Complementary and alternative medicine is popular, but it's poorly regulated, and most products lack good evidence of efficacy. A new approach proposed in Australia may help consumers make more informed, science-based health decisions.
While anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used to treat back pain, a new review suggests that they may not provide meaningful benefits to most people.
A new study suggests that physicians tend to overestimate the benefits of treatments, tests, and screening tests, while also underestimating harms.
New guidelines suggest that preventing peanut allergies may be as simple as giving peanut-containing food, beginning in infancy. How did old guidelines, which recommended avoidance, get it so wrong?
Fake treatments for real diseases: A review of allergy and asthma advertisements by naturopaths, chiropractors, homeopaths and acupuncturists
A majority of Canadian chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic and acupuncture clinics claim that they can diagnose or treat allergies, sensitivities and asthma.
Cranberries to prevent urinary tract infections: Another alternative medicine zombie that’s impervious to evidence
How much evidence will it take before the idea of cranberries for urinary tract infections is finally dead and buried?
Prescription drugs continue to send thousands to the emergency room every year. Many of these adverse drug events are predictable and avoidable.
The popularity of dietary supplements continues to grow. A few weeks ago I described how dietary supplements have become a $34 billion industry, despite the fact that there’s very little evidence to support their use. While there are absolutely some medical circumstances where specific supplements may be warranted, the vast majority of supplements are taken for general purposes, such as “wellness” or...
As healthcare systems struggle to cope with growing and aging populations, there is renewed interest in eliminating wasteful, and possibly harmful, care. The Choosing Wisely campaign suggests that up to 30% of health care services may be unnecessary. Driven by the medical profession itself, Choosing Wisely is challenging both patients and health care providers to have an honest dialogue about the appropriateness...
Natural Health Products: Loosely regulated, little evidence of benefit, and an industry intent on preserving the status quo
This week’s post will revisit a topic I recently covered, but it’s time-sensitive and needs your input. Health Canada, the Canadian equivalent to the US Food and Drugs Administration, is considering revisions to the way in which it regulates dietary supplements, which are called “natural health products” in Canada. It is rare that a regulator acknowledges that a regulatory system isn’t working,...