It’s new! It’s spam! It’s revitaPOP: The MB12 Lollipop

23 Jun

I just got a nice spam email from Stan Kurtz, inventor. See, he invented this lollipop with methyl B12 in it to cure…well…almost everything.

Actually, I am a bit confused on that point. I often am from claims in alternative medicine. You see, from his website, Mr. Kurtz states

MB12 is a very unique vitamin and deficiency can affect vision, intestinal function, the ability to protect against infections and toxins, nerve functioning, and DNA replication.

Dang, it protects against DNA replication!?! Does that sound, well, problematic to anyone else? (see comments below. I mis-read the above statement.)

On his website, Stan Kurtz himself tells us that:

What I can tell you is that MB12 truly changed my life. I suffered for years with irritable bowel symptoms, chronic viral infecitons and ADHD and after I took this product I felt better. Since then I’ve personally observed hundreds of people’s lives change through the supplementation of MB12.

You see, it doesn’t “treat” anything, but it changes your life if you have certain disorders. Also, mB12 is “involved in” a whole host of disorders. No direct claims that mB12 supplementation “treats” the disorders. Just a great big implication.

But, then there is the disclaimer. Always a disclaimer. Gotta have a disclaimer.

These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

No use spending a lot of time on the contradictory nature of claims made by people touting supplements. Mr. Kurtz didn’t invent this sort of doublespeak, and he won’t be the last to use it.

Still, I thought this “revitapop” thing was odd, so I checked a few things out. Like, Stan Kurtz’s otehr website which touts the benefits of MB12, but also states:

Stan has chosen not to sell or profit from the use of this vitamin.

I guess it depends on your definition of the word “sell” or “profit”? $35 for 30 lollipops sounds like there could be room in there for profit.

What also caught my eye was this: “* patent pending”. It caught my eye because I thought, “How can someone patent this?”

I can’t find the patent application for the lollipop version of MB12, but I did find the patent application for his MB12 nasal spray. Patent application US29012039A1.

Claim one of the patent describes the vast number of disorders that are “treated” with this nasal spray:

A method of treating a psychological or neurophysiological disorder, comprising nasally administering methylcobalamin, or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, to a person in need of such treatment in an amount sufficient to treat the disorder in the person, wherein the disorder is selected from the group consisting of:attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, stress and chronic stress, socialization problems, mood problems, behavior problems, memory problems, dislexia, depth perception problems, color viewing problems, visual and auditory processing problems, light modulation problems, night vision problems, speech problems such as finding words, apraxia, and articulation problems, sleep regulation problems, eye or muscle movement problems, chronic fatigue problems, digestion problems, sensitivity to chemicals, viral infection, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, and fibromyalgia, asthma, irritable bowel, colitis, tinnitus, migraines, nail biting, and autoimmune problems.

Typical of alternative medical treatments–they treat everything. Always a warning sign, if you ask me. It is interesting to me that autism is not specifically mentioned in the patent. There must be a reason for that.

Is this really new, or novel, as they say in the patent business? It seems that that there is already a patent on nasal sprays to administer Vitamin B12, Vitamin B12 nasal spray and method of use. Filed in 2006, and it mentions mB12.

There is a phrase in patent law: obviousness. Taking one invention, say, mB12 nasal spray, adding it to another supposed invention, treating certain disorders claimed to respond to mB12 is, well, obvious. As they say, anyone “skilled in the art” would put those together.

Even if this doesn’t meet the definition of non obvious, I still think this patent has little chance of success. Consider this paragraph from the US Patent office:

In order for an invention to be patentable it must be new as defined in the patent law, which provides that an invention cannot be patented if: “(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent,” or “(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to the application for patent in the United States . . .

(emphasis mine)

Mr. Kurtz’ patent application was field March 17, 2008.

mB12 nasal sprays–as touted by Mr. Kurtz himself–have been discussed online since at least 2005. I guess Mr. Kurtz is counting on the patent examiner not checking the AutismOne website for Mr. Kurtz’ own talk on nasal spray mB12 in 2006. But, even without that, Mr. Kurtz’ own website has discussions of the nasal spray from March 16, 2006– that predates his patent application by 1 year. 1 year and 1 day. Ironic, that.

It will be interesting to see the lollipop patent application. I mean, there are vitamin B12 lollipops already, too. I wonder when Mr. Kurtz first publicly discussed his lollipop invention? Did he shoot himself in the foot here too?

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19 Responses to “It’s new! It’s spam! It’s revitaPOP: The MB12 Lollipop”

  1. Arthur_ June 23, 2009 at 22:41 #

    Does the nasal spray contains high-concentration zinc oxide ? Sign me in !

  2. hammiesays June 23, 2009 at 23:31 #

    I think Vegemite contains an almighty hit of B12. Perhaps I will have a word with Kraft about some curebie marketing?

    • Sullivan June 24, 2009 at 00:00 #

      Did you notice that the autism prevalence in Australia is low. Must be the vegemite connection!

  3. nt4i June 24, 2009 at 12:47 #

    Is the Oz prevalence genuinely low? Are children eating less marmite than they did 30 years ago? I appreciate that was a joke Sullivan – but in all seriousness has anyone looked at that?

  4. Sullivan June 24, 2009 at 18:51 #

    nt4i,

    sorry, I should have made that joke more clear. I am terrible at things like smilies like ;).

    To my knowledge, there is no prevalence data from Australia. Part of my own stupid humor–I was in my mind commenting on the lack of international data as much as anything else.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  5. nt4i June 24, 2009 at 20:35 #

    No problem. As you may have guessed I’m interested in these matters – in particular the epidemiology, but actually very uninformed. I’m shocked how little research there seems to have been on these things.
    But your theory is no more outlandish than many others – it may warrant further thought.

  6. Sullivan June 24, 2009 at 22:20 #

    As far as the patent issue is concerned, there is a provisional application listed as giving an earlier priority date for the nasal spray:

    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/918,526, filed on Mar. 16, 2007, which is incorporated by reference herein.

    Still too late after public discussions of the “invention” to be patentable under US law, as far as I can see.

  7. Chuck March 4, 2010 at 00:12 #

    Hey,

    So, you talked a lot about the legality of the lollipop, but not much about the actual effectiveness of MB12.

    If these lollipops deliver MB12, and MB12 does have some possible benefits… I guess what I am saying is that you seem to have gone off on a pretty big rant about what this guy Stan has to say about MB12, and about his nasal spray patent, but you don’t ever really talk about what other people have had to say about MB12 in general.

    What do you know about MB12? Does it work? Does it have any good effects?

  8. Paul April 5, 2010 at 18:59 #

    Hello,

    I agree with the post above me (Chuck). While their website does seem to make some far out claims, I did some research and found that this lollipop actually just won best new vegetarian product at Expo West. Spam? I doubt it. I will post the news article below from VegNews Magazine.

    http://www.vegnews.com/web/articles/page.do?pageId=1800&catId=1

    Paul

  9. Sullivan April 5, 2010 at 19:13 #

    Paul,

    how does a vegetarian magazine add anything to this discussion? The magazine has two lines on Revitapop. They don’t say it works for anything, they don’t say it is better than just taking B12.

    They do note that the Revitapop has a huge dose of the vitamin.

    If this is such a good delivery system for B12, why do they need huge doses?

  10. O.V. May 5, 2010 at 00:20 #

    Actually, you should try to revitapop before cutting it down. I had a strange health problem about two months ago – tingling in my hands, feet and mouth. When you check on the internet, you’re quickly told these are the signs of MS. But they are also the signs of B12 deficiency. So I got some B12 strips (you put them on your tongue and they are described as ‘fast acting’) at the drug store. By that afternoon, the tingling was gone in my hands and right foot. I am still feeling some tingling in my left food and every so often in my mouth / tongue, but they seem to be receding, after about a month. Meanwhile, this irritable bowel syndrome I’ve had since my mid-20s (I’m now 47) is gone. Lower back pain I had is also gone. My vision, concentration and memory are better. I play hockey on weekends (I’m a goalie) and I could just see the puck better in a strange way – as in judging distances. Our team went to the league final but we lost in a shootout. (Maybe I should have taken a bit more b12 before the game.) Everything just seems a little more ‘3D’ than it did, colours are more vibrant. It’s almost like you’ve taken a drug or gone back to childhood. I ordered some revitapops via the internet after reading up on MS and b12 deficiency and so on. The total bill with shipping was about $50 for a bag of 30, which is steep, but each pop contains about three times what’s in a B12 strip (about $10 for 30 strips) – so I guess it evens out, except for the shipping. I think the key is that the vitamin is absorbed through the tongue, so for people like myself who seem to have a malabsorption problem (don’t seem to absorb it through our intenstines) it works. The other option is needles. If you want to feel like you’re 12 years old again, I would order some revitapops or buy some of the fast-acting strips at the pharmacy. Don’t bother with the other tablets because they don’t give you a big enough dose to make a difference, I don’t think. Or if you’re swallowing them, well that’s the problem because your body is not absorbing it right so there’s no point. You either need an injection or on the tongue. Eventually your liver will absorb back enough of this B12 that you’ll have a good store of vitamins in there and you can start taking less b12. This is all based on my experiences since Good Friday, when I finally decided this tingling in my feet, hands and head wasn’t going away (after about a month) and even if it is MS, I guess I need to find out. (I am still booked for an MRI in July.) I know this is an autism forum and I really know nothing about whether the B12 will work for autism, but if I had to guess I would say it might help based on what it does for nerve function – eyes, hands, feet, tongue, – (it helps the intestines by helping to regrow the lining of the intestine; I don’t know how it helps your lower back but that’s some of what was mentioned on the revitapop video on youtube, which incredibly had only about 190 views when I looked at it the other day). The other thing about the lollipop obviously, is that kids would suck on a lollipop much more easily than accept getting a needle everyday. In fact so would most adults. So to me the whole thing is ingenious and if I can finally get the tingling to go away in my left foot (it’s really just my middle three toes at this point) and my mouth (it’s not as bad as it was three weeks ago but still not gone) I will be forever thankful to the guy who came up with this. You need the high doses because the store of b12 you had in your liver has been used up over a period of years and not replenished because you have some problem absorbing it do to chron’s, celiac’s disease, malabsorption syndrome (hereditary trait, it looks like), inflamed bowel and so on. OK, that’s all I have to add. If you have a child with ADHD or autism, I would definitely try this. I don’t see how it can hurt. It is simply a vitamin. I would say it’s worth a try.

    • Sullivan May 5, 2010 at 01:20 #

      O.V.,

      I don’t see the value in sending some of my hard earned money to someone who puts huge amounts of B12 in a lollypop and charges a lot of money for it. $1 a piece for 3.6mg. Especially someone who claimed he wouldn’t try to make money off of this.

      I could get more for less–5mg, $0.18 each–
      http://www.amazon.com/Methylcobalamin-Sublingual-Vitamin-B-12-5000mcg/dp/B000BO1LY4

      But, I’d have to ask, why are people who are so concerned about metals putting that much cobalt into their system?

      All this without going into the idea that as an autism treatment, this has no support.

  11. O.V. May 5, 2010 at 02:30 #

    Hi Sullivan,
    Again, I didn’t mean to come across as someone who knows something about b12 as an autism treatment. Sorry if it came across that way. I don’t really have any experience with that. I’m just a person who was not feeling well who started taking vitamin b12 and felt a hell of a lot better. And also started reading everything he could about vitamin b12. It’s just something I’ve noticed in reading up on b12, that this is a claim some people are making, that it helps kids who have autism focus and stay calm. And I can tell you that at least the other claims the revitapop video is making turned out to be absolutely true, as far as it applies to me. Vision, mental alertness, irritable bowel, lower back. Even just feeling calm. If all that is correct it makes me think these claims about helping autistic kids (although their video did say high functioning autism) at least might be worth checking out. Where I am living, I had a hard time finding this sublingual vitamin b12. I got a bottle of 60 pills that were labelled ‘lozenges’ of 5 mg for $20 but they looked and felt more like tablets and I was just left unsure about whether or not they were working the way the strip seemed to immediately work. But you’re right the price that’s being charged for the revitapop might make you wonder, especially if there’s no proof. (My guess would be he does not have the kind of orders needed to really mass produce these things at a lower price.) And you’re right that adults can try the sublingual or the strip. But like I said, if this is something that would help a kid, a lollipop that they could suck on (they taste great, actually – better than most lollipops) and you’re talking about a dollar a day, it’s not really significant. Or when you’re like me, and you feel like you’re having a hard time walking properly, can’t see well at night (that was another thing about my vision) and so on, in addition to the other problems, it all seems like a small price to pay.
    One thing to note is that I think this guy Kurtz would be in trouble if he began making claims that this is a “treatment” – he can’t do that. I don’t know if that’s the Food and Drug Administration or what. It’s not a drug. It’s simply a vitamin and he’s forced to use other language to try to say what it does.
    Anyway, I won’t post anymore on here (I’ve never posted on a web forum before). I did not mean to get people’s hopes up or have anybody spending money they don’t want to spend on something that’s unproven. I was just trying to give you an honest comment here that, as a person who has tried a vitamin b12 megadose on the tongue in a couple of different forms, strip and lollipop, I’d recommend just trying it. For me it’s been like night and day as far as my health goes, although obviously I have had some type of vitamin b12 deficiency problem that didn’t really reveal itself fully until now.

  12. NightStorm May 5, 2010 at 03:49 #

    O.V Lern 2 paragraph

    Wall o friggin text.

  13. Jennie July 8, 2010 at 00:10 #

    I just wanted to tell OV that I do have MS and the fact that his/her symptoms went away is likely due to the fact that MS is a relapsing remitting disease. Get your MRI and if you do have it please go one one of the many proven treatments for MS. I have had MS for almost 20 years now, I am 38 and I have been in remission for 10 years but I am taking real medicine not a lolipop.

  14. SamTheZebraFromMars August 12, 2010 at 17:01 #

    OV, thank you for posting. I am interested in whether your experience was a one-off (case study of one) or whether there’s more going on. Worth looking at more closely, for sure. Good luck with your MRI.

  15. O.V. August 12, 2010 at 18:25 #

    Hi Jennie and Sam and NightStorm (NightStorm, you’re right, I’ll paragraph),

    So I had my MRI in mid-July and everything was normal. The technician said as much right after the test and the doctor confirmed it earlier this week. So that’s the good news, except that I still have some symptoms and don’t really know why.

    I have kept up with the B12 and about three weeks ago started with daily injections on my own, into my thigh. I had got rid of most of my symptoms but the last of them seemed to only recede once I started the injections. I’d say right now my symptoms are about 80 to 90 per cent gone as compared to how they were in late March or early April. (I want to say 99 per cent gone but every time I start thinking that way it tends to come back a little bit.)

    In all honesty, based on how I felt the last week of March, I expected to be in a wheelchair and housebound by this time and was pretty scared about it. I have sons that play hockey and I was honestly expecting to be viewing the games in a wheelchair.

    Jennie you could well be right that I have MS or something else and it is simply in remission but for now I am going to keep up with the B12 because my MRI doesn’t show them I have MS. I have heard that sometimes an MRI will come back negative initially but as the disease progresses it will show up. I can only hope that’s not the case with me.

    I spoke to the doctor about the B12 and he simply said it can’t do me any harm, can only do me good, so I take him at his word. Although he didn’t seem to want concede I had a B12 problem (or pottassium or calcium problem, the other two deficiencies that can cause tingling and numbness). It was just, well, your blood tests were normal, now your MRI is normal, if the B12 is helping you feel better, then keep taking it. End of appointment.

    As I write this I wonder if the doctor thinks I actually do have something bad, these two tests just haven’t revealed it yet.

    It is also a bit troubling to think that whatever is bothering me might never be really diagnosed. When I first saw a doctor about this she seemed sure that my blood work would come back normal and the MRI would be the thing that revealed what the problem was. But that hasn’t happened. They didn’t actually tell me what my blood work said, just that it was normal although my red blood cell count was a little low.

    In the meantime, my back and irritable bowel problems remain virtually gone. Now if I do do some kind of work that involves my back, it either doesn’t hurt or hurts just a little but within a half hour the pain is gone and everything is fine. I never have a sore back the next day or anything like that. The irritable bowel pain is still there in a very slight way some mornings, but nothing like in the past and many days I don’t feel it at all – like today. It’s like I never had it, even though it bothered me from about my mid-20s.

    I saw a doctor about irritable bowel then and he simply said, some people get irritable bowel syndrome, you have to figure out what foods are bothering you and start avoiding them. That’s all he had to offer. And that was what I did for 20 years. It’s more than a little annoying to think maybe I had a B12 deficiency starting even back then – or at least that B12 could have helped my bowels regenerate their lining – and he never mentioned it.

    Anyway, even though all the tests say otherwise, I have to think a) the B12 is doing me a lot of good and b) I had some kind of B12 deficiency, just based on how it’s making me feel, which is very good.

    I still have this odd tingling in my fingertips every few days, for instance right now as I type this, but very slight, and some odd feeling in my mouth — all in the upper teeth, sometimes the front teeth, sometimes the sides, and sometimes my tongue hurts — although a few days ago I did not have these problems and actually did not have a single symptom bothering me. This is compared to the base of both feet, my toes, my fingers, my mouth and lower part of my face back to my ears feeling tingly/numb/sore back in late March.

    Funny thing is that when I first wrote on here I was defending the lollipops but I have not ordered any more lately. The B12 injections are very reasonable. You can get a vial good for 10 injections for about $8. The syringes are very reasonable, about 25 cents each (these are Canadian dollars and cents, which these days is about on par with U.S.). You need some alcohol swab pads, which were very cheap – box of 100 for a few dollars, cotton balls and Band-Aids and you’re all set. And now I know it is going into my system and bypassing my intestinal tract, which doesn’t seem to be absorbing it.

    It takes some guts to stick that needle in the first time, but there are some YouTube videos on how to do it posted by healthcare providers. The pharmacy even supplies a recycling canister for you to throw the used needles in and return it to them. This is a free service. The injectable B12 is not a prescription thing, at least not here in Canada. Once I finally got the courage to do it, it doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal now, although I am a little nervous before every injection. But then I am probably just a wimp anyway.

    Anyway, again I am going on very long here. I think it’s because I don’t have a lot of people to talk to about this. The doctors don’t seem that interested. I guess if I feel pretty good, look good and have a normal blood test and normal MRI, they’re wondering what my problem is. I haven’t told any co-workers because I am in a business where rumours spread like wildfire. And besides it’s none of their business. I think if I start telling my friends that I have essentially self-diagnosed B12 defiency, they’re going to think I am nuts. Maybe I am.

    I might find myself coming back here in a year to report that my symptoms returned and the B12 is not doing anything to stop them. I don’t know. But for now I am just going to keep on with what I am doing.

  16. Diane November 5, 2014 at 18:18 #

    It doesn’t say it “protects” against DNA Replication. READ it. Maybe you need mb-12 for better cognitive function. It says that a “deficiency” in MB-12 can affect DNA replication.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 5, 2014 at 20:39 #

      I take note of your comment using “coginitive function” as a slam on a disability focused website.

      Here’s what Mr. Kurtz wrote:

      MB12 is a very unique vitamin and deficiency can affect vision, intestinal function, the ability to protect against infections and toxins, nerve functioning, and DNA replication

      Yep, I mis-read the statement. And now I’ve included a comment to that effect in the above article.

      I’d be curious as to your thoughts on a man claiming that he would not profit from a given idea who then sells lollypops for over $1 each and applies for a patent.

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