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rampant

Monday, 31 October 2016

Dietary supplements are good for athletes – aren’t they? | Edzard Ernst

Athletes tend to adopt a healthy life-style, and today this seems to include the regular intake of a range of dietary supplements. Supplements specifically marketed for sports-people promote good health and performance, we are constantly told – but is this true?

A 2010 review found that “there is good evidence that caffeine can improve single-sprint performance, while […]

Read on: Dietary supplements are good for athletes – aren’t they?

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Prince Charles: may I humbly suggest a research project? | Edzard Ernst

Prince Charles’ views on health have repeatedly taken centre stage on this blog. And rightly so; they are often weird and wonderful. In 2013, for instance, I quoted them extensively:

Charles stands for…”the kind of care that integrates the best of new technology and current knowledge with ancient wisdom. More specifically, perhaps, it is an approach to […]

Read on: Prince Charles: may I humbly suggest a research project?

Friday, 28 October 2016

The 12 defences of charlatanry | Edzard Ernst

During the last two decades, I have had ample occasion to study the pseudo-arguments of charlatans when trying to defend the indefensible. Here I will try to disclose some of them in the hope that this might help others to identify charlatans more easily and to react accordingly.

Let’s say someone publishes a document showing evidence that homeopathy is […]

Read on: The 12 defences of charlatanry

Thursday, 27 October 2016

And this is what it takes to get evicted from this blog | Edzard Ernst

Being exposed to a lot of gibberish in the comments’ section, some of my readers are probably wondering how much it takes to get blocked from commenting here. The ‘rules’ for this blog have been set out quite clearly from the start: I do like clearly expressed views and intend to be as outspoken as politeness allows. […]

Read on: And this is what it takes to get evicted from this blog

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A new homeopathic remedy for migraine “providing effective relief quickly” | Edzard Ernst

This website tells us that ‘Stopain Migraine’ is the first topical product to effectively relieve migraine pain. It is a safe alternative to other migraine relief products that begins to work as soon as it’s applied. And the press release informs us that Troy Healthcare extended its Stopain line with a Stopain Migraine offering – […]

Read on: A new homeopathic remedy for migraine “providing effective relief quickly”

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Hotshot. A supplement scam with a difference?

Jump to follow-up The "supplement" industry is a scam that dwarfs all other forms of alternative medicine. Sales are worth over $100 billion a year, a staggering sum. But the claims they make are largely untrue: plain fraudulent. Although the industry’s advertisements like to claim "naturalness". in fact most of the synthetic vitamins are manufactured by [...]

Read the rest at: Hotshot. A supplement scam with a difference?
DC's Improbable Science: Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science

Only 50 % of chiropractors are aware of current radiographic guidelines | Edzard Ernst

Chiropractors have been shown to over-use X-rays (a worry about which I cautioned almost 20 years ago) and to refer for lumbar radiography inconsistent with the current clinical guidelines for low back pain. It is unknown whether this is due to lack of adherence with, or a lack of awareness of relevant guidelines. The aim of this study was […]

Read on: Only 50 % of chiropractors are aware of current radiographic guidelines

Monday, 24 October 2016

DIY-Homeopathy: how to kill your entire family | Edzard Ernst

Are you or a family member ill?

No need to call a doctor or other healthcare professional!

Homeopathy DIY is the answer. The website of the NATIONAL CENTER FOR HOMEOPATHY tells you how and gives you concrete advice for specific conditions – at closer inspection, it turns out to be an instruction for killing off your […]

Read on: DIY-Homeopathy: how to kill your entire family

Saturday, 22 October 2016

HAHNEMANN WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG: Homeopathy works! Like cures like! | Edzard Ernst

Yes, yes, yes – it’s true: I am the living proof for homeopathy’s incredible efficacy; Much more importantly: so is Samuel Hahnemann! In fact, his case is even more convincing.

This is our story, Sam’s and mine:

We both developed hair loss fairly relatively early in our lives. As dedicated homeopaths, we did not despair. We both knew the solution to […]

Read on: HAHNEMANN WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG: Homeopathy works! Like cures like!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Most (if not all) of the money spent on chiropractic is wasted | Edzard Ernst

Chiropractors (and other alternative practitioners) tend to treat their patients for unnecessarily long periods of time. This, of course, costs money, and even if the treatment in question ever was indicated (which, according to the best evidence, is more than doubtful), this phenomenon would significantly inflate healthcare expenditure.

This sounds perfectly logical to me, but is there any […]

Read on: Most (if not all) of the money spent on chiropractic is wasted

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Top model died ‘as a result of visiting a chiropractor’ | Edzard Ernst

The risks of consulting a chiropractor have regularly been the subject of this blog (see for instance here, here and here). My critics believe that I am alarmist and have a bee in my bonnet. I think they are mistaken and believe it is important to warn the public of the serious complications that are […]

Read on: Top model died ‘as a result of visiting a chiropractor’

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Two fascinating new studies of the placebo response | Edzard Ernst

The placebo response might be important in clinical practice, but it is certainly difficult to study and the findings of such investigations can be confusing. This seems to be exemplified by two new trials.

The first study examined the possibility of using theatrical performance tools, including stage directions and scripting, to reproducibly manipulate the style and […]

Read on: Two fascinating new studies of the placebo response

Monday, 17 October 2016

John Benneth received homeopathy’s highest award | Edzard Ernst

A few weeks ago, John Benneth – I am sure you know John, he is one of the few homeopathy-fans who make Dana Ullman look sane – published this note:
I am overwhelmed . . I am being shipped to Paris next week with bioengineer Bronson Ayala assisting to receive from the Conte Foundation homeopathy’s highest […]
Read on: John Benneth received homeopathy’s highest award

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Acupuncture for stable angina pectoris… yes, if you aim at killing millions! | Edzard Ernst

Stable angina is a symptom of coronary heart disease which, in turn, is amongst the most frequent causes of death in developed countries. It is an alarm bell to any responsible clinician and requires causal, often life-saving treatments of which we today have several options. The last thing a patient needs in this condition is ACUPUNCTURE, I would […]

Read on: Acupuncture for stable angina pectoris… yes, if you aim at killing millions!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Four years and not a dull moment! | Edzard Ernst

Hard to believe, but today it is 4 years that I wrote the first post on this blog. Quite honestly, I never expected that this would turn out to be such a fascinating past-time. These 4 years have been busy, entertaining and informative in equal measure:

  • I wrote more than 800 articles, 
  • you published more than […]

Read on: Four years and not a dull moment!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Another flawed trial of homeopathy reports positive findings | Edzard Ernst

When sceptics claim that no positive trials of homeopathy exist, they are clearly mistaken. The truth is that there are plenty of them! But many, if not most are of such poor quality that it is safe to suspect they are false-positives. Here is a recent example of this type of scenario. This new study investigated the clinical […]

Read on: Another flawed trial of homeopathy reports positive findings

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A traditional cancer remedy that shows some promise? | Edzard Ernst

Antrodia cinnamomea (AC) is a fungus which is used in Taiwan as a remedy for cancer, hypertension, hangover and other conditions. There are several commercial AC products and the annual market is worth over $100 million in Taiwan alone.

Several studies have suggested anti-cancer properties in vitro but few clinical trials have been reported. Now Taiwanese researchers published a double-blind, randomized […]

Read on: A traditional cancer remedy that shows some promise?

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Chiropractic manipulation for migraine is a placebo therapy | Edzard Ernst

A new study tested the efficacy of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (CSMT) for migraine. It was designed as a three-armed, single-blinded, placebo -controlled RCT of 17 months duration including 104 migraineurs with at least one migraine attack per month. Active treatment consisted of CSMT (group 1) and the placebo was a sham push manoeuvre of the lateral edge of the scapula and/or […]

Read on: Chiropractic manipulation for migraine is a placebo therapy

When your math doesn’t make sense

I’m just going to leave this here. It’s a comment published on The Kid’s blog. One of his friends posts a link to another anti-vaccine website and perpetuates a lie. Then he realizes that the math doesn’t work out. So then he pleads that his comment not be published. The Kid publishes it anyway.
But, what happened in Kenya, uncovered by 27 Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, is, to me, the signpost for “The Plan.” […]
Read more at: When your math doesn’t make sense by Reuben

Monday, 10 October 2016

Second Annual Homeoprophylaxis (Natural Immunity) Conference: a sumit of irresponsibility | Edzard Ernst

I am so sorry we all missed this conference on ‘HOMEOPROPHYLAXIS’ !

The three-day meeting has ended yesterday.

It could have been a real eye-opener.

This is how it has been advertised:
This is THE conference for medical professionals, parents, and natural-minded healthcare providers to learn more about the evidence supporting the 200 year old practice of Homeoprophylaxis (HP), an immune […]

Read on: Second Annual Homeoprophylaxis (Natural Immunity) Conference: a sumit of irresponsibility

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Homeopathy for otitis media: a new trial fails to show significant effects | Edzard Ernst

This new study is amazing in several respects. It was conducted in Spain by otolaryngologists, and one of its authors is an employee of Boiron, the world’s biggest manufacturer of homeopathic products. It was designed as a double blind, placebo-controlled RCT. Patients aged 2 months to 12 years suffering from otitis media with effusion (OME), as diagnosed by pneumatic otoscopy (PNO) […]
Read on: Homeopathy for otitis media: a new trial fails to show significant effects

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Seven amazing benefits of chiropractic care | Edzard Ernst

I found this on Twitter; fascinating isn’t it?

So much so, that I decided to run a quick ‘reality check’: are any of these claims based on anything resembling sound evidence?

Here we go:

IT HELPS BRING ABOUT RECOVERY
This is the sort of woolly language that quacks of any type seem to adore. Recovery […]

Read on: Seven amazing benefits of chiropractic care

Friday, 7 October 2016

St John’s Wort for depression: the biggest success story of alternative medicine | Edzard Ernst

I have blogged about the herbal antidepressant before; for instance about the fact that it can cause potentially dangerous herb-drug interactions. When taken alone, however, it seems to be both safe and efficacious in reducing the symptoms of depression. This notion has just been confirmed yet again.

A new systematic review evaluated St. John’s wort […]

Read on: St John’s Wort for depression: the biggest success story of alternative medicine

Thursday, 6 October 2016

CAM use is risk factor for the failure to immunise children | Edzard Ernst

A new nationally representative study from the US analysed ∼9000 children from the Child Complementary and Alternative Medicine File of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Adjusting for health services use factors, it examined influenza vaccination odds by ever using major CAM domains: (1) alternative medical systems (AMS; eg, acupuncture); (2) biologically-based therapies, excluding multivitamins/multiminerals […]

Read on: CAM use is risk factor for the failure to immunise children

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

FDA safety alert about homeopathic teething remedies | Edzard Ernst

Homeopathic products are safe! 

At least this is what the homeopathy-lobby tries to make us believe. On this blog, we have repeatedly questioned this notion, and recently it was reported by several sources, for instance this website, that the FDA has taken action against one specific homeopathic remedy over safety concerns:

Some homeopathic tablets and gels aimed […]

Read on: FDA safety alert about homeopathic teething remedies

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Data fabrication in China is an ‘open secret’ | Edzard Ernst

I have warned you before to be sceptical about Chinese studies. This is what I posted on this blog more than 2 years ago, for instance:
Imagine an area of therapeutics where 100% of all findings of hypothesis-testing research are positive, i.e. come to the conclusion that the treatment in question is effective. Theoretically, this could mean […]

Read on: Data fabrication in China is an ‘open secret’

Monday, 3 October 2016

Seven things you didn’t know about acupuncture | Edzard Ernst

A website I recently came across promised to teach me 7 things about acupuncture. This sort of thing is always of interest to me; so I read them with interest and found them so remarkable that I decided to reproduce them here:

1. Addiction recovery
Acupuncture calms and relaxes the mind making it easier for people to overcome addictions […]

Read on: Seven things you didn’t know about acupuncture

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Homeopaths ordered to stop claiming that homeopathy can treat medical conditions | Edzard Ernst

Bogus claims of alternative therapists are legion, particularly in homeopathy. But bogus claims are neither ethical nor legal. Homeopathy works for no human condition, and therefore any medical claim made for homeopathy is unethical, false, misleading and illegal.

This is not just my view (after studying the subject for more than two decades) but also that of the […]

Read on: Homeopaths ordered to stop claiming that homeopathy can treat medical conditions