I was disappointed to see that The Age published a full page, gushingly enthusiastic article about a probiotic product alleged to relieve and prevent mastitis (“Mums clamour for Aussie breast feeding probiotic“, 27/10). The article failed to report the dubious scientific evidence on which the claims are based. There have been published criticisms of the studies in question, including that some of the authors have ties to the company that owns the patent and markets the probiotic under study. This article should have been labelled “advertorial”.
Associate Professor Ken Harvey, School of Public Health, Monash University
- Probiotics and mastitis: evidence-based marketing?
- Health claims and the law: the recent case of marketing probiotics for mastitis relief
- Bizarre advertising approval by TGA
- Correspondence, Breastfeeding Medicine 2018; 14(6): 453-456.
- Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research outcome and quality: systematic review
- Evaluation of the Probiotic Lactobacillus Fermentum Cect5716 for the Prevention of Mastitis in Breastfeeding Women: the Approve Randomised Controlled Trial (in progress).