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.
Supplements and cancer prevention (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/supplements-and-cancer-prevention/ Several supplements are claimed to prevent cancer, and there are some supporting studies, but there is also considerable evidence indicating that supplements either make no difference or may even increase the incidence of some cancers. Under the fiction that they are foods, the DSHEA allows the sale of these products to customers who are led to believe they are cancer-preventing medicines.
G-Spot Discovered? Not So Fast! (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/g-spot-discovered-not-so-fast/ A researcher claims to have found anatomical proof that the G-Spot exists. He found “something” in a dissection of one cadaver, with no attempt to verify it in other autopsies, or to correlate it to function, or even to examine it under a microscope. The researcher teaches “G-spot amplification surgery.” And he can’t read: he confuses the vaginal G-spot with a genetic term for a contiguous run of 4 or more guanines.
Funding CAM Research (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/funding-cam-research/ Paul Offit’s thoughtful essay in the Journal of the American Medical Association argues against funding the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). The track record of CAM research has been dismal, negative results have had little or no impact, and research on plausible remedies doesn’t require a separate organization. Studying highly implausible treatments is a waste of taxpayer money.
The CAM Docket: Texas MDs v. DCs (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-cam-docket-texas-mds-v-dcs/ A Texas Court of Appeals decision prohibits chiropractors from doing needle electromyography and manipulations under anesthesia. These are clearly outside their defined scope of practice. Still to be litigated: whether the rules allowing chiropractic diagnosis based on subluxation are unconstitutional.
Stop Making Sense (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/stop-making-sense/ A book about “things that don’t make sense” draws lessons about scientific rigor from physics but fails to apply them when it comes to alternative medicine. In physics, careful research confirms or denies our understanding of reality; in CAM, reality is ignored.