Roo Ninja - the overview
I started Roo Ninja because I was looking for some supplements to deal with some health issues I was trying to deal with. But the more I read the reviews about "best prostate supplements," or "best HGH releasers," or "the best [fill in the blank]," the more frustrating it became.
All too often, the sites that would come up on page one of a google search for products I was wanting to investigate sounded very much the same: here is a list of these 10 products. This is the best one if you're over 40, this is better if you're under 40, this one is the easiest to take, this one is all-natural," etc, etc...
This, for instance, is what often comes up when searching for something like "Best Prostate Supplements." Have you ever come across a review page that looks like this?
It is a list of "choices" that shouldn't even have to be made. But it makes you feel better because you're "choosing" the best one based on what you perceive is your biggest concern.
I was tired of phony choices that made supposed distinctions between the different products without any explanation why one was better for this or that.
And realistically, the "best prostate dietary supplement?" What is that? They're ALL dietary supplements. "Best natural supplement?" They're ALL natural supplements. "Best urinary support" vs "best prostate function?" What do these distinctions even mean? Especially when they don't describe them or what the differences are supposed to mean.
It's making distinctions without any real difference. And it preys upon people's ignorance.
Many review sites are set up to create the impression you are making an informed choice. But they don't give you any solid information about WHY you should choose one over the other.
I do this differently. I start by assuming you're not stupid.
The objective for this site is to create a resource for the consumer to be able to make truly informed decisions about some of the products available on the market today. Some of my product reviews will have sponsored links, too.
This means that if you read a review and find my information particularly helpful in choosing that product, then if you click on a link to that product, I do receive a small "finder's fee" from that product manufacturer for directing you to their site.
I will also post articles from time to time about items currently in the news. I know my opinions are sometimes controversial. But I'm often in the minority view on some of these things, so I have to do my research well before posting opinions.
I take a research-based approach to the product reviews on the site. I look at things like:
- ingredient safety
- feedback from customers and comments in public forums about the products
- the scientific and/or study-based evidence for the choice of these ingredients
- how well you get what you pay for
- consideration for the company making the product and their overall approach to quality for the dollar
I thought about using a number score of some sort, but that is quite difficult to do with any consistency. I've found it is more helpful to give products comparative rankings for any pair or group of products I am reviewing.
Regarding Safety of Ingredients
Consideration is given to the quantities of various ingredients in a formula.
It is important to realize that individual products are are made up of various combinations of ingredients that may well be contained in other supplements. For this reason, if there is a concern about "overloading" on certain ingredients, it will be noted.
There are various guidelines for how much is the "optimal" or "recommended daily allowance." The FDA lists quantities of various ingredients such as vitamins and minerals. But it is also noteworthy that some other medical fields (such as naturopathic practitioners) will sometimes have very different ideas about how much is overlaoding or how much is optimal.
Allergies: when found, we make note of ingredients which might trigger some sensitivities in certain people.
A note about "proprietary blends."
Some manufacturers list collections of ingredients and show the quantities of various ingredients as part of the total quantity of a "proprietary blend." That makes it hard to know exactly how much of each is in the product. So it's something to keep in mind.
We also try whenever possible to make note of products that might be good for some portion of the population but harmful to others. For instance, some products might be targeted to men, but may be harmful to pregnant women. Some may be safe for both, but still more optimized for a certain portion of the population.
There are always considerations for people with certain health issues (for example, diabetes) and so the consumer should be aware of their own conditions and things to watch out for. Whenever possible, we make note of considerations as we become aware of them. For instance, there are some supplements that might spike sugar levels through the night and so diabetics should know this before deciding how to use a product.
Regarding Customer Reviews
There are "reviews" you can find on product websites. But those, by themselves, don't always mean a lot. They can. But the problem is that you can always find some people who love something and some who hate it.
The trick is to try to find feedback from other places, too. When possible, we search independent forums like Reddit and other chat groups to see what opinions are from people with no vested interest in promoting or bashing the product.
But it's also important to see what the company's customer service is like. One company I am particularly fond of offers a 67-day money-back guarantee on their products. And they are quick to refund to unsatisfied customers. As we hear good or bad reviews of customer service from different manufacturers, consideration for the company behind the product becomes part of the overall product review.
The scientific data behind the ingredients
It's always good to get medical opinions on ingredients and what they do for (or to) people. We consult with certified nutritionists whenever necessary or helpful to make sure we cover the whole picture.
Our approach is to defer to the experts. As such, research regarding ingredients in products and what they do is derived primarily from sources oriented around products and product research.
As such, we try to stick to informed opinion from experts in the field of supplement research. Primary sources are things like studies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Mayo Clinic, various medical journals and medical schools.
But we don't just take their word for it. The best science is that which allows for free and spirited debate. As such, scientists expressing minority views on controversial issues (like Covid vaccines) are given a voice here. You don't do well deciding who you're going to believe and who you're going to ignore before you consider the evidence.
Science weighs the opinions of all with sufficient credentials that they have earned the right to be heard. And in the case of confilicting opinions the evidence is considered for what it is and not merely for who presents it.
Some research is better than other research
The NIH is a frequent source for reference material on this site. Even so, there are varying degrees of "quality" of the research presented on the NIH website. Rating the quality of the types of research out there, here is a list of the types of evidence, from "lowest quality" to "highest quality."
- Some of the "studies" are more collections of ideas found in other research papers, with suggestions of more studies that need to be done.
- Better than theory, animal studies have been done with some of these ingredients; implications for human applications are made but not directly studied on humans yet.
- Better yet are studies done on humans: reports are filed on groups of people who have used an ingredient in some test and have found that it is of benefit for the use for which it is studied.
- The good studies are controlled, double-blind studies: people are segrated into groups and some are given the real deal and others a placebo. Neither the researchers nor the participants know until the study is done who got which. The results are analyzed.
- The best studies are the double-blind studies with measurable results. Not only are these studies done in double-blind trials, but the results are measurable. For instance, products designed to help with prostate health not only interview the participants; but things like urine retention are measured with ultrasonic studies to measure and quantify the results.
Value For The Dollar
"Value" is a rather subjective. And if you want or need a product badly enough, you're far more likely to be willing to pay more for it.
Having said that, there are some products that deliver far more value for the money than others.
Some products are crap. They don't do anything they promise to do, no matter how much of it you use. Might be false advertising or just lack of quality. But we make note of these things when they show up.
Some products do deliver what they promise, but there are sometimes other ways to hit the target more cheaply. Sometimes, changes in diet will give you what you need. And whole food sources are always best if you can get them.
Now, there are also good products out there that will do as they promise. But they might not deliver much for your money compared to competition. Some of my comparisons point to these types of situations. In prostate products, I've seen some that do work, but others that do the same for far better value for the money.
There are sometimes products that do what you can't do by getting the stuff in your food or off the shelf at the grocery store. But you have to pay to get what you are after.
The best combination, when we can find it, is the product that delivers superior performance and does it in a way that is good value for the money.
As you can see, it's hard to put a number on these things.
You might find a great product from a company with less than stellar customer service. But if it does what it is supposed to do, you won't need the customer service.
Regarding value, there are all kinds of ways that people measure value. It's rather subjective.
The quality is the easiest of these metrics to zero in on and measure. And it's the one we concentrate on the most, with mention regarding these other items as they become noteworthy.
We just want to offer reviews on products that we believe really do provide value for the reader. Hopefully, we've hit that target. Let us know what you think. Reader feedback is always welcome.