I’ve felt compelled to write something on this topic for a while. And it’s not because I want to argue successful brands. No. I’m compelled because I’ve been on the consumer’s side – slightly confused, paralyzed by the amount of information flooded on my news feed. I was seeking answers and wanting something that’d help my health, long-term.
I’ve also been asked dozens of times lately what my thoughts are. So, here you have it.
I teeter both sides of the line. Marketing professional by day and future nutritionist/nutritional therapist by night – I can play both sides of the coin and can give a pretty damn good case for both. On the marketing side, I’m no stranger to realize these MLM (multi-level marketing) companies are quickly gaining steam. For good reason. They ARE successful. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t considered joining a product line I’m passionate about. Because, on the business side of the house, the brutal truth is … if you put in the time and effort, you’re going to be successful.
Unfortunately, I’m not here to discuss the marketing/business side of these companies. It’s crazy-difficult for me to take off that hat, however, after years of working in the health-care education arena, working with clients and working towards my nutritionist credentials, at some point, that business hat has to be ripped off and burned.
Ultimately, as a professional, I get to ask myself two questions. Of which I can only answer one.
- Are my services dedicated to helping clients understand and reverse nutritional imbalances?
- Are my services dedicated to promoting and building a global brand?
WHAT?! How dare I. How ignorant of me to lump the two.
However, as a professional focused on the health of my clients, I see those as my only options. But, why? How?
Well, first, let’s let the brands talk. Look no further than these two mission and philosophies:
(Straight from the source)
- Nutritional Institution #1 “…that the myriad health problems plaguing modern society result from weaknesses in the body’s physiological foundations brought on by poor nutrition. As an educational organization dedicated to helping healthcare professionals understand and reverse the tragic and unsuspected effects of the modern diet on their patients and clients. Throughout our seminars, students access a wide range of educational tools and techniques that help identify and correct nutritional imbalances.”
- MLM Company #1: “…a greater purpose, a premium plan. This plan is not to create a product, or a product line, but to build a global brand, a new icon. A brand that encompasses ultra-premium products: premium product lines. The new brand, for the better lifestyle, premium-seeking consumers. The largest and most successful companies in the world are extremely good at one thing. They build brands, not products. They are so good at this one focus, they can literally put their logo on anything and it is passionately accepted worldwide…”
Need I say more?
Correcting root cause VS Building a global brand –OR- Education VS Marketing tool
I should probably stop here. Because how can one discuss the comparison between two differing ideas? It’s like trying to compare apples to oranges…or apples to a hammer.
(Side note: United States Supplement Manufacturers often regulate themselves, therefore – food supplementation regulations are often ignored and turn out to not contain what they claim Support: Harvard Medical Article.)
To make this more easily digestible, I’m going to break this down into ‘WHY’ and ‘WHY NOT’. There are plenty of (well written) articles on said topic if you’re looking for some heavier (slightly-biased) reading. However, that’s not my intention. Here they are if you want ‘em:
- Science-Based Medicine article on Supplement Regulation
- Safe until proven unsafe
- Truth in advertising article 1
- Truth in advertising article 2
- Truth in advertising article 3
- Better Business Bureau
- Consumer Experience #1
- Opinion piece #1
- Opinion piece #2
- Opinion piece #3
You should definitely take a supplemental pill/patch/shake, if:
- You want to make some residual income
- If you’ve been tested for a specific deficiency and need short-term additional support
- Need a kick-start to your health journey
- You’re looking for something shorter-term
- You’re not sure you want to alter your current lifestyle habits
You shouldn’t take a supplemental pill/patch/shake, if:
- You want something long-term
- You want to uncover the root-cause of your health concerns
- You want to identify and correct nutritional imbalances
- You want to feel better, healthier … through natural means
- You don’t want to spend money on superfluous products … every month
- You want to eventually, only be reliant on whole foods
- You want to learn about your body and understand the nutrients you put in it and their effects on your system and optimal well-being
- You’re looking to lose a lot of weight and keep it off
- You have a chronic health concern you’re hoping to eradicate
- Your organs are not functioning properly
- You’re stressed, tired, anxious
- You have metabolic issues
- You have adrenal fatigue
- You have trouble sleeping
- You have digestive issues
- You need nutritional help from a trained professional in the field
- You’re not sure of the ingredients and/or quantities
I could probably go on….
What I’m trying to get at is this. If you have health concerns, there’s a root cause to those – an imbalance. Much like a pain reliever dulls symptoms of a headache it does not heal or fix the root cause of whatever dysfunction is causing the headache. Same can be said for proprietary-blended supplementation. It can act as a helper to dull unfavorable symptoms OR produce favorable symptoms in the body.
Note: As mentioned above, supplementation CAN be beneficial IF a client has been tested, displays serious deficiency and needs short-term additional support until the body is able to start rebuilding (I have taken and recommend tailored supplementation).
Example: Some testimonials have suggested the mental clarity and energy after taking certain types of supplementation. But it’s often times touted that it contains no caffeine? False. By looking more closely into some of the ingredient lists, you’ll see caffeine is disguised:
- Green Coffee Beans
- Green Tea extract (low-concentration)
- Gurana (high-concentration)
- …plus more
All containing high levels of caffeine.
I’d feel f****** awesome, too.…..until I tried to get off of it.
“…Reason for my jitteriness were clear to me, the pill contains 1667% of the RDA for Vitamin B12 as well as other stimulants such as Caffeine, Guarana, Theobromine and Synephrine. Essentially, these pills are loaded with stimulants, which can be safe, but can also be dangerous if not taken properly, or if taken by people whose organ systems are not healthy enough to deal with the added metabolic stress…”
A little equation for ya’ll:
Stimulants (caffeine) = heighten nervous system + adrenaline = break down of cells
A constant increase of stimulants into the body produces a constant need to increase nervous system activity which means your body rarely gets rest. It gets stressed. Your insides begin to burn out. And because it begins to tire, what happens? Your body needs more. More stimulation, more caffeine, more supplementation. Thus the cycle continues.
(To clarify: caffeine is not entirely bad. However, in a body that is not functioning properly, high levels of synthesized caffeine and other processed blends can do a lot more harm than good….)
As a potential consumer to changing one’s health, please remember:
- There is no pill, patch or wrap that can be ingested that will correct dysfunction or flag a nutritional imbalance.
- Supplementation is a tool. Not a solution.
- MLM companies are not bad – just remember their mission may be different than your needs (MLM company’s philosophies are on building a brand and self-success, not educating and identifying root cause of health concerns.)
- There’s NO replacement for good, hard work and a change in lifestyle – they’re the most scientifically proven ways to better ones health (short cuts don’t last)
- Consider short- and long-term needs
- Understand your body has INNATE INTELLIGENCE and has the potential for OPTIMAL well-being – interference or dysfunction may just need to be identified and removed.
- A healthy, functioning body doesn’t require high concentrations of blanket supplementation — if supplementation is needed, it’s tailored to the individual.
And finally ….
With the proper, tailored consumption of macro- and micro- nutrients within a whole foods based diet, one can permit the body to function properly and healthfully … long term.
This post is an opinion-only. If you have questions or would like to chat further, contact me.
be well, folks –
*** As a marketer/business-women/entrepreneur — i genuinely support those working hard and grindin’ to create a more successful lifestyle. What I cannot support, from a nutritional perspective, is blanket supplementation delivered from organizations self-identified as being driven by the “goal of creating a global giant/brand,” and unregulated by any higher body institution or scientific research; other than through self funding.