BBC History Revealed



Prolinn was a less-than-400-calorie drink that claimed to help you lose weight. For a while it was hugely popular, with more than two million people trying the diet, but did it work?


Osteopath Robert Linn launched the notorious Last Chance Diet in the 1970s. Along with his book you could also buy his miraculous “liquid protein diet”, Prolinn. An array of celebritie­s endorsed the product, claiming that dieters could lose up to 10lb 4.5kg) a week.

After initial success, however, The Last Chance Diet began to live up to its name when reports of related deaths prompted the FDA to investigat­e. Although some of the fatalities seem to have been people with already advanced heart disease, there was evidence in a few cases that the diet itself may have caused damage to the heart through “protein-calorie malnutriti­on”. The low-quality protein in Prolinn came largely from collagen, obtained from the tendons, ligaments and skin of animals, enhanced with artificial flavouring­s.

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