Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Capsiplex Plus - yet more magic beans advertised in newspapers

Christmas and New Year means weight-loss-pill-season. It's the annual low-hanging fruit of evidence-based skepticism for stories in the news. Yawn :-) See "Watch out for some PR about Nuratrim"

The merchants who provide products for the MoreNiche affiliates tend to go into overdrive with new products or in this case new versions of older products and there's plenty of advertising PR in the newspapers and magazines. Over the last week we've had adverts for Nuratrim appearing in The Telegraph and the Daily Mail but there's a new thing for the New Year, of course.

Capsiplex Plus
Capsiplex has been around for a while I think but it has been upgraded to a more expensive version and the PR is apparently due to be published in the Daily Express (obviously I'd love it if they read this). 

According to the company's website the newer product contains 5HTP (5 hydroxytryptophan). You can see here how it apparently contributes to the overall product (would something that increases metabolism and enhances mood need a marketing license from the MHRA?).

My favourite bit on that page is the apology to (I assume) Angelina Jolie but whoever the apology's intended recipient is she's referred to only as Ms Jolie... this clarification doesn't appear to have been transmitted to the sites who are marketing Capsiplex. Oops. I understand the PR is also going to mention that it contains 'bioperine' although the website doesn't say that yet, but it does mention piperine.

The company's website has a page called /clinical-trials which doesn't yet mention anything about Capsiplex Plus yet so perhaps some further information will be added. The evidence, as provided for the original product (Capsiplex) is a bit sparse though, in that there's nothing referenced specifically for Capsiplex at all. The page does mention four clinical trials of Capsiplex (although none had more than 14 participants) but of course this isn't actually published. There are some references included but they're for the individual ingredients (this seems to be a feature of these types of products).

More tomorrow when the Daily Express publishes it then...

1 January 2012 - as yet, nothing that I can see on the Express website about Capsiplex Plus athough there's somethng about Capsiplex from 2009. Anyway I've trapped copies of the manufacturer's claims as this seems more like something for the MHRA than the ASA.

Update: still nothing on Daily Express site, maybe tomorrow.

It occurred to me that one could create a website with links that go to the company's website and allow readers to buy the product directly, bypassing any affiliates. Alternatively since the affiliate track IDs are easily findable one might be extra kind and pick a few at random and give some of them a random boost. Of course this means that more of this product is sold despite the fact that I've not found much good evidence for it yet...

Update 2: just checked the blog stats and amusingly there are rather a lot of Google searches that contain Nuratrim or Capsiplex (not many for Capsiplex Plus though) in the incoming list...

2 January 2012 - still haven't spotted anything in the papers about this yet. Although I did check the Advertising Standards Authority pages and spotted that Advanced Health Ltd, who make / market Capsiplex Plus, did have an ASA adjudication upheld against them earlier this year for another of their products called Meratol (they also make Nuratrim).


  1. There was a tiny article about Capsiplex Plus in yesterdays Evening Standard, claiming that Brad Pitt is a fan. That's how I found about the pills

  2. - online article today from Marie Claire but not really that informative...


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