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Alternative medicine Archives - CAMcheck

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Archive | Alternative medicine

There’s a sucker born every minute – particularly in the realm of so-called alternative medicine

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Posted 23 March 2022

An post from the blog of Prof Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd, and a previous Professor of Complementary Medicine.

“There’s a sucker born every minute”. This phrase was allegedly coined by P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid-19th century pictured below. It describes the tendency of the gullible of us to believe all too readily and therefore to be easily deceived.

Gullibility can be described as a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into a course of action for which there is no plausible evidence. To express it positively, gullible people are naively trusting and thus fall for nonsensical propositions. This renders them easy prey for exploiters.

On this blog, we see our fair share of this phenomenon, e.g.:

  • people who are easily persuaded by anecdotes,
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Comprehensive resource on dietary supplements updated

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Posted 23 February 2022

Thomas J. Wheeler, PhD, a retired associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has updated the Dietary Supplements section of “A Scientific Look at Alternative Medicine.” Part 1 addresses general aspects including an overview, regulation and labeling, adverse effects, scientific critique, conventional nutrition, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and reviews and major trials of multiple supplements. Part 2 discusses 175 individual products, arranged in alphabetical order, that are marketed as supplements. The original compendium was part of a handout for an elective course that taught medical students to carefully consider the evidence regarding claims for “alternative” products and services.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #22-08, February 20, 2022

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Hangover Cures Aren’t Supported by Scientific Evidence, Scientists Say

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If a hangover is an experience you’re familiar with, then you might have your own go-to hangover cure to try and get yourself back from that painful, zombie-fied state.

However, we have bad news: new research suggests that most of these cures don’t have any solid science behind them.

Through a review of 21 placebo-controlled trials that had previously been carried out on a total of 386 participants, the researchers found the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of any so-called hangover cure was dubious at best.

In particular, the way that these experiments are run and assessed needs to be improved – with a standardized scale used to weigh up hangover symptoms, for example, rather than relying on self-reporting.

“Our study has found that evidence on these hangover remedies is of very low quality and there is a need to provide more rigorous assessment,” 

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South America’s bitter divide over a toxic ‘Covid cure’ (MMS)

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Posted 01 July 2021

“The protest was organized by an organisation called Comusav, a Spanish acronym for ‘Global Coalition for Health and Life’. They said they were defending their rights to life and health, but their true cause was demanding their government accept a toxic chemical as a treatment for Covid-19.

Chlorine dioxide, the apparent cure they were clamouring for, is not only ineffective against Covid-19, but it can cause life-threatening dehydration and acute liver failure. It is considered hazardous for human consumption by health authorities all over the world, including those in Peru. Its promoters have had face-offs with doctors and have even been prosecuted by authorities for years, but the coronavirus pandemic gave them their biggest showcase so far.”

This article on the BBC’s website, examines how Chlorine dioxide (MMS)(Miracle Mineral Solution) is being promoted in South America with false claims that it is effective for Covid.

Continue … Read the rest

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Leader behind bleach ‘miracle cure’ claims Trump consumed his product

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Posted 23 June 2021

The Guardian

Mark Grenon says in interview from prison he gave Trump the product and was the source of Trump’s fixation with disinfectant

The leader of a spurious church which peddled industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for Covid-19 is claiming that he provided Donald Trump with the product in the White House shortly before the former president made his notorious remarks about using “disinfectant” to treat the disease.

Mark Grenon, the self-styled “archbishop” of the Genesis II “church”, has given an interview from his prison cell in Colombia as he awaits extradition to the US to face criminal charges that he fraudulently sold bleach as a Covid cure. In the 90-minute interview he effectively presents himself as the source of Trump’s fixation with the healing powers of disinfectant.

“We were able to give through a contact with Trump’s family – a family member – the … Read the rest

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Harsh realities of multi-level marketing exposed

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Posted 14 June 2021

A recent exposé of multi-level marketing (MLM) by Good Housekeeping includes:

  • stories of former distributors with links to their videos in which they criticize how MLM companies operate
  • links to videos describing how distributors use their pregnancies or infertility to recruit women facing similar struggles to become distributors
  • discussion of cultism in the MLM industry
  • discussion of the popularity of anti-MLM content on TikTok, which has banned content promoting MLMs.
  • descriptions of MLM companies’ responses to recent warnings by the Federal Trade Commission
  • evidence suggesting financial success for distributors is rare
  • discussion of findings from the 2018 “AARP Study of Multilevel Marketing: Profiling Participants and the Experiences in Direct Sales”
  • psychological support resources offered by the anti-MLM community

Reference: Garrity A. Inside the “toxic” world of women selling you everything from supplements to skincare on social media. Good Housekeeping, May 24, 2021

Source: Consumer … Read the rest

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Aromatherapy described as pseudoscience

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Posted 19 May 2021

In a brief article, Joe Nickell discusses the history, claimed effects, and lack of supportive evidence that aromatherapy is beneficial in preventing, treating, or curing any disease.

Nickell describes aromatherapy as the pseudoscience of using aromatic substances for claimed improvements to one’s physical or mental health. He argues that aromatherapy may help people relax through the power of suggestion or augment the soothing, stimulating, or other action of massage in administering aromatherapy oils.

Reference: Nickell J. Aromatherapy: ‘Healing’ by the scents of smell. Skeptical Inquirer, 45(3):43-44, May/June 2021

Source: Consumer Health Digest #21-19, May 16, 2021

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Essential oil treatments linked to seizures

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Posted 07 May 2021

Essential oils are volatile, aromatic compounds obtained from plants that some people believe are the “essence” of the plant source representing the plant’s “life force,” “spirit,” or soul. Although promoters claim they have medicinal value, commonly used essential oils can trigger convulsions. Indian researchers have reported the results of a four-year observational study of people who were exposed to essential oils of camphor, eucalyptus, or both:

  • 22 people were found to have a first seizure induced by an essential oil treatment; 16 of those essential oil treatments were topically applied, five were through inhalation, and one through ingestion
  • 33 had seizures provoked by essential oils; 26 of those essential oil treatments were topically applied, five were through inhalation, and two were through ingestion

The authors concluded: “Exposure to essential oils of eucalyptus and camphor is an under-recognized cause of the first and breakthrough seizure. Identifying the … Read the rest

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Multilevel-marketing company pitches scrutinized

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Posted 20 March 2021

A management consulting firm has characterized multilevel marketing (MLM) companies as using “fraud, deceit, and outright lies in a flawed business model.” The firm refutes an MLM promoter’s twelve reasons that people should pursue direct-sales opportunities in MLM companies. It characterizes each of those reasons as a false promise.

The twelve false promises are:

  • “You can work from anywhere!”
  • “You decide how much effort you put in.”
  • “It rewards those who work hard.”
  • “You get to be your own boss!”
  • “The hours are flexible.”
  • “Startup costs are lower than for other businesses.”
  • “It provides you with extra income.”
  • “You will save money on childcare expenses.”
  • “It gives you goals to work toward.”
  • “You’ll feel supported and make lifelong friends.”
  • “You can buy high-quality products at a discount.”
  • “MLMs are fun!”

An superb article on the MLM market.

Quotes:

“The average MLM rep earns around $400 per Read the rest

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Is Candida Syndrome Real?

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Posted 23 February 2021

Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on 

NutritionFacts.org

Does the presence of Candida in stool correlate with “Candida-hypersensitivity” symptoms, such as headaches and tiredness? And what happens when people are placed on a high-sugar diet?

Despite its extensive use in the brewing and baking industries, only about 5 percent of healthy people—1 in 20—have anti-yeast antibodies in their bloodstream, whereas that percentage is more like 60 or 70 percent in people with Crohn’s disease. Most people with Crohn’s have antibodies that react to regular baker’s, brewer’s, or nutritional yeast, which are all just different forms of a yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

But baker’s/brewer’s/nutritional yeast has never been directly implicated in Crohn’s. Maybe the antibodies are a direct reaction to it, or maybe they are a reaction to another yeast altogether and just mistakenly cross-react with regular yeast. Indeed, … Read the rest

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