Anytime I see a "naturopath" who seems to be going out of her way to keep her education a secret I get . . . curious. But Stacey Miller's unwillingness to put her CV on any of her websites is the least of her worries right now. Last month the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, sent Miller, her company, Alistrol Health, and her business partner, Steven Kalia, an official warning letter accusing them of making numerous bogus claims about 4 different products hawked on 6 different websites. This morning the agency made that letter public.
Back in June inspectors with the FDA paid a virtual visit to Miller via 6 of her websites. Those sites were:
On those sites the agents found multiple instances of what they characterized as "therapeutic" claims that supplements like the ones Miller touts just are not allowed to make. And because they make medical claims the products cease to be supplements and now fall under the "drug" umbrella, says the agency.
For example, Miller's Alistrol supplement is peddled mainly for high blood pressure and does it, according to one of Miller's websites, "as effectively as possible". Alistrol also promises to "break down" fat and cholesterol. It is supposedly based on traditional Chinese remedies and combines garlic, Hawthorn berry, daikon and Chinese holly.
But if you have a little more money to spend you could always, says Miller, combine the Alistrol with another of her products--CLE Vitamin D3. That one promises a "double-barrelled [sic] attack on your high blood pressure". It may also be "beneficial" for "some" cancers.
Then there's the Naavudi product. This is supposedly based on an old Ayurvedic herbal remedy and made with something Miller calls epicatechin. Epicatechin isn't actually a plant, though; it's actually what scientists call a type of antioxidant found in plants. Naavudi is promoted as a diabetes remedy.
And if all this talk about diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure has you feeling blue there's a pill for that, too. Depression Fighters was designed to be a "natural" alternative to drugs like Zoloft and Prozac.
The FDA, of course, says that none of those products has ever been proven effective for any of those conditions. That means, as far as the agency is concerned, Alistrol Health is selling new and unapproved drugs. Alistrol's products are in even more trouble, though, because they're being promoted for medical conditions the average person can't self-diagnose or successfully treat without a doctor's help, anyway.
And the FDA's problems with Stacey Miller doesn't end there. Testimonials are considered marketing spiel by the agency and Miller's websites have no lack of them. The sites also contain "hidden" web code called meta tags that make even more claims, says the FDA. The company's Facebook also contains postings that make unallowed medical claims.
Its standard practice for the Food and Drug Administration to give companies like Alistrol Health 15 working days to either remove the offending therapeutic claims or respond to the agency's concerns and that's exactly what's happening here. The FDA's warning letter to Alistrol Health and Stacey Miller was dated June 26, 2012. As of my visit to the websites this morning I found the claims I looked up still there.