Kadir Buxton

August 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm (Alternative Medicine, Kadir Buxton Method) (, )

Kadir Buxton MethodThe Kadir-Buxton method is so odd that some suspect it to be a parody. I suspect that there’s nothing so strange that someone with an interest in alternative health will not honestly believe in it. Some alternative treatments are superficially plausible (but unproven or disproven, nonetheless), but some are just plain bonkers: Homeopathic Paper Remedies (pretty much everything about homeopathy is bonkers, but for me paper remedies take the biscuit); Magic Crystal Skulls; Reiki; Reflexology. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 7 Comments

Histadelia: A Doctor Writes

August 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm (Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , )

The doctor in question is Jeremy Kaslow (MD, FACP, FACAAI). Dr Kaslow makes some, er, interesting claims on his website about a condition named ‘histadelia’. Similar claims have been made by nutritionist Patrick Holford among others.

Histadelia is not a condition that is much referred to in the medical literature (Pubmed: “Your search for histadelia retrieved no results”). I can’t find any evidence that histadelia (high histamine) is recognised as a medical condition. I can find diagnostic tests for histadelia, and supplements claimed to remedy the condition, for sale. This PDF includes a price for histamine testing: link. Apparently, you can buy supplements* from Dr Kaslow (“contact Mary or Vanessa in our Supplement Dispensary…”), although it’s not entirely clear whether Dr Kaslow actually sells supplements specifically for histadelia.

When I wrote about Patrick Holford and Histadelia, I pointed out that those promoting the idea that high histamine was linked to depression and OCD had “their own un-evidenced test – for an un-evidenced condition that requires un-evidenced treatment”. In the comments below this post, people posted their personal anecdotes telling me how they were helped by treatment for their histadelia.

When I pointed to the lack of evidence for the claims being made regarding histadelia, I was encouraged to “[look] at William Walsh’s research at the Pfeiffer Research Institute. He has done a lot of research in this area”. This research was not available on the internet and I was unable to find contact details for the PRI. I contacted the Pfeiffer Treatment Centre to ask if they could provide me with the research into histadelia. I haven’t heard back from them yet (I wrote to them in 2009).

So. The PTC couldn’t (or wouldn’t) provide me with the research relating to histadelia. Despite Patrick Holford’s famous referenciness, the section of his book (Optimum Nutrition for the Mind) that deals with histadelia has no references. That’s right, not one single reference to back up the claims of these advocates of Orthomolecular Medicine. Dr Kaslow doesn’t have any references on his page about histadelia either. It’s almost as if there is no evidence…

Here are some of the things Dr Kaslow has written on histadelia:

Many patients with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, “oppositional-defiant disorder,” or seasonal depression are under-methylated, which is associated with low serotonin levels. Often with inhalant allergies, frequent headaches, perfectionism, competitiveness and other distinctive symptoms and traits. Tend to be very low in calcium, magnesium, methionine, and vitamin B-6 with excessive levels of folic acid.

Biochemical treatment revolves around antifolates, especially calcium and methionine. Certain forms of buffered vitamin C can help by providing calcium and ascorbic acid. Three to six months of nutrient therapy are usually needed to correct this chemical imbalance. As in most biochemical therapies, the symptoms usually return if treatment is stopped.

Three to six months of “nutrient therapy” to treat something that, as far as I can tell, hasn’t been identified as a medical condition?

Update, 19th August

I contacted Dr Kaslow to ask for references to the research that supports the statements on his website. His reply is quoted, in full, below:

Contact the Pfeiffer Institute.

I’ve decided to write back to see if he will clarify a few points for me.

I’ve also contacted the Pfeiffer Treatment Center at the Health Research Institute (which appears to be the proper name for what is sometimes known as the Pfeiffer Institute). This is the organisation I contacted in 2009 and never received a reply from. Here’s the auto-reply I got:

We regret to inform you that the Pfeiffer Treatment Center will no longer be providing patient care. While this news is disappointing, we are pleased to inform you that the HRI Pharmacy remains open and will continue to serve your compounding prescription needs.

I shan’t hold my breath.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 148 Comments

Papers for Skeptics

August 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm (Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m sure everyone has favourite research articles (please tell me it’s not just me). I thought I’d share some of mine. Most are available as free full text, but there are a few where I link to an abstract. Some links will open in PDF, but I’ve tried to make these obvious in the post. I think I’ve saved copies of each paper where full text was available, so if a link to the full text of a paper dies and you can’t get hold of it elsewhere do feel free to email me or leave a comment below and ask for a copy. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

The Wrongness of Dr Sarah Myhill

August 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm (Anti-Vaccination) (, , , , , )

Last year, I wrote about some of Sarah Myhill’s incorrect assertions regarding vaccination. Since then, Dr Myhill has substantially amended her website, removing many of the factually incorrect statements. However, some still remain. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 317 Comments