Créche Guard Immune Multivitamin Syrup

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Posted 11 May 2010

Should one believe every product popping up in stores or on websites, or based on popularity of consumer surveys? 

The first question should be: “how reputable is the consumer survey?”

A second question could be, “do I trust this company?” (In this instance, Creche Guard is brought to you by Kenza Health, a company that also brought you Biobust claiming that taking these pills would result in one’s breasts enlarging! Yes, really!

Prof Roy Jobson, a professor of pharmacology at Rhodes University, deconstructed this product on the Mail & Guardian ThoughtLeader website. And what did he think?

(Not) the product of the year
Roy Jobson

http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/royjobson/2010/05/09/not-the-product-of-the-year/

Advertisements proudly carrying the “Product of the Year 2010″ logo are beginning to pop up with annoying frequency. I chanced on one such product which, according to the proud winner, was voted product of the year in the supplements category. The Product of the Year website has not listed the 2010 winners — but it is worth noting that in 2009 there was no winner in the supplements category. Is it possible that this year was the first year in which this category was included and is it possible that there was only one entrant?

The Product of the Year is awarded to the marketers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) that choose to enter the competition every year. Finalists are chosen by a jury and then consumers vote for the winners through a Nielsen-conducted market survey. It is meant to apply to goods launched in the previous eighteen months and which show innovation, including but not limited to, marketing, design, packaging and function.

There is no fee to enter but if chosen as a finalist, you’ll pay R35 000 for the honour. If you’re voted a winner in a category you’re liable for an additional R150 000 and the right to display the product of the year logo.

Rule 3.5 of the rules of the competition clearly states: “[Y]ou warrant that any information provided by You (sic) as part of or in support of your application is sustainable for use in advertising in South Africa, is true, accurate and complete in all respects and is in no way misleading or deceptive. You will upon request provide evidence to verify any claims made in such information.” (Emphasis added)

The following claims are made on the product’s website and I have given my own assessment of each claim alongside.

 

Claims for Créche Guard Immune Multivitamin SyrupAssessment
… formulated with a combination of herbs, tinctures, vitamins and minerals that are essential for your child’s good health.Misleading. There is no evidence that any herbs or tinctures are essential for good health, whether in children or adults. Certain vitamins and minerals are classified as “essential”.
… uniquely formulated to

  • boost a child’s immune systems,
  • help fight infections,
  • promote healing,
  • build strong teeth and healthy bones &
  • prevent bruising.
Misleading. Each of these claims classifies this product as a medicine and not a “supplement”. This product is possibly even being sold illegally in terms of the Medicines Act.
… contains Grape Seed, Olive Leaf, Goldenseal and Astragalus tinctures which

  • assist the body to protect against viral and bacterial infections; especially of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.
Misleading. The evidence that these tinctures in combination and in the concentrations in this product have these effects in protecting against respiratory, digestive and urinary tract infections, needs to be provided. This would require doing a clinical trial and not just relying on “reports” or the effects of individual ingredients. This claim again classifies the product as a fixed dose combination medicine and not a supplement.
  • Boosts immunity
As above. Misleading. The product is a medicine. Scientific substantiation is needed.
  • Prevents bruising & promotes healing
Misleading or false. The product is a medicine. Scientific substantiation is needed.
  • Builds strong bones and healthy teeth
Misleading or false. The product is a medicine. Scientific substantiation is needed.
  • Alleviates fatigue
Misleading or false. The product is a medicine. Scientific substantiation is needed.
  • Antioxidant
Misleading or false. Scientific substantiation is needed. (It is clear from the layout of the webpage that the antioxidant claim is included for a therapeutic reason and not as a preservative.)
  • Antiparasitic (worms)
Misleading, false or even dangerous. This classifies the product as an anthelminthic in terms of Regulation 25 of the Medicines Act. Scientific substantiation is needed from clinical trials.

Under the FAQ page of the product http://www.crecheguard.co.za/faq it is stated that the product can be taken by babies from four months of age. Great care should be taken in giving unregistered medicines to babies as no independent regulator has checked the safety for babies.

It seems that not only are the public being misled by the claims made for this product but that the organisers of the Product of the Year were misled into accepting the product as a “supplement” rather than a medicine. The Medicines Act and its regulations do not even define supplements. The Foodstuffs Act does not allow “supplements” to make therapeutic or medicinal claims.

It would be interesting to see what decision the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) would make if a complaint was lodged. Unfortunately, because the ASA is skewed in favour of the advertiser — it is after all an industry-created body — the complaint may well be dismissed. The manufacturer (details on the website) would know full well that all it needs to do is find an unethical pharmacist or doctor to favourably present any “evidence” it may have on record for the product. If the ASA accepts that expert’s credentials, any report will invariably be accepted. The South African ASA, unlike the UK ASA, does not independently consult medical or scientific experts even though the SA Code of Advertising Practice allows for this.

But just imagine if the advertising for a “Product of the Year” was to be found out of order by the ASA …

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11 Responses to Créche Guard Immune Multivitamin Syrup

  1. moliehi 20 January, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    i bought creche guard immune multivitamin syrup but i dont know how to take a medication

  2. Tebogo Matsafu 12 April, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I bought creche guard for my 4 year old daugter  a month ago and I have a peace of mind as she is stronger and is not constantly sick as she was before.

  3. Smanye 19 July, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I am using a creche guard for my 3 years old son,He is Strong, Fit And he is not sick as he was before.Can u plz assist me, at which stage do i stop using it?

  4. Harris 19 July, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    You should be able to stop this when ever you want to.

  5. philisiwe mkhonde 17 August, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    my name is Philisiwe my aunt told about Creche Guard but are never use it. my son he 22 month i want to no is good for him because he’ s alway sick because he is staying at Creche.

  6. Shane Pillay 2 October, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I`m confused!!! Does this product have mutlivitamins? Even if it doesn`t make my 2 year old son stronger, will the ingredients of the product be healthy for him??? Please help

  7. Lizel 9 July, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Ek moet sê die produk werk weklik. Ek sien ‘n verskil by my kinders se gesondheid wanneer ek die produk gebruik. Hulle word ook gouer gesond as ons dit gebruik. Daar was ‘n tyd toe ek die produk glad nie kon kry nie en ander produkte het net nie dieselfde positiewe uitwerking gehad nie. Ek gebruik Cresch Guard nou al vir 2 jaar lank en sal nie sommer oorgaan na ‘n ander produk nie.

  8. zandile 7 March, 2015 at 8:20 am #

    hai i jst wanna know if the creche guid iz for seven month child coz shz alwayz sick.

    • Harris 7 March, 2015 at 8:33 am #

      @Zandile
      There is no proof that Creche Guard will be of use. However, if your child is always sick, it is important to have him or her checked out – it may be a normal amount of illnesses for a child growing up, and if not, then the doctor must check the child’s immunity levels

  9. Lerato 11 July, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    A family friend recommended CRECHE GUARD because my 16month old baby wouldn’t eat at all, she has never had solids, and whenever i try giving her some, she would spit them out. I give her fomula milk and sometimes mix in the cereal in her bottle. I bought the syrup and had already given her 6 times (5ml every morning).HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO NOTICE THE CHANGE IN HER APPETITE?

    • Harris 12 July, 2015 at 8:48 am #

      @Lerato
      There is no proof that this product will stimulate appetite. Also, there are many causes for a lack of appetite and so if your child looks to not be growing correctly, or not well, a health professional needs to check her out. Sometimes children are eating enough but the parents have unrealistic expectations. So is she eating enough for her, but not according to you? Or is she not eating well at all?

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