Josh Axe’s Heavy Metal Toothpaste

josh axe heavy metals alternate toothpaste

Josh Axe brings heavy metal to the stage in an unexpected way with his homemade toothpaste recipe. Unfortunately, he himself calls the mix toxic.

Josh Axe, a chiropractor who fancies himself a doctor and makes a living selling unproven natural remedies for all that ails you, has a particular distaste for heavy metal.  No, not the likes of Metalilica, Iron Maiden, or Black Sabbath.  We’re talking heavy metal in the context of lead, mercury, and, of particular importance to today’s column, aluminum.

Just like the old school conservatives who associate satanic meanings with heavy metal music, Josh Axe seems to see the devil in aluminum, the most common metal in the crust of the planet.  He calls it a toxic poison,1 links it to Alzheimer’s,2 and even demonizes common aluminum foil, tying it to dementia.3

It’s rather shocking then that “Doctor” Axe has published an article in which he recommends an aluminum-based homemade toothpaste:4

“As an alternative to baking soda, you can use white kaolin clay.”–Josh Axe4

You see, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubChem database, you can’t have kaolin without aluminum.  Don’t believe me?  Well, here:5

“Kaolin is the most common mineral of a group of hydrated aluminum silicates, approximately H2Al2Si2O8-H2O.”5 —-PubChem  (emphasis mine)

Here’s a pretty picture of kaolin.  I’ve highlighted the aluminum in yellow:

kaolin josh axe toothpaste

Kaolin, courtesy PubChem. Note the aluminum. When you brush your teeth with Josh Axe’s homemade remedy, this is what you put in your mouth.

 

When will the public catch on and stop buying from this man? I don’t know the answer. But you, dear reader, can help. Spread these stories. Check Axe’s product labels against his own words. I’ve provided the necessary links in the reference section below. Somewhere out there, I imagine a truly ill man or woman considering throwing out their meds and following one of Axe’s nonsensical, hypocritical wellness plans. They’ll be buying the same chemicals he claims will harm them.

Let’s not let that happen.

References
(1) Dangers of Heavy Metals and How to do a Heavy Metal Detox
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/heavy-metal-detox/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(2) Five Gross Grilling Mistakes Damaging Your Health
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/grilling-mistakes/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(3) Alzheimers Natural Treatment
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/alzheimers-natural-treatment/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(4) Six Ways to Naturally Whiten your Teeth (Josh Axe)
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/6-ways-to-naturally-whiten-your-teeth/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(5) Pubchem Kaolin Clay (CID 56841936)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/56841936
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

Image Credits
Intro image is a parody mashup using a base image of unknown copyright status; I believe ©2018 Wallup. Used here along with a cutout of Josh Axe under the parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Kaolin structure courtesy PubChem.

Advertisements

Thrive Market’s Little (“Carcinogenic”) Black Rain Cloud

thrive market carcinogens

I’ve been a Winnie the Pooh fan for as long as I can remember.  This isn’t always easy for a fifty-five year old man to admit, but there are a lot of important life lessons that come from this innocent, wise little yellow bear.  I remember the episode and quote that hooked me:

“I’m a little black rain cloud, of course”– W. Pooh, Esq.

 

In the cartoon, Pooh, covered in mud and hanging from a helium balloon, floats happily into the upper branches of a tree, where a honey-laden bee’s nest awaits.  Disguised as a little black rain cloud, Pooh naively sings a happy tune, certain that no one will be the wiser as he prepares to make off with a tasty treasure.  Of course, when Pooh arrives at the nest, the bees see through the plan, and disaster follows.

Pooh’s naiveté is shared by Thrive Market and their Lifestyle & Beauty editor, Dana Poblete, who, in “The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding In Your Makeup”1 writes that the compound carbon black is a possible carcinogen that “may increase risk of lung disease and cardiovascular disease.”  Like poor Pooh, Poblete’s article disguises a little secret that she and Thrive would rather the bees customers don’t catch onto until Thrive has made away with the honey customers’ hard earned cash.

Yes, unfortunately for Poblete and Thrive Market, there’s a little black rain cloud hanging over their online store.  It’s known as Dead Sea Mineral Soap (Lavender):2

dead sea on thrive market contains carbon black

One With Nature’s Dead Sea Mineral Soap, sold by Thrive Market, contains an additive the vendor links to cancer, lung & heart disease. (click/enlarge)

Remember the carbon black that Dana Poblete and Thrive Market link to cancer?  Unfortunately, just like Pooh’s arrival at the bee’s nest, Thrive’s balloon is burst when we read the ingredients of the above Dead Sea Mineral Soap and compare to Poblete’s list of carcinogenic compounds:1,2

Sodium Palmate (Saponified Palm Oil), Sodium Palm Kernelate (Saponified Palm Kernel Oil), Water (Aqua), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Chloride (Salt), Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender Petals), Maris Sal (Dead Sea Salt), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Argania Spinosa (Argan Oil), Carbon Black CI 77266 (Plant Based Pigment), Ultramarine Blue (Mineral Pigment), Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Yes, carbon black.  In a fear-mongering article written by Poblete and published by Thrive, we’re warned to avoid skin contact with carbon black because:

“[It’s a] Possible carcinogen, may increase risk of lung disease and cardiovascular disease” 1

and

“Your body absorbs 60 percent of what you put on your epidermis” 1

Lather up compadres!

There is, of course, nothing dangerous about the goods sold by Thrive.  The problem is that the vendor and its authors, in conjunction with astroturf “research” groups such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), engage in a feedback loop that uses EWG-produced materials to fear-monger consumers into buying Thrive products, with a portion of the proceeds going back to fund the astroturf research and organic food industry.4

As an added bonus (?) customers at organic markets such as Thrive pay higher prices for organic products that are have no demonstrable health benefits compared to their conventional counterparts.  Two for the price of three!

Thrive market is loaded with products that contain the very same ingredients that their lifestyle articles claim can kill you.  Type their name into the search box at BadScienceDebunked.com and do a little light reading.

So please: if you’re into the hippy lifestyle, buy a bar of One With Nature Dead Sea Soap in complete confidence. It’s totally safe.  Shower outside in fresh rainwater, aux naturale, with one or more friends and a unicorn.  Carbon black isn’t going to hurt you (though the unicorn might, if the horn gets misplaced during the shower).

Just don’t buy from Thrive Market.

 

References
(1) The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding In Your Makeup
Warning: Not a scholarly link.  Contains false/misleading information
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/noxious-chemicals-in-makeup
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

(2) One With Nature Dead Sea Mineral Soap, Lavender
https://thrivemarket.com/p/one-with-nature-dead-sea-mineral-soap-lavender
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

(3) Thrive’s Plethora of Poisonous Powders (Bad Science Debunked)
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2016/08/25/thrives-plethora-of-poisonous-powders/
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

(4) The Thrive/EWG Connection (Bad Science Debunked)
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2016/08/23/the-thrive-marketenvironmental-working-group-connection/
Retrieved 02 Apr 2018

Image Credits
Thrive Market screen snapshots, One With Nature product images are used in strict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Winnie the Pooh cartoon © Walt Disney Corporation. Author assumes/makes no copyright claims by linking to YouTube video. Linked under fair use/parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Winnie the Pooh/Thrive Market mashup intro graphic by the author.  Produced and used under the parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Naturally Nicole’s Elderberry Flu Treatment Debunked (Part 2)

naturally nicole elderberry syrup

What the heck is “evidence based” proof? Is there another kind?

In part one of this series,1 we began the arduous task of tearing apart an internet snake oil saleswoman going by the moniker “Naturally Nicole.”  Nicole’s claim to fame is selling an unproven Elderberry syrup as a flu medication.2  This alone would be cause for eye rolls and muffled giggles from anyone who’s worked in a pharmacy, but things take a darker turn as Ms. Au Naturale goes on to lambast the safe, #1 recommended preventative for a disease that has so far claimed nearly 100 lives at this writing:3 the flu shot.

Just a quick recap of part one, where we looked at two of three Elderberry fantasy claims:  First, Nicole lied to her audience, saying that a study was performed on human–when it was actually done in test tubes and petri dishes.  She also references a junk science paper whose abstract claimed results that actually came from another study–not the one described.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, Nicole’s second claim was that the flu vaccine was dangerous and ineffective, when in fact the very study she referenced said vaccination was the most effective way to combat influenza.  While the efficacy of the flu vaccine does vary from year to year, 2018’s rate of 36% is better than Nicole’s elderberry rate of 0%.  You do the math.

So now, without further ado, we move on to the conclusion of this series, taking on the third of Nicole’s perjurious claims:

Claim #3
A 93.3% improvement in symptoms in 2 days for elderberry-treated patients vs 91.7% in the control group, and a complete cure rate of nearly 90% in 2 days vs. 6 days in the control group.

Rule #1 for citing a paper as evidence would seem to be: read the damn paper.  I can’t prove the Duchess of Elderberry skipped her reading assignment, but I strongly suspect it, based on the fact the study she quoted is hidden behind a $51/copy pay wall, and she claims the paper looked at patients suffering from a flu outbreak on a kibbutz in the country of Panama.

In reality, the patients studied were in Israel, and the strain of flu virus under investigation was a strain of Influenza B named B. Panama. Nicole’s first clue should have been that kibbutzim are technically unique to Israel.

the outbreak wasn't in panama

From Nicole’s article.  No. Just no.  The outbreak occurred in Israel. The virus was named Influenza B. Panama. Read the damn paper Nicole!

When you don’t even bother to read the abstract Nicole, you’re off to a bad start.  However, I dropped $51 on this pay-per-view Elderberry Extravaganza, and Naturally Nicole would have done herself a great service had she done the same.

You’re welcome:

image

The paper that Nicole didn’t read. When research is hidden behind paywalls, it’s easy to cherry-pick and misquote, even when it disagrees with you.

Most conspicuous in the paper cited by Naturally Nicole is what it doesn’t say.  Presented are nine pages of details on a study that produced a 40% two day “total cure” rate, complete with graphs and exquisite detail on methodology.  However, in the abstract, we find a “significant improvement in symptoms (93.3%)”.  Where did this number come from?  Not from the science described in the nine pages!  Buried on page 367 (this comes from an alternative health journal with many articles) are two small paragraphs mentioning, almost as an afterthought, a separate study involving twenty-seven patients.  Our 93.3% number comes from a different study.   Deus ex machina.5

Meanwhile, Back on the Kibbutz…
Meanwhile, back in the medical literature Naturally Nicole never laid eyes upon, on page 363 of Vol 1, #4, 1995 of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the authors discuss a double-blind study involving 40 individuals living on a kibbutz in Southern Israel. They had fevers, runny noses, body aches, and coughs. Blood was drawn and statistical analysis performed using influenza antigens provided by the World Health Organization to decide whether these 40 patients actually had the flu.

Time went by. Corn grew higher and the wind came sweeping down the plain. Patients were treated with elderberry extract. Then something not so incredible happened…

Forty percent of the patients were determined “completely cured” within two days.

“Complete cure was observed after 2 days in 40% of patients treated with SAM and 16.7% treated with placebo.” — J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4)p.366 (emphasis mine)

But wait! Incredibly, even though a “complete cure” was claimed within two days, page 365 reports that fever persisted for four days in the group being treated with elderberry syrup. Explain to me, please, how you’re completely cured in two days if your fever runs for four?

And, very important: how long had the flu sufferers already been infected before they presented themselves for the study?  It’s easy to claim a total cure in two days if you’ve already been sick for five to twelve before you present yourself for the study (the flu normally runs its course in one two two weeks).

Oh, By the Way…
It’s interesting to note (but doesn’t affect the results of the study) that the lead author of the paper reviewed here is the pro-vaccine author of Nicole’s second study: Professor Zichria Zakay-Rones. He’s the Chief Science officer of Theravir Management Ltd., a biotech startup company that develops vaccines.6 I mention this only to point out that the scientists who wrote the papers enshrined by Nicole are not as vehemently anti-vaccine as she is.

So we’re left with three papers whose bodies don’t at all support what’s claimed in the abstract, and, in one case, openly lie about it. They’re presented by a fervent anti-vaccination advocate who somehow didn’t notice (or care) that the lead author of two of the papers is the chief science officer of a company that produces vaccines, and openly advocates vaccines as the best defense against the flu in one of the studies she uses to sell her products.

The last paper cited by our saleswoman came out nearly fifteen years ago. As serious a problem as influenza is, are we to believe major pharmaceutical companies are looking a gift horse cure in the mouth and rejecting it?  Sorry, I’m a bit skeptical.

Last but not least: Nicole, B. Panama is a virus, not the country Israel where a medical study was performed.  Please, the next time you quote a study to prop up your product sales, please and least read the abstract–and consult Google Maps first!

Image Credits
Map courtesy of and ©2018 Google Maps.  Used under terms of service provided via link attached to map.

Naturally Nicole screen snapshots and product image captures are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Photograph of partially visible pages of “Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama” is presented as proof the author actually purchased the article.  As provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law, small portions or extracts of a copyrighted work may be used for purposes of citation and review.

References
(1) Naturally Nicole’s Elderberry Flu Treatment Debunked (Part 1)
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2015/10/21/naturally-nicoles-elderberry-flu-treatment-debunked-part-1/
Retrieved 18 Feb 2018

(2) Evidence Based Proof, Elderberry Syrup Is Better Than The Flu Shot
From Internet Archive
https://web.archive.org/web/20160205185840/http://naturallynicolexo.com/evidence-based-proof-elderberry-syrup-is-better-than-the-flu-shot/
(Author has moved/deleted post)  Archived 02 Oct 2015
Retrieved 20 Feb 2018

(3) Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report (CDC)
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm
Retrieved 20 Feb 2018

(4) Interim Estimates of 2017–18 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, February 2018
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6706a2.htm
Retrieved 20 Feb 2018

(5) Deus ex machine (Merriam-Webster Definition)
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deus%20ex%20machina
Retrieved 19 Feb 2018

(6)  Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama.
J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4):361-9.
Zakay-Rones Z1, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, Manor O, Regev L, Schlesinger M, Mumcuoglu M.
Article hidden behind paywall.  Purchased October, 2015.

(6) Zakay-Rones Profile (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=30559942&privcapId=6085242&previousCapId=6085242&previousTitle=Theravir%20Management%20Ltd.

Rocket Man Flies in the Wrong Direction

Mike Hughes seems directionally challenged regarding the flat earth conspiracy

Mike “the Rocket Man” Hughes (no relation to Rocket Man Kim Jung Un) made dubious history on Saturday, March 24, launching himself nearly 4⁄10 of a mile vertically, toward outer space, in search of evidence to support his flat earth theory.1

The problem is, Mike flew the wrong way.

mike hughes launches rocket to prove flat earth

Mike Hughes goes the wrong way. Photo ©2018 Mike Hartman/Associated Press. Please see Image Credits section at end of article for disclosure on use.

Hughes took off vertically.  Even had he seen the curvature of the planet, he would have been subjected to the endless conspiracy theories flat earthers apply to NASA footage showing said curvature, where lens distortion or other photo trickery is blamed.

No, a better approach would have been to simply board an airplane and fly horizontally until the edge was reached.  A bevy of photos of the alleged disk-shaped planet hanging there in space would have surely earned Hughes a Nobel Prize in physics.

To help Hughes in his next attempt, and/or as a challenge to any other flat earthers out there, I’ve laid out a highly detailed scientific diagram of the proposed process below, presented free to the flat earth scientific community to help them in their efforts.

You’re welcome.

mike hughes flat earth

If the earth is flat, it should be a simple matter to fly HORIZONTALLY to the edge and snap a photo. Why the obsession with flying straight up? (click/enlarge)

 

References
(1) Mike Hughes Blasts Off in Self Built Rocket (via USA Today)
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/03/26/mad-mike-hughes-who-believes-earth-flat-blasts-off-self-built-rocket/457780002/
Retrieved 26 Mar 2018

Image Credits
Rocket takeoff ©2018 Mike Hartman/Associated Press. Used under provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge; specifically cases where no publicly available image of the event being discussed is available.

Mike Hughes headshot and flat earth graphic used under parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge; specifically cases where no publicly available image of the event being discussed is available.  Airplane photo by the author.

Pesticide Found in David Avocado Wolfe Tooth Treatment

David Wolfe neem oil pesticide header image

In this artist’s depiction, a Moms Across America stormtrooper charges across a field of GMO “Bt” corn armed with a bottle of David Wolfe’s neem oil pesticide/tooth treatment.  Moms Across America members are prone  to running through corn fields in unnecessary protective gear.  Scientists are still trying to understand the phenomenon.

David Avocado Wolfe has never met a pesticide he likes, even going so far as to trump up a charge against a plant derived chemical for allegedly causing premature death of fruit flies.1,2,3 Oh, the humanity!

For a man who has essentially proclaimed “no pesticide shall pass these lips!” it seems rather odd that Wolfe is selling a tooth polish made with a pesticide:4

longevity warehouse neem oil--a pesticide

A 15ml bottle of Neem Enamelier from David Avocado Wolfe’s store. (click/enlarge). Neem oil is an organic pesticide.

Ah, yes, neem oil!  Made from a tree common to India, neem is praised for its alleged ability to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy.  Oh, and its proven ability to kill insects.  Perhaps David Wolfe needs to visit his local gardening store more often:5,6

Pesticide (Neem Oil) sold by Lowes.

Neem Oil, a broad spectrum pesticide/fungicide/miticide sold on Amazon. Click to enlarge.

Pesticide (Neem Oil) sold by Lowes.

Neem Oil pesticide sold by Lowes. Click to enlarge.

In addition to not knowing what’s in his own products, David Wolfe doesn’t seem aware that organic farming uses pesticides, if you believe the false words that spill forth from his keyboard like Noah’s Flood.7  Or, maybe he just doesn’t care.  Here at Bad Science Debunked, we’ve lost count of the products sold by Wolfe’s Longevity Warehouse that contain the same chemicals he falsely claims will kill you.

Now, it is possible to process neem oil to remove azadirachtinone, one of the more irritating chemicals,8 but processing an all-natural product would go against everything Wolfe believes in and, in fact, I contacted the manufacturer of his tooth enamelizer and they confirmed that indeed, it comes to you, the end user, straight from the tree, untouched and unprocessed in any way.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center (a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), neem oil can be slightly irritating to skin and eyes, but its component azadirachtin, which I mentioned previously, can be very irritating to the skin and stomach.8  And you’ll find it in every bottle of Wolfe’s enamelizer.

Over the lips and through the gums David Avocado!

“There’s a sucker born every minute” — attributed to P.T. Barnum

#DontCryWolfe

 

References
(1)  These 4 Fruits Have the Most Toxic Pesticides. Avoid Them!  (David Wolfe)
https://www.davidwolfe.com/4-fruits-pesticides-avoid/
Warning: Not a scholarly or scientific article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
Retrieved 11 Feb 2018

(2) Wash Pesticides Off Your Produce
https://www.davidwolfe.com/wash-pesticides-off-your-produce/
Warning: Not a scholarly or scientific article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
Retrieved 04 Mar 2018

(3) This Popular Artificial Sweetener Is Actually A Powerful Insecticide
https://www.davidwolfe.com/artificial-sweetener-insecticide/
Warning: Not a scholarly or scientific article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
Retrieved 18 Mar 2018

(4) Longevity Warehouse Neem Oil Enamelizer 15ml
Warning: Not a healthcare product.  See FDA disclaimer on package.
https://www.longevitywarehouse.com/longevity-warehouse-neem-enamelizer-15-ml
Retrieved 09 Feb 2018

(5) Southern Ag Triple Action Neem Oil (Amazon.com)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QJ33AA/
Retrieved 10 Feb 2018

(6) Lowes Garden-Safe Neem Oil Extract 16 fl oz
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Garden-Safe-Neem-Oil-Extract-16-fl-oz-Organic-Garden-Insect-Killer/1000344111
Retrieved 10 Feb 2018

(7) Warning: Why You Should Never Buy Produce Labeled with the #8 Sticker
https://www.davidwolfe.com/what-the-numbers-on-your-produce-tell-you/
Warning: Not a scholarly or scientific article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
Retrieved 18 Mar 2018

(8) Neem Oil General Fact Sheet (National Pesticide Information Center [NPIC])
(NPIC is a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/neemgen.html
Retrieved 11 Feb 2018

 

Image Credits
The lead image of an irate “Occupy Monsanto” member running trough a cornfield was used under provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Similarly, the image captures of David Wolfe/Longevity Warehouse’s Neem Oil product, and Lowe’s Neem Oils Pesticide, are used under provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Vani Hari Declines to Reveal Heavy Metal Content of Flagship Truvani Product

truvani vani hari banner

Speak of no heavy metals, see no heavy metals, hear of no heavy metals… and there will be no heavy metals: right? Well, maybe. It would be helpful if Truvani would release the lab report they claim to have.

For a company that prides itself on complete ingredient transparency,1 Vani Hari’s Truvani line is off to a poor start.  In spite of her January 3, 2018 Facebook post boasting of a “clean” glyphosate and heavy metals test,2 Hari has spent the past two months ignoring repeated requests to release lab results backing her claims.

I’m one of several interested parties who have made multiple requests through the official contact numbers and addresses listed by Truvani.3  Truvani’s physical address is actually a mail drop located in a strip mall in Las Vegas, sandwiched between a beauty salon and a dry cleaner.  Her phone line is an unmanned voice mailbox.

Unsurprisingly, all of our inquiries have been ignored.  This alone does not mean Hari has something to hide.  However, the discovery of even trace amounts of heavy metals in this company’s products would be damning to the “Food Babe”, who has gone on record saying there is no safe amount of any chemical to ingest, and has made a career out of disparaging trace amounts of chemicals in competitors’ products (while selling those same ingredients in her own online store).

If you’d like to add your voice and call for the same transparency that Hari demands in the products of others, the company phone number is:

(980) 292-0438

This is a voice mailbox in Charlotte, NC.  There’s no human manning the phones, but you can leave a message.  Ask that the full lab report for Truvani’s turmeric heavy metal analysis be released publicly. Please be polite.  

Sending physical mail to Truvani’s legal business address is an exercise in futility.  Listed as “848 N. Rainbow Blvd, Unit #8187, Las Vegas, NV 89107,”3 the address is nothing more than a mail drop in a small strip mall in Las Vegas (photo, below). You can send a letter, but don’t expect a reply.

Truvani's "corporate headquarters"

Truvani’s official business address is a “Mail Link” franchise,  wedged between a dry cleaner and beauty salon in a Las Vegas strip mall. Don’t expect a reply if you send mail. (click/enlarge).  Photo © 2018 Google Maps.

Finally, you might try (as we did) emailing Truvani and asking for the release of the full lab report.  We received no response, but perhaps if the outcry is great enough… The listed email address is:

support@truvanilife.com

If you’re lucky enough to get a response, I’d love to hear from you here at the blog or via the Bad Science Debunked Facebook page.  There may be nothing to see, but it rings hollow that Hari, one of the loudest voices shouting for transparency in the food industry, refuses to disclose lab reports that she claims to have in hand.

Suggested Twitter hashtags if you tweet this article:

#FoodBabeArmy  #FoodBabeWay  @FoodBabe

Bonus Coverage: Chemicals in Truvani Turmeric
Vani Hari dances around the issue of chemicals in her flagship turmeric product by saying there are no “added” chemicals.  Well, added by who?  As we know, everything is a chemical, and it matters not where the chemical came from.  While we wait on Vani’s lab reports, I thought I’d show you some of the chemicals you’re buying with every bottle of Truvani turmeric.

“Major phytoconstituents of turmeric are diarylheptanoids, which occur in a mixture termed curcuminoids that generally make up approximately 1–6% of turmeric by dry weight. Most crude extracts prepared from turmeric, and even some refined “curcumin” materials, contain three major compounds”4  — The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Curcumin
(Journal of Medicinal Chemistry)

 

Curcumin, found in TruVani’s product  (Click to enlarge).   Courtesy Pubchem. See references.

 

Bisdemethoxycurcumin, also found in TruVani's

Bisdemethoxycurcumin, also found in TruVani’s product.  (Click to enlarge).   Courtesy Pubchem. See references.

 

Demethoxycurcumin, another chemical found in TruVani's [todo]

Demethoxycurcumin, a Truvani offering.  (Click to enlarge).  Courtesy Pubchem. See references.

 

 

Curcumin, a major component of TruVani Turmeric, is loaded with chemicals

Curcumin, a major component of TruVani Turmeric, is loaded with chemicals (click/enlarge)

References
(1) Truvani Mission Statement on Ingredient Transparency
Warning: Not a scholarly or educational link
https://www.truvanilife.com/
Retrieved 17 Mar 2018

(2) Vani Hari Heavy Metals Claim on Facebook
Warning: Not a scholarly or educational link
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/photos/a.208386335862752.56063.132535093447877/1789015851133118/?type=3&theater
Retrieved 17 Mar 2018

(3) Truvani Contact Information
https://www.truvanilife.com/contact
Retrieved 17 Mar 2018

(4) The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Curcumin
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
2017 Mar 9;60(5):1620-1637
Kathryn M. Nelson, Jayme L. Dahlin, Jonathan Bisson, James Graham, Guido F. Pauli, and Michael A. Walters
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5346970/
Retrieved 21 Nov 2017

(5) Curcumin (Compound Summary for CID 969516)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/969516
Retrieved 21 Nov 2017

(6) Demethoxycurcumin (Compound Summary for CID 5469424)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5469424
Retrieved 21 Nov 2017

(7) Bisdemethoxycurcumin (Compound Summary for CID 5315472)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5315472
Retrieved 21 Nov 2017

Image Credits
Curcumin image Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society, from an open access article published under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND) Attribution License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article, and creation of adaptations, all for non-commercial purposes.

Curcumin Image (Compound  CID 969516) from PubChem, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/969516

Demethoxycurcumin Image (Compound CID 5469424) from PubChem,
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5469424

Bisdemethoxycurcumin Image (Compound CID 5315472) from PubChem,
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5315472

Metal Shards Found in Mike Adams/Natural News Product? (Video)

Mike adams (the health ranger)

Mike “The Health Ranger” Adams has been a frequent guest here at Bad Science Debunked. We’ve caught the anti-GMO fanatic hypocritically pushing GMO products1 (more than once)2, and hawking formaldehyde3 in pain relief formulas while simultaneously screaming about the compound’s toxicity.

The Health Ranger often relies on the general public’s lack of enthusiasm for science (and, sadly, love of conspiracy theories) to pull off his scams.  No better example can be found in his great “Wheaties Contains Metal Fragments” scare–a video that I won’t link to here, not out of fear of spreading hysteria, but because I can’t:  on March 4, Facebook science/skeptic pages lit up with the news that Adams has, at least temporarily, been banned from YouTube.4,5

Because I believe in free speech, I’ve obtained a copy of the Adams’ Wheaties video and resurrected it–in true Internet “I Fixed That For You” style.  In my video, we use Health Ranger Blood Builder,6 a product I purchased from Mike Adams’ own online store.  The Ranger’s argument is that if a food product is attracted to a magnet, it must be full of metal shards.

With Health Ranger’s own product on the ol’ kitchen lab table, let’s put that claim to the test, shall we?

 

health ranger mike adams blood builder reacts to magnets just like wheaties

I purchased my bottle of Health Ranger MegaFood Blood Builder tablets6 in late 2017 for approximately $30.

Questions and Answers
My video prompted some interesting science questions that aren’t easily answered via multimedia updates. Here’s a summary:

“In both the Bad Science Debunked and Mike Adams videos, the Wheaties (and Adams’ product) only cling to the edges of the rare earth magnet, not the its entire face. Why is that?”

This is due to the way that rare earth magnets are manufactured. You’ll notice that my magnet is cube shaped, while Adams’ is rectangular, and, indeed, the Wheaties only stick to the edges of the both magnets.

The magnets didn’t come by these shapes naturally. According to my magnet’s manufacturer, the element neodymium is literally packed into the desired form during the manufacturing process. The brittle material is later encased in a rust-proof alloy for protection. The end result is a higher density of neodymium along the edges of the respective magnets (which aren’t even magnetized yet–they’re “zapped” with an electrical current at the end).

The higher density of magnetic material results in a higher pull strength at the edges; this is where the tiny ferromagnetic particles in the food products are pulled.

“Is this not just static electricity causing the attraction and clinging? Try a piece of non-magnetic steel to see what happens?”

First just a quick note: the magnet itself isn’t covered in steel; it’s an alloy of nickel and copper. But you might theoretically attract small pieces of cereal, etc. with static electricity. You’d need to build up an excess of electrons first. Because steel is made from iron, and iron is ferromagnetic (though not necessarily magnetized), I’d instead use something like a rubber balloon rubbed on a wool sweater if going that route. Sitting at my kitchen “lab” bench, frequently touching a grounded computer as I did the experiment, I doubt I was able to build up a charge. (I did use a stainless steel kitchen knife to scrape the particles together for photos, and nothing stuck to the knife.)

Finally, as part of my niece’s fifth grade science fair, she did a version of this experiment (yes, a fifth grader can easily debunk the Health Ranger.) Part of my niece’s experiment included a control group of fine-grained non ferro-magnetic materials such as salt, spices, etc. None were attracted to the rare earth magnet. If static electricity was the culprit, I’d expect a response from something besides just ferromagnetic materials.

This article was updated on March 12 to add a questions and answers section.

References
(1) Mike Adams’ GMO Addiction
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2017/01/18/mike-adams-gmo-addiction/
Retrieved 04 March 2018

(2) Natural News, Mike Adams Selling Even More GMOs
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2017/01/16/natural-news-mike-adams-selling-even-more-gmos/
Retrieved 04 March 2018

(3) UnNatural News: The Health Ranger Sells Formaldehyde
https://badsciencedebunked.com/2016/07/15/unnatural-news-the-health-ranger-sells-formaldehyde/
Retrieved 04 March 2018

(4) YouTube Terminated Natural News (via Skeptical Raptor/Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/skepticalraptor/posts/1760360460707584
Retrieved 04 March 2018

(5) Natural News Banned From YouTube (via Debunking Denialism/Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/DebunkingDenialism/posts/1544990368947885
Retrieved 04 March 2018

(6) Health Ranger Blood Builder (60 Count)
https://www.healthrangerstore.com/products/blood-builder-60-count?variant=16535372673
Retrieved 04 March 2018

 

Image/Video Credits
Mike Adams/Health Ranger/Natural News video excerpts are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Snake Oil intro image used under parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.