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Last Week In Science Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harriet Hall   
Monday, 14 October 2013 09:00

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-woo in medicine.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America: Revisiting the epitome of “integrative” cancer care (David Gorski) The Cancer Treatment Centers of America offer integrative oncology with treatments like naturopathy, homeopathy, herbal preparations, hydrotherapy, chiropractic, aromatherapy, and ear acupuncture. They also attempt to rebrand certain science-based modalities as somehow being “alternative.” And they offer “Genomic Tumor Assessment,” something that is promising but not yet ready for prime time. The entire enterprise is irredeemably tainted by pseudoscience and quackery.

Biotin: Haircuts Plus Health Advice? (Harriet Hall) Health advice from a questionable source (a hair salon) turns out to be reasonable. Biotin was shown effective for brittle nails in 3 small preliminary studies. While the evidence is still far from definitive, biotin appears to be safe, is based on a plausible mechanism, is supported by data from animal studies, and is arguably the best remedy to try for brittle nails as we wait for further research.

New Videos from The Amaz!ng Meeting 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by JREF Staff   
Friday, 11 October 2013 16:28

If you missed The Amaz!ng Meeting 2013, you can still catch great talks on science and skepticism given live from the TAM 2013 stage, at the James Randi Educational Foundation's YouTube page. Watch out for new videos that will be posted each week!

Today, we are happy to share the first three videos:

Quackery Awareness Week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Steve Novella   
Friday, 11 October 2013 09:00

In June of 2009 the British Homeopathic Association declared “homeopathy awareness week.” I obliged by writing a post making the public more aware of the superstitious nonsense that is homeopathy. I, in fact, want people to be aware of exactly what homeopathy is, because most of the public does not know what absurd pseudoscience it is.

Now I have to extend the favor to naturopathy – because the US has declared October 7-13 Naturopathy Awareness Week. They managed to squeeze in this critical vote prior to shutting down the government. Here is the resolution:

S.Res.221 – A resolution designating the week of October 7 through October 13, 2013, as “Naturopathic Medicine Week” to recognize the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.

Derek PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Karen Stollznow   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:00

“Have you watched Derek yet?” seems to be a question I’m hearing often of late. Not to be confused with the German detective show Derrick, Derek is a British comedy drama available on Netflix. The six-part “mockumentary” is written and directed by Ricky Gervais who also stars as the lead character Derek, a care worker in a home for the elderly.

An old folk’s home initially seems like an unlikely setting for a sitcom. In watching it you can almost smell the antiseptic, porridge, and mustiness in the air. First impressions aside, I found Derek to be a bittersweet comedy that is at times touching and heartbreaking. With great sensitivity, the show raises sobering issues of disability, loneliness, poverty, sickness, and death, all written and performed in a sensitive and poignant way. For a show written by a “mean” and “nasty” atheist, Derek has soul.

How I Was Scammed By Kevin Trudeau PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cherry Theresa   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:00

 Kevin Trudeau spent a night in jail last month and then his living expenses were cut off by a judge the following week, so I’ve decided to share my story. This is how I fell for Kevin Trudeau’s lies, how I realized I was being deceived, what I learned from it, and how I use my experience to try to help others. It’s not fun admitting you’ve been had, but not exposing this fraudster wouldn’t be great, either.

In 2005, I started experiencing severe pain that persisted even with strong painkillers. It became so bad that I had to quit my job and band, deplete my savings, ruin my credit, and put my life on hold to figure out what was wrong and to get treatment. I had to have several surgeries over the years and I continue to take medication for it to this day.

While I was going through the worst of this ordeal, I became very frustrated with the U.S. healthcare system. It took a long time to even find out what was wrong due to referrals and approvals, among many other issues, and I had some bad doctors, improper medication, and a failed surgery that made my affliction worse. Since my condition made me unable to work, I had to go a year with no income and without a life while I waited in pain. I nearly got evicted, all while creditors were hounding me for bills I could not pay.

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