The rise of scams in the world of supplements and accessories - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 91 Old 02-04-2018, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
I think there is also a definite line between an outright scam, (selling snake oil)and an alternative product that has some efficacy, or even great efficacy, because as many here know, lots of our patented drugs come from nature
So, Lets try to limit the topic to what someone thinks is an outright scam

Here is a short list of mine, some mentioned before

Homeopathy
Animal communicators
Horsenality
Yes, my point in starting this thread was that there is an increase in the number of supplements and gadgets you can buy, and that some of them are not based on hard science. I'm certainly not trying to say they're all scams. I also agree that part of the problem, as pointed out above, is that the same symptoms can be caused by different issues. For example, if a horse coughs, he is COPD. If he is girthy, he has ulcers. Now, some of those horses really do have COPD and ulcers, but it seems difficult for vets - at least around here - to pinpoint causes in a precise way. As a result, owners (that be me) go online and find out about this and that product that don't always work.

I know I've bought quite a few over the last couple of years, and am beginning to really question some of the manufacturers.

Here's another example: spirulina (blue-green algae). I have been giving it to both horses for about a year. Harley's not coughing anymore, and Kodak appears to be a little less jumpy. But honestly, I'd be surprised if it had anything to do with the spirulina. Thoughts on that one?
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post #42 of 91 Old 02-04-2018, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
& don't get me started on so called 'vitamin C'...
I used to be right there with you on Vitamin C. I read about how it got popular and how little supporting research there was for its effectiveness, and believed it was quite a scam.

Just recently, there has been some supportive research for its use in ICU patients in shock. We've started giving it to our septic ICU patients via IV based on this latest research.
http://journal.chestnet.org/article/...564-3/fulltext

It is unclear if taking Vitamin C by mouth is as effective, but I think if you are sick it is worth trying since we now have some evidence it really does help the immune system.
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post #43 of 91 Old 02-04-2018, 11:01 PM
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Animal communicators, especially the remote ones make little sense to me....BUT, I know a few people who seem entirely down to earth sensible people who have had experiences that make them believe... I believe that there are scammers everywhere, I remain open minded about the possibility that there COULD be genuine ones.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #44 of 91 Old 02-04-2018, 11:29 PM
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I used to be right there with you on Vitamin C.
Interesting! Are those studies on the whole vitamin c, or just on ascorbic acid?

As with so many things, with or without scientific studies, they can be effective for some things, but when substance is changed, necessary ingredients ignored(thinking turmeric there), or its 'prescribed' for all sorts... That is when I think things mostly start falling in 'scam' category.

This discussion reminds me of spinach - the 'Pop Eye scam'. No doubt spinach is full of nutrients, a healthy food. But I think it was early 1900's when a scientist did an analysis and 'discovered' it had a huge amount of iron. (*cant remember details so dont pull me up on specifics! ) He told some people who got excited & started the ball rolling. Soon after, he realized he had actually misread the figures & added more zeros than he should have. He saw spinach is indeed rich in iron but not any more than many other plants. He reported this mistake & tried to make it public... But no one wanted to know - spose the 'ca-ching factor' had kicked in. Now that was a successful scam!
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post #45 of 91 Old 02-04-2018, 11:31 PM
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To some degree at least, I'd include probiotics to my scam list.
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post #46 of 91 Old 02-05-2018, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
^Ah, semantics I disagree on. Not because they're necessarily worthy, but I wouldn't class them as 'scams' - well, I don't know enough about homeopathy to say it wasn't started as a scam... and I'm willing to bet that, like human 'clairvoyants', there are many scammers in the 'animal communicator' business, but I think when things are developed & marketed by people who actually believe in them, this may well be misguided/downright wrong, but it's not a 'scam'.
Okay then, how about a little bottle of 'Dr Good', taken from a Chere song!
Live blood analysis is a definite scam
Dark field microscope is used
The scammer,puts a patient's blood on , with cover slip , then has the patient look at how awful his blood cells looks in his wet prep, not a preserved stained slide)

The microscope is focused on the outer edges, where of course, cells will start to crenate
Patient is sold some supplements, few weeks later, LOl and behold the healthy red cells-but the microscope is focused on the center of that slide, where blood has not yet dried out
I can tell you afew others, as we had patients come tot he clinic in Olds, right after having had the live blood analysis done, by the local Chiro
One woman was told she had to take a bunch of supplements, because her blood was loaded with yeast.
Now that was not going to fly past me, having worked in oncology, knowing when yeast appeared in the blood (not urine ), that person was on his way out, white cells defense gone. This woman was hale and hearty.

I took her blood, prepared a smear, and asked her to show me those yeast.
They were her platelets.

Another woman I know, at a horse meeting, told me she did not need Pap smears any longer. Intrigued, I asked why.
Well, her live blood analysis specialist told her that he could see if she was going to get cancer, five years in advance.

Okay, purist example I can find of an actual scam, where the perpetrator knows he is scamming, pushing snake oil
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post #47 of 91 Old 02-05-2018, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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To some degree at least, I'd include probiotics to my scam list.
Yes, to some extent I am willing to believe that some people are sincere, and really believe their product will work. But I also think some people just hop on the bandwagon, and don't really care if it works as long as they can make a buck. Horse people are certainly not immune to this. Take, for example, the dealers who sold me Kodak as a bombproof horse, then, when I told them how she was behaving, blamed it on using an English saddle on her. And then stopped responding to my emails, telling me she was my problem now.

There are some local dealers who are no better, but luckily, I have learned from my experience, and know to stay away from them. And then there are the supplements folks, who will throw a lot of pseudo-science at you so it sounds good. New horse owners are particularly vulnerable, as I said, and will try anything out of desperation.
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post #48 of 91 Old 02-05-2018, 09:50 AM
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@Acadianartist
"Here's another example: spirulina (blue-green algae). I have been giving it to both horses for about a year. Harley's not coughing anymore, and Kodak appears to be a little less jumpy. But honestly, I'd be surprised if it had anything to do with the spirulina. Thoughts on that one?"

I can say for humans it can cause really bad gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea as well. The Naturopath I used in PA found that those with autoimmune issues didn't respond well at all. I would wonder with the higher iron content if iron is abundant in the horses diet if that can be a tipping point for some.

My thoughts are that each species is adapted to specific sources for different nutritional needs and their pathways may or may not be able to use the form it is provided in different sources. Take Omega 3 - There are three forms ALA, EPA and DHA. Except for a small time period as a newborn they cannot efficiently convert ALA to the DHA and EPA they need. Can they use ALA - yes, in limited amounts and it makes for a beautiful coat but if you want your dog to reap the benefits of O3 then you need to also provide it in the form of DHA and EPA which is found mainly in fish but is also found in eggs and dairy in smaller amounts. Horses need ALA. ALA is found in spirulina so this should make it an excellent source except that horses didn't evolve to eat pond scum. The benefit of the ALA in that source may not be best for the horse due to other factors.
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post #49 of 91 Old 02-05-2018, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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@Acadianartist
"Here's another example: spirulina (blue-green algae). I have been giving it to both horses for about a year. Harley's not coughing anymore, and Kodak appears to be a little less jumpy. But honestly, I'd be surprised if it had anything to do with the spirulina. Thoughts on that one?"

I can say for humans it can cause really bad gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea as well. The Naturopath I used in PA found that those with autoimmune issues didn't respond well at all. I would wonder with the higher iron content if iron is abundant in the horses diet if that can be a tipping point for some.

My thoughts are that each species is adapted to specific sources for different nutritional needs and their pathways may or may not be able to use the form it is provided in different sources. Take Omega 3 - There are three forms ALA, EPA and DHA. Except for a small time period as a newborn they cannot efficiently convert ALA to the DHA and EPA they need. Can they use ALA - yes, in limited amounts and it makes for a beautiful coat but if you want your dog to reap the benefits of O3 then you need to also provide it in the form of DHA and EPA which is found mainly in fish but is also found in eggs and dairy in smaller amounts. Horses need ALA. ALA is found in spirulina so this should make it an excellent source except that horses didn't evolve to eat pond scum. The benefit of the ALA in that source may not be best for the horse due to other factors.
Interesting! I was just finishing it off, since I ordered a bunch. My concern is also with the quality of the source. A lot of spirulina (and a lot of other stuff you find online) comes from China. I don't mean to paint with a broad brush here, but I really wonder what nutritional value is left in such a product by the time it arrives here. And they warn that spirulina must be taken from a non-contaminated source. Not sure I have confidence in that sender from China to harvest it from a non-contaminated source.

Your point on iron is well taken. We have far too much iron in our soil and water here already, so I definitely do not want to add any! I note it also contains a fair bit of copper, which is something I'm already adding in the mineral mix I give them. I think I'll just go throw it out now...

I'm still waiting for them to say chaga is good for horses... my niece gave me some for Christmas and I had a couple of cups full. Didn't do anything for me, but I don't know what I was expecting. Now pine needle tea, I swear by, as a source of concentrated vitamin C when I need a boost if I feel a cold coming on. Historians have documented a "tree of life" used by natives to cure a crew that was with Jacques Cartier in 1536. Some believe it was white pine. Mind you, they all had scurvy! So yeah, Vitamin C was significantly deficient. I'm almost never sick, but it might have zero to do with my Vitamin C intake.

Bottom line is that you can't just throw stuff at horses, though sometimes it can be useful to try different things. As long as you do so cautiously, and know that you might just be throwing your money away...
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post #50 of 91 Old 02-05-2018, 10:59 AM
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I think just as humans want to find a "magic pill" to cure their ailments, we look for the same magic things for our horses.

I can't say I have noticed any huge difference in terms of supplements or natural supplements for my horses. Don't get me wrong, I still try them sometimes (because you just never know) but I'd had way better results from, as AA put it, "hard medicine".

I tried turmeric for Red last fall. Had him on it a couple months and didn't notice any difference at all. But I only spent about $20 on amazon for a bulk supply so it wasn't that expensive of a trial.

I also usually put Red on Adequan. I can't say I've noticed a real big difference and it is NOT cheap. But I guess it makes me feel "warm and fuzzy" inside that I'm giving him something that is supposed to be good for his joints.

As far as the Back on Track products, I wasn't so sure how well they worked either until I had a few bit AH HA! moments with them. I don't usually stall my horses unless we are at a big events, so Red will usually stock up a bit. I aim to hand walk him every 2 hours for about 15 minutes, and I alternated putting the BOT quick wraps on him. Every time I went to hand walk him, he was NOT stocked up with the BOT wraps. If I didn't put them on, then he was.

They work amazing to decrease swelling and/or stocking up. I can't really say they help with circulation per se, but I've seen for myself how well they work for any type of swelling in the legs. They are great.

I did also try PHT MagnaCU wraps .... they didn't do anything for Red. But I know people that swear by them -- they didn't work for us.

My new product I've been eyeballing is the CoolAide products, particularly the polo wraps. I have gotten to see them in person and the fabric technology is so cool how it stays cold. They would be nice for cooling down the legs on a hot day after a barrel race. But I haven't made the purchase yet.
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