An increasing slew of recent lawsuits is starting to bring a disturbing underground trend in the supplement industry to the media limelight. One after another, several big brand-name supplement companies are being called out for spiking their protein powders with cheap fillers and fraudulently advertising higher protein content than their products actually contain, scamming product control testing and misleading health-conscious consumers.
Protein Pandering: Your Loss is Their Gain
Dieters, athletes, fitness models and bodybuilders have come to count on protein powder supplements for their scientifically-proven ability to boost fat burning, increase muscle strength and tone, speed up metabolism, boost energy levels and improve athletic performance. To reap these and several other proven health benefits from protein, consumers typically seek out protein powders that promise to provide the most bang for their buck with the highest number of protein grams in every scoop. Protein powder companies use the number of protein grams per scoop as a major selling point, for people looking to capitalize on the major body sculpting and weight loss advantages that a concentrated boost of this vital macronutrient can bring.
Now imagine their disappointment upon discovering that they’ve been getting far less protein than they thought they were. Even though they’ve been paying top dollar for it.
That’s what companies like Body Fortress, Giant Sports, MusclePharm, CVS Health, 4 Dimension Nutrition, NBTY, Inner Armour and others have been taken to task for in the last couple of years. The lawsuits brought against them allege that these companies may have “used misleading language on the label regarding the amount of actual protein in the products, and the consumers are the ones that pay. That’s the bottom line,” says Nick Suciu, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs on many of the lawsuits. “I began developing the cases because customers have been misled by this practice for years.”
Supplement Investigation Reveals that Not All Proteins Are Created Equal (And Some Are Created from the Trash Bin)
How do companies get away with this kind of supplement scamming? The method behind the misdeed has come to be known as “nitrogen spiking”, and it works because it takes advantage of the technique that is currently being used industry-wide to determine a product’s total protein content.
Chemically, protein is a long chain of many essential building blocks all strung together, called amino acids. Each amino acid contains a compound called nitrogen, which is why standard testing for protein content simply measures the total amount of nitrogen in a product to determine how much total protein it contains.
The problem is that this testing method doesn’t differentiate between the presence of complete protein in a product versus loose individual amino acids. Complete protein is the kind that contains an adequate proportion and balance of the nine essential amino acids that the human body needs to live, build muscle and boost metabolism. The human body can’t create these nine essential amino acids on its own, which is why we have to get all of them from our diets. Because complete protein is so valuable, it’s expensive to add to supplements. That’s why, to cut costs, certain manufacturers have started spiking their protein supplements with cheaper, loose amino acids instead.
Adding loose amino acids to protein is a far less expensive way to boost its nitrogen reading during protein content analysis, giving the false impression that the powder contains far more complete protein than it actually does. This method of nitrogen spiking has been allowing companies to get away with advertising major protein content on their labels when, according to recently emerging reports and third-party testing, some of these products actually contain less than half of the protein they’re claiming to.
Adding insult to injury, a lot of these cheap amino acid fillers are being purchased from oversea manufacturers that produce them from the chemical synthesis of keratin, derived from debris like hair, fingernails, feathers and fur.
Consumers are outraged that they are paying over $50 dollars a tub for some of these brands, while receiving less than half the protein that the product label promises, along with several doses of what the trans-national vacuum cleaner dragged in.
And it’s not only consumers that lose out. It’s also supplement companies like us here at SLIMQUICK, who strive to always honestly label our products and to provide you with supplements that actually work to help you achieve your weight loss goals. When a handful of big-name companies get caught passing off fraudulent products to you for ridiculous prices, it makes all of us in the industry look bad – even those of us that are committed to acting with integrity.
At SLIMQUICK, our entire reputation rides on the success of our products and the satisfaction of our clients. We don’t get anywhere by lying to you, because if you fail to get what you want from our supplements, then it’s our failure too.
We want to do everything possible to make sure you succeed – that’s why we’re here in the first place.
You can trust that our supplements contain exactly what our labels say they do. SLIMQUICK proudly stands behind the quality of its products, as well as the integrity of our company.
Don’t get scammed by protein panderers. Stick to brand names like SLIMQUICK that you know you can trust, because we have your health and weight loss success at the TOP of our priority list – not underneath our bottom line.