Tom Brady’s Personal Nutrition and Training Adviser Has Been Investigated Twice By the FTC

"This is just out and out quackery." ~ Barrie Cassileth

0
106
(Damian Strohmeyer via AP)

The training and nutrition principles in Tom Brady’s book, The TB12 Method: How To Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance were created alongside Alex Guerrero, 52.

The Boston Globe describes Guerrero as Brady’s close friend, business partner, and “body coach.” The New York Times, says he is a “spiritual guide, counselor, pal, nutrition adviser, trainer, massage therapist and family member.”

An article in Boston Magazine reveals that Guerrero was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) twice for making fraudulent claims about benefits of certain supplements he created.

The first time he was investigated was in 2004. The supplement was called Supreme Greens. It was marketed via a late-night infomercial in which Guerrero was the star.

According to affidavits filed in federal court, the supplement Guerrero created “produced miraculous results.” Some of those results included “an effective treatment, cure, and preventative for cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes, and as a means of achieving substantial weight loss of up to 80 pounds in 8 months.”

The miraculous results were backed by a clinical study comprised of 200 terminal ill patients. The patients were said to have been diagnosed with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s diseases. After using the supplement for eight years, 192 of them were still alive. Guerrero eventually admitted that no clinical study had ever been undertaken.

The FTC used Barrie Cassileth, a PhD holder in medical sociology and the founder of the Integrative Medicine Service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, to investigate the claims. He said,“This is just out and out quackery.”

In the infomercial, Guerrero claimed that he was a medical doctor. To his business partners, he said he was a doctor of Oriental medicine. He turned out not to be a medical doctor. He did have a master’s degree in Chinese medicine from a college in California. However, that college, Samra University, no longer exists.

The FTC sued Guerrero and the production companies he worked with stating in their complaint that “Consumers throughout the United States have suffered and continue to suffer substantial monetary loss and possible injury to their health.”

A settlement was reached in 2005. Guerrero was ordered to pay a $65,000 fine or hand over the title to his 2004 Cadillac Escalade. He could not market More important, his supplement Supreme Greens or “any substantially similar product” as an effective treatment, cure, or preventative for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or any other disease.

The FTC also prohibited Guerrero from referring to or advertising himself as a doctor. They also issued strict guidelines on what he could and could not say when talking about food or dietary supplements for the entirety of his life.

The second time Guerero was investigated was in 2012 for a product called NeuroSafe. NeuroSafe was a supplement created in 2011 by his new company, 6 Degree Nutrition.

Their website stated that “NeuroSafe represents the only preventative measure available to athletes to protect their brain. When used consistently, NeuroSafe helps to dramatically improve recovery from head trauma by providing the brain the nutrients it needs to repair itself.”

The second investigation sought to establish whether Guerrero had violated the consent decree from the first case by spouting false claims about a product.

By this time Guerrero was working with professional athletes. Some of them even endorsed Neurosafe on the 6 Degree Nutrition website.

Brady said the following about NeuroSafe. NeuroSafe makes me feel comfortable that if I get a concussion [sic] I can recover faster and more fully. There is no other solution on the market today that can do what NeuroSafe does. It’s that extra level of protection that gives me comfort when I’m out on the field.”

Wes Welker said the following about NeuroSafe“NeuroSafe is essential.  It keeps me safe.  I’ve seen what concussions do to people.  With NeuroSafe I know it’s protecting what my helmet can’t.”

Guerrero’s claims came up short again, and the FTC expressed their concerns that “Among other things, users relying on [Guerrero’s] unsupported claims might forego appropriate medical treatment and return to competition before they have adequately recovered from their injuries.”

This time though, no charges were rendered against Guerrero. The FTC said the following in regards to this. “Among the factors that we considered is the extremely limited volume of sales of the NeuroSafe product; your client’s decision to discontinue marketing NeuroSafe; and your client’s agreement to provide full refunds to all consumers who purchased the NeuroSafe product.”

You would think this would give Brady pause, but it didn’t. In May 2013, Brady and Guerrero became business partners and registered a limited liability company called TB12. TB12 has a sports training facility at Patriot Place, and now they have a book.

No word yet on whether anything in the book has caught the attention of the FTC.