Summary:

Paragraphs 3 through 5 read "When Steinlein was 16, she went from being a popular straight-A honours student to becoming so depressed she ended up dropping out of school and spending much of her time on suicide watch in Alberta hospitals.

She was diagnosed with "major depressive disorder" at first, and at the age of 18, a psychiatrist diagnosed her as an "indifferentiated schizophrenic."

She was on dozens of medications -- as many as 30 at a time -- including antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety medications, blood pressure and heart medications and eventually medications to deal with the Parkinson's Syndrome she developed as a side effect from all of the drugs she was on. Despite this, her hallucinations and the voices in her head got worse, not better. What's more, the formerly 90-lb. girl ballooned to almost 200 lb. as a result of the medications, though now she's back to a svelte 120 lb.

"I didn't know who I was or where I was most of the time." 

Paragrahs 11 and 12 read "Steinlein started taking the vitamins and minerals that initially heightened her symptoms and side-effects from her pharmaceutical drugs. She decided to stop taking her pharmaceuticals and within days she started feeling better.

"Within a month, I felt totally fine and I've never had a relapse since and it's been five-and-a-half years."

Four paragraphs from the end it states "The normalization of the mentally ill via nutrient supplementation has the potential to be the most significant breakthrough in the field of mental health since the beginning of time," says Dr. Kaplan.



August 20, 2006

Tide turns in power struggle

Alberta court victory big step for embattled depression-fighting supplement

By LICIA CORBELLA, EDITOR

In three days, Gloria Steinlein will celebrate the 5 1/2 year anniversary of "not being crazy."

"Not that I'm counting or anything," she says with a cheery laugh, "but February 23, 2001 -- the day I started taking Empowerplus -- is the day that saved my life -- literally," says the 25-year-old from a central Alberta town who has a thriving foot-care home business during the day and is a bartender by night.

When Steinlein was 16, she went from being a popular straight-A honours student to becoming so depressed she ended up dropping out of school and spending much of her time on suicide watch in Alberta hospitals.

She was diagnosed with "major depressive disorder" at first, and at the age of 18, a psychiatrist diagnosed her as an "indifferentiated schizophrenic."

She was on dozens of medications -- as many as 30 at a time -- including antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety medications, blood pressure and heart medications and eventually medications to deal with the Parkinson's Syndrome she developed as a side effect from all of the drugs she was on. Despite this, her hallucinations and the voices in her head got worse, not better. What's more, the formerly 90-lb. girl ballooned to almost 200 lb. as a result of the medications, though now she's back to a svelte 120 lb.

"I didn't know who I was or where I was most of the time. I didn't recognize my own parents. My mom would come to visit me in hospital and I just thought she was a nice lady."

That went on for four-and-a-half years.

Just before Christmas 2000, Steinlein made a very serious suicide attempt by swallowing several bottles of Thorazine. Upon her release, a former fellow patient from the psychiatric ward at the Red Deer Regional Hospital contacted Steinlein's parents and told them of a vitamin and mineral supplement developed by two southern Alberta men that had rendered him more stable than he'd been in years.

Steinlein's parents, Klaus and Christine, asked their still-suicidal daughter if she would meet with Tony Stephan and David Hardy, the founders of the company Truehope and the product Empowerplus.

"We were all very skeptical," admits Steinlein. "After years of taking every medication out there and progressively getting worse, it's to be expected, I guess."

Steinlein started taking the vitamins and minerals that initially heightened her symptoms and side-effects from her pharmaceutical drugs. She decided to stop taking her pharmaceuticals and within days she started feeling better.

"Within a month, I felt totally fine and I've never had a relapse since and it's been five-and-a-half years."

Steinlein is one of 10,000 people taking Empowerplus with similar remarkable results.

And now a Calgary judge's court ruling has further legitimized Empowerplus.

In a July 28 ruling, Alberta Provincial Court Judge Gerald M. Meagher determined Truehope was not guilty for not having a Drug Identification Number, and in fact, he found the conduct of Health Canada -- which seized the supplement as it crossed into Canada from the U.S. where it is made -- was "vexatious."

He also ruled Stephan and Hardy were entitled to the 'defence of necessity' since expert testimony at the two-week trial showed "if the supplement became unavailable, symptoms associated with depression and bi-polar disorder, which would include aggressive behaviour, assaults, hospitalizations and suicides, would return," wrote Meagher in his ruling.

One of the more interesting expert testimonies at the trial, which took place from March 13-29, came from Dr. Charles W. Popper, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University and a private practitioner in psychiatry with a specialty in child psychiatry and child and adolescent psychopharmacology.

Popper was even more skeptical about the claims of Stephan and Hardy than Steinlein at first. After being invited by two of his colleagues to hear the two men, along with Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, a psychologist from the University of Calgary, who was undergoing clinical trials, Popper reluctantly went.

"But as I listened to them, they made some claims about this treatment that struck me as pretty obviously ridiculous," Dr. Popper testified under questioning by Truehope's defence lawyer, Shawn Buckley.

Claims like 80% of all mentally ill people who try Empowerplus improve "significantly" had Popper leave the meeting one hour earlier than planned. Before he left, however, Hardy forced a bottle of the capsules on the skeptical doctor, who then hid the bottle in his coat and then behind books in his office.

Shortly afterward, as a favour to a colleague, Dr. Popper agreed to see a severely ill 10-year-old boy -- the son of another psychiatrist and social worker -- who was having four-hour tantrums every day for the past four months.

After they essentially pleaded with him to do something for their son between their next assessment, Popper shrugged, told them of the supplement and made no promises.

After four days, the father called saying " 'the tantrums are gone, not better, not a lot better, gone. And that the kid wasn't even irritable,' " testified Dr. Popper.

Dr. Popper now has about 150 patients on Empowerplus and they are so stable, he has been able, for the first time in 20 years, to see new patients.

Another 300 to 500 of other physicians' patients who consulted with him are also doing well on the supplement.

Meanwhile, after being shut down by Health Canada, Dr. Kaplan has resumed her clinical trials into the product at the U of C.

"The normalization of the mentally ill via nutrient supplementation has the potential to be the most significant breakthrough in the field of mental health since the beginning of time," says Dr. Kaplan.

As for Steinlein, she thinks Stephan and Hardy should win the Nobel Prize for Medicine for what they have done.

"Without (Empowerplus) I wouldn't be here, guaranteed," says Steinlein.

"I wouldn't have made it past that year, I know that for a fact. I would have killed myself or the medications would have done it for me. Empowerplus is a miracle."