My last post introduced what I consider an obnoxious set of products sold by a company called Iovate (whose website appears to be just their address and logo… seems like a waste) that have the names “Blank MD”, and substitute “Heartburn” or “Cholesterol” for “blank”. I described my feelings about calling the products “conditions”, rather than the supplements they contain, and using the phrase “MD” in the names, as if OTC supplements were the same as prescription medication.
So what’s in these witches’ brews? I’ll start with “Heartburn MD”. As I said in my last post, the main ingredient is Calcium Carbonate, which is fine. That’s no different than what you’ll get in Rolaids, Tums, Mylanta, Maalox, or just about any other over the counter instant relief antacid. But for you supplement-types, there’s also some “orange peel extract”.
What does “orange peel extract” do? Does it really treat reflux? Well, a Pubmed search turns up about 10 to 20 small studies on possible cancer protective effects of orange peel extract, mostly in mice and rat journals (i.e. research done on little furry mammals). However, many places on the internet claim it is good for heartburn. One page in particular caught my attention, something called “Ask the Doctor”., which is an interview with a guy named Dr. Decker Weiss who, ironically enough, is NOT a doctor. (not a medical doctor anyway, though it goes on to say he did a Cardiology residency, so, go figure). He is a “naturopath”. I’ll write about those another time.
He helpfully tells us that orange peel extract is PROVEN to reduce symptoms of acid reflux. That’s great “Doctor” Weiss. The problem is, he only cites one study, OVER AND OVER AGAIN as the “proof”. And guess what? That study is PROPRIETARY!!! So you can’t look it up anywhere. Apparently it was based on a questionnaire with NO control group. Oy vay!
On the advertisement for “Heartburn MD”, a footnote at the bottom tells us that:
“In a two phase clinical trial, subjects taking just one of the key compounds (???) of Heartburn MD reported significant relief of occasional heartburn”
Gee, want to bet that the “key ingredient” they were referring to was the CALCIUM CARBONATE??? We’ll never know, because there is no citation.
Heartburn MD also contains a delicious helping of Garcinia mangostana extract which has many reported medicinal uses. On the Asian continent, it appears to be used for dysentery, colitis, eczema, cystitis, gonorrhea… yeah, okay. I’ll take penicillin thanks. There’s some other things, extract of Ginger, caraway seeds, and pomegranate. Funny. In medical school, I don’t remember discussing the healing powers of pomegranate for reflux. Must be a conspiracy by the medical community to keep us from these powerful natural medicines.
Bottom line: buy Tums à cost on drugstore.com… 4.99.
Heartburn MD à cost on drugstore.com… 17.99
Don’t be a sucker, please. Much more to follow on this subject.