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21st Apr 2023

Happy Pear issue apology after podcast guest’s controversial comments

Ellen Fitzpatrick

happy pear

“It was never the intention to mislead or to misinform.”

The Happy Pear have issued an apology after a guest on their podcast made comments linking antibiotics to depression that have been described as “nonsense”.

In a post to their Instagram page, the brothers shared a clip of a podcast interview with American physician Dr Zach Bush. The latter stated during the episode: “One course of antibiotics, my risk of major depression in the next 12 months goes up by 24%. Two courses of antibiotics in a year is a 45% increase in anxiety disorders, 52% in depression.

“And so you’ve got this massive risk of dysfunction of the brain – your inability to be joyful, your inability to have pleasure –  because you took an antibiotic,” he added.

Writing on Instagram, the twins said while “antibiotics can be wonderful, life-saving medicines”, the interview with Bush highlighted “some of the negative effects they can also have”, as well as questions “over usage/prescription”.

Doctors have since come out to say that there is no scientific evidence to back up Dr Bush’s claims and that his comments should not derail people from getting this medication.

In the past, the American doctor has also made claims that link gut health to autism.

GP and vice-president of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) Dr Denis McCauley said that Dr Bush’s comments on The Happy Pear’s podcast were “nonsense” and that promoting such information can potentially stop someone from seeking out much-needed medication.

He said: “There is absolutely no scientific research behind this. There is absolutely no association between antibiotics and depression.”

Other doctors have also spoken put on social media, with Dr Niamh Lynch, a paediatric doctor from Cork, saying:

“When your product is ‘wellness’ and you have a huge following then there is a sort of social contract there, that you wouldn’t do anything to put your followers in harm’s way.

“You wouldn’t do that, because you know amongst your half a million or so followers, there are bound to be some vulnerable people. People who would hate to fall back into depression. People who might refuse a necessary antibiotic because of the fear you may just have activated.”

The brothers have now issued a statement following the backlash, which reads:

“The Happy Pear acknowledges that some of the content in a recent reel post across some of our social media platforms in relation to a podcast with US-based Dr Zach Bush MD, has caused offence, with some statements not given the appropriate qualification or context.

“It was never the intention to mislead or to misinform and we sincerely apologise for any offence caused… We will endeavour to ensure that this does not happen again.”

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