RED HOT WRINKLEBERRIES

L’dara review: Déjà fu all over again?

RED HOT WRINKLEBERRIES

deja vuDéjà vu, (/ˌdeɪʒɑː ˈvuː/) from French, literally “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.

Deja Fu (n.) A fictional martial art that can only be described as the feeling that one has been kicked in the head this way before.
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I’m going to choose the latter for my title.  We’ll see if it fits.

L’dara review: Deja fu all over again

The latest world changing miracle in skin care is a called L’dara and it bears such a close resemblance to yesterday’s miracle that I honestly thought to myself  “has Jeff Olson  just moved on to a new venture … like he did from Prepaid Legal to Nerium”? But his name is nowhere to be found.  But what you will see is something so uncannily similar to Nerium, from product science fiction to MLM opportunities.  Compensation plan. Buy 3 get one free.  Win a trip to Cabo (that’s where Nerium did their party for the faithful ).  Even a thing called “Creating Happiness! ” which is a rather blatant ripoff of Jeff Olson’s  happy clappy venture.  They make all the same promises of instant riches. iPad bonus. Luxury car bonus. Wow – I thought Nerium would have patented their schtick. Guess not.  OK, let’s just say that this in not the most original network marketing company around.  Why argue with success?  A “me too” company.
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Read the label first
So, what about the product?  You would think they would have learned from Nerium’s missteps and avoided at all costsa product with controversial  ingredients, right?  I guess that would have been smart – a “non-toxic” Nerium alternative.  Instead they chose goji berry as the main ingredient.  So what s that? Also known as woflberry, goji berry is the fruit of Lycium barbarum or Lycium chinense. It belongs to the family of plants named Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco).
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Gogi berry juice, or wolfberry tea,  may have safety issues. There is evidence of interactions between warfarin and goji berries. Several reports document bleeding after ingesting wolfberry tea.
Red Hot Wrinkleberries

Red Hot Wrinkleberries

Atropine,a toxic chemical found in other members of the Solanaceae family, occurs naturally in wolfberry fruit.  Potentially harmful interactions may occur if wolfberry is consumed while taking  medications commonly prescribed for hypertension and diabetes.

From the goji wiki: Organochlorine pesticides are conventionally used in commercial wolfberry cultivation to mitigate destruction of the delicate berries by insects. Since the early 21st century, high levels of insecticide residues (including fenvalerate, cypermethrin, and acetamiprid) and fungicide residues (such as triadimenol and isoprothiolane), have been detected by the United States Food and Drug Administration in some imported wolfberries and wolfberry products of Chinese origin, leading to the seizure of these products.  Let’s assume that the company has a better supply route.

wwn-1980and20071

JUST ANOTHER MIRACLE!

The clinical trials they report are off the (believability) charts.  “In a clinical study on L’dara Serum, the appearance of wrinkles was reduced by a remarkable average of 35% in only 4 weeks!”  They claim to have hired a prestigious firm to do the clinical trials. Too bad they (apparently) didn’t consult a single skin physiologist, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon.  Real regeneration of human facial skin takes months, not weeks.  Anything quicker is not regeneration, it is something else.  Examples of something else are  edema (puffing up with fluid) , fibrosis (see e.g. our Avon Anew review), and hypermitosis (uncontrolled cell division such as with suraphysiologic doses of  drugs).  But even the latter two take time – edema is more likely.

What causes THAT? Inflammation is the likely culprit. It is a known skin irritant, and causes allergic sensitivity reactions.  Any study purporting those results should be looked at with overwhelming suspicion.

From an active point of view — there is zero evidence in the peer reviewed published scientific journals that it does good things for skin.  Goji berry is one of so many herbs used in Asia with purported health benefits. As an antioxidant, it is not very stellar.  Many other antioxidants surpass its capacity.

latex allergyIn fact, it is associated with sensitivities and allergies when applied topically. Turns out that people allergic to latex gloves are also prone to be allergic to the berries. I know a lot of folks in the medical profession who have to stay away from latex.

Oh, but it’s patented you say. Right, that’s meaningful! You can patent just about anything. No proof of usefulness or efficacy required. Same old tricks of the trade.

So what do they charge for this skin cream with a dirt cheap plant material as an active? $120 per bottle. Wow! I would estimate it costs them about $1.20 to make.  That’s a 10,000 percent markup.

denier

 

OK, now we want to be fair and evenhanded, as always. So, we invite any opposing views. We invite any physicians or scientists involved with this company to contact us here, and challenge our opinions.  We will publish  opposing views of the science, and encourage gentlemanly debate on this and all science issues.

Meanwhile - the feeling that one has been kicked in the head this way before can be avoided. Just stay away!

Caveat emptor all over again.

 

35 Comments

  1. Wendy Andric says:

    What about Dr. Neil Gordon?

    • drjohn says:

      Don’t know Dr. Gordon, but if he is at APAPS this weekend tell him to look us up! We are presenting. If he believes the L’Dara MLM dream story or science fiction and is gaga over its underwhelming 34% user trial results, we would love to talk and see where he is coming from. Our minds are open, if skeptical.

  2. Donna Darlington says:

    Thanks

  3. Cindy Grimley says:

    Although, this is an interesting blog I think that the readers should know that Dr. John is the CEO at Cellese which has an anti-ageing product called AnteAGE with Stem Cytokines. I have read the Scientific Rationale for use of Cytokine Based Topical Adjuvants in Aesthetic Medical Practice, Cytokines in Dermal Regenerative Medicine, The Advanced Cytokine Reading and more which is listed on your website. The graph’s of the ratio of TIMP’s and MMP’s in AnteAGE are impressive. However, I only see testimonials from people who have used the product. Where are the clinical studies on AnteAGE—- the actual product? The scientific literature on your website is all about Cytokines. There is a huge assumption that this correlates with YOUR anti-ageing product. I work as a medical case manager and am very familiar with wound care given that one of my clients is a triple amputee and has reoccurring wounds from his special prosthetics. I am not discounting the research on Cytokines but I do look for clinical studies as a way of providing the truth. Please enlighten me as to where I can find the clinical studies for AnteAGE.

    Having said all of this, I have two goji berry bushes in my backyard that are organically grown. I utilize both western and eastern medicine in my own personal life. The goji berry has been around in Chinese Medicine for over 4,000 years and has many healing properties. I love the goji berry! The L’dara website http://www.ldaraserum.com discusses the clinical trials and the lab they utilized was AMA Laboratories in New York http://www.amalabs.com to perform a third-party clinical trial on L’dara Serum. This lab has been recognized around the world as the leader in skincare product testing. I have also conducted research and am published in my field. The first thing I look for in a research study is the validity and reliability factor in which there should be at least 30 participants….AMA Labs did this with L’dara Anti-Ageing Serum. The goji berry, natural products and a real clinical study tells me a lot.

    FYI, I looked up Dr. Neil Gordon since you don’t know who he is…….http://www.retreatatsplitrock.com/physicians/neil-a-gordon-m-d-2. He has a five star rating on HealthGrades.

    • drjohn says:

      Cindy, Thanks for reading up on us. Your revelations about us developing products in addition to our university-based stem cell research is hardly news – the Truth Pair O’Docs page (see prominently on the menu up there) is our second most accessed page here. We reveal it all there, full disclosure. Not much of a “gotcha” is it?

      I am sorry that you had trouble finding clinical trial results for AnteAge. You can find them here, but let me summarize briefly based on the criteria you think important. First, in terms of sample size, our trial had 49 subjects (much more than the 30 you suggest as adequate). In terms of study end points, there were 12 standard skin measures, both objective and subjective. They were: Tone, Dryness, Brightness, Softness, Pore size, Texture, Redness, Age spots, Fine lines, Blotchiness, Unevenness of color, Deep lines (rhytids, or wrinkles).

      The results are displayed in this graph. ANTEAGE CLIN TRIAL

      Note that the degrees of improvements with AnteAge are on the order of 86-100% across the board. Compare this to the “remarkable” results reported by L’Dara: Reduced the appearance of wrinkles by an average of 35% (some participants achieved a 50%, 60%, up to 78% reduction in the appearance of wrinkles). Note But since the average is 35%, then some must have had little if any improvement).

      All of a sudden, this REMARKABLE l’dara stuff seems, well, not quite so remarkable.

      Now let’s address your pooh-poohing of the aspect of having some background science. That fact that thousand of scientists across the globe are working daily to sort out the complex world of cytokines, growth factors, skin & stem cells. Do Pubmed search and find literally thousands of citations related to our work. Knowing the physiology and biology of skin really does help.

      There are a half dozen papers published on Pubmed mentioning goji berries. None are clinical trials. None talk about the physiology of skin and what goji does. Two of them demonstrate that it has anti-oxidant properties in the laboratory (not in humans). But …can you think of a fruit or berry that doesn’t? So what? What is the clinical significance? An important question we always like to start with.

      Then there is this little gem…

      ————-

      J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):803-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0176.
      The marketing of dietary supplements in North America: the emperor is (almost) naked.

      Many different dietary supplements are being sold in North America. The quality of the evidence supporting their efficacy covers a wide spectrum: Some are based on solid science (such as vitamin D and fish oil), whereas with most supplements there is little or no supporting evidence. Types of supplements commonly sold include exotic fruit juices (such as goji juice) and single herbs or mixture of herbs. Common claims made in support of particular supplements are that they are rich in antioxidants, induce detoxification, stimulate the immune system, and cause weight loss. Supplements are commonly sold through health food stores and by multilevel marketing. Sales may be promoted using bulk mail (“junk mail”), spam e-mails, and Web sites. A large part of marketing is based on claims that are blatantly dishonest.

      CONCLUSIONS:
      Whereas supplements for which good supporting evidence exists generally cost around $3-$4 per month, those that are heavily promoted for which there is little supporting evidence cost about $20-$60 per month. The major cause of this problem in the United States is weakness of the law. There is an urgent need for stricter regulation and for giving better advice to the general public.
      ————

      So, it seems goji is the poster boy for marketing excesses of fruit juices. $60 per month for $3 worth of berries. I would wager it is even worse for the skin care nonsense. There you go. Even the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine says so, and they don’t often speak out against such things. My only dispute with them is that the emperor is not half naked, he is totally starkers and is going door to door and to church picnics selling his MLM opportunity /slash/ miracle juju with everything hanging out.

      If any scientists from L’Dara or AMA labs (do they have any?) want to come here and engage us in an honest science debate about any of this, we would be happy to oblige. Open invitation.

  4. Cindy Grimley says:

    Dr. John, The average reader of this blog will not be knowledgeable enough to know the difference between a clinical trial and clinical trial that utilizes a third party independent laboratory. Any type of research study that utilizes a third party for their research holds much more credibility in my eyes as well as most researchers. What is most bothersome to me is the entire undertone of this blog where you “slam” in a sardonic and slanderous manner of other skin care products , i.e. Nerium, Avon Anew and L’dara just to name a few while deceiving the readers. I use the word deceiving because the reader does not know from this blog that you have a proprietary interest in AnteAGE. This will be my last post because it is not worth my time to try to educate the readers of this blog!

    • drjohn says:

      Let’s make sure we have this right. You started with the gripe that we work for a company doing leading edge stem cell work, as though it was come deep secret. We in turn informed you that all this has been disclosed from the very start and you only need to check us out on the page right here on this blog that talks about who we are. We pointed it out, again (see the menu right up there), in response to your comment. Now you come back again with your notion that we are “deceiving the readers” by not disclosing this. Huh??? Did you not bother to read what we said? These products we invent must be the world’s worst kept secret. Then you complain because we apply scientific rigor to product evaluations, and find some you like to be sorely lacking in same. You had false notions questions about our research, and we pointed it out, which perhaps you didn’t like because your favorite product and its weak evidence for efficacy seems impotent by comparison. But you didn’t even bother to comment back about the $3 worth of berries for $60 observation by some medical colleagues not associated with us at all. You then accuse of of slander of the products you defend, Nerium and others. But it is only slander if it is not true, and we don’t find them, or you, refuting the facts we have presented or answering the questions we have asked. Well, I guess we should be eternally grateful that you took the time you did to “educate” us. I’m sure the readers of this blog will be sorry to see you go.

  5. Kathy Wray says:

    Honestly, grow up!

  6. Adrianna says:

    Regardless of this LONG blogging boring argument between Dr. John and Cindy Grimley and clinical testing etc…it all boils down to what I see in the mirror after using L’dara for only 4wks……the proof is in the puddin..so to speak. L’dara…simply shows RESULTS RESULTS RESULTS!!!!! Amazing product!! FINALLY….Absolutely Loving it :)

    • drjohn says:

      Before you ask, YES she sells it. Damn the science. Damn the hype history. I’m selling it, so it must be good! And I’ll prove that by saying AMAZING 3 times (repeat after me) and using exclamation points (!!!!!!!). I mean really. That trumps reason, rationality, and truth. Right?

  7. Rose says:

    Dr. John – I used the product before selling it and because of the results I decided to become a marketing partner. I applaud Cindy for taking the high road on this and not responding to your childish remarks. You are obviously “in bed” with this other product, but that does not give you the right to bash other companies who are just trying to make other people happy about their skin without going under the knife or pumping chemicals intro their face. Shame on you for being so judgmental! If you were a real doctor you would have more respect for others.

    • drjohn says:

      It’s quite interesting to me how the L’Dara folks are so riled up about this straightforward review, argued strictly from the scientific evidence base, by physician-scientists. Now it seems we don’t even have the right to express our opinions (despite what the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution says). Now we are judgmental (yes, medicine does make judgments), childish, bashers (same name calling as from neriumites), and we are not real doctors (because we don’t agree with you?).

  8. Marci M says:

    Well dr john, I don’t sell Ldara, but was looking into it online when I ran across this little blog of yours. Sounds like you have a case of sour goji berries to me.

    • drjohn says:

      I am indeed soured by the hype and the lack of substance. This is but one egregious example of an industry run amok. Time to blow the whistle on this little lump of pseudoscience.

  9. Rachel says:

    I feel a responsibility to comment on here. First off, I’m not a distributor for L’dara, just a 28 year old mother of two, small-town real estate agent. I have extremely sensitize skin that is fair complected & prone to dryness. I started using L’dara 2 days ago after a medical aesthetician approached me & asked if myself & my mother (52 years old) would like to try the product. Although it’s only been a few days, we’re both amazed with the results! We have similar skin types and we’ve both been commenting on how soft & moisturized our skin feels. We haven’t purchased any yet but can almost guarantee we will be purchasing after our 10 day experiment is completed. We’re LOVING L’dara!!!

    • drjohn says:

      Pass the Kool-aid. Two days is much too too soon to see any real (lasting, anti-aging) effects. All you see is moisturization and/or plumping of the skin due to inflammation. For moisturization there are great products at Target for under $15. For inflammation, you have an abundance of overpriced MLM products derived from backyard bushes to choose from. I’d skip the MLM and just harvest your own bushes.

  10. Pam says:

    Wow, this is what you hear about on the news how people have nothing better than to do with their time than to blog about something they have no idea about. I started L’dara a week ago and within a few days my skin was noticeably healthier. I applied L’dara twice a day and my blemishes healed before my eyes. The next day they flatten and on day three they became less red and finally by day four they disappeared. I didn’t even wear coverup yesterday which was refreshing. I always check out reviews about products before I make a purchase and decided on doing so before I take the plunge in purchasing L’Dara. I have seen news reports about how people are paid to write reviews about a product to make it more attractive to buy or NOT BUY. Obviously this Doc John is one of those “Paid Writers” who has never tried the product. I will sign on today because it definitely is a healing product and one that shows results in a short period of time.

    • drjohn says:

      I know L’Dara the MLM wants to twist the truth to try to explain away the lack of science. But the barefaced facts are these. DrJohn has never been paid to write a review, and in fact derives no income from the industry whatsoever. Never has. He has been involved in nonprofit organizations exposing pseudoscience and health fraud for 30 years.

      Further, healing products never work rapidly, only inflammation does. Inflammation draws fluid to the wounded area, puffing it up, masking wrinkles. True dermal regeneration takes a lot longer. That’s the barefacedtruth. You may be out in public without coverup, but L’Dara sales force is becoming increasingly shrill, and lacking in veracity, in it’s bold quest to coverup the truth.

  11. Tangair says:

    L’Dara is from the same blue-sky marketing machine that is “Freelife”, an MLM started by Ray Faltinsky and another partner after their college days. Their “science team” is equally well entrenched in the pseudoscience of MLM smoke-and-mirrors. After all, it’s the same fellas that have been flogging the Chinese wolfberry for years. Oh, sure, they invoke a thin study done by New York contract lab AMA and they point to “their” special elixir. In fact, their mode of action with its marginal skin protective results was carried-out by a team in Asia years ago. They published their data and the founder of L’Dara has now taken it to the bank. Don’t feel sorry for him, though, he lives in a 19 million-dollar mansion / estate / tacky-shack in Rancho Santa Fe. Hey, if it’s money ya wanna make, by all means jump in. If you want to make a meaningful contribution to science and your fellow man, MLM prevarication is certainly not the way….

    • drjohn says:

      We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks, Tangair.

      • Carmela Martini says:

        I had two people approach me with this product, this past week. It’s just another pyramid scheme. I was glad to find this blog, because it reaffirms what I had suspected. The sellers seem to be completely sold on it showing me before and after pictures, but I took a good look at their skin, and it didn’t look anywhere better than mine, even though i’m older than they are. I’m sticking to my plain, whole fat yogurt masks, aloe, and whatever is safe to ingest. Thank you drjohn for the full and thorough truth.

  12. Minnie_Mo says:

    I was approached by a friend to try L’Dara this past week and like a good friend, I have been using it for several days. YES…I have seen results, in that my skin feels smoother and softer…and maybe even a bit more vibrant. But even after a week of use, I am also seeing some spurts hair growth on my face that had not been there before. Could this be a side effect of the “regeneration” properties of L’Dara? More than likely it is from over stimulation of the area.

  13. Estelle says:

    I find the pictures hard to believe when photo shop editing is at an all time high.

  14. John E says:

    Dr.John……keep up the good work.. I found this informational and well said. I came “looking” because I was asked to attend a meeting (which will oviously be a ‘presentation’) on this product. From the yea’s and nay’s I can immeditately see who has “Tasted the Kool-Aid”. Another classic example of Damn the facts – I know what I know (am told). The very simple FACT is: If this is even remotely true, many billionares would have been using/selling/marketing (only) this product to the amazed millions, for the last ?? years?

  15. Lisa says:

    It has made my skin a little smoother but I have used it for about a week and got two new zits today lol.. Plain and simple truth is it might be a good moisturizer but $90 a bottle? It would have to be the fountain of youth…

  16. nancy says:

    cindy grimley gave several links to check out the research on this product….you can try the product risk free for 30 days…..if you do not like L’Dara you can get your money back….so before you go slamming this remarkable product…..give it a try….what ya scared of “Drjohn”?

    you can check out the product on my website at… [WE EDITED OUT NANCY'S WEB ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER - WE ARE NOT HERE TO ADVERTISE HER BUSINESS]

    • drjohn says:

      Well, since ladies here are reporting zits and unwanted facial hair, what would happen to my androgynous face? Massive outcroppings of coarse hairballs? Speculation, but perhaps it’s something I should worry about.

  17. Kelly says:

    Thanks everyone for their comments. I was surfing for info because I thought it sounded to good to be true! I’m dabble in graphic design and the before and after photos on the video looked fixed to me. I didn’t see anything remarkable just light adjustments in the after photos. I think I’ll stick to my plan! This doesn’t sound worth the money or the risks!

  18. Gr8Shoes says:

    I’m glad I found this blog. After attending a “party” where I thought I would be introduced to a really great eye cream that I could order right then, instead I listened to long winded testimonials (thank God there was wine) about how the “money” changed people’s lives, not so much the product. They focused on “selling happiness” in the form of financial freedom if you jump on board this week! The ONLY reason I genuinely listened was because the person throwing the get together is a very well respected and well connected person in the area so I wanted to preform due diligent with regards to L’dara.
    Let’s start with the product. The flood of before and after pics are great, but what drjohn says makes total sense. The product has anti inflammatory properties, so yes it will soften lines and fade redness and blemishes temporarily (I’ve read that preparation h does the same) but you have to keep using it to continue to see results… It’s GENUS! Think about it, If L’dara was a miracle serum, you would only have to purchase one bottle to maintain that glow and they wouldn’t have a BUSINESS. This is what this is, A BUSINESS.
    A bit of advice, if you attend one of these parties, do not… under any circumstances… mention the words Multilevel Marketing OR Pyramid, they will FREAK! It’s a dirty word, so don’t do it. They prefer the gentler term, “Relationship Marketing”, appealing to the human side and “I care about YOU.” Again, genus.
    My hat’s off to these business individuals who decided to go this route, it’s smart I guess, but why? I don’t understand why, if the product is revolutionary and they want to share it with the general public, why not take it to QVC, HSN, department stores, big box, etc. Why the dog and pony show? Is the other route too competitive? I’m not being snarky, I’m genuinely curious. If L’dara is so great, why choose this platform?
    I won’t name the other MLM’s I’ve heard of, but I know for a fact, people profit, some handsomely from these types of business models, it’s just a matter of time and if it’s for you or not.
    Most people I know roll their eyes when introduced to ventures such as L’dara and others are ready to quit their 6 figure incomes with health benefits to join the team. To that, my mouth is agape! Seriously? I’m scared.

  19. Kim says:

    HI Dr. John, I was looking for the information on L’Dara and found your blog very informative. You said “Inflammation draws fluid to the wounded area, puffing it up, masking wrinkles.” So, what about how the blemish and redness seem to fade away? This is a genuine question because I too questioned the quick result of the product and would like to sincerely find out how it is working on skin and what causes this type of effect. Thank you for your response!

    • drjohn says:

      According to the microinflammatory hypothesis of aging, fluid can skin reduce redness by putting distance between capillaries and the surface. Optically, less red as a result. But look at deeper tissues for signs of inflammation.

  20. Samantha Vanderpool says:

    I went to refute this entire blog and it wouldn’t let me post my comments.

    • drjohn says:

      Wow, now that’s ambitious. Refute this entire blog? Every opinion, in every post and every comment reply, every bit of evidence, every reference to published peer-reviewed medical literature. The whole enchilada. We are anxious to see how you do that, Samantha.

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