Respectful Insolence

As hard as it is to believe, I’ve been blogging about anti-vaccine nonsense and autism quackery since early 2005. Before that, I had been a regular on the misc.health.alternative newsgroup, where I had also encountered anti-vaccine pseudoscience, but the topic had not been a top priority for me. In fact, when I started this blog back in late 2004, I did not imagine at that time that I would somehow end up becoming one of the “go-to” bloggers for taking on anti-vaccine nonsense. Yet somehow I did, and dealing with the misinformation, lies, and pseudoscience of the anti-vaccine movement has remained a major topic of not only this blog, but the other not-so-super-secret blog of my alter ego, and I’ve even found myself giving talks on it. As a side effect, because one of the most pervasive anti-vaccine myths is that vaccines somehow cause autism, I’ve learned a lot about autism, autistic children, and the difficulties parents with autistic children have. Unfortunately, I’ve also learned of a whole lot of quackery to which parents subject autistic children to try to “recover” them from “vaccine injury” or “toxic injury.”

All of which is yet another example of my longwinded way of introducing a topic. In this case, my long background of having been blogging about vaccine issues and autism quackery serves as the backdrop for my surprise at recently having encountered an autism quack (in my opinion) of whom I had never heard before. I first encountered this practitioner at–surprise! surprise!–at a website that is one of the foremost sources of alternative medicine pseudoscience and quackery on the Internet, a hive of scum and quackery even more wretched than The Huffington Post and only rivaled by NaturalNews.com and Whale.to. I’m referring, of course, to Mercola.com, where Joe Mercola himself posted a video entitled How a physician cured her son’s autism, in which he interviewed a physician named Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who claims, well, that she cured her son of autism:

The red flags are there from the very beginning when Campbell-McBride states quite confidently:

My first born son was diagnosed autistic at the age of three which threw me into a huge learning curve because I had to find a solution to his problem because my own profession had nothing to offer which was a bit of a shock for me.

Having found all those solutions, I went back to the university. I completed a second postgraduate degree in human nutrition and learned many more other things. As a result, my son fully recovered. He is not autistic anymore. He is living a normal life.

Whenever I hear stories like this, I always refer back to Prometheus’ excellent post entitled Testimonials: Listening to people’s stories. This post is, in part, about how it is not nearly as uncommon as parents think for children with a diagnosis of autism to improve spontaneously. Indeed, most parents think this never happens spontaneously, and that’s one (among many) reasons why they assume that whatever quackery they treat their child with must be the cause of their child’s improvement. Yet, autism is a disorder of developmental delay, not developmental stasis; autistic children can and do develop. In fact, a significant minority can even lose the diagnosis of autism or AST by age seven as they develop. As Prometheus points out, promoters of the vaccine-autism myth don’t like to hear that, mainly because it casts doubt upon whether the quackery they choose to treat their children actually does anything. After all, if autism were truly a condition of developmental stasis, then you almost wouldn’t need a control group. If an autistic child improved on a treatment, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that the treatment was beneficial. However, autism is extremely variable. Autistic children can develop, often in spurts punctuated by longer periods of apparent developmental stasis. If one of those spurts happens to occur after a new round of quackery, it’s very easy to conclude that the quackery was responsible.

Dr. Campbell-McBride also falls for the myth of the “autism epidemic.” It always disappoints me to see a physician fall for this myth so hard, much as it disappoints me whenever our favorite anti-vaccine-sympathetic pediatrician to the stars, Dr. Jay Gordon, shows up to promote this myth, but fall for it Campbell-McBride does:

DM: So about the same time I did. Do you recall the incidence of autism around then? Was it about 1 in 100,000 or so? What is your current estimate as to the incidence today in the UK?

DC: It was 1 in 10,000 when I graduated. It was a very rare disorder. Even I as a medical graduate have never seen an autistic patient. By the time I graduated from my medical school I have never an autistic individual. I have seen other psychiatric conditions through my course in psychiatry but have never seen an autistic child. To be honest, the first autistic child that I have encountered was my own.

As I said, 20 years ago in the Western world and certainly in the English-speaking world, we were diagnosing one child in 10,000. Fifteen years ago, we were diagnosing and five years ago we were diagnosing one child in 150 which is almost a 40-fold increase in incidence. Now in Britain and some countries, we are diagnosing one child in 66.

Apparently, the concept of diagnostic substitution is alien to Dr. Campbell-McBride. It turns out that most research supports the concept that broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism in the 1990s led to a shift in diagnoses towards autism and ASDs and that the actual prevalence of the condition has remained relatively stable over the last few decades. True, the studies aren’t so bulletproof that they don’t completely rule out a small real increase in autism/ASD prevalence, but they do pretty authoritatively close the door on their being an autism “epidemic.”

In the next part of the interview, Dr. Campbell-McBride gets to the heart of her “treatment” for autism by describing what she thinks is the cause of autism. Basically, she does not believe there is a genetic component to autism, at least not in the way that real scientists do. Instead, she expresses an absolute certainty that autistic children are born with “perfectly normal brain and perfectly normal sensory organs and they are supposed to function normally.” So what disrupts this normal functioning?

This, apparently:

What happens in these children, they do not develop normal gut flora from birth, from the beginning of their life. Gut flora is a hugely important part of our human physiology. Recently research in Scandinavia has demonstrated that 90% of all cells and all genetic material in a human body is our own gut flora. We are just a shell. We are only 10%. We are a habitat for this mass of microbes inside us. We ignore them at our peril.

What happens in these children they develop very abnormal gut flora from the beginning of their lives. So as a result their digestive system instead of being a source of nourishment for these children becomes a major source of toxicity. These pathogenic microbes inside their digestive tract damage the integrity of the gut wall.

So all sort of toxins and microbes flood into the bloodstream of the child and get into the brain of the child. That usually happens in the second year of life in children who were breast fed because breastfeeding provides a protection against this abnormal gut flora.

Recognize this? It wasn’t so long ago that I wrote about detoxification quackery. What Dr. Campbell-McBride is talking about here is nothing more than a variant of the ancient concept of autointoxication, whereby our own human waste products “poison” us. The difference is that she’s attributing it to bacteria living in our gut. But where do many of the bacteria living in your gut end up? In your poop, of course! In any case, Campbell-McBride even has a name for her invented autism syndrome: Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS). She’s even developed a whole cottage industry of dietary woo to treat it, which can be found on various websites, including Gut and Psychology Syndrome, The GAPS Diet, and in her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome Book: Natural Treatment For: Autism, ADD, ADHD Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Schizophrenia. And, of course, she has her own website Doctor-Natasha.com, and if you check it out you’ll see that she claims to be able to treat anything from acne to depression to diabetes to autism to ADHD to schizophrenia to tummy pain. Yes, tummy pain. (I always thought that a good shot of Pepto-Bismol would take care of your basic tummy pain much of the time.) Here is her pseudoscience explained:

Basically, when it comes to autism (due to GAPS, natch!) Dr. Campbell-McBride blames abnormalities in the gut flora (due to GAPS again, natch!) as the cause. The information and claims on her websites can be boiled down into two or three things:

  • If you don’t breastfeed, your child’s gut flora will be abnormal, and he will likely develop GAPS, which can lead to autism, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions.
  • Females who aren’t breastfed will grow up to be women who have children whose gut flora will be abnormal too, because infants acquire their gut flora mainly from their mother. (How’s that for blaming the mother for autism?)
  • BUY MY BOOK!

Of course, listening to Dr. Campbell-McBride’s claims, I had to ask one thing: Where’s the evidence? Surely, such a hypothesis should be easy to test. For instance, if it were true, wouldn’t bottle fed babies be far more likely to develop autism than breastfed babies? The problem is, this doesn’t appear to be so. Yes, there is evidence that breastfed babies have a lower incidence of autism, but the effect, if real, is nowhere near as strong as Dr. Campbell-McBride claims, certainly not strong enough to be a cause of the “autism epidemic.” In fact, the correlation argues otherwise. Indeed, as the authors of one study pointed out, the prevalence of breastfeeding increased during the 1970s, decreased during the 1980s, and then increased again during the 1990s. By 2002, breastfeeding prevalence had reached an all-time high. Using typical anti-vaccine logic, that correlation should imply that breastfeeding causes autism, not that it protects against it. The bottom line is that the evidence is at best inconclusive that breastfeeding might be somewhat protective against the development of autism, and that’s not good enough to sustain a hypothesis like Dr. Campbell-McBride’s. On the other hand, perhaps that’s why she believes it so strongly.

Not surprisingly, though, like all good autism pseudoscientists, Dr. Campbell-McBride has a fallback hypothesis. Even less surprisingly, it’s those evil vaccines, and she claims to be able to identify children who are susceptible to “vaccine injury” based changes in their gut flora identified by various woo-tastic urine and stool tests:

In my book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, I wrote a whole chapter what I described a proposal to the authorities of what they should do with our vaccination strategy because the standard vaccination protocol is damaging these babies. They’re not fit to be vaccinated this way.

Seeing that the proportion of GAPS children in the population is growing, nobody has calculated how many children today are born GAPS. I would love for somebody to do that study to actually ascertain how many children and what proportion of the population are GAPS children. But this proportion is going to grow and grow and grow. These children are not fit to be vaccinated with the standard vaccination protocol.

Another problem is that vaccinations are commercial products and the number of them is growing and growing because they are highly profitable for the pharmaceutical industry, for the governments in the West and for those who administer vaccines, for the medical industry as well. It’s become a profit making industry (vaccination).

Yep, the tropes are all there: That the medical industry is out only for profits, that there is a predisposition to “vaccine injury” causing autism and various other health issues. And, of course, Dr. Campbell-McBride has the cure, a special diet. How do we know it works? Why, because of the testimonials, of course! Certainly, properly conducted scientific research culminating in randomized, double-blind clinical trials has nothing to do with it.

I suppose, in a way, that I should thank Dr. Campbell-McBride. After over six years of blogging about vaccine- and autism-related topics, I had begun to become a bit complacent, thinking that there was no quackery that I haven’t seen or examined. Dr. Campbell-McBride’s concept of GAPS as a cause of autism has taught me otherwise.

Comments

  1. #1 Ashtanga London
    August 1, 2011

    @MA – sure, with most things that are peddled as autism ‘cures’.

    How is it possible for anyone to profit from pot as medicine for autism?
    How can thousands be mistaken or deluded, they are not all doing it for profit, surely?
    The 5000 anonymous bloggers who dare speak of their successes. Surely if they try to sell it they will get a visit from the DEA posing as customers?
    Unless there is a law saying only Big Pharma can grow it and you can’t?

    It must be true.

  2. #2 Militant Agnostic
    August 1, 2011

    It’s become a profit making industry (vaccination).

    And pedaling woo cures for autism, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Schizophrenia, and Toronto Maple Leafs Fans is not a profit making industry? I would like to see a comparison of ROIs between research, testing and manufacturing vaccines versus making shit up and publishing a book.

  3. #3 Dragonfly
    August 1, 2011

    Nope, I’d rather buy Orac’s book

  4. #4 Militant Agnostic
    August 1, 2011

    90% of all cells and all genetic material in a human body is our own gut flora.

    Yes, but they are only a small fraction of the mass of the human body. However, when you are as full of shit as Dr. Campbell-McBride, then gut flora also are the majority of the mass of your body.

  5. #5 Midnight Rambler
    August 1, 2011

    Dr. Campbell-McBride’s next video: One Mother, One Child, One Cup.

  6. #6 Sami
    August 1, 2011

    If damage to the digestive tract caused autism, wouldn’t that mean children with coeliac disease would be near-guaranteed to be autistic? An undiagnosed coeliac’s digestive tract can be a ravaged ruin. I know my friend’s was. She was diagnosed at 15, and pre-diagnosis her system was sufficiently ruined that she ate six times what any healthy child could ever force down and was underweight to the point of borderline malnutrition.

    Developmental problems: zero.

  7. #7 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2011

    Dr. Campbell-McBride runs the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic which makes it sounds like it is associated with the academic establishment in Cambridge. As far as I can tell it isn’t. It seems to be an alternative health clinic situated in Soham, a village 14 miles from Cambridge itself, in a residential street. Dr. Campbell-McBride charges £100 (about $160) per hour for her services.

    It annoys me when people try to take advantage of others’ reputations. If that is not Dr. Campbell-McBride’s intention, why not call her clinic the Soham Nutrition Clinic?

  8. #8 MikeMa
    August 1, 2011

    Or call the clinic the “We rip the gullible off clinic”.

  9. #9 DrDuran
    August 1, 2011

    There is no cure for Toronto Maple Leafs Fans or anyone else from Toronto for that matter!

  10. #10 Ashtanga London
    August 1, 2011

    @Liz Ditz – get rid of the criminal involvement just by legalising it as Orac says.

    Anyway, those 5000 anecdotal accounts, please find me ONE that has an obvious way of profiting from it and link it here. I simply don’t believe you know what you are talking about.

    As far as I can see those people are being brave and speaking up to help others where legal medicine is not able too, and remember that people are speaking out about it in the UK too where there is no way they could profit like in California,

    Don’t patronise me. It is not just parent and child amateur research. That search I did the other day turned up 3 professional studies.

    I’m really suspicious that the issue is always dodged and never tackled head-on with science based approach?

  11. #11 Liz Ditz
    August 1, 2011

    sez Ashtanga London (surely a sockpuppet for whatsisname the pot cures everything guy

    How is it possible for anyone to profit from pot as medicine for autism?

    Come to California where we have both medical marijuana dispensaries (do they give the product away, oh no they don’t) and armies of illegal growers, clearcutting and poisoning public lands for large-scale marijuana plantations (do they do so just for fun? oh no it’s a huge business, mostly run by drug cartels from Mexico).

    So there’s profit all down the pipeline, from seeds to the final ingestion.

    And there’s only anecdotal evidence that feeding young children marijuana benefits autism symptoms, or anything else. Again, it’s uncontrolled experimentation (usually by parents) on human subjects.

  12. #12 Ashtanga London
    August 1, 2011

    Anglachel, from what I can see, the adults have been testing it on themselves for years before the parents ever found it by googling, then they tried it on their kids (usually with the guidance of a shady unnamed doctor in the background).

    Only tried on the kids in the last few years.

    This looks different to all those other woo treatments. For starters, it doesn’t claim to cure, only to reduce symptoms temporarily.

    If it really works then surely it is what the autism world needs?

    Oh, I just called 01353 723234 (Campbell’s number), her husband answered, he said “I don’t want to be having this conversation.” O_o

  13. #13 Lori
    August 1, 2011

    Interestingly – there was a Danish study which did find a link between maternal autoimmune disorders and autism in their offspring, with the most significant association between celiac/autism.

    Do a pubmed search on celiac autism, Danish.

    PS: she probably didn’t want to call it the Soham Nutrition clinic because most people in the UK associate that place with a particularly nasty child abduction/murder case.

  14. #14 Krebiozen
    August 1, 2011

    Lori,

    she probably didn’t want to call it the Soham Nutrition clinic because most people in the UK associate that place with a particularly nasty child abduction/murder case.

    I doubt that, as it was established in 2000 before those murders in 2002.

  15. #15 triskelethecat
    August 1, 2011

    What is it about people and bowel/gut issues? I just don’t get it. Is it because we are taught bowel movements are dirty/nasty/disgusting (don’t touch that!) as a young child? Why are these people so focused on gut problems? Haven’t studies shown that gut issues are NOT an common element of AS/ASDs (except toileting issues perhaps leading to gut issues). I just don’t understand their fixation on bowels.

    @Lori: it appears to be an interesting study (but oh noes! It has the EVIL Dr Thorson in the authors list) but I would like to be able to read the full study, given this is the conclusion (bolding mine):

    Associations regarding family history of type 1 diabetes and infantile autism and maternal history of rheumatoid arthritis and ASDs were confirmed from previous studies. A significant association between maternal history of celiac disease and ASDs was observed for the first time. The observed associations between familial autoimmunity and ASDs/infantile autism are probably attributable to a combination of a common genetic background and a possible prenatal antibody exposure or alteration in fetal environment during pregnancy.

  16. #16 victor pavlovic
    August 1, 2011

    ORAC, AKA Frontman, AKA Whipping Boy, for Big Corrupt Pharma. This man defends vaccines as if somebody wants to take away his livelihood. Hmm… I wonder if I hit on something here!

  17. #17 Lawrence
    August 1, 2011

    Victor – what an amateur…..

    I wonder how the various woo-meisters deal with the internal & external inconsistencies in their various “treatments.” Since you have them throwing out many different ideas or reasons for the variety of ailments out there, and all have their own “guaranteed natural” ways of dealing with the same things.

    I wonder how they attempt to measure up with each other.

  18. #18 James Hanley
    August 1, 2011

    The curious thing is that so many doctors, who all studied chemistry and biology as undergrads, have such a poor grasp of science. But for the delivery end of medical care there is a certain element of magic–diagnose patient, apply treatment, patient is cured. For those who don’t really understand how the treatment works, it is all very “woo-ful.” Certainly for most patients the actual experience of it is not far from simple magic. And I think for many doctors it is not fundamentally different–they have a cookbook of sorts that says “use potion X to cure symptom Z,” they follow it, and it works. So for those not naturally scientifically inclined in their approach to the world, their presumably scientific impression can actually reinforce their woo-ful tendencies.

  19. #19 triskelethecat
    August 1, 2011

    @victor pavlovic: as you may have noted from your other trolling visits, Orac’s livelihood is NOT dependent on vaccines. Most surgeons are not, and for a surgeon/researcher, that goes double.

    However, as a good physician, he DOES care about his patient’s health, and probably recommends appropriate vaccines they may be lacking, especially important in someone who may be facing the immunodepression of chemotherapy in the future.

    I sincerely doubt his office gives any vaccines though; they probably are referred back to their primary physicians for them.

    Now crawl back under your bridge.

    @Lawrence: BUT they aren’t tools of Big Pharma! They only offer medications, treatments, pills (only available from themselves) out of the goodness and kindness of their hearts, doncha know? They can’t be making tons of money off their offerings. That would make them moneygrubbers. And we all know that people like Dr Natasha isn’t out for the money.

  20. #20 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2011

    If you don’t breastfeed, your child’s gut flora will be abnormal, and he will likely develop GAPS, which can lead to autism, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions. Females who aren’t breastfed will grow up to be women who have children whose gut flora will be abnormal too, because infants acquire their gut flora mainly from their mother. (How’s that for blaming the mother for autism?)

    Blaming the *grandmother* even. It’s quite absurd. Clearly, she’s unaware of research which showed that an infant’s gut flora changes radically several times during the first year of life — regardless of the method of feeding or birth. This is probably mostly because babies stick EVERYTHING in their mouths. Heck, I’m doubtful that breastfeeding is actually a big contributor to gut colonization, because gut bacteria don’t normally live in the breasts (if they do, that’s actually quite a bad thing), and most women shower regularly and then keep their breasts covered, preventing them from getting much more than lint on them. I doubt very much that this is the major route of bacteria entering the child’s gut.

    Also, anecdote time (if her anecdote is good, surely she’ll think mine is too?): my mother breastfed me; I breastfed my daughter; my daughter is on the spectrum with attention problems as well. Of course, she does weasel out of cases like that, by saying essentially that insufficient breastfeeding causes autism, except when it doesn’t. Then it’s vaccines, which somehow alter gut flora even in babies which haven’t been vaccinated yet and in vaccines that are delivered subcutaneously rather than orally.

    I also wonder what she considers “normal” gut flora. Gut flora in healthy individuals varies quite widely, after all.

    Militant Agnostic:

    Yes, but they are only a small fraction of the mass of the human body. However, when you are as full of shit as Dr. Campbell-McBride, then gut flora also are the majority of the mass of your body.

    ZING!!!! You win the thread.

    Sami:

    If damage to the digestive tract caused autism, wouldn’t that mean children with coeliac disease would be near-guaranteed to be autistic? An undiagnosed coeliac’s digestive tract can be a ravaged ruin. I know my friend’s was. She was diagnosed at 15, and pre-diagnosis her system was sufficiently ruined that she ate six times what any healthy child could ever force down and was underweight to the point of borderline malnutrition.

    Agreed. I’ll add another anecdote: two of my cousins. They’re sisters, raised together in a loving family with nearly identical conditions, except for diet. One of them has celiac sprue, so she never touches gluten. She was diagnosed at 6 months, when she first tried wheat cereal. She was hospitalized for a couple of weeks; it was that bad. Today, she is getting ready to start college, and is a bright, normal girl. Her older sister, who has no problem with wheat, has attention deficit disorder. So they are the opposite of what Dr Campbell-McBride’s “theory” would predict. (I put “theory” in quotes because it doesn’t seem sufficiently well formed, and it’s certainly not adequately tested.)

    I can think of a few possible explanations for why celiac disease could nevertheless seem to have a weak correlation to autism and other related disorders. First off, celiac disease makes people uncomfortable and also impairs absorption of nutrients — both of these things will aggravate mild cases of attention problems or other impairments. So perhaps a person with ADHD is more likely to be diagnosed if they have a comorbid diagnosis of celiac disease. It’s not that it’s more common; it’s just more noticable. Second, celiac disease has a very clear-cut genetic basis, and it is strongly heritable. It’s a recessive trait, however, so lots of people carry the gene but do not have celiac disease. Developmental problems can also be heritable. It is not implausible that the genes for one are more common in the same populations that are more likely to have the other through chance alone. It is also possible that the genes relate to one another in some way that has not yet been discovered without either being dependent on the other. But this would not demonstrate that one condition causes the other, any more than having dark skin causes sickle cell anemia; it would merely mean that they run in the same bloodlines. For Campbell-McBride’s claims to hold water, she would need to not only actually study the question (rather than merely assuming in her arrogance that she cannot possibly be wrong) but also rule out these other possibilities.

    I doubt very much she’d be interested in doing all that work, though. It’s so much simpler to assume correctness and begin treating patients immediately.

  21. #21 Anton P. Nym
    August 1, 2011

    The curious thing is that so many doctors, who all studied chemistry and biology as undergrads, have such a poor grasp of science.

    Alas, survey-level chemistry courses (at least, in my direct experience, and I’ve heard tales about undergraduate biology) aren’t really taught in a manner that fosters scientific or critical thinking… a lot of the time it’s cookbook lab stuff and formula-cramming, with little difference between a wet-bench and an altar with the CRC “Rubber Bible” standing in for the Gideon version.

    I wish it was different; I wish those courses went more into the philosophy of science and the scientific method than they do… but I guess it’s a problem of limited time and the large volume of knowledge that needs to be imparted within it.

    — Steve

  22. #22 Lynn Wilhelm
    August 1, 2011

    I know someone who’s really into the GAPS diet. Don’t know why, her son is not (AFAIK) autistic.
    I’ve posted about her blog before. Here’s a recent article on why people who refuse to “change their food” are not as good as she is: http://movingstronglyforward.typepad.com/moving_strongly_forward/2011/07/the-no-action-problem.html
    She seems to obsess about food, trying clay, butter oil and gluten-free and waxing poetic about some paleo diet.

    She’s also anti-vax and seems to have a child with so many little ills it seems she ought to have “cured” him by now. She deletes my comments, but has let other dissenters like Lawrence comment.

    By the way, she’s going to be lobbying in North Carolina for CAM and she seems quite persuasive. This is my biggest concern.

  23. #23 MikeMa
    August 1, 2011

    @victor,
    You make that lame pharma shill claim as if there were no financial gain for the woo meisters advocating anti-science to the gullible.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2011

    (@ triskelethecat – Dawn, I think that parents of children with ASDs are focused on these issues because, in the wake of de-institutionalisation, they are often the care-givers, thus responsible for possibly in-communicative, partially untrained older children and young adults: woos pick up on what concerns potential marks. Similarly, issues surrounding the SMI – smoking, drug use, sexuality- were not generally discussed decades ago because they were not living at home in the community- out of sight, out of mind. Plus restrictions were enforcable by others)

    A couple of other things here: red flags for me about Dr Campbell-McBride- I would be very wary about anyone who says ” threw me into a large learning curve” and studied nutrition to deal with developmental issues. Actually she sounds like woo-meisters selling diet plans ( non-gluten/ non-casein; supplements) for autism, learning disabilities, and mental illness. Again, they postulate an external cause and relish an external cure, the usual manner of attribution of causality amongst the nutritionism crowd.

    Why are they so afraid of an even partially genetic explanation? Do they see it as stigma? This seems to be a general trend in woo-topia: denial of genetic causes to serious physical and mental illnesses as well as ASDs: they have a problem accepting that awful things can occur that are beyond personal control- people can get cancer even if they live in a healthy fashion, people who were never mis-treated can be SMI, and unvaccinated children can have autism. It is not the external toxic world tampering with previous perfection. If these conditions are caused by nutrition, people are able to control them – as least in their own minds.

    I’ve spent the past few days reading AoA’s most recent entries and following television coverage of the countdown to World Economic Ragnarok-Gotterdammerung-Apocalypse** and can’t decide which of the two uses the more frightening language ( probably the former). There are some truly complicated acts of “reasoning” illustrated in a few of these articles: if you like that sort of thing, take a peek.

    ** which btw, seems to have been averted and I’z going to a party!

  25. #25 Composer99
    August 1, 2011

    From Militant Agnostic @ #1:

    And pedaling woo cures for autism, ADD, ADHD, Depression, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Schizophrenia, and Toronto Maple Leafs Fans is not a profit making industry?

    QFT

    (Disclosure: I am a fan of a competing NHL team in Toronto’s division.)

  26. #26 Elly
    August 1, 2011

    “So all sort of toxins and microbes flood into the bloodstream of the child and get into the brain of the child.”

    Ok, I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me that she’s describing a condition that would lead to septic shock, bacterial meningitis or some other serious, physiological crisis. “Developmental stasis” would be the least of a child’s problems, if his/her bloodstream was truly being “flooded” with anaerobic bacteria and (presumably endo-/exo-) toxins.

  27. #27 triskelethecat
    August 1, 2011

    @Composer99: Do the Red Wings count? I don’t follow hockey, but as a former Detroiter, my heart belongs to those teams, if any. (Don’t know if there IS a cure for that…)

  28. #28 Tim
    August 1, 2011

    Thanks for posting this. I first became aware of Campbell-McBride via my sister whose daughter has a number of food sensitivities. Her daughter also has no signs of autism, but she is definitely a big fan of the diet for reasons I can’t quite comprehend. I’ve been hoping more bloggers would shine a light on GAPS and expose the pseudoscience involved.

  29. #29 Annette Jackson
    August 1, 2011

    A recent exchange demonstrates how corrupt medical journal publishing has become. This can be seen from a long list of citations of medical journal papers posted on Mnookin’s blog and claimed to be evidence vaccines are safe and do not cause autistic conditions.

    Fortunately, as AoA and CHS have pointed out previously, numerous US Government agencies have confirmed vaccines can cause autistic conditions.

    oxycodone10.com

  30. #30 triskelethecat
    August 1, 2011

    @Annette Jackson: CITATION NEEDED. Real studies, not AOA’s junk science, please. You can simply post the pubmed information.

  31. #31 Lawrence
    August 1, 2011

    The old “Poling Case” ploy – grasping at straws again, are we?

  32. #32 Anton P. Nym
    August 1, 2011

    Triskelethecat, I personally doubt that “Annette Jackson” is a bona fide AOAer, given the url gratuitously slugged in… I suspect pharma-spammer, myself, though given that there’s no way I’m going to visit a web site named after an abusable drug while at work I have no way to confirm my suspicions.

    Should “Annette” not be a ‘bot/spammer, though, I second the request for legitimate citations to back up these otherwise-unsupported assertions.

    — Steve

  33. #33 Tim2
    August 1, 2011

    Tim, you must be my doppleganger. I actually first found Orac a few years ago looking for people taking on this very thing because of my in-laws ‘treating’ my nephew with this crap. What shocks me the most is my FIL, who is a very smart guy, buys into it completely. It’s maddening.

  34. #34 Th1Th2
    August 1, 2011

    Calli Arcale,

    Heck, I’m doubtful that breastfeeding is actually a big contributor to gut colonization, because gut bacteria don’t normally live in the breasts (if they do, that’s actually quite a bad thing), and most women shower regularly and then keep their breasts covered, preventing them from getting much more than lint on them. I doubt very much that this is the major route of bacteria entering the child’s gut.

    You ignoramus. This is what’s going to happen when we let uneducated people like you talk about immunology. Everything will be pure BS. Please, please, please read about what naturally acquired passive immunity is and take note of what is essentially being provided to the infant.

    This thread is going to end soon.

  35. #35 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    August 1, 2011

    Is it just me or are people like Dr. Cambell McBride starting to resemble those who use to peddle snake oil to the uneducated masses back in the day of the traveling medicine show? When souless greedy profiteers, often those who didn’t even have a real medical degree would claim “just one drop of this or that can heal all that ails you?” I’m kinda waiting for them to bring out the performing monkeys next….

    I do get tired of everyone (at least the anti vax crowd) thinking it’s alright to put those with autism through experiment after experiment with these woo treatments, some of them which can be quite painful. We are not text subjects, we are human beings, and we deserve better than that! I don’t think it’s right that parents get away with doing those things because it is all done in the name of a cure which DOES NOT EXIST!!

    They can think and even spout whatever crack pot theories about autism they want, but when the person who is actually the one with autism gets turned into a human guneiu pig, something needs to be done about that!

    I would personally like to know why there is no outcry against parents experimenting on their children with autism, yet people throw absolute fits over animal testing.

    *rant over*

  36. #36 Stu
    August 1, 2011

    Denice:

    they have a problem accepting that awful things can occur that are beyond personal control

    This is a common thread in vaccine denial, religion, 9/11 denial and many other forms of woo: the refusal to accept that sh*t happens. Keep it in mind next time you hear something loopy; odds are it can be reduced to exactly that.

    When you hear augie wax poetic about black helicopters or Thingy assure us that our children will not get sick if we just make sure they don’t play in public, that’s exactly what is going on: they cannot, will not accept that sh*t happens. It makes them uncomfortable. They cannot handle it. Everything else follows from that, ending in mysanthropic paranoia and pathological cognitive dissonance. Keep it in mind.

    Thingy:

    This is what’s going to happen when we let uneducated people like you talk about immunology.

    That just made my irony meter go supernova, sweetheart. I’ll now go ponder that while taking a cigarette intravenously.

    This thread is going to end soon.

    Your arrogance is outdone only by your ignorance.

  37. #37 D'Arcy Norman
    August 1, 2011

    As a parent of an autistic child, I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know how thankful I am for these ScienceBlogs anti-vax-quackery articles. Back when Dr. Jenny McCarthy was spouting her braindeadedness, it was refreshing to see a saner take on things. And this article is really great. Thanks.

    Actually, my son is now 8 years old, and could probably be described as “cured” – I believe it was a result of him playing Pokemon on his DS. I plan to patent “Nintendo Therapy” as an autism cure. Step 3: profit!

    ps. @Militant Agnostic: surely, watching a Leafs game is the best cure for Leaf Fandom. Thankfully, it’s also free, thanks to HNIC.

  38. #38 Anton P. Nym
    August 1, 2011

    At the risk of legitimising Our Lady of the Snot Armour by addressing him/her/it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_immunity#Naturally_acquired_passive_immunity

    Link generated in seconds by a simple Wikipedia search… Note the incredibly-limited range of immunities listed in that article that can be transferred via lactation, and how the article stresses the importance of post-natal inocculations to cover the gaps. That’s because the authours don’t fixate on any One True Cause for illness but rather look at all the evidence and acknowledge that the human body is a very, very complex assembly with many complementary (or even redundant, sometimes) parts.

    And now back to ignoring RI’s weak substitute for an Archimedes Plutonium. (They just don’t make cranks like they used to…)

    — Steve

  39. #39 Denice Walter
    August 1, 2011

    @ Stu : Sure- this provides fertile ground for woo-meisters who tell the marks exactly what they’d like to hear rather than the hard truth ( Paul Simon: “You gotta keep the customer satisfied”) unlike those cruel SBM doctors . Interestingly enough, while woo-meisters are obviously deficient intellectually in *many* ways, they appear to have just enough social cognitive skills to read the marks’ needs and typical habits of thought- which are then incorporated into their hard sell.

  40. #40 Jacob
    August 1, 2011

    News! It was true!

    ‎”Hester-Perez attributes dramatic improvements in her son’s behavior and overall health to the addition of cannabis to his treatment. Approximately 10 other autistic persons have seen improvements since augmenting their therapy with cannabis within UF4A’s case studies. She hopes this will form the basis for official academic research in the future.”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cannabis-science-reaches-final-partnership-structure-with-unconventional-foundation-for-autism-uf4a-2011-08-01

  41. #41 CG
    August 1, 2011

    You ignoramus. This is what’s going to happen when we let uneducated people like you talk about immunology. Everything will be pure BS. Please, please, please read about what naturally acquired passive immunity is and take note of what is essentially being provided to the infant.

    Thingy is half right. Maternal IgA has a profound effect on what bacteria are present in the infant’s intestines.

    Stop breastfeeding and you remove that selection which means the gut will reach equilibrium. In the long term, breastfeeding won’t have a major impact on the flora.

  42. #42 Jacob
    August 1, 2011

    Yoga fix dyspraxia.

  43. #43 anarchic teapot
    August 1, 2011

    Oh good lord, the nonsensical non sequiturs in her list of “ailments”. Is vegetarianism an illness? Here was me thinking it was a life choice:

    Did you or your child suffer from tummy aches, dyslexia, dyspraxia, was anaemic or vegetarian, and then developed psychotic episodes and was diagnosed with schizophrenia?

    This one’s a cracker:

    Has your baby been diagnosed with Failure To Thrive?

    As John Betjeman never wrote:
    Dr Campbell–McBride, Dr Campbell–McBride,
    I think you are taking us all for a ride,
    What tortuous nonsense this syndrome you see,
    I may be bipolar, you’re not treating me!

  44. #44 Vicki
    August 1, 2011

    D’Arcy,

    I have a nephew with some developmental disabilities, and part of what his parents are doing to help him is Dungeons and Dragons: it’s the right kind of structured narrative to help him grasp narrative/story better.

  45. #45 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 1, 2011

    Has your baby been diagnosed with Failure To Thrive?

    “Failure to Thrive?” I haven’t heard that phrase since All Creatures Great and Small!

    Anyway, I once had a Kenwood receiver that it turned out the tape monitor jacks were wired backwards. I put it on a strict diet and it was totally cured! True Story….

  46. #46 Mu
    August 1, 2011

    Dear Thingy, passive immunization from breast milk happens via antibodies. Gut colonizations happens via life bacteria. Please take remedial biology at your local CC and come back next year.

  47. #47 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2011

    Vicki — that’s an interesting idea. My daughter loves stories, but struggles with writing them. She can do scenes, and illustrates surprisingly well for her age, but that’s it. She does show interest in watching me and her dad play role-playing games on the computer. I hadn’t thought of trying the old pencil-and-paper ones with her. I will have to try that!

  48. #48 Todd W.
    August 1, 2011

    @Vicki and Calli

    Good to hear others finding the benefits of RPGs. They’re great for developing the imagination and honing problem-solving skills. Just don’t let any hyper-fundamentalist types hear that you’re into them. They are, after all, tools of the devil.

    I’m surprised that no one said this yet: Dr. Campbell-McBride appears to have some GAPS in her education. (Thank you. I’m here all week.)

  49. #49 Stu
    August 1, 2011

    Calli: you could even try getting a few MtG starters. They tend to be awesome as “gateway drugs”.

  50. #50 triskelethecat
    August 1, 2011

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: Failure to Thrive (FTT) is actually a known medical diagnosis. Basically, baby is not gaining weight appropriately, and the doctor thinks, What the hell is going on? FTT leads to a bunch of “rule-out” diagnoses.

    The doctor starts to play detective – is the baby getting enough calories? Is the baby allergic to the formula/something in the breastmilk? Does the baby have some rare disease that doesn’t allow him/her to digest food properly? Is the baby vomiting his/her meals?

    FTT is a “garbage can” diagnosis used until the baby has a definitive diagnosis…if one can be found. I have friends whose 3 year old child STILL has a diagnosis of FTT. Child won’t eat, and it’s very hard to give a growing child sufficient calories via tube feedings. Child weighs about 18 lbs (at age 3, should be 30 lbs or so)

  51. #51 Bronze Dog
    August 1, 2011

    It’s interesting to hear about RPGs, (videogame or tabletop) and Magic:tG in relation to autism and Asperger’s. I was diagnosed at age 30 last year as Aspergers. My mother had long suspected I had something odd, though teachers, staff, and such didn’t put much interest into investigating since I was a well-behaved A/B student.

    I was very much into videogame RPGs, Magic, and I touched a little D&D (as an adult, I’ve got lots of D&D books right now, even though I rarely play), and generally “crunchy” games where simple mechanics form complex interactions. I’m even thinking about getting back into Magic, though I’ll need somewhere to play.

  52. #52 MikeMa
    August 1, 2011

    @Todd #45
    No fair going after such low hanging fruit.

    Also, Interesting ideas on RPGs. IIRC, there were some that let you create characters online – fun for the creative visual learners. My kids are grown so my info is sadly out of date but that concept cannot have wholly disappeared.

  53. #53 Stu
    August 1, 2011

    Bronze Dog: in that case, you might also enjoy MP StarCraft II.

  54. #54 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2011

    Stu — I used to be a dungeon master. I still have the dice and the books and everything. I tried Magic: the Gathering, but it didn’t really sustain my interest as well. CalliBaby 1.0 loves Pokemon, but only collecting them, drawing them, watching them on TV, and such. She doesn’t actually enjoy the game much. She will play a modified version that she invented herself, but part of the rules involves just letting Ada tell you what has happened and who is winning each match. I’m going to try D&D with her sometime. If that fails, and she needs something more visual, we can move to Neverwinter Nights, which I used to spend a lot of hours on. ;-)

  55. #55 Calli Arcale
    August 1, 2011

    Oh, and to tie it in to the breastfeeding thread, I actually use to play Neverwinter Nights *while nursing her*. It actually worked pretty well, and she’d usually fall asleep like that.

  56. #56 KC
    August 1, 2011

    It’s true, Campbell-McBride seems overly certain of her theory despite a paucity of evidence. But Orac’s arguments don’t convince me that there is ZERO truth to what she says. In fact, many scientists around the world are hard at work looking for some kind of environmental contributor to autism (in addition to the genetic link).

    So here’s another theoretical possibility that would render both Campbell-McBride and Orac partially right: that there is a disorder called autism that has nothing to do with gut function… but that there is another sub-group of kids with gut bacteria problems who behave as if they have autism. It’s as if there could be two different problems that are currently being conflated into one diagnosis. Several 2011 studies support the fact that gut bacteria can profoundly affect mental functioning, at least in mice. More studies will sort this out over the next few years, as gut bacteria is a very hot topic of research.

    Autism is currently diagnosed based on observable behavior (communication, socialization…) rather than biology, so if there were indeed two types of kids called autistic (one with gut bacteria problems and one without), clinicians would need to update the diagnostic criteria to reflect the distinction.

    Thanks, Orac, for keeping this dialogue going.

    -KC, the Intestinal Gardener

  57. #57 Jody
    August 1, 2011

    I follow information on Dyspraxia, a related neuro-processing problem in the Autism neighborhood, and even less understood. Dyspraxia treatment is also collecting lots of Woo, and wouldn’t you know it, the GAPS books at Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has now started showing up on those sites.

    I know Orac gets tons of requests for subjects, but I’d love it if he could weigh in on the medical side of Dyspraxia diagnosis and treatment. My WooDar continually goes off when looking for resources on Dyspraxia.

  58. #58 Roadstergal
    August 1, 2011

    The curious thing is that so many doctors, who all studied chemistry and biology as undergrads, have such a poor grasp of science.

    I TAed a college biochem course for pre-med folk at a reasonably prestigious institution. The degree to which they actually studied the material… varied. It’s definitely a box-checking exercise for a certain subset.

  59. #59 Chris
    August 1, 2011

    Jody, I know what you mean! I had to leave the Araxia-Kids listserv when the woo-meisters started to take over. Though it looks on their website to be staying away from the woo.

  60. #60 herr doktor bimler
    August 1, 2011

    Recently research in Scandinavia has demonstrated that 90% of all cells and all genetic material in a human body is our own gut flora.

    “Recent research”? I think this has been known for decades. Sounds like Dr. Campbell-McBride has succumbed to the common illusion that ‘things did not happen until I personally heard of them’.

    Further evidence for this theory:

    It was a very rare disorder. Even I as a medical graduate have never seen an autistic patient. By the time I graduated from my medical school I have never an autistic individual.

    So she only starts noticing autism when she moves out of a social environment where families found ways of institutionalising any embarrassingly-different children, and deduces that it is only just appeared.

    there is evidence that breastfed babies have a lower incidence of autism
    Breastfed babies also have a lower rate of Down’s Syndrome but this is not because lack of breastfeeding causes DS.
    ————————————–
    Whipping Boy, for Big Corrupt Pharma
    Victor, you might want to learn the meaning and proper use of common English idioms like “whipping boy”, and then get back to us.

  61. #61 herr doktor bimler
    August 1, 2011

    Why are they so afraid of an even partially genetic explanation? … This seems to be a general trend in woo-topia: denial of genetic causes to serious physical and mental illnesses as well as ASDs

    When your business model consists of selling environmental changes, it makes sense to emphasise environmental causes. Genetic causes just sound less treatable.

  62. #62 Poodle Stomper
    August 1, 2011

    Mu,

    Dear Thingy, passive immunization from breast milk happens via antibodies. Gut colonizations happens via life bacteria. Please take remedial biology at your local CC and come back next year.

    Dangit! You beat me to it. I should spend more time here during the day rather than working =P

  63. #63 Ken
    August 1, 2011

    Lawrence @15: I wonder how the various woo-meisters deal with the internal & external inconsistencies in their various “treatments.”

    They don’t, but that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. The absolute failure of one treatment doesn’t rule out any of the others. Ideally, each patient will try all of them, allowing maximum income.

  64. #64 Dianne
    August 1, 2011

    I firmly believe that RPGs and college politics of the “we’ll have the world fixed in a week, two tops” variety vastly improved my social skills and allowed me to function normally in society. I never touched such mainstream stuff as dungeons and dragons though. I went straight for Ars Magica and purely locally invented RPGs (one of which was eventually sold by the GM to Steve Jackson Games and became a GURPS variant. I still think the original concept was better than what the final SJ version.)

    So I find the idea of RPG therapy delightful. Where do I sign up? And if I claim it’s therapy for Asperger’s, will my insurance pay for the pizza?

  65. #65 Nicole
    August 1, 2011

    My almost seven year old brother was cured of Autistic Disorder by chicken nuggets, bananas, and watching PBS several hours weekly.

    Of course, he’s not really cured, given that he still is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Oh, and we can’t really say if it was his diet and PBS viewing that did it, given that he received speech therapy, social work, occupational therapy, special education, and DIY behavior therapy at home. but I’m going to give credit to the nuggets, bananas, and PBS, because I want to.

    Fwiw, he is actually very close to not qualifying for a formal diagnosis (his doctor described it as looking more like residual traits than full blown ASD) however he legitimately met the full DSM criteria for autistic disorder at one point.. And, even if he does not qualify for a formal diagnosis, he will always be… well, who he is.

  66. #66 lilady
    August 1, 2011

    Dr. Campbell-Mcbride states,

    “DC: It was 1 in 10,000 when I graduated. It was a very rare disorder. Even I as a medical graduate have never seen an autistic patient. By the time I graduated from my medical school I have never an autistic individual. I have seen other psychiatric conditions through my course in psychiatry but have never seen an autistic child. To be honest, the first autistic child that I have encountered was my own.”

    So, I was wondering what her (limited) medical specialty was in Russia, that would preclude her from ever seeing an autistic person, prior to having her son?

    So, I “visited” her website and came across this gem:

    “After practicing for five years as a neurologist and three years as a neurosurgeon, she started a family and moved to the U.K.”

    It seems that there is a huge disconnect between what is posted on her website and her statement on the video. And, no I’m not willing to give her a “pass” based on the logical fallacy of autism not being on her radar until her child was diagnosed with autism.

    BTW, Dr. Campbell McBride is “franchising” her woo. On her website (www.gaps.me) is her upcoming U.S.A. schedule for classes to become a “USA Certified GAPs ™ Practitioner”. The cost for the two day training seminar is $1,175 which includes lunches, training materials and a “business starter package”. Note here, the good doctor will only provide patient (marks) referrals to “USA Certified GAPs ™ Practitioners”.

  67. #67 herr doktor bimler
    August 1, 2011

    So, I was wondering what her (limited) medical specialty was in Russia, that would preclude her from ever seeing an autistic person, prior to having her son?

    Alternative diagnoses, denial of autism and warehousing of patients seem to be standard features of Russian neurology:
    http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/dmitry-golubovsky-svetlana-reiter/everyones-different-living-with-autism-in-russia

    Let’s try the Herxheimer test with Dr Campbell-McBride’s GAPS diet! The “herxheimer reaction” is the explanation given when people try a quack diet or a quack treatment and start feeling more ill rather than any better: it is the toxins leaving their body, or the underlying infection fighting back, and the way to beat it is to step up the treatment.*

    Googling “campbell-mcbride” herxheimer:
    About 11,400 results. That’s a lot of people feeling sicker.

    * Similar to the excuse given by economic ideologues when applying their policies damages a country’s economy rather than improving it.

  68. #68 Anne
    August 1, 2011

    The GMC website does not show that Dr. Campbell-McBride has ever been licensed to practice medicine in the UK. She is probably a former physician now working as a nutritionist, but using the title “Dr.” because she does have that medical degree.

    On the tangent, I will also give a parental testimonial for the efficacy of RPG therapy (Final Fantasy highly recommended)and Collectible Card Game therapy for ASD. Also for FPS therapy (Half-Life 2 highly recommended) as beneficial to parents.

  69. #69 lilady
    August 1, 2011

    @ herr doktor bimler: Sadly, I am only too aware of the deplorable neglect of the physical, medical and educational needs of developmentally disabled children and adults in the former Soviet Union and its “satellites”. The link you provided is very interesting about present day Russian clinicians who are just beginning to diagnose “autism” and the paucity of treatment and educational programs that still exist in Russia to help autistic children meet their full potential.

    Perhaps I was remiss in my prior posting by not linking the good doctor’s neurology specialty with her statement of never having seen a person with autism and the fact that Treatment Resistant Epilepsy (TRE) is highly prevalent among “autistic” individuals. I still don’t give her a “pass” as persons with autism (and persons with autism mislabeled as being mentally retarded) are hospitalized frequently for their TRE and I strongly doubt that this neurologist never saw a person with autism (or a person with autism mislabeled as mentally retarded). See:

    Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy Common in Idiopathic Autism; Associated with Early Seizure Onset and Cognitive Impairment (Science Daily, April 11, 2011).

    P.S. I never responded to the clever poster a while back who drew the conclusion that the “expanded” diagnostic criteria for ASD has resulted in the curing of mental retardation…it gave me, the parent of a profoundly mentally retarded son with autistic-like behaviors, an immense chuckle…belated thanks.

  70. #70 Autism & Oughtisms
    August 1, 2011

    Just a quick thank you from another autism parent; I really appreciate these autism-related posts and learn a lot from them. It’s great to have someone keeping an eye out for the quackery, and being bold enough and informed enough to place such people under public scrutiny.

  71. #71 Autism & Oughtisms
    August 1, 2011

    Just a quick thank you from another autism parent; I really appreciate these autism-related posts and learn a lot from them. It’s great to have someone keeping an eye out for the quackery, and being bold enough and informed enough to place such people under public scrutiny.

  72. #72 Autism & Oughtisms
    August 1, 2011

    Just a quick thank you from another autism parent; I really appreciate these autism-related posts and learn a lot from them. It’s great to have someone keeping an eye out for the quackery, and being bold enough and informed enough to place such people under public scrutiny.

  73. #73 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 1, 2011

    KC,
    Not that I dispute what you say, but you got any evidence for that speculation? Or is all that just blue sky?

  74. #74 Sharon
    August 1, 2011

    I got called a fuck head on my blog recently for immunising my son. A child who was ASD the day he was born. And was breast fed. And had no reaction to any of his shots. I wish these quacks would crawl in a hole.

  75. #75 Jarred C
    August 1, 2011

    Ashtanga London @#5, #32
    Liz Ditz @#10

    I am by no means an expert. But I can shed some light here, based on what I know from both my older brothers being into pot, and the stories my wife tells me (she was into pot before we met). Also, my wife’s ex-boyfriend was a pot dealer. I’ve also had some friends who are dealers. Also, as a forensics person (I hesitate to call myself an expert), I have some knowledge of the legal side.

    Now, medical pot is legal in California. And the question seems to be revolving around how people can make a profit off of it.

    Since Ashtanga London has a series of questions, I’ll insert numbers to make it easier.

    1) How is it possible for anyone to profit from pot as medicine for autism?
    2) How can thousands be mistaken or deluded, they are not all doing it for profit, surely?
    3) The 5000 anonymous bloggers who dare speak of their successes. Surely if they try to sell it they will get a visit from the DEA posing as customers?
    4) Unless there is a law saying only Big Pharma can grow it and you can’t?

    I’ll answer the questions one at a time.

    Pot as a medication isn’t sold just for Autism. It’s sold for nearly anything. The problem is that most of those who want pot to be legal for medical reasons don’t want to have the medical research done, they just want it as an excuse to smoke. This is proven by the current medical pot laws: those who have a prescription (which, btw, costs about $200 [1] can get it for about any reason; my wife got hers by claiming “anxiety” and “sleep problems”) are allowed to grow up to x plants, and carry up to x amount of pot. Notice how it’s not like every other medication out there, with specific doses for specific treatments, and research showing efficacy and safety prior to legalization of the medication. Also, normal medication uses specific molecules in order to obtain a specific response. Compare that to pot, which is taking an entire section of a whole plant (smoking, orally, rectally, etc..) with no known dose to treat a plethora of symptoms, all of which are undefined. And there’s little-to-no research on efficacy or safety prior to legalization.

    1) So how is it possible to profit? Well, the docs profit by selling prescriptions (sorry, “appointments”) at about $150-200 a pop. The prescription-holders still has to buy the pot from dealers or growers if they are unable to grow themselves (not everyone knows how, or how to cultivate the active parts of the plant). Since medical pot is legal in California, and since pot is a HUGE industry in California, I think that speaks for itself on how people can profit from it. On top of that all, there is a pot option from the pharmaceutical industry, and even the DEA helped fund it. It’s called Marinol[2].

    Beyond that, here’s a news article about the business of pot [3]. Notice how in 2009, it was estimated that Mendicino County alone generated over $1 Billion per year in marijuana sales. It is definitely a for-profit industry.

    2) How can thousands be mistaken or deluded? Easy. Perfect example: not all religions are correct. Some of them must be wrong. Therefore, those adherents (of which, there are at least thousands) must be either mistaken or deluded. It is possible for thousands of people to be wrong about a subject. And medical treatments are not immune. How many thousands of readers read Whate.to, and believe it? How many thousands of readers read Mercola.com and believe it? So based on that, why would you think those 5000 are immune to being wrong? People are very fallible (including you and me). Which is why we have to do proper research: to help us overcome our inherent tendency to be mistaken. I’m all for using pot to help treat autism, provided that there is evidence that it helps. At this point, we don’t even know how autism comes about, and I’m fairly certain (I could be wrong) that there aren’t any real or consistent treatments for autism that work. Since autism is a spectrum, I’m willing to accept a “for this type of autism, this treatment will work on roughly this many patients” type of deal. But we need to research to show the numbers.

    3) The DEA doesn’t really peruse message boards. They do take tips from the population, though, and if the tip is significant enough, they’ll look into it. The DEA typically goes after the big dogs – and individual pot farmers are not big. Pot is legal in California, but not Federally, so those pot farms up in Humbolt County, while they’re protected by the local law, still get raided by the DEA. Remember, though, that the DEA also has to deal with national and international drug rings dealing with more than just pot – meth, coke, etc.. So a bunch of people growing pot for themselves (and maybe making a few bucks selling to a few others) are usually under the DEA’s radar.

    4) I think I answered this above. Medical pot shouldn’t have anything to do with growing your own. It should be about treating specific conditions with specific molecules; not about smoking 400+ chemicals in the hopes that a few of them will work.

    it’s a huge business, mostly run by drug cartels from Mexico

    Not all of it. For example, the pot farms up in Humbolt and Mendicino Counties are not run by the cartels. In fact, the local law enforcement are so concerned about it, that they focus on protecting the pot farmers from murders and raids by the cartels, rather than stopping the farmers from growing. (Sorry, no citation, just based on what I’ve been told by law enforcement from that area).

    [1] http://www.webehigh.com/news/detail.php?choose_subject=1&newsId=331&CITYID=0

    [2] http://www.justice.gov/dea/ongoing/marinol.html

    [3] http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28354324/ns/business-cnbc_tv/t/pot-growers-thrive-northern-california/

  76. #76 Jack
    August 2, 2011

    What’s interesting here is that she takes two factual statements and tries to link them using total bullshit. It’s true that breastfed babies have different gut flora than bottlefed babies and it’s also true that there is a (very) minor difference in autism prevalence between those two groups*. So Campbell McBride desperately tries to link them, saying “different gut flora leads to, um, something… toxins! yes, ‘toxins’ that’s what it is! And that causes autism!” It feels as if she made the “toxins” thing up on the spot.

    *Nevermind all of the confounding factors when comparing women who breastfeed and women who bottlefeed. Surely she can’t believe that there’s no systematic differences between the demographics of these two groups that could much more easily account for the difference in autism prevalence?? She must have skipped every journal club in medical school and residency because she is sorely uneducated in how the medical literature should be read.

  77. #77 Family Physicians
    August 2, 2011

    Amazing article about autism, now I’m more focused on what Autism is & I’ve learned a lot about autism.

  78. #78 Peter English
    August 2, 2011

    Great blog.

    But I have to ask about “By 2002, breastfeeding prevalence had reached an all-time high.” Surely, until the mid 20th century or thereabouts, nearly all babies were breast fed? We just didn’t have breast-milk substitutes until then. I think you must mean “its highest level since the 1960s” or something…

  79. #79 Liz Ditz
    August 2, 2011

    Somewhat on-topic, since the GAPS diet is also a “treatment” for dyslexia.

    Screening for and remediating dyslexia is my field*. (There’s a tremendous amount of woo out there relative to dyslexia, too — don’t get me started). In the UK, evidently it is believed that dyslexia and dyspraxia are related, or as Campbell-McBride claims:

    There is about 50% overlap between dyslexia and dyspraxia and 25-50% overlap between hyperactivity and dyslexia and dyspraxia.

    The ADHD / dyslexia overlap has some validity. I have no idea about dyslexia and dyspraxia, since dyspraxia is so rarely diagnosed in the US and certainly isn’t “a hallmark” of dyslexia the way it seems to be in the UK.

    OOHHH I like this one too

    The majority of children and adults with neurological and psychiatric conditions look pale and pasty.

    Can we say, “confirmation bias”? Certainly institutionalized persons tend to the pale and pasty side. Even the “pre-conversational” kids I know with autism are robust and

    But I digress.

    I wonder if Campbell-MacBride brought her woo-tastic ideas with her. I found these two citations in her bibliography:

    Tabolin VA, Belmer SV, Gasilina TV, Muhina UG, Korneva TI. Rational therapy of intestinal disbacteriosis in children. – M.:Medicina, 1998, 22p (Russian).

    Vorobiev AA, Pak SG et al. (1998). Disbacteriosis in children. A textbook for doctors and medical students.(Russian). M.: “KMK Lt.”, 1998. 64p. ISBN 5-87317-049-5.

    =====
    *and difficulties with writing, especially in grades k-8. Calli Arcale, and anybody else whose children are having difficulty with written language, feel free to email me for some perspectives, tips and tricks.

  80. #80 Marry Me, Mindy
    August 2, 2011

    Surely, until the mid 20th century or thereabouts, nearly all babies were breast fed? We just didn’t have breast-milk substitutes until then.

    Well they _did_ substitute, just not appropriately.

    A curious fact: formula was not developed as an alternative to breastfeeding, but as a better substitute than what people were using instead of breastfeeding, like cow’s milk or weaning at 2 weeks.

    IOW, people were already not breastfeeding long before formula came along, and formula was developed to make that healthier.

  81. #81 Brainfag
    August 2, 2011

    Great!

    Deaths from vaccines – “coincidence”
    Damage from vaccines – “coincidence”
    Autism from vaccines – “coincidence”
    Flaws in Thiomersal-Damage Studies – “coincidence”
    Flaws in Autism-Vaccine Studies – “coincidence”
    Recovery from Autism thru CAM – “coincidence”

    I’ll just go on adding to that list by subscribing to this blog!

  82. #82 Brainfag
    August 2, 2011

    Oh!

    I forgot to add.

    Rise in Autism cases throughout the world – “coincidence”

    I have learnt so much already!

  83. #83 Lawrence
    August 2, 2011

    Troll = no evidence or citations

    Learned a lot today too.

  84. #84 Calli Arcale
    August 2, 2011

    Liz Ditz:

    *and difficulties with writing, especially in grades k-8. Calli Arcale, and anybody else whose children are having difficulty with written language, feel free to email me for some perspectives, tips and tricks.

    Thanks for the offer, but this is actually something CalliBaby 1.0 doesn’t have problems with. She’s an excellent reader, even managing some surprisingly difficult words. Her progress has slowed recently, and now she is only a grade ahead of her peers. ;-) (She’s plateauing because of convergence insufficiency and difficulty tracking accurately. She has begun vision therapy to correct that problem.)

    Marry Me, Mindy:

    A curious fact: formula was not developed as an alternative to breastfeeding, but as a better substitute than what people were using instead of breastfeeding, like cow’s milk or weaning at 2 weeks.

    And it goes waaaaaaay back. In medieval times, peasant women would earn extra income as a wet nurse. Their own child would get to nurse second if lucky, and if not lucky, would be getting animal milk and then get weaned early. It undoubtedly happened in antiquity as well, since the Romans had an elaborate mythology built up around Romulus and Remus, the twins reared by a female wolf. There are many famous depictions of the twin boys suckling off of the wolf.

  85. #85 Augie
    August 2, 2011

    I have taken two live courses from Natasha. What she says about the gut and diet are very true–and that is critical in healing so many disorders. I was amazed at how many mothers, a very long line, that thanked her for all her teaching has done for their child in helping to recover them from neurological and biomedical condition, and many severe.

    Those long lines of mothers, according to your thinking, must have been paid or they were imagining things.

    Food is a mild and sometimes a potent medicine. Ever drink a glass or two of wine?

  86. #86 Calli Arcale
    August 2, 2011

    Augie,

    Since you’ve had more exposure to this person than the rest of us, could you share what convinced you that what she says is true? Because what I’ve seen quoted so far is not convincing. Were those mothers imagining things? Perhaps. I can’t say without evidence. I cannot even say if *I* am imagining things without evidence.

    It is true that food can be mild and it can be potent, and it can be medicinal. This does not mean it is effective in treating autism or gut issues; you have to look at claims individually. For instance, we know that aspirin can be a mild or even potent medicine. This doesn’t mean it cures autism either; you’d have to evaluate the claim independently.

  87. #87 Interrobang
    August 2, 2011

    I’d also be interested in seeing an article about dyspraxia woo, since I’m dyspraxic (cerebral palsy), and I’d like to know what kinds of BS people are going to try to sell me next. Ten years ago, it was hyperbaric oxygen, which seems to have fallen out of vogue recently. Lately, it seems to be that form of woo-infused exercise which I would find impossible to do and which I’m not going to name directly lest we get off on another endless tangent, although I’m sure most of you regulars know what I mean.

    I’m definitely not interested in restricting my diet further. I’m already lactose intolerant and allergic to casein, and I have some problems digesting other proteins, and some gut transit issues related to spasticity. I need to find more things I’m able to eat, not fewer.

    I do have to say that one of the upsides of my particular form of dyspraxia is that I’m basically ambidextrous. When I first started studying Hebrew, I found it was easier to write with my left hand than with my right, although I’m normally (mostly) right-handed.

  88. #88 herr doktor bimler
    August 2, 2011

    that is critical in healing so many disorders

    That is precisely why why commenters are skeptical about Dr. Campbell-McBride’s claims. If someone claims that their treatment will cure everything then they’re probably a fraud.
    When they proceed to tie in with anti-vaccination fears, not for reasons arising from their theory but purely to increase market share, then they’re certainly fraudulent.

    Then there are her questionable observational skills. As lilady has pointed out in an earlier comment, Campbell-McBride reckons she never saw anyone with autism during her career as a Russian neurologist, which makes her either wilfully blind or hopelessly incompetent. Or the career is an invention.

  89. #89 lilady
    August 2, 2011

    @ Interrobang: Yes, I posted above about certain exercises that are definite “no-nos” for anyone with spastic cerebral palsy and of course, we won’t go over that old territory.

    Wow, I’m impressed with your mastering of Hebrew. I have a close friend (English speaking) who has taught in a large city school district in Spanish. She tried to master spoken Hebrew and was unsuccessful…of course she did not have the benefit of Hebrew classes prior to Bat Mitvah, being that she was raised as a secular Jew.

    Keep lurking and posting here, some of our best knowledge comes from posters here who have digestion and food sensitivity issues. And, of course we enjoy your input.

  90. #90 lilady
    August 2, 2011

    @ Stoner Jesus: Hi Jacob!

  91. #91 Orac
    August 2, 2011

    Yup. It was Jacob, all right. And so is Asthtanga London, in case anyone’s still wondering.

    Sockpuppets are the lamest of the lame.

  92. #92 Venna
    August 2, 2011

    Point 1: My son Viktor was born in 2007 March.

    Point 2: He was diagnosed with autistic disorder in May this year, given an educational label of ASD in June 2010 at the age of 3 years and three months. Began Early Intervention just after turning 2 and a half.

    Point 3: From day one he was much more challenging then ANY of my other kids, even the ones who were challenging (E.g. sleep issues, eating issues, tactile issues, etc.)

    Point 4: I breastfed Viktor until he was almost 2 and a half and stopped only because I was trying to get him to say “nurse please” when he wanted to nurse. I didn’t know yet he had autism and thought the lack of talking as stubbornness on his part.

    Point 5: He didn’t get vaccinated until well after his symptoms were established, yet he had regression similar to those children whose parents are claiming vaccine injury.

    Point 6: I was under the impression, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that gut flora wasn’t something we created, but came from what we ingested in certain foods we eat, or other things we are exposed to? From my understanding, the gut of a baby prior to being born is completely microbe free, sterile. It isn’t until the child is born that the exposure to those beneficial as well as harmful microbes happens.

    I wasn’t able to listen to the entire interview w/Mercola, it was just too irritatingly nauseating that another medical doctor has been seduced by the ‘dark side’. I suppose the money aspect of quackery is very seductive. I mean, as long as you claim your particular branch of woo is ‘alternative or integrative medicine’ there really aren’t any checks and balances you have to adhere to like real, competent doctors have. How long did the Geiers continue their quackery before they finally were stopped? (BTW, did you know that Geier is a German word for vulture?)

    On the web site shotofprevention.com, they are promoting vaccination awareness month. Everything real you ever wanted to know about vaccines and disease prevention… I’d recommend a perusal.

  93. #93 herr doktor bimler
    August 2, 2011

    I wasn’t able to listen to the entire interview w/Mercola

    Mercola is part of the anti-Glutamate crusade. At the same time he happily promotes Campbell-McBride’s diet, which contains elevated amounts of glutamates.
    One could easily reach the conclusion that Mercola is only concerned with encouraging his audience to obsess upon anorexia-level food anxieties, while the rationale for those anxieties is secondary and changeable.

  94. #94 herr doktor bimler
    August 2, 2011

    Oh noes, Orac is deleting comments to suppress alternative evidence!

    Actually, come to think of it, the evidence that Jacob is a borderline-personality plonker and a general waste of space is not actually that ‘alternative’.

  95. #95 Sid Offit
    August 3, 2011

    Orac

    Yet, autism is a disorder of developmental delay, not developmental stasis; autistic children can and do develop. In fact, a significant minority can even lose the diagnosis of autism or AST by age seven as they develop

    So it’s genetic, but the genes change just as certain interventions are initiated (a “coincidence”) And the condition occurs just when the immune system is bombarded with a plethora of vaccines (another coincidence) And the prevalence of the syndrome is identical in adults and children yet many grow out of it. Like thalidomide exposure heals or CRS is self-limiting. That’s quite a ripping yarn Orac.

    Wiki

    Genetic disorders rarely have effective treatments, though gene therapy is being tested as a possible treatment for some genetic diseases, including some forms of retinitis pigmentosa[7

  96. #96 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    @ Sid Offal: However did you come up with that posting? Anyone with an elementary education in science, indeed anyone at a 3rd grade reading comprehension level, knows that Orac never stated that genetic disorders and diseases are “changeable”.

    We expect a little more from you Offal…after all you are a blog journalist, aren’t you? Only yellow journalists do cut and paste jobs and use Wiki as their reference…and the best of them do a better cut and paste job with more sciency gibberish commentary than your pathetic attempt.

  97. #97 Jarred C
    August 3, 2011

    Ashtanga London was Jacob? Then I admit my error, and take back my previous statements defending him. I’m am sorry for my mistake, folks.

  98. #98 CanadianChick
    August 3, 2011

    Ok, I’m confused.

    If inadequate or improper gut flora leads to autism, why are kids not being diagnosed with failure to thrive in the same numbers as they are being diagnosed with autism? Gut flora are involved with our ability to receive proper nutrition, no? They produce vitamins and hormones, IIRC – all quite necessary.

    All those people who flock to AoA go on about how their kids were absolutely normal until vaccines or what have you. My girlfriend with 2 autistic boys says hers were normally healthy and met milestones until about 18 mos, when they backslid and were diagnosed (no, she doesn’t blame vaccines).

    So how is it they were healthy if they had such wretched gut flora?

  99. #99 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    @ Jarred C: Told you so…told you so…I just knew it!

    No need to apologize, we had a lot of fun (took turns), kicking around the troll in all its various permutations

  100. #100 Jarred C
    August 3, 2011

    Yes, Lilady, you did. :) I thought you were wrong, and the evidence has shown us where the truth lies.

    I practice what I preach – that a scientist must be able to admit their errors – and I have no problem doing just that.

  101. #101 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    @ Herr Doktor Bimler: Nice, very nice, posting about the good doctor, her theories and the lack of observation skills of the patients she saw in her neurology practice. Still no “passes” from me and I am just shy of calling her out for her total bullshit, including her doctor education and practice, prior to relocating to the U.K.

    Anne at # 63 above checked and determined that the good doctor never applied for a medical license in the U.K., “preferring”, I suppose to practice as a “nutritionist”. I on the other hand, being the tenacious character I am, checked the doctor/nutrionist’s web site where she states she received medical training and graduated from the Bashkir State University. With help from “Google” I located her alma mater in the Republic of Bashkortostan (who knew there is yet another “stan” republic?)

    Hitting the “English” button on the right side of the university web page to change the (cyrillic?) language to English I attempted to locate an alumni web page…this is none.

    So, I wonder if her line of bullshit extends to her actual education and credentials?

  102. #102 Sid Offit
    August 3, 2011

    @lillady

    Thanks honey, for at least trying to contribute to the conversation. I guess I’ll take your post to mean you don’t think autism is genetic anymore?

    Anyone with an elementary education in science, indeed anyone at a 3rd grade reading comprehension level, blah, blah blah, blah…

    Alas m’lady, the government school have failed me.

  103. #103 Julian Frost
    August 3, 2011

    @ Sid Offitt:
    Given the amount of strawmanning that you do, do you own a scarecrow factory?

  104. #104 herr doktor bimler
    August 3, 2011

    Hitting the “English” button on the right side of the university web page to change the (cyrillic?) language to English I attempted to locate an alumni web page…this is none.

    You would need to look under her unmarried name anyway so this is a dead end.

  105. #105 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    @ Herr Doktor Bimler: Nope, still unable to locate an alumni group at the University. I guess we will have to take her at her word…she wouldn’t lie about anything (sarcasm).

  106. #106 herr doktor bimler
    August 3, 2011

    Further research reveals that Dr. Campbell-McBride is a darling of right-wing bloggers of the talivangelist / Dominationist variety, because she was canny enough to include the contraceptive pill as another factor disrupting the natural gut biota. So as part of their campaign to impose their own variety of Sharia law, the moral hard-liners can now claim that it’s the pill causing the “autism epidemic”. As well as vaccines.

  107. #107 DLC
    August 4, 2011

    Right. so.. . as I kick back by the light of Augie’s straw-men burning, I wonder if “doctor” Campbell-McBride also eats “raw” food and drinks “raw” milk ?

  108. #108 lilady
    August 4, 2011

    @ Herr Doktor Bimler: The good doctor is certainly broadening her base. If I were selling supplements and hawking books that are totally devoid of any scientific knowledge and full of bogus “theories”, I would probably would be looking for some additional gullible chumps as well. Now what voting bloc would I look for?

    It is only a matter of time until she hooks on to the “latex allergy theory” as well. Those nasty plungers in syringes and the wrapping that keep syringes sterile cause autism. Promoting birth control by barrier methods (condoms, diaphragms) is “promoting autism” There must be something in spermicidal gel that gets into the bloodstream that changes a woman’s gut flora and all that abnormal gut flora is passed to the fetus and damages the fetus resulting in the “autism epidemic”.

    If we crush the birth control “movement” and insist that people have large families thus increasing the birth cohort by 20%, 30%, 40 % or more we would also increase the numbers of infants who are eventually diagnosed on the autism spectrum. There that should fix ‘em (all those who deny that there is an “autism epidemic”).

  109. #109 Kingfillins
    August 4, 2011

    I am ashamed at the reactions to this woman’s work on this board. It’s embarrassing.
    This is meant to be a science blog.

    The question is, Does her method work?
    and, Are people finding her method useful?

    If she has cured her son of autism, with this alone, surely her methods deserve further study. In fact surely the mature and appropriate response is to suggest a scientific investigation into her methods.

    Further more, there is already work supporting her assertions…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21592674

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21524713

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21410934

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17497416

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16157555

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12415751

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12378124

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10921511

    Who is the quack here?

    How about Little more SCIENCE and a little less BLOG?

  110. #110 augustine
    August 4, 2011

    lilady of ignorance

    It is only a matter of time until she hooks on to the “latex allergy theory” as well.

    No,no,no! Get it right. It’s the charred shrink wrap allergy.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/07/29/charred-shrink-wrap-in-merck-vaccines-read-the-fda-inspection-reports/

  111. #111 Beamup
    August 4, 2011

    @Kingfillins:

    The fact that your first citation is to Medical Hypotheses tells me all I need to know. That’s a complete crank journal that isn’t even a bad joke; there is no peer review and they’re perfectly happy to publish complete garbage so long as it’s provocative. Anybody who cites it isn’t worth listening to at all.

  112. #112 Chris
    August 4, 2011

    Beamup, and at least two others have the same author of the Med. Hyp. paper, are in low end journals, are older, and really are reaching… I would say that Kingfillins is cherry picking.

    Speaking of cherry picking: there are still plenty in the stores. Munching a few is a great way to massage those intestines!

  113. #113 lilady
    August 4, 2011

    Ugh Troll again resorts to grasping at straws by mentioning that charred shrink wrap, that were reported by pharma shills (doctors and nurses) were reported to the FDA (the “granddaddy” of the pharma shill conspiracy). Ugh Troll missed an important “link” however that he usually ties in. So, tell us Ugh Troll why the uprising of the pharma shills/vaccinators-promoters of disease reported back to the pharma shills “mother ship” (FDA) and why didn’t the mother ship FDA squash the complaint? Doesn’t quite fit into your international cabal conspiracy of Pharma Shills, does it?

    Here’s a new one for you Ugh Troll. Why don’t you investigate the “autism epidemic” caused by ingestion of insect eggs and rodent hairs in foodstuffs that were later recalled by the USDA? Now ponder this, only vulnerable kids with faulty gut flora inherited from the maternal side (going back to Eve, perhaps) were later diagnosed with autism, right?

    BTW, Ugh Troll, we are still awaiting your reply to the qualifications of “any techy (sp.?) can give immunizations” We want some specifics about “any techy (sp.?)” such as their qualifications and licensing. (Retreats now, as usual) and comes back with some more of his crazy “theories” on another thread.

  114. #114 Kingfillins
    August 5, 2011

    Beamup there are 8 links to investigate at and you can only discount one?
    I collected these references in a 5 minute search.
    “Anybody who cites it isn’t worth listening to at all.” What are you trying to defend? Science? Thesis is where science begins, but what the journal isn’t up to par? The question is, is this thesis supported… surely?.

    How about addressing the topic, rather than making excuses when this blogs “woo” claim is obviously premature and not even validated by science itself.

    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_3-6-2010-11-17-32

    http://genomemedicine.com/content/3/3/14

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/125/Supplement_1/S1.abstract

    Balzola F et al . “Autistic enterocolitis: confirmation of a new inflammatory bowel disease in an Italian cohort of patients.” Gastroenterology 2005;128(Suppl. 2);A-303.

    Ashwood, P., Anthony, A., Pellicer, A.A., et al. 2003. Intestinal lymphocyte populations in children with regressive autism: evidence for extensive mucosal immunopathology. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 23:504- 517.

    Balzola, F., Barbon V., Repici, A., Rizzetto, M., Clauser, D., Gandione, M., and Sapino, A. Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by wireless capsule enteroscopy: Another piece in the jig-saw of the gut-brain syndrome American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2005. 100(4): p. 979- 981.

    It stands to reason a good diet high in flora promoting hole foods will help gastro conditions. But you cant patent a diet.

    “As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice—there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how sc… – MORE As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice—there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall therefore have to examine not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists.”
    Thomas S. Kuhn

    Human beings do not need peer reviewed validation to be respected. In fact the peer review proses cant even be fully trusted. Please refer to Richard Horton, editor of the The Lancet’s views on this.

  115. #115 Chris
    August 5, 2011

    You are still cherry picking. Yes, children with autism have gastrointestinal issues, but so do other children. But you still have not established that Dr. Campbell-McBride’s dietary beliefs are valid.

    (by the way, that list looks like it was taken from same place as this list, where it is noted that the 2005 Balzola cite is just a poster presentation)

  116. #116 Beamup
    August 5, 2011

    Beamup there are 8 links to investigate at and you can only discount one?
    I collected these references in a 5 minute search.

    Oh, I’m sure I could disassemble the others if needed. But as soon as MH is cited you become a laughingstock and make it clear that your level of understanding is so low that, if the cites actually supported the claim, it would be only by chance.

    I did actually go ahead and take a look at the other abstracts. Not a one of them addresses Campbell-McBride’s claims. That would be a randomized study where the special diet was applied and found to produce greater benefits than control.

    Thesis is where science begins, but what the journal isn’t up to par? The question is, is this thesis supported… surely?

    MH isn’t “not up to par.” It’s not even a journal in any meaningful sense since it’s not peer-reviewed. It’ll accept any idiocy, so long as it’s provocative. Publishing in MH proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the work is meaningless (or it would be in a real journal). CITING MH proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the citer either has no clue what they’re talking about, or does have a clue but can’t produce any REAL evidence.

  117. #117 herr doktor bimler
    August 5, 2011

    In fact the peer review proses cant even be fully trusted.

    I agree that peer reviews are often poorly written, but calling them ‘cant’ is extreme.

  118. #118 kingfillins
    August 5, 2011

    Beamup
    Pubmed supports Med Hypotheses, if it was still as bad as you suggest, they would not. The point is that paper is advanced by other work. To suggest it has no merits would be premature, regardless of where it is published. If you can possibly look past the publishing source, please supply data that contradicts this thesis and all the others.

    Chris
    If Dr. Campbell-McBride cured her son of Autism using her dietary methods, ie she studied her son, found that he had gastrointestinal issues etc, and used diet etc, to cure this condition… with the side effect being that she cured his Autism. this would SUGGEST that she removed the source of her childs disease. The studies I provide scientifically recognise what she herself did, that gastrointestinal issues are prevalent amongst children with Autism.
    This woman is not just a Mum. She is a doctor, trained in Neurology etc.

    “But you still have not established that Dr. Campbell-McBride’s dietary beliefs are valid.”

    My purpose is to highlight the classic Witch Hunt mentality found here by showing the considerable background of science around this topic that does indeed lean towards supporting her work, and that is undeniable. However yes until her methods are scientifically trialed, her own clinical methods are what we presently have.

    She deserves credit, not condemnation.

    Cherry picking? If this is so please provide me with such evidence.

    Where am I ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict my assertions?

  119. #119 Jen in TX
    August 5, 2011

    Actually, if the idea of autism being caused by a sulfate deficiency is correct, Dr. Campbell-McBride may not be that far off base in her thinking. Just a few snippets from a few articles I’ve come across with regards to acetaminophen and possible interactions with gut bacteria metabolites:

    “We envisage that, by depleting hepatic sulfonation capacity, continual exposure to colonically produced p-cresol would leave the liver more vulnerable to acetaminophen-induced damage and that markedly increased p-cresol production could potentially explain the reported association between fasting and an increased likelihood of hepatotoxicity from acetaminophen (42, 43). However, in principle, sustained prior exposure to colonically produced p-cresol could also potentially increase acetaminophen hepatotoxicity by other means, such as by enzyme induction or glutathione depletion (44–46), and preliminary data (SI Text) suggest that high p-cresol exposure might lead to a more generalized impairment of sulfur dependent reactive metabolite detoxification, with PAPS depletion possibly leading to depletion of both taurine and glutathione.
    However, it remains to be investigated if our present finding has any significance for adverse reactions to acetaminophen. Instead, the wider and more obvious significance of our finding lies in its potential consequences for sulfonation reactions in general and in suggesting a potentially causal link between certain diseases and the gut bacteria.” http://bit.ly/p7gaG6

    “The bacterial-derived p-cresol will compete for sulfation with all phenolic drugs/metabolites, not only acetaminophen. This simple biomarker therefore may have pharmacometabonomic significance well beyond acetaminophen metabolism.” http://bit.ly/rjPPHM

    “Some people have microflora that are more active in cresol production than others, and when they take acetaminophen, there isn’t enough sulfur for acetaminophen to go down that metabolic pathway. “Even Tylenol is affected by your gut microbe activity” http://bit.ly/pdedWn

    Interesting stuff, for sure!

  120. #120 Chris
    August 5, 2011

    PubMed is not necessarily a mark of a good journal. They also have journals that specialize in homeopathy.

    Take note that your cite of “Ashwood, P., Anthony, A., Pellicer, A.A., et al. 2003″, that one of the “et al.” is “Wakefield AJ”. So we can assume that there is some kind of fraud associated with this paper.

    “Gastroenterology. 2005:128 (Suppl 2);Abstract-303″ is a meeting abstract and was never a real paper. It was case studies of adults. And “Gastroenterology, 2005. 100(4): p. 979-981.” is a case report of one adult.

    And yes, I know where you got that “research.” If you clicked on the link I included in my previous comment you will see that we are all to familiar with that list.

    The Buie paper is how to deal autistic patients and points to future research. I also believe you have not read it, here is the full paper. Read it and tell us exactly how it supports Dr. Campbell-McBride. Show us exactly which paragraph supports her dietary interventions.

    I am also curious why you think medical research from “Chemical and Materials Engineering” department would be enlightening.

    If Dr. Campbell-McBride cured her son of Autism using her dietary methods,

    Really? How do you know? Do we have third party confirmation? Amy Lansky also claims to have cured her son’s autism with homeopathy. Except he was never formally diagnosed with autism, she diagnosed him through her “expertise” from her PhD in computer science.

    Here are some more studies you should have included in your list:
    Pediatrics. 2009 Aug;124(2):680-6. Epub 2009 Jul 27.
    Incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism: a population-based study.
    Ibrahim SH, Voigt RG, Katusic SK, Weaver AL, Barbaresi WJ.

    Autism. 2009 Jul;13(4):343-55.
    Are there more bowel symptoms in children with autism compared to normal children and children with other developmental and neurological disorders?: A case control study.
    Smith RA, Farnworth H, Wright B, Allgar V.

    PLoS One. 2008 Sep 4;3(9):e3140.
    Lack of association between measles virus vaccine and autism with enteropathy: a case-control study.
    Hornig M, Briese T, Buie T, Bauman ML, Lauwers G, Siemetzki U, Hummel K, Rota PA, Bellini WJ, O’Leary JJ, Sheils O, Alden E, Pickering L, Lipkin WI.

    Acta Paediatr. 2007 Jul;96(7):1076-9. Epub 2007 Apr 27.
    No evidence for a clear link between active intestinal inflammation and autism based on analyses of faecal calprotectin and rectal nitric oxide.
    Fernell E, Fagerberg UL, Hellström PM.

    Autism. 2003 Jun;7(2):165-71.
    Prevalence of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders.
    Molloy CA, Manning-Courtney P.

    Curr Opin Pediatr. 2003 Jun;15(3):339-43.
    How common are gastrointestinal disorders in children with autism?
    Kuddo T, Nelson KB.

    BMJ. 2002 Aug 24;325(7361):419-21.
    Relation of childhood gastrointestinal disorders to autism: nested case-control study using data from the UK General Practice Research Database.
    Black C, Kaye JA, Jick H.

    BMJ. 2002 Feb 16;324(7334):393-6.
    Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study.
    Taylor B, Miller E, Lingam R, Andrews N, Simmons A, Stowe J.

  121. #121 lilady
    August 5, 2011

    @ kingfillins: Dr. Campbell-McBrides statement is “she cured her son of autism”. She also states on her website that her “natural” diet cures other developmental disabilities, mental problems including depression and schizophrenia and cardiovascular problems (stroke and heart arrhythmias).

    The good doctor states unequivocally that all these problems are either caused by “toxins” in the gut or cured by removing those nasty gut “toxins”.

    And, you wonder why we doubt her “toxins in the gut theory? Well, speaking only for myself I am labeling her theories as total and utterly junk science, for the following reasons:

    She displays a deplorable lack of knowledge about human physiology pertaining to the gut and gut flora.

    There are no “cures” for autism…only “cures” for kids who are misdiagnosed as autistic and who eventually catch up with interventional therapies…and those therapies do not include treating/removing “toxins” from the gut.

    ADD/ADHD are other conditions that she claims to “cure”…another total fabrication on her part. Often, kids do outgrow these disorders as part of the maturation process. Some kids require smaller classroom, paraprofessional aides in the classroom, “take out” one-on-one attention with special education specialists and sometimes medication to enable them to fully experience the learning experience in the school setting. All the special diets that have ever been proposed do not work, without these additional services from the school district.

    Dyslexia and dyspraxia are developmental disabilities that can be remediated somewhat, never “cured” by removing toxins or going “natural” in dietary choices. The treatment that does remediate these developmental disabilities involves intensive therapies that are provided in the educational setting.

    Her lack of knowledge about the cardiovascular system and her claims to cure CVAs and heart arrhythmias “the natural way” is truly shocking and more evidence of her “purported” belief in junk science cures.

    Yes, I have come to the conclusion that she is a pathological liar/snake oil vendor.

    If Dr. Campbell-McBride lies about her “cures” of these disorders based on her bogus gut toxin theories and her total ignorance of human physiology, why should we believe that she cured her son of autism?

  122. #122 Krebiozen
    August 6, 2011

    Campbell-McBride claims to have discovered a new treatment for, well, almost everything it seems. Instead of carrying out and publishing peer reviewed research she has set up a clinic in her home (or so it would appear) and charges people for the treatment – remember this is in the UK where the NHS provides medical treatment free of charge. This does not seem to me to be a professional way to behave. Even if she is right in her claims (which seems unlikely), we will never know, as all this will do is generate a stream of anecdotes.

  123. #123 herr doktor bimler
    August 6, 2011

    The citations in Kingfillins’ list are claiming that normals and autists have different gut flora, but they can’t agree on the nature of that difference (some saying Clostridium, some saying lactobacteria, etc.)… seems to me that all but one of them are necessarily wrong (and given that, why not all of them?) — which is far from supporting Campbell-McBride.

    The fact that your first citation is to Medical Hypotheses tells me all I need to know.

    There’s an intriguing story going on there. Back in 2008, when the author (Dr S. Finegold) published an earlier paper in Med.Hyp., his specific hypothesis was that Clostridium bacteria in the gut were responsible for autism.

    Two years later he had changed his mind in the face of the evidence (and good on him for that); he was telling an AoA conference that Firmicutes (the bacterial phylum containing Clostridium) “was particularly high in the control group”, whereas a group of autistic subjects had more than their fair share of a different bacterial phylum, Bacteroidetes.

    That did not pan out either, it seems, and in the subsequent year he has been followed the shotgun approach, running DNA sequencing on innumerable samples of poop and looking up the results in the libraries to find anything different between the autistic and control groups. Pity the poor grad students handling the testtubes!

    So this 2011 Med.Hyp. paper is announcing that Desulfovibrio is the lucky bacteria. Finegold deserves some sort of medal for persistence, if nothing else. And if the difference isn’t confirmed, well there are plenty of other species so he can keep trying.

    Everyone wants to discover the next Helicobacter pylori and win a Nobel prize.

  124. #124 lilady
    August 6, 2011

    @ Krebiozen: Your points are very valid…I had forgotten about the NHS which provides treatments free of charge…that is not even limited to “traditional medicine”. I believe the NHS covers homeopathy treatments as well.

    I first questioned her “credentials” as a doctor trained in Russia at postings above when she clearly claimed on her internet site that after years of practice in her specialty (neurology) she never had seen a case of a person with autism. Another poster checked the GMC registry and confirmed that she hadn’t even applied to be licensed as a doctor, once she relocated to the U.K.

    I viewed the GMC website to determine how a foreign educated doctor applies for licensure. There are two types of licenses issued:

    Provisional License: for those educated outside the EU who have not yet completed an acceptable internship.

    Full Registration as a doctor: For those educated outside the EU who have completed an acceptable internship.

    Remember now, she claims to have completed her full internship and practiced in Russia for a number of years as a (full-fledged) neurologist.

    BTW, the British Medical Journal recently published the results of a survey that queried doctors about the growing problem of unqualified people using the title of medical doctor.

    She has a “believability” problem displayed by her ignorance of the basics of human physiology and now another “red flag”…a “practice” that charges patients for treatments that are covered by the NHS.

  125. #125 Orac
    August 6, 2011

    For those not familiar with Medical Hypotheses, it’s a crank journal, not peer-reviewed, and designed to publish outrageous, “controversial” stuff. I’ve written about it several times. Recently, its publisher Elsevier decided to rein in the editor when he went too far and published a horrible piece of HIV/AIDS denialism:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/09/pity_poor_peter_duesberg_even_medical_hy.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/elsevier_to_medical_hypotheses_editor_br.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/05/enforcing_medical_standards.php

  126. #126 herr doktor bimler
    August 6, 2011

    I am quite willing to believe that there’s no point in applying in the UK to have one’s qualifications as a neurologist / neurosurgeon recognised, when being a self-proclaimed nutritionist makes so much more money.

  127. #127 lilady
    August 6, 2011

    Yes Orac, I already did an “author” search under Finegold, S.M. tagging on gut bacteria at the PubMed website.

    He has published some studies of (non-autism-related) gut bacteria, and he apparently works at a California V.A. Hospital, Infectious Diseases Section.

    However, any and all of the autism-related gut bacteria studies listed on PubMed abstracts are published in “Medical Hypotheses”…quite telling that he was able to get studies published in reputable journals…with the exception of his studies linking gut microflora with autism.

    As a side note, does anyone remember Dr. Ben Finegold from the 1960s who claimed that his special diets could cure ADD/ADHD?

    Could the two Finegolds be related and if so, is this a Finegold family trait of fixation on special diets/gut flora associated with developmental disabilities?

  128. #128 JohnV
    August 6, 2011

    @herr doktor bimler

    I’m at home so I can’t read the papers, but the sequencing technology has improved and its quite possible that the use of 454 sequencing the Desulfivibrio paper has allowed for detection of stuff the previous method did not. If I remember I’ll take a look monday when I can see the paper and look at the technical details. This still doesn’t mean he’s “finally” right or anything, but the general concept of “they were wrong once so why assume they’re not wrong this time” seems to be a variant of the “SBM was was before” gambit we see from anti-vaccine people.

  129. #129 Jarred C
    August 6, 2011

    JohnV @ 122,

    It’s not necessarily that he was wrong before, so why not again; it is that he is also continuing to publish in Med. Hyp. If his technique has improved, and he finally has the evidence he’s looking for, then he would be able to publish in a paper of at least a little higher quality than MH. Remember, MH is the bottom of the barrel in quality for research journals. Right there along with the Journal of Cosmology, except that MH has better funding and is owned by Elsevier.

  130. #130 Kingfillins
    August 8, 2011

    lilady
    “There are no “cures” for autism…only “cures” for kids who are misdiagnosed as autistic and who eventually catch up with interventional therapies…and those therapies do not include treating/removing “toxins” from the gut.

    Where did you read that? Wikipedia”?

    ADD/ADHD are other conditions that she claims to “cure”…another total fabrication on her part.”

    You make these assertions based on what?

    In fact everything you have written is an opinion.

    You are saying that Dr. Campbell-McBride is lying with no evidence to support your statement. Cure would be at one end of a spectrum of any treatment that works. If she has treated a clinically diagnosed child, and finds it is cured, then why would she not say such? Why should she assume that because the child was cured it must mean that the child never had the disease? Clearly her diet would be excellent for any person sick or well, and would offer support for a gut that was diseased in any way. (Any stress related condition will cause gut problems, it stands to reason that Autism etc will effect the gut of a child).

    Also “cure” means what? There are absolutely no symptoms? Or the person is able to live a basically normal life?
    Definition – Cure = Something that corrects or relieves a harmful or disturbing situation.
    Restoration of health; recovery from disease.
    So if she find her patients have recovery, or are relieved, then she has helped a cure take place.

    Healing methods are always based on “current understanding.”
    One must understand before one can heal. Mainstream medicine is only as effective as its understanding and why it is often so infective, especially in diseases where its limited understanding prevents (via prescribing masking drugs)it from correcting simple disorders early on, before they become conic.

    We can surely cheer for contemporary medicines ability to mask symptoms…and surgically remove parts, these are fantastic achievements, however it is clearly starting to recognise the wisdom of a naturapathic approach to healing and understanding the human being as a whole.

    PS “Dyslexia and dyspraxia are developmental disabilities that can be remediated somewhat, never “cured” by removing toxins or going “natural” in dietary choices”.

    You know that your statement would be called “Woo” if I posted it here.

  131. #131 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    If Campbell-McBride doesn’t have real evidence to support her claims that she can accomplish such cures, then she is lying by making said claims. If she did have real evidence, she would presumably publish it in real journals. She has not done so. This is compelling evidence that she is, in fact, lying.

  132. #132 Krebiozen
    August 8, 2011

    @Kingfillins,
    Campbell-McBride has made claims that are not only unsupported by scientific evidence, but also contradict current understanding and evidence. Instead of involving herself with scientific research, and finding out by careful controlled studies if her methods actually have any benefit, she charges £100 an hour for her unproven treatments. We, and Campbell-McBride, have no idea if her patients would have improved just as much without her treatment. The only way to find that out is by doing controlled clinical trials.

    Clearly her diet would be excellent for any person sick or well

    It’s certainly not clear to me. Why is her diet “clearly excellent” for anyone? because she claims that it helps people? Where is the evidence for this? How do we know she isn’t making this up to make money or, more likely, is deceiving herself? We know that humans are very good at deceiving themselves in this area.

    One must understand before one can heal.

    You don’t get to understand anything by making up some theory about diet curing autism and ADHD and then charging people for it without a shred of scientific evidence that it works. That is called charlatanism, or quackery.

    contemporary medicine…is clearly starting to recognise the wisdom of a naturapathic approach to healing and understanding the human being as a whole.

    Again, who is this clear to? It seems clear to me that naturopathy is nonsense. It takes a bunch of alternative and conventional ideas, some of them mutually contradictory, and throws them together into a horrible mess.

    You know that your statement would be called “Woo” if I posted it here.

    In what way is Lilady’s statement woo? Perhaps you misunderstand her. Everything she wrote seems perfectly sensible to me, which is more than I can say about what you wrote.

  133. #133 lilady
    August 8, 2011

    @ Kingfillins: You replied to my posting:

    You know that your statement would be called “Woo” if I posted it here.

    But, you didn’t post that statement here! Instead you have plugged into unscientific, unverified “theories” of what autism and other developmental disabilities are, “theories” of the toxin causes of these developmental disabilities and “theories” of “cures” of these disabilities with magical diets. Your only “source” for your statements are Campbell-McBride who in turn has never published any of her research…about the magical diets, the magical cures of any developmental disorders…or magical cures of medical problems such as CVAs or heart arrhythmias.

    That’s why each of your postings are treated as “woo”

  134. #134 Kingfillins
    August 8, 2011

    lilady I have supported my posts with science. You may criticize these, however you are not siting any valid science based evidence to contradict my assertions.

    Dr.Campbell-McBride has studied mainstream medicine. She is not a Naturapath. Her reasoning is very much backed by science.

    However with no medical training at all, common sense would lead one to recognise that anatomy and physiology are supported by nutrients that are ingested. This process starts in the mouth. Nutrients are only of use if the body can assimilate them. If the body cannot assimilate, or has an allergic reaction to the nutrients, or has a toxic interruption etc, deficiencies occur.

    Common sense knows that a hungry child cannot concentrate and study and a malnourished child will become delirious. The link between the gut and the brain (and every other part of the body)is so plainly obvious.

    However as this is a “science blog” here is some science…

    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8639cover.html
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0710480 etc

    ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2008) — Researchers are reporting that new insights into the composition of human breast milk may lead to new ways to prevent and treat stomach illnesses and other diseases in babies and adults.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gut-second-brain

    (Please make comment on these, they directly contradict your assertions about Dr Cambell-McBride)

    “Your only “source” for your statements are Campbell-McBride who in turn has never published any of her research.”

    I have posted numerous articles that supports her work.

    Why does Dr. Cambell Mcbride need to publish her methods for it to work? She is a practicing doctor. Are people benefiting from this?
    I am suggesting that her methods should be studied. Maybe she is preparing a study after developing the method.
    Surely these are the questions to ask. Rather than vilifying her.
    Some interesting related info…

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110430171122.htm

    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_3-6-2010-11-17-32

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0028224387901407

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0689/is_3_56/ai_n27182979/

    Science is supposed to be healthy skepticism.

  135. #135 Chris
    August 9, 2011

    Why does Dr. Cambell Mcbride need to publish her methods for it to work? She is a practicing doctor. Are people benefiting from this?

    They need to be vetted by the scientific community. And as far we can tell the only person benefiting is Dr. Campbell-McBride from selling her plan.

    Your links on breast milk are just another way to blame the mother. Intestinal flora is very complicated. you need to go back and read this comment a little closer.

  136. #136 Beamup
    August 9, 2011

    Common sense knows that a hungry child cannot concentrate and study and a malnourished child will become delirious. The link between the gut and the brain (and every other part of the body)is so plainly obvious.

    Which has about as much resemblance to Campbell-McBride’s claims as the observation that dropped rocks fall down have to a perpetual motion machine. A general observation that “nutrition is important” does not in any way, shape, or form provide support for a claim that a specific diet has specific effects including curing autism.

    I have posted numerous articles that supports her work.

    You haven’t posted a single article which supports her work in any way. Again, general observations like “gut flora have effects” do not support AT ALL the sort of claims she’s making!

    Why does Dr. Cambell Mcbride need to publish her methods for it to work?

    Because if they’re not published they can’t be examined and tested, so we don’t KNOW if they work. And if she hasn’t done the science to allow publication in a journal, neither does she.

    She is a practicing doctor. Are people benefiting from this?

    No way to know since she refuses to do the science.

    I am suggesting that her methods should be studied. Maybe she is preparing a study after developing the method.

    Without the study, there is no way for ANYONE to know the method has any validity! Cart? Horse?

    Science is supposed to be healthy skepticism

    Then why do you advocate mindlessly accepting what some random person says, without any support whatsoever, simply because she happens to have a “Dr” in front of her name?

  137. #137 Militant Agnostic
    August 9, 2011

    She is a practicing doctor. Are people benefiting from this?

    She is not a practicing doctor. She is not qualified to practice medicine in the UK where she has her business. This has been made clear by many of the posters.

    As to people benefiting from this – some people may think they benefit from this, but some people also think they have benefited from faith healing charlatans like Peter Popoff and Benny Hinn. This why controlled studies have to be done to validate any treatment. This is why her failure to publish is a red flag. When someone shields there methods from scientific scrutiny it is very likely that they know their claims will not stand up to informed scrutiny.

  138. #138 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    August 9, 2011

    Militant Agnostic: “She is not a practicing doctor. She is not qualified to practice medicine in the UK where she has her business.”

    Sadly, whilst I despise the woman’s lack of ethics and science, we do not actually have any proof that she is not a practicing medical practitioner: the GMC website has a list of Registered Medical Practitioners, and she cannot be found through this application. When I tried to find her name on the register, this is what the site told me:

    “Sorry but we cannot find a record that matches your search.

    This does not mean the doctor you are looking for is not registered; there may simply be a problem with the name, or the GMC reference number, or the doctor’s details may have been temporarily excluded while we update them.”

    So, having obtained her qualification in Russia, she may have been able to get registration in the UK and may indeed not be using the name she is registered under… but this is not a wise choice for a medical practitioner, so – assuming she has at least the sense to not do that – it’s certainly questionable as to she is registered and licensed to practice medicine; and the truth is that she could be doing a BabyGeier and practising without a licence!

    Kinda scary where this train of logic could take us!

  139. #139 Krebiozen
    August 9, 2011

    @Kingfillins,

    Less than 20 miles from Campbell McBride’s clinic (which I believe she has set up in her home) is Addenbrookes Hospital where I trained and qualified as a biomedical scientist. Next to the hospital and in Cambridge itself are a number of research establishments that are part of the UK Medical Research Council, including the MRC Human Nutrition Research Institute. These are places where real scientific research is carried out, and where real medical breakthroughs are made, unlike Campbell McBride’s front room where she experiments on paying patients.

    Addenbrookes Hospital is an NHS hospital with paediatric facilities which I know from personal and professional experience are excellent. It provides proven science-based treatment free of charge to anyone who needs it, unlike Campbell McBride who charges for her unproven treatments.

    I am suggesting that her methods should be studied. Maybe she is preparing a study after developing the method.

    Well she has had at least ten years to come up with some results. Surely that would be more than enough time to come up with something, if only some well documented and convincing case studies? What if her “study” shows that her methods don’t really work? Will she return all the money she has been paid?

  140. #140 Kingfillins
    August 9, 2011

    Krebiozen “What if her “study” shows that her methods don’t really work? Will she return all the money she has been paid?”

    If she is finding that her her method really does work, ie peoples conditions are cured or improved, who would want there money back?

    Hilarious!!
    You are saying this in the face of the fact that “Science based medicine” has an appallingly low rate of working.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/steve-connor-most-drugs-dont-work-on-most-people-ndash-for-now-1913663.html

    Will these corporations be giving back all the money they have stolen?

    The witch hunt continues beyond the realms of scientific inquiry.

    Now it is clear to me that this blog is not about science at all its about ignoring science that doesn’t fit the picture.

    So many posts and so little evidence to support your claims.

  141. #141 Kingfillins
    August 9, 2011

    Beamup

    “You haven’t posted a single article which supports her work in any way. Again, general observations like “gut flora have effects” do not support AT ALL the sort of claims she’s” making!”

    It is so clearly obvious there is science behind Dr Cambell-Mcbrides methods, yet you are still pretending there isn’t, with no contrary citations to refute my citations. The following do indeed support her thesis. One must read and or also use ones rational mind of course. This mind also needs to be open and willing to accept new information and look for parallels.

    ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2011)
    “The wave of the future is full of opportunity as we think about how microbiota or bacteria influence the brain and how the bi-directional communication of the body and the brain influence metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes,” says Jane Foster, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.
    The study’s results show that genes linked to learning and memory are altered in germ-free mice and, in particular, they are altered in one of the KEY BRAIN REGIONS FOR LEARNING AND MEMORY — the hippocampus.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323140247.htm

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2982.2010.01620.x/abstract
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gut-second-brain

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gut-second-brain

    This directly backs up her assertion…

    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_3-6-2010-11-17-32

    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8639cover.html

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0710480 etc

    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_3-6-2010-11-17-32

    http://genomemedicine.com/content/3/3/14

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/125/Supplement_1/S1.abstract

    All these posts back Dr Cambell McBrides work, of course there will be more also, these I have collected in a very short amount of time.

    I realise of course that what you posters are asking for me to provide is the fallacy of science, and that is an exact scientific study that answers the exact isolated question you pose, and that is a complete illusion. Right from the outset you are not really asking a question, and there fore can accept no answer. which is why it seems you are not researching the topic.

    That is not the basis of real scientific inquiry with integrity.

  142. #142 Chris
    August 9, 2011

    You are saying this in the face of the fact that “Science based medicine” has an appallingly low rate of working.

    That has nothing to do with Dr. Campbell-McBride’s claims. Finding fault in something else does not exonerate your pet treatment.

    Repeating the links you posted earlier still does not prove your contentions. And really, the breast feeding bit is still a case of blaming the mother. Now try reading what Orac wrote, like this part:

    Of course, listening to Dr. Campbell-McBride’s claims, I had to ask one thing: Where’s the evidence? Surely, such a hypothesis should be easy to test. For instance, if it were true, wouldn’t bottle fed babies be far more likely to develop autism than breastfed babies? The problem is, this doesn’t appear to be so.

  143. #143 Narad
    August 9, 2011

    Any stress related condition will cause gut problems, it stands to reason that Autism etc will effect [sic] the gut of a child

    I’m still trying to parse this. Is it that stress is duty bound to cause gut problems? It can’t be that stress causes autism. But so, is the “condition” necessary? Are there any arrows on the “relatedness”?

  144. #144 Kingfillins
    August 9, 2011

    OVERLOOKED…

    “The gastrointestinal tract and its associated mucosal immune system have been extensively studied in the context of their involvement in disease processes, both within the tract itself and in its associated organs. However, historically a number of aspects of both gastrointestinal physiology and pathophysiology have been to some extent overlooked. In particular, the relationship of the gastrointestinal tract with its indigenous microbiota, and also the influence of the tract on behavior and neural systems and vice versa. Here, we describe recent advances in our knowledge and understanding of these areas, and attempt to put these advances in perspective with regard to potential therapeutic strategies.

    Over the last five years, molecular geneticists have started to map the human microbiome.109 The majority of these bacteria are obligate anerobes and unculturable. With the advent of large scale microbiomics this biology is beginning to become unravelled,7,8 and with this, a greater understanding of the role of the microbiota in health and disease is emerging.”

    http://www.pagepress.org/journals/index.php/gi/article/view/gi.2009.e3/1461

  145. #145 Chris
    August 9, 2011

    So? What exactly does that have to do with the stuff that Campbell-McBride sells? What evidence do you have that her program does anything but take some words from those studies, mixes them up and pretends to be all sciencey?

  146. #146 kingfillins
    August 10, 2011

    Chris

    So?

    So use your own faculties for comprehension.

    So try joining the dots that are blatantly obvious.

    Her diet aims at correcting gut disorders with PRO-BIOTICS.
    ie Pro-life, as opposed to a denatured ANTI-BIOTIC (anti-life) diet. She is selling a good diet knowing that this pro biotic diet will help heal the gut and thus help neurological and other bodily functions.

    “Clinical Effects of Probiotics…in Very Young Children with Atopic Dermatitis” by S. L. Prescott et al., Clin Exp Allergy, 12/05 “Evidence of Probiotics in Prevention of Allergy and Asthma” by B. Bjorksten, Curr Drug Targets Inflamm Allergy, 10/05 “Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Probiotics: From Rationale to Clinical Use” by E. F. Verdu and S. M. Collins, Curr Opin Gastroenterol, 11/05 “The Mechanism of Action of Probiotics” by Sonia Michail, MD, Practical Gastroenterology, 5/05 “Probiotics as Functional Foods” by D. C. Lin, Nutr Clin Pract, 12/03 “Treatment of Acute Infectious Diarrhea in Infants and Children with a Mixture of Three Lactobacillus rhamnosus Strains…” by H. Szymanski et al., Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 1/06 User’s Guide to Probiotics by Earl Mindell, RPh, PhD(Basic Health, 2004)

    I have clearly shown that there is scientific basis of a gut brain health connection and also how a pro biotic diet can benefit the gut which in tern must then effect the brain.

    How this plays out with different diseases etc is obviously worthy of great attention and study.

  147. #147 Krebiozen
    August 10, 2011

    Kingfillins,

    You are saying this in the face of the fact that “Science based medicine” has an appallingly low rate of working.

    Appallingly low as compared to what? What percentage of people does Campbell McBride’s treatment work on? We don’t know, because she didn’t bother doing the research before selling it to patients. It could be zero. Did you even understand the article you linked to? Even if a drug only helps 25% of the patients it is given to, that is far better than none, and we will soon be able to target drugs based on people’s genetics.

    Now it is clear to me that this blog is not about science at all its about ignoring science that doesn’t fit the picture.

    What science? My point, which you have ignored, is that Campbell McBride is not doing anything remotely resembling science. Science is being done a few miles down the road, by the Medical Research Council. Either Campbell McBride is experimenting on people in her living room without ethics committee approval or she is simply parting gullible people from their money with unproven treatments.

    So many posts and so little evidence to support your claims.

    What claims? That anyone selling an unproven treatment out of their home (especially in a country that provides free, effective, proven, science-based treatment) is likely to be a charlatan? It is Campbell McBride who should have provided evidence to support her claims before she started treating patients.

  148. #148 Krebiozen
    August 10, 2011

    I started watching this talk by Campbell McBride, but I had to stop before my head exploded. Almost everything she says in just the first 5 minutes is simply untrue:

    Cancer and heart disease have the same causes – not true.

    Heart disease has risen in Scotland over the last few decades, and as their consumption of cholesterol has fallen, rates of heart disease have risen – not true, death rates from ischaemic heart disease in Scotland are lower than they have been for over 60 years and have more than halved since 1980.

    Salmon contains almost twice as much cholesterol as beef fat, lamb fat and dairy fat – not true, it contains less than even lean beef, lamb and cheddar cheese.

    If she can’t get even the most basic facts right, I don’t believe a word she says about anything else.

  149. #149 herr doktor bimler
    August 10, 2011

    This directly backs up her assertion…
    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_3-6-2010-11-17-32

    Umm, you know that one’s a press release from some marketing droid, and not intended to be factual?
    Did you intend to cite it twice? (three times counting a previous comment)?

  150. #150 Beamup
    August 10, 2011

    If she is finding that her her method really does work, ie peoples conditions are cured or improved, who would want there money back?

    The study is the ONLY way to “find[] that her method really does work!” Without it, NOBODY knows whether it does or not, including her.

    You are saying this in the face of the fact that “Science based medicine” has an appallingly low rate of working.

    Irrelevant.

    It is so clearly obvious there is science behind Dr Cambell-Mcbrides methods, yet you are still pretending there isn’t, with no contrary citations to refute my citations. The following do indeed support her thesis. One must read and or also use ones rational mind of course. This mind also needs to be open and willing to accept new information and look for parallels.

    At best they suggest that there is a possibility. I repeat, the ONLY way to know whether a particular dietary intervention works is to expressly test it. This is why drug development has to start with basic science plausibility (being generous, that’s maybe where your cites stand). Then test in animal models, before moving up to human trials (I’m simplifying here). The majority of possible treatments which were promising based on the basic science fail to pan out when specifically tested. So you can’t just skip the specific tests.

    I realise of course that what you posters are asking for me to provide is the fallacy of science, and that is an exact scientific study that answers the exact isolated question you pose, and that is a complete illusion. Right from the outset you are not really asking a question, and there fore can accept no answer. which is why it seems you are not researching the topic.

    That is not the basis of real scientific inquiry with integrity.

    Actually, it is the only way to do real science. Science consists of looking at existing data, formulating a hypothesis, and then testing that hypothesis. It’s that third step which is the crucial one, and which has been completely skipped here. You can’t simply say “this makes sense based on general arguments, therefore it is true.” You have to then test your prediction.

    (Incidentally, this is exactly the same fallacy daedalus2u falls into with his NO crankery.)

  151. #151 passionlessDrone
    August 10, 2011

    Hi Beamup –

    Incidentally, this is exactly the same fallacy daedalus2u falls into with his NO crankery.

    Oh no you didn’t! Oh snap.

    - pD

  152. #152 Bronze Dog
    August 10, 2011

    If she is finding that her her method really does work, ie peoples conditions are cured or improved, who would want there money back?

    Can you imagine the uproar we’d hear from the altie communities if the major pharmaceutical companies abandoned the standard course of scientific trials in favor of this method of unregulated caveat emptor human experimentation?

    Alties seem to think that anything is permissible if one of their own does it.

  153. #153 Kingfillins
    August 10, 2011

    Bronze Dog
    With all due respect
    you are rather deluded.

    “Can you imagine the uproar we’d hear from the altie communities if the major pharmaceutical companies abandoned the standard course of scientific trials in favor of this method of unregulated caveat emptor human experimentation?

    Alties seem to think that anything is permissible if one of their own does it.”

    “pharmaceutical companies abandoned the standard course of scientific trials”

    Your faith is heart warming but sadly the angel like multinational corporations cant actually always be trusted.

    Steve Connor: Most drugs don’t work on most people – for now

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/steve-connor-most-drugs-dont-work-on-most-people-ndash-for-now-1913663.html

    Drugs don’t work: Top professor claims five in six new medicines have ‘little benefit’ to patients

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1304118/Top-professor-claims-5-6-new-medicines-little-benefit-patients.html#ixzz1UdU1TJs4

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1304118/Top-professor-claims-5-6-new-medicines-little-benefit-patients.html

    Drug maker faces fraud trial

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/mar/23/drug-maker-faces-fraud-trial/

    Millions of surgery patients at risk in drug research fraud scandal

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8360667/Millions-of-surgery-patients-at-risk-in-drug-research-fraud-scandal.html

    The corporate world is leaving science in taters, this is why the general public are turning away from prescription meds.

  154. #154 Kingfillins
    August 10, 2011

    You choose to overlook the references to a considerable body of evidence that links the gut and brain and the effect a Probiotic diet has. You do not make comment or refute this. (so you are actually agreeing with Dr Cambell McBride by default).

    You can gurgle on with your excusses that we dont have specific data from her work etc… but that is obviously not what I am supplying or able to supply at this time, so its a moot point you are making, but thats all you have?

    I have clearly shown that Dr Cambel-McBrides thesis has merit.

    Basically, it seems you are choosing to follow prejudice, ignore science and to continue your witch hunt.

  155. #155 Beamup
    August 10, 2011

    You’re not paying one bit of attention, are you? The ONLY references that can support Campbell-McBride ARE the specific data about her specific diet. If you (and she) are not able to supply that, then you have no grounds to argue that her thesis has merit. The best you can say is that the possibility exists that it might have merit, and actual testing will be needed to determine whether it in fact does.

    The vast majority of interventions with a similar evidence base turn out to be useless or counterproductive. This is precisely why specific testing is so necessary.

    Put another way, what she is doing is effectively equivalent to marketing a new drug without having even given it to rats to see if it kills them, simply because there’s a plausible biological rationale for how it might operate. Somehow I doubt you’d be so blase about Merck doing that (for instance).

  156. #156 Krebiozen
    August 10, 2011

    Kingfillins,

    I posted a comment earlier that I will repeat here without the link that presumably put it into moderation.

    I started watching a video of a talk by Campbell McBride, but I had to stop after just 5 minutes before my head exploded. Almost everything she says is simply untrue, for example:

    Cancer and heart disease have the same causes – not true.

    Heart disease has risen in Scotland over the last few decades, and as their consumption of cholesterol have fallen, rates of heart disease have risen – not true, death rates from ischaemic heart disease in Scotland are lower than they have been for over 60 years and have more than halved since 1980.

    Salmon contains almost twice as much cholesterol as beef fat, lamb fat and dairy fat – not true, it contains less than even lean beef, lamb and cheddar cheese.

    If she can’t get even the most basic facts right, I don’t believe a word she says about anything else.

    I have clearly shown that Dr Cambel-McBrides thesis has merit.

    No you haven’t, you have shown it is vaguely plausible and that it might be worth doing some studies to see if it has any merit.

    Basically, it seems you are choosing to follow prejudice, ignore science and to continue your witch hunt.

    It is you who is prejudiced, assuming that there is merit to her ideas without any real evidence, and it is you who is ignoring science.

    No one is carrying out a witch hunt yet, but I must admit I am tempted to report Campbell McBride to the Advertising Standards Authority for making unsubstantiated claims on her website which is illegal under English law, and to make further inquiries about her medical qualifications to see if she is practicing medicine without a license.

  157. #157 Militant Agnostic
    August 10, 2011

    Krebiozen @150

    I think you should give in to that temptation.

    I think Kingfillins @148 is claiming we don’t care when “conventional” medical interventions are ineffective. This not true – Orac has blogged about excessive screening for example.

  158. #158 Chris
    August 10, 2011

    Kingfillins mind is sealed shut. He is refusing to even understand that Dr. Campbell-McBride’s contentions must be proved by her. That science only slightly related to her claims have no bearing on whether or not her treatment works.

    It is like the real science of fecal transplantation being morphed into this bit of total crack pot suggestion of collecting poop from a relative, let it sit in a bucket for a week and then shoving up the child with cake decorating pastry bag.

  159. #159 Bronze Dog
    August 10, 2011

    Your faith is heart warming but sadly the angel like multinational corporations cant actually always be trusted.

    Duh! That’s why we’re always pushing for those clinical trials, and why we want watchdog organizations and rivalrous redundancy among labs to enforce an array of animal tests and ethical clinical trials on humans before they can even start marketing the product, followed by post-market observation to catch any defects that the first array of tests missed, and recall when necessary. The trust I give is dependent on how well they are held to that standard. That is anything but blind faith.

    We’re pointing out that you are endorsing someone who doesn’t hold to that standard we want. Yet you expect us to treat one person as a perfect angel and hand out a free pass. It’s called psychological projection.

    It’s also a huge straw man. I know it. You know it. Everyone here knows it.

    You seem perfectly happy to endorse the corporate caveat emptor market guinea pig model of epistemology when it’s one of “your own” using it, but when you claim Big Pharma’s doing it, only then do you see the immorality of the act. Double standards.

    So, which is it? Should every treatment be held to the same standards or not? I think every marketed treatment should have to go through clinical trials, regardless of which end of the false dichotomy of “alternative” or “mainstream” it’s on.

    Which is more dangerous to your chicken coop: The fox on a leash, or the fox advocating the idea that leashes are unnecessary?

    From where I’m standing, you’re an example of the latter.

  160. #160 herr doktor bimler
    August 10, 2011

    The corporate world is leaving science in taters

    Potatoes now contain Science? Like little Kinder Surprises? Where can I buy them?

  161. #161 herr doktor bimler
    August 10, 2011

    More seriously: You may not have noticed, Kingfillins, but your lists of press releases, pop science journalism and papers is self-refuting. It contains reports that some autistic group have more of some particular bacteria in their guts than a control group… but the reports do not agree on the nature of the bacteria. Sometimes they say Clostridium, sometimes lactobacteria, sometimes Desulfovibrio.

    They can’t all be right. They can, however, all be wrong.

    Your lists also contain a number of reports — sadly, control-group-free — of positive effects from administering Vancomycin to autistic subjects (effects which stopped when the treatment stopped). There seem to be a number of research groups looking for new applications for vancomycin at the moment, now that it has lost its status as the antibiotic of last resort in cases of antibiotic resistance. A cynical person would look for Big Pharma as the source of research funds.

    Anyway, I fail to see how these reports “support [Campbell-McBride's] assertions” when Campbell-McBride actually rejects antibiotics. Along with birth-control and vaccines, she blames antibiotics for any and all contemporary illness.

  162. #162 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 10, 2011

    Kingfillins’ argument seems to be:

    1. “a considerable body of evidence … links the gut and brain and the effect a Probiotic diet has.”
    2. Campbell-McBride’s hypothesis links the gut and brain and a probiotic diet.
    3. Therefore a considerable body of evidence supports Campbell-McBride’s hypothesis.

    This is an argument in the same form:

    1. A considerable body of evidence links drinking fluids with avoidance of death by dehydration.
    2. Rattlesnake venom is a fluid, and I could hypothesize that eight 8-oz. glasses of undiluted rattlesnake venom daily will keep me healthy by warding off dehydration.
    3. Therefore a considerable amount of evidence supports my “rattlesnake venom for good health” hypothesis.

  163. #163 herr doktor bimler
    August 10, 2011

    Clearly her diet would be excellent for any person sick or well

    Evidently not.

  164. #164 Kingfillins
    August 14, 2011

    Bronze Dog
    “Duh! That’s why we’re always pushing for those clinical trials, and why we want watchdog organizations and rivalrous redundancy among labs to enforce an array of animal tests and ethical clinical trials on humans before they can even start marketing the product, followed by post-market observation to catch any defects that the first array of tests missed, and recall when necessary. The trust I give is dependent on how well they are held to that standard. That is anything but blind faith.”

    This is warm fuzzy idea we might hope to be true.
    Even if animals are suffering.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Oc2xElvL4

    (Please watch this before commenting)

    When it comes to products…
    return on investment and profit is king regardless of the consequences…

    after all people get sick naturally, right, if they happen to be taking a “scientifically proven safe” (or “scientifically proven” to work) drug and get sick, or die, that’s just a coincidental complication due to their illness.

    If a child is cured of Autism or some other neurological condition, or gut condition, using the GAPS diet that’s just coincidence and, or it indicates that the child didn’t actually have Autism in the first place.

    The first is a perception that we trust in the scientific method and its use in endorsement of a product, even though it is or may well be a fraudulent use of science,
    and the other is using mainly a traditional natural diet but its efficacy has yet to be substantiated by clinical trials,
    But the later is less trustworthy, and falls into the realm of “woo” so she should be prosecuted and or burnt at the stake.

    Seems rational and reasonable.

    (Obviously I am making a point here. A well constructed clinical trial is of course one of the best methods we have for study)

  165. #165 c
    October 13, 2011

    Fun blog! Thank God for science! I wish everyone would just go about making claims properly so that I don’t have to waste time finding out that there is no real evidence and therefore no point. Hey Kingdude, When it comes to products…
    return on investment and profit is king regardless of the consequences…, I think you just made your point about Dr. Campbell-McBride’s bogus business;)

  166. #166 Dominique Adey Balinova
    November 9, 2011

    Hello, well, I assume you have never read her books: “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” or “Put Your Heart in Your Mouth”, both available from Amazon and both containing scientific references as well as anecdotal notes gathered in clinical practice. If you take the trouble to read these books, and especially to implement the guidelines contained therein, you will be positively surprised about the extremely positive results achieved. I was (fortunately) directed to Dr Natasha’s work by someone who (finally) diagnosed the cause of my suffering for over forty years, and whilst reading her GAPS book I found clear explanations not only for my own experiences since a young child, but also for many of my relatives and friends. Since then, by incorporating detox methods, therapeutic probiotic supplementation and nutrition in accordance with Dr Natasha’s guidelines (which in part overlap with those recommended by Dr Joachim Mutter, Dr Sidney Macdonald Baker, Dr Mark Hyman and Dr Joseph Mercola – to name just a few) my health and quality of life have improved dramatically. How I wish I had found her work much, much sooner. For some of my now deceased relatives, her life could have been a true life-saver. Had we only known to bring our gut flora back into balance, much suffering could have been avoided completely. There are other lectures given by Dr Natasha, e.g. on You Tube and vimeo from the 2010 Wise Traditions UK conference, and the lectures are worth listening to with an open mind, as what she describes is true. Her work has helped and continues to help many, many people who have been failed by mainstream medicine practitioners, and she deserves great credit for her courage in speaking the truth as she does. Sincerely, Dominique

  167. #167 cristina m k bag
    November 24, 2011

    I am glad that we bought her book and I feel really disrespectful the way some ppl are comment here, and by the way she never impose us to buy her book , she has own blog, and GAPS group also is helping families for free!!!

    I know moderator will never let my comments to appear , but what I can say my son is completely fine due GAPS diet, and is very disturbing what this link try to put down her reputation, she deserve a better comments, though her book she recovered many autistic ppl around the world, and if she is against MMR , and many others vaccines for small children and babies, what’s the matter ??????? ıs truth and vaccines are dangerous as many drugs like ritalin and risperol are for autistic children and adults, that one destroy their immune system and gut.

    please a little respect if u have a little bit sense.

    and if u are corageous enough please let my comment to appear , many ppl will wait for my comments to appear.

    Thanks !!!

  168. #168 cristina m kassama bag
    November 24, 2011

    and why vaccines are so polemic????? because some ppl are supporting those drugs for our children and the drugs companies will always use their power to let another down , so please don’t use the name of Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride in the middle of this trash, she is wonderful doctor, and about prices she may charge , sorry even is too cheaper because she really can detect all the problems in any kind of patient and most of doctors are charging more even and they can not heal their health, but she through her book saved my son , please never ever use again any link and user her name in this way, I have enormous gratitude for everything he does for us!!!

    thanks again and rethink twice when mention the names of ppl who really want to recover patients in natural way as possible. Drugs is not the solution!!

    tomorrow I will come right here to check if my comments still here!!

  169. #169 Chris
    February 26, 2012

    I missed these Necromancers. What is so difficult about using proper spelling, grammar and punctuation?

  170. #170 LW
    February 27, 2012

    I would cut cristina some slack on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Her sentence structure doesn’t sound like that of a native English speaker.

  171. #171 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 27, 2012

    I will cut slack on spelling and grammar and punctuation, but I do not believe there’s a language spoken by humans where run-on sentences like that are considered mature writing.

  172. #172 Beamup
    February 27, 2012

    My money’s on “bot.”

  173. #173 Elle
    March 5, 2012

    I believe that this condemnation of Dr. Campbell-McBride is unfair and not properly reasoned. You did not have research that directly counters her claims, so I don’t know why you feel justified in doing so. There is nothing wrong with expressing skepticism, but this reads to me as though you have something against Dr. C-M personally. Studies conducted on mice (who share most of their DNA with us) have found that gut bacteria DOES correlate with brain development and activity. This, and the concept of the GAPS diet relates to the emerging field of epigenetics, which shows that our environment (including the food we eat) effects the way genes express. Natasha Campbell-McBride is clearly ahead of her time with the idea of Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Here are a couple of articles on the correlation between gut bacteria and brain chemistry if anyone is interested (many more can be found with a simple google search):

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-neuroscience-of-gut
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201083928.htm
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517110315.htm

  174. #174 ricky
    March 20, 2012

    You’re a complete psychopath for calling it quackery and rambling on about your nonsense. Most cases of autism is definitely caused by vaccines. Get a clue you imbecile.

  175. #175 Ricky
    March 20, 2012

    *are caused by vaccines. Where was all this autism 100 years ago when vaccines were not being used like they are today? Maybe you should read the books of those that planned this society that said they would use the needle and vaccines to destroy your IQ and immune system. It’s quackery and conspiracy theories though.

  176. #176 Orac
    March 20, 2012

    Do tell, Ricky. You have some…oh, you know…scientific evidence to support your assertions that vaccines cause autism and “destroy your IQ and immune system.” We’ll wait.

  177. #177 Lawrence
    March 20, 2012

    @Orac – I wonder if these trolls actually read what they write before posting, because from the peanut gallery it certainly seems like “cut & paste” from sociopath 101 textbooks.

  178. #178 Todd W.
    March 20, 2012

    @Ricky

    Where was all this autism 100 years ago when vaccines were not being used like they are today?

    Well, for the most part, it was called different things. Societally, it was something to be ashamed of, and those with autism were frequently placed into mental institutions, labeled such wonderful things as “mentally defective” or crazy. Sorry to burst your happy little conspiracy bubble.

  179. #179 TBruce
    March 20, 2012

    Maybe you should read the books of those that planned this society that said they would use the needle and vaccines to destroy your IQ and immune system.

    These books – can you get them on Amazon.com?

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