CAM use leads to delays in appropriate, effective arthritis therapy

Posted 31 December 2017

A preference to use CAM before seeking medical advice may be harming patients with inflammatory arthritis.

By Scott Gavura on November 16, 2017, posted to Science Based Medicine
Several weeks ago I summarized the evidence that demonstrates that when you delay cancer chemotherapy and substitute alternative medicine, you die sooner. Thank you to the tireless Edzard Ernst, who identified non-cancer evidence that demonstrates how choosing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) instead of real medicine, can cause harm. In this case, the example is early inflammatory arthritis (EIA), and what was studied was the relationship between CAM use, and the delay to initiation of medical therapy. Time is of the essence with inflammatory arthritis, as there are medications that can reduce the risk of permanent joint damage. This new paper adds to the accumulated evidence to show that CAM, while it is commonly thought to
Read the rest

We should never have told people to take vitamins — and a new study shows why

Posted 30 December 2017

  • Decades of research has failed to find substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do any good — and some supplements may even be dangerous.
  • A new study has found that vitamin D and calcium supplements may not protect against bone fractures in older adults.
  • If you think you may need a supplement because of a deficiency, you should ask a doctor.

Decades of research, including a new study published in December in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has failed to find substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do any significant good.

Continue to read at Business Insider

Read the rest

Top ten signs your detox may be a scam

Posted 29 December 2017

From Science Based Medicine

As we prepare to welcome 2018, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. And what better way to start fresh in 2018 than by literally purging yourself of 2017, inside and out? You may already been seeing advertisements for all forms of detox products and services: Your local pharmacy likely has a shelf of supplements and kits that promise a svelte, glowing you within a few days. A Facebook post is promoting lemon juice, cayenne and maple syrup as a cure-all. Or there’s your local naturopathic clinic promoting IV vitamin infusions – not only will a detox make you feel better, you’ll look better too.

Unfortunately, most of the hype around detox is useless at best, and expensive and potentially harmful, at worst. Most detoxes are only successful at cleaning you of your savings, not your toxins. Here are Read the rest

FDA Pursues Unproven Cancer Claims

Posted 21 December 2017

December 19, 2017

FDA Pursues Unproven Cancer Claims

Rebecca Voelker, MSJ

JAMA.  2017;318(23):2288. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.19150

Four companies have received FDA warning letters for selling products online that agency officials said made unproven anticancer claims and contained a component of the marijuana plant.

The products reportedly contained cannabidiol (CBD), which isn’t FDA approved for any indication. Such products are marketed in a variety of forms including oil drops, capsules, syrup, tea, and topical lotion or cream. Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims violates the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and could harm patients, according to FDA officials.

Claims made on web pages, online stores, and social media touted the products’ abilities to combat tumor and cancer cells, make cancer cells “commit suicide” without killing other cells, and inhibit cell division and growth in certain types of cancer. Some of the products also were marketed as alternative Read the rest

UK ASA Ruling on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Posted 21 December 2017

A complaint was laid with the UK ASA. The complainant, an inspector for the Care Quality Commission, challenged whether the efficacy claims that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could treat the following were misleading and could be substantiated: burns, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hearing loss, interstitial cystitis, leg ulcers, peripheral neuropathy, referred pain, sciatica, varicose ulcers and varicose veins, Addison’s and Hasimoto’s diseases, anaemia, diabetes, brain injuries, candida, carbon monoxide poisoning, cognitive disorders in the elderly, heart attacks, infertility and IVF, Lymes [sic] disease, migraines, motor neurone disease, MRSA, multiple sclerosis, stroke recovery, Parkinson’s disease, prostatitis, soft tissue infections and urine infections.

We (UK ASA) considered that a suitable body of evidence would be required to support each of the claims. The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Centre did not provide any evidence to support their claims that HBOT could be used to treat . . .

Read the rest

Ad Alert: BounceBack By Mannatech

Posted 20 December 2017


The FDA sent a warning letter to Mannatech President Alfredo Bala, listing a number of unproven health claims for BounceBack, a supplement that the company claims on product packaging is “clinically shown to reduce soreness.”

Eight years ago, Texas-based Mannatech agreed to shell out $4 million in customer refunds to settle charges brought by the state’s attorney general that the company, through its MLM network, exaggerated the health benefits of its dietary supplements in an effort to boost sales. Among other things, the Texas attorney general alleged Mannatech associates claimed that the products could cure and treat Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and even cancer.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the FDA that is now taking issue with the company’s unapproved drug treatment claims.

In a November warning letter to Mannatech President Alfredo Bala, the agency listed a number of unproven health claims for Read the rest

Multilevel Marketing: The day job that doesn’t pay

Posted 19 December 2017


When then FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez took the stage at the Direct Selling Association’s Business & Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. in October 2016, she did not mince words when it came to the widespread use of inappropriate earnings claims as a means of recruitment in the MLM industry. More than a year later, it appears few if any of the DSA members in attendance that day took the warning to heart.

A investigation found more than 97 percent of DSA member companies are (or have been) engaged in marketing schemes that peddle false and unsubstantiated earnings claims to try to convince prospective distributors to join their MLM network.

​​​​​​​ has amassed more than 3,000 examples of companies and/or their distributors making inappropriate earnings claims on their websites and social media platforms. These claims range from assurances of achieving financial freedom, to making Read the rest

Science or Snake Oil: do skinny teas boost weight loss?

Posted 18 December 2017

From The Conversation:

Weight loss teas are becoming common, with advertisements claiming dramatic results often appearing online. Do the big promises match the results, or do they only match the price tag?

A search of the medical research database pubmed found there are no studies specifically on the use of “slimming teas” for weight loss, but there are studies on green and black tea.

One review of five research trials compared changes in body weight in more than 300 adults at high risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They gave people either green tea, a fermented tea called Puehr or tea extracts and compared the weight change to people who were given either placebo (non-active) tea extracts or no tea at all.

Continue reading at The Conversation

Read the rest

New research shows desperate dieters in danger – the secret world of online slimming pills

Posted 14 December 2017

From: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

Published: 30 November 2017

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working in partnership with Slimming World as part of the Agency’s wider #FakeMeds Campaign to encourage those wanting to lose weight to turn to safe, legitimate and appropriate routes.

Online sellers of potentially dangerous slimming pills containing withdrawn pharmaceutical ingredients are putting desperate dieters’ health at serious risk by seducing them with the promise of quick-fix weight loss and discreet deliveries that bypass discussions with their GP and pharmacist, new research reveals.

One in three slimmers have tried slimming pills purchased online, according to the joint #FakeMeds survey of 1,805 slimmers by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and Slimming World. Since April 2013, the Agency has seized nearly £4 million worth of dodgy weight loss pills.

Read the rest

UK National Health Service drops coverage of homeopathic, herbal, and supplement products

Posted 12 December 2017

NHS England has decided to stop covering 18 “low value” treatments, a move the government believes will generate £141 million in annual savings. The list includes seven that have also also been referred to the Department of Health for blacklisting: homeopathy, herbal treatments, omega-3 fatty acid compounds (fish oil), co-proxamol, rubefacients (excluding topical NSAIDS), lutein and antioxidants, and glucosamine and chondroitin.

[Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care: Consultation and Report of Findings. NHS England, Nov 30, 2017]

Read the rest