Respectful Insolence

I know I spent a fair bit of time last week slapping down Mike Adams, creator of NaturalNews.com website. In reality, he richly deserved it, as he has richly deserved it many times in the past. Indeed, were I so inclined, I could devote this blog to nothing but the deconstruction of the quackery and woo laid down each and every day by Mike Adams and his merry band of quacks, much as Kim Wombles does with the anti-vaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism through her blog Countering Age of Autism, but I’d eventually get tired of it and so would you. Sometimes I do get tired of it.

This is not one of those times.

The reason is that Mike Adams has surpassed even himself. Apparently, not content with his rant against skeptics, he appears to want to describe for his readers the very philosophy of woo that drives him, if you will. Thus far, it it consists of three parts, How to Heal Yourself in 15 Days, Heal yourself in 15 days by recognizing your innate healing power, Heal yourself in 15 days – You are what you absorb. If Adams’ last effort was a black hole of burning stupid incinerating every straw man in the universe, his latest effort is just a black hole of stupid, sucking any hint of reason, science, and knowledge into its insatiable maw beyond its event horizon.

Adams begins:

Can you really heal yourself in 15 days? Without using prescription drugs, vaccines, chemotherapy or surgery? Absolutely!

Your body strives to heal itself automatically, every single day. The only thing that really needs to happen for your body to begin healing itself is for you to remove the barriers to healing — the barriers that are holding you back right now.

That’s why you’ll greatly enjoy this 15-part article series by the Health Ranger, published here on NaturalNews over the next three weeks or so. This isn’t a rehash of the health tips you already know — eat right, exercise more, hydrate yourself, and so on — it’s a completely new way to look at how to unleash the healing potential you already possess.

15 parts. Oh, goody. I’m so excited. I get to look forward to more of this. If the first three parts are any indication of what’s to come, all I can say is that I need me some tinfoil (or something) to protect my neurons from the waves of cosmic stupid emanating from Adams’ website. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. Of course, Adams is doing this all out of the goodness of his heart, too. Apparently he wanted to write this as a book, but just couldn’t wait because it might take as long as a year to see print. Of course, the wag in me can’t resist wondering whether the real reason that Adams is publishing online is that no publisher wanted to take him on, although, given the level of pure quackery by Suzanne Somers published by a reputable publisher, I find it hard to believe that Adams couldn’t find a publisher somewhere would would think there’s money to be made selling woo to the credulous.

His first day consists of yet another bunch of strawmen about “Western medicine” basically designed to set the tone; you know, the same old spiel about how “Western” medicine doesn’t care about quality of life, how it’s all pharmaceuticals, how it defines health as “normal lab values,” all of which are gross distortions. Boring. I’d much rather move on to the second part, which is where the real woo gets started.

Oddly enough, the first part almost sounds reasonable. Adams marvels at how the body can heal itself automatically in resopnse to injury. This is true. Our bodies do possess a remarkable capability for self-repair. No one denies this. Indeed, physicians who witness it never cease to marvel at it. The next time you cut yourself or suffer a minor scrape, do yourself a favor. Look at it every day. Marvel at how it heals over the course of a few weeks to the point where you either can’t see it anymore or there is only a small scar. Truly, it is an amazing thing to behold. I myself as a surgeon see it every day on a much larger scale, and, back when I used to do larger cases, including big trauma cases, I saw even more impressive examples of how the body can repair itself.

Where Adams goes wrong is that he seems to think that human beings have a virtually infinite ability to heal. Worse, he takes on the typical “blame the victim” mentality so common among alt-med supporters. Basically, Adams believes that your body would heal if only wouldn’t get in the way:

If this is true, then why aren’t you healing everything else? Why aren’t you always in perfect health? The answer, as you’ve seen throughout this article series, is because we tend to erect barriers to our own healing. And we often misread the symptoms of sickness that are asking for help, “treating” them in a way that makes the situation worse.

Fact: Many “symptoms of disease” are actually the result of your body’s attempt to heal itself.

Well, yes, this “fact” is true to some extent, but not in the way Adams thinks. Fever, for example, is part of the body’s defense mechanism. However, Adams seems incapable of understanding that not all of the body’s reactions to injury or infection are adaptive. I’ll give you an example. Fever may help in fighting infection, but when a bacterial infection progresses beyond that to full-fledged sepsis, the body’s reaction actually becomes the problem, resulting in hypotension, organ dysfunction, and potentially ultimately death. Responses that are adaptive and defensive can spiral out of control if the insult is beyond what they can handle. A variant of this is known as the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Basically, SIRS is the same set of reactions as sepsis, only without a detectable or documentable infection. We often see it after surgery, major trauma, and other serious injuries. The principle is the same for a lot of other conditions.

Of course, Adams has another view. To what do you think he attributes a lot of disease? Dehydration. Really. He blames it for asthma, for example:

A significant portion of the water loss experienced by the body each day is lost through respiration — a bit of water vapor is exhaled with each breath. So to conserve water, your body attempts to reduce water loss during respiration by constricting your bronchial tubes through the creation of histamines.

These histamines constrict breathing, making it more physically difficult. Modern (western) medicine misdiagnoses this as a disease called “asthma” rather than the true underlying cause which is often simply dehydration. So instead of prescribing water, which would solve the underlying water shortage and end the body’s creation of histamines, western doctors prescribe anti-histamine drugs that force the bronchial tubes to relax and ease air flow. This, of course, promotes further dehydration, leaving the patient in a more severe state of water loss.

Uh, no. To put it simply, asthma is a disease in which the airways are hypersensitive to certain environmental triggers. When exposed to these triggers, the airways constrict and spasm. Inflammation then follows. The whole idea that “water is an antihistamine” is a favorite bit of nonsense from woo-meisters like Adams.

If you really want to see Adams confused, check out his next example:

Another good example of this is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often caused by something I refer to as “sludge blood” — blood that’s too thick and viscous to flow freely through the body’s small capillaries. So in order to make sure good circulation is taking place, the heart has to pump harder, thereby raising blood pressure. This is the body’s way of making sure this thick blood reaches all the cells throughout the body (cells that don’t receive blood will die, and that’s bad).

But healthy blood shouldn’t be so viscous. It should flow more freely, with less friction. When blood is properly hydrated and nourished with the right fatty acids (more omega-3s in particular), the heart does not need to work as hard to pump it throughout the body, so blood pressure automatically drops. (It’s like the difference between sucking water through a straw versus sucking honey through a straw… the more sticky and thick the honey, the more pressure it takes to move it.)

Western medicine completely misdiagnoses this situation and says that “high blood pressure” is itself a disease. And this high blood pressure is attacked with drugs that artificially lower blood pressure by forcing artery walls to relax.

Uh, no again. Hypertension has many causes, but dehydration isn’t one of them. In fact, the causes can range from physical causes (renal artery stenosis, for example), kidney disease, adrenal disease, or, most commonly, “essential hypertension,” a condition that is complex and poorly understood. Leave it to Mike Adams to pull the “One True Cause of Disease” gambit so beloved of quacks and declare hypertension to be a result of dehydration. Then, in a hilarious example of misidentifying the cause of disease, Adams concludes:

As you might have guessed, this then immediately causes circulation problems because the thick sludge blood is no longer reaching all the cells it needs to reach. That’s why people who take high blood pressure medications very often end up with circulation problems. Their underlying problem of “sludge blood” remains unresolved.

Could Adams be any more wrong? Wait, don’t answer that. I suspect that he can, although in this case he comes very close to perfect wrongness. Also in this case, note how he observes that people with hypertension often develop cardiovascular complications or peripheral vascular disease and concludes not that it’s the hypertension leading to these complications but rather the medications used to treat hypertension. That’s right, it’s those evil “Western” reductionistic doctors who are making you sick! It’s scientific medicine that’s “shutting off healing”:

And yet, sadly, that’s what most people do: They numb their bodies with painkiller medications. They shut down their immune systems with chemotherapy. They shock their neurology with vaccines containing inflammatory chemicals. They interfere, override and interject all sorts of artificial chemicals, procedures and unnatural therapies. This is what shuts off healing. This is what leaves patients unable to heal in the way they are capable of healing — automatically, unconsciously and with zero effort.

“Numb their bodies with painkiller medications”? Is Adams saying what I think he’s saying? Is he implying that we shouldn’t take pain medications when we’re in pain? He does indeed, at least to me. Maybe it’s more “natural” to experience the pain unfiltered and undulled by opiates or anything else. Personally, if I’m ever unfortunate enough to suffer an injury sufficiently painful that I can’t deal with it otherwise, I’m happily going to take a very natural remedy for it: Morphine or a naturally-derived opioid.

Of course, the rest of Adams’ rant posits the usual false dichotomy between “natural” (good) and “artificial” (very, very bad). Vaccines, medications, and every trapping of “Western” medicine to Adams are implacably evil, poisonous, toxic, and just plain yucky. In contrast, his “natural” remedies are clean, part of “nature,” and chock-full of that woo-ey goodness that’ll cure anything that ails you. Adams even claims that your body can “heal itself” of cancer!

There’s just one problem.

Adams posits that the human body is a near-perfect natural “healing machine.” If that’s the case, then why does anything go wrong with it in the first place? Lots of people become ill without having taken a single evil “Western” pharmaceutical or having undergone an “unnatural” therapy. How is this possible? Could it be…the toxins? I’m guessing that “detoxification” will be somewhere in one of the later installments. It’s a very safe bet.

In the meantime, I’ve run out of steam. I must be gettong old. I could withstand a much bigger dose of woo like this five years ago, when I first started blogging, but now I’m too wiped out and my brain too tired from having fought off the waves of burning stupid sent my way by Adams. I can’t move on to the next part of his series. I’ll leave that as an exercise for the interested reader, although I can’t help but point out that, contrary to what Adams says, food is dead, and any “digestive enzymes” in the food are destroyed by the digestive system before being aborbed.

Who said ancient vitalism is dead?

Comments

  1. #1 fusilier
    February 2, 2010

    More water cures hypertension.

    OK, so why did a ‘scrip for a diuretic reduce my blood pressure?

    Just wondering, y’know.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

  2. #2 DrRachie
    February 2, 2010

    I particularly liked this little gem which came as the preamble to the hyperlink for the joy that is this series.

    “Did you realize that you can make something that all the scientists and doctors can’t even begin to make? It’s your own blood.”

    One little sentence and so much fail from Mike Adams.

  3. #3 john brookes
    February 2, 2010

    Yes, the alternative medicine area has a lot of quacks, there’s no denying it, and so does mainstream medicine. My background is as a vitamin developer/inventor, and I have seen my share of quackery in that area. But recently I began to research the question, “What is the science of medicine?” “What is its philosophy of science?” Then, I thought, there could be a touch-stone of merit, of legitimacy about what to consider, where to shine the light of observation, and how to judge the busyness that would invade our limited brain-space.
    And what did I discover? There is no “science of medicine!” That is, no scientific method of medicine. What? So where that leaves me at this point is to see that much of “medical science” is either self-interest, ideology, or, yes, quackery. The ideology that we are powerless machines, at effect of our environment, the Marxist reductionist belief. How much of this “machine ideology” leads to the medicalization of health, and the life-style diseases such as obesity? I am not rustling up an argument in favor of alternative quackery, but at this point I have to consider that the huge popularity of quackery may have a germ of personal self power: Instead of “crystal healing by the ancients,” or medical liposuction, why not just exercise an hour a day and take vitamin D?
    I could go on forever, but my water is boiling over on the stiove…

  4. #4 Jonathan
    February 2, 2010

    This creates a particularly interesting situation for my body. I have ADPKD and am in a clinical trial for a drug that is a vasopressin receptor antagonist. The net result is that I CONSTANTLY drink water (~10 liters/day). If water seems to be the cure to everything, my kidneys should get better. If Western medicine is the devil, however, I should see the opposite. Since I’m taking both, though, what will happen!? Who will win in this battle for control of my body!? Will the Western medicine destroy me because I also take Nexium or will the great power of water claim victory!? Only time will tell….

  5. #5 The Perky Skeptic
    February 2, 2010

    John Brookes, I commend you for your research into the philosophy of science and medicine, but I wish you would continue your education on the subject by talking to some real scientists and doctors instead of strawmen. I believe you’ll find the reality of science-based medicine and its practitioners is much more nuanced than your understanding sounds, based on what you just posted.

  6. #6 James Sweet
    February 2, 2010

    I dunno, I find the “sludge blood” hypothesis rather appealing. It’s so easy to visualize, anybody can understand it. Doesn’t Occam’s Razor state that the simplest explanation is always the best, regardless of accuracy or other concerns? “Sludge blood” is definitely simpler than the complex models of hypertension that Western medicine posits. So, according to Occam’s Razor, the “sludge blood” hypothesis must be more accurate!

    “Did you realize that you can make something that all the scientists and doctors can’t even begin to make? It’s your own blood.”

    Did you realize that you can make something that Mike Adams and all of his followers can’t even begin to make? It’s sense.

  7. #7 realinterrobang
    February 2, 2010

    Squid save us from autodidacts with no foundation to put it on…

  8. #8 Kristen
    February 2, 2010

    the body’s reaction actually becomes the problem

    A short time ago I decided to read about the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. It was most deadly to the healthiest and youngest victims. According to Wikipedia:

    It is believed that cytokine storms were responsible for many of the deaths during the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed a disproportionate number of young adults. In this case, a healthy immune system may have been a liability rather than an asset. Preliminary research results from Hong Kong also indicated this as the probable reason for many deaths during the SARS epidemic in 2003. Human deaths from the bird flu H5N1 usually involve cytokine storms as well.

    It seems to me, some of the most deadly viruses use our own immune systems against us. But I am sure Mike Adams won’t ever address this, because alt-med peddlers seem to just ignore those pesky little inconvenient ‘facts’.

  9. #9 Dangerous Bacon
    February 2, 2010

    If our bodies are such fantastic self-healing entities, then why are we supposed to buy all sorts of supplements and potions from the dealers who advertise on Adams’ website? Seems like he’s touting a new magical cure-all every day.

    Instead of drumming up business at supplement company trade shows, why isn’t he traveling about the country preaching the simple joys of drinking water and letting our bodies do the rest?

  10. #10 Andreas Johansson
    February 2, 2010

    Apparently he wanted to write this as a book, but just couldn’t wait because it might take as long as a year to see print. Of course, the wag in me can’t resist wondering whether the real reason that Adams is publishing online is that no publisher wanted to take him on, although, given the level of pure quackery by Suzanne Somers published by a reputable publisher, I find it hard to believe that Adams couldn’t find a publisher somewhere would would think there’s money to be made selling woo to the credulous.

    Oh, there’s a good chance he’ll have it published in dead tree format in a year in addition to publishing it online now. This way he gets both online fawning and book sales, sometimes from the same people.

  11. #11 paranoid android
    February 2, 2010

    Lots of people become ill without having taken a single evil “Western” pharmaceutical or having undergone an “unnatural” therapy. How is this possible? Could it be…the toxins?

    Of course it’s the toxins. That’s the most brilliant strategy of the “alties”: Blame everything on the toxic stuff generated by modern civilisation. If only we still lived in caves, without car fumes, processed fumes and baby formula, we’d all be perfectly healthy. Unfortunately that’s not possible in the real world, so if you follow all their rules and still get sick, there’s always something to blame.

  12. #12 paranoid android
    February 2, 2010

    Oops… that’s “processed food”, of course!

  13. #13 The Domestic Goddess
    February 2, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon: My sentiments exactly. If we don’t need all of that stuff, why do they sell it? If everything we need to heal ourselves occurs naturally (in nature, even) why do we have to pop pills and vitamins and take supplements and such?

  14. #14 JThompson
    February 2, 2010

    @James Sweet: He’s got me convinced with the “Sludge blood” argument, too. Now I can eat all the bacon-wrapped butter soaked deep fried sausage I want, provided I drink water too. Plus I don’t have to quit smoking.

    Since he’s dispensing medical advice, my surviving family members can sue him when my heart finally bursts out of my chest like the Kool Aid man, right?

  15. #15 History Punk
    February 2, 2010

    Doesn’t the body make formaldehyde too?

  16. #16 Scott
    February 2, 2010

    @Bacon:

    Absolutely. I’ve always found it hilarious that the “evil Big Pharma dictatorship” idea of proper nutrition is “eat plenty of fruits and vegetables” while the “natural is good” think proper nutrition requires the consumption of massive quantities of pills.

  17. #17 Vicki
    February 2, 2010

    Right. This is why our ancestors were immortal, and can still be consulted for advice and old family stories.

  18. #18 Andreas Johansson
    February 2, 2010

    @16: That’s because Big Pharma is in bed with Big Fruit and Big Lettuce.

  19. #19 Anthro
    February 2, 2010

    I drink water all day long and all I do is pee. Neither seems to affect my asthma.

  20. #20 Geodd
    February 2, 2010

    I’m so sick of all the dehydration nonsense these people are spouting.

    Are you in rude good health?

    Do you have ready access to a source of liquid containing mostly water that doesn’t contain shitloads of salt?

    Do you drink said liquid when you are thirsty?

    If you answered yes to these three questions, then congratulations. You are almost certainly not dehydrated.

  21. #21 James Sweet
    February 2, 2010

    Since he’s dispensing medical advice, my surviving family members can sue him when my heart finally bursts out of my chest like the Kool Aid man, right?

    OH YEAH!

  22. #22 Kristen
    February 2, 2010

    I am wondering; what does a person do when they have hypotension? Is this caused by ‘watery blood’? Should fluids be avoided? Or do spells of fainting just mean you are healthy (emaciation is a sign of health, so why not)?

  23. #23 Anonymouse
    February 2, 2010

    What’s sad is that Adams is only the most extreme manifestation of ideas that are pervasive in our culture right now. I suffer from migraines and I recently began taking topamx to treat them. It’s the best thing I could’ve done and I only wish I’d started the treatment a year ago. But the response from some of my friends has been very negative. They ask me if I’ve tried any natural remedies (yes, and they didn’t work), they question me about side effects (minimal) and they say things like, “I wouldn’t want to be dependent on a drug.” Well, why not be dependent on a drug that takes away severe debilitating pain? To prove some philosophical point? Screw that.

  24. #24 James Sweet
    February 2, 2010

    If you answered yes to these three questions, then congratulations. You are almost certainly not dehydrated.

    In fairness, it’s not that hard to wind up a little dehydrated if you are not paying attention. I managed to get violently ill once in summer camp many a-year ago from getting too dehydrated. I all of a sudden realized I was incredibly thirsty, and when I drank water I felt nauseous… then I tried to drink more water and puked all over the place. They sent me to the nurse, I drank some more water, which also made me feel nauseous but I kept it down, and then I was fine.

    I also have a tendency when I am at work to occasionally get really absorbed in what I am doing, to the point where I don’t leave my chair for hours… and then realize that I’m feeling a bit rundown, and oh yeah, I’m also feeling kind of thirsty. Whoops.

    So I don’t think it’s necessarily bad advice to encourage people to stay hydrated. It’s the blaming dehydration for everything from chronic fatigue to swine flu to “sludge blood”-caused hypertension that’s the problem :)

  25. #25 Andreas Johansson
    February 2, 2010

    Are you in rude good health?

    Would someone, while at it, explain to me the expression “rude good health”? Does it mean approximately good health? Very good health? Good health to the point it offends your less blessed fellow men? Something else?

  26. #26 Dangerous Bacon
    February 2, 2010

    “Would someone, while at it, explain to me the expression “rude good health”?

    This implies a lot of farting and belching.

  27. #27 James Sweet
    February 2, 2010

    To build on The Perky Skeptic’s reply to john brookes… Many people find it shocking when they realize just how full of shit are the institutions we have come to trust. This should come as no surprise if one employs what I call the “DMV test”… imagine the people who were standing in line with you the last time you were at the DMV. This represents a fairly random cross-section of the population (virtually everybody has to go to the DMV). Pretty much any job you can imagine, it is probably being performed by one of those people. Scary, eh?

    However, the shocking deluge of incompetence that envelops our everyday lives should not cause you to throw up your arms in dismay and decide that all truth is relative. The beauty of science is that it provides a mechanism — a very messy and slow one, but an ultimately effective one nonetheless — to control for this pervasive incompetence.

    True, a disturbing amount of mainstream modern medicine is probably dead wrong… but a good bit of it is right, and more importantly, science-based medicine has a means of rooting out the wrong stuff and fixing it. It’s clumsy and doesn’t always work, but at least science-based medicine tries. “Alternative” medicine does not, and in fact is well-known for actively trying to block any attempt to discredit the wrong-headed ideas of its past. (Yes, elements within mainstream medicine sometimes do this too, but when discovered it’s considered scandalous, rather than situation normal as it is with alt-med)

    For my money, one of the most striking examples of the triumph of science-based medicine is embodied by one of its most notorious and deadly failures: the Vioxx scandal. Here we had all of the paranoid ravings of the conspiracy theorists come true… a drug company concealing data demonstrating that one of its lucrative products was actually killing people, and doing their best to bury it. But you know what? Even in this nightmare scenario, they couldn’t get away with it indefinitely. Science-based medicine has a mechanism, no matter how painfully slow, messy, and confusing it may be at times, for identifying when people are lying and calling them out on it.

    Contrast this with homeopathy which has been conning people for the better part of two hundred years. The day that major alt-med mavens say, “Hey, we don’t believe in science, but our ‘other way of knowing’ has finally determined that homeopathy is quackery. We’re very sorry, and we recommend everybody stop spending money on it immediately, because it is totally ineffective,” that day they can argue for their alternative epistemology, or criticize science-based medicines failings, or whatever. Until then, they can just STFU.

  28. #28 Shawn Smith
    February 2, 2010

    Wasn’t there a woman who died a few years ago because she drank too much water too fast in order to get her kid a Wii? What a fucking evil bastard Adams is.

  29. #29 Todd W.
    February 2, 2010

    @Shawn Smith

    I believe it wasn’t that she drank too much, IIRC, but rather that she didn’t pee. Water built up in her system and she suffered from water toxicity and, yes, died.

  30. #30 Adam_Y
    February 2, 2010

    I believe it wasn’t that she drank too much, IIRC, but rather that she didn’t pee. Water built up in her system and she suffered from water toxicity and, yes, died.

    Nope it was because she drank too much water. The water diluted her electrolytes in her system which then caused her brain to swell. Its not exactly the easiest of ways to kill yourself and typically only occurs when you drink gross amounts of water or are losing lots of salts.

  31. #31 Geodd
    February 2, 2010

    @James Sweet

    A fair point, but I was mainly bitching about the idiotic altie idea that apparently half the population is walking around chronically dehydrated. Acute dehydration brought on by physical activity in a hot environment without adequate hydration is something else entirely.

  32. #32 Denice Walter
    February 2, 2010

    Mikey reveals the Magical Mysterioso**-ity of health in a mere 115 articles!!!(BTW, part IV is up now- “anti-cancer blood”)1. About publishing- *doesn’t* he have his own company,the paradoxically named “Truth” Publishing?(see HealthRanger;current projects)2.While just recounting the details of True Woo is often quite funny, sometimes I “gild the lily”(the organic, lotus-like lily, to be sure) and try to estimate how much biology,physio,psych,research design, stat- the woo-meister studied formally- similarly, like developmental psychologists who evaluate childrens’/adolescents’ cognitive level from their written work,I try to roughly evaluate his level.3. We have yet to hear Mikey’s pronouncments on mental health (hint: he has a rap song titled:”SSRI’s,SSR Lies”)** he is living in Ecuador, so Spanish is apropo.

  33. #33 marcia
    February 2, 2010

    Only one out of 25 Americans reached age 60 in 1900. Average life expectancy was 47 years. From colonial times to 1900, life expectancy barely budged.

    Life expectancy in the U.S in 2007? Seventy eight.

    I’m sure Adams hates antibiotics, anesthesia, and the methods used by my local wastewater treatment plant to rid my drinking water of those things that can make me sick or kill me. If not for these three things plus other health measures, including the use antihypertensives, jerks like Adams, would take us back to the dark ages.

    “Nowadays it is about as big a crime to be dumb as it is to be dishonest.”
    Will Rogers

    His post proves he’s obviously both.

  34. #34 OleanderTea
    February 2, 2010

    Fact: Many “symptoms of disease” are actually the result of your body’s attempt to heal itself.

    I’d love to see how that self-healing thing works out if Adams came down with, say, appendicitis.

  35. #35 Mojo
    February 2, 2010

    Contrast this with homeopathy which has been conning people for the better part of two hundred years.

    While complaining about “allopathy” as if real medicine hasn’t moved on since Hahnemann’s time. The real irony of this is that 18th century doctors “knew” that purging and bloodletting worked in precisely the same way as 21st century homoeopaths “know” that homoeopathy works – as a result of their personal experience and anecdotal accounts. It’s really only since the second world war that doctors have been prepared to accept that their own observations (and opinions) might actually be wrong, and that DBRCTs can actually be a better way of assessing treatments. This, of course, requires an open mind and a degree of humility, characteristics that often seem to be absent from homoeopaths.

  36. #36 Tracy W
    February 2, 2010

    John Brookes, I am am rather suspicious of your search for the “science of medicine”, given the wide availability of information about clinical trials. I somehow suspect that it was an extremely brief and limited search you conducted before giving up.

    So where that leaves me at this point is to see that much of “medical science” is either self-interest, ideology, or, yes, quackery. The ideology that we are powerless machines, at effect of our environment, the Marxist reductionist belief.

    And anyone else should believe what “you see” because?

    but at this point I have to consider that the huge popularity of quackery may have a germ of personal self power: Instead of “crystal healing by the ancients,” or medical liposuction, why not just exercise an hour a day and take vitamin D?

    Jolly good. You have just started to suspect the influence of the placebo, an occurrence that medicine noted in the 18th century see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo#History.
    Tune in for the next enthralling installment, where John Brookes speculates if there might be a substance out there that can kill bacterial infections.

  37. #37 Flex
    February 2, 2010

    @John Brooks (3),

    John, I commend your effort at looking, and evaluating, the meaning of your phrase, “science of medicine”.

    But frankly, I’m not entirely certain what you mean by that phrase.

    Science is a process, it is a process which allows us to gain knowledge. Medicine is a collection of knowledge about living creatures which we can use to improve the quality of our lives. I would even argue that this body of knowledge includes how to improve the quality of our life by allowing us to choose when to end it.

    So, with these definitions in mind, the science of medicine is the process of discovering new knowledge about living creatures which can be used to improve the quality of our lives.

    You say there is no ‘scientific method of medicine’, this is incorrect. The same scientific method used in other disciplines, like geology, meteorology, and astronomy is used in medicine. In fact, due to the nature of the subject, the scientific method of medicine is often quite a bit more stringent on the types of experiments which can be done. No one really minds too much if you want to dig a new hole in the earth to test some hypothesis you may have about geology, but try to do the same to an animal test subject and you will hear some complaints. The science of medicine has to provide a much higher level of justification to proceed with an experiment simply because there is so much greater possibility of causing harm.

    You talk about the ‘science of medicine’, and I’m not trying to use scare quotes to scare you. I’m doing it to be clear that it appears to have a different definition than I’m used to it having. It appears to me that you are actually talking about the practice of medicine. That is, you are aware that people actually engaging in medical science are expanding the bulk of knowledge about how living systems work and how to apply that to increase the happiness of humanity. You are aware, in fact, that these people who are engaged in research rarely are in regular contact with patients.

    I say this because your complaints are about the practice of medicine. And the complaints you have are common. You list the big three, and I’ll address them one at a time.

    The first complaint you have is that doctors appear to have a mechanicalistic view of the human body. That doctors are unconcerned with what the patient thinks and don’t listen to them. That doctors are quick to draw conclusions and are more interested in getting to the next patient than describing their reasoning with a patient.

    In this complaint my sympathy is entirely for the doctors. Not because doctors shouldn’t listen to patients, but because what patients say is often untrustworthy. Not deliberately, but patients will leave out pains and conditions which are related and describe symptoms which are unrelated. People are like that and doctors soon learn that their own judgement, based on years of experience in seeing the same symptoms over and over, is superior to the judgement of a patient who has never felt anything like it before. Yes, this can lead to doctors who appear to be unsympathetic to the patient. However, one alternative is for doctors to tell their patients that their self-diagnosis is full of shit, which isn’t a professional thing to do either.

    You then complain that the pharmaceutical companies are out to make a buck. Sure they are. One result of their making bucks, however, is to enable them to do research to increase the sum of medical knowledge. If you think their executive officers and investors are making too much money, well, there are ways to address that, but the way to address a problem like that is not to dismantle the company. There are several ways, I like the idea of restoring the 90% tax bracket for income earned over, say, $4 million/year. We had a 91% bracket for income over $400,000 from 1951-1963 and the result was far greater investment as well as a broadening of the middle-class. People could choose to earn as much as they wanted, and they chose to limit their income to avoid giving so much to Uncle Sam with a net result of spreading the wealth far more than any government programs could do. But that’s one of my pet hobby horses.

    Finally, you repeat the claim that personal power is an attraction some people have to alternative medicine. I don’t doubt that, people like to be in control. Not only of their own health, but of other areas of their lives. To establish control of something, however, requires a few things. First, the person must have physical custody of the object of control. Most people automatically assume they have control over their own bodies. Second, the knowledge of how to control, i.e. where the buttons and levers are. Finally, the will to exercise control.

    This is where alternative medicine comes into play. Alternative medicine, well, let’s call it quackery, claims to be able to supply the knowledge of how to control a person’s body. Real doctors can rarely do this because they don’t have the time and the patient doesn’t have the background. But a quack can say, “de-hydration is the cause of hypertension!” and the patient thinks that explains everything and feels that they have regained control over their bodies.

    If the patient doesn’t get better the quack has a response, the third part of the formula of control must have been ignored. After all, the patient had custody, and knowledge (if erroneous), the patient must have lacked the will to enable control. This is called blaming the victim.

    To be sure, the three requirements for control; custody, knowledge, and will, are applicable in a wide range of medical cases. Often a patient needs all three to get, or retain, a state of health. A patients knowledge may be limited to “the doctor says these are the right pills” but that’s enough.

    But there are at least two cases where this model can lead to disaster.

    First, if the knowledge is incorrect. This is the area where quacks thrive. They appear to have knowledge, they disseminate their falsehoods often without knowing they are false, and they charge for it. Until they understand that their knowledge is wrong, they will blame the patient for not having the will, and the patient’s spend money which could have be used on something which may have helped.

    Second, there are a number of medical conditions where a patient’s will makes little difference because the verified medical knowledge is incomplete. A person with type 1 diabetics (hopefully) has the knowledge and will to treat their condition, but at this time there no cure, no matter how strongly a person wills there to be one. This person has to acknowledge that they don’t have complete control over their body, their bodily systems do things that they very strongly desire their body wouldn’t do.

    These people are aware, often painfully aware, of how little real control we have over out bodies. The problem is in the first part of our equation of control; custody.

    We may have custody of our pancreas in the sense that it travels wherever we do. We don’t have custody of our pancreas in the sense that we can tell it how to operate.

    To a lot of people this is a scary thought. That they have less control than they think over even as something as personal as their own bodies, but reality doesn’t care about being nice, it just is. Most doctors appear to know this, but I can sympathize with their reluctance to tell this to patients. Unlike quacks, doctors can often only say things like, “65% of the time this particular drug caused the body to respond in a way which helped the condition. If this doesn’t work, or has additional effects which are detrimental, we’ll try the one which worked in 58% of the patients.” Since this is an admission to a trusting patient that there is a limit to the amount of control even someone steeped in medical knowledge has, you can see why some physicians avoid saying this.

    You can also see why quacks are so quick to claim 100% cures.

    It is also no wonder that when doctors do have a cure, it rapidly becomes the standard of care and at that point very few people are drawn to the quacks. Take type 1 diabetes again, I understand it can be controlled indefinitely. The diabetics who are attracted to quackery are those who don’t like needles and believe there could be a cure. So the number of diabetics attracted to quackery is low, but they exist. Cancer quackery is high but appears to be dropping somewhat because better and better treatments are becoming available. The ‘wellness’ quackery will always be around because it doesn’t treat any noticeable symptoms, it simply make a person think they are healthier (which is not to disparage genuine medicine which helps retain health). But for medicine which works almost 100% of the time quackery is a lot rarer, e.g. when is the last time you heard of treating a wart with stump-water.

  38. #38 a-non
    February 2, 2010

    Having legitimately been dehydrated recently (from a nasty stomach bug that put me in the hospital), I can tell you that said dehydration did not give me asthma.

    The astonishing thing is that I actually have to make this statement – because there are clearly people out there that believe Mike Adams.

  39. #39 Deepsix
    February 2, 2010

    Healing yourself, huh? I wonder if he was on influence on this guy:
    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4842056

  40. #40 Jeff Mahr
    February 2, 2010

    Woo for Wildlife:
    http://www.ewildagain.org/Homeopathy/homeopathy.htm

    Forgive me but I didn’t know where to put this.

  41. #41 Alice
    February 2, 2010

    The “drinking water cures all ills” line really makes my blood boil. It’s a common idea in the Army — just drink more water if you feel bad. Thanks to an overzealous sergeant early in my career, I nearly died from hyponatremia (i.e. water intoxication). Suffering from a nasty stomach bug and unable to keep any food down, I was ordered to drink more and more water because I was “obviously dehydrated”. After about 3 days of this, my electrolytes were so messed up that my heart started malfunctioning, my brain swelled up, and my organs started to shut down. Then the genius medics who medevaced me gave me a bunch more normal saline (thinking I was having a heat stroke), which didn’t help matters. Luckily, the trauma doc at the hospital recognized the problem.

    Anyway, it just goes to show you that anything healthy taken to extremes can be deadly. Unfortunately, Adams and his ilk are all about extremes.

  42. #42 debaser
    February 2, 2010

    Health Ranger! My favorite alt-med, alternative-to-admirable superhero (currently). Whatever you want to say about water, don’t forget to remember that water is magic to the Health Ranger. You filthy skeptics, if you stop believing in the magical powers of water, millions of children are going to die from the sludge blood.

  43. #43 v.rosenzweig
    February 2, 2010

    “Sludge blood” is the perfect pseudo-diagnosis for the woo-woo types, because it will let them go back to bleeding their patients.

    I had a cousin who had a diagnosis somewhat along those lines: too many blood cells clogging her system. So the doctors bled her periodically. (I don’t recall if they did a plasma pheresis style thing, giving her back the plasma and throwing away the cells, or if they just discarded the blood they’d drawn and had her drink some water or juice as after an ordinary blood donation.)

    Sure, it involves a needle, but it’s *All*Natural*!

  44. #44 stripey_cat
    February 2, 2010

    Since high humidity is one of my worst asthma triggers (which makes taking a shower awkward), I doubt the dehydration hypothesis.

  45. #45 muteKi
    February 2, 2010

    Well, the second article isn’t too hard to get through either, in that it’s short. Let’s take a look:

    “Many people suffer from poor digestion. In fact, you might say that most people aren’t able to absorb the nutrients they swallow, so they remain in a state of nutritional starvation even though they’re taking supplements that would otherwise be quite helpful.

    These people tend to scratch their heads, wondering why all the nutrients they’re swallowing aren’t having the positive effects they had hoped for. The answer to this conundrum is found in enhancing the absorption of those nutrients.”

    Okay, this is surprising because, although a bit oversimplified, this isn’t too far off base. A lot of material that goes through the body isn’t absorbed, and some is more easily absorbed than others. Mainly this is because a lot of material is filtered out by the liver. When you take medicine, a lot of it is expected to be filtered out through it; that is, the size of the dose compensates for the fact that not all of it will get absorbed. If you take something like alcohol that the liver must process in order to make safe for the body, then the liver won’t filter out the medication as much. People who die from drug overdoses have probably taken medication with alcohol or other illicit substances. The liver can only do so much, after all.

    So that’s something to keep in mind — absorption of medication has a lot to do with the performance of the liver. Clearly the easy way to enhance such absorption is to only take supplements with alcohol. This is probably not a good idea so I won’t recommend it. :P

    “Pharmaceutical pill pushers have convinced many people that stomach acid is bad for your health. By promoting diseases like “acid reflux” or GERD, they misinform consumers into believing that heartburn and stomach pain are caused by too much stomach acid. But the truth is that in most (but not all) cases people actually suffer from weak stomach acid and they need stronger stomach acid to properly digest foods.”

    Hoo boy. That’s a lot worse, then. The main reason acid reflux/GERD is an issue is the fact that it eats away at the esophogeal lining, at least what I’m led to believe from the pharmaceutical companies’ commercials. Even then I’ve been led to believe that it’s not so much an issue with an excess of stomach acid as it is poor performance of the pyloric valve. That controls the path of the strong stomach acid from the stomach into the small intestine (yes, just like the food in the stomach, some stomach acid enters the small intestine; this controls the pH of the acid in the body and helps prevent a buildup (lest it back up into the esophagus).

    And of course we also have to wonder whether Adams has ever taken a chemistry course. Stomach acid is hydrochloric acid, and hydrochloric acid is hydrochloric acid. It’s a very strong acid. There’s no way to “weaken” it except to dilute its concentration. I guess that would mean that the stomach was filled of a relatively low concentration of HCl and a high concentration of, say, water. Hmmm…

    Of course that doesn’t explain exactly why acid reflux occurs in the slightest. Why would the acid back up into the esophagus in the first place, and if it’s a weak acid why would the experience be that much more unpleasant than, say, swallowing water?

    “Digestion is a complex process. It requires biochemical and physical processes to break down ingested substances into their nutritional components. This process is significantly aided by digestive enzymes which exist naturally in living foods (fresh, raw vegetable and fruit juices, for example).

    Heating foods (cooking them) destroys all digestive enzymes. This is one reason why cooked foods steal life away from people while raw, living foods impart life. Living foods usually come with their own digestive enzymes, aiding your digestive processes in breaking down and absorbing nutrients.

    Dead foods — which include anything pasteurized — stress your liver, pancreas and gallbladder by requiring these organs to produce extra digestive enzymes that are missing from the foods themselves. Because many people suffer from poor digestive organ function, they have difficulties absorbing the nutrients they’ve swallowed.”

    So this is what he meant about live and dead foods from the previous article. Not surprisingly, it’s a load of nonsense. First of all, just like the living things that we ate, we have digestive enzymes too! In fact, they probably have more to do with digestion and absorption of material than the stomach acid. This is especially the case, ironically enough, for the raw fruits and vegetables that Adams so greatly lauds.

    Most plant parts have a very strong cell wall made of cellulose that helps serve as the plants’ skeletal structure and as a wall of defense against other materials. Cooking fruits and vegetables to a certain temperature (note: to all intents and purposes the concept of cooking is little more than applying a heat source to food in some way, to cause chemical reactions in the materials in the food…ooh yes, there are plenty of chemicals in natural food, of course) helps to weaken the cell wall which makes these nutrients easier to asborb, much like how one can’t steal stuff from a house without breaking a door or a window.

    This is also true for meats as well, though. It tenderizes them and makes the constituent proteins easer to be absorbed and digested. In any case, unless you’re blanching the food, any loss in nutrients is made up for by the ease of which the remaining nutrients are absorbed into the body.

    Hm, I’d also like to comment on why it is that the food, which presumably came from healthy animals and plants, is okay with having its own digestive enzymes but the human body, according to Adams, is not? Isn’t that what the pancreas and for? Why would we have them at all if we didn’t expect to use them? (Yes, I’m sure someone will note, we have the appendix. From what I remember from high school it’s been hypothesized that the appendix was used to prevent foodborne illness from improperly prepared food; since most people cook their foods, killing a lot of foodborne parasites and other pathogens, it’s fallen out of use.)

    Even then, the pancreas is perhaps more importantly used for absorption of glucose by cells for producing energy (which is the main reason that we eat in the first place) than in actually producing digestive enzymes. If you cut up Adams’s article enough you’d probably have something vaguely representing the truth. (I’m also greatly amused at the fact that Adams refers to an overworked pancreas in one paragraph yet claims diabetes is caused by mineral deficiencies. Well, more precisely some diabetic conditions — not all — are caused by the pancreas needing to produce more insulin than it can, due to resistance in these cells to that insulin, which is why insulin injections are given to people with that condition.)

    Incidentally, if Wikipedia is to be believed, there are some researchers with some credibility in the field that think that the move to cooking food, which allowed the body to develop a smaller digestive system and a larger brain size. The latter would explain Mike Adams (heh heh), while the former would suggest that eating raw food is more likely to stress the digestive system than eating cooked food.

    In any case, perhaps we should recommend Mike Adams suck on raw eggs, for health?

  46. #46 Karl Withakay
    February 2, 2010

    john brookes RE: @3 “My background is as a vitamin developer/inventor”

    Do you mean supplement/multivitamin designer? Otherwise, how do you develop or invent a vitamin? How do you invent a REQUIRED nutrient that doesn’t yet exist?

  47. #47 HealthEd
    February 2, 2010

    Orac sez:

    < <"Numb their bodies with painkiller medications"? Is Adams saying what I think he's saying? Is he implying that we shouldn't take pain medications when we're in pain? He does indeed, at least to me. Maybe it's more "natural" to experience the pain unfiltered and undulled by opiates or anything else. Personally, if I'm ever unfortunate enough to suffer an injury sufficiently painful that I can't deal with it otherwise, I'm happily going to take a very natural remedy for it: Morphine or a naturally-derived opioid.>>

    As another migraine sufferer, I actually do find it is a good tradeoff to put up with a certain amount of pain. Mine aren’t debilitating—if they were, I’d be rocking the Topamax just like Anonymouse is. Most times, they’re in the mild-to-moderate range, so I ignore them when I can and pop some acetaminophen + sip coffee when they cross over the line from “annoying” to “hell no.”

    In the case of headaches, overdoing the pills (Rx or OTC) can spur a nasty case of “rebound headache” caused by the medication itself. That’s what I’m always leery of, and try to avoid by only taking meds when I really need to.

    That said … I’d like to see Mike Adams surface in Haiti and tell those folks to heal themselves, especially the ones undergoing amputations with just novocaine and/or aspirin. Creep.

  48. #48 muteKi
    February 2, 2010

    #47:

    Amputations are a great counterexample to Adams’s claims, don’t you agree?

  49. #49 Karl Withakay
    February 2, 2010

    “…allI I can say is that I need me some tinfoil (or something) to protect my neurons from the waves of cosmic stupid emanating from Adams’ website.”

    Unfortunately, tinfoil won’t do. Cosmic stupidity waves are very energetic and penetrating. They are the only form of information that can escape from a black hole of stupidity in the time frame of a human lifetime. Theoretically, a black hole of stupidity will eventually decay via Hawking radiation over a time frame greater than the current age of the universe (the larger the mass of the black hole of stupidity, the longer the decay time), but this has not yet been observed.

  50. #50 Militant Agnostic
    February 2, 2010

    Karl Withakay naively asks

    How do you invent a REQUIRED nutrient that doesn’t yet exist?

    Alties invent nutrients and nutrient deficiencies all the time. The ability to pull things out of their ass gives them a big advantage over those hidebound evidence constrained science based medicine types who insist on plausibility and evidence of effectiveness.

  51. #51 Karl Withakay
    February 2, 2010

    Why bother with with vitamins at all? That’s such an old fashioned approach to health anyway. Why not just make a homeopathic preparation of every poison, toxin, and otherwise negative substance known to man in a 100C dilution, that should be the elixir of life.

  52. #52 LovleAnjel
    February 2, 2010

    @45

    GERD is supposedly a result of weak acid? I need stronger stomach acid? Sure doesn’t taste like it, and I’m sure my eroded tooth enamel and chronic sore throat would disagree.

  53. #53 Prometheus
    February 2, 2010

    I just had to comment on this Adams-ism:

    “Living foods usually come with their own digestive enzymes, aiding your digestive processes in breaking down and absorbing nutrients.”

    So, what does Mike Adams think keeps these “digestive enzymes” from breaking down your food before you eat it?

    Adams is clearly suffering from the “nature is a benevolant place” syndrome. I’ve heard naturopaths make the hilarious claim that “there’s a cure in nature for every human ailment”, and Mike has taken that nonsense to its illogical extreme.

    In fact, as everyone who graduated from Middle School should know, the digestive enzymes that break down your food are provided by your body – not the food you eat. In reality (as opposed to wherever Mike Adams lives), the plants, animals and fungi that you eat don’t self-destruct in your stomach, dissolving in their own “digestive enzymes”.

    The only way that your food contains the enzymes you need to digest it is if you are a member of the Viperidae and inject your prey with venom containing proteolytic enzymes. Even then, the digestive enzymes would come from you and not your food.

    The scary thing is that there are a number of otherwise sane and intelligent people who apparently believe this nonsense (based on their repeated parroting of it).

    Prometheus

  54. #54 JOhnnyr51
    February 2, 2010

    My late mother was diagnosed as terminally ill when she was 87. The med establishment said “take her home with you, she hasn’t got too long to live”. All right, after all she was incoherent some of the time and suffered from multiple afflictions ranging from stomach disorders to compression fracture(s).
    So we took her home and just for giggles took her to a naturopathic MD in Hawaii. After scanning her daily intake of prescribed meds he recommended 90% of them be stopped (gradually). We did that. She lived to 94. End of story. Laugh all you like about Mike Adams (yes he may go fringe a bit much) but the medico/pharmaceutical industry in this country had poisoned my mom with over-prescribed meds and misdiagnosed ailments. Personally I think the butt of the joke herein are the narcissistic and supposedly omnipotent “doctors”, the pharm cartels and the insurance company engines that drive them. Mike Adams is more right than they’d like you to believe.

  55. #55 Mac
    February 2, 2010

    @v.rosenzweig

    To be fair, there actually IS a condition where you produce too many red blood cells called polycythemia. You frequently see it in chronic smokers or other people with COPD/other hypoxic states. Your body produces extra red blood cells to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Result: thick blood.

    The treatment for this is usually just supplementary oxygen, though.

  56. #56 John
    February 2, 2010

    The “drink lots of water for health” meme seems to be fully embedded in consciousness now, to the extent that even relatively rational sources counsel in its favour.

    For example, in my ongoing quest to get back to an approximation of the figure and fitness I had as a 20 year old boxer I use an iPhone app to log all of my exercise and foods (it’s the only way I can consistently limit my “exceptional” excesses to a level whereby they don’t overcome my periods of sensible eating and drinking). It logs calories, fat, salt levels, and so on, but also gives me marks for having eight glasses of water per day, which it requires on top of the fluids I get from food, tea, fruit juices and booze.

    I have no interest in adding that much extra fluid to my completely adequate intake levels, but will be gently nagged for all time it seems, if I don’t lie to the machine daily.

  57. #57 Dangerous Bacon
    February 2, 2010

    Personally, I don’t go to the “medico/pharmaceutical industry” when I’m sick; I see a doctor if need be.

    Maybe that’s the problem with the Adams acolytes. They’ve gotten disillusioned with turning their health over to scary mythical beasts. They need to find a good M.D.

  58. #58 Chris
    February 2, 2010

    JOhnnyr51, the plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.

  59. #59 Adam_Y
    February 2, 2010

    So we took her home and just for giggles took her to a naturopathic MD in Hawaii. After scanning her daily intake of prescribed meds he recommended 90% of them be stopped (gradually). We did that. She lived to 94. End of story. Laugh all you like about Mike Adams (yes he may go fringe a bit much) but the medico/pharmaceutical industry in this country had poisoned my mom with over-prescribed meds and misdiagnosed ailments. Personally I think the butt of the joke herein are the narcissistic and supposedly omnipotent “doctors”, the pharm cartels and the insurance company engines that drive them. Mike Adams is more right than they’d like you to believe.

    My grandpa is 96. He would be six feet under right now if it wasn’t for his doctors,the medical industry, and a little luck that his heart started beating after it had stopped.

  60. #60 Joseph
    February 2, 2010

    She lived to 94.

    So she lived a full 7 years longer? Wow. How are we supposed to evaluate whether the naturopathic MD improved her survival at all?

  61. #61 Johnson B Long
    February 2, 2010

    Oh no, don’t tell me you people are attacking Mike Adams again. You people sure like to read Natural News alot for someone who hates it so much. Te fact that you fell threatened by this insignificant alternative medicien movement tells me that there is more to it than meets the eye. Natural news is a must read for me. Besides I have to keep up with what bullshit the FDA is pulling everyday. Now I find out they are out to get the Ozone Generatrs. I thight the EPA wanted to end global warming. Wouldn’t Ozone Generators reverse the effects of global warming a reseal the canopy over the atmosphere eventually? Nevermind, we can’t have people living longer and being healthier. I forgor the FDA is in direct opposition to healthyness. Damned the government sucks.

  62. #62 Adam_Y
    February 2, 2010

    . Besides I have to keep up with what bullshit the FDA is pulling everyday. Now I find out they are out to get the Ozone Generatrs.

    The EPA and the FDA both classify ozone as a pollutant when its situated on the ground.

  63. #63 Johnson B Long
    February 2, 2010

    They shouldn’t be classifying ozone at all. That’s the problem. I just wonder where Tesla’s ozone generator is being held and if I could replicate it. Besides, if I so choose to biuld one I will, with or without approval of a blowhard government.

  64. #64 Maryn
    February 2, 2010

    JOhnnyr51 –

    “So we took her home and just for giggles took her to a naturopathic MD in Hawaii.”

    Fun with the elderly, isn’t it?

  65. #65 Joseph
    February 2, 2010

    Now I find out they are out to get the Ozone Generatrs. I thight the EPA wanted to end global warming. Wouldn’t Ozone Generators reverse the effects of global warming a reseal the canopy over the atmosphere eventually?

    @63 has to be a Poe.

  66. #66 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 2, 2010

    From Wikipedia:

    Certain examples of cities with elevated ozone readings are Houston, Texas, and Mexico City, Mexico. Houston has a reading of around 41 ppb, while Mexico City is far more hazardous, with a reading of about 125 ppb.

    If “they” take away your ozone machine, why don’t you move down to Mexico?

    Ozone as a greenhouse gas
    Although ozone was present at ground level before the Industrial Revolution, peak concentrations are now far higher than the pre-industrial levels, and even background concentrations well away from sources of pollution are substantially higher.[19][20] This increase in ozone is of further concern because ozone present in the upper troposphere acts as a greenhouse gas, absorbing some of the infrared energy emitted by the earth.

    So much for Ozone helping to solve global warming.

    There is a great deal of evidence to show that high concentrations of ozone, created by high concentrations of pollution and daylight UV rays at the Earth’s surface, can harm lung function and irritate the respiratory system.[15][23] A connection has also been known to exist between increased ozone caused by thunderstorms and hospital admissions of asthma sufferers.[24] Air quality guidelines such as those from the World Health Organization are based on detailed studies of what levels can cause measurable health effects. Exposure to ozone and the pollutants that produce it has been linked to premature death, asthma, bronchitis, heart attack, and other cardiopulmonary problems. According to scientists with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), susceptible people can be adversely affected by ozone levels as low as 40 ppb.[25]

    Gee, sounds great! Where can I get one of them generators?

    If this is another promotion by the Health Deranger, I shouldn’t be surprised. Every day is Opposite Day at Natural News.

  67. #67 Adam_Y
    February 2, 2010

    @63 has to be a Poe.

    Yeah he is. Anyone worth his salt knows that all electrostatic generators produce ozone.

  68. #68 Sauceress
    February 2, 2010

    all I can say is that I need me some tinfoil (or something) to protect my neurons

    No..no not tinfoil! Aluminium is bad…bad I tell you and Everyone(TM)says so!
    Instead, try one of these stainless steel products:

    http://www.hospitalitywholesale.com.au/back-of-house/cookware/colanders-zzt-strainers.html

    Notice that these ventilated protective head devices are available in all shapes and sizes so as to ensure a snug fit for all.
    Special discounts are available for all Nature News members.

    PS Take no notice of the cookery utensil inferences…this is just a cover so the Gubermint don’t send the black helicopters to put us out of business.

  69. #69 Sauceress
    February 2, 2010

    Arrrgh…blockquote stuffup!

  70. #70 Johnson B Long
    February 2, 2010

    Maybe the generators were producing O3 instead of O2 as it should have been doing. I still wonder what happened to Tesla’s ozone generator.

    Aluminum is bad for you. Dementia is linked to aluminum intake. Aluminum is everywhere: deordorant, chapstick, Rolaids, etc. What’s worse is aspartame is considered an alternative to sugar. If people want an alternative to sugar then use Stevia instead of a petrolium product that kills you. The FDA sucks and so do the pharma comapnies that buy them off.

  71. #71 Denice Walter
    February 2, 2010

    Mike resides in a natural eco-paradise,on an idyllic mountainside in the “Valley of Longevity”-Vilcabamba, Ecuador.He maintains an organic garden,digs his own wells of “pure” water,lives free from the FDA,”orthodox medicine”,pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and vaccines.He leads tour groups through this ruggedly mountainous eden,hiking briskly through the dense foliage,reverently teaching about herbal medicines and the wisdom of…. wait a minute,aren’t there viruses, bacteria,parasites, and insect pests, also thriving naturally in the humid,”spring-like” conditions? Wouldn’t such an active person get all scratched up? Wouldn’t his garden’s products get at least partially eaten by pests(instead of looking photo-perfect as his do)? It’s more likely he works out on a indoor treadmill, hires indigenous people to do the real work, and has a private stash of herbicides, pesticides,iodine,antibiotics,etc.and has been vaccinated more than any of us pharma-shills.( see NaturalNews for photos).

  72. #72 Doctor I.M. Smart
    February 2, 2010

    It is important to have Iodine. It comes in handy if if we get attacked froma radiation bomb such as a nuke or if similar incident. Iodine should be in your house. The shelf life on some Iodine is 7 years. I don’t do vaccines. Be prepared. http://www.preparedness.com/

  73. #73 Kristen
    February 2, 2010

    @Johnson B Long

    You have a very unique way of spelling medicine (medician). Just like another poster who often changes his handle (Medician Man, Dr. I M Smart).

    Very interesting, that.

  74. #74 Johnson B Long
    February 2, 2010

    Thank you Kristen. We are all brothers who learned from the cannibals how to spell medician. Dr. Smart is the smartest in my family while Johnson B Long is the horniest. Medicien Man learned his herbal trade secrets while living among the Blue people under the ground in Arkansas (Cushman). Thye were blue from the water they drank – it had lots of silver in it, not to mention they never left the caverns.

    My brother Medician Man told me of vast underground cities built by Reptilian alien overlords who were driven underground when the Apaches shot arrows into their asses for stealing their children at night. Don’t take it personally, but I healed myself from the toxic bite that the Lizardman of Scape Ore Swamp gave me while I tried to capture him. Herbs really do work.

    Collidal Silver was invented by the Blue people who live underground in Cushman Arkansas. I tried to make a deal with them years back, but they didn’t like me. I was too white for them. They only deal with other blue people. Discrimination sucks. I know their leader Agusiah feared my 41 Magnum after I shot his pet snake that scared the crap out of me. I guess that was why i was banned from the underworld. Now I can never get rich selling their cures. Wait, the FDA won’t approve it anyway. That sucks.

  75. #75 Party Cactus
    February 2, 2010

    I’m amazed that Mike Adams hasn’t wrote a piece about the virtues of using Episkey to treat yourself. He might as well.

  76. #76 SuperAwesomeFunTime
    February 2, 2010

    I think this quote from thebestpageintheuniverse.net sums it up pretty well: Self healing? Self healing was perfected by Rambo in Rambo: First Blood when he stitched his arm shut after he cracked a kid’s back while jumping off a cliff (and the only reason his arm split open was because he’s so tough he wanted to make the bad guys think they had a chance, but yeah right.. it was like Rambo sent them all Christmas cards, but instead of cards it was murder).

  77. #77 Uncle Glenny
    February 3, 2010

    Dr. Smart is the smartest in my family while Johnson B Long is the horniest.

    Would you like to come in to see my ozone generator?

    —-

    Sludge blood: needs some solvents. How about – vodka! And leeches!

  78. #78 Tracy W
    February 3, 2010

    JOhnnyr51 – my great-grandmother was a firm believer in alternative medicine. She was convinced that she was going to live to 100. She died in her seventies.

    Personally I think the butt of the joke herein are the narcissistic and supposedly omnipotent “doctors”, the pharm cartels and the insurance company engines that drive them.

    Oh, so not the narcisstic and supposedly omnipotent “alternative therapists”, the vitamin cartels, and the journalistic need for a new starling headline that drives them?
    Mike Adams, as far as I can tell, displays absolutely zero self-doubt or modesty about his beliefs about medicine. Doesn’t his claims about omipotence bother you at all?

    Scientific medicine has grudgingly, slowly and incompletely brought itself around to a belief that doctors can be wrong, for example the double-blind RCT has become standard. The alternative medicine line has not, yet they are the ones that keep accusing conventional medicine of arrogance. I suppose this is just a larger scale effect of the normal human blindness problem, the most arrogant people I encounter do tend to be the ones that are unaware that they might be in any small way less than perfect.

  79. #79 Prometheus
    February 3, 2010

    Mr. “Long” comments:

    “Maybe the generators were producing O3 instead of O2 as it should have been doing.”

    Sigh.

    Ozone is O3; oxygen (the breathable gas) is O2.

    Either Mr. “Long” is a spoof or (more likely) he doesn’t know feces from floor wax when it comes to science.

    Prometheus

  80. #80 Scott
    February 3, 2010

    I call Poe on 74. I don’t think that’s the same “Johnson B Long”. The prior posts by that name were at least sane, if gullible. 74 is either made up or delusional, and I don’t think someone that profoundly mentally ill could have come up with something even as (superficially) reasonable as the earlier posts.

  81. #81 duck droppings
    February 4, 2010

    “Either Mr. “Long” is a spoof or (more likely) he doesn’t know feces from floor wax when it comes to science.”

    It’s a dessert topping!

  82. #82 Sveinn
    February 4, 2010

    Orac wrote: “although I can’t help but point out that, contrary to what Adams says, food is dead, and any “digestive enzymes” in the food are destroyed by the digestive system before being aborbed.

    But what about the enzymes in saliva? Are they destroyed by the rest of the digestive system? Why not?

  83. #83 Kemist
    February 5, 2010

    @82

    “Digestion” describes a lot of chemical reactions that result in big, polymeric molecules being reduced to their smallest constituents – nutrients. Enzymes are catalytic proteins (proteins that speed up chemical reactions), which can be, upon digestion, reduced to their constituent amino-acids like all proteins. There are many many different proteins (and enzymes) and they all have their own structure and specificity.

    I see no reason for the enzymes in saliva to be spared by digestion – the process may be started there, but if other enzymes in the stomach can do better, why should they need to remain active ?

    Then you might ask why digestive enzymes don’t digest themselves. One enzyme molecule can’t digest itself, since it can’t stuff itself into it’s own active site (the place within the enzyme where the reaction occurs). But suppose it meets another molecule of the same enzyme ? What then ?

    First, it must be understood that enzymes are usually very specific. For enzymes that digest proteins (and thus other enzymes) this means that it will only “attack” in presence of certain specific configurations, which the enzyme itself may lack, but other proteins/enzymes have. Another thing is that the enzyme needs be present in only a very low concentration – statistically, the odds of an active molecule of enzyme meeting another active molecule of the same enzyme are very low, which means that they essentially don’t react.

    Of course the organisms we eat contain enzymes – enzymes that they need to survive, and are not necesserily digestive (there are many types of enzymes). We don’t need exogenous enzymes, we produce our own. In fact enzymes from other organisms, if they could enter our bloodstream intact, would have a very high chance of being actively harmful – through unwanted reactions or as an allergy trigger. Indeed the venom of some snakes contains such enzymes, which are very harmful when injected in the bloodstream.

  84. #84 gaiainc
    February 7, 2010

    Polycythemia vera is over production of red blood cells that cause a problem, the proverbial thick blood, and yes, it can be treated by phlebotomy aka bloodletting. I also think that hemochromatosis (screw-up of the body’s ability to manage iron so that the body stores way too much of it, particularly in the liver) can be treated with bloodletting (force the body to use the iron stores to make more red blood cells).

    The increase in red blood cells seen in people with COPD and smokers is usually a physiologic reaction to problems with getting oxygen into the blood. Oxygen has a hard time crossing from the alveolar air sacs in the blood. If you have more red blood cells around to carry oxygen around, then the body doesn’t feel so oxygen deprived.

    As for natural healing, I take it Mike Adams has never heard of keloids or adhesions. Strychnine and arsenic are natural, but I could not recommend that anyone take either substance. Allergic reactions are natural. It’s your body’s immune system gone haywire, but it’s “natural”. Cytokine storm is natural. Can’t recommend that either. And really? The body can heal itself. Yeah… I’d like to see Mike Adams’s body heal itself from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm or a Berry aneurysm. What an idjit.

    And JOhnnyr51, I see your anecdote and raise you two more. I have a patient with metastatic colon cancer who is still alive and doing great nearly 5 years after his initial diagnosis, thanks to evil Big Pharma. I have another patient who has cystic fibrosis who is nearing 40 years-old thanks to evil Big Pharma. But really, the plural of anecdotes is not data, it’s anecdotes.

  85. #85 Peter Sim
    February 8, 2010

    Thank you for another awesome read! I love your writing style as I learn so much while laughing so hard. Now off to PZ’s blog to get some more great facts and laughs :)

  86. #86 fahmy
    September 7, 2010

    Hi , all my frens and relatives, numbering more than 10, who had cancer / tumor went to the hospitals to get treatment – chemotherapy, radiotherapy, drugs and what have you. All came back in coffins. Period.

  87. #87 Chris
    September 7, 2010

    That was very weird spam.

  88. #88 fahmy
    September 7, 2010

    hi chris, whats so weird about that?! the only thing weird is your weird comment… sigh!

  89. #89 Chris
    September 7, 2010

    Well, at least I did not spend over half a year thinking of it! You posted a strange rambling comment on an old thread, very much in the style used by spam blots (which want us to click on the website in the name section).

    So it was either spam, or the an anecdote. The plural of anecdote is not data. We have no way to verify what you said is true or false.

  90. #90 fahmy
    September 7, 2010

    hi chris, you are not weird after all. anyway, am real sorry if my comment offended you. i am new to this website. in my haste to jump with my comment, overlook the thread. silly of me i guess. but what i wrote is what happen to my frens and relatives. i am not anti this or pro that. nope. i am all for the truth. cheers.