February 29, 2024

Nobel laureate criticised for spruiking health supplements

One of the 1998 winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine has been criticised for publishing a paper in a leading scientific journal without disclosing that he was endorsing a health supplement sold by Herbalife International in exchange for royalties. Louis Ignarro published an article in the June 8 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about the positive effects of vitamins C and E and the amino acid arginine, all ingredients in a Herbalife product. His consulting company received at least US$1 million from the product between June 2003 and September 2004, with his signature and Nobel laureate status featuring on each bottle. The journal has decided to issue a correction to Ignarro’s article disclosing the conflict of interest.