*This was a question raised on Warren's Blog where you can find many comments regarding this question and various others.
Question: from Ahmed
I've been really interested in ordering your Neuro Natural Serenity product, as I have read some really great reviews from people that used it, the reviews were from your website and from other web pages from the internet.
However, I stumbled across a website that had a complete review for Neuro Natural Serenity -along with some other products - some of the things that were mentioned in the website made me wonder to what extent are their claims true.
They first mentioned about the ingredients that are available in your product (L-Glutamine, L-Histidine HCL, L-Taurine, L-Tyrosine and L-Valine) which are all amino acids, and that those ingredients have not been shown to have a significant impact on overall mood or what they call a mood enhancing ingredients, they mentioned that those amino acids are sometimes used for weight loss and muscle building formulas.
It has also been mentioned that there are studies that suggests using 5 HTP - which can be found as well in Neuro Natural Serenity - for the treatment of mood disorders such as depression.
However, the research is still considered to be unfinished.
Another thing that they've mentioned is that there are some products out there that use lithium which has proven to be an effective and safe way to help alleviate mood issues, which cannot be found in your product.
That being mentioned, I would like to know to what extent are their claims considered to be true, and if there is anything important that you would like to add.
About the site, here is the link to the website
Comment: from Warren
Joanna has answered this is detail, but I thought that I would mention a couple of things as well. As Joanna pointed out the unknown reviewer in the website referred to left out the most important ingredients such as some of the herbals but more particularly SAMe which is a significant part of Neuro-Natural Serenity.
Also, the reason why we have such low levels of lithium in our products is twofold. One there are question marks surrounding the long term use of high doses, and two, higher doses than what we use are illegal in many countries.
Our Neuro-Natural Serenity can stand any scrutiny. I have yet to find another product that can match it.
Answer: from Joanna (Medical Nutritionist for Xtend-Life)
I have had a chance to look through the site you refer to and can comment on both that and on the specific summary it gives regarding NN Serenity - which you also refer to in your enquiry.
First of all, in order to see what context they are coming from in their reviews, I have had a look at the site itself. There are a number of concerning comments regarding the site that question to me, as a professional, its methods of review and its fairness.
Firstly, there is no info at all on the site regarding who this company or group of people are. Are they professionals in the field? There is no information, nor potential contact information, so we are reading reviews from an unknown source. This means it is more difficult to know exactly how much credibility can be put onto their opinions and their methods of reviewing a product.
Please note that the main product they are advocating, Serenity, is also their main advertising sponsor on the site. So there does seem to potentially be an element of bias. From reading through the reviews and comparing them (ours for Neuro-Natural Serenity and many of the others) to the review on Serenity, their sponsored product, this potential bias does appear to be confirmed further.
If you read through the review of their sponsored Serenity product, you will see that it does read more like a marketing campaign summary rather than review. If you compare this to just some of the others, you will see a big difference in how they have been reviewed, or summarised, in comparison. There is much more emphasis on individually picked out negative points to the other products, and emphasis on only 1 point with their sponsored product. Taking the summary of positive points for their sponsored product:
- It's non-prescription - so are most if not all of the other natural products, including ours. Yet this isn't mentioned in our review, for example. BUT...the levels of lithium that they are using would be a prescription in many countries.
- Starts to work in as little as 1-3 weeks - Again, this can apply to any nutritional or natural product, BUT importantly can never be guaranteed for any truly natural product as all natural or nutritional products work with the body, so time frames differ. For example, we could also say that our product could begin to work in as little as 1-3 weeks, as many people do find immediate benefits.
- No Negative Side Effects - This again applies to our product, as it is totally natural and nutritional, but is not mentioned in our review, or the review of many others. Are they then saying that they have experienced side effects from all the other products? As they haven't actually tested the products physically and are only doing a very basic review of the ingredients lists to all the products, this is unlikely.
- Endless testimonials from real customers - again something that we have, but aren’t mentioned in our review.
- Replaces many people’s prescriptions so they can leave behind the negative aspects associated with pharmaceuticals - again, applicable to ours, and most other natural or nutritional products that they review.
The only marketed ingredient for the sponsored Serenity product is lithium. I have looked on the main site for this product as well as on this recommendation site for more info, and can find nowhere a full ingredients list to tell us exactly what is in the product (aside from the mentioned lithium). There is nothing wrong with lithium as an ingredient, in its natural form, and in the right dosage. But it is not a sole ingredient for long-term help.
From the information I have seen concerning the Serenity product and our Neuro-Natural Serenity, one of the main differences appears to be that the Serenity product, if lithium is its only main ingredient, may be helpful indeed but for short-term help in dealing with the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. However, it is not a long-term solution for the causes of these neurotransmitter and natural chemical imbalances.
Neuro-Natural Serenity contains a specific set of speciality and co-factor ingredients for long-term health, help with this problem, and overall health improvement of the neurological and nervous system. So there is a large difference in how these 2 formulas, for example, appear to function and they are not therefore able to be compared together in the same list. They are totally different products, with different ultimate goals.
This is just an example of the bias, and the emphasis on marketing the Serenity product that sponsors their site.
Regarding our own review, a few further points I would like to make. Firstly, in this review only 6 specific ingredients are reviewed. Neuro-Natural Serenity contains 43 ingredients! None of the speciality ingredients, except for 5-HTP, have been mentioned.
Secondly, when they speak of the amino acids and the 5-HTP that they are reviewing, they are referring to these ingredients in their singular form only. This is a combination formula. These ingredients are not being used or recommended in singular use, but in combination with many other ingredients to form a long-term solution and improved health system for the neurological and nervous system with an emphasis on depression and anxiety.
Any nutritional/natural health professional will be aware that ingredients work very differently in singular use form as to their use and actions in formulation.
The amino acids used have their individual properties, many of which are relevant to neurological behaviour. However, these ingredients are used for the majority to enhance and help to action the properties of other ingredients too, increasing their importance and relevance.
Amino acids are extremely important in most body processes. In terms of how they help in Neuro-Natural Serenity, as well as promoting the properties of the other ingredients, neurotransmitters are produced from amino acids. Certain amino acids, along with vitamins (B6, B3, C) and minerals (magnesium) produce neurotransmitters.
Plus the main amino acid that they refer to in their review, the amino acid 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP), turns into serotonin. Very important in terms of any neurological depressive/anxious state.
Amino acids are raw nutrients needed to manufacture neurotransmitters which help to regulate our moods.
Regarding clinical studies or evidence to this, a simple general search on something like Google can bring up many positive reviews of these amino acids to confirm their importance in many body processes, including neurological. Plus if you go to PubMed (a public clinical studies review site) and type in 5-HTP for mood disorders, you will find many positive studies that have been conducted.
All these studies are complete and concluded. Further studies are always taking place, with all these ingredients, not just 5-HTP, and so they are always ongoing as technology and knowledge of ingredients and their increasing properties changes constantly. However, studies referred to are concluded and show excellent benefit and use of 5-HTP, in the right mg dosages, and in combination with the right ingredients and elements.
I think this will probably help to answer most of your questions Ahmed. Please come back to me however if you do still have questions.
It is good, and always recommended, to look carefully at any product that you are thinking of purchasing or using for a specific purpose as there are many unscrupulous companies and products out there unfortunately. So it is good that you read these reviews Ahmed. It is unfortunate that you came across this one, but hopefully I will have put those concerns into better context now for you.
When comparing any products ensure that it is first of all done on a 'like-for-like basis - i.e. that the goals and ingredients lists for both products show they aim at the same solution; and ensure that the review you are reading is from a totally unbiased source and done in a comparative way, by a professional.
In the meantime, there are many good reviews of Neuro-Natural Serenity that do give an unbiased review of the product and its uses. I have just done a very simple search in Google, typing in "Neuro-Natural Serenity review" and come up with a long list of positive and fair reviews.
I must add that ALL of these reviews are totally unsponsored by us. We do not sponsor other Internet advertising, so any reviews or recommendations you see for our product are totally fair and unbiased.