Is alkaline water a miracle cure – or BS?

Posted 01 November 2018

This article from The Guardian addresses the claims of alkaline water, but one could also include those of Vogel Multiforce Alkaline Powder, a product that claims your body is too acidic.

“While people have been touting the benefits of upping your alkaline levels for decades, Fenton says the belief is not supported by any scientific evidence. Fenton, who analyzed studies looking at the association of alkaline water with cancer treatment, notes that while “there are a few very poorly designed studies” that suggest alkaline water confers health benefits, there is no rigorous evidence this is the case.”

“What’s more, Fenton stresses, you simply can’t change the pH of your body by drinking alkaline water. “Your body regulates its [blood] pH in a very narrow range because all our enzymes are designed to work at pH 7.4. If our pH varied too much we wouldn’t survive.””

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Vogel Multiforce Alkaline Powder

Posted 31 August 2018

Vogel Multiforce Alkaline powder claims in adverts to, among other:

  • A multimineral supplement that helps support the body’s pH regulating mechanisms.
  • Proven to increase urinary pH which means there is less acidity in the body
  • Potassium Bicarbonate has blood alkalinising properties and acts on metabolic acidosis
  • Many foods and drinks, especially meat, dairy products, sugar, coffee and alcohol are acid forming. Without adequate alkaline minerals, which are necessary to offset increases in acidity, your body struggles to maintain its internal acid/alkaline levels. 

But does it work?

There have been multiple ASA rulings against the claims for this product.

Yet the company continues to make these false claims.

Scott Gavura has posted an article on detox scams to Science Based Medicine. He summarises beautifully how the pH regulating system of the body functions:

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Vogel’s Multiforce Alkaline Powder – still no proof that it works

Posted 13 September 2012

The ASA previously ruled that this product’s claims made in an advertisement headed “Feeling acidic?” and stating, inter alia, “A body with a constantly raised acidic level can become ill”. It then continues to state, “A. Vogel Multiforce Alkaline Powder contains calcium, magnesium and potassium and includes Vitamin C in its whole form as an antioxidant to help protect the body against the associated damaging effects of oxidative stress caused by a high dietary acid load…”  was not substantiated and in breach of the ASA regulations, and therefore unproven and could not be made. The company supplied new substantiation from Dr Davie van Velden.

However the complainant argued that the substantiation was still insufficient and the claims for the product therefore still unproven. The ASA agreed.

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A Vogel Molkosan – ASA ruling

Posted 22 July 2012

A consumer lodged a consumer complaint against a print advertisement promoting “Molkosan” as “The centuries old ‘whey’ to good health”. The advertisement appeared in the Sunday Times, and contains, inter alia, a testimonial. In essence the complainant submitted that the testimonial is effectively making a “before and after” claim which requires suitable substantiation. In addition, it makes an efficacy claim insofar as weight loss is concerned, and therefore also requires evidence.

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ASA Ruling: Echinaforce

A complainant, lodged a complaint regarding a newsprint advertisement for Echinaforce which appeared in the Sunday Times on 27 February 2011, and also about a similar advertisement for the same product on the website,, which, according to the complainant, repeated and expanded on these claims.

In essence, It was submitted, inter alia, that the website still claims, “Dr Alfred Vogel’s Echinaforce inhibits bird flu (H5N1), swine flu (H1N1), seasonal flu more effective than oseltamivir!” and “In the first round, effective against 97,85% of the viruses”.

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ASA Ruling: A Vogel Prostasan

Consumer complaints were lodged against SA Natural Products’ print advertisement appearing in, inter alia, the Weekend Argus and Sunday Times, as well as an internet advertisement that was published on the website during 2010.

The advertisement promotes the respondent’s Prostasan capsules contains the following claims: “A. Vogel Prostasan may relieve your: Frequent urinating during the day and night Incomplete emptying of the bladder Urinary urgency Pushing and straining while urinating”. It also contains a lengthy discussion on the product and its claimed benefits as well as references to trials done and recommended usage.

In essence, the complainants submitted that the advertisement is misleading as it there is no proof that the respondent’s product can alleviate the symptoms stated in the advertisement. 

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ASA Ruling: A Vogel Neuroforce

Posted  09 Feb 2011

A Vogel Neuroforce makes the claims of being an excellent central nervous system tonic, for among other, when you are depressed, tearful, irritable, and so forth.

Can the company prove that the product works? Of course not! 

Here is the ASA ruling.

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ASA Ruling: Multiforce Alkaline Powder

A consumer lodged a consumer complaint against SA Natural Products’ print advertisement for its Multiforce Alkaline Powder product.

The advertisement states, among other, “Acidity may contribute to, or aggravate the following conditions:  Pain in the body joints; Inflammatory conditions; Poor quality skin, hair and nails; Reduced immune response; Kidney and gall stones;  Weight fluctuations; Low vitality and energy; Indigestion, constipation and flatulence; Water retention; Lower back ache; Gout;  Osteoporosis; Promoting cancer”.

How did the ASA rule?

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Vogel’s Echinaforce

A consumer laid a complaint with the ASA against Vogel’s Echinaforce advert. The advertorial was headed, “A. Vogel Echinaforce proven in-vitro to inhibit Swine Flu, Bird Flu and Seasonal Flu”. The advertorial contained, inter alia, the claim “in the first round Echinaforce was effective against 97.85% of the viruses”. Reference is also made to Echinaforce’s prophylactic and antibacterial qualities.

In essence, the complainant submitted that the advertorial is misleading as the product is not registered with the authorities in any way. She also contested the validity of the claim that the product is able to protect against, inter alia, Swine Flu, arguing that this study has not been subjected to any form of peer review. 

How did the ASA rule?

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