thousands of pages of real science, backing up their logic, reasoning, and findings justifying the formulas they chose for each of the products.
However, within a year we learned that competitors were actively using our information… and some companies were attempting to ‘knock off’ (copy) our formulas.
There was actually an equine product on the market that had almost the identical formula as our human product (just not the same ratio, quality, or safety tests). So, we pulled most of the product and formula specific science. We really are sorry we had to do that… but the companies we caught were huge, and we needed to do what was necessary to protect our formulas, our brands, and our company’s future.
So today, and for over 25 years now, mdschoice.com still has nearly 2,000 pages of nutritional information ‘open to the public’ – for the ‘greater good.’ Many Universities, College’s, Nutrition students, and professionals still reference the ‘notes’ and nearly 30 years of actual research that Doctors J.K. Miller and Jim Bailey, both PhD’s in Nutrition, and retired clinical instructors from the University of Tennessee and Doctors Davenport & Martin, D.V.M.s & C.N.S.s, also from UT, gave us to share with the world on MD’s Choice’s websites.
We still try to help educate. We strive to be honest and ethical… while maintaining some of the very best product formula’s in the business, both human and animal nutritional supplements. All the ingredients in MD’s Choice products are listed, in elemental amounts, accurately and honestly, on the product labels. However, the specifics of ratios, sources, and other such information are seldom shared with anyone else.
BUT the release of all the very real science based information didn’t stop the competing companies from continuing to make their false claims. Things like:
• ‘liquid joint replacements,’ (seriously, there is NO SUCH THING),
• ‘quick cures,’ (we’ve heard claims of 3, 5, and 7 day ‘cures’ by some competing companies)
• don’t forget all those new ‘miracle ingredients.’
• ingredients that have no ‘nutritional’ value, or real benefit to the body,
• ingredients that have been scientifically proven to not really be safe for daily prolonged use
• products third party tests have shown don’t even contain as much as their label claims
• product, which don’t even have all the ingredients in their product that is written on their label.
It’s enough to make just about anyone honestly wonder:
• HOW those companies can continue to make those claims?
• IF their product really ‘worked’ why do they only have a 30 day guarantee?
What do they care? They got your money, for a time or ten. When you realize their ‘quick fix’ really didn’t help, or actually caused some other side effect or the problem worsen, it’s past the thirty days. No money back. But hey, maybe you’ll try some other product that company has… with a different ‘magic formula,’ a different label, maybe even a different company name (owned by the same umbrella company). But, in reality, no one really has any idea what’s really in the bottle or if the stuff is safe.
The reality is: CAN YOU TRUST THE COMPANY SELLING YOU PRODUCTS? If you aren’t sure, maybe you should step back… because honestly, your longevity might depend upon it!
Look for ‘flags’
Things COMPANIES with a solid foundation in Science based Nutrition DO NOT:
~ use calcium carbonate, except as some type of bicarbonate, in ANY of their supplements.
~ use any iron oxide, in any product claiming to supply iron.
~ list their ingredients on the label in ‘combined’ amounts (ethical companies that understand the need for quality nutrition will always use ELEMENTAL AMOUNTS)
~ list some ‘proprietary blend’ on the label to hide the real ingredients, rather than actually stating what, and how much, is in the product, because they KNOW AMOUNTS MATTER if there really are enough amounts to matter!
~ list generic ‘single names’ of ingredients, because they know FORM MATTERS and is vital to the math for absorption.
~ have any ‘herbs’ (plant derived drugs) in any product intended for daily use for a prolonged period of time.
One of our competitors actually had 17 different joint supplements under different names, and even different company labels, with different formulas, sitting on the shelves of big box stores. Claiming to do EXACTLY THE SAME THING! (We’re unsure of how many they have today). But at that time, none of their products had more than a 30 day guarantee… but they spend a pile on advertising (tens of millions) to get into those store shelves, and sponsoring all kinda of stuff, including trips for the sales people & stores that peddle the most product.
How accurate do you think the information is from those sales people, that get trips to far away places for selling the most product, or reaching sales goals?
How great do you think any one of their numerous formulas are? Particularly when most of their ‘wonder formulas’ have herbal pain blockers, masking agents, and have historically failed testing for even what their labels claim? (But hey, those test results were quickly quieted… and the media never covered that).
Interestingly, back in the early years, that same company tried to buy MD’s Choice, all our formulas, science, pending patents, and a couple of our key personnel for a pile of money… but we turned them down, because they wouldn’t guarantee product consistency, our testing process, or maintain the availability & price for our existing customers.
Ethical companies want to avoid dangers and known negative side effects. They want to avoid both harming others AND any potential law suit. Sadly, there are companies that just don’t know any better… and some that frankly don’t seem to care.
It really bothered MD’s Choice when they saw celebrities being paid to ‘endorse’ products the majority of those celebrities never actually used themselves. But hey, “That’s show business” right?
The majority of those celebrities were pushing some product merely because some company paid them a pile of money to promote that product, to talk good about it, to say nice things.
Golfers, basket ball players, trainers, football players, tv stars, models, etc. etc. etc. Huge budget commercials were filled with people taking about all types of ‘dietary supplements’ and quick fix topicals those celebrities likely never even heard of before their agents contacted them with an offer of pay to read a script on camera.
That’s sad, though it’s become common place these days. Celebrities being paid tens of thousands to millions… just to read scripts on video for products they really didn’t use. To tweet or post links someone else wrote, for products the celebrity never really knew anything about.
Talk about serious ‘bait and switch’ tactics, and ‘UNtruths in advertising.’
All of that just motivated the doctors involved with MD's Choice even more.
Their need for some truth regarding supplements, AND NUTRITION, was established.
Those in charge at MD’s Choice agreed to never 'hire people' to ‘endorse’ any of our products, to write testimonials, or pay for positive ratings when they never really used or benefited from our product(s).
With some common problems clearly defined, the challenge became how to best help solve some of those problems and reach the goals in the most cost effective manner possible.
Infomercials and the Reality of Science
Throughout the 90’s there was a guy, “Doctor” Barefoot, doing zillions (or so it seemed) of infomercials about “Coral Calcium.” The Founders’ of MD’s Choice just shook their heads, and pointed out all the fallacies in Barefoot’s claims (he wasn’t really a doctor, medical professional, nutritionist, or even clinical researcher, which was covered by ‘Quackwatch’). Honestly, this section is a bit boring, but an important factor that helped motivate the real doctors involved with MD’s Choice to group together, and develop some effective formulas. (you can skip to the end of this section, to the next section, if you never saw the ‘coral calcium’ commercials or Barefoot).
Oh, most of what Barefoot said about CALCIUM was generally all true… the problem was that HIS TYPE calcium and what he claimed about the calcium he was using was totally bogus (illegal and totally false on so many levels).
1. it’s been internationally illegal to harvest coral – world wide for decades;
2. ‘coral’ was NOT the really ‘in’ his product, any more than sand is necessarily comprised of coral. (It was never even determined he was getting the calcium from sand in some far off island… or that there was really any ‘coral’ actually involved, any more than some fossils in some remote mine in Utah, Africa, or India).
3. Third, sand is made up of a whole lot of things, including dead fish, shell fish, heavy metals that settled to the bottle, and rocks broken by the currents, tides, and waves… essentially ‘limestone’ – which is basically what calcium carbonate is.
4. Forth, even if coral was somehow legally farmed, Coral calcium is composed primarily of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), with small amounts of magnesium and other trace minerals. Calcium Carbonate has been scientifically proven, repeatedly throughout the years, but dozens – if not hundreds – of researchers, to not be a bio-available form of calcium, although it’s the cheapest and most common form of calcium… now you know why… limestone).
One of Barefoot’s big claims was that his ‘coral calcium’ had the ability to change the pH (or alkalinity), and that somehow had significant health benefits… even curing all types of stuff. A real miracle, right? Well, he was the modern day example of a ‘snake oil salesman.’
Another of Barefoot’s claims was that testing your saliva’s ph level was an indicator of your health. However, the reality is that testing saliva has no actual or practical value in evaluating general health. The level is usually similar to blood pH, which the body keeps within a very narrow range. When the saliva flow is high, the pH is usually about 7.4 (7 is neutral, low numbers are acid, and higher numbers are alkaline). Calcium intake does NOT affect the pH of saliva. The most common cause of low (acid) salivary pH is the presence in the mouth of bacteria that cause cavities. In diseases (such as diabetic acidosis) in which blood pH is dangerously low, the level is determined by blood pH testing and calcium pills have no relevance to treatment, contrary to Barefoot’s claims. With respect to pH and alkalinity, the calcium component is far less important than the carbonate component, which is chemically similar to the bicarbonate in baking soda.
Hundreds of scientific studies support the medical belief that cholesterol is a major factor in cardiovascular disease. However, we couldn’t find any science to support Barefoot’s claim that there is some relationship between abnormal cholesterol levels and calcium deficiency. Further, Barefoot cited no evidence to supports what he claimed on that topic.
Barefoot claimed that the calcium in coral calcium is far more absorbable (100%) than the calcium in milk (17%) , calcium citrate products (10%) and antacid products (1-2%). However, science doesn’t support his claims, again… with nutritionists stating that the best forms of “pure calcium carbonate” products are at most 10% actual ‘calcium’ (90% carbonate), and then only about 30-35% of the actual ‘calcium’ is actually absorbable.
So, the mathematical reality is 500mg of the best ‘calcium carbonate’ is that only 50mg is actually calcium (90%, or 450mg is the carbonate). Then, only 15 to 17.5mg of calcium can be used (absorbed by the body)… out of that 500mg starting number. Sure isn’t much calcium from that big ole impressive combined mineral number, huh?
The issue of whether Barefoot has any actual credentials or not was determined by the courts. Despite thousands of Web sites referring to Barefoot as “Doctor Robert Barefoot” or Robert Barefoot, Ph.D. the reality is that he is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT have a Ph.D. degree when he was promoting all the ‘coral calcium’ stuff.
In 1999, Barefoot was NOT permitted to testify as an expert in a case in which the Maryland Attorney General stopped the marketing of T-Up (an aloe vera concentrate) and cesium chloride for the treatment of cancer and AIDS. The case was extremely serious because the regimen had killed several of its users. During hearings in the case, the defendants sought to have Barefoot testify that cesium was effective. The curriculum vitae that Barefoot submitted described his formal education after high school as “1964 Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Chemistry” and “1967 Graduated with Honors, Chemical Research Technology.” This means that his highest educational credential was a diploma (not a university degree) that reflected, at most, only three years of coursework. The presiding Administrative Law Judge noted that Barefoot had formal training and experience in INORGANIC chemistry but had no professionally supported or supervised training and had NOT done any professionally recognized research in organic chemistry and biochemistry in the human body.
Although Barefoot described having many discussions with doctors and patients about using cesium for treating cancer, the judge concluded that “this experience and study was not scientific.” In 2000, a civil court judge ordered the defendants to pay millions of dollars in restitution and $3.7 million in civil penalties. In 2001, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld this decision in a ruling that explained why Barefoot’s exclusion had been justified. One of the defendants received a 46-month prison sentence in a parallel criminal case.
Web sites also described Barefoot as a “world-renowned chemist.” However, his own curriculum vitae stated that between 1968 and 1972 he published six scientific research papers on analytical chemistry and diagenesis. Diagenesis refers to the changes that occur in sediments as they are buried under other sediments. This has some relevance to the formation of limestone, but it certainly has nothing to do with human biology or human health.
Searching Medline, which is the most comprehensive database of medically-related journals, there were no articles with Barefoot listed as author found. His curriculum vitae stated that he had patented an ore-extraction process and headed two companies that serviced the petroleum industry. While his marketing activities, and infomercials attracted considerable attention it’s highly suspect to refer to him as a ‘doctor’ or be called a “renowned chemist.”
Further, Doctor Carl J. Reich, M.D., who co-authored The Calcium Factor (with Barefoot), was a Canadian physician whose license was canceled in 1983. Barefoot claimed that Reich had a thriving practice in Calgary, Canada, but the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons considered his practices “potentially dangerous” when they pulled his license to practice medicine. In 2003, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission stopped Barefoot and Reich from broadcasting because of the fallacies, and grossly inaccurate information.
However, sadly, there are still a pile of ‘coral calcium’ products still widely marketed today. Most with a few lesser claims these days (but many still refer to one of Barefoot’s published books, which continue promoting the fallacies). It’s all that ‘buyer beware’ – and ‘freedom of speech’ – that allows his books to be sold. Sadly, all that ‘marketing hype’ and baseless advertising is tough to get out of the minds of the people that bought into the false claims and misinformation he was promoting.
Laboratory analyses have shown that some calcium supplements contain significant amounts of lead and other heavy metals. The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter. February 2003, has warned:
Science doesn’t support Barefoot’s claims. He couldn’t produce any, even in his own defense.
In January 2004, shortly before a trial would otherwise taken place, the FTC announced that Barefoot had agreed to a permanent injunction under which he, and Deonna Enterprises, Inc., and Karbo Enterprises, Inc., are:
• Prohibited from making unsubstantiated claims that:
~ “Coral Calcium Supreme” or any other coral calcium product can treat or cure cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other serious diseases.
~ The body absorbs coral calcium better than other calcium supplements in the market.
~ A daily serving size of such a product provides the same amount of bio-available calcium as two gallons of milk.
~ Scientific research published in JAMA and elsewhere proves that calcium supplements are able to reverse or cure cancer in the human body.
• Prohibited from making unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits, performance, or efficacy for any dietary supplement, food, drug, cosmetic, device, or service.
• Required to recall any product packaging that makes the prohibited claims,
• Required to notify resellers and distributors about the FTC action.
The court order also permitted the FTC to recover all royalties owed to Barefoot in connection with the Coral Calcium Supreme infomercial marketing (it’s unclear if any royalties associated with the books are also collected by the FTC… OR what is happening with any of the monies they collect).
The point of this section was NOT to ‘rake’ Barefoot over the coals more, but to educate people of some of the motivating factors used in defining the goals of MD’s Choice. And choosing which products to formulate, explain why one of our products is Mag-Cal Plus, a truly bio-available Calcium product with the necessary ingredients to maximize absorption and actual functionality within a mammals body was created.
Why Products were Developed by MD’s Choice
The very real Doctor’s of MD’s Choice gathered info, looked for solutions to some common problems they (their family, friends, and patients) were having.
• They focused on what wasn’t working (or had serious side effects).
• They looked for holes in the market they could actually create something that would be both cost effective, and actually help fulfill a need.
• They also evaluated many of the things being falsely marketed by other companies (such as Barefoot, and a pile of MLM companies cropping up out of nowhere).
• Their focus was solutions. Things which would really work (the right way – correctly & safely) for the vast majority. With sound science backing up their logic, and reasons for their choices.
They hoped people could clearly understand the difference between the MD’s Choice formulas these nutritional specialists had created vs the glut of lesser stuff with far less nutritional value or filled with masking agents already out there being marketed by far bigger companies (with far deeper pockets), and far less care about ‘proper nutrition.’
If you are new to our company, products, and ethical business practices, this can help you understand how and why we are different, and not sold in the mainstream markets.
First was the Complete Formula (multi-vitamin/mineral supplement) and Mag-Cal Plus products, because of the fallacy of the ‘one a day’ and false claims of 500mg of calcium in just one tablet per day.
Next were the joint supplement, since Vioxx had just been pulled from distribution, there wasn’t but a couple ‘joint supplements’ on the market back in the early 90’s. The OTC stuff being pushed was either scientifically inefficient, or promoting something less than safe for a daily supplement intended for prolonged use.
The more research MD’s Choice did, the more evident the market was filled with products that either weren’t really ‘as claimed,’ or often just pain killers and symptom blockers. Often avoiding the reality that the underlying problem would just getting worse using the blockers, maskers, and killers. The side effects and very real potential dangers of interactions with other medications or treatments was something few of the companies putting herbs in their product seemed to care about, or look into the science on, much less bothering to warn ‘their’ customers about.
The Process of Scientific Formulation
The doctors with MD’s Choice realized, through real science, third party abstracts, and nearly two centuries of combined experience in their studies of Nutrition, and existing clinics & active practices, which ingredients had issues, which could actually work… as well as how they’d work within the body.
So, they decided to create some focused solutions, fill gaps, and develop formulas that would actually target specific issues commonly found in mammals (especially people, dogs, and horses).
So, with a list of potential products, the doctor’s at MD’s Choice listed out all the nutrients and ingredients commonly used in each of the product types… worldwide. Divided up the list, and tried to come up with actual scientific research why every common ingredient should or shouldn’t be considered in their formula.
They wanted to know just exactly where and how that ingredient would impact and effect different parts of the body, what the known science was… and how the different ‘ingredients’ interacted with each other and the body. If there were any ‘contributing nutrition’ factors, such as calcium requires magnesium, boron, zinc, and vitamin D to be optimized within a mammal’s body.
They also paid close attention to ‘blockers,’ and ‘inhibitors’ that might interfere with absorption or use of a particular nutrient in the body. All of this was particularly important for people on other medications… and for people with serious health issues, for their own family, friends, and patients.
Their research also included ABSORPTION… when, where, how quickly, and how did the body actually use it.
This happened for every ingredient… whether they thought they might use it or not, because they wanted clear scientific reasons why certain ingredients were and weren’t selected; in both the human and animal world. The list became a whole bunch of excel spreadsheets.
The doctors knew what was on the market, what was being researched, benefits and any contraindications. They had looked at everything intended to treat, help, or otherwise do something for that class of product. They knew what either didn’t work well, or had some seriously dangerous side effects.
The end result, after all the science, the logic, information gathering… the results of their work became:
~ A Foundational Broad spectrum Multi-Vitamin/Mineral supplement, containing 97 ingredients (Complete Formula Liquid).
~ A premiere joint formula (which became Arthrosamine Capsules, Arthrosamine BeefyChewables, Gluquestrian powder same high quality human formula, just different dosing size, and delivery method).
~ A bone, PMS, and top notch calcium product (Mag-Cal Plus).
~ And, an incredible digestion product (GI Support). Those were their initial products.
David vs Goliath Scenario
The challenge was cost effectively launching a small self-funded private company with the solid science for a few key formula’s.
MD’s Choice has some of the very best formulas on the market… BECAUSE THEY REALLY WORK… in the RIGHT WAY! By supplying the body with the necessary nutrients the body needs, in forms it can readily use. We know our products aren’t a ‘quick fix’ (and don’t contain masking agents or pain killers), therefore will often take time to impact any positive changes within a body.
Give our product an honest chance, up to 3 large containers, of daily use, at the correct dose for your age, weight, severity, etc. and we promise that you’ll absolutely notice a positive difference (in the right way) within a few weeks, or GET YOUR MONEY BACK!
Oh, and another thing, WE WILL ASK QUESTIONS! That’s why our product’s success rate is over 90%. We asked the people before you questions, tried different dosing (and combos with other medication or treatment) for different problems, so we could better help you figure out how our product could help the problem you’re trying to eliminate. The upside, we have over 20 years of experience, and a real good idea when, where, and how our product works. That’s something we want to help with, when possible. Besides, it’s our reputation and money on the line too. If there is a problem, we are going to want to know how it was used, if something could be changed to improve results. Your answers might enable us to help you in some other fashion, but odds are they can help us help future customers.
Our goal is to help solve problems. Any company that says they don’t ask questions either doesn’t really care about their future customers, or is lying… because the reality is that no one can hope to improve in the future without answers to questions.
MD’s Choice doesn’t believe in the ‘ingredient of the month’ or some band wagon hype. Science is vital. Effectiveness, functionality, and safety are important to us.
Next, trying to ethically get these high quality products actually manufactured with all the consistency and safety protocols needed, at a price most people could afford, without spending millions on a plant and personnel. All the while learning to deal with all the misinformation, and deep pockets marketing, the big companies were doing with their celebrity endorsements and huge event sponsorships. Yeah, just try to say all that fast, but we managed.
Thankfully, Women’s Health Group, Tennessee Farmers Co-op, Butler Animal Health, Henry Schien, became some of our first distributors of the key MD’s Choice products. Soon followed by Valley Vet and KV Vet, the nation’s top two catalogs, to get the proverbial ball rolling.
The next challenge was… 2020, and all that changed because of government lock downs, mandates, media hyperbole and twisting science and real information.
Educating People About Some Key Things:
• MD’s Choice products are not a ‘quick fix’ or offering ‘instant results’
• Products built with a scientific foundation, offering better results over time (usually just a few weeks)…
• with an industry first: RESULTS BASED GUARANTEE that wasn’t limited to 1 container or 30 days.
• “It Works” has two very different meanings: One is the quick pain killer & symptom masker that doesn’t really fix or solve any problem. The other supplies the body the nutrients necessary for optimum health and healing, in forms the body can readily use.
• No matter how good a product is, it won’t do anything sitting on the shelf (or in your medicine cabinet)... it HAS TO BE USED, correctly and consistently.
• The body didn’t get that way over night, and it can’t get fixed overnight (not even with surgery), was key.
• Breaking up the dosing into at least 2 or 3 times a day when there is a problem you’re trying to help is vital. That ‘one a day’ stuff only works as a preventive (and in the movies).
• While too much won’t likely hurt you, too little could keep you from experiencing positive results as quickly as possible… and more than is needed would just be a waste of your money.
• Getting people to understand the MD’s Choice formulas are not ‘one size fits all’ type products… nutrition doesn’t work that way. Age, weight, severity, location, continued use, other medications & treatment, diet, exercise, and goals all play a role in determining the PROPER DOSING.
• We don’t believe any nutritional product, or ingredient used in a supplement, intended for oral consumption and/or absorption into the body, should be from countries we couldn’t safely drink their water without a potential of getting sick. The only exception, which we still avoid, is if those ingredients are thoroughly tested for all common contaminants and heavy metals that can actually build up in a body, or otherwise become harmful.
• MD’s Choice strives to treat people AS WE WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED.
• Other than basic labeling requirements, limiting companies from false claims that their supplement can ‘cure, prevent, treat’ any disease, the FDA does NOT certify, test, or require any CofA (certificate of analysis) on any of the products sold to the public. Salmonella and eColi are the only things supplements legally required to be tested for. Calcium supplements must be tested for lead, otherwise, there is NO OTHER TESTING REQUIRED, even for supplements coming from outside out nation. Sadly, the FDA tends under regulate companies known to source ingredients from foreign producers, or that have been tested by a third party and shown to not meet or exceed label contents claims (and sometimes not even have the ingredients they claimed inside the container).
• Our products are OVER TESTED – for your safety, and our peace of mind… three times: i) in bulk, before it’s used, ii) again after blending, and iii) yet again after bottling (by testing the contents of random bottles). This helps ensure the highest quality, most consistent, and safest product on the market. Also for quantity and ratios of the nutrients inside, which is how our product has remained so consistent for over twenty years. MD’s Choice products are virtually free of heavy metals. Safety and consistency are important to us. Further, we only use human grade ingredients, even in our animal labeled product, because they’re generally more effective, higher absorption, better consistency, and we know people sometimes use our animal products.
• MD’s Choice tests for lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, barium, aluminum, aerobic plate count, yeast & mold, coliform, staphylococcus, and a bunch of other common contaminants that may not harm you immediately, but won’t pass through the body, can build up, and will shorten life when they are too high. Heavy metals are a known problem, especially in the cheap supplements. We test each and every lot of our products for all these things, and refuse to release anything outside our assorted established safety and consistency parameters. Sadly, this isn’t a standard for other companies.
• It is not a requirements of the FDA, USDA, or covered under the Food Safety Bill.
• Testing for heavy metals, and other contaminants, is not a requirement for ingredients coming from countries the average American couldn’t safely drink their water; EVEN THOUGH customs KNOWS those ingredients will be used (by most of our competitors) in products intended for consumption.
Shelf life of MD's Choice products:
In general, when stored at room temperature or below, out of direct sunlight, our products have a minimum three year shelf life (from the manufacture’s date).
There are exceptions: i) moisture (especially condensation) will shorten the life of the product; ii) if added to any food or liquid, temperature over 105 degrees will degrade the product quickly; iii) pre-mixing the product with liquid, it should be used within 24hrs of less. If the product is stored in the freezer or refrigerator, most products can last even longer.
Snake Oil is Alive and Well, Sadly…
Fast forward 25 years, and store shelves and social media is riddled with quick fixes, claims of miracle cures, and fast pain free solutions… despite the science, contrary to reality, and often with little though toward safety and honest effectiveness.
It seems to be a never ending battle with the marketing hype of the “ingredient of the month” so many of our competitors seem to have. Their latest miracle claim, usually just some new herbal pain killers or masking agents under a new or different label.
Sometimes it’s just semantics marketing to the uninformed, like that liquid joint supplement advertising so aggressively on facebook, claiming to be a ‘liquid joint replacement,’ to be ‘a cure’ for joint problems, then telling people their product doesn’t contain any ‘glucosamine or chondroitin.’ While their ingredients list clearly says the primary active ingredient is “Type II Collagen,” which according to years of nutritional training, and as pointed out on WebMD.com, is exactly what Chondroitin is… Type II Collagen.
Semantics, I’m sure. Amusing, if you think about it. WebMD takes it a few steps further with the following words: “Collagen type II is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in doses up to 2.5 mg daily for up to 24 weeks. It’s not clear what the side effects might be. Other collagen products, such as bovine collagen and gelatin, have caused allergic reactions. Since collagen type II contains chondroitin and glucosamine, large doses might lead to the same side effects as those seen with chondroitin and glucosamine supplements. These side effects include nausea, heartburn, diarrhea and constipation, drowsiness, skin reactions, and headache.”
It is also very important to understand that the ‘type’ of ‘glucosamine’ WebMD, and most all other articles on the internet are talking about is “glucosamine hcl” (the most commonly used form of glucosamine, which is also the least bio-available). It has been repeatedly proven, scientifically, decades ago to not have any true bio-availability in mammals, and completely bombed the multi-year, thousands of people, double tested, GAIT Study by the NIH. Yet there are STILL PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET USING THAT FORM OF GARBAGE!
It’s tough for a small company to get the word out, regardless of the science or quality of the product, because people want the ‘now’ relief, even if it is temporary.
We understand, and hope that those people actually ‘in pain’ will see their doctor (or professional healthcare provider) to get something to help WHILE USING OUR PRODUCT, as the body is healing itself when possible. It shouldn’t be an either or, but rather a both! Use the pain killers knowingly, as needed, as directed… when needed… but not multiple times a day, every day, for weeks, months, and years. That is sadly how stuff gets worse! How immunity and addictions start.
It is also why ‘pain killers’ and ‘masking agents’ will never appear in an MD’s Choice product. Not that we want you in pain, we don’t want to do anything that blocks your ability to know you aren’t healed or healthy yet.
MD’s Choice formulas are based on real science… with efficacy, absorption, functionality, and safety all in mind. Pain goes away when actual healing occurs, and the reality is that sometimes surgery really is necessary.
Since 1995, MD’s Choice products have been considered the best scientifically formulated supplements in their class to exist.
Designed and formulated by practicing doctors, to efficiently deal with specific issues without masking the symptoms. Supplying the body the building blocks it really needs, in forms it can readily use, with safety, bio-availability, and effectiveness being primary goals (which are met or exceeded nearly 90% of the time).
MD’s Choice used to have regular print ads in DVM Magazine, Vet Practice News, and assorted other national and regional magazines, plus we exhibited at most of the industry shows (AVMA, AAEP, APPMA, etc.), as well as many major events. Few take the time to do more than scan the industry magazines, much less wade through piles of emails, or spend a lot of time web pages (like this one). Most people at the market shows were the same happy, already existing customers, we’d seen over the previous decade.
From 1998 through 2011, between shows, someone from MD’s Choice personally walked into most of this nations Veterinarian Schools, and literally thousands of clinics, practices, hospitals, and resellers businesses in most of the lower 48 states, often with one of the distributor’s reps. However, we quickly learned that whenever a practice owner or vet sales rep changed, we’d often have to ‘do it’ all over again… to help people new to our products, and real science, learn that ‘glucosamine + chondroitin’ is not the best option, glucosamine in liquid has no stability, or functionality… and that herbs are ultimately plant derived drugs that block the pain, rather than promoting healing.
Most practice and business owners were really too busy to meet with us for much time, and even then the meetings were often limited to times between patients or customers (respectively). The travel was a never ending circle, often thousands of miles apart (and many dollars).
Inevitably, some deep pockets competitor would be offering that same rep a trip to some vacation spot some where if they ‘sold’ ___ products during such and such of time they'd get cash & prizes. So, the sales reps pushed not the best product, but the one they would personally benefit from the most with spiffs, the trips, or some other prizes. At least two of our former distributor reps started promoting some product their family member decided to import, admitting it wasn’t ‘as good’ (but saying “hey, it’s family.”) Often confusing their clients (the store or business staff) with less than great scientific information, contradictory facts, and were more focused on their direct personal gain than actually helping their customers actually solve problems.
Interestingly, many of those distributors are out of business today, but they still harmed hundreds to thousands of SMALL companies, while propping up some of the big players that have multiple sku's claiming to do exactly the same thing.
So we stepped back… and carefully evaluated all we were doing, how it worked, what we could do better for the benefit of both the end users of our product and our resellers.
Ultimately, we care about our customers and the quality of our products! Not the shows, distributors, or magazines.
Learning, Evolving, Adapting… and Maintaining Our Sales Prices
We learned all that travel & advertising cost us a great deal of time & money, and doing all those things for the benefit of some distributor, was not the best way to achieve our goals (or really helping our reseller clients… or end-users). Oh, we made sales, picked up a lot of new accounts, and met a whole lot of wonderful hardworking people. However, sales reps turned over far too quickly, distributors were fickle and cared more about making money and spiffs than faithfully representing high quality supplements that didn’t have multi-million-dollar ad campaigns and celebrity endorsements.
We learned the majority of our existing customers were happy, with an awesome retention rate. The animal owners continued using our product until their beloved pet passed away, or was sold (usually making sure the new owner knew about our product). The people using our human product, also faithful.
The majority of our existing resellers cared about QUALITY of Product, having a safe product that worked the right way. Most of our customers have been with us for years, many decades, and a few since the beginning. However, they didn’t want to pay more, despite our fluctuating ingredient costs, increased testing costs, inflation, and higher shipping prices. So we needed to calculate how we could best continue fulfilling their needs and maintain the pricing (at least on the key products). Evaluating the ROI (return on investment) for different things we were doing, trying to work smarter making people aware of our product and looking for more cost effective ways to use our time.
We learned early on that it was far less expensive to maintain our core customers with the best products & service possible, than continue spending a lot of time and money trying to attract new clients. For the last twenty years, our prices have remained the same, which is huge in this industry… especially with the industries unmatched Results Based Guarantee!
Our Existing Accounts:
~ the veterinarians, resellers, and end-users that love our product were key to our business model. They are valued, and still the core to our business...
We know MD’s Choice has survived over 20 years in business BECAUSE OF OUR DEDICATED CUSTOMERS actually getting positive results, and being happy with our service! All that really means something to us!
They not only sustain us, but even helped grow our business. Not only has our quality and prices remained the same for over 20 years, but we can occasionally pass on rewards to our customers that buy in small quantities. We figured that is a far better use of our time and money than trade shows, traveling to events all over North America, print ads, and far more ethical than paying for endorsements; without all that added expense of time & money we used to spend on those tasks.
Over the years, we had seen far too many companies reward ‘new accounts’ with some specials – but not their existing accounts. That wasn’t something we liked when Sprint or Charter did it to us, despite being their customers for years, so MD’s Choice vowed to not ever do that to our customers.
Most businesses have ‘show specials’ – for those placing orders ‘at the show.’ So do we… even though we don’t participate in the ‘show circuit’ anymore (and yes, there are still dozens of shows, each and every year). Our 6+1, 10+2 incentives now exist year around, not just during the show season. Just give us a call, or sign up for our ‘members only’ mailer, you’ll be notified if there are any specials or deals.
For the New People
~ it might help you to know that since 1995, when the products were first developed, MD’s Choice has also maintained an A+ rating with the BBB, with zero complaints ever filed, another rarity for a supplement company.
~ We care about our reseller customers, and all the end-users. We exist to serve BOTH...
~ We strive to treat people the way we’d like to be treated… fairly, honestly, and with respect.
~ Our primary goals is solving problems, whenever possible.
~ It’s important to note the price of the key products were able to remain the same because the doctor’s that formulated and designed the products have NEVER drawn a salary from MD’s Choice! That wasn’t the reason they created the products.
They had their own practice(s), or teaching or research positions… their own primary income source already.
Their goal, was to create something that ACTUALLY WORKS for themselves, their family, their friends and exiting clients, hoping to “Help change the world ~ one body at a time.”
If you’re interested in learning more, want to hear about specials… new information… please let us know. Encourage your family or friends to give us a try, we'll do our best to take good care of them, and help them solve problems.
Proper Dosing is important to us, and dosing can vary, depending on a few factors: age, weight, height, location (of problem), severity, other medication & treatment, goals, and care. If the use is preventive, or the problems are moderate, dosing is on the label. However, IF they are more serious, and pain is evident, PLEASE CALL US FOR OPTIMUM DOSING during the bodies healing period.