Curiosities and posts of interest across the internet concerning Science-Based Medicine.

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Points of Interest 5/14/2014

Hunterdon Healthcare launches Integrative Medicine Program“Services available in Flemington by appointment include acupuncture, massage therapy, nutrition counseling, herbal medicine consultations, and Reiki.”

“Culturally appropriate alternative medicines” for leukemia may mean death.

Whooping cough outbreak at Pittsburgh high school.

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Points of Interest 5/12/2014

 

The CIA and Pakistan’s violent anti-vaccine insurgency. Has the anti-vaccine campaign resulted in a lower percentage of autism among children not vaccinated? Crucial to know. Dunning-Kruger anyone? Homeopathy recognised as therapy by the government, still doesn’t work.
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Points of Interest: 5/08/2014

HealthTalk Live, Inc. Starts Construction of New Integrative/Interactive Web Portal. I still think Sysyphis needs to be our emblem.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 May 7;5:CD005062. [Epub ahead of print]Acupuncture for epilepsy.. “The current evidence does not support acupuncture for treating epilepsy.” Who would have thought an intervention that should have no effect is would not work in a serious illness. I wonder about an IRB that would approve such studies.

J Neurol Sci. 2014 Apr 24. pii: S0022–510X(14)00237–8. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2014.04.016. [Epub ahead of print Is acupuncture efficacious therapy in Parkinson’s disease?. “To date, the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating Parkinson’s disease is not convincing.” Why would it be? “There are needs for further studies with improved methodological quality.” No, there isn’t.

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Points of Interest: 5/07/2014

Before and After: When Supplements Get Dangerous“But really, it’s the safety issues around supplements that are my main concern. The disturbing truth about these supplements is, quite frankly, that many can cause liver and kidney damage and, in extreme cases, even death.”

Sticking needles in your dog won’t make it feel better. “Animal acupuncture perpetuates a fraud,” says Ramey. “It also dumbs down the practice of veterinary medicine and allows people to promote their nonsense at the expense of others.”

Finally, A Journalist Takes a Skeptical View of Claims for Veterinary Acupuncture.

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Points of Interest: 5/05/2014

Multisystem failure: the story of anti-influenza drugs

Online Sex Supplements Linked to Serious Psychoactive Effects. “Ingredients in sexual enhancement products advertised and sold online are associated with several serious psychoactive effects, new research shows.” I did not know there was a supplement called Horny goat weed.

Parents felt bullied over chemo: inquest. “Tamar Stitt died in 2009 of liver and stomach cancer, after travelling to El Salvador with her parents Trevor and Arely, who refused to sanction chemotherapy for their daughter despite the cancer spreading…Months later, she was dead.”

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Points of Interest: 05/02/2014

Tamiflu – Science or Spin?. Great minds think alike.

Chiropractors’ spine-chilling warnings about computers, phones and pancakes. “If chiropractors want to be taken seriously, perhaps they should focus on improving the regulation of their industry and conducting rigorous research rather than relying on PR stunts to drum up business. But I suspect they will continue to bend over backwards to exploit every PR opportunity. In the meantime, the newspapers who merrily regurgitate these flimsy stories should be careful: if they stoop any lower, they’ll put their backs out”

Measles In Alberta: Naturopaths, Chiropractors Promoting Anti-Vaccine Messages (VIDEO).

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Points of Interest: 4/30/2014

Website’s health claims earn rebuke. “Online claims that sunscreen can cause cancer and chiropractic care can boost the immune system ”200 per cent“ are wrong, the Advertising Standards Authority says. Seven claims made by Auckland-based Vital Chiropractic on its website were found to have no factual basis by the ASA, which ordered their removal, labelling one of them ”socially irresponsible“ and others ”untrue“.”

Acupunct Med. 2014 Perioperative acupuncture: why are we not using it?. Um. It’s unethical to use a useless placebo?

Victor Dominocielo: Mathematics and Homeopathy. “The homeopath, knowing he was speaking to a patient who was well versed in the mathematics of dilution and the chemistry of solutions, said, “I don’t know how it works. It just works.” Hmmm. I wouldn’t let a mechanic near my car, much less a “healer” near my body, with an attitude like that.”

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Points of Interest: 04/28/2014

Reflexology, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy: A guide to some alternative therapies. The Washington Post regurgitates many of the old tropes: ““Alternative therapy” refers to any health treatment not standard in Western medical practice.” Wrong. There is no alternative medicine. There is only scientifically proven, evidence-based medicine supported by solid data or unproven medicine, for which scientific evidence is lacking. P.B. Fontanarosa, JAMA

Trudeau is in prison and his infomercials are still airing!.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Hilary Rhoda shares naked snap of her mottled back after becoming latest celebrity to try out cupping. Impressive bruising.

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Points of Interest: 4/27/2014

Epidemic is only a plane ride away.

I’ll sue NHS to get my magic mushrooms, says Scottish grandmother following decision to axe homeopathic therapies.

Epikaizo still on sale. “UNLICENSED herbalists continue to sell drugs that they claim can cure several illnesses including the incurable HIV and Aids, putting the lives of many unsuspecting people at risk, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has said.”

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Points of Interest: 04/26/2014

An Acupuncturist’s View: How Frustration Becomes Body Pain. “I see patients in my acupuncture practice who have pain conditions caused by nothing other than frustration. Held for long enough, frustration turns to pain.” Say what ?!?

Alicia Silverstone’s New Parenting Book Is Anti-Vaccine and Filled With Crazy Talk.

Will the pro-vaccine celebs please speak up?.

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Points of Interest: 4/24/2014

ICA Responds to Forbes Attack on Chiropractic Through Legal Counsel. When reality does not support you, use the law.

Norway audits alt med industry. Guess what they find?. “During a big investigation of the alternative medicine industry in Norway, around 30 alt med practioners are getting a stern warning from the Norwegian Consumers Bureau for use of illegal claims in their advertising.”

Doctor to discuss new therapy for Autism Awareness Month““These kid’s guts are usually a mess, so their brain and nervous system aren’t working properly. When we do the chiropractic adjustment we are getting that nervous system to communicate again,” said Doctor Pace.” Another reason why chiropracters should not be allowed to be primary care providers

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Points of Interest 4/23/2014

Immune to reason. The anti-vaccine movement, whether religious or secular, needs a dose of reality.

Herbal medicines and supplements carry risk of hepatoxicity. “Herbal medicines and other home remedies or supplements are a significant cause of hepatotoxicity experts warned recently during a symposium at the International Liver Congress, which unintentionally coincided with World Homeopathy Awareness Week.”

WHO hits back at anti-vaccine deniers.

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Points of Interest: 4/22/2014

Twitter / EdzardErnst: #HOMEOPATHY: The problem is not that I don’t understand what it is; the problem is that I do understand what it is! A Top Hospital Opens Up to Chinese Herbs as Medicines Evidence is lacking that herbs are effective. I guess they use ‘top’ to mean something different than I would. Autism and the Agitator. “What do you call someone who sows misinformation, stokes fear, abets behavior that endangers people’s health, extracts enormous visibility from doing so and then says the equivalent of “Who? Me?”I’m not aware of any common noun for a bad actor of this sort. But there’s a proper noun: Jenny McCarthy.” ‘Are Your Children Vaccinated?’ Is the New ‘Do You Have a Gun in the House?’. Leuk Lymphoma. 2014 Apr 18. Widespread Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) among Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) Survivors. “Among users, 143 (20%) believe CAM assists healing, 123 (17%) believe CAM relieves symptoms, 122 (17%) believe CAM gives a feeling of control, 110 (15%) believe CAM assists other treatments, 108 (15%) believe CAM boosts immunity, 26 (4%) believe CAM cures cancer, and 36 (5%) believe CAM prevents the spread of cancer.” With the exception of the (false) feeling of control, the real answer for all the above is zero percent. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014 Apr;7(2):76–82. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2013.04.003. Epub 2013 Apr 24. Direct moxibustion to treat spleen qi and yang deficiency fatigue: a pilot study.. An imaginary treatment for an imaginary deficiency. A Close-up Look at Acupuncture for Pain. ABC gets it so wrong: “Research studies consistently show that acupuncture can be an effective form of pain management, with some studies finding it even more effective than pain-relieving drugs or surgery.”
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Points of Interest: 04/21/2014

New Medicare Data Reveal Startling $496 Million Wasted On Chiropractors “To be precise, the 2012 Medicare data reveals that in 2012, Medicare paid $496 million for chiropractic treatments in all 50 states. This is a stunning amount. It dwarfs the funding that NIH wastes on alternative medicine through NCCAM, which is itself an egregious waste of money.” Call to get homeopathic remedies off pharmacy shelves. “Pressure is mounting on pharmacists to stop selling homeopathic products after a major review found there was no credible scientific evidence to support the alternative medicines.” Jenny McCarthy: ‘For Years I Have Been Wrongly Branded As Anti-Vaccine’. Thats what happens when we listen to what you say.
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Points of Interest: 4/18/2014

Anti-BPA crusaders’ baseless fearmongering. “He recently implied in the Record that BPA causes cancer and hormone disorders in children. But Dr. Rosen practices quack medicine, and thus his BPA comments should be disregarded. He relies on such voodoo (a.k.a. woo) as homeopathy, aromatherapy, Chinese herbal medicine, Reiki, meditation and guided imagery in his practice “operated according to the principles of ecologically sustainable medicine.””

DOES THE CITY OF PORTLAND BELIEVE IN HOMEOPATHY? “The City of Portland is dumping a gazillion litres of water because some oik whizzed in it. The city of Portland, Oregon, has been forced to dump millions of gallons of drinking water. Why? Because someone urinated into a water reservoir.”

Homeopaths fight back over negative finding"“There are screeds and screeds of clinical trials that homeopathic remedies work but this study appears to have not included any of them.”“ Screeds? as in”a long and often angry piece of writing that usually accuses someone of something or complains about something." I’ll buy that.

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Points of Interest: 4/17/2014

Catch Up Edition

Freedom! 130 Bears to Be Rescued From Chinese Bile Farm.

The Cleveland Clinic gets it wrong again: Needles? Ouch! And 9 Other Acupuncture Myths

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Points of Interest 04/05/2014

Woman dies after trip to clinic. “The Sun learned the woman died in hospital on Thursday, shortly after receiving some type of IV treatment at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre along Bayswater Ave.” California Measles Outbreak Highest Since It Was Declared Eradicated, And It’s Only April. “Despite it being only three months into 2014, this is the first year that the number of measles cases in California has surpassed 40 since 2000, when the highly contagious disease was declared eradicated in the U.S.” O.C. measles outbreak spurs officials to call for immunizations. The campaign to have parents immunize their children has run up against a ‘vigorous anti-vaccine movement’ that has taken root across the country.
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Points of Interest: 04/03/2014

Diet Supplement Causes Nearly 100 Hepatitis Cases. As of February, OxyElite Pro, a dietary supplement manufactured by USPLabs that claims to help people burn fat, has been linked to 97 cases of hepatitis, including 47 people who were hospitalized, three who needed liver transplantations and one person who died.

Has the Minister for Magic Jeremy Hunt gone too far?. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says traditional Chinese medicine should be available on the NHS...The doctor insists he is speaking not with a closed mind, just a sensible one: “If the evidence came out, then of course I’d revisit it.

Suspended Bothell physician confronts his alma mater, defends his practice. Catanzaro appealed his suspension and is waiting for a scheduled hearing to take place. "I am not some quack physician who barely made it through school and operates some hole-in-the-wall medicine man type establishment bilking innocent and suffering patients out of their money as I have been portrayed," he wrote. "I find Bastyr University's comments to the media regarding my work in the cancer arena and absolute failure to support me unconscionable and egregious! Simply put, in spite of my life-time dedication to the field of natural medicine, Bastyr University and natural medicine continue to remain relatively obscure only because of the absolute failure of the deans, professors and staff and the university at large to support the visionaries in this field."

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Points of Interest: 4/02/2014

Must Read: The 2012 AHVMA Annual Conference: An illustration of Conflicts between Science-Based Medicine and Holistic Veterinary Medicine. "Since CAVM proponents often downplay the extent to which their therapies are based on beliefs or principles incompatible with the scientific world view, and are truly “alternative” at their core, it is useful to refer to the content of the textbooks, journals, and educational conferences CAVM organizations create to illustrate the underlying beliefs that so often inform these approaches."

Hunt calls for Chinese medicine on the NHS. "An aide to Mr Hunt last night insisted he was not advocating the use of Chinese medicine, just stressing that NHS cash should be focused on treatments that are scientifically proven to work." That pretty much excludes Chinese medicine.

Why homeopathy is nonsense. "As the NIH dryly notes: "several key concepts of homeopathy are inconsistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics." - See more at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/04/economist-explains#sthash.Yr6OkIrW.dpuf"

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Points of Interest 4/1/2014

Homeopathy lacks scientific credibility

How Chiropractic Marketing Is Being Revolutionized By ChiroTrust."To Get What You Want You Must First Give People What They Want....Chiropractors can’t agree with each other on technique, frequency of visits, what conditions Chiropractic care is good for, etc., etc., etc. Yet, you know what’s best for the patient?...Now, if people happen to want what they need, which is what you are offering… you are a hero....Sadly, for most Chiropractors, this is not the case. What most Chiropractors dictate to patients is not even close to what they want...This is why research is NOT the answer to our profession’s problems." Of course, I am being selective in my quoting.

Dr. Oz’s rotting credibility on food" Oz has gone from a vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University to an “alternative medicine” shyster. His denial of the scientific consensus behind GIFs is only the latest in a long line of pseudoscientific views Oz has taken in recent years. It started by promoting Ayurvedic medicine, mystics, and Reiki (the Japanese art of harnessing energy fields). But these are spirituality, not medicine."

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