Top 10 (+5) pseudoscience health sites in SA

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Posted 21 July 2010

CAMcheck takes no pleasure in listing the following pseudoscience health sites in SA (in no particular order). Unfortunately there is very little that the appointed protectors of our health and wellbeing (Department of Health, Medicines Control Council, SA Pharmacy Council) are doing about protecting us from them. 

1. www.sola ltech.com   Lists numerous ailments and sells remedies with partial evidence (i.e. not fully proven in humans). Claims to be an “anti-aging” service, but there is no evidence anywhere in the world of any process that can actually reverse ageing. Overall a very busy, user-unfriendly website with reams of irrelevant unsubstantiated information. 

2. www.feelg oodhealth.co.za A site run by a practising clinical psychologist who “develops with care” products for numerous ailments; and sells multiple remedies without scientific evidence. (How does a female “clinical psychologist” develop a remedy for prostate health, amongst other non-psychological ailments?) 

3. www.naturefres h.co.za A site which includes hints of AIDS denialism and appears to follow the mythology of disease causation propagated by the late Hulda Clark. Every disease supposedly has its origins in parasite infestations of human beings, especially the liver fluke – and guess what? you can buy a remedy right off the website! The unscientific Blood Type Diet is also promoted on this site. 

4. www. hpasa.co.za This is the health products’ site representing the industry. It does not have the interests of ordinary people at heart – only the interests of the industries who exploit those people with unproven products. 

5. www.sportro n.co.za Here a more subtle set of health claims predominates in groups of products such as “value packs” – but if you look deeper there is no evidence that any of the products marketed on this site have been clinically proven in humans. 

6. http://www.bioh armony.co.za This group capitalises on the name of Patrick Holford, who has been shown to be less than honest or rigorous in his interpretation of science in other websites such as http://holfordw atch.info. It turns out that perhaps Mr Holford is possibly just an over-hyped vitamin salesman. 

7. http://www.sanatural .co.za This organisation has repeatedly taken out misleading full page advertisements in the Sunday Times magazine, often in the form of advertorial (especially in the name of the late Irma Schutte, a homoeopath whose British qualification was not recognised in South Africa). Ms Schutte espoused “acidosis in the body” as a problem needing a remedy such as is sold on the website. 

8. http://www. s olgar.com This company sells multiple products without adequate evidence of their efficacy or their safety. It advertises extensively in the South African Natural Medicine magazine, which propagates many unscientific aspects of medical practice. 

9. http://w ww.nativa.co.za Ironically this website provides access to the reputable Natural Standard website, which provides good  information about the level of evidence for different substances. One of Nativa’s top products is Linctagon and its main ingredient is pelargonium. But if I look for pelargonium via the Nativa website — it is not there! It is however on the Natural Standard website. Perhaps the Natural Standard does not support the claims Nativa is making for Linctagon? 

10. http://www.natrodale. co.za This company  promotes and sells multiple products for which there is inadequate evidence of efficacy and safety. Particular products of note are its milk thistle product which it sells illegally without a prescription at garage forecourts; and its glucosamine containing products, also illegally sold without a prescription.

AND THEN SOME ADDED EXTRAS . . .

11. http://www .healthstresswellness.com This site is included because of its many unsubstantiated claims, its anecdotes and its innate hubris.

12. http://ww w.kenzahealth.co.za Marketers of “Biobust” — a herbal product meant to enlarge a woman’s breasts.http://www.biobu s t.co.za/ No scientific evidence for this is available.

13.

http://www.vit al.co.za  Vital Health Foods produces an enormous range of products with little or no scientific proof

14. http://www.foodstate.co.za/  Regal nutrients does not state that its CEO is/was former Mr South Africa, Dr Michael Mol. Although there is an impressive list of studies on the website, some of them are not studies in human beings. This is misleading.

15.http://www.val ueaddedlife.com The home of a product called Procydin and other products, it illegally advertises Schedule 5 and Schedule 3 products from the site. It too uses animal studies to make claims for humans.  

If you come across a pseudoscience website, why don’t you add it in the comments space, and we’ll add it to our list if it fits the criteria.

Let’s see how many more websites we can pin point!

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3 Responses to Top 10 (+5) pseudoscience health sites in SA

  1. Roy 28 July, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    How about adding this one Harris: http://www.oxygenforlife.co.za/
    They make "Cellfood" which is supposed to deliver oxygen at a cellular level. My bet is that if it has any noticeable effect it would be to make you fart more.

  2. Shaan 26 September, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Hi there
     
    Thank you for all the valuable information in this post.
     
    I was wondering though, if you can post pseudoscience sites that are "scams/false", how come you don't post sites that are real?
     
    I can understand that your site is geared towards informing South African's of products and companies to be aware of, however you provide no information as to what actually works, or even any recommendations (that I could find).
     
    For instance, I was having a look for Procydin. I found your post (and then this post) saying that there claims are false, yet, there's nothing if it actually does any good for you or anything say, here, rather use this.
     
    Again, I'm not knocking your website, it would just be nice to know that if you can "knock" a product, an alternative (based on your "professional" opinion) would be great.
     
    Thanks!

  3. Roslyn 3 October, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi Roy

    I have found your site interesting and educational, and will most certainly use it in future before buying a product. However I am in agreement with Shaan, I would also like to hear from Professionals such as yourself and Harris on products that we can count on, products that are effective. Perhaps even “must reads” on companies that are going above and beyond and manufacturing the “right” type of medicines and supplements. There are more and more products out there and each and every individual has a need for something, and yes there are many who are taking advantages of the needs of others. It is confusing walking into a Dischem and trying to find a good product yourself and asking a consultant lately does not help either, I would rather know what I am looking for before I go in. It would be great to see posts on the products that really work to help with weight loss, concentration improvement etc. that consumers can go out and get themselves and look forward to seeing real results for example I have two children both of them have concentration problems one is ADHD, I would rather not put them on Ritalin but have not been able to find anything more natural that can help and yes I am looking for something safe but effective. Like Shaan said if you are going to point out a product as being “false” or ineffective then perhaps suggest and alternative that could be used that is better. Being more solution orientated or rather if you find a problem give us a solution to go with it. Thank you for all your hard work , it is much appreciated. I could stay on this site all day 🙂
    Looking forward to some new posts.

    Warmest regards,

    Roslyn

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