Understanding Scientific Claims on Products

February 18th 2017

Hosted by Kimberly King with guest, Dan Lifton from Quality of Life Labs. In this edition of the Mother's Market Radio show, Dan Lifton sits down with Kimberly King to help Mother's Market Radio Show listeners understand the various scientific and marketing claims on supplement labels.

The advice and informational content does not necessarily represent the views of mother's market and kitchen mother's recommends consulting your health professional for your personal medical condition, he... I'm Kimberly king, and welcome to the mother's market radio show, a show dedicated to the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of the human condition. On today's show, with so many claims from supplement companies about the various health ailments, the products they produce can help with... How can you tell if the studies they do or valid today will help you sort through these claims so you know what to look for, plus later will tell you what's new at mother's market and what's going on around town.

But first step, Dan lifting is the CEO of Quality of Life Labs and a director of educational outreach for the HCC Research Association. Over the past six years, he has coordinated clinical research studies and led a variety of educational initiatives to introduce a HCC to clinicians worldwide. Dan is an authority on evidence-based dietary supplements and has been a leading advocate for the adoption of clinically supported natural compounds by the mainstream medical community, and we welcome him to the mother's market radio show down. How are you?

Great, great to be here.

Nice to have you. Why don't you fill our audience in a little bit on your mission and your work before we get to the show's... Sure. One of our missions is to educate consumers, doctors, and a variety of other health care professionals on the importance of utilizing science as the guiding light to choosing nutritional supplements that are both effective and safe for the individual, for the patient, for the caretaker. And we spend a lot of our time, and I just promoting our supplements, but to really driving that message home, and that's one of the reasons why I always appreciate the opportunity to be on your radio show, because it gives me the opportunity to reach the consumers of mother market and being able to communicate these very critical key messages to them.

Well, great, today we're talking about helping consumers make sense of the scientific claims on nutritional supplement products, and I wanted to start by asking you why is there so much confusion among consumers and understanding the level of scientific support behind nutritional supplements?

Sure, I would blame the marketing language that we see on nutritional labels and nutritional literature on the late night and commercials that make it very difficult for any consumer other than one who's attended medical school or his master's or PhD in the Health Sciences to really be able to tell what's real and what's not.

So you hear buzz words like researched, evidence-backed, studied and as well as things that clinically studied, clinically proven.

So the problem is that to the consumer, the soul sounds the same, so research or That sounds great, and when research stuff, the problem is that you could have something that's undergone research in vitro, meaning has been studied in a test tube, while studying something in a test tube is an extremely unreliable measure because you have no idea whether it's really gonna translate to humans, likewise, you have studies and animals, while data has shown that 90% of active compounds on the pharmaceutical side as well as often the nutraceuticals side, actually do not translate from animals to humans. So just because Raspberry Ketones helped rats was way, doesn't necessarily mean that's gonna translate into humans, so it's very, very difficult for the average consumer to be able to tell because what's been studied in human clinical trials, whether something has been studied once in a test tube and that's the challenge that we're trying to address.

Very good. Well, is this level of confusion inevitable or can supplement companies do more to create greater clarity?

It requires a level education, and we believe that every Quality supplement brand, such as the brands that are carried in mother's market would benefit tremendously from engaging in that level of education, what we seek to inform our consumers about as well as, again, the key influencer is that based on traditional principles of western medicine, but that also we believe can apply to the nutritional and should apply to the nutritional industry, is the idea that in order to prove the efficacy and safety of an ingredient or a finished product, you need to study that in humans, it's not enough to study in a test tube or in animals, you need human clinical studies in order to be able to prove efficacy and safety, and unless you've seen that evidence, you really shouldn't be taking that supplement.

One of the reasons there are a lot of wonderful products that there that do have that human signs.

So if you're looking for a product for a given condition, why would you possibly choose something that doesn't have that level of proof? And it is really our mission to educate the market about the importance of that, and we do that for our product line as well as using that information to recommend third-party brands to our customers, because we believe that that's what can best serve them.

So the quality of life takes a very methodical approach to explaining the level of efficacy of your products, so... Can you elaborate on that?

Sure, so we're really the only brand out there that can guarantee across the board without any single exception that every ingredient in every one of our finished product is backed by human clinical studies and that the dosages that we use in the products are consistent with those studies.

So what we actually do beyond just making that claim a guarantee or invite our customers to go to our website, Quality of Life DotNet, and on the top, we have a big line called Our Promise, and people can actually click on any product, go to the nutritional label of that product and click through on an ingredient and be taken to our research site called human clinicals dot org, where they can actually see the abstract of the Human Studies at the dosage level you is in the product, and see how many patients participate in the study what the outcomes were, and we write it up and accessible language that a consumer can understand, so when we say Don't even just take our award for it, you need to go and do that homework and you're able to do that homework through the research would provide... Obviously, the challenge is that it's not practical, it's very difficult for a consumer to go out and go online and find the human clinicals when they go out sort of shopping in the marketplace.

So the benefit we deliver with quality of life is that our consumers, a don't need to really do that because they have that ironclad guarantee, but second, that they're able to do that research very easily through the website and look at the study themselves, print it out, show it to their doctor, to somebody who is knowledgeable about that, but we really have a very loyal following precisely because our customers don't need to know to do that homework in case of our brand, because that had iron-clad guarantee, and that's been a message that has really resonated with the consumers trust, integrity, transparency.

And that's great. Again, when they're... You are just putting everything right out in front of them... Let me ask you a little bit about... One of the areas of confusion is related to the doses, what are some pointers you can provide to consumers in this regard? Sure, so a lot of the supplements have come from an herbalist tradition, which I deeply respect, and I think there's a fantastic product in the marketplace that do reflect that tradition, and we certainly don't object to those, but when it comes to nutraceuticals products that really focus on science and on the human clinical trials, and that frankly seem to compete with some of the pharmaceutical products out there, except without the nasty side effects and all of the other stuff that you tend to see in a lot of the big pharma products. In those cases, we believe the dosages matter, and what that means is that if a human clinical study used 500 milligrams a day, you need to use 500 milligrams a day. What happens often is that in our safe cause or to be able to fit everything into a pill, companies will make compromises, they all say, Well, it was shown to be effective at 500 milligrams, but we think Haldane... The problem is that in the nutraceuticals science, there is something that we call a dose-dependent response, so the amount of the active ingredient you take does have an impact on both efficacy and safety, and unless you have human studies clinical studies... And I should point out the word clinical means human, which is why you're looking for that word, unless it's been shown to be effective, the dosage, you just don't know if it'll work, you're taking a gamble, which again, is why we guarantee across the board that every one of the ingredients that we use in our product meets that clinical dose standard, but in terms of what consumers can do is if you're shopping other brands, you need to do the research and make sure that the dosage you're buying is clinically studies, so for Coke to make sure, you have 100 milligrams at least of elemental coke that you get an hour cookie, TSR, and then for the things that requires a lot of research that again, you can outsource to us because we do that homework and we let you easily check that... Should you choose to do so yourself?

Excellent. How does quality of life help its consumers understand what dosages they should use?

Sure, so in addition to providing the summaries of the clinical studies, we also distribute a lot of literature to explain what dosage equate to what benefits, so for example, our flagship product, an ALCO HCC, so we have studies showing that HCC at a dosage of one gram a day in combination with the flu shot or understand alone basis, a lot of people don't wanna take the flu shot can help increase antibody titers, which is something that actually the vaccine seeks to do, so for the cold and food prevention, a 1-gram dose, for example, is sufficient HCC is also very widely used in the ecology market where all of the studies were conducted at the dose of three grams a day, so in that case, people should be taking three grams, so again, we explain that in detail. And then again, when you look at the label, we'll explain that you should take one gram a day for basically daily preventative use, and then the therapeutic dose where we're referring for individuals with serious conditions, we recommend three grams a day, and we really do that across the board and provide those materials extensively because we believe that an educated consumer and an educated retailers is a great consumer, and again, the benefit of a store like Mother's market is that we're able to go in and actually train the folks on the floor who are really the consultants, the people that the consumers are relying on, and because the staff are so well trained, they're able to explain how the products work, what they do, what dosage should be used, and again, the label has that all but getting that professional advice, I think give us the consumers that extra... Certainly on the supplement facts, you often find Herb standardized to a certain active fraction and what should consumers look for in this regard?

So the challenge again, is if you have the complexity of whether the ingredient has been said in human and whether there is the right dosage, well, then the next question is with botanicals, for example, is whether the botanical was standardized to the right active ingredients, because you're generally looking for a specific constituent that is effective, that is drives basically the efficacy of the product, so just because you're taking something like gin CO or a Canadian doesn't mean you're getting the fact of product, you need to make sure that it's standardized to the right active fraction so when we formulate our products, we don't just look for human studies on a botanical ingredient, we actually look at the specific profile of the botanical that was used in the clinical studies, so if it was... Let's say, I don't know, in Asia that is standardized a certain level of Kinases, we make sure that we match that precisely, again, very difficult for the consumer to be able to do that homework, and that's why they say... That's why we say that When you choose our brand, you can be confident that quality of life has done at research at the formulation stage, so not only you're getting the right ingredient, you're getting ingredient that actually meets the clinical study standard and matches that standardization that the clinical trial used, ensuring that you get is actually efficacious, and how does quality of life reassure customers that your ingredients are standardized to the right active fraction? So again, this is where we point our consumers to review the clinical studies, again, that we publish in Humanitas dot-org, so they're actually able to go in and say, Okay, this study was done on curcumin and it was standardized and 95% Kimono IDs, and here's the Quality of Life product that basically matches those standards, so we make a guarantee, but we tell people not to take our Orford but to do the research ourselves.

And by the way, when you see the clinical study abstract, we actually show the full name of the study, so you can go into PubMed, which is a database that is managed by the National Institutes of Health, and you can pull up the actual study.

So consumers won't necessarily use it, but when they take you to their healthcare professional, and I'll often say, Okay, I wanna type it in on with this NIH database, and they find the same study and they say, Wow, this company is not only providing transparency, but they're actually... Only using studies that are published in these very well-respected journals that the NA considers credible, so education through transparency is really our main goal here. Well, that's very interesting information. And right now, we need to take a quick break. More with Dan in just a moment. Don't go away, we'll be right back.

And welcome back to the mother's market radio show. And we wanna remind you that if you missed any portion of today's show, you can find us on iTunes by searching mother's market or download the show from our website, mother's market dot com, click the link for radio and listen to the past shows. Plus download our Healthy Recipes and money savings coupons, all available at mother's market dot com. And now back to our interview with quality of life labs, CEO Dan lifting, and we're talking about helping consumers make sense of scientific claims on nutritional supplement products and down... You were talking about the third-party brand recommendations, and you know, is there a standard that consumers can rely on... It's a great question, unfortunately, currently, there's not, but we're trying to fix that problem. We're actually working to create a new standard that the entire industry can use, which would help consumers understand what dosages have been validated in human trials, you're obviously familiar with RDs, the recommended daily intake, and that's a government issue standard, which is only applied to essential nutrients to basic vitamins and minerals. The recommendations are way too low in the opinion in many healthcare professionals, but that's a separate issue that I could certainly talk about it, the length... The more important thing is there are no guidelines for anything that's not a basic vitamin or a basic mineral, and we are really seeking to change that, so we have been working to set up a new association that will establish a new standard, which we call CDI, which stands for clinically validated daily intake, and again, clinically means study in human trials where we'll have a panel of scientists and doctors who will review the research on the various ingredients and basing the research they'll be able to say for this active ingredient that minimum clinically validated daily intake is 300 milligrams, will then take a step further and say for allergic Rita, it's 500 milligrams for Stalin is... It's 800 milligrams. So brands like quality of life, and we welcome as many brands as possible, we'll be able to refer to the standard provided that they're actually using the right dosage and say, We have a product, this is a Canadian product that delivers a CVD amount of Canada. So again, it's clinically, validated daily intake, and the hope here is just as consumers see in a non-GMO project logo and they know it's something reliable, or if they see other certification the same way, once they see CDI, they'll be able to trust it.

So quality will be a pioneer to introduce and really drive that awareness in our labels, in our literature, and we very much hope that other brands will follow.

Wonderful, and good luck with that. Many products that claim to have superior bio-availability or absorption, how can consumers check the validity of this?

So transparency here plays an extremely important part as well, you tend to see claims, but the question is, if you go on the company's website, or even if you look at the label, what is the validation for that claim, you'll have people that do these studies in vitro which means in a test tube, and they'll say, I have very high Aric value, but... Or for example, isn't test up test, you have no idea whether or not you're gonna get the same type of antioxidant value in the blood, that's why rated for anti-accident capacity, we don't know whether it actually translates.

So the similar thing works from any other active ingredients, so again, you have to demonstrate that the ingredient has been shown to be effective or to have higher by availability in humans, so what we do for products, for example, like our Coke TSR is curcumin Sr, is we conduct the following clinical studies, we have 10 people who come in and they take regular Coke and we test their levels of CO1 in the blood at one hour or two hours, six hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, then they leave for a week, so they have a... So called wash our period, and then they come back and they take our cover, we do the same thing and then we look at their Coke ten levels in the blood, and then we compare what did they get with the regular Coke ten... What do they get with the copier? And that's where we show it's three times more by available, it has 24 or sustained release, where regular Coke, 10 after six hours of washes out of your body, it's by available in all of the subjects rather than some of them, so that's the standard that we meet in all of our products, and there are a lot of other companies that use things that have only shown to be effective and test tubes and in animal studies, and we believe that consumers should not settle, they should go for the highest standard possible, which is clinically proven efficacy, and that's what we deliver in terms of the claims that we make on Superior by availability as well.

Excellent, so quality of life has several products with enhanced bioavailability claims, but what research do you rely on to support these claims?

So we rely on our manufacturers, and we're very lucky that the companies that we represent have invested a lot of capital into conducting excellent clinical studies, so when it comes to, for example, and has by availability, we will only partner with companies that are committed to the same principles that we are of ensuring that you don't just prove clinical, you don't just provision in weak studies and then try to make the claims off of them, we rely on companies with Tuan trigger that will demonstrate beyond a doubt that the science will translate and we talk about translational science a lot into humans, and in our view, the partnership with the right manufacturers is really critical to delivering clinical educations product, because we can educate the consumers, but we can only do that if I or manufacturing partners have made the right investment in science and we've been very lucky, particularly with our connections to Japan and many over ingredients come from Japan to have form those partnerships that are really the foundation of the entire quality of Lifeline.

The quality of life's functional formulas will often exclude ingredients at our best known for which one of the most well studied herbs for depression, which I think is interesting, for example, your mood product, Postel doesn't have St. John's wort, which is one of the most well-studied herbs for depression, can you share with us one of your reasons for formulation decisions like this one, at quality of life?

Sure, so ethics, very important, but safety is important as well, and would you find with some well-known arms like sent drowns war, which has been shown to be effective at addressing the issues related to depression and multiple studies beyond a doubt, in our view, the challenge with Sandra's ward is that there are a lot of drug-to-drug interactions, a lot of contradiction, so when you have people taking pharmaceuticals, and the reality is that people take a lot of drugs, same Jones work can interfere with them. And in fact, there are a lot of doctors will say, Well, San John's award can work, but you really have to be careful, and it's not just a drug-to-drug interaction, I should say, supplement to durg interaction, there's also potential for supplement-to-supplement interaction.

So we love the efficacy of the product and we're concerned about the interaction part, so we go out and we try to search the world, and a lot of that has to do in Japan to see if there are any other ingredients that can deliver that efficacy. would do it in a safe way.

And in this case, we found a company in Japan called tequila, which is the oldest piecemeal company in Japan that happened to have developed an ingredient called Venera, which is a natural extract of an RBS in traditional Chinese medicine called Pasadena that happens to have the same exact active ingredient in San dons ward in high levels, but doesn't have the constriction of St. John's work that is responsible for drug-to-drug interaction, so it's the best of both worlds, it's higher efficacy, and then it's a much better safety profile, so then we're able to use that in our product and postal, and we actually... One of the unique things we do is through our parent company, will even offer other brands to utilize those ingredients, which again, goes along with our mission, we just wanna get these clinically validated products into the hands of as many companies as possible, so Ventana available in pastel as well as increasingly some other outside formulas, we also have a new chocolate product, we've recently partnered with a company called Good super foods, which has a line of functional chocolate, so they're launching your chocolate called the Peace bar, and that's gonna be featuring Veneto as well.

So again, innovation by marrying the Proven science with the next generation of technology that delivers superior efficacy, and we're very excited about this product launch and this exciting... And it's nice to know that you're working together and you are transparent about that. Can you tell us a little bit about the manufacturers of these novel ingredients, that quality of life is using it in products like hesitate?

Sure, so we look at companies that meet the highest standard of good manufacturing practices that supply not only to the nutritional industry, but often to the food industry, which conducts very, very thorough audits and you can imagine, and in some cases, the benefit that we have is that a lot of natural products and even things that we consider supplements are considered drugs in other countries, which is a benefit because they can make health claims and they're really endorsed by doctors, etcetera. So for example, again, I talked about... Takei is a very close partner hours, they're a major supplier of products that fall into the category of Campo medicine, which is traditional Japanese medicine, which means the highest standard soldier pharmacies, etcetera, etcetera. So we know of they can supply the food industry and the compostable medicine industry, their standards for nutritional supplements are extremely high, at the same time, a company like to QA is really committed to conducting human clinical studies in their products, getting approvals in regard from a regulatory perspective to get the ingredient as generally recognized as safe, and not only to do that, but also to support our educational efforts, so we bring in a number of retailers to Japan every year, we take them for the tour of the plan, we give them education and traditional Japanese medicine, and it's those types of collaborations from the farm to the manufacturer of the ingredient, to us as the brand that manages the production at an NSF-certified facility, to a superior retail partner like Mother's market that educates consumers, that is inevitably the type of supply chain partnership that gets the highest quality products on the shelves and benefits the consumers the most.

Wow, well, this has been very interesting and I wish you the best of luck. It sounds like you have a lot of things happening there at quality of life, thank you, thank you for your time and some great advice, and we really appreciate your knowledge and look forward to having you on again in the meantime, you can get more information on Dan and his website, Quality of Life, dot net, and we look forward to your next visit.

Thank you again.

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