Ellura: A Supplement Backed By Evidence

Ellura is a dietary supplement marketed to treat recurrent urinary tract infections. There is promising evidence and a credible mechanism of action, and using it instead of antibiotic prophylaxis could reduce antibiotic resistance. These E. coli fimbriae facilitate infection by adhering to bladder wall In October, I wrote about SuperMannan, a dietary supplement that is supposed to cure

The Science and Pseudoscience of What We Eat

Dr. Joe Schwarcz sets the record straight about food myths and what the research actually shows.  What should we eat? There’s no lack of experts and celebrities who are eager to advise us about diet, but different experts have different advice and often directly contradict each other. Obviously they can’t all be right. Which “experts”

Water Fluoridation: Public Health, Not Poison

I think we can all agree that “Look, Mom – no cavities!” is good news. But we continue to disagree about the best way to achieve that. Fluoridation of public water sources remains controversial as a public health measure despite the strong evidence that fluoride prevents tooth decay. Public debates can become quite heated, with

Supplements with Multiple Ingredients, Many with No Apparent Rationale

Dietary supplements frequently have multiple ingredients, often mixtures of vitamins, minerals, and herbs. The rationale for including each ingredient is questionable, to say the least.  Whenever I evaluate the evidence for a dietary supplement, one of my first questions is “What is it?” I remember many years ago, when I first started doing this, I

Darwin’s Apostles: The Battle Continues

David Orenstein and Abby Hafer have written a delightful new book, Darwin’s Apostles: The Men Who Fought to Have Evolution Accepted, Their Times, and How the Battle Continues. Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. In the 160 years since then, much has been written about Darwin and evolution, but this entertaining, well-written book sheds new light

Alternative Medicine: Placebos for Pets

A skeptical veterinarian reviews the evidence for alternative medicine for pets, and concludes it’s mostly placebos. She thinks she’s adjusting the horse’s subluxations. She isn’t; she’s practicing placebo medicine.Alternative medicine is accepted by many humans, but we may forget that it is also imposed on their pets. Veterinarian Brennen McKenzie has done cats and dogs

SeroVital: Dubious Anti-Aging Claims

SeroVital is marketed as an anti-aging remedy that works by raising human growth hormone (HGH) levels naturally with amino acids. The research consists of one preliminary study that measured HGH levels. There is no clinical evidence that it is effective for anything. How Lucas Cranach imagined the Fountain of Youth in 1546. Today some people

Nurse Practitioner Pushes Dubious Aesthetic Treatments

Nurse practitioner aggressively advertises a plethora of aesthetic treatments, some of which are dubious. It’s legal, but is it ethical? Facelifts by plastic surgeon improve appearance. Aesthetic nurse practitioner’s offerings are more dubious. Larson Medical Aesthetics, an organization with three locations, is run by a nurse practitioner named Margaret Larson. It is being promoted through

Don’t Believe The Ads: Dietary Supplements Don’t Cure Tinnitus

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a hallucination. The sounds can’t be heard by anyone else; they are illusory sensations produced by the brain. For some, it is only a minor annoyance; for others, it interferes with sleep and quality of life and sometimes causes severe suffering. There is no cure. Nothing will stop

Aging: Is It a Preventable Disease?

David Sinclair says aging is a disease that can be prevented and treated, and there is no reason life must end. The evidence he presents from scientific studies is intriguing, but far from definitive. Wouldn’t it be nice if the right side of this image became obsolete? Can aging and death be avoided? We are