Last week, British personal trainer Russell Bateman launched a new daily multivitamin known as Lyma, which will be available for international shipping next week. The founder of Skinny Bitch Collective, an invite-only workout club known for its controversial name and unconventional, "cave-girl sorority" exercises — like one in which you gallop around with a sweaty classmate on your back — Bateman spent nearly two years developing the supplement to meet the needs of his A-list clientele, which include Victoria's Secret Angels such Romee Strijd.
While internal research on the formula's effectiveness is still underway, Lyma is already being billed by the media as a "supermodel supplement." The pills contain ingredients sold individually such as KSM-66 Ashwagandha, Wellmune, Cognizin, Lycorded Lycopene, Cynatine HNS, Hydrocurc, K2Vital, and Vitamin D3, all packaged in a slick copper-colored tablet that makes your go-to gummy vitamins seem comparatively lame.
"Lyma is a lifestyle brand," Bateman says, noting the official demographic includes adult men and women who aren't pregnant or nursing. "We have branded our capsules to enhance the experience."
Although the product's website stops short of promising customers a cameo in the next VS show, it makes some bold promises regarding the supplement's benefits: Pop four pills a day at any time of day, and it claims you'll experience less anxiety, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, less trouble sleeping, and less fatigue, plus more brain energy and antibodies, shorter colds, smoother skin, and stronger hair and nails.
The thing is, the only proof published in peer-reviewed journals such as, according to the supplement company's press release, involves studies on Lyma's individual ingredients — not the sum of its parts or how they interact with each other. "Due to the fact we use patented ingredients in the same dosage levels as previous published clinical studies, we are able to use those results," Bateman says of evidence Lyma works, adding that the company will be releasing the results of their study on the actual supplement in about four weeks.
Still, registered dietitian Keith West, Dr.P.H., professor and director of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Human Nutrition, doesn't buy it — and wouldn't, considering an OTC one-month supply costs about $277, with discounts for ongoing subscriptions. Plus, it takes 90 days for all of the results to kick in, according to a press release Bateman provided.
Although he hasn't sampled or studied Lyma supplements, a careful review of the product's website leaves West concerned. "There is not nearly enough statistical 'power' to specify the health improvement rates that are claimed," he says, speaking to the clinical studies with fewer than 100 subjects, which are vaguely mentioned on Lyma's website without proper academic citations. (In the company's press release, more details are provided, although a majority of the studies still involve fewer than 100 people.)
While West isn't saying the supplements don't work or are unsafe, he'd need to see a statistically significant clinical trial with an ample number of subjects, a control group, placebos, and transparency in testing conditions to stand behind the pills.
Lyma's press release claims none of the product's ingredients can be found in sufficient quantity through a daily diet. But West upholds the best way to improve your health is to eat a varied diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and associated oils, whole grains, and probiotics, and a modest amount of poultry and fish. He also recommends drastically lowering your intake of sugary beverages, sweets, and foods that are fried or heavily processed. With sufficient sleep, a modest but regular exercise routine, minimal stress, ample time off for self-care, and access to green space, you can live your best life and "spend the $200 per month fee on things that are important," he says — no supermodel special sauce required.
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