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

Red Yeast Rice to Lower Cholesterol

The Medical Letter,  a highly respected source of reliable independent evaluations of drugs and therapeutics, has just published an evaluation of red yeast rice (Vol 51, Issue 1320, P 71-2, Sept 7, 2009). It has been widely promoted as a “natural” alternative to prescription medications for lowering blood LDL cholesterol levels. Studies have indeed shown

Protandim: Another Kind of Antioxidant

Four years ago I received an e-mail inquiry about Protandim. I had never heard of it; but I looked it up and wrote a quick, informal, somewhat snarky answer that got posted on the Internet. It got a lot of attention. Googling for Protandim now brings up my critique right after the Protandim website itself:

Bad Books

In the interests of fairness and intellectual honesty, I’ve forced myself to read a lot of really bad books. The True Believer tells me his guru’s book is the Real Stuff. He tells me I have a closed mind and won’t look at anything outside establishment dogma, and if I only read the book and

Amish Home Burn Treatment: B&W Salve and Burdock Leaves

People in the Amish community have been using “The New Concept in Treating Burns” and their experience is recounted in a little booklet by that title. It is a compilation of articles, testimonials, and letters to the editor of a monthly newspaper Plain Interests, published in Millersburg PA. The treatment, involving B&W ointment and dressings