Covid-19: A Field Day for Scams and Misinformation

Our world has been disrupted due to legitimate fears about COVID-19. People are afraid, and unscrupulous and/or misinformed people have been quick to exploit those fears.  The FTC has offered advice for consumers to help them avoid coronavirus scammers. On March 19 they published Part 2, and the FTC and FDA have sent out warning letters to these companies:

Milk and Health: The Evidence

A useful review of all the current evidence about milk and health provides a lot of surprises. It shows that current recommendations are flawed and that much of what we have believed is wrong. Milk has been praised and vilified. Vegans eschew it. Babies thrive on it. Adults who are lactose-intolerant learn to avoid it.

The Fountain of Youth and Other Anti-Aging Myths

In St. Augustine, Florida, you can visit Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park for an admission charge of $18.00. There, you can drink a sample of the miraculous water. You might even feel a bit younger… but only if you believe and are suggestible. Of historical interest, maybe, but not of therapeutic value.

“Healthy Directions” Is a Double Misnomer

Healthy Directions sells dietary supplements without scientific evidence. A better name would be Misdirections that Won’t Make You Healthy.  Historical examples of patent medicines. Healthy Directions similarly offers untested products without scientific evidence of efficacy. The Healthy Directions website says it is “A Better Way to Better Health.” There’s no reason to believe it is any such

A Test For Earlier Diagnosis Of Autism? Not Convincing

Autism is diagnosed on clinical grounds by observing the child’s behavior. There is no blood test or any other objective test to diagnose it. But that hasn’t stopped people from claiming to have found one. Among other candidates, a saliva test has been proposed, and now an eye scan. In summer 2019, a press release from Flinders University reported

Pitfalls in Research: Why Studies Are More Often Wrong than Right

Here is a course guide to episode 9, “Pitfalls of Research”, of my YouTube lecture series on science-based medicine. Alternative medicine relies heavily on anecdotal evidence and personal experience, but it knows it won’t convince mainstream science unless it can provide scientific validation. It is quick to crow about positive results from scientific studies, often

Homeopathy

Introduction Homeopathy is a system of health care that was originated in 1796 by a single individual, Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor who was critical of the medicine of his time. It is a discipline practiced by homeopaths, but homeopathic remedies are also sold over the counter in pharmacies for customers to self-treat. Homeopathy is

In Praise of Uncertainty

There is an old joke about a patient who had high praise for her new doctor. She had had headaches for years, and no one had ever been able to explain why. The cause remained uncertain. But the uncertainty ended when her wonderful new doctor promptly diagnosed her with cephalalgia. The joke is that cephalalgia

Alternative Medicine Exploits Coronavirus Fears

Alternative medicine has been quick to capitalize on the public’s fear of coronavirus. They offer an array of bogus treatments. The news is full of alarming reports about the new coronavirus that originated in China and is spreading throughout the world. There is no treatment other than supportive measures, and there is no vaccine to

European Manifesto Against Pseudo-Therapies

A new organization in Spain is trying to protect patients from becoming victims of pseudoscience. They have prepared a manifesto.  Spain is standing up for science A manifesto has been organized by the Spanish organization APETP, which translates as the Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudoscientific Therapies. The organization has three main goals: to make

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