The supplement industry, like all industries, is very fickle and full of terms designed to confuse and baffle consumers, as a result it is hard to make educated decisions as to what to buy or who to trust.
In the following article, we will investigate some of the most common promotional terms intended to separate you from your money and so aiding you on your decisions. The average stream of slick marketing terms is so wide spread across the supplement companies, and to be honest, they drive me crazy! It winds me up to no end to see these cheap tactics being imployed to sell products to people. What follows are some of the most common marketing terms and what they really mean to you, the consumer.
Whenever I see this term I feel like calling the company up and asking “which clinic exactly is this research from, and where is it located?”
This term means pretty much nothing to the average consumer. What the company is suggesting, is that product has gone through a rigorous clinical trial, however that is very rarely the case.
This one by far one of the most influential of the deceiving marketing terms used in the industry. When a company uses the term patented, most people instantly assume that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has appraised the product and found it to be so effectual, it’s worthy of a patent. That is just not the case. First of all there are several forms of patents many of which have differing meanings behind them. But generally, a patent means that the company owns the exclusive rights to sell the product for the length of the patent and they have persuaded the US Patent office that the thought, or formula, etc., is unique enough to grant a patent. However, it does not mean in any way shape or form that the product is effective for what is claims to be effective at, or that is backed up by research.
Now, most people would hope that the product was backed up by genuine studies and that’s why the patent office gave the patent, but this is often not the case. All a patent does is protect a company’s legal/financial/ intellectual interests. It is by no means a guarantee that the product is works.
This basically means that there are plenty of ridiculous patents out there which have nothing to do with the effectiveness of a supplement. A brief browse of the patent office web page at www.uspto.gov is very interesting. I’m not slating patents, or the idea of them, they are very important for companies or individuals to protect their concepts or products, but very often, it is just slapped on a supplement to give the impression that the product is more effective than the others on the shelf.
What exactly is the alternative? Unscientifically formulated? Calculated by monkeys working on a typewriter? I would hope that the product which bares this label was formulated with some scientific supporting, but this is rarely the case, sad to say. A huge amount of products are designed with their marketing power in mind, not their scientific strengths.
If the corporation has actually gone through the trouble of funding expensive randomised controlled trials at an independent location and the study was then published in a peer–reviewed journal, great! I truly admire that company, however so many of the supplement companies refuse to pay for research to support their own products. The depressing fact is that hardly any companies actually spend money on real research and most prefer to spend money on marketing. If the company has some genuine research in their possession to back up this illustrious claim of “research proven” they should have no problem providing that information, right? Wrong. I have called up a number of these companies just to receive a mixture of junk science or nothing at all. One guy said actually told me that “it’s a marketing term” just to get off the phone as quickly as possible.
What passes as “research” by these companies is astounding. The real harm here is that good companies which have actually gone to the trouble of funding research for their products, have had this term ruined by those which have not jumped through the same hoops.
As you can see, these terms are confusing, so it is best to ignore them when you see them used on a supplement. There are supplements out there which can benefit you and aid your muscle growth, just watch out for some of these terms!