Category: Herbs & Supplements

Green Tea: Panacea or Poison?

In the news: a woman in Fort Wayne, Indiana is suing the Arbonne International company in Allen Superior Court, claiming that its product contained toxic levels of green tea extracts, causing her to develop acute liver failure. Green tea accounts for 20% of tea consumption worldwide. It has become more and more popular because of its many reported health benefits; the consumption...

/ June 9, 2015

Medicine doesn’t come from the hardware store: Don’t drink turpentine

I enjoy feedback from readers. Yes, there’s the regular hate mail accusing me of being a Big Pharma Shill. But there’s the occasional appreciative comment from someone that found a post helpful or informative. The most gratifying feedback is when someone tells me that something I wrote led to a more informed health decision. Often it’s because I was able to answer...

/ June 4, 2015

The Rosedale Diet: Here We Go Again

Ron Rosedale, MD has devised a “powerful program based on the new science of leptin.” “Finally — the ultimate diet for fast, safe weight loss, lifelong health, and longer life…” He suggests it will prevent or improve high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and a host of other ills. He repeats the CAM canard that “doctors only treat symptoms” and...

/ June 2, 2015

Escharotic Treatment for Cervical Dysplasia: A New Incarnation of Black Salve?

Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition picked up by Pap smears. It is most often caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Mild cases may resolve spontaneously and can be followed by observation with frequent Pap smears, but cervical dysplasia can progress to cancer. The standard treatment is to remove the abnormal cells with a cone biopsy (using a knife) or a Loop...

/ May 26, 2015

Vitamins and Cancer Risk

One of the greatest triumphs of marketing over evidence was the incredible rise of vitamin supplement use in the 20th century. Supplement makers successfully created a “health halo” around vitamins, and taking your vitamins became a virtue, something mothers told their children to do. The evidence, however, does not tell such a simple story. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent...

/ May 6, 2015

Legislative Alchemy: Naturopathic licensing and practice expansion 2015

Naturopathy is chock-full of quackery. No doubt about it. Here at SBM and elsewhere, the seemingly limitless nonsense that can be incorporated into naturopathic practice has been documented time and again: detoxification, food “sensitivities,” anti-vaccination ideology, fake diseases (chronic yeast overgrowth, adrenal fatigue, chronic Lyme disease), bogus tests (also here), homeopathy, chelation therapy, assorted other odd-ball treatments, lack of ethical standards, and...

/ April 30, 2015

“America’s Quack” strikes back

Those of you who read my not-so-super-secret other blog (or who follow the news) familiar with this, but I feel that what happened over the last couple of weeks with respect to a man to whom I like to refer as “America’s Quack” is worth posting right here, in modified form. Last week, a group of ten doctors led by Dr. Henry...

/ April 25, 2015

Supplements are the Wild West of health. One Attorney General is out to change that.

Bold moves from the New York State attorney general’s (AG) office are shaking up the supplement industry. In February, the AG accused four retailers (GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens) of selling supplements that failed to contain their labelled ingredients. Using a testing method called “DNA barcoding“, the AG’s office concluded that few of the products it tested actually contained the labelled ingredient,...

/ April 9, 2015

Healthy Habits Global: Spreading False Information about an MLM Coffee with Herbal Additives

When my husband was helping a friend with a project at the house of someone he didn’t know, the lady of the house gave him an earful about the health benefits of the coffee sold by Healthy Habits Global (HHG), a multilevel marketing (MLM) enterprise for which she is a distributor. She sent him home with samples and a brochure with a...

/ April 7, 2015

The DC as PCP? Drug Wars Resume

Chiropractors are once again engaged in intra-fraternal warfare over the chiropractic scope of practice, a saga we’ve chronicled before on SBM. (See the references at end of this post.) Every time it looks like the warring factions have buried their differences, they come rising to the surface like zombies. The International Chiropractors Association (ICA), representing the “straight” faction, wants chiropractic to continue...

/ March 19, 2015