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It's Not Real, Part Two

Our first It’s Not Real blog was very popular, and we have gotten a lot of requests for a second one, so here it is!

real or fake supplements

Thousands of supplements do one of the following:

  • Claim to be something they are not.

  • Claim to contain things that do not exist.

  • Lie about what's in the product.

  • Use misleading packaging and marketing claims to trick people into believing a product is something that it is not without outright saying it.

Those practices are wholly unethical and, unfortunately, are becoming much more common.

First up are these Wholefood Minerals:

Whole food mineral supplement

Looking at the label, you would think a product called Wholefood Minerals would only contain minerals made from food. You can see where this is going. We contacted the company and asked them what food the magnesium glycinate was made from, and this is the response we got:

"Our supplier has stated that the origin of glycine used for the synthesis of magnesium bisglycinate is synthetic.”

So, how is nearly all magnesium glycinate made? Magnesium carbonate (primarily made from mining magnesite) is reacted with the amino acid glycine, forming magnesium glycinate. No food is involved. You can decide for yourself if you think that's a whole-food mineral.

I want to make clear that while we prefer and recommend genuine whole-food supplements, synthetic and isolated vitamins and minerals can have benefits in some instances. It is the labeling of them as whole food that is the problem. Making people think a product is a whole-food supplement when it is not is what we have an issue with.

Next up, is MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). Many companies claim to sell raw, organic, pine lignan, pine spruce, pine-sulfur, or plant-derived MSM. This leads people to believe that the MSM they are getting is extracted or taken directly from pine trees or plants when this could not be further from the truth. No MSM is made that way.

msm powder from pine bark

All MSM is made from DMSO, which can be made from various sources, such as corn oil, pine bark from paper mill byproducts, or petroleum byproducts. Even if the DMSO is made from wood byproducts, none of that original plant material remains in the DMSO. So, how is DMSO made?

Currently, DMSO is produced primarily via one of these methods:

"1, methyl alcohol dithiocarbonic anhydride method: take methyl alcohol and dithiocarbonic anhydride as raw material, with γ-Al 2o 3as catalyzer, first synthesizing dimethyl thioether, then use nitrogen peroxide (or nitric acid) oxidation to obtain dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

2, nitrogen peroxide method: take methyl alcohol and hydrogen sulfide as raw material, generate dimethyl thioether under gama-alumina effect; Sulfuric acid is reacted and makes nitrogen peroxide with Sodium Nitrite; The dimethyl thioether generating and nitrogen peroxide carry out oxidizing reaction at 60-80 ℃ and generate thick dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), also have directly and are oxidized with oxygen, generate equally thick dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO); Thick dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), through underpressure distillation, obtains refining dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

3, methyl-sulfate method: methyl-sulfate is reacted with sodium sulphite, make dimethyl thioether; Sulfuric acid reacts with Sodium Nitrite and generates nitrogen peroxide; Dimethyl thioether and nitrogen peroxide carry out oxidizing reaction, obtain thick dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), through neutralizing treatment, obtain refining dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) after distillation."

As you can see, there is nothing plant-based, raw, or organic about this process.

One company we contacted, which claimed to sell plant-based MSM, said that their MSM was technically plant-based because the petroleum byproduct the DMSO was made from was technically from plants because petroleum was created through plant material breaking down over millions of years. By that logic, everything could be called plant-based. I'm surprised they did not call it animal-based since dinosaurs also turned into oil. These companies are out of control.

All commercially available MSM is synthetic and created through a chemical reaction of DMSO and hydrogen peroxide. Since all commercial MSM produced comes from DMSO, and all commercial DMSO is produced synthetically, the origin of the DMSO is insignificant. Claims that the MSM is plant-based because the DMSO was made from pine bark or corn oil is nonsense.

Third is this “whole food” magnesium powder:

whole food magnesium powder

Based on that labeling, you could not be criticized for believing that the bottle contained magnesium made from whole foods. Unfortunately, that is not what it is. The product does have a thirty-five milligram blend of four foods that naturally contain a very small amount of magnesium. That is a very, very tiny amount of food. However, if each scoop contains 350 milligrams of magnesium and only thirty-five milligrams of food, all of that magnesium will undoubtedly not come from that thirty-five milligram blend. So, where is it coming from? If you look at the other ingredients, you can see where we marked the words magnesium carbonate.

So, what is magnesium carbonate? Magnesium carbonate is obtained via the mining of the mineral magnesite. It’s made from rocks, not food. Based on that, should this product be labeled Magnesium Whole Food Powder?

Next up is matcha powder. Matcha is a type of green tea, generally sold as powder or capsules. It typically comes in small containers and costs significantly more than regular green tea.

Ceremonial grade matcha powder

The above product retails at $34.99 for eleven ounces, which seems to be a great deal and is much less expensive than other ceremonial-grade matcha powders.

So what’s going on here? Well, if you look at the supplement facts panel, each serving is five grams, which is five thousand milligrams. If you look further down the supplement facts panel, each serving contains one thousand milligrams of matcha green tea. The other four thousand milligrams are brown rice solids. This means that eighty percent of the product is brown rice solids, and only twenty percent is matcha. Only 2.2 ounces of the eleven ounces of this product is matcha. It's definitely not as great a deal as it first appears.

Last up is "food grade" hydrogen peroxide.

Food grade hydrogen peroxide 35%

I cannot stress enough how horrible it is to label hydrogen peroxide as food grade. No hydrogen peroxide is safe to be ingested. It is incredibly dangerous.

Hydrogen peroxide ingestion causes massive amounts of oxidation. Large amounts of oxidation is the last thing you want in the body.

At low dosages in the short term, it can cause:

  • Stomach pains and cramps

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Body aches

  • Chest pains

  • Burns

  • Bloated stomach

  • Nausea

As dosages get higher and the longer a person takes it, it can start to cause:

  • Caustic injuries to the throat and stomach

  • Lipid peroxidation

  • This can lead to a whole host of issues, such as kidney damage, Parkinson's, asthma, cell membrane damage, and much more.

  • Severe gastric distention, resulting in the need for a nasogastric tube.

Nebulizing hydrogen peroxide is becoming popular on social media, which is one of the worst things a person can do, especially to children. It can cause:

  • Inhalation Pneumonitis

  • Asthma attacks

  • Pulmonary irritation

  • Eye irritation

Over the long term, it can:

  • Increase the risk of seizures

  • Reduced cilia motility and viability

  • Increased risk of cerebral infarction and cerebral embolism

There is zero evidence that ingestion or inhalation of hydrogen peroxide has any benefits and lots of evidence that it is hazardous.

It will NOT treat COVID-19, help your immune system, cure a cold or flu, help someone beat cancer, or do any of the insane claims made for it. In fact, it will do the opposite.

For example, COVID-19 causes massive amounts of oxidative stress over a short period of time. In some cases, it generates an amount of oxidative stress that would typically be made in the body in a year's time, in just two weeks. Adding a massively oxidizing substance, like hydrogen peroxide, will make the complications from COVID-19 far worse.

Nebulizing hydrogen peroxide

Please do not put hydrogen peroxide in your child's nebulizer!

If you have any questions about the claims made for a particular supplement or something going around on social media, feel free to email us at, and we would be happy to answer them for you!

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