Nutritional Supplements And Prostate Cancer

 Question: From Barbara

I just discovered your site because I am frantically trying to determine for the sake of my husband whether we should pursue/continue with a course of supplements that have been recommended for him.

In early March, Rob had a prostatectomy and it was determined that his Gleason score is 9 and that the cancer had spread outside the prostate and into the seminal vesical and 1 of 4 tested lymph nodes.

We came into contact with another prostate cancer patient and following his advice and that of a local nutritionist (both of which are connected with a company called Ariix . Rob ordered and has just begun taking almost $500 dollars worth of their supplements and there are others to come from another source (I do not yet know the cost.)

He is also starting today an intensive 21-day detox program using their product Restoriix. While the money is a significant concern–how long can we afford to keep all of this up–in addition to the expense of an ALL-organic diet regimen–and all the restrictions associated — my/our biggest concern is are we being duped–worse yet, are we doing something that might be counter to Rob’s recovery/health?

I have been trying to research the Ariix products — but have found little to help. I DO SO Hope that you might be able to shed some light — though, I have to be honest and say–that again, I am wondering how objective you/your sight is–are you not selling/representing a particular supplement?

This is NOT to criticize you — after asking for your help — this is just to say, this is the quandary I keep finding myself in every time I try to get some honest input!

My basic question is what, if anything do you know of Ariix products? I apologize for the length of this communication and I thank you if you have actually read the entire note and even more, if you can/will reply to me with the honest truth from the best of your knowledge.

My husband’s life (physically) and the quality of what is left of our lives, is resting on our coming to the truth in all of this.

Thanks and Blessings

Response From Brett:

Hello Barbara,

Thank you for contacting me. I do apologize for taking so long to reply but due to the nature of your husband’s case I wanted to consult with a medical nutritionist friend of mine and some other friends working in the supplement industry first.

This was necessary as I am not qualified to be responding to people in cases like this which concern serious illnesses and possibly heavy duty pharmaceutical grade drugs that could have potentially serious side effects with certain supplement ingredients at the molecular level in the body. In cases like this, the chief surgeon and/or doctor needs to be consulted about any intended supplement use and approval given.

Since you have not mentioned any drugs I’m assuming that there are none involved for your husband at this time and that the main course of treatment, from your husband’s surgeon’s/doctors/health practitioners, is to strictly follow the organic food diet and associated dietary restrictions given to you, along with some moderate exercise on a regular basis.

So, please accept my apologies for the time that has passed since you first sent your email but unfortunately it takes a while to get in contact with and a response from the people I was after.

Up front I would like to assure you that the supplement comparisons on my site are factual and the information is transparent and true to the very best of my working knowledge, despite the fact that I do receive a commission from the Xtend-Life company for any sales that are generated by people who click through to their website, from links in my website, and go on to make purchases.

I also would like to say that this is the only company whose products I endorse and receive a commission for, simply because no other product out there is worth promoting, in my opinion, and I would have to lie on my site to be able to promote any other nutritional supplements as the best when compared to Total Balance and the various other specialty supplement formulas manufactured by the Xtend-Life Company in New Zealand.

So, Barbara, you have asked that I be completely honest with you and I will do so. Therefore I must tell you that it is very hard to help you with your query specifically, as without having Ariix’s full processing information, and results stats, my colleagues and I have no idea of knowing the success of their products in this specific area.

So we can’t really comment on them specifically. Looking at their site, however, they are first and foremost a business opportunity (MLM structure for their members), and this always raises alarm bells with me.

Any company that promotes itself first as a business, and second with regards to health, rarely has a person’s individual health at the heart of their concern, over their profit.

Business orientated products tend to be very highly overpriced also due to the nature of them wanting to concentrate on making money from the business side of things too. So, I generally advise people to always be very wary of companies that promote their MLM style business opportunity over and above their health results or products. This would always put me off buying from such a company.

I have just visited the Ariix site and had a brief look through it and, yes, their prices are extremely high, for what they are offering in their various formulas, in comparison to other market leading multi ingredient health supplements.

Furthermore, they do not have one comprehensive ‘general health’ formula that targets all areas of a person’s health and even if you were to buy 3 or 4 of the products you would still be missing many important ingredients. This would also result in a handful of overlap ingredients (like Vitamin C and Calcium- two of the cheapest ingredients in supplements, citrus bioflavonoids, grape seed) and this would make your total cost very very high (in comparison to other elite ‘all-in-one formulas’).

With respect to  overlap ingredients it means Rob would be taking in too much of certain ingredients – like vitamin C. The balance of ingredients and cofactors in supplements is an important issue both from ‘efficacy’ and  ‘value for money’ perspectives.

In the case of water soluble vitamins (etc vitamin C and calcium ) any excess which the body cannot use  simply ends up being excreted down the toilet (a total waste of money).  In the  fat soluble ingredients (just to let you know) they are stored in the body and accumulate over time which can lead to potential nasty problems down the road. This is something to be avoided – toxic buildup in the body. I’m sure  Rob’s  doctors or nutritionists would have have talked to you about deceasing his toxic load  (E.G. following an organic and primarily raw food diet) and staying away from toxic products that are commonly used in the home. I cannot however see any overlap of fat soluble ingredients .

Now, looking at the Ariix products, very briefly, I can tell you they seem very general in nature. Genuinely not comparable to the level of potential benefit from, say, Total Balance  (Men’s ‘Premium’ formula has 99 ingredients) which I use and the other very advanced formulas within the ‘Xtend-Life’ range of supplements. There are many advanced specialty ingredients not included – and this is always because companies which use a multi level marketing (MLM) system, which is an expense heavy system, simply cannot afford to include many of the advanced and expensive ingredients in their formulas.

Barbara, this isn’t to say that Ariix’s products are bad, or have no use. I can’t claim that. I don’t know enough about them nor about what they are claiming they can help with. I would need to do a lot more in-depth research with them.

However, just going by the ingredients breakdown for the products (their ‘Vitamins’ and their ‘Minerals’ formulas for example), these are very basic vitamin and mineral products only (putting both together gives a total of 45 ingredients). Roughly equivalent to, say, the  ‘Multi Xtra’ supplement from Xtend-Life (42 ingredients)  which was manufactured as a basic multi vitamin/mineral formulation for people interested in an inexpensive, basic entry level supplement. Of no more specific cancer benefit, for example, than that. I don’t know what has been said about what the Ariix products may achieve, but hopefully this may put it into perspective.

The Ariix products working together may provide some benefit. In my personal opinion however I’d like to stress again that they are very overpriced for what they are, and this is more for the business opportunity than wanting to help people with their health. But I must stress that this is my personal opinion only (based on my experience).

If you have not already read my Total Balance’ review on my website, I highly recommend you read through it and this will help to highlight a number of areas (and ingredients) in which the Ariix products are deficient. This link will take you to my Total Balance review:

Total Balance Review

Naturally Barbara, your main concern upon reading this is whether I am simply pushing the ‘Total Balance’ supplement in my response because of financial concerns and bias.

This is, of course, what regularly happens on the internet as most website owners are primarily concerned with their financial interests as their number 1 priority. The only thing I can say to this, is that all the information, to support my opinion of Total Balance as the most advanced Nutritional Health  Supplement available, is on my website. Nothing can be refuted and never has been, as it is all factual and transparent. The supplement comparisons I have done will help you to narrow in and see what areas you should be looking at when comparing these kinds of supplements.

So, in summing up Barbara, I must stress that these are initial opinions only, and not based on research. I certainly do not want to dishearten you with regard to the money you have already spent on Ariix supplements and I certainly don’t think it is worth throwing them away and starting again.

I recommend you continue trying them and when they are nearing completion, look more closely again prior to reordering. Perhaps asking the Ariix company for more proof of their ability to help your husband, If this is what they are claiming. I truly believe that Xtend-Life supplements could do better for your husband. But short of  doing  full in-depth research into the Ariix company, and their processes, ingredients sources, and formulations, I can’t say what they are claiming.

One thing I did notice is that nowhere on the Ariix website do they mention who their scientists and product formulators are (along with qualifications, experience and achievements) – this is very strange for a company promoting itself as the “Gold Standard”. Makes me wonder whether their products are simply being put together by third party contract manufacturers. I appreciate that they are a new company which was founded in July last year (2011) but this raises another red flag for me.

In fact there is a lot of ingredient information not presented. I hate ‘Proprietary Blends’ – such as in their ‘Minerals’ formula as you can’t see how much of certain key ingredients is being used. I really can’t see what is proprietary about the ingredients in that blend!!! They do not list the ‘elemental’ amounts for minerals and very little to no info about the herbal extracts they include so we can’t see whether they are standardized nor how much of the active ingredient is there. These are measures that really help to show just how good or average a supplement is and how much value for money it offers. (Plus it makes comparing supplements much easier and fairer)

Another point I’d like to mention regards the ingredient ‘Zeolite’ in the ‘Restoriix” supplement which Rob  is currently using. I am a strong believer in the abilities of  (liquid) Zeolite as a potent detoxing ingredient. In fact, I regularly use it as part of my own ongoing detoxification program to lower/remove toxins from my body. I have actually just started a new round with Zeolite which I will use for the next 12 weeks.

My point then Barbara, is that  I’m wary about spending the kind of money that Restoriix costs for detox purposes. The other ingredients in the Restoriix formula are well known for their detox abilities (particularly Chia seeds) but my personal opinion is that Zeolite by itself is enough.

That is, providing that it is the activated liquid Zeolite from the Waiora company in America because they are the only ones with an activated, liquid zeolite product and this is the only form on which clinical studied have been performed (13 studies to date) and it is from these studies that the fantastic health benefits of Zeolite were shown – the same benefits that numerous other companies proclaim despite using Zeolite in a solid form. (Note:  Zeolites in their raw form are certainly equal but in the finalized product they are not.)

I get my liquid Zeolite supplement from an Australian company, who bring it into Australia from the Waiora Company in the USA. (I have no financial interest with these companies Barbara).

One last point which I’d like to make mention of is that the number of ‘excipients’ used in some of the Ariix supplements is high (once again in my personal opinion).

Excipients are non-active ingredients which are used to assist in manufacturing the supplement tablets and are referred to as ‘Other Ingredients’ on the supplement bottle label.

For example, in the Ariix ‘Vitamins’ and ‘Minerals’ products there are –  15 and 17 excipients respectively.

The bottom line with excipients is the smaller the number the better. Cheaper supplements have many excipients, sometimes up to 50% of the weight of a tablet. From my experience I know that the best multi ingredient health supplements, as mentioned on my site, have around  5 or 6 excipients (and it’s crucial that all excipients are all-natural).

So, 17 is high. What you want is more active ingredients in the tablet and less excipients! On the Ariix ‘Vitamins’ and ‘Minerals’ product labels they  list ‘color’ under ‘Other Ingredients’ with no further details – this could be a worry in my opinion as certain colors have been shown to be dangerous to our health and some possibly carcinogenic. So, more details are needed on this.

As a point of reference there is a very well known multi vitamin/mineral supplement in the USA and Australia/Asia called (name withheld )  (perhaps you have heard of it). At last count this supplement has a whopping 62 excipients! yet it has manged to promote itself as a ‘quality’ supplement and has huge sales I believe – a good example of how supplement consumers don’t have adequate product knowledge!

Total Balance has 5 excipients (all natural) plus the ‘enteric coating’ on the tablets which is all natural and protects many of the highly expensive and specialized ingredients from exposure to stomach acid as the tablet moves through the stomach and into the upper intestine  – where it harmlessly dissolves and releases the ingredients.

This type of delivery system allows for much higher bioavailability (absorption) and critical ingredients, which are susceptible to destruction from contact with stomach acid, are protected on their journey and hence make it into the bloodstream. This is a pharmaceutical grade delivery system and Total Balance is one of only a handful of health supplements in the world which employs enteric coating.

The other supplement companies, especially the huge multinationals and those using a MLM sales and marketing structure, simply can’t afford to use it (nor do they need it as they pretty much don’t include the expensive, specialized ingredients which need protection from stomach acid).

So Barbara, I hope my explanations here are of help to Rob and have given you some more knowledge to help you make informed decisions as you move forward.

All the very best to you Barbara and to Rob with this health challenge you are facing.

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