If you’re here interested in learning what – if anything – is behind the hype surrounding Marz Slim Spray, I’m betting you probably heard about the product due to its exposure on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Or maybe you’ve been exposed to multiple spam emails extolling the virtues of the products – like the one featured just above that showed up in my inbox.
If you’re unaware, Shark Tank is a reality T.V. show where business owners and entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas and products to panel of established business owners with the intent to secure some sort of investment.
Exposure On Shark Tank Doesn’t Mean It Works
The makers of the Marz Spray product are using the exposure gained on the show to add credibility and authenticity to their product line.
But don’t be fooled; just because they managed to secure some financial support (from Lori Greiner) doesn’t necessarily mean the products are well formulated or effective.
One of the points Elissa and I often make is that “proficiency in one field does not necessarily translate over into others.”
In this case, while it’s very clear that Lori Greiner is a darn fine business woman and is no doubt correct that there’s financial potential in Marz Sprays, that does not mean she’s an expert in supplements.
In fact, she makes this very clear when she says something to the effect that “she likes vitamins and homeopathy and believes in them both.” While we won’t argue about “belief” in vitamins, “belief” in homeopathy is another matter.
I believe in homeopathy only to the extent that I “believe” you can purchase physical products that contain no active ingredients and that they are being marketed as a cure all based on the logically flawed fallacy that “like cures like” and that when you dilute something a bazillion times it becomes more powerful that it is in a concentrated form.
I also “believe” in the clinical studies that have demonstrated, over and over and over again, that homeopathic solutions are no more effective than a placebo.
See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1874503/, Mayo Clin Proc. 2007 Jan;82(1):69-75, and Med J Aust. 2010 Apr 19;192(8):458-60 – just for starters.
If Mrs Greiner “believes” in homeopathy as an effective treatment solution, she’s very clearly demonstrated that her willingness to invest in Marz Spray should not be considered an endorsement of the effectiveness of the products.
What’s the Idea Behind the Marz Sprays?
According to the members of the Marz family pitching the product line on Shark Tank, they came up with the idea after learning that 40% of Americans have trouble swallowing pills.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
It should be noted that the study found…
…”that a large percentage (40%) of American adults have experienced difficulty swallowing pills…”
That’s a lot different than saying 40% of people have problems swallowing pills.
I, for example, have certainly “experienced” difficulty swallowing pills, but as a general rule, don’t have any problem with them.
The Liquid Spray Was Born
Providing a product line that allowed people to take their daily doses of vitamins and so forth via a liquid spray seemed like a logical solution to this issue.
Sounds like a good idea, right?
Well, maybe. But the truth is in the formula. Not the delivery system.
So let’s take a closer look at what’s in the Marz Slim Spray.
In addition to 60 mcg of chromium picolinate, a ton of vitamin b12, plus additional B’s plus some A and D vitamins, a serving (8-11 sprays) contains a proprietary 251 mg blend of the following 8 ingredients…
- Aloe vera leaf gel: A supplement with no demonstrated weight loss benefit.
- Green coffee bean: Gained popularity after being featured on the Dr. Oz show. You can read our full review here, but the bottom line is that the clinical study validating green coffee’s effects on weight loss was later retracted because it was so hopelessly flawed. To date, there is no clinical evidence to suggest green coffee bean provides anymore than the mildest of weight loss benefits, and that’s at a dose many times higher than the entire 251 mg serving.
- Raspberry ketones: Another Dr Oz favorite, we reviewed Raspberry ketones a while back. Suffice to day that there are no published, human based clinical studies supporting its weight loss effects at this time.
- Caffeine: An obvious addition to any weight loss product – at the appropriate dosage, caffeine can mildly elevate the metabolism and provide a boost of much needed energy. Again, we have no idea of the dosage.
- Green tea leaf extract: We like green tea as a weight loss supplement. When it’s properly standardized and dosed effectively. There’s no way to determine that here.
- 5-HTP: Derived from Griffonia simplicifolia, two different studies have shown that properly dosed, 5-HTP can help with modest weight loss. What is the proper dosage? This study used 900 mg per day, and this one used 8 mg/kg/day (a 150-person weighs about 68 kg and would require 544 mg per day). How much is in Marz Spray? A tiny fraction of what was demonstrated helpful in the study, obviously.
- Guarana: Common to Brazil and Uraguay, this wild growing shrub contains caffeine. There is no evidence guarana provides any weight loss benefit beyond its caffeine content.
- Garcinia cambogia: Although it has been around for ages, Garcinia has re-gained popularity due to – you guessed it – exposure on the Dr. Oz show. This despite a 1998 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that concluded, “Garcinia cambogia failed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo.”
As you have no doubt figured out by now, the issue with Marz Slim Spray is that any worthwhile ingredients cannot possibly be present in a dosage strong enough to elicit effects similar to those documented in the supporting studies I referenced.
Clinical Studies on Marz Spray
The Marz Spray FAQ page does say…
“We have clinical studies proving the effectiveness of our products. We also have “real life” evidence from the years spent working with our Slim Spray product within weight loss centers. Finally, we have received countless unsolicited testimonials and feedback from satisfied customers.”
… but no clinical studies are presented (at least none that I could see), nor do there appear to be any published and listed in the PubMed database. Nor is “real life evidence” defined or substantiated in any meaningful way.
And, as we know, testimonials are anecdotal and are not considered “evidence.”
There are, however, lots of lovely pictures of celebrities holding bottles of Marz Spray products.
And while I am sure the makers of Marz Sprays would argue that the effectiveness of their delivery system allows them to accomplish the same effects with much lower dosages, but there’s no published data – independent or otherwise – to support this argument.
This is, after all, a liquid oral supplement. You spray it into your mouth or “into any liquid” and then you swallow it. Marz Sprays do not appear to be, nor are advertised as, sublingual delivery systems (with which there are issues anyway).
So what else have we got to go on?
Well, in the real world, customers do not seem to be overwhelmed by the products. While we caution that testimonials are always anecdotal, at the time of this writing, there is not a single Marz Spray product listed on Amazon that has received more than a 2.5 star (overall) rating. In short, people are not exactly raving about the stuff.
What about cost?
Not as cheap as they appear. They claim…
“All of our sprays are designed to provide a 30 day supply. Each Spray has a two year shelf life.”
But that’s not what the label instructions on Amazon.com suggest. A “serving size” is 8 – 11 sprays, and there are only 20, not 30 servings in the container. If you took the minimum recommended amount (3 sprays, 3 times/day), a container would last barely 3 weeks. If you took the maximum (4 sprays, 4 times/day), a container would last less than 2 weeks. And, of course, they’re suggesting using their product for 4 – 6 months, which represents a pretty hefty investment.
Until we can see the evidence that Marz Spray claims to have validating the effectiveness of its products so we may assess it for ourselves, we’re going to recommend giving Marz Slim Spray a pass.