Science-Based Medicine

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Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and medicine
Updated: 1 min 41 sec ago

A Call for Caution on Antioxidant Supplementation

19 hours 57 min ago
Antioxidants have gotten a lot of press here on SBM; this post digs a little deeper into the basic science of antioxidants, and the importance of understanding more than just one part of a complex biological system before you interfere with it.
Categories: Science

The Integrative Oncology Scholars Program: Indoctrinating the next generation of “integrative oncology” believers

October 22, 2018 - 3:53am
"Integrative oncology" involves "integrating" pseudoscience, mysticism, and quackery with science-based oncology and co-opting science-based lifestyle modalities as "alternative" in order to provide cover for the quackery. Unfortunately, my alma mater, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is running a course to indoctrinate 100 health care professionals in the ways of "integrative oncology." The Trojan horse of "lifestyle interventions" and "nonpharmacologic treatments for pain" is at the gates. The quackery will leap out as soon as it's in the fortress.
Categories: Science

The Return of the Miscellany of Medical Malarkey Strikes Back

October 19, 2018 - 7:00am
The flu season is upon us, as is the first pediatric death. A polio-like illness is spreading, and experts are baffled. Kids probably shouldn't be around giant spinning metallic blades. Magic tape! You guessed it, another miscellany of medical malarkey has risen from the grave.
Categories: Science

Drugs in your supplements

October 18, 2018 - 9:00am
Supplements are a billion-dollar business, but quality control is questionable. A new study shows that supplements may be adulterated with unlabelled prescription drugs.
Categories: Science

Gold Water, Silver Water, Copper Water

October 16, 2018 - 3:00am
Ayurveda recommends gold water, silver water, and copper water to treat various conditions. There is no evidence that they work or even that they contain gold, silver, or copper.
Categories: Science

My Cancer Free Life: A reality series designed to promote Stanislaw Burzynski’s quackery

October 15, 2018 - 3:00am
Stanislaw Burzynski has been selling a dubious treatment known as antineoplastons to desperate cancer patients since the late 1970s. Unfortunately, there are those who are all too willing to promote the myth of a Brave Maverick Doctor who can cure cancer. Several years ago, it was Eric Merola. Now it's Uchenna Agu, a reality TV star turned producer. He plans on making a reality docuseries featuring patients "cured of cancer" by Burzynski. Worse, local Houston station KHOU-TV promoted his project on its morning show Great Day Houston.
Categories: Science

Thermography is Not Approved for Breast Cancer Screening in Canada

October 12, 2018 - 3:00am
Breast cancer thermography is being promoted across Canada as a reliable and effective way of identifying breast tumors. There is no evidence thermography is actually capable of doing so.
Categories: Science

A right to science

October 11, 2018 - 1:00am
Unless forced to do so, the state and federal governments will continue to base law and policy on bad science. Maybe it's time for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a "right to science."
Categories: Science

Debunking the magical power of the placebo effect for chronic pain (yet again)

October 10, 2018 - 3:00am
The opioid crisis and growing awareness of the dangers of addiction to pain medication are prompting renewed calls for the use of pill placebos in place of active treatments, backed by familiar claims about the magical powers of the placebo.
Categories: Science

AAFP Promotes Acupuncture

October 9, 2018 - 3:00am
The AAFP is not following its own standards for CME. Its monograph on Musculoskeletal Therapies devotes 1/4 of its content to acupuncture, dry needling, and cupping; and one of its four "key practice recommendations" is to consider electroacupuncture for fibromyalgia.
Categories: Science

Cancer disparities: It’s money that matters (along with a lot of other things)

October 8, 2018 - 3:13am
Cancer is a complex set of diseases. I commonly discuss complexities in its biology and treatment. However, there's another layer of complexity that leads to marked disparities in cancer incidence and death rates. One major factor associated with such disparities is socioeconomic status.
Categories: Science

Vigorous Chiropractic Adjustment Associated with Potentially Serious Eye Injury

October 5, 2018 - 7:00am
Can vigorous adjustment of the neck cause direct injury to your eye? Probably, but I don't know. This is based on a single case report. Still, I wouldn't take the chance. And why do I keep mentioning dugongs?
Categories: Science

What happened to the Lyme vaccine?

October 4, 2018 - 8:20am
You can vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease, but there's no vaccine for humans. Why?
Categories: Science

World Health Organization Endorses Quackery

October 3, 2018 - 8:15am
The World Health Organization fails its primary function by promoting traditional quackery.
Categories: Science

More About Flu Vaccine

October 2, 2018 - 3:00am
More evidence that flu shots work, that they are safe during pregnancy, and that they don't cause autism.
Categories: Science

A whole issue of JACM devoted to “integrative oncology” propaganda? Oh, goody.

October 1, 2018 - 3:41am
Last week, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a Special Focus Issue on "integrative oncology." In reality, it's propaganda that promotes pseudoscience and the "integration" of quackery into oncology.
Categories: Science

Reporting on the edge: Authority, dog whistles, and the politics of the unknown

September 28, 2018 - 3:00am
Beatrice Golomb, MD, has appeared in the news arguing "mysterious symptoms" experienced by Cuban diplomats are due to electromagnetic radiation. Though quoted by The New York Times and published in a peer-reviewed journal, are her opinions credible?
Categories: Science

AAFP should publish research behind finding that functional medicine lacks evidence, contains harmful and dangerous practices

September 27, 2018 - 1:00am
For public's health and safety, AAFP should publish research behind finding that functional medicine lacks evidence, contains harmful and dangerous practices.
Categories: Science

A Nuanced View on Breast vs Formula

September 26, 2018 - 8:05am
While there is strong evidence that breast is best, a new study suggests that the benefits have been overstated, and may be mostly due to non-specific factors such as better education and overall health care.
Categories: Science

Flu Shots: It’s That Time Again

September 25, 2018 - 3:00am
Flu shots are safe and effective. They not only protect the recipient but others in the community who are more vulnerable. Get your flu shot!
Categories: Science