Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who would YOU believe?

With the world at our fingertips, it is sometimes difficult to sort through all of the BS and find real facts. I mean, I could post some bogus information on here, or even on wikipedia, and there’s nothing to stop me. Well, except morals, but that’s a whole different post. For someone ELSE’s blog.

I tend to think that when looking for information many people will stop searching when they find information to support their pre-formed beliefs. No? Here’s what sparked this for me: a TV ad for “BrandX”. It claims to be medicated, so (naturally) I wondered what the medicine was, and how did it ‘work’? TO THE INTERWEBS!

Turns out that “Trolamine salicylate 10%”is the active ingredient in “BrandX” and other similar products. (This isn’t about these products, but more about their claims, and how we perceive the information presented.) The product website lists trolamine salicylate as a ‘topical analgesic”, which means that it is a pain reliever that you rub on your skin. Ok….but if it is used for MUSCLE soreness……what the what? TO THE INTERWEBS!

Investigation of trolamine salicylate via google listed an article (?) on wikipedia.com with the following statements:

“The US Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed any of the over-the-counter products listed in the Daily Med database that contain trolamine salicylate.[1] Also, the producers of trolamine salicylate products have not provided evidence to the FDA in support of claims that this chemical is directly absorbed through the skin into underlying tissue.” (bold emphasis added by…ME!)

So now I am thinking…umm….then how can they make these claims? Reading on, I found this (next sentence):

“However, one study reported that trolamine salicylate does penetrate into, and persist within, underlying muscle tissue.”

Huh. ONE study. Worth looking into? Of course. So I did. Turns out, the experiment seemed to be conducted ‘well’ (controls, double blind, etc.), but no white papers were produced, or at least none that I could find within the time I was willing to devote to the search. Why not? well, my findings pretty much agreed with my own beliefs.

I do it myself. I’m not an alien (well….) so I tend to think that I’m not the only one who thinks the way I do (although if you ask Tracey, you might get a differing opinion). SO.

When investigating something new (workout philosophy, product claims, “new and improved!” this or that), try to see it from several angles before you make up your mind. And if the product makes some sort of MEDICAL CLAIM, do your research DILIGENTLY. You owe it to yourself not to fall for a scam or a claim of quick cures for chronic problems. (Yes, I said ‘problem’, not challenge or hurdle or some other euphemism. A spade is a spade).

Another thing that I encourage (do as I SAY, not as I DO) is to keep an open mind when looking into things. Beliefs that you may have held for a long, long time may be shattered by new research and evidence; just learn to filter out the BS.


  1. Beliefs that you have held for a long long time might be shattered: isn't that the truth -- we constantly learn that what we have learned was not truth but just the best we could collectively come up with at the time.Hard stuff to shake. Because I still believe the earth is flat after all.

  2. So does this means you're not gonna buy the jumbo-sized bottle of Kalorie Killer I've been trying to sell ya? ((eyeroll))