September 26, 2006

Magical Thinking Wastes Money and Damages Health

No, fellow people with diabetes. There isn't a magic pill you can buy (at great expense) that will fix your blood sugar and let you eat the way you can now only eat in your dreams.

But that doesn't keep the bottom-feeders of the supplement industry from rolling out an endless series of products designed to separate you from your money by activating precisely that dream.

I get a lot of mail from people asking me if this or that miracle pill will help their diabetes. The pills contain vitamins, minerals, and spices like cinnamon or fenugreek. Their cost to you is at least 100 times more than it would cost to assemble the ingredients on your own.

Their effect on the blood sugar is minimal. But supplement sellers know that people who have spent $50 for a bottle of hope will do their best to convince themselves that they see an improvement, even if there isn't any to see. Who wants to admit they got taken?

Every time the word finally gets around the diet/diabetes community that supplement A is worthless--which happens to every supplement in time--the supplement makers roll out supplement B which, based on a single study done in Bozoland on 6 subjects demonstrated an amazing ability to drop blood sugar by astounding amounts! Or supplement C which is made from a lichen long eaten by natives of Northern Lappland that eliminates hunger and causes the pounds to drop off you without dieting!

These pitches rely on a couple factors. People want to believe something magic can solve their problems without work, and having been raised to take pills to fix things since childhood, they are open to the idea that magic might reside in pills.

Furthermore, people find it easier to believe that something found in a distant land full of picturesque primitive peoples will have just such magical powers. They also like to believe that something "natural" though completely uninspected or regulated is healthier than a pharmaceutical product, a belief that should be laid to rest by the current spinach fiasco but probably won't. Finally, these supplement sellers appeal to paranoia. They , i.e. the Go'mint, doctors etc are keeping this secret because they don't want you to know about it!

It's a very effective package, and it earns the sleazebags who promote this crap billions but it doesn't do anything for our health.

Metformin is just as "natural" as most of the supplements being touted. It's a molecule found in an herb, refined and purified and, most importantly, tested in large populations so we know what it does.

More importantly, when you buy a metformin pill, you get exactly what you pay for. When you buy a supplement you get whatever the supplement seller decides to put into the pill, knowing there is no regulation or oversight in that business, thanks to
Orrin Hatch, whose campaigns are funded by one of the largest--and most deceptive-- maker of supplements in the U.S..

If you want to know just how sleazy the supplement makers are and how closely tied to the Republican Party machine, read Scorin' with Orrin

Taking its message to heart will save you a LOT of money and possibly your health!