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
thanksgivingturkey

Happy Thanksgiving from SBM!

Today is the American Thanksgiving holiday and SBM is taking the day off. Speaking of thanks, thank you to all of our readers and to those of you who take time to comment. Thanks to all of  you who patiently explain to a neighbor why homeopathy does not (and cannot) work, complain to your pharmacy about its selling dubious dietary supplements, warn...

/ November 24, 2016
A human brain showing fronto-temporal lobe degeneration, often associated with dementia

Declining Dementia

Dementia is a significant health burden of increasing significance as our population ages. Worldwide the prevalence of dementia is 5-7% in people 60 years and older, with risk doubling every 5 years after age 60. About 5.4 million Americans are living with dementia. Dementia is a general category referring to a chronic decline in overall cognitive function. The most common cause of...

/ November 23, 2016
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The Last Word on Homeopathy

No one will ever need to write about homeopathy again. Edzard Ernst has said it all in his new book Homeopathy: The Undiluted Facts. Far too many trees have died in the service of praising or debunking homeopathy in the two centuries since Hahnemann invented it. The forests can celebrate, because this is the definitive book about homeopathy. It is neither “for”...

/ November 22, 2016
Acupuncture

Milestones on the path to integrating quackery with medicine

It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered Glenn Sabin. You might remember him, though. He runs a consulting firm, FON Therapeutics, which is dedicated to the promotion of “integrative” health, or, as I like to put it, the “integration of pseudoscience and quackery with science-based medicine. What I remember most about Sabin is how he once proclaimed that “integrative medicine” was...

/ November 21, 2016
coughkid

Homeopathic Syrup for the Treatment of Pediatric Colds: Randomized Controlled Nonsense is Still Nonsense

According to the authors of the latest study claiming to demonstrate effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, colds are common in the pediatric population. They further explain that colds and cough symptoms are a frequent impetus for parents to seek pediatric medical care. Finally, they add that evidence in support of decongestants, antihistamines and cough suppressants for the treatment of pediatric cold symptoms is...

/ November 18, 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
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FTC Homeopathy Win

I love to see a regulatory agency actually do its job. Especially within medicine, where it is most important, the lack of political will seems to get in the way of properly regulating health care products and services in the way that most consumers assume they are regulated. Homeopathy is perhaps the best example. Homeopathy is pure unadulterated pseudoscience and witchcraft. There...

/ November 16, 2016
precisionmedicineinfo

Precision Medicine and Uncertainty

Precision medicine is a development that promises to tailor treatments to the individual patient based on genetic and other molecular and cellular analyses. In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative. A website for Precision Medicine claims to offer “perfect care for every individual.” Much of what we read about precision medicine gives the impression...

/ November 15, 2016
When Dr. Oz met Donald Trump: Somehow this photo just seemed appropriate for this post.

Medical science policy in the U.S. under Donald Trump

Last week, in an unexpected upset, Donald Trump won the Presidential election in the Electoral College while losing the popular vote and is now President-Elect. Regular readers of my not-so-super-secret other blog know my opinion of this; so I won’t belabor it too much here. If you’re curious, I have written about Donald Trump’s antivaccine views here before in the context of...

/ November 14, 2016