Finally, FDA Is Cracking Down on Highly Dangerous ‘Treatments’ From Stem Cell Clinics

Posted 30 August 2017

Stem cells are amazing. They hold the potential to repair almost any part of the body, shifting into different cell types on demand. But that doesn’t mean you can trust all the treatment pitches out there with “stem cells” in the description – often these therapies have not been tested, and do more harm than good.

Now the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally announced it will make a concerted effort to stamp out unproven stem cell remedies that haven’t been properly vetted and may even be dangerous to patients.

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Read also the FDA Press release

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Finalised Medicines Regulations have been published

Posted 28 August 2017

The Finalised Medicines Regulations have been published at last:

Regulation 42(5)(c)(ii)(cc) requires that advertisements for unregistered complementary medicines include the disclaimer: “This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use.”

It also includes regulations governing Complementary medicines, and “Health Supplements

“complementary medicine” means any substance or mixture of substances that –

(a) originates from plants, fungi, algae, seaweeds, lichens, minerals, animals or other substance as determined by the Authority;

(b) is used or purporting to be suitable for use or manufactured or sold for use –

(i) in maintaining, complementing or assisting the physical or mental state; or

(ii) to diagnose, treat, mitigate, modify, alleviate or prevent disease or illness or the symptoms or signs thereof or abnormal physical or

mental state of a human being or animal; and is used-

  • as a health
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Can magnesium be absorbed through the skin?

Posted 16 August 2017

We have pointed out in numerous posts, that there is no proof that magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, and knowing how difficult it is for substances to penetrate skin, that until proof arrives, to not believe any of the health claims being made for magnesium being applied to the skin. I am particularly referring also to Miracle Magnesium products.

It is also very important to point out that there are two arguments to consider:
a.) can magnesium be absorbed through the skin, and,
b.) are the health claims being made for magnesium valid.

To explain: we need proof that magnesium is absorbed through the skin (and in a significant amount), and, in a second and separate argument, even if magnesium is absorbed, is there proof that magnesium will have the health benefits company makes claims for, e.g., cure sinusitis, cancer, or any other of Read the rest

Why people believe in conspiracy theories – and how to change their minds

Posted 23 August 2017

This article published in The Conversation, makes the following argument: “The simple answer is that facts and rational arguments really aren’t very good at altering people’s beliefs”. 

We often see this to be true on CamCheck, where facts simply will not alter people’s belief in a CAM, scam or other nonsense claim.

The author adds the following:

“Another reason we are so keen to believe in conspiracy theories is that we are social animals and our status in that society is much more important (from an evolutionary standpoint) than being right. Consequently we constantly compare our actions and beliefs to those of our peers, and then alter them to fit in. This means that if our social group believes something, we are more likely to follow the herd.”


“A related issue is the ever-present confirmation bias, that tendency for folks to seek out Read the rest

The Supplement Con

Posted 23 August 2017

A recent article in Business Insider is an encouraging sign that skepticism about the supplement industry is starting to go mainstream. The article hits all the main points – the supplement industry in the US is now $37 billion, is largely unregulated, and their products are largely worthless, make unfounded claims, and may even be harmful.They correctly point out the key factor that made the supplement industry go from bad to terrible:

[quote]In 1994, about 600 supplement companies were producing about 4,000 products for a total revenue of about $4 billion. But that market has since ballooned — today, close to 6,000 companies pump out about 75,000 products.

“We’re regulating that with 26 people and a budget of $5 million,” [FDA spokesperson] Tave said.[/quote]

Continue reading this insightful article by Steven Novella posted to Science Based Medicine on August 16, 2017

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ASA undergoes radical restructuring, ready for business

Posted 22 August 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has undergone radical restructuring with a new acting CEO in place, major fundraising underway and various business rescue recommendations being implemented.

Gail Schimmel, advertising law specialist and acting CEO of the organisation since June, says the ASA had become “removed from the industry and somewhat arrogant. It is my belief that the ASA is essentially a servant of the industry, and we are trying to rebuild relationships and reignite the feeling in industry that we ‘belong’ to them,” Schimmel told The Media Online.

Schimmel says a business rescue plan was accepted at the ASA’s annual general meeting in April. Since then, a new board has been appointed; 14 people retrenched, including two with the highest salary packages; an acting CEO was appointed; 60% of its premises

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The $37 billion supplement industry is barely regulated — and could be dangerous to your health

Posted 20 August 2017

This article published in Business Insider, makes the following points (extracts):

“In the middle of the pregnancy, her mother had come down with tuberculosis. She’d contracted the contagious lung infection in her teens, and the illness came back despite preventative antibiotics and regular screenings. The cause: a popular herbal supplement called St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort is one of the most popular herbal supplements sold in the United States. But in 2000, the National Institutes of Health published a study showing that St. John’s wort could severely curb the effectiveness of several important pharmaceutical drugs — including antibiotics, birth control, and antiretrovirals for infections like HIV — by speeding up their breakdown in the body.”

““Consumers should expect nothing from [supplements] because we don’t have any clear evidence that they’re beneficial, and they should be leery that they could be putting themselves at risk,” S. Read the rest

Bodybuilder’s death blamed on protein shakes

Posted 16 August 2017

A diet of protein shakes and supplements has been found to have contributed to the death of a West Australian woman, sparking a warning from her family. Fitness model Meegan Hefford had been competing as a bodybuilder since 2014. 

It wasn’t until her autopsy that it was discovered she had a rare genetic condition which meant too much protein wouldn’t break down properly in her body.

“They don’t test for it routinely because it is such a rare condition. It says on all of the supplements to get medical advice, but how many young people actually do?” Ms White said.

She wants to see protein supplements better regulated and hopes her daughter’s story can warn others.

The Australian Medical Association says there’s no real health benefit to such supplements. And, while they may not be necessary for most people, they’re not dangerous to most, either.

Further Read the rest

Alternative Medicine Kills Cancer Patients, Study Finds

Posted 15 August 2017

“A team of scientists from Yale University perused the National Cancer Database, a collection of 34 million records of cancer patients along with their treatments and outcomes, to identify patients who elected to forgo conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery in favor of alternative medicine. They found 280 subjects diagnosed with nonmetastatic breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer in 2004 who used alternative medicine (defined in the database as “other-unproven: cancer treatments administered by non- medical personnel”) and matched them with 560 control subjects who received conventional treatment.” 

“After five years, 78.3% of subjects who received conventional treatments were still alive, compared to only 54.7% of subjects who used alternative medicine. Even more startling, breast cancer patients who used alternative medicine were five times more likely to die. Colorectal cancer patients were four times more likely to die. Lung cancer patients were twice Read the rest

“Glyconutrients,” Mannatech, and Ambrotose: Marketing, Not Science

Posted 02 August 2017

I have recently been asked by a number of readers for my opinion on ‘glyconutrients’, a Mannatech product. If I was being nice, I would say that the claims are scientifically unsound and unsubstantiated. However, on the other hand, many sites have simply called the product a scam. I was going to write something on this ‘supplement’, only to find that Dr Harriet Hall has already addressed this subject – one that I simply cannot match.

So, here is Dr Harriet Hall’s article as published in Science-Based Medicine.

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