“Botox in a bottle”, “stem cells in a capsule”, “happy tablets”… when health supplements make these kind of claims my first thoughts are usually, “yeah, yeah, yeah” and “blah, blah, blah”… As a health writer, I’ve heard it all before. And usually this latest miracle product that we should ALL be taking is quickly forgotten and replaced by something else. I’m thinking of blue-green algae (surely the reason we’re supposed to keep our dogs out of the lakes in Richmond Park?!) and - what-was-it-called? – a product derived from rotting fruit. Long forgotten, these supplements did not make it into the world’s medicine cabinets and we seem to be managing perfectly well without them.
So when a friend started talking about yet another new product earlier this year, I thought, “yes… and…?” And when it turned out it was not only dodgy sounding (derived from a 9-day fertilized egg) but also sold via network marketing, memories came flooding back of said blue-green algae - promoted to me in the 80s by people who also told me they were signing up for their bodies to be frozen when they died with the expectation that they’d be brought back to life within a few decades (OMG, who would WANT their ancient decrepit body to be brought back to life in a world that had long moved on without them?!)
But I politely took the information on Laminine, this 9-day chick fetus product, and immediately forgot all about it. Until, some months later, a friend who’d also heard about it at the same time, decided to trial it.
My friend has Parkinson’s disease and has so far resisted taking any medicine for it. Instead, she has been going down a natural route, seeking out supplements to help her – albeit at a huge price. Her health store bill topped £1000 a month this time last year – but she felt she was halting the progress of her disease, even though she still had tremors when she was excited or stressed. Two things she was unable to address, however, were the constant pains all over her body, and the gnawing lethargy that prevented her going out in the evenings and put her in bed early every night.
Within weeks of starting on Laminine her pains were gone and she had more energy too. As a bonus, her dandruff had also disappeared – and her health store bills had shrunk.
After a while she wondered if she was just imagining it, and maybe another amino acid supplement (for that is what Laminine is, essentially) would work just as well. Two weeks after swapping the Laminine for a supposedly high quality and similar looking product (but not one derived from a nine day chick fetus, because Laminine is the only supplement in the world that comes from this source) she was in pain again – and sleeping badly. Two days after swapping back to the Laminine, her pain had gone again; she was sleeping like a baby, and her energy was back in the ascendant.
Interesting, I thought. But I still don’t like the idea of networking. I don’t get it and feel suspicious of the fact that the product is not marketed in shops.
And yet I was intrigued. I started looking for other case studies. There are plenty on the internet – but one woman I spoke to had a particularly interesting story to tell. She’d had a knee operation that had gone wrong, leaving her unable to straighten her leg, and only able to walk with crutches and in pain. She ached so much that she needed prescription strength painkillers, and couldn’t sleep without them. Six months after starting on Laminine, she was off all her pain meds, able to walk without crutches (except uphill when she needs one stick) – AND – her spectacles prescription had improved from 3.25 to 2.25 in her right eye. Her left eye, in which she has been completely blind since birth, was now suddenly able to see the top line of the optician’s chart – not the best sight, but an improvement on what she’d had for the past 52 years.
Still sceptical about the method by which Laminine is marketed, I agreed to meet one of the sellers - Camilla. She told me her story. She was not an unwell woman but wanted to take the product if she was going to sell it. It arrived through the post at a time when she was seriously stressed, her scalp was itching, she wasn’t sleeping, and her periods were haywire – the doctor having told her that, at 42, she was already perimenopausal. She claims she immediately lost ½ a stone, because she stopped craving sugar; her periods got back to normal; the itching and stress went; and she had more energy than she’d known in years.
Camilla is a business woman and was looking for a new networking opportunity, after having had huge success with Aloe Vera which she’d brought into the UK 20 years before. She’d done her research – had the company investigated – and was convinced it was worth promoting. A few months later, she travelled to Kenya to stay with a friend. While the friend immediately remarked how well Camilla looked, Camilla could only say how absolutely dreadful her friend appeared. She had terrible arthritis and had to grip one leg with her hands just to climb the stairs. No surprises - having seen Camilla's glow, she signed up for the product and is now running for buses, and making money selling the supplements to the many people who've been bowled over by the change in her...
I have run the products’ details past nutritional therapists with mixed responses. It is new – only being officially launched in the UK this winter – so not many people know of it.
One of my contacts is keen to try it on her fibromyalgia patients, because of its track record with treating pain.
It is also said to help with blood pressure, reduce signs of ageing, aid brain function, increase libido, burn fat and curb appetite, increase muscle strength and muscle recovery, reduce stress and elevate serotonin levels. Hence its claim to be “stem cells in a capsule”, “botox in a bottle”, and indeed a “happy tablet”.
I’m keen to hear from anyone who can confirm or dispute these claims. Do get in touch…