Month: June 2013

The murder of autistic teen Alex Spourdalakis by his mother and caregiver: What happened?

Editor’s note: This is an extra “bonus” post. Basically, it’s a revised version of a post I did at my not-so-super-secret-other-blog last week. The issue, however, has disturbed me so much that I felt it appropriate to post it to SBM as well. Fear not. There will be a new post by yours truly on Monday. Sometimes, in the course of blogging,...

/ June 16, 2013

Two Viewpoints

Most of what I read professionally is directed towards reality-based medicine. I spend my professional energies thinking about the application of reality to killing various and sundry microscopic pathogens. The conceptual framework I use, and that used by others in medicine, does not concern itself with the application of the Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicines that occupy the attention of this blog....

/ June 14, 2013
sbm-upgrade2

Science-Based Medicine Site Upgrades

Hi everyone, I’m Joe Fulgham and I’ll be your webmaster for the evening. I was asked by Steven, David, and Paul to come in and fix up ScienceBasedMedicine.org’s web site. Some of you may recognize me from the Caustic Soda podcast, but by day I’m a web consultant. In addition to a complete makeover and a slight reorganization of content we’re also...

/ June 14, 2013

CAM Docket: Kardashian Diet Products Klass Action

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian permit the use of their names and images of their curvaceous bodies to promote “QuickTrim” diet products, a line of dietary supplements making overblown claims typical of the weight loss supplement industry. Their personal testimonies and formidable publicity machine (Kim alone has over 13 million followers on Twitter), “has reportedly generated $45 million in revenue since they...

/ June 13, 2013

Don’t Text and Drive

We accept certain risks for the benefits of modern society. We pump explosive gas into homes, we run wires with potentially fatal electrical currents through our neighborhoods, and we ski at breakneck speeds down mountains for fun. We also allow people to operate vehicles weighing thousands of pounds at speeds that are potentially deadly if a mishap occurs. In 2011 there were...

/ June 12, 2013
Glucosamine

Knee Osteoarthritis: Thumbs Down for Acupuncture and Glucosamine

One more time: acupuncture and glucosamine are useless for osteoarthritis.

/ June 11, 2013

BBC Panorama investigates Stanislaw Burzynski

Last week, I reviewed a long-expected (and, to some extent, long-dreaded) documentary by Eric Merola, a filmmaker whose talent is inversely proportional to his yen for conspiracy, pseudoscience, and quackery. Through a quirk of fate that couldn’t have worked out better if I had planned it myself, a long-expected investigation of the Burzynski Clinic by the BBC aired on its venerable news...

/ June 10, 2013

DMAA: Efficacious but is it Safe?

by Igor I. Bussel & Drey A. Pavlov Jann Bellamy has recently authored an excellent piece on the limitations of the FDA and how the DSHEA actually protects the profits of supplement manufacturers rather than the health and well-being of consumers. Bellamy used the very poignant and currently “controversial” example of DMAA (methylhexanamine or 1,3-dimethylamylamine) to illustrate her point regarding the loopholes...

/ June 7, 2013
Kombucha

Kombucha: A symbiotic mix of yeast, bacteria and the naturalistic fallacy

If you grew up in the seventies, you may remember the same food fads as I do. There was the oat bran buzz that was replaced by the wheat germ movement, the family fondue set and the homemade yogurt maker. And for a while I remember my father making what I called “aquarium water” – a foul-looking jug sitting on the kitchen...

/ June 6, 2013

Gyrostim and the Infrastructure of Quackery

It’s frustrating to read yet another story of the process of developing a potential new medical treatment derailed by the current infrastructure of quackery that we have in this and other countries. This is one of the unmeasurable harms that results when pseudoscience is given regulatory, academic, and professional legitimacy. The press then celebrates the nonsense that results. The basic story is...

/ June 5, 2013