The American Academy of Pediatrics has an Integrative Medicine Problem

Science-Based Medicine - October 20, 2017 - 8:00am
The American Academy of Pediatrics is usually a trustworthy source of high quality information for patients, caregivers, and pediatric medical providers. But when it comes to so-called integrative medicine, they have a massive biased blind spot. In this post, I discuss a recently updated clinical report from their Section on Integrative Medicine.
Categories: Science

Australia ends insurance subsidies for naturopathy, homeopathy, and more

Science-Based Medicine - October 19, 2017 - 8:47am
The Australian government has eliminated the insurance subsidy for 17 alternative health practices due to a lack of evidence for efficacy. This is a win for medicine and Australian taxpayers.
Categories: Science

Is Mindfulness Meditation Science-Based?

Science-Based Medicine - October 18, 2017 - 8:44am
Existing research has not yet clearly defined what mindfulness is and what effect it has. The hype clearly has gone beyond the science, and more rigorous research is needed to determine what specific effects there are, if any.
Categories: Science

Chiropractor Disregards the Loss of His License, Continues to Treat Patients with Cervical Dysplasia with Escharotics

Science-Based Medicine - October 17, 2017 - 3:00am
A chiropractor who bills himself as a chiropractic gynecologist has continued to practice after his license was permanently revoked. Among his many questionable practices, he is treating cervical dysplasia with escharotics, a potentially dangerous replacement for conventional treatments to prevent cancer.
Categories: Science

Integrative medicine advocates react to criticisms of the Samuelis’ $200 million gift to UC-Irvine

Science-Based Medicine - October 16, 2017 - 8:00am
Last month, Susan and Henry Samueli donated $200 million to the University of California, Irvine to promote integrative medicine. We were pleasantly surprised by the unflattering coverage in the press of the gift. We were unpleasantly unsurprised by the reaction of integrative medicine advocates to the criticism.
Categories: Science

Don’t drink your bath water – Epsom salts, liver damage, and naturopaths

Science-Based Medicine - October 13, 2017 - 12:52pm
What's the harm of naturopathy? How about Epsom salt-induced liver damage?
Categories: Science

Father K

Radiolab Podcasts - October 12, 2017 - 10:59pm

Today, while the divisions between different groups in this country feel more and more insurmountable, we zero in on a particular neighborhood to see if one man can draw people together in a potentially history-making election. 

Khader El-Yateem is a Palestinian American running for office in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, one of the most divided, and most conservative neighborhoods in New York City. To win, he'll need to convince a wildly diverse population that he can speak for all of them, and he'll need to pull one particular group of people, Arab American muslims, out of the shadows and into the political process. And to make things just a bit more interesting, El-Yateem is a Lutheran minister.

This story was reported and produced by Simon Adler, with help from Bethel Habte, Annie McEwen, and Sarah Qari.

 Support Radiolab today at

Categories: Science

Repealing Legislative Alchemy

Science-Based Medicine - October 12, 2017 - 1:00am
We need to repeal federal and state laws that allow quackery and pseudoscience in healthcare.
Categories: Science

Zombie Science

Science-Based Medicine - October 11, 2017 - 8:25am
Retractions of scientific studies do not always mean that the studies die a deserved death. Sometimes they live on as zombie studies, continuing to be cited by other researchers and having an effect on the scientific discussion. We can fix this.
Categories: Science

Preying on the Vulnerable: Electrodiagnostics, Bach Flower Remedies, and Sound Therapy for Autism, ADHD, and Learning Problems

Science-Based Medicine - October 10, 2017 - 3:00am
Karyne Jeanne Richardson offers a ridiculous program of electrodiagnosis, flower remedies, and fractal sound to treat autism and other disorders. There are science-based autism programs that work; it is unfortunate when parents subject their autistic children to onerous, expensive, time-consuming, useless treatments based on pseudoscientific claims and false promises.
Categories: Science

The Pathological Optimist: More hagiography than documentary about Andrew Wakefield

Science-Based Medicine - October 9, 2017 - 3:00am
The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film's promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she "doesn't take a side" about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, "not taking a side" is taking a side, and that a film's bias is often more evident in what is not shown and told than in what is.
Categories: Science

Yet Another Miscellany of Medical Malarkey

Science-Based Medicine - October 6, 2017 - 8:00am
Acupuncture for menstrual cramps, chiropractic for the prevention of domestic terrorism, and more in this miscellany of medical malarkey. Or would you prefer hodgepodge of healthcare hokum?
Categories: Science

Complementary and Alternative Medicines and Cancer

Science-Based Medicine - October 5, 2017 - 8:30am
Does complementary and alternative medicine offer any meaningful benefits to cancer patients?
Categories: Science

More Integrative Propaganda

Science-Based Medicine - October 4, 2017 - 8:16am
Defenders of integrative quackery attack proponents of science-based medicine for simply pointing out the scientific evidence and exposing their poor logic.
Categories: Science

Amino Neuro Frequency: Just More “Embedded Frequencies” Silliness

Science-Based Medicine - October 3, 2017 - 3:00am
Amino neuro frequency treatment uses 1" stick-on patches with embedded "frequencies" that the body recognizes and directs to the proper area to treat pain and inflammation. The concept of "embedded frequencies" is bogus and ANF is nothing but a theatrical placebo.
Categories: Science

Rigvir strikes back, or: A conversation with a Rigvir flack

Science-Based Medicine - October 2, 2017 - 3:00am
My skeptical analysis of Rigvir, a "Virotherapy" from Latvia being promoted by alternative medicine clinics as a cancer cure, caught the attention of the International Virotherapy Center (IVC). The result was a long and very telling e-mail exchange between its Assistant of Business Development and myself. I post it because the arguments used in the discussion are very telling about where the IVC is coming from when it comes to science. Hint: It's not a good place.
Categories: Science

Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - American Pendulum I

Radiolab Podcasts - October 2, 2017 - 12:11am

This story comes from the second season of Radiolab's spin-off podcast, More Perfect. To hear more, subscribe here.

What happens when the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, seems to get it wrong? Korematsu v. United States is a case that’s been widely denounced and discredited, but it still remains on the books. This is the case that upheld President Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of American citizens during World War II based solely on their Japanese heritage, for the sake of national security. In this episode, we follow Fred Korematsu’s path to the Supreme Court, and we ask the question: if you can’t get justice in the Supreme Court, can you find it someplace else?

 The key voices:

    Fred Korematsu, plaintiff in Korematsu v. United States who resisted evacuation orders during World War II. Karen Korematsu, Fred’s daughter, Founder & Executive Director of Fred T. Korematsu Institute Ernest Besig, ACLU lawyer who helped Fred Korematsu bring his case Lorraine Bannai, Professor at Seattle University School of Law and friend of Fred's family Richard Posner, recently retired Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit

 The key cases:

 The key links:

Additional music for this episode by The Flamingos, Lulu, Paul Lansky and Austin Vaughn.

 Special thanks to the Densho Archives for use of archival tape of Fred Korematsu and Ernest Besig.

 Leadership support for More Perfect is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation.

Supreme Court archival audio comes from Oyez®, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.

Categories: Science

CAM Promotion in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Programs

Science-Based Medicine - September 29, 2017 - 9:28am
Cancer in the 18-39 age range is uncommon, but still occurs. When they should be dealing with school, friends, new jobs, and starting families, instead they must worry about medical bills, appointments, and infertility. Added to this are the costs of "integrative" treatments often foisted upon cancer patients, or built-in to the few adolescent and young adult-focussed centers that currently exist.
Categories: Science

Reiki: Fraudulent Misrepresentation – Revisited

Science-Based Medicine - September 28, 2017 - 1:00am
Factual misrepresentations about manipulating "energy" in a patient's body and its positive effects on health are integral to reiki. They can also be the basis of an action for fraudulent misrepresentation.
Categories: Science

Homeopathy Embarrassing to Integrative Medicine

Science-Based Medicine - September 27, 2017 - 7:49am
Homeopathy is the most embarrassing form of alternative medicine, and the easiest to refute. There has been long series of skeptical wins around the world over the past year - including University of California, Irvine's decision to scrub its mention from the homepage of its latest integrative medicine center. Hopefully, if we can keep up the pressure the trend will continue!
Categories: Science