the burn pill 3 times a day.

Now, I am full. My appetite is satisfied, for now. I hope you will reconsider if you are taking ANY dietary supplement containing this stuff. Avoid at all costs, the risks far outweigh the benefits, and just because someone says it is good/safe, or it helped them lose a ton of weight, don’t buy into it. Think about it, if someone started taking a diet pill, they are trying to initiate a lifestyle change. They probably started exercising more, and started eating healthier (or replacing 2 meals a day with a 300 kcal shake). Just some food for thought to leave you with. Alright folks, I am going to sign off. As always, references below. Have a good one!

 

 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16164886?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14722148?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11978148?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17165643?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12672771?dopt=Abstract

Advertisements

Zeal for life: Is it safe for nursing, pregnant and children? Guarana debate and some random drivel.

 

 

Time for a semi-comical update. I am very happy this blog has taken off like this. It is even at the top of some search results. Anyways, I was hoping to discuss in this post some of the more common search results I have seen, a firsthand case I had with someone who had done the complete 90 day challenge, address some of the accusations that have been tossed my way, further misinformed bad behavior of sales reps, and address guarana further.

 

First, the accusations that some have thrown my way. People have given me some pretty outrageous ones for sure. The big two that have been handed to me is that I am promoting my own product, and I am worried that this product will lose me business because it is so great!

 

Promoting my own product/supplement – I am not in any way trying to promote something else. Do I think that some supplements are better than others? Yes. May I suggest them in place of something due to research that will more than likely help you? Yes again. I have absolutely ZERO dollars invested in any supplement company, nor do I receive any money for promotion or dragging some other company through the mud. Just to make it clear, I have absolutely NO affiliation with ANY supplement companies whatsoever.

 

My job is in danger – No, not at all. Actually, I have seen my “business” grow. I get paid the same no matter whether I see 4 patients a week, or 50 patients a week. It is usually closer to the 50 patients though. If anything, as you will see in the case you will be reading soon, I would expect it to generate clients. The claim that zeal is so great that it would make my job obsolete is absolutely false.

 

Next up, the search results. Between the wordpress stats and the Google webmaster tool, I have noticed some recurring search results that are quite popular. I will hopefully answer those questions further, and maybe shed some light on them.

 

Zeal liver damage and zeal hepatoxin – Obviously, it appears that people are having liver issues or concerns about liver issues with zeal. Well yes, it does have a couple of hepatoxic ingredients. Buchu Leaf is one of them, and that is contained in the cleanse pill. Gotu Kola used long term is can also cause liver damage, and this is found in the zeal wellness drink. Noni has also been shown to possibly be hepatoxic. So the zeal wellness drink could cause liver damage and so could the cleanse.

 

Will zeal make me poop, Zeal for life loose stool, zeal for life laxative – Obviously, I have covered how the cleanse pill is complete trouser trouble and packed full of laxatives. The wellness drink also has a couple things that can cause a bit of loose stool. The zeal burn pill also contains a laxative.

 

Can I give zeal to my children – No! Don’t do it. I assume you people are searching for info on the wellness drink. The protein shake should be fine and the burn and cleanse are out of the question unsuitable for children. Did you know that even if you give them the guarana free version it still has caffeine, which I guess in its own right isn’t terrible, but it is coming from the yerba mate. The mate is what I have problems with. Yerba has been linked to oral cancer in younger children and fetuses. Red ginseng can have hormonal effects. Furthermore, most of these herbals have not been tested and studied in children at all. I know I wouldn’t risk my child.

 

Can I take Zeal for Life while nursing / lactating – Nope, not a chance. Remember the yerba thing above? That passes through your breast milk too. Fennel can lead to neurotxicity in the young ones. The cleanse would make your milk laxitivey (yes, I made that word up). Plus add in the potential hepatoxins and add in the fact that most of it, yet again, hasn’t been studied on lactating mothers would make me shy away. This is a crucial time in your child’s development. Would you risk it?

 

Can I take Zeal for life while pregnant – Absolutely, positively not. I can’t foot stomp this one enough. Actually, I will make a list of the ingredients in Zeal that could cause a miscarriage.

 

Wellness Drink:

 

  • ·         Ashwagandha
  • ·         Moringa
  • ·         Tumeric
  • ·         Red ginseng (teratogenic effects, not necessarily an abortifacient)
  • ·         Fennel (neurotoxic, not an abortifacient)
  • ·         Noni

 

Cleanse:

 

  • ·         Juniper
  • ·         Buchu Leaf
  • ·         Urva-Ursi (also carcinogenic long term)
  • ·         Cornsilk Stylus

 

Long story short. If you plan on having a child, terminate use of these two zeal products atleast 90 days prior to planned conception. The burn pill is unsafe for anyone, and I think that the protein shake would be fairly safe. (you should still talk to your doctor).

 

 

 

The Case:

 

So we all know I work for the government. Now you get to find out something else. I am in fact in the military. Obviously, there are weight and abdominal circumference standards which need to be met. Said patient decided to do the zeal 90 day challenge. Of course she wouldn’t come to people with degrees in said subject to lose weight, it cures everything right? You may even remember me commenting that this could cause an iron deficiency. Well, low and behold, it happened. She reported to the doctor feeling extremely tired with severe shin pain. But wait, there is more! In spite of being severely anemic (HGB 8.2), and having a transferritin saturation of 3, and serum ferritin too low to read, she also had a calcidiol of 9. Her alkaline phosphatese was also very low, which is indicative of an eating disorder such as anorexia or laxative abuse. Oh, one more thing, she was also hypokalemic (low potassium). Another symptom of laxative abuse. She got all of that plus a stress fracture. She wasn’t mixing the protein shake with milk, and using water instead to cut calories. It completely wows me that an “advanced” supplement manufacturer would not include calcium and iron, which are the two largest deficiencies in the world, then have your reps tell people to eliminate them (maybe the reps came up with this themselves, beats me) to lower calories. Anyway, we put her on some decent supplements, and she has recovered, and is still losing weight. Needless to say, this is my only hands on experience, and I ended up being dead right about a lot of my suspicions. If I were to base my entire opinion off this one experience I would say “The zeal for life challenge causes iron deficient anemia, the zeal for life challenge causes calcium deficiency, the zeal for life challenge causes malnutrition.” I could be wrong, but I doubt it at this point.

 

**Disclaimer, no PII was released and no Hippa violations happened**

 

Bad Behavior:

 

Not much I haven’t complained about before, but I got banned from a facebook group for suggesting that a woman should not give this to her 16 month old and 4 year old, obviously for the reasons stated above. She also, of course said she wasn’t a nutritionist, but was well studied, so she can give the advice. A.K.A. can copy and paste off the zeal site. These are the types of people selling this stuff. WHY WOULD YOU TRUST THEM!!! Another one claimed that everyone needs supplements, and you couldn’t possibly be smart if you don’t acknowledge that. There was no way you could possibly get antioxidants from foods! They always end with “zeal has helped thousands of people!” They all use that. It must be a canned corporate statement. Asinine drivel as usual from that lot. I only got one to post a study, which leads me to my next one.

 

Guarana:

 

There are two ways that the guarana debate usually goes:

 

  1. A.      “Guarana contains a caffeine like substance which isn’t actually caffeine.” This is an absolute falsehood. It contains theobromine and caffeine just like cocoa, coffee, tea, and yerba. It is widely recognized in the scientific community that guarana has the HIGHEST caffeine content of any plants.

 

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4256097?uid=3739760&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102742755777

 

 

 

  1. B.      Guarana is caffeine, but it is absorbed more slowly. I have seen studies both ways on this. Both are dated about the same. The verdict is out, however, I feel this one is fairly reliable due to the testing method. I can’t find the counter argument as of now, but it was published about the same time as this one. The studies on this one are scant, and it is difficult to say which is more true. I have not been able to find more recent studies, just reposts of the old ones. Please don’t think that I am posting the only one that would support my argument (I generally have no problems with caffeine as I have said before). The zeal folks are apparently the ones that do, and they are the ones hawking it. I guess if you don’t know something has caffeine, and it gives you a perceived energy boost, you think it is the “magical formulation” working. Plus, we have absolutely no idea how much caffeine is in a serving. On this one, I say take it or leave it, and it is the least of the concerns in the grand scheme of zeal. But one thing is for sure, it most definitely has caffeine.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1360532

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Rating

So, now hopefully you have hung on to every single word I typed in my nutritive analysis of each supplement, right? Now I want to comment on the entire system, for weight loss, and all of the other malarkey that it is claimed to do.

Overall: I give it a 2/10. As a comprehensive system, it has massive fails in each individual category for what it is designed to do. There are so many supplement interactions with this stuff it is appalling. Moreover, about 90%of the ingredients are not proven at all. The proven safety effects outweigh the unproven gains exponentially. Actually, the only thing that brings the score up is the meal replacement/protein powder, which seems to be the most effective in this slurry of tree leavings. The cleanse and burn are absolute jokes, and the wellness supplement while it can be safe for a male who has no pre-existing conditions, is a fail for about anyone else. Overall, if you don’t take the meal replacement with milk, you are going to end up with a calcium deficiency, and if you are a female and your one “lean and green” meal doesn’t include substantial sources of iron, hello iron deficiency. You ladies struggle with that anyways. Try getting 18-22mg on the zeal challenge… aint happening. The irony (pun intended) is, is that iron and calcium deficiency are the most prominent mineral deficiencies in the world. You would think such an advanced manufacturer of supplements, such as zurvita, would realize this. But of course, they didn’t. It places you at risk for a nutritional deficiency when you are taking this to get everything you need! I would really like to run a TIBC or Calcidiol to evaluate my claims, but I am sure they won’t be published anytime soon.

 

Marketing: I am afraid I am going to have to go negative on this one. Zurvita is taking an advantage of the convenient idiot, as Lenin would say. Atleast I think it was Lenin who coined that one. Please correct me if I am mistaken. So my rating -3/10. There are people spewing garbage about this stuff non stop. When you challenge them, there are a few different roads it can go down.

1. They delete it, because they know they are wrong, and want to make money.

2. They delete, because they are scared of or not willing to accept the truth and be objective about things.

3. They ignore it, because they aren’t knowledgeable enough or truthful enough to accept what I said, or at least investigate it.

4. They spew off ignorant facts and regurgitate what zurvita told them.

Most people that sell this stuff, and claim to be Christian have Donald Trump and other business person quotes cluttering their facebook instead of Bible verses. Not that I am judging, I fall short all the time and I really do like money. I fell short today probably about 12 different times, and probably 100 more times I don’t even realize. But we have to put the facts into perspective here. At the end of the day, Adam and Eve did not start their day off with a zeal wellness/protein combo, then pop a cleanse, and follow that junk for the rest of the day. I have seen things such as “wow! you have no idea how good you feel when you have everything God intended you to have!” Just to see them complain about how they are starving on this. Actually, there is great examples here. I am redracer1985.

 

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/searcy-ar/TBMJK91DMLF8EP7KG

 

I don’t really chime in til the last couple of pages, but the people will not respond to me. They pick an argument that they think they can win, and overlook mine. Too much reading or learning? Please help us if you learn about what you are selling folks! I bet they are afraid to even click it, because they know what they would find… Not what they want to hear, and no black Merc.

 

Weight loss: 4/10 It works, but it doesn’t. It isn’t the crap in the burn pill working. I assure you of that. It is a little of the cleanse, and a lot of the meal replacement. It is easy not to top 1600 calories on this set up. Guess what? If you eat 1600 calories a day for a while, you are going to lose weight. They they add in exercise. Well, why wouldn’t it work?

 

The successful keys to any diet are elimination of refined carbs and activity. Eliminating alcohol is a fantastic way to do things as well. This does all three. Inactivity, refined carbs, and alcohol are the devil if you are trying to lose weight. Guess what, you could do all of this anyways, for free. Especially if you drop a bill on an actual registered dietitian once a month.

I listed some super basic things, but why so low, you ungrateful critic? While I surely am a sourpuss at some points, this falls way short.

1. Sustainability: It isnt very sustainable. I mean, when you get tired of living on these little overpriced shakes, pills, and drinks, what is going to happen? Yep, right off the wagon you go. It isn’t very socially acceptable either. “Hey Johnny, we are going to lunch at some great super healthy vegan joint. Wanna roll?” Naw, I am good, I gots mah zeal. However, let us say you have taken them up on their offer, and now you have a date with Tina McHottie? You might as well break out the coupon book on the first date. You are done like a turkey on thanksgiving. “Waiter, I’ll have a glass of milk to go with my Zeal, and could you give me a minute to flush my masculinity down the toilet as well?” Tina ain’t calling. There are always things that happen, and you just can’t make it work 100% of the time, which leads me to my next one.

 

2. Education: If you idiot proof things enough, you make idiots. This is exactly what is happening. When your $300/month runs out, do you know how to eat healthy? Nope. All you know is that you need 2 shakes plus spinach chicken salad to pass the day, and now you are out of both? How do you order healthy when you are with Tina McHottie, and you are still trying to keep your 6 pack chiseled? At least you didn’t pay with a coupon this time, but now she is leaving with the situation. If you learn what to do, and how to meet your micronutrient goals, you shouldn’t need a pill in the world. But sometimes, life happens, and that is why there is naturemade.

 

 

Other stuff: Obviously this works for diabetes and hypertension. Why? For diabetes, it eliminates alot of carbs, and gives you what you need when you need it. You should know that anyways. Blood pressure. What was your diet like before? Sodium and refined carbs love to run up blood pressure. When you all but eliminate them, it goes down. The truth is, you probably had high blood pressure because you ate like crap, and it was actually your fault, you refined carb and alcohol fiend you. Once you eliminated that, you were magically better.

 

At the end of the day, this is a very poor to poor system. Loads of caffeine and laxitives keep you chipper and everything rolling. If it cured your grandmas death or whatever, I am happy for you.

Getting Burned by Zeal Burn

 

Zeal Burn. One of my favorites. It is unlike any other diet pill on the market most certainly! First, let us look at their as always comical claim.

Zeal Burn is the powerhouse of the Zeal Weight Management Program. Zeal Burn is an effective blend of thermogenic fat burners, a natural carb blocker and appetite suppressant. Taken before each meal these powerful ingredients will accelerate your metabolism to burn more calories, reduce your hunger and block the absorption of the carbohydrates that you do eat; all without making you jittery as many weight loss products do. Slowing down the assimilation of carbohydrates can help avoid the cycle of hunger and act as an appetite suppressant. Many people eat a lot of simple sugars and simple carbohydrates which go into your system quickly and go out quickly, leaving you quickly hungry. Zeal Burn can help.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing. “Powerhouse.” Ah ha ha ha ha ha. I probably knocked about 5 powerhouses off the shelf when I accidentally wondered in to GNC while looking for the flea circus. I figured out where I was when I heard a GNC bro ask me if I was looking to beef up. I turned tail and booked it, leaving the stacker 2 bottles and the “clinical strength nutrition supplements” in my supersonic wake of destruction.

Back on topic. My opinion is that this is probably the most dangerous out of all of the supplements for anyone in general. It is the same as the crap on the shelf when you walk into the dietary section at Wal-Mart. Remember when I said someone quit taking their blood pressure pills after 3 days on this challenge? Scary. It should effectively raise your blood pressure and make you poop. Put you at risk for some cardiovascular conditions, and help give you a boner. All and all, I am going to have a little fun on this one, because if anything deserves to get made fun of, it is this and the cleanse.

 

Advantra-Z™ (Citrus Aurantium / Zhi Shi powder)- Advantra-Z™ is a proprietary thermogenic fat burner, right? If you google this supplement, you will find that it is sold to multiple supplement companies. It appears to be concentrated bitter orange. That makes it not proprietary to Zurvita, maybe the Advantra Z folks? Luckily, I found a site with the sponsored zeal ingredient list which tells me what it really is, bitter orange. Plus, the Advantra Z site says it is. Let us first laugh at their claim about it. Hilarious!

 

Advantra-Z™ – The ONLY PATENTED THERMOGENIC INGREDIENT for weight loss and sports nutrition. This ingredient is proprietary to Zeal Burn to:

 

  • ·         Stimulate thermogenesis
  • ·         Reduce Weight
  • ·         Increase lean muscle mass to total body mass
  • ·         Improve athletic performance
  • ·         Suppress appetite

 

Bitter orange is not such great stuff. For a little background on it, it was used as a replacement for ephedra when that stuff got banned. In theory, this makes since due to the fact that synephrine contained in bitter orange extract is similar in chemical makeup as ephedra. The good part is that it is possibly effective….. for topical application in treating tinea corporis (ringworm), cruris (jock itch), or pedis (athlete’s foot). Furthermore, the ancient “all natural” medicinal use for this was as an appetite stimulant, not suppressant. The bad part is that it can have the same negative effects as ephedra, especially if combined with other stimulants such as caffeine. These negative effects include ischemic stroke, and cardiotoxicity including tachyarrhythmia, cardiac arrest, syncope, angina, myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmia, and death in patients who have taken this. It has also not been proven to work terribly well. Quick pop quiz (or open another browser window), how many caffeine containing substances did the wellness drink have? Oh yeah, makes you want to faint doesn’t it. First off, if you want to go check out this cool site, it has a super handy matrix to help you choose performance enhancing supplements which are legal and safe.

 

http://hprc-online.org/dietary-supplements/dietary-supplement-classification-system-1

 

If you will notice, it is actually a class 12, which is the worst. Sometimes I wonder if they did their research at all before they put this stuff together, or just grabbed something off the GNC shelf and stuck a Zeal label on it. Most of these products seem to mimic the stuff you can get at GNC anyways. Kind of scary. Seriously, don’t take this stuff, you are rolling the dice. Zurvita claims they carefully formulated this so it won’t affect your blood pressure. My foot! I seriously don’t see how this would increase lean muscle mass. Exercise and a good diet do that, not bitter orange. That is a false claim for sure. It does not require a rocket scientist to figure out that a zero calorie supplement will not increase lean body mass. The references included scratch the surface, but documentation on the negative effects of this stuff is everywhere.

 

 

African Mango: It is used to lower cholesterol and for weight loss. It seems relatively safe when taken up to 10 weeks at 150mg 2x/day. It has become popular in modern weight loss supplements. There are three studies done on this, all by a university in Cameroon Africa, and all sponsored by a supplement company. They look suspect to me. They took overweight patients, and stuck them all on a 1800 calorie diet. The people on the supplement lost 16 pounds in a month, and the people not on it lost none.

 

Personal problems with this:

  1. A.      If you put someone overweight on an 1800 calorie diet, they are going to lose weight, unless they have a thyroid issue.
  2. B.      1-2 pounds of weight lost is considered a safe, realistic goal. You should not try to lose more than that. If you are, it is probably muscle. It seems inflated and biased, something just doesn’t look right about it, and it throws up a red flag.

 

Is anyone ready for Zeal’s claim?

 

African Mango extract has become one of the world’s most popular weight loss ingredients. The African mango comes from the Irvingia Gabonesis tree native to Africa. It was originally studied for its effect on cholesterol. After several controlled studies, it was discovered that not only did it help lower cholesterol levels, but in every study group given, the supplement had significant weight loss results – an average weight loss of 12.3 pounds in just 8 weeks!

They apparently took the limited African studies as gospel. Of course, they support what they want to tell you. I guess they didn’t completely lie on this one. It just goes to show they will read one study (or 3 bad ones) and toss any old thing in here.

 

 

Green Tea (50% EGCG) – Back to the old caffeine containing great tea extract, huh? That is in the wellness drink. If you want the details of it, look at the wellness drink. The only thing I am going to add to that is how this stuff is evaluated for weight loss. It is split, one study shows it works, and one doesn’t. Caffeine can act as an appetite suppressant. That is probably why so many people can skate through breakfast on just coffee, well that and skipping breakfast crashes your metabolism.

 

 

Cha de Bugre- There are really no scientific studies on this stuff. It seems to definitely have a diuretic effect. Historically, they have used it for weight loss and treatment of everything from herpes to cancer. It was probably one of the only medicines the tribe had down there in Brazil. You know my feelings on non-scientifically proven ancient remedies already. No need to expound.

 

White Kidney Bean[pod] extract (from the pod, presumably)– Since all the studies I found are on the pod extract, that is what I am going to go with.  It seems safe when used for 2-3 months. If you eat the pods raw, it can cause your stomach to get upset. If you ate them all the time, your stomach would be upset all the time, and you probably would not want to eat. I found a single study that says it can prevent lung cancer. For weight loss one that said the bean pod group lost 0.8 more pounds over a month and two that said it didn’t work it all. Given the three, I would guess the first one was just an anomaly. Of course, these studies were small, and if you add them up lean toward it not working, but objectively, I still see it to be inconclusive at best. They were actually correct on the fact that it acts as a starch blocker to a certain extent. Zurvita, you get a gold star for honesty on this one!

 

L-arginine– Does nothing for weight loss. Remember from my previous post this is a vasodilator. It is used for angina, CHF, and ED. It is also proven likely ineffective in athletic performance. Say hi to Smilin’ Bob for me.

 

Zeal probably found this one liner of bodybuilding.com:

 

                L-arginine is a protein amino acid that is a natural precursor to growth hormone.

 

Truth: Your body synthesizes enough of this itself in most situations to where a therapeutic dose isn’t going to stimulate growth hormone release.

 

Trymethylglycine – Remember that song by Edwin Starr? Trymethylglycine! huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Ok, so that song was written in 1969, and times have changed. It appears possibly effective for Homocystinuria. It appears to be ineffective for weight loss. Eddie just about had it right. Other than sounding sciencey, there is no reason for it to be in a weight loss supplement.

 

 

Aloe Vera powder (200:1) – Not the ole orally ingested aloe again. Seriously? I hope it isn’t the latex, which we deemed to be unsafe for ingestion in the wellness post. I am halfway thinking it is the latex now, since it has been traditionally used as a laxative. Aloe still works fantastic topically.

 

Zeal Says:

 

Proper nutrients absorption from our body is paramount to maintaining a healthy body, a youthful appearance and high energy levels.

 

I didn’t know that laxatives helped nutrient absorption. I had always heard and read the opposite in the medical world. You learn something every day I guess.

 

 

Sources:

 

 

Bitter Orange:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11583473?dopt=Abstract (this was just with the juice, not extract)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17201647?dopt=Abstract (shows ineffective; small study group)

Keogh AM, Baron DW. Sympathomimetic abuse and coronary artery spasm. Br Med J 1985;291:940.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15026566?dopt=Abstract (scary)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15301335?dopt=Abstract (A healthy 22 year old)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15830849?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16610576?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16317106?dopt=Abstract (It raises BP)

 

African Mango:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15916709?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19254366?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18377661?dopt=Abstract

 

Green Tea:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11924761?dopt=Abstract (appears to work)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15005829?dopt=Abstract (appears it doesn’t work)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19906797?dopt=Abstract (More effective with additional caffeine)

 

White kidney bean pod extract:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16189362?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6182469?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6414283?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17299581?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22844674?dopt=Abstract

 

Trimethylglycine:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12399266?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12399266?dopt=Abstract

 

Aloe:

Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996 (When used as a laxative)

Wichtl MW. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Ed. N.M. Bisset. Stuttgart: Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers, 1994. (Covers laxative and renal failure)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11877593?dopt=Abstract (renal failure by Aloe)

 

 

Zeal sites used for reference:

http://zealforlifeproducts.com/ (I get the nutrition info on it from here since they did a good job documenting it)

 

http://support.zurvita.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/346 (Burn doesn’t increase blood pressure LOL)

 

http://healthroads.zealforlife.com/zeal_burn.asp?CO_LA=US_EN

 

Zeal Wellness Drink/Supplement

First up on the docket, for my never ending scrutiny, is the original “wellness” drink that propelled them into church pyramid marketing stardom. People sure to make rash claims about this stuff, lets get started with poking at a fellow wordpresser. (He actually seems like a really nice guy, nothing personal). You should read the “about” page of my blog to figure out some of the concerns I am stating here.

http://wellnessfortoday.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/zeal-for-life-challenge-cranberry-zinger/

Oh, the cranberry zinger? Well, I have seen claims by people on zeal about how they have not touched caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks… ect) since they started zeal. I love how he was magically energized at the mere thought of drinking this. Ironically, the skepdic dictionary seems to define this anomaly quite well. http://skepdic.com/placebo.html Some have even claimed that it didn’t contain caffeine, others didn’t know. On their main website, they will not disclose the amount of ingredients in Zeal Wellness. Furthermore, it contains not one, not two, but three naturally occuring sources of caffiene. Guarana, green tea, and yerba mate. Lack of research indeed. A quick look at the zeal label and a little bit of wikipedia could reveal this, scientific studies not required. This ties into the claim that it lowers blood pressure. Caffeine does the exact opposite, actually. Since we don’t know how much of each ingredient is in there, since their blend is so “proprietary,” we would be unable to assess the amount of caffeine and the safety of consuming this if you are hypertensive. Furthermore, I have seen posts of people self diagnosing themselves into not needing their blood pressure medication after 3 days. I would consider that scary. Of course, they wouldn’t follow up with anything saying that their blood pressure went up, because after all, they want to sell the stuff. It takes an average of 3 weeks to 3 months for herbal supplements to build up to therapeutic levels in your body. I highly doubt it did anything.

Bioavailabilty: I have been told that the vitamins and minerals in zeal are far more bioavailable than those regularly available in supplements. However, yet again, if you were to read the label, you would find a plethora of ingredients which are available in an OTC multivitamin. On a side note, you should always choose a USP supplement if possible. Plenty of multivitamins fit that bill. If you want to know more about that visit: http://www.usp.org

List of multivitamins in Zeal Wellness which are shared with the naturemade on my shelf:

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (Vitamin B6), Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D), Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12).

Obviously, if they can’t even be absorbed by me from the multivitamin, why would the same supplements be absorbed better from Zeal? Quick answer, they aren’t. Basically Zeal is a multivitamin with potentially dangerous herbals added. The level of risk varies with whatever life situation you are in. Certain herbs in this can cause abortifacient, hepatoxic, and tetragenic effects in humans. Which really burned me when I saw this suggested as a prenatal vitamin.

Now, I am going to list the ingredients, with a bunch of references added to it. I am going to give my summary of the studies I have read. I do not have the time to document all of the studies, but these should give you a quick, general idea of how these things work and whether they are safe, which most of them have not been proven safe for therapeutic medicinal doses. Scary, huh? Yall ready for this? It is going to be a ton of reading. There are going to be tons of links for the references, so bare with me, I don’t know how to make them look pretty.

”Proprietary ENRICH blend”:

Rice Bran – Is possibly effective at helping with Atopic dermatitis (eczema), Hypercalciuria, and Hypercholesterolemia. There are little to no safety concerns for rice bran. What really makes me laugh about stabilized rice bran, is how it is made. I mean this is an all-natural supplement, right? Funny thing is, this stuff started out as livestock feed. Waste humans wouldn’t want to consume, but with some clever chemistry you can. First off, you have to stabilize rice bran because a naturally occurring lipase enzyme with cause it to oxidize rather quick. There are many ways of doing this. Some processes include extremely high heat, pressure, chemical (read sodium hydroxide) and enzymatically. Seems pretty dang processed to me. Then after the oil has been discarded or taken out for rice bran oil, it is shipped all over the world. I love how turning garbage into food has become an American tradition.

Fructooligosaccharides – Orally, fructo-oligosaccharides are used for constipation, traveler’s diarrhea, increasing fecal mass, and reducing serum cholesterol. Fructo-oligosaccharides are also used as prebiotics. It seems ineffective at preventing travellers diarrhea. It also appears to be relatively safe to take, however, this has not been tested in pregnant women and therefore should avoid using of tor supplemental purposes.

Moringa – Orally, Moringa is used for anemia and many GI complications, and topically as a treatment for atheletes foot. Moringa is also rich in vitamins and minerals. The roots should be avoided due to an alkaloid isolated in the root which can cause fatal paralysis. There is insufficient data as to the effectiveness of moringa for the above conditions. This can be used safely by consumption of the seeds, fruit, and leaves by most. Moringa has also proven to be an herbal abortifacient.

Guarana –
Orally, guarana is used for weight loss, to enhance athletic performance, to reduce mental and physical fatigue, hypotension, and as a diuretic. This is mostly safe if guarana is eaten as it is in food or drink. Guarana contains about double the amount of caffeine as coffee. Use of more than 300 mg/day of caffeine can lead to dependency, tachyarrhythmias, and sleep disturbances. Pregnant women should avoid ingesting more than 200 mg/day. Guarana has the highest natural concentration of caffeine of any naturally occurring source. BTW zeal reps, guaranine IS caffeine. Same chemical make up and everything.

Gotu Kola – Orally, gotu kola is used for reducing fatigue, anxiety, depression, improving memory and intelligence, Alzheimer’s disease, venous insufficiency including varicose veins, wound healing, and increasing longevity. It can also be used topically for healing scars. Gotu Kola is likely safe used topically. Used as a supplement, it is still likely safe, however there concerns of hepatoxicity in some patients. Gotu Kola is most likely effective for veinous insufficiencies.

Alfalfa – Medicinally, Alfalfa is traditionally used as a diuretic for the kidneys and bladder. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K4. High usage of the seeds over a long term has been associated with pancytopenia and drug-induced lupus effects.
In supplemental form, it is potentially unsafe to pregnant women because it may contain constituents for estrogenic activity.

Chlorella – Orally, chlorella is used as a food supplement and source of nutrients, including protein, nucleic acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There have been studies for its effectiveness in fibromyalgia and glioma. Results are inconclusive. It appears to be relatively safe to take, but has not been evaluated in pregnant and lactating mothers.

Broccoli – Medicinally, broccoli is used for preventing cancer and boosting immune function. It is considered safe to consume in food form, however, little research has been done on the safety of therapeutic medicinal amounts. It probably doesn’t matter. Broccoli is loaded with antioxidants. It is a freaking powerhouse. Eat it with wanton reckless abandon every day if you so choose. It is high in vitamin c, fiber, and deliciousness. The real question is, with something so good, especially smothered in grass fed butter, why oh why would you supplement it?

Cranberry – Therapeutically , cranberry is used for prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections, neurogenic bladder, as a urinary deodorizer for people with incontinence, prevention of urinary catheter blockage, and to heal skin around urostomy stomas. It is safe when consumed as food or in juice, and in non-pregnant adults, it has been proven safe in many trials. It has also been proven to possibly be effective in preventing UTIs. The dried version is also wonderful on salads alongside goat cheese.

”Proprietary Restore blend:”

Milk thistle – Milk thistle seems to be effective for some diabetes treatements, Allergic rhinitis, and Dyspepsia . Milk thistle seems to be tolerated well in adults up to 41 months in clinical studies.

Bacopa – Traditionally, brahmi (bacopa) is used for Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, cognitive impairment and memory loss, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It seems possibly effective in cognitive functions. It seems possibly ineffective at treating Irritable bowel syndrome. It seems relatively safe in clinical trials lasting up to 12 weeks, and has not been evaluated in pregnant and lactating mothers. I think the mental stimulus for Alzheimer’s is the most captivating aspect of it. I think this one is worth further investigation.

Ashwagandha – Orally, ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, tumors, tuberculosis, abortifacient, and chronic liver disease. There is insufficient evidence regarding the effectiveness of this. Pregnant mothers should avoid taking this due to it’s traditional use as an Abortifacient. In short, there is no proven point of this stuff other than to try and induce an abortion.
Green tea extract – Green tea is used to improve cognitive performance and mental alertness. It is also used to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. It is also used as a weight loss supplement and for it’s anti-oxidant properties. It appears safe when used in concentrations normally used and foods, and short terms medicinally. It is possibly unsafe when the extract is used long term medicinally due to it’s large caffeine content. Use of more than 300 mg/day of caffeine can lead to dependency, tachyarrhythmias, and sleep disturbances. Pregnant women should avoid ingesting more than 200 mg/day. It seems likely effective when used for genital warts and for mental alertness, due to the caffeine. It may also be effective in treating hypotension, hyperlipidemia, ovarian cancer risks and parkinsons disease. This is mainly due to the EGCG, a potent antioxidant found in green tea. Green tea also works well steeped in water and paired with a touch of honey. That is where I would get mine.

Wild blueberry – Historically, blueberry is used for preventing cataracts and glaucoma, ulcers, urinary tract infections (UTIs), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fever, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, improving circulation, and as a laxative. It is safe when used in the amounts which occur in foods. However, the safety of supplemental blueberry has not been evaluated. There is insufficient research to evaluate wild blueberry for its medicinal properties. That being said, blueberries are packed with flavonoids called anthocyanins. Blueberry juice did seem to improve cognitive function in those who are aging. Yet again, these delicious, nutritious, bite sized gems go great in salads, real yogurt (not corn syrup/chemical laden yogurt with blue dye in them) or just popped into your mouth. Again, I would just eat these because they are wonderful and not take the powder.

Tumeric – Turmeric has been used for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, hemorrhage, diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, hepatitis, and liver and gallbladder conditions. Tumeric has been safely used in clinical trials lasting up to 8 months in clinical trials. Therapeutic amounts of tumeric should not be used by pregnant women due to the fact that it can stimulate menstrual flow in the uterus. (How much is in zeal? Oh yeah, proprietary blend, no one knows) It seems effective at treating dyspepsia and osteoarthritis. I am sure not hating on turmeric, it is packed with the antioxidant curicumin. It is also packed with deliciousness, as it’s slightly sweet and smoky flavor make it a good base for curry, or just sprinkled liberally on anything really. Be careful though! It will turn your hands yellow.

Red ginseng(Korean Ginseng)- Red ginseng seems to be effective at treating COPD, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and cognitive function. It is possibly ineffective for quality of life improvements and athletic performance. Red ginseng seems possibly safe when used orally up to 6 months, however long term use may be unsafe due to its potential hormone like effects. It is unsafe for pregnant mothers due to the fact it may present a teratogen effect to the fetus during pregnancy. It is also unsafe for use in children due to its hormonal effects.

Grape seed extract – Grape is medicinally used for preventing cardiovascular disease, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, atherosclerosis, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, edema associated with injury or surgery, and myocardial or cerebral infarction. Grapes are safe as food and have GRAS status in the US. Use of the supplement form is possibly safe, and have been used in clinical trials up to 12 weeks. It appears to be effective in chronic venous deficiency and ocular stress from glare. There is not enough evidence to support grapeseed extract for other uses. Grapes are also loaded with an antioxidant caused resveratrol. This has been shown to reduce multiple cancer risks. Is there enough in here to do anything? Doubtful. The best source of grape antioxidants is red wine. So if you needed an excuse to drink red wine, now you have one. (BTW the wine pill didn’t work in studies). You could even come up with a new drink, the zeal mixer!

L-arginine – L-arganine is a vasodialator and has been safely used in lab trials up to 3 months. It seems most effective at treating erectile dysfunction, angina, congestive heart failure, AIDS related wasting, and other vascular diseases. It is unlikely to be effective for athletic performance and myocardial infraction. Nothing wrong with it, you just probably don’t need a supplemental form of it.

Glycine – Orally, glycine is used for schizophrenia, strokes, memory enhancement, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), protection of the liver and kidneys, and cancer prevention. It is also used in the treatment of G6PD deficiencies. It may be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia and stroke. It seems to be relatively safe when used orally/topically, however it has not been evaluated in pregnant or lactating women.

Lysine – Clinically lysine is used for preventing and treating clinical symptoms of recurrent herpes simplex labialis. It is also used as an aid to improving athletic performance. It is potentially effective for the treatment of herpese simplex labailis. It has not been proven to be effective for athletic performance. Lysine seems generally well tolerated up to 12 months and has not been evaluated for use on pregnant and lactating mothers.

Tyrosine – Tyrosine is effective for the medicinal treatment of Phenylketonuria (PKU). (They do this by making a formula and substitute tyrosine for phenylalanine). It may also work well for treating sleep disorders. It is considered safe and granted GRAS status for the amounts occurring in foods, and seems well tolerated in clinical trials lasting up to 3 months.

Orthanine – What is with all of the EAAs in this? Can’t you just eat some meat? Oh well, this is used for the enhancement of athletic performance, reduction of glutamine toxicity, and wound healing. No clinical safety studies have been performed, and it appears to be ineffective for athletic performance.

Yerba mate – Yerba mate is used as a beverage in South America and is used as a stimulant to relieve mental fatigue. The caffeine content is roughly equal or slightly less than that of coffee. It is safe when consumed as a drink, and possibly unsafe when consumed in large quantities or supplemented. Use of more than 300 mg/day of caffeine can lead to dependency, tachyarrhythmias, and sleep disturbances. Pregnant women should avoid ingesting more than 200 mg/day. Furthermore, mate has been linked to oral cancer in the fetus, children, even in adults with long term use. Wait, coffee is better and it doesn’t give you cancer, what gives?

Kudzu – Typically, this has been used for the natural treatment of alcoholism, hangovers, angina, upset stomach, dizziness, and vomiting. Its use has been relatively safe in clinical trials lasting up to 4 months. It has been clinically evaluated for angina, stroke, menopause, and alcoholism with inconclusive results. It does grow like a weed and everywhere, so if they find a use for this, more power to them.

Fennel – Historically fennel’s therapeutic use is increasing lactation, promoting menstruation, facilitating birth, an abortifacient, and increasing libido. Fennel is likely safe and has obtained GRAS status in amounts generally used in food. In medicinal doses, its safety has not been evaluated. It should be avoided while pregnant and breast feeding in therapeutic doses due to the fact that it can lead to neurotoxicity in the child. This seems relatively effective for colic when combined with other ingredients, but, the side effects for children… Play this one like turmeric. Packed with antioxidants, use it in your food, just not medicinally.

“Proprietary PROTECT Blend”

Aloe – Orally, aloe is used for osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis, fever, itching and inflammation, and as a general tonic. Topically, aloe is used for burns, wound healing, hemorrhoids, posthemorrhoidectomy pain, psoriasis, sunburn, frostbite, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and cold sores. It is also applied topically as an antiseptic and as a moisturizer. Aloe gel is safe when used orally, topically, and appropriately. Aloe Latex may be unsafe if consumed orally can lead to renal failure and death. People claim that the juice helps regulate your stomach. I’d roll with the probiotics instead.

Goji (Lycuim)- Herbal remedies for goji are used for diabetes, hypertension, fever, malaria, and cancer. It’s also used for improving circulation, erectile dysfunction, abortifacient, dizziness, tinnitus; and as an eye tonic for blurred vision, macular degeneration, and other ophthalmic disorders. It is likely safe in quantities naturally occuring and food and medicinally for healthy individuals up to 3 months in clinical trials. It should be avoided by pregnant mothers due to it’s traditional use as an abortifacient. Studies indicate that it could potentially be used to increase quality of life, but are inconclusive with a small n of participants.

Acai berry- Historically, acai has been taken for osteoarthritis, hypercholesterolemia, erectile dysfunction, weight loss and obesity, detoxification, aging skin, metabolic syndrome, and for improving general health. Acai is relatively safe consumed as a berry or juice. Supplemental use has not been evaluated. Preliminary research shows acai supplements can be safely taken up to a month, and have lowered fasting glucose and total cholesterol levels on obese patients. No effect was seen on LDLs. Acai berries contain an abundance of Monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. (omega fats). This over touted “superfood” gets put to shame by blueberries and pomegranates in the antioxidant department. You can also actually go to the store and buy blueberries and poms.

Noni – Noni is used for colic, convulsions, cough, diabetes, dysuria, stimulating menstrual flow, fever, hepatosis, constipation, leukorrhea, malarial fever, and nausea. It is also used for smallpox, splenomegaly, swelling, asthma, arthritis and other bone and joint problems, cancer, cataracts, colds, depression, digestive problems, and gastric ulcers. Also it has been used in a preparation to aid childbirth and as an abortifacient. It is possibly safe to eat the fruit, however, noni juice, tea, and supplements have show to be hepatoxic. It is unknown if noni was the cause of hepatoxicity. Noni has been used as a natural abortifacient, and should be avoided by pregnant mothers. Noni may be mildy effective at eliminating post operative vomiting. Insufficient reliable evidence exists to assess for other purposes. Noni fruit is high in potassium, vitamin a, and vitamin c.

Ionic minerals – Trace amounts of minerals including copper, gold, silver, boron, silicone, and zinc in extremely small amounts are required for bodily operation, and are regularly found in foods. Boron, magnesium, and silicone are required for bone health.

Fulvic minerals (humic acid) – Increase absorption and bioavailability of metallic ions in our system.

Stevia – Orally, stevia is used as a weight loss aid, for treating diabetes, contraception, hypertension, heartburn, lowering uric acid levels, and as a cardiotonic and diuretic.
In foods, stevia is used as a non-caloric sweetener and flavor enhancer. Stevia has GRAS status in the US as a sweetener in foods. I have to say, they got it right on this one. The results keep coming in about hypertension and blood sugar control for diabetes folks. I use this stuff myself. If you are using an artificial sweetener, use this one.

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)- This form of vitamin C is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Vitamin C is an extremely important nutrient. It increases the bioavailability of iron and can reverse the effects of scurvy between 2 days and 3 weeks. Vitamin C is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol – This form of vitamin E is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is used for replacement therapy in vitamin E deficiency, treating and preventing cardiovascular disease, including slowing atherogenesis and preventing heart attacks. It is used orally for angina, thrombophlebitis, intermittent claudication, hypertension, and preventing ischemia-reperfusion injury after coronary artery bypass surgery. Vitamin E is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

Retinol palmitate (Vitamin A) – This form of vitamin A is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a fat soluble vitamin. Orally, vitamin A is used for vitamin A deficiency, improving vision, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts, infection, and improving immune function. Vitamin A is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis. It is likely ineffective for anemia, cancer, and pneumonia. Beta carotene is what really works for AMD, but who’s counting?

Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (Vitamin B6)- This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, pyridoxine is used most commonly for treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS), vitamin B6 deficiency, “morning sickness” in pregnancy, depression associated with pregnancy or oral contraceptive use, primary homocystinuria, hyperhomocysteinemia, Alzheimer’s disease, and preventing neuritis associated with isoniazid or penicillamine. Vitamin B6 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

niacinamide (Vitamin B3)- This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, niacin is used for hyperlipidemia. It is also used in conjunction with other therapies for peripheral vascular disease, vascular spasm, migraine headache, Meniere’s syndrome, vertigo, and to reduce the diarrhea associated with cholera. Orally, niacin or niacinamide is also used for preventing vitamin B3 deficiency, treating pellagra, schizophrenia, drug-induced hallucinations, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline, chronic brain syndrome, hyperkinesis, depression, motion sickness, alcohol dependence, vasculitis associated with skin lesions, and edema. Vitamin B3 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

thiamin (Vitamin B1) – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, thiamine is used for thiamine deficiency syndromes, including beriberi, peripheral neuritis associated with pellagra, and neuritis of pregnancy. Vitamin B1 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

riboflavin|riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. B2 is used for preventing riboflavin deficiency, treating ariboflavinosis, preventing migraine headaches, treating acne, congenital methemoglobinemia, muscle cramps, preventing cervical cancer, burning feet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, red blood cell aplasia, multiple acylcoenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency, eye fatigue, cataracts, and glaucoma. Vitamin B2 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

cholecalcipherol (Vitamin D) – This form of vitamin D is found in foods such as fortified dairy and mushrooms, sun exposure, and over the counter supplements. It is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin D is a key vitamin for bone health, and in the prevention of rickets. Doses in excess of the tolerable UL should be under physician care.

folic acid (Vitamin B complex) – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, folic acid is used for preventing and treating folate deficiency, megaloblastic anemia resulting from folate or vitamin B12 deficiency, megaloblastic anemia in sickle cell disease, and for folate deficiency in intestinal malabsorption or sprue. It is also used for preventing neural tube defects, reducing the risk of colorectal and cervical cancer, and preventing pregnancy loss. Folic Acid is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

biotin (Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H) – This form of vitamin B/H is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Biotin is used for preventing and treating biotin deficiency associated with pregnancy, long-term parenteral nutrition, malnutrition, rapid weight loss, and multiple carboxylase deficiency. It is also used orally for hair loss, brittle nails, seborrheic dermatitis of infancy, diabetes, and mild depression. It seems to be ineffective for brittle nails and diabetes. Biotin is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

Methylcobalamin – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Vitamin B12 is used for treating pernicious anemia and preventing and treating vitamin B12 deficiency. It is also used orally for treating primary hyperhomocysteinemia, heart disease, male infertility, diabetes, memory loss, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, psychiatric disorders, osteoporosis, tendonitis, immunosuppression, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, allergies, vitiligo, preventing cervical cancer, and seborrheic dermatitis. Vitamin B12 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

If you are still with me after accepting that HUGE information download… there is a ton of stuff in there that your body DOESN’T need. At the end of the day, I know why it somewhat works. The placebo effect. It causes you to get off your butt and start working out. Plus, if you follow their “Zeal Challenge” and the low calorie diet which goes with it, you are going to lose weight. That is nothing you couldn’t get from going to http://www.choosemyplate.gov (Ok, maybe it is grain heavy) If you want to pay for it, that is on you.

At the end of the day, we all know why people recommend this and try to sell it, regardless of the safety concerns.

Yep, the dollar signs. Instead of pink like mary kay (which isn’t that terrible for you) they have black. Just remember, if you are considering this stuff, the person selling it to you isn’t thinking about you, they are thinking about that nice black car.

Also, if you would like for me to post my references (which if you ask a zeal rep, you will never get, just some heresay and marketing jargon) after my post, instead of spread out through the whole thing, just let me know. I see how that could have made things confusing. Also, I can answer in depth about individual supplements if you let me know. Obviously, I couldn’t post in depth about every single thing in there, and just kind of highlighted the issues I felt were of concern. There are tons of drug/nutrient interactions I didn’t even scratch the surface of! If I didn’t say it was good/bad for something, it probably wasn’t, but there were still some cool studies which I didn’t post which may answer an individuals question. Furthermore, if you think you have a good study to refute what I have said, please, let me know. I am not talking about some biology or art major that decided to start their own website, I am talking about actual studies.
I am not saying this is going to kill everyone. A healthy male taking it in moderation? Fine. A female? Not used as a multivitamin. You need some calcium and iron rocking too. Why didn’t they add the two most common minerals that people are deficient in? I don’t know. Should children, pregnant and lactating mothers be taking it? Absolutely not. Are you one of those people that feeds it to your dog? You’re an idiot.
Anyways, I am done. I hope you like the new revision of this, and I hope it is more user friendly for you!
References
Rice Bran-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1442022?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3801813?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9566995?dopt=Abstract
Oligosaccharides-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11472316?dopt=Abstract
Moringa-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1924986/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3336641/
Gotu Kola-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11081995?dopt=Abstract
Alfalfa-
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
Chlorella-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10815009?dopt=Abstract
Dietary Chlorella pyrenoidosa for patients with malignant glioma: effects on immunocompetence, quality of life, and survival. Phytother Res 1990;4:220-31.
Cranberry –
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19553405?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18253990?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11431298?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18253990?dopt=Abstract
Milk Thistle-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17072885?dopt=Abstract;
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9126802?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21952357?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15606389?dopt=Abstract
Bacopa-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20590480?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11498727?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2697693?dopt=Abstract
Ashwagandha-
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-953-ASHWAGANDHA.aspx?activeIngredientId=953&activeIngredientName=ASHWAGANDHA
http://www.anniesremedy.com/chart.php?prop_ID=96
McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
Green Tea-
Bradley Pharmaceuticals. Veregen Prescribing Information. October 2006
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16344429?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10819950?dopt=Abstract.
Blueberries-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047325
Tumeric-
McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2699615?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678780?dopt=Abstract
Korean Ginseng-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21146973?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12394711?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10688090?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8876346?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15240639?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14507839?dopt=Abstract
. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
Grape-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10719612?dopt=Abstract
Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P. Vitis vinifera L. Fitoterapia 1995;LXVI:291-317
Arganine-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10233492?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10694193?dopt=Abstract
Glycine-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10784481?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10629347?dopt=Abstract
Lysine-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3115841?dopt=Abstract
Tyrosine-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10796799?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7794222?dopt=Abstract
Orthanine
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1299499?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8220394?dopt=Abstract
Yerba mate-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12814995?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8827355?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12808663?dopt=Abstract
Kudzu-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16856037?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15897719?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10706235?dopt=Abstract
Fennel-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12807304
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7919774?dopt=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12807304
Aloe-
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/607.html
Goji-
. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997
Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Duke’s phytochemical and ethnobotanical databases. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/farmacy2.pl?575
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail438.php
http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/lycii-berry.php
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18447631?dopt=Abstract
Acai-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21569436?dopt=Abstract
Noni-
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/758.html
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/758.html
http://www.cam-cancer.org/CAM-Summaries/Herbal-products/Noni/Is-it-safe
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21294416?dopt=Abstract
Ionic Minerals-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330619/