Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney’s claims have no supporting evidence?

Celebrities promoting products is fairly common these days, but the likes of Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney have been criticized by scientists for promoting products without having solid evidence to support the claims. are reporting that the claims made about the benefits of everything from certain brain-based workouts to cosmetic creams and what to eat don’t have scientific evidence to support them.

The stars and their claims:

Nicole Kidman promoted Nintendo DS’s Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training game on British TV, saying “I’ve quickly found that training my brain is a great way to keep my mind feeling young.”

But Sense About Science, a charitable trust set up to tackle the misrepresentation of scientific facts says there is little, if any, evidence to back Kidman’s claim.

“There is no conclusive evidence showing that the continued use of these devices is linked to any measurable and general improvements in cognition,” University of Birmingham cognitive neuroscientist, Dr Jason Braithwaite, said.

Gwyneth Paltrow told a conference last year that “I am challenging these evil genes by natural means. I am convinced that by eating biological foods it is possible to avoid tumors.”

But scientists have disputed that claim. “Diet cannot prevent cancer,” British Diabetic Association dietician Ursula Arens said. “It is reasonable that the risks of some of them can be reduced with certain diets, but some cancers, alas, show no link to dietary factors.”

Meanwhile Stella McCartney’s plight about the dangers of skin care products using the same petrochemicals as antifreeze used in cars also was disputed.

“Stella is correct in that skin products and antifreeze can contain the same chemical, propylene glycol,” University of Liverpool pharmacologist Dr Dominic Williams said.

“It is a very versatile chemical which is used primarily as a base in moisturisers, a medical and sexual lubricant, a solvent for food colouring, a carrier solvent for fragrances and also in many antibacterial lotions. So it might sound scary, but it isn’t.”

The moral of this story is? Don’t make claims that you might not be as informed about it you would like.


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