There is a wave of marketing on television, in print and over the internet of an “herbal remedy” called Sinupret. Sinupret is a concoction of a German company named Bionorica. Sinupret falls into the grey area of a supplement, largely unregulated by the FDA. There is no guarantee of standardization of dosage and the rules for efficacy are non-existent as compared to OTC (over-the-counter) medications. Ironically, a pan European court ruled Sinupret “superfluous” and “ineffective” as early as 1992.
Some have spent some time pondering the possible negative effects of the "herbal remedy". The product itself is 8% alcohol and many are under the mistaken impression that this is a homeopathic medicine, which it is not. I am always very wary of any company claiming to have a “proprietary” claim on their ingredients. This product is clearly an herbal, akin to
Sinupret is marketed by Dr. Bob Sears, a paid physician spokesman on Bionorica’s staff. He carefully excludes any claims of efficacy and dances around the edges as to exactly what the mechanism of action is behind the drug. Much like the bally hooed Head-On product, it is likely that any review of the product’s capabilities will come up far short.
Parents who administer this product to their children do so with good intent. However, the lack of oversight, trials and data supporting even the most benign claim puts their children at risk. There is no scientific data supporting the claims of stronger immune systems. A stronger immune system is best enhanced by a healthy diet, good hygiene and rest. Children who are stressed from too little of the aforementioned and placed in close contact (i.e. school or preschool) with other similar germ factories are likely to get colds.
In a world where the Snugli can sell more than 40 million units in a few months, a slickly promoted bottle of snake oil, pushed by the fears of millions of parents, can gain equal, if unearned profits.
At least the Snugli will keep you warm.