Science-Based Medicine

Gold Water, Silver Water, Copper Water (Di, 16 Okt 2018)
Ayurveda recommends gold water, silver water, and copper water to treat various conditions. There is no evidence that they work or even that they contain gold, silver, or copper.
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My Cancer Free Life: A reality series designed to promote Stanislaw Burzynski’s quackery (Mo, 15 Okt 2018)
Stanislaw Burzynski has been selling a dubious treatment known as antineoplastons to desperate cancer patients since the late 1970s. Unfortunately, there are those who are all too willing to promote the myth of a Brave Maverick Doctor who can cure cancer. Several years ago, it was Eric Merola. Now it's Uchenna Agu, a reality TV star turned producer. He plans on making a reality docuseries featuring patients "cured of cancer" by Burzynski. Worse, local Houston station KHOU-TV promoted his project on its morning show Great Day Houston.
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Thermography is Not Approved for Breast Cancer Screening in Canada (Fr, 12 Okt 2018)
Breast cancer thermography is being promoted across Canada as a reliable and effective way of identifying breast tumors. There is no evidence thermography is actually capable of doing so.
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A right to science (Do, 11 Okt 2018)
Unless forced to do so, the state and federal governments will continue to base law and policy on bad science. Maybe it's time for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a "right to science."
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Debunking the magical power of the placebo effect for chronic pain (yet again) (Mi, 10 Okt 2018)
The opioid crisis and growing awareness of the dangers of addiction to pain medication are prompting renewed calls for the use of pill placebos in place of active treatments, backed by familiar claims about the magical powers of the placebo.
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AAFP Promotes Acupuncture (Di, 09 Okt 2018)
The AAFP is not following its own standards for CME. Its monograph on Musculoskeletal Therapies devotes 1/4 of its content to acupuncture, dry needling, and cupping; and one of its four "key practice recommendations" is to consider electroacupuncture for fibromyalgia.
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Cancer disparities: It’s money that matters (along with a lot of other things) (Mo, 08 Okt 2018)
Cancer is a complex set of diseases. I commonly discuss complexities in its biology and treatment. However, there's another layer of complexity that leads to marked disparities in cancer incidence and death rates. One major factor associated with such disparities is socioeconomic status.
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Vigorous Chiropractic Adjustment Associated with Potentially Serious Eye Injury (Fr, 05 Okt 2018)
Can vigorous adjustment of the neck cause direct injury to your eye? Probably, but I don't know. This is based on a single case report. Still, I wouldn't take the chance. And why do I keep mentioning dugongs?
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What happened to the Lyme vaccine? (Do, 04 Okt 2018)
You can vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease, but there's no vaccine for humans. Why?
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World Health Organization Endorses Quackery (Mi, 03 Okt 2018)
The World Health Organization fails its primary function by promoting traditional quackery.
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More About Flu Vaccine (Di, 02 Okt 2018)
More evidence that flu shots work, that they are safe during pregnancy, and that they don't cause autism.
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A whole issue of JACM devoted to “integrative oncology” propaganda? Oh, goody. (Mo, 01 Okt 2018)
Last week, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a Special Focus Issue on "integrative oncology." In reality, it's propaganda that promotes pseudoscience and the "integration" of quackery into oncology.
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Reporting on the edge: Authority, dog whistles, and the politics of the unknown (Fr, 28 Sep 2018)
Beatrice Golomb, MD, has appeared in the news arguing "mysterious symptoms" experienced by Cuban diplomats are due to electromagnetic radiation. Though quoted by The New York Times and published in a peer-reviewed journal, are her opinions credible?
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AAFP should publish research behind finding that functional medicine lacks evidence, contains harmful and dangerous practices (Do, 27 Sep 2018)
For the public's health and safety, the American Academy of Family Physicians should publish their research behind their claims that functional medicine lacks evidence, and contains harmful and dangerous practices.
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A Nuanced View on Breast vs Formula (Mi, 26 Sep 2018)
While there is strong evidence that breast is best, a new study suggests that the benefits have been overstated, and may be mostly due to non-specific factors such as better education and overall health care.
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Flu Shots: It’s That Time Again (Di, 25 Sep 2018)
Flu shots are safe and effective. They not only protect the recipient but others in the community who are more vulnerable. Get your flu shot!
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The FTC cracks down on iV Bars for false advertising claims about its “intravenous micronutrient therapy” (Mo, 24 Sep 2018)
One of the most popular forms of quackery sold by alternative medicine practitioners such as naturopaths is intravenous vitamin therapy, sometimes also called "intravenous micronutrient therapy" (IVMT). Most are variants of a concoction known as "Myers cocktail," and there is no good evidence that IVMT is efficacious for any of the indications for which quacks use it. Last week, the FTC issued a proposed consent agreement based on a complaint against the company selling iV Bars for false advertising. Here's hoping this is the beginning of something good.
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A Recent Case Report Highlights Why Skipping the Chickenpox Vaccine is a Bad Idea (Fr, 21 Sep 2018)
Chickenpox is a nasty infection. And though it isn't as deadly as some other vaccine-preventable illnesses, it can cause severe complications even in healthy kids, especially those too young to be vaccinated against it. Ignore anyone who shrugs it off as "no big deal".
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Fish Oil Doesn’t Help Dry Eyes (Do, 20 Sep 2018)
Dry eyes? Despite guidelines that recommend fish oil consumption, a new trial demonstrate that they are not effective.
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The Pseudoscience of Kelly Brogan (Mi, 19 Sep 2018)
Kelly Brogan sells an impressive array of pseudoscience wrapped in the standard alternative tropes.
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Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence (Di, 18 Sep 2018)
A flawed study suggested that rapid onset gender dysphoria around the time of puberty might be a result of peer pressure and media influence. It raised some important questions, but Brown University succumbed to pressure from activists and removed it from its website
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Crowdfunding: The fuel for cancer quackery (Mo, 17 Sep 2018)
Ever since I first started taking notice about cancer quacks like Stanislaw Burzynski, I noticed how crowdfunding using social media and sites like GoFundMe appear to be an integral part of the business model of quack clinics. Thanks to an investigation by The Good Thinking Society published in BMJ last week, I now have a feel for the scope of the problem. The question, though, is: What can be done to turn off this lucrative revenue stream for quack clinics?
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The Chiropractic Technique Parade (Fr, 14 Sep 2018)
Failure of the chiropractic establishment to renounce the scientifically indefensible vertebral subluxation theory assures an unending parade of questionable chiropractic diagnostic and treatment methods for correction of putative vertebral subluxations.
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Integrative Medicine finally admits it’s attracting bad apples (Do, 13 Sep 2018)
Integrative medicine proponents finally acknowledge their field is attracting bad apples but fail to identify the real source of their problem: It's rejection of science-based medicine, not lack of training in integrative medicine.
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A Culture of Standards Matters (Mi, 12 Sep 2018)
Perhaps the most dangerous effect of the alternative medicine movement has been an erosion of the culture of dedication to science and standards within medicine. This has to change.
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Gender Dysphoria in Children (Di, 11 Sep 2018)
Gender transitions are becoming more and more common. Adults can make informed decisions about hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries, but what about children?
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Acupuncture versus breast cancer treatment-induced joint pain: Spinning another essentially negative study (Mo, 10 Sep 2018)
The investigators behind a recent clinical trial testing acupuncture to treat joint pain caused by aromatase inhibitors used to treat breast cancer are spinning it as a positive study. As is usually the case for acupuncture studies. It isn't
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Have Researchers Developed a Potential Microbial Miracle for Phenylketonuria Patients? (Fr, 07 Sep 2018)
Researchers specializing in synthetic biology are developing a new therapy for PKU, a potentially devastating metabolic disorder, and they have some promising preliminary human data. But it's just too early to get excited.
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Not just water! This homeopathy is contaminated with bacteria (Do, 06 Sep 2018)
Homeopathy from King Bio may contain an unlabelled ingredient: Bacterial contamination.
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Chelation Therapy for Autism is Quackery (Mi, 05 Sep 2018)
Chelation therapy for autism is not based on any scientific rationale and what evidence we have shows it does not work, yet it continues to be offered as an "alternative" treatment.
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