Visual Stress

The Opticalm Clinic claims to diagnose and treat visual stress with colored lenses and other aids. Visual stress is a poorly defined, questionable condition and Opticalm’s claims are not backed by scientific evidence. What does “visual stress” mean? It appears to be a new term for what has also been called Irlen syndrome (described by Steve Novella

The Recipe for Making Stupid Videos

A promotional video for a prostate remedy could serve as a template for deceptive videos about dietary supplements. All marketing, no science, and plenty of red flags. I see a lot of ads for natural remedies. The ones that really annoy me are the ones that promise to reveal a secret and force you to

Shooting the Messenger: Activists Persecute Scientists Whose Findings They Don’t Like

Alice Dreger’s book recounts many instances of shooting the messenger, when scientists were persecuted for research findings that activists found objectionable. Social justice matters, but it should rely on science and reality, not ideology. Don’t shoot him. He’s just bringing a message. Alice Dreger is an academic historian who has been active in supporting those

Dry Drowning

What is dry drowning, and should we worry? Parenting websites have been alarming parents about the possibility that their children might experience dry drowning or delayed drowning, with warnings like these: a child can seem fine after getting out of the water, but start to have trouble breathing an hour—or even 24 hours—later. Your child

New Drugs for Sickle Cell Disease: Small Benefit, Large Price

The FDA has approved two new drugs to treat sickle cell disease. They don’t do much, and they are prohibitively expensive.  Sickle cell disease is a serious condition, an abnormality of hemoglobin that is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, where both parents have to pass on the defective gene. The red blood cells take

Dr. Seeds’ Chill Pills: Misleading Marketing Based on Rodent Studies

Dr. Seeds’ Chill Pills are said to be “meditation in a bottle.” They allegedly relieve stress and anxiety. Is meditation a cure for anxiety? If so, it requires a lot of time and effort. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get all the benefits of meditation by simply swallowing a pill? What does the

Bad advertising for UPGRAID

UPGRAID combines a new formulation of turmeric (curcumin) with 3 other ingredients. It is said to be more bioavailable and to offer unique advantages. The advertising is bad, and can’t compensate for a lack of evidence. Does a new formulation of turmeric offer the best bioavailability and efficacy? The evidence is lacking. I got an

Should We Avoid Dairy Out of Fear of Cancer?

A doctor is adamant about avoiding dairy because IGF-1 allows cancer cells to multiply. I think he’s relying on speculation and an over-abundance of caution. Healthy food or carcinogen? Opinions differ. A neighbor told me, “one of my doctors was very adamant about not consuming dairy because the growth factor creates the right environment for

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