Ergogenic aides usually debut on the market with controversy surrounding their legitimacy, efficacy and safety. This is true especially in situations where new compounds have people speaking of "revolution." Revolutionary talk challenges the status quo, and drives a stake of fear into the hearts of those who have a financial interest in maintaining it at all costs. Revolutions promise to replace the old guard and establish new standards.
While some concerns over the legitimacy, effectiveness and safety of dietary supplements have merit, genuine concern can degrade into a smear campaign when truth and science are made prostitutes of financially motivated and deceptive marketing propaganda. This is what has happened in the case of Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE).
| 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 ]
Questions about CEE's mechanisms of action remain, but all reports indicate that creatine ethyl ester - a creatine monohydrate derivative - is revolutionary. Many report larger, faster gains than with regular creatine monohydrate. The results have been described as drug-like! But, not all agree.
Two laboratory reports of questionable authenticity have been responsible for the CEE controversy. These laboratory reports were done by IBC - Integrated Biomolecule Corporation - and were commissioned by All American Pharmaceuticals, the developers of another creatine product, Kre-Alkalyn. These reports show that Creatine Ethyl Ester is fraudulent.
The laboratory reports from IBC not only dispute the existence of CEE, but are themselves disputed by several certificates of analysis, showing that creatine ethyl ester is genuine. These conflicting reports beg several questions: Are users of CEE falling prey to the placebo effect? Are users of CEE brainwashed? Are the results that CEE users see nothing more than the result of mass hysteria? Or, are consumers being subjected to dirty tricks?
To set the record straight, I gathered together parties from both sides of this issue - those who dispute CEE and those who support it - and I moderated a roundtable discussion on CEE's legitimacy.
The questions are tough, but fair. The discussion is lively, and balanced. At times the participants are subdued - other times they are explosive! You will learn much about CEE from this roundtable, but what can not be denied is that herein you will find an insiders view - an eye-opening look - into the politics and personalities of our sport.
Present At The Roundtable Was:
| Clayton South - Bodybuilding.com writer, moderator.
| Trent Hinde - CEO and Founder of Sportlab Inc.
| Adrian Burke - Owner of Fusion Nutrition Inc.
| Ron Kramer - President and CEO of Thermolife international.
| Joe Archer - Salesperson for All American Pharmaceuticals, makers of Kre-Alkalyn.
| Rodney Dupont - CEO of Nutrabolics Inc.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Gentleman, thank you for participating in this roundtable discussion, and thank you for agreeing to give the public the truth it deserves. It is good of you all to lend your expertise to help set the record straight on CEE. I am the moderator of the discussion, and I am now going to outline the rules we are to follow during this meeting:
- Civility is to be maintained at all times. Disagreement does not mean disrespect. Personal attacks are frowned upon.
- I will be asking the questions. Afford to each person the opportunity to fully answer the questions. If there is an issue with a fact or a point of view, we can discuss it. If the issue is lengthy, we will save follow-up questions until the end, when I will open up the floor for general discussion.
- The order of answering will be as follows: Rodney Dupont, Adrian Burke, Ron Kramer, Trent Hinde and Joe Archer.
- Finally, attack the issue, not each other. This is not the place for personal attacks. Severe and intentional violations will result in expulsion.
- Who is running this? Let's get going.
Joe Archer: My first question is why are we discussing a product that the FDA says is bad news and will not be able to be sold?
Clayton South - BB.COM: Joe, we are here to present expert opinions on the validity of CEE. I call you to order.
Rodney Dupont: Joe, show me a document stating Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL is not safe for consumption... please.
Joe Archer: I can get it to you Rodney. It is on the FDA web site and Clayton has copy.
Ron Kramer: Speaking of the FDA, Joe, can you please tell us why the FDA has written this letter to your company?
Rodney Dupont: There is nothing stating it is unsafe for consumption - I have seen the documents the FDA has and they are clearly written towards a product, CE2.
Clayton South - BB.COM: I remind the participants that I will remove people from the discussion who are out of order. I will open up the discussion for debate after. I bring each of you to order and instruct you to confine your discussion to the questions that I am going to ask.
Joe Archer: To answer, the FDA wanted to change some things on a couple of labels and this has been done. We are here to discuss creatine ester.
As you know, the recent ban on prohormones has been a source of anxiety for companies that base the bulk of their business on prohormone sales, and it has been of great concern for companies that fear the crippling effects of over-regulation on the industry.
In the face of the ban, some companies have innovated and have, in a sense "made old things new" by developing new products based upon time-tested supplements like creatine monohydrate. The di, tri, kre-alkalyn and creatine ethyl esters are examples of this innovation.
Do you think the re-development of these time-tested products is good for the industry, or do you think it is an attempt to revive the past?
Clayton South - BB.COM:
- Rodney, we will begin with you.
Joe Archer: Yes, the development of new technology is very important.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Joe, please answer when you are provided the space. Allow Rodney his time.
Rodney Dupont: Clayton, these new "forms" of tried and tested ingredients are always good, because from the examples you gave we are using new and improved delivery systems to get the most of these compounds for purity and potency. We are at a point in this industry where we can use pharmaceutical delivery (such as the ethyl ester bonding) to increase absorption and potency of clinically proven ingredients (like creatine).
Adrian Burke: If we as an industry are looking for means to enhance performance safely and legally I think it's something we need to do. If we as an industry are looking for means to provide performance-enhancing products safely and legally then I think its something we need to do.
Ron Archer: Innovations in delivery of compounds that are known to work are positive.
Trent Hinde: New technology is very important, it's what drives all industry. That's not to say that we can't learn from the past, and make older products better.
Rodney Dupont: What? Please tell Joe to chill the hell out!
Joe Archer: Yes, lets move on.
Ron Archer: I agree with Rodney, especially about Joe. What is he even saying? He makes no sense.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Here is the second question.
Question # 2:
Creatine ethyl ester is being touted as the latest and greatest "new" creatine product, and its debut on the market has caused a lot of controversy. Some think that CEE is a real product, while others have claimed that it is not. Is it genuine?
- Joe, we are all supplement owners, and you are a company employee... if anyone should be complaining about being too busy it sure as hell ain't you!
Joe Archer: Rodney, grow up! The FDA says creatine ester is bad news.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Joe, Rodney, you are both out of order. Joe has left the table, refusing to participate. Therefore, he will give no further input. Rodney, please proceed with your answer.
Rodney Dupont: CEE is definitely real, as we were one of the fist companies to introduce it in the market and actually create it by molecularly combining creatine HCL with the ethyl ester molecule. It is unlike any other creatine you could ever imagine, in that it is reaches close to 100% efficiency for muscle cell penetration. There is no denying it: creatine ethyl ester is real, and it is the new generation of creatine products.
Adrian Burke: I found myself confused by the whole creatine controversy and started to educated myself. Through the FDA site and other intellectual property sites, it would appear that CEE raises concern.
If conversion is the issue, and I believe it is, then CEE is not all it's cracked up to be. The FDA has said that CEE has "insufficient evidence of the safe chronic human consumptionï¿½". I feel there is sufficient evidence to warrant concern on the safety of CEE. We as company owners operate within certain parameters, and safety has to be one of them.
Ron Kramer: Regarding the FDA issue that Joe mentioned, I would first like to say that not one pro-hormone has ever had an NDI approved. I also think Joes company sold many prohormones, so what is his point? Does he think pro hormones are safer than CEE?
On the subject of NDI's, 75%- 80% of all NDI applications are denied on the first application. NDI is a technicality. 75%-80% of all NDI applications are rejected - the criteria for NDI approval, and that is what the opponents of CEE are quoting as the reason CEE is not safe, is nearly as stringent as approval for a prescription medication. And the same people who approve prescription medications are the same people who are looking at these applications, and just because a application gets rejected does not mean that a product is not safe.
It may simple mean that the company filing for it did not submit the application correctly, or any one of a thousand other reasons. That is why Ed Byrd [the man who brought creatine monohydrate to the market] submitted and re-submitted his application over and over again.
Now, especially with so called new compounds which the FDA is classifying CEE, as they want human safety data. That means human clinical trials were conducted on CEE, and there were no adverse health effects. Creatine Ethyl Ester is a genuine product.
But, I will say this: All American Pharmaceutical and Jeff Gollini made a BIG MISTAKE when they made fake lab reports about my products. Jeff will admit this himself, because I am sure he didn't like getting called a BITCH to his face at his Mr. Olympia booth!
- There has never really been a question about CEE's legitimacy.
Trent Hinde: CEE is real without a doubt, I have provided a COA [Certificate of Analysis] as proof. The esterification of creatine is the biggest breakthrough to hit creatine technology, and it makes complete sense given that creatine is lipopholic.
FDA is saying that there is insufficient proof, stating that CEE is safe, yet they don't say what is dangerous. This doesn't make sense. There is no evidence that CEE is not safe. Please tell me one instance where the esterification of an otherwise harmless substance makes it harmful - there is no such example that can be given.
Ron is correct, simply because an application is rejected, it has no bearing on safety, or functionality of a product... user feedback has been great, which addresses any sort of functionality, or 'effective' issue.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Thank you for your answers. It's unfortunate that Joe is not here to provide his feedback.
Rodney Dupont: Probably because there is such a negative view on his product, Kre-Alkalyn.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Here is a question 3.
Question # 3:
As you all know, Jeff Gollini from All American Pharmaceuticals, who developed and now markets Kre-Alkalyn, had IBC Labs in Tucson, Arizona conduct lab tests on a variety of Creatine Ethyl Ester products. In a second report he had the same lab do testing on Cre2, by Thermolife. The results of both tests indicated that Creatine Ethyl Ester is fake. Please provide feedback.
- I hope no one here buys Kre-alkalyn from All American because the product really is bogus to all of the claims on increased absorption vs. even regular creatine. Buffered creatine is actually be less bioavailable. Since the stability of creatine is higher in strong acids than weak acids, buffering actually only serve to increase the rate of degradation in the stomach.
Adrian Burke: I am a fan of Kre-Alkalyn and have seen amazing results. As a business owner, I had the choice to choose CEE or Kre-A, but chose the later. It's just better. But the testing of other products as a means to sabotage is something I can't condone. Not a fan of what Jeff did. But also, the truth hurts.
Ron Kramer: Now a little more about the current lab report from Integrated Biomolecule Corporation (IBC). First of all when I saw the report I called Robert Green, owner of IBC and asked to speak with him and Dr. Patel (their chief scientist).
The first thing I asked them was "was the bottle opened when you received it?" Do you know what they said? They told me that they didn't document it, and they don't remember.
At this point all discussions about the test preformed at IBC as they relate to my product are irrelevant. Furthermore, even if the product was sealed, it still wouldn't matter because ALL American (the company who sent them the bottle) has the equipment to open and put anything they want in it, and then reseal my bottle as if it was never opened. BUT IBC cannot even remember if the product was open or not. This makes the test invalid.
I would like to have all of you on the phone and call over to IBC so that you can hear that for yourself, and then disallow any mention of the invalid lab report. There are also many questions as to the validity of the testing methods. Let me elaborate.
First of all, ThermoLife International was the first company to develop a tribulus terrestris extract that was 20% protodioscin. While other companies jumped on the bandwagon after our R & D (real R & D!). It took us a few years to do this.
We spent thousands of dollars and worked with companies all over the globe in this effort, and one of the leaders in this cause was ChromaDex here in the States. I don't know if you have ever heard of ChromaDex before but they are the leading supplier of phytochemical reference standards for almost all of the testing that is done in this industry, and without question they are the authority on testing and purity of all material in this industry.
- Here is their website.
I worked very closely with ChromaDex in developing a high % protodioscin, and ChromaDex was responsible for developing a pure standard for Protodioscin. It is the standard that all reputable labs use today. A few years back I had sent a sample to of protodioscin to be tested by IBC.
| What Does Protodioscin Mean?
Protodioscin is the active ingredient in tribulus terrestris, which may increase the secretion of lutenizing hormone. In turn, lutenizing hormone stimulates the release of testosterone, a powerful muscle-building hormone.
This was a sample that was already tested by ChromaDex, and the ChromaDex test indicated that it was 28% protodioscin. The test from IBC came back at 0.19%. I called IBC and asked what the problem was. They told me that there was no problem, that the material is only 0.19%. I told them that I had different results from a different lab, and they sent me their testing method.
I forwarded the test method to the director of the lab at ChromaDex, and they found a few problems with the testing method. One problem was that IBC was using the wrong screen, and were filtering out almost all of the active ingredients. They were also using the wrong solvents. I connected both laboratories by conference call on several occasions and every time that IBC made a correction, the test result became closer to what ChromaDex had found. BUT, the highest that IBC got to was 18%.
If that was the only issue it would not have been such a big deal. What I had learned from this was troubling. On the bottom of the lab report from IBC it said that "this lab analysis was preformed with protodioscin reference standard purchased from ChromaDex".
When I told this to Frank Jaksch, the owner of ChromaDex and a personal friend of mine, he told me that he has a stack of lab reports (on all different kinds of compounds) on his desk from IBC that say the same thing, and he told me that "IBC has never purchased one reference standard from ChromaDex".
When I questioned Robert Green, the owner of IBC, about this, he refused to comment. I can have Frank Jaksch on the phone to verify this at any time.
With that aside, now we have the issue of: can IBC even test for CEE? If you ask any other lab in the country to test for CEE, they will tell you they cannot accurately test for CEE at this time. The method IBC told me they were using leads all of the scientist who are way more educated than me in this field to conclude that their is no way they could have tested my material.
Once again, I will elaborate. Robert Green of IBC, who admittedly can't remember if the bottle of CrE2 was open or not, said that the way they tested the product was that they calculated the molecular weight of CEE and then checked my capsules for a molecular ion of 159, that's it. I repeated this to some scientists I work with, and they all laughed.
First of all, assuming that they really had a bottle with my product in it, they would have to have a reliable reference standard to conduct the same test, to see if the test on the reference standard confirmed their machine showing a reading of 159. IBC admitted that they have no reference standard, and they said that they just know it would work - not very scientific.
The next issue is that they would have to separate ALL the impurities from the rest of the capsule, which they admitted that they did not do. Third, they told me that they preformed the test by mass spectrometer, but the fact is that esters are cleaved in mass spectrometer. So what kind of test are they doing?
So there are just a few issues for you to consider. I really don't think it is at all fair that you should even allow the issue of the lab report to be brought up. IN FACT, nobody from All American should even have the right to be present in a legitimate discussion, they have not earned the right
View The Letter From The Department Of Health & Human Services...
Does All American even have a CEE product? If so please tell me, so I can empty out the ingredients and send it to a lab and then I will have a lab report on their product. Or, perhaps, I will do this to all of their products, and then we can have a round table discussion on why every product from All American has a lab report showing no active ingredients.
The funny thing is: I probably don't have to empty out what they put in the bottle, because it probably already is saw dust. But, I hope you can see that this is reason enough to prohibit the mention of any lab report associated with All American or IBC.
Trent Hinde: I think the answer is simple. All you need to do is consider the source of the reports suggesting that CEE is fake. These reports don't come from an unbiased party, and as far as I'm concerned, are therefore invalid.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Adrian, I feel bad that Joe Archer and All American have left you out to dry on this discussion.
Trent Hinde: Shows their character, or lake thereof.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Here is the fourth question.
Question # 4:
To help the readers and consumers better understand the meaning of the results obtained by the lab reports done by IBC, everyone, I would also like you to provide your feedback on the claim that this lab is less than reputable in the scientific community and that they have a history of problems when it comes to testing products correctly.
- I cannot comment on this as I have never used IBC for testing, although I have a C of A (which I provided for you, Clayton (
- ) ) on our CE raw material, and after having our CrE2bolic, and our AE2 Arginine Ethyl Ester product tested and retested before coming to market, our product holds truth to its claims. I would like to know exactly how IBC is doing its tests, and if, in fact, it actually has the means needed to do a complicated test, as that on determining CE?
Adrian Burke: I'm not too familiar with this lab, but I suspect it's best to have others involved. I don't doubt ThermoLife products at all. Just CEE. If there are accusations floating around, then IBC has to do some damage control. But, regardless of IBC's reputation in the industry, you can't change people's minds, or the doubt they have. Tests are tests and it's too bad, really.
Ron Kramer: Like I said IBC is a joke, read my post for reasons.
Trent Hinde: Unfortunately, I cannot comment on IBC as I am not familiar with them, or their work... anything I can say regarding this topic would just be hearsay.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Here is the fifth question.
Question # 5:
I would like for each of you to comment on the COA's on CEE in light of the fact that no standards for testing exist. If none exist, how is it that you can say that CEE is real?
- CEE is real, in that we have taken the pharmaceutical delivery system, of the ethyl ester, and molecularly combined it with Creatine HCL for CEE. CEE is more lipopholic than any other creatine and therefore the results are way beyond that compared to any other creatine.
Ron Kramer: I have the results from my supplier who has also tested all the material in the market. I have done business with him for more than 5 years, and I trust him. BUT, as I stated before, we are spending them money to develop a working reference standard to put all these questions to rest. We would not be doing this if our manufacturer was not producing the real material. I can supply his test but some would claim that they are biased.
Trent Hinde: I also have results from my supplier, which have been submitted in hardcopy. Over the next little while, testing standards will be established, and we will be able to prove the credibility of this product. I have seen the effectiveness of the product first hand, and am satisfied that the product is a remarkable breakthrough... testing standards are not far away.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Here is the sixth question.
Question # 6:
What is your take on the almost industry-wide consensus that creatine ethyl ester is the wave of the future and that it leaves other products like Kre-alkalyn, tri-creatine malate and creatine monohydrate in the dust?
Also, what do you think of the idea that the motivation for commissioning the lab reports by IBC was financial, and was an attempt to discredit CEE and increase sales of Kre-Alkalyn?
- I think the 'wave' stems from fear. Kre-A holds a patent on every creatine form production above pH 6.9. They have cornered a market that others can't legally get. Good job, Jeff. But, this scares people. So much, in fact, that several bodybuilding magazines refused to sell ad space. Kre-A is going to change the industry. Question 2: is simply speculation. If it was done, I don't agree with it, but that doesn't negate the amazing qualities of Kre-A.
Ron Kramer: If you want to know what is a good product, just go the boards at Bodybuilding.com and do a search for each product. You will see that almost every single user of CEE reports amazing results and users of Kre-Alkalyn are disappointed. There is no better proof.
| Bodybuilding.com Forums.
The largest and most popular bodybuilding forum on the internet. Over 70,000 members can't be wrong. [ Learn More ]
Trent Hinde: My take on this consensus is that it is 100% correct. If the people who had financial interests in the KA would simply try the product, they would be realizing that they are betting on a losing horse. CEE does in fact blow KA, tri creatine malate, and CM away without a doubt.
Of course, these reports are an attempt to discredit CEE... how many people are here to defend CEE, and how many for KA? The KA people don't want to be put on the spot, and therefore run and hide because there is no science to what they sell.
Clayton South - BB.COM: I am now going to open the discussion for follow-up questions or comments. Feel free to speak freely, with any comments or follow-up questions you like.
Adrian Burke: To Trent and Ron: I have the ability to use either CEE or Kr-A in whatever I choose. I can pull either of these ingredients and make a product. But, it's not as simple as that.
I want science, I want safety, I want results. My banker recently took Kre-A and couldn't believe the results. He was already taking Creatine. I only want the best and Kre-A is it. No doubt Kre-A is going to the top. One thing though.... the name sucks.
Ron Kramer: Well, Adrian, I think that the market will dictate that. And, I think, you will be singing a different tune in the future also. You seem like a good guy, and if I were you, I would distance myself from Jeff Gollini.
Adrian Burke: I respect that Ron, thanks.
Adrian Burke: I don't know you Ron, but I do know Trent very well. So it's never a battle of people for me. Just position in the market, and putting out the best products I can.
Clayton South - BB.COM: What do you three think of Jeff Gollini's no-show? If he's a scientist, why didn't he show? Why did Joe Archer, his representative, leave so quickly?
Adrian Burke: I think Jeff doesn't understand his chance to defend himself and his products. But Clayton, it's a testament to my belief in the product. If I, not having met Jeff, can come online and spend this time promoting Kre-A, then I believe in it.
Trent Hinde: Jeff is scared of being put on the spot, plain and simple. But Adrian is a good friend and brother, and differing opinions doesn't mean we can't get along.
Clayton South - BB.COM: Lets finish up this roundtable discussion by giving you space to plug some new projects you are working on - to give the public a preview. What innovations can people expect from your companies in the near future?
Adrian Burke: Purple-K. Coming soon.
Trent Hinde: At SportLab we are always going the extra mile for the consumer. To that end, we have some great products in the works - although nothing that I want to let out of the bag at this point.
Ron Kramer: For us it is Xplode, Re-Load Xplode, reformulated with none other than CEE, plus no artificial sweeteners, and of course the next greatest fat burner of all time Dicana. Also, we are working on Tekno3.
I was disappointed that All American Pharmaceutical founder and Kre-Alkalyn marketer Jeff Golini did not participate after agreeing to do so. Joe Archer was present in Jeff's place, and he was a welcome addition to the discussion.
Each participant was afforded the opportunity to present their case to the public and to represent their companies in a professional manner. I was disappointed that Joe seemed unprepared, or unwilling, to do so.
Joe Archer's refusal to follow the rules (that everyone had agreed to) and to allow the other participants free speech and a fair hearing, was unfortunate. His refusal to participate can only leave the public wondering about the legitimacy of the laboratory reports commissioned by his company, his company's ethics, honesty, and marketing tactics, as well as the science backing his own product, Kre-Alkalyn.
If the science is strong, why not share it with the world? If your case is solid, why not make it when given the opportunity? When truth is the issue, why not stand up and fight for it?
As the roundtable moderator, each participant who remained at the table represented their company professionally, and provided to the public a much needed service. They gave of their time without compensation, and without hesitation. I thank them for that.
Please support each of them by becoming familiar with their products and services. Their constant innovations are helping people around the world live better, healthier lives.