All posts by Scott Gavura

Iridology

Australian review finds no benefit to 17 natural therapies

Health care systems around the world are being pressured to “do more and spend less”, to make healthcare more cost effective. Owing to aging populations and the growing cost of providing health services, there’s more scrutiny than ever on the value of different health treatments, with the goal of reducing the use of treatments that don’t help. The Choosing Wisely initiative was...

/ November 19, 2015

The horrible consequences of seeking “natural” immunity: Naturopathy and Whooping Cough

If there’s one area of “alternative” medicine that saddens (and angers) me, it’s the antivaccine movement. Most alternative medicine only risks harm to the user. But antivaccinationists threaten public health. Their actions can harm the most vulnerable in our society – often children, and others who depend on the herd immunity that vaccination provides. After my last few naturopathy vs. science posts...

/ November 5, 2015

Naturopathy vs. Science: Diabetes Edition

Diabetes already requires care from multiple medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists. Should naturopathy be included?

/ October 22, 2015
sweet-worm-wood-artemisia-annua-from-lalbagh

No, the Nobel Prize does not validate naturopathy or herbalism

This year's Nobel prize is an excellent case study that illustrates the problems with alternative medicine and proving just what science-based medicine can deliver.

/ October 8, 2015

An aspirin a day to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and cancer?

Taking an aspirin a day has always been controversial when it comes to preventing disease before it occurs. Now a task force is recommending daily use under some circumstances. Do the benefits really outweigh the risks?

/ September 24, 2015

Are guidelines for calcium and vitamin D rooted in evidence, or vested interests?

Do osteoporosis guidelines overstate the benefits of calcium and vitamin D supplements? And is their continued presence due to vested interests and conflicts of interest? That’s the provocative argument made by Andrew Grey and Marc Bolland, two endocrinologists who recently detailed their analysis in The BMJ, in a paper entitled “Web of industry, advocacy, and academia in the management of osteoporosis” [PDF]....

/ September 10, 2015

Is there a natural treatment for tinnitus?

“Why do you bother blogging?” asked a colleague. “You take hours of your personal time to write, and you do it for free. You’re not even getting any citations for all that work.” I admit I found the questions a bit surprising. True, you won’t find SBM posts abstracted in PubMed. But I’m writing for an entirely different audience. I blog for...

/ August 27, 2015

A homeopathic win for consumers

Do you believe in magic? It might surprise you to learn that some people believe sugar pills have healing properties. This belief system, called homeopathy, is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, and it’s growing. While there is no convincing evidence to demonstrate that homeopathic treatments are more effective than a placebo, many consumers and even some health professionals accept homeopathy as a...

/ August 13, 2015

Rehydrating with an appeal to nature

I don’t tend to worry too much about hydration, except when I exercise. I’ve been running regularly for over 15 years, and since I started I’ve usually carried water, or for longer runs, I drink old-school Gatorade. The formulation is basic: sugar, salt, and potassium. There are hundreds of electrolyte products marketed for athletics, but I’ve been faithful to the original: It’s...

/ July 30, 2015

The evolving story of the harms of anti-inflammatory drugs

Owing to summer vacation, today’s post updates a 2011 post and a 2013 post with some new information. Anti-inflammatory drugs are among the most well-loved products in the modern medicine cabinet. They can provide good pain control, reduce inflammation, and eliminate fever. We give non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in infancy, continuing through childhood and then adulthood for the aches and pains of...

/ July 23, 2015