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Lipozene… It’s not your fault (It is theirs)

January 15, 2012

NOTE:  I have been getting a lot of visitors to this post looking for Cyvita. Although I point out that (here) Cyvita is interestingly enough named for the two most popular erectile deficiency drugs, I don’t go into a lot of research into the active ingredients or the clinical studies. Still this whole blog post will give you some research behind the people who created Cyvita and I think you will learn A LOT if you read this. By the way, leave me a comment as to where you are from. I would love to know where they are test marketing Cyvita.

So, for the last 2 days I have been sick as a dog.  I have the actual flu, the respiratory infection kind.  It sucks.  I am exhausted.  When I finally drag my ass out of bed and down the stairs I end up collapsing in front of the TV, where I recently discovered that there is nothing on daytime TV.  Shockingly, nothing!   In any case, while I was looking for something to watch I was fortunate enough to come across an ad for Lipozene….

I say fortunate because I like to stay abreast of the current scams… and this product has all of the hallmarks of a good scam.

For starters, the pitch:  You are fat, but it isn’t your fault, nothing you do seems to work.  There is a way that you can lose this weight and it is easy.  All you need to do is take a simple pill.  There is no risk to you and you can have their risk free 30 day offer if you just call.  There are excellent clinical studies with fat loss to back up these facts, all arranged by the Obesity Research Institute.

Obesity Research Institute

Wow, that sure does sound like an offer too good to refuse.  Lets do some research, starting at the Obesity Research Institute‘s webpage.  Okay, the fact that it is turns out to be a limited liability corporation with the name “the Obesity Research Institute” instead of actually being a research institute shouldn’t worry us, right?  And the pathetic website shouldn’t make us wonder if anyone at the institute has anything past a GED.  After all, it is a blank WordPress website with only the main paragraphs changed, not even the stock photo or the name of the entry, ‘Hello World’.  Still, what do we learn from this site?

Thanks to Lipozene’s manufacturers, consumers have an abundance of information about this product at their fingertips. First, they can learn about the ingredients. The main ingredient is Glucomannan, which is a 100 percent natural fiber made from the Konjac Root. Then they can learn about how it works—Glucomannan, which is a source of dietary fiber, in essence creates a sponge in the stomach that makes users feel fuller and eat less. And since it is 100 percent natural, it’s good to know that there are no known side effects. With all this and a little extra fiber that everyone needs, Lipozene makes a good choice for most dieters.

Okay, I don’t have a lot of confidence in them now that they are calling this an abundance of information, but otherwise, it appears to be true that they claim that their product is made up of this fibre from the Konjac Root.  In fact, Glucomannan is a water soluble fibre that can be found in any one of the many fibre pills on the market (here, here and at vitamin stores).  Of course it doesn’t list the other ingredients that keep this product together and give it its colouring…  Who doesn’t need 6 to 12 pills of stearic acid and FDC Blue #1, as well as ignoring the known side effects (see below).

It is important to understand that weight loss supplement makers such as Obesity Research Institute LLC have developed specific instructions for how their products should be taken, and anyone who takes a weight loss product should follow the instructions to avoid any potential risks. This is why it is so important to learn about the suggested dosage from the source—in this case, it is one or two capsules up to three times daily before meals, totaling no more than six capsules.

I love how it is important to understand that weight loss supplement makers such as Obesity Research Institute LLC have developed specific instructions for how their products should be taken and after all of this, the instructions are take one or two capsules up to three times a day…  Hmm… I am glad they have an institute now.  The funny point is that they may have missed the most important instructions.  According to Wikipedia:

A health advisory was released by Health Canada stating the following: “natural health products containing the ingredient glucomannan in tablet, capsule or powder form, which are currently on the Canadian market, have a potential for harm if taken without at least 8 ounces of water or other fluid. The risk to Canadians includes choking and/or blockage of the throat, esophagus or intestine, according to international adverse reaction case reports. It is also important to note that these products should NOT be taken immediately before going to bed.”[10]

I assume that this risk doesn’t only pertain to Canadians, but maybe we Canadians have freakishly small esophagi…. So what else do we know from this website?

If the information from the Obesity Research Institute isn’t enough, there are also clinical studies to substantiate these weight loss claims. The more information consumers have, the better weight loss choices they can make.

Do people really believe that if they say something like, ‘If the information isn’t enough’ we will actually think there was any valuable information at all?  In any case, here we see it again, the Clinical Studies!  Excellent.  You know, the Obesity Research Institute is an excellent place to locate your studies, and they do advise us that the more information consumers have the better, so they would share with us… wouldn’t they?   Lets check them out…  Okay, well the studies aren’t here at their one page website.  So, is this all we know about the Obesity Research Institute?

Well not exactly…. but I will get back to that in a minute.  In the meantime, I am going to look a little harder for these studies.  They should be at the main website and that is pretty easy to find, it is on the commercial after all.

Lipozene.com

Hmm… Limited time offers… tons of banners… Images of unattainably thin stomachs… free offers… yep, this site does not let us down at all.  It has all of the trimmings of a scam website.  Oh, and the risk free trial, well that just means that they have a 30 day money back guarantee, which you already knew….

My favorite part of their website though is this page.  It is under their REVIEWS section too!

If you’re doing your homework before deciding which weight loss product to use, you may have come across a number of positive and negative reviews on Lipozene and other weight loss products

Of course they brilliantly hide their glowing review website under the link of weight loss product, and this takes you to Lipozene.org, a totally unbiased set of reviews…  What idiots…  I also love how they hide the negative reviews right after the positive.  Do they think we won’t find the negative reviews?   They don’t even post any positive reviews on their site, instead, they go on to defend themselves:

If you’ve encountered negative Lipozene reviews, it’s important that you take them with a grain of salt and consider the source. Many web sites that claim to be diet product review sites are actually disguised affiliate sites created for the sole purpose of advertising or selling the affiliate’s products. These sites are obviously biased and do not always give you the whole truth.

Most of the negative Lipozene reviews fail to consider all the facts. People have different body types, for starters, and weight loss results will always be different for each individual. Products such as Lipozene and other weight loss products must also be taken as directed over a period of time to see results. No weight loss product, no matter how effective, can provide drastic results overnight.

If you go to their even more defensive page, called ‘complaints’, you get these tidbits:

  • What about complaints that are online? Lipozene investigates all complaints, and its customer service’s goal is to keep EVERY customer happy. The truth is, not everything you can find on the Internet is true. Many customer complaints have been investigated online and actually many of them originate from people who never purchased Lipozene products. Often, competitors blog negative comments or people are upset their credit cards were declined.
  • Many people who submit complaints to these supposedly unbiased review sites say they were ripped off or that the product didn’t work. The fact is that most of them never received the product because their credit cards were declined, or they never ordered it in the first place. Our customer service department has done the research to prove the facts behind these Lipozene complaints.

I love this.  The numerous complaints online are from people whose credit cards were declined!?!?  Seriously, you are going to try to convince us of that!??!  and. ya, sure they investigate all complaints.  What a waste of time, just do the research to see if your product works.  It isn’t the consumer fraud institute, it is the obesity research institute.  As well,  there are a lot of complaints!  I think it might be easier to find a weightloss pill that actually works than to investigate that many complaints!!   My favorites are from the youtube website that ORI (obesity research institute) clearly set up to sell their product:

  • Lipozene sucks. your pill put people in the hospital because it was blocking there intestinal track. you should be pulled off of the market and sued for attempted murder! i’ll see you in hell! jrjuggalo159 1
  • The title is misleading as is the video description. This is NOT a complaint. Either way this shite is disgusting. I would rather ruin my liver and kidneys with cocain or speed. They also lied about doing testing it at The Obesity Research Institute (a fake institute they made up). Losing 3.85 LBS a month is hardly worth the health risk.
  • Major university study? Double blind? Clinically proven? If this were true then why not divulge the “major university”? Why not reveal the mysterious study if it’s to your benefit? If in fact there were a real clinical study performed then the results would be published, where are they? I don’t know how these people sleep at night preying on the overweight who are desperate to lose weight and will spend anything and try anything even at a risk to health.

    These people need to be shut down!

    PaladinMC8 9 months ago 2 

I love any review that ends ‘I will see you in hell!!’  Which brings us to…

The Science

To make a long story short, there are no clinical studies on the website.  I went through it in detail.  I had no idea where they get the 78% of each pound lost is PURE BODY FAT or the 3.6 pounds lost in 8 weeks (which isn’t a lot to be honest).  The closest you will find on their site is:

Clinical trials: Clinical trials are organized studies that test the value of various treatments to support health and nutrition in human beings.

Yep, the definition of a clinical trial.  Well done.  Glad we could go to your website to find the actual definition of a clinical trial…  The thing is, trials have been done on glucomannan, so why not just link to some of those?  I did a quick search and I found all of the studies.  They are summarized in this meta-research here.  There are some studies that have found that glucomannan promotes small but significant weight loss when researchers were testing for weight loss (although some studies found that there was no difference between the glucomannan groups and the control groups), but even this tenuous result can be called into question when one realizes that when testing was done with glucomannan and weightloss was a secondary result (ie they were looking for other results first like improved cholesterol), they had no positive weight-loss results.

As you know, I absolutely feel that if a person promotes their product based upon clinical evidence and does not post that exact evidence to their website, then they are scamming you.  You need to be able to review the study for yourself before you make any decisions.  That is what makes clinical trials valuable.  The methods and results are listed so you know exactly what happened.  In the study that they are referring to in their add, the sample size was only 20 people!  That means in a double blind test only 10 were in each group.  The actual study can be found here.

The science in this case is still out.  There is no way that you could determine if glucomannan would be a good long term weight loss tool from the evidence above, it seems unlikely as hell, but maybe slightly possible.  The weight loss is small, the number of subjects in all studies is ridiculously small and there are hazards associated with this product.  The reality is that for someone to call this the answer to your weightloss woes is bad.  Very bad.  Bordering on criminal, which brings us back to the Obesity Research Institute.

Obesity Research Institute and the FTC

The first thing I like to check out with these corporations that have deceivingly therapeutic names is if they have run afoul of the FTC.  It seems that they always do and the Obesity Research Institute once again does not let us down.

On June 20, 2005, the Obesity Research Institute LLC, without admitting any wrong doing, entered into a stipulated final agreement with the FTC to the tune of $1.5 million.

The most interesting part of the injunction is this:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants, directly or through any corporation, partnership, subsidiary, division, trade name, or other device, and their officers, agents, servants, representatives, employees, and all persons or entities in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of this Order, by personal service or otherwise, in connection with the manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of FiberThin, MetaboUp, Propolene, Excelerene, or any substantially similar product, are hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from making any representation, in any manner, expressly or by implication, including through the use of a trade name or endorsement, that any such product:

A. Causes rapid or substantial weight loss without the need to reduce caloric intake or increase physical activity;

B. Enables users to lose as much as 8 pounds or more per month without the need to reduce caloric intake or increase exercise;

C. Works for all users; or

D. Causes substantial weight loss through blocking the absorption of fat or calories.

You might think that the biggest question is whether Lipozene is a substantially similar product, but that was answered in the definitions section:

“Substantially similar product” shall mean any product that contains one or more of the following active ingredients: glucomannan, propol, konjac, konjac root, chromium, green tea, guarana seed, oolong tea, kola nut, bitter orange, cayenne, platycodon grandiflorum, or any extracts of these ingredients.

Well, yes, it appear that not only did the Obesity Research Institute get into trouble with the FTC, but if I am reading the injunction correctly, it appears that they are in trouble again.  You can read the ads and see the website from the first time they trotted out this product here.    You can see they went a little further in their claims back then, with bizarre statements that the product sponges up up to 400 calories of fat a day.  They also supplied the names of pretty much every study ever done on gluccomannan and konjac root.

Not only did they get in trouble with the FTC, but they recently (October of 2010) settled a class action lawsuit on the very product that they are currently advertising, Lypozene, as well as another product they agreed to stop manufacturing, Zylotrim!  The class action case can be found here.  On top of the money that they agreed to pay, they had to alter their advertising to eliminate the use of the following statements:

  • Lipozene® should be considered before “liposuction”
  • “Lipozene® is backed by 12 clinical studies”
  • “amazing weight loss”
  • “dramatic weight loss”
  • any claim that single order use of Lipozene® leads to long-term weight loss or that weight loss will be maintained after discontinuing use of Lipozene®
  • “begin to uncover lean muscle”
  • “begin to reveal a flat tummy, ripped abs, tight buns, and firm thighs”
  • the phrase “Fit & Lean with Lipozene®” shall be used solely in connection with the current Club program and not in any other context nor in any television advertising.

So, who are the people behind the Obesity Research Institute?  Although you can’t find who owns the company by seeing who owns the website, as they hide their names under the domainsbyproxy service offered by GoDaddy, which I consider remarkably scammy to start with.  The class action lawsuit names Bryan Corlett as well as the FTC judgement.  The FTC judgement also names Henny Den Uijl, James Ayres and Dr. Jonathan M. Kelley.  According to the FTC:

The FTC’s complaint named FiberThin, LLC and Obesity Research Institute, LLC; their owners, Henny Den Uijl and Bryan Corlett; and the “expert endorsers,” James Ayres and Jonathan M. Kelley, M.D., as defendants.

Henny Den UiJl & Bryan Corlett

 So, who are Henny Den Uijl and Bryan Corlett?
A little research turns up a lot about these 2.  They do a lot of business together and they own a bunch of businesses.  For example, it appears that they co-own a company called Decor Research LLC .  This company has had or currently manufactures a number of products:
  • Cyvita a Dietery Supplement (2008)
  • I-PAK Vitmanin and dietery supplement (2007)
  • Relactia Anti-Stress Supplement (2007)
  • Lumanex Sleep Aid (no longer active)
  • Excelerene Dietery Fibre Supplement (2004)

This could be the worst of the worst list of supplement scams!  I was trying to figure out the names of these products (>why Cyvita? this is what I found.  It is an herbal erectile disfunction pill.  What are the names of the 2 most popular erectile disfunction drugs?  Why Cialis and Livitra…  They are running the exact same scam with Cyvita as Lipozene and it gets worse.

Try Relactia….

This is again, the same EXACT scam, same price, same 3o day risk free, same act now and get 2 packs and yes, even same CLINICALLY PROVEN with no clinical proof offered, and that is just the beginning of where this one has gone wrong.  Notice the doctor, Dr. Craig Uhl.  Well, he is actually the actor, Craig Michaels, a man who apparently plays Dr. Craig Uhl in numerous television appearances.   Apparently only Cyvita and Excelerene are currently on the market, so they haven’t yet committed a crime with their Relactia video.  That said, they are setting up a Relactia test website for sales and it was through this website that I found that they also own Appetrol LLC.

Appetrol LLC  markets Appetrol (fittingly enough), another weightloss supplement (I recommend that you don’t go to the website for this one because it has a bunch of pop ups that prevent you from leaving, but if you do risk it, you will see the same claims of clinical research-same definition of clinical study at the bottom of the page, same pricing and same risk free offer.  They even offer the same free bottle of MetaboUp).

I wish I was done with who Henny Den Uijl and Bryan Corlett are, or more correctly what they are up to, but the list just goes on.  They apparently co-own a company called Market Financing LLC and for the life of me,
I cannot find out what that company does.   Another company they own together is Beau Cheveux, which sells a product called Beau Cheveux’s Nutra Renew, which is an hair treatment product.

The same cookie cutter website, same deal and same price, just $29.95 (which does seem quite cheap when they throw in a hair straightener).  According to the website, ‘The scientists at Beau Cheveux discovered rare natural ingredients that penetrate deep into the hair fiber.’  The thing is, Henny and Bryan aren’t scientists and although I am not going to call them liars, I think I would be less surprised to see the Easter Bunny at Beau Cheveux than I would be to see a scientist (especially because I don’t think Beau Cheveux even occupies a physical place in the exclusive sense, rather than the legal entity sense-2032 CORTE DEL MOGAL STE 110).  I love how it is Beau Cheveux BEVERLY HILLS as well.  They are located in Carlsbad California, a beautiful place to be sure, but not Beverly Hills.

Continuing down this dark rabbit hole, we find that Brian Corlett owns Pounds Lost LLC (this one may not be in partnership with Henny), yet ANOTHER weight loss dietary supplement!  This one though suggests that you could lose 19  pounds and up to 3 and 1/2 inches off your waist!  That is a real no-no by the way for the FTC.  It is wording like that that will get you charged.  Also statements like, ‘Just take pounds lost each day and start losing weight’ really get the FTC upset.  I am not going to go into the MASSIVE problems with the pounds lost system, but there is one major difference between it and the others.  It offers you one free week, plus free shipping if you buy the first week for only $1.95.  Sounds good, but once you go to place the order you get the small print:

You’ll receive a full 2 week supply of Pounds Lost with our Buy 1 week supply for only $1.95 and get an additional week FREE. POUNDS LOST normally SELLS for $4 dollars PER DAILY SUPPLY but if you love your initial results with your 2 WEEK supply– and you’ll want to continue losing weight –you are scheduled to receive a two month supply of Pounds Lost 12 days after your two week supply ships – it will be billed in one monthly payment of $89.99 plus a $9.95 shipping fee billed the day your order is shipped. That’s 60% percent off the retail price. It’s our commitment to helping you reach your weight loss goals.

As you will begin to see shortly with these guys, for some reason $89.99 is a magic billing number.

In addition to pounds lost, there also appears to have been a pounds off nutrition bar (although I get an account suspended message whenever I try to log on now).  As well, there does appear to be some legitimate business in Bryan Corlett’s past as well, although this was ill fated.

James Ayres and Dr. Jonathan M. Kelley

As for the ‘expert endorsers’, there is some interesting stuff there as well.  James Ayres may very well be the Jim Ayres of the Xyngular MLM scheme.  I could write for days about this one.  They sell a Core 4 system.   Ironically, the pitch he gives for one of the 4 products, Cheat, is the same pitch that the FTC found so offensive (25% of calories that you eat can be trapped and absorbed).  I am sure I will have a chance to explore and write about Xyngular at some future time, but I have already covered so much ground in researching this one silly little product it is surprising, even to me.  The biggest surprise will be that I probably haven’t touched on half of the products that they sell!

As for Dr. Jonathan Kelly, no wonder they went after him.  Apparently he is an anesthesiologist from that same part of California.  It seems likely that his is our man as both of them of them were educated at Harvard.  I am not sure why in the world an anesthesiologist would be supplying expert advice on diet pills, but that is certainly not in his area of expertise.

Conclusion

First, there is very little evidence that glucomannan will help you lose weight.  It isn’t a miracle pill and it does have negative side effects.  I wouldn’t take it.  If I did take it though, I would go to a health food store and buy it for a fraction of the price that these guys charge you.  I personally would never knowingly order from any business run by these guys.  The biggest problem with Lipozene is the myriad of complaints of overbilling! From http://www.complaintsboard.com:

  • doesn’t work/won’t refund what was not ordered  I ordered the TRIAL of Lipozene for $29. 95 w/free S&H for my daughter. Then they sent two more 60 count bottles & charged me a total of $101. 85. I called to get a refund, as I had NOT ordered any other products. They told me I was out of luck!! This company is running a scam. Nowhere on there website did they state they would send out, ahead of time, any other products…
  • Den Lipozene – just a plain lost!
    I have been disputing with Den Lipozene for months now. I hung the phone up on the initial conversation because the initial representative wouldn’t take no for an answer. After she continued to place my order, I was charged $31. 30 and shipped a mess box full of things. I sent the package return to sender through the post office…
  • Unauthorized billing
    I have tried to cancel my Lipozene billing, the company said it would be done. They LIE. I am still getting charges on my Charge card. I have to dispute them every month. Do not order this product. It doesn’t work and you can’t get out like they say you can. MPW…
  • They won’t stop taking money!
    I have called them a total of 4 times already and each time I am assured that they will cease and desist! However, each month I am charged an additional $19.95 and I’m at my wits end! How do i make these #@$%heads stop??!!
  • Unauthorized billing  Lipozene ads say… 100% money back guarantee! They LIE. I tried their product and didn’t like it. I called with in the 30 day trial period and was told to package up the bottles, put a return number on the outside of the package, name and address and other information in the box and ship it Reno Navada using US Postal Service.
    Well, I did just that, but I didn’t have the opportunity to get to the post office when it was open, so it took me 2 weeks to get there. Still have plenty of time to ship the product back. I waited for my money for 2 months, nothing was sent to me.
    When I contacted the company about my refund they said I did not send the product back in time. I explained to them I had a receipt of when I shipped the product to them and they said it didn’t matter, they did not receive the product in 30 days from when I called them to return the product.
    They claim that it took over 10 days to receive the package from New York. When I asked the Post office official people, they looked up the time frame and said it shouldn’t have been more than 3-5 days. There were no storm or anything else happening that would have delayed delivery.
    I mailed the product back on May 20th they claim it was not relieved until June 5th so they conveniently say it was more than 30 days. I have called twice, I have written and they still refuse to give me my money back.
    I can’t believe a company who wants people to try their product is giving me such a hard time returning my money. I have never experienced such a disgrace regarding people’s money.

You would have to be an idiot to purchase a product like that when you get those warnings, but wait, it doesn’t stop there.  Try the Pounds Lost product:

  • Charged my account  On April 23rd I saw an add on tv offering a product called”pounds lost” it is like an energy drink. The offer is buy one get like 6 free. While I was on the phone the automated system asked me if I wanted to prtake in several different offers and I said NO to everything. A week later I see a charge on my account for 69.64. I never said or agreed to them sending me another shipment. So of course my bank payed it and charged me and over draft of 29 dollars. When I called POUNDS LOST they said I should have looked at the invoice and called to tell them I didnt want this. The automated system didnt say anything about looking at the invoice. They say now that I have to wait till the shipment comes to me and I need to refuse it and when it gets back to them then they can refund the money but they will not cover my overdraft fee. I cannot believe this, this is illegal when you say no for them to charge. I will never order anything else off the telephone!
  • Charged my account  I also was sent and charged for more than I ordered. I called the company (Pounds Lost, LLC). They said to return the product at my cost and they would refund. I said it was unacceptable that I should pay shipping and that I would get a chargeback from my credit card company. The rep asked me to hold and came back on the line saying he had just credited my account and I could either keep or send back the product.

Or Nutra Renew:

  • Problem And More Problems  Posted on 03/31/05 by Matt from El Paso, Texas  I recently fell victim to Nutra renue. The product didnt live up to its listing, and when I tried to get the fund I was told I was due, I was told that there was no problem, instead they atempted to stuff more of the product down my throte, I would like to know where i can call to get a refund the nuber I been calling now says they dont have any info on how to do it. They only handle orders…. Please help me
  • Do not Order This Product Posted on 03/14/05 by Terry gegorek from Baltimore, MDHi,this is such a ripoff. First it does not work, second after only trying for 2 weeks ,I called to return,they said the 30 trial started when they shipped ,not when I received it. But they would let me return by overnight express which cost me $25.00. If you want to waste alot of money go ahead and order this stuff.
    Major False Advertising In My Opinion Posted on 04/12/05 by Delene Christensen from Oregon City, OR  I too was caught in their web, but I am fighting back. When you advertise a product for $29.95 and then charge $89.95, that, in my opinion is the same as theft. I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on 04/12/2005. These people have to be stopped NOW!! Delene Christensen Maybe we can all get together and file a class action law suit.
    Decent Product, Beware Of The Billing Scam!  Posted on 03/03/05 by Tammy from mercer, pa This UNSCRUPULOUS billing style is illegal. They told me 89.99 for the first 30 days, but later billed me 140.00. There was no return instruction in the box with the product. I had a difficult time getting thru on the phone too. I WAITED 28 minutes on hold! They said the shipments I received were not cancelable!! I reported them to my credit card company as a scam. I did not agree to the outrageous hidden fees they charge!!!DO NOT BUY!!!
    Read Reviews-called Myself-huge Scam-dont Buy!!!!! Posted on 02/27/05 by Jennifer G. from Phoenix, AZ I read reviews & decided to call for myself about cost & charges of this product. I was talking to the representative who continued to beat around the bush when I kept asking her to confirm that I would only be charged once $29.95 for a total of 2 shampoos and 2 nutra renews & free S&H. She wouldnt answer my question & kept reading off stuff about the products results in response. I told her I have read complaints about them charging extra charges with the BBB and she was like oh well there are. Basically what it comes down to is you are charged $29.95 to “begin/trial” & if you keep it after 30days they will charge u two more installments of payments totaling $149. How do they get away with this?! DONT BUY THIS! SCAM!!
 This one is particularly egregious because if you visit the website it only lists the $29.95 cost.  It doesn’t say anything about any additional fees. I am not sure of the legalities of this at all, but to me, this appears to be straight up highway robbery.
I am surprised that the State of California has not taken these people, or their billing agent, to court and made a finding against them like the State of Arizona did against Central Coast Nutraceuticals in 2009.  As well, it appears that the FTC should also be taking action once again against them.  They continue to hit the “Red Flag” comments in each of their ads including: “that weight loss would occur no matter what the consumer ate”.  As well, some of their items claiming ‘that the product would cause rapid, substantial weight loss (more than 2 pounds per week) without the need to diet or exercise’.  Finally, several of their products violate the terms of the original settlement with the FTC.  The government has the power to join all of the companies and all of the products that I have listed on this page, as well as using their own databases to find even more I am sure, and act against them as one entity. like they did with Basic Research.
I would not buy any of the products from these people given the warnings I found on the internet.  The list of companies that they own and operate appear to include:
  • Cyvita
  • Lipozene
  • Relactia
  • FiberThin
  • Excelerene
  • Beau Cheveux Nutra Renew
  • MetaboUp
  • Propolene
  • Pounds Lost
  • Appetrol
  • Appetril
  • Metabo Pro
  • Vita 26

At the end of the day though, you should do your research.  The Lipozene privacy policy is bad, but check out this portion of the Appetrol privacy policy:

The information collected by our Site is used only for the limited purposes of processing orders, keeping you informed about your order status, for statistical purposes for improving our Site and to notify you of products or special offers that may be of interest to you. We will disclose your Personally Identifiable Information to third parties to charge your credit card, fill your order, deliver your order and deliver promotional emails to you from us. For example, we must release your credit card number to confirm payment; and release your mailing address information to the delivery service to deliver products that you ordered.
We may sell, trade or rent your personal information to others. However you may “opt-out” by following the instructions below. We may also provide Non-Personally Identifiable Information about our customers’ sales, traffic patterns and related Site information to third party advertisers, but these statistics do not include any Personally Identifiable Information. Moreover, we may release account information when we believe that such release is reasonably necessary to enforce or apply our Web Site Terms of Use Agreement or to protect the rights, property and safety of our users, others and ourselves.
We may transfer and otherwise share the information you provide to us available to select partners and third parties. This will allow these third parties to contact you and provide you offers and other information that they think will be valuable to you. However, if you would like us to stop providing your information to these third parties, please send a “do not share” request to mailings@appetrol.com.

 These guys make as much money or more selling out your personal information.

In fact, if you thought you had to wait for a month or so to get sold out by ORI, by the way, you don’t.  They have already sold you, and the information that you supply by the time you reach the cash register.  Check out this pdf case study for SmartSell.  The Case Study is for the ORI… Yep, they get about $2 for each time someone clicks on an offer and ends up buying it.  The offer is totally unsolicited, and the person who buys the product has no idea that they have already been sold out to a third party company.  You can see how it works here (click on the demo link).

There is no way to describe how crappy it is that this company does everything it can to wring out every last penny from its potential customers.  You can find no shortage of complaints of this source on the internet as well.  I will close this entry with my favorite:

Lipozene ,Obesity Research Institute lipozene send you magazines you never ordered Pueblo Colorado

I see that I am not the only person who has had issues with FRAUD where LIPOZENE is concerned. I also had the same experience of having all types of magazines foisted upon me when i called to order their product. I declined all of the offers (and yeah, the ywasted ten minutes of my time, too, with this nonsense) and lo and behold a week later, a Gossip rag – US Weekly arrives on my door as they ordered the magazine for me anyway even though I DECLINED all of them. i wonder how many other magazines they ordered for me, as well?

When I called LIPOZENE to compalin, they denied that they were the ones that did it (but I just moved inot this house a month ago and no one had my address – I KNOW it was them) yet had the phone number I needed to cancel the order (if they didn’t order it, then how did they know who to tell me to call?). The phone number they gave me was (I beleive) for a company called “Magazine Direct” – 800-607-9869. I should add that it is impossible to speak to a live person at this number – they make you go through all their voice prompts. AMAZINGLY even after I went through the commands and cancelled the magazine that LIPOZENE ordered for me, they STILL tried to foist even more magazines on me through their automated system. If my intial expeience with LIPOZENE is any indication, I probably have 3 more magazines coming to me over this fiasco.

In closing, I will be returnign this product, UNOPENED as soon as it arrives and I will never ever do business with these snake oil salemen again. I called my credit card company and disputed the fraudulent charges made to my card, as well. BUYER BEWARE – particualry when it comes to Lipozene, fraudulent magazine order and companies that LIE to their customers. These people are scam artists – no other way to describe their actions.

Rippedoffinmo
Wildwood, Missouri
U.S.A.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenden permalink
    January 24, 2012 2:43 am

    Cyvita commercials are running in denver…

  2. January 26, 2012 11:28 pm

    Thanks for the heads up. I never tried Cyvita but looked up “Cyvita scam” on Google and interestingly all that comes up in the top spots are these cheap trashy looking websites in that have nothing to do with ANY kind of scam. I don’t know if someone is trying to divert traffic on investigating this company or what. Again, I don’t know for sure if this or anything on TV is a scam but I suppose we should all tread carefully when you only see something on night time TV. What I notice is after 1am is when all the “make money in real estate”, “work at home and make millions” and of course all of the lose weight with no effort commercials come out. At least here in Florida that is what I see. So my common sense advice after living 51 years is :” If it on after 1….just look at it for fun.:” Seriously. Cyvita might be a great product but after reading this article I still dont know if its is a scam. But for my money I will wait until it comes out in stores so I can just return it to the drug store or health food store I bought it from with no hassles. Thats the way I prefer to do things unless I trust the Internet co. completely like Amazon.com or something thats been on the web for years. If anyone had good results with Cyvita bought in a store, let me know and I will go out and get some. I don’t trust online vendors after my credit card co. sided with a scammer over me 2 years back for over 10 grand! And it was a best selling author for stock market trading who pulled the scam. Buyer beware.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      February 7, 2012 12:51 pm

      ‘If it on after 1….just look at it for fun’
      I love that line. I think it is something that we could all take to heart!
      As well, you are so right, never use your real credit card for online purchases. Use a Visa giftcard when purchasing online. Scammers love to get a hold of your credit card and most people would be shocked to see how protected they are by the credit card companies. Thank you for sharing your experiences!!

    • Stan permalink
      May 2, 2012 11:32 pm

      The active ingredients in Cyvita, in the exact doses contained in Cvita have extensive clinical research, including prospective, randomized, double blind clinical trials that support its use as: a treatment for erectile dysfunction; a treatment for low sperm count; a treatment for low sperm motility; a treatment for low sperm morphology; decreasing the recovery phase after resistance training. The active ingredients in Cyvita in the exact doses found in Cyvita were compared in these trials to: testosterone (Cyvita statistically significantly better); Viagra (Cyvita with Viagra statistically better that Viagra alone). You might want to actually start looking at the literature (PubMed) to see what is out there before making stupid statements that are not based on actual facts. I cannot speak for any other products mentioned in this piece or the individuals, but I can speak for Cyvita’s claims and its composition because I was looking for this exact formulation and have been buying the components in it separately for over two years with great results. Cyvita is cheaper and better than what I have been using and contains the actual pure forms of acetyl-l-carnitine and proponyl-l-carnitine from Sigma Tau, its inventor. Compare Cyvita’s 2 grams of each of these powerful agents to any of the competing products.

      • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
        May 5, 2012 9:03 pm

        The only study I am aware of is the test of a similar product to Cyvita when used in conjunction with Viagra. Please include the links to the other studies here so we can analyze them and judge them for what they are. I don’t usually spend time looking into men’s issues, I am only interested in weight loss.
        Being that the article just speaks about the other products and the people involved, and actually develops its conclusion and recommendations based upon that, I am pretty sure I didn’t ‘make any stupid statements not based on fact’. You seem awfully passionate about a product you take and are quite aware of the competing products, almost like an owner. I am glad that this subject has engendered such passion in you. As I said, please post the studies here so I, and others, can look at them. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Richard Gonci permalink
    February 2, 2012 9:33 am

    Very helpful back-grounding here. I was actually the Creative Director on the earliest marketing efforts for Cialis (I am not responsible for the bathtubs spot.)

    I, too, was taken by the name conflation.

    BTW, as one who is on Androgel, I can tell you that testosterone has no effect on performance. It does restore libido, but the “plumbing” still needs robust blood flow.

    The TV spots are nonsensical (I am in the Boston market), for the reason cited above. That they are also cheesy comes as no surprise.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      February 3, 2012 1:57 pm

      Lol! That must have been a dream job. Talk about a product that pretty much sells itself!! The evidence for the 2 supplements in this product is shaky at best. There is some studies showing that one of the supplements has had a positive effect on those who are already taking Viagra and as you point out, the other supplement has shown some connection to increased testosterone. Still to go from those studies to selling these supplements as the cure for sexual disfunction should simply not be allowed in a country that cares about its citizens more than its corporations. Thank you so much for your comment.

  4. Misty permalink
    February 4, 2012 1:59 pm

    Cyvita commercials also running in Southwest Virginia

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      February 7, 2012 12:40 pm

      Wow… the Cyvita ads are all over the place. Thanks for the message

  5. Carl Reynolds permalink
    February 5, 2012 10:08 am

    Cyvita running ads on TV here in New Mexico as well. I think it’s a scam. I won’t be buying the stuff.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      February 7, 2012 12:41 pm

      Carl, I think you are on to something. Take care and thanks for the comment!

  6. Carlos permalink
    February 7, 2012 12:19 am

    Thank you very much for this valuable information, which would be very difficult if not impossible to find it on our own unless of couse we accidentally find your web site, as I did. Any chance in the near future to write a review on “Buy Ageless Male”
    I do appreciate your good work, keep it up!

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      February 7, 2012 12:30 pm

      My pleasure. As for Ageless Male, it is a simple bit of research. They are connecting their entire basis for their product on a study done for a product called ‘Mytosterone’, published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2008 “An open label, dose response study to determine the effect of a dietary supplement on dihydrotestosterone, testosterone and estradiol levels in healthy males”. The study can be found here: http://www.jissn.com/content/5/1/12.
      I am assuming the ingredients in the two products are the same, although there may be some differences. According to the study ‘The carotenoid astaxanthin (AX) from Haematococcus pluvialis, Saw Palmetto berry lipid extract (SPLE) from Serenoa repens and the precise combination of these dietary supplements, Alphastat® (Mytosterone(™)), have been reported to have inhibitory effects on both 5AR and AER in-vitro.’ So, the ingredients are at least similar if not identical.
      The study doesn’t say how much the testosterone levels improve, but only states that they improve a significant amount. There are 42 people in the study and THEY DO NOT RANDOMLY ASSIGN THEM TO 2 GROUPS. That is a HUGE warning sign and the difference in starting testosterone levels is statistically significant. The starting testosterone for the 800mg dose group is 2.34 nmol/L (which converts to 64 ng/dL) which is SHOCKINGLY low. The increase goes up to 12 after 14 days which brings it up to a level of 345 ng/dl, which is just short of normal: 350-890 ng/dL (12.15-30.88 nmol/ L). The increase is of over 5 times though!
      So, another problem with the study is that their was NO control group. Why not break the group up into 3 groups and give one of the groups a placebo? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. The group is rather small, so maybe they just wanted to do some preliminary testing.
      Finally, the study was done by the University of Cameroon and paid for by the supplement company. I have never heard anything specifically wrong about the University but I believe that this is the same University that did the African Mango research that was INCREDIBLY questionable.
      So, the problems with this study are:
      Small sample size
      No random assignment to groups
      Not double blind
      No control group
      Outliers used as the sample (INCREDIBLY LOW TESTOSTERONE LEVELS TO START).
      Never been replicated
      Proprietary blend used in study not necessarily in product citing the study.
      That is a lot of problems. I would never take a supplement based on such a small and questionable study. It is shocking that they can base their entire product on only this. There needs to be more science before you can believe a products claims.
      So, the answer to Ageless Male, a decisive NO! You need a lot more research on a product!

      • Carlos permalink
        February 10, 2012 3:38 am

        Again,thank you so much for your time on this quick reply and very valuable info. Besides the science behind this product after reading your reply, I have concerns about the way it is sold to the customer, the only way to buy it is by agreeing on an auto renewable order on your credit card, which we know by other sites experiences, the only way to cancel, is by canceling the credit card you used for the initial purchase.
        If the product is so effective as they claim, why do they have to hook you on an automatic renewable order?

      • Ned permalink
        February 14, 2012 2:37 pm

        You first incorrectly quote the initial level of testosterone as 2.34 nmol/L for the first group taking 800 mg per day dose, then qualify that as SHOCKINGLY LOW, and proceed to dismiss the study because of it.

        In reality, the journal article states that the initial level for the first group is 21.64 nmol/L, and 26.26 nmol/L for the second group. The increase after 14 day treatment is BY 12, rather than UP TO 12 as you state.

        So, one of your starting premises is completely false! Pretty embarrassing, isn’t it?

        If anything, base numbers are near the high end of the normal range and almost twice the level at the low end (12.15 nmol/L). This raises quite a different questions about the study – why would you try to increase the level for someone who already has it high? The testosterone level in the first group increases to about 34, and in the second to about 36. Those levels are above the upper end of normal for this age group (25 – 30 nmol/L). While this may be consistent with the hypothesis that the increase is due to suppression of conversion of the (high level) testosterone into DHT and ES, it is unclear does this treatment actually work at all for people with low initial levels where there is very little excess testosterone to be converted. Also, long term effects have not been addressed at all – could it be that the endocrine feedback system system would adjust over time to these increased levels to reduce it’s production?

        Anyway, the study is very poorly designed from the statistical point of view and leaves a lot to be desired, but not for the ‘shockingly low’ base level in one of the groups as you claim.

      • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
        February 14, 2012 6:16 pm

        You are right Ned, although I fail to be embarrassed. The information I used was from Figure 1, Serum Total Testosterone. Again, I could be reading this wrong but it appears to read at the 2 and change nmol/L getting up to between 11 and 14… I actually couldn’t find the 7 and 14 day results anywhere in the study:

        Under RESULTS:Serum T levels

        The mean baseline level of serum total T in the 800 mg/day dose group of 21.64 nmol/L was significantly (p = 0.05) different than the baseline level of 26.26 nmol/L in the 2000 mg/day dose group. ANOVA-RM of the 800 mg/day dose group showed the mean level of T was significantly (p < 0.05) greater than the mean baseline level at day 7 and day 14. ANOVA-RM of the 2000 mg/day dose group showed the mean level of T was significantly (p < 0.05) greater than the mean baseline level at day 3, day 7 and day 14. ANOVA-2 comparison, after baseline subtraction, between the 800 mg/day dose group and the 2000 mg/day dose group showed the interaction between time points to be significant (p = 0.05) reaching a statistical significance of 1.0. Comparison of means between dose groups showed no significant (p = 0.05) interaction reaching a statistical power of 0.51 (Figure 1).

        So I went to the chart. http://www.jissn.com/content/5/1/12/figure/F1

        In any case, I am glad that the shockingly low levels of testosterone turned out to be normal because it did worry me that they could find people with such low levels… Ned, Great questions about the study, pointing out once again that ONE STUDY does not really tell us a lot. Even increasing testosterone may not have a desirable effect. In any case thanks for pointing out that the subjects might be outliers of a different sort, with normal to high testosterone. Those people are not very likely to be taking this supplement in the first place. Thanks for the corrections and the comments. Take Care, Mark.

  7. Lucas Rimmer permalink
    February 7, 2012 8:18 am

    Cyvita ads are running in Minnesota.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      February 7, 2012 12:31 pm

      Thanks for the heads up. Seems to be national… I would expect a bigger response to a national campaign…

  8. February 8, 2012 12:01 am

    As far as the lipozene scam the best way for desperate over weight people to lose the weight is to turn off the tv which is loaded with these scams and start a moderately est diet then gradually work their way up to something more strict cuz believe me 3.5 lbs in one month is definitely within reach by just cutting a carb here n there and as far as cyvita goes lots of broccoli guys (dim).

  9. Ben permalink
    February 9, 2012 5:01 am

    Cyvita is carpet bombing cable news with their ads, so there’s no doubt it’s an all-out national campaign. The ads are so blatantly scammy that I can almost see the slime oozing through the TV screen. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity on who’s behind this.

  10. J. Doyle permalink
    February 22, 2012 6:58 pm

    Cyvita does not work. If you want to cancel, you can’t . there is a special extention on the phone to use for cancellations. Guess what- they don’t answere. I’ve spent over 2 hours on the phone trying to get anyone to help me cancel- NO LUCK! So they are still billing me $59.40 a month. My bank says it will cost me $35.00 to stop it EACH MONTH! This is a scam!

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      February 23, 2012 12:32 am

      I tried to cancel the Lipozene subscription, even though I didn’t buy any. Called, waited on an automated hold for 10 minutes and then my call was terminated… Seemed pretty suspicious to me! Whatever you do, I cannot state this emphatically enough, NEVER, EVER BUY A TV OFFER WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD!! USE A GIFT CARD. They work just as well and depending on the amount of money on one, the subscription is going to end, sooner rather than later. If you are happy and want to keep it coming, you can contact them (they do answer sales calls) or they will contact you when the credit card fails.
      Thanks for the heads up. I feel for you. Contact the BBB, Your state Attorney General’s office (they will take action in about 2 years), and leave your review on as many websites as possible. They do get read! You can also tweet out a warning daily under Cyvita. You can take action with Visa, so don’t let them tell you you need to pay to stop the payment. Reject the payment outright. Look online, there are ways to do this. Good luck.

  11. B. Browne permalink
    February 23, 2012 1:50 am

    Ad’s running in Seattle after midnight.

  12. RCA permalink
    April 5, 2012 9:55 pm

    ADVICE: If any of you fall prey to this thing of a health scammer or any other scammer charging a payment on your credit card every month though you never agreed to that, call your credit card company and get a new credit card number, and tell them to stop allowing charges on your old one immediately. You may have to lie and say you lost your credit card and it may have fallen into the wrong hands. Then, in a separate call, tell your credit card company that the charges already incurred on your old card are bogus and tell them to reverse the charges. You might not win on reversing the charges, but at least you have stopped the scammers from continuing their ripoff every 30 days.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      April 5, 2012 11:45 pm

      Thanks for the comment, great advice! I agree, do whatever you can to stop the billing!

  13. Chapps permalink
    April 16, 2012 7:02 am

    Thanks for the great research. I got here after being annoyed by the constant stream of Cyvita ‘longer, stronger, more frequent erections!’ commercials on early morning MSNBC and CNN. Not exactly family friendly. I love how it says to ask your doctor about Cyvita … knowing that 99% of the men watching wouldn’t go to see their doctor if they were having massive chest pains. Very safe comment. I plan on lodging a complaint to both networks about running scam ads and the FTC … or maybe it should be the FCC.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      April 16, 2012 9:44 am

      Report them to both the FCC and the FTC. The FCC will probably be the one who does something about it, if anyone does. I love your point about the guys seeing the doctors… that is so true. No one is going to see their doctor about this crap, we hardly see our doctor when we have to and if they were going to see their doctor they would just get Cialis or Viagra, drugs that actually do work… Hilarious! As the cable news shows and the specialty tv shows scramble for audience share and fight for survival, there are going to be so many advertisers that are allowed to sell crap on these shows. The shows need the money and at a certain point they will turn a blind eye to what they show on their station, even if it heavily damages their brand identity. Try complaining to the channels as well, that might have an impact! Take care and thanks for the comment.

  14. morp permalink
    June 11, 2012 4:38 pm

    A class action lawsuit has been filed in San Diego, CA by attorney Ronald Marron (619) 696-9006. Call and join NOW!

  15. knowles richards permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:29 am

    I feel sorry for people that are over wieght and, people taking atvantage of them. companies that make fake diet pills and scam them for lots of money.it should be unlawful to let them get away with that.some people are not smart enough to know that there being taken and robbed of their hard earned money. its a shame.

  16. August 1, 2012 6:39 pm

    I have got to say I really obsess overf your site, the way you write is fantastic!

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      August 1, 2012 11:37 pm

      Thank you!

  17. April 18, 2013 8:36 pm

    These pills are a scam.they constpste you so bad and you loosr no eright aftet rven exercize. I walk every fay took as directed. It made me feel confused i got stomach ctsmps so baf taking this product.camn anyone help me to get my 30 plus dollars back from these scam artist.my dr daid this product is not good for your healtj

    • Roger permalink
      August 6, 2013 2:40 am

      Here tis boyz.

      Registered Agent:
      Bryan Corlett
      251 Shipyard Way Ste E
      Newport Beach, CA 92663

      Principal Address:
      2875 Michelle Dr Ste 100
      Irvine, CA 92606

  18. unnotice nixon permalink
    March 22, 2014 10:58 pm

    Ok first and for most i would like to take the tyme and thank all the folks dat came up with lipozene! I would love to thank u guys inperson only cause u guy have been apart of my diet right along with hollywood 48hr miracle diet the past year or 2 and i have lost over 168 pounds! I am very proud of myself i would like for both companys to get a hold of me so dat i could send u pictures of my weight lost! U can see them on unnoticed nixon on fb! I have plenty of picture u guys have changed my life n it means the world to me to meet u guys, i mean dat from bottom of my heart! Thanks!

  19. August 11, 2014 2:26 pm

    I am going to re-write this,not sure if it went through,My info;

    Michael Smith
    6109 nw 55th
    oklahoma,city
    ok
    73122

    I tried CYVITA,I died 2 weeks ago from a mass bacterial infection? not sure,I am not a doctor,it is the only thing different I have taken,I was in Oklahoma city ST. ANTHONY’S HOSPITAL,intensive care for 4 days,spent 2 weeks in the hospital and was released a few days ago,everything is public record,I have no idea what to do,or who to contact,this is the only place I have told about this,any direction or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  20. September 22, 2014 7:33 am

    Do you mind if Iquote a few off your posts as
    long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog iss in the vvery same niche as yours and my visitos would truly benefit
    from some of the information you provide here. Please leet me know if this okay with you.
    Cheers!

  21. jim D permalink
    October 13, 2014 3:28 pm

    need to have a class action law suit on this company it is a scam can’t get through to cancel. Looks like i will have to cancel credit card in order to not be charged again.

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