Mannatech Bogus Health Claims?


20/20 did a hidden camera investigation for 3 months, going to Mannatech sales pitches around the country. The meetings start with disclaimers that the products don’t cure anything. Yet the meetings are full of testimonials from people who claim they were cured by Mannatech products. Claims are also made that the product is a bigger breakthrough than even penicillin.

Mannatech products are only sold through a multi-level marketing (MLM) plan. The company said it had 1/2 million representatives in the United States in 2006. There are complaints that sales associates are saying that the Mannatech products cure all sorts of illnesses, including autism, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and numerous other ailments. The associates train other associates to carefully avoid saying the products cure these ailments, but that they can bring in people who will give testimonials.

Glycobiology is what Mannatech claims is behind their products, but actual biologists say that there is no connection between glycobiology and any positive effects in the body. The biologists even say that the body is not affected by these sugar pills. Benefits of “glyco-nutrients” are extolled by Mannatech representatives, even after giving certain legal disclaimers that the prodcuts do not “mitigate or treat” anything.

Angie Rhodes, a college student, was diagnosed with brain cancer last summer. Without treatment, doctors said she’d live three years. She was advised to undergo surgery quickly. The tumor was the size of a fist, and after surgery, she was left with two small spots of cancer. They could not be removed because of the risk of paralysis. She was advised to undergo chemotherapy and radiation.

Instead, Angie began taking megadoses of Ambrotose “immune support formula,” a product sold by Mannatech, but not FDA approved. It is a sugar pill. Literally. The sugars come from an aloe vera plant. A one month supply costs $200. Angie heard testimonials from others, and literally bet her life on this sugar pill.

She feels God put Amrotose in front of her, and that she is being cured. She tells others online that they should take this product for their cancer. Angie says that Mannatech does not say that they cure cancer because of legal technicalities. An MRI on Angie, who took Ambrotose for 6 months, showed that there was no change in the size of her tumor. Her oncologist continues to recommend chemotherapy and radiation, but Angie says she will instead continue with Ambrotose.


29 thoughts on “Mannatech Bogus Health Claims?

  1. This is something I just can’t understand. Why in the world would Angie JUST take this sugar pill EVEN if she thought it was the cure??? Why limit yourself? Why not take the doctor recommendation too??? Angie, if you are out there, why not try both (if you feel it is necessary to take Ambrotose, the best that can happen is you are rid of the cancer! Isn’t Ambrotose an “immune SUPPORT”? Whatever that is!? Angie, you are lucky that the tumors haven’t grown because cancer loves sugar. Please take the treatment too!!!

  2. Doug Bullock

    The scammer here is ABC. No, Ambrotose does not cure anything. It gives the body what it needs to fight back. That is just what food is supposed to do. Ambrotose is only food but it is concentrated food molecules that force the body to function normally. Dying of cancer is not normal. Every human has cancer every moment of their life.

    All the Ambrotose does is give the body back its communication system that allows the body to SEE the cancer so it can fight it. Yes there are thousands of people who are cancer free who feel it is because they got this concentrated food and their bodies functioned normally and kicked the cancer’s ass. I see normal body function I don’t see any cure except the cure we all have in our own immune system.

  3. Tracy

    Doug – Did you, by chance, hear the scientists who said those sugar pills do exactly NOTHING for the body?

  4. There is a lot of info about this situation at my blog. Would love for you to check it out. ABC definitely did NOT tell the whole story…

  5. Until you have gone through someone you love with brain cancer, you will understand that chemotherapy does not pass the blood brain barrier, I read research paper after research paper to get my facts straight. BY LAW, the surgeon has to suggest an oncologist for chemo treatment that does NOT work for brain cancer.

  6. James

    Laura James, your descriptions of medicolegal practice and the physiology of the blood brain barrier are inaccurate.

    “Chemotherapy” is an abstract noun; chemotherapeutic agents are, simply, chemicals. Some chemicals cannot pass through the BBB; others can. It is not the case that no chemotherapeutic agents can enter the brain any more than it is the case that drugs, like codone and morphine, cannot enter the brain.

  7. tiffany

    My father was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer last november. He had his tumor removed but being Glioblastoma, it is impossible to remove the whole tumor.

    I have watched him suffer so much following the path that the oncologists, radiologists, etc… have put him on at the #1 cancer hospital in the world. He has recieved Chemo, radiation, more chemo and has participated in 2 clinical trials.

    He has not had any luck with ANY of these treatments and has suffered tremendously. He has been unable to eat, unable to walk without extreme exhaustion and sleeps at least 20 hours a day. The medicines have caused his body to almost shut down.

    I have seen horrible side effects from all the medicine and I am ready for him to stop. I believe that doctors rarely look “outside the box” for each person and have a list of “standard” procedures that they give to all people. Some people just do not fit into that “box”.

    If anyone has witnessed someone recieve these types of therapy, they would know that these chemicals, medicines, are lethal. They do not only target the cancer cells, but they also kill healthy cells and they all cause permanent long term side effects, some that can kill you faster then the cancer itself.

    I absolutly believe that our bodies are capable to fight intruders much more then we give them credit for and what we put into our bodies, WILL have an effect. I believe that if we make our bodies strong and not poisen it more, the possiblities of healing are endless.

    I absolutley support Angie and her decision, seeing this disease first hand.

  8. We do need to become informed in our quest for WELLNESS. The current ‘health system’ is failing and will eventually financially bankrupt America unless we take a NEW approach. Our health is affected by what and how much we eat, how much exercise we get, how we handle stress etc.
    If there is a ‘scientifically validated’ ‘standardized and stabilized’ efficacious Nutritional product that assists our bodies do the job it was created to do – we should be very excited – and take the time to look into this ‘cost effective’ common sense approach.

  9. *Truly it is a mystery to me WHY the critics KEEP saying Mannatech say’s it ‘CURES’. Please read this and try and comprehend this – Mannatech say’s AMBROTOSE does ‘NOT CURE!!’

    There seems to be a big hang-up on this little word ‘CURE’. Why can’t you hear the repeated statements that we claim “AMBROTOSE does NOT CURE” because it DOESN”T – it supplies missing VITAL nutrients to NOURISH our bodies!!!

    We are simply ‘nourishing’ the body with ‘nutrients’ that are ‘currently very HARD’ to get in our over processed foods today! A well-nourished body, along with a healthy lifestyle can do the job God created our bodies to do – which is ‘HEAL THEM-SELVES.’

    A ‘Name’ given to a ‘specific group of Symptoms’ is called a certain ‘disease’ – it is just a ‘label name’.
    Most ‘symptoms’ start because of not living a healthy life style and by not having ‘vital nutrients’ in our diet.
    You could die of not getting enough water or sleep or eating foods like ‘limes & lemons’ [Scurvy] – when does this ‘lack’ become a ‘disease name’? [interesting note ‘Man-made Vitamin C – ascorbic acid does NOT CURE Scurvy but add ‘vine ripened lemons and limes’ back into the diet and the ‘symptoms of Scurvy WILL reverse – if the person has enough ‘TIME’ for the BODY to recover!!]

    ** Our healthy immune system can ‘reverse symptoms’ can ‘easily’ recognize cancer cells and eradicate them. Everyday – Everybody deals with Cancer cells – that’s a normal everyday function of a ‘healthy’ body!!

    I CHOOSE to ‘feed’ my body the ‘Missing VITAL Nutrients’ so that ‘my immune system’ is ‘fully armed’ to fight ‘the battle within’.
    How about YOU – what do you CHOOSE ????

  10. Tracy: Please let the TRUTH be HEARD. ABC chose to purposely ‘mislead’ the Public regarding Angie’s MRI results! WHY? This is true FRAUD!

    This is the story told first hand from the woman who was on 20/20 with the brain cancer. Please share this information with everyone you know!

  11. Hey Tracy as a beautiful looking young woman here’s something you might find VERY exciting. There is a ‘Current Independent Test’ being done regarding ‘GlycoNutrient’ – those who ‘eat’ it and those that don’t…. Dr. Gilbert Kaats, Ph.D., CEO of Integrated Health Technologies has been ‘Independently Testing’ the effects of nutritional supplements for nearly 30 years. He has performed one of the countries ‘largest longitudinal studies’ on nutritional supplements – specifically ‘Mannatech’s Glyconutritionals’. Testing blood work and bone density of nearly 7,000 people over the past 12 years, his findings are impressive. In his conclusions, ‘8 of 10 biomarkers’ associated with the ‘disabilities of AGING’ are actually REVERSED on Ambrotose. Further, Dr. Kaats states that there is ‘no competition with Mannatech’ with regards to (1) efficacy, (2) safety and (3) consistency – the three things one desires in a nutritional supplement product. Perhaps this is the ‘fountain of youth’ we’ve been looking for!! Anti-aging is a rather nice ‘side-effect’, wouldn’t you agree?


  12. Well Kaats does seem to have been in some bad company.

    BUT, his work with Mannatech – 7000 people followed for 12 years for $5000 total does not seem like incentive to give a ‘false positive’ response to Mannatech supplements. I think Kaats findings ‘8 of 10 biomarkers’ associated with the ‘disabilities of AGING’ are actually REVERSED on Ambrotose” are still valid.

    From the aboved ‘link’ — “Kaats said the $5,000 grant he received from the Fisher Institute was for his analysis of data related to children with attention-deficit problems who used Mannatech’s supplements, known as glyconutrients.

    Kaats’ relationship with the institute and Mannatech dates to the company’s founding in the mid-1990s. Three articles by Kaats citing the positive effects of glyconutrients in losing body fat, increasing bone density and improving general health have appeared in the institute’s journal, Proceedings.”

  13. Familypaladin

    Interesting times. I wish 20/20 would talk to me. I invite them to, please. I suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and was on a full spectrum of meds, including Remicid and eventually Humera while being treated at an internatinoally known medical facility. Starting in October 2002, when my liver reacted to the meds, I have not taken any – by the doctors’ orders. I have, however, taken Mannatech products. At first the doctors were reluctant, but now they accept it. I visit the rheumatology department quarterly where they are befuddled. In their words they have never had a case whre the joints have regenerated, the nodules have disappeared, the pain has gone, and the medications are no longer taken. Nearly five years now, pain, discomfort, AND medication free! I have the lab reports and X-rays to document this. Does Mannatech cure anything? Absolutely not! Does Mannatech provide the body with the nutritional support it needs to care for itself? Check my X-rays and lab work. If you haven’t been there, seen it, or done an open minded investigation, you have no clue. that goes for bloggers, 20/20, doctors … anyone. Have the intellectual integrety to do an open minded investigation then the honesty to report what you find and not what you wanted to find.

  14. Purple

    “If you haven’t been there, seen it, or done an open minded investigation, you have no clue. that goes for bloggers, 20/20, doctors … anyone. Have the intellectual integrety to do an open minded investigation then the honesty to report what you find and not what you wanted to find.”

    So you have been cured of your rheumatoid arthritis? No changes to diet other than taking these Mannatech pills? Since you are asking us to have “intellectual integrity” and have asked us to do an “open minded investigation”, it would be helpful to have the names of your doctors and the “internationally known medical facility” so that your claims can be substantiated.

  15. Dear Familypaladin: Wow what a wonderful return to wellness for you. I find that many people are so ‘confused’ about what is actually happening when you ‘add Vital Missing Nutrients’ BACK into the body. It’s so simple to us now, because we understand it’s ‘the Body’ that can ‘Heals & Repairs itself’ IF given the needed Vital nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

    We had been ‘advertised’ into thinking that ‘drugs’ cure us, BUT we now realize the primary role of a Synthetic Drug is to simply ‘mask the symptoms’! It’s like thinking we have taken care of the problem by taking the battery out of the ‘ringing smoke alarm’ [the ‘symptom’ is no longer ‘noisy’] and going back to ‘sleep’. We need to deal with the FIRE – we need to deal with the ROOT of WHY we are in pain etc!!!

    Drugs INTERFERE with the normal physiology of the body and are TOXIC!!!

    High quality ‘food nutrient supplements’ work WITH the body, giving the body the ‘tools and supplies’ it needs to ‘fix’ – ‘heal & repair’ its –self. The consumer must be sure to get High Quality ‘food’ supplements, because ‘synthetic [man-made] vitamins’ do NOT work the same. Many of the ‘studies’ slamming ‘vitamins’ claiming they harm the body are using ‘Synthetic’ forms of Supplements in their testing. So again this is VERY confusing to the Public. For example ‘Man-made Synthetic vitamin C [ascorbic acid]’ does NOT CURE Scurvy!! But add back into the diet, vine ripened limes and lemons – and the body CAN reverse the Symptoms of Scurvy – IF the Scurvy sufferer has enough TIME for the BODY to recover.

    So a Company who offers ‘Scientifically Validated, Standardized [if it says it has 100g of active ingredient IT DOES have 100g], Stabilized [the ‘active ingredient is STILL active – this is VITALLY important], Efficacious products – should be encouraged – because they really are trying to HELP people with HONEST good MISSING ‘food nutrients’ that are VITAL to Optimal Health.

    One day they will comprehend this paradigm shift in what is HEALTH!

  16. Tracy

    That’s it. Where do I get some sugar pills???? Just kidding. I don’t do cults or phony science.

  17. Purple

    And Tracy, one day they will understand that it’s ok for people with intelligence to question and ask information. To skirt around the issue provokes the thought that I’m not going to have an answer to any of my questions. I’ll just continue to say “NO” to MLM’s.

  18. Phil

    Well Linda, I can just see you floating there, in euphoric bliss, eyelids batting, at having discovered the wonders of Ambrotose…
    I read your thoughts in a Mannatech sales brochure.
    It is so simple to you because that is your nature.
    I am happy for the fellow’s improved health; have you heard of the placebo effect? Perhaps a diet that is very poor in nutrition may actually benefit from the ingestion of simple sugars.
    In all this time that Mannatech has been plugging these products and implicitly counting on their ‘associates’ to hype their benefits beyond those permitted by law, or reason,
    why has Mannatech chosen not to perform some proper double blind trials with submission of the experimental results to a peer-reviewed process?
    I suspect that it would be bad for business, and that no amount of evidence, or lack thereof, would change your mind.

  19. April

    My dad also had cancer, grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme and as soon as we found out we started him on Mannatech products, which at the time we new very little about. Becuase of the nature of this cancer, which doubles it’s size every 7-10 days we also chose to treat him with chemo, radiation and surgery. It was a tough decision but I was amazed at the stamina that he showed through it all. After each brain surgery (removal of some of the tumor) he was able to eat solid foods the next day and except for a nasty headache he was talking and joking and teasing the nurses, wanting to go for walks around the hospital and simply shocking the doctors to heck! I firmly believe( mainly by observation and watching all the other cancer patients) that if my dad had not been on mannatech he would have not been as active and quickly recovered as he did. His cancer went into remission and I can honestly tell you that I am a firm supporter of Mannatech. Had it not been for the cemotherapy that he was also taking that caused blood clots in him, he would still be alive today. It was the results of cemo – a blood clot that moved to his heart – that he died on April 26 2006.
    Alot of you posted comments based on your “opinion” and that is fine, it is your opinion, but I have fact behind me and I stand by this product. My husband and I have been taking Mannatech now since my dad got cancer in 2004 and we hardly ever get a cold anymore much less any other sickness and I am around ALOT of people that get sick regularly. So, all I can say is, you can stand strong on your opinion if you want to but remember that roughly 50% of us are going to get cancer and the odds of surviving it are not in your favor ( I am a statistics major so I KNOW the real stats behind the “new” you hear on T.V.). Every individual gets to choose how they want to go out and I choose to be healthy, take mannatech and not get sick….and I must say it is working nicely!!!

  20. ben

    when big pharma does an RCT and it doesnt help with sales, it is conveniently left in the back of a dusty cupboard in the abandoned section of their old nasty smells research facility.
    This is patently obvious with Mannatech. an RCT could be done cheaply, and if it proved their claims would catapault the company to being the worlds richest company. No doubt they have conducted trials, and these are long forgotten, and prove nothing.
    Mannatech is explioting the poor and sick. The financial structure of the company turns every salesperson into an advertiser, as can be seen with the stereotypical saccharin of the fake testimonials littering the web.
    No sensible person would buy this exorbitantly priced product until this wealthy company can do a small RCT to show some benefit. In reality, the government should do a larger RCT on it, and if no benefit is found the company should have all resources siezed, and closed down, with appropriate treatment of the owners.

    As they claim they are being guided by god, they have nothing to fear…

  21. kelly

    I took Mannatach and noticed some unusual side effects almost immediately but assumed it was cleansing my system per my upline consultant. I hate to go into the nasty details but it sounds a bit like what happens to people on a newer weight loss product but I learned to deal with some of this but it never went away. I noticed then that when I stopped taking ambrotose the problems went away almost immediately but everytime I turned around, my upline was pushing me to stay on it longer… and to get others on it. I just couldn’t bring myself to do this.. and it’s not in my nature to force others to do something to profit me. But after taking ambrotose religiously for about 4 months I started getting another type of reaction of some kind; I was on no prescription drugs or any other products. I had horrible hives that left scars because many of the hives got infected with numberous tiny boils – some were bigger – and I had them everywhere; it was painful to walk because I had them you know where too. Some of the spots had between 15 to 30 of these tiny boils… it was unbelievable and unsightly and so painful. I can’t describe to you how painful this condition was since anything touching my skin caused horrific pain and seemed to initiate more sores. My upline recommended I take even more ambrotose and it became so much worse when I did and I was swelling. After about 4 weeks of feeling like I was dying I went to my doctor; I now was hemorraging uncontrollably. The doctor did blood work and my thyroid had gone hywire and she could only scratch her head and told me to stop taking the ambrotose. She gave me a lecture about supplements and how the industry isn’t regulated. When I told my upline what my doctor had said, my high-school-drop-out upline ripped my doctor and everyone else in the medical community to shreds. I was checked for staff infection and stds along with about everything else that could have gone wrong but nothing showed up except the thyroid and my blood pressure was elevated. The doctor put me on progesterone for the heavy hemorraging. Within days after quitting I got some relief and within a week most of the hives and boils were completely gone but I had scars. I just felt tons better and stronger. One hive that was on my nose had to be watched afterwards because it looked unusual and started to look more like a blister. It was unbelievable but my thyroid was still a bit off but after about 3 months it went back to normal along with my blood pressure. After about 6 months the hemorraging had completely stopped and my periods were completely normal again so the progesterone was stopped. After detailing my problems to my upline; she went nuts and said I wasn’t a friend or a Christian if I didn’t start back on ambrotose and half a dozen other products that she felt I should be on. I relinquished and took ambrotose and within days was starting up with hives again and I was hemorraging slightly. I immediately stopped and within a days the hives and swelling were gone completely. After watching the spot on my nose for 8 months my doctor sent me to a dermatologist. They also watched it for a number of months but last month it changed and they did a biopsy and it came back cancerous. I am now waiting to see what they will have to do. I have an appointment with a surgeon. This experience was a nightmare and I feel I need to let others know. The other side effect that was embarrassing to talk about is that I had within 2 – 3 days while on ambrotose was leaking from the anus which was unpleasant and I felt limited in my ability to go out in public (much like some users of the new weight loss product Alli). Each time I stopped taking the ambertose this ugly condition went away almost immediately. My upline said that I must be horribly sick to have this happen and I just needed to take more ambertose and more product (she gave me a GI product along with some others) to get better… I was totally healthy when she talked me into starting up this product and I feel robbed of my good health. I look back and can’t figure out what possessed me to start taking this product but she pushed it so hard saying it would prevent and cure cancer, etc, etc. and help with any premenaposal problems and help with weight loss, etc, etc. and she felt it was God’s calling to get everyone on it and had nothing to do with making money. What shook me up right after I decided that this product was the problem I read in the obituaries that a woman had died and she was the one that my upline had worked so hard to get on mannatach more than a year before when she was diagnosed with cancer. When I mentioned this to my upline she blamed the woman for not being on it before she got cancer. I later learned that she was paying almost $600.00 a month for mannatach products but she still died. My upline has so many health and mental problems I later learned that I’m surprised anyone would want her repping their products. I wanted to be open minded and I believe in healthy living but my experience here was horrific. It’s been over eight months since she hung up on me and blessedly she has dropped me as a “friend.”

    I’d sure like to know what I reacted to… the rice filler or some sugar or the aloe vera abstract… I don’t know. I took an allergy test but nothing other than the usual environmental allergens came up.

  22. Thank you Kelly for going into detail. I hope you are on the road to recovery now. I really feel for you.

    I have not long started on Mannatech products, probably about 4 weeks ago, and I have for the first time in my life, passed a small kindney stone. I was wondering if anyone out there has heard of this as a side effect.

  23. Diane Palma

    The Mannetech saleslady told my sister that it would cure her cancer, but in order for it to work she couldn’t take any drugs. She followed instructions to the letter, putting the stuff under her tongue and waiting for it to dissolve. The saleslady was my sister’s friend, she was duped just as much as sis…..yes, sis died.

  24. Debra, RN

    I cannot believe that this misinformation is still floating around. I have read the various comments. Some have totally represented what Mannatech is about. Mannatech has never touted their product as a cure for anything…and I have been an independent representative since 1996. And if anyone is willing to get the facts, feel free to contact me. At the time of the airing of Angie Rhodes’ story on 20/20 her tumor was gone. Her body did the work. Her surgeon was fine with her giving the glyconutrients a try. My message to Diane (the last posting) is that if a Mannatech representative told her sister that it (Ambrotose) would cure her cancer and not to take any drugs, that independent representative was totally incorrect and inapproriate. She overstepped her bounds and I can assure you that information was never part of our training. We are food and do have some herbal products. All of our labels have the appropriate information regarding consulting ones doctor because some foods and herb can interact with properly prescribed medication. For example, someone on a blood thinner is told to avoid certain foods. It doesn’t mean the food is “bad”, it is just not appropriate for that patient. I could write more, but my time is precious…and this just scratches the surface in correcting the misinformation out there. My message to Ms. Coenan is not to rely on a T.V. show that many times has a negative reputation. If Glycoscience/glycobiology has no positive effects on the human body, I encourage you to purchase a book by the National Research Council that was just released this year titled “Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future”. Before getting to the meat of the book, the preface, acknowledgments and table of contents alone will blow you away and change how you look at these special “sugars”. V/R, Debra

  25. Debra,

    I read the patents and scientific research on Mannatech myself. The truth is, you can get he same benefits by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. It doesn’t even have to be that much of a variety, your body can create all the glyconutrients you need. In fact, it will create them in the right quantities and at the right times. So no need for a sugar pill. The facts are that Mannatech is founded upon the principle that most people: A. Don’t take the time to do research B. Would rather make decisions based upon emotions C. Have blind faith: Don’t understand their religion enough to avoid vipers preying upon them.
    By doing this they have brought shame upon themselves and promise you that this company will not end well.

  26. D. Adams

    Doug, You PROVED that Mannatech is a fraud!! YOU told ME that “in a short time, you will find that you no longer need your diabetic medications because your body will have healed itself”. Ok..lets give it a try. After 14 months, Mannatech did NOTHING except take my money. No changes whatever to my diabetes. You have been brainwashed !!!

  27. Hey Doug…I forgot something. Remember, it was YOU that told me “I DO know more than Doctor’s…I AM smarter than Doctor’s” (That was in December of 2012). Well, that should have been my first clue of mental instability..but without being on Mannatech, how could I have known???? Hey folks..just so you will all know….this “Doug Lynn Bullock” is a piano technician and has never spend a single day of his life in any kind of medical teaching school, and has no degree of any kind in nutritional training. . I know…I worked for him for five and a half years and often witnessed his fraudulent claims before I finally got fed up with his dishonest ways and quit. He seems to want to be able to live a comfortable lifestyle by scamming others so he can reap the benefits of that scam. I am a witness.

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