Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The world's most expensive urine

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t’s fascinating to think about the “miracle” health products promoted over the years that have come and gone. They have almost exclusively been advertised on radio and usually on those stations whose target audience is mature.

Let me run you through some of these vendibles.

There was bee pollen and then the new improved “potentiated” bee pollen. We had “Biomag;” an under-blanket peppered with magnets to ease back pain. There was “Body Enhancer” to help you shed weight (provided you also exercised vigorously, drank gallons of water and cut back on your food intake), a cure-all balm made from bee venom, (promoted by sports broadcaster Tim Bickerstaff who has since died) a hair restorer called “Follimax” and colloidal silver which I suspect if purchased would relieve you of lots of gold.

As far as I am aware most these products have exited the market as consumers became aware of the snake oil component of their claims.

All is not lost however. One door closes and another one opens.

One radio advertiser, acutely aware of a whole new and expanding market, circles in for the kill and offers an elixir that would warm the cockles of the hearts of MacBeth’s witches.

Lani Lopez sells a dietary supplement called Pez-Rez which she says is “dynamised.”

“Dynamised” must be the new word for “potentiated.”

Pez-Rez promises energy for the heart, brain, joint, prostate, breast and digestive health and supports fatigue and stress. The main ingredient is resveratrol. Popular broadcasters Leighton Smith and Mike Hosking both swear that resveratrol has improved their health markedly.

The medical profession is not convinced. One journal I read said: “Resveratrol is a stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol and a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Sources of resveratrol in food include the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries and senna. Although it is often promoted as a dietary supplement there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that taking resveratrol affects life expectancy or human health.”

Professor John Dwyer is highly critical of the claimed palliative powers of these improbable potions. He suspects their sales success is due to the fact that people are simply hankering for a little “magic and mysticism,” and others think they can compensate for a destructive lifestyle by consuming megadoses of the supplements.

He accused users of listening to “misleading advertisements” and “drifting off into unscientific hands.”

General Practitioner Paul Koenig is even more scathing. He reckoned swallowing a whole host of these dubious substances is a complete waste of money and constantly reminds his patients who are concerned that their poor eating habits could mean they are missing out on essential vitamins and minerals that half the world’s population survives on rice and the odd vegetable. Only someone with an extraordinary bad diet would be vitamin deficient, he believes, and because the kidneys rid the body of superfluous vitamins quite quickly, most users are doing no more than creating “expensive urine.”

I wondered what Ms Lopez might have meant with the acronym PEZ and I came up with Perplexed Elderly Zone.

“Our body is a machine for living. It is geared towards it, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will be more effective than if you paralyse it by encumbering it with remedies.” - Leo Tolstoy  


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