Time and time again we have pointed out the numerous supplement scams that are out in the marketplace. And believe me, we only scratch the surface. There are far more worthless supplements out there than we have time or energy to spend on.
One very ugly truth about the sport nutrition business is that it’s filled with crooks, con men, hucksters, and just plain bad people. It’s a loosely regulated industry and rarely are the bad guys separated from the good. This makes it very easy for the consumer to get fleeced.
On top of that, very few supplements actually have real science supporting their effectiveness. Now you certainly couldn’t tell that by the ads in the magazines. Some of the ads are written to appear so scientific that they make real science journals look like children’s books. The problem here is the scientific claims are virtually all pure fantasy. Completely made up. And believe it or not, the more outrageous the claims, the more utterly impossible the promises these companies make about their products, the more they sell.
Seriously, the supplements that turn out to be the biggest scams were at one time or another the biggest sellers. Go figure. I often ask myself, “Are consumers really that gullible?” Apparently they are. In this industry, the more you lie, fabricate and exaggerate, the more product you are going to sell.
Now to make things worse, because this industry is actually dominated by crooks, when one company puts out a worthless product with bogus claims and it sells well, other equally pathetic companies will knock off the worthless product and make even more outrageous claims. It feeds on itself. Every ad is literally more outrageous than the one before it. And there is little if any truth to the majority of them.
The magazines join right in. You see, the magazines make money off of the number of ads they sell. That’s why you see 200 hundred pages of ads in each fitness magazine every month. I don’t know of any other market segment where the magazines even come close to amount of ads in every magazine as in the fitness industry.
This brings me to three supplement scams we brought to your attention quite a few years ago. Methoxyisflavone, ecdysterone, and CSP3 (this was the myostatin scam we warned you about sold under the names Myostat, Myoblast, CSP3, MyoZap, Juiced Protein, and Myostim). A recent study evaluating each of the supplements concluded each one was absolutely worthless for performance enhancement in any way. None of the claims made about these supplements were shown to be true. No increase in muscle. No fat loss. No increase in circulating anabolic hormones or markers. Nothing. Zilch! Zero!
Do you know any companies selling methoxyisflavone, ecdysterone, or so-called myostatin inhibitors? Now you know what they are all about. If you didn’t believe us when we told they were scams many years ago, read over this study and see what the science shows. Below is an abstract of the study. To see the full study click here.
Methoxyisoflavone (M), 20-hydroxyecdysone (E), and sulfo-polysaccharide (CSP3) have been marketed to athletes as dietary supplements that can increase strength and muscle mass during resistance-training. However, little is known about their potential ergogenic value. The purpose of this study was to determine whether these supplements affect training adaptations and/or markers of muscle anabolism/catabolism in resistance-trained athletes.
METHODS: Forty-five resistance-trained males (20.5±3 yrs; 179±7 cm, 84±16 kg, 17.3±9% body fat) were matched according to FFM and randomly assigned to ingest in a double blind manner supplements containing either a placebo (P); 800 mg/day of M; 200 mg of E; or, 1,000 mg/day of CSP3 for 8-weeks during training. At 0, 4, and 8-weeks, subjects donated fasting blood samples and completed comprehensive muscular strength, muscular endurance, anaerobic capacity, and body composition analysis. Data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA.
RESULTS: No significant differences (p>0.05) were observed in training adaptations among groups in the variables FFM, percent body fat, bench press 1RM, leg press 1RM or sprint peak power. Anabolic/catabolic analysis revealed no significant differences among groups in active testosterone (AT), free testosterone (FT), cortisol, the AT to cortisol ratio, urea nitrogen, creatinine, the blood urea nitrogen to creatinine ratio. In addition, no significant differences were seen from pre to post supplementation and/or training in AT, FT, or cortisol.
CONCLUSION: Results indicate that M, E, and CSP3 supplementation do not affect body composition or training adaptations nor do they influence the anabolic/catabolic hormone status or general markers of catabolism in resistance-trained males.
I hate to say – I told you so, but I told you so. Over and over again in fact.