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Evidence for using bioidentical hormones found lacking

Posted 14 July 2020

An ad hoc committee convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support the clinical utility of custom-compounded bioidentical hormone therapy (cBHT). Unlike the dozens of hormone therapy products that have been reviewed for safety and efficacy and are FDA-approved for treating symptoms resulting from natural, age-related hormone changes or other endocrine-based disorders, cBHT preparations are not required to be proven safe or effective before they are dispensed to patients. The NAS committee recommends: (a) restricting the use of cBHT preparations, (b) assessment of their difficulty to compound, and (c) additional education, oversight, and research. An estimated 26 to 33 million prescriptions for cBHT preparations cost upwards of $2 billion annually.

Reference: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Highlights: The clinical utility of compounded bioidentical hormone therapy (cBHT): A review of safety, effectiveness, and useRead the rest

Vitamin D: Is Sunscreen the New Margarine?

Posted 17 January 2019

By Rowan Jacobsen – Published Jan 10, 2019 in OutsideOnline.com

Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests-and quite possibly even racist. How did we get it so wrong?

These are dark days for supplements. Although they are a $30-plus billion market in the United States alone, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil have now flopped in study after study.

If there was one supplement that seemed sure to survive the rigorous tests, it was vitamin D. People with low levels of vitamin D in their blood have significantly higher rates of virtually every disease and disorder you can think of: cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, depression, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and more. The vitamin is required for calcium absorption and is thus essential for bone health, but as evidence mounted that Read the rest

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: Myths Versus Facts

Posted 27 August 2018

Bioidentical hormones has remained controversial for many years.

For example, Solal a manufacturer of these products, claims on their website: “Saliva testing of steroid hormones, which is the truest reflection of your tissue levels of steroid hormones” [1] whereas the recent article (below) from the Medical Journal Australia states In fact, saliva tests are not considered a reliable method for establishing hormone levels”.

1. http://solal.co.za/integrative-medical-centre/

The article continues with: “Overall the scientific studies are positive regarding women with menopausal symptoms taking HRT. The same cannot be said for bioidentical hormones because they have not been widely or appropriately researched”.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: Myths Versus Facts

Medical Journal Australia MJA Issue 33 / 27 August 2018 

Read the rest

Supplements and Safety

Posted 21 January 2016

The New York Times has published an article written by Anahad O’Connor, titled, ‘Supplements and Safety’ Explores What’s in Your Supplements, asking the question: do you know what is in your supplements, and in particular, what is in your fish oil?

[quote]A new documentary, “Supplements and Safety,” pulls back the curtain on some of America’s most popular supplements, and it suggests that many people who buy them may not be getting what they are paying for. The program, airing on the PBS investigative series “Frontline” on Tuesday night, is a collaboration between “Frontline,” The New York Times and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The program examines the widespread use of potent vitamins, herbs, fish oil and fat-burning supplements. Millions of Americans use these products safely every year. But researchers have found that in many cases they can cause unexpected side effects. And because dietary … Read the rest

Health Intelligence Magazine “dead”

Posted 24 December 2015

Health Intelligence Magazine (HI), a publication of Solal, then CAVI Brands, now Ascendis Health – and often mentioned in CamCheck – will no longer be published. See the “farewell” in the picture below.

HealthIntellFarewell2015-12One of the CamCheck postings was by Kevin Charleston, who wrote: “The irony is that the magazine Health Intelligence is itself a disguised marketing programme for Solal Technologies, a company that actively promotes pseudoscience and aggressively attempts to shut out valid criticism of its advertising.” For this, Solal instituted a High Court action in 2012 against Mr Charleston suing him for R350,000, as reported by GroundUp. Solal has not backed away from this action and it remains on the roll of the High Court despite it being clear that the magazine was at that time, a disguised marketing program for Solal.

Health Intelligence which has the subtitle “the science of healthRead the rest

Power Report: Watchdog in chains as advertiser fights back

Posted 17 November 2015

This article, written by Megan Power, appeared in the Sunday Times of 15 November 2015. [Permission to republish it was kindly granted by the Sunday Times.]

The article highlights the legal actions of Antagolin (MNI), Herbex, Solal and USN, against the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), as well as against Dr Harris Steinman. Megan Power makes the accurate point: “There’s a quiet war being waged against South Africa’s advertising watchdog“. All these companies have had ASA rulings against claims for their products. See also the previous article about this.

Homemark has in the meantime persuaded the ASA to suspend all processes and procedures regarding complaints against Homemark, until the MNI appeal, or the actual court case is concluded, depending which happens first. All these companies are being represented by Saul Shoot of Fluxmans.

Watchdog in chains as advertiser fights back Court ruling against advertising authority Read the rest

D-day for complementary weight loss medicines?

On 15 November 2013 the Minister of Health finally published Regulations to the Medicines Act (Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act 101 of 1965), not for comment, but for implementation. They defined complementary medicines for the first time in South Africa. In addition the Regulations incrementally “called up” various complementary medicines over the following six years.

If a product that has been called up, and has not been registered, or an application for registration has not been received by the MCC, then according to the Medicines Act (Section 14(1)) it may no longer be sold.

The Regulations also created a new category of medicines – category D – which are complementary medicines “subdivided into such disciplines as may be determined by the Council after consultation with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa.”

This left “dietary supplements” out in the cold and the Health Products Association … Read the rest

USN, Herbex, Antagolin, Solal and Vigro (Nativa) go to court to block ASA

Posted 06 October 2015

This article, below, published in Times Live, draws attention to Vigro (a Natura product) trying to prevent arbitration on whether the claims that the product can regrow hair was supported by adequate evidence. The ASA ruled against the claims, and following an appeal by Natura, was referred for arbitration to Prof Nonhlanhla Khumalo, head of the Department of Dermatology, University of Cape Town.

The article also highlights USN’s High Court Action against Dr Harris Steinman. USN alleges that Steinman had defamed them. Steinman is defending the action. More than 40 complaints have been laid against USN with the ASA.

Read the rest

Vitamin D not effective for colds and respiratory tract infections

Posted 27 January 2014

Readers will be aware that some while ago, Solal made claims in adverts that Vitamin D is effective for colds/influenza. We pointed out that the claims were false, and the data from the study they used (Japanese schoolgirls), misconstrued.

Two studies published, one at the end of 2013, where Vitamin D/D3 was tested to see if it would work in preventing influenza/colds, found that they did not. Will Solal change their claims? Unlikely, selling Vitamin D and making money is more important.

Read the rest

Complaint to SAPC and HPCSA against Solal directors

Posted 07 January 2014

A formal complaint was laid on 25 June 2012 against the Solal pharmacists, Brent Murphy and David Arthur, and the Solal medical practitioner, Dr Craige Golding. To date (06 January 2014) no result has been received.

Below follows my complaint. Readers can decide whether the complaint has merit or not.

Read the rest