The latest leaflet from those notorious Arthroplex scammers turned up, quite aptly, among my junk mail earlier this week.
This time, they’re trying to tap into the lucrative weight loss market by convincing us all that we have underactive thyroid glands and that a seaweed supplement will be the answer to all our problems.
It’s an interesting study in pseudoscience and misguided logic.
The leaflet begins:
Do you find it impossible to lose weight even though you eat a healthy diet? It’s not your fault, you probably have an underactive thyroid!
Thyrosine Support Formula® will help you take back control of your weight plus a whole host of other benefits:
Increase your energy levels
Get great looking skin and hair
Boost your memory
Enhance your immune system
Improve your circulation
From only 47p per day, that sounds fantastic. But how do I know if I have an underactive thyroid..?
Let’s assume I’m reading this leaflet because, like many of us, I’m struggling to lose weight. Come to think of it, I do feel quite tired. I’m finding it quite hard to concentrate on what I’m doing and keep forgetting where I’m up to. It feels a bit chilly in here as well…
These can be symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Of course they can be symptoms of lots of other things too. I think that most people I know could tick a good number of those boxes. The only way to accurately diagnose hypothyroidism would be a blood test to measure hormone levels.
However, according to Life Natural Cures:
The truth is, conventional medicine just doesn’t have a reliable method of testing thyroid function. The fact is, you know something is wrong, so trust your instincts and take action!
They are telling us to ignore our doctors, diagnose ourselves with hypothyroidism and treat it ourselves with Thyrosine Support Formula®. Just to be clear: this is a seaweed supplement made from Laminaria digitata, not the usual treatment for hypothyroidism.
What’s the harm in using seaweed supplements for hypothyroidism..? Earlier this week in Houston, it was reported that Belinda Hernandez has been charged with a felony for allegedly withholding prescribed medication from her son and giving him alternative medication instead. Her son was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She allegedly discontinued his medication, choosing to treat him with a herbal seaweed supplement instead. According to doctors, he suffered permanent abnormal development and brain damage as a result.
But isn’t iodine essential for making thyroid hormones? Isn’t hypothyroidism caused by iodine deficiency..? And Thyrosine Support Formula® contains iodine..?
This is the kind of twisted logic typical of supplement sellers. Superficially, it seems sensible: if your diet doesn’t provide enough of the particular substance in question then you will suffer certain symptoms. For example, a lack of iodine can lead to thyroid problems, which can cause weight gain. This doesn’t mean that if you have trouble losing weight then iodine will help.
It may come as news to Life Natural Cures, but obesity is not usually a deficiency disease. Firstly, if you are struggling to lose weight, it is possible but unlikely to be as a result of hypothyroidism. It is even less likely that your weight problems are caused by iodine deficiency. Taking more iodine than you need won’t help you lose weight. It will do you no good at all. In fact, taking high doses of iodine over long periods of time could lead to thyroid problems and weight gain.
My advice is simple:
- If you think you might suffer from hypothyroidism, consult your doctor.
- If you need help losing weight, be realistic. If it seems to good to be true, then it probably is.
I have shared my concerns with the Advertising Standards Authority.