I frequently get up at night to take a leak.

(Editor: Can you rephrase that? ) (Lao Du: What’s wrong with it?) (Editor: It’s just not refined. Not genteel, get it?) (Lao Du: Jeez! Touchy, touchy, touchy! So, how do you want me to say it?) (Editor: I don’t know. Maybe, say you you had to see a man about a horse.) (Lao Du: Well, there were a lot of horses. You want me say I had to see the whole herd … in one night?) (Editor: All right, then maybe you should say that you needed to spend a penny. That’s an old British way of saying you had to go.) (Lao Du: C’mon! It’s not a penny I’m spending. It’s more like a nickel or a dime. Sometimes I go 5 or even 10 times a night. Depends on how much Yoohoo I drink. Can I tell ’em I had to take a wizz or a wee wee? Would one of those offend any hypersensitive puritans out there?) (Editor: Yeah, it would, and it arouses my pique, so those are out! And you’re pissing me off! Just say you had to urinate a lot, for crying out loud!) (Lao Du: Okay, okay. I’ll just use a medical word, and that should tranquilize all the prigs and ninnies.)

I micturate … a lot. It’s my prostate.  It’s big.  Very big. We’re talkin’ watermelon here. Diagnosis: BPH = benign prostatic hypertrophy.  Statistically, by age 60 half of all men will have this diagnosis.  After my struggles to pee … eh, micturate, in the bathroom (despite my Flomax prescription, my flow aint so max), I often can’t go back to sleep, and I end up doing the wrongheaded no no thing – I put the TV on.  And guess what?  At 3 o’clock in the morning that old swindling huckster, Larry King, is on every channel.  And, wouldn’t you know – what a coincidence – he’s hawking prostate pills!  Super Beta Prostate!  If I act now, within the next 30 seconds, he’ll give me a free bottle to go along with the first one.  And then, to further suck me in, he’ll give me 2 larger bottles containing twice the normal quantity of these super pills, so that I can get four times the amount for the price of one.  How ‘bout that!  But…  (hey, there’s always a but),  one bottle of this miraculous concoction, I soon find out, costs a gazillion dollars. Or maybe I heard it wrong – it could be a kajillion.

      Now Larry may be a good guy and all (nah, he’s a douche), but he aint no urologist, okay.  And his insistence that Super Beta Prostate is clinically tested is not something that I’d believe, even if this old washed-out windbag put on a white coat and had a whole bunch of stethoscopes hanging from both of his ears.  But, he’s on every channel.  This old coot is ubiquitous!!!! It’s mindboggling. Like being on the Twilight Zone – I can’t get away from him and his dowdy suspenders. (C’mon, Larry, put an ixnay on the suspenders already.)   But, then it occurs to me, there must be a lot of suckers buying the stuff, otherwise this Beta Prostate company  couldn’t pay for all this television time.

     Okay, so let’s get to the nub of all of this.  Why am I, as a member of PPP (Ping Pong Parkinson), bringing this up?  And why am I saying suckers buy the stuff?  I’ll tell ya why:  It’s because the way these companies back up and substantiate the claims they make about their products is deceitful and a sham (and shameful), and a lot of hayseeds and other gullible and uninformed people out there fall for it. We, PwP as well as PwithoutPD, have to be more discerning and knowledgeable about what is real – truthful – and what is not.

     Now, regarding these prostate products in general, first of all you can’t trust what’s in the bottles.  These supplements are not under the jurisdiction of the FDA, and that means it’s carte blanche for mischief and evildoing.  When tested, some of the ingredients listed on the labels of the bottles are found in only minute concentrations or are not there at all.  And this from Forbes Magazine (2018):  “But as New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman revealed last week, that’s exactly what some of them have been doing. Amazingly, 79% of the supplements tested did not contain the primary ingredient listed on the label.”

     In regard to the medical efficacy of these products, the Cleveland Clinic (one of the best hospitals in the United States, ranked right up there with the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Mass General) states the following: “The bottom line:  While some prostate supplements may show mild benefit, many men will see no benefit whatsoever from them.”  The Mayo Clinic similarly chimes in:  “Interestingly, there’s little evidence that supplements are useful for BPH.”   It’s not just efficacy that’s unproven. Dishonest, unregulated  advertising introduces  safety concerns, as well. 

So, then, what constitute legitimate claims regarding medical products including medications, procedures and devices?  What should we look for to know that a study is valid and trustworthy? That’s the subject for this blog, except indulge me just a while longer while I provide one more example of counterfeit research.  And this one is a beaut.  This particular so-called research was, and is, fraudulent. It imperiled, and still imperils, the lives of innocents.  

     Well, I’m a little tired right now – my prostate kept me up for most of the night.  We’ll discuss this fraud I just mentioned in Part II of Focus on Bogus.   Stay tuned.   Lao Du

(Editor’s note: I’ve asked Lao Du to apologize for calling Larry King a “douche.”) (Lao Du: Okay, I apologize. Larry’s not a douche. He’s a bottom-feeding scavenger.) (Editor: Okay, thank you.)