There are lots of testimonials from people who say they lost weight with GOLO, but its effectiveness is not supported by any scientific evidence. Advertisements for GOLO seem to be everywhere. They feature people who were unable to lose weight until they tried GOLO. The testimonials are enthusiastic and feature… read more "GOLO for Weight Loss"
Strange messages keep popping up in my email inbox. This one was titled “New Technology Helps Fulfill New Year’s Resolutions”. It said the most popular New Year’s resolutions involved health and invited me to a complimentary session or two in a Blu Room. It went on to explain: The Blu… read more "The Blu Room"
When I first heard of acupuncture, in medical school in the late 60’s, I became convinced that it worked. I read impressive media reports from China touting it for everything from pain relief to anesthesia for open heart surgery. Our Chief of Anesthesiology, Dr. John Bonica, was convinced it worked… read more "Is Acupuncture Winning?"
The Textbook of Natural Medicine reveals what students of naturopathy are taught. It claims to be a scientific presentation, but it reveals just how unscientific naturopathy is. It mixes good science with bad science, pseudoscience, outright errors of fact, vitalism, philosophy, ancient history, superstition, gullibility, misrepresentations, metaphysics, religion, hearsay, opinion,… read more "Naturopathy Textbook"
Note: This was originally published as “Placebo, es-tu là?” in Science et pseudo-sciences 294, p. 38-48. January 2011. It came to my attention in the course of an e-mail correspondence with the editors of that magazine, where one of my own articles was published in French translation in January 2015. I thought this was… read more "Placebo, Are You There?"
Supporters of alternative medicine and purveyors of quack remedies love to criticize conventional medicine and science. They keep repeating the same tired arguments that are easily rebutted. This handy guide will help skeptics answer common criticisms from doctor-bashers. Doctor-bashing is a popular sport practiced by believers in complementary and alternative… read more "Defending Science-Based Medicine: 44 Doctor-Bashing Arguments …and Their Rebuttals"
A few months ago I wrote about Fabrizio Benedetti’s research on the neurobiology of the placebo response, and a discussion about placebos and ethics ensued in the comments. Now Dr. Benedetti has written about that issue in a “Perspective” article in the journal World Psychiatry, “The placebo response: science versus ethics and the… read more "Followup: Benedetti on Placebo Ethics"
There has been an ongoing debate about placebos on SBM, both in the articles and in the comments. What does it mean that a treatment has been shown to be “no better than placebo?” If our goal is for patients to feel better and they feel better with placebos, why… read more "Benedetti on Placebos"
Note: The study discussed here has also been covered by Mark Crislip. I wrote this before his article was published, so please forgive any repetition. I approached it from a different angle; and anyway, if something is worth saying once it’s probably worth saying twice. Is Echinacea effective for preventing… read more "Belief in Echinacea"
Melanie Thernstrom has written a superb book based on a historical, philosophical, and scientific review of pain: The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering. Herself a victim of chronic pain, she brings a personal perspective to the subject and also includes… read more "Chronic Pain: A Disease in its Own Right"