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This blog deals with questions about health and ways of living a long and healthy life. All material provided within this website is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. This statement also applies to all follow up communications with Warren Matthews or any of his staff. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and wellbeing or on any opinions expressed within this website.



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Corporates without conscience!

Generally my rants about corporates who do not care about their customers and only about the bottom line are pretty well focused towards the pharmaceutical companies. However, sadly we have our share of them within our own supplement industry.

Unfortunately there are regular instances in which manufacturers mislead their customers through incorrect labels and put their health at risk by using contaminated ingredients.

The latest example is with Irwin Naturals a large Californian supplement manufacturer.

They have just been forced to pay a US$2.65 million settlement for unfair business practices stemming from two main counts.  One was that some of their products contained more than 10 times the legal limit for lead.  This was the most serious as this can be damaging for your health.

The other was that the Hoodia product that had the high lead contamination didn’t actually have any Hoodia in it.

How could this happen?  Was it an error?

The answer:  No it could not be an error!  It is mandatory under current US FDA regulations that EVERY ingredient is ID tested (identification) prior to it being released for manufacture.  It should also be assayed and tested for both heavy metal content and microbiological contamination.

In the case of Irwins it was not just one ingredient that had excessive lead in it.  Their green tea was way over with 14 times the legal limit of lead.

This is a case of a manufacturer buying ingredient on price, not on quality.  As I have mentioned many times before we are constantly offered ingredients at a fraction of the price that we normally pay.  We have from time to time purchased a sample lot to send away for testing and in every case they have failed.  So now, we don’t even bother to get a sample as there is no point wasting money on having it tested because we know they will likely fail.

Irwin Naturals are obviously either not testing or they are falsifying documents.  Either way they are putting profits before the wellbeing of their customers.

Just a comment on Hoodia!  A few years ago before it became the ‘rage’ thanks to hyped up marketing we investigated this ingredient.  We even purchased samples of it from a US distributor and found that it had been ‘cut’ with another cheap and ineffective botanical.  We ended up sourcing some genuine Hoodia direct from the grower in South Africa and did some trials but found it to be ineffective so dropped any further work on it.

Unilever created a big stir when they decided to get heavily involved in Hoodia, and this added to the hype.  They ultimately came to the conclusion that we did, but not until spending 20 million Euros.

Bottom line!  What happened with Irwin’s is inexcusable.  As a consumer, if you ever have a doubt about the quality of the product you are taking ask the manufacturer for copies of the lab reports for the testing they have completed on the relevant ingredients.  They should be able to give it to you…if they won’t it means they don’t have it in which case they are operating outside the law, or the results are so poor they don’t want you to see it.

For a bit more info on the Irwins case please see “$2.65M settlement reached over CA supplements suit” (from Centre Daily Times)


What would I do if I was diagnosed with Cancer?

This article was promoted by a question on this blog from Mike who was asking my opinion on the Budwig protocol for cancer.   As cancer is a subject that interests most people I made a little article about what I would do if I was diagnosed with cancer. 

This is how I answered it.

I have heard about the Budwig protocol but have not studied it in details so I cannot offer an informed comment about this.

Over the years I have heard of the occasional success with treating cancer by diet alone.   But, that would be pretty rare.  Cancer is a complex disease and there are so many different causes and types that there is no one single answer and then no one can be sure that they had the right answer anyway.

If it is of help I can share with you what I would do if I was unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with cancer.

The first thing I would do is to invest in almost every non invasive test I could.   These would include blood, urine, stool and pH tests.   I would have everything that measures organ function tested and levels of other bio-markers.   I would also include a full panel of hormone tests.

Click to read more ...


PCBs in Omega 3 fish oils!!!

You may recollect that some weeks ago this issue got significant publicity because of a law suit issued against a number of Omega 3 fish oil manufacturers.

In essence, what it was all about is that the plaintiffs claimed that the named manufacturers were selling fish oils in California which contravened Proposition 65 which required a warning on their label if certain contaminants, in this case PCBs exceeded a level as set out in Proposition 65.

This level was set at 90 ppb (parts per billion) which the same specification set by the WHO (World Health Organization) and CRN (Council for Responsible Nutrition). There is only one organization (non- governmental) that has a lower level in their specifications. That is IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) which is a private organization. Their standards are lower (or higher when it comes to purity) at 45ppb.

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Xtend-Life Blog Update April 7th

I have posted a copy of the weekly newsletter that is going out to all Xtend-Life subscribers. If you wish to subscribe just click on one of the links below and you will see a subscribe link. This newsletter is a summary of all the posts covered in the Xtend-Life blog during the previous week. It also includes various posts that I have also done. I will arrange for a copy of this to be posted within this blog each week. Hope you find it useful.
Xtend-Life Xtend-Life Blog
April 7 2010 The newsletters are also available via RSS at xtend- RSS Feed
Recent Articles
Omega-3 for the US army?

The US Department of Defense (DOC) may soon be ordering its troops to take omega-3 fatty acids in order to enhance stress resilience and general wellness leading to improved military performance to cut hospital bills and to speed recovery from traumatic brain injuries (TBI).


Why don't we use an SPF factor in our skin care products?

This was a question raised on Warren's Blog... Firstly, is that for normal day to day use it is truly not needed. Yes, I appreciate that this is contrary to what is promoted by various 'authorities' but I personally believe it to be incorrect information. How many people are really exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight in their normal day? Most people work, or spend a high percentage of their time inside.


Even L'Oreal suggests you take lycopene supplements!

It's true! L'Oreal - along with Nestle have conducted a study that only echoes what been saying for a long time.building the foundation for beautiful younger-looking skin starts from within. The study can be found here.


More evidence that DHA supports eye health

The link between omega-3 DHA and eye health has been strong for some time now. We believe that our Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil may help provide significant health support to your eyes because of its optimal amount of DHA and exceptional levels of purity and freshness.


Which Xtend-Life products are helpful for ADHD?

Question: from Susan: I was wondering what supplements you might suggest to help my 12 year old who has been diagnosed with ADHD. I noticed that some of the ingredients in the Neuro-Natural Sleep were also good for ADHD.


This is pretty amazing...

The US FDA has just given the go ahead for AstraZeneca the manufacturer of Crestor the statin drug to promote it to 'healthy' individuals who have elevated levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP). CRP is the test used to measure the levels of inflammation in the blood...


Misleading health information - again?

This was a question raised on Warren's Blog... Probiotics are indeed bacteria but they are friendly bacteria. Your body needs friendly bacteria otherwise you would become very sick. Normally you do not need to take probiotics unless you have been on a course of antibiotics. But, if you do take them they will certainly not do you any harm. So, that was a very misleading statement.


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This is pretty amazing...

(This item will also be published in our new Xtend-Life blog.)

The US  FDA has just given the go ahead for AstraZeneca the manufacturer of Crestor the statin drug to promote it to ‘healthy’ individuals who have elevated levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP).  CRP is the test used to measure the levels of inflammation in the blood. 

Inflammation in the blood is considered by many experts to be a more reliable indicator of a potential heart attack or stroke than cholesterol alone.   I agree with this and have been writing about this for the last seven years…but, it is only now that this is getting recognition by mainstream medicine.   Why?  Well there have been studies that show that statins do help reduce CRP.   This is what AstraZeneca are hanging their ‘hat’ on because there are now good profits to be made.

Why do I say it is ‘amazing’?   Because this policy by the FDA is not going to save lives but rather start millions of more innocent consumer on the slippery slope down the road to poor health and drug dependency.

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The New Xtend-Life Blog is now 'live'...

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were putting together a new Xtend-Life blog.   This has now happened.   I think that you will enjoy the new blog as it will be more comprehensive.

I will be doing regular posts to the new blog.  Over the next couple of weeks the format of this blog will be changed to give readers and customers easier access to me personally and the opportunity to make comments on subjects initiated by them.

I won’t explain the details at the moment but I will soon.   I will be continuing to answer comments and questions on all past posts on this blog.

You can view the new blog by clicking here.   I would also urge you to subscribe to our newsletters which you can do through the blog.   We have lots of interesting stuff in the pipeline.


More about Omega 3 Fish Oil...

In light of some of the comments about Omega 3 fish oil over the last few days  thought that you may be interested in the following articles:

The first one is by Stephen Daniels.   The full article can be viewed by clicking here.
The second one is by Shane Starling.  That full article can be viewed by clicking here

In defence of omega-3

The best way to survive a shark attack is to fight back, so say survivors. Events this week suggest the sharks may be beginning to circle the good ship omega-3, and now is the time for industry and academia to start fighting back.

First, the BBC runs an article on it website with the title, “The cult of omega-3”, which left a very fishy taste in this reader’s mouth. On the other side of the pond, legal action was announced in a San Francisco court over allegations of excessive limits for the pollutant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in some omega-3 supplements.

And all this in a week that celebrated Omega-3 Awareness Day.

Magic versus science

The BBC’s article set out to examine if the reputation of omega-3 is worthy. If you haven’t read the article, I suggest you have a look. It starts with the statement: “Hardly a week goes by without a new health claim being made of eating oily fish. But is it really as magical as we are told?”

There is nothing wrong with the first sentence. I report on the potential benefits of omega-3 every week. The studies are published in high-quality, peer-review journals and come from good researchers at good universities. Indeed, such is the mass of omega-3 science, and the subsequent amount of reporting on the topic, that some of my colleagues suggest: “Every day is omega-3 day!”

And to answer the BBC’s question, nobody said it was magical. We’re talking about science here, not magic.

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PCB's in Fish Oil?

Over the last couple of days the media have been having a field day talking about PCB’s in fish oil.   This was prompted by some parties bringing a law suit against several major fish oil suppliers in the US under California’s Proposition 65 rules.

I have not looked into this issue in detail as yet…but, I will.   Because we have had a flurry of emails from customers about this subject today I thought it would be prudent to act quickly and make a comment now.

The big question is…’Are there PCB’s in fish oil?’   Undoubtedly there is, as there is in most of the food chain.   The area which should concern all of us, is how much?

Like everything it is all a question of degree.   We pride ourselves in having the toughest standards when it comes to contaminates in our fish oil and thus having the purest fish oil available.   For example, our standard for PCB’s is NMT (not more than) 5 part per trillion.   This is the level of detection for most laboratory equipment which is why we set it at that level.  We simply don’t want any PCB’s in our products.

We use only internationally accredited and government approved laboratories so we know our results are accurate. 

Because no PCB’s are detected at 5ppt does that mean our fish oil is totally free of PCB’s?  Can we say NO PCB’s are present?  No, we can’t say that because if the limit of the testing equipment is 5ppt then who is to say if there are some present in even more minute amounts?

As I said I have not studied the current case in the news at this stage but what I do know is that I am sure some fish oils on the market do have PCB’s present at detectable amounts.   The reason I can say that is because of the high levels some companies set their specifications at.

Click to read more ...