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Protandim: Antioxidant Supplement (I'm skeptical but want MDA's opinion)

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  • Protandim: Antioxidant Supplement (I'm skeptical but want MDA's opinion)

    Hi guys & gals.

    If you're familiar with Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness, you know he's a pretty legit dude and is fairly in-line with Mark and TPB. I've been following him for a couple years and, for the most part, he's got my trust.

    For the past 2-3 months, he's been hyping a certain product that he's been testing out. Turns out it's Protandim (as he revealed tonight), a supplement made by LifeAdvantage. Here are the reasons I'm interested:

    -Supposed to fight free radicals at a level no dietary antioxidant intake can
    -As a result of this, reduces oxidative stress, thus vastly reducing risk of many diseases and illnesses, as well as slowing down aging
    -There appears to be a ton of academic studies supporting its claims.
    -I trust Sean Croxton

    Now, the reasons I'm very skeptical:

    -I'm not into taking a 'magic pill'; as a PBer, I feel much more inclined to ingest totally natural foods.
    -It's being sold through network marketing (aka multilevel marketing), which is inherently sketchy.

    I'd like to get everyone's opinion from MDA, and hopefully Mark's at some point. Here's the page on Underground Wellness where you can read about it:

    Here's the main website:

    As I said, I'm skeptical but would like to read more about it. Please share your thoughts here!

  • #2
    Bump - any opinions?


    • #3
      I'm in the very same boat as you on this one. I like Sean and trust him but the supplement game can get pretty fishy. I know he wouldn't endorse it if he didnt think it was at least semi legit but all of the preemptive hype he did before hand made me think of him as a little sleazy. I guess what I still dont get is how this stuff was on the shelves for as long as it had been and no one has talked about it. Also besides him claiming he has been in the gym lifting hard 3+ days in a row with no soreness how else can we measure its effectiveness without lab reports? I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but i wont be dropping my $ for it until I see the proof in the pudding.


      • #4
        Don't do it. It's just the following. You can get them cheaply, separately and they're not things you should take continuously anyway - except for the GTE and the tumeric. I take an 1/8th tsp tumeric on my tongue twice a day. Talk about cheap.

        • Milk thistle extract (Silybum marianum) (seed)
        • Bacopa extract (Bacopa monnieri) (aerial part)
        • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) (root)
        • Green tea extract (Camellia sinensis) (leaf)
        • Turmeric extract (Curcuma longa) (rhizome)

        iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


        • #5
          Originally posted by cillakat View Post
          Don't do it. It's just the following. You can get them cheaply, separately and they're not things you should take continuously anyway - except for the GTE and the tumeric. I take an 1/8th tsp tumeric on my tongue twice a day. Talk about cheap.

          Thanks That's nice to know. It's funny, the company that makes this product has a work-around by saying:

          "Purchasing the ingredients separately — like milk thistle, green tea, etc. — is not the same as taking Protandim because you won’t be able to isolate the extracted material. In addition, the synergy of the ingredients, as combined in the patented Protandim formula, are demonstrated to be many times more effective than the ingredients individually."

          Somehow I doubt they're telling the truth...


          • #6
            I hope you all don't mind if I chime in here. Found this thread on a Google search.

            The specific blend of ingredients in Protandim is more powerful than if they were taken separately. If you take away one ingredient or change the proportions of another, you do not have the same product. The Protandim blend was actually the 84th blend that was tested. It was found to be 18 times more potent than the previous 83. They tried around 200 more blends and none came close to number 84.

            You can try to put it together on your own, but you may not get the same benefit. I know it sound like a selling point, but as I did my due diligence on the product, I made sure that there was some science behind this claim.

            You may find that science here -

            This study entitled Synergistic Induction of Heme Oxygenase-1 by the Components of an Antioxidant Supplement Protandim demonstrates the synergism of the ingredients. It made it through peer-review on the first round (like all of the other Protandim research). The study takes a few reads to fully wrap your head around, but it thoroughly explains the company's claims. It also shows an increase in glutathione by 300%.

            Anyway, I hear you , Djzander. The hype went on for too long. We were supposed to do that show two weeks ago, but had a scheduling issue with our guest. I had to stretch it out. It was effective though. We had quadruple the live listens on the radio show.

            I was a HUGE skeptic of Protandim. So is Mark. And that is all good with me. I've read those studies over and over again. I've been looking at this product for over a year. It passed the test.

            Be sure to look at those LSU skin cancer studies. Based on those studies, there is a well-known cancer center that will be adding Protandim to their protocols. Very exciting stuff is happening. I just wish people would put the time in to giving it fair shot instead of having the "they're trying to rip me off" mentality. If it's not good, I won't put my name on it. No way. I've worked to hard to get here.

            Thanks, guys!


            More Protandim studies -


            • #7
              Well, the science is certainly not definitive in a clinical sense. These are animal cell cultures incubated with stuff. You simply cannot extrapolate directly to a human (an entire complicated interacting system) ingesting (bringing digestive issues into play) a supplement. It's suggestive and interesting, yes. But it's the kind of study that functions as a stepping stone to further studies - not recommendations to change one's diet.


              • #8
                Don't waste your money


                • #9
                  Originally posted by avocado View Post
                  Well, the science is certainly not definitive in a clinical sense. These are animal cell cultures incubated with stuff. You simply cannot extrapolate directly to a human (an entire complicated interacting system) ingesting (bringing digestive issues into play) a supplement. It's suggestive and interesting, yes. But it's the kind of study that functions as a stepping stone to further studies - not recommendations to change one's diet.
                  Well said. I'm very interested in seeing further studies (and will continue to read the existing ones), but I'm certainly not willing to spend $50 for a months's supply of a supplement that isn't a sure thing. For now, I'm going to look into GTE and tumeric as stand-alone supplements...


                  • #10
                    Frankly it's just disappointing to see someone I once respected and trusted go the way of the MLM scam. Seriously, despite all the claims to the contrary, PubMed or not, Protandim is a combination of basic antioxidants (for whose quality cannot be accurately vouched, correct me if I'm wrong, but have said ingredients been verified by an independent third party, i.e. not another rung in the MLM ladder?) and Ayurvedic herbal adaptogens. The fact that the manufacturers claim some special synergistic combination only seen in their very own, UNIQUE and PATENTABLE formula is just a skip, hop and a jump away from how Big Pharma operates. IMHO, I'd rather buy SOD and Curcumun 95 from Life Extension, at least their profits go to support their research and further development of high quality supplements, rather than making money for the one guy on top of the pyramid.

                    This product truly claims to be a panacea and the magic bullet approach doesn't appeal to me. it's funny how Sean's popularity has exploded these past few years and attracted fans and followers whose main interests lie outside the realm of alternative health. These followers do not possess the kind of knowledge, information or experience to adequately question what's going on here. They are perfect fodder to fill in the lower echelon of this pyramid scheme.

                    Maybe Protandim is truly one amazing panacea. We do not know. Maybe the ingredients are incredibly potent, strong and otherwise amazing. Great. It still reeks of Herbalife "work from home" BS and the same kind of MLM structure of all the horrendous acai berry scams that have overtaken the net these past few years. Now, I'm wondering where are all the motivational images of fancy cars and stacks of money that go long with "running your own business" and "making millions from home?" Or, instead of operating like Amway, does the Protandim scam operate like Shakelee and attract people based on the premise that their product is "natural" and "healthy" and that they can make money "working from home", nevermind the fact that no one actually makes money from these operations anymore, after all, hocking a supplement whose true revenue goes to the top of the pyramid does not wealth make. I'm curious to see how soon these ads pop up on Craigslist or on those little miniature road signs advertising work-from-home opportunities. This too will go the way of the acai berry, trust. Oh wait, it already did. There's a Protandim being sold on eBay for $35.95. You can get 2 for $60. Just Googling Protandim and Craigslist yields over 21,000 hits from Craigslists all over the country. Yeah, totally an in-demand supplement that I need to drop $50 on. Wow.

                    Anyway, I really don't mean to hate on Sean or bash him here, but after my critical comments of the MLM operation were deleted from his Facebook page, I decided to vent my opinions elsewhere. Obviously anyone is free to do whatever they please and spend money on whatever the want, I just personally feel exploited by Sean's relationship with this company. Using your YouTube/Facebook to promote your company whilst educating people -- fine, great. Using the success you've gathered from such an endeavor to promote MLM is just shady. Apparently all the commenters oohing and ahhing at this spectacular opportunity on his Facebook clearly had a bit of their Kool Aid spiked with some acai.

                    Either way, whoever is at the helm of this operation clearly has some deep pockets. Funding two University studies AND paying for a spot on ABC Primetime can only indicate some major Big Pharma ties, or at least some verrrry deep pocketed investors. Really, Protandim's efficacy aside, this whole operation, everything from the language used, talking/selling points, the work-at-home promise, and everything else, is the SAME mumbo jumbo used when one of my friends got caught up in the MLM scam Monavie. Interestingly, this same friend was also involved with the Landmark Education pseudo-cult, and interestingly enough, our friend Sean is also hooked up withl Landmark. I'm not saying participating in Landmark makes you a shyster or con artist, as many people claim they benefit from the seminars, but the one thing Landmark and MLM scams have in common are the suspension of critical thinking. In their world, being a critical thinker makes you "negative." Right. The internet is filled with new agey wolves in sheeps clothing these days and we all need to think critically and think for ourselves. I'll get off my soapbox now, just wanted to throw in my $.02 since Sean deleted it from his page.


                    • #11
                      I really dig what Sean Croxton is doing and I have a fair amount of trust in him as a person in the wellness fight, I like to think I can tell the good guys from the bad guys and it seems clear that Sean is one of the good guys. I understand being skeptical of protandim and even Sean, I think its good to be so BUT like I said I have a decent amount of trust in Undergroundwellness and that whole movement, Sean has helped out many people and I have learned some good info from him. Is he trying to make a profit? Damn right, unless your a looser your gonna try and advance in this world, theres people that go after success and then people that cry about not having it. Mark is the same way, he is helping people BUT also out to make a profit. Why demonize that? There is nothing wrong with that, the more successful these guys are the better they can help people. Mark has supplements I see nothing wrong with it, as long as he continues to care about the people and promote wellness I'm down with it.
                      As for Protandim I am a little skeptical but I can't wait to try it, I think its incredibly stupid to dismiss such a potentially great product with out even trying it. I will purchase a month supply of it and see for myself how it works. I fully understand skepticism it can be your greatest weapon, thats how I discovered the Primal blue print, Weston Price, grass feed meat, healthy fats etc. But don't let skepticism hurt you either, just my two cents.
                      I believe your legit Sean, keep doin what you do.
                      -Matt Davis


                      • #12
                        As far as I'm concerned, MLM is reason enough to reject any product. Sorry Sean, but your credibility is now down the toilet.


                        • #13
                          I make 0 money off the product but I did get contacted about it earlier than it was released and tried it. The benefits were enough for me to keep taking it right now and to get a few friends/family in on it.

                          I'll tell you the two most important benefits its brought me:

                          First, my inflammation/ac impingement in my shoulder, which has caused pain for roughly two years, is gone. It flares up if I go too hard but it use to be there all the time (just got used to it). I'm still adjusting to not feeling pain.

                          Second, workout recovery.

                          I love crossfit, don't love that soreness stops me from working out somedays. With this product, I get complete recovery (took about a week). I mean go hard a few days in a row recovery. And I still take off days (just because I think I should), but if I didn't want to, it'd be more than possible.

                          There are a couple other benefits, but that was more than enough for me...
                          In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


                          • #14
                            Not all equal

                            In reply to your rant on Protandim and MLM "scams" in general, I'm interested to know if you have ever personally been involved in one. I am a distributor for Lifevantage and this is the first time I've ever done MLM. I have to completely disagree with just about everything you said regarding the industry. The real "scam" is corporate America where no matter how hard you work, you will never make more money than the V. President, President, CEO, COO and so forth. MLM actually gives every single person the same opportunity-same product, same system, same comp plan. The only difference is the individual. Now obviously it is all about timing if you want to make any real money, but that's not to say you couldn't join a company like Amway or Herbalife which have been around for decades and not make money. Again, it's what you do with it. I joined Lifevantage because I had life changing results on Product, met and spent 3 days with Dr. McCord who invented it, and saw the potential for not so much a business opportunity, but getting people off FDA drugs. Now you can say what you want regarding my intentions, as I know you will, because you have such a negative opinion of MLM and anyone associated with them. I am used to justifying my involvement with the industry. Financially, I don't have any need to "scam" people into giving me $600 so I can collect $260. My husband has been on Barrons top 40 under 40 list for 6 years running and also on the top 100 list for the same which means his income is well over a million a year. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 9 years and instead of playing tennis and doing pilates like most in my financial bracket, I raise money for several different organizations. If you don't believe me, call the Department of Children and Families in Jacksonville Fl, and talk to a supervisor in charge about what I've done for thousands of the poorest families in N. Florida. I only say this so maybe you can take a step back and realize that some of us do get involved for the right reasons. Just because there are MLM companies with either bad products or dishonest people, doesn't mean they are all a scam. It is hard work and most won't make the huge checks, but if the timing is right, and you have a legit product, you have the same opportunity as the next guy. I don't make huge promises to anyone. I tell them it is hard, time consuming, and you have to have a really strong work ethic, but if you stay consistent, it is not difficult to earn a residual income of $1500-$2000 a month after 24 months. You can certainly earn less or a whole lot more, but for myself with no experience and not a huge network, after a year averaging 15 hours a week, I'm happy to have $1500 of my own spending money every month. For most Americans, that little amount could change their lives. I will wrap it up by saying that you should be careful to lump all MLM companies and people involved as "scams" and "scam artists". The people I have met in Lifevantage are some of my best friends now, and trust me when I say, they are some of the most giving, genuine, and honest people I have ever met. Dr. McCord has been studying enzymes and disease processes for 40 years, and he developed Protandim 5 years before the company switched the business model to MLM. At that time, he got up and walked out of that meeting, because he had the same ideas as you do regarding the industry. It took 10 months to convince him that Protandim would continue to sit on the shelves if he didn't agree to put it in the hands of people taking the product and getting their own results that they would then share with others. I'm not totally naive, I know there are horrible products being thrown together in a lab so someone can start a MLM company and get rich, but that's not this product, nor this company. Dr. McCord has spent his personal time with me and my fundraising efforts to help families all over deal with horrible incurable diseases and he is happy to do it. I'll be seeing him next week if you have any questions you'd like answered regarding Protandim. Try and keep an open mind with things that go against your natural grain. We're not all bad.


                            • #15
                              I realize all the shills are going to come out of the woodwork now that this thread has the words sean croxton protandim scam mlm as keywords for Google to index, but I can't just let this go unchecked without rebutting all the nonsense posted above. Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) operations are flat-out the DEFINITION of a PYRAMID SCHEME. Seriously go acquaint yourself with an OED and check out the definition yourself.

                              From my Oxford American Dictionary the definition is:
                              noun. A system of selling goods in which agency rights are sold to an increasing number of distributors are successively lower levels.

                              Hmmm? Isn't that EXACTLY what Sean Croxton is doing? I'm sorry, but he needs to realize the same tactics he is taking to promote Protandim are the EXACT SAME ONES Big Pharma uses. In fact, that whole ABC Primetime special was really nothing more than a VNR – which in the advertising world stands for a “video news release” – a prepaid, prepackaged and easily insertable news byte the networks love to use to fill in gaps on their evening telecast. I used to be in advertising research (Nielsen) so I know all about this crap. Anyway VNRs are basically just product placement for the news hour. So unless you’re going to believe the lateset BS they have to say about some new drug for prostate cancer or lupus, why would you believe this shit? Why would ABC Primetime be some kind of social proofing or something to vouch for the products legitimacy? If anything, it does totally the opposite.

                              Furthermore, the fact that its "patented" and the fact that Protandim is only a "super special synergistic formula that they only found on the 84th try" is such a complete load of bullshit to me. Like, isn't that what the pharmaceutical industry is known for? The ghostwritten University studies? Hello? Anyone knows that a pharmaceutical can say whatever it damn well pleases about its product -- they will fund the university studies, pay off, so to speak, the university scientists, and the published paper on pubmed (another one of his selling points) will have been completely ghostwritten to say whatever the fuck they wanted it to. T bars? Since when is that some holy grail of a test to get? I've never even heard of it and I'd like to think of myself as somewhat well versed in various life extension therapies. To me, Protandim a bastardization of Ayurveda by trying to patent herbal antioxidants and adaptogens.

                              But I rest my case, Sean what you're doing is wrong. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I'm not a religious person or a Christian, really, but I saw this quote in a comment on in response to the Diane Benscoter's talk on cults...its From the Bible: "after the fall, above all things man became deceitful" and I can see that as representing the self-deceit one must engage in or consent to in order to do evil without thinking what they are doing. Let me disclose that I don't truly believe in absolute evil, but I do believe what Sean is doing to be deceitful and a very far departure from the empowering education he once offered his fans.