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Science of Us– another fascinating Website and another story about Useless Health Drinks


This website appears to be run by New York magazine and today it has a story about a “famous” doctor who has used his degree and “training” to make money by selling a worthless drink that supposedly makes you happy, horny, sleepy, or calm, depending on which of the four varieties you drink.  None of these drinks contains anything that definitely works. They do contain ingredients that might have worked, only in sub-therapeutic doses.  Things like yohimbine, for example, a drug that used to be available by prescription but was dropped because nobody could prove that it really did anything when taken in tolerable doses.  At effective doses, yohimbine does some very strange things to you besides making you horny.   We won’t discuss that because it’s nearly impossible to get in significant quantities so you can’t try it.

The company is Kole, and it has some very good lawyers, at any rate.  They threatened to sue the author when they found out he was going to write an article about the company.  That’s right, their first impulse when they heard of the possibility of exposure was to sue.  They also went in the same day they heard he was writing his article and dramatically changed their advertising for these drinks.  They toned down their claims so that they would fit into the FDA’s category of “foods” and “natural supplements” which don’t have to prove that they actually do anything, only that they are safe.

For two years, before the author started writing his article, they advertised that this stuff would work as an aphrodisiac, or for insomnia, to improve your thinking ability, or to calm you down.  Therapeutic claims that the FDA never got wind of, or they would have gotten one of those cease and desist letters.  The lawyers figured to slow down the author long enough to keep the FDA out of the conversation by threatening to sue him AND his sources just for writing an article about the  man and his company.

So this is how the man is described in the article:

Kolé, then, might blend anonymously into the humming, multibillion-dollar background of the American supplement market, were it not for the fact that it was founded and is chaired by Dr. Bankole Johnson, chair of the psychiatry department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Johnson is an established, respected expert who has built an impressive career as an addiction researcher. The founder of ADial, a pharmaceutical company which creates drugs aimed at curtailing addiction, Johnson haspublished quite prolifically, was once featured in an HBO documentary on addiction, and is currently a member of Maryland’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force.

It’s a long article, and interesting if you’re fascinated and annoyed by people who misuse their training to produce useless items that clutter up the shelves of pharmacies and health-food stores, thereby making a lot of money.

The web site is a good place to look for entertainment, just like the Cracked web site and many others.  You’ll go down the Internet rabbit hole in an instant.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard Steagall permalink
    2016-05-11 4:35 PM


    It looks like there should be a grand jury looking into indicting people for mail fraud.



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