ED Supplement Claims Don't Stand Up To Scrutiny

By Josh Bloom — Jan 31, 2017
Will a new dietary supplement turn you into a porn star? The company that markets Red Fortera wants you to think just that – and backs it up with "clinical data." Good luck finding it. You will come up short. 

It's no secret that the dietary supplement industry has gotten away with murder since the 1994 DSHEA permitted it to escape the scrutiny of the FDA, and the wrath of the FTC by making "no-claim claims." 

But companies sometimes crossed the line and made unsubstantiated claims, for example, Prevagen, the worthless jellyfish memory protein. Quincy Biosciences now finds itself in the cross hairs of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: "A clear-cut fraud."

To which Quincy responds: "Their experts simply disagree with ours over how to interpret the study results."

Let's just summarize these different interpretations with the following table:

Which suggests a new marketing campaign:

"One out of four experts conclude that Prevagen doesn't suck!"

Enough of this. First, just admit that you are reading this idiocy solely because of the title. Now we can move on.

There is another "clinically proven" remedy that just caught my eye. The promotion of Red Fortera is nothing if not subtle.                           

Followed by this...

And these...

OK, let's put this aside for a bit and examine the "clinical testing." It doesn't exactly meet the strictest standards for evaluation of a new drug.

From the "Clinically Tested Formula" section of the company's website:

"Over the course of 7 weeks, healthy male participants were enrolled into a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Their female spouses were included in the study as well."


• Significant improvement in spousal sexual satisfaction rating of their partner’s erection quality/hardness by 18%! That’s a HUGE difference!

No- it isn't. Not even close. At best it is a small difference. 

• Significant improvement of 13% in the Subjects’ arousal rating!

A Pop Tart will accomplish the same thing. (1)

• Significant improvement of 12% in erectile quality and performance!

Somehow they managed to come up with something that works less well than a placebo. 

• The Product showed safety in reflecting no adverse events reported.

Well, that's odd. In clinical trials with placebo controls, about one-third of people who get the placebo report headaches. 

But, they're not done:

What makes Red Fortera™ male enhancement supplements different? We begin with sourcing only the best quality suppliers of authentic herbs and spices. Our team of formula experts carefully select and blend only premium ingredients, resulting in a unique male enhancement supplement of unmatched quality. Try Red Fortera™ and discover the difference it can make in your life today.†

  • Can work in as little as 30 minutes†
  • May last up to 72 hours†
  • Can be used with alcohol

 This paragraph just reeks of "slight-of-hand science." The giveaway is the use of the "†" symbol along with very carefully constructed claims, "can," in particular. So, it was of some interest to find out what the "†" was hiding. Except, it wasn't even on the damn page (?). But this was:


  • If the testimonials, whatever they're worth, are coming from satisfied customers, perhaps this is a biased dataset. "Customer testimonial results may not be typical." Cause they are still waiting six weeks for "ripening."
  • They used paid models? No way! Just spend a day in the New York subway system. Pretty much everyone looks like that.
  • So, the product is not intended to treat anything, yet it gives you a 72-hour Woodrow? 
  • It has no side effects, yet you can't take it if you're under 18 or use more than one pill per day and need to consult your doctor first. Uh huh.

Needless to say, I was rather interested in looking at the company's trial data so that I could determine how rigorous they were. This was not so easy since the data did not appear anywhere on their site. Fortunately, there was a live customer support box, which would no doubt provide me with the information I sought.

So, I gave it a try. Within seconds I was connected to a very enthusiastic "Heidi."

(Heidi's real name is just as likely to be Zbigniew)

Heidi was VERY eager to help me overcome my male deficiencies, as evidenced by our conversation:

Heide/Zbigniew: "Hi! How! May! I! help! you! today!!!!???"

(Heide/Zbigniew thinking: Get that credit card out, Pappy!)

Me: "Hi !!! I'm interested in reading about the clinical trials for your product."

Heide/Zbigniew: "Sure! They! are! all! on! our website!"

(Heide/Zbigniew thinking: Like this idiot couldn't find them without interrupting my mahjong game?) 

Me: "Well, not exactly. There are some numbers there, but I'd like to take a look at the actual study. Do you have it published anywhere?"

(Me thinking: "Might as well look for the Dead Sea Scrolls in a bowling alley in Cleveland while you're at it."

Heide/Zbigniew: "That's a GREAT question. Let me ask!!!!!"

(Heide/Zbigniew's thinking): "S########t. There goes that commission. More Saltines for dinner tonight.)

Heide/Zbigniew: (after several minutes during which time she/he was more likely to be water skiing across the Mojave desert than looking for published results): "Everything we have is on the website. Good luck!!!!!"

(Heide/Zbigniew's thinking): "I hope you get hit by a SCUD missile."

Me: "Well, thank you so much. You've been very helpful."

(Me thinking): "Like a duodenal ulcer."

So, there ya go. Another pathetic attempt to fool people into thinking that a clinical trial that may have consisted of two hookers and a zebra is legitimate. Will the stuff work? HARDly. 


(1) Courtesy of our own Dr. Chuck Dinerstein: "MY WIFE INDICATES A STIFF BREEZE IS SUFFICIENT." Chuck probably did not intend for this to become public knowledge. Chuck should know better than feeding me material like this. We will be crowd funding Chuck's divorce expenses. 

Josh Bloom

Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science

Dr. Josh Bloom, the Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science, comes from the world of drug discovery, where he did research for more than 20 years. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry.

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