On Guard,  DōTERRA, Essential Oils, and a Lesson in Reading Research Studies

A study of On Guard, a mixture of essential oils, showed that it reduced the infectivity of influenza virus in dog kidney cells in the lab; but that’s irrelevant to the question of whether the product has any clinical effect in humans. Essential oils smell good, but the claims of health benefits are exaggerated. I

New Evidence for Chondroitin

Several previous studies showed chondroitin was ineffective for knee osteoarthritis, but a new study says it is as effective as celecoxib. There are reasons to be skeptical. The dietary supplements chondroitin and glucosamine, separately or in combination, have been widely used to treat the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee. But do they work? When

Protandim Update: New Studies and an FDA Warning Letter

Multilevel distributors of the dietary supplement Protandim think that evidence from scientific studies supports their claims for their product. The FDA disagrees. The FDA identifies mislabeling and false claims On April 17, 2017, the FDA sent a warning letter to the LifeVantage Corporation advising them that their product Protandim NRF2 Synergizer was misbranded and violated regulations.

Medical Neglect of Children

Medical neglect caused horrific suffering for these children, ending in death or permanent impairment. Their parents failed them, but so did society. Parents usually cherish and protect their children. But sometimes they cause them horrific suffering and let them die. I recently read something so horrific I can’t stop thinking about it. It continues to

Vital Stem: Affordable Stem Cell Treatments for Everyone? Anti-Aging Breakthrough?

Vital Stem is a dietary supplement mixture that supposedly reverses the changes of normal aging by increasing the body’s production of stem cells. We can’t know if it works, because it hasn’t been tested. Is Vital Stem a Miracle Anti-Aging Remedy? Evidence is lacking. Stem cell treatments are very promising. Bone marrow transplants are already

Why Do Things That Are Unlikely to Harm Us Get the Most Attention?

We are very bad at assessing risk, often giving the most attention to the things that are least likely to harm us. Geoffrey Kabat’s new book teaches us how to think more clearly about scientific studies of environmental health risks. Sharks get a lot of bad press and inspire a lot of fear, but in

The Brain Warrior’s Way: Standard Health Advice Mixed with Misinformation and Fanciful Ideas

Daniel Amen, the media-savvy psychiatrist and promoter of SPECT scans, has teamed-up with his wife Tana to write a self-help book that hopelessly muddles good medical advice with misinformation and speculation. Dr. Daniel Amen has been called the most popular psychiatrist in America. His main claim to fame is the SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography)

Natural Remedies for Diabetes: Plavinol, Glucopure

There is not enough evidence to support using dietary supplements in the treatment of diabetes. There is preliminary evidence that some herbs lower blood sugar by a modest amount, but it would be foolish to think they could replace conventional treatment of diabetes. There is good news for diabetics; unfortunately, it is fake news based

Re-thinking Antioxidant Supplementation for Macular Degeneration

After the AREDS trial, people with moderate to severe age-related macular degeneration were advised to take dietary supplements to slow the progression of the disease. But some experts say the trial actually showed supplements don’t work, and might even make some patients worse. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. Known risk

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: An Update

The claims of health benefits from pink Himalayan sea salt are not supported by a shred of evidence. In fact, its vaunted “84 trace minerals and elements” include several poisons and many radioactive elements. In 2014 I wrote an article about salt in which I disparaged Himalayan pink salt. Perhaps I didn’t disparage it enough. It is