Category: Science and Medicine

The Microbial Metagenome

First some background.  I was first directed to the Marshall protocol by a reader who wondered about the information the found on the web.  So I went to the web and looked at the available information, much as any patient would, and discussed what I found there. I have subsequently been lead to believe that none of the information on the website...

/ August 14, 2009

The Rise of Placebo Medicine

It is my contention that terms such as “complementary and alternative medicine” and “integrative medicine” exist for two primary purposes. The first is marketing – they are an attempt at rebranding methods that do not meet the usual standards of unqualified “medicine”. The second is a very deliberate and often calculating attempt at creating a double standard. We already have a standard...

/ August 12, 2009

Health care reform and primary sources

One thing I always encourage my residents and students to do is to go to primary sources.  If someone tells you that thiazide diruetics should be the first line treatment for hypertension, get on MedLine and see if that assertion is congruent with the evidence.  It’s important to see how we arrive at broad treatment recommendations, how strong and consistent the evidence...

/ August 10, 2009
vertebroplasty

Functional Medicine III

Let’s look at one example. A unknown number of Functional Medicine adherents broadcast call-in programs on radio stations. One FM physician, a Dr. “D” in Northern California graduated from UC Davis School of Medicine (Central California’s Sacramento Valley.) I find her program fascinating, requiring some attentive listening. Dr. D’s recommendations for people’s complaints and conditions are often complex, a chimera of standard...

/ August 6, 2009

Science-Based Medicine 101: How To Establish A Source’s Credibility

I thought I’d do a little SBM 101 series for our lay readers. Forgive me if this information is too basic… at least it’s a place to start for those who are budding scientists and critical thinkers. 🙂 *** Which news source do you trust more: The New York Times or The National Enquirer? Which news reporter would you trust more: Charlie...

/ August 6, 2009

Quack Clinics

Reuters recently reported on the raid of a stem-cell clinic in Hungary. This is welcome news, if the allegations are correct, but really is only scratching the surface of this problem – clinics offering dubious stem cell therapies to desperate patients. And in fact this is only one manifestation of a far greater problem – the quack clinic. They represent a serious...

/ August 5, 2009

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Not every post will be an in-depth, authoritative review of a topic like yesterday’s on Dr. Sears.  A change of pace can be nice, and I have always liked history. JAMA likes to run articles called “JAMA 100 YEARS AGO” and the reprint from the July 24, 1909 issue is interesting. It...

/ July 31, 2009

Cashing In On Fear: The Danger of Dr. Sears

I generally know what’s coming next when a parent asks about altering their child’s vaccine schedule: “I was reading Dr. Sears….” Dr. Sears is a genius. No, not in an Albert Einstein or Pablo Picasso kind of way. He’s more of an Oprah or a Madonna kind of genius. He’s a genius because he has written a book that capitalizes on the...

/ July 30, 2009

Beware the Spinal Trap

Last year Simon Singh wrote a piece for the Guardian that was critical of the modern practice of chiropractic. The core of his complaint was that chiropractors provide services and make claims that are not adequately backed by evidence – they are not evidence-based practitioners. In response to his criticism the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) sued Simon personally for libel. They refused...

/ July 29, 2009