Dubious Genetic Testing

Stephen Barrett, M.D. Harriet Hall, M.D. During the past year, a few companies have begun offering genetic testing combined with guidance on diet, supplement strategies, lifestyle changes, and/or drug usage which they claim can improve health outcomes. This article explains why such testing should be avoided. Until recently, hereditary tendencies were determined mainly by examining

A Skeptical View of the Perricone Prescription

Harriet Hall, M.D. Stephen Barrett, M.D. Nicholas Perricone, M.D., has written three similar books: The Wrinkle Cure [1], The Perricone Prescription [2]; and The Acne Prescription [3]. All contain many claims that are questionable, controversial, fanciful, unsupported by published evidence, or just plain wrong. Although he mentions standard skin-care treatments, sometimes favorably, his books provide

My Response to An Alt-Muddled Friend

I’ve been discussing “alternative medicine” with a friend who is very intelligent but has no training in science. She uses chiropractic, magnets, vitamins, and acupuncture, and she says she doesn’t care what science says because science can be wrong, she trusts her personal experience more, and if something “works” for her, she doesn’t care how

Blind Spots, Brain Maps, and Backaches: A New Chiropractic Delusion

My trip down the rabbit hole started when an ad in the newspaper caught my eye: “Do you have a good brain or a bad brain? One simple test may tell you… call today for a free brain exam.” I started to worry. I had always thought I had a pretty good brain, but what

Chiropractic Information in a Public Library

ABSTRACT Background:  Chiropractic is based on a theory that most disease results from spinal subluxation and interference with nerves.  The theory is not supported by experimental evidence nor recognized as plausible by medical scientists.  Chiropractic manipulation is known to cause infrequent but devastating complications including death and paralysis.  Despite this knowledge, chiropractic has been increasingly

Analysis of Claims and of an Experiment to Prove That Oxygen is Present in “Vitamin O”

 ABSTRACT Background: “Vitamin O” is being sold as an oxygen supplement. Direct analysis has shown that it contains no oxygen. A scientific study published on the manufacturer’s website claims to have demonstrated the presence of oxygen in the product indirectly, by demonstrating increases in blood oxygen in anemic subjects taking the product. Objective and design: The study

Wired to the Kitchen Sink: Studying Weird Claims for Fun and Profit

An evaluation of Dr. John Upledger’s craniosacral therapy illustrates an exercise proposed for skeptics to develop critical thinking and a better understanding of human psychologyAfter reading some particularly egregious nonsense, you have probably asked yourself; “How could anyone in his right mind believe that?” There is an answer to your question. In. fact, the person