As bodybuilding has grown from a fledgling pastime to an all-out sport and multi-billion dollar industry, bodybuilding athletes have had to share the spotlight with the manufacturers of new and innovative nutritional supplements.
Not surprisingly, the rivalry between supplement companies is often as intense as the rivalry between the sports athletes. With limited market share divided up amongst market rivals companies and products go to battle, each trying to dazzle and impress the consumer in an attempt to capture market share.
However, not all competitors play fair. Unfortunately, many supplement companies have resorted to using underhanded tactics to capture market share, and it now seems that the prevarication of truth has become an acceptable substitute for honesty and hard work.
Collateral damage is unavoidable in war, and the latest war amongst supplement manufacturers has resulted in an attack on the consumers last-stop for truth: science.
Science has always been revered as holy ground - the last stop for truth where an inquisitive and objective light is shone upon the issues of life. When unaided reason is unable to overcome wild claims and marketing hype, science stands as the stalwart guardian of integrity and truth.
The newest battle between supplement manufacturers has resulted in an attack upon science and the consumer. As questionable and contradictory laboratory reports have surfaced on the internet, science has become a prostitute to propaganda.
Not surprisingly, false laboratory reports on nutritional supplements have caused confusion amongst consumers. What is the truth? Who is to be believed? If science is untrustworthy, where do you turn?
This publication will examine two cases of suspect laboratory reports.
Case 1: Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE)
Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL (CEE) is creatine monohydrate with an ester attached. Esters are organic compounds that are formed by esterification - the reaction of carboxylic acid and alcohols.
| Learn More About Creatine Ethyl Ester...
Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL (CEE) is creatine monohydrate with an ester attached. Esters are organic compounds that are formed by esterification - the reaction of carboxylic acid and alcohols. [ Learn More ]
The esterification of creatine monohydrate is believed to increase its ability to use lipids to passively permeate the wall of a cell. The permeation of the cell wall is the key to creatines effectiveness and an increase in its ability to be absorbed will not only yield greater results but will reduce the amount of creatine required for noticeable results.
Creatine ethyl ester is being touted as the newest "it" supplement. In fact, in light of the prohormone ban, many believe that creatine ethyl ester is the most ergogenic supplement available to athletes.
However, creatine ethyl ester is not without its detractors.
Chief amongst CEE's detractors is All American Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactures Kre-Alkalyn for several brand names including Sci-fit and Black Star Labs.
On two separate occasions All American Pharmaceuticals contracted IBC Labs of Tucson, Arizona, to conduct product tests on CEE products. The first of these tests obtained materiel from the "main supplier" of CEE and was conducted on "all of the so called products" for sale on the market. The second test was conducted on ThermoLife's CRE2 product.
The results of the first test indicate that there was no creatine ethyl ester HCL present in the test samples, and the results of the second test indicate that there was no CEE present in the Thermolife CRE2 product.
The question that requires an answer is: How trustworthy are the lab reports by IBC labs given that All American Pharmaceuticals manufactures Kre-Alkalyn and thus has a financial interest in discrediting CEE products?
I contacted All American Pharmaceuticals to obtain more information on the first laboratory test. I wanted to know exactly what products were tested, and I wanted information on the chain of custody of the product samples. I spoke to a company representative and was told that "every product on the market" containing CEE was tested. However, this answer makes little sense in light of the lab reports.
Consider this: The first report states that All American Pharmaceuticals "found the main supplier for this product and tested several lots." The product name on the first report is "Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL." Laboratory report two states the tested product: ThermolifeCrE2. If test one included "every" CEE containing product, why was CEE HCL listed as the tested substance? Why not state the name of every product that was tested as was done in test two?
It appears as though All American Pharmaceuticals did not test "every" CEE product, but rather tested only the raw product.
It appears, contrary to the claim that "every product on the market" containing CEE was tested, that the first CEE test was conducted on raw material from the "main supplier" of the CEE raw materials. This discrepancy, coupled with the financial motivation of All American to discredit CEE raises concern about the legitimacy of the lab reports by IBC.
The lab reports conducted by All American Pharmaceuticals are contrasted by the two included Certificates of Analysis (COA's) on the creatine ethyl ester raw product.
These certificates of analysis were obtained from my contacts in the industry, and they come from the two main suppliers of CEE. As you can see from the attached certificates, creatine ethyl ester is not only hypothetically possible to create, but is also a fact of reality. Creatine Ethyl Ester, according to these certificates, exists.
IDS Multi-Pro Whey Isolate Powder - Learn More
In October, 2004 the bodybuilding world was afire with controversy as a lab report surfaced on Multi-Pro Whey Isolate protein powder by Innovative Delivery Systems (IDS).
The lab report surfaced under less-than-clear circumstances. The test seemed to have been conducted by Michelson Laboratories in Commerce, California, and the results of the test concluded that, scoop-per-scoop, Multi-Pro Whey Isolate fell far short of meeting product label claim.
When the report surfaced, public reaction ranged from outrage to skepticism. How could IDS screw its customers this way? What were they going to do to fix the problem? Who would hold them to account?
About a week later, the truth started to emerge. It was proven that the lab report in question was a forgery manufactured by a competitor of IDS bent on stealing market share instead of competing for it.
When I contacted IDS, here is what they told me:
"The situation is painfully simple. A store retailer that we cut off from purchasing our product line several months ago was extremely upset. After trying several other tactics he has settled on this lab assay attack… as far as we can tell, the retailer tested some powder - we don't know what it was.
When we called the lab testing company we were told that they will test any powder sent in, whether it is in a plastic ziplock bag or a labeled bottle. The retailer then logged on to several web boards across the net… The main thing that we want to get across is that we are committed to the quality of the product and will be doing what no other company will do: post independent lab reports on our Whey protein on our website."
After the response from IDS, I obtained a genuine lab report on the Multi-Pro Whey Isolate protein. It shows that the product meets label claim and confirms that the forged report is in error. The genuine lab report is included below.
The bodybuilding industry is no stranger to controversy. From questionable athlete conduct to questionable contest outcomes, the controversies seen in the bodybuilding world are often as wild and as colorful as the personality of its athletes.
As bodybuilding grew from a hobby into the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today, commercialization forged the industries direction.
Commercialization brought with it fierce competition, and this competition has caused some to sell out their ethics for their bottom line. Is it right? No. Can it be stopped? Unlikely.
The bodybuilding industry has been and will always remain a consumers market. Industry integrity will improve only when consumers exercise critical judgment, for as has been shown, when the waters muddy, even science can sometimes become a victim.
The information provided in this publication is for educational and informational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by your own personal health care team or physician. The author does not render or provide medical advice, and no individual should make any medical decisions or change their health behavior based on information provided here. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Readers and consumers should review the information in this publication carefully with their professional health care provider. The information in this or other publications authored by the writer is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Reliance on any information provided by the author is solely at your own risk. The author does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, medication, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be presented in the publication. The author does not control information, advertisements, content, and articles provided by discussed third-party information suppliers. Further, the author does not warrant or guarantee that the information contained in written publications, from him or any source is accurate or error-free. The author accepts no responsibility for materials contained in the publication that you may find offensive. You are solely responsible for viewing and/or using the material contained in the authored publications in compliance with the laws of your country of residence, and your personal conscience. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising from the use of information contained in this or other publications. Copyright © Clayton South, 2004 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright holder and author of this publication.