Skin care, snake oil, intravenous myths, and more…

FSM Friends News & Articles

Gluten-free skin and beauty products – Extracting cash from the gullible: “Unfortunately, the known deleterious health effects of gluten in people with coeliac disease have been extrapolated into a much vaguer, as-yet scientifically unvalidated, clinical entity that supposedly a much larger percentage of the population suffers from. This has led to the unjustified demonization of gluten (which is really only harmful in a small minority of the population), overblown claims for “going gluten-free,” and ridiculous products such as gluten-free skin care products, deodorants, and shampoos.”


Using alternative medicine only for cancer linked to lower survival rate: A short time ago, FSM posted a paper showing lower survival for cancer patients who sought out alternative therapies in addition to conventional treatments, most likely because people using alternative treatments were less compliant with conventional treatments. This study looked at people who refused conventional treatment, (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) and used alternative medicine only for breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers. The results showed a twp to five fold increase in mortality for the alternative therapies relative to conventional treatment for breast, lung and colorectal cancers. There was no difference for prostate because it is on average a more slow-growing cancer that many men die with rather than from. Alternative therapies put cancer patients at increased risk of death. They are not appropriate for a serious disease like cancer.

Australia’s cannabis movement can (and should) do better than Pete Evans: “It is entirely possible that Evans’ film will be the greatest and most factual documentary on cannabis every produced, but it is also entirely possible that his history of pseudoscience and alternative therapy may do the movement more damage than good.”

Opinion: Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand uses fear to sell snake oil: “In this context, Goop recommendations like vagina steaming, luxury crystal therapy and raw goat milk cleanses are presented as cutting-edge innovations while science-y cynics are contrarians on the wrong side of history… At the same time, the wellness world remains plagued by its own conflict-of-interest concerns. Do naturopaths and holistic nutritionists work for free? Are supplements produced and delivered by altruistic vitamin pixies? Indeed, there are reasons to believe that conflicts of interest can affect the actions or beliefs of alternative practitioners more than conventional healthcare providers. For example, if homeopathic remedies don’t work (and let’s be clear, studies show they don’t), homeopaths are out of both job and identity.”

Revealed – Vitamin supplements that don’t contain what they say: Let’s how careful and accurate the vitamin industry is about its ingredients.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

 Timothy Caulfield – The intravenous vitamin therapy myth: Let’s be absolutely clear: there is no evidence to support the idea that IV vitamin therapy provides any of the health benefits promised by its purveyors. Moreover, there is no evidence that getting vitamins faster, or bypassing the digestive system, provides any health benefits… As the British Nutrition Foundation concludes, IV therapy consumers are “wasting their money,” as “(a)ll the excess vitamins will be excreted in the urine.” It’s also not without risk.
“The study of NFL players found that nearly half (48 per cent) reported a complication. There seems an unquenchable thirst for pseudo-scientific health products. I wish there was an IV drip that could inject more critical thinking into our public discourse.”

Great Moments in Health & Science

Intubation – Everything you need to know: Used commonly in operations as well as emergency resuscitation, intubation keeps the airway open and allows air to be delivered to the lungs in circumstances where the patient is at risk airway blockage.