Category: Science and Medicine

“Magic Socks?” Alternative Medicine’s Obsession With Your Feet.

I recently received an email from none other than Jann Bellamy pointing out a particular flavor of naturopathic nonsense that I had missed up until this point: “magic socks.” A quick search revealed that our own Scott Gavura had briefly mentioned this remedy in a 2013 post, but I plan on going into much greater detail. The claim contained in the newsletter...

/ October 9, 2015

Tobinick Lawsuit Update – Justice Has Prevailed

On September 30, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted Dr. Novella’s motion for summary judgment, ending the lawsuit against him by Dr. Edward Tobinick and two of his companies. Earlier in the case, all of the other defendants had filed successful motions to dismiss or for summary judgment and were no longer parties to the case. That he...

/ October 6, 2015
You want to inject me with vaccines and then dissect my brain? Why? We already know vaccines don't cause autism!

Antivaccine activists fund a study to show vaccines cause autism. It backfires spectacularly.

Having written about pseudoscience and quackery continuously for over a decade and having engaged in conversations about it online for over 15 years, I’ve come to recognize a number of traits that are virtually the sine qua non of quacks and pseudoscientists and their believers. Obviously, one of them is a severe case of the Dunning-Kruger effect, a tendency of those with...

/ October 5, 2015

Open vs Blinded Peer-Review

The overall goal of science-based medicine is to maintain and improve the standard of science in the practice of medicine at every level. At the heart of the scientific basis of medical knowledge and practice is a process known as peer-review. We have occasionally written about peer-review on SBM, and once again the process is under the microscope over a specific question...

/ September 30, 2015

The Enigma of Chiropractic: A Brief Review with a Perspective on Chiropractic as a Specialty

Much of what is discussed in this article has been said before in previous articles I have written for Science-Based Medicine. But since the audience for SBM has greatly increased over the past few years, some subject matter should be repeated for the new readers and researchers coming to this site for reliable information on health care. Many consumers now search SBM...

/ September 27, 2015

A “Natural Cure” for Eczema Leaves a Young Child in Agony…..

A short post today, for me at least, but an important one to file away for the next time somebody asks “What’s the harm?” during a discussion on the use of irregular medicine in the care of pediatric (or any) patients. The case The September 2015 issue of Pediatrics in Review, the official American Academy of Pediatrics source for continuing medical education,...

/ September 25, 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

Here be Dragons: Caring for Children in a Dangerous Sea of sCAM

As a pediatrician working in a relatively sCAM-inclined region, it is not uncommon to find myself taking care of patients who are also being followed by so-called alternative medicine practitioners. This often creates a major obstacle to providing appropriate care and establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust in the provider-patient/parent relationship. It usually makes me feel like I’m battling invisible serpents in...

/ September 11, 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

The price of a naturopathic education

Editor’s Note: I’m on vacation in London and won’t be doing my regular Monday post this week. In its place, here’s another guest post from Britt Hermes of NaturopathicDiaries.com, about her extraordinary student debt from her abandoned naturopathy career. If you’re in London, join me at the London Skeptics’ Skeptics in the Pub on Monday night at The Monarch Bar at 7:30...

/ September 7, 2015