Patrick Holford On Cancer

January 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm (Nutritionism, Patrick Holford) (, , , )

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 »

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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 »

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The Fall of the Lifestyle Nutritionists?

August 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm (Nutritionism) (, )

Back in 2008, Ben Goldacre made a two part radio series called The Rise of the Lifestyle Nutritionists. It seems that the show may have been made at the peak of the modern lifestyle nutritionists’ popularity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vitamin B For Depression

June 11, 2010 at 8:09 pm (Nutritionism, Patrick Holford, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

vitamin B for depressionYou can find lots of websites recommending B vitamins for depression, some offering high strength vitamin B supplements for lifting “mood naturally” – like this website, which sells vitamin B6 along with a claim that it can help to relieve premenstrual symptoms and depression. Read the rest of this entry »

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The BMJ: Rabid Responses and Competing Interests

May 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Conspiracy, Nutritionism, Patrick Holford, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A recent article in the BMJ attracted comment from the drearily ubiquitous John Stone (known to some as “the Pope of Jabs”). This comment on competing interests reminded me of Patrick Holford’s foray into the rabid responses section. Read the rest of this entry »

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Holford, Burne and Serotonin Pills

March 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm (Bad Science) (, , , , , , , , , )

Here, Jerome Burne is given space on Patrick Holford’s blog to defend homeopathy by attacking drugs that are part of conventional medicine. Read the rest of this entry »

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Boosting Your Serotonin or Exploiting Your Depression?

February 1, 2010 at 9:11 pm (Bad Science, Big Pharma, Homeopathy, Patrick Holford) (, , , , , , , , )

What do Big Pharma, Patrick Holford, and Homeopaths all have in common? Well, apart from any other similarities, they all claim to be able to “boost your serotonin”, “remedy your neurotransmitter imbalance”, or help you to “overcome depression.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Andrew Wakefield: Misleading and Irresponsible

January 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm (Anti-Vaccination) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The GMC have today found that the man who began what became known to some as the media’s MMR hoax was “misleading and irresponsible in the way he described research later published in The Lancet.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Unsung Heroes

January 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm (Good Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

In science and pseudoscience, some figures are much better known than others – but fame is not necessarily closely related to merit. I think the balance needs to be redressed somewhat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Curry can cure cancer, say scientists

October 28, 2009 at 7:45 pm (Media) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Well, according to the headline in today’s Metro article they do. The Sun went for “Curry is a ‘cure for cancer’“, while the BBC were slightly more restrained – settling for “Curry spice ‘kills cancer cells’” – as were the Daily Mirror (with “Curry ‘kills cancer cells’ and other health benefits of the nation’s favourite dish“). Did scientists claim that “curry can cure cancer” as the Metro claims? Is curry a cure for cancer, as the Sun tell us? Read the rest of this entry »

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