Is Magnesium the Underlying Cause and Treatment for Everything?

Carolyn Dean believes magnesium deficiency is the cause of a great many diseases and recommends that everyone take magnesium supplements, preferably the one she sells, ReMag. I remain skeptical. This is magnesium. Do you need more of it? I was recently asked about the book The Magnesium Miracle, by Carolyn Dean. The word “miracle” in the

Don’t Believe What You Think

A new book by Edzard Ernst provides a concise course in critical thinking as well as a wealth of good science-based information to counter the widespread misinformation about SCAM. Edzard Ernst was once a practitioner of alternative medicine. As the world’s first professor of complementary medicine (at the University of Exeter, UK) he led a

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

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

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

Everlywell: At-Home Lab Tests That Don’t Make Sense

EverlyWell offers 34 at-home tests for everything from IgG tests for food sensitivities to a Sleep and Stress test. Most of them make no sense and are likely to mislead customers. Here we go again! First I wrote about Theranos, then SmartJane, and now EverlyWell. More companies are jumping on the at-home testing bandwagon; apparently the convenience and

Smart Jane Test of Vaginal Health: Clever Marketing, Questionable Science

Gonorrhea. The SmartJane test is not the way to diagnose this. The uBiome company’s SmartJane test claims to use state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistical genetics, algorithms, and other proprietary innovations so women can assess their own vaginal health. Customers collect samples with vaginal swabs and mail them in for processing. They

Too Many Tests

Doctors order too many tests. Some are useless, some are harmless (except for the cost), but some can lead to serious bodily harm. Misconceptions about tests Many people, even doctors, tend to think of tests as giving consistent, reliable, yes/no answers. They think a test can make a diagnosis, but that’s not how it works.

Chiropractor Treating Concussions for Earlier Return to Play

A chiropractor is using questionable diagnostic and therapeutic measures to return athletes to play sooner after a concussion. Not a good idea. A science teacher contacted me with concerns about a story he saw on his local TV news. It featured a chiropractor in his area who is treating athletes with concussions. He claims that

An HBO Documentary about the Theranos Fraud Raises Concerns

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos to develop a device that could do 200 tests on a single drop of blood in a minute. She lied; it failed; she is being tried for fraud and conspiracy. The HBO documentary The Inventor tells the story but has some flaws. We can learn lessons from what happened. Alex Gibney’s film The Inventor:

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