Claim that undoit pill blocks all fat and carbs is baseless

by Justin Norrie
Pop a few undoit pills, and the fat and carbs will pass out harmlessly at the other end - or so the company advertising the product claimed. (

A company advertising a pill that “will ‘undo’ 5g of fat and 210g of carbs” must remove advertisements for the product and publish a retraction on its website, a review panel has ruled.

The ruling against the “undoit pill” by the complaints resolution panel of the Therapeutic Goods Administration follows a complaint by Ken Harvey, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at La Trobe University. Professor Harvey says he is particularly concerned about “ and weight loss products that tap into Australia’s problem with obesity”.

According to claims that appeared on, the undoit pill “lets you have the cake without the calories. The snack without the guilt. The taste without the tummy”. The pill “binds the fat and carbs from your snack while it’s still in your stomach and stops them from being absorbed.”

“Snack undone! Like you never ate it!“ the website proclaimed. One pill was supposedly enough to undo a biscuit, two a tub of ice cream, three a fatty dessert, and five a Big Mac and fries, it said.

The same claims continue to appear on the website, but they are now advertising a product with a “new formulation” called “undoit plus”.

The company promoting the product, Pty Ltd, argued that it had only made two basic claims about the pill – that it prevented absorption of fat and carbohydrates, and that it prevented weight gain. Both claims were supported by evidence, it told the panel.

But the panel said “there was no evidence that either ingredient could block all of the fat or carbohydrate content from any given meal (as opposed to blocking some proportion of the or carbohydrate content) … [and] there was no clear evidence, other than a simple extrapolation made by the advertiser, to support the specific numeric claims in the advertisement, such as ‘each pill undoes 210g of carbs’.”

The director of Pty Ltd, Michael Romm, did not immediately return a call for comment. Mr Romm appeared on anepisode of Today Tonight last December to promote the hangover cure “security feel better”, a tonic that claims to help the liver break down toxins.

Earlier this year, he reportedly claimed that publicity over the complaint by Professor Harvey boosted the popularity of the to such an extent that it sold out nationwide in two days.

Professor Harvey said that “part of the problem we’ve got is that we have a dysfunctional regulatory system for complementary medicines … basically it’s a trust-based system in which you put your hand on your heart and tick a few boxes.

“There’s absolutely no check on that. It’s a web-based internet form – you pay your money and away you go. And the only redress is if the Therapeutic Goods Administration does occasional targeted or random post-marketing reviews, or if someone puts in a complaint.”

Last year, in an audit of the Department of Health and Ageing, the Australian National Audit Office noted that as many as 90% of complementary medicines reviewed were found to be non‐compliant with regulatory requirements.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Former astronaut criticizes NASA's current course

May 15, 2012

Former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave is neither happy nor excited about the current state of the space administration or about the commercial COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) program. He’s ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments