The Independent on Sunday apparently thought it would be a good idea to publish a front page story scaremongering about the HPV vaccine. Some elements remind me of previous unfounded vaccine scares promoted by the press and the anti-vaccine movement. Read the rest of this entry »
For some reason, Newsweek decided to ask the discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield for his views in the wake of a measles outbreak. To be fair, they’ve done their research and they do present the important facts (for example the retraction of his fraudulent paper). But: we all know what he’ll say (the same as he did last time there was an outbreak) and we all know how much weight we can give the word of a man who’s chiefly known for his misconduct. Read the rest of this entry »
Remember Patrick Holford? Well, he’s still going. Here is the latest post on his blog. There are some interesting comments on lifetime risk of cancer and on five- and ten-year survival rates. Let’s start with Cancer Research UK though. Read the rest of this entry »
Anti-vaccine authors have successfully hired a room at the University of Minnesota. This isn’t an especially impressive or interesting development – I just couldn’t think how else to start this post. The book symposium will take place next January.
The symposium is being sponsored by Skyhorse Publishing, experienced in publishing “books on sports, flyfishing, nature and history” (an obvious choice for anyone who has written a scholarly tome on medical matters – as I’m sure Andrew Wakefield would tell you). The other sponsors are The Holland Center (a treatment centre which offers biomedical interventions such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, nutrition consulting and allergy testing), CADE (a local non-profit organisation), The Canary Party, Age of Autism and Health Choice (you may notice some overlap between the last three groups and the list of authors).
The minimum ticket price appears to be $25 but this does include one of the ten books being promoted (for $99 dollars you get a ticket and enough books to remedy up to ten wonky tables).
There’s the TV adverts for Schiff, the advertorials from Alta Care, the celebrity endorsement by Carol Vorderman (Bioglan). People seem to really want me to buy krill oil pills. Read the rest of this entry »
Homeopathy, like sympathetic magic, operates upon the premise that “like affects like”. Its proposed mechanisms have been described as “physically impossible“, and the best available evidence from trials was found to be “compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects”. These are just some of the things that homeopaths may avoid mentioning when promoting “awareness” of homeopathy. Read the rest of this entry »
The note at the bottom of this Guardian article ‘the science behind dietary supplements’ states that the website mentioned in the article is “an independent encyclopedia on supplementation and nutrition. It does not accept advertising.” However, nowhere in the article does it mention any other website that the author is involved with. Well, I found one that looked pretty interesting. Read the rest of this entry »
The symptom checker at webmd.com gives the following symptoms for the common cold:
- Pain or discomfort
- Decreased appetite
- Hoarse voice
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Body aches or pains
- Decreased smell
Weirdly, I get some slightly odd symptoms not mentioned here. And one that contradicts the final symptom listed by webmd. When I get a cold, my sense of smell (usually pretty terrible) is greatly improved. I haven’t yet found an explanation for my odd symptoms, and nor have I met anyone who has similar symptoms (unless everyone I’ve asked is trolling me). If anything here rings a bell then do please comment. Similarly, if you have a plausible explanation for my odd symptoms I’d be pleased to hear it. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Robert Verkerk has written an opinion piece for the April 2014 issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You. Verkerk’s article is essentially a complaint about Big Pharma being involved in selling vitamin pills, and he ends by recommending that people use ‘natural’ forms of supplements not made by Big Pharma as these are never found to be harmful. It’s the synthetic, Big Pharma vitamins that are bad. If there were references in his article to the evidence that backs up his claims, I missed them.
Down the left hand side of the article, Verkerk is described as “the executive and scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health International, a consumer group that aims to protect our right to natural healthcare and nutrition”. But that’s not all he does. Read the rest of this entry »