A call for help
Almost ten years ago when we were in practice in Boulder, Colorado we started looking for a good weightloss supplement to help our patients on low-carb diets lose a little more quickly. We evaluated a lot of supplements on the market that were supposedly weight loss accelerators – chromium, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), ephedra, phenylpropanolamine, pyruvate and a few others – with out a lot of success. The ephedra and, to a lesser extent, phenylpropanolamine unquestionably helped people lose weight, but were fraught with side effects. Pyruvate showed promise, but was pretty expensive. Our partner found a couple of medical papers using a combination of supplements, some of which individually didn’t work all that well but in combination seemed to show promise. We cobbled together from healthfood-store supplements a sort of beta-prototype of this combination and used it on a number of our willing patients. The vast majority, all of whom were on low-carb diets, tolerated the supplement and felt it made them lose weight better.
Happy with these results MD, our partner and I decided to take the next step and get an actual product made. We did, and let patients try it. Again, the patients liked the supplement and though they lost weight better on it. Although we, too, thought the patients did better, we couldn’t really say because we hadn’t compared the supplement with a placebo in a controlled fashion. We decided to take that next step.
We contacted a clinical lab that does testing for a fee (a substantial fee, I might add) and talked to the director of the facility, who was pretty discouraging. He told us that he would be happy to take our money and test our supplement, but that we shouldn’t get our hopes up. He related that his company had tested scores of nutritional supplements and had never found one that really did much. And that he figured ours wouldn’t do well against placebo either.
We arranged for the plant that made our product to make a placebo that looked and tasted the same. We sent it along with a large check to the clinical testing facility to do the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. In an interesting side note, the guy who ran the lab told us during our first call that he wasn’t going to do the test unless we used a low-carb diet as the control diet. He hadn’t a clue who I was, so he wasn’t saying this for my benefit. He had found in all his testing that neither the control arm nor the study arm ever lost any weight unless both were on low-carb diets. We, of course, agreed. In fact, we wanted it tested by people using low-carb diets because that was our target audience.
We helped set up the test protocols and turned the lab loose on the study. The lab was in Bangor, Maine, and none of us ever set foot in it while the test was going on. The study was a 6 to 8 week study (I can’t remember which because I don’t have the study with me) looking at a number of parameters, including weight loss.
I was in the Harvard Coop when I got the call from the lab director that the study had been completed and the double-blind codes broken. It was a memorable call. He started out by saying: “Well, I’ve got some good news for you and some bad news for you. Which do you want first?”
Being the eternal optimist, I said, give me the good news.
He said: “You have got a phenomenal product. It works like nothing we’ve ever seen. It works better than some drugs we’ve tested.”
The people on the supplement had lost almost double the weight (71 percent more, to be exact) than those taking the placebo.
As you might imagine, I was thrilled. But not all that surprised based on our reports from our own patients.
“So what’s the bad news?,” I asked.
The bad news, he told me, was that we didn’t have what he thought was a commercial product. He said that he had to practically horsewhip some people to keep them on it. He said he thought it didn’t matter how efficacious a supplement was if people wouldn’t take it.
He had a point. And, admittedly, the first primitive version of our product was pretty rough. The product, which we later named Pentabosol, is a powder that you dissolve in water (cold or hot like a tea) and drink. The early study version mixed about like sand mixes with water. You had to put it in the water, then swirl the water in the glass while you drank the stuff. And it didn’t taste all that great.
We went through a couple of manufacturers before we finally found one who figured out how to make Pentabosol so that it actually mixed into the water and tasted good. The ultimate version is a lemon lime sort of flavored drink that is reminiscent of Country Time Lemonade (at least it is to me). You take a serving of it on an empty stomach in the morning and at bedtime. It has no ephedra, no stimulants, and no real side effects to speak of.
We ended up marketing it successfully and have sold, I would guess, close to a million cans of it. Due to circumstances that arose in 2003 (circumstances worthy of a long post all on their own), we decided to quit promoting Pentabosol so heavily and turn our attention to another supplement for brain health that we had just gotten through an extremely expensive and lengthy clinical test.
With that preamble, let me now make the call for help.
If anyone reading this post has used Pentabosol and lost any significant weight, we would love to use you as a testimonial. We are cranking up the promotion of Pentabosol again and really need some good before and after photos. If you are willing, contact me via the comment section and leave your email. Your email won’t be posted and your comment won’t be posted if you tell me not to. If you’ve had experience with Pentabosol and would simply like to comment about it, be my guest. I’ll post all comments. The good, the bad and the ugly.
To give you an example of what I’m talking about as far as before and after photos, here are some before and after photos of our faithful assistant Kristi, whom we rely on for just about everything. If Kristi took a powder, our operation, such as it is, would be dead in the water. I hope she doesn’t read this or she’ll be whining for a raise.
Here are a couple of photos of Kristi and her husband taken not too long ago. In fact, the one was taken at our place in Tahoe.
Kristi decided to go on a low-carb diet and take Pentabosol religiously, and here are the results.
These changes didn’t happen overnight, but they did happen. And, based on what we found in our study, they happened more quickly than on diet alone.
Kristi accompanied us on our trek to Expo West that I wrote about in the last post. In one of the photos I posted, you could see a woman in front of a vegetarian booth. If you wondered how I brazenly took that photo, here’s how I did it. I had MD and Kristi pose in front of and off to the side of the booth, and I pretended to take their photo. The photo I posted earlier had Kristi and MD cut out. Here is the actual photo in it’s entirety. As you can see, Kristi is still thin. And even has a little more to lose. She went from a size 14 to a size 6.
So, once again, if you’ve used Pentabosol and lost weight and are game, let me hear from you. Thanks in advance.
Note: Pentabosol has been reformulated to switch from an artificial to a natural sweetener and is now being marketed as Metabosol.