Homemark Milex Jump Start Juicer – ARB ruling

Posted 10 May 2022

This product claims in a Carte Blanche advert that it would allow users to “Lose the weight you’ve always wanted to lose, in only seven short days, without ever stepping foot in a gym …” It adds that this “… Jump Start seven-day programme is super-fast weight loss to flush out stored toxins, and once you remove these toxins the fat is released from your body in a quick, yet safe manner”. It also features the following “Before” and “After” photos of people purported to have lost weight using this programme.

The Complainant submitted that there is insufficient evidence to support reliance on juice- based diets, that research from trusted sources have linked liquid diets to an increased risk of eating disorders and health complications, and that people should only undertake liquid based diets under close medical supervision.

The Complainant added that there was no evidence … Read the rest

Wondernut: ARB Ruling

Posted 28 March 2022

A consumer laid a complaint with the Advertising Regulatory Board against the claims being made for Wondernut arguing that there is no robust evidence to support the claims being made for this product.

The product claims, inter alia:

  • May Lose centimetres
  • May Improve Muscle tone, May Increase weight loss and detoxifies your system.
  • May Maintains Energy levels
  • May Enhances skin – Making it soft and shiny May increase your skin elasticity
  • Transform food into energy instead of fat

After a thorough consideration, the ARB agreed and ruled against the claims being made for this product.


Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: Wondernut (Pty) Ltd
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1936 – Wondernut – Steinman
Outcome: Upheld

Date: 28 March 2022

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider claims made by the Advertiser for its “Wondernut Capsule” … Read the rest

OptiWay Food Intolerance Test – ARB Ruling

Posted 28 March 2022

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board was called upon to consider a complaint against claims made on the Advertiser’s website and heard during a radio commercial.

The Complainant submitted that there is insufficient evidence to show that this test, which is “… essentially an IgG type test          ” can deliver on its claimed efficacy, that is, can detect foods which result in “food intolerance”.

The ARB  concluded that in light of the adverse finding, the Advertiser is requested to withdraw this claim with immediate effect and within the deadlines stipulated in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide.


Complainant: Dr Harris Steinman
Advertiser: OptiWay
Consumer/Competitor: Consumer
File reference: 1926 – OptiWay Foods – Steinman
Outcome: Upheld

Date: 28 March 2022

The Directorate of the Advertising Regulatory Board has been called upon to consider a complaint against claims made on … Read the rest

Bioresonance: a new (and most underwhelming) study

Posted 27 March 2022

From the blog of Prof Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd, and a previous Professor of Complementary Medicine.

Bioresonance is an alternative therapeutic and diagnostic method employing a device developed in Germany by Scientology member Franz Morell in 1977. The bioresonance machine was further developed and marketed by Morell’s son-in-law Erich Rasche and is also known as ‘MORA’ therapy (MOrell + RAsche). Bioresonance is based on the notion that one can diagnose and treat illness with electromagnetic waves and that, via resonance, such waves can influence disease on a cellular level.

On this blog, we have discussed the idiocy bioresonance several times (for instance, here and here). My favorite study of bioresonance is the one where German investigators showed that the device cannot even differentiate between living and non-living materials. Despite the lack of plausibility and proof

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There’s a sucker born every minute – particularly in the realm of so-called alternative medicine

Posted 23 March 2022

An post from the blog of Prof Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd, and a previous Professor of Complementary Medicine.

“There’s a sucker born every minute”. This phrase was allegedly coined by P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid-19th century pictured below. It describes the tendency of the gullible of us to believe all too readily and therefore to be easily deceived.

Gullibility can be described as a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into a course of action for which there is no plausible evidence. To express it positively, gullible people are naively trusting and thus fall for nonsensical propositions. This renders them easy prey for exploiters.

On this blog, we see our fair share of this phenomenon, e.g.:

  • people who are easily persuaded by anecdotes,
Read the rest

Keto Diet Pill Scams

Posted 22 March 2022

Spotting a keto diet pill scam is not hard if you know what to look for.

If you’ve ever wondered if that keto diet pill you saw advertised on social media was actually endorsed by the judges on “Shark Tank,” the answer is no – no such product has ever appeared on the pitch show.

Deceptive weight-loss claims. On the order page, the marketers of Trim Life Keto claim that their product helps users lose up to 5 pounds in the first week and up to 20 pounds in the first month “without diet or exercise.” According to the FTC, claims that a product “causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise” are automatic red flags. Not to mention, on the previous page, see above, the scammers claim their supplement enables users to lose Read the rest

Unsubstantiated collagen supplementation claims spotlighted

Posted 11 March 2022

Collagen, a component of skin, hair, nails, joints, bones, tendons, and cartilage, is marketed by major retailers as a dietary supplement product for health and beauty. Noting that there are over 8.5 million posts with the hashtag “collagen” on Instagram alone and Google searches for collagen supplements have increased rapidly since 2015, researchers: (a) watched and analyzed the first 100 YouTube videos resulting from a search of “collagen,” (b) analyzed the top 50 Instagram photographs with the hashtag “collagen,” (c) reviewed the scientific literature regarding skin, nail, and hair effects of collagen, and (d) reviewed websites of popular collagen brands for claims related to skin, nail, and hair.
Reference: Rustad AM. Myths and media in oral collagen supplementation for the skin, nails, and hair: A review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 21:438-443, 2022

Their findings included:

  • Over 75% of YouTube videos and Instagram posts recommended collagen
Read the rest

“Detox” tea buyers to receive refunds

Posted 02 March 2022

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending checks totaling more than $930,000 to more than 20,000 consumers who bought deceptively marketed Teami teas. The FTC sued Teami, LLC and its owners in March 2020, alleging that the company made bogus health claims and paid for endorsements from well-known social media influencers who did not adequately disclose that they were being paid to promote the products.

The company claimed without reliable scientific evidence that the Teami 30-Day Detox Pack would help consumers lose weight, and that its other teas would fight cancer, clear clogged arteries, decrease migraines, treat and prevent flus, and treat colds.
Reference: FTC returns more than $930,000 to consumers who bought Teami’s deceptively advertised teas. FTC press release, Feb 22, 2022

In March 2020, the FTC also sent letters warning the ten influencers of the need to make proper disclosures.

Source: Consumer … Read the rest

Intravenous Nutrient Drips: An Expensive Solution to A Nonexistent Problem

Posted 02 March 2022

Nick Tiller
February 21, 2022

Skeptical Enquirer

On the ground floor of a shopping mall in southern California, nestled between a kiosk selling hot pretzels and another selling mobile phones, customers relax in carefully arranged leather sofas while drip bags containing clear liquids drain slowly through veins in their forearms.

These “treatments,” which cost between $200 and $500, are increasingly popular, with similar kiosks and pop-up stores found along high streets and strip malls in the United States and Europe. Even at the exhibition for the Los Angeles Marathon, where runners flock in tens-of-thousands each year to collect their race credentials, runners were waiting up to forty-five minutes to receive a Fitness Drip or an Energy Drip, convinced the infusion would improve their chances of an elusive personal record.

For every ailment, there’s a nutrient drip.

What Are Nutrient Infusions and How Do They Work?

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Comprehensive resource on dietary supplements updated

Posted 23 February 2022

Thomas J. Wheeler, PhD, a retired associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has updated the Dietary Supplements section of “A Scientific Look at Alternative Medicine.” Part 1 addresses general aspects including an overview, regulation and labeling, adverse effects, scientific critique, conventional nutrition, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and reviews and major trials of multiple supplements. Part 2 discusses 175 individual products, arranged in alphabetical order, that are marketed as supplements. The original compendium was part of a handout for an elective course that taught medical students to carefully consider the evidence regarding claims for “alternative” products and services.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #22-08, February 20, 2022

Read the rest