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Friday, 30 June 2017

Infowars and Goop sell the same exact pseudoscientific "wellness" products — Quartz

There are two Americas, we’ve been told.

There’s Duck Dynasty America and Modern Family America. There’s “gosh” America and “dope” America. Sometimes, though, Americans unite around a common idea. Like the healing powers of eleuthero root, cordyceps mushrooms, and “nascent iodine.”

Near the end of a profile of Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of the “wellness” brand Moon Juice, the New York Times Magazine noted that many of the alternative-medicine ingredients in her products are sold—with very different branding—on the Infowars store...

Read on: Infowars and Goop sell the same exact pseudoscientific "wellness" products — Quartz

Garlic against infections?

Many garlic supplements are heavily marketed as a treatment of infections. 

But are they really effective? 

To answer this question, we clearly need clinical trials. 

The aim of this RCT was to examine the impact of garlic tablets on nosocomial infections in hospitalized patients in intensive care units. It was carried out on 94 patients, […]

Read the rest here: Garlic against infections?

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Over-sexed? Under-sexed? Homeopaths have the all the answers!

The homeopath and homeopathic entrepreneur Fran Sheffield has made appearances on this blog before; for instance, I quoted her stating that homeoprophylaxis has a remarkable record of safety – vaccines less so. From the homeopath’s point of view they are still associated with risks: the dose is too strong, they have toxic additives, and they’re […]

Monday, 26 June 2017

Vaccines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

The benefits of vaccines far outweigh the minuscule risks, but some parents still question their safety. John Oliver discusses why some people may still feel uncertainty about childhood vaccinations.

Promotion masquarading as science: the example of chiropractic pseudo-research

Systematic reviews are aimed at summarising and critically evaluating the evidence on a specific research question. They are the highest level of evidence and are more reliable than anything else we have. Therefore, they represent a most useful tool for both clinicians and researchers. But there are, of course, exceptions. Take, for instance, this recent systematic review […]

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Terminal stupidity about ADHD and Bach Flower Remedies

After almost a life-time of exposure to seriously compact BS about alternative medicine, you would expect me to be used to it. And it’s true, I usually don’t bat an eyelash when someone writes nonsense about this or that therapy. But every once in a while, I come across an exception, some statement that is outstanding in its ‘naiveness’ (see below) or ground-breaking in its stupidity. When I found this article, for instance, I almost fell off my chair. So, please hold on tight, if you want to […]
Read on: Terminal stupidity about ADHD and Bach Flower Remedies

Friday, 23 June 2017

Dlisted | NASA Vs. GOOP

I wish I could say this was a story about how Gwyneth Paltrow called up NASA and asked if they could get to work on creating a zero-gravity vaginal steaming booth for her. Rather, this is about NASA calling out the dubious claims of something dumb and expensive that was shilled on

This week, Goop promoted a cheap-looking wearable sticker called Body Vibes that claims to target imbalances in energy. They cost $60 for a pack of ten, and look like something you’d peel off a tomato bought from an Illuminati grocery store...

Read more at: Dlisted | NASA Vs. GOOP.

Yes, Dlisted. A site dedicated to celebrity gossip and snark. That's how bad GOOP are.

Scientology detox? No thanks!!!

I was surprised to receive this email yesterday: “Hello Edzard Ernst, You may remember I got in touch last week regarding losing a loved one to the ravages of drugs or alcohol. I just wanted to remind you that Narconon is here to help. For over fifty years Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres have been successfully reversing the tide of addiction for men and woman from all walks of life. The Narconon programme has saved them from the misery of addiction, and the potential of an early grave. We not only address the cause of the addiction, we resolve them…”

The email was signed by a man from ‘Narconon International’. […]

Read the rest here: Scientology detox? No thanks!!!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Cannabis for cancer?

The claim that Cannabis can cure cancer is all over the Internet. Such promotion is regularly enhanced by announcements of VIPs that they intend to try Cannabis when affected by cancer. 

As her back pain turned out to be caused by metastases from her earlier breast cancer, Olivia Newton-John now intends to complete a course […]

How realistic is the assumption that Cannabis does anything for cancer patients? Read the rest here: Cannabis for cancer?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Natural Alternative? Part 1

...As interest grows, there are an increasing number of charlatans trying to highjack the [ketogenic]diet for financial gain, muddying its name and spreading the most brutal and dangerous forms of pseudoscience imaginable. These people range from poorly trained nutritional therapists giving out advice way beyond their station, through to narcissistic researchers, chasing results, willing to side-step the usual rules of evidence based practise...

Read full post: The Natural Alternative? Part 1

Trying to understand a doctor homeopath: “homeopathy is helpful for any condition”!?!?

Dr Gabriella Day is a GP in England who describes herself and her beliefs as follows: “I began training in homeopathy as it is clear that for many conditions conventional treatment options are not effective and can have unwanted side effects. It seemed to me that there must be another way to help people suffering from […]

Monday, 19 June 2017

Pharmacists’ responsibilities vis a vis alternative medicine: the violation of healthcare ethics continues.

Alternative medicine differs from conventional medicine in numerous ways. One important difference is that patients often opt to try this or that product without consulting any healthcare professional at all. In such cases, the pharmacist might be the ONLY professional who can advise the patient who is about to purchase such a product. 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

I watched Alex Jones give his viewers health advice. Here’s what I learned. - Vox

There's a "fungus epidemic." And Infowars’ Jones has just the supplements to stop it.

... If you know anything about the HPV vaccine or vaccine safety, it’s easy to dismiss this video as fringe lunacy. But Infowars is no longer a peripheral media player. The website now reaches more than 6 million unique US users each month. The YouTube channel has more than 2 million followers — about as many as Vox ... Read full article here: I watched Alex Jones give his viewers health advice. Here’s what I learned. - Vox

Is homeopathy ‘nano-medicine’?

“Highly diluted homeopathic remedies cannot possibly work beyond a placebo effect because there is nothing in them”. This is the argument, we often hear. It is, I think correct. But homeopaths have always disagreed. Hahnemann claimed that the healing power of his remedies was due to a ‘vital force’, and for a long time his […]

Friday, 16 June 2017

What The Fuck Is Goop? - A Scarlet Investigation - scarlet brigade

Goop is a lifestyle brand, created by Paltrow in 2008 that aims to empower and enlighten women. It does so by selling women jade eggs to shove up their vagina and promoting, “death detoxes,” which slowly starve you to death on a diet of privilege and room temperature water.

These are actual instructions from the detox section on the website...

Read the rest of this NFSW dissection: What The Fuck Is Goop? - A Scarlet Investigation - scarlet brigade

Refreshingly honest words from a pharmacist: ‘Homeopathy could be pharmacy’s saviour’

David Needleman, a pharmacist at Wilkinson Chemist in Barnet, UK, has published a brilliant article explaining that complementary medicine such as homeopathy, nutrition and aromatherapy could make smaller pharmacies “more viable and competitive”, as they look to “survive” the funding cuts across England. In doing so, he made it clear that retail pharmacists are shop-keepers, not healthcare professionals, as previously assumed. […]

The Wonderful World of Tong Ren Therapy - Plague of Mice

Tong Ren therapy, or the art of hitting dolls with hammers to magically cure all sorts of Stuff because of the Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things. This started out as a bit of light relief for a hot and muggy day enlivened by a splitting ophthalmic headache. I should have stuck with the headache.

I’ve covered this lunatic therapy before. For those who missed the previous episode and can’t be arsed to go back and read it, here’s a fresh presentation of this most egregious fuckwittery..

Read the full post: The Wonderful World of Tong Ren Therapy - Plague of Mice

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Recklessly stupid TCM-promotion by the ‘Daily Mail’

The ‘Daily Mail’ is not a paper famed for its objective reporting. In politics, this can influence elections; in medicine, it can endanger public health. A recent article is a case in point, I think. 

Traditional Chinese medicines could help prevent heart disease and the progression of pre-diabetes, according to research. Some herbal […]

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Quackademia down under

Quackademia is an apt term for the teaching or promotion of quackery in universities. Sadly, this is a serious problem, and we have therefore discussed it already several times (see here, here and here). If you have read my memoir, you know that I had my fair share of quackademia ‘hands-on’, so to speak. This article from Australia has more on the subject […]

Read the rest here: Quackademia down under

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Shamefully misleading drivel about homeopathy by the German BPI

According to Wikipedia, “the Bundesverband der Pharmazeutischen Industrie (BPI) with headquarters in Berlin is an Eingetragener Verein and the German industry association/trade group for the pharmaceutical industry. It represents 240 German pharmaceutical and Biotech companies in with altogether approximately 70,000 employees. BPI has an office in Brussels. The focus of the BPI is on political […]

Read the rest here: Shamefully misleading drivel about homeopathy by the German BPI

Monday, 12 June 2017

Post number 1000 !!!

Yes, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true: this is the 1000th post on this blog. Form the outset, I intended to critically comment on as many alternative modalities (treatments and diagnostic methods) as I can. This is the (probably not totally complete) list of what we covered:
  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Agrohomeopathy
  • Anthroposophic medicine
  • Alexander technique […]
Read the rest here: Post number 1000 !!!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

How to protect yourself from bogus claims about so-called alternative medicine

Currently, over 50 000 000 websites promote alternative medicine, and consumers are bombarded with information not just via the Internet, but also via newspapers, magazines and other sources. This has the potential of needlessly separating them from their cash or even seriously harming their health. As there is little that protects us from greedy entrepreneurs and over-enthusiastic therapists, we should think about protecting ourselves. Here I will provide five simple tips that may fortify you against fake news in the realm of alternative medicine […]

Read the rest here: How to protect yourself from bogus claims about so-called alternative medicine>

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Six reasons to AVOID a wheatgrass colonic

The title of the article actually was ‘SIX REASONS TO TRY A WHEATGRASS COLONIC’. I will only repeat parts of the introduction, but please do take the time to read the full text, particularly if you feel sad or depressed – it is hilarious!

START OF QUOTE If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy, then you […]

Read the rest here: Six reasons to AVOID a wheatgrass colonic

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Dlisted | Goopy Paltrow Admits That She Doesn’t Know What The Hell Goop Is Talking About

Organic, cruelty-free snake oil saleslady Goopy Paltrow was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to push her latest scheme, $90 vitamin subscriptions. Since she was there to talk about Goop, Jimmy Kimmel brought up a few of the crazy/dumb/fucked-up/all-of-the-above things that her site has suggested that their readers do. Things like walk barefoot on the earth, squat pee and shove a jade egg up their cooze. Jimmy Kimmel wanted Goopy to explain some of that shit, and with one of them, she couldn’t, because she knew nothing about it. Bless the Goop fans who struggled while holding a jade egg in their cooch as they squat peed into a dirt hole with their bare feet on the soil because they believe Goopy herself did that too...

Read on: Dlisted | Goopy Paltrow Admits That She Doesn’t Know What The Hell Goop Is Talking About (NFSW - swearing by Paltrow)

The “other medicine” … how shall we call it?

In their now famous 1998 NEJM editorial about alternative medicine, Angell and Kassirer concluded that “It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride. There cannot be two kinds of medicine — conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, […]

Monday, 5 June 2017

Are alternative practitioners fear-mongers?

Since more than 20 years, I have been writing about the risks of alternative therapies. One of my first papers on this issue was published in 1995 and focused on acupuncture. Here is its abstract: 
The use of acupuncture is widespread. The procedure is often claimed to be totally, or at least reasonably, safe. The […]

Friday, 2 June 2017

An Open Letter To Gwyneth Paltrow About GOOP | HuffPost

This is the article that started it all:
I’m pretty sure you don’t mean comment on your recipes but rather the growing exasperation from medical professionals and journalists alike at the almost constant debunking of the health “advice” and all around medical bullshit that you and your pals at GOOP promote and sell. No, we don’t have adrenal fatigue we have goopitis.

When I tell you that alcohol is a toxin I am not f*cking with you I am being factual. Do you really think everything in the world is a toxin except alcohol and botulinum toxin...
Read on: An Open Letter To Gwyneth Paltrow About GOOP | HuffPost

Fifteen Children in South Sudan Die During Vaccine Campaign

The Associated Press is reporting that 15 children have died as a result of a vaccination campaign in South Sudan. According to the report:
“Fifteen young children have died in a botched measles vaccination campaign that saw people as young as 12 years old administering the vaccines, South Sudan’s government announced Friday. The United Nations […]

Read more at: Fifteen Children in South Sudan Die During Vaccine Campaign by Reuben

INFORMED CONSENT IN ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ethical imperative + practical impossibility

Before starting to treat a patient, all health care professionals – including of course alternative practitioners – have to obtain informed consent. This is not optional but an ethical and legal imperative. Informed consent must usually include full information on: 
  • the diagnosis 
  • its natural history 
  • the most effective treatment options available 
  • the proposed therapy 
  • its effectiveness […]

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Peter Doshi is at it again with (anti?) vaccine article

Remember Peter Doshi? The researcher whose shocking (it isn’t) opinion pieces are used by anti-vaccine zealots almost on a yearly basis? The researcher who presented at an anti-vaccine conference hosted by the notoriously misnamed National Vaccine Information Center? Yeah, you remember. Well, he’s back.

This time, he is apparently outraged that there is a glitch in how certain browsers handle the web address for the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System […]

Read more at: Peter Doshi is at it again with (anti?) vaccine article by Reuben

Olivia Newton-John, cancer and alternative medicine

Olivia Newton-John is postponing her June U.S. and Canadian concert tour dates, as the back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert tour, has been diagnosed as bone metastases form her earlier breast cancer. She now intends to complete a short course of photon radiation therapy along with alternative […]

Read the rest here: Olivia Newton-John, cancer and alternative medicine