In a nutshell, as I put thousands of people on the supplements and tracked their subsequent antioxidant scan results, their levels increased only marginally. I gathered data from thousands of supplement takers over the course of a year before I left that business completely. (At one point during the year, I was the fastest-growing distributorship in the world, in this huge and successful company.)
Those I worked with are dumbfounded to this day that I would walk away from that distributorship that made $8,000 in its second month. There was every reason to believe that my business would grow and grow–after all, it was multi-level marketing and I had a whole army of people taking the supplements and promoting it to others.
I left because I saw that the machine was whiz-bang cool, but the supplements weren’t helping anybody much. How could I sell when I no longer believed? I won’t do something if it doesn’t feel right to me on every level.
The average American scanned at 20,000. If you took the supplements we were selling, you might go up a measly 5,000 to 10,000 points. For a while. If you ate a raw food diet, you might be as high as 90,000! (I had a few scans that high as I shifted to a mostly-raw diet and lots of green drinks.) In Colorado, I scanned Lara, the formulator of the LaraBar–and as a raw foodist, she was the highest scan of the day at 65,000! (The paper chart the company gave people topped out at 72,000. You could sometimes scan people all day and never see one above 50,000.)
The supplements we promoted were “food grade,” as most are, and high quality relative to others. Still some synthetic ingredients.
Observationally: Centrum users were no higher than the dismal score of the average American. Standard Process, people scored marginally higher. Juice Plus users were the highest I saw–lots of those people were actually eating a good diet, too–but by itself, JP’s results were not impressive.
I scanned lots of cancer patients whose readings were so low that the machine showed this: <10,000. In other words, too low to measure. Those folks’ bodies are using every antioxidant available to mop up cancer free radicals, with no reserves.
My conclusion was: I could no longer sell supplements in good conscience. I couldn’t feel good about taking anyone’s money buying very expensive supplements that the best I could say was, “These may or may not slightly increase your antioxidant score, for a little while.”
I could, though, feel good about switching to a high-raw diet rich in colorful plant foods because those folks scanned OFF THE CHART. Literally. My friend I traveled with was a cancer survivor raw foodist, and she scanned at 90,000. And after I ate all-raw for quite a few months, my own score tripled to that same level.
And while I lost my interest in helping people buy vitamins, the data made me motivated to help folks get better nutrition. From food. At the time I didn’t know how to teach them besides one-on-one.
I am not telling you that you’ll die if you eat vitamins. I am just hoping you’ll put your money into whole foods first–and vitamins only if it really makes sense, in specific quantities that you have a good reason for. B12 if you’re vegan. Vita D if you’re not in the sun regularly. Vita C if you’re sick.
And if you do buy vitamins, please don’t get the kind you buy in a pharmacy–get a high-quality brand. (Dr. Chambers, you’re welcome to explain why your multis are better.)