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April 11, 2007

TrueHope EmpowerPlus - and Compliants about Unproven Nutritional Supplements for Bipolar Disorder

At Pendulum.org we make efforts to write about all the important developments in the complementary treatments that are being proven as effective in helping treat bipolar disorder. We aren't concerned about what company sells the effective treatments - but we absolutely care that they are truly proven effective as indicated by duplicated and well designed research studies performed by independent organizations. We don't want to see anyone harmed by products or services, and we don't want to see our community members waste their money. We want the companies that sell any type of product (complementary therapies or medications) to be completely honest about the research, risks, negative side-effects of what they offer - and to not overstate their case.

The following news report video out of Canada demonstrates how some customers feel that they've been misled by a supplement manufacturer called TrueHope, the makers of Empowerplus nutritional supplement. There are no nutritional supplements that a consensus of experts judge as having been proven effective (by themselves) in treatment of any serious mental illness (such as bipolar disorder or depression). We encourage you to watch the video below to understand this important issue:

For consumers - its important that you understand that its a part of capitalism (which overall is good) that every company (whether they are selling nutritional products or medications) have a financial incentive to emphasize the evidence that supports their product (while glossing over the contrary evidence and side effect information - so you have to be very skeptical of any new therapy. Be careful of any simple solution to the complex problem of bipolar disorder- its likely to be wrong. Any new development is most likely to be a solution to just a part of the problem - and all therapies should be discussed with your doctor.

The message that everyone should take away is be skeptical of claims by companies, and "buyer beware". This is especially true in the age of the Internet - where you can never tell if the person in the chat room or on the discussion board is actually a company representative who is telling a glorified and boastful (but inaccurate) story about how they were cured by this new therapy. The only way to avoid being taken advantage of is to be skeptical and wait until a lot of evidence by university research teams have validated a product or service's efficacy in multiple studies with a significant number of people (over 30) in each study.

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