Antioxidants? It’s a Bit More Complicated

I am getting very annoyed with antioxidants. Like Pavlov’s dogs, I’m becoming conditioned to flinch when I hear the word “antioxidant” because it is so often followed by oversimplifications, distortions, and partial truths. The hype is everywhere, in magazines, on the Internet, on the radio, in books, in stores. Antioxidants promise to prevent heart disease, cancer,

Antioxidant Supplements for Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the major causes of visual impairment in the elderly: it affects central vision, impairing the ability to read and recognize faces while preserving some peripheral vision. It comes in two forms: wet and dry. Dry macular degeneration is by far more common, but wet macular degeneration, involving the

Glucosamine: The Unsinkable Rubber Duck

Glucosamine is widely used for osteoarthritis pain. It is not as impossible as homeopathy, but its rationale is improbable. As I explained in a previous post, Wallace Sampson, one of the other authors of this blog, has pointed out that the amount of glucosamine in the typical supplement dose is on the order of 1/1000th

Life Extension: Science or Pipe Dream?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to prolong our lives and to keep us healthy right up to the end? Ponce de León never found that Fountain of Youth, but science is still looking. What are the chances science will succeed? How’s it doing so far? In his new book The

More Evidence of Green Tea’s Effectiveness Is Needed

 to the editor: In this article’s Strength of Recommendations Taxonomy (SORT) table, three of the recommendations said “results are mixed,” “studies are inconsistent,” or “the evidence is conflicting.” When conflicting results are found in small controlled studies and epidemiologic studies, the most likely explanation is that there is no real effect. Ioannidis has shown why

A Report from the Bariatric Trenches

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians recently invited me to speak at their continuing medical education (CME) conference on obesity in Seattle. They got my name from Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch and asked if I could speak about questionable weight loss treatments like HGH, MIC (methionine, inositol and choline), and the HCG Diet. I seized

A Sleep Remedy with Proprietary Secrets

A new product, Dream Water, is designed to help one relax, fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep using the all natural ingredients melatonin, GABA and 5-HTP (tryptophan). A single-dose 2.5 oz bottle retails for $2.99. They also offer a more dilute formulation in an 8 oz bottle. They suggest drinking half a bottle,

Aspartame: Safe Sweetener or Perilous Poison?

Aspartame is a low calorie sugar substitute marketed under brand names like Equal and Nutrasweet. It is a combination of two amino acids: L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. It is available as individual packets for adding to foods and it is a component of many diet soft drinks and other reduced-calorie foods. Depending on who you

Boost My Immune System? No Thanks!

Do our immune systems need help?  Walk into any health foods store. Browse the Internet. You will find a multitude of diet supplements advertised to “boost your immune system,” or “support immune function.” Do they work? Will they keep you healthier or reduce your chances of catching infectious diseases? A typical product is the 4Life

Ancient Magnesium

A company called “Ancient Minerals” http://www.ancient-minerals.com/  is selling magnesium supplements that are applied to the skin rather than taken orally. They claim many benefits such as Restores cellular magnesium levels Natural cellular protectant Facilitates safe and effective detoxification Relief of aches, pains, spasms Elevates mood and relieves stress Encourages healthy skin tissue Helps maintain proper