On a prior occasion, this writer wrote about the perils of combining free trials of Acai Berry capsules with Colon Cleanse or Intra Cleanse capsules. Now, it appears that Colon Cleanse has been scrapped in favor of Ultra Slim XS. While nothing negative is being offered here about either the Acai Berry product or the Ultra Slim XS product, we will attempt to examine some of the outrageous claims about both of these diet products as well as the claims that Oprah and Dr. Mehmet Oz, a guest on the Oprah show, support these diet products.
One reason the subject of dieting and taking Acai Berry products combined with whatever else the marketers of the Acai Berry decide to include is being scrutinized is because it is clear that the attempt to sell Acai Berry products has taken on a type of soap opera mentality. People who feel that the usual methods of dieting such as cutting back on food intake and doing some exercise, can easily fall prey to internet advertisements claiming celebrities such as Oprah and Dr. Oz endorse the Acai Berry as an effective weight loss program. Before we get into a discussion about the involvement of Oprah and Dr. Oz, it should be made clear that neither of them made any direct claim about weight loss using the Acai Berry product, or its partner, Ultra Slim XS.
Not long ago, Acai Berry pills were being marketed as the sole product necessary to lose weight through “free trials.” Now, it seems that marketers of the Acai Berry pills weren’t satisfied with just selling you the Acai Berry pills, but had to combine their sale with another product. Let’s examine some claims being made by the marketers of these products, just for fun, and then you can decide if they will work for you or not. But before you make up your mind, we will examine the Oprah-Dr. Oz connection, so that you can make an informed decision.
The Acai Berry advertisements claim that “you will have a flatter stomach.” The original come-on for Acai Berry featured a homespun tale from a “Sara Collins from Wakefield, Kansas,” a town which happens to be only fifteen miles from where this writer currently resides. Sara claimed she “lost 42 lbs. using a diet method I created from products I saw on TV.” So Sara, if she really exists, claims that she tried diets like “Atkins, South Beach, soup, and lemon juice, but none produced real results that lasted.” Then she claims that an episode of the Oprah show “turned her life around,” as she watched Dr. Oz relate how “the Acai Berry reduces hunger and raises energy levels,” and how she “trusted Oprah not to have shady doctors on.” It’s interesting to note that in the next paragraph of this “testimonial” from Sara, that she mentions colon cleansing. And then the moment of epiphany arrives for Sara when “she decides to try both the Acai product and the colon cleanse product to create a super safe and super effective diet. “
When you go to the web site to order your free trial, you’ll see logos of such impressive “supporters” as ABC, CBS News, the Wall Street Journal, and CNN. ABC and the Wall Street Journal talked about the Omega-3 fatty acid or oil in the Acai Berry and how it was a nutritious food, but said nothing about it being a weight-loss product. CBS News talked about the Acai Berry being a “hip new taste” at juice bars, and CNN talked about it promoting “cardiovascular and digestive health,” but again, no mention of a weight-loss benefit. Disclaimers at the bottom explain that “these statements have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration,” and that “individuals shown are paid models and not necessarily users of the product,” and that “Acai Berry should be used as a supplement to your active lifestyle.” So to sum up, all we have is a homespun tale from Sara in Wakefield, Kansas, who watches an episode of Oprah and believes Dr. Oz when he talks about the hunger reduction and energy level improvements provided by the Acai Berry.
It is important to note that this particular marketer offering a “free trial” of Acai Berry will charge you $4.95 shipping and handling, and then at the end of 14 days, will charge another $63.97 to your credit card, if you don’t cancel your “free trial,” and then if you still haven’t cancelled your free trial, your card will be charged another “$63.97 plus $4.95 S & H, thirty days from the date you first placed your order,” so that you’ll effectively have charged $137.84 for two months’ worth of Acai Berry product. All within thirty days. If you’ve had trouble losing weight before, you won’t after all your purchasing power is gone on your credit card and you can’t afford food, because the charges to your credit card will continue until you’re either able to cancel the automatic shipment of this product, or your credit card, as many people have complained about the lack of responsiveness of the toll-free customer service number to address either cancellation or reversal of any charges on a debit or credit card.
So with Acai Berry discussed, we move on to Ultra Slim XS. According to its many claims, this product will “promote natural weight loss, increased fat burning, speed up my metabolism, and help lose inches around the waist.” This time, we have a glowing endorsement from Katie Couric on CBS News, with a minute-long version of what she has to say on YouTube. This writer took the time to view the minute-long segment and it simply featured a lecture from Katie on the growing obesity problem in the United States. No endorsement of Ultra Slim XS whatsoever. Supposed endorsements from Reuters and ABC News talked about “fat loss and fat burning,” but no mention of Ultra Slim XS, preferring to mention such active ingredients as “Citrimax” and “ChromeMate (trademarked),” which is confusing since we don’t have a label to look at to see what the active ingredients are in Ultra Slim XS. As usual, the disclaimer at the bottom says that “these statements have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.”
And now the cost of Ultra Slim? By the way, there was no mention of “colon cleansing” anywhere to be found in the advertisement for Ultra Slim XS. Should we be disappointed that there is no inclusion of Sara’s “two-step diet plan” of the colon cleanse aspect of her diet formula she so painstakingly put together after the mountaintop moment she experienced watching Oprah? But getting back to the cost. Well, the free trial is only going to cost $4.95 for shipping and handling for the first 14 days, then your credit card gets hit again for $59.95. And then within thirty days of the day you first placed your order, your credit card gets charged again for $59.95 plus the $4.95 S & H. So in the first thirty days, you pay $129.80 for your “free trial,” if you don’t take steps to cancel the contract you create when you agree to pay just the shipping and handling. So if you do nothing but give out your credit card number to these purveyors of diet products, the “dynamic duo,” as it is called by our dear friend Sara, will wind up costing $267.64 in the first month. With your permission to allow them to keep deducting $133.82 from your credit card until you manage to stop it.
Just one additional consumer warning if you’re tempted to fall into Sara’s diet trap and order both of these products. The phone number to cancel the Acai Berry “free trial” is 866-421-6554, while the number to cancel Ultra Slim XS is 866-794-4147. You might be on the phone quite a while before you get anyone’s attention to stop charging your credit card.
So finally, let’s review the Oprah-Dr. Oz connection. It seems Dr. Oz, according to several blogs on the internet upon doing a Google search, does a rather convincing demonstration of “how the acai berry functions on people,” by cutting an apple in half on the Oprah show, and pouring lemon juice on one half of the apple, while leaving the other half untouched. The side of the apple with the lemon juice remains healthy, while the side without the juice becomes brown and shriveled. Based on this demonstration, Dr. Oz somehow makes the leap to the Acai berry being a healthy food and claims its antioxidant properties make it that way.
A cursory background look at Dr. Oz at the Wikipedia web site reveals that Dr. Oz is in fact, a best-selling author of some 350 publications. He admits to being heavily influenced by the Swedish mystic, Emanuel Swedenborg, the latter of whom claimed to have “traveled between heaven and hell,” and “communicates with angels and demons.” Dr. Oz’s wife is a certified Reiki master, who practices a spiritual discipline in the healing arts “without energy depletion,” according to Wikipedia. The spiritual discipline involves fasting of up to three weeks and meditation at Mt. Kurama in Japan. It appears, based on the Wikipedia content, that Dr. Oz, while adequately credentialed as a cardiothoracic surgeon, is heavily involved in “meditative medicine,” which appears to be closely related to “mind-over-matter” type cures. While Dr. Oz talks incessantly about the Acai Berry being one of the “top-ten super foods,” this hardly qualifies as an endorsement for spending $68.92 a month on Acai Berry products as a method for losing weight.
In any event, scientific evidence for any weight loss results offered by the “dynamic duo” of Acai Berry and Ultra Slim XS certainly hasn’t been provided, and the heartwarming testimonial from Sara in Wakefield, Kansas, if she is even a real person doesn’t seem to add up. Except for the marketers who are draining $129.82 a month from your available credit or checking account balance on your credit or debit card respectively. In addition, none of the media endorsers examined seem to be offering any direct statement in favor of either of these two diet products, but instead talk in general terms about obesity, fat burning, and personal health. People who are sincere about wanting to lose weight want to believe someone like Sara, only to find out that when they do further surfing on the internet, they see similar “stories” from Jenny, Linda, and whatever other name sounds credible to venders of these diet products. It’s interesting to note that there are no company names that a purchaser of these diet plans can refer to, and of course, no way to get in touch with Sara or Jenny, or whoever else puts out a diet blog. Meanwhile, for those who attempt these kind of diet plans, the credit card is the only thing receiving the marketer’s attention, and not the poor, helpless customer trying to lose weight.