Updated: Sep 29
I recently posted a blog about a study conducted at the University of Alberta in Canada that analyzed Leucidal Liquid, which is marketed as a natural preservative. You can go to that post for the details about what the researchers found. This post, however, is a follow up to a debate that ensued (in an Indie Beauty Facebook Group to which I belong) about the legitimacy of the results of that study.
First, just to back up a little: I purchased some Leucidal feeling optimistic that I could make my beautiful face and body moisturizer on a larger scale. I've yet to get around to doing it, and probably won't now as a result of what I learned after reading the analysis of the study. But knowing that so many companies use it, I was curious, and asked if anyone in my Facebook group had seen the study and requested feedback from anyone who had used Leucidal Liquid as a preservative.
I got a few responses in the group and a separate message through my website.
Immediately, one woman tagged another, though, neither offered any insights.
The comments that did follow included one from a man who said he had used Leucidal and regretted it deeply; lots of other people said they used it and loved it; and others shared directives on how to use it properly - lessons gleaned from their own experience. All but that one guy said it was fantastic.
There was also an in-depth response from someone who had apparently contacted the Leucidal manufacturer, Active Micro Technologies (AMT) about the study. With us, she shared the company's answer, which not surprisingly, disputed the results.
Then, the woman tagged in the first comment responded to all of us. She explained that, "There have been challenges with handcrafters using anti-microbials." This prompted me to ask her if she worked for AMT, to which she replied she did. She further noted:
"The article was funded by a competitor and inaccurate information. I'm sure you can imagine why they did it, being a competitor."
This competitor defense was also echoed, separately, by a woman who took the time to write me a hostile message about how she was so sick of bloggers not knowing what they were talking about. I found this odd since she offered no reference as to what qualified her own state of knowing. She felt I should have known that Griffith Laboratories was a competitor. Okay, but is that really the point?
It's actually more than that. The rebuttal that, "it must be wrong because a competitor ran the test" didn't totally sit right with me. Not only was the funding openly and clearly disclosed, but the full experimental detail was also peer-reviewed and published in a major journal belonging to The American Chemical Society with impact factor of 2.86. (That just means the study has been cited in other scientific journals.)
If AMT really felt the study was in error, why not prove it wrong with a study of their own, and have it published in scientifically refereed and respected international journals? Two years after the study was published, AMT has not done that, at least not that I know of.
I contacted the author of the study and Griffith Foods/Laboratories, the accused competitor. I received responses from each. They were courteous, professional and took the time to provide me with detailed answers that go beyond the scope of this post.
But, most critically, it turns out, Griffith Foods/Laboratories wasn't a competitor, not with respect of this particular study at least. In fact, they were customers. They were considering the purchase of the manufacturer's material on large scale for food preservation, and the study was part of due diligence on the origin of the antimicrobial activity.
For the record they stated:
"We stand by our published results and are willing to have a federal government agency laboratory (US FDA or Health Canada) or independent authority examine the samples we have of Leucidal Liquid (potentially including unopened bottles)"
So the question remains: Does Leucidal Liquid work because there is an unnatural chemical hidden inside, or because fermented radish root really does have the power it claims? The jury is still out.
You may also enjoy reading, Study Raises Question About Leucidal Safety?