Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just in case last weeks ENAR device wasn't scamtastic enough Channel Nine's program A Current Affair has followed up with some more gold standard quackery. This time it's a magic drink that will solve all your blood pressure woes.

The product is called Dr Red and is a cordial made from many ingredients including Rosselle, a species of hibiscus. The usual claims were made regarding the existence of supporting evidence and trials. The evidence is pretty thin though. After reading the information presented about the trials I was only able to conclude that this punch doesn't kill mice. Hardly a breakthrough.

I assume that Channel Nine will push any product if given enough cash. It would certainly explain all the product placement and infomercial style of the segment. Or perhaps they just don't do too much research into their stories. Either way it is worrying that so much bunk is being broadcast.

You can see the segment on the ACA website. My favourite part is a close shot of the bottle where we can read on the label:

Antioxidant Enriched
Evidence Based
Rosella Concentrate

Still, at just $53.00 for a 750ml bottle it's a bargain. Regular cordial is only $3.00 but that has a fruit base which is easier to get in the bottle than an evidence base.

Beverages are also available to aid your immune system and your prostate. It looks like this company has solved mankind's health dilemmas single handed. We should all thank the nutraceuticals industry for allowing us to pay prescription prices for everyday grocery items.

In contrast, as I'm writing this Channel Ten news is running a story about Chinese herbs. The segment is about a study being conducted to see if particular herbs lower blood sugar. Unlike A Current Affair they don't mention a brand name and vague unsupported claims to try and sell units. Maybe they could teach Channel Nine the difference between science and shite.

Now I'm off to have a nice glass of evidence based milk.

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