Deirdre Reynolds: ‘This Happy Pear should stick to making vegan brownies’

The Happy Pear

Deirdre Reynolds

TAKING medical advice from an influencer seems about as logical as going to an electrician to get your legs waxed – yet, here we are again.

Despite previously vowing to “stay in their lane” over a breast cancer controversy, The Happy Pear left followers anything but happy this week over comments made on their podcast linking antibiotics with depression.

Otherwise known as Steven and Dave Flynn, during the episode touching on gut health, the Wicklow brothers heard from American physician Dr Zach Bush, who claimed that if he were to take “one course of antibiotics”, his risk of “major depression in the next 12 months goes up by 24pc.”

“Two courses of antibiotics in a year, my chance of getting major depression just went up by 45pc or 52pc,” he continued.

Quite rightly, the pair – who had switched off comments on the Instagram reel – were savaged over on Twitter for helping to spread the claims, later rubbished by Irish Medical Organisation vice-president Dr Denis McCauley as “nonsense”.

Addressing their latest social media storm, the vegan champions back-tracked: “It was never the intention to mislead or to misinform and we sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”

But it’s all a bit deja-vu, isn’t it lads?

Having watched a loved one succumb to the disease, I wasn’t the only one upset and angry over the utter twaddle they posted last year about mushrooms reducing your risk of breast cancer, flagged by medics as patently “not true”.

Ploughing into the shiitake may indeed be good for you, and in keeping with the duo’s mission to “highlight some of the health and lifestyle benefits of plant-based eating”; but in cosplaying as doctors, The Happy Pear haven’t just strayed over the line, they’ve veered completely off track.

As a vegetarian, it’s doubly annoying that the Flynns – who’ve done more than anyone else in Ireland to promote a meat-free diet and are, incidentally, lovely chaps – now risk undermining all that by straying perilously close to the rabbit hole, or allowing podcast guests to.

Of course, there are those who will simply ‘relish’ any opportunity to get the boot into the Marmite twins, and I’ve gone to bat for ‘Hummus Jedward’ in the past when they’ve been pilloried for far less online.

But in the week when the heartbroken parents of 10-year-old Cork girl Vivienne Murphy, who died of Strep A, revealed how her life could – and should – have been saved by a simple antibiotic, they deserve every bit of flak they get for misleading their near-one million followers, and not for the first time.

My non-professional advice is stick to the vegan brownies and sea-swimming – and let the doctors, hopefully, do the rest.

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