Month: August 2017

A field of blood cells. The bi-concave disks are red blood cells or erythrocytes. The white cell with the dark purplish, multi-lobed nucleus is a neutrophil, a type of white blood cell or leukocyte. The smaller spikey objects are platelets. (photo and text from NCI Visuals Online Library image 3696, created by Donald Bliss.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms – an overview and my experiences

In 2014 I was diagnosed with a type of myeloproliferative neoplasm. Since that time I have sought many treatments, and experienced many setbacks. Science-based medicine has kept me alive to write this post. Here I pass along some of my knowledge and experience regarding these rare cancers.

/ August 18, 2017
pills - tablets and gelcaps

The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus

The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, an officially-recognized Congressional Membership Organization, operates as an in-house mouthpiece for the dietary supplement industry. Both the caucus and the rules allowing it should be reformed to prohibit this.

/ August 17, 2017
Unlabeled bags, unmarked bottles, uncertain contents, and a lot of trust - how the supplement industry works.

The Supplement Con

A new article in Business Insider challenges the major narrative promoted by the supplement industry - that supplements are safe, effective, natural, and actually in the bottle. If we are lucky, this may mark a the start of a sea change in how Americans see supplements.

/ August 16, 2017
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The Hormone Myth

"Mary is really bitchy today; she must be on the rag." Comments like this are all too common, and are misguided. In her new book, Robyn Stein DeLuca dispels the myths about how hormones affect women's moods and mental health, myths that have contributed to unequal treatment of women. Junk science supported the myths; good science debunks them.

/ August 15, 2017
Chemotherapy Patient

Alternative medicine kills cancer patients

By definition, alternative medicine has not been shown to be effective or has been shown to be ineffective. Thus, alternative medicine is ineffective against cancer and can best be represented as either no treatment at all or potentially harmful treatment. It is thus not surprising that cancer patients who choose alternative medicine have a higher risk of dying from their cancer. A...

/ August 14, 2017
intrauterineadjustment

Australian Fetus First to Undergo Intrauterine Chiropractic Adjustment

Are chiropractic surgeons really performing intrauterine spinal adjustments based on the results of nonsensical muscle tests and ultrasound imaging? No.

/ August 11, 2017
leg cramp

Is something better than nothing? The many ineffective ways we treat nocturnal leg cramps

While leg cramps won't kill you, they can make you miserable when you are trying to sleep. There's not much evidence for effective treatments, and there are far more proposed treatments than there is evidence.

/ August 10, 2017
first-person-shooter

Video Games and the Brain

A new article looked at the effect of playing video games on the brain. Its results confirm what was previously suspected from prior research. First, it is another demonstration of use-dependent plasticity in the brain. Further, it supports a direct relationship between the types of activity in which people engage and increases or decreases in the respective parts of the brain. And...

/ August 9, 2017
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Doc Doc Zeus: A Glimpse Behind the Scenes of Medical Boards

A novel about a doctor who raped a minor and is being investigated by his state medical board provides behind-the-scene insights into the workings of medical boards. It helps explain why these boards are so often ineffective, why medical malfeasance so often leads to a token disciplinary action rather than to loss of license.

/ August 8, 2017
Compounding Pharmacy

Naturopathy and dubious compounding pharmacies: A deadly combination

In March, it was widely reported that a young woman named Jade Erick had died suddenly of a hypersensitivity reaction while undergoing an infusion of intravenous curcumin ordered by a naturopath named Kim Kelly to treat her eczema. The FDA investigated and found egregious problems with the injectable curcumin used. This tragic incident thus serves to demonstrate how dangerous a combination naturopaths...

/ August 7, 2017