Wim Hof, the Iceman

Wim Hof, the Iceman, is extraordinarily resistant to extreme cold. His Wim Hof Method (WHM) combines breathing exercises, cold exposure, and meditation. Hyperventilation has been shown to reduce the body’s response to inflammation, but Hof’s extravagant claims of health benefits are not supported by scientific evidence. Wim Hof, also known as “The Iceman”, is a

When Doctors Refuse to Believe Evidence

Paul Offit’s new book covers the evidence for many surgeries, medications, and screening tests that have been proven ineffective and harmful yet are still being used by doctors who refuse to follow the science. Science-based medicine is all about testing medical ideas against reality. If there is abundant evidence from well-designed controlled clinical trials that

How You Can Really Boost Your Immune System

As fears of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) spread, alternative medicine was quick to provide false reassurance in the form of misinformation and bogus remedies. A recurring theme in complementary and alternative medicine and a common mantra of those who make questionable health claims has long been “boosting the immune system.” So much so that boosting

Prenatal Screening Tests for Chromosome Abnormalities

Science has made remarkable advances in prenatal screening, but false positives and false negative results can occur, and there are ethical concerns.Having a baby used to be like opening a surprise package. You didn’t know anything about the baby until it was born. The obstetrician or midwife would announce “It’s a boy” or “It’s a

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

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

Skin pH: Salesmanship, Not Science

People are being encouraged to worry about the pH of their skin and to try to change it. These concerns and interventions are not supported by scientific evidence. You have probably heard of the alkaline diet. Public knowledge of pH, the scale by which acids and bases are measured, is plagued by misinformation. People who

Leaky Brain, Leaky Gut: Are They Real?

First there was leaky gut; now there’s leaky brain. These questionable concepts are being promoted by practitioners of so-called “functional medicine.” First there was leaky gut  Three years ago Mark Crislip wrote about leaky gut syndrome for SBM. He said, “because of an almost complete lack of supporting basic science and few therapeutic clinical trials showing no effect,

Molecular Phylogenetics: A New Way to Tell the Story of Evolution

The new science of molecular phylogenetics tells the story of evolution with no need to consult the fossil record. It has produced some surprises, including a whole new domain of life, the archaea. Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species was a well-written, well-argued introduction to evolution, to the theory that populations evolve and species differentiate

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