The Editor confirmed Dr Zemel's patents and patent applications and requested of him that in any future submissions to IJO, their presence be noted.Dr. Zemel is the author of a diet book, The Calcium Key, and holder of a patent on dairy weight loss claims, along with several additional related patent applications. In a letter to the Journal, DS Kalman had written to observe that recent research in the same journal had not corroborated some of the dairy weight loss claims, and to question the non-disclosure of Zemel's patents.
Finally, it is disheartening that Dr Zemel did not reveal in this paper that he has one United States Patent granted for calcium as a weight loss agent (see 'Materials and methods for the treatment of obesity') and eight more pending United States Patent Applications. All of these patents and patent pending 'inventions' are for calcium as a weight loss/fat loss aid either through food or dietary supplements in addition to a plan for how to promote calcium consumption for weight loss. While obtaining patents or applying for patents is not wrong, the lack of disclosure of the possible conflict of interest should be reported to the readers. Given the concerns expressed above, it may be premature to accept the theory of calcium as a weight modifier.Zemel's patent is quite bold. It claims intellectual property rights on a method for achieving weight loss by -- hold your breath for the novel technology -- administering milk.
The subject invention provides methods of inducing the loss of adipose tissue by providing a diet high in calcium. In one aspect of the invention, the calcium is provided in the form of dairy products. In yet another aspect of the invention, calcium is provided in the form of a dietary supplement, such as calcium carbonate, of vitamin supplements.The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, commissioned by the federal government to assess the current state of scientific evidence on nutrition issues for purposes of dietary guidance policy, considered and declined to endorse the dairy weight loss message. Yet, the federal government's checkoff advertising campaigns rely on these weight loss claims as a central marketing theme.