The Miracle Powder: True Cure or True Scam?

22 Feb

There’s a “miracle powder” (my jokey term for Vita Plus), a instant orange drink manufactured in the Philippines, reportedly endorsed by doctors and distributed to patients, with recorded testimonies of alleged cures of serious ailments (different types of cancers, heart and circulatory disorders, asthma and diabetes) as well as not so serious ailments (skin disorders such as sores, psoriasis, dengue fever, and so on).

With the approval of my editor Songpol Kaopatumtip of the Bangkok Post, I’m investigating this miracle powder. The focus of my investigation includes the medical cures, the company’s operations, and the legality of its sales and business structure. I’m also hoping that the owner, Mrs. Doyee (Rhodora) Tactacan, will agree to meet me and answer some tough questions about farm sourcing, factory and production machinery, product content, and medical records to back anecdotal claims.

All of these are anecdotal; no laboratory, scientific, or medical report can be found. To test the efficacy of Vita Plus, I have sent samples to friends, who will tell me if the medical cures are true or not.

Test Driving Everywhere

At this moment, there are 12 persons in the Philippines, and 8 in other countries who have received Vita Plus as part of my investigation. They are testing the product, and will give us firsthand feedback. Almost all of them are on facebook, except for Luz who lives in the sticks, and Danny who’s too sick to access the internet, or so they say.

I have sent Vita Plus to: Janice Encila Bacus in Cebu, to Joyce Agustin and to Malou Hormigos in South Cotabato, to Luz Rumabaua in Nueva Vizacaya, to Eileen Paat in Quezon City, to Pedro Ruizo Sumalinog Jr. in Zamboanga del Sur, a second box to Danny Madrazo in Zamboanga City, to the boyfriend and to the father of Madelyn Dorego in Dumangas, Iloilo, to Arlene Salve in Taguig in Metro Manila, and to Rene Fatagani in Paco, Manila, whose son has asthma, and to Cris del Mundo in Manila, a retired nurse with hypertension.

Overseas, I sent Vita Plus to to Donnalyn Holmes in San Diego California, to Thavy, the wife of my good friend Ronnie Yimsut in Wisconsin, to my former colleague Linda Sumpaolek in Thailand, and to Reinard Felix in Jakarta, Indonesia who distributes it to three friends with cancer and to two friends with asthma.

So now let’s sit back and wait for results. They should be telling us anytime within the next few days about how VitaPlus is working, or not working for them.

Initial Reactions

Meanwhile, Arlene Salve says the guyabano flavor tastes good, Joyce Agustin and Malou Hormigos say “ang sarap!” (it’s delicious!).

Danny Madrazo says his emphysema is too deep-seated to expect any results after one box (and is asking for anyone to help and send him some inhalers) thus the second box.

Thavy and Ronnie don’t believe it will help (“there are no miracles” Ronie said).

Donna says it’s delicious, and is driving with a friend to a Vita Plus product center in Milpitas to buy a whole bag.

Janice in Cebu was at first suspicious, but found that her pain level went down, and has scheduled to attend a VitaPlus training in Cebu to learn more about the product, and how it can be a side business for her full time job as a barangay secretary.

Her son, my godson Jhovan, says he took a few sachets and his pimples cleared up.

Blood Sugar Down

Yessss! Good news! A month ago on 21 January 2012,  I went to a clinic in Pasay City for a general medical check-up. The purpose was to get a medical certificate for use when applying for a job. My blood sugar was a cause for concern to the doctor. I had a blood glucose level of 242, as opposed to a normal level of 200 or below.

The concern was explained like this: my body is unable to process sugar efficiently enough. The organ in question is the kidney, which is related to processing urine. When this organ is unable to strain off the glucose from the urine (I hope I remember this right), the blood carries sugar to other parts of the body, which should not happen.

If this continues, damage to other organs begin. The most painful is damage to the heart, as heart problems would start, and ultimately lead to death.

At this time, I was already taking VitaPlus. I searched the Internet and found that glucose stays in the blood stream for four weeks, so any changes should be expected only after a four-week period.

Yesterday, February 21, I had my blood sugar tested once more. It’s been four weeks…. a month since I had my blood glucose measured. All this time, I’ve been taking Vita Plus. The results made me feel very good. My blood glucose went down from 242 to 202, and this was after a heavy breakfast.

Yey! My blood sugar is normal. However, I don’t know if this is also related to my diet (I got scared and ate less bakery and sweet products), or to the Vitamin B Complex, aspirin and Metformin tablets that my doctor prescribed.

Also, I received a free box of Vita Plus coffee, also with the five medicinal herbs of the orange juice, as a reward when I registered two buyers for one bag of Vita Plus orange juice each. I’m enjoying the thought that I’m drinking coffee that can cure cancer and asthma and psoriasis and leukemia and a lot of other things, allegedly, and wouldn’t it be nice if this company comes up with a cigarette with those herbal leaves, and i can puff away any disorders? Coffee and cigarettes that cure? That would be something I would really go for.

Back to reality. So let’s sit back and wait for what my friends say. I’ll keep you posted.

Intervening Variables

Oh, Arlene, who loved the more expensive box of VitaPlus guyabano, gave me a box of barley capsules, which also claims to cure different illnesses and disorders. She has a Ph.D. in education, and is trying to get me to be an agent for Green Barley. I told her I’m a writer, not a salesman.

Now I’m considering a parallel experiment to report on the medical claims of barley. Let’s see if I have time. I’ve just started as Quality Assurance Specialist for an editing firm in Hong Kong, and outside of the most urgent natural body functions, I have no time for doing anything else.

I’m so tied down to this monitor, that I so want to vomit for lack of sleep and fatigue.

I’m afraid that, in the long run, my boss Ken Galloway, my not-supervisor Mai, and my colleague Maan will find my work quality going down.

Thank goodness I’m being awarded some leeway as a beginner.

I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, here’s an article titled There is no miracle cure for cancer by on http://boingboing.net/2011/05/19/there-is-no-miracle.html.

Update 23 February 2012

I received an SMS message from Danny Madrazo in Zamboanga City: Buenas. Ya pasa aki mi brod. Tnx 4d 2nd box of vitaplus. Hope ds tym it will have sm effect. hard n shortnes of breath these days. Dificil resulla. Gracias ole.

TRANSLATION: Hello. My brother dropped by. Thanks for the second box of Vita Plus. I hope that this time it will have some effect. Hard and shortness of breath these days. Difficult to breath. Thanks again.

Good reactions from two elderly males in Iloilo, Philippines, the relatives of Madeline, who is in California. Here’s her message: Daw maayo gid to kuno ang epekto sang Vita Plus mo. Daw nagbalaskog kuno ang nag-ilinom sadto. Mabal-an lang na magpauli. Pero sa … kag bayaw ko ng puro na tanan may balatian sa corazon, daw maayo gid kuno.

[TRANSLATION: It seems that your Vita Plus is very good effect; those who drank it are saying that they feel stronger. We’ll know more when I get home but (meanwhile) those who (drank it) are with heart disorders and are saying that it’s really very good.]

    • Jaime Cabrera

      5 hours ago

       

      Jaime Cabrera

      • How great to hear that Madz! I will include that in my story. Can you give me some details about their disorders, like how long na, what medications taken, expenses sa medication, etc.

    • Madeline Doronila

      4 hours ago

      Madeline Doronila

      • Tawgan ko anay ang mga nag gamit. Ako tani ang maayo mo nga example kay may maintainance ako sa high blood kag cholesterol pero gusto ko mauntat. 

      • TRANSLATION: I’ll call the users first. I should be one good test subject for you because I’m taking maintenance medications for my high blood and cholesterol, but I want to stop (these medications).

      Then, here’s an SMS message from Pedro Sumalinog in Southern Mindanao: Gdpm im. Rcvd n nko imOng pang birthday nko hehe BTW jan 3 pa man 2. Salamat kau.

    • (TRANSLATION: Good afternoon Jim, I received your birthday gift to me. BTW my birthday was in Jan 3. Thanks very much.

Update 24 February 2012

Here’s a conversation with my good friend Ronnie in Wisconsin earlier this morning:

  • Jaime: Does Thavy like the orange juice or not?
  • Ron: Have not tried it; been on steroid the last three days more; session to come and a $5k MRI
  • Jaime: Dang! thats a lot of money bro, doctors n parma getting it all
  • Ron: Insurance helps but we still got 20% bills
  • Jaime: Ouch
  • Ron: Tell me do; we have an average $7k medical out of pocket; usually wipes out any savings
  • Jaime: Thats terrible Bro… ask her to try and drnk the juice… might help you know… might help both body n bank balance,,, miracles do happen yknow
  • Ron: I will try it my self first. Feelling crummy as flu season is here. At home today.
  • Jaime: Oh yes you do do that… 3x a day will be good for flu or malaise… tell me if u like it n i will send you more
  • Ron: Hold your horses, if work I help you sell

So there you are folks: being sick in America is expensive, and can wipe out a family’s savings even if insurance pays for most of it.

Also, Ronnie’s going to try the magic powder first, on his flu. Then, If it works, Thavy will try it too.

Also, Ronnie will help me sell if ever I decide to go into this business.

Wow.

 

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