Earlier this month Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the chairman of the FDA, reminded us once again that pills (dietary supplements, of course) that are sold to prevent sunburn are worthless, something he stated earlier this year.
These companies — marketing products called Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare and Sunergetic — are putting people’s health at risk by giving consumers a false sense of security that a dietary supplement could prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging caused by the sun, or protect from the risks of skin cancer.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, May 22, 2018
Although the FDA sent a warning letter to the offending companies you can still buy the pills online. Let's take a look at what's there. It's rather amusing.
The website of GliSODin, the makers of Advanced Skin Brightening Formula pills has apparently removed claims about protection against sunburn. Sort of...
GliSODin® is proven to help reduce skin-reddening. This has been demonstrated in randomized human clinical trials that strategically exposed healthy, fair-skinned volunteers.
Hmm. Is Gottlieb being too tough on these guys? Maybe so. The stuff seems to work...
Original photo: Daily Record
But it's even better! Our crack investigative team at ACSH found out who melonhead guy is and, in the process, reveals that the pills work even better than we thought!
Edgar Winter - Rockstar, albino, and melon-wearer. Photo: BandsInTown
Apparently not satisfied with jumping ugly with GliSODin, Gottlieb also gave James Scarmozzino, the owner of Sunergized a pretty good stomping, accusing the company of marketing its product as a drug by posting the following reviews. And they sure did.
• “My dermatologist recommended the herb in this product for repairing sun damage.”
• “[J]oint pains especially in the morning has lessened”
• “I … have had my share of sunburns in the past. When I use this supplement in the morning I can be out in hot sun all day with only one application of sunscreen and not get at all pink.”
• “It’s basically an oral sunscreen…This would be especially useful for people who have had skin cancer, are at risk for skin cancer….”
• “This product has helped … protect me from the harms of radiation.”
• “Take an additional capsule if exposed to excess sunlight…”
The Sunergized website does not lack hyperbole either:
Sunergized - Curated just for you! Whatever the hell that means.
So, perhaps it's not that cut and dried. Maybe there is some benefit to sunscreen pills (1) after all. Maybe Scott Gottlieb is being a little too harsh. It's not like there is no evidence, right?
(1) Yes, there is. To the people who sell them.