CME credit for “functional medicine” under review

Posted 31 October 2017

CME credit for “functional medicine” under review

The American Academy of Family Physicians has issued a call for comment on the eligibility of “functional medicine” topics for continuing medical education (CME) credit. In 2014, and then again in 2016, its Commission on Continuing Professional Development reviewed functional medicine and identified a lack of existing evidence to support its practice. As a result, a moratorium on all functional medicine topics eligible for CME credit is in place until February 2018. “Functional medicine” is a marketing term that encompasses a wide range of tests and treatments that are unsubstantiated and/or unnecessary. Science-Based Medicine has posted an insightful discussion of this topic. [Bellamy J. AAFP: Functional medicine lacks supporting evidence; includes “harmful” and “dangerous” treatments. Science-Based Medicine, Oct 26, 2017] Comments to the AAFP can be made through an AAFP survey site.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #17-40, Read the rest

15 Herbal Supplements You Shouldn’t Try – Infographic

Posted 31 October 2017

From the website, Positive Health Wellness, by Karen Reed

15 Herbal Supplements You Shouldn’t Try

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International Summit on Quackery & Pseudoscience: Stellenbosch

Posted 30 October 2017

The International Summit on Quackery & Pseudoscience is being held in Stellenbosch 20-21 November 2017.

The dangers of pseudoscience and quackery in healthcare will come under scrutiny later this year at a ground-breaking international summit in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Numerous high-profile health and science communication experts will gather at the International Summit on Quackery and Pseudoscience to explore how science communication efforts by the media, scientists, health regulators and governments can counter the impact of pseudoscience and advance the use of evidence-based healthcare practices.

The summit will be held from 20-21 November at the University of Stellenbosch (SU). It will be jointly hosted by the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC) of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), and the Centre for Science and Technology Mass Communication (CENSCOM) of the postgraduate Department of Journalism at SU.

To read more, and register, visit the Censcom Read the rest

Does Tumeric help your joints?

Posted 26 October 2017

In the United Kingdom, a press ad for the health supplements supplier FutureYou, seen on 28 March 2017, promoted the food supplement Turmeric+. The ad featured the claim “Support Healthy Joints with TURMERIC+” alongside an image of the product which included the claims “supports healthy joints” and “helps maintain flexible joints”.

A consumer laid a complaint with the UK Advertising Standards Authority, who concluded that the claims were not supported by scientific evidence.

“We noted that EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) had published a negative scientific opinion on the on-hold claims in question. The EFSA Panel had concluded that a cause and effect relationship had not been established between the consumption of Curcuma longa (turmeric) and the maintenance of normal joints, on the basis of the evidence provided to EFSA.”

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Ionised water – any health benefits?

Posted 25 October 2017

Ionised water products often make health claims claiming benefits over regular water.

South African products include website-linked promotions, for example at:

  • Alkaline Water Ionizer
  • Designer Water
    “Alkaline Water Scientific Research And Studies Prove How Effective This Kind Of Water Really Is”
  • Mc Alkion Water
    “our water contains: Mc (Micro Clustered) Alk (Alkaline) ion (ionized) water”
    “Drinking alkaline rich ionized water helps the body to replenish the necessary alkaline minerals and assists in bringing balance to a body that is overly acidic. Some of the long terms side effects of overly acidic blood are arthritis, rheumatism, osteroperosis, hyper tension, gout, heart disease, cancer to name a few. If your blood is alkaline you should live long and full lives generally free from illness and disease of all kinds.”
  • Cure
  • Generosity Water Alkaline Water

  • Happy Water by Absolute Organix
    Happy Water is a
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Australia ends insurance subsidies for naturopathy, homeopathy, and more

Posted 23 October 2017

The Australian government has eliminated the insurance subsidy for 17 alternative health practices due to a lack of evidence for efficacy.

An article by Scott Gavura, published in Science Based Medicine, makes the following points (extracts):

Public health care systems face criticism when they spend money on treatments that don’t work. With ageing populations and the rising cost of treatments, there’s more and more scrutiny of what these programs pay for. One of the most effective ways that insurance programs can reduce the use of a health service or treatment is to simply stop paying for it. But this is relatively uncommon, because once a benefit’s in place, there tends to be a lot of resistance to change – even if the move was wrongheaded to begin with. That’s one of the (many) reasons this blog has been critical of permitting the licensing of alternative-to-health Read the rest

Herbal remedies widely linked to liver cancers

Posted 20 October 2017

In an article titled, Herbal remedies embraced by naturopaths, alt med widely linked to liver cancers, published in ArsTechnica, makes the following points:

According to a study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine, traditional components of herbal remedies used throughout Asia are widely implicated in liver cancers there. In Taiwan, for instance, 78 percent of 98 liver tumors sampled displayed a pattern of mutations consistent with exposure to herbs containing aristolochic acids (AAs). These are carcinogenic components found in a variety of centuries-old herbal remedies said to treat everything from snakebites to gout, asthma, and pain.


In 2000, Belgian doctors reported that about 100 women taking a Chinese herbal treatment from a weight-loss clinic in Brussels experienced kidney failure, and many later developed bladder and urinary tract cancers. Upon investigation, the doctors determined that the AA-containing herb Aristolochia fangchi had been

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Herbalife and its distributors face RICO complaint

Posted 19 October 2017

Herbalife, a Los Angeles-based MLM company that sells nutrition products and weight-loss supplements, and dozens of its top-earning distributors were sued this week in a class action complaint over alleged civil racketeering (RICO) violations.

The 82-page complaint, filed in federal court in Florida, claims:

[t]he Herbalife success story is a fraud; a predatory scheme intentionally rigged against newcomers playing by the rules. The success claimed – and promised – by Defendants at Circle of Success events across the country is impossible to attain under its own terms.

A little over a year ago, Herbalife agreed to a $200 million settlement with the FTC that required it to revamp its compensation system to reward distributors for sales to customers rather than for recruitment. According to the complaint filed Monday,

But untouched by the FTC’s action . . . is the single most effective fraud in the

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3 Bodybuilding Supplements That Are An Absolute Waste Of Money

Posted 16 October 2017

“Supplement companies have definitely mastered one thing- how to market & sell stupid supplements. Unfortunately, only a handful of supplements work and are worth your money. Most of them, sadly, only dig a hole in your pocket. Apart from a handful supplements, a ton of them that are being sold today in the name of hypertrophy are completely useless. If you are a beginner, or even an intermediate lifter, chances are that you don’t need a lot of supplements that you may just be using. Here are some of them. “

  1. Arginine
  2. Cla, L-Carnitine, Green Coffee Extract and Fat Burners 
  3. Hydrolysed Whey Protein

Continue reading this article at MensXP

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Reasons To Believe

Posted 14 October 2017

Have you ever wondered why people believe things like religion, spirituality, conspiracy theories and political ideology without evidence? Why it’s so hard to change their minds, even after presenting the facts?

Reasons To Believe is a thought-provoking documentary by filmmaker Ben Fama Jr., that explores the psychology and science of belief and why we believe, sometimes falsely, in things that may not match up with reality. Facilitated by leaders in the fields of science, philosophy, neuroscience, moral reasoning, psychology, perception, memory formation, and indoctrination, these experts answer a variety of thought provoking questions and provide tangible structure to the definition and creation of belief in the human brain.

Fama asks the question: Why do we believe?

Starring Michael Shermer, Peter Boghossian, Jennifer Whitson, Caleb Lack and Chad Woodruff.

Directed by Ben Fama Jr. Produced by Mesa Fama

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