It pains me to write this because I’m a Carey Price fan. He has delighted us with spectacular saves on too many occasions to count. But now he seems to be teetering on the brim of the pit of pseudoscience. Newspaper articles report that Carey believes he has been suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (possibly explaining his sub-par performance this year), however, he is on the mend thanks to vitamin B12 and D supplements.
Chronic fatigue is a controversial diagnosis even when arrived at by a physician. In this case, though, it seems the diagnosis was made not by a physician but by a “personal trainer” recommended by Carey’s wife. Apparently it was based on a blood test that showed low levels of vitamins B12 and D. That is not the criterion for diagnosing chronic fatigue, but that is not the issue. The issue is relying on advice from someone who has no relevant education. Certainly none is mentioned in the bio on the trainer’s website. But he does have certification in “Anti-Aging and Hormone Therapy” from the World Society of Antiaging Medicine. Frightening. He is also experienced in Soma-Training which is described as “an advanced system of exercises you work segmentally to improve globally the way we stand and move.”
Of course we don’t know what supplements this trainer, who also describes himself as a naturopath, recommended to Carey but he does push a line of supplements made by Metagenics, a company that is “dedicated to celebrating and harnessing the uniqueness of the individual,” whatever that means. How? By achieving “genetic potential through nutrition.” Not a word of explanation as to how this is to be done.
Metagenics has had several run-ins with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. for making claims that had no supporting evidence, resulting in cease and desist letters. That is why the only claims made on the company’s website now are weasel claims like “helping your genes express health.” Even these are qualified with the disclaimer that “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” One might logically then ask, so what are these products intended to do? A cynic might answer that they are intended to increase the profits of whoever markets them.
Unfortunately, Carey Price has been to the brink of before; a few years ago for a short time he was spokesperson for a nonsensical homeopathic “remedy.” Of course endorsements from athletes should not be taken seriously, their expertise is limited to the rink, field or court. It is possible that Carey really had a deficiency in vitamins although that is hard to imagine with the diet that athletes have. And if he feels better by taking supplements, great. Whatever it takes. Although I think the real remedy would be a better team in front of him. I just hope he doesn’t get into “cupping,” a load of bunkum Mrs. Price apparently favours.
Shouldn’t the Canadiens look into why their star goalie with an $80 million contract is putting faith in a two-bit self proclaimed “nutritionist?”