Terra Sigillata

Mannatech missteps in WSJ

The practices of Mannatech distributors were the focus of a detailed article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal by Suzanne Sataline.

The Issue: Some consumers are using Mannatech nutritional supplements to seek relief from serious medical problems.

The Background: The company’s free-lance salespeople sometimes suggest product uses that go well beyond recommendations on their labels.

What’s Next: The Texas attorney general is scrutinizing the company, which also faces a class-action lawsuit from shareholders.

Dietary supplements like those sold by Mannatech are, in general, short on science and heavy on hype, anecdote, and testimonial. (Recall my earlier post where Nobel Laureate, Gunter Blobel, felt that his science was being misrepresented by the company.).

Some researchers says they doubt that [Mannatech's] Ambrotose offers any health benefits. Hudson Freeze, who studies complex carbohydrates as a professor of glycobiology at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Calif., contends the body can’t digest Ambrotose because humans lack the enzymes necessary to break down the plant fibers it contains into simple sugars.

Mannatech has said it has completed a study that shows the body can break down glyconutrients, and that it is slated for publication in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The journal’s managing editor, Barbara Nell Perrin, says it will publish an abstract of the study that will not be peer-reviewed.

Not peer-reviewed? Why? Even the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is a peer-reviewed journal. But, I digress.

So, while the company itself may be in line with the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in not claiming disease treatment indications for their products, some of their distributors do not appear to be playing by the rule book.

When doctors found a tumor in Angie McHenry’s bowel in the spring of 2006, they told her that her cervical cancer had become terminal. But her uncle, Stephan Huffman, gave her some hope.

Mr. Huffman, a retired high-school teacher, is a sales associate for Mannatech Inc., a publicly traded company that markets vitamins and nutritional supplements. He and his wife persuaded Ms. McHenry to swallow, each day, 32 Mannatech tablets and six scoopfuls of the company’s Ambrotose, a derivative of aloe vera and larch-tree bark.

“He said it would knock the cancer away,” recalled Ms. McHenry, a Coldwater, Ohio, mother of three, in an interview last month. “I would go into full remission. He said he had seen proof in other people.”

As you might suspect, the expensive “glyconutrients” Mr. Huffman sold to his niece had little effect on her cancer. She passed away on April 20.

Why this article is in the WSJ is because Mannatech has been public for the last eight years and shareholders have brought action against the company because such practices were in part responsible for the stock price tanking in 2005:

After reports about the company’s sales tactics caused its stock to drop in 2005, shareholders filed lawsuits in state and federal courts. Several have been consolidated as a federal class-action in Dallas federal court. It alleges that executives knew about and ignored improper health claims by employees and salespeople, and that [Mannatech Chairman and CEO] Mr. Caster overruled recommendations by the company’s regulatory-compliance committee to discipline big sellers who made such claims.

Mr. Caster says the company has fined some associates as much as $25,000, and has terminated some for making improper claims. “Does something like this ever get away from us?” he says. “Well, of course. Those are the types of things that we’re out there looking for, and that we’ll catch.” He says the company intends to vigorously defend itself in the litigation.

It is interesting that the market, and not the distortion of science, has caused the company to take action against renegade sales associates. This article reminded me that dietary supplements and multilevel marketing is big business. “Multilevel marketers accounted for $4.4 billion of $22 billion in sales of dietary supplements in 2006, says Grant Ferrier, editor of Nutrition Business Journal.”

If questionable sales practices hit the bottom line, look for action by the company to ward off any legal action or otherwise bad publicity.

Too late for this article, though.

Comments

  1. #1 Med Free
    May 13, 2007

    The following statement made in the above needs clarification. An eye witness account is better than an opinion.

    You wrote, “As you might suspect, the expensive “glyconutrients” Mr. Huffman sold to his niece had little effect on her cancer. She passed away on April 20.” You failed to mention that “she” did not take the glyconutrients. The Huffman’s, realizing Mrs. McHenry’s trust in the doctor’s uninformed opinion about nutritional science was the opinion that McHenry would base her life decision upon, the Huffman’s bought the product from them! They did so because they didn’t want to give reason for family tension. Mrs. McHenry did not take the Mannatech products for more than a couple of days! So, the fact is, is that McHenry entrusted her life to the traditional treatment of cancer via toxic chemical treatments and they failed her. Now, who is to blame for not saving her???? Certainly not the products that she didn’t take!

    Expensive ‘glyconutrients’ Mr.. Huffman sold to his niece had little effect on her cancer” had little effect because the products were still in the bottles which the Huffman’s purchased from her once her family made it clear she would not take them! I feel a retraction is in order for the faulty and misleading information made in this blog!

    You also failed to refer to the research submitted to Scripps Institute by Mannatech’s researchers proved that the body can INDEED break apart the glyconutrients. It won Mannatech the first place award recently! Hudson Freeze has more credibility? It was because of this criticism that Mannatech’s research team was inspired to conduct the research in the first place…and proved him wrong. Yet you failed to report this.

    The recommendation reported of 32 capsules is false as well as is the number of scoops of Ambrotose. Recommendations as to how much to take was based up on the success of others. Have not most people made nutritional recommendations to folks they care about who are experiencing health challenge? Got a cold? Chicken soup, anyone? Regardless, Ms. McHenry did not swallow 32 capsules—-not in one day….not ever. I know of a very successful homeopathic doctor who has his patients swallow 200 nutritional supplements trying to assist the body’s ability to heal. Even if it was 32, it was small in number compared to the number that many doctors are prescribing. Nutrition is science! Nutrition makes sense.

    While chemo and radiation may have it’s place in some cases, nutrition always has it’s place. Unfortunately, with 61% decrease in nutrition in our modern foods sources today than was present only a half century ago, it is necessary for every American to supplement.

    The question is, with what shall he supplement? It behooves us all to read Harper’s Biochemistry text book (chapter on glycoproteins), Science magazine, Medline, American Scientist magazine, JAMA, etc. for the latest research on the role of glyconutrients in the communication ability of our cells. All Mannatech did was to implement the science, stabilize the molecules in various sources containing the very specialized sugar molecules identified by science research and place them in a supplement form! It just makes good sense. Those that have evidenced an improved quality of life, who have be able to discontinue drugs, who have ceased having seizures, or who are able to walk again, know that the nutrition quality in their Mannatech supplements had an affect on their bodies natural ability to fix themselves! If you have good nutrition and enough of it, our bodies can demonstrate their amazing ability to heal themselves. You’d have a hard time convincing folks that their remarkable recoveries were due to a placebo effect or just coincidence when they began supplying nutrition via Mannatech’s quality products.

    With the kind of false and sloppy “reporting”, your credibility is severely hampered for anything else you write. You demonstrate well that bloggers adhere only to their wants and wishes and no code of conduct.

    Gunter Blobel thought he was misrepresented? What do you think that folks who have received amazing results of Mannatech’s provisions for quality nutrition feel about this type of unjust and unfounded negativity and false comments?

    What’s the difference between the legal and legitimate business model of network marketing according to the Federal Trade Commission and a pyramid scheme? Corporate American fits the definition of a pyramid. NWM fairly distributes advertising to the folks doing the advertising. When’s the last time that the doctor, car dealer, or restaurant owner fairly distributed his advertising dollars to you for referring others to his business. We advertise for free all the time for corporate America. I wish all businesses were fair and just to pay the folks who have been freely advertising for them. It’s time to recognize a new era in fair marketing!

  2. #2 Abel Pharmboy
    May 13, 2007

    Med Free, I have no idea who are you and why I might expect that you have eyewitness information of the Huffman/McHenry case. I am not a reporter per se and was merely drawing attention to a report in the WSJ about Mannatech and how distributor practices were hurting the stock.

    I must admit to being unable to follow the rationale for much of your diatribe, especially without scientific references to back up some of your claims. If you have concerns about the veracity of WSJ reporting in this story, you may care to join other Mannatech enthusiasts at the WSJ blog post on the subject.

  3. #3 steppen wolf
    May 13, 2007

    Hi,

    The news of the Texas Attorney General chasing Mannatech is quite old, but it is interesting to see the developments in the market side of the story.

    “If questionable sales practices hit the bottom line, look for action by the company to ward off any legal action or otherwise bad publicity.” Indeed. Their so-called educational website, glycoscience.com, explicitly says in the Legal Policies section that anybody who is not authorized is forbidden to link to anywhere else but their own Links page? And chances are, this is illegal behavior.

    Talk about fear of bad publicity!

  4. #4 PurposeDriven
    May 14, 2007

    Big Pharma’s boy,

    I was a skeptic’s skeptic when first being invited to look at the company and the technology of Mannatech. I had been in other unrelated NM companies and didn’t want to hear about selling vitamins to my friends and neighbors…Oh little did I know that I would soon get over myself and start actually reading the science. (I would encourage you and everyone to also do so—there is plenty of it) I do not have a degree in medicine or biochemistry but that does not make me stupid or relatedly ignorant…just means I didn’t get my paper in that subject. Truth is, I have never heard of you or ever heard you mentioned in any of the journals or publications I have read. Should I follow your lead or the lead of now thousands of doctors who have alligned with this technology because of results. Hmmm… should I take your advice over the advice of Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr., Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns-Hopkins (you know-the place your pharma-hero helped establish); Dr. Carson was listed by Time Magazine and CNN as one of the top 20 doctors in America. Dr. Carson was quoted in a published article to say we all need to be taking Glyconutrients. Hmmm. Should I take advice from Dr. Carson or BigPharma’s Boy? Dr. John Rollins, award winning senior patent examiner for over 2 decades at the US Patent/Trademark Office who examined patent aps for pharmaceutical and neutraceutical technologies and called our patented technology ‘head and shoulders above any other he had seen’ or does BigPharma Boy have it right? Dr. John Axford, a recent President of the Royal Society of Medicine who thought it prudent to accept a position on the Mannatech BOD or BigPharma’s Boy? Does Dr. Steve Nugent, NMD, PhD, PDD, CNC (has earned 6 degrees in all), president emmeritus of the American Naturopathic Medical Association and current president of the International Association of Complimentary Medicine, having personally tested more than 6,000 nutritional supplements and formerly operating one of the most successful private practices in his region of the country decided it was good enough to take a position with the company have it right or shuld I follow your off the cuff remarks; Dr. Emil Mondoa, MD and author of, “Sugars that Heal” who has published interviews promoting the benefits of Mannatech’s glyconutrients; Dr. Alex Omelchuck, former chief of staff of a multi-hundred bed teaching hospital in Cananda spent over 12 years debilitated from a massive brain aneurism (in spite of access and experience with the best ‘medicine’ available) until he did the research and began consuming glyconutrients. He tells a pretty convincing medical perspective. Dr. Bill McAnalley, PhD Pharmacologist and Toxicologist who has done work for both the EPA and while under the employ of a pharmaceutical company identified the active molecule responsible for healing properties of Aloe Vera…a glyconutrient who later with H Reginald McDaniel, MD a former chief of staff at a Texas medical center and named physician of the year conducted studies that included the beneficial predicability of treatment of this single glyconutrient in AIDs patients. This early pioneering science has indirectly created a segway to results motivated studies being conducted by the Ugandan government for the beneficial impact of Glyconutrients on their countries’ population suffering from AIDs and Malaria.

    The number of doctors and scientists alligning with this technology based on pure results is mushrooming and yet naysayers like you with an apparently unnamed influence or agenda will keep some people from experiencing a returned quality of life because you can’t see the forest for the trees before you.

    Diatribes? lets see:
    -Acta Anatomica’s entire journal issue on Glyco Sciences
    -MD News’s multiple articles on the subject
    -Science Magazine entire issue on Glycobiolgy
    -Scientific America-same
    -MIT’s Technology Review: 10 Emerging Technologies the WILL change the world–Glycomics
    -Harper’s Biochemistry names the eight glyconutrients in an entire chapter on glycoproteins
    -multi $Million grants to Scripps Institute by study this based on the experience of tens of thousands.
    -over 50,000 papers now being published annually on the subject.

    BigPharma’s Boy, your financeers are afraid of the influence that pure nutrition that our bodies were designed to utilize to heal and protect will have on profit while they attempt to engineer carbohydrate based drugs to profit from.

    Meanwhile, I have personally experienced or personally witnessed benefits of glyconutrients delivering the nutritional structure and function that the body utilized in its own ability to recover or fend off arthritis, MS, cancer, allergies, colds, flu, cystic fibrosis, PMS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and other health issues. LET ME CLARIFY: Glyconutrients did not treat or cure anything directly, rather delivered one of the nutritional cornerstones to the body that IT needed to regain and maintian optimal health in the way the body was designed and intended to do itself.

    Briefly, on the issue of wayward associate claims: there is not a significantly sized company on Earth that has not had mis-informed or disgruntled employees make statements that the company would like to have back. Independant associates seem to feel even less conviction to follow the rules sometimes because they are not employee controlled. For the most part I believe associates of Mannatech and other companies of similar standards mean well but lack training in policy and/or the laws regarding the sharing of this type of information. I am not defending their wayward statements or claims, but why would you or the WSJ choose to so one-sidedly seek out such examples when they appear to be opposite of the great majority of what is being said or represnted. nobody is perfect but most are dilgently trying to serve others with hope that life is otherwise not currently delivering. People who have taken glyconutrients stay sick, get worse and even die. NOTHING will stop that in all cases, but for those who’s health has been improved, restored and who are alive today when all other modalities were seemingly offering the opposite, I and any of the beneficiaries would be hard-pressed to say its hogwash.

    There appears to be nothing in any evidence to indicate harm from glyconutrients. There appears to be ongoing, growing, beneficial experiences of hundreds of thousands of people around the world who take Glyconutrients. There appears to be at least 5,000 doctors who agree. There appears to be numerous major pharmaceutical companies in phases I, II or III of carbohydrate drug development who seem convinced there is ‘something to it’. There appears to be tens of thousands of starving and medically fragile children around the world who have been profoundly and beneficially impacted after receiving Glyconutrients (for FREE).

    There appears to be a select handful of people with hidden agendas who are very determined to keep these profound benefits from humanity. I have both personally experienced and witnessed the beneficial impact that brings tears of joy and fullfilment to my eyes when I help someone in that way and an anger in my heart that I am not proud of when someone trys to keep that from someone. May God speak to you in a beneficial way today!

  5. #5 jre
    May 14, 2007

    There is a particular flavor of zealotry that seems characteristic of the multi-level-marketed miracle nutrient industry. Some years ago, I became curious about Blue-Green Algae, and the (ahem) interesting way it was marketed. When I discovered that a data table in the company’s promotional literature had been falsified, it seemed interesting enough to write a post on the subject. That post still gets occasional comments, most along the same lines as Med Free’s and PurposeDriven’s comments above. The essential elements seem to be:
    (1) This stuff is magic. Run, do not walk, to the nearest distributorship and sink every nickel you’ve got into this wonder material.
    (2) How dare you insinuate that the marketing campaign for Miracle Snake Oil is a sinister con game? We are benefactors of humanity!
    (3) Did I mention that this stuff is magic?

    Much of the time, the worst that seems to come of this is that healthy people spend money they can spare on worthless supplements. Unfortunately, we see from the example you’ve cited that sick people can be swindled out of money they can’t spare, and forgo real medical treatment in the process. Exploiting the most vulnerable among us is a repulsive act, even when (especially when!) the exploiters wrap themselves in a cloak of piety.

  6. #6 marquer
    May 14, 2007

    I sincerely hope that there will be no further measures taken to restrict the sale of products such as Mannatech’s.

    Not because I think that Mannatech is anything other than useless quackery and marketing bullshit, but that persons like MedFree and PurposeDriven will rely on such products in lieu of actual medicine, will die earlier, and hence be less of an annoyance and a burden to the rest of us.

  7. #7 Dave
    May 14, 2007

    It’s surprising that such assertions are made in spite of the fact that there is published research, including double-blind studies (though small), predictive analysis studies, absorption, metabolization and excreetion studies and clinical studies, peer-review published that date beyond 15 years before Mannatech ever existed.

    It’s much easier to dismiss someting you’re taken no real effort to investigate as “quackery.”

    The WSJ has an agenda backed by the money that pays for their printing. To take their statements at face value, without objective research, is the ultimate form of ignorance.

  8. #8 jre
    May 14, 2007

    Just for the record, the WSJ’s news pages (unlike its editorial pages) enjoy a high reputation for solid, agenda-free reporting, and deserve to be taken at face value unless there is evidence there is something wrong with the story. And the story’s account of Mannatech’s practices is appalling:

    Mr. Huffman, who sold $1,200 of Mannatech products to Ms. McHenry, says he doesn’t recall telling her they would “knock her cancer away.” He adds, though, that “in many instances,” Ambrotose “encapsulates the cancer.”

    At [Mannafest], at least 10 people came on stage one night to testify that after taking Mannatech products, they recovered or found relief from conditions ranging from paralysis to tumors to lesions. Another 25 people said they took glyconutrients and found relief from afflictions such as leukemia, arthritis, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome and cancer.
    Mr. Caster says the consumer testimonials are perfectly legal because none use the words “cure,” “treat” or “mitigate” in referring to diseases.

    Although it’s standard practice these days, it is still contemptible to hide behind the legalism that the FDA’s magic words were not used. Sadly, the audience for this spectacle probably did include some with serious, though treatable, medical conditions. To the extent that they will choose ineffective dietary supplements in favor of treatments that might actually work, their health has been directly harmed by Mannatech’s marketing hype. Some might argue that anyone who expects useful medical information from a tent revival deserves to be fleeced, but I feel a lot more sympathy for the sheep than for those who would shear them.
    So — should we “dismiss” Mannatech’s claims as “quackery”?
    Let’s not mince words: if it walks like a quack, and quacks like a quack, it’s probably a quack.

  9. #9 MarkH
    May 14, 2007

    Wow Abel, you’ve really got some cranks today.

    The WSJ reporting is some of the best in the world. These conspiratorial allegations against them are irresponsible and just show how any attempt to reveal any facts about the religion of alternative medicine generates nothing but psychotic reprisal.

    Time to break out the tinfoil hats.

  10. #10 steve
    May 14, 2007

    consider the source. sam caster was convicted of felony fraud, and pled guilty to yet another scam after that. if bullshit was music, he’d be a brass band. he represents himself as having been in the entertainment business prior to starting his pyramid scheme, but there is scant evidence of that on the web. more importantly, steve lemme and also the chief legal officer left the company precipitously several months ago for unstated reasons, are are unresponsive regarding the reasons. how nasdaq allowed this company to become public with a background like casters’ is beyond belief.

  11. #11 Justin Moretti
    May 14, 2007

    Those who know the least are certainly saying the most.

  12. #12 Sapphire
    May 14, 2007

    Incredible!! Let science be science already! There should not be another word said until all of the scientific journals, articles, abstracts and studies from the reputable sources that someone so kindly shared have been read. I guess all the foul-mouthed critics are smarter than those at M.I.T., those at the Royal Society of Medicine, etc., etc.! I sure am glad that you have the answers! Why, America just might not be one of the top 70 in healthcare as a country if it weren’t for you !!

  13. #13 Frank Thomas
    May 18, 2007

    Purpose driven:

    If even 10% of what you said was true, Mannatol would be on the shelf of every drug store and selling like hot cakes.

    Scam Caster is no fool. If Mannatech was the company he says it is he would take this product public and out of the hands of a flawed and corrupt marketing system known as MLM. That would be the “christian” thing to do.

    Elder Frank Thomas

  14. #14 rick
    May 21, 2007

    I find it interesting that so many of the strongest critics site the amazing medical and pharmaceutical industry. Please don’t misunderstand me, we have one of the best trauma systems in the world. But when it comes to diseases we are falling flat on our collective faces. The US rates behind many 3rd world countries when it comes to health care. (Reference world health organization)

    As to fleecing people, I think you might want to direct your comments to big pharma. Name me one disease state that has been cured medically or pharmaceutically? You can’t because there has never been a cure in that industry. And that does not include immunizations, I’m talking about curing something after you have acquired the condition. The closest they have come is Polio and that has not been cured as it has come back for many as PPS or post polio syndrome.

    At this point in time almost every disease state is at epidemic proportions. Diabetes is up over 700% in the last few years. When we began our war against cancer it was around the number 8-10 killer, today it is the number 2. Properly prescribed, properly taken pharmaceutical meds in a hospital environment is the third leading cause of death in the US (over 120,00 deaths per year), (reference Journal for the American Medical Association) Every other condition is getting worse as well so we are not doing a very good job.

    So now that we have come to the logical conclusion that the industry that so many of you are backing is incapable of curing anything it might behoove us to look elsewhere. The body does have an amazing capability to heal itself but it needs good nutrition to perform these functions.

    One last note: Whereas the pharmaceutical industry kills 10’s of thousands every year, to date Mannatech has not killed even one, so who is fleecing who. Lets get real here and quit spouting the talking points of big pharma. Open your eyes, open your mind, and do your own research, there is plenty of it out there.

  15. #15 Joseph Aldridge
    May 21, 2007

    I have read the letters above and marvel at the ignorance of the wise. What I can offer is that Mannatech gave me back my health and I now am a strong advocate of the science of glycobiology. This is just a case of the Big Pharma Cartel trying to protect itself with the cooperation of the media. I rate them with the oil companies which boast on the one hand of obscene profits and boo-hoo on the other hand about their lost refineries which they are not rebuilding. This ranks right up there with the fake “refugee” situation of the Israel Arabs, created by the Arabs themselves. Americans should not be held hostage to what the media touts. I, for one, have seen to the contrary, and I won’t be swayed by the slanted media cartel.

  16. #16 robert
    June 1, 2007

    Fact #1:No disease has ever been cured by drugs.
    Fact #2:Pelegra, scurvy, phenylkelinuria have all been cured by nutrition.

    Score Nutrition 3 drugs 0

    Medical science is for the most part an oxymoron and nowhere less than nutrition. For those of us who live outside academia’s test tube must go with results and common sense in what works. I’ll take nutrition any day. I have three doctorates and one in medicine. This blog line seems to be mostly religion to dumb down the masses by getting thm upset. Nothing new. Glconutrients are availble for consumption from other non-multi level companies.

    Like the old saying goes; How’s that working for you?

    Still 3-0, nutrition winning by the most conservative measure.

  17. #17 Jorge
    June 1, 2007

    Mannatech are jerks. their Optimal cosmewtic line uses BS ultra pure water – that is neither pure nor super – but they claim alleviates the need for preservatives in their “preservative-free” products that incldue 4 or 5 preservatives and their GMP’s were so poor they had to recall the INITIAL production because it was contaminated with bacteri – read spoiled. And this was one of only 2 or 3 so far this year in that industry.
    From the FDA enforcement site:
    PRODUCT
    Mannatech Optimal Restoring Serum, 1.7 oz. (50mL), Product #20201; Recall # F-282-7
    CODE
    Lot # 703182
    RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER
    Recalling Firm: Mannatech Incorporated, Coppell, TX, by letter on May 2/3, 2007.
    Manufacturer: DPT Lakewood, Inc, Lakewood, NJ. Firm initiated recall is ongoing.
    REASON
    Initial shipment of product was found on stability testing to be contaminated with Enterobacter gergoviae and Enterobacter cloacae.
    VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE
    7,076 bottles
    DISTRIBUTION
    Nationwide

  18. #18 jorge
    June 1, 2007

    These clowns claim there is science – assume compelling scientific data as they;d not know “science” if it bit them on the butt – supporting Mannatech BS yet provide NOT A SINGLE CREDIBLE TECHNICAL REFERENCE TO THAT POINT.

    ENOUGH SAID – IT;’S BS AND THESE JERKS ARE JUST DEFENDING THEIR OWN PARTICIPATION IN THE RIPOFF.

  19. #19 Jorge
    June 3, 2007

    Fact #1:No disease has ever been cured by drugs.

    WRONG, idiot!!!! Ever heard of antibiotics? From trivial things like athletes foot to osteolyelitits – these have been CURED by DRUGS!!!!!!

    Fact #2:Pelegra, scurvy, phenylkelinuria have all been cured by nutrition.

    WRONG!!! They are alleviated by correcting a deficinecy of a specific chemical. Take away the chemcial and the conditions return.

    Score Nutrition 3 drugs 0

    “…those of us who live outside academia’s test tube must go with results and common sense in what works…” meaning robert knows nothing and maies it up as he goes along. Loook robert – science is not dirven by common sense. It is phenomenal – it only makes sense when you finally learn the answer.

    “I have three doctorates and one in medicine. ” what total BS from Mr. outside of academia’s test tube.

    ” Glconutrients are availble for consumption from other non-multi level companies.” and they’re BS from all.

    “Like the old saying goes; How’s that working for you?” As in – is the rip-off still working?

  20. #20 thehealthygroup
    August 15, 2007

    Let’s look at facts on both sides of this fence and try to put emotion to one side. To be truly objective even if you are pro one side or the other, it is important to review the reality of facts, not interpretations or opinions.

    In 1998, at least 20 international Big Pharma companies attended Glycocompounds 98 conference to review the latest science on cell surface sugars, and how they may be incorporated into pharmaceutical products to enhance their effectiveness or ameliorate their toxicity to allow better Quality of Life for patient taking their drugs. This conference was based on much research mostly in the years before Mannatech was formed but also some since, including Harpers Biochemistry, a well respected medical educational course text book.

    Now if the companies involved actually produced better products using these cell surface sugars in combination with their existing technologies, then that would be great. Their products may be more effective, help more people, possibly become more affordable because they sell more and thus they can affect more of the unwell. Also importantly, these advances in their products would lead to an increase in Share Holder Value, which traditionally is the key drive in business.

    However, in the meantime, Mannatech have uncovered and patented, (in the USA as well as elsewhere, so it is hard to deny), processes of maintaining active ingredients in plant sources, just as the pharmaceutical industry has been doing with other plants sources,(e.g.from the Amazon rain forests), for decades. In Mannatech’s case the patents are on how to extract, activate and utilise these cell surface carbohydrates in a product on the shelf.

    Taking away the Mannatech aspect, nutrition in general targets every cell, but drugs target specific cells which are already diseased. Thus the purposes of application are different too. Good nutrition should be a pre-disease preventative, but drugs are disease specific treatment and reactive. Thus testing to prove the efficacy (and toxicity) should be different too.

    Mannatech’s patents in the USA took 10 years to go through, so there was plenty of time to review the efficacy of the claims in the submitted documentation, which appears to have been extensive. If these documents were unsubstantiated the patents would not have been issued. If they (the research papers)appear to have become unsubstantiated due to developments in science that invalidates that work, then the patents should have been rescinded. But they haven’t. Thus like it or not, there is no smoke without fire. There is some substance to the science that has been inappropriately referred to at times by their associates.

    In Columbus’ time everyone thought the world was flat and if you travelled too far you would fall off the end! Between him and Magellan (my history escapes me, sorry), this view was disproved once and for all.

    Less than 300 years ago, a ships doctor, in the English Navy, Dr James Lind, started using citrus fruits in the food stores on board ships, which led to less problems with scurvy. This increased the distance the sailors could travel without falling too sick to work and sail. The result, the British Empire was able to be established, (love it or hate it), because of a fruit, and term to describe the British, “The Limeys” was formed. In effect a nutritional supplement in food form that had a medicinal effect on a disease condition, scurvy, by replacing what was missing in the sailors’ diets. As far as I know, correctly described, Limes have never been called a drug nor has anyone claimed that they are. Now the important thing is that Dr James Lind was pilloried by his peers in the medical profession by suggesting the benefits of citrus fruits and their ability to divert the course of a disease condition. He was rejected and abused by the medical profession for his views until he died. However, in the early 1900s, Kasmir Funk, a pioneering researcher identified the function of the key nutrients in these fruits, and called them “vital amines” (shortened to “vitamins” at a later date). It wasn’t until over 200 years later after Dr James Lind observed a beneficial effect, that the reason, structure and function of the vitamin whose effect he had observed been understood and identified. I believe that is where we are at with Glycobiology. Not just Mannatech, who are the James Lind’s in this example, but the whole of the pharmaceutical industry.

    100 years ago sending a man to the moon was a pipe dream. 20 years ago the internet in it’s current form was unimaginable.
    In 10 years we should be able to identify most of the gene defects likely to lead to every major disease condition known to mankind. Thanks to the research on the Genome project.
    In 30 years we should, hopefully have developed the techniques to correct all of the identified gene defect problems we would have learned to identify.

    Between now and then we have to live and enjoy Quality of Life. This does not mean a $1 a day type treatments from the drug industry. It means a $100 dollar cure (where one actually exists) from promising technology, the less toxic the better. Mannatech represent part of the tip of this promising technology.

    Some individuals have over stepped the mark at Mannatech. We all make mistakes. Just ask relatives of the 104,000 patients, victim of iatrogenic death (death by doctor) each year in America.

    People power will rule the day. If there is validity in Mannatech, they will win through with scientific research. The government funded Consortium for Functional Glycomics led by Dr James Paulsen and the Scripps Institute should confirm or discount some of the glycobiological theories abounding. The initial NIH grant of $34m awarded in 2001 was renewed at another $40.7m in 2006. Clinical trials are ongoing across the world using private and local government funds, to identify the efficacy of a variety of glyconutrient sources, including (but not limited to) Mannatech products.

    The drug industry will never sit at the table with key researchers and companies referred to by Mannatech sources, with whom they have to share the profits with to advance a science. Until they are prepared to do this, companies like Mannatech, who may have uncovered (subject to further scrutiny, accepted), apparent non-toxic technology that could support improvements in human health that could lead to erosion of the market demand for drugs, will always be attacked and denigrated by the established communities which their existence may threaten.

    In 1952, the US government tried to ban research into liquid Vitamin B17 intravenous therapy. They even denied a vitamin ever existed and refused to ratify it’s identification in our food chain. Does this mean it doesn’t exist or have any efficacy supporting structure and function of human physiology in a diseased state? Ask the families of loved ones at The Dove Clinic in Winchester, England. It has been alleged that 15% of patients arriving with stage IV cancer (i.e.given no hope of survival and basically sent home to die) recover, using liquid B17 (laetrile) intravenous therapy. This is anecdotal reporting, but what if it is true. What if it was a loved one of yours? How many % could survive if they went to the clinic earlier in their cancer?

    I urge you all to remove the emotion and study the facts. Come to a balanced decision for all of your family and friends, because your health, wellness and quality of life may well depend upon it.

    This is not about emotional blackmail, but Freedom To Choose. If information is being held back from us by governments or pharmaceutical companies or food companies or yes, supplement companies, we should know, to enable us to choose what we want, each as individuals. As long as Big Pharma fights the growth of scientific research supporting some aspects of complementary medicine we will always have to make a choice for ourselves.

    May your life and health be an example of the wisdom of your decision making on this matter. Entrust your wellness to Big Pharma, Mannatech, other supplement companies or all three. But make sure it is on an informed basis not someone emotively slagging off one side or the other of this debate. The point of a democracy is to choose for ourselves. So all of you out there who are intent on ignoring that, stop using this column as a rant for your own perspective only. Help others understand the issues and present them fairly. You may not have all the facts yourself, as I know I haven’t either.

    Now yes, I am a Mannatech associate, and proud to be one at that. However, I would gladly give up any chance of commercial benefit promoting this emerging technology if responsible stewardship and use was provided by governments and independent organisations to help more poeple across the world. The ultimate form of bullying is to remove our Freedom to Choose. I am not in Mannatech purely to earn money. I would like to leave a legacy of changed and improved lives. That is my choice, and having studied many of the facts, I will not be deflected from that choice easily and without good reason. Almost every Mannatech associate would gladly swap financial security, marketing their products, if this technology were grasped by Goverments all over the world and make it available to the masses at the lowest possible costs through the State. That is how much the law abiding majority of Mannatech associates believe in this technology, to help all of you, whether there is a dollar to be made or not. Would you?

  21. #21 Maria
    August 16, 2007

    I just like my 2 cents worth with all this controversy about Mannatech.
    For one I have taken the product for the last 4 years and I have my life back and enjoy living again.
    Then my 10 year old German Shepherd Bitch was diagnosed riddled with cancer in her stomach. Normally I would have put her down straight away, however this time I put her on what you call “sugar” the Ambrotose, just to see how she would go. Now I have been breeding dogs for more than 20 years and put quite a few dogs down with cancer. So this was an experiment. I have never seen anything like it. Now this product is not recommended for animals however I thought why not as I have used products myself when they were very successful on the dogs, for one Manuka honey. Brilliant �cures� faster than antibiotic without the nasty side effects of antibiotic. Strange that is, they, the medical world tried to get the active ingredient from the honey so they could make it into a drug, however they could not do it, so now the medical profession in this country tells us to go for it and use the honey.
    To come back on my bitch, who by the way did not know what she was getting, for her it could have been real sugar, which by the way makes me very sick, so nobody can say she was just imagining things.
    She started to look a million dollars again. Shiny coat, great eyes, in all a very healthy happy bitch that started playing again like a 2 year old at the age by then of 11.
    The strangest thing was that the tumors in her stomach went and then new ones came up again however it did not worry her. Now her brother and half sister were not on the product and her half sister (who was a year younger) was put down within 6 months of her cancer being detected. She was in extreme pain, very dull coat, sad looking eyes so really looking sick. Her brother was put down after he went downhill from old age at 12 after looking in a shocking condition for a long time.
    Sadly my bitch died after three and a half years on the product not from cancer but from a twisted gut. So we really extended her life for more than 3 years and she had a good life. Mind you it could have all been in my or her mind.
    Then the other interesting thing is that in my country we have a glycosythesis laboratory paid for by our taxes and opened up by the Prime Minister. Now guess what, they were selling synthetic mannose for US$23000.00 per kilo. Then had something synthetic sugary stuff hailing that it cured something. If I remember correctly it was a spermacide. That horrible word cure is gone from the website and to this day I regret I did not copy it. Before I started taking this so called sugary stuff I checked it out on the web and noticed that all the drug companies are in a race to get their hands on the synthetic version as they cannot get the natural stuff.

    I am just a normal human being without a proper education. However as I was a sweet tooth by the age of 16 I was eating 1 kilo of sugar in 3 days as I could not afford sweets. My doctor said no problem it does not make you sick. I could not stop eating sugar, or white bread or anything that turned into sugar. By the way I am now a type 2 diabetic which I control with diet. The only thing which I thought was very healthy was that I did drink a lot of milk, only to find out that all the goodness is being killed by the pasteurization it gets and all you are drinking is coloured water. Put cider vinegar in it and it is coloured water. Put Cider Vinegar in proper fresh milk and it stays milk, unless it has some nasty bacteria in it. I will not touch vinegar anymore as I believe it is made from a petroleum product.

    After poisoning myself with all the crap that is being sold as healthy food, I now have gone back to basic some years before I started on the Mannatech products. I never smoked so cannot sue the tobacco companies, maybe I should sue all the companies who have products that I ate with sugar in it which made me sick. You cannot even buy anything without sugar, as instead of using Stevia they again use chemicals. My body is not synthetic so I now will only put natural food in it, and alive with good bacteria. I am looking forward to my 120th birthday.

  22. #22 Zoey
    August 16, 2007

    Maria–
    Perhaps you might be interested in this pamphlet which describes the problems with testimonials (although I doubt you will be!!)

    http://www.lymphomation.org/Testimonials.pdf

  23. #23 Maria
    August 17, 2007

    Zoey
    You should not assume things, as you do not know me. I had a look at your pamphlet and found it interesting reading.

  24. #24 Maria
    August 17, 2007

    Sorry Maria, I am glad you found it interesting!!

  25. #25 Zoey
    August 17, 2007

    whoops, the last comment was from Zoey, not Maria

  26. #26 Thomas
    July 6, 2009

    How does one explain that when the medical profession abandoned me an told me that there was no cure, left me to die and in despair and I had tried everything, that to me I was not using an alternative to conventional medicine they had no clue they had nothing to offer, so I was not using a complimentary. I got well when I took some nutritional components, Spooky, glad someone bothered to tell me. glad I never listen to skeptics. as I was the biggest skeptic but I took it fora nother reason entirely. So I did not have to lie to a very good friend whos integrity was above reproach, when he called me up later to see how I was doing. I was going to tell him it had not worked so go away and leave me to die in peace.
    I have only the Doctors to thank, who stuck out their necks put their reputations on the line and have been sneered at by their peers, who should know better. But is this not always the case?
    I have Dotors scratching their heads, great fun getting people well. WHO ASKS THE PEOPLE? instead of insisting they suffer I just say you may like to try this and make no stupid claims or promises. They make the claims.
    I say would you like to try to see if you can get more energy to put up with your condition.
    I have Doctors who agree that my 93 year old mother could come of antispychotics after half a century, My mums Doctor told me she had contracted C difficle and if I had anything for her then we better give it. He did the diagnosis he appealed to me, After he told me she had the antibodies and out of 30 odd old folk infected mum was the only one not to become sick.

    One US Judge says that where there is no real evidence. CIRCUMSTANCIAL EVEIDENCE is acceptable in a court of LAW.
    He explains that if one goes to bed at night and there is no sign of any snow but on awakening one looks out of the window and sees snow then it is perfectly reasonable to accept the circumstancial evidence that it MUST have snown in the night.
    The people who should be doing clinical trials are not and will not, they have investements in other modalities.
    The Uk government asked the Atomic Energy Department to research the effectiveness of green energy, such as wave power etc in the 1960’s, what conclusion do you think they came to ?
    But in 2009 things have changed and alongside Nuclear power the present Government accepts that all power production methods WILL be entertained.
    Why because times change. It took Capt Cook another 50 years for the British Admiralty to accept his findings in realtion to Scurvy, do we say limes and lemons cures scurvy. ???? but its not quite right is it? Its about understandding what is going on, Scientists in the 1920’s told us it was a Vitamin C that does the trick in the body, that it was an ABSCENCE of this molecule that caused degeration it was not someting you caught as told by the ALL knowing medicals, lets not play stupid ignoramouses when it comes to breakthroughs in human welfare.

    Did Christopher Columbus say no way can America Exist? Prove it, then I will go and discover it.
    He was not even looking for you guys, but something else.
    He got on with it.

    In relation to Antibiotics, it was not the medical people who gave them to the world, who was it? the US Military, why? because they saw it saved lives.
    The most unlikley folks thought about it and saved millions of soldiers lives, they gave it to us when the medical profession could not be bothered.
    You will see nutrients technolgy EXCELL when sincere people get to grips with how it works and stop trying to replace medicine with it.
    Some conditions are scientificaly proven to be nutrient deficiencies and an intelligent Doctor recognizes this and does not prescribe a drug but a recognised nutrient,
    So get intelligent and lets see if there are any other unrecognised nutrients that will impact our wellness maintainance.
    if we have a doubt resolve it.
    is the world still flat?
    Did man go to the moon?
    well you tell me,
    whats your experience?
    can mankind fly ?
    TECHNOLOGY changes everything.

    When the priority become about Human welfare and not personal profit by big buisness you will see some amazing woderful beautiful things take place in this world for a change.

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