The World’s First Productivity Drink

Magic Mind claims to be the world’s first productivity drink. It seems to me an increase in productivity should be easy to prove. If your widget factory produces 1,000 widgets a day you could do a controlled study comparing workers who used Magic Mind to workers who used a placebo. If the output increased to 1,500

The Word “Organic” Has Been Hijacked

The word “organic” has a precise definition in chemistry. It has been hijacked to refer to organic farming. Good communication requires that both parties use the same definition. Words matter. Imagine someone who only speaks English trying to communicate with someone who only speaks Mandarin Chinese. Imagine a physicist trying to discuss energy with a

Eat for Life: Joel Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Diet

Joel Fuhrman thinks his Nutritarian diet will increase longevity and prevent or treat most chronic diseases. He claims it is based on science, but his evidence is far from convincing. Joel Fuhrman, MD is a celebrity doctor, entrepreneur, and best-selling author whose latest book, Eat for Life, advocates his “Nutritarian” or micronutrient-rich diet. He calls the

Dietary Supplements and Deception

At least half of Americans (maybe as many as 2/3) take dietary supplements. They assume the government will guarantee safety, efficacy, and truthful advertising. They couldn’t be more wrong. The very term dietary supplement is based on a fiction. Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA but the regulations are very different from the regulations

Blue Zones Diet: Speculation Based on Misinformation

The Blue Zones where people live longer may be a myth. The Blue Zone Diet is based on speculation, not solid science. The so-called Blue Zones are geographical locations where people are said to live longer than elsewhere. These include Sardinia, Okinawa, Loma Linda (California), the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and Icaria, Greece. They

Lose Weight without Diet or Exercise? Where’s the Proof?

Can obese people lose weight without diet or exercise, by just taking this pill? Yeah, sure! Pull the other one! I’ve been getting emails with “Confirmation numbers” in the Subject Line, numbers like 711, 526, 95311. One even says “Your order is pending”. The numbers don’t confirm anything; they are just click-bait to get you

A Pattern of Deceptive Video Ads for Supplements

I’ve been seeing a pattern of deceptive videos that promise to reveal a secret but make you watch the entire video to learn what it is. They feature alarmist stories, emotional language, and testimonials, but no actual science. They make claims that can’t be believed. Glasses are an effective remedy for decreased vision, not a

Adele’s Sirtfood Diet

I recently got an email newsletter from TRC Natural Medicines. One of the articles was “Understanding the Hype Behind Adele’s Sirtfood Diet.” It’s brief enough to quote in its entirety:   “English singer-songwriter Adele has made headlines in recent months for her dramatic weight loss. You might start getting questions about the diet she followed—it’s called the

The McDougall Diet

Dr. McDougall is a maverick who disagrees with most experts. He recommends a high starch, low fat diet with no dairy or animal foods and other prohibitions. Its severe restrictions make it nutritionally questionable and it has never been properly tested in a controlled study. It is commonly believed that people who want to lose

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