Are You Being Fooled By Clever Labeling & Marketing?

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Published: 17th January 2011
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It can be frustrating when companies use clever labeling or marketing to fool the public into thinking their brand is superior. Let me give you an example of a clever marketing/labeling technique that has created confusion in the public.





There is an enzyme that has been getting lots of press over the last year or so for its ability to reduce inflammation and pain with no known side effects. The enzyme is known as Serratia Peptidase. It was introduced into the North American market by Enerex Botanicals under the brand name Serrapeptase Rx. (Recently, the "Rx" has been dropped from the name, but the ingredients have NOT changed.) This product has been the gold standard that over 400 pharmacies, and physicians have used for years. The product is enteric coated which is required to protect the enzyme from the acids in the stomach so the enzyme can make its way into the small intestines where it can be absorbed and go to work on inflammation and pain.





Due to the huge success of the Enerex brand and their Serrapeptase (available from the on-line retailer Herbal Integrity), many companies have tried all sorts of things to either undercut them in price, or fool the public into thinking there is a stronger product. Companies have produced the product but without coating it, which means it will not pass through the protective barrier of the stomach. Companies have tried to use a huge amount of fillers to give a higher weight to the product so you would think you are getting more of the enzyme. Following is a detailed example of one of the more clever marketing techniques. Wait until you see the final outcome!





Peptizyme SP®, the Serratia Peptidase in Natural Factors "Zymactive", is a registered trademark owned by Specialty Enzymes and Biochemicals Company of Chino, California.





Specialty Enzymes states that "Peptizyme SP is Serratia Peptidase that is standardized to 200,000 units per gram, using maltodextrin unless something else [besides maltodextrin] is requested by the client."





Now, let’s be clear about the key issue here…whereas the activity units of 200,000 USP/g of Serratia Peptidase stated on the Zymactive labels refer to the units PER GRAM, the activity units of 30,000IU to 120,000IU stated on the Enerex Serrapeptase labels refer to the units PER DOSE.





This can be confusing to consumers and retailers because at first glance, there seems to be 200,000 units of Serratia Peptidase per dose of Zymactive at a better price than the seemingly lower doses found in the Enerex Serrapeptase which range of 30,000IU to 120,000IU per dose.





However, upon closer inspection of the Zymactive label, it clearly states the 200,000 units of Peptizyme SP is per GRAM, not per DOSE.





The label also clearly states the amount of Peptizyme SP per dose not in activity units, but in milligrams: 26mg for regular strength and 52mg for extra strength.





Given the lack of information on the Zymactive label regarding the activity units of Serratia Peptidase per dose, some calculations are necessary to determine its value and efficacy relative to Serrapeptase by Enerex.





Zymactive Numbers: 200,000 units/g = 200 units/mg





* Zymactive Regular Strength: 26mg/dose X 200 units/mg = 5,200 units/dose


* Zymactive Extra Strength: 52mg/dose X 200 units/mg = 10,400 units/dose





Enerex Serrapeptase Numbers: 2,504,000 units/g = 2,504 units/mg





* Enerex Serrapeptase 30,000IU: 15mg/dose X 2504 units/mg = 37,560 units/dose


* Enerex Serrapeptase 60,000IU: 30mg/dose X 2504 units/mg = 75,120 units/dose


* Enerex Serrapeptase 90,000IU: 45mg/dose X 2504 units/mg = 112,680 units/dose


* Enerex Serrapeptase 120,000IU: 60mg/dose X 2504 units/mg = 150,240 units/dose





The current activity units PER GRAM of the Serratia Peptidase enzyme in Enerex Serrapeptase is 2,504,000. This is over 12 times the enzyme activity of the Serratia Peptidase found in Zymactive. Let me repeat this - Serrapeptase by Enerex, the company that brought this enzyme to the United States, is over 12 times as powerful as this new product Zymactive. But unless you knew about and understood the labeling technique used, you would have thought the opposite





The numbers above exceed the activity units claimed on Enerex Serrapeptase labels due to the fluctuating nature of enzyme activity from batch to batch. This, and the fact that Enerex does not standardize with maltodextrin, etc., is why Enerex label claims reflect guaranteed minimums, but are often higher.





Remember, when purchasing supplements (or any product), read the label - ask questions - know what you are paying for! That is why, when it comes to health supplements, I have always chosen companies like Enerex that have such integrity. The companies that survive today are the ones that always do the right thing by their customers, and deliver more than what they promise.

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