Mulberry for Weight Loss: Not just unproven, but implausible

mulberry_zuccarin_INT_web1I don’t normally read the freebie newspapers in Toronto as their content is the journalistic equivalent of the lead in the Toronto water supply: both slowly sap your intellect away.

But I ride public transit and those papers are littered everywhere, rolling around the TTC. So against my better judgment I picked up the paper on May 20,  skipped past the article from the “holistic nutritionist” (a topic for another day) and stumbled across this advertisement:

“The Man Who Made the Whole Town Lose Weight”

Impressive headline.  Reading further it turns out that “Johnny Petterson”, a local health food store owner in Alesund, Norway, had started selling mulberry leaf tablets to his customers, and they lost weight – after only 10 days.  According to the advertising copy, Johnny has helped over 1500 customers lose weight. Apparently this product is for sale at major pharmacies in Canada. So it’s time to do a bit of digging into this scientific breakthrough unearthed by a health food store owner.

Here’s excerpts from the ad (here is a similar PDF) – and my comments. Continue reading

Cough and Cold Products for Children: Risk and No Benefit

2008-cough cold poster_0001Prior Science-Based Pharmacy posts have examined some of the most appalling examples of quackery found in the pharmacy – products like homeopathy and detox kits. It’s time to turn our attention to a group of “conventional” pharmacy items – cough and cold products for children. After being on the market for decades, they’re suddenly in the news. Many countries are banning them or relabeling them to warn against use in children. What’s happened to cause these changes?

Continue reading