April 11, 2007

TrueHope EmpowerPlus - and the Danger of Unproven Nutritional Supplements

At Schizophrenia.com we try to cover all the important developments in the complementary treatments that are becoming available for schizophrenia. We don't care where effective treatments originate for schizophrenia - but we do care that they are effective. We don't want to see our family members harmed by products or services, and we don't want to see our community members waste their money. We want the companies that sell any type of product (complementary therapies or medications) to be completely honest about the research, risks, negative side-effects of what they offer - and to not overstate their case.

The following news report video out of Canada demonstrates how some customers feel that they've been misled and harmed by a supplement manufacturer called TrueHope, the makers of Empowerplus nutritional supplement. There are no nutritional supplements that a consensus of experts judge as having been proven effective (by themselves) in treatment of any serious mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression). We encourage you to watch the 5 minute video below.

For consumers - its important that you understand that every company (whether they are selling nutritional products or medications) have a financial incentive to emphasize or twist the evidence that supports their product - so you have to be very skeptical of any new therapy. During the past 50 years many "miracle cures" to schizophrenia have been announced, always to later be debunked. Be careful of any simple solution to the complex problem of schizophrenia - its likely to be wrong. Any new development is most likely to be a solution to just a part of the problem - and all therapies should be discussed with your doctor.

With this in mind, we recommend everyone watch this video to better understand (and be wary of) complementary therapies that claim to treat schizophrenia (or common co-existent conditions like depression). The message that everyone should take away is be skeptical of claims by companies, and "buyer beware". The video above may be a few years old, but the issue of being skeptical about what companies say about all types of therapies is as true today as it was then.

More information:

EM power+ (Empowerplus) by Synergy, or Truehope Nutritional Support


EM Powerplus is an excellent nutritional supplement - no more and no less. As such, it has helped some people who need high quality nutritional supplements. A family member, for instance, who is on medications for sz-a, did better with nutritional supplements - and was found to have an absorption problem.

It is a shame that they don't sell their product for what it is - a high quality, well-balanced, awesome nutritional supplement - NOT a "medicine".


Posted by: Naomi at April 11, 2007 10:12 AM


It seems that one other thing that people complain about with EM Power is that its vastly overpriced for nutritional supplement. People have said that the same basic ingredients are available for a fraction of the cost that EM Powerplus is sold for. I suspect that they couldn't charge that high price if they didn't try to market it as a "medicine". It really seems to me that the company is much more interested in making money, than helping people.

Posted by: szadmin at April 11, 2007 01:38 PM

Years back, there really were no other supplements I knew of that had all the ingrediants as that one supplement. It was MUCH more convenient than buying umpteen different bottles of supplements and getting pills out of them each day to get all the different ingredients as in the EMPower supplement. It was vastly more convenient, and I found it reasonably priced when compared with trying to get all the ingredients from a bunch of separately purchased supplements.

Now, one can more easily find on the Internet other companies selling high-quality supplements with the same ingredients, but the key is high quality and what we can trust.

I only know of one other source that I can trust with a supplement equivalent to EM Power. It also is expensive, and the pills are bigger (harder to swallow), and less concentrated - so you have to take more of them to get the same amount as in the EM Power.

So, actually, EMPower could probably sell for the same price, but they would not have gotten the publicity and would not have drummed up the larger number of clients if they did not advertise it as "medicine". Which is a shame, in many respects, because it is a good supplement, and as far as good trustworthy, highly-concentrated supplements go - as highly priced as the others!

There is also a problem for some people who do well on one supplement to switch - similiar to going from name-brands to generics or even one generic to another. Absorption and concentration can vary, and if a person needs EM Power, it is likely (this is an unscientific guess) they have an absorption problem. Every time people like that switch - whether it is food supplements or generics - they may run a risk.

In any case, the problem is not the supplement - The problem is the company's marketing, and patients not taking needed medications.

My family member takes supplements (more than just the EM Power!) under the care of personal physicians, and gets blood, bone, and absorption tests regularly.

By the way, nutritional supplements, with a doctor's order (in the U.S.), can be deducted from the before-tax medical savings plans some people have. I just wish medical insurance covered them!

Posted by: Naomi at April 11, 2007 03:25 PM

Whenever an alternate therapy is used by people and found to become popular, these type of attacks from Drug MNCs start coming in.
When a drugsupplement is sold as drugsupplement, it is drug supplement only.It is not drug.
when people started practising YOGA, it was called a pseudotherapy etc. Now with modern tools, it has been proved as effective as some of the miracle drugs in CONTROLLING DEPRESSION and without sideffects.
Drug MNCs DONOT advertise that 30% of patients DONOT show any improvement/effect when treated with their drugs and only 40% get relief and another 30% get complete relief(questioned by some).
Chinese herb GinBilBoa is proven scientifically in chinese research as well a s schizophrernic research that it is a great drug supplement for mentalillness.
The prickly pear cactus(NOPAL) is found to be very helpful inlowering sugar. then why not use this for controlling induced diabeties who use OLANZAPINE?
The natural supplement FORSKOLIN is found to help in stopping urinary tract infections from reappearing by removing the bacteria from the stubborn bags in urinary tract linings. As most mentallyill have bladder control problem as part of discease or part of sideffect; why not try out this natural supplement along with the main drugs?
30% label should be part of black box warnings for all psychiatric drugs.

Posted by: captainjohann at April 11, 2007 09:15 PM

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