A review of X-Ori advertising for the treatment of psoriasis.

Grade F

X-Ori comprises a small line of products manufactured by Scandinavian Natural Health & Beauty Products, Inc.. They make a cream, a shampoo, and some capsules. Their web sites begin badly, claiming that “Until now, there has been no recognized effective means to deal with persistent itching, scaling, and flaking that accompany these [inflammatory skin conditions].” As any dermatologist can tell you, many of the recognized treatments are quite effective.

The sites go on to claim that “scientific literature” shows that essential fatty acid metabolism “plays a crucial role in both the cause and the treatment” of the symptoms. This is not completely true. Nor is their claim that EPA will “almost completely eliminate” them. Fact is, while EPA can help, there is no scientific evidence that it is the wonder that Scandinavian Naturals makes it out to be.

We then get to see lists of ingredients. After making a big deal about EPA, it turns out the only product which has any EPA in it are the capsules. The cream and shampoo don’t havea single drop of the stuff (not that there’s any evidence it would be absorbed through the skin, anyway).

The ingredients lists for the cream and shampoo appear to be “shotgun” treatments for inflammatory skin diseases. Between the two of them, allantoin and juniper tar have been specifically banned bythe FDA for use in products for dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis due to a lack proof of efficacy (this doesn’t mean that these ingredients aren’t useful, only that little or no solid evidence has been presented to the FDA).

Note that regardless of the name, all the Scandinavian Naturals sites show a Pennsylvania address, so the company does probably fall under the FDA’s jurisdiction.

Both products also contain Dead Sea salts, which may or may not have an effect, propolis, which can cause atopic dermatitis or other allergic reactions, and a boatload of other ingredients which may or may not be useful or allergenic (again, regardless of the company name, there are several ingredients which sound distinctly unnatural).

They list no ingredients as “active,” which may be a way of circumventing U.S. law as it pertains to advertising medications. They also do not mention any specific “inflammatory skin condition,” probably for the same reason. By not doing either, they are, in effect, making no claims that any of this stuff can treat any specific disease, and so they can’t be taken to court for making unsubstantiated advertising claims.

The capsules are where the EPA comes into play. They claim “high amounts” of EPA and DHA in each capsule, but never specifically say how much. At least one study on EPA claims that to raise the serum concentrations of EPA by a factor of 3, it takes 6 grams of dietary EPA each and every day. If the capsules are small (and a 6-gram capsule would be pretty big), then customers might find it prohibitively expensive to use these products to find what’s been described as a “modest” amount of help. Eating “oily” fish might be a better alternative.

Note also that on the order pages, the customer is required to call the company for pricing on X-Ori products. Other resellers of X-Ori on the Web post prices. I think it’s quite odd that the manufacturer itself does not.

March 31, 2002, Update: All of the below pages are down — Scandinavian Naturals apparently no longer sells X-Ori.


Scandinavian Naturals has many URLs, some named after their products, all with apparently duplicate pages:

scandinaviannaturals.comBroken Link

biotonin.comBroken Link

exsativa.comBroken Link

nozovent.comBroken Link

soydiet.comBroken Link

xerostomia.comBroken Link

alkyrol.comBroken Link

naturalresources.comBroken Link

The company used to have some other sites (the URLs are all unreachable now), in which they actually mentioned psoriasis by name, and also had a page full of articles written about the wonders of X-Ori products. I cannot find this information anywhere, anymore.

Gaines NutritionBroken Linkis a reseller of Scandinavian Naturals products. Gaines actually resells products from many companies, and they distinguish between those companies that they consider to be “professional quality” brands and those they don’t. They do not consider Scandinavian Naturals to be “professional quality.”

Other resellers:

Yahoo’s MotherNature.com sells the capsulesBroken Linkand creamBroken Link

InternationalHerbsBroken Linksells all three (which is surprising, since X-Ori uses few — if any — herbs)

VitaminCity.comBroken Linksells all three

This oneBroken Linkis in Swedish, I think, but I’m not even sure it has anything to do with this product.

See also Bonel bvba.