Category: Herbs & Supplements

Real internists train in hospitals and clinics. "Chiropractic Internists" train at The Embassy Suites.

Chiropractic Internist: A “specialty” to avoid

The "chiropractic internist" is the creation of an industry association which promotes chiropractors as "primary care physicians." After 300 hours of instruction in a hotel conference room, they claim they can treat "anything that a medical doctor can."

/ January 5, 2017
Image via @statsguyuk

Detox Scams are Worthless and Potentially Dangerous

A case report of a healthy woman who landed in intensive care due to her New Year's detox regimen highlights that detox treatments are a dangerous scam.

/ January 4, 2017
benecol-product-image

A review of Benecol, a plant-stanol margarine

Most nutraceuticals don't really work as advertised. For the most part, Benecol pretty much does. But is it worth it?

/ December 27, 2016
cranberries-from-khuroshvili-ilya

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?

/ December 15, 2016
BrainPlus IQ: If it turns your brain blue, consult a doctor.

BrainPlus IQ: Lying with Advertising

I got an email urging me to check out a wonderful new product that boosts brain performance: it “doubles IQ, skyrockets energy levels, and connects areas of the brain not previously connected.” It is BrainPlus IQ, a dietary supplement that falls into the category of nootropics, substances that enhance cognition and memory. After looking into it, my first thought was that if...

/ November 29, 2016
Ball-and-stick diagram of the phenibut molecule

Phenibut Is Neither Proven Nor Safe As A Prosocial Wonder Drug

Editor’s note: With Mark Crislip away on yet another vacation, we present an inaugural guest post from Abby Campbell, a practicing MD, Ph.D and contributor at HealthyButSmart.com. Welcome Abby! On average for the past year, phenibut has been typed into google 49,500 times a month. Phenibut is a supposed wonder drug that claims to promote sociability and lessen anxiety. When people run...

/ November 25, 2016
Is that pharmacist making an evidence-based recommendation?

What are health professionals telling consumers about dietary supplements?

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...

/ November 17, 2016
Trump is OK with pseudoscience

“Donald Trump’s presidential election win stuns scientists”

Scientists in the U.S. and from around the world are weighing in on Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the most powerful country on earth: Trump will be the first anti-science president we have ever had . . . The consequences are going to be very, very severe. Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society in...

/ November 10, 2016

Supplements: Still popular despite little evidence they’re useful

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...

/ November 3, 2016
Corydalis. Better than opium?

Corydalis: An Herbal Medicine for Pain, with Some Thoughts on Drug Development

Ever since William Withering published his classic treatise on Foxglove in 1775, science has been testing herbal medicines and trying to establish a scientific basis for the ones that work. As many as half of today’s prescription drugs were derived from plants. A new study published in Current Biology by Zhang et al. has identified a compound in a traditional herbal remedy...

/ November 1, 2016