It seems that Biotrust is a company that cares about its customers and supports charitable concerns and of course this all sounds great. The big question is whether Biotrust supplements are worth trying? Some customers have their doubts. Many Watchdog readers have voiced their concerns about Biotrust supplements saying they just do not work.
Biotrust is a well known US supplement company based in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2012 by fitness trainers and nutritionists Josh Benzoni and Joel Marion, both with a background in the media and as authors, the company is today one of the USA’s fastest growing nutritional companies.
According to the hype, the company has an A + better business rating, subscribes to charity – supporting Make a Wish, a US charity, as well as many other charitable concerns both in the USA and abroad and mainly aimed at helping children.
All this is great. We love that Biotrust is a reputable company and gives something back to charity but it is important to remember that at the end of the day, the donations are coming from the customer who is buying the products.
Biotrust supplements fall into three categories around fat loss, muscle building and overall health although many cross over into these three categories. We have covered some in previous Watchdog reviews, including Belly Trim XP,
One of the most popular supplements in the Fat Loss category is Bio IC5 which is supposed to promote healthy insulin function. This has been widely discussed on the Watchdog comments section and appears to be one of the company’s flagship products.
The thinking behind Bio IC5 is that processed carbs are bad for health and this disrupts insulin – a hormone which helps convert blood sugar into energy. (When you are overweight and insulin does not work anymore it causes type 2 diabetes.)
Bio IC5 contains natural ingredients such as cinnamon and fenugreek that some studies suggest may help insulin work more efficiently so the idea is that you take it before carb meals in order to help support this important function and help you lose weight. There are three key features:
However there is no real evidence that it will do any of these things, and if your blood sugar is already within a healthy range then does it need “support” anyway?
Some of the proof for these ingredients is not as cut and dried as Biotrust would have us believe. Some is actually based on animal testing so there are no guarantees that it will work for humans. In addition there is no real information about serving sizes or how long you should take the various ingredients for. The ingredients might work. Then again, they might not. Nothing is proven.
What is proven is that we need carbs for energy but processed carbs – the sort found in white flour, sugar and processed foods are known to be bad for health. Switching to unprocessed carbs such as wholegrain will help insulin levels and weight loss because they are more satisfying and of nutritional benefit. However this simple fact is not mentioned in the advertising.
For a so called ethical company who know about nutrition, the fact that they do not offer this basic lifestyle advice is fairly shocking. We combed through the product information and advertising and could see no reference to this simple tip that will actually help insulin function and weight loss.
Many Watchdog readers have complained about IC5. The people who took IC5 in the hope of losing weight have in general not lost weight. IC5 is not suitable for diabetics either. Although some people have reported that it has lowered blood sugar levels, many consumers have been left wondering just why they are taking it. In general we don’t tend to measure blood sugars until we have been told we are diabetic and by then it is too late to use this supplement.
One thing that sets Biotrust apart is their style of advertising which tends to follow the “Blind you by science” approach of advertising, leaving the consumer wondering just what these supplements are supposed to do.
Some of these explanations are delivered via a video that features high speed cartoon drawing on a white board with a voiceover. We have yet to make it to the end of even one of these – they take around 6–7 minutes and many people have found them irritating and confusing.
If it is any consolation, we at the Watchdog are equally baffled by some of the explanations and it is important to remember that this could be being done on purpose. The Biotrust adverts have a neat trick of sounding like ordinary rational explanations delivered in a folksy down-home style while bombarding you with ridiculous facts and figures that you cannot possibly take in. You don’t understand it? That might be the idea.
Here is an example. This is for a health supplement called Ageless Body.
Today I’m going to reveal to you the exciting details of our breakthrough age-defying supplement that has been shown through peer-reviewed research to roll back up to 17 years of degenerative cellular aging… yes, you read that right, 17 years! What’s more, this “age-defying miracle” has also been shown to help you drastically reduce the belly-fat producing, age-accelerating hormone cortisol 6.4Xs lower!
Did you know that every single second at least one person dies from age-related issues? What’s more, research estimates that by the year 2020 the percentage of aging-related deaths will increase another 25%!
It carries on in this vein, but hold on. Aren’t people always going to die from “age related issues”? Until we become immortal and live forever that is. It does not really make sense. Are Biotrust really claiming they can prolong your life in this way? It seems unlikely.
Many people have complained about Biotrust advertising and have bought supplements that don’t seem to have any real purpose but sounded impressive in the advertising with lots of facts and figures.
Biotrust set great store by their A + Better Business Bureau rating. We looked into it but could not see this A + rating. In addition there have been numerous customer complaints in the last three years regarding the guarantee. It seems that although a 100% money back guarantee is on offer for a year after purchase, Biotrust has not always kept to this. Many customers have been left frustrated by not being able to get their money back as promised.
Here is a typical complaint;
The products that this company is selling do not work as advertised. Supposedly has a money back guarantee. Have asked for a refund of money spent and have not received any as of this time.
In fairness to Biotrust, the company have responded to and resolved all the complaints posted on the BBB website.
Biotrust is a BBB accredited business true but we can see no mention of an A + rating.
All Biotrust supplements are manufactured in the USA. According to the product information, all supplements contain scientifically backed levels of ingredients, and so will be effective. However, it is important to remember that the evidence supporting many of these ingredients may be questionable. With cinnamon, for example, there have been numerous studies into its potential role as a treatment for diabetes, but as yet the serving size and the length of time you have to take it, has yet to be established.
As this overview of the clinical testing concluded:
The consumption of cinnamon is associated with a statistically significant decrease in levels of fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels, and an increase in HDL-C levels… However, the high degree of heterogeneity (diversity of testing methods and quantities used) may limit the ability to apply these results to patient care, because the preferred dose and duration of therapy are unclear.
According to the terms and conditions you are protected by a full year’s guarantee when you buy.
Here’s what they say about it:
Refunds/Exchanges: Contact the customer support center 24 hours a day at Support [at] BioTrust.com, or call 1-800-766-5086, M – F 8AM – 9PM EST, Sat & Sun 10AM – 9PM, for a Return Merchandise Authorization Number (RMA#) or an Exchange Merchandise Number (EMA#) and the Return Address.
Simply return the empty and unused portion of your BioTRUST product order within 1 year of your billing date for a full refund of the product price.
Return the empty and unused portion of your product, the original invoice and your RMA# or EMA# to ensure proper handling. If you would like to exchange your return for another quality product of equal or lesser value, please indicate what product(s) in your return.
There is also a 1-year exchange program where you can return a product and receive another it is place.
Joel and Josh are the founders of Biotrust Nutrition and, unlike many other supplement companies, are very visible on the website and throughout the Biotrust advertising. They come across as nice ethical guys with a social conscience who just want the best for everyone and offer a good guarantee on all products. We love this but it is important to remember that they are businessmen tapping into a need for supplements. The charitable donations are great but it is important to remember that you the customer are paying for them, not Joel and Josh. There are other ways that you can give to charity. One way is to give to charity.
Biotrust supplements are not cheap. You can expect to pay $49.00 for a month’s supply of most supplements with some such as IC5 costing $69 a month. You get reductions on bulk buys. Biotrust do not operate auto billing where you are locked into a cycle of regular deliveries and credit card payments so that is a point in their favour.
In our opinion, Biotrust supplements look pretty good but this could be a case of style over substance. The company markets itself as an ethical business and the products come with some hyper energetic advertising copy that sounds good when you read it but it can be hard working out what these supplements actually do.
After all, if you are taking something to maintain what you have already got, such as stable blood sugar levels, how can you tell whether the supplement is doing anything at all?
The simple answer is that you can’t and in our opinion many of the supplements are not really worth taking because they are based on ingredients that are not strictly proven. They may work but you cannot rely that they will. We think that Biotrust should be more open about the background research and as nutritional experts advise lifestyle and dietary changes.
We like the concept of charitable donations but is this really necessary? After all, you can do this directly yourself without buying a product range in the knowledge that a small percentage of your buy goes to charity.
If you combine a healthy lifestyle and take the supplements you may feel that they are doing you good. However, in our opinion Biotrust is just not as good as it is cracked up to be and judging by the high number of customer complaints voiced on the watchdog website, many consumers feel the same.