Enzyte is a controversial herbal nutritional supplement manufactured by Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals of Cincinnati, Ohio. The manufacturer claims Enzyte promotes "natural male enhancement", which is a euphemism for penile enlargement, increased duration and firmness of erection and increased sexual stamina; however, its effectiveness has been called into doubt and the claims of the manufacturer have been under scrutiny from various state and federal organizations, and with the founder and CEO, Steve Warshak, and his mother Harriett Warshak being found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

Enzyte is widely advertised on US television as "the once daily tablet for natural male enhancement". The commercials feature a character known as "Smilin' Bob", who always wears a smile that is implied to be caused by the enhancing effects of Enzyte; these advertisements feature double entendres and are deliberately designed to be somewhat campy.

Alleged ingredients

Despite being a compound of herbs, minerals, and vitamins, Enzyte formerly promoted itself under a fake scientific name of Suffragium asotas. While Enzyte's manufacturer claims this phrase translates as "better sex," this is incorrect; suffragium in Latin means vote, and asotas is not a Latin word at all. Harvard teaching fellow Rhett Martin says that the phrase might be an error for suffragor asotis, meaning "refuge for the dissipated."

Enzyte is said to contain:

Most of the above ingredients are commonly available as over the counter herbal or dietary supplements, and most have anecdotal or scientific evidence of efficacy on various systems in the human body. One notable ingredient, Yohimbe, was included in the original formulation of Enzyte, which was produced until at least 2004. However, as Yohimbe's legal status in Canada is unclear, Enzyte produced after 2004 no longer contains Yohimbe extract.

Enzyte's effectiveness

Currently, the effectiveness of Enzyte is in dispute. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has urged the Federal Trade Commission (which has power under federal law to regulate advertising) to disallow further television advertising for Enzyte, because of a lack of proper clinical trials. They have settled with the Attorneys General of various states and have altered their advertising in a more truthful fashion. Substantiation for the brand is on file for each claim. The company now offers a 60 day return policy on unopened products.

Enzyte originally advertised that use of the Enzyte product would promote permanent physical penile growth, or the company would return purchasers double their cost. Those who attempted to collect this refund claim they either received a partial refund or were duped into signing away the right to a refund. Enzyte advertising was changed to state that the product is intended to create a firmer erection by temporarily increasing blood flow to the penis. The advertising change was made after lawsuits against the company and its rebate policies began to surface. No evidence exists that proves Enzyte to be effective in any of its claims. The product advertising states in small print that it "is not intended or promoted to diagnose, or treat any disease" and since ED (Erectile dysfunction) is a recognized disease, the advertising is considered legal.

A current civil lawsuit alleges Enzyte does not work as advertised. Despite manufacturer claims that Enzyte will increase penis size, girth, firmness, and improve sexual performance, there exists no scientific evidence that Enzyte is capable of these claims. In fact, Enzyte has never been scientifically tested by the FDA, or other independent third party. Accordingly, Enzyte is required by current US law to be marketed as an herbal supplement, and may not legally be called a drug. In keeping with FTC rulings, Enzyte is not allowed to claim these benefits in its advertising. However, as of April 2008, TV commercials for the product still use the phrase "natural male enhancement."

Federal indictment and conviction

On September 21, 2006, Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, its owner and president, Steven Warshak, and five other individuals were indicted by the United States, Southern District of Ohio, U.S. Attorney Greg Lockhart, on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and mail, wire and bank fraud. The indictment alleged that the company defrauded consumers and banks of US$100 million. The United States Food and Drug Administration, Internal Revenue Service, postal inspectors and other agencies participated in the investigation. The federal fraud trial began on January 8, 2008.

In testimony during the trial, a former executive with Berkeley testified that the enhancements that the company claimed were given by use of Enzyte were fabricated, and the company defrauded customers by continuing to charge them for additional shipments of the supplement. He further testified that company employees were instructed to make it as difficult as possible for unhappy customers to receive refunds.

On February 22, 2008, Steven Warshak was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, and could face more than twenty years in federal prison.Chillicothe Gazette - www.chillicothegazette.com - Chillicothe, OH

See also

External links

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This article is based on "Enzyte" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Enzyte&action=history