Everyone is talking about antioxidants, but misconceptions abound. For example, I just received an email that described antioxidants as “the ability to soak up toxins in the body.” One dictionary definition of an antioxidant is (1) “a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored… read more "Antioxidants: The Hype and the Reality"
Supplements: Misguided Marketing
If marketers want to persuade me to take a dietary supplement, they are going about it the wrong way. A typical recent email said I could fight aging, boost immunity, and feel energized with doctor-endorsed NMN supplement Elevant. They even offered to send me free samples. Probably worth the price!… read more "Supplements: Misguided Marketing"
The Natural Medicine Handbook
Dr. Walt Larimore has written a very mixed bag of a book, combining useful general advice about supplements and “natural medicine” with some questionable specifics about individual products. Walt Larimore, MD, is a family physician, a medical journalist, a best-selling author, and a Christian evangelist whose organization Focus on the Family has… read more "The Natural Medicine Handbook"
Juice Plus+: Good Marketing, Not Good Science
Juice Plus+ is a multilevel marketing company selling fruits and vegetables that they have reduced to a powder and put into capsules. It’s clever marketing using deceptive advertising. There is no scientific evidence that it benefits health. Juice Plus+ reduces fruits and vegetables like these to a powder, puts it… read more "Juice Plus+: Good Marketing, Not Good Science"
Puritan’s Pride Vitamin Advisor Gives Questionable Advice
The Puritan’s Pride website has a Vitamin Advisor that claims to provide a personalized supplement plan, with expert recommendations chosen just for you. In my opinion it is deceptive, designed not to provide evidence-based personalized health advice, but to sell their products; and one can only wonder what kind of “experts” would… read more "Puritan’s Pride Vitamin Advisor Gives Questionable Advice"
The Vicissitudes of the Egg: From Vilification to Vindication
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients in a convenient, inexpensive package. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats, plus: Vitamin A: 6 percent of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) Folate: 5 percent of RDA Vitamin B5: 7 percent of RDA Vitamin… read more "The Vicissitudes of the Egg: From Vilification to Vindication"
Food Myths: What Science Knows (and Does Not Know) About Diet and Nutrition
Koalas have it easy. What to eat? No worries: they eat eucalyptus leaves, period. We humans have it tougher. Ever since Eve and the apple, we have had to make decisions about what to eat. Today we are constantly bombarded with conflicting advice about food. “Eat fish because it’s a… read more "Food Myths: What Science Knows (and Does Not Know) About Diet and Nutrition"
Andrew Weil/AAFP Article Rejected by Slate
I was asked to write an article for Slate, the on-line magazine, about Andrew Weil’s selection as the keynote speaker for the 2012 AAFP annual scientific assembly. The science and health editor, Laura Helmuth, was initially enthusiastic about what I wrote, but eventually decided not to publish it. Here is… read more "Andrew Weil/AAFP Article Rejected by Slate"
Autism and Prenatal Vitamins
Science has found no evidence that vaccines cause autism; but the true cause(s) of autism have not yet been determined. So far the available evidence has pointed towards a largely genetic cause with possible interaction with environmental factors. A new study supports that interpretation. It also supports previous evidence that… read more "Autism and Prenatal Vitamins"
Antioxidant Supplements for Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the major causes of visual impairment in the elderly: it affects central vision, impairing the ability to read and recognize faces while preserving some peripheral vision. It comes in two forms: wet and dry. Dry macular degeneration is by far more common, but… read more "Antioxidant Supplements for Macular Degeneration"