Clever Con Caught

Posted 29 January 2016

On Sunday night, 24th January, Carte Blanche aired a short documentary titled “Clever Con Caught”.

The documentary is about a South African con artist, by the name of Brad Bilton, “who trawls Facebook to scam vulnerable women out of thousands. Responding to posts on Traffic News and hijacking alert groups, he claims to be able to find stolen cars for a fee. Desperate victims pay, then realise too late that they’ve been conned”.

At approximately 5.25 minutes into the program, the presenter states: “Victims describe him as intelligent, persuasive, and charming, typical traits it would seem of a con artist”.

Professor Anni Hesselink, a criminologist in the Department of Criminology & Security Science, UNISA, says: “Such a person would be very, very confident, a pathological liar. A very inflated self-esteem. Opportunistic. Ambitious”. Professor Hesselink said a scamster often pretends to have the solution … Read the rest

Horny goat weed a flop

Posted 28 January 2016

This article by Katharine Child from Times Live, reports on the media release of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Extracts:
Horny goat weed won’t make you horny, despite being an ingredient in many over-the-counter natural supplements that promise an improved libido.

Experts at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina, in the US, evaluated the most common ingredients in supplements sold to bolster male sexuality to see if they worked and were safe – and concluded that there was little evidence that they stimulated the libido.

“Herbal medicines are not tested for efficacy or safety,” said South African sexologist Dr Eve. “So, people should not be buying them – they are dangerous.”

Another sexologist, Elmari Mulder Craig, said many patients used herbal supplements instead of consulting a doctor. “Supplements work for only a week or two because of the placebo effect. “Erectile Read the rest

Vitamin D supplements are not effective, and could be dangerous, studies find

Posted 26 January 2016

This article, written by Prof. Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London, argues that evidence to support the claims for Vitamin D is lacking, and that taking Vitamin D may even be dangerous. Solal made outrageous claims for its Vitamin D supplements, including that it was more effective than vaccines!

[quote]However, a new paper on the risks that vitamin D may pose finally has convinced me that I was wrong. My view on vitamin supplements and the multi-billion dollar industry behind them altered radically after I began researching my book, The Diet Myth, in 2013. The industry and its PR is supported by celebrities who reportedly have high-dose vitamins drip fed into their veins, and around 50% of Americans and Britons take them regularly. But surprisingly, there is a lack of evidence to support the health benefit claims of virtually all vitamin supplements… Read the rest

BEMER/BEAMER – New Study

Posted 25 January 2016

We have previously posted an article on the BEMER (BEAMER) pointing out that the ‘science’ to be implausible, and the claims of efficacy to be highly unlikely.

In the article, we quote a number of sources including Tapio Ala-Nissila from Aalto University, Finland, who posed this question: “Question: Influence of (pulsed) electromagnetic fields on “microcirculation”?  I have recently come across to what looks like a classic homeopathic scam, namely the pulsed EM field miracle treatment as advertised by a German-based company called Bemer. As a soft-matter/biological physicist I am extremely sceptical about the influence of EM fields on blood circulation. In fact, on physical grounds I can only think of adverse effects, not miraculous healing as advertised by Bemer.”

Prof Tapio Ala-Nissila has now posted that his laboratory have conducted a study on the BEMER:
The Bemer device has now been measured in our Read the rest

Diet supplements threat to liver

Posted 25 January 2016

From the Medical Journal Australia:

CLINICIANS have been warned to be alert to the possible role of herbal and dietary supplements in cases of hepatotoxicity in the wake of a West Australian man experiencing severe drug-induced liver injury (DILI) after taking a protein and weight loss supplement.

A case report published in the Medical Journal of Australia outlined the experience of a 26-year-old Indigenous man who presented with severe liver injury 10 weeks after taking a whey protein supplement containing green tea extract as well as a dietary supplement containing Garcinia cambogia for just 1 week. The researchers reported that the patient had no previous medical history, did not drink to excess, was not taking medications regularly, and did not smoke or use illicit substances.

Read the rest

Osillococcinum – its origons, i.e., how is it made and its ‘science’

Posted 22 January 2016

In a comment to the posting, Why an ineffective flu remedy (Oscillococcinum) is still being advertised in South Africa, a reader drew our attention to the excellent article Ososillyococcinum and other Flu bits by Mark Crislip on the blog, Science-Based Medicine, which explains the bizarre rationale for how this product was created and how it is manufactured. Very funny, (O-so-silly-ococcinum) but very serious. Worth a read.

[quote]In the 1919 flu epidemic a physician who did not understand that artifacts on the slide, probably bubbles, move randomly due to Brownian motion.  Looking at the tissues of flu patients with a microscope, he  found what he thought was not only the cause of influenza, but the cause of all diseases: small cocci (round balls) that oscillated under the microscope.  He found these wiggling bubbles in all the tissues of all the ill people he examined and thought… Read the rest

Why an ineffective flu remedy (Oscillococcinum) is still being advertised in South Africa

Posted 21 January 2016

This article, copied from The Conversation, asks the question why Oscillococcinum is even on our shelves when the evidence does not support its use for flu.

Prof Roy Jobson, an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, writes “A homeopathic flu product is being advertised in South Africa despite the fact that an internationally based review, and an update to it, have found the product to be ineffective”.

It is essential to read his article with this CamCheck article in mind: Absurdity of Oscillococcinum: ASA FAC ruling (opens in a new browser window)

Read the rest

Supplements and Safety

Posted 21 January 2016

The New York Times has published an article written by Anahad O’Connor, titled, ‘Supplements and Safety’ Explores What’s in Your Supplements, asking the question: do you know what is in your supplements, and in particular, what is in your fish oil?

[quote]A new documentary, “Supplements and Safety,” pulls back the curtain on some of America’s most popular supplements, and it suggests that many people who buy them may not be getting what they are paying for. The program, airing on the PBS investigative series “Frontline” on Tuesday night, is a collaboration between “Frontline,” The New York Times and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The program examines the widespread use of potent vitamins, herbs, fish oil and fat-burning supplements. Millions of Americans use these products safely every year. But researchers have found that in many cases they can cause unexpected side effects. And because dietary … Read the rest

Horny goat weed, over-the-counter sexual treatments unproven, maybe harmful

Posted 19 January 2016

Most Top-Selling, Over-the-Counter Sexual Treatments Unproven, Some Could be Harmful, Review Shows

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – January 11, 2016

From horny goat weed to ginseng and maca, over-the-counter dietary supplements sold to improve male sexual health contain a wide variety of “natural” ingredients. Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center reviewed the scientific evidence for the most common ingredients to determine if they are effective – and most importantly – safe. The results are published online ahead of print in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Read the rest

South African articles on autism and Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)

Posted 18 January 2016

Here are a collection of recent South African focussed articles and sites related to the use of MMS for autism.

Read the rest