Do not Trust Lazy Man and Money on Protandim

Lazy Man and Money

Just because you read it on the Internet, doesn’t make it true.

The “Lazy Man and Money” blog is owned and authored by Brian C Macfarland of Framingham Massachusetts.  He has several alias that he uses including (Corey Whitlaw, Vogal and others).  By day he is a software engineer, by night he is a blogger with no name.  The Lazy Man and Money is a tabloid website about finance.  Brian Macfarland’s agenda includes a hate of network marketing companies, there is no objective and unbiased review of Protandim or any other network marketing company on his website.

He also owns a Protandim Scams website (which he purchased from a disgruntled distributor as a way to increase traffic to his website) and a Juice Scam site that he created years ago as his campaign against MonaVie.

Brian does whatever it takes to promote his website and his agenda: to make money, by promoting his website and search result rankings on Google.  Brian is not interested in protecting the public, telling the truth or exposing any cover-up. His interest is creating a website full of half truths and extreme bias to keep a debate going on his websites, that will increase his website ranking, so it increases his Google Adwords revenue through affiliate programs.  Here’s how it works:

Let me start by saying I have no problem with Brian making money.  I have problem, with him using distortions, a hidden agenda, manipulating facts, and influencing and meddling in the business of others with distortions and omissions. Several few years ago, Mr Macfarland found if he ran a negative blog on one of the fastest network marketing companies of the time (MonaVie), he could make a lot of money with affiliate advertising. This was possible because he could draw in MonaVie distributors to debate the topics he would author on his blog.

Affiliate advertising works like this: If you have a heavily trafficked website, a network (like Google) can place ads on your website.  The higher your website is ranked in search results, the more it is visited.  The more ads seen by visitors, the more clicks those ads receive, and the more money is paid to the website owner.   This is because the network (Google) passes some of the ad revenue on those clicks to  the affiliate.  Some of the highest ranked web site owners can make tens of thousands of dollars per year or if you’re really good, much more.

In this manner Macfarland quickly found if he created controversial content regarding MonaVie, it would lure in MonaVie distributors to keep the debate going on his websites, which increased his website ranking on Google and other search engines.  His sites quickly became the top MonaVie presence on the Internet. Since Brian could control the content on his website (and create aliases to make it appear he has supporters), it was very easy to keep the debate going in a manner that created a lot of traffic.  This is something Mr Macfarland is very skilled at because he has a background in software and Internet marketing.  He could tell just enough truth to not be seen as an immediate fraud, but enough distortions and omissions to draw conflict and attention to his website.

When Macfarland saw the rise of LifeVantage in 2010, he decided to do the same thing, but this time his attack would focus on Protandim and a company called LifeVantage. Today he has successfully attached his websites to the success of LifeVantage and the Protandim story, and he now runs two of the highest ranked affiliate pages on the Internet on Protandim, except he is not promoting truth, he’s promoting his website.  Unfortunately, McFarland believes the law shields him from any requirement to write the truth. His  website is full of misstatements, inaccuracies and half-truths. LifeVantage has filed a lawsuit against McFarland and is asking the courts to force him to delete all misstatements, inaccuracies and half-truths from his website.  But this will take time.

These distortions are often repeated on the Internet, as if “Lazy Man” is some sort of expert on the subject of Protandim.  Usually a prospect will look at what he says and use it as an excuse why they should not consume Protandim or become involved in the LifeVantage business.

Visitors to his Protandim page (or aforementioned MonaVie page and now a long list of other anti-MLM company pages), usually skim over the information to justify not using those products or participating with these companies without any “real” review. This reality makes it easy for Brian to create content that doesn’t need to be accurate or coherent, just misleading enough to give talking points and keep the debate going. It’s an easy way to author distorted content in contrast to the Protandim studies that go under serious review by doctors and scientists before being published in medical journals.

Here are some important things to know:

  • Brian Macfarland has absolutely no scientific background, medical degree, experience with dietary supplements, the law or network marketing as a business.  He is not an expert on free radical biology, antioxidants or even finance.  He is a software engineer and a masterful debater.
  • His website content is controlled (and edited) by him and it is not audited in any fashion by any third party whatsoever.  He can edit anything he wants or hide anything he wants. He can choose to include people’s comments or change them or he can even make stuff up.  He can become any supporting author or contributor on his sites (i.e. Vogal), and can spin and create whatever “facts” he chooses to weave.
  • He invests financially in promoting his websites.  He has created “paid for back-links” to his site and promotes his scam pages in sending thousands of hours creating, editing and manipulating content to his purpose (as described above).
  • He has purposely used alias to hide his identity in a deceitful manner. We know this, what else is he being dishonest about? He says its because he’s received threats, but if that were true, he would have stopped his attacks, but he is INCREASING his attack on many companies. He enjoys this, and is addicted to the money; hardly the behavior of somebody afraid for his safety.
  • He is opposed to all forms of network marketing, and thinks they are scams and should be illegal.
  • He goes to great lengths to hide his identity, agenda, qualifications (or lack there of).
  • He has spent a considerable amount of money fighting lawsuits brought against him.  Ask yourself, how is he funding his defense? And why is he so motivated? It’s very important for him to keep his website going, and his income flowing.
  • He has now created many other anti-mlm pages. If it works, why not do more of it!

In contrast LifeVantage is a public traded company listed on the NASDAQ exchange subject to regulatory rules and published financial audits. Protandim (as a product) is also transparent, subjected to peer review and validation by very respected scientists, doctors and medical journals. Does Brian MacFarland have the same level of transparency? Not even close.  And really do you want to trust a guy who’s alias is “Lazy Man”?

Update June 2013: Brian’s pattern is very predictable. He is a professional MLM attack machine. See his handy work on these network marketing companies.. again all for his gain and profit, not for truth. He will attack any and all companies, bringing in their distributors to debate it on his website to increase his traffic, and he’ll make more money than ever before. Do you think you can trust somebody who is on a campaign against every network marketing company? I’ve added more to the list, note some he’s just fishing for traffic.

Update December 2013: Brian continue’s to add additional network marketing company’s to his hate list.

Visalus: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/visalus-scam/
Jusaru: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/jusuru-scam/
One24: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/one24-natraburst-scam/
Herbalife: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/herbalife-scam/
Youngevity: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/youngevity-scam/
Xowii: http://www.juicescam.com/xowii-open-discussion/
Asea Discussion: http://www.juicescam.com/asea-open-discussion/
Asea Scam:http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/asea-scam/
Vemma: http://www.juicescam.com/vemma-open-discussion/
Rippln: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/rippln-scam/
Nopalea: http://www.juicescam.com/nopalea-open-discussion/
Xyngular: http://www.juicescam.com/xyngular-open-discussion/
Tupperware: http://www.mlmmyth.org/tupperware-direct-selling-left-us-industry-dominated-by-apparent-pyramid-schemes/
FlexKom http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/flexkom-scam/

Here he attacks any network marketing company.

If you would like to add any supporting information or comments, feel free to leave a comment.  Please feel free to link to this website, to help let people know who this guy really is and what his agenda really is.

Some reference links:

http://pub-db.com/adsense/pub-9105889389348022.html

http://w3who.net/google-analytics/UA-803207

http://brianmacfarland.wordpress.com/ (he’s taking this down to hide his identity)

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/lazymanandmoney.com

http://lazymancrazyman.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/what-makes-lazy-man-run/

http://lazymoron.wordpress.com/tag/corey-whitlaw/

http://lazyliars.wordpress.com/

https://plus.google.com/105399898152260275961

http://protandimscaminvestigation.com/

http://briancmacfarland.com/

http://www.advancedbackgroundchecks.com/d/brian-macfarland/261372609

http://lazymanandmoneyscam.net/

http://isprotandimascam.com/

http://www.linkedin.com/in/brianmacfarland

http://www.mlmmyth.org (Brian runs this site also, he’s wrong, but he’s also a MLM hater, so just know where you’re getting your information)

Who is Brian C Macfarland? Find more about him here or here on this people search engine.

(note: I do not own any of the websites linked from this article)

Protandim – Large Scale Human Clinicals

There has been criticism by skeptics that LifeVantage lacks large scale human clinical research on Protandim, and are suggesting because of this, Protandim has not been proven to work.  Of the 15 Protandim papers published (as of today), 2 are human clinical studies.  While neither study qualify as large scale, and only one was placebo controlled with some non-statistical results, the greater evidence and trends of these studies and other non-clinical research, show the Protandim formula indeed “works”.  It’s also important to understand the nature of such research, and understand the scope and history of this research.

The first study on Protandim (A small scale human clinical), done in 2006 is shown here:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584905005204

This study showed very significant results, and validated Protandim effectively lowered oxidative stress in “everybody”, statistically.

First Protandim Study on  HumansThe study, consisting of a small group of  about 30 individuals, was not randomized and not placebo controlled. However the purpose for the study was to simply validate whether Protandim would work, especially in contrast to other therapy’s widely considered effective at the time (Vitamin C and E).  The study didn’t measure how people felt, it wasn’t conducted to address any disease state and it used evaluative and validated objective blood work as a measuring tool (TBARS).

The significance of the results were impressive.  This study was peer reviewed, and published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine.  It showed Protandim lowers oxidative stress.  (also see the rebuttal about TBars as an effective measurement of oxidative stress).

One either has to accept the findings, or conclude Dr McCord manipulated the data or all subjects were subjected to a very strong placebo effect and allowed their “minds” to manipulate the outcome of the TBARS blood test.  Agreeably, this study alone doesn’t “prove” it will work in all humans, it is true the study isn’t large enough to make that claim.  But it did prove that Protandim works.  Subsequent studies helped to validate this this further.

 

The 2nd human clinical study (conducted much more recently).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330762/

This study conducted by colleagues of Dr McCord at the University of Colorado hypothesized Protandim could reduce an oxidative stress marker in alcoholics known as BAL protein (bronchoalveolar lavage).  Alcoholics create a huge amount of free radicals, and an increase amount of this is related to severe lung damage.  (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23306837 )

The study was conducted on 30 chronic alcoholics, half took a placebo, half took Protandim.  All were required to stop drinking for the duration of the study.  The study period was ended up being 7 days.  The study showed that after 7 days, while Protandim did reduced BAL Protein markers, it wasn’t significant enough to make the claim it could work in all subjects.  The study summary says these results are due to the study size (30 people), and that it wasn’t large enough to determine if it would lower BAL protein especially considering the 7 day period.  Comparison against the plecebo showed Protandim didn’t change TBARS significantly as the first study showed, however the study summary is interesting in this regard, and should be considered in evaluating the results:

dayson

The study length was only 7 days, well under the minimum suggested duration of 30-120 days, and far short of the first human clinical of 30 days (see the chart to the right). Dr McCord suggested the participants be on Protandim for 30-60 days, but they couldn’t keep the subjects from drinking again.  They had to restart the study a few times, simply because the alcoholics were unable to stay “dry”.  2) The study summary addresses this, but added, alcoholics who stop drinking may see an alteration in TBARS measurements also.  Meaning that drinking will likely elevate TBARS, and when some subjects are not drinking TBARS may naturally go down.  The participants also had severe liver problems, and likely this added to a complex situation where natural antioxidant levels that Protandim would normally increase, in 7 days due to poor liver function may have been natural inhibited by only a very minor increase in SOD or CAT. This was summarized in the study, and critics overlook this important points.  Also, and naturally makes the 7 day trial a very preliminary review of this particular aspect of Protandim effectivity.
A Phase 2 follow up study (as registered on clinicaltrials.gov here http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00936000?term=Protandim&rank=3), should offer interesting results that will address the duration and size of this human clinical.
In addition, a new human clinical found http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00977730?term=Protandim&rank=1, will address Protandim’s effect on liver injury after one year of supplementation.  This human clinical should help add too this topic.
So while some objective debate is reasonable on weather these two human studies show Protandim works in everybody, there are three important factors that must be considered:
First, the remainder of the peer reviewed research support the findings of the 2 existing human studies… that is, Protandim does activate Nrf2 and lowers oxidative stress. Some of these studies are on rats or mice, other use human tissues or cells, but they all reach a very positive conclusion and validate a consistent statement and claim that Protandim works.
Two, LifeVantage isn’t a drug company. Most of the existing research is conducted by independent universities on their own budgets and agenda. I believe LifeVantage (as much as possible) is avoiding funding and promoting large scale clinical research where study end-points into certain disease states could cause the FDA to look at Protandim as a drug instead of a dietary supplement; because LifeVantage would be acting like a drug company.  It is not in the interest of LifeVantage for Protandim to be classified as such, so I don’t see LifeVantage funding such studies.  Also, LifeVantage, until recently, doesn’t have the budget for such research.  Large scale human clinical studies are extremely expensive.
Three, take the vast majority of all supplements on the market sold in stores or via direct sales, there is no peer reviewed studies on those products whatsoever.  LifeVantage for being such a young company, leads the entire industry on this front, having not just one study but 15 (currently) peer reviewed papers, and 2 clinicals with 2 more on the way.
In conclusion, its true LifeVantage doesn’t have large scale drug like clinical research, because Protandim is not drug.  Such research isn’t required by the FDA since LifeVantage isn’t selling Protandim as a drug or a cure to a disease, and certainly isn’t manufacturing a synthetic with a host of safety or toxicity concerns.  LifeVantage has little control over the budgets of universities to conduct such studies, and until recently LifeVantage didn’t have budget to perform its own large scale clinicals, and may not be in their interest to do so if such research includes disease state functions.  Existing clinical studies despite this validate Protandim does work.  Future studies that should be released in the coming months and years, will continue to validate its effectivity.

Protandim – Just ingredients you can buy anywhere

Because Protandim has 5 US patents (and 1 in Australia and 1 in China), the formula for Protandim is public. The exact ingredients are known. The claim has been made that Protandim is made up of inexpensive ingredients and the customer is being ripped-off by selling them in a blended formula we know as Protandim. The purpose of this article is to debunk this, and provide some perspective.

Phytochemicals

Each ingredient of Protandim (Tumeric, Milk Thistle, Green Tea, Bacopa and Ashwaganda), are all plants. These plants, have chemical constituents known as phytochemicals. The patent for Protandim calls for a certain ratio of these phytochemicals as found in each ingredient, and the ingredients (except Ashwaganda) are plant extracts. For example Bacopa must have a certain amount of bacosides, and milk thistle a certain amount of silymarin etc. Just obtaining “the herb”, or even an herbal extract, may or may not be the same thing.  So just because a blogger can link to cheap ingredients as replacements, they may not be the same thing.  This is because every herbal constituent in Protandim is measured to contain the right amount of these phytochemicals.

Synergy

In a peer reviewed study from way back when Protandim was sold in stores, a study by McCord showded Protandim was found to have a synergistic affect (take a look at this study, and review the carrts . Meaning the individual ingredients on their own, are not powerful as the 5 combined.  Not even close. Furthermore, Dr McCord has said the individual ingredients combined in other ways, do not provided the same benefit.  See this video, at time index 43:53.  I suppose the critical thinker might suggest that Dr McCord is making it all up, however that level of skepticism has been vetted by 14 peer reviewed studies, that have validated Protandim’s effectiveness in lowering oxidative stress, and validated by third party review, suggesting that Protandim is the most powerful Nrf2 activator on the market, by several times over.

Testing and Manufacturing

Watch this video about the manufacturing process of Protandim.  There is more to making of Protandim that simply mixing stuff together.  Will a customer who who makes their own, conduct tests on the ingredients for Nrf2 activation?  Not likely.  Will they property validate the purity of the ingredients for safety on a regular basis? Most likely not.  It takes a lot of work to “make your own”.  Something people think can be accomplished by simply blending ingredients, or most likely just taking the same 5 ingredients in another form.

Time and Money

But like most things in life, it comes down to time and money. Some people may find it beneficial to make their own Protandim, simply by doing the due diligence, to procure the same exact extracts, mix and combine the ingredients, and possibly even validate their own version with testing.  They could save some money, but in the end, they won’t really save that much, because time is money. I do think its possible, if you get the same extracts, and quality, mix them, test them etc.  But MOST people who claim Protandim is cheap ingredients are not making their own, they simply use this as an excuse to not buy it.  If they’re doing so to sell their own version of Protandim, they do so illegally, the patents protect against such things. It’s really all a matter of perspective. Hundreds of millions of people daily, drive into a Starbucks, and purchase a $4 cup of coffee. Is Starbucks ripping off their customer? No. The customer simply enjoys the convenience of a good cup of coffee, even if they could have made it themselves for a fraction of the cost.  This sort of thing happens all the time.  One example I love is Niaspan, a pharmaceutical grade Niacin “drug”.  Niacin (Vitamin B3) is commonly purchased at a fraction of the cost of Niaspan.

Profit is a good thing

For those involved in the business in LifeVantage, be very thankful there is margin and profit in Protandim. Without it, how would the company afford customer service, legal, compliance, marketing and product development, support, infrastructure and more. Products with low margins severely limit the ability for a company to offer compensation to its sales channel or even deliver properly that product or service to market.  Old documentation reports the material cost of Protandim. And it seems dated.  I don’t know the costs, however material costs is only a part of the costs.  Because LifeVantage is a public traded company the latest financials are reported here.  It indicates the ending 3 months of the fiscal year 2012, show a total sales of 52.8 million in sales, where the cost of those sales (this includes product costs) is 7.8 million, with 45 million in profit.  Other costs not included in “cost of sales” include sales and marketing (commissions), administrative, salaries, R&D, and operating expenses.  That means if these numbers are correct, a $40 dollar of Protandim costs the company about $6 to make.  That’s about on par in the supplements as a whole.

A Matter of Perspective

Most major drug companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars getting a drug to market. Largely the cost is high to verify the drug is not harmful, because synthetic chemicals are not a natural food source, and tend to have severe side effects that must be vetted through extensive research. Because of this these drugs cost a lot of money to get to market. Most consumers are insulated from the real cost of such drugs by insurance or medicaid. When a drug treatment costs thousands of dollars a month, when the cost to make the drug only costs a small fraction to have it made, does the customer cry foul or scam? No. They simply take the drug under what they feel is the best professional advise available. Most of the time these drugs are life saving. My point isn’t to besmirch the drug industry, but rather to point out that its all a matter of perspective. For example, if there is value in a $40 bottle of Protandim, then buy it.  Is there anything on the market proven to do what it does?  Does the customer really care the product cost to manufacturer if they get value? While LifeVantage makes no medical claims (infact by law they cannot make medical claims), a recent claim from an third party noted that Protandim was more powerful of a Nrf2 activator than BG-12, a new drug being used to treat Multiple Sclerosis. BG-12 treatments will cost a patient tens of thousands of dollars per year.  Again if there is value in Protandim then customers will buy it.  This actually is a very important statistic.  80% of customer sales from LifeVantage are made to regular customers, not to distributors.

Competition

Protandim is a Nrf2 activator.  There are two other natural Nrf2 activators on the market, both of these products are not validated by any peer review, so some might claim that the competition is weak because of this, but it is none the less, competition.  Nuley is $39.99 for a month supply.  Xymogen for a 2 month supply is $98.  Protandim is priced in the same range as these products.  I suspect that these products have 100% – 200% markup in profit as well.  There are other network marketing companies that have products that claim to be in the same arena (they are not Nrf2 activators however).  One is Product B from Isagenix.  It sells for $99 for a month supply.  There is a product that claims to reduce oxidative stress by adding oxidative stress in the form of redox sensors, it is made by Asea, and costs $65 for a month supply.

Health Stores and Herbalists

Most of the objections I’ve heard of (on this topic), come from health food stores or herbalists, who will say: “well I can make it for you and it will save you money”.  After reading this above, that’s true, if they do it right.  But Protandim also has competitors who claim they can “cure your problem”, with their herbs, or that “they can reduce oxidative stress too”.   And maybe that’s true, or maybe not.  But it is competition to them none-the-less, and MOST retailers really have a disdain for network marketing companies, they won’t be very objective about Protandim’s ingredients, or their inability to create the same thing at the same price or lower.

Cost of Manufacturing

From what we know, (because LifeVantage publishes their financials), from the fiscal 2012 annual report here http://yahoo.brand.edgar-online.com/DisplayFiling.aspx?dcn=0001193125-12-386589 (see INCOME STATEMENT), there was 126 million in gross product sales.  cost of sales was 18 million, that makes for a net profit (before salaries, R&D, commissions and overhead), 108 million.  That means that the product costs account for about 14% or one bottle of Protandim could cost about $5 to make.  This is about right because we know that it costs 52% in commissions, leaving about 30% margin for the company.  Of course these are estimates, but with some degree of math averaging, this fits in the ball park of most retail products on the market as well.

Protandim – TBARS test is not reliable?

TBARS means “ThioBarbituric Acid Reactive Substances”. The claim has been made that the TBARS test is not reliable.

There are a few ways oxidative stress can be measured in the labratory. TBARS was chosen because it is the most widely used test, with over 10000 published studies. These studies provide a valuable basis for comparison. TBARS reflect oxidative damage to polyunsaturated lipids, perhaps the most sensitive major class of biological molecules to free radical damage.

Several studies show how elevated TBARS has been tied to clinical results. For example Serum levels of TBARS are associated with risk of coronary heart disease. In another showed that patients with cataracts had higher level of TBARS. In this study, it was reported increased atherosclerosis as measured by TBARS. This study showed increased condition of metabolic syndrome with TBARS. There are many, many other studies that also show other clinical results. TBARS is the “gold standard” and the most popular test. It has been criticized (like everything is), but remains the best method to date.

There are other methods to test oxidative stress. There are urine tests, and breathe tests, but per Dr McCord these are not as accurate, and are inconsistent.

Listen to Dr McCord talk about TBARS and oxidative stress in this video here: http://www.lifevantage.com/video-player.aspx?key=XM5NKo2Q goto time index 3:45, and listen for a few minutes as he talks about how TBARS is created by oxidative stress.

So where do you get a TBARS test then? If it is so popular why can you not get it at your doctors office? The main reason is because laboratories offer the tests that your doctor can give you a drug for. I had my doctor once tell me, why do a test, if I cannot give you a drug to change the results from any such test? The pharmaceutical industry helps creates the tests that are used, so they can write a script for a drug. However TBARS tests are offered at large labs, but are not typically called TBARS tests, but rather “lipid peroxidase” tests instead. You can get them online, and a lab that can take your blood can do it. For example this one: http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/oxidative-stress-indicators/lipid-peroxides or this one: https://www.directlabs.com/OrderTests/tabid/55/language/en-US/Default.aspx. TBARS is largely a test used in scientific research, in animals and people. As oxidative stress becomes more widely “treatable” by drugs, you’ll begin to see tests at your regular laboratory, meanwhile the TBARS test is mostly found at universities who conduct research around oxidative stress.

As a side note, C-Reactive Protein is a cheap and widely available test. It is used to measure cardiac risk from intercellular inflammation. Protandim will reduce CRP, and that’s a big deal. Infact CRP will become a better indicator of heart health that cholesterol.

Protandim – McCords name is on the Studies

If you look at the Protandim studies (all peer reviewed), you will notice Dr Joe McCord is listed as a co-author on most of them. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=protandim. Critics will say this is implied bias, because he is a shareholder, but the complete opposite is true, it implies transparency and validity.

Of the many studies done on Protandim, 3 were funded by LifeVantage, and conducted by primarily by McCord. The remainder were not funded by the company and McCord was a consultant, collaborating on the studies in some capacity and therefore is listed as a co-author. Most of these studies include notes on how each author contributed. For example in this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364676/ at the end it says: “J. M. McCord provided essential reagents”. In other studies, McCord not only provided Protandim, but was consulted on dosage, or in many cases, how Protandim should be used, or how Protandim works in the body, in the tissue or animal. It doesn’t mean he DID the study, rather in some capacity he was involved. Of the studies not paid for by LifeVantage, the studies were conducted by the respective researcher, either a leading researcher in the field, or a graduate student at a respected university, or usually a combination of the above.

This is also why some of the studies are animal studies or human tissue studies.  Researchers are these universities work with their own budgets and resources.  See this link on large scale human clinicals.

Often people are not aware that McCord has been an author on several dozens of peer reviewed papers (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=McCord%20JM%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=22268125), his research is not just limited to his contributions to Protandim studies. Other researchers include Dr Gooch (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Gooch%20KJ%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21167278), Dr Robbins (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Robbins%20D%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=21603266) and Dr Tseng (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Tseng%20BS%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=20740052) and MANY others. It’s a network of researchers, who WANT the best of the best to be a co-author on their paper. Least we not forget, Dr McCord is the worlds foremost expert on Protandim. You have to understand how studies are really, a collaboration. Scientists LOVE to network.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Drug companies often conduct their own studies, and these go through the peer review process also. Nobody is crying fowl that Pfizer is a scam, or that Abbot Laboratories is as scam because their own “paid for staff”, are involved in the studies. They simply understand that the peer review process (as best as possible) validates their research. Protandim is no different, except most of the time McCord was NOT the primary researcher, even though ignorant suggestions are made to such.

In addition, the university studies must be reviewed by stringent IRB’s (Institutional Review Boards) before they can proceed with any research. They obtained their own funding to conduct the research as part of this process. That’s a big deal. The universities do not want anything that will raise doubt regarding the propriety of the studies. Asking McCord in some cases to “help” with dosage, help with getting Protandim or help to author the key elements as it relates to SOD or Protandim is a big deal for the researcher. Remember that the journals themselves receive hundreds of submissions from scientists seeking to be published. The more authors, the better the chance for them to get it published. Having McCord on the study is not only transparently known, but adds validity to the study itself, allowing for newer researchers to participate in the process.

These journals to varying degree, conduct a great deal of due diligence before they publish any study, some, like the Journal of Circulation ( where Protandim has been published) have many checks to make sure the study is as accurate as is stated, free of bias or problems. Neither the journals nor the independent scientists who conducted the peer review will do anything to raise doubts about the objectivity or veracity of the findings. If they felt Dr. McCord’s involvement to any degree was problematic, they would raise that point and refuse to publish or ask for his name to be removed from the study.

Furthermore, remember, it was Dr. McCord who discovered SOD in 1968 and wrote his thesis at Duke University on the subject. Dr. McCord is a full professor at the University of Colorado Medical School in good standing. The University of Colorado Medical School is a very prestigious Medical School and would not keep Dr. McCord on if they thought he was a quack, or if his involvement in any research was tainted, biased or lacked objectivity.

As always, if this information above is not accurate please reply and I will update it. I hope it helps to put McCords involvement in perspective. Its very positive thing in my mind that he is involved. I’m glad the transparency exists, don’t let people distort this.

Protandim – Dr McCord Inventor vs Paul MyHill

One of the claims made by anti-multi level marketing bloggers against Protandim is Dr McCord isn’t the inventor of Protandim.  This statement is made to make it appear that Protandim is ineffectual and the company is dishonest. Here is how Protandim was created:

Paul MyHill was a partner in a nutraceutical company called Lifeline Therapeutics. He and his colleagues hired a biotech firm to produce a synthetic of Superoxide Dismutase (really a Nrf2 activator that regulates SOD). The product called CMX-1152 was shown to not work, in fact I understand it was also harmful (as are many synthetic drugs). In attempt to salvage the business, Paul MyHill (who admittedly doesn’t have a science or medical degree), began researching SOD, and natural approaches instead of synthetics, and identified  plants who’s properties had been proven to regulate SOD in the body. In his research he found dozens of herbs (and the list was extensive) that activated Nrf2 and could potentially increase SOD production naturally in the body. In the process of his research, Paul found the man who discovered SOD (some 35 years prior), Dr Joe McCord was also located in Colorado, at the University of Denver Colorado as a professor of medicine. Paul sought to speak with Dr Joe McCord to get some feedback on his concepts, and see if Dr McCord would be willing to validate his concepts.

At their visit, Dr McCord told Paul he didn’t think it would work, that “herbs are not powerful enough”. For some reason however, McCord who was seemingly interested, looked closer at Paul’s concepts and the two began working together. Paul had already identified the key ingredients in Protandim, and began to file a patent. On several occasions he discussed with McCord, on him being involved on the patent. As I understand, after several months of collaboration and experiments and small alterations from McCord, Protandim as we know it was formulated, and the final patent was accepted by the US government. Because of his background, McCord had the ability to measure Protandim’s effectiveness and his participation on the final formula was critical. If it wasn’t for years of experiments McCord had conducted prior, his understanding of free radical biology and SOD and Nrf2 activation, McCord wouldn’t know how or what to look for, let alone assist Paul in the final changes to Paul’s concept.

After some small alterations to the formula, McCord was able to successfully validate that Protandim “worked”, when taken by people, the level of oxidative stress (as measured by TBARS) was reduced to the level of a child. This formula was proven to be 18 times more powerful than any 1 ingredient, the synergy of the 5 was “powerful enough”, despite McCords initial reaction. Further research conducted by McCord (peer reviewed) showed it did so by activating Nrf2, up-regulating SOD, Catalase and other enzymes that are powerful anti-oxidants made in the body. In fact, third party review shows Protandim is a more powerful inducer of Nrf2 than even the latest Nrf2 drug activators. In one of these reviews, a head to head comparison of the 4 known Nrf2 activators, Protandim, the two pharmaceutical products bardoxolone (www.reatapharma.com) and BG12 (www.biogenidec.com) and sulforaphane (the ingredient in broccoli) that Protandim was twice as potent as either bardoxolone or BG-12 and was 7 times as potent as sulforaphane as a Nrf2 activator.

The company Paul worked for (Lifeline Nutraceuticals) , did a reverse merger with LifeLine Theraputics, a public traded company to later be renamed LifeVantage. This product was given the name Protandim, a name early company owners had created before the herbal product was formulated. In a letter sent by Dr McCord to Paul, Dr McCord indicated he was not interested in being on the Patent after many previous discussions (and likely invitations) to be on the patent. However Dr McCord indicated his interest was to pursue research with Protandim. The timing of this letter imply’s two things not often mentioned. First, the patent was not finalized before McCords involvement. Second, McCord turns down the invite to pursue more research including Protandim and the science and effective of it. LifeVantage later hired McCord to be on the board of directors as a scientific adviser. It’s also interesting to note that, with hundreds of hours of research and product development with Paul, McCord was awarded stock in the young LifeVantage company.

Another note, after the run up of the stock a short few months later, Paul resigns from the company to pursue his charity work, which he continues today.  Dr McCord was left the only surviving member from the Protandim genesis, then hired on by LifeLine Therapeutics as a board member.  LifeLine Therapeutics was later renamed LifeVantage a year later.  I think this is largely why LifeVantage had McCord be the spokesperson for Protandim’s “invention”, due to the absence of Paul MyHill.

Interestingly, Dr. McCord and Dr. Crapo from National Jewish Medical Center (shown in the ABC Primetime Video on Protandim) both abandoned their efforts with synthetic compounds when they found this synergistic effect of the 5 ingredients in Protandim. Everything since has been validating as Protandim research continues. Most of these studies have been paid for completely outside of LifeVantage, and while McCord was a co-author on most (not all), they’re all peer reviewed, and published in science and medical journals.  These journals had access to all the same information, but found value in publishing the research.

Today the patents are all owned by LifeVantage (have for years). The inventor still shows Paul MyHill, because each subsequent patent uses the name of the inventor as published on the first patent.

Paul said on his Facebook page the following:

“I love Protandim and LifeVantage. They are indeed “my babies” and a great part of my legacy. They have changed my life and the lives of thousands around the world. I think the current management team and distribution model are excellent. All the distributors I have met or talked to are simply amazing. As David Brown mentioned at Elite in San Antonio, this is the embodiment of my original vision for the company and product.

“I also need to say that there are not “two sides to the story” as far as the development of Protandim is concerned. There is only one story – and it honors my involvement and Joe’s involvement, plus the involvement of the One who was ultimately responsible.

“Nobody lied. Nobody covered anything up. Sure, there have been some misspoken words, media/reporter errors, and some confusion over terminology: inventor versus formulator; creator versus developer, etc., but this has been because we are simply human and not perfect, because we were treading into uncharted territory with the development of this game-changing product, and because we went through quite a few management team changes until we were blessed with this one. I take my fair share of the blame for the confusion caused along the way, and for not remaining engaged with LifeVantage during those dry years.

“Please don’t let the naysayers and critics dissuade you. This is an excellent company with an excellent product and excellent folks involved at all levels. I’m very proud of my involvement in the past, present and future.

. . . And that future looks incredibly bright!”

Yes, without Paul MyHill, Protandim would not exist, because his concepts brought to McCord were vital. But without McCord Protandim would likely not exist either, because Paul found McCord’s contributions and history critical to its final formulation, continued research and ultimate success. Paul left LifeVantage many years ago and sold much (if not all) of the stock he owned to further his interests in his orphan fund. Since, McCord has increasingly become more involved at LifeVantage on the Science advisory board. The company has not “hidden” Paul’s involvement (see the video from David Brown linked below). Paul simply had not been a member of the company for a long time. And if we’re honest, McCords involvement in the research and his history in free radical biology, the discovery of SOD, makes him a very good spokesperson for the science behind Protandim, especially considering Paul’s absence.

Read some of a radio interview with Paul a few years ago here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lifevantage/blog/2009/03/09/inside-protandim-the-paul-myhill-interview

Also David Brown talks about the history of Protandim here: http://www.lifevantage.com/video-player.aspx?key=cS2Ukvdm and I recommend that anybody who wants a well rounded view of this watch it.

Read some of Protandim’s history here: (the site is outdated since it became a network marketing company) http://tonyc.com/protandim/

Other interesting notes: http://www.raysahelian.com/protandim.html

In an attempt to keep this information as accurate as possible, I will make modifications to this if I have made any mistakes. Replies are always welcome.