News: 20-26 Feb 2017

Shonky supplements ‘science’ a cash cow: The Four Corners (ABC) report on complementary supplements showed unequivocally that multivitamins are a waste of money and just create “very expensive urine”. The Australian Medical Association president also says there is a lack of evidence showing multivitamins work.

Fat-burning supplements are often just an expensive placebo: leading dietitian: We all know the theory that to lose weight you have to eat less and move more – but gee that sounds like a hard slog compared to sipping a supplement that promises to blitz body fat.

How much Australians spend on health: Roughly a third of what individuals spend on health – to the tune of $9.3 billion – goes on vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter painkillers and other unsubsidised drugs. It is more than the combined sum we spend on dental care and hospitals.

Talking Point: Australia’s booming alternative medicine sector needs to be properly regulated: A Australia’s alternative medicine industry is booming. According to their lobby group, these companies sell around $4 billion of their products a year into a market that doubles every 10 years.

Majority of Pharmacists stock CM’s including Homeopathic Items: AJP poll results show more than half of pharmacists stock complementary medicines, including homeopathic items. But is it out of choice, or have they lost control over what they wish to stock?

Why is WHO guilty of WOO?: Acupuncturists claim that they can treat serious illnesses, including depression, dysentery, osteoarthritis, polio, schizophrenia and whooping cough. As ‘evidence’ they refer to the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO claims that acupuncture can cure some ailments. Does this match the evidence?

Acupuncture and Migraine – New JAMA Study: Yet another poorly designed acupuncture study with dubious results is being presented as if it were compelling evidence.

Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data: “Our world is saturated with bullshit. Learn to detect and defuse it.”  A new critical thinking course has been developed that will be available via the internet later this year.

200,000 More Children Have Been Vaccinated In Australia Following New Policies: In 2016 Australian launched a somewhat controversial “No Jab, No Pay” policy to increase the rate of vaccination among children and 13 months down the line it appears to be bearing fruit. According to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, 200,000 more children have been vaccinated, pushing the average immunization rate of Australia 92.2 percent.

Virus inspires new way to deliver cancer drugs: Drugs disguised as viruses are providing new weapons in the battle against cancer, promising greater accuracy and fewer side effects than chemotherapy. Researchers at The University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) have designed a virus-like nanoparticle (VNP) that could deliver drugs directly to the cells where they are needed.