Month: May 2012

POM: Not So Wonderful

“POM Wonderful” is a brand of pomegranate juice. It is manufactured by a company owned by Linda and Stewart Resnick, California billionaires who pretty much single-handedly created a multi-million dollar market for pomegranate juice where none existed before. Or, as LA Times columnist Michael Hilzik wrote, It has long been clear that the most wonderful thing about Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice is...

/ May 31, 2012

Reporting Preliminary Findings

While scanning through recent science press releases I came across an interesting study looking at the use of a pharmaceutical grade antioxidant, N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), in the treatment of certain symptoms of autism. This is a small pilot study, but it did have a double-blind placebo controlled design. The press release reports: During the 12-week trial, NAC treatment decreased irritability scores from 13.1...

/ May 30, 2012

“How do you feel about Evidence-Based Medicine?”

That was the question asked on a Medscape Connect discussion I did a double-take. How do you feel? Could anybody object to the idea of basing treatments on evidence? The doctor who started the discussion asked: Besides using EBM, a lot of my prescribing comes from anecdotal experience and intuition. How about you? Where do you get your information from that you...

/ May 29, 2012
MMS

Bleaching away what ails you

In an attempt to cure autism, some parents have taken to using Miracle Medical Solution (MMS), a "supplement" that is in reality a form of powerful bleach. They're even giving autistic children bleach enemas. I wish I were kidding, but I'm dead serious.

/ May 28, 2012

What to make of Medical Dogs

For thousands of years we have guided the evolution of dogs to fulfill our needs for work and companionship.  Service dogs are pretty remarkable.  I love to watch herd dogs mimicking the dance of predator and prey.  When you see a guide dog help someone navigate a building or street, you can’t help but to be impressed by the dogs “devotion” and...

/ May 25, 2012

Choosing Wisely: Five things Pharmacists and Patients Should Question

Is the health care spending tide turning? Unnecessary medical investigations and overtreatment seems to have entered the public consciousness to an extent I can’t recall in the past. More and more, the merits of medical investigations such as mammograms and just this week, PSA tests are being being widely questioned. It’s about time. Previous attempts to critically appraise overall benefits and consequences...

/ May 24, 2012

Bee Pollen Supplements – Not Safe or Effective

Among the myriad of supplements being offered to the public are various bee products, including bee pollen. The claims made for bee pollen supplements are typically over-hyped and evidence-free, as is typical of this poorly regulated industry. The claims from bee-pollen-supplements.com are representative: The benefits are enormous and the substance has been proven by many health experts. This particular substance is known...

/ May 23, 2012

Bach Flower Remedies

May is the month associated with flowers, so I thought it would be timely to look at flower remedies. You may have heard of “rescue remedy” or other Bach flower remedies. (The preferred pronunciation is “Batch,” but it’s also acceptable to pronounce it like the composer.) They contain a very small amount of flower material in a 50:50 solution of brandy and...

/ May 22, 2012
Commander Yevsey Goldberg conducts an acupuncture procedure.

More “bait and switch” acupuncture studies

Acupuncture has been a frequent topic on this blog because, of all the “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) modalities out there, it’s arguably the one that most people accept as potentially having some validity. The rationale behind acupuncture is, as we have explained many times before, little different than the rationale behind any “energy healing” method (like reiki, for example) in that...

/ May 21, 2012
Views_of_a_Foetus_in_the_Womb

Cannibalism?

For all the goofiness that is SCAM, I never thought I would have a post with Cannibalism in the title. The ability for humans to find imaginary healing properties in everything from duck liver and heart diluted 1:100 200 times, rhinoceros horns, and waving hands over people to adjust energy fields that do not exist is remarkable. Somehow I never thought Jeffrey...

/ May 18, 2012