Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Dr. Oz revisited (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/dr-oz-revisited/ Dr. Oz has “crossed the Woobicon” into blatant support of nonsense. In a recent show featuring the infamous Dr. Mercola, he promoted this trifecta: an eggplant cure for cancer, algae to counteract the poisoning from amalgam fillings, and “earthing” to improve health by contact with the Earth’s “negatively charged antioxidant electrons.” Oz is “America’s Doctor” of Quackery.
Acupuncture, Infertility, and Horrible Reporting (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/acupuncture-infertility-and-horrible-reporting/ A news report told the story of a doctor who believed acupuncture had cured her infertility. She didn’t meet the criteria for infertility in the first place, and there’s no reason to think acupuncture made a difference. The report was totally credulous, without even a hint of skepticism or balance.
Pyroluria and Orthomolecular Psychiatry (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/pyroluria-and-orthomolecular-psychiatry/ Pyroluria is a failed hypothesis about an elusive substance allegedly found in the urine in certain psychiatric illnesses and after the ingestion of LSD. When research demolished their claims, proponents followed an all too common pattern: they denigrated science, fell back on anecdotal reports, and continued making the claims.
Is gluten the new Candida? (Scott Gavura) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/is-gluten-the-new-candida/ Gluten seems to have replaced yeast as the latest popular dietary bugaboo. Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are real conditions, but fear of gluten has gone far beyond the current scientific evidence.
The Marino Center for Integrative Health: Hooey Galore (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-marino-center-for-integrative-health/ This institution, featured in the recent Bravewell report, is a wellspring of examples of how “integrative” practitioners provide false information about the methods they endorse. Their disregard for the truth is demonstrated by their statements about homeopathy, acupuncture, dietary cleansing, chelation, and other offerings.