Why Write About Alternative Medicine? Part Three: Risks

February 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm (Alternative Medicine, Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Another reason to write about alternative medicine: risk. Alternative therapies have associated risks that practitioners may not inform patients about. In part one of this series (here), I linked to research that found media coverage of alternative medicine to be positive (in some cases overwhelmingly so) and to lack discussion of the risks, benefits, and costs.

Given the reluctance of practitioners and journalists to tell people about the risks of CAM, I think it is worth taking some time to blog about them.

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Supplement Firms Are Informants for the ASA

March 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm (Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

When they’re not running trials initiatives, or being being slapped down by the Advertising Standards Authority, some firms like to while away the hours making complaints to the ASA about their competitors. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tiger White PR: Humbug

August 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm (Media, Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , )

Here is a list of press releases from Tiger White PR. I took a look at a few of them and found one for Boots that promoted Coenzyme Q10 under the heading “energy release” and with the claim that it could offer us “a helping hand maintaining energy levels when we’re feeling tired after lots of late nights out”. The same press release also recommended vitamin D for “winter blues”, a mixture of gingko biloba and vitamins for the immune system, probiotics for overindulgence, and antioxidants for “toxic overload”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rough Guide To Supplements

July 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm (Bad Science, Business, Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , )

The vitamins & minerals sector of the food supplements industry was estimated to be worth $827 million in the UK in 2006 (link). The same source states that “The global nutraceuticals industry sales are forecast to touch $187 billion by 2010, owing to increasing sales in the U.S. and the European Union (EU), as also within the emerging markets like China and India.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Principle Healthcare and the Nutrition And Health Claims Regulations

July 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm (Business, Nutritionism, Principle Healthcare, Supplements) (, , , , , , , )

This PDF link is to the EU Regulations 1924/2006 and these regulations state that they should apply to “all nutrition and health claims made in commercial communications”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Principle Healthcare and the Unfair Trading Regulations

July 3, 2009 at 9:17 pm (Business, Nutritionism, Principle Healthcare, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , )

Following on from my previous post about vitamin pill entrepreneurs Principle Healthcare, I bring you details of a letter I wrote to the authorities regarding the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Some of the claims made on the website I have been investigating are staggering.# Read the rest of this entry »

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Principle Healthcare And The MHRA

July 2, 2009 at 4:39 pm (Business, Nutritionism, Principle Healthcare, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

An amended version of my first blog post about Principle Healthcare. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vitamins and Minerals: The Truth About Deficiency and RDAs

September 25, 2008 at 10:32 am (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , , )

I’ve previously written a comment on the Holford Watch blog relating to the setting of RDAs in relation to the Orthomolecular Medicine claim that it is a myth that no-one is deficient in essential nutrients. Obviously, the OrthoMed rebuttal is of a straw man argument that “no-one” is deficient – which is not an argument I have ever heard used by any authority on nutrition – but I’m not here to talk about the use of logical fallacies by nutrition industry apologists. Read the rest of this entry »

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PolyMVA Website – Encouraging Patients to Ignore their Oncologist

September 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm (Bad Science, Dangerously Wrong, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The PolyMVA survivors website is advising cancer patients to ignore their oncologist, to refuse chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and to choose an alternative cancer treatment instead. Read the rest of this entry »

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Good News: Matthias Rath Drops Legal Case Against Goldacre and Guardian

September 12, 2008 at 8:58 pm (Bad Science, Dangerously Wrong, Legal Chill, Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , )

Perhaps I should have maverickly titled this post “To the tune of one million dollars”. Perhaps not. [But, ah… the memories] Anyhoo, the story I’m writing about boils down to this: vitamin pill entrepeneur Matthias Rath had threatened to sue Ben Goldacre and the Guardian newspaper for $1,000,000 and, happily, has now pulled out of this case. Rath ‘failed the AIDS test’ – and in South Africa, a country with major problems not just with AIDS but with AIDS denialism – by promoting vitamin pills instead of antiretroviral drugs for sufferers. Before you finish (or instead of) reading my post, go to badscience.net and read Ben’s account. Read the rest of this entry »

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