Respectful Insolence

Dr. Oz defiantly embraces The Dark Side

Stick a fork in Dr. Oz. He’s done.

I know I’ve been highly critical of Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program (i.e., Columbia’s quackademic medicine) program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Those are his academic titles. More important, in terms of his promotion of pseudoscience, is his role as daytime medical show host. Dr. Oz’s television show, called, appropriately enough, The Dr. Oz Show, is a direct result of his having been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s show on numerous occasions as one of her regular medical experts. Because of his popularity, Dr. Oz became Oprah’s protégé and ultimately got his very own popular TV show, which has been quite successful.

So what has led me to conclude that I’ve finally had it with Dr. Oz?

The final straw occurred yesterday, but this has been building up for a while. Of course, I always knew that Dr. Oz has a weak spot for “alternative medicine.” A decade ago, he was known for bringing reiki masters into the operating room do their mystical magical gestures during cardiac surgery, the better to channel the healing energy of the “universal source” into his patients before they went onto the cardiopulmonary bypass machine. Even so, even though I always knew Dr. Oz was into some woo, most of the times I ever saw him on Oprah’s show and the rare occasion that I’ve seen his show, the worst I could say about him was that he is too prone to mixing perfectly valid, science-based information with the “softer” forms of “complementary and alternative” medicine (CAM) modalities, such as acupuncture and reiki. Even so, CAM didn’t seem to be a large part of his show. That seems to have changed in 2010.

As 2010 dawned, I became aware of a show in which Dr. Oz promoted reiki completely uncritically, beginning the year with a show entitled Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Alternative Medicine Secrets. It wasn’t too long before Dr. Oz did it again, delivering a two-fer of “quantum” quackery coupled with just plain quackery, inviting Deepak Chopra and Joe Mercola on his show. He also hadn’t had his children vaccinated against H1N1 and seemed to be sympathetic to the concept that vaccines might somehow cause autism. None of this was good, but, as disturbing as it was, it didn’t quite cross a line. Quite.

As 2011 dawns, there is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Oz has now inevitably crossed the Woo-bicon, gone over to the Dark Side, betrayed the cause, gone woo, or whatever you want to call it. I say again: Stick a fork in him. He’s done, as far as science-based medicine goes. That’s because he featured one of the biggest promoters of quackery on the Internet on his show in one fawning segment after another. I’m referring, of course, to Dr. Joe Mercola, who was the main guest on The Dr. Oz Show yesterday in segments entitled The Alternative Health Controversy (part 1, part 2, part 3), coupled with another segment entitled The Surprising Supplement You Need. Let’s just say that Dr. Oz’s journey to the Dark Side is now complete. He has controlled his fear but released his woo, and it is strong woo indeed.

To give you an idea of just how bad this is, take a look at the introduction to the show before the credits. Dr. Mercola is described as a “pioneer in alternative medicine” and “a man your doctor doesn’t want you to know.” I don’t know about you, but hearing that made me think instantly of Kevin Trudeau and his now-infamous book of quackery Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About.

And Dr. Oz is defiant right out of the box. Describing Joe Mercola as a “pioneer of holistic treatments” and a “lightning rod,” Dr. Oz says that plenty of his fellow doctors are going to be angry at him for having invited Mercola back. I don’t know about angry, but my opinion of Dr. Oz has hit an all-time low over this. Particularly nauseating is the taped segment that follows, which lionizes Dr. Mercola as someone who has made a career out of “challenging everything you think you know about traditional medicine and prescription drugs.” I suppose that’s true in a trivial sense in that Mercola has been well known to promote all manner of quackery, whether it be Tullio Simoncini’s cancer quackery that claims cancer is a fungus and that the cure is baking soda; his teaming up with Barbara Loe Fisher to promote anti-vaccine misinformation in November; his belief in raw milk faddism; and even his selling of homeopathy. Peruse Mercola’s website, and it won’t take you very long to find health information that is pure pseudoscience and quackery. He even fell for a dubious study that claimed that, because investigators couldn’t find cancer in Egyptian mummies, cancer didn’t exist back then and is therefore a “man-made” disease.One depressing tidbit of information, if it’s true, is that Dr. Mercola’s website is the fourth largest health website on the Internet. If that doesn’t show how bad health information on the Internet is, I don’t know what does.

Worse, Mercola is portrayed as having alerted the world to the importance of vitamin D and the “dangers of high fructose corn syrup” (which is not nearly as dangerous as Mercola would have you believe). In reality, appreciating the importance of vitamin D has come out of medical science, not Dr. Mercola, and in actuality the science behind the role of vitamin D is in evolution. What Dr. Mercola is most responsible for, along with Mike Adams, is promoting vitamin D as some sort of miracle supplement that will prevent heart disease, cancer, and aging. His “alerting the world” about HFCS consists mainly of overblown fear mongering that blames HFCS for virtually all modern human health problems. It’s the very antithesis of a reasoned weighing of risks versus benefits based on science. Worse, right out of the box, Mercola spouts his same old nonsense in which he represents himself as a bastion against the evil pharmaceutical companies, a champion of the concept that “we can take control of our health” using “natural lifestyle approaches,” castigating medicine as “treating only the symptoms.”

Yawn.

Annoyingly, Dr. Oz asks Dr. Mercola, “What makes people so angry at you?” Dr. Mercola then invokes his criticisms of Vioxx (of all things) and then cites Arthur Schopenhauer’s famous saying, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” I’ve always hated this saying because it’s so trite, and it’s not even true itself. But even if it were true, untruth wouldn’t make it to the third stage. Purveyors of pseudoscience, like Dr. Mercola, never make it to the third stage but desperately want to. So they reassure themselves when they get stuck at the ridicule or opposition stages that it’s all because they are promoting a “truth” that is so threatening and that they will eventually get to the third stage.

But it gets worse. Dr. Oz even goes so far as to describe modern medicine as being in a “civil war,” which makes me wonder if the criticism of his embrace of pseudoscience is starting to get to him. Be that as it may, Dr. Oz claims that he wants to “get the two sides talking to each other.” In all fairness, I will say that Dr. Oz does get some minor points for citing criticism of Dr. Mercola as a supplement hawker who is no different from pharmaceutical companies in that he says what he needs to say to sell a product. Actually, that’s a spot-on description of Mercola. That’s exactly what he is–a salesman–who will say whatever it takes to sell his product. True, the best salesmen actually believe in the products they’re selling, but that doesn’t excuse Mercola if he does believe in his products (I’m not always sure that he does) or excuse him for peddling medical pseudoscience.

Mercola’s reply is priceless and sad. First, he says that he sells only “natural” products, as if that matters one whit to the accusation of his having a massive conflict of interest every bit as bad as that of any pharmaceutical company. Second, he states that he didn’t sell anything the first three years of his website’s existence, as though that mattered at all either. His excuse? Publishing his newsletter and keeping his website going was costing him a half a million dollars a year, leaving him the choice of selling things he “believes in” or selling advertising. Then, he states that no one has ever died taking his supplements, as though that matters when it comes to his massive conflict of interest, contrasting it to the “drug model.” Mercola has no way of knowing that no one has ever died taking his supplements, and I do know that at least one person has died as a result of quackery featured on Mercola’s website, namely a woman who died after Tullio Simoncini tried to treat her breast cancer by injecting it with baking soda. He then goes on and on about how he promotes “healthy natural supplements.” Dr. Oz eats this up, playing the world’s weakest “skeptic” by saying that he “doesn’t always agree” with Dr. Mercola. That’s just a prelude to Dr. Oz planting his lips firmly against Dr. Mercola’s rectum by calling him “so far ahead of us” and asking him where he finds out all this wonderful information that he provides. If there is one brief moment that is the most nauseating of all, that most characterizes Dr. Oz’s fall from grace.

Mercola then goes on to hawk coconut oil as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Personally, I was curious; so I did a PubMed search. Actually, I did quite a few PubMed searches, and I had a hell of a time finding anything linking the use of coconut oil to the treatment of any form of dementia rather than just Alzheimer’s. Maybe I didn’t get the right search terms; so I tried Google Scholar as well. I found a few animal studies, but that’s about it. Oddly enough, although there are quite a few articles about coconut oil on Mercola’s website, but almost nothing that even mentions using coconut oil for treating Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia and only three references looking at medium chain triglycerides as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Now, there‘s some seriously thin evidence. So I went to the almighty Google, and what I found are a lot of CAM websites touting coconut oil as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, such as here. The concept seems to come from a physician named Dr. Mary Newport, who claims that her husband suffering from Alzheimer’s improved after the addition of coconut oil to his diet. Looking at this claim in more detail might make a good topic for a future post, but I must say that I wasn’t too impressed with what I could find. It’s hard to believe that Dr. Oz or his staff never bothered to look for the studies supporting the use of coconut oil for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. If that had been done, it would have been rapidly apparent how thin that evidence was. I also note that I’ve written about one of the other supplements Mercola hawked, namely L-arginine. Again, the evidence isn’t too persuasive supporting the claims for that one, either, even if a Nobel Laureate is out there hawking it as a supplement for Herbalife.

In the final segment of Mercola’s appearance, Mercola promotes a supplement I had never heard of before, astaxanthin. Surprisingly, there isn’t that much on Mercola’s website about it, although PubMed actually does have some interesting review articles on it. There actually is some evidence that astaxanthin might well have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and other aspects of health. However, to date most studies are either cell culture or animal studies, with several smaller clinical trials. In other words, touting astaxanthin as some sort of miracle supplement is irresponsible and premature. The evidence just isn’t robust enough to recommend it to the general population. Not that any of this stops Dr. Oz from giving Mercola a platform or Mercola from taking full advantage of it.

Dr. Oz ends this segment by saying to Dr. Mercola:

You’re a lightning rod for controversy. I’m glad you’re on the show today, and I asked Dr. Mercola to be on the show today because you forced me, as you force all physicians, to think critically about what we’re offering you [faces the audience] as advice. And the alternatives you [faces Mercola] talk to us about and the questions that you force us to ask allow us to reevaluate what we’re doing, which helps you [faces the audience again] get get more truthful information. I thank you [faces Mercola] for that.

Anyone got any Pepto-Bismol around? My stomach is suddenly feeling very queasy.

There is no excuse for this. Dr. Oz, by featuring a noted quackery supporter as influential as Dr. Mercola, has done his viewers–nay, science-based medicine itself–a grave disservice. Worse, not only is Dr. Oz not skeptical of Mercola; he embraces him, with only a few minor quibbles where “I don’t always agree.” Add to that Dr. Oz’s enthusiastic promotion of the fallacy of the golden mean, in which he argues that optimal health care would be achieved by somehow melding woo with scientific medicine (or, as promoters of quackademic medicine like to put it, “integrating” CAM with science-based medicine–or, as I like to put it, “integrating” quackery with medicine), and Dr. Oz’s show can only be described as having utterly destroyed what little shred of credibility that Dr. Oz had left. In his quest to conquer television and become “America’s doctor,” it’s clear that Dr. Oz has left behind his scientific integrity. it’s hard not to liken this to the proverbial deal with the devil for his very soul.

Still not convinced? Then check this out:

The Dr. Oz Show was set to air a special show featuring Dr. Issam Nemeh and two of his patients who experienced miraculous healings on January 11, 2011. Due to the recent congressional shooting, the episode has been rescheduled for February 1.

That’s right. Nemeh is a faith healer. If it’s good enough for Oprah, I guess it’s good enough for Dr. Oz. The only difference is that Oprah gets John of God, and Dr. Oz has to go to the second or third tier of faith healers.

Comments

  1. #1 Reading Frame
    January 19, 2011

    It is exceptionally sad to me that in addition to the occasional tidbit of common sense dietary information that he divulges that he has to go off the deep end and associate himself with Mercola and his ilk.

    It is even more sad to me that I know a fair few number of people that buy into all of the crap he spews. Because he gives dietary advice, which no MD would ever ever do!

    Bah.

    In Reason,
    -RF

  2. #2 Loden Pantz
    January 19, 2011

    A few years ago, I heard him endorse reflexology, which told me all I needed to know. My question to him would be, where on the foot would you diagnose plantar warts, bunions, or ingrown toenails?

  3. #3 Mike Doughney
    January 19, 2011

    On top of all of what Orac’s been reporting, another bit of woo Oz has been dabbling in is Transcendental Meditation. He showed up as one of the celebrity endorsers of the program at a David Lynch Foundation sponsored New York gala last month that was ostensibly to raise money to fund instruction in TM for various targeted groups including the homeless and veterans with PTSD.

    One specific claim Oz made at the gala may have been an outright lie – he claimed that blood pressure reductions of people practicing TM were often greater than what he sees with medication. I have seen zero scientific evidence in support of this claim, in fact, there seems to be some agreement that TM is no better than health education for affecting blood pressure numbers.

  4. #4 stripey_cat
    January 19, 2011

    Am I really that unusual because my first association with “nature” is “danger”? Gales that uproot trees, plants that you must not touch, storm waves that can drag you off the shingle bank and tumble you into deep water like laundry in the machine, stacks of fire-brooms, scorching summer sun, thunderstorms, wild animals, snow in the mountains… Nature is lovely, thrilling as a rollercoaster, but rarely safe! Especially for a child, which is when (I’d have thought) these emotional associations form (I know mine did!)

    In contrast, artifice gives you summer hay-meadows, beds of lavender, ponies and pet rabbits, Granny’s cakes by a log fire, warm mittens, and heated swimming pools. I know where the comforting associations fall for me!

  5. #5 Bill Harshaw
    January 19, 2011

    Interestingly, he seems to be the brother-in-law of the neurosurgeon in Tucson, Michael Lemole.

  6. #6 Jason
    January 19, 2011

    Not that anyone cares but he’s doing Oprah. I keep seeing the ads with him and her and wonder what anyone thinks ? I guess I’ll hear about it on here once it airs. He’s the guest for the full 1 hour episode.

  7. #7 attack_laurel
    January 19, 2011

    I don’t have anything to add, I just love “crossed the Woo-Bicon”, and plan to steal it for my own use at the first available opportunity.

    Well, okay – I hate Oprah, for taking over DiscoveryHealth, and making me feel ambivalent about watching “Mystery Diagnosis”, my favourite medical “disaster” show. And Dr. Oz is a media whore who will sell out his integrity in a second for more screen time.

  8. #8 Dangerous Bacon
    January 19, 2011

    It’d be entertaining if someone could put together a graphic chart of woosters, existing along a continuum from Worrisomely Woo-Prone But Not Completely Evidence-Bereft (i.e. Dr. Oz before this week) to at the other end Batshit Insane (whale.to, Mike Adams of naturalnews.com). Joe Mercola would maybe be halfway along the continuum.

    The chart would be interactive so we could move woo-sters back and forth depending on their recent doings. For instance, Jay Gordon would require a special greased track to accomodate his relatively unbroken slide downward in the direction of Mike Adams.

  9. #9 Anglachel
    January 19, 2011

    All I seem to hear lately is this quakery from the tv. *sighs* When I first started having circulatory issues I went online and basicly bought every supplement and vitamin that was even remotely suggested to reduce the pain and promote better blood flow. With constant pain, you are willing to believe just about anything unfortunately. Predictably, nothing worked! Like an intelligent person, I acknowledged this, and stopped buying the woo.

    So why people are so willing to believe that there is a miracle supplement or vitamin out there that cures all your ills, inspite of all the evidence out there, and the fact that all the other so called miracle supplements have ever worked for them, is beyond me! When it comes down to it, it’s about who you are willing to believe. I am far more willing to believe a group of scientists who are creating life saving medicine every day over homeopathic woo, which has NEVER BEEN PROVEN USEFUL!!!

  10. #10 trying to survive
    January 19, 2011

    You may change your opinion on what is valid and what is not, when you develop cancer (50 % of you will) and they say they have no further treatment for you. Then tell me you won’t try alternatives. Of course you prefer to die.
    I don’t believe for one skinny minute the figures for cancer the government issues. 2 out of 3, bull, they just have creative math skills.

  11. #11 Enkidu
    January 19, 2011

    Has Dr. Oz ever even read the articles on Mercola’s website? The ones that I have looked at that do have “references” for their claims are riddled with errors (or outright lying because, hey, who checks references?). I recall one particularly awful article last year on H1N1; it was posted on a parenting site I go to and I got writer’s cramp trying to correct all the “facts” contained in it.

    Don’t people fact-check on Dr. Oz’s show?

  12. #12 Aaron
    January 19, 2011

    I’ll give Mercola one bit of credit – he accepts refunds on all of his products. Last year, I sent back about $800 in merchandise and opened bottles and received my refund without question.

    Of course, a week later, I was instantly banned after disagreeing with Merola in the comments section of an article.

  13. #13 Ken Leebow
    January 19, 2011

    Excellent and in-depth review. However, it appears that almost everything (there are some exceptions) on TV is worthy of being thrown into the garbage.

  14. #14 Adam_Y
    January 19, 2011

    You may change your opinion on what is valid and what is not, when you develop cancer (50 % of you will) and they say they have no further treatment for you. Then tell me you won’t try alternatives. Of course you prefer to die.

    Its not that we don’t want to die. Its just if we are going to die we’d rather not waste our remaining time and money tilting at windmills.

  15. #15 Diane Camillo
    January 19, 2011

    WAKE UP PEOPLE! Have you not read statistics! The Alopathic way has had what most of us refer to as QUAKERY!
    Alternitive Medice IS the new way-and the old way, where do you think “Medicine” came from in the first place? Reiki, and other Modalities are thousands of years old and still used because they do work! AND there are SCIENTIFIC studies which have proved so! Why do think more than 70 Hospitals accross the nation support and have Holistic Modalities included in their services now! You are stuck into thinking this is dark! The only thing dark is the smoke and mirrors you use to think you offered any realistic advise in you article!
    When you or a loved one become frustrated by the pill for every issue or the lack of wellness in your life, you will change your thinking! Awakentowellnessnm dot com!

  16. #16 J. J. Ramsey
    January 19, 2011

    “The Alopathic way has had what most of us refer to as QUAKERY!”

    Wow, I didn’t know the Quakers had made such dramatic contributions to medicine. :)

    @Adam_Y: Indeed. If I had an incurable illness, I’d still rather spend my money on something that would actually help quality of life, like hospice, or maybe one final vacation, than on chasing false hope.

    BTW, is it me, or do supposedly non-fictional medical shows on TV have a tendency to attract woo? If so, why?

  17. #17 Mu
    January 19, 2011

    Dear Diane, please get of the drugs, they are illegal, even if natural. And please, check your facts (as thin as they are), Reiki was developed in 1922.

  18. #18 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    Surprisingly, there isn’t that much on Mercola’s website about it, although PubMed actually does have some interesting review articles on it.

    This means that Mercola has lined up a supplier or printed up the bottle labels yet.

    I don’t believe for one skinny minute the figures for cancer the government issues. 2 out of 3, bull, they just have creative math skills.

    You don’t believe government agencies who have no vested interest in lying and a lot to lose if they get caught yet you believe con-men who are preying on the desperate.

  19. #19 René Najera
    January 19, 2011

    Why do think more than 70 Hospitals accross the nation support and have Holistic Modalities included in their services now! You are stuck into thinking this is dark! The only thing dark is the smoke and mirrors you use to think you offered any realistic advise in you article!

    70 hospitals? Holy crap! That’s one percent of all (registered) hospitals in the country… IT MUST BE REAL, PEOPLE! WAKE UP!

    Maybe it’s like homeopathy? The less hospitals practice woo the more legitimate it is?

  20. #20 betternow
    January 19, 2011

    Wow, looks to me like most of you belong to the same club. The, If The Government Didn’t Okay It, It’s Not Okay Club. From a personal view, my doctors weren’t helping me nor did they care to try. I took my health into my own hands and now I am better. My doctor laughed at me for asking about vitamins and supplements. A year later when I came back better and lighter he “released” me to my GP. Hmmmm, So, until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, don’t judge them.

  21. #21 a-non
    January 19, 2011

    Joe Mercola doesn’t believe that HIV causes AIDS. Dude is so far down the rabbit hole of pseudoscience that it isn’t funny, and the only shows he should be appearing on are the whacko conspiracy loony ones like the Jeff Rense program.

    Then again, maybe it’s time to lump Dr. Oz into that category.

  22. #22 Joey Mack
    January 19, 2011

    @stripey_cat (#4) whoa ma gawwwd I love you! I’m never going to forget that comment it really warmed my heart.

    @Dianne Stay the hell away from people’s ears with that ear candling stuff! It doesn’t work, it’s extremely dangerous, and the stuff that accumulates isn’t from the ear it’s from the candle!!! Other than that, I really need to strike water on my land please come down some for me!

    smfh

  23. #23 Miranda
    January 19, 2011

    Dianne -

    I see on your web site the following -

    DISCLAIMER
    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo does not and does not intend to diagnose, treat or prescribe drugs.

    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo does not and does not intend to provide medical advice.

    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo makes no warranty as to the success or outcome to be achieved by the use of services or products provided to each client.

    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo recommend that each client continue to see their medical doctor and follow their advice.

    I’d rather seek treatment from a holistic health provider who *will* provide medical advice. Can you suggest one?

  24. #24 Joey Mack
    January 19, 2011

    I laughed, I cried, I wretched, Orac FTW

    The ollld trojan horse routine. You start ‘em off with the organic foods, move ‘em into raw, maybe add some moving meditation… Next thing you know you, boom! They’re trance channeling and trying to levitate. Gets ‘em every time!

    Oz really got to my Mom for awhile, she loved the silly demonstrations that made the concepts easy to understand. I watched several shows with her and didn’t see much to worry about. I do remember thinking “He’s gonna run out of material there isn’t that much proven technique in NH”

    Wow I had no idea you could screw up that bad on National T.V. these days. Perhaps Dr. Oz has been channeling Swendenborg, his hero, and that’s who’s calling the shots?

  25. #25 nybgrus
    January 19, 2011

    Well Ms. Diane Camillo! You are SO incredibly sure of your “holistic” treatments that are “scientifically proven” that you must feature prominently on your homepage:

    DISCLAIMER
    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo does not and does not intend to diagnose, treat or prescribe drugs.

    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo does not and does not intend to provide medical advice.

    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo makes no warranty as to the success or outcome to be achieved by the use of services or products provided to each client.

    Awaken to Wellness and Diane Camillo recommend that each client continue to see their medical doctor and follow their advice.

    As a medical doctor, do you think I can put on my door that “I do not intend to diagnose, treat, or prescribe drugs?” Or that “I make no warranty as to the success or outcome of my services?”

    Really?? If your stuff is so frackin’ good, why have one of the most rigorous quack miranda write ups I have ever seen!?!? You are a scheister, a cheat, a quack, and clearly prey on people in dire situations looking for any sort of help. But they get none from you and you should feel ashamed of yourself!

  26. #26 Jojo
    January 19, 2011

    @stripey_cat I’ve given a lot of thought to all of these people who think that “natural” means all warm and fuzzy niceness. I suspect there are two main sources of this. The first is that we live in such a controlled environment. If you grow up swimming in pools, you have no idea what it’s like to get crashed onto the shore by a big wave or pulled out by a rip tided. If you only play outside in parks and playgrounds, you might never know what poison ivy feels like when it covers your arms, legs, and face. Our control of nature has lead many people to forget just how harsh nature really is.

  27. #27 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    @15
    Sentence so GRAMMATICALLY BORKED as to be incomprehensible.

    Reference to unspecified statistics.

    Argument from antiquity with bonus reference to modern woo.
    Lame ass argument from authority combined with lame ass argument ad popularum.

    Liberal use of exclamation marks!

    Prediction we will change our mind when we are desperate.

    RandDOM ALL CAPs.

    Incorrect use of words ie. advise instead of advice.

    Accusations of close mindedness.

    Link to commenter’s commercial website.

    I believe I filled in my Altie Rant Bingo card – do I win a free Reiki “treatment”?

  28. #28 nybgrus
    January 19, 2011

    I love the people on this blog – in the time it took me to post my response to Diane Camillo I had already been beaten to it!

  29. #29 Eugene Mazzoli
    January 19, 2011

    I can’t understand why people got so upset when a person talks about the dark side of life. Strangely there is something in us all that resists facing the dark side of life. Scientists us the word DARK, as a code for, “we have absolutely no clue what it is.”

    Complementary and alternative healing, herbal healing and mind and body healing works. American spent 33.9 Billion Out-Of-Pocket on complementary and alternative medicine in one year. Web Site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121041.htm.

    If there”s such a thing as an all-natural Happy Pill Vitamin D looks to be it. Web Site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101201152802.htm

    Pain: What Zen Mediators don’t know won’t hurt them. Reduce sensitivity to pain. Web Site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208130054.htm

    Acupuncture changes perception and processing of pain. Web Site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130100357.htm

    I believe that alternative-non-toxic treatments or out of the mainstream of scientific medicine and conventional medicine can work together. One common misconception is that, alternative treatments are not scientific, more research and funding is needed.

    With the high costs of good clinical trails, which can run to millions of dollars means relatively few are done in the field of alternative therapies. Grants are till very hard to get and the emphasis is still on the conventional medicine, looking for the magic pill or procedure that’s going to take away all diseases.

    Thank You Dr. Oz and Kevin Trubeau for looking into the dark side of life

    Your in good health

    Eugene Mazzoli

  30. #30 WLU
    January 19, 2011

    You may change your opinion on what is valid and what is not, when you develop cancer (50 % of you will) and they say they have no further treatment for you. Then tell me you won’t try alternatives. Of course you prefer to die.

    You’ve touched on a key issue here – changing your mind when you get sick. This is precisely why we need scientific investigation. Sick people are in no position to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions they use. For one thing, they are sick and it probably interferes with concentration. For another, they desperately want to see a cure. Cancer and other maladies require scientific investigations so when we get sick, we have an actual hope rather than false hope to give people. Just because a doctor says he can’t do anything more to help you (which is terrifying and tragic) doesn’t mean acupuncture, homeopathy and vitamins suddenly cure cancer. It would be nice if this were the case, but it is not, and preying on the desperate is contemptible. It enriches a liar and takes time and money away from the patient, thus making their remaining time worse.

    Why do think more than 70 Hospitals accross the nation support and have Holistic Modalities included in their services now!

    Because the modalities are popular due to a scientifically illiterate populace, because there is money to be made, because of political support, because science is hard, because people overestimate what they know, because people want alternatives, because people are scared, because holistic practitioners have excellent bedside manner and can take lots of time with their patients, because it feels good to be doing something instead of just watching yourself die. There’s a whole bunch of reasons, none are particularly good to spend scarce research and treatment money on interventions that are not particularly promising. Popularity is not evidence of anything but good marketing.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    January 19, 2011

    I just learned recently ( from my trusty “Record” restaurant guide) that Dr. and Ms. Oz live in my *own* county ((shudder)) and regularly dine at an “Asian fusion” place in Edgewater ( which is adding “non-vegetarian” entrees!) Oz’s presence is actually used as a *selling point*!**
    I am deeply ashamed- Deirdre Imus’ “research center”, Gary Null (unverified claim) a “professor at FDU”, and now this… a trifecta! What is this place becoming? It used to be that this was a nice suburban county where people just lived everyday lives as they unabashedly pursued money and practiced intricate games of fashion/ residence one-upmans-ship with their neighbors…( Oh wait!) And now, nationally syndicated woo.
    ** I haven’t yet eaten there.

  32. #32 Mu
    January 19, 2011

    The really bad part is, Diana’s website identifies her as a Reiki Master Teacher. You’d think in her teaching someone would have told her about the history of Reiki.

  33. #33 WLU
    January 19, 2011

    You may change your opinion on what is valid and what is not, when you develop cancer (50 % of you will) and they say they have no further treatment for you. Then tell me you won’t try alternatives. Of course you prefer to die.

    You’ve touched on a key issue here – changing your mind when you get sick. This is precisely why we need scientific investigation. Sick people are in no position to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions they use. For one thing, they are sick and it probably interferes with concentration. For another, they desperately want to see a cure. Cancer and other maladies require scientific investigations so when we get sick, we have an actual hope rather than false hope to give people. Just because a doctor says he can’t do anything more to help you (which is terrifying and tragic) doesn’t mean acupuncture, homeopathy and vitamins suddenly cure cancer. It would be nice if this were the case, but it is not, and preying on the desperate is contemptible. It enriches a liar and takes time and money away from the patient, thus making their remaining time worse.

    Why do think more than 70 Hospitals accross the nation support and have Holistic Modalities included in their services now!

    Because the modalities are popular due to a scientifically illiterate populace, because there is money to be made, because of political support, because science is hard, because people overestimate what they know, because people want alternatives, because people are scared, because holistic practitioners have excellent bedside manner and can take lots of time with their patients, because it feels good to be doing something instead of just watching yourself die. There’s a whole bunch of reasons, none are particularly good to spend scarce research and treatment money on interventions that are not particularly promising. Popularity is not evidence of anything but good marketing.

  34. #34 Pablo
    January 19, 2011

    Cancer and other maladies require scientific investigations so when we get sick, we have an actual hope rather than false hope to give people. Just because a doctor says he can’t do anything more to help you (which is terrifying and tragic) doesn’t mean acupuncture, homeopathy and vitamins suddenly cure cancer.

    I’ve brought this up before. If you look at it, the real criticism that is being made here is that doctors are bad because they won’t lie to you.

    OTOH, the quackaloons have no problems lying straight to your face.

    In this situation, neither of them actually can do any good, but doctors are painted as the bad guys. Because they are honest.

  35. #35 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    WLU

    Popularity is not evidence of anything but good marketing.

    QFT

    Best response to argumemtum ad popularum and well worth the double post.

  36. #36 Calli Arcale
    January 19, 2011

    betternow @ 20:

    Wow, looks to me like most of you belong to the same club. The, If The Government Didn’t Okay It, It’s Not Okay Club. From a personal view, my doctors weren’t helping me nor did they care to try. I took my health into my own hands and now I am better. My doctor laughed at me for asking about vitamins and supplements. A year later when I came back better and lighter he “released” me to my GP. Hmmmm, So, until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, don’t judge them.

    It’s not that we believe everything the government tells us. It’s that we want evidence before we believe anything. As it happens, the government approval process requires a fair bit for evidence to be generated, so there tends to be more evidence for stuff that’s approved, but it’s not because the government says its okay. It’s because there’s evidence for it.

    And the state of the evidence changes, which means it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in medical research. Thing is, absolutely every company selling a remedy, whether FDA-approved or not, is in it primarily to sell stuff. You can’t really trust any of them — Mercola, Pfizer, any of them. That’s why you need to look at the science. As I see it, both are out to deceive me, but Pfizer has less room to maneuver than Mercola does. (Mercola can, after all, claim pretty much anything he likes whether it’s true or not, provided he has adequate weasel words and makes his products out of things which are legally considered food.) The FDA has mandatory recall power over Pfizer; it does not over Mercola. There is far less consumer protection between you and Mercola than there is between you and Pfizer.

    Or, more simply, I don’t trust either of them more than the other. Why do you? What makes Mercola so trustworthy that you don’t need proof, and aren’t concerned about the need for regulation? If companies are just in this for profit, why wouldn’t you want regulation to keep the bastards honest?

  37. #37 Calli Arcale
    January 19, 2011

    betternow @ 20:

    Wow, looks to me like most of you belong to the same club. The, If The Government Didn’t Okay It, It’s Not Okay Club. From a personal view, my doctors weren’t helping me nor did they care to try. I took my health into my own hands and now I am better. My doctor laughed at me for asking about vitamins and supplements. A year later when I came back better and lighter he “released” me to my GP. Hmmmm, So, until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, don’t judge them.

    It’s not that we believe everything the government tells us. It’s that we want evidence before we believe anything. As it happens, the government approval process requires a fair bit for evidence to be generated, so there tends to be more evidence for stuff that’s approved, but it’s not because the government says its okay. It’s because there’s evidence for it.

    And the state of the evidence changes, which means it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in medical research. Thing is, absolutely every company selling a remedy, whether FDA-approved or not, is in it primarily to sell stuff. You can’t really trust any of them — Mercola, Pfizer, any of them. That’s why you need to look at the science. As I see it, both are out to deceive me, but Pfizer has less room to maneuver than Mercola does. (Mercola can, after all, claim pretty much anything he likes whether it’s true or not, provided he has adequate weasel words and makes his products out of things which are legally considered food.) The FDA has mandatory recall power over Pfizer; it does not over Mercola. There is far less consumer protection between you and Mercola than there is between you and Pfizer.

    Or, more simply, I don’t trust either of them more than the other. Why do you? What makes Mercola so trustworthy that you don’t need proof, and aren’t concerned about the need for regulation? If companies are just in this for profit, why wouldn’t you want regulation to keep the bastards honest?

  38. #38 turnipseed
    January 19, 2011

    You are right to be angry about this, so am I. But it seems to me that this is simply the logical outcome in a society that worships freedom of religion. How is faith in CAM different from faith in prayer, which we are asked to engage in with our leaders all the time? Doctors have always respected people’s religious preferences and only draw the line in cases where parents are directly threatening the lives of their children by withholding medical treatment. No one criticizes all the routine praying and “healing” that go on every day; but these activities contribute to the basis of the problem which is that we’ve been conditioned as a society to “respect” the beliefs of others; and to most of Oz’s audience, science is just another “belief”. If we respect that people have the right to “believe” in the “power of prayer”, then why criticize them for “believing” in the power of any other invisible “natural” power?

  39. #39 isles
    January 19, 2011

    Maybe Oz is a covert operative in healthcare reform: reduce spending on legitimate treatments by convincing the gullible they’ll do just as well with a reiki session and a little craniosacral massage. They’re cheap, and they lead to seriously sick people discontinuing their healthcare expenditures (because they’ve died for lack of actual treatment).

  40. #40 Laura
    January 19, 2011

    Your link to an article supposedly defending HFCS doesn’t do any such thing. All the article says is that many other sweeteners are just as bad or worse. The article admits there’s a lot of evidence that large amounts of fructose are bad for you.
    “The Sugar Fix” by Dr. Johnson is a good book on the fructose science. It doesn’t particularly demonize HFCS.

  41. #41 René Najera
    January 19, 2011

    @Turnipseed #38

    If we respect that people have the right to “believe” in the “power of prayer”, then why criticize them for “believing” in the power of any other invisible “natural” power?

    If you’re asking this seriously, I’ll attempt a reply…

    They are criticized because they postulate that their methods (homeopathy, reiki, etc.) are better than or substitutes for medical interventions whose evidence is present and well accounted for. They are criticized because they have led other to believe that they should not be bothered with chemotherapy, vaccines, and lots of other interventions that work. A woman in Australia stopped taking chemo on advice of a homeopath who knew nothing about oncology, and she died. And I am willing to bet good money that she is not the only one. There have been outbreaks and deaths from pertussis in California because parents have listened to the advice from celebrities and television hosts over the advice of their physicians.

    See what I’m getting at?

    As for beliefs in a higher power, I’ll go with the old Jewish teaching that you live for your faith and not die because of it, a teaching that applies across faiths, really. It always comes as a shock to some of my friends when they find out that I am a Christian. But I would no more listen to a preacher about science and medicine as I would listen to a butcher tell me how to grow plants over the advice of a horticulturalist. (Unfortunately, I am in the minority with that respect… Most people listen and follow their preachers in all matters, blindly even.)

    Know what I mean?

  42. #42 Elaine Schattner, MD
    January 19, 2011

    David,
    I share your disdain for Mercola’s salesmanship, and I worry about the power of Dr. Oz on TV and elsewhere.

    But it’s easy to point fingers. As before, I worry that your (and others’) dismissal of all things alternative is a turn-off to patients including some who are rational, educated and see legitimate problems in the traditional U.S. healthcare system. What’s harder is being constructive – figuring out what conventional doctors are missing or doing wrong and acting upon that in a way that draws patients into the system, rather than away.

    I think that better communication, a less judgmental stance and at least some degree of open-mindedness, would help establish trust among patients in conventional doctors and hospitals.

  43. #43 Pablo
    January 19, 2011

    But it’s easy to point fingers. As before, I worry that your (and others’) dismissal of all things alternative is a turn-off to patients including some who are rational, educated and see legitimate problems in the traditional U.S. healthcare system.

    Boy, there is some baggage there, Elaine.

    If you are talking about problems in medicine, I would repeat what was pointed about above: regardless of problems that medicine might have, none of them make worthless alternative crap work. Just because chemo has no hope of curing a terrible cancer doesn’t mean that accupuncture does.

  44. #44 Orac
    January 19, 2011

    But it’s easy to point fingers. As before, I worry that your (and others’) dismissal of all things alternative is a turn-off to patients including some who are rational, educated and see legitimate problems in the traditional U.S. healthcare system. What’s harder is being constructive – figuring out what conventional doctors are missing or doing wrong and acting upon that in a way that draws patients into the system, rather than away.

    I think that better communication, a less judgmental stance and at least some degree of open-mindedness, would help establish trust among patients in conventional doctors and hospitals.

    I do so love concern or tone trolls. Not.

    You obviously don’t read this blog regularly if you think all I do is to attack alt-med and “dismiss all things alternative,” the latter of which which I actually don’t. I merely demand the same standard of evidence for “alt-med” as I do for conventional medicine. You’re pushing a false dichotomy anyway. It does not follow from the observation that there are problems with our current medical system that there has to be value in various forms of “alt-med.” And I have written about various aspects of alt-med that are appealing to patients and why. Many times.

    A blog is not a single post. My posts can (and do) vary in tone, content, and delivery from day to day.

  45. #45 Just Sayin'
    January 19, 2011

    The Alopathic way has had what most of us refer to as QUAKERY!

    When did Orac join the Religious Society of Frends?

    Or are you suggesting that doctors consume too much oatmeal?

  46. #46 J. J. Ramsey
    January 19, 2011

    Elaine Schattner, MD: “I worry that your (and others’) dismissal of all things alternative is a turn-off to patients”

    It’s not as if alternative medicine is being dismissed without evidence. Orac and others have pointed out several studies showing that homeopathy, acupuncture, reiki, etc. just don’t work. Do you expect Orac to recommend such treatments regardless of efficacy? Or to ignore that using them in place of tried and tested medical interventions can hurt or even kill people?

  47. #47 Travis
    January 19, 2011

    Elaine,
    If you read this blog more often not only would you see that the tone varies greatly, but that this blog tackles manuy different topics and deals with them in a variety of ways. They are not simply dismissed though. Also, if you regularly read this blog you would know what complaints about tone are nothing new and are not looked upon in a good light. The issue has been discussed to death.

  48. #48 Denice Walter
    January 19, 2011

    I suspect that a great deal of woo’s attractiveness is as a substitute for a type of family-care (leading to self-care) formerly provided and taught to children by family members- not doctors ( which is why I divide most safe woo into “grandma” medicine and “spa” medicine)- which is now often sorely lacking: things that make you “feel better” but do not necessarily make you “better”. People look to the woo-provider as a sort of caretaker(substitute mother/ parent/ grandmother), rife with concern and good advice, who makes you “feel better”. Thus, their friendly manner,”having time for you”, and confidence-inspiring talk compensate the individual who lacks skills involving self-care and coping.

  49. #49 Nancyinwi
    January 19, 2011

    On astaxanthin–it is often an ingredient of high quality foods for tropical fish, said to improve their coloration and allover wellbeing–and IT WORKS!!!!! ( I always wanted a chance to use all caps and extra exclamation points) I gave my fish some,and they are much brighter and more active. Of course, I also started a regimen of frequent high volume water changes, adjusted and stablilized the pH to optimum, and added CO2 supplementation so the plants would grow well, but I’m just know it was all down to the astaxanthin. So of course it will be a wonder supplement for people. Now if I can just get my fish to survive the acupuncture treatments–meridians are so hard to poke properly in a 7/8 inch fish…

  50. #50 Travis
    January 19, 2011

    Denice, @48
    I agree that this is likely a big part of the attractiveness. I have a friend that goes to a shaman. They make a lot of time for her, they tell her what she wants to here, it feels good. It also does not do much bad to her as her problems are not life threatening or that serious for the most part.

    Though it would not be for me, ever. Maybe I am just a horrible shell of a human being but if some stranger I paid money to see started acting a bit like a caretaker, being very family like and concerned, I would be a bit uncomfortable.

  51. #51 lilady
    January 19, 2011

    In a previous post I stated that I avoid Dr. Oz shows. I do visit and post on this site frequently for Orac’s insightful blogs and the debunking of medical myths and unmasking of alternative/complementary therapies and their “practitioners”

    Having said that, I still have trouble using the word “conspiracy” with all its connotations. I find that the acceptance of voodoo “medicine” by Dr. Oz and the proliferation of successful TV shows on all the channels that feature him, Mercola and their ilk, to be very disturbing.

    Even more disturbing is the information posted prior on this thread that Oz attended a David Lynch Foundation meeting to “fund instruction in TM for various targeted groups including the homeless and veterans with PTSD.”

    Many of the long-term homeless have addictions and/or mental illnesses, that require rehabilitation. Many of the newly homeless including family groups are economically affected by the downturn in the economy…they need safe interim housing funded by the government and jobs, to enable them to provide for themselves and their families.

    Veterans with PTSD, need therapies that have proven track records, so that they may return to mainstream society.

    Do I detect a conspiracy here… or the beginnings of one…to gain government funded coverage for TM and other unproven therapies for the homeless and veterans who are getting publicly-funded health care?

  52. #52 Anonymous
    January 19, 2011

    “You may change your opinion on what is valid and what is not, when you develop cancer (50 % of you will) and they say they have no further treatment for you. Then tell me you won’t try alternatives. Of course you prefer to die.”

    Did you really just imply that people lose their powers of reason when they get sick? I know plenty of people who continued to understand that embracing the woo world would only cause undue expense and pain in their last months. I even know one person who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told that he had a 0.2% chance of survival for a year. Out came the woo-meisters! Happily he told them all to piss off and went with a clinical trial (gov’t regulated; industry paid for) instead. 2.5 years later he’s doing quite well, thanks very much. Amazing what evidence-based medicine can do for you.

    Bet there are atheists in foxholes too…

  53. #53 Chris
    January 19, 2011

    I just love the ones that yell “big medicine and big pharma are in it for teh moneys!”. I found this interesting tidbit at the Merseyside Skeptics site:

    Oh, and that Mercola – so enraged at those greedy doctors who keep you ill just so they can make all of their lurid profits – lives in a mansion with a pool and it’s own private island (sourced from public records). Enjoy!

    Be sure to click on the link when you check out that snippet at their site.

  54. #54 TheBear
    January 19, 2011

    Shouldn’t he strike down and kill Deepak Chopara first?

    Or is that step optional?

  55. #55 Eugene Mazzoli
    January 19, 2011

    There can be no greater foolishness than to deny the reality of something only because on has not experienced it.

    Go Doctor OZ.

    Your in good health

    Eugene Mazzoli
    Cancer Survivor

  56. #56 Michael
    January 19, 2011

    @55
    Oh please…

    And by the way, your what is in good health??

  57. #57 Eugene Mazzoli
    January 19, 2011

    Excuse me.

    That’s Your’s in good health.

    Eugene Mazzoli

  58. #58 nybgrus
    January 19, 2011

    @Eugene#55:

    There is no greater foolishness than to assume something to be real based on nothing but pure coincidence and chance.

  59. #59 DrMead
    January 19, 2011

    Secrets “they” don’t want patients to know about? As a physician, I suppose I’m one of that mysterious “they” by default. And, speaking as a primary care doctor in an economically challenged area, I WISH these so called secrets worked! Given the trouble many of my patients have affording the medicines they need and the headaches I get fighting the insurance companies for prior approval, I would jump at using herbs and minerals to treat them…if the frelling things worked. That’s the problem. For the most part they don’t, or, if they do they aren’t effective enough to do significant good with severe illness.

    If there was credible evidence that pickled dandilion leaves controlled treated hypertension/heart disease/cancer/insert-medical-condition-here as well as conventional medicine, I’m certain there would be hundreds if not thousands of physicians out in their yards with garden trowels, and no amount of “Big Pharma” pressure would keep them quiet about it. But there isn’t credible evidence, so I’ll keep using those medicines, no matter how many headaches it causes me. Why? Because I want to keep my patients healthy and alive.

  60. #60 Lilly Urich
    January 19, 2011

    Since you are so “brave” about criticizing others, how about putting your REAL name on the blog…

  61. #61 Dave Ruddell
    January 19, 2011

    Shouldn’t he strike down and kill Deepak Chopara first?

    Or is that step optional?

    He can apparently be found in Ottawa.

    (Okay, it’s not the same Deepak, but I still did a double take when I read the paper this morning)

  62. #62 nybgrus
    January 19, 2011

    @Lilly#60: To whom are you referring?

  63. #63 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    Michael@56

    And by the way, your what is in good health??

    Definitely not his bullshit detector.

    @60 – Orac’s real identity is well known to regular readers of his blog and also to his enemies. The latter even tried to get him fired.

  64. #64 Richard
    January 19, 2011

    As a skeptic, my pet peeve is Oprah. What can we do about Oprah? She foisted Oz on the American public.

  65. #65 Scott
    January 19, 2011

    There can be no greater foolishness than to deny the reality of something only because on has not experienced it.

    Go Doctor OZ.

    True as far as it goes. Which is why it’s a good thing that we don’t deny the efficacy of homeopathy, acupuncture, reiki, etc. only because we have not experienced it, but rather based on large quantities of scientific evidence demonstrating that it does not work.

  66. #66 Pablo
    January 19, 2011

    Orac’s real identity is well known to regular readers of his blog and also to his enemies. The latter even tried to get him fired.

    Don’t know about you folks, but I have an account on LinkedIn, and it keeps asking me if I want to add RealIdentityOrac as a contact. That stupid thing not apparently has associated me with him. Don’t ask me how.

  67. #67 Chris
    January 19, 2011

    Lilly Urich:

    Since you are so “brave” about criticizing others, how about putting your REAL name on the blog…

    This exact same article is posted today, with the real name on it. Go find it, and try that argument there. Hint: search this blog for when Orac talks about “his friend.” (oh, crud that site has crashed again!)

  68. #68 lilady
    January 19, 2011

    @60 The reason why Orac and other posters on this site don’t use their “REAL name” is because they don’t want to expose themselves to threats…from a small group of “fringe” people who have disagreements with his blog and the posters who support him.

    I wonder if you are using your “REAL name” because you are not in peril from any “fringe” groups that use science-based research for their postings?

  69. #69 Chris
    January 19, 2011

    Ah, it’s back. The first sentence of the second paragraph here is the same as one of the paragraphs there. See, you have enough hints.

  70. #70 aed939
    January 19, 2011

    It’s cool that Dr. Oz brought Dr. Mercola on his show.
    Dr. Mercola’s basic, underlying message is sound, and I agree with most of his findings. Also, science is not the only method for seeking knowledge. Although science is advancing through time, science alone will never be complete or sufficient to make all of your decisions. There are other systems for which you may use to make choices: advice or directives from parents and friends, religion, local and cultural customs, etc.

    Although I agree with much of what Dr. Mercola is saying, I don’t always agree with the actions that he is suggesting his readers take. For instance, he continues to villify all plastic, but I have researched the Glad brand and confirmed that they don’t use BPA, for example.

    Another thing is I have never bought a product from Dr. Mercola. They are overpriced, and there are other sources for the supplements he espouses.

    I think it’s great that Mercola was on the Dr. Oz show on a major network. Usually the drug companies that own the major networks block all of that information.

    Science and government are so slow. It took the FDA 30 years to turn around the recommendation for trans fats.

  71. #71 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 19, 2011

    @29 – Eugene,

    1. The fact that people buy “alternative therapies” in no way proves they work (if indeed, the article says that, as your link is broken).

    2. Vitamin D can’t really be regarded as an alternative therapy if its benefits have been supported by multiple studies and it is routinely recommended by mainstream doctors, can it? If “alternative healers” recommend it based on the evidence, well, good for them. BTW – I don’t see the words “happy pill” anywhere in the article you mention, and it quite clearly states there’s insufficient evidence for some claims made for Vitamin D “such as protection against cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes.”

    3. I have no doubt that both acupuncture and meditation can change how one reacts to pain, just as hypnosis or a placebo can. Pain has a large subjective quality, and a different people react differently to a given stimulus. Indeed, the same person can react differently to a given stimulus depending on the circumstances. Now, what does that say (if anything) about acupuncture and Zen as treatments for other conditions besides pain?

  72. #72 nybgrus
    January 19, 2011

    @aed939#70:

    The idea that there are “other ways of knowing” is the last bastion of the pseudoscientific (well, probably more like pre-scientific) mind. The idea you proffer is that science is some discrete set of actions that are applied to specific cases. For example, like a toolkit in a garage: you have screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, and saws. They have very specific purposes but can be adapted to other things within reason – i.e. using a screwdriver to pry open a paint can lid instead of tightening a screw. However, there are things they simply cannot be applied to – i.e. bathing an infant. The problem with your thinking is that it creates a straw man – that is simply NOT what science is. Science is a systematic application of tests to measure outcomes. As our understanding becomes more sophisticated so do our tools and the scope to which we can apply scientific rigor expands. For the sorts of things you claim have “other ways of knowing” those fall into two categories – either people are trapped in a cultural belief that science cannot answer the question, or it is a complicated enough topic that science has yet to become refined enough to answer it. Every scrap of our progress as a civilization underscores that there is NO reason to assume science cannot answer any and all questions and every reason to assume it very likely to be able to do so. Of course, this brings up the next topic, which is complicated and likely why minds like yours feel strapped to the idea of “other ways of knowing.” There is no universal, unequivocal, 100% truth to many (if not most) questions. Thus, people such as yourselves feel science has failed to answer the question when it says “there is an 80% likelihood of XXX” and feel that (for example) a theological answer of “it is undoubted that this is 100% due to XXX” is a much more satisfying answer. The problem is, that is only satisfying to the uninterested mind – the childish mind. The bigger problem is that such thinking serves only to placate children who have not yet developed the ability to think more deeply – it does nothing to serve the forward progression of humanity and civilization.

    If you doubt this, try and pose the same sorts of questions people did 300 years ago (hell, even 100 or 50 years ago!) and realize that the same objections to science and special pleading for “other ways of knowing” have always been there. And have been consistently and unabashedly eroded. There was once no way of knowing scientifically if the earth was round or whether it was the center of the universe. “Other ways of knowing” were the only option and those heretical enough to speak otherwise were burned at the stake. Yet, we see that does not hold true anymore. The fact that such questions today have become vastly complex does not speak to a validity of “other forms of knowledge” but to the literally mind-boggling progress we have made leaving us with only more and more complex questions to answer. Because it is too difficult for you to understand (or want to understand) does not justify abandoning or maligning the ONLY “way of knowing” that has EVER actually known anything.

  73. #73 Dadicoot
    January 19, 2011

    Hahaha I have been so healthy since I took my health into my own hands and stopped going to the government backed drug pushers masquerading as healers)(MD’s). I am 50 yrs old and I am now the healthiest and most vital that I have ever been. Why don’t doctors tell people to listen to their bodies? Avoid the foods that make you feel like a cripple(industrial dairy and ALL foods with the poison Gluten for starters, and yes HFCS are total crap! don’t be an arrogant idiot!)And embrace the foods and supplements that help you feel good, have lots of energy and allow you to thrive! Is it out of the total fear of showing up at your medical practice after your morning round of golf at the country club and seeing only your employees cars in the parking lot? I firmly believe that is the reason that you and other proponents of modern medicine are so afraid of any alternative to your stranglehold on our health choices. If EVERYONE began to eat healthy, take antioxidant’s and other supplements and exercised regularly you would be out of a job..unless you worked at the emergency room and actually treated injuries. I cured my own high blood pressure and lowered my LDL’s, raised my HDL’s (now 92) simply by avoiding ALL DAIRY/RED MEAT & GLUTEN and taking L-arginine and L-theanine along with cod liver, krill oil and grape-seed extract. The sporadic inflammation I suffered for years in my joints is no longer an issue as well. No horrible side effects like my mom and brother experienced from the poisonous statins and other drugs their doctor’s pushed on them…The last time I saw my doc he was shocked at my blood-work and asked me what I was taking. Well the cat is out of the bag and the supplement/natural health industry is growing and people are starting to realize that the medical/pharma industry doesn’t cure anything but just creates a chronic condition that requires constant medical care and drug addiction…The truth is that the fork is in you and you are done…Dr Oz is simply ahead of the curve and you and the rest of the establishment are in total denial….

  74. #74 Scott
    January 19, 2011

    Also, science is not the only method for seeking knowledge. Although science is advancing through time, science alone will never be complete or sufficient to make all of your decisions. There are other systems for which you may use to make choices: advice or directives from parents and friends, religion, local and cultural customs, etc.

    Science is, however, the only method anyone’s ever found for getting reliable knowledge of how the world works. And given that “does remedy X work” is such a question, science is the only way to answer it.

    While other systems may be important for other kinds of decision-making, they cannot meaningfully contribute to matters such as these.

    I think it’s great that Mercola was on the Dr. Oz show on a major network. Usually the drug companies that own the major networks block all of that information.

    Evidence, please? Woo in the mainstream media is pervasive (just have a quick look through the archives here). I’ll be particularly interested to see your evidence that drug companies own the major networks.

    Science and government are so slow. It took the FDA 30 years to turn around the recommendation for trans fats.

    Please provide evidence that there is another method which may reliably answer such questions more rapidly.

  75. #75 nybgrus
    January 19, 2011

    @dadicoot#71: Once again the march of the tired, trite, and hackneyed. I will not even bother to be eloquent about this one.

    1) YES doctors do ALWAYS recommend diet changes and listening to your body. YES BLOODY FUCKING YES. Period. That is NOT “alternative” and does NOT endanger our practice.

    2) Anecdote means nothing but a good story. And taking 20,000 supplements while changing your diet and working out does NOT mean your supplements do diddly squat.

    3) Now go away.

  76. #76 Chris
    January 19, 2011

    aed939:

    Dr. Mercola’s basic, underlying message is sound, and I agree with most of his findings. Also, science is not the only method for seeking knowledge.

    Is the other way of seeking knowledge “just making stuff up”?

    Now which of the following causes of autism listed by Mercola is the real one, or one supported by reality? Be prepared to provide supporting evidence that does not come from Mercola:

    * Pasteurised milk
    * Flouride – (when consumed by pregnant women)
    * Aluminium –
    * Mercury (of course) –
    * MMR (of course) –
    * Malnutrition –
    * Lactose -
    * Glutamine – (makes autism worse)
    * “An excess of grains, sugars, underground vegetables, and any fluid other than water” in the diet –

  77. #77 Bob
    January 19, 2011

    Gee who writes this blog or what ever you want to call it must be getting his pockets lined by all the drug manufacturers.
    Did anyone watch 60 minutes where an insider at Glasko-Smith-Kline reveled all the mistakes they have made ?
    Just because someone isn’t a “Pill Pusher” he is labeled a nut.
    Richard Nixon declared war on Cancer back in 1970. Since that time it has escalated three fold.
    I did repair work at Pfizer in New York. Do you know the workers a driving the most expensive cars on the market.
    Now the Drug Companies are pushing to use Gardisal on boy’s.
    Take a look at “Psyhciatric Drugs” it has been proven that they do not work, but doctors have been rewarded by drug companies to swear otherwise.

  78. #78 Peapoh
    January 19, 2011

    Pharma shill gambit ftw. -.-

  79. #79 nybgrus
    January 19, 2011

    @aed939#70:

    The idea that there are “other ways of knowing” is the last bastion of the pseudoscientific (well, probably more like pre-scientific) mind. The idea you proffer is that science is some discrete set of actions that are applied to specific cases. For example, like a toolkit in a garage: you have screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, and saws. They have very specific purposes but can be adapted to other things within reason – i.e. using a screwdriver to pry open a paint can lid instead of tightening a screw. However, there are things they simply cannot be applied to – i.e. bathing an infant. The problem with your thinking is that it creates a straw man – that is simply NOT what science is. Science is a systematic application of tests to measure outcomes. As our understanding becomes more sophisticated so do our tools and the scope to which we can apply scientific rigor expands. For the sorts of things you claim have “other ways of knowing” those fall into two categories – either people are trapped in a cultural belief that science cannot answer the question, or it is a complicated enough topic that science has yet to become refined enough to answer it. Every scrap of our progress as a civilization underscores that there is NO reason to assume science cannot answer any and all questions and every reason to assume it very likely to be able to do so. Of course, this brings up the next topic, which is complicated and likely why minds like yours feel strapped to the idea of “other ways of knowing.” There is no universal, unequivocal, 100% truth to many (if not most) questions. Thus, people such as yourselves feel science has failed to answer the question when it says “there is an 80% likelihood of XXX” and feel that (for example) a theological answer of “it is undoubted that this is 100% due to XXX” is a much more satisfying answer. The problem is, that is only satisfying to the uninterested mind – the childish mind. The bigger problem is that such thinking serves only to placate children who have not yet developed the ability to think more deeply – it does nothing to serve the forward progression of humanity and civilization.

    If you doubt this, try and pose the same sorts of questions people did 300 years ago (hell, even 100 or 50 years ago!) and realize that the same objections to science and special pleading for “other ways of knowing” have always been there. And have been consistently and unabashedly eroded. There was once no way of knowing scientifically if the earth was round or whether it was the center of the universe. “Other ways of knowing” were the only option and those heretical enough to speak otherwise were burned at the stake. Yet, we see that does not hold true anymore. The fact that such questions today have become vastly complex does not speak to a validity of “other forms of knowledge” but to the literally mind-boggling progress we have made leaving us with only more and more complex questions to answer. Because it is too difficult for you to understand (or want to understand) does not justify abandoning or maligning the ONLY “way of knowing” that has EVER actually known anything.

  80. #80 Chris
    January 19, 2011

    Bob:

    Just because someone isn’t a “Pill Pusher” he is labeled a nut.

    So are the pills and cures that Mercola pushes better? How? Be sure to show your work with actual evidence.

  81. #81 Dangerous Bacon
    January 19, 2011

    Inexplicable use of ALL CAPS, lack of paragraphs, inability to end a sentence and remarks like “Hahaha” correlate strongly with a lack of critical thinking plus susceptibility to woo and conspiracy theories.

    I love how the stock physicians in these anecdotes always behave in ritualized fashion. Either they LAUGH at the patient (“Hahaha”!), are SHOCKED at the unexpected improvement (and just have to know how the patient did it) or get VERY ANGRY and throw the patient out of their office (often “giving” them a short time to live (six months is a popular time span)).

    I’m still peeved that Joe Mercola didn’t win the Internet Woobicon Award (or the “Shorty” award or whatever it was called) last year, because skeptic meanies voted against him. He’ll get his due, wait and see. Hahaha.

  82. #82 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    Just because someone isn’t a “Pill Pusher” he is labeled a nut.

    Explain to me why supplement peddlers like Mercola aren’t “Pill Pusher’s”.

    This one always boggles my mind – my doctor writes a prescription which I fill at a drugstore that he doesn’t own and he is “in it for the Big Pharma money”. An CAMster or “Integrative” MD recommends a herb or supplement that they then sell me at a tidy profit and they have no conflict of interest?

  83. #83 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    @78
    should be “Pill Pushers”

    F_ing Apostrophes – How do they work?

  84. #84 Scott
    January 19, 2011

    Particularly amusing is the difference between an MD’s way to get vitamin C (eat an orange) vs. a sCAMmer (buy and take lots of pills). And then the latter accuses the former of being an unnatural pill pusher…

  85. #85 Lynxreign
    January 19, 2011

    @75 – Bob

    I did repair work at Pfizer in New York. Do you know the workers a driving the most expensive cars on the market.

    What a weird lie. I’ve worked as a computer consultant for Schering-Plough, Johnson and Johnson and Aventis. My brother has worked for other drug companies. The cars in the parking lot are like those in any other parking lot.

    Now the Drug Companies are pushing to use Gardisal on boy’s.

    On boy’s what? Don’t leave us hanging! Idiot.

  86. #86 nsib
    January 19, 2011

    Eugene Mazzoli,

    Ahem
    Science works, biyatch!
    That is all.

  87. #87 Helianthus
    January 19, 2011

    @ Lynxreign

    Now the Drug Companies are pushing to use Gardisal on boy’s.

    On boy’s what?

    On boy’s unmentionnables?

  88. #88 kb
    January 19, 2011

    “Psyhciatric Drugs”

    Maybe they don’t work for psychiatric illnesses, but I heard they work for psyhciatric ones!

  89. #89 J. J. Ramsey
    January 19, 2011

    Bob: “Now the Drug Companies are pushing to use Gardisal [sic] on boy’s [sic].”

    That’s HORRIBLE. I mean HPV does nothing in males … oh, wait.

  90. #90 René Najera
    January 19, 2011

    New rules:
    1) If you do not have a grasp of where to put apostrophes, go open a word processor, write your comment there, edit as needed, then copy and paste it here.
    2) If you don’t know how to spell the name of a chemical, medication, company, animal, mineral, or vegetable, then see #1 above for a hint.
    3) If your argument can be summarized as “Blah, blah, blah, Big Pharma, blah, blah, blah, money,” then save us the time and just write the symbol $ as your comment.
    4) If you state a “fact”, then be prepared to back it up with evidence.
    5) The word “Profit” has one F in it. The name “Offit” has two F’s in it. Placing a “(pr)” before Dr. Offit’s last name doesn’t make it “Profit”, and it never will.

    How about it? Who’s with me?

  91. #91 Scott
    January 19, 2011

    Of course, to those who understand vaccines, the rationale of Gardasil for males is pretty obvious. Can’t get herd immunity with half the population not even considered for vaccination, after all.

    Whether it’s worth it is an interesting question, but one which will be answered by science and careful weighing of pros and cons. Not knee-jerk assumptions that all vaccines are evil.

  92. #92 dadicoot
    January 19, 2011

    @nybgrus#73
    Sorry, did not mean to get you so upset. Maybe you should prescribe yourself some clonazepam before you have a panic attack. Or maybe some Xanax. Go ahead and insult and ridicule me if it makes you feel better about your life as a legalized drug pusher. I can take it because the last laugh is on you, I am a very happy and healthy person :) Hope you have a good day!

  93. #93 dini sohbet
    January 19, 2011

    7 ay süren ilişkilerine geçtiğimiz eylül ayında nokta koyan İdil Fırat ve Tatlıtuğ yeniden bir araya geldi
    *
    Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ ile İdil Fırat ayrılığı uzun sürmedi. Tatlıtuğ, 7 ay boyunca birlikte olduğu İdil Fırat ile eylül ayında ayrılmıştı. İdil Fırat’ın hafta sonu için Londra’dan gelmesiyle küllenen aşk yeniden alevlendi.

  94. #94 Yojimbo
    January 19, 2011

    This post certainly brought them out of the woodwork. Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz (or his minions)

  95. #95 René Najera
    January 19, 2011

    @87 Ama nasıl bir vitamin maliyeti ne kadar anlatmaya?

    And stuff.

  96. #96 Roadstergal
    January 19, 2011

    I did repair work at Pfizer in New York. Do you know the workers a driving the most expensive cars on the market.

    Admittedly, I work for a smaller biotech, but I ride my bicycle to work. My husband drives a 1998 Saturn. (The un-GM GM, in that it still runs great with almost 200K miles.) Bicycling is good daily excercise – and excercise improves your overall health massively. All of my science- and evidence-based caregivers have recommended it. A billion ‘supplement’ pills, not so much. I don’t take anything but birth control.

    I love alternative medicine. If I were to get cancer (as my mother did), I would want to know all my alternatives, and the evidence for the benefits and drawbacks to each. Bullshit isn’t an ‘alternative,’ sorry.

  97. #97 dean
    January 19, 2011

    “On Boy’s what?

    As worded this implies they want to put something on Tarzan’s son. Those nasty drug companies are now targeting people who live in nature, not just those who know it can heal. Oh the humanity!

  98. #98 Chris
    January 19, 2011

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    and to that I counter

    “But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”
    Carl Sagan

  99. #99 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 19, 2011

    Some reasons for Gardasil in males:

    Herd immunity – the main source of HPV infection in females is infected males.
    Prevention of ano-genital warts, dysplasia and cancer in males.
    Prevention of upper aerodigestive tract cancers, a substantial proportion of which are HPV-related.

    Why are you a misandrist, Bob?

  100. #100 Mel
    January 19, 2011

    $

  101. #101 Mel
    January 19, 2011

    Ha, not really. But it would have been a shame if nobody followed through on that.

  102. #102 Anon
    January 19, 2011

    Scott, so you think some vaccines are evil, per your 86 post? Freudian slip?

  103. #103 Eugene Mazzoli
    January 19, 2011

    Wow this is great look at it. Wow it’s all good people.

    So many people Great

    Eugene Mazzoli

  104. #104 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    @57 I agree – As Dr Bronner says

    Our brother’s teacher of the Moral ABC, mason-tent-&-sandalmaker Hillel, taught Carpenter Jesus to unite all mankind free! With it, every Human being createdon God’s Spaceship Earth, can evolve united, inspired-raised-trained-skilled-disciplined, guided lightning-like by a new birth! Without it . . . we destroy God’s Spaceship Earth!

  105. #105 Roadstergal
    January 19, 2011

    “But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

    It reminds me of a bit in Douglas Adams’s The Long Dark Teatime Of the Soul – I don’t have the book at hand, but a director of the institute where Odin is staying is telling a hopeful mother that yes, highly gifted children can appear stupid, but stupid children can appear stupid, too.

  106. #106 Fuzzzone
    January 19, 2011

    @MA: so true, but it is also important to remember:

    “The Moral ABC, 6 billion strong, with Essene Birth-Control, a trillion Israel-system fruit trees and “How to Love.” lightning-like uniting all free! All-One! Above! Above. With half-truth, slavery, barbarism gone! Evolving-united, inspired-guided by full-truth, hard work, God’s Law, Eternally One! All-One! All-One!”

  107. #107 Militant Agnostic
    January 19, 2011

    My unhinged comment #98 was a response to #97 not #57

  108. #108 titmouse
    January 19, 2011

    The theocrats seem to have shifted strategies, from trying to convince real doctors that their claims are reasonable to simply overwhelming us all with their presence.

  109. #109 Brett
    January 19, 2011

    A decade ago, he was known for bringing reiki masters into the operating room do their mystical magical gestures during cardiac surgery, the better to channel the healing energy of the “universal source” into his patients before they went onto the cardiopulmonary bypass machine.

    Really? That’s disappointing. I thought the woo was mostly stuff he brought on to boost the ratings alongside the dietary stuff, and that he kept his serious work separate from that. Guess not.

  110. #110 Anonymous
    January 19, 2011

    Dr Oz will be hosting Issam Nemeh on Feb 1? Lovely. Can’t this somehow be considered malpractice?

    Here’s some more background on the guy.
    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/category/issam-nemeh

    Don’t miss the Youtube video “Long Distance Prayer Over Skype With Issam Nemeh, M.D. (News Special)”

  111. #111 Calli Arcale
    January 19, 2011

    Dadicoot:

    Avoid the foods that make you feel like a cripple(industrial dairy and ALL foods with the poison Gluten for starters, and yes HFCS are total crap! don’t be an arrogant idiot!)

    Definitely avoid industrial dairy! Much better to get the dairy that comes out of a cow. ;-)

    And that POISON gluten! Don’t get me started! Yeah, the human civilization was built on that and gluten-containing grains are the oldest-known cultivated plant, but it’s just EEEVIL!!! Shouldn’t use that. If it was good enough for Homo habilis, it’s good enough for us, right?

  112. #112 Bullus Chyttus
    January 20, 2011

    From alexa.com:

    “Based on internet averages, scienceblogs.com is visited more frequently by users who are in the age range 18-24, have no children and browse this site from home.”

    Explains the comments.

  113. #113 Midnight Rambler
    January 20, 2011

    #103 & 106: FWIW, I got into a conversation with a lawyer who used to work for the good Dr. Bronner (first making the soap, and later as an attorney), and according to him all the crazy talk on the bottles was so they could claim religious tax-exempt status for the company. He said his first job after finishing law school was coming back and defending them from the IRS.

  114. #114 adelady
    January 20, 2011

    I’m really disappointed with Oz. I thought he was fan.tas.tic one day on Oprah when my kids were watching. Apparently people often ask him if there’s such a thing as a miracle cream to keep the skin young. Or a good cosmetic surgery procedure to restore skin.

    His answer was Yes! Wear sunscreen every single day. Then you won’t need fancy schmancy cosmetic products or procedures to repair sun damage. And wrinkles and other problems are the result of sun damage. Good on you, I thought.

    Oh well.

  115. #115 Dadicoot
    January 20, 2011

    @Calli Arcale: Please don’t insult my intelligence about nutrition. Did Nature create pasteurized milk that comes from dairy cows that are fed soy & corn and wheat protein instead of the green grass that they are designed to eat by nature? Of course not, that is ridiculous.
    Cultivation of wheat is a very “new” phenomenon on the evolutionary scale. Unless you believe in creationism , you cant consider any food source created by man in the last 5,000 yrs an “oldest” food source. What a joke, you are supposedly an educated(=arrogant) person. Gluten is a protein that is rejected by millions of people as food. Add to that the fact that 99% of the gluten that is in our food chain today in the US is genetically modified to have even more protein(gluten). So just when humans are adapting to the protein in cultivated wheat(and other grains)we double down on the gluten. If mankind “doubled down” on any neurotoxin in our environment and then placed it in the food supply, would that be a good thing? Of course not. The only reason that you or anyone else who has analyzed modern dairy and gluten and still thinks it should be the foundation of our food pyramid is because you want people to be chronically sick so that you can profit from their misery as a modern “healer”. A healer that will use modern pharmaceuticals to further poisen and addict your patients to come back to you again and again to be “healed” by you.
    You are obviously not as amazing as you think you are. I am thankful that my family and my friends and myself are “cured” from ever having to deal with you and your pathetically delusional kind again. Cured by researching our symptoms and then finding food and nutritional supplements that have done what you could never do. “HEAL”someone from disease. Your parking lot is looking more and more empty all the time…..

  116. #116 novalox
    January 20, 2011

    @113
    Yawn, another illogical rant from a troll. I shouldn’t be surprised by now, but the ranting by this guy makes me chuckle.

  117. #117 Militant Agnostic
    January 20, 2011

    Dadicoot – there is nothing more hilarious than a full press tree line luddite using a computer.

    First off regarding dairy – many humans, especially Northern Europeans and East Africans have evolved lactose tolerance – this has happened since the invention of agriculture.

    by avoiding ALL DAIRY/RED MEAT

    Animals that have been a major component of the hunter gather diet for several hundreds of thousands of years are made of red meat.

    Gluten is a protein that is rejected by millions of people as food.

    Out of a population of billions. Math fail.

    And what the fuck is natural about taking an assload of nutritional supplements?

  118. #118 Militant Agnostic
    January 20, 2011

    What is it with whackaloons and ellipses?

    Reading Dadicoots rant makes me wonder how much meth is in those nutritional supplements.

    In his previous rant he mentioned avoiding red meat – I wonder what he thinks deer, elk, bison, antelope wildebeest etc are made out of?

  119. #119 Chainreaction
    January 20, 2011

    There is no way to scientifically prove or disprove something like reiki.

  120. #120 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    All this is just fine but is this Oz guy advocating people not get orthodox medical care? Are people not getting effective, science-based medical care because of his TV stuff?

    There are two issues that really matter in this 1. are people being injured or killed due to their not getting effective medical care, 2. are they being ripped off to a level they can’t afford. Other than that it’s a matter of aesthetic preferences.

    And, as always in this discussion, many, many more people are injured and die from being denied treatment by insurance bureaucrats than are likely to die from listening to Oz.

    Were people charged for having people wave their hands over them? Someone I know had someone come in and offer to do that for nothing. She reports that she suffered no ill effects from that as compared to the helicopter doctors who poked their heads in, did nothing and drove up the bill enormously.

  121. #121 René Najera
    January 20, 2011

    @116 BigPharma Shill -

    Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    I mean, yes, yes there is a way to prove Reiki scientifically. Thanks for playing.

  122. #122 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    I don’t care if someone waves their hands over me as long as that’s all they do and as long as they don’t charge me for it.

  123. #123 sophia8
    January 20, 2011

    “But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”
    Groucho Marx had a similar line in one of the Marx Brothers films; I wish I could find the clip online. From memory it went something like this:
    Groucho: “They said Einstein was mad! They said Marconi was mad! They said Edison was mad! They said my uncle Herbert was mad!”
    Chico: “Hey wait a minute – I ain’t never heard of your uncle Herbert!”
    Groucho: “Aha – that’s because he was mad!”

  124. #124 All for CAM Practices
    January 20, 2011

    Actually, there have been scientific studies which do prove that energy is around us, is in each and every one of us, and does work at a cellular level. Check the NIH (National Institutes of Health) website for more information. And no, Dr. Oz is not advocating utilizing these modalities instead of western medicine. That’s why they are called complementary and integrative.

    Wow. I knew people were still in the dark ages about holistic healing, but I thought we were beyond the Neanderthal stage. True, I would agree that some of the therapies that come out are a little far out. But you have to do research on both the modality and the practitioner. Just as you would your doctor, dentist, hair dresser, accountant, lawyer, computer guru, etc. Be open to other ideas, do your research, and then form an educated opinion.

  125. #125 Dangerous Bacon
    January 20, 2011

    “And, as always in this discussion, many, many more people are injured and die from being denied treatment by insurance bureaucrats than are likely to die from listening to Oz.”

    And as always, exhibiting a concern about one problem does not mean we cannot have concerns about others, one bad thing does not excuse another, “don’t look at that, pay attention to what I want you to” is not a viable debate strategy, etc.

    Oh, and the concept of dairy cows eating what nature intended is pretty ludicrous, since the whole idea of dairy cows bred to do what they do (and humans consuming the product) is unnatural to begin with.

    And at the end of the day, more people will make bad health choices because of Dr. Oz’s propensity for woo.

  126. #126 J. J. Ramsey
    January 20, 2011

    Anthony McCarthy:

    There are two issues that really matter in this 1. are people being injured or killed due to their not getting effective medical care, 2. are they being ripped off to a level they can’t afford.

    Trouble is, both 1 and 2 are problems. Dr. Oz being sympathetic to anti-vaxxers certainly hits on point 1. As for point 2, that depends on how far people take Oz’s bad advice. Orac has pointed out a fundraiser for a child with autism whose caretakers were spending $800 to $1000 per month on homeopathy. So yes, people can get ripped off to a level that they can’t afford, or at least to a level that’s difficult to afford.

    And, as always in this discussion, many, many more people are injured and die from being denied treatment by insurance bureaucrats than are likely to die from listening to Oz.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. Yes, it’s bad that insurance companies are doing wrong by their customers, but that doesn’t make what Oz is doing any less bad.

  127. #127 René Najera
    January 20, 2011

    Actually, there have been scientific studies which do prove that energy is around us, is in each and every one of us, and does work at a cellular level.

    Wow! What a truism! Here, try mine:

    Actually, there have been scientific studies which do prove that water is around is, is in each and every one of us, and does work at a cellular level.

    Thus, water is magical!

  128. #128 Todd W.
    January 20, 2011

    @All for CAM Practices

    Actually, there have been scientific studies which do prove that energy is around us, is in each and every one of us, and does work at a cellular level. Check the NIH (National Institutes of Health) website for more information.

    Can you provide a link to the relevant page/studies? Show us what you are using as a basis for your beliefs to avoid us looking at some unrelated text.

  129. #129 Lawrence
    January 20, 2011

    Actually, I thought the Dark Ages consisted of us believing in spirits & magic, cutting people open to release the “bad” blood, and blaming Jews for the Black Death…..(or killing all the cats because, well, cats were supposedly evil or something).

  130. #130 Scott
    January 20, 2011

    Actually, there have been scientific studies which do prove that energy is around us, is in each and every one of us, and does work at a cellular level. Check the NIH (National Institutes of Health) website for more information.

    Specific links please.

    And no, Dr. Oz is not advocating utilizing these modalities instead of western medicine. That’s why they are called complementary and integrative.

    Oh yes he is. Check out some of Mercola’s website – he’s very much anti-real-medicine. Replacement, not addition. And Oz endorses him, so YES Oz is advocating replacing real medicine with garbage that is at best worthless and often directly harmful.

    Wow. I knew people were still in the dark ages about holistic healing, but I thought we were beyond the Neanderthal stage. True, I would agree that some of the therapies that come out are a little far out. But you have to do research on both the modality and the practitioner. Just as you would your doctor, dentist, hair dresser, accountant, lawyer, computer guru, etc. Be open to other ideas, do your research, and then form an educated opinion.

    First of all, real medicine is holistic. The claims that it isn’t, or that doctors ignore the benefits of diet and exercise, and other common accusations along those lines, are flat-out lies. Doctors DO consider the patient’s entire clinical condition, they DO advocate eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise, and they do NOT (in general, though there are some regrettable exceptions) prescribe drugs when not needed or when lifestyle interventions would be more effective.

    Beyond that, how about you present some evidence that some practitioner, of some sCAM modality, is legitimate and effective? Let’s just start with one, to make things easy on you.

  131. #131 plutosdad
    January 20, 2011

    It is so sad, because what laypeople really do need is more education, and a doctor who is a good speaker and really wants to help people, like Dr. Oz, should be providing it and helping people stay away from woo and con artists. A show like his could help a lot of people. But instead he contributes to the problem. For all the good he does he undermines it with this crap.

    It’s sad so many shows keep devolving to woo.

  132. #132 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    JJR, I quickly skimmed the post and didn’t see anything about this Dr. Oz. Does he endorse homeopathy?

    As for judging the level harm that is done by what he does do as compared to the insurance industry in the U.S., I’d have to see some real evidence but I doubt Dr. Oz is responsible for between 30,000 and 40,000 deaths a year. I do know people who turn to “alternative medicine” because they can’t get conventional treatment, not until they’re bad enough to have to be treated in an emergency room. Often after it’s far too late in exactly the way it might be if an affluent person chose “woo” instead of science based medicine.

    Lawrence, take a good look at the 20th century, the century of genocides far, far more effective than those of any century during the “dark ages”. The Nazis used “science” to commit genocide, Stalinism and other alleged communist regimes that carried out genocides cited “scientific materialism, dialectal materialism” etc. The United States in S.E. Asia and Latin America killed millions of people, not once citing any of the things you mention. We’ve only become more efficient at killing each other as we’ve become more sciency. The evidence I see shows that “science” is a more effective excuse for killing lots of people.

    You people need to figure out if you’re more interested in historical accuracy than you are in ideological polemics. I’d encourage accuracy, it’s more accurate.

  133. #133 Calli Arcale
    January 20, 2011

    Dadicoot @ 113:

    @Calli Arcale: Please don’t insult my intelligence about nutrition.

    *snerk*

    Did Nature create pasteurized milk that comes from dairy cows that are fed soy & corn and wheat protein instead of the green grass that they are designed to eat by nature? Of course not, that is ridiculous.

    Dairy cows aren’t designed by Nature to eat grass. They’re not designed by nature, period. Perhaps you would prefer we only drink raw milk obtained from wild aurochs? How do you feel about goat’s milk?

    Cultivation of wheat is a very “new” phenomenon on the evolutionary scale. Unless you believe in creationism , you cant consider any food source created by man in the last 5,000 yrs an “oldest” food source.

    You completely missed my point; cultivation of *anything* is a very new phenomenon, evolutionarily speaking, yet the actual existence of you and me depends on the cultivation of food. Our species evolved prior to cultivation, but it didn’t become really successful until it did — and our species, the only hominid to cultivate food, is the only one still alive today. The others are all extinct. Wanna keep arguing that non-wild food is bad? The great starches: wheat, barley, oats, rice, corn, and potatoes. These are why we have a civilization capable of producing the Internet, allowing us to have this very conversation right now.

    What a joke, you are supposedly an educated(=arrogant) person.

    I think you are pretty good evidence that arrogance is not equivalent to education.

    Your parking lot is looking more and more empty all the time…..

    What does that even mean? Do you think I’m a doctor or something? I’m not. I’m a software engineer.

  134. #134 Militant Agnostic
    January 20, 2011

    @121
    Energy – you keep using that word but I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Reiki is supposed to work over the phone – explain the mechanism for that please. Also, we are still waiting for those studies of which we speak.

  135. #135 Calli Arcale
    January 20, 2011

    Oh, I forgot one thing. If you’re trying to eat in a manner which is evolutionarily ancient, why stop at eliminating wheat? Have you eliminated corn (not just HFCS but all corn)? What about rice? Will you eat that?

    And what about this newfangled “cooking”? That only goes back about a quarter of a million years to two million years ago (depending on who you ask), and it *changed* us. We bred *ourselves* to it. Isn’t that pretty damn unnatural? If it was good enough for Australopithecus afarensis, it’s good enough for us, right?

  136. #136 Militant Agnostic
    January 20, 2011

    Do you think I’m a doctor or something? I’m not. I’m a software engineer.

    I hold you and your ilk personally responsible for the presence of idiots like Dadicoot on the internet. :)

  137. #137 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    Agnostic, talk therapy is supposed to work, explain the mechanism for that. And I’ve never heard of a hand waver charging three figures an hour to do what they do. There are all kinds of psychiatric and psychological practices that have no, real evidence in their favor.

    Has there ever been a formal study of this apparently innocuous practice that shows people have been harmed by it? I can understand that it offends the tender sensibilities of conventional materialists -and there are few people more conventional than “skeptical” materialists – but that’s insufficient for science.

    I doubt there’s anything to it but I also doubt there’s any real harm to it.

    Are you proposing that it be outlawed? I’d have no problem with outlawing it or regulating it if you could demonstrate actual harm. I wouldn’t have any trouble with regulating it even without that demonstration.

    In the post above Orac more or less says that peer reviewers are too busy to look at the data in the studies they endorse, I’m wondering how he figures he’s going to have the time to go after innocuous practices that don’t hurt anyone.

  138. #138 Scott
    January 20, 2011

    @ McCarthy:

    The most basic thing demanded around here is that reiki (and others) simply be held to the same standard as all other commerce. That is, you can’t tell lies in order to get people to pay you for something.

    Preferably held to the same standard as real medicine; before you can claim to be able to do something you must provide affirmative proof that you indeed can do so safely and effectively. That’s a higher bar.

    Nobody’s advocating outlawing it.

  139. #139 Todd W.
    January 20, 2011

    @Anthony McCarthy

    Not studies, but illustrative examples, nonetheless: What’s the harm?

    The other categories on that site are equally interesting to peruse.

  140. #140 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    Scott, if money or things of value aren’t being asked for in exchange for services, it isn’t commerce. If it is being charged for I’d have no problem with it being regulated.

    You might want to look at the range of psychiatric and psychological treatment in the past that was permitted that was far more damaging than someone waving their hands over someone. Not to mention conventional medical procedures of “real medicine” that are abandoned due to their being unsafe or ineffective. I’d rather have someone wave their hands over me than perform a mighty serious operation to correct “ptosis of the organs”.

    Todd W, you know if it was something Orac and his fans didn’t like that the first thing they would say about the kind of thing you link to @136 is something like testimony not being evidence. Though, as most people do, when it’s something you like, “that’s different”. I don’t take anything that “skeptics” and their allies say without reviewing it very skeptically.

  141. #141 Todd W.
    January 20, 2011

    @Anthony McCarthy

    Hence, my caveat “not studies”. And, if you actually follow the links there, you will see things like this news story. Or this one. These two illustrate that individuals who believed that something like faith healing (of which, reiki is a subset) worked, opted for that faith healing in place of proper medicine and paid for that choice pretty heftily.

  142. #142 Scott
    January 20, 2011

    Scott, if money or things of value aren’t being asked for in exchange for services, it isn’t commerce. If it is being charged for I’d have no problem with it being regulated.

    This is akin to saying, “well, if 1+1=2, then it might be a concern.” YES they charge for their services; it’s a business!

    You might want to look at the range of psychiatric and psychological treatment in the past that was permitted that was far more damaging than someone waving their hands over someone. Not to mention conventional medical procedures of “real medicine” that are abandoned due to their being unsafe or ineffective. I’d rather have someone wave their hands over me than perform a mighty serious operation to correct “ptosis of the organs”.

    No real relevance to any of that. Yes, there have been harmful practices used by doctors in the past. There are undoubtedly some still in use where we don’t yet fully recognize the dangers. And mistakes are made, to boot.

    But not a single one of those facts provides the faintest shred of justification for reiki.

    Todd W, you know if it was something Orac and his fans didn’t like that the first thing they would say about the kind of thing you link to @136 is something like testimony not being evidence. Though, as most people do, when it’s something you like, “that’s different”. I don’t take anything that “skeptics” and their allies say without reviewing it very skeptically.

    Can you provide any examples of such? If not, then you shouldn’t go making groundless accusations.

  143. #143 Militant Agnostic
    January 20, 2011

    Scott, if money or things of value aren’t being asked for in exchange for services, it isn’t commerce. If it is being charged for I’d have no problem with it being regulated.

    Reiki practitioners normally charge for their services. In fact one of the principles of Reiki is that there should be “an exchange”. They are also trying to get their woo paid for by the public purse by sneaking it into hospitals. Giving Reiki false legitimacy also results in “knowledge displacement amongst medical professionals. If a nurse can get CE credits for Reiki training that is a nurse who is learning something useless in time that they could be learning something useful. Reiki is also a gate way woo to fuzzy thinking.

  144. #144 Todd W.
    January 20, 2011

    @Scott

    Admittedly, what I posted are anecdotes, but I have a post in moderation that will address that concern.

    @MA

    The CE credit is important. I know of at least one major hospital that offers CME credit for reiki training.

  145. #145 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    This is akin to saying, “well, if 1+1=2, then it might be a concern.” YES they charge for their services; it’s a business!

    Only if a particular one charges for it. There are ones around here who don’t. I don’t have any trouble regulating commercial activities, I’m in favor of lots of regulation of commercial activity.

    No real relevance to any of that. Yes, there have been harmful practices used by doctors in the past. There are undoubtedly some still in use where we don’t yet fully recognize the dangers. And mistakes are made, to boot.

    But not a single one of those facts provides the faintest shred of justification for reiki.

    First, I didn’t justify reiki, I said it was innocuous unless those who did it were discouraging conventional, scientific, treatment in any specific case or as a practice. In that case, they should be judged for endangering peoples’ lives (as should insurance bureaucrats and others who do it every single day).

    As for the relevance of the abominable things that have been and are done by medicine, that depends on your motives. Mine are to look at harmful practices. I figure, short of those, what adults do and what done is no ones’ business but their own.

    Militant Agnostic, it would depend on what is meant by “exchange” in actual practice. If it’s not of something that has some commercial value, it’s not commerce.

    “The gate way to….”

    Someone I know got rekied in the hospital, for the first and last time, while she was recuperating from an operation. Does that make conventional medicine her “gate way” into “fuzzy thinking”?

    As for fuzzy thinking, your side isn’t any slouch when it comes to that kind of stuff, either. “Woo” is an essentially fuzzy concept that, obviously, can mean whatever the user wants it to mean. “Skepticism”, too.

    If I ever retire I’m going to study organized skepticism as an emotional force. It’s a lot like teabaggers, in that.

  146. #146 Vicki
    January 20, 2011

    Time is also an issue. Most doctors don’t have enough time to spend with their patients. Many hospital nurses are overburdened.

    A doctor who takes time out of a too-brief appointment to promote reiki or other woo is a doctor who isn’t taking that time to say “Is there anything else bothering you?” or to ask whether the patient is exercising and listen to the answer. Sometimes “no” is just no, and sometimes it’s “no, I want to but my leg hurts” or “I was jogging, but I keep getting out of breath,” and the patient hadn’t mentioned that symptom because they came in for something else.

    A nurse who is spending time on reiki, again, is a nurse who isn’t spending that time on useful patient care.

  147. #147 Dangerous Bacon
    January 20, 2011

    Anthony McCarthy: “The Nazis used “science” to commit genocide, Stalinism and other alleged communist regimes that carried out genocides cited “scientific materialism”

    So, Dr. Oz is all that’s standing between us and the dark night of Nazi and Stalinist oppression?

    Godwin squared = bad argument.

    You people need to figure out if you’re more interested in historical accuracy than you are in ideological polemics.”

    Another irony meter busted to hell. To what address do I send my bill for a replacement?

  148. #148 Denice Walter
    January 20, 2011

    @ Dangerous Bacon : due to the type of material I survey, I’ve long since abandoned using *actual* irony meters ( too many, too frequent, too costly, too messy ) and replaced them with guess-timation on a 7-point scale.

  149. #149 Militant Agnostic
    January 20, 2011

    Someone I know got rekied in the hospital, for the first and last time, while she was recuperating from an operation. Does that make conventional medicine her “gate way” into “fuzzy thinking”?

    Yes in this case it does – that is why I object to “integrative” medicine. Perhaps that person did not go onto woo, but putting reiki into the hospital setting gives it a false credibility. How do you know the person doing the reiki wasn’t paid by the hospital?

    Re Stalin and “scientific materialism” – just because something has science on the label doesn’t mean it has science on the inside. Lysenko anyone?

    Also – what DB said.

  150. #150 Chris
    January 20, 2011

    Some/ most of Alternative medicine may be placebo effect- but at least my brain hasn’t been damaged as it was by the conventional medication Lyrica. Placebo or *actual* medicine does it matter if the end result is the same- healing? And if there are fewer side effects I’ll take the more natural route (well-researched OF COURSE-my mistake with the Lyrica was trusting in modern medicine while forgetting the greed factor) every time. My children get melting pills (homeopathic tablets) when they are ill because it makes them feel like they are *being treated* and they do often feel better and I did not have to poison them with OTC meds that are hazardous- just look at all of the recalls and unfortunate deaths. So we get through almost all childhood illnesses with *no* medicine because we use the power of the mind!! to help us heal.
    Using your common sense and BS meter is important

  151. #151 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 20, 2011

    The evidence I see shows that “science” is a more effective excuse for killing lots of people.

    Ben Stein, is that you?

    Of course, the Japanese, inventors of Reiki, never indulged in such behaviour.

    Anthony, your answer to the unfortunate use of unscientific practices in mainstream medicine (psychonalysis, ineffective drugs, fake conditions such as “ptosis of the organs”) appears to be; “Hey, let’s use LESS science!”.

  152. #152 Calli Arcale
    January 20, 2011

    Chris @ 146:

    Some/ most of Alternative medicine may be placebo effect- but at least my brain hasn’t been damaged as it was by the conventional medication Lyrica. Placebo or *actual* medicine does it matter if the end result is the same- healing?

    That’s an interesting ethical question; I’m not sure there’s a clear answer to it. One problem with placebos as treatment is the question of what happens if/when the patient discovers that it’s a placebo.

    But I tend to be more worried about whether or not the end result really is the same. Is the person better, or do they just think they’re better? For some disorders, the distinction may not be important, but for others (cancer, heart disease, AIDS) the distinction is extremely important.

    I do think a lot of psychoactive drugs are overprescribed, and they tend to have ugly side effects, but for some people there are no better options. As with all drugs, it is best if you don’t need them, but if you *do* need them, that’s a different story altogether, and we need to not forget that.

  153. #153 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 20, 2011

    @146 – So why bother buying the actual homeopathic “medicine”? Take an empty medicine bottle, wash it thoroughly, and fill it with Tic Tacs. I’m guessing you’ll save money.

  154. #154 Chris
    January 20, 2011

    Chris:

    My children get melting pills (homeopathic tablets) when they are ill because it makes them feel like they are *being treated* and they do often feel better and I did not have to poison them with OTC meds that are hazardous- just look at all of the recalls and unfortunate deaths.

    Do you do this if they have a high fever? Wouldn’t a lukewarm bath be better than sugar pills? How would you treat a strep infection?

    My oldest son had infantile seizures. Would you treat that with homeopathy?

  155. #155 Dangerous Bacon
    January 20, 2011

    AM’s reference to abuses of science by Nazis and Stalin made me think of Winston Churchill’s 1940 speech in which he said

    “…But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”

    I don’t think he was referring to evidence-based medicine.

    Before we get hung up about science being fascist (or whatever the point was supposed to be), let’s remember that Hitler was heavily into astrology, and maintained one or more staff astrologers to advise him. He also had a personal quack physician who fed him a ton of supplements, smoe quite toxic.

    Godwin cuts both ways.

    For the poster who took Lyrica – assuming this was for fibromyalgia (the major indication for which it’s marketed these days), many physicians would agree that putting someone on a potentially hazardous drug for a condition as debatable as fibromyalgia is not a good idea. You’d have no trouble finding MDs with suggestions for non-drug therapies.

  156. #156 Enkidu
    January 20, 2011

    All I know is, two drugs changed my life for the extreme better, and this was after I tried various non-drug approaches. As a grad student I would pass out almost every time I had to give a talk. After years of struggling with this, and wondering how I’d ever survive out in the real world if I couldn’t get through a major part of my job, a physician/ scientist that saw what I was going through told me to stop “fighting my body.” Nothing I was doing was keeping me from fainting, but he prescribed for me a drug that would block the chemical cascade my body went through at the start of every speech. It worked like a charm, and I haven’t passed out since. I actually look forward to giving talk now!

    The second drug I have to thank the manufacturers for is one I take for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Talk about an embarrassing, life-altering affliction. I tried diets, anti-spasmatics, yoga, nothing helped. My daily life was a shambles, I could barely function unless I starved myself (ANY food or drink was a potential trigger, even benign things like water and bananas). Numerous doctors I went to told me there was nothing they could do; finally a friend recommended a new doctor who prescribed an anti-depressant of all things (he said it sounds like I had a chemical imbalance, and he was right on). Even at the lowest dose I found relief, and now I can eat anything, any time, anywhere.

    Point is: drugs are great when prescribed responsibly. Sometimes, your body just CAN’T do what it is supposed to do and needs a little help.

  157. #157 David44
    January 20, 2011

    ‘the “dangers of high fructose corn syrup” (which is not nearly as dangerous as Mercola would have you believe’

    I completely share your view of Mercola, but I think “HFCS is probably no more dangerous than other sweetners” might be a better way of stating this. They are all potentially unhealthy if consumed in excess.

  158. #158 David44
    January 20, 2011

    oops, “sweetEners”

  159. #159 René Najera
    January 20, 2011

    Silly people, it’s not HFCS anymore. It’s “corn sugar.” Geez!

  160. #160 Ab_Normal
    January 20, 2011

    As a real, live, honest to ghu diagnosed celiac, I’m grateful that the woosters have made gluten one of their pet issues — more food for me!

    Otherwise, feh, gimme science.

  161. #161 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    So, Dr. Oz is all that’s standing between us and the dark night of Nazi and Stalinist oppression? Dangerous Bacon

    And here we have a prime specimen of the inability of “skeptics” to argue on the basis of what was actually said instead of what they’d rather their critics to have said. You, Bacon, are no Bacon. If you want to argue with me, try again.

  162. #162 marcia
    January 20, 2011

    The comments sections of blogs become almost unreadable anytime one blogs about celebrities. Oz’s movement to the dark side sure brings out the inane.

    “I’ve had great success being a total idiot.”
    Jerry Lewis

    Dr. Oz…exactly.

  163. #163 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    Ben Stein, is that you?

    Of course, the Japanese, inventors of Reiki, never indulged in such behaviour.

    Anthony, your answer to the unfortunate use of unscientific practices in mainstream medicine (psychonalysis, ineffective drugs, fake conditions such as “ptosis of the organs”) appears to be; “Hey, let’s use LESS science!”.

    T. Bruce McKneely

    Proud of your boys, Orac? Proud of their reasoning abilities and honesty?

    TBM, you familiar with the science done by the Japanese imperial government on human subjects? That would be science, as in using them like lab animals in a way quite in line with the common practices of science by scientists who had legitimate degrees from universities?

    The result of this bargain in the long run has been catastrophic. War criminals, free to resume their pre-war careers, dominated Japanese medicine and scientific research for a generation. These killers of innocent humans rose to be Presidents of Universities, Deans of Medical Schools, outstanding research professors whose scholarly research attracted world attention and praise in the scientific community. Many of the graduates of Unit 731 and the other Units controlled the Ministry of Health and its agencies such as the National Institute of Health (NIH). Former members of Unit 731 dominated the Board of The Japan Medical Society (the JMA) for many years. Other war criminals, such as Naito Ryoichi and Kitano Masaji, formed important pharmaceutical companies. http://www.vcn.bc.ca/alpha/speech/Harris.htm

    Reminds me of nothing so much as the case of Fritz Haber who, as he should have been standing trial for his participation in gas warfare in WWI was rewarded, instead, with the Nobel in Chemistry.

    In your assertion that all Japanese are responsible for the crimes committed by the imperial government is nothing short of racist, vicarious blame. Are you aware of anyone who had anything to do with the invention of reiki who committed atrocities in the invasion of China and other places? I never looked at it before now but what I see online doesn’t seem to yield any promising leads in your direction.

    As I asked, Orac, are you proud of the level of argument that your fans engage in?

  164. #164 Luna_the_cat
    January 20, 2011

    @Anthony McCarthy –

    Perhaps you misunderstood Dangerous Bacon’s purpose. Personally, I don’t think Bacon arguing with you. I think Bacon is making fun of you, and pointing out how ludicrous your ‘argument’ is in the first instance.

    And that has worked remarkably well.

  165. #165 Anthony McCarthy
    January 20, 2011

    Luna, tell me, what’s the argument I made? Go ahead, lay it out.

    Didn’t think you could.

  166. #166 J. J. Ramsey
    January 20, 2011

    Anthony McCarthy: “JJR, I quickly skimmed the post and didn’t see anything about this Dr. Oz. Does he endorse homeopathy?”

    I was speaking more about the dangers of adopting alternative “therapy,” but it turns out that, yes, he does. To be fair, when he recommends it for headaches, he covers his rear by saying homeopathy should be considered as an adjunct therapy once one is “sure that the headache is not a sign of serious disorder,” but there is the danger that his viewers will remember the endorsement of homeopathy — which is poor medical practice in and of itself — and forget his caveats.

    “Luna, tell me, what’s the argument I made? Go ahead, lay it out.”

    I’m not Luna, but I don’t see much of an argument at all. We have Lawrence saying that the “Dark Ages” were a time with lousy medical ideas based more or less on magical thinking, and you responded with a couple non sequiturs: one about Nazis, Stalinists, and other using fallacious appeals to “science” as excuses for genocide, and one about science helping us become more efficient at killing each other.

  167. #167 Dangerous Bacon
    January 20, 2011

    I don’t think arguing with Anthony is possible. We can only stand in awe of his arsenal of metaphors.

    Nazis, Stalinists, Unit 731, insurance companies, the entire modern cavalcade of Evil, all sharing one common theme – being science-based.

    Woo is not the Dark Side – it is Light.

    We must have Woo to shield us from our own brains, because when we use them, Bad Things happen.

    Thanks for sharing, Anthony.

  168. #168 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 20, 2011

    Anthony:

    Simply put, science is a tool that can be used for good or bad. Kind of like a hammer – you can build a house with it, or whack someone on the head.

    Lots of people have died for the sake of nutty unscientific ideas, too. Religious wars, for example.

    The problem with sanctioning unscientific practices like Reiki in a hospital is that it leaves things open for other unscientific practices that may be harmful.

    Anyway, my comment about Japanese atrocities was a bit of snark that I did not think through. I regret it for the content, not the snark. Perhaps, in exchange, you could reconsider your channeling of Ben Stein.

  169. #169 Pareidolius
    January 21, 2011

    MESSAGE BEGINS——————-

    Shills and Minions,
    Time to spring once again into action! This “Bob” and “Dadicoot” are clearly onto us. They may be incapable of constructing a coherent sentence, and rudimentary grammar and syllogisms may be beyond their grasp, but never underestimate the minions of Oz. They have evidently discovered one of our most nefarious secrets: education and intelligence = arrogance! How did such simpletons stumble across this, our most closely guarded, eeeeeeeevil secret? On top of this they also know about our monkey stupefying MkVII Sooper Glootin™! Made by PharmaCom Orbital’s award winning team of Vat Techs to aid in the subjugation and enslavement of the humans, this deadly glop has been making people sicker and less intelligent for more than 8,000 years. We must stop these rebels at once before our parking lots are empty! Wait, Cindy reminds me that we don’t have a parking lot, we have a docking bay and it’s full at the present time. But not for long! I shall dispatch Obsidian units forthwith to pick up these troublesome monkeys for envatting and cloning. Perhaps they will make useful practice drones when we are through with them. We must prevent them from finding out about “energy” at all cost. Once that’s out in the open, they won’t need our delicious, debilitating drugs and we’ll lose the planet to the rebels!

    I am also concerned about this “Anthony.” His smooth, vast intellect seems to know no bounds, if I didn’t know better I’d swear he was a Helotroban Red Veil philosopher. Pull it together Shills! He’s making mincemeat of you out there. He’s clearly onto the fact that “science = eeeeeevil!” Soon, he’ll be on Oprah, spreading the word and our vast Tri-Lateral, Illuminati, PharmaReptiloid Conspiracy of Evil Science™ In The Name Of The Man will be unveiled and what happens then? No more shills and minions for one. The great money-dispensing PharmaTeat shall dry up and you’ll have to buy your own iPods and Dolce & Gabbana goatskin gaucho pants. No more company picnics. No more Christmas sing-alongs with the hatchlings. Your Glaxxon Overlords shall have to withdraw from this world and what then? It will revert to the natural, energetic paradise of love, peace and perfect health that it used to be before we arrived with our allopathic drugs and vaccines. Our telephones and transistors and microwaves and computer boxes shall be a thing of the past! Is that what you want?

    I didn’t think that was the case. So then go forth and defeat the rebels with science and, only if absolutely necessary, mockery. If all that fails, I’ll send down Obsidian units and hatchlings to finish the job.

    On other PharmaCom business, the indispensable Cindy has convinced me that participating in social media would more . . . “approachable.” So I have grudgingly joined the Facebooks and you may “friend” me. Personally I wish they had a “fear” button, but as the hatchlings say “whatever.”

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    
PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    
0010101101001
    —————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

  170. #170 Anthony McCarthy
    January 21, 2011

    JJR, since I’ve got some respect for you I’ll address what you said first. The arguments I started out with are:

    1. If someone isn’t encouraging or preventing someone from receiving science-based medical care then their advocating something truly innocuous, like this hand waving, in addition to it isn’t doing anything wrong. You’re worried about the possibility of someone seeking only the “alternative treatment”, well, that’s possible but it’s less likely if they can get both that and science-based treatment. Though individual instances will vary. I notice in your example of this Oz guy advocating homeopathy for headaches, IF IT’S, FIRST, BEEN DETERMINED THAT THERE ISN’T ANY SERIOUS UNDERLYING CONDITION, would probably fit into that. I don’t know about where you are but here there are MDs who give their patients sugar pills in that instance. If the ridiculously diluted pills aren’t dangerous in themselves, I don’t see any difference between those and “therapeutic placebos”

    2. That if the “treatment” is innocuous and the practitioner isn’t discouraging effective treatment then the only issue is whether or not they are gouging those they “treat”. However, that isn’t a problem only of unconventional treatments but is common practice in the conventional medical industry. I don’t know if you’re aware of practices, here, such as charging outrageous amounts to hospital bills for administering a couple of aspirins or for a doctor who pokes his head in a hospital room for a minute, but it’s widespread here. I advocate strict regulation of all of this stuff, as I said.

    3. Tens of thousands of people in the United States die every year due to an inability to get treatment but it’s the insurance and conventional medical industries that are responsible for their deaths, not some kind of innocuous “woo”.

    You will notice that I advocated the regulation of all of it, I’d have no problem with prosecuting people who encourage people to not get treatment, including those in the insurance and medical industries.

    Other than that, the rest of it was in response to the Oracites who don’t seem to be able to digest anything but their usual diet of “woo” and the house brew of response to it. @167 seems to complain that I’ve read a thing or two and made the effort to understand it. Well, gee, sorry for trying to know what I’m talking about. That used to be considered inoffensive, at least.

    The side argument, that science has as checkered a history as any other part of human culture, is undeniable and made in response to a couple of different romantics of science. Well, I’m too skeptical to not notice piles of bodies and I don’t cover them up. Science does have the effect of enhancing peoples’ effectiveness in doing what they want to. That can make it dangerous if what is done is malignant.

  171. #171 Anthony McCarthy
    January 21, 2011

    Dangerous Bacon, where did I say that “woo” was the light?

    I don’t tend to a Manichean view of life, though I can tell dim bulbs when I see them.

  172. #172 Becky
    January 21, 2011

    Dr. Nemeh is a quack! A friend of mine who suffered from back pain went to him. The doctors office cancelled the appt. many times and the eventual appt. was for 2:00AM, yep AM. The doctor wants CASH, but will take checks.
    Apparently there was a news story about him and the Dr. was very busy taking peoples money!
    Anyway, my friend went and the “DR” tried to use some type of healing with a car radio antenna! My friend asked the Dr., Is that a car radio antenna?” and the Dr. replied, “Yes.” My friend was outta there and he stopped payment on the check too!

  173. #173 purenoiz
    January 21, 2011

    Off topic

    Anthony McCarthy @163

    I can sum up the argument you started off with. You didn’t have one. At least not a well defined one, I hate to guess at what you meant by aesthetic preferences, only in as much as I hate to mis-interpret comments that could be interpreted by the reader. So on to your argument(?).

    You asked questions

    All this is just fine but is this Oz guy advocating people not get orthodox medical care? Are people not getting effective, science-based medical care because of his TV stuff?
    There are two issues that really matter in this 1. are people being injured or killed due to their not getting effective medical care, 2. are they being ripped off to a level they can’t afford. Other than that it’s a matter of aesthetic preferences.

    Are you arguing that it is ok with you for Oz to promote anything, and I do mean anything, as long as it doesn’t interfere with them getting appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment? Well how do we measure that? By point #2 it sounds like if point #1 isn’t violated, then they are fair game, up to a point? Or do you mean what you said after that, which is reiki should be done for free?

    What about Mercola and his crappy supplements, those don’t fit into the second part of your argument, but they are they a big part of what Orac’s post was about.

    You then tried to change the subject. This blog isn’t about the insurance industry, it is about science based medicine. It is not about the historical application of science, nor the current broken system of payment for services rendered. Changing the subject actually weakens your argument. In effect you say nothing and then say now look over here, now look over there, now look up, look down. Proving nothing along the way except you are as slippery as an eel. Though in the end you did finally bring your points together into a nice cohesive point.

    One side note on what you said, it is exactly because of the atrocities committed by certain individuals that their are medical practice and research guidelines on what you can and can’t do with humans.

    Also, when you play apologist for woo, even accidentally, don’t get mad that people respond unkindly to it. I was taken back by the hostility when I first arrived here, and then I saw just how incredulous and stupid the arguments being made by the wooful were, I learned that they have tried to get Orac and others fired from their jobs for having an opinion that doesn’t mesh with theirs. And yes, Bacon and others can by insulting, and fall victim to straw man arguments. Here is an analogy, if you defend the rights of hate groups to practice free speech, one would assume that you are sympathetic to their case, until you pull out your ACLU card, and show them the work you have done for all idiots to have a chance to stay idiotic things. If you don’t want to get lumped in with the woo meisters, distinguish yourself very clearly as not being one of them. Something you did not do, and still have not done, by arguing straw man false equivalencies (MD’s with aspirin to reiki costs).

  174. #174 DW
    January 21, 2011

    My dearest Lord Draconis,

    Let me assure you that your shills and minions have been working more industriously ( and surrepticiously) than ever- especially here @ RI- first, our benvolent and esteemed host( in his inimitable manner) slyly draws them out and then, our accomplished interrogators( disguised as commenters) lightly spar with them, in order to increase the rebels’ confidence in their own skills as well as their visiblity to the Watchers, who then summon the dispatchers for the Obsidians.

    I myself have been acquiring lovely new properties as well as eager new grads to serve you, Your Scaly Majesty. BTW, whatever makes you think that you’re “unapproachable”? I have never met a *more* approachable and sociable despot- why you even *sing* at parties! ( And well, I might add!) Never doubt your profound and relevant abilities- on *any* world.

    On a lighter note, while D&G are _certainly_ creative,(Gaucho pants? seriously.) they’re *not* for me- and I am very happy with whatever Karl sends. I am reminded of the old Illuminati saying: ” Those who resemble, assemble.”

    Yours in delighted service, in awe and wonder beyond the capacity of paltry humanoid wordsystems to purvey, etc., DW

  175. #175 Anthony McCarthy
    January 21, 2011

    purnoiz, I’m only responsible for saying what I said, not for things you’d rather I’d said so you can knock them down.

    I’m never surprised to find that gross level of categorical thinking on the part of the “skeptics”. It’s what they do. Sorry I can’t oblige you by fitting into your categories.

  176. #176 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 21, 2011
  177. #177 purenoiz
    January 21, 2011

    Given you walk into the middle of a conversation, having admitted you don’t know what it’s about, and then spew random garbage, I would say you are possibly the smartest idiot in the room.

    I want to know what the point of your first comment was?

  178. #178 Pareidolius
    January 21, 2011

    Skeptics in scare quotes. Burn on us.

  179. #179 Anthony McCarthy
    January 21, 2011

    Ok, parididoiius, how do you like pseudoskeptics, instead. I assume you’ve read Marcello Truzzi.

    http://www.anomalist.com/commentaries/pseudo.html

    In truth, I doubt very much that you’ve read Marcello Truzzi or much of anyone else. I wonder what he’d make of this discussion.

    Purnoiz, I came into this at comment 119. You can see what I said there, it’s really not very startling. Pretty much that if it isn’t hurting anyone what people do is their own business.

  180. #180 J. J. Ramsey
    January 21, 2011

    I don’t think that citing Marcello Truzzi really helps you, Mr. McCarthy.

  181. #181 Anthony McCarthy
    January 21, 2011

    JJR, why not? Because the other CSICOPs threw him out of the club when he wanted to be impartial and take a scholarly approach? Considering what they were up to at the time (see sTARBABT) I’d think he was lucky to get sandbagged by them before that debacle happened.

    Organized skepticism is a rigid orthodoxy that not only knows what they’re supposed to believe but what everyone else is allowed to believe, as well. It is pretty much a fraud.

  182. #182 Pareidolius
    January 21, 2011

    “I assume you’ve read Marcello Truzzi.”

    My goodness, for the full effect that line really needs to be read aloud while imitating Margaret Dumont, or at least in one’s best Shakespearean high-dudgeon.

    And no, no I haven’t read Marcello Truzzi. I guess I just prefer snarky know-it-all wankers like us to pompous, humorless know-it-all wankers like you.

  183. #183 dadicoot
    January 21, 2011

    I’m back, I know my fans on this blog missed me (especially the ones who think I am an idiot) I love it. Anyways, I have never watched Dr Oz or even heard of Dr Mercola before I stumbled upon that one episode that aired the other day. I was impressed to actually see a mainstream show that see’s things in a similar way as I do. I am very impressed with the obviously intelligent/educated blogger’s here on ORAC. But hey why knock something that you haven’t tried yourself? Go a month without eating any wheat or dairy based foods and see how you feel. Enjoy a hemp protein/milk berry banana smoothie in the morning. Just eat some fish or chicken for lunch with some raisins or grapes(with seeds if you can find them). When you get home make a juice with some apple, spinach, carrots & a pinch of ginger(yum). Make dinner light with some more poultry or fish and some veggies. Or a nice stew or soup. Take some grape-seed extract( a powerful natural antioxidant/anti-inflammatory). Enjoy a big spoonful of cod-liver oil every day. Also some really good quality probiotics. Then enjoy your good health as you feel the inflammation leaving your body. This will make it easier to get some exorcise and give you more energy and vibrant health. All without a doctor or the pharmacy. Imagine never having a headache or painful joints ever again. Or rarely getting a cold. or having acid reflux or digestive problems. All the things I suffered from for decades until I took my health into my own hands. I wish you all good health and a long pain free life!

  184. #184 Pareidolius
    January 21, 2011

    Okay, now I’ve read me some Truzzi. Seems like a sensible fellow, but he doesn’t really help your argument much. Your statement about organized skepticism is full of holes and emotion. There is no monolithic organized skepticism. There are some semi-organized elements and they all go about their business in differing ways. I agree that skeptics should enter with an open mind when the science isn’t settled, but when it is, and lives are at stake (as in HIV denialism and anti-vaxxers) I have no problem with calling a spade a spade with a good degree of certainty.

  185. #185 Anthony McCarthy
    January 21, 2011

    My comment about organized skepticism is full of holes and emotion? Good Lord, all you have to do to send “skeptics” into a swivet is to express skepticism about their credo. Organized skepticism is one big hole that can’t stand real skepticism and, as this thread shows, they’re as frantically fanatic as snake handlers.

    It’s a rigid orthodoxy manned by aging frat boys.

  186. #186 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    It’s a rigid orthodoxy manned by aging frat boys.

    Aging frat boys like Kylie Sturgess, Rebbecca Watson, Rachel Dunlap, Heidi Anderson, Susan Blackmore, Haley Stevens, Robin “Swoopy” McCarthy, Desiree Schell and Karen Stolkznow.

  187. #187 Chris
    January 22, 2011

    And me!

    I could never really identify with frat boys. But, then again, I never really had to prove my non-existent masculinity. I also don’t think Dr. Harriet Hall is much of a “frat boy.”

    Nor any of the other women at Skepchick, especially Elise Anders. And while I actually signed on to the JREF forum before Rebecca Watson, Skepchick contributor Evelyn’s mom, Kitty, was there before both of us!

    This young woman who spoke here is not much of a “frat boy” either. (I literally had a front floor seat, I sat on the floor so others could see the screen). Skeptic Ginger and I had a nice chat with her, and about half of the people there lacked a Y-chromosome.

    I really never know what Mr. McCarthy is complaining about. I see one of his whiny posts that have very little to do with the article or are some kind of strawman argument, I typically ignore him.

    So I just went up and noticed that he said what is the issue with people waving hands if they don’t charge money. Um, yeah. Right. I have a kid with several neurological issues, and I used to belong to a listserv about this particular disability. One “therapy” touted was cranial sacral therapy, which is much like “waving hands over head.” It is essentially a homeopathic head massage. They claim they are aligning the energy fields in the head (really, seriously!). It costs between $50 to $100 per session.

    I cannot believe the effort I had to spend telling gullible parents that waving hands around their kids heads will not change their neurology. A cat-scan of my kid as an infant after neo-natal seizures did show some bleeding in the brain, and still years later I had some numb-nut “chiropractic neurologist” claim she could cure him with cranial sacral therapy (it was during lunch at a woman’s education workshop, and I almost choked on my peach as I replied that a head massage was not going to repair damage over an inch below the skull! I am not quite sure she understood the term “Broca’s area”).

    Anyway, Mr. McCarthy is one of our resident concern trolls, best ignored. This is my first and last comment addressing Mr. McCarthy. I plan to carry on as I have been before and skip over anything he says, just like I skip over several others (except a certain electronics technician who still hasn’t figured out what missing a Y-chromosome actually means, oh wow he is an idiot!).

  188. #188 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    Anthony McArthy seems to be fine people getting conned as long as they are not “ripped off to a level they can’t afford”. I assume he sees nothing wrong with selling magnets for $100 with the claim that they could increase gas mileage by 25%.

    With regard to hand wavers charging money, I’ll bet Oz’s had waver’s are paid by Oz and therefore indirectly by the patient. I think Reiki gets marketed fairly aggressively because of an inherent problem with the Reiki business. It is an inadvertent pyramid scheme. There are no false promises of getting rich by recruiting people and no money moving up the chain, but teaching Rieki is more lucrative than giving Reiki treatments. It is easy to become a Reiki Master – 3 short courses (Level 1, Level 2 and Master) for a total of around $1500 taking maybe 3 to 5 days total. Since a Reiki Master is qualified to train other Masters as well as the lower levels, the number of Reiki practitioners increases geometrically.

  189. #189 Anthony McCarthy
    January 22, 2011

    Militant Agnostic, can you read? Obviously a relevant question because people getting ripped off was one of the two problems I said could arise from “alternative medicine” in my first comment on this thread and that it should be regulated to prevent that. Clearly you depend on people not looking back at what was said. It’s one of the more obvious features of the “skeptical” fraternity at they are opportunistic liars.

    Gee, I seem to recall that the dearth of women in the “skeptical” fraternity has been an ongoing issue among the phony skeptics, I recall reading things written by “skeptics” on that subject going back to before many of you boys were born and continuing into the present. “Skepticism” is largely a male bonding exercise, based in the derision and scorn for people who don’t accept your credo.

    Fortunately, most people resist the pressure to mutely accept your index of prohibited ideas, in that organized skepticism is a failure. Unfortunately, it’s responsible for furthering self-defeating habits and arrogance among legitimate scientists that make them ineffective in dispelling ignorance and fighting corporate propaganda about things like climate science. It’s so much more gratifying to mock and scorn people over relatively unimportant things than it is to explain and teach about really important things. But people don’t learn from guys like you who begin by telling them they’re stupid. Believing they will is far stupider than what you’re accusing them of.

  190. #190 Anthony McCarthy
    January 22, 2011

    Chris, see my remarks to Militant Agnostic above. Or you could read my last comment to JJR at 169, though reading seems to be more trouble than you want to go to. Which doesn’t surprise me.

    I’m beginning to think that study about the failure of universities to teach critical thinking skills nowadays has something to it.

  191. #191 Chris
    January 22, 2011

    Repeating for the reading impaired:

    This is my first and last comment addressing Mr. McCarthy.

  192. #192 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    I quoted you – showing you were a shruggie you lying troll. Apparently you have a need to feel superior to some group and you have chosen skeptics. Has it occurred to you that the main problem climate scientists have fighting corporate propaganda is that the corporations funding such propaganda have deep pockets and are telling a comforting story that people want to hear. Actually if you didn’t filter everything through your prejudices you would be aware that meta-cognition is a hot topic among skeptics.

  193. #193 A
    January 22, 2011

    Militant Illiterate:

    There are two issues that really matter in this 1. are people being injured or killed due to their not getting effective medical care, 2. are they being ripped off to a level they can’t afford. Other than that it’s a matter of aesthetic preferences. AM @ 119

    Scott, if money or things of value aren’t being asked for in exchange for services, it isn’t commerce. If it is being charged for I’d have no problem with it being regulated. AM @ 139

    This is akin to saying, “well, if 1+1=2, then it might be a concern.” YES they charge for their services; it’s a business!

    Only if a particular one charges for it. There are ones around here who don’t. I don’t have any trouble regulating commercial activities, I’m in favor of lots of regulation of commercial activity. AM @ 144

    Militant Agnostic, it would depend on what is meant by “exchange” in actual practice. If it’s not of something that has some commercial value, it’s not commerce. AM also @ 144, in answer to “Militant Agnostic”

    2. That if the “treatment” is innocuous and the practitioner isn’t discouraging effective treatment then the only issue is whether or not they are gouging those they “treat”. However, that isn’t a problem only of unconventional treatments but is common practice in the conventional medical industry. I don’t know if you’re aware of practices, here, such as charging outrageous amounts to hospital bills for administering a couple of aspirins or for a doctor who pokes his head in a hospital room for a minute, but it’s widespread here. I advocate strict regulation of all of this stuff, as I said. AM @ 169

  194. #194 Rufus T. Firefly
    January 22, 2011

    Actually Tony, all your posts need to read aloud in one’s best Margaret Dumont voice. It makes them seem humbler.

  195. #195 Anthony McCarthy
    January 22, 2011

    Rufus, I guess if you’re not used to reading much on an adult level it could sound that way. Maybe if I adopted the usual “skeptics” talk and salted it with stuff that sounds like it came from third graders you’d feel more comfortable.

  196. #196 Luna_the_cat
    January 22, 2011

    See, not only can AM answer all the questions that he asks us FOR us, he can also define our entire community for us as well, without reference to any inconvenient facts we might present about our persons or attitudes, thus saving us the trouble of having to respond to him at all. Isn’t that nice of him?

    Meh. I suppose as long as he keeps getting a reaction, he’ll keep trolling.

  197. #197 Dangerous Bacon
    January 22, 2011

    I was rereading Len Deighton’s WWII history (“Blood, Tears and Folly”) today and ran across an interesting passage about one way the Nazi regime shot itself in the foot militarily. Seems the leading Nazis’ profound mistrust and disdain of science not only led them to drive some of their best scientific minds out of the country (leading in part to successful non-German nuclear bomb development), but the ones that remained weren’t even given draft exemptions, and many wound up serving in menial roles instead of where their contributions could have been vital.
    While there were still achievements (i.e. in weaponry and planes), many of these were due to the work of lower-level engineers and technicians.

    So much for the “Science iz Nazis!!” argument.

    AM: “It’s so much more gratifying to mock and scorn people over relatively unimportant things than it is to explain and teach about really important things.”

    In other words, “Don’t talk about what I don’t want you to talk about! Stop! Oooh, I’m mad! Talk about this other thing here!”

    Just like the classic response to discussion of health fraud in the world of woo is “So what? How about Vioxx!!!!?!”

    Or the classic rejoinder that critics of woo are “fanatics”, an “orthodoxy” (two of Anthony M.’s recent labels) or a “religion”, as though such juvenile “You are too!” accusations will be devastating to the skeptics.

    No one needs to pigeonhole you, Anthony. You’ve done a swell job of it yourself.

  198. #198 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    DB – Give it up. We are dealing with the Energizer Bunny of Bullshit here.

  199. #199 George
    January 22, 2011

    I have known a number of people who acquired HIV and went on to develop full blown AIDS. They refused to be treated with traditional Western medicines, instead opting for alternative treatments. They rapidly deteriorated until they were at the terminal phase and they realized they were going to die. It was only then that it dawned on them to try some of the proven HIV meds. Unfortunately they were too late and too advanced in terms of their condition to be treated. They died.

    I am amazed that people continue to put so much faith in quackery. Is it a congenital preconditioning to accept such quackery? I could even understand if they opted to hedge their bets and try both the traditional and alternative treatments. But to simply ignore the proven for something with absolutely no science backing in it seems so unbelievable.

    The sad part is the popular culture is causing a slide in our society away from reality including science and into a world of illusion and magic. I don’t know that there is a cure for that.

  200. #200 herr doktor bimler
    January 22, 2011

    We are dealing with the Energizer Bunny of Bullshit here.

    AM does not need any encouragement, being quite happy to ask questions and imagine the response, as in #164:

    Luna, tell me, what’s the argument I made? Go ahead, lay it out.
    Didn’t think you could.

    It’s like the transcript of a child organising a dollies’ tea-party.

  201. #201 Rufus T. Firefly
    January 22, 2011

    I rest my case, your pomposity and humorlessness might play better elsewhere, but here it just seems kind of sad after a while. You clearly have intelligence yet you fall for the bait every time and the more you disapprove of us, the more fun it is for us. You must either enjoy engaging with us because it makes you feel so superior to us poor, benighted pseudoskeptics, or you’re a masochist. That would make you more interesting at least.

  202. #202 purenoiz
    January 22, 2011

    Am I a skeptic because I follow the evidence, or am I not a skeptic since I don’t belong to a skeptic group? Apparently Anthony is the only skeptic, since he doesn’t belong to a club. But the evidence he left shoes he doesn’t follow the evidence, which is scorn and ridicule work to keep certain ideas in their place. Since meme’s have to travel through people, for memes to take hold, those memes had to be attached to credible respected people. Reiki is or was until this show a modality way outside of the mainstream consciousness, as was astaxanthin. Now, apparently Anthony in his ignorance of how people actually behave, let me tell you something you ignorant piece of arrogant trash. Dr Oz carries a lot of weight with the general public. You may doubt this, but 4 years ago when he was on Oprah, he mentioned that Neti Pots helped with allergies. At the store I worked at we sold out of them in a manner of minutes, the entire country was out of stock for about 6 weeks. The sales of this item, went from about 1 a month to 50-100 a month per store. If Dr Oz says something is good, effective etc, people listen. Obviously Reiki is safe, if all you are doing is having somebody wave their hands over your head., body whatever. Now the reality is that people may & will go to a reiki master for treatment in lieu of requisite effective treatment. That will happen as surely as snow falls in winter.

    Anthony, a word to the smart, time to get wise. As in gain experience in the real world, not in books. Follow the evidence, and see how things pan out in the real world, not in philosophical debates. Does it bother you that nobody listens to you, or allows you into their club?

  203. #203 Anthony McCarthy
    January 22, 2011

    I’m just enjoying this fine display of reasoning by the “skeptics”

    You proud of the kids, Orac?

  204. #204 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    It’s like the transcript of a child organising a dollies’ tea-party.

    #202 – MOMMY! They’re being mean to me.

  205. #205 novalox
    January 23, 2011

    @202

    Want some cheese with that whine?

    In your case, some Cheese Whiz would sound right, considering how pathetic your “arguments” have been, I probably wouldn’t waste anything better on you.

  206. #206 WTLevine
    January 25, 2011

    Most of the comments here have nothing to do with what Orac even wrote. What he wrote…sounds like whining. Every thing said on the show was just basic stuff most people already do to stay healthy. There was no major bashing of medicine….just eat right, exercise, avoid crap, etc etc. It is boring, but correct. He strongly recommended you eat right in lieu of supplements, and it isnt it the point to avoid medications and surgery by staying healthy in the first place. Prevent most heart disease, most obesity, most diabetes, most cancer, etc by not eating a bunch of crap to get fat in the first place. Preventive Medicine is the most important of all disciplines. Simple, common sense. What is the problem here. I work the emergency shift, so I enjoy Dr Oz when I wake up.

  207. #207 Chris
    January 25, 2011

    WTLevine, how did you feel about Orac saying “Mercola then goes on to hawk coconut oil as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.”

    Do you think coconut oil is a valid treatment for Alzheimer’s disease? Yes or no. If yes, please tell us the what papers support that opinion since Orac could not find any.

  208. #208 WTLevine
    January 25, 2011

    He did not say that coconut oil would cure a.d. He said it was a good fat that helps with the symptoms of a.d. Which is true. It is an adjunct treatment and it wont hurt a thing. BTW, coconut oil is good for you as far as oils go, and it is better to eat it for prevention in the first place. Did you know it is the most stable oil when heated?, so it is the best to cook with. You shouldnt heat olive oil. It is very healthy to eat on salads and such, but not to cook with.

    Do YOU have a valid treatment for Alzheimer’s disease? yes or no. If yes, please tell us….oh you cant…because there is no valid treatment that works for everybody without severe side effects. My father in law suffered terribly from the side effects of the drugs he received. You know what actually helped him improve quite a bit for awhile… fish oil. Yes, this was years ago, and it was part of the doctors orders. It did wonders after the meds had all made him very sick with no improvement. I dont know why I even replied to you. Your posts are always like junior high. Dont you agree, yes or no? Yes!!

  209. #209 Chris
    January 25, 2011

    I am only going by what Orac wrote. So correct Orac, and give him the proper information. (Actually try Dr. Steven Novella, he studies Alzheimer’s). Try to get something more evidence based than a rant when you come back with those studies that show coconut oil helps with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

    Remember, if you make a claim, you need to support it.

    Actually, I have high cholesterol. Coconut oil is something I am supposed to stay away from! Olive oil works fine for most cooking, and vegetable oil is fine for really hot frying (like searing). I don’t deep fry.

  210. #210 Chris
    January 25, 2011

    WTLevine:

    He strongly recommended you eat right in lieu of supplements, and it isnt it the point to avoid medications and surgery by staying healthy in the first place.

    By the way, you did not specify who you were writing about. Is it Dr. Oz or Dr. Mercola?

    If it is Dr. Mercola, then why does he even sell supplements? Also if he supports staying healthy why does he advocate on his website that people drink raw milk and avoid vaccines. Both of those stances would seem to invite disease!

  211. #211 WTLevine
    January 25, 2011

    *If it is Dr. Mercola, then why does he even sell supplements?

    Dr Oz asked him that, and Orac posted the answer. Then he was asked which supplements he takes himself, and he named a few specific ones, not a multi. He said of course he recommended nutrients to come from the diet. He said do not think you can eat poorly and not exercise, and then fix it with a pill. I have only seen Mercola in this interview, and he didnt make any extraordinary health claims which is why the telecast was fine.

    *website that people drink raw milk and avoid vaccines. Both of those stances would seem to invite disease!

    He never mentioned vaccines on the show, and I havent seen his site, but of course raw milk is the healthiest if you can get it.
    If you have your own few well cared for cows or goats to get fresh milk from you cant beat that. The process of pasteurization only has to be done because they milk so many cows and mix it together, have to transport and package it and then finally you get it, but the nutrients you were drinking the milk for in the first place are gone. I have 6 goats, you should get some.

  212. #212 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    You’ve never been anywhere near a dairy farm. Manure management is a major concern, plus the stuff is sprayed over the pastures to provide fertilizer for the grass. This is what gives Tillamook, OR its special aroma.

    You really don’t have a clue, do you? Especially since you forgot to provide actual evidence for any of your claims.

  213. #213 WTLevine
    January 26, 2011

    again, if you can get fresh raw milk, but most people cant. You shouldnt be buying milk from a commercial dairy farm idiot. As I said, that kind of milk needs to be pasteurized because it is crap. literally. BTW, did you pasteurize your breast milk? Healthy animals yeilding fresh milk is the way to go. It is called common sense, decades of farming experience, decades of large animal vet work, and yes, there is plenty of actual evidence too. Look it up yourself. I didnt provide any because I didnt mention anything controversial. Would you really milk your own goat and then send it away to be mixed with others, pasteurized and then buy it back? You dont have a clue. You probably dont want to have a clue because then you cant pretend anymore. The smell is probably the least of your problems if you are drinking that milk.

  214. #214 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    Why do you think your rant and the ever so lazy “Look it up yourself” gambit substitute for real evidence?

    More proof you have never been anywhere near a cow barn, one does not need to pasteurize human breast milk unless their home is covered in manure. And small outfits also have issues:

    According to the FDA inspection report, employees did not thoroughly wash or sanitize hands when they may have become soiled or contaminated, and hand-washing facilities were inadequate. Manure, mud, straw, wood chips and other debris had accumulated on the floors.

  215. #215 WTLevine
    January 26, 2011

    employees, manure, grain fed, hormones, overproduction, commercial commercial. I see you need to find your milk elsewhere. I grew up with cows, but goats are wonderful pets. I still recommend you get a few or make friends with someone who has them. Time for sleep. You have a nice day.

  216. #216 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    I take it, then, you grew up around cows that didn’t excrete?

  217. #217 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    Did you even read what I wrote?

  218. #218 QuietObserver
    February 2, 2011

    … alright, I won’t lie. I didn’t read ALL the posts. But I read enough to say that I think it’s kind of childish of BOTH PARTIES to go around insulting each other. Calling someone else a quack really doesn’t make you a better practitioner.

    Peace and love, everyone. No progress will be made if we’re too busy fighting each other over who’s the coolest kid on the playground.

  219. #219 Angela
    March 1, 2011

    I think, at some point in the future, the author of this document and perhaps some of the commenters (is that a word?) will reflect on it and possibly find that, yes, this article was wrong. Why do I feel this way? My undergraduate degree was in advertising, and in our studies we reviewed old ads to see how the profession has changed over time for one reason or another. I have seen ads — BY DOCTORS AND FOR THE MEDICAL PROFESSION — from the 50s and 60s that say smoking is not at all harmful. Fast forward to the 21st century. I’ll let you all reflect on that. Good night and good luck.

  220. #220 Chris
    March 1, 2011

    Angela:

    BY DOCTORS AND FOR THE MEDICAL PROFESSION — from the 50s and 60s that say smoking is not at all harmful.

    Actually, those were actors and models paid by the tobacco companies (and sometimes tobacco companies found sympathetic doctors). Click on the “Robert Jackler” link about the advertising. Also listen to the podcast, you can hear how upset Dr. Jackler is about the lies and harm perpetuated by the tobacco companies.

    You majored in advertising, you should have known better. The tobacco companies were reacting to the real science that showed in the 1950s that smoking was harmful: Cigarettes and the US Public Health Service in the 1950s:

    In 1950, 3 classic papers were published linking cigarette smoking and lung cancer.9–11 All 3 studies used the retrospective case–control method, comparing the smoking habits of lung cancer patients with those of a control group without lung cancer, and were cautious about asserting a causal link. There had been work before World War II on the relationship between smoking and health,12 but it was only during the 1950s that the issue came to the forefront of the American scientific community.

  221. #221 Militant Agnostic
    March 1, 2011

    Chris – “Angela’s” comment is nearly identical to one by “Laurie” in the naturopathy – science thread. I smell sock puppets.

  222. #222 Orac
    March 1, 2011

    @Chris

    Actually, the PHS article you cite leaves out a very important contributor to knowledge about tobacco smoking and cancer that’s a historical oddity that few people know about. Actually, the Nazis were the first to nail down the link between smoking and lung cancer, and they did it at least 15 years before the U.S. did. In fact, the Nazis were even the first to invent the term “passive smoking” (for secondhand smoke) and suggest that it might have harmful health effects. This is all documented in Robert Proctor’s The Nazi War on Cancer.

  223. #223 Militant Agnostic
    March 1, 2011

    In fact, the Nazis were even the first to invent the term “passive smoking” (for secondhand smoke) and suggest that it might have harmful health effects.

    Now there’s a Godwin looking for a place to happen :)

  224. #224 Chris
    March 1, 2011

    Orac, I bow to your knowledge of WWII Germany! Thanks!

    Though, in the Are We Alone podcast I linked to, Dr. Jacker does mention that mouth and lip cancers were known to be associated with smoking in the 19th century, and some other cancer research in the 1930s.

  225. #225 Richard Nikoley
    March 18, 2011

    Yea, I finally gave up on Mercola quite a long time ago and unsubscribed from his newsletter.

    Regarding the Alzheimer’s, coconut oil and the doctor who claims to have improved her husband, you might be interested to know that Jimmy Moore, the Low-Carb guy (Livin la vida low-carb blog) has a podcast interview with her sometime back.

    Basically, she was trying to get her husband into one or more of several trials that were beginning for new drugs, unsuccessfully so because he kept failing the tests (some minimum requirements). Anyway, she had an idea. The patent applications for the drugs are public record, she a doctor and could conceivably understand them, so she went to work and says she kept seeing mention of medium chain triglycerides, i.e., MCT oil. According to her, they were aware of its effects but of course can’t profit and were trying to come up with drugs to accomplish the same thing or better.

    Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat and I believe half of that is of the medium chain variety, so she began with that.

    Anyway, there’s some things for you to track down if you like.

  226. #226 L Stevens
    May 4, 2011

    With the discovery of so many harmful side effects of many pharmaceuticals (just look at the litany of symptoms and side effects they cause relative to the symptoms they treat on their TV commercials and print ads alone); I’m surprised to see such aggressive finger-pointing and damning of anything ‘alternative’. As a pre-teen in the 70′s/80′s, my mother was given a 6-month death sentence from her stage 4 cancer. She did the requisite chemo + radiation, followed orders, and we had never had a ‘holistic’ meal or ingredient in our household up to 1980. When she felt like she was on the brink of death, cancer slowly advancing and progressing week by week during the first 6 months of her ‘expiration date’ (as they jokingly referred to it); and her doctor’s advice didn’t seem to be slowing the disease’s spread, she decided it was accomplishment enough to have met her assigned expiration date and owed it to herself to at least try something different. -If only it meant to die pain-free instead of the agonizing treatments & after-effects she had been enduring. She then immersed herself in some non-traditional thinking and learning, and turned to a macrobiotic diet. Quite a leap for the rest of us in her nuclear family growing up in suburbia and exchanging our Roman Meal wheat bread sandwiches for funky sprouted grain breads, and Peter Pan PB for naturally-ground peanuts… well let’s say lunch-trading at school pretty much came to a halt for us kids. But one year later, all chemo and radiation long gone – -cancer in retreat, hair grown back thicker and darker than we had ever seen on her, and a myriad of other physically noticeable improvements, she went on to live 4.5 years – 4.5 years longer than her traditional doctor’s predictions and without any western medicine.

    In no way do I suggest abandoning all western practices in exchange for holistic or alternative choices; but I do believe people should be free to choose for themselves what feels right for them if they approach it intelligently and subject claims to their own evaluation of authenticity. I too would have been a scathing critic of a diet curing any terminal illness if I had not witnessed the transformation firsthand. She was not preachy about her choices and rarely even discussed it with anyone… she simply gently chose it/ avoided discussions around it unless probed/ and conscientiously made an active effort at educating herself of the risks and benefits of all of her decisions.

    As a result, I do not cast judgment so readily as you seem to – ironically with the evidence of so many mis-steps on the part of our industrialized healthcare industry/ pharmaceutical manufacturing, and all of the methods that allow for significant human error at the expense of/ and in the name of ‘health’. All methods should be scrutinized yet approached in an unbiased way, and a true practitioner acting in the interest of their patients’ wellness would seem to have the flexibility to accommodate this approach. Very few things are ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’, and unfortunately your preaching such makes you just as deserving of suspicion as the parties you condemn so aggressively.

    Be positive and unbiased in your perspective. You will influence more people if that is your goal.

  227. #227 JayK
    May 4, 2011

    @L Stevens: Nice anecdote. Cool Story, Bro.

    When you would like to actually leave willful ignorance behind and try to understand something about skepticism of alt-med then drop your “feel good” pretenses and ask a question.

  228. #228 Dotty L
    June 17, 2011

    It is truly amazing that you are still caught up in believing that somehow using ancient proven methods to successfully prevent, treat and heal many illnesses is somehow “alternative”… and that western medicine that has been around.. about 200 years is what we should all become lemmings and believe to be the gospel according to “Merck, Pfizer, and Co!”
    Thankfully there are alot more of people who are standing up to the indoctrination of the government and pharmaceutical companies, who, by the way, are the primary financial supporters of traditional Medical schools.
    Have you inquired how much nutrition is REQUIRED AND TAUGHT in our Western medical schools? It’s frightening and shockingly low! What a disgrace!

    Nutrition and food is not “alternative”. Pushing drugs for symptoms as western physicians are trained heavily to do.. and do very well, is true quackery!
    It’s people like you who perpetuate the sickness and obesity epidemic in our country.
    Hopefully more people will WAKE UP! to expose the REAL TRUTH! to bring TRUE WELLNESS and HEALTH to our world!
    Dotty, RN, BSN,

  229. Bravo, Dotty & L Stevens. I have a friend whose husband was entering the belligerant phase of alzheimer’s; she tried the medium chain trigl (unprocessed coconut oil)at 3T per day and he improved within 2 days. I know them. I have witnessed this. He is not cured; but the effect is profound. He is much more compliant and cooperative. We don’t know how long this will last, but apparently, just this one FOOD is extending his life.
    the hubris of some physicians is amazing. I didn’t see anyone mention Dr. Oz’s statements about how our attitudes and beliefs/faith can effect our physical bodies. The brain is very powerful and still a great mystery, so where’s the harm in trying to improve our diets; take our foods back closer to their original forms?
    Love the discussion, especially the wordsmiths’ contributions.

  230. #230 JayK
    June 23, 2011

    Oh look, the super duo Pharma-Shill Gambit and Anecdotal evidence have used their super powers to raise the almost dead. Good job, girls.

  231. #231 lilady
    June 23, 2011

    @ Dotty L. Come off your high horse Dotty L. Science-based medicine and science-based nursing do not push medication and are not in cahoots with big Pharma. Stop saying that doctors and nurses ignore good dietary principles and are responsible for the sickness and obesity “epidemic”. If you really are a registered nurse, BSc-Nursing, then you know that the curriculum at a university incorporates and emphasizes wellness for the patient. University also teaches you to understand how intensive science-based research is done and how to interpret research, the physiology of the human body and basic dietetics to maintain homeostasis…in addition to the hard sciences.

    @ Laura: I was about to ask you for any PubMed citations, but I see that Orac has already researched PubMed for you…perhaps you want to read Orac’s paragraph above about coconut oil.

    “…so where’s the harm in trying to improve our diets; take our foods back closer to their natural forms?” Why not check this blogs left column “Skepticism and critical thinking…last link “What’s the harm?”

    lilady, RN, BSc-Nursing

  232. #232 Liora
    July 7, 2011

    THERE IS A NEW STUDY SUPPORTING DR. MARY NEWPORT’S FINDINGS!

    MCT is Medium Chain Triglycerides- the main part of COCONUT OIL
    see
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2731764/

    And an older study I found by accident about using MCT’s to induce ketosis and it’s helping mitochondrial function and Alzheimer’s
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18582445

  233. #233 Krebiozen
    July 7, 2011

    As I mentioned recently on another thread, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) of the sort used in the study Liora cites (and other studies frequently referred to in this context) are not “the main part of coconut oil” and MCTs are certainly not “unprocessed coconut oil”. MCTs are a highly processed product made by the hydrolysis of coconut oil followed by the fractionation of the fatty acids.

    The study Liora cites used a MCT product in which, “>95% of the fatty acids are C8:0 with the remainder consisting of C6:0 and C10:0 fatty acids”.

    Coconut oil contains only 15% fatty acids that are C6,C8 or C10. Here’s a comparison of the fatty acids in the MCT used and in coconut oil (CO) just to make it clear:

    Caproic C6 MCT 2.5% CO 0.5%
    Caprylic C8 MCT 95% CO 7.8%
    Capric C10 MCT 2.5% CO 6.7%
    Lauric C12 MCT 0% CO 47.5%
    Myristic C14 MCT 0% CO 18.1%
    Palmitic C16 MCT 0% CO 8.8%

    Coconut oil will not have the same ketogenic effects as MCTs, as lauric acid, myristic and palmitic acids are not ketogenic except in starvation. To consume the same amount of caprylic acid used in the later part of the study you would have to consume 240 grams of coconut oil every day, which would be unwise, and very expensive.

  234. #234 Lisa Nothwang
    July 16, 2011

    I have been taking one table spoon of coconut oil about 4 x a week, finally my weight is going down instead of up.
    I understand that avocados have the same effect. I’m a believer that the science lab doesn’t understand nature fully.
    It’s up to the individual to find out what works. I recommend that people with a weight problem will try to use coconut oil to reduce their graving for chips.

  235. #235 Lisa Nothwang
    July 16, 2011

    I have been taking one table spoon of coconut oil about 4 x a week, finally my weight is going down instead of up.
    I understand that avocados have the same effect. I’m a believer that the science lab doesn’t understand nature fully.
    It’s up to the individual to find out what works. I recommend that people with a weight problem will try to use coconut oil to reduce their graving for chips.

  236. #236 Bronze Dog
    July 16, 2011

    It’s up to the individual to find out what works.

    So, how is the individual supposed to eliminate confounding factors, alternative causes, and self-deception?

    Knowing what I know about statistical analysist, I find the anecdotalist approach too disempowering. Anecdotalists get around that by pretending to be ignorant of their own humanity.

  237. #237 Scottynuke
    July 16, 2011

    Lisa, such an almost completely fact- and context-free anecdote will be given all the attention it deserves.

    *tick-tock*

    OK, next subject…

  238. #238 Krebiozen
    July 16, 2011

    Congratulations on losing some weight Lisa, but I am skeptical about the role of coconut oil, I suspect you have been consuming fewer calories, or taking more exercise. Research studies suggest that some medium chain fatty acids may require more calories to metabolize than they provide, so in theory they could lead to weight loss. However, you would need to consume a minimum of 50% of your calories as C8 and C10 fatty acids to exploit this effect. As coconut oil consists of only 15% C8 and C10 fatty acids, you would have to consume a huge amount of coconut oil, and the longer chain fatty acids would counteract the effect anyway. Even consuming medium chain fatty acids alone is impractical as a means of losing weight.

  239. #239 Chris
    July 19, 2011

    I would suspect the hostility of the author is because he’s a failure too.

    He doesn’t have the answers and his organisation doesn’t have the answers. He believes in pure science and probably hasn’t personally experienced half of what OZ or Mercola is talking about.

    It’s so easy to attack someone else, and to say your way is the only way.

    But when you see with your eyes, and you look at the results. Modern medicine isn’t usually curing people from cancer.

    Washing your hands was at one time considered quackery. “microscopic organisms” Yea right.

    You people remind me of the Ignaz Semmelweis detractors.

    You want everything handed to you on a silver plate. Sure there’s stupid alternative ideas, but I think we can all name stupid ideas on both sides.

    I think most intelligent people would seek some kind of truth rather than, and something that kills people 98% of the time after five years. Anything is better than that isn’t it? Isn’t what the medical community is doing like shooting yourself in the leg, and calling that a cancer cure? There both about as effective and you’ll waste a lot of money in the process.

    Just like a bad ‘approved drug/procedure’, but you don’t have to choose stupid ideas when you try a natural cure.

  240. #240 Krebiozen
    July 19, 2011

    @Chris

    Modern medicine isn’t usually curing people from cancer.

    It’s very good at curing some cancers, and is getting better at the rest. Alternative medicine doesn’t ever cure cancer, at least I have never seen any good evidence that it does, and I have looked very hard.

    something that kills people 98% of the time after five years

    Where did you get that from? The latest stats from SEER show that for all invasive cancer sites combined, all ages and both sexes, 66.7% of people diagnosed in 2003 survived for at least 5 years. There is such a lot of misinformation about cancer being spread, no wonder some poor people make foolish choices about their treatment. You might want to reconsider being one of the people who spread dangerously inaccurate information.

    you don’t have to choose stupid ideas when you try a natural cure

    What “natural cure” is not a stupid idea, and how do you know? Is there a natural cure that can offer better than 90% 5 year survival for childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia, for example? Conventional treatment can.

  241. #241 Bronze Dog
    July 19, 2011

    Alties can’t let anyone know that science has been making slow but steady progress in curing various cancers because that would kill one of their favorite boogeymen. One less boogeyman is one less thing they can pop up to scare their consumers into expensive acts of desperation.

  242. #242 Militant Agnostic
    July 20, 2011

    Krebiozen @240

    What “natural cure” is not a stupid idea

    Come on now, shooting cofee up your ass to cure cancer is a perfectly sensible idea. ;)

    Bronze Dog @241

    science has been making slow but steady progress in curing various cancers

    Meanwhile alternative medicine announces a new breakthrough in every issue of the free* magazines you get at the health food store. So much more can be accomplished when one is not constrained by the need to provide evidence.

    *in my opinion these magazines are overpriced

  243. #243 Chris
    July 20, 2011

    Chris, everything you write will be assumed to come out of thin air unless you back it up with real references. Just mentioning “Mercola” is a quick trip to the recycle bin of medical idiocy.

    You are obviously new here, so do yourself a favor and actually read the blog archives. Hopefully the next time you will not post such an obvious “fail.”

    By the way, if you want something really “natural” you should try the castor bean pudding and foxglove tea just to see how silly you look. They are both poisons, one will get you in trouble with Homeland Security! Also be wary of some white carrots, they might be deadly hemlock, which if you have not noticed can kill you!

  244. #244 Kerry Coates
    July 23, 2011

    The reason that homeopathic cures are not given as much attention in scientific studies is because you cannot patent broccoli (or any other food or herb, etc.), so there is no money to be made if science proves them to be effective cures — only the grocery stores will benefit, you see. If there is no money to be made, then who pays for the science? It just isn’t done very often, now is it? The government will do a study here and there but the emphasis is always on the drugs — drugs are big money. The FDA cannot control foods for cure any more than they can monetize them. So there yea go. Pharma is big business and the FDA has set up RULES that homeopathic, “natural” and herbal websites and the like have to adhere to — It is the FDA that says that you HAVE to put on your website something to the effect, “This (product/advice) is not intended to cure, prevent or treat any illness”. We CANNOT use the words “cure”, “prevent” or “treat” anywhere on our websites except in the disclaimer or we get into SERIOUS legal trouble EVEN IF there is scientific studies to prove its effectiveness in those areas and EVEN IF we state the references to such studies — unless, of course, we are members of the “medical” community and carry a degree as such like a doctor, surgeon, etc. It’s a money thing…..

  245. #245 Chris
    July 23, 2011

    Kerry Coates:

    The reason that homeopathic cures are not given as much attention in scientific studies is because you cannot patent broccoli (or any other food or herb, etc.),

    You obviously do not know anything about homeopathy. There are specific rules in the FDA regulations about homeopathy, put in there by Royal Copeland, a homeopath and senator from New York.

    Now, to show you have some idea explain how much broccoli would be in a 30C broccoli homeopathic remedy, and why Avogadro’s Number might be important.

  246. #246 doug
    August 21, 2011

    I absolutely love it!!! You atheist, PC, greenies are really panicking. Hahahahaha. Don’t like the alternative health practitioners gaining traction, do you? First, your religion of global warming was debunked and now you’re losing the battle in medicine. Life is sweet.

  247. #247 Chris
    August 21, 2011

    Wow. Just wow.

    Doug, how does that little rant show in any way that the alternative methods promoted by Dr. Oz do anything?

  248. #248 Athena Vrentas
    September 1, 2011

    In my opinion, there has and always will be a place for Eastern medicine. I believe that both Eastern and Western medicine are needed for a patient to receive the best possible medical treatment. My husband has beef I’ll for three years, and we would be be lost without the use of both approaches.

    It pains me to see such negative comments written about a man (Dr.Oz) who utilizes both approaches and is willing to keep an open mind in order to inform and treat patients while utilizing all possible methods of medicine.

    In regards to the comments made about energy, let us not forget that this is not a concept that Dr. Oz is introducing. It is a fact that we are all made up of energy….that is what are cell are. So , let’s not blame Dr, Oz for something that was established several years ago.

    Thank you Dr. Oz, for showing us that we can , and should be able to think outside of the box. It is our responsibility, and most importantly it is our physician’s responsibility!

  249. #249 lilady
    September 1, 2011

    @ Athena: I think you meant to post this on Dr. Oz’s blog.

    There is no such thing as “eastern medicine” or “western medicine”. Medicine is the practice of providing good medical care by licensed physicians. If you chose to believe in alternative methods of “healing” based on “energy” or sugar pills or sticking needles into a toe to access an acupuncture meridian to cure physical disorders, it is your prerogative.

    Perhaps you missed the “Science Blogs” up top of this blog…you should re-read that.

  250. #250 Chris
    September 1, 2011

    Athena Vrentas:

    In my opinion, there has and always will be a place for Eastern medicine.

    Define “Eastern medicine.” Would it include the varicella vaccine, the DTaP vaccine, and statins that were all developed in Japan? Would it exclude homeopathy because it was developed in Germany?

    In other words, what does geography have to do with real medicine working?

  251. #251 Athena Vrentas
    September 1, 2011

    My physician is an MD who also has a degree in Integrative Medicine. So, I hope that clarifies my reference to Eastern and Western medicine, which yes, does exist. And, I do believe that physicians have a responsibility to their patients to provide the best advice and medical care.

    Dr. Oz utilizes all methods available. He is not an arrogant, narrow minded doctor who is unable to investigate all healing possibilities, which as I said before, have been around for thousands of years.

    I do believe in acupuncture. It healed me in several ways. I had severe atrophy in my elbows from a reaction to cortisone injections. The atrophy and pain are gone. This was done by my doctor.

    I will also take antibiotics if I need them. All I am saying is that we should not crucify Dr. Oz for suggesting alternative methods of treatment, and for encouraging proper nutrition.

  252. #252 Janet
    September 7, 2011

    got something against Allopathic Health care? I’m sure there’s a pill for that… ;)

  253. #253 Chris
    September 7, 2011

    Athena Vrentas, no your point does not clarify how medicine is defined by geography. Because even “integrative” is a nonsense term when applied to medicine.

    You should not “believe” in something, you need to show it works with real evidence. At the present there evidence that poking with toothpicks works just as well as needles.

    Janet, “allopathic” is what? According to Hahnemann it is anything that is not homeopathy (which is incredibly silly), so it would include Ms. Vrenta’s much vaulted acupuncture, Ayurveda, and real medicine.

    Janet, there is only one kind of medicine. The kind that has been proven to work. That includes antibiotics, good nutrition, exercise, appendectomies, and on and on.

    There is no such thing as “Eastern” or “Western” medicine, just as there is no such thing as “allopathy.”

  254. #254 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 7, 2011

    Janet,

    Per Wikipedia,

    Allopathic medicine refers to the practice of conventional medicine that uses pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions. It was coined by Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), noted homeopath, in 1810. Although “allopathic medicine” was rejected as a term by mainstream physicians, it was adopted by alternative medicine advocates to refer pejoratively to conventional medicine.

  255. #255 Sarah
    September 7, 2011

    I respect we all have opinions… It’s sad to see the denial of people so out of touch with nature. I am not a hippy, nor do I burn sage (well maybe once) but as a practical practitioner of wellness & nutrition I feel a need to clarify that that there is nothing magical or mystical about “alternative medicine”. It’s rather common sense. Pharmaceutical approach has more deaths, side affects, and disturbing facts than anything holistic, like an herb or vitamin. Whom ever wrote this article has an annoying lack of education and I’d guess you are taking something for your high blood pressure?

  256. #256 Gray Falcon
    September 7, 2011

    Tell me, are grizzly bears natural? Are tornadoes natural? Don’t try to give us the Disney version of nature, nature is not nice.

  257. #257 Chris
    September 7, 2011

    Sarah, nutrition is not “alternative medicine.” Please provide actual evidence for this statement:

    Pharmaceutical approach has more deaths, side affects, and disturbing facts than anything holistic, like an herb or vitamin.

    I would question your education if you think vitamins are not part of real medicine, or that herbs cannot cause harm. And that “holistic” has any real meaning.

  258. #258 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 7, 2011

    Sarah,
    Unfortunately, “alternative medicine” is a wide ranging field that claims to include stuff that actually works (like good nutrition based on proven results), stuff that sort of works (like good nutrition with exaggerated and unproven claims), stuff that doesn’t work (like vitamin C for the flu), and stuff that doesn’t work and could only work if there were magic or something fundamentally wrong in our knowledge of chemistry, physics, and biology (reiki, homeopathy, and acupuncture, say).
    If you promote things that are well proven, good for you.

  259. #259 Chris
    September 7, 2011

    Sarah, I have a kid with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with obstruction. Yes, he is taking beta-blockers. Except because he was not compliant and was skipping doses he got a trip in an ambulance to the emergency department. We have all sorts of follow-up appointments lined (most of my morning has been spent dealing with them).

    So Sarah, what is your sure fire cure for his genetic condition that involved abnormal growth of his heart muscle that damaged his mitral valve due to increased pressure across it, and the “obstruction” part means that the extra exertion can cause the muscle to actually block blood flow causing “sudden death”?

    Show us exactly how educated you are by giving us a way to prevent this genetic condition that occurs in about one in a thousand people, and how to deal with it.

    By the way, the real doctors told him to eat properly (cut down on caffeine, watch calories, increase veggies), exercise and take the meds regularly. Now what is your learned advice?

  260. #260 Heliantus
    September 7, 2011

    Pharmaceutical approach has more deaths, side affects, and disturbing facts than anything holistic

    For one, “more” is meaningless because a lot more people are using pharmaceuticals compared to whatever holistic. That we need is a ratio of the number of bad effects/number of prescriptions.
    Two, “more” is meaningless if only one side does any effort at recording the bad effects. Is there any official place in charge of recording holistic screw-ups?
    (including cases like an allopathic herbal preparation interfering with the anesthetic during a surgical operation – which will be unfairly recorded as iatrogen)
    Three, I will call this the reverse of the “if you don’t want to break it, don’t touch it” law. If a modality has no bad effect, it may well be because it has no effect at all.

  261. #261 Chris
    September 8, 2011

    Yoo hoo! Sarah, where are you? You seemed to have an answer to everything and quipped that the author of this blog must be taking blood pressure medication.

    Well, I presented to you a condition that is commonly treated with beta-blockers. I assumed you had a better solution. What herbs? Come on, you made a statement, you better back it up… show us you know your stuff.

    Do you need to spend some more time looking up hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with obstruction? Because, if you are going to pretend to be a medical practitioner, you should already know about this and other heart conditions.

  262. #262 LJL
    September 12, 2011

    This is who Dr OZ believes in::CRAZY::Also Dr OZ is a muslem..Swedenborg believed that God created humankind to exist simultaneously in the physical world and in the spiritual world, which belongs to the inner domain. It has its own memory, which is what survives after death. Swedenborg’s hell has no Satan; heaven is populated by the spirits of the dead that carry on lives and habits much the same as they did on earth. Jesus’ crucifixion did not atone for the sins of humankind; we make our own heaven and hell. Rejecting traditional doctrines of the Trinity and Atonement, Swedenborg believed that the Judgment had occurred in 1757, along with Christ’s second coming as a triumph over rebellious spirits. He believed that there is a correspondence between natural and spiritual levels; each person lives in both realms at once. Eternal life is an inner condition beginning with earthly life; gradual redemption occurs through personal regulation of spiritual states. Practical love is a necessity in every relationship.

  263. #263 Chris
    September 12, 2011

    LJL:

    Dr OZ is a muslem.

    So what?

    And the rest of the rant has nothing to do with the subject.

  264. #264 lilady
    September 12, 2011

    “Also Dr OZ is a muslem..” Is that similar to being a muslim?

    I don’t recall that anyone except LJL discussing Swedenborg on this blog about Dr. Oz…did I miss something?

  265. #265 Stacey
    October 5, 2011

    Eh…I don’t really buy what you say. Frankly, Mercola is more convincing than you are. Your writing skills are questionable and you sound like you’re being paid by someone. Thumbs down to you. I’m not a Dr. Oz fan — or even Mercola for that matter — but you simply sound like a grumpy conspiracy theorist. Oh the shame! Not to get an H1N1 vaccine! LOL

  266. #266 novalox
    October 5, 2011

    @stacy

    It took you how long to come up with that fact-free rant, necromancer?

  267. #267 Steve
    October 10, 2011

    This article is written by someone who thinks evidence has to be compartmentalized with his brand as one of the compartments and the only one that should be listened to. His brand chooses to study what it wants and then claims there are no studies to prove other brands…what about other countries…if their people cure some health problem for centuries is it really necessary to have a study completed to even open your mind to the possibility..I dont know that much about DR. Oz but he seems to exhibit curiosity and a open mind and isnt afraid to confront the machine…more power to him…dont worry, you will come around eventually…you will just be the last to know

  268. #268 Beamup
    October 10, 2011

    Steve’s entire post can be understood with this single sentence:

    if their people cure some health problem for centuries is it really necessary to have a study completed to even open your mind to the possibility

    Steve clearly believes the answer is “no.” But in reality, the answer is “yes” because without such study, there is no way to know that said people DID actually cure said health problem.

    Basically the assumption is being made that good evidence exists, but nobody ever collected good evidence… which is of course quite contradictory.

  269. #269 Lawrence
    October 10, 2011

    Really necro-Steve? You mean the tens of thousands of current medical studies don’t represent curiosity & seeking new knowledge?

  270. #270 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 10, 2011

    Steve,
    If other countries really have cured some health problems for centuries using (unspecified) techniques then surely there would be statistics showing that these (unspecified) techniques are effective.
    Do you have them on you, by chance?

  271. #271 Rissa Cloud
    November 24, 2011

    I am not sure the author of this blog likes himself? Put your belief in Litmus Paper. Your Ph levels is all you need! The negativity within these pages is a certain attitude for illness. ‘Engine #2′ and ‘Forks Over Knives’ dvds with REAL people’s lives 2010 is a lot more valid and important than what was written on top of the page. My suggestion that I follow myself is- “Get Real Fast”. Research your own self health like the folks in these DVDS… see ‘The Greater Good’ about real people trying to reclaim their health. Unfortunately the statistics about health in our USA are very sad & deplorable… such as osteoporosis.Ask any calf, milk is for cows. Beginning basics are that human mothers are equipped to nurse their babies providing antibodies… then try fresh spring water. Good Luck all with broadening your horizons and accepting natural vital energy.

  272. #272 B. Ross
    December 13, 2011

    A few notes:

    Although anecdotal to be sure, I had been trying to raise my HDL for years and came across an article that recommended using/consuming olive and coconut oils and whole fat dairy. I’d been consuming non-fat, low-fat for years believing they were healthier than whole fat. Lo and behold, I not only raised my HDL 25%, I lost weight and lowered my triglycerides. No drugs involved.

    For anyone who thinks physicians don’t push drugs, my former doctor kept pushing osteoporosis drugs for my “osteopenia”, which I refused to take given the horrific side-effects of those drugs. In the past three years, I have been physically assaulted, hit by a motorcycle, the impact of which catapulted me across the street, and fallen many times while snow-skiing. No bones broken. I’m 66 years old and in very good health. I eat well, exercise and take supplements.

    On the connection between drug companies and doctors, several years ago drug companies lobbied doctors to the point where the blood pressure levels for pre-hypertension were lowered so that the pool of potential drug customers increased by millions, which of course, has handsomely increased the drug companies’ bottom lines.

    Yes, there are drugs that are beneficial and necessary, but there are simple lifestyle changes that could eliminate the need for some drugs: no junk food or processed foods, cutting down on sugar (and yes, HFCS is worse than other sugars), eating whole foods, cooking/eating at home, keeping weight down, exercising moderately, limiting alcohol, no smoking, and taking supplements, if needed.

    The poster who commented on the benefits of raw milk is correct. Luckily, I live in a state where raw milk can be sold legally to the public. The ultra-pasteurized white fluid that is called milk is nothing like real milk. All of the nutrients have been boiled away through the pasteurization process. Save your money, it has no health benefits.

  273. #273 kristopher smith
    December 24, 2011

    “Dr. Oz” was on Oprah’s talk show (a Protege?)several times before landing his own show (with Oprah’s help?). HE is part of the New Age Movement in America and the world, although many NA supporters will not openly admit it. Oprah and her “big money” is backing Obama’s second term as U.S.President. A comment on a political article follows:
    Obama WILL WIN PRESIDENCY! NEW World Order (TV’s OWN) Oprah Winfrey, High Priestess of the New Age Movement (read the website articles on this), and her guru, satanist Tolle, will SEE TO IT! Obama & Michelle are going to CHANGE THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT TODAY! “CHANGES” such as these are predicted in the Christian Bible! Oprah & Tolle are Obama’s MEDIA PUBLIC RELATIONS TEAM & are getting the messages OUT TO THE MASSES that there is NOT ONE GOD – MONOTHEISM – AS TAUGHT TO THEM BY THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN RELIGION ! EACH INDIVIDUAL HAS GOD IN HIMSELF! MILLIONS OF FANS believe Oprah and are buying up these “messages” of the Oprah-spiritualism! Her “OWN” network is non-Christian, yet she has been called the Billy Graham of this age. With her so-called “spiritualism” she speaks of the Christian Bible’s positives while denouncing its negatives! Also “preaching” that people
    should not believe “redemption” is through Jesus who died on the cross for people’s sins! The “BIG THREE”, not counting Michelle (who hates America), will UNITE THE WORLD INTO A ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, ONE MONEY SYSTEM, ONE RELIGION – & IT WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY! “CHANGES” that are being pursued by these three – four when including Michele Obama – are in
    preparation for the anti-christ through the NEW AGE MOVEMENT that is now seen everywhere, if people would just “see” it! Michele has said that they would lie, cheat, steal, or whatever it takes to get “CHANGES” made to the American government, and the world. And, their PR Oprah with her adviser Tolle, are supporting and backing the Obamas! So, it is a lost cause Republican party – “BIGGER MONEY” than yours is working to put Obama back in as President! (Read websites on Oprah as High Priestess and her association with the Obamas) The High Priestess, the BIG AND POWERFUL MONEYBAGS Oprah, accompanied by satanist Tolle, have spoken! AND ARE “MANIPULATING”it so that IT WILL HAPPEN!

  274. #274 lilady
    December 24, 2011

    @ kristopher smith: Gee…you didn’t cite any of your statements…but I located the website where you drew this from:

    “HE is part of the New Age Movement in America and the world, although many NA supporters will not openly admit it. Oprah and her “big money” is backing Obama’s second term as U.S.President.” (www.wayoflife.org)

    Do you always check into the Way Of Life Ministries for directions on how to cast your ballot? Do you believe all that drivel that is posted on this ultra, ultra, beyond-far-to-the-right, conspiracy-masquerading-as-religion website?

    Try to tear yourself away from these conspiracists and look up David and Charles Koch (“The Koch Brother”), who are wealthy industrialists ($ 50 Billion combined worth) and have been funding right-wing organizations for years…buying themselves politicians. A good article for you to read is:

    “Koch Brothers: secretive billionaires to launch vast databases with 2012 in mind” (The Guardian, November 7, 2011)

    BTW, this liberal Christian is voting for Barack Obama.

  275. #275 Krebiozen
    December 24, 2011

    Damn, there’s froth and spittle all over the inside of my monitor…

  276. hello,
    As I have read the blog from Dr. Oz, I was glad and impressed how he embraced the dark sides of the blog. Actually, I was being educated with it.

  277. #277 victoria.warrior
    January 5, 2012

    “You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” ~ Morpheus

  278. #278 Jessica
    January 8, 2012

    Thank-you for letting me know! I will be wary of Dr. Oz.

  279. #279 Chrystal Wilson
    January 21, 2012

    RE:Coconut Oil
    I’m sifting through the research available as well, with yet to find a long-term study with a significant sample size to be conclusive:
    http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/Coconut%20Research-Coconut%20Research%20Center.pdf

  280. #280 Roseux
    January 21, 2012

    You’re clinically retarded if you think “Alternative Medicine” (YOU people created that term, everyone else in the world just considers herbs/other flora to be medicinal inherently) doesn’t work.

    Coconut oil isn’t just some inert cooking oil. It’s the highest natural source of MCTs, which are essential for brain function. It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith to see how this could benefit alzheimers. Coincidentally, a ketogenic diet (MCTs release ketones during digestion) has been a fool proof way of treating epilepsy.

  281. #281 Chris
    January 21, 2012

    Roseux:

    You’re clinically retarded if you think “Alternative Medicine” (YOU people created that term, everyone else in the world just considers herbs/other flora to be medicinal inherently) doesn’t work.

    Please educate us on a more recent thread with some good peer reviewed articles to support your statements.

    We need more than a leap of faith, we need evidence.

  282. #282 lilady
    January 21, 2012

    @ Roseux: Let’s get something straight here from the get-go…your expression to describe developmentally disabled people is not too popular on this site. Many of the posters here have developmentally disabled family members and they have fought to educate people about the use of that word.

    “Coincidentally, a ketogenic diet (MCTs release ketones during digestion) has been a fool proof way of treating epilepsy.”

    Wrong! Ketogenic diets were the first type of medical treatment…not “alternative treatment” to control seizures about 100 years ago…before the licensing of phenobarbital and then phenytoin (Dilantin) more that 70 years ago.

    Since the licensing of these anticonvulsants, many medications have been licensed for the control of seizures. Many children and adults do achieve seizure control with these various medications/combination of medication.

    Ketogenic diets are only prescribed for refractory seizures and are prescribed and monitored by neurologists and Registered Dieticians…not a ‘self-styled nutritionist’. There are varying degrees of success with this diet especially with refractory Lennox-Gestaut seizures. For certain other seizure types caused by hereditary metabolic disorders, the ketogenic diet for seizure control is contraindicated.

    Get you facts straight before you come posting here with your factoids.

  283. #283 lilady
    January 21, 2012

    @ Roseux: Please stick around…I have a comment stuck in moderation, directed at your comment.

  284. #284 Mik Pazula
    February 12, 2012

    Not an Oz fan. However, the medical profession has a big PR problem. I realize what I am about to type is anecdotal, but more than once I have met a person entering a hospice care program who is taking more than 10 different meds daily. The first thing a good hospice care provider will do is wean them off any number of meds. Instead of suffering, they often improve. Someone is going to write and say that some improve and an equal number do not. But the first rule is do no harm. Doctors do push pills. A thirty five year old needs to try many other things before being prescribed statins. An 85 year old hospice patient does not need to take them either, regardless of the results of his or her lipid panel. How does a person wind up taking 15 different medicines? What could a doctor hope to accomplish by adding yet another pill to the mix? But they do, and to toss away this comment by saying that only a bad doctor would do that does not solve anything.

  285. #285 lilady
    February 12, 2012

    @ Mik Pazula: I think your definition of “improvement” while in hospice care, is different from mine.

    Patients and their families, sometimes refuse in-patient or at-home “hospice care”, because they still cling to the hope that their illness or degenerative disorder is not terminal.

    Once they “accept” that they are in the end stages of their lives, they will seek out hospice care. It has been my experience that they express regret because they didn’t seek the comfort and palliative care offered by hospice, sooner.

    “A thirty five year old needs to try many other things before being prescribed statins.”

    Here is a link to the actual diagnostic criteria for familial hypercholesterolemia and the life style changes that are recommended for patients who have this genetic condition…before statins are prescribed:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001429/

  286. #286 arther
    February 16, 2012

    You seem to be too biased against certain individual and/or alternative medicine. I have followed Dr Mercola for quite some time, all I can say that he may not be always right but his intentions are mostly right.
    Open up your eyes to the bitter fact – “Western medical practice is the biggest killer of 20th and 21st century.” Believe it or not, but it is sadly true!! Dig it more on Google, you have got all the tools!
    Apart from doing selling herbal products, people like dr mercola are warning people over and over again about this evil.

  287. #287 Beamup
    February 16, 2012

    [citation needed]

  288. #288 Chris
    February 16, 2012

    And proof that this article was about Mercola and not Dr. Mehmet Oz.

    (Why is it that Mercola apologists have so much trouble with basic English grammar? Did he even spell his own name correctly?)

  289. #289 Fred
    February 21, 2012

    Dr. Mercola is on the Dr. Oz show today. They are saying that cancer can be cured with eggplant. I haven’t heard of that before.

  290. #290 Fred
    February 21, 2012

    I stand corrected. It is all over the Internet – Eggplant cures cancer.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/11/eggplant_mania_for_cancer.php

  291. #291 Beamup
    February 21, 2012

    The nasty cynical part of me suspects that you haven’t heard of it before because it’s made up and false.

  292. #292 Harry
    February 29, 2012

    Whether or not coconut oil works is a matter for investigation. It’s certainly harmless if it doesn’t. But lost in the coconut oil claims are the claims that have more science behind them – i.e., that in Altzheimer’s patients, insulin resistance contributes to the failure of brain cells to utilize their primary fuel – glucose. Failure to utilize glucose can result in brain cell death or diminished brain cell function. The alternate fuel – ketones – result from a very low carbohydrate diet. The claim here is that coconut oil contains enough ketones to fuel the brain. Accordingly, coconut oil is not a “cure”, but rather an alternative fuel. Of course, cutting out sugars and most carbohydrates – a la Atkins – can result in a ketonic fuel state and do the same thing. Sugars are increasingly being viewed as long-term toxins – contributing to cancers and other diseases. So this is not really “alternative”; rather it is dietary – just as diet can affect heart disease, it can affect brain disease. Of course it needs more study, but increases in Altzheimer’s and increases in obesity (the latter increasingly seen to be caused by insulin resistance resulting from too many carbs) may not be mere coincidence or due to better diagnoses. All in all, it seems a fairly harmless experiment to try with an Altzheimer’s patient – to see if diet changes can alter the symptoms. More rational than the Raiki practitioners in the operating theater.

  293. #293 Joe
    March 18, 2012

    I couldn’t even finish reading this article because of how utterly disgusted I was. Congrats, you have an opinion! You’re simply proof of how highly brainwashed most people in society really are. The Pharmaceutical industry does not have health in mind, just profit. And if you can’t see through the lies, deception, and bullshit than you are too far gone. Our “Medicine” doesn’t cure a goddamn thing it only suppresses symptoms while causing other health related issues do to side effects. It’s blatantly obvious that clean organic food and mostly fruits and veggies is the answer to all cures along with other forms of de-stressing activities. Yoga, meditation, reiki, ect.. You’re simply a hater towards Mercola, Oz, Chopra because their views are different than yours based on how you were raised. It’s just psychology… What’ more alarming is you promoting hatred and going on the internet to spew your hatred while trying to gain an army of supporters to help make you feel good about yourself. You’re not helping anyone and are simply wasting time to what’s really important and that’s all of humanity coming together as one. But go ahead spew your hatred and see how far it takes you. Your ascension is imminent and the truth of your world “leaders” will soon be proven to be lying manipulating bastard criminals. Keep popping your pills and telling your children to do the same while they turn into zombie consumers and the religious leaders, government, politicians, bankers, and corporations pillage your money while you fight against the few people that feel alternative medicine is simply safer and more effective than mainstream medicine. You’re fighting the wrong people!!! Capitalism is ruthless and is the cause of our fiat money system, GMO foods, Pharmaceutical industries with NO cures, wars, famine, you name it… Get your head of your ass and stop listening to what other people are saying. Leaders stand alone. All the people you hate are leaders and you’re simply a zombie consumer with an opinion… SAD!!!!!!!

  294. #294 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 18, 2012

    Joe,
    1. If leaders really stand alone, can they be said to be leading?
    2. Do you have any evidence that “Our “Medicine” doesn’t cure a goddamn thing it only suppresses symptoms while causing other health related issues do to side effects.”
    3. “Your ascension is imminent…” Ascension to what?
    4. ” It’s blatantly obvious that clean organic food and mostly fruits and veggies is the answer to all cures along with other forms of de-stressing activities. Yoga, meditation, reiki, ect..” Please provide links to the research that backs this.

  295. #295 Chris
    March 18, 2012

    joe:

    It’s blatantly obvious that clean organic food and mostly fruits and veggies is the answer to all cures along with other forms of de-stressing activities. Yoga, meditation, reiki, ect..

    I recently finished Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg. It is about juvenile diabetes (type 1) in the early part of the twentieth century.

    At that time the only way to treat type 1 diabetes was through diet, often only about five hundred Calories. It somewhat worked, yet many of the children died from starvation or by actually going into a diabetic coma after succumbing to hunger by eating. Then some scientists in Canada found created a way to get insulin from animal pancreases. Their work earned them the first Nobel Prize in Medicine for Canada in 1923.

    Now, joe, which do you think is a better way to treat type 1 diabetes: diet or insulin?

  296. #296 Tracy Stafford
    April 20, 2012

    Typically the allopathic health profession altruistically and self righteously places its manipulated double blind outcomes as the only truth to condition the herd ( your terminology) to, I have worked as a registered nurse Division one in allopathic health for 35 years, (as well as studying natural therapies),what i have learnt from this is protect yourself from the allopathic medical profession and stay away unless absolutely essential as they are dangerous….take a look at the history of allopathic medicine they have always been ignorant with a vested interst in making money from the herd.
    People have the right to make there own autonomous decision about whether they use medicines chemicals or natural alternatives, you are selective about the information you draw upon( true to the advocates for allopathic medicine) to ensure your control and incomes, and who gave your views superior precidence, oh, you of course how silly of me

  297. #297 Chris
    April 20, 2012

    Tracy Stafford, what kind of dressing do you want on your word salad.

  298. #298 Habib
    April 20, 2012

    Hi, though i think not all what they say about alternative medicine (like treating cancer or other lethal diseases) is necessarily true / scientifically proven, you have to give them credit for many issues like: GMO, Aspartame, high sugar meals, Psychotropic drugs, flourides. Aren’t these actually harming us silently?? Just look at the average population: 1) falling sick more often than their parents, 2) getting diseases such as diabitis and high bolld pressure in their 30s, 3) popping mind altering pills that’s definately doing more harm than good, 4) obesity causing a whole lot of other problems etc.

    I can share from my experience over the last 2.5 years that i have tried to follow some of these advices. I have lost weight and haven’t had any health problems (fever, cold etc ). I managed to stay in excellent health and i can vouch that the lifestyle change has helped me. Again, i am not advocating anyone’s view and only sharing from my experience. Neither am i saying you should spend tons of money on all health supplements.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers!
    Habib

  299. #299 Kelly M Bray
    April 20, 2012

    What’s wrong with GMO’s Habib? I have yet to hear a cogent argument against them. Please feel free to be the first.

  300. #300 Militant Agnostic
    April 20, 2012

    Kelly M Bray
    I heard that GMOs raise your bold pressure and fracture your grammar.

  301. #301 Habib
    April 21, 2012

    On GMOs, my view is that as it is an altered form of food, it’s better avoided if you have other options. Most of the experiments that tried to tamper with natural selection has had adverse outcomes (e.g. cloning). Again, this is my view based on what i’ve read. You have all rights to have other views my friend!

  302. #302 Kelly M Bray
    April 21, 2012

    Why is it better avoided. Is rice with an enriched beta-Carotene content inherently evil? If it had been made by cross breeding would that make it morally acceptable. How many people should suffer until years of crossbreeding are successful?

    From Wikipedia…
    Vitamin A deficiency is estimated to affect approximately one third of children under the age of five around the world. It is estimated to claim the lives of 670,000 children under five annually. Approximately 250,000–500,000 children in developing countries become blind each year owing to vitamin A deficiency, with the highest prevalence in Southeast Asia and Africa.

    How many blind children should we tolerate until we make a politically correct crop?