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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Real Science vs Marketing Science

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

It's really hard to know who to trust in the food supplement industry.

Everyone claims that their product is backed by solid science. But most companies rely on "borrowed science" or "marketing science" to back their product.

What do I mean by "borrowed science"? Simply put they are citing references that show that an ingredient in their product has a desired effect. They aren't actually doing studies with their product.

Why is that important?

In some cases the reports are simply wrong. There have been several times that Shaklee's Scientific Advisory Board have recommended that Shaklee do their own studies before marketing the product.

Shaklee did. The product didn't work, and they never marketed it. Examples include chromium picolinate and policosanol.

In each case studies showing that those ingredients didn't work were eventually published. In the meantime many other companies were making lots of money marketing products that didn't work.

Shaklee won't do that. They don't rely on borrowed science. They only market products that have been proven to be both safe and effective. That's part of the Shaklee Difference.

So what do I mean by "marketing science"?

By that I mean that when most companies actually do a clinical study with their products, they design the study solely with marketing in mind. They don't really care about the science. They just want to be able to make a marketing claim.

Again this is where Shaklee stands head and shoulders above their competitors. They often design their studies in such a way that they actually advance scientific knowledge.

The vitamin D study that Shaklee presented at the annual National Lipid Association meeting in Miami is a perfect example.

Several previous studies had suggested that vitamin D lowered the risk of heart disease, but nobody knew quite why.

Shaklee's scientists hypothesized that vitamin D might have a beneficial effect on HDL levels (which reduces the risk of heart disease) and metabolic syndrome (which increases the risk of heart disease). Shaklee worked with Dr. Kevin Maki of Provident Clinical Research in Glen Ellyn, IL to test that hypothesis.

Shaklee's Landmark study had already shown that people taking Shaklee supplements on a regular basis generally had adequate levels of vitamin D in the blood.

Shaklee took blood samples from attendees at their New Orleans conference so that the study would have a large number of subjects with adequate vitamin D levels.

Dr. Maki recruited a number of non-Shaklee supplement users from local clinics so that the study would also contain a significant number of subjects with low levels of vitamin D in their blood.

The results were striking! HDL levels increased as the blood levels of vitamin D increased and markers of metabolic syndrome decreased as blood levels of vitamin D increased.

This study cannot be used for marketing purposes because a claim that Shaklee supplements increased HDL levels would be a health claim.

However, this study did advance the science around vitamin D and heart disease risk.

We now have a better understanding of how vitamin D reduces heart disease risk. This is what I call "real science" as opposed to "marketing science", and it is also part of the Shaklee Difference.

Dr. Maki said: "Results from population studies suggest that a low serum vitamin D concentration is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, but this is the first study to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D status and cardiovascular risk factors in a group that includes a large number of vitamin D supplement users."

Do you want to learn more about Shaklee’s Vitamin D? You can learn more here: Shaklee’s Vit. D3

About the Author
Dr. Chaney has a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in Biochemistry from UCLA. He currently holds the rank of Professor at a major university where runs an active cancer research program and has published over 100 scientific articles and reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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