Note: In the last update I discussed my plans for 2002 and received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails regarding my new supplement releases and my plans to release a new book. This month I want to discuss something else that's been drawing calls and e-mails. Drugs being sold on the internet. Since there were so many questions regarding the supplements and upcoming book release, I posted some information that should help you better understand the benefit oriented supplements I produced. You can find it by visiting "Phil's New-Trition." I've also posted a few introductory paragraphs from my soon to be released "Best You've Ever Been."

OK . . . on to drugs and the 'net . . .

August 1, 2001

The Internet, Leptin, Eating, Steroids, and Common Sense

The Internet has proven quite a vehicle, not only for disseminating information, but also for promoting and in some cases selling drugs. It is simple today for people to click a button and order anything from the Weight Loss Drug Xenical to the hair loss drug Propecia . . as the ads and e-mails promise - without a prescription! These are drugs that are supposed to be sold by prescription, yet select South American, Mexican, and European Pharmacies have found the on-line collection of U.S. Dollars a simple way to generate money.

Some U.S. Pharmacies loosely toy with the laws by providing "online consultations with doctors" in which the customer answers a few questions and supposedly a doctor reviews the answers to allow for a prescription. I can understand those who suffer maladies and challenges wanting a simple, non-embarrassing, perhaps lower cost method of purchasing pharmaceuticals, and in such cases all I can suggest is "let the buyer beware." My concern is primarily in two areas. The first, those who feel desperate in failed attempts to lose weight. The second, teens who are open to the purchase of hormone affecting drugs. Steroids. Let me address each group individually.

Weight Loss Wanters - I know how these pharmaceutical promises toy with your emotions, but to date, there hasn't been even a single pharmaceutical release that brought the weight loss population the long term result they hope for. In my soon to be released book, "The Best You've Ever Been," I'll share a pretty in depth review of how the pharmaceutical industry has continually capitalized by bringing products to the market that were not effective and put a great many at risk. The pattern of a new drug being released, people becoming ill or worse, and the drug being pulled and replaced by a new offering has been going on since dexadrine made its big splash in the 60's and 70's. It's time to summon up some common sense.

If the promises have been made for over 50 years, and you still haven't found the solution in a pill, you have to realize that just because a new pill is now being offered on the internet with the same old promises, doesn't mean the solution will ever arrive in a bottle. Dexadrine starved people and created speed freaks who flocked into the Betty Ford clinic to get clean. Phen-Fen brought a disease called PPH to the attention of the general public. PPH is pretty close to a death sentence. Redux toyed with heart valves, Meridia proved an overhyped Phen-Fen knock off, and the newest offerings such as Xenical result in excessive bouts of expensive diarrhea. Does it appear as if the solution is coming? Keep your eyes open for the next wave of drugs. The leptin drugs. My prediction: doctors will cash in, drug company stocks will soar, millions will buy it on the gray market via the internet, people will screw up their insulin production, blood sugar, circulation, some will die, and few if any will find the weight loss they'd hoped for.

Leptin is a hormonal protein that affects appetite. It is manufactured in fat cells and it seems to be an indirect trigger to appetite. As leptin production goes up, appetite goes down. Leptin signals the hypothalmus in the brain that it's time to stop eating and thus appetite is reduced. In the mid-90's, scientists and drug companies grew very excited by a research study where mice with a genetic disorder that prevented them from making leptin received leptin injections. The study brought amazing results . . . in genetically flawed mice! So far the research on humans has proved disappointing, but that hasn't stopped the pharmaceutical giants. They're exploring "leptin resistance" and looking into other endocrine signals that might interplay in the chain between leptin and appetite. They're not going to change their direction. History dictates that if they can get a product to market, and get FDA approval, whether or not the product "works" they stand to reap massive financial reward! History proves that repeatedly. And if some people die in the process . . . so be it. It's simply a cost of doing business.

For those desperately in search of weight loss, please, before you attempt making some chemical change by swallowing pills, before you enter into gray market business by buying weight loss drugs on the internet, try eating! For near 20 years now I've been teaching people to take control of their metabolisms, not by starving, not by chemical alteration, but by finally opening up to the importance of food as fuel. I won't go into depth here as nutritional information is available all through my website, but if you can simply adopt the mindset that food, at some level equals fuel, you'll understand that in order to fuel the metabolic machine (your body), you have to eat! So many drug offerings are concentrating on appetite, or on depriving the body of food, which is an absolute guarantee that failure will result. My mission, as I expressed in the last update, is to help hundreds of thousands to find their way through the maze of confusing information, and to become "the Best They've Ever Been." I am determined to help people walk away from the victimization that makes them feel like failures and turn their bodies over to medicine, chemically or surgically, while they're still alive!

And . . . as far as the teens . .

Steroids on the 'net?

The first thing you should know is anabolic steroids are illegal. In 1994, the "Hatch" law allowed an opening for supplement sellers to sell products that might have previously been classifed as illegal drugs. Hormonal products. With the news that Mark McGwire was using "Andro," teens nationwide ran to GNC to get their supply and in days you couldn't find Andro anywhere. Amazingly, nobody even knew what andro was. They just heard it had something to do with steroids and a great athlete was using it . . . thus it must be safe and effective.

I've met with many teens who were caught up either in the desire or the activity of using steroids, and I do understand the lure.

Firstly, there are the cheerleaders. No, they don't want you to use steroids, but they seem to like the guys with muscle.

Then there's the desire for better athletic performance, and if your competitors in football or wrestling are "all juiced up," how can you compete? As soon as one guy breaks out a bottle of "andro," it's a sure bet the whole team is going to jump on board. The scariest part of all, is when I do have opportunity to speak with these guys, they haven't a clue what the stuff in the bottle is, they just heard it'll make them bigger.

On a side note, I know bodybuilders who weigh and measure all of their food, they won't eat anything cooked in a restaurant, and they're obsessive about the soaps and lotions they use, yet they're willing to inject something they bought in a locker room into their bloodstream without knowing what it is! Just as weight loss wanters are victimized by the lure for drugs, so are teens in quest of muscle. OK . . . . so what is this "andro" stuff and how does it relate to steroids?

Androstenedione is actually a link in the hormonal chain that helps the raw material cholesterol convert into testosterone and other hormones. Anabolic steroid drugs, which are various forms of testosterone, are considered "Class 3" substances (which means you can get arrested for possession), but the hormonal precursors were legally being sold in capsule form in health food and sports nutrition stores. The thinking was, if you can get a precursor, a link in the chain, into the body, your body would convert the precursor into testosterone bringing a steroid like effect. The popularity of "andro" died down after people found that they didn't turn into home run hitters, but the supplement companies, just as the pharmaceutical companies, are driven by profit, so they tried to bring the legal offerings closer to the actual drugs. While bodybuilding enthusiasts gobble up capsules and pills, they fail to realize the simple truth behind the steroid situation. If you mess with your hormonal production, the side effects can prove quite serious. That means, if you use the illegal steroid drugs, you run the risk of testicular atrophy, impotence, hair loss, severe acne, cholesterol increases, high blood pressure, kidney and liver problems, and maybe worst of all, a subsequent dependence upon these drugs to maintain the strength and muscle you want for. If the supplemental offerings ever do reach a point that they do in fact "work," you can count on the same risks!

So here's the reality in a steroidal nutshell: If the supplements act as the drugs, and alter your hormonal production, you're entering into a realm where you're messing with your glands and hormonal responses in a manner that is random at best. If they don't act as drugs, you're wasting your money.

Now, unscrupulous internet marketers are cashing in big time by capitalizing on this want for muscle. They're selling illegal steroids on the black market. The risk is pretty much the buyers since many operate outside of U.S. law. As a customer of these companies, that appear quite "friendly" on the 'net, you risk a stiff fine and prison sentence if you're caught importing Class 3 drugs. The sellers don't care. They already have your money and they're not going anywhere. Other 'net outfits cash in by selling ounterfeit steroids for big $$ (since you're not about to call the cops and report that you bought bad steroids). Probably the greatest opportunity now lies in selling worthless supplements being hyped up as drugs since consumers will buy them, they're 100% legal, and who cares if they work anyway.

I know that among both the weight loss wanters and the teen muscle wanters there is a compulsion to want to believe in a simple road. Unfortunately, the road that appears simple is treacherous. The frustrating part from where I sit is, teens can build muscle healthfully, efficiently, and with phenomenal benefit, by learning to combine eating and training. In fact, most who use chemical enhancement to build muscle have a difficult time maintaining muscle when they go "off," which creates a "damned if you do" and "damned if you don't" scenario where muscle and health conflict.

Those in search of weight loss . . . well . . . you already know by now. Forget the drugs. You have to learn to eat supportively, do some aerobic exercise, and challenge the muscles. If in this coming year 2002, I can send out that message as loud and as powerfully as the drug companies have sent out their clouded promises, millions of people will continue to move away from trickery, away from victimization, and forward along a path toward physical excellence.

While you're here, be sure to check out the excerpts from my new book, The Best You've Ever Been and the newly posted information about my new supplement releases.

And teenager or otherwise, if you're looking for muscle and growth, look into my TRANSFORM program. It's drug free! Those looking for weight loss who are not accustomed with exercise and supportive eating should consider my ANSWER program and EAT! recipe guide, all available at the Online Superstore.

Related Pages:

Steroid Questions - Q&A
Steroid Realities - Another Question Answered
The Dark Side of Bodybuilding - "New" Drugs Being Used
Women Using Anabolic Steroids
The Layman's Guides to Anabolic Steroids
Mick Hart's No Bull Collection

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