Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two miracle cures in one day

Disclaimer: To anyone who found this blog post by searching for either 'XanGo' or 'mangosteen,' I am not in the business of either promoting or opposing XanGo or any other "miracle cure" drink. I am merely relating a true story here, of which XanGo is a major theme. Nevertheless, I invite you to read this entire post because this post is more informative than any of the propaganda you're receiving from the people who are trying to sell you XanGo.

Trying for a couple hours to get a ride beside the on-ramp in Cedar City, Utah, I ventured back to the gas station where Dennis dropped me off, hoping I could go inside and warm up. Shortly after my arrival, a lady walked in and proclaimed that she had just won a 1976 Corvette in a 35-dollar drawing. (You may remember this from the Quasi-Aimless video.) While she was in the restroom, her travel companion came inside and began talking to the attendant and me.

Lady #2: “XanGo. Have you ever heard of it? It’s a functional health beverage. It’s just a fruit juice, but it has, like, medicinal qualities. It’s really delicious and it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. So if you have joint pain or arthritis or, you know, migraines…

"She actually had cancer and [now] she’s cancer-free. This is listed on the Sloan-Kettering Institute. It outperforms the top five chemotherapy drugs in a petri dish. There’s a cancer clinic in Arizona with Level 4 cancer patients that, I understand, have like a 65 to 72 percent recovery rate.

"When we got involved with it, it wasn’t for anything other than just to drink the juice, to keep your immune system up. But three months later, when the doctor went in, she was declared cancer-free…

“It helps arthritic fatigue, depression, anxiety, cardio-vascular, cholesterol… It’s just a natural food, just like aloe vera is natural.

“We really shouldn’t be surprised. God put aloe vera on the earth. What, thirty years ago nobody had ever heard of it, right? But now it’s in every toothpaste and hand lotion; y’know, everything. And so they’re saying that mangosteen juice, which is the name of the fruit, is going to be bigger than aloe vera.

“But just in four years, the company itself, as far as businesses go, it has outsurpassed [sic] Wal-Mart, Cisco, Yahoo, Dell, and Microsoft; in just four years, outpaced only by e-bay, with just one small product.”

It’s interesting that the lady brought up the “Sloan-Kettering Institute” because here’s a little bit of what the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s web site has to say about the mangosteen fruit and XanGo:

Scientific Name
Garcinia mangostana L.

Common Name
Numerous brand names. XanGo is a dietary supplement that contains Garcinia mangostana and other fruit juices. But it is not synonymous with the mangosteen fruit.

How It Works
Bottom Line: Mangosteen has not been shown to treat cancer in humans.

Research Evidence
No clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of mangosteen in humans.

Clinical Summary
Despite claims by several marketers, the efficacy and safety of mangosteen products for cancer treatment in humans have not been established.

  • Several Mangosteen products are sold via a network marketing approach. There is no conclusive evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of mangosteen in treating cancer. Patients should consult their oncologists before using any supplements during cancer treatment.

  • Mangosteen products have antioxidant effects. They may interfere with the action of certain chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation therapy.

  • Due to the sugar content, diabetic patients should use mangosteen juice with caution.
Literature Summary and Critique
There is no clinical data available to support the beneficial effects of mangosteen in humans.

To me, it doesn’t look like the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has anything good to say about either XanGo or the fruit that XanGo is made from. The funny thing is that most of the mangosteen juice retailers’ web sites link to the page on Sloan-Kettering’s web site anyway, as if they don’t realize the web page has nothing good to say about mangosteen juice. Perhaps these juice retailers realize that their target market consists entirely of a special demographic: people who can be easily swayed by their emotions, ignoring all evidence that contradicts their emotions. (Hmmm, sounds A LOT like religion.)

These ladies were nice and seemed sincere, but I've now realized they were completely full of shit when it came to this XanGo stuff. (Mostly it was just the second lady, not the lady who won the Corvette.)

Having done a little research yesterday, it's clear to me that some of the things they said were "talking points." Like the thing about the cancer center and probably the allusion to aloe vera. I also read something on a more reputable web site that said studies in petri dishes are not generally reliable because they don't simulate real-life conditions. These studies just give you a preliminary indication, which may lead to more substantial, in-depth research.

But I haven't looked into everything she said. It's probably ALL bullshit, though, because people generally believe bullshit if you feed it to them in an authoritative tone.

Aimless Video Evidence