The Low Hormone Rip-Off

Radio and Television is awash with silly advertisements aimed at anyone 40 or older, to get you to buy supplements to counter the effect of lower hormones as we age.  The ads ask if you are fatigued or depressed, have low sex drive, are gaining weight, or are generally having a feeling of malaise. These ads appeal to everyone really, since everyone experiences some of the symptoms as they age.

Amberen is the product that I hear advertised the most on AM radio for women and Andro 400 and Ageless Make for men. Looking at Amberen’s web site, I see a  list of the ingredients that include basic vitamins a lot of people need. Listed are calcium and magnesium, zinc and vitamin E. My wife has been taking calcium/magnesium for years, and it helps her a lot with her monthly hormone fluctuations. You can buy these supplements a lot cheaper than Amberen’s regular price of $149.

Also Amberen has MSG, an additive used in many food products like snacks and Asian food, to enhance flavors. MSG gives me migraine headaches, and I have read a lot of side affects of taking MSG on various web sites. I’m puzzled why this ingredient is added, although the Amberen website says it is added for energy.

The other ingredient listed is an amino acid, which they indicate helps with emotion when coupled with magnesium.

I would avoid these pills, since the advertising is misleading and their product is expensive. At the very least talk to your doctor first. If you feel you need these vitamins and proteins, first eat more nutritious food, and if you feel you fall short on some items, buy high quality but much lower cost supplements.

Contrary to the ads, most people will notice very little change in their fatigue, depression, sex drive, or weight loss. Just like people avoided the snake oil sold centuries before, avoid big claims and big price tags. Save your money. The best way to treat these things is through better life management, including good personal finances, diet, exercise, adequate sleep, professional medical care, and habits to promote positive mental health.


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