Crowd funding, allergies, sunscreens, and more…

Friends’ News and Articles

How do we stop crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe from being used to fund quackery? GoFundMe and other crowdfunding sites have long been used by desperate patients seeking to fund their use of unproven and downright quacky treatments. How can these sites be changed in order to keep them from being used as a funding supply for unethical quacks?”


Food allergy treatments and cures are cropping up everywhere online – parents beware: Having a child with food allergy can be a difficult thing to manage, and as no effective ‘cure’ for allergy exists, many parents have turned to online forums to discuss their children’s condition. While these forums may offer valuable emotional support, they are also rife with pseudoscientific methods for identifying, ‘diagnosing’ and managing food allergy. These tasks are best left to professional allergy specialists (immunologists), as allergies can be life-threatening.

3 dangers of rising temperatures that could affect your health now: It’s not only older people who are vulnerable, however. So are you. Stay safe everyone in this horrible, terrifying bushfire season.

College of Chiropractors of B.C. warns against misleading pregnant women: “The claims, which include the ability to turn a breech baby in the womb, are not well supported by evidence and are therefore misleading to the public”.

How to pick the right sunscreen when you’re blinded by choice: Sunscreens need to tick these four major boxes:

  • 1. The sun protection factor, or SPF, should be at least 30, preferably 50. SPF describes how much UV gets to the skin. SPF50 allows just 1/50th (2%) of the UV to reach the skin.
  • 2. Go for broad spectrum protection, which filters the full UV light spectrum. UVB rays (290-320nm wavelengths) are responsible for most sunburn and DNA damage, but UVA rays (320-400nm) also cause DNA damage and accelerate skin ageing.
  • 3. Aim for water resistant formulations, which stay on longer in sweaty conditions, and when exercising or swimming. But no sunscreen is completely waterproof.
  • 4. Make sure the sunscreen is approved in Australia. Approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the final must-have. All sunscreens for sale in Australia must meet the TGA’s requirements and will carry an AUST number on the packaging. They can only contain ingredients from an approved list that have been tested for safety and efficacy. And the SPF, water resistance and broad spectrum action must be established by testing on human skin. Sunscreens bought overseas don’t necessarily have these safeguards, so proceed with caution.

Great Moments in Health and Science

The Development of Universal Health Care. Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda: Not only is accessible healthcare regardless of income an important ethical goal, universal healthcare is typically far cheaper per-person than in places without universal healthcare, such as America.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

Anti-cancer supplement regimens. Taking certain vitamins during breast cancer chemo tied to recurrence, death: Each time a friend has been diagnosed with cancer, they are generally swamped with people ‘helpful’ suggestions. But when people start pressuring cancer sufferers into their popularly preferred diets and supplements, they ARE NOT helping. Instead, these vitamins, in particular anti-oxidants, have the opposite effect despite their popularity. Several supplements were linked to higher re-occurrence and death rates, while others could not show a significant effect. The researchers focused on 1,134 patients who filled out the surveys and followed them for a median of six years. In this particular group of patients, supplement use was much lower than is typical, Ambrosone said, with 20 per cent taking supplements prior to starting chemo and 13 per cent during the treatments.

“They found patients who took any antioxidant at the outset and during chemotherapy … were 41 per cent more likely to have their breast cancer return and 40 per cent more likely to die during follow-up. Women taking omega-3 supplements before and during chemo had a 67 per cent higher likelihood of recurrence and those taking iron supplements were 79 per cent more likely to experience a recurrence.”