Don’t Be So Gullible!
The following is an excerpt from The Willner Window radio program, which can be heard every Sunday on WOR (710 AM) from 2 to 4 pm, or over the internet at www.wor710.com.
Sam: Good afternoon everyone, this is .... Welcome to The Willner Window. For those of you who might be first-time listeners, the focus of this show is nutritional supplements–vitamins, herbs, homeopathic remedies–and their proper usage. With me this afternoon is . .
OK, Don, what do we want to start off with today?
Don: Well, Sam, I have a number of topics we can start off with. There have been some interesting studies published recently on fish oil and flax seed oil, and we will talk about that at the start of the second hour.
At this time, however, I want to offer another of my warnings to you folks out there about gullibility, . . . about infomercials, in particular.
I was on vacation recently, motorcycling in Colorado. One morning I woke up too early, and turned on the TV. . . . stumbled onto an infomercial on hyaluronic acid.
Over the last year or two, several people have told me they are taking hyaluronic acid, and asked me about. I never knew why. Now I do.
First, what is hyaluronic acid? Well, it’s a mucopolysaccharide material that is present in the synovial fluid of our joints and other connective tissue. It absorbs water, forming a jelly-like matrix that helps to cushion the joint and hydrate tissue. It can be derived from animal products, and there is also a synthetic version available.
But to the best of my knowledge, it has only been used medically by injection. In other words, it has been injected into the joint to treat various types of joint disorders. I’m not aware of any studies that show it has that same function when taken orally. . .
So I was really curious about exactly what this supposedly wonderful product actually contained. And, apparently, so was the mock interviewer, because she repeatedly asked: “so what exactly is in this product that makes it do all these wonderful things?”
Each time, however, the response was something like “the best way to answer that question is to read a letter from one of our customers,” and he would read another testimonial, never actually answering the question.
Now folks, I could stop right here. I’ve told you many times in the past that there are certain red flags in advertising–things that should immediately cause you to back off. To me, any ad that avoids telling you what is in the product is an ad that is trying to hide something. Whether the product is for weight loss, baldness, sexual apathy or joint pain–when they make claims that are too good to be true, backed only by testimonial after testimonial, and do not tell you what is in the product, you should realize that it’s not for real.