Eat real food and improve your health.
This is not a hard concept, and yet we all want shortcuts, no matter how badly they reek of snake oil (Shape-ups, anyone?). But nothing beats the smarmy, self-congratulatory press release we received this morning at Gear Diary.
In it, we were assured of “Better Skin! Weight loss! Better nutrition!” And all it will take to accomplish this is algae tablets! Just 30 a day — though 40-100 would be even better (not surprising since the company charges $117 for 1,000 of them). Apparently, Spirulina is nature’s little miracle plant!
Being the skeptical type, I did some digging; I discovered the only references to many of the claims in the press release were only in the press release.
I asked the “Naughty Bits” company to answer a few questions for me:
Thanks so much for passing the SkinnyBits press release on to Gear Diary. Before we post it, I have a few questions regarding the claims in the press release.
1) You claim that Spirulina tablets have more protein than steak. I did some research, and everything I saw indicated Spirulina is a more complete protein than legumes but is lacking in a few nutrients versus animal protein. Also, I did not see any substantiation of your claim that there is more protein than in meat. Could you please clarify?
2) I also could not find proof that the United Nations has ever endorsed Spirulina. Can you provide a source for this claim?
3) While it is true that many athletes use Spirulina and other algae as a supplement, my understanding is that they do so in protein powder form. At what level of consumption do SkinnyBits equal a protein powder supplement with Spirulina added?
4) Where are SkinnyBits manufactured? There have been a few scary tales of supplements that were tainted with heavy metals and other impurities, and it seems especially common in “health” supplements such as algae. What protections are in place to ensure these are high quality?
5) What sort of consumption do you advocate for weight loss benefits? If you are saying replace 200 calories of fruit, veggies and nuts as snacks with 30 calories of SkinnyBits, yes, someone will lose weight. But it’s not from the SkinnyBits, it’s a reduction of calories in/calories out. If SkinnyBits can help you lose weight while eating normally, I would like a reference to the weight loss studies that determined this benefit.
I appreciate your help. With the overabundance of supplements and over exaggerated health claims, I am just reluctant to share this press release without being able to properly educate our readers (and your potential consumers)
I sent this email on Friday morning, and I still haven’t received an answer, so, buyer beware!
Their claims are dubious at best, downright dangerous at worst (advocating cutting meals for 1-calorie algae chews is not a good idea), and their reluctance to respond after they came to us for some publicity? Well; I think it’s safe to slap this with a big ol’ DO NOT RECOMMEND.