The Herbalife Review That They Didn’t Want You To Read!
Lies And Deceipt At Herbalife?
In the summer of 2003, Herbalife CEO Michael O Johnson proudly presented Nobel Prize-winning scientist Louis Ignarro to a crowd of thousands of cheering Herbalife distributors at the Las Vegas Extravaganza Event. Ignarro talked passionately for over an hour to the delighted crowd, who hung on his every word. He talked about his revolutionary research regarding Nitric Oxide in the cardiovascular system which had won him the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1998, and the crowd cheered as he explained how the fruits of his cutting-edge research had been invested in a new Herbalife product called Niteworks, which he boasted could result in ‘no more heart disease’.
Such impressive claims from a scientist of such distinction naturally caused euphoria in a hall full of Herbalife’s most ardent supporters, but Louis Ignarro and his product have come in for a surprising amount of criticism from a number of sources, and doubt has been cast over the integrity of the man who Herbalife hang their new-found credibility upon. Behind the glitz and glamour of that Las Vegas conference, Herbalife were hiding a number of dark secrets that they don’t want you to discover. In this article, we review Louis Ignarro and his Niteworks powder, and we look at yet more skeletons hiding in the Herbalife closet. Is Herbalife’s quest for legitimacy doomed to failure? Its the review that they don’t want you to read, as we lift the lid on Herbalife.
The Star Man: Dr. Louis Ignarro
Dr. Louis Ignarro boasts a resume that appears to be beyond question. He is Professor of Pharmacology at UCLA’s Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology in Los Angeles, where he has worked since 1985, and by 1998 he had won 11 consecutive ‘Golden Apples’ – the award given by UCLA medical students to that year’s best teacher. Also in 1998, he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine, as well as receiving the Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association, and in the same year he was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. In 1999 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. When he became a member of Herbalife’s Nutrition and Scientific Advisory Boards, it was regarded as a sensational coup for the company, and was a keystone in Michael O Johnson’s plans to clean up the company’s image and improve their products. The legitimacy which such an appointment seemed to give to Herbalife could not have been purchased at any price.
When he took to the stage in 2003, he spoke with confidence and charisma. He told the audience how cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of premature death in the United States, and claimed that his research could eradicate heart disease. He had the audience eating out of the palm of his hands when he remarked that his research had been crucial in the development of products to treat erectile dysfunction, and boasted that he was nicknamed ‘The Father of Viagra’. He then turned his attention to Herbalife’s new product Niteworks, which he had been responsible for developing, and for which he was at the Extravaganza to endorse. He claimed that his product could lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clots and strokes, and protect against heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, Alzeimer’s Disease and erectile dysfunction, as well as contributing to a more general feeling of wellness. For the distributors who had come to see him, Ignarro appeared to be delivering the Holy Grail of nutritional supplements, and they went wild for Herbalife’s new hero.
Ignarro’s Herbalife Products: A Review
But Ignarro’s integrity has been called in to question by a number of critics who question not only his products but his intentions. The first accusation aimed at Ignarro is that his products have never been tested on human beings, only mice. Distinguished scientists have questioned how anyone of Ignarro’s stature can make such impressive claims without having conducted any scientific tests on human beings, for whom the product is clearly designed. The assumption that the product’s results would transfer identically between mice and people is one which has been vigorously challenged by Ignarro’s contemporaries, including fellow Pharmacologist Robert Furchgott, who had shared the stage, and indeed the prize, with Ignarro at the Nobel awards in 1998. The only way to be sure that the product would work on humans, he suggested, was to test it on humans, and to make any claims to its advantages before such tests had been carried out was, in his mind, premature.
Ignarro seemed unable to rely on his Nobel Prize-winning fraternity for any support at all, as the third man to share the award in 1998, Ferid Murad of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School, was also publicly critical of Niteworks. His criticisms centred around the cost of the product, and the claims Ignarro was making on its behalf. Strangely, Ignarro himself appeared to inadvertently devalue his own product during much of his speech to the congregation at the Extravaganza in 2003. He claimed that Niteworks’ key ingredient, Arginine, was found ‘everywhere’. ‘You eat it every day,’ he said, ‘in meat, fish, nuts and vegetables.’ Further, the antioxidants found in the product are also naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables, fish oils, dark chocolate, red wine, grape juice and pomegranate juice. Ignarro went on to claim that these things would only give you small amounts of the required dosage, and Niteworks could be used to supplement your Arginine and antioxidant intake, but Murad claimed that the $90-a-month price tag for Niteworks was ‘obscene’, and that the vitamins and antioxidants found in it could be bought for ‘pennies’ elsewhere.
And that leads us on to the third criticism of Ignarro, which is financial. In exchange for endorsing the Niteworks product, Ignarro and his consulting firm negotiated a royalty agreement with Herbalife believed to have earned them over $1 million in the first 12 months. The potential for neutral analysis of the product and its faults would therefore seem to be greatly reduced, since Ignarro has a vested financial interest in the product being successful. Further, Ignarro was rebuked by the National Academy of Sciences for submitting articles relating to the ingredients in Niteworks without first disclosing to the readership that he had a financial interest in the product, breaking the journal’s conventions. In his defence, Ignarro claimed that he was unaware that the guidelines applied, since he had conceived the idea for the research before he teamed up with Herbalife.
Ignarro Sells-Out To Herbalife?
Perhaps the most staggering thing of all about Niteworks, however, is the disclaimer on the company’s website which categorically states that ‘This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease’. Ignarro himself, whilst on stage in Vegas, explicitly claimed that Niteworks ‘protects against heart disease…protects against diabetes, ulcers, Alzheimer’s Disease and erectile dysfunction.’ It is a bizarre disclaimer which seems to undermine any confidence in the product.
Herbalife Remain Resolute
The revelations about Ignarro and his dubious involvement in Niteworks could be seen as a hammer blow to Herbalife, however, the company continues to grow and exceed expectations on the New York Stock Exchange. Herbalife, it would seem, are remarkably resilient to negative PR, and will stand their ground to defend themselves against allegations regarding their integrity. Accusations regarding the amount of lead in six of Herbalife’s nutritional supplements (not Niteworks), have been dismissed as devious attempts by convicted fraudster Barry Minkow to undermine Herbalife’s share price as part of a ‘short selling’ scheme, for example. In April 2008, Chief Operating Officer Gregory Probert resigned to save face following revelations that he had never achieved the university degree that he had claimed to on the company’s website – a revelation that was ironically uncovered by the same Barry Minkow as mentioned previously. Even Ignarro himself is resolute in the face of criticism, claiming that there is no way that he would endorse any product that he did not genuinely believe in. He would, he says, have far too much to lose.
The Secrets They Didn’t Want You To Know
So Herbalife’s dark secrets may not be as dark as they first appeared. Without doubt, Ignarro’s involvement in Niteworks would be considerably more valuable if he did not have such a blatant financial interest in the success of the product, but even his fiercest critics accept that the ingredients in the products do benefit your health, albeit they are slightly overpriced. The science behind the product is also backed up by the breathtaking resume of its developer which inspires a degree of confidence in the product. Herbalife are aware of the criticisms they face, and the obstacles they must overcome, but their intentions seem genuine, and their commitment to transparency under Michael O Johnson must be commended.
So there you have it, the truth behind the secrets that Herbalife didn’t want you to discover.
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