From Nobel laurate to QVC in less than 10 years

Dr. Ferid Murad (he’s the one on the right) won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology.

In January 2007 he was selling his book, The Wellness Solution, on QVC, a home shopping television station.

Dr. Murad’s groundbreaking research showed that nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in the heart and blood vessels.

There’s nothing wrong with the QVC gig, but claiming that healthy nutrition, weight loss, drinking adequate amounts of water, stopping smoking, stress management, and taking well-balanced supplements exert their effects through nitric oxide is tenuous.

In an article published in The Scientist, Dr. David Harrison at Emory University School of Medicine agrees. It’s “a leap of faith that nitric oxide will be responsible for the effect.” He says it has not been shown that increases in nitric oxide in healthy people improve health.

Dr. Murad is not the first to capitalize on nitric oxide. Dr. Louis Ignarro, who shared the prize in 1998, wrote Say Yes to NO, which is advertised as a health guide to prevent heart disease. He’s also associated his name with a nitric oxide “boosting” powder of amino acids called Niteworks, which is sold through Herbalife.

Niteworks, among other claims, “keeps blood vessels toned, flexible and youthful for improved circulation.” The fine print acknowledges that this and other statements “have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

A search of revealed no books by Dr. Robert Furchgott. He shared the award with Drs. Murad and Ignarro in 1998.

3/23/07 15:16 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.