Health benefits of Meghan Markle's new 'super latte' venture debated by experts

Markle only revealed her investment in the company after Oprah spilled the beans on Instagram.
Markle only revealed her investment in the company after Oprah spilled the beans on Instagram. Photo credit: Getty/Instagram.

The validity of 'superfood' claims in Meghan Markle's new "super latte" business venture is being debated by nutrition experts.

It emerged earlier this week that the Duchess of Sussex was involved in Californian coffee company Clevrblends when TV star Oprah Winfrey thanked Markle for gifting her a "basket of deliciousness" on Instagram. 

The company sells various mushrooms and adaptogen-infused instant powdered-oat milk latte blends, which it says is inspired by Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions.

After Winfrey's post, Markle confirmed her investment in the start-up and said she got involved to "support a passionate female entrepreneur".

"I'm proud to invest in [this] commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and [that] has a holistic approach to wellness," she said.

But some nutrition experts are sceptical about the product's benefits.

Sophie Medlin, lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at King's College in London, told The Telegraph she personally has no plans to pay over US$20 for a 14-serving pack of SuperLatte any time soon. 

"I would have a delicious bowl of porridge with lots of fruit and nuts in it [instead], and know that the things I was having were of benefit and cost me half as much," she explained. 

While caffeine-free adaptogens are trendy right now, "there is some evidence that some of these ingredients might have that effect, but there's just not been enough research done in enough people".  

A key ingredient of the latte blend is oat milk, a vegan alternative to cow's milk which Medlin says is unlikely to carry any extra health benefits. 

She says "oat milk is basically just very diluted porridge... they could make more health claims if they did include cow's milk".

But registered dietician Tracy Beckerman told Well and Good she's a fan of oat milk. 

"Compared to other alternative milks like hemp, flax, coconut, almond, cashew, or rice, oat milk generally has more protein," she said on the YouTube series You Versus Food.

"Oat milk has more fibre compared to cow's milk and other alternative milks - specifically from beta-glucan fiber, a super dietary fibre found in oats that have been celebrated for its cholesterol-lowering properties."

It seems at the end of the day, the verdict is if you - like Oprah - enjoy the taste, then drink it. But a bowl of porridge will do you just as well - for a fraction of the cost.