Category Medicine

Gary Taubes and the Cause of Obesity

There is no getting around the physics. If you expend more calories than you ingest, you will lose weight. No diet has ever been shown to produce weight loss without a reduction in calories. The problem is that reducing calorie intake is fiendishly hard to accomplish for many reasons, both physiological and psychological.

Drowning in a sea of misinformation. Part 2: The UK ‘Society of Homeopaths’

The UK ‘Society of Homeopaths’ (SoH) is the largest professional organisation of UK non-doctor, so-called lay-homeopaths. On their website, the SoH made very specific claims about homeopathy; in particular, they listed conditions for which homeopathy had allegedly been proven to be effective. These claims have now thoroughly been debunked, and the evidence the SoH produced in support of their claims has been shown to be misleading, cherry-picked or misinterpreted.

Drowning in a Sea of Misinformation, Pt. 1

In my last post and several others before, I have stated that consumers are incessantly being mislead about the value of alternative medicine. This statement requires evidence, and I intend to provide it – not just in one post but in a series of posts following in fast succession.

Pseudoscience in Nursing Practice

I identified three areas for attention to inform and raise awareness about popular pseudo-scientific practices accepted in nursing practice. The regulatory environment, clinical practice, and professional organizations all contribute to the acceptance of nursing interventions not firmly based in evidence.

Reflexology is pleasant enough, but does it work?

Reflexology is one of the most popular of all alternative therapies… The treatment might be enjoyable but the assumptions that underpin it are nonsensical for at least two reasons: firstly, there are no nerve or other connections between a specific area on the sole of a foot and a certain organ. Secondly, the maps which reflexologists employ differ and fail to agree which area corresponds to which organ. Thus there are inconsistencies within the realm of reflexology and there are inconsistencies in relation to the known facts regarding physiology, anatomy etc.

Where Truth Lies: Placebos

Everyone knows what the “placebo-effect” is, but most people know very little about how and why placebos work, how they can be tweaked or manipulated to alter our perceptions and behaviors.

Ernst’s Law

The ‘law’ stipulates that, if a scientist investigating alternative medicine is much liked by the majority of enthusiasts in this field, the scientist is not doing his/her job properly. In any other area of healthcare, such a ‘law’ would be absurd. Why then does it seem to make sense, at least to some degree, in alternative medicine? The differences between any area of conventional and alternative medicine are diverse and profound.