“Dr” Ryan Shelton has a number of Internet-based cures that he peddles including the Hair Revital X, Join FLX, Longevity Activator, SoundQuility, SouthBeach Skin Lab, Diabetes 60 and fertility treatments among other things. Ryan Shelton is not a medical doctor, but a naturopath. However, he bills himself as a physician, which is a violation of law in California. On one of his web offerings, he calls himself a “licensed primary care physician” yet there’s no listing of him in the Hawaiian Licensing Division as a medical doctor. Why does he lie about his qualifications?
On another website, Shelton asserts that: ” I founded and developed Whole-Body Health, a family practice in Kansas City. On top of all that I’m also the head researcher, formulator and consultant at the University Compounding Pharmacy in San Diego.” If Whole-Body Health once existed in Kansas City, it does no more. Whole Body Health did appear to exist in Champaign, Illinois, but according to the state records, its license was issued in 2017 and expired in 2018. And the San Diego compounding pharmacy denies any current business relationship with Shelton.
Over the past 10 years, Shelton has moved around the U.S. frequently and appears to current have practices in “sun-soaked” Hawaii as well as having a presence in Australia. The Zenith Laboratories that he is listed as the medical director of this Illinois-based supplement vendor, although Shelton has no medical practice in that state. The Zenith Labs website states: “between his best-selling books and his medical practice in Hawaii, Dr. Ryan has helped hundreds of thousands of men & women…” A search on Amazon Books finds no book authored or sold by Ryan Shelton. Similarly, a search of the Library of Congress shows no book by Shelton. Even Google comes up snake eyes. Not only has Shelton not published any books, but whatever ebooks he has sold on the Internet can hardly be called “best selling”. Why does Zenith Labs lie about its medical director’s publishing record?
Over those 10 years, Shelton has been developing an Internet marketing machine to sell supplements that purport to cure obesity, tinnitus, vision impairment, premature aging, diabetes, joint health, heart disease and digestive diseases. Ever hear about the now-discredited Spark Health Media? Shelton was involved in that. If you’ve stumbled across Zenith Labs, you’ll find a host of cure-alls for just about anything that ills you. While some of what Shelton preaches is scientifically-validated common sense, his sites are really all about trying to sell you overpriced pills that will likely not cure you any better than a placebo. So, let’s take a closer look at “Dr” Shelton and get to the bottom of what he’s actually selling consumers and whether we can recommend your buying ANYTHING from this notorious Internet infoscammer.
Some Flashing Red Lights
“Dr.” Shelton has decided to use the Internet to peddle his potions and creams. While that’s not a crime, what are the sketchy methods he uses to sell those products. Shelton hires copywriters to compose lengthy (and undocumented) stories about his marvelous concoctions. These marketing pitches are hallmarks of the infoscammers that we’ve chronicled at this blog. Infoscammers, in essence, find ways to misrepresent or overprice medical cures that are readily available for free or low-cost to most all Americans. Worse yet, Shelton has relied upon affiliate marketers to promote his products — and that’s downright misleading. These affiliates claim to have “reviewed” the products, but actually they are paid commissions for every consumer they’ve lured to Shelton’s company. Most all of the reviews are identical; they’ve been largely written by professional copywriters to trick consumers that happen upon their “review sites” into thinking that the product has been throughly tested by the reviewer. In fact, they aren’t.
Connection to Spark Health Media?
Sparkhealthmedia was a notorious medical infoscammer active in the 2015-2018 time period. It appears to now be defunct. Daniel Toh is currently listed as the owner of the Sparkhealthmedia domain. A number of Net commentators have asserted a connection between Toh’s SparkHealthMedia and Zenith Labs:
We were unable to confirm or disprovethe link between Toh and Shelton. In fact, we were unable to establish that Zenith Labs is even located in Illinois – that state’s Secretary of State business search turns up nothing under Zenith Laboratories. Google StreetView shows only a generic industrial park building with no signage identifying the labs. Bloomberg lists Zenith Laboratories being located in New Jersey, but that state reports the lab has closed. From the best that we can tell, it could simply be a mail drop, and nothing more.
The alleged connection between Shelton and Toh hasn’t been proven, but the similarities in their marketing technigues are eerily disturbing. Many of the Zenith Labs’ supplements we examine below could easily have been hawked by SparkHealth Media. We note that Shelton’s image was used to promote SparkHealth Media’s infamous Tonaki Tinnitus Protocol, so there is a seeming link between Shelton and the disreputable SparkHealth Media scammers.
Infoscammers Who Sell Supplements Exploit the Placebo Effect
The idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing. It’s referred to as the placebo effect and has been around for as long as humans have attempted to heal other humans. However, scientists have been able to actually document how placebos work and have found that in some cases a placebo can be just as effective as traditional treatments. Infoscammers rely upon this effect to help them sell their questionable supplements. Whether it be pills or diets or lifestyle changes, almost half of the people who buy into these schemes are likely to experience some degree of relief due to the placebo effect. Sadly, Shelton’s Zenith Labs have zeroed in their marketing strategy to exploit the placebo effect. In short, as many as 50% of the people who buy Zenith Lab pills are likely to feel some effect. And, once hooked, they’ll be faithfully buying Shelton’s shady overpriced pills for a long time.
Shelton offers a “Hair Revital X System” through his Zenith Labs. He sells three bottles for an introductory offer of $39 each — although the price doubles after that. The supplements contain all sorts of herbs and extracts, including nettle leaf, rosemary, thistle, phytosterols (from sunflower seeds), agigenin, pennywort along with folic acid and biotin. Each bottle lasts one month. It also includes a topical solution that you spray daily on your head. They recommend trying it for 180 days to get the best effect. Does it work? Who knows. But is it worth $40-$80 per month? Compare this “system” to minoxidil, a proven hair regeneration topical. Costco sells their generic version for $17 and it lasts between 6 months to 1 year. So, you pay Dr. Shelton $240-$480 for six months worth of his hair potion, or you pay Costco $17 for a scientifically proven and safe minoxidil topical solution. So far, we’re not impressed with Shelton.
Shelton introduces a lady named Nancy (no last name or documentation of her existence) who suffered from an undisclosed source of joint pain. In a slickly presented story, Shelton tells of how Nancy accidently discovers an inactive nutritional yeast that eliminates the pain. But it is the niacinamide (a.k.a. Vitamin B3) inside the yeast that Shelton identifies as the cure to her pain. He claims to have designed a niacinamide supplement that also contains other herbs and he makes it available for $47 per bottle for a three-month supply. Compare this to an unadulterated bottle of pure niacinamide sold by Vitacost that will last you 90-days for less than $8. Twice the amount of pills for about 1/20th the price. Does it have all of Shelton’s added herbs and minerals? Nope. But if you think Vitamin B3 will cure your joint pain, you can find out for $8 rather than $141 if you opt for Vitacost. We’re still underwhelmed by the value proposition offered by Shelton’s labs.
Diabetes 60 System
We’ve written extensively about the numerous diabetes cure scams on the Internet. So we were intrigued by Ryan Shelton’s decision to offer a 60-day program to help cure Type 2 diabetes patients. Shelton’s approach to diabetes was high-intensity interval resistance training — in short, exercise. That, along with reduced glycemic intake. And you know what, Shelton is on the right track — high-intensity interval training has been shown to help with type 2 diabetes. But that’s no secret: just about any exercise will assist diabetes sufferers in blood glucose levels. Exercise combined with intermittent fasting has also been shown to be helpful. This is generally common knowledge and can be gleaned from a number of reputable websites for free. Although Shelton claimed that only 60 seconds of exercise a day would be sufficient…..really? So, how much did “Dr” Shelton want to charge for this dubious theory of a daily 60-second exercise curing diabetes? Wait for it…….that’s right. $39. You’ll see that price pop-up a lot in all of Shelton’s schemes. Ultimately Shelton’s Diabetes 60 scheme was kicked off of Clickbank because of a “terms of service violation”. So if you try to buy Shelton’s dubious ebook about diabetes, you are directed to an even scammier offering called The Blood Sugar Fix, which is actually sold as The Big Diabetes Lie. We have debunked this infoscam previously. It’s nasty. It would appear that Shelton transferred his rights to his Diabetes 60 System to these disreputable infoscammers. You are the company you keep, Dr. Shelton. We are just saying………..
Infoscammers love to sell life-extension supplements because it is literally impossible to prove that any inert supplement does not extend life. Shelton’s slick website claims he can “prove beyond the shadow of a doubt” that it’s possible to “slow down the aging process”. He talks about being able to “transform your DNA” by using an enzyme called telomerase. Like most infoscammers, there is some truth to the fact that telomeres do appear to add DNA. However, the Nobel-Prize winning researcher Elizabeth Blackburn, who specializes in telomeres research, states that the best way to maintain them is through exercise, diet and stress control. Shelton, of course, wants to sell you a pill. So, he claims to have formulated a pill that preserves the health of your telomeres. He’ll sell you a 90-day supply of these unproven pills for…..wait for it…..$39 per bottle. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.
But Blackburn warns that telomares can be good and bad; if the levels are too high, they can cause brain tumors and cancers. Shelton, of course, omits that important fact. That’s why Blackburn discourages people from taking supplements that boost telomerase. Too much telomerase can be worse than too little. The dangers of too much telomerase are laid out in this Scientific America article. There’s no scientific evidence that Shelton’s supplements actually work. BUT, if they did promote telomerase production, his supplements might be increasingly the cancer risk of anyone who uses his pills.
Another ailment exploited by infoscammers is tinnitus. The bottom line is that there is NO cure for tinnitus. The U.S. and British Institutes of Health both admit that while Western medicine has found ways to diminish tinnitus there is no cure. That’s why the scammers are attracted to this ailment! And that’s why anytime you see an online ad claiming to cure tinnitus, it’s a scam. So imagine our surprise when we find Shelton’s Zenith Labs offering SoundQuility: supplements that support a “natural repair” of the myelin sheath. He claims it “targets the root cause of tinnitus.” So, what exactly is the root cause of tinnitus? Shelton says its all about the myelin sheath. The rest of the medical world has found a myriad number of tinnitus causes, including damage to inner ear hair cell damage, chronic health conditions, and injuries or conditions that affect the nerves in your ear or the hearing center in your brain, according to the very reputable Mayo Clinic. And what will a 90-day supply of these supplements cost the unsuspecting tinnitus suffer? You guessed it: $39 per bottle. See a pattern here?
Zenith Hearing X3
Another hearing-related supplement offered by Shelton is called X3. It claims to “rejuvenate” cochlear hair cells. We won’t go into too many details about this supplement, because the very reputable contrahealthscam.com has already conducted its analysis of this product. They’ve labeled it a scam, calling Zenith Labs a “shady company”, the testimonials are “sparse and untrustworthy” and the scientific basis for the product is “mostly rubbish”. If you are thinking about purchasing the X3 supplements, we strongly urge that you read the Contrahealthscam analysis before you spend your $39 on a fraudulent supplement.
Another lucrative ailment exploited by infoscammers is vision loss. It plagues about 99% of the world’s population because largely due to aging. So, unscrupulous marketers flock to promise pills and eye exercises that will cure this universal condition. Shelton jumps aboard this nefarious gravy train with a few dubious supplements geared to eye health. We took a look at Vision 20, which he claims includes a key “activator” compound. Before delving into the details of this supplement, we ask you to guess how much a 90-day supply of this pill potion is going to cost you. Yup, $39 per bottle, or $117 for the 90-days. How did you know? Shelton’s formulation features lutein, zeaxanthin and bilberry extract. Over at Vitacost, a 90-day supply of almost identical supplements will cost you $14.69. That’s one-tenth the price that Shelton wants to charge. A reminder: the $39 per bottle price is a promotional price that goes up by 100% after the first 90-day supply runs out. In the end, Zenith Labs is positioning itself to charge 2000% more for its dubious formulation than the far-more reputable Vitacost.
Our Bottom Line
We could go on and on about Shelton’s outright lies, exaggerations of truth, opportunistic marketing tactics, questionable medical diagnosises and rip-off pricing. But, at this point, if you are still considering purchasing anything from Zenith Labs (or any other Shelton-related product), we feel as though we’ve given you the benefit of our investigation. There’s not much more to say other than avoid any product Shelton is trying to sell you. There are most-assuredly, less expensive and more effective treatments available to a consumer who is willing to put just a little more time into researching. Start that research at sandiegocan.org. We’ve done most of the spade-work for you.
If You Need to Know More About Shelton’s Scams
Check out our other investigations into Ryan Shelton: