Why Physical Activity Does Little to Control Weight
Herman Pontzer describes new research findings that challenge our conventional wisdom about diet, exercise, and weight loss.
Turmeric/Curcumin: The “Natural Remedy of the Century” or a Waste of Money?
Turmeric does have other benefits. It enhances the flavor and appearance of Indian food.
Self-Hatred: The Cause of Autoimmune Disease?
The idea that we can take control of our destiny and can prevent or cure illness with our thoughts alone is a seductive one. Wouldn’t that be nice? I wish it were true.
The Screening Test that Caused an Epidemic
Just because you can screen for a disease doesn’t mean you should.
A Questionable Letter of Recommendation for Ear Candling
No way am I ever going to put one in my ear. Call me prejudiced… in favor of science and reality.
New Superfoods: Kakadu Plums and Cockroach Milk
“Put simply, it is magic!” In my opinion, the only thing magical about it is the magical thinking required to believe the claims for it.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Do They Really Work?
People want to believe in G/C, and they can easily find reasons to disregard the evidence. Hope springs eternal.
Genius Java: Memory Boosting Coffee
In one sense it might actually make you smarter: if you can understand why its claims are questionable and can apply those lessons to other marketing claims.
The CAMphora: Health in a Jar
My flabber was thoroughly gasted. Apparently you sit in the jar and put water and maybe Chinese herbs into it and it is connected to 220-volt electricity.
The Truth About Cancer
I actually find it flattering when someone attacks me so stupidly. It means what I wrote was so accurate that they were unable to find anything they could legitimately criticize.
Uninformed Consumers Are Treating Their Flu Symptoms with Muscovy Duck Offal (Minus the Duck)
Why on Earth do people buy a medicine with no medicine in it? The back of the box clearly says “Active ingredient Anas barbariae, 200 CK HPUS.” I suspect most customers don’t bother to read that, and if they do, they don’t know what it means.
Newborn Babies Don’t Have Sex, So Why Do We Vaccinate Them for a Sexually Transmitted Disease?
So babies don’t have sex, abuse drugs, or share razors. And mothers can be tested for the virus; if they don’t have it, there is no risk of them transmitting it to their babies. So are there any valid reasons to vaccinate newborns?
Screening Tests and Primum non nocere
Nonmaleficence says don’t harm the patient; beneficence says help the patient. There’s a trade-off, since almost every treatment carries some small degree of risk. Not treating may do more harm than treating.
Zombie Criticisms of Conventional Medicine
Critics of modern medicine would do well to follow my “SkepDoc’s Rule:” Before you accept a claim, try to understand who disagrees with it and why.
“Biomagnetism Therapy”: Pseudoscientific Twaddle
In a television interview, a practitioner of biomagnetic therapy claimed she had cured her own breast lump and the metastatic cancer of another person. I wonder how many viewers believed her.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Didn’t Win a Nobel Prize, Scientific Medicine Did
Tu Youyou, a Chinese researcher, was awarded half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of artemisinin, a malaria drug. This has been touted as a victory for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and herbalism. It is anything but.
Someone is always trying to tell us what to eat. It’s like religions: they can’t all be right, and they might all be wrong.