Monday, January 11, 2016

Advocare International Review

Author: Ed Wallace
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As most of you are aware, Advocare International seems to be increasing in popularity. Many of my family members have become distributors, and have hit the ground running. I on the other hand like to take the time to do a little research before I decide to try any product. I would only be interested in a supplement shake once in a while for the busy days. I know the blog title may lead you to believe that I was from the start biased against Advocare, but I assure you I researched with an open heart.  Unfortunately I did not see any relevant information to support any of the claims by Advocare or their distributors.  I will do my best to support this blog with more than just intuitive conjectures and provide viable links to support my argument. Although that does not mean I will not add my own personal opinion from time to time. Let me be clear about one thing. Not everything about Advocare is bad as they do promote good eating habits coupled with encouraging users to exercise. As I have aforementioned, a meal replacement bar or shake from time to time might not be all that bad. Well lets get to it then shall we.

After reading blog after blog, and watching YouTube video after YouTube video one thing became really clear. Advocare users and distributors do not like any negative talk about their product. Unfortunately your probably not going to like this one either. Many responses from Advocare advocates sound like the following:

"Your article is very biased and full of wrong accusations of AdvoCare. You need to research correctly and actually interview these people who formulate the products, talk to the CEO of the company, the non-paid endorsers and hear thousands of testimonies that AdvoCare DOES work and is safe, effective, very affordable and is to AMPLIFY people’s efforts of healthy eating, exercising and proper sleep."

Or this one:

"You are absolutely right that AdvoCare is not for everyone. But haters are gonna hate no matter what. Have you actually tried any of the AdvoCare products? Or are you just trashing them to promote yours? Seems to me this is your truth/opinion about AdvoCare, and you certainly are entitled to it, but you certainly are not the all authority over it. Not trying to argue with you or try change your mind about it, just saying this is your opinion and each person need to make their own decision. Have a great day."

Both of the aforementioned quotes were taken from Dr. Czys blog. I would encourage everyone to read his article, as It is thoroughly researched and backed by viable logic. So I came to the conclusion that the primary arguments found were that Advocare is backed by the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. Which is filled with the best doctors and scientist. With that, Distributors spread rumors about non paid endorsers such as Drew Brees to encourage people to join. Claims that the product is backed by some third party research further validating the claim by Advocare that their product is safe for its intended use. The real kicker is the colon cleanse that rids the toxins from the intestines and colon to prepare the body for better nutritional absorption (Link). Well, lets take these one at a time.

Scientific and Medical Advisory Board

There is no doubt in my mind that these doctors are very good in their fields of study, and probably have a really good idea how the body works. The cold hard fact is that neither the Advisory Board or Advocare offer viable studies or research to back their claim. Click the Link but you are going to be hard pressed to find anything on their website. They indicate that they used recent research but unfortunately leave no clue as to where we can go and read it for ourselves. I am not going to go deep into the board members themselves but I think if we dug a little deeper we would find a correlation between the doctors and why they were selected to be on the board. For instance, Carl L. Keen PH.D. has performed research that does not pertain to Advocare but is related to the nutritional field. Much of his research involves the effects of nutrients on nursing mothers, and how "subtle changes in cell mineral concentrations influence the expression of select genes" (Link). Basically he is studying how nutritional intake of certain minerals and vitamins above daily recommended values affect the body. Please follow the link, some of his research is concerning but might explain why many of the products Advocare sells has a plethora of vitamins and minerals that super-exceed the daily values. Yes that was an opinion. I assure you I will be doing more research on the rest of the panel and giving my final analysis in one of my next blogs.

Third Party Research

While doing my research I really was not able to find any other third party research to support Advocare claims, but I did find a third party affiliate by the name of Informed Choice on the Advocare website (Link). Well maybe affiliate is the wrong choice of wording. Either way the aforementioned company does not, and has not researched any Advocare product. So what do they do? They test products to ensure that they are free from banned performance enhancing drugs. They look at the ingredients, visit the site where the product is made, check labels, and take five samples of the product to test. That is it folks, no research (Link). No animal or human testing ensuring the efficacy of the product.
Although Advocare and the board has not provided research, I was able to find a little research of my own that put the spark drink to the test using a division 1 college football team. Unfortunately the test did not show any improved performance (Link). So at this point I have scientist that claim to use the most modern research but are unable to provide viable links. The only true research found contradicts the spark claims made by many distributors. Well it is only one study right?

Drew Brees Paid Consultant or Not?

I would like to think I could trust Drew a little bit more than I would Advocare but I am not so sure after watching this video (Link). Yes there are many more if you look around. You will also notice the Advocare distributor (just a guess) makes the claim that Drew is not a paid endorser. Advocare, I believe that might be a breach of contract. If you take a look at this site (Link) you will see that it takes you to Drew's own website where he has a disclaimer indicating that he gets paid by Advocare. So, is Drew telling fibs? With that it does not appear that Drew is an avid user of Advocare products. He was interviewed by Sports Illustrated where he offered them a traditional non game day meal plan. I was not able to find the copy online but if you go to this site you will be able to read what was listed. Just an Advocare recovery shake for his post morning workout. The site also provides a link to the Sports Illustrated article but the link is no longer working.

Colon Cleanse

This is the one that really concerns me the most. So many people, not just distributors, but many people talking about how a colon cleanse will free them of toxins and promote better absorption of nutrients. Go to the Advocare website and you will see that they too are selling the same bit of information. Once again, where is the research? Other than hearing stories about how it made me feel good and I have more energy, I have not found anything that supports the claims. Don't get me wrong people I want to believe this product has viable research but as of yet, none has been provided for reading. I know there is research that could and should be read, but there is always a reason why company's such as Advocare do not want us to read it. Yes that was an intuitive conjecture.
Well, I am going to give you a little research in regards to the colon that is thorough and well documented. First, I think it would be a good idea for those of you that are actually unsure as to how food is digested to take a look at this short video as it gives the viewer a really good idea how our digestive system works (Link). In order to gain a much better idea as to how the colon, small and large intestines work you really need to read this research article(Link). The research is based on several other viable research articles that are included as references at the end of the report. Let me be clear, it really is not about how sound proof the article is. It does have viable information supported by a plethora of research. Something Advocare seems to be missing, But that does not stop many people from talking about it like they have actually read it themselves.
If you read the article you will find the research showed the relationship between good flora and bad, and that our body works in conjunction with the bacteria. The food that makes it through the stomach into the small intestines goes through another cleaning to further absorb more energy. Once it reaches the large intestine the bacteria once again thrives off the remaining waste and once again absorbs what nutrients are left and puts it back into the body as energy, and the rest goes to the toilet. Manipulating the amount of bacteria a person has in their system at one time seems like it could be counter productive. Let me explain. The article clearly indicates that each person has a certain level of good and bad bacteria in their system, and our digestive system has the means to naturally control such levels. Manipulation of flora in any way could also be counter productive. For instance the following study from UCLA used medical imagine of the brain to show how bacteria found in yogurt affects the brain (Link). The study clearly showed the differences in brain function while performing a task and while at rest.Indicating a significant relationship between our flora and the brain activity. Also, flushing the colon could expose areas normally protected by the plethora of bacteria specific to the host.

The first research article provided clearly talked about host specific bacteria, indicating each person has their own variety or should I say mixture of flora. Although Advocare requires users of their product to use a pro-biotic, the replaced bacteria may not be host specific, causing an immune response in the host. No, I am not telling people not to use pro-biotics. I know many people that use them for various reasons, most of them indicate it is  because it increases the good bacteria and they believe it makes them feel better. What I am saying is cleaning your body of all or most bacteria using a colon cleanse and then replacing the flora with non host specific flora, could be a problem for some. I could keep going but Advocare provides no research showing the significant benefits of the colon cleanse. I would provide you with the professional opinions of a plethora of doctors but many Advocare distributors or users deflect with comments like "the doctors want you sick". I was going to scan all the videos and blogs to find viable proof, but I think I will let someone else do it. Before I head to the next paragraph, and before anyone uses the colon cleans, I would suggest you watch this video. It was posted by an Advocare user and if I were Advocare I would ask her to remove it. It shows what happens to a fiber drink if you leave it for 5 minutes. You should see what happens when it sits longer. I can not imagine that going into my body. That is probably why many people do not get diarrhea, which I guess is a good thing, right?

  Even Harvard Health has an article clearly stating that there are no known research articles available to support any of the claims used to justify the use of colon cleanse products (Link). Our body for the most part does a really good job removing the so called toxins by just not using them. Sort of like the sucralose found in many Advocare products (Link). Yes sucralose is FDA approved and used in many products we use on a daily basis, but I am not going to get into the argument for or against its use. What I am going to say is that many articles indicate that most if not all of sucralose is passed through the body without being absorbed (Link). It appears that sucralose is treated like a toxin by the body.

I find this next statement from Advocare pertaining to sucralose very interesting:

"Advocare is not aware of any peer-reviewed human research studies published in reputable well-organized scientific journals demonstrating toxic or adverse effects" (Link)

That is funny because I am not aware of any peer reviewed human studies showing that Advocare products are safe and effective for their intended use.Yes I am, and it showed that spark had not increased performance. What Advocare is trying to do is debunk a study that was released indicating sucralose has been connected to an increased risk of leukemia in rats (Link). If you take a look at this website you will notice that leukemia and brain cancer in children have increased 1% each year for the last 20 years, give or take. Not saying there is a relationship between sucralose and the 1% increase. The article does say that man made chemicals confuse the body so to speak and tends to store it because it does not know how to release it from the body. When a women gets pregnant the toxins are released. Probably one of the reasons why Advocare warns pregnant people not to use their product. Based on the article I provided, it seems that women that want to get pregnant should be a little concerned as well. That was an intuitive conjecture.

 To me, the legitimacy of the research is irrelevant. What is important to me is transparency through honesty. Advocare releases statements against any research not congruent with their organizational goals, and deflects using the "not peer reviewed" argument. My question is how can they make such an argument when they do not provide viable research and testing themselves? Let me remind you, I know it exist, you can find it here (Link). Well you will find the names of the studies and then you will have to Google them to find out the results of each one.
 Aggressive Distributors

While researching I found the article Logical Fallacies. I found it interesting that this website really nailed the types of responses or fallacies used by the users and distributors of Advocare. Deflecting by changing the subject or redirecting to research that is never produced by Advocare. Personal attacks regarding the lack of research, but not providing anything other than the word research and a panel of the best doctors in their field.


  I am not saying all of the Advocare company is bad, and I am not going to tell you that selling the product is a scam. It is a product that many people are buying, and although I do not, that is their choice, and there is money to be made.

Have the scientist and doctors performed research in their field? I think the answer to that question is yes for some, and maybe no for others. That really is irrelevant. What is certain to me is the lack of research pertaining to the efficacy of the Advocare products. Where was each product tested, how long, and on who or what.The fact, not fallacy, Advocare does not supply viable proof or links to any research pertaining to their product. If I am wrong please lead me to the research and I will read it and recant if applicable. 

I understand distributors need to sell the product to make money. But, utilizing arguments such as it is backed by scientific research, third party research, colon cleanse prepares for better absorption of nutrients, and pointing to non paid endorsers that are paid is something I do not agree with. Some people selling this product are improperly reading the information found on the Advocare website. Let me explain.

The Advocare website I provided on many occasions in this blog is loaded with a bunch of *. If you click this link, and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page you will see a couple of * that clearly indicate Drew is compensated for his ads as the national spokes person. Yes, that means he gets free products and is paid. You would have to look at the * prior to the last one on that page to see all endorsers receive products. Nowhere on the website does Advocare say their products have been tested on humans or animals for efficacy. What they do say, which is taking out of text, is that they use recent science to make the product, and that their scientist and doctors are dedicated to research & development (Link). With that, they also indicate their product is tested by a third party to ensure their product is clean of all sports enhancing drugs. So please, distributors, tell the people you are selling to the truth, and do not tell them about research that Advocare does not provide.  Do not get me wrong, I know it exist, somewhere. But they do not seem to want anyone to see it. That usually is a sign that the test did not go very good. Yes, that was an intuitive conjecture.
Many of the * found on the website indicate they have not been approved by the FDA and Advocare is not implying that their product has healing powers. You would have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the website to see for yourself. It is in really really small print. Not that being monitored by the FDA would be much better. The end result is no proof other than a bunch of people saying it worked for me, non existing research by Advocare on their website and third party, and the  colon seems to self clean itself according to viable research I have provided.
With that, making claims such as "I am making tons of money" is deceptive if you are not. Anyone that would like to see what you can earn if you work really hard click here. Keep in mind, those stats do not deduct the distributors personal purchases or include bonuses. Those that are not earning the money they claim they do, or show people a check from Advocare, might want to reread the policy again as check flashing is prohibited and deception is prohibited. I would suggest to anyone that has put time and effort into building their business, not to do anything that will allow Advocare to cut you off. Because they can if you violate any of the rules.

My Advice

Do a general search on the internet and find a website that offers free information pertaining to losing weight. Most of them will give you a small mathematical equation to calculate what your daily calorie intake should be. The following website is a good place to start (Link). The author provides you with a calorie counter and some good advice.
No, I am not saying you should not buy an Advocare product. What I am saying is that you should be careful using products and do your own research.  Everyone has to cheat from time to time, but use common sense when you do.
This is my tip to everyone, and it is going to entail positive thinking and hard work. Find a healthy meal plan and stick to it. Begin a regular diet of fiber, protein, fruits, and vegetables. Couple that with exercise and keeping yourself well hydrated. That does not mean you have to go nuts right away. Go into it slowly. Start eating healthy food, and add a ten minute workout that makes you sweat every other day. The biggest key is to stay hydrated all the time. You will probably start to see an increase in energy, and decrease in the urge to eat. Sorry Advocare I just gave away your secret!!

Exercise + Eat Right + Drink Water + Good Night Sleep=AdvocareSecret

I had four back surgeries and used to weigh 220 pounds. I started eating right, exercising, and I am down to 188 pounds and feeling good these days. I had surgery last year and fell off pace a little bit (195), but I am back on course, and you can to. Exercise, and eat right.

I am not a doctor, so I would suggest that you talk to your doctor about a diet plan before you begin!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this really lengthy article. I encourage everyone to give me some feedback. Please feel free to share this link with your friends and family on your personal websites.

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Todd, I know I can always count on you!!

  2. This is an excellent article!

  3. Thank you for all this credible research Ed

    1. You are welcome and it is nice to have you in the discussion!

  4. If I had to take the word of Edward and his "behind a keyboard research" or the word of a well respected and world renowned surgeon like say Dr. Stanley Dudrick, hmm, Yeah, I'll go with the Doctor! Hard to take this seriously when you get paid from it as well.

    1. That is one thing I pride myself on. Although I did add an Amazon link for books (which I could make money from, but I do not) it was added so people could take advantage of the free mlm book I talk about withing one of my articles. The Advocare product link is owned by someone else selling the products, not me. They were put on here just to make a point that people are selling products to individuals that are violating company policies. They have been removed. What is it that has you so upset? Is it that I actually provided research that is real, and Advocare does not? Nowhere in this article do I use intuitive conjectures like "Hard to take this seriously when you get paid from it as well". Do you know how many doctors endorse manufacturers or become paid consultants such as Dr. Dudrick just for the money? You take them serious and they are paid for their statements. Most people consider it a conflict of interest, that is why many manufacturers provide third party testing.Advocare does not, and if they do please show it to me and I will retract this. You ever wonder why Advocare does not sell in China? Is it because they would have to provide the research they brag about? Yes those are intuitive conjectures, but relevant questions. The good news is in the end you get to make a choice that works for you. By the way, you are not taking my word for it, as I am offering you a summary of real research that you could read yourself. But do you really need to be so hostile Unknown?

    2. Dr. Dudrick makes an incredible amount of money without AdvoCare and has a reputation to uphold in his industry. Why would he stake the last 50 years of hard work, effort, and research to head a Sci-Med board of a "bogus" nutritional company? Wouldn't that hurt his legacy more than help it?

    3. Again, where is your name, and your research to backup your claim that Dr. Dudrick makes and incredible amount of money without Advocare?

  5. I enjoyed reading your blog. I'm not listing my name as I don't want to be accused of trying to "sell product". I just wanted to say that there are high quality MLM products out there. A newer company called Qivana. Dr. Donald K Layman's product line that is 3rd party tested and ingredients simply cannot be argued. Reading your blog made me feel very proud to be associated with something that many do not know about yet. I would love for you to research and add Qivana to your blog posts, to spread the word that high quality products do exist and word is spreading fast!

    1. Thank you for reading Rebecca! It is greatly appreciated. It just so happens that I am looking for a new company to research and Qivana sound like a good one. I can remove your name and repost your comment for you as anonymous. If you are signed in to Google it will put your name, unless you select anonymous in the list. Please help me share this blog with others and encourage your friends and family to join Advocare Review Facebook. I try to keep my personal opinions to myself and just produce information based on facts supported by viable links. Thank you again for reading!

    2. I did finish the review, and although the products seem to be much better than Advocare, I did have some concerns. Sorry it took a little bit longer than I thought, but they provided a lot of research that I had to look through. Here is the link if you are interested.

  6. Oops I didn't realize Google would know who I was. Tech dinosaur over here 😂😂

  7. Oops I didn't realize Google would know who I was. Tech dinosaur over here 😂😂

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