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

Don’t Ice Sprains

Ankle sprains are common; as a family physician I treated a lot of them. My most memorable ankle sprain patient was a young woman I saw during my residency training. Doctors had diagnosed a sprain. They gave her crutches and told her not to try to bear weight on the injured ankle until the pain

Bogus Treatments for Bogus Diagnosis Are Killing Patients

Lyme disease is real Lyme disease is an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. According to the CDC, “typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.” A short course of antibiotics

New Contraceptive Drug Makes No Sense

I subscribe to The Medical Letter to learn about new drugs. I am frequently appalled by their cost. For example, a year’s treatment with Ozanimod, a drug recently approved for multiple sclerosis, costs $84,800. And some new drugs cost much, much more than that. A gene therapy drug from Novartis currently holds the record: 2.1 million dollars for a year’s treatment. But in

One Less Thing to Worry About: Undercooked Pork

We have plenty of things to worry about: the pandemic, global warming, the economy, racial tensions, and much, much more. But here is some good news to ease the worry burden: you can stop worrying about eating undercooked pork.  Most people agree that undercooked pork is bad, but not everyone can explain why. The “why”

Pandemic Stories in the News: Something to Laugh About

Steven Novella said it best: “Pandemics breed more than a contagious disease. They spread fear, misinformation, pseudoscience, and exploitation.” I would add, “and humor.” I have written about Covid-19 before, first on the 4th of February in an article on Science-Based Medicine about how alternative medicine had jumped on the bandwagon, then again in my March 23rd SkepDoc’s Corner

Covid-19: A Field Day for Scams and Misinformation

Our world has been disrupted due to legitimate fears about COVID-19. People are afraid, and unscrupulous and/or misinformed people have been quick to exploit those fears.  The FTC has offered advice for consumers to help them avoid coronavirus scammers. On March 19 they published Part 2, and the FTC and FDA have sent out warning letters to these companies:

A Test For Earlier Diagnosis Of Autism? Not Convincing

Autism is diagnosed on clinical grounds by observing the child’s behavior. There is no blood test or any other objective test to diagnose it. But that hasn’t stopped people from claiming to have found one. Among other candidates, a saliva test has been proposed, and now an eye scan. In summer 2019, a press release from Flinders University reported

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