NOV
28
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Points of Interest 11/27/2015

Father loses custody of boys after refusing to stop trying to cure their autism through homeopath . Forget the Vitamins, Get a Flu Shot Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:328642. Epub 2015 Nov 1. Effectiveness and Safety of Manufactured Chinese Herbal Formula for Knee Osteoarthritis: Insights from a Systematic Review. " Same as it ever w...
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2470 Hits
NOV
18
0

Points of Interest 11/17/2015

U.S. files criminal charges against sellers of Jack3d, other supplements . Natural health store 'misleads consumers over homeopathy' . "The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that ads for homeopathy from New Zealand natural health store "HealthPost" were misleading." 17 natural therapies that the Australian government thinks 'ineffective' Re...
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2460 Hits
OCT
20
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Point of Interest 10/19/2015

Why are placebos getting more effective? . Doctor of What? In Israel, Some Practitioners of Alternative Medicine Buy Themselves a Title . For a little as $2,600 you can receive a degree in complementary medicine from the United States or India and put 'Dr.' in front of your name, without having to spend any time on campus OPINION – ANTI-VACCINATION...
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2542 Hits
SEP
16
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Points of Interest 09/15/2015

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour could support making HOMEOPATHY available on NHS U.S. Vaccination Rates Are Higher Than We Thought — But It's Not All Great News Complement Ther Med. 2015 Oct;23(5):685-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.07.008. Epub 2015 Jul 31. A randomised, controlled, single-blinded study on the impact of a single rhythmical massage (anthroposo...
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2903 Hits
AUG
28
2

The Peoples Anecdotes

I used to read almost exclusively history, and when I hear the term "Peoples" I think of ideologically driven organizations whose purpose is to enforce a status quo that is divorced from reality. Like Peoples Courts of the last century. Peoples in that context has as much meaning as 'democratic' and 'republic' in the title of totalitarian governmen...
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DevoutCatalyst
Number one reason I won't support Wisconsin public radio is The People's Pharmacy show they air. Really shoddy programming choice.
Friday, 28 August 2015 13:46
Guest — Pharmskep
It is more blurring of the lines between medicine and pseudomedicine. It seems that education and training of the future physician... Read More
Thursday, 03 September 2015 01:19
4373 Hits
AUG
02
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Points of Interest 08/01/2015

New Acupuncture Clinic closed by Ottawa Public Health. "the clinic failed to properly dispose of needles, had improper hand hygiene and used expired products, " I would have that that to be standard operating procedure. From acupuncture to shock wave therapy, now avians are getting benefit of modern treatments . Complete with a slide show of bird a...
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3998 Hits
MAY
19
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Points of Interest 05/18/2015

 

Pain Med. 2015 May 13. doi: 10.1111/pme.12761. What is the Acupoint? A preliminary review of Acupoints.”However, due to insufficience in evidence and in current methodologies, research into mechanisms of acupuncture is still incomplete.” I could argue that.BMJ Case Rep. 2014 Aug 6;2014. pii: bcr2013200958. doi: 10.1136/bcr–2013–200958. A rare case of acute hepatitis induced by use of Babchi seeds as an Ayurvedic remedy for vitiligo.

State data show dangerous levels of unvaccinated students

An analysis of school-by-school opt-out rates finds regional pockets of resistance, subverting ‘herd immunity’ and increasing the threat of an infectious outbreak.Anderson Chiropractic Announces Nasal Cranial Release Therapy. Nasal Cranial Release is a chiropractic adjustment technique that may be beneficial for treating concussions and other head trauma. The release technique is designed to relieve forces that can adversely affect the skull and trigger health problems including vertigo, low energy, insomnia, difficulties concentrating and anxiety… adjusts the skull bones by using a small finger cot affixed to an inflatable device that is inserted into the nasal passageways.”Food Babe vs. the Science Babe. “Vani Hari’s blog, The Food Babe, is a sublimely fact-free blight on the Internet. Buoyed by appearances on the Dr. Oz Show (of course) and a bestselling book, she misinforms an army of followers who exert significant power in the marketplace.”Stem cell ‘Wild West’ takes root amid lack of US regulation
3826 Hits
APR
05
0

Points of Interest 04/04/2015

Phytomedicine. 2015 Mar 15;22(3):394–9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Feb 23. Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.. “Although R. rosea produced less antidepressant effect versus sertraline, it also resulted in significantly fewer adverse events and was better tolerated. These findings suggest that R. rosea, although less effective than sertraline, may possess a more favorable risk to benefit ratio for individuals with mild to moderate depression.” Bias much?Health Policy. 2015 Mar 21. pii: S0168–8510(15)00090–1. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2015.03.007. [Epub ahead of print][The paradox of non-evidence based, publicly funded complementary alternative medicine in the English National Health Service: An explanation.](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25837235)Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Apr 3;4:CD006833. Reiki for depression and anxiety.. “There is insufficient evidence to say whether or not Reiki is useful for people over 16 years of age with anxiety or depression or both.” But there is sufficient evidence to suggest that reiki is totally divorced from reality.Semin Thromb Hemost. 2015 Apr 3. The Influence of Herbal Medicine on Platelet Function and Coagulation: A Narrative Review.
4851 Hits
APR
03
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Points of Interest 04/02/2015

Making Herbal Supplements SaferDetox needed for complementary medicinesEur Spine J. 2015 Apr 1. Are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs effective for the management of neck pain and associated disorders, whiplash-associated disorders, or non-specific low back pain? A systematic review of systematic reviews by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration. “For NAD, oral NSAIDs may be more effective than placebo. Oral NSAIDs are more effective than placebo for persistent LBP, but not for recent-onset LBP. Different oral NSAIDs lead to similar outcomes for neck pain and LBP.”Joni Mitchell’s health scare brings Morgellons condition back into the news.World Homeopathy Summit opens on April 11Max Hastings reveals the contents of a Prince Charles letter about homeopathy.Groping was part of treatment, says quack
3790 Hits
MAR
25
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Points of Interest 03/24/2015

Police investigating arsenic poisoning in UK herbal supplement case. The UK medicines agency has joined West Yorkshire police in investigating an arsenic poisoning case that has been linked to an impotence herbal supplement sold via the UK arm of an Indian firm.Bill could regulate alternative healing professionals
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7125 Hits
MAR
10
0

Points of Interest 03/09/2015

The 8 most effective new age treatments, according to youCHIROPRACTIC: an early and delightful critiqueStudy: Scare tactics aimed at vaccine skeptics may backfire Kenya: Don’t Be Duped By ‘Herbalists’ and SorcerersDoes Your Health Insurance Cover Alternative Medicine?  High out-of-pocket costs may dissuade Americans looking for alternative treatments.​2 common pediatric conditions treated with chiropractic care. Ear infections and asthma.
4094 Hits
FEB
04
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Points of Interest 2/3/2015

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Feb 2;2:CD008400. Acupuncture for mumps in children. “We could not reach any conclusion about the efficacy and safety of acupuncture as we identified no trials for inclusion in this review. More high-quality research is needed.” No no no no no.

Measles Outbreak Proves Delicate Issue to G.O.P. Field

Spreading Along With Measles: Polarization on a Hot-Button Issue.

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4320 Hits
JAN
28
0

Points of Interest 01/27/2015

Dr. Oz guest forced to pay $9 million for weight loss scam. “Now, Lindsey Duncan, a well-known guest of “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The View,” hasagreed to pay $9 million to customers after selling fake weight-loss products, including green coffee bean extract.”

Government confirms one of Dr. Oz’s favored diet pills is a total hoax.

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Dec;95(12):2470–83. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.05.005. Epub 2014 May 27. What do we really know about the safety of tai chi?: A systematic review of adverse event reports in randomized trials.. “TC is unlikely to result in serious AEs, but it may be associated with minor musculoskeletal aches and pains. However, poor and inconsistent reporting of AEs greatly limits the conclusions that can be drawn regarding the safety of TC.”

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4609 Hits
JAN
14
3

Knowledge is Spreading

There have been a flurry of studies the last several years that demonstrate that herbs and supplements are not only a waste of time, but potentially harmful. As the Annals of Internal Medicine editorial noted in 2013

In conclusion, β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.

Herbs like St. Johns Wort have the potential for important drug-drug interactions

SJW was mentioned in 2,230,000 visits (120,000 visits/year). On average, visits mentioning SJW had 3.1 other drugs mentioned. Of the visits at which SJW was listed, 28% (620,000 visits over the 18-year study period) also listed a drug that is unsafe to use with SJW. Leading medications that could interact with SJW and that were listed at SJW visits included SSRIs (13.7%), benzodiazepines (9.8%), warfarin (4.2%), statins (3.3%), verapamil (1.0%), digoxin (1.0%), and oral contraceptives (0.6%, Table 1).

A quick Pubmed of “herbal complications” finds hepatitis, kidney failure, hypertension, bleeding, and priapism that lasted 120 hours among others.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Barbara Ann Wilson, MD
In places where they do surgery on people and do not allow them pain medicine - like my breast surgery in Austin Texas with Dr. Ma... Read More
Monday, 02 February 2015 02:56
Guest — Barbara Ann Wilson, MD
In places where they do surgery on people and do not allow them pain medicine - like my breast surgery in Austin Texas with Dr. Ma... Read More
Monday, 02 February 2015 02:56
Guest — sumi
nice
Thursday, 06 October 2016 06:29
5017 Hits
JAN
11
4

A defense of the FDA's letter to Herbalife

The FDA wrote a letter to Herbalife, a dietary supplement manufacturer, in December. It was not a warning letter, mind you, just a letter saying the FDA is concerned about an Herbalife broadcast ad and YouTube video which, in the FDA's view, mischaracterized the FDA's role regarding dietary supplements. 

If the name "Herbalife" sounds familiar, it may be because of a very public battle going on between hedge fund investor William Ackman and the company.  Herbalife is a multi-level marketing company, which means people who distribute Herbalife products are compensated for the sales of others they bring is as Herbalife distributors.  Ackman thinks Herbalife is actually a pyramid scheme, and has made a billion dollar bet that the company's stock will decrease in value.  In November, Herbalife agreed to a $15 million settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by a distributor who alleged its business model is just that: a pyramid scheme. 

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Guest — Rob
The font style you are using for quotes is difficult to read. A clean simple font without the effects would be much easier to rea... Read More
Monday, 12 January 2015 19:33
Guest — Rob
The font style you are using for quotes is difficult to read. A clean simple font without the effects would be much easier to rea... Read More
Monday, 12 January 2015 19:33
Janet Camp
I doubt that even one in 1,000 people would even know what the DSHEA is. Even fewer are aware that there is no need for even a dai... Read More
Friday, 16 January 2015 21:05
20344 Hits
DEC
25
1

Points of Interest 12/24/2014

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:313549. doi: 10.1155/2014/313549. Epub 2014 Nov 4. Efficacy of acupuncture for psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. “This review and meta-analysis could not confirm that acupuncture was an effective treatment for psychological symptoms associated with opioid addiction.”As always, poor quality studies show effects: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Dec 23;12:CD004504. Herbal medicine for low-back pain. “C. frutescens (Cayenne) reduces pain more than placebo. Although H. procumbens, S. alba, S. officinale L., S. chilensis, and lavender essential oil also seem to reduce pain more than placebo, evidence for these substances was of moderate quality at best”Maturitas. 2014 Nov 20. pii: S0378–5122(14)00354–5. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.11.006. Chinese medicine treatment for menopausal symptoms in the UK health service: Is a clinical trial warranted?. Nope.2014, a Bad Year for HomoeopathyFinally, the anti-vaccine movement is losing steam
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Guidry
My favorite quote concerning the anti vaccine movement came from an Australian with a child in the ICU. He said he had overestimat... Read More
Thursday, 25 December 2014 11:20
6686 Hits
NOV
19
0

Points of Interest 11/18/2014

Pain. 2014 Apr;155(4):666-73. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.11.021. Epub 2013 Dec 6. Seeing facial expressions enhances placebo analgesia.Emotional modulation of placebo analgesiaJuiced frog fad may be the death of this strange species. "An endangered amphibian, the world’s largest fully aquatic frog, is being used in Peru for quackery. It looks like a stupid human fad may be the end of it."A Resurrected Vaccine Fear Puts Kenyan Infants At Risk
4540 Hits
FEB
21
0

Harm

I was consulted recently for a patient with advanced HIV disease who was admitted with pneumonia. She is stable with her disease, but her immune system is suboptimal. The CD4's, for those of you in the know, are hovering around 100. Her father and husband developed an upper respiratory infection and she had to take care of them both

She knew that she needed to protect herself from acquiring their illness so she took Airborne.

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5922 Hits
FEB
06
0

Birchin'

“There is really no such thing as alternative medicine, just medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.”

So much of the alternative medicine world can be almost be dismissed out of hand on the basis of prior plausibility. Rieki, Homeopathy, Reflexology, Chromatotherapy are not based on reality and should not have any effect once bias is removed. Other interventions are simply forms of exercise that are called alternative medicine, like tai-chi.

There is one intervention that is neither intrinsically ludicrous nor a rebranding of a standard practices:  botanicals. While the provenance as to why a given botanical is recommended for a given problem can be sketchy, plants often have valuable and effective chemicals to fight many diseases and improve life. Like coffee and caffeine.

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4615 Hits