Zombie_doctors

High dose vitamin C and cancer: Has Linus Pauling been vindicated?

Treating cancer with high-doses of vitamin C is a zombie idea that began with Linus Pauling, and has failed to die ever since. But has new research vindicated this idea? No. No in any meaningful way. This work is the very definition of a long run for a short slide.

/ August 18, 2008

Amanda Peet is My Hero(1)

“The graveyards are full of (unvaccinated) men.” Charles de Gaulle, modified by the author. We live longer than anytime in history. Our long lives are due in large part to good nutrition, sanitation, and vaccines. There have been numerous posts here and elsewhere about the vaccine deniers, primarily focused around the modern myth that vaccines cause autism. That is not the topic...

/ August 14, 2008

Pro-CAM Wikipedia – Skeptics Need Not Apply

The internet is arguably the ultimate expression of democracy and the free market. For the cost of internet access anyone can pull up a virtual soap box and preach to the world. There are no real gatekeepers, and the public can vote with their search entries, clicks, and links. Every point of view can be catered to and every special interest satisfied....

/ August 13, 2008

Polypharmacy – Is It Evidence-Based?

Polypharmacy essentially means taking too many pills. It’s a real problem, especially in the elderly. A family doctor gives an elderly patient one pill for diabetes, another for high blood pressure, and another to lower cholesterol. The patient sees a rheumatologist for his arthritis and gets arthritis pills. Then he sees a psychiatrist for depression and gets an antidepressant. He takes a...

/ August 12, 2008
92365_-_mandarin

The Orange Man

Alternative medicine is not harmless, and carrots cannot cure cancer.

/ August 11, 2008

Science, Reason, Ethics, and Modern Medicine, Part 5: Penultimate Words

My Discussion with Dr. P After last week’s post, Dr. Peter Moran answered with more salient points. I’ll spend this week discussing those, because I share Dr. Moran’s “interest in examining the kind of messages we are putting out.” Acknowledging the inequality inherent in his not being the blog author, I’ll offer the last word to Dr. Moran by ending this series* and letting whatever comments he...

/ August 8, 2008

Politics of N of 1 pseudoscience

More Politics Medicine’s ethics and basis in science hang by a thread at times. At least in the US of A. I will present a few examples and illustrate them with correlates from other fields in which decisions with wide effects are sometimes made by the whim of one person. And that’s not just the declaring of war or whatever we call...

/ August 7, 2008

Medscape quietly pulls a bad news article

Three days ago, I published a disapproving commentary about a disappointingly credulous and misinformation-laden article published on Medscape about the human papilloma virus vaccine Gardasil. The article was clearly biased, and, worse, it quoted Oprah’s favorite woo-loving gynecologist Dr. Christiane Northrup parroting germ theory denialism and the myth that Louis Pasteur “recanted” on his deathbed. All in all, it was a terrible...

/ August 7, 2008

Calories In – Calories Out

There is general agreement that the US, and the West in general, is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Even if you think this is alarmist or overstating the situation, the data clearly shows a steady expansion of the American waistline. Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry and is an active area of research, and yet all the self-help books,...

/ August 6, 2008

Sterile Water Injections for Pain Relief

Before ethical standards changed, doctors used to occasionally fool patients with placebo injections of sterile saline or water. If my obstetrician had tried to give me sterile water instead of an epidural, I probably would have hit him. But apparently women are getting sterile water injections for childbirth and are telling us they work. What’s going on? A recent study in Sweden...

/ August 5, 2008