What would a 563-page book entitled The World’s Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets have in common with a nutritional supplement called Force Factor? Health Secrets is advertised at many websites, notably at the Weather Channel, and claims that “you will never die from cancer,” and “never have another stroke or heart attack (http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/store/mags/order_ths_mag_h.html?l=3&am=1&sk=289066&sid=T040110AGA&ac=arteryclearing)”. Indeed, Health Secrets goes on pitching you with Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Louis Ignarro, claiming that Dr. Ignarro “made a special appearance on a Hugh Downs broadcast to reveal the covered-up truth about a miracle molecule that could make bypass surgery, angioplasty, and blood pressure drugs obsolete.” The “miracle molecule,” about which Health Secrets refuses to disclose in its hard-hitting ad for its medical cureall book, is nothing more than nitric oxide, the common link between Health Secrets and Force Factor. We are furthermore advised by the Health Secrets snake oil salesmen that all this stuff about preventing practically every major disease on the planet is “not unproven hokum.” Interesting that our purveyors of shoddy goods would use the word “hokum” to try to establish credibility for a “miracle molecule,” claimed to be “a covered-up truth,” when Dr. Ignarro’s work with the “miracle molecule” has been published. The classic definition of “hokum” would be, according to MSN Encarta, “bunk, something that on the surface appears to be true or credible, but is in fact, meaningless or untrue (encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861618273/hokum.html)”.
Force Factor, on the other hand, says to “take advantage of the bodybuilding performance of nitric oxide (http://www.forcefactor.com/?fb_lgid=50&fb_lpid=57&fb_itid=718&nid=30)”. It even goes on to state the benefits of “healthy nitric oxide levels” when endeavoring to achieve “championship results,” whatever that means. Can there be any doubt that nitric oxide is the link between the Bottom Line Publications tome Health Secrets and Force Factor? Just check out a book entitled, The Arginine Solution: The First Guide to America’s New Cardio-Enhancing Supplement, written by Robert Fried, Ph.D, and published in 1999! Chapter 2 of this scholarly “work” is called, “Getting to know NO: The Nitric Oxide Revolution.” Anyone with access to www.amazon.com can take a look inside this book and see for themself that nitric oxide is not a “covered-up truth“ and a panacea for heart attacks, strokes and cancer. On the front cover of The Arginine Solution is the claim that “the miracle molecule’s remarkable properties were validated by the 1998 Nobel Prize in medicine.”
It’s interesting to note that while Health Secrets points repeatedly to its star spokesman, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Louis Ignarro, that they conveniently neglect to mention when he won his Nobel Prize. In Dr. Ignarro’s own book, No More Heart Disease, published in 2006, he proudly proclaims having won the Nobel Prize for his work in 1998, Dr. Ignarro, refused to disclose the fact that he was compensated by over $1 million for promoting an outrageously expensive Herbalife product called Niteworks, costing about $89.95 for a 30-day supply. Niteworks contains an amino acid called arginine, which according to Dr. Ignarro, “the body converts to nitric oxide (http://www.mlmwatch.org/04C/Herbalife/niteworks.html)”. Evidently, $1 million in compensation from Herbalife wasn’t enough, so he’s lending his “prestige” to the Health Secrets book being peddled by “legendary newsman Hugh Downs.”
So how can Force Factor make you “crazy, ripped” from using nitric oxide, the secret formula which they apparently don’t have a problem revealing, while Health Secrets advertisements persist in claiming that this “miracle molecule” is being “killed by big-money medicine because it’s too cheap?” The Health Secrets tome for sale, containing 563 pages that promote the miracle molecule nitric oxide, sells for $39.99 or “three installments of $13.33.” By now, nitric oxide is hardly a secret. The “proven ingredient” in the Force Factor ad plainly states “3000 mg of argenine,” curiously spelled differently on the product label versus the “L-arginine” claim in the advertisement. The link between the Health Secrets “miracle molecule“ and the “proven ingredient” in Force Factor should be abundantly clear. Force Factor seems to have differing prices depending upon which advertisement you click on, but the terms and conditions are similar: 14 days to try the product for about “$4.99 shipping and handling,” and if you don’t call the customer service number to cancel, “the highly discounted rate of $69.99 plus $4.99 shipping and handling” starts appearing on your credit card, consummating your enrollment in the Force Factor Fitness Autoship Program. Translation? Every 30 days, you’re billed another $69.99 plus $4.99 for shipping and handling to make sure you have a fresh supply. A fresh supply of what, you might ask? A fresh supply of “nitric oxide supplements” to quote from the legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page where all the fine print takes away what was promised next to the pictures of such star athletes as Derrick Rose and Vernon Davis. The claims of “performance” with Force Factor are legally dispensed, with, by the sellers making certain to state that “the FDA has not evaluated any of the statements at this website,” and “only evaluates foods and drugs, not supplements like these products.” Gee, I’m really convinced I’m going to get “ripped,” reading statements like that. One of the testimonials, from a Craig Jaynes, whoever that is, is likely to blow you away as well: “I’ve looked into the science behind nitric oxide supplements, and it’s very real.”
While one website, www.buzzle.com, may not be enough to convince you, the medical experts at that website claim that side effects from using nitric oxide can be severe. While confirming that nitric oxide “has several positive benefits,” that “before taking nitric oxide boosters or supplements, that carelessness while taking them can cause serious damage to the body, sometimes even leading to the death of a person.” Indeed, reported side effects when first taking nitric oxide supplements can include, headaches, nausea, fatigue, weakness, and diarrhea. Too much nitric oxide can attack neurons in the brain, causing death. Experts on the subject say that side effects are minimized if the correct dosage of nitric oxide is consumed, but when supplements like these are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and if the motivation to sell these supplements is the revenue stream of $69.99 a month plus a $4.99 a month shipping and handling fee, what accountability do the sellers of these types of products have, if the wrong dosage is administered to a consumer and that person suffers medical harm as a result? Nitric oxide seems to have all the characteristics of a snake oil cure, promising “ripped muscles” in one product such as Force Factor, and promising the prevention of cancer, heart attacks and strokes in Health Secrets. In the Health Secrets book, one can hardly claim that a product like Niteworks, promoted by Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Louis Ignarro for Herbalife that costs $89.95 a month “is too cheap,” and being “killed by big-money medicine.” The sellers of Health Secrets certainly can’t claim virtue as an inexpensive alternative to “big-money medicine” when they are handsomely rewarded like Dr. Ignarro was for promoting Niteworks in another venue.
The question we should all be asking ourselves is whether nitric oxide is the “miracle molecule” the advertisers of Force Factor and Health Secrets say it is, or if it is just being exploited to make a fast buck. In the case of Force Factor, you have to track down the customer service number within 14 days of ordering the product, or you get charged $75.98 a month! Is fourteen (14) days enough time to evaluate the product to determine whether or not you’re going to “get ripped like Vernon Davis?” With Health Secrets, the cost may not be all that substantial at $13.33 a month for three months, but the advice could be hazardous to your health, given what is known about nitric oxide and taking an improper dosage.