Naturopathy is a cornucopia of quackery with a patina of plausibility applied in the form of some seemingly reasonable recommendations about diet and exercise. Under the patina, however, lies virtually every form of quackery known to humankind. Be it homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, applied kinesiology, iridology, bogus diagnostic testing, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, or even organ repositioning (nonsurgical, I hasten to point out), no form of pseudoscientific medicine is rejected by naturopaths based on science. This is not surprising, given that naturopathy is based on vitalism, the idea that there is a “vital force” or “life energy” that can be bolstered by the “healing power of nature” and is threatened by (mostly) unnamed “toxins.” Unfortunately, thanks to a clever marketing campaign, the ignorance of legislators, and the indifference of medical societies, here in the US, naturopathy has made inroads to the point where it is a licensed health profession in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Naturopaths, not surprisingly, continue to press for more, including—horrifically—prescribing privileges, even though they have nowhere near enough training to be able to safely prescribe pharmaceuticals. It’s not just a problem in the US, of course. Naturopathy has been big in Europe for a long time, and it’s a problem in Australia as well.

While naturopaths might do minimal harm for the most part when they treat the “worried well” and minor, self-limiting illnesses, whenever they treat something serious, bad things happen. Even when they treat something that’s only moderately serious, bad things often happen. Take, for instance, this story out of Australia that I just found last night:

An eight-month-old baby boy came close to death after he was placed on a naturopathic treatment plan which left him suffering severe malnutrition and developmental problems, NSW police have said.

On Thursday child abuse squad detectives arrested a naturopath, a 59-year-old woman from Leppington in south-west Sydney, alleging she ordered a treatment plan for the baby which resulted in serious harm.

Police were told the boy’s mother had sought alternative health treatments for his eczema in April, and that she was allegedly told by the naturopath to cease all conventional medical and dermatological treatments for him.

Eczema is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the skin that results in itching, blisters that crust over and become scaly, itchy rashes, and dry, thick patches of skin with scales. In babies, severe eczema can result in significant complications. For instance, if large areas of skin are involved, there can be significant fluid loss from the oozing blisters. The open skin can become infected with bacteria, resulting in cellulitis and even sepsis. It can also become infected with a virus, such as herpes simplex, to produce a condition known as eczema herpeticum. The baby in the story above is not alone. Eczema seems to be a magnet for quackery, and babies have died from untreated eczema, an example being a 9 month old baby with eczema who died because her parents persisted in treating it with homeopathy, rather than real medicine. Her parents were ultimately convicted of manslaughter. Even adults are not immune, as there have been deaths from sepsis in adults with eczema.

The naturopath in the current case is Marilyn Bodnar, who practices at the Health and Vitality Centre. The website is down (so don’t bother clicking), and the page is not archived. However, the center’s Facebook page hasn’t been sent down the memory hole yet (amazingly), and neither has her own Facebook page. It didn’t take me much scrolling to find this particular Facebook post:

NVIC "I'm not antivax"

The above photo is from the National Vaccine Information Center, one of the oldest of modern antivaccine groups. So, right off the bat, I can tell that Bodner is antivaccine; no doubt she tells the parents of her pediatric patients not to vaccinate. If you have any doubt, she also shared a photo from the Antivaccination And Natural Therapies Network:

No compulsory vaccine

Oh, and she posts links to antivaccine rants on NaturalNews.com:

Natural News nonsense

But what about eczema? Googling Bodner’s name plus “eczema” brought up mostly stories about how she almost killed an eight month old child, but it also revealed that she hadn’t deleted one of her other web pages, which revealed a typical menu of naturopathic quackery, including:

  • Live Blood Analysis
  • Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach
  • Aromatherapy Massage
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Emmett Muscle Release
  • Sports Injury Therapist, Exercise Therapist
  • Steam Sauna & Hydrotherapy treatments, Thought Field Therapist

There’s not enough there to be able to tell which naturopathic therapies Bodner recommended for the child, but, as news reports relate, we do know that she instructed the parents to stop his medical treatment for eczema and replace it with alternative treatments. We also know that the child was near death when hospitalized, having lost a kilogram of body weight. If any of you are in pediatrics, you know that for an eight month old, losing one kilogram of body weight is basically starvation. Let’s just put it this way. the 50th percentile weight for an 8 month old male is 8.6 kg. Basically, the child lost easily more than 10% of his body weight. If he was smaller than average to begin with, which is not uncommon with children with chronic diseases, the weight loss could have been considerably more.

Although I can’t tell what treatments this particular naturopath used, I thought I’d look around and see what naturopaths typically recommend for eczema. A big one, of course, is homeopathy. The advantage of homeopathic treatments of eczema is that they are, for the most part, water (unless adulterated with real drug or a “weaker” dilution, which in the case of homeopathy means that it was diluted less). Other remedies include virgin coconut oil, vitamin E oil, chamomile tea, aloe vera, gentian tincture, ground horsetail plant, various flowers, and various herbal remedies. Others include magnesium “detox” baths (which sound like a really bad idea to me for people with open skin lesions) and probiotics. There is basically no reliable evidence that any of these approaches work; so in essence most likely the baby treated by Bodner received no treatment at all. Most likely, the baby boy became septic at some point. Fortunately, in this case the baby was hospitalized in time to save his life. Others are not always so fortunate. Even this boy spent more than a month in the hospital before being discharged on Wednesday.

So what’s next? This:

Child Abuse Squad detectives arrested the woman at a Leppington property about 7:30am on Thursday.

She was granted conditional bail to appear at Fairfield Local Court later this month, charged with grievous bodily harm and failure to provide for a child, causing danger of death.

They are often untested, they’ve not been passed through the TGA so we don’t know their real effect and we don’t know their interactions and we don’t know their safety profile.

The child’s mother is facing similar charges.

This is good. This is right and proper. Unfortunately, as always, I tend to be pessimistic that any significant jail time will result. One can only hope that this child is not given back to her parents, who failed him so dramatically.

Finally, in Australia, naturopathy is not a licensed health profession, as it is in some states. Some are making the perverse argument that licensing naturopaths would bring greater accountability, so that practitioners like Bodner couldn’t subject babies to quackery unto near death. Of course, given that the vast majority of naturopathic treatments are quackery, I’ve always found this argument bordering on the ridiculous. So do important Australians:

Dr Brian Morton, chair of the Australian Medical Association’s council of general practice, said while forcing naturopaths to register with an agency might lead to greater accountability, it might also “send a message of acceptability or validity as a health profession, so that’s a problem”.

It’s a problem we in the US also deal with, except that we have 17 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia where naturopathy is licensed. One wonders what would have happened in one of those states if Bodner had been a fully licensed naturopath practicing there. She could have claimed she was practicing according to naturopathic standards of care (mainly because there are no naturopathic stanards of care) and that it wasn’t her fault that it didn’t work and the child nearly died. Meanwhile, it’s doubtful that whatever board oversees naturopaths in the state would do much of anything.

Naturopathy is not science-based medicine. It is a patchwork of various “natural therapies,” outright quackery like homeopathy and applied kinesiology, with a little bit of semi-reasonable advice about nutrition and exercise. What happened to this 8 month old baby is what happens whenever naturopathy is used to treat even a moderately severe disease that is not self-limiting.

Comments

  1. #1 Not a Troll (formerly TrUTH)
    July 10, 2015

    This is some evidence for those who proclaim that naturopathy/homeopathy isn’t hurting anyone. I’m just sorry that it came to this. Perhaps a few more arrests will shut down this idiocy.

  2. #2 The Smith of Lie
    July 10, 2015

    I can already see the naturopaths reactions. For one she was not licesend so obviously she was no real naturopath, because it is obvious that realy, well used naturopathy can’t do anything but help.

    Then there is obviously conspiracy way out. She is being framed because Big Pharma is afraid of naturopaths showing everyone that evil western medicine is evil and not holistic. She is a martyr suffering for her promethean quest to enlighten the masses.

    Finally they can always try to blame the previous treatment the child recieved. The only fault of Bodnar would be that she had not reached out fast enough to prevent it from poisoning the poor kid.

    Lets now wait and see if any naturopaths wander by and fill my apologist bingo card with their drive by posts.

  3. #3 Alia
    July 10, 2015

    We’ve had a case like this in Poland – a six-month old girl died of malnutrition after being treated by a naturopath – only in this case the media called him what he is, a quack. Parents admitted that, based on the quack’s advice, they fed her for example goat’s milk diluted in water. Both the parents and the quack were arrested, they for basically killing their child, he for practising medicine without license and complicity. They face up to 10 years in prison, he up to 5.

  4. #4 Not a Troll (formerly TrUTH)
    July 10, 2015

    It appears this is not the first time she’s been in the news:

    Nurse on trial after diet patient dies

    The last I found on the case. No trial for legal reasons.

    New trial for water diet nurse”

  5. #5 JGC
    July 10, 2015

    I like the idea of registering naturopath’s, as long as it’s actively pointed out we also register sex-offenders.

    Let’s see them turn that into an argument for legitimacy.

  6. #6 Roger Kulp
    July 10, 2015

    Worth noting over at SBM today.Had Bodnar been in Nevada,she might have only faced a misdemeanorat best.

  7. #7 Eric Lund
    July 10, 2015

    Some are making the perverse argument that licensing naturopaths would bring greater accountability

    This sounds nice in theory. But empirically, we have seen many cases where licensed professions, including but not limited to medical doctors, do a poor job of policing themselves[1]. And that’s in situations where there are recognized standards of care and a recognized code of ethics, both of which are largely lacking among naturopaths. So what evidence is there that licensing naturopaths actually would make them more accountable? In practice, licensing naturopaths would likely give them undeserved respectability without the accountability.

    [1]Stan Burzynski, for instance, is still a licensed MD. For another example (in this case from the financial industry), Bernie Madoff was able to run his scam up until the point where he saw that he could no longer hide it–at least one person figured out that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme and tried to call the SEC’s attention to the fact but was ignored.

  8. #8 MI Dawn
    July 10, 2015

    It’s very sad to realize this is a woman who went through not only nursing training, but midwifery training (at least according to the article). So, like many who go into naturopathy, she let her brains go.

    I’ll be honest. As a nurse-midwife, I did research into herbs and recommended some topicals. But even then, nothing could make me recommend homeopathy (some of the midwives and patients loved Bach Rescue Remedy…).

  9. #9 Delphine
    July 10, 2015

    Minor quibble, but you don’t need to be in pediatrics to know that your baby losing weight (other than right after being born) is a bad thing.

    How a stranger can do this to a child is one thing. How a parent can be party to it is another. Sickening.

  10. #10 shay
    July 10, 2015

    Roger, I thought the same thing when I read Orac’s post. Does the Nevada law, however, allow for a felony if as in this example there has been serious harm done to the patient?

  11. #11 Not a Troll (formerly TrUTH)
    July 10, 2015

    Roger Kulp,

    After reading at your link, it occurred to me that SBM needs a better union. But Windriven, a commenter there, said it much better:

    We are in a battle of ideas and of deliverables. We are slowly losing the battle of ideas despite having virtually all of the deliverables – and we are losing that battle even within the confines of medical academia. If we can’t win this battle in the citadel, how is it to be won in the hinterland legislatures much less in the hearts and minds of average consumers?

    SfSBM has adopted Sisyphus as its emblem. I suggest as an emblem for medical academia a sort of reverse ouroboros where the snake’s ass is eating it’s head

  12. #12 sadmar
    July 10, 2015

    “Thought Field Therapist”?
    Don’t tell me what that is. I don’t want to know.

    “Naturopathy is not science-based medicine.”
    The naturopathy trick is to mix in some legitimate medicine with stuff that isn’t medicine at all. Orac regularly notes the difference between “science-based medicine” — which requires a certain kind of formal of research analysis for treatments to considered valid (the good ol’ double-blind RCT), and “evidence-based medicine” which can consider treatments valid based on applying logic to cumulative experience, but without a formal scientific study. A lot of good conventional medicine is “evidence-based” — you don’t need a double-blind RCT to confirm the process of setting broken bones, suturing lacerations, prescribing anti-fungals for jock itch, etc. etc. The places naturopaths will go don’t just fall short of scientific rigor, they’re outside the realm of any reasonable standard of evidence.

  13. #13 Helianthus
    July 10, 2015

    @ Delphine

    you don’t need to be in pediatrics to know that your baby losing weight (other than right after being born) is a bad thing.

    I had a similar reaction:
    “Doesn’t everybody know that babies are supposed to gain weight?”

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    July 10, 2015

    I notice that she advocates virgin coconut oil…
    what is it with woo-peddlars and this product?
    I see it being sold everywhere- food stores, ethnic specialities, drug stores, beauty/ haircare. discount stores…

    You’d think I live in Tahiti or the Caribbean.

  15. #15 shay
    July 10, 2015

    Virgin coconut oil? At twenty-five bucks for a 16 ounce jar, who cares what the trees are doing at night?

  16. #16 Beth
    July 10, 2015

    i think coconut oil must be the latest rage. Was told to use that to prevent hand foot syndrome that may arise from my new chemo. I’m sticking to my regular lotion-so far so good. Cancer sites are rampant with “cures” from ketogenic diets, Gersen protocol, ginger, turmeric working better than evil Pharma’s poisonous chemo. Yeah, it’s poisonous alright-hoping it will poison my cancer! I’ve given up responding to those who espouse their beliefs in homeopathy. It’s a sort of religion. Facts don’t matter only their beliefs do. It’s almost comical except these are very desperate people grasping on to whatever hope there is and of, course, there are plenty willing to take advantage of their ignorance and desperation. Why big Pharma gets the bad rap-at least we know where they’re coming from!

  17. #17 harriet huestis
    Canada
    July 10, 2015

    More sCAM practitioners should be arrested for their complicity in deaths and other harms. Only the mother is charged here but the homeopath and store are complicit.
    http://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/mother-to-stand-trial-in-alleged-negligent-death-of-son

  18. #18 capnkrunch
    July 10, 2015

    Orac, I think that you need to drop the ‘.au’ for her website. http://healthandvitalitycentre.com/ is the website for a Marilyn Bodnar, Naturopath.

  19. #19 capnkrunch
    July 10, 2015

    Well, just read more of the article and realized you already got that. Point taken, read the whole thing before commenting.

  20. #20 NH Primary Care Doc
    July 10, 2015

    Wow. I read the article linked at #4. She put someone on a 63 day water-only fast and killed her. Wow.

  21. #21 Eric Lund
    July 10, 2015

    Virgin coconut oil?

    I assume that “virgin” is used here in a similar way to how it’s used to describe olive oil, but I don’t care enough to actually look that up.

    I can see how that makes a difference for olive oil. The flavor you get from the second trip through the press may not be the same as for virgin olive oil, and flavor is one of the points to using olive oil. Perhaps certain fats are preferentially squeezed out (or left behind) in the first press as well. But I gather that the coconut oil is being used topically, not for eating, so the difference is less obvious. Other than the price, of course: at fifty bucks a liter, it had better be good stuff. You can get decent wines–even French or Napa Valley wines–for considerably less.

  22. #22 shay
    July 10, 2015

    If Bodnar didn’t get charged for the water diet death, I’m guessing it was because the victim was an adult and of (presumably) sound mind and following the diet of her own free will.

  23. #23 sadmar
    July 10, 2015

    Homeopaths don’t know nuthin’. ‘Virgin oil” would be missing a key ingredient to coconut’s medical efficacy:

    https://youtu.be/Q_e8UlXAjHk?t=2m9s

  24. #24 naturocrit podcast and blog
    http://naturocrit.blogspot.com
    July 10, 2015

    What I find interesting is how filmed by the New South Wales police the whole thing was.

    Message: walk of SHAME.

    -r.c.

  25. #25 lsm
    July 10, 2015

    I detest the naturopathic/alt med practice of severely limiting diet inappropriately, in many cases leaving MDs to clean up the mess. Britt Hermes has another example on her latest post:
    http://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/the-morality-of-practicing-medicine/

    I have seen one woman limit her family, including preschool children, to lettuce and strawberries for a week to rid them all of their “yeast infections” per her healer’s advice. I always wondered if the husband would sneak out late at night for Big Macs.

    (I did enjoy the comments of “Naturocrit” on Naturopathic Diaries who quit naturopathic school over such quackery as diagnosing and treating by proxy. Say what??)

  26. #26 dang
    July 10, 2015

    Didn’t anyone link to this coconut oil masterpiece yet?

  27. #27 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 10, 2015

    It appears that virgin coconut oil is not a lubricant for squeaky virgin coconuts, nor is it produced by Richard Branson.

    So far as I can tell, what distinguishes the virgin oil from no-virgin oil is the use of solvents in the process. The virgin oil is produced using only mechanical separation.

  28. #28 Krebiozen
    July 10, 2015

    Denice,

    I notice that she advocates virgin coconut oil…
    what is it with woo-peddlars and this product?

    It is delicious, to be fair: it has a nice coconut flavor that the refined varieties lack. I have played around making chocolate with it (instead of cocoa butter) and it’s great in some Asian dishes. It’s a shame about the price.

    Also, despite being a saturated fat, coconut oil allegedly doesn’t have any ill effects on cardiovascular health (I am deeply unconvinced of this). It also has other allegedly miraculous properties such as being antifungal; caprylic acid is supposedly the key, though evidence is of somewhat dubious quality.

  29. #29 Christine Rose
    July 10, 2015

    Most naturopathic treatments for eczema involve laxatives and diuretics. This is based on my own experience, not some sort of comprehensive survey. The theory is the the lesions are some sort of toxin forcing its way out through the skin. That could explain the extreme weight loss.

  30. #30 John Bundock
    Canberra, Australia
    July 10, 2015

    Bodnar was acquitted at her previous trial:
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/110617846
    A case of a homeopath in Australia causing a child’s death:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-09-28/parents-jailed-over-babys-death/1445256

  31. #31 Jonny
    127.0.0.1
    July 10, 2015

    What I find interesting is how filmed by the New South Wales police the whole thing was.

    Message: walk of SHAME.

    I dunno what’s normal down under, but it looked like a regular ol’ “perp walk” to me. If it wasn’t for the accents, the news reports would have passed for regular reporting on the evening news here in the US.

    My only objection in this case was that the walk was too short, and didn’t involve a slightly shorter pier.

  32. #32 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    July 10, 2015

    Rats – I typo’d my name. The above comment (when it comes out of moderation) is mine. Sorry, Orac.

  33. #33 LG
    Melbourne
    July 10, 2015

    Interestingly her website says that she is ‘Australian Traditional Medicine Society Accredited Member 5620’. Says a lot about self regulation.
    I think part of the problem in Australia is the fact that Health Funds cover these sort of practitioners along with ‘extras’ things that people might need – e.g. Dental and the government then pays 30% back to the user. It gives legitimacy to the practice. Interestingly there are now some health funds advertising that they don’t cover ‘woo’ or at least some woo – chiro is still in there.

  34. #34 shay
    July 10, 2015

    What is “Australian Traditional Medicine,” just out of curiosity?

  35. #35 Chris
    July 10, 2015

    I think it is just like it is practiced in North America, only in reverse.

  36. #36 Dr Zhivago
    July 10, 2015

    All this outrage about this, and yet nothing about Dr. Farid Fata who this blog writer probably knows personally, or at least professionally. Curious….

  37. #38 capnkrunch
    July 11, 2015

    LG@33

    I think part of the problem in Australia is the fact that Health Funds cover these sort of practitioners

    I was very surprised that her page said “[s]ervices are claimable on most health funds.”

    Nothing very interesting but I found her other page. It’s pretty much the same as the one that’s still up.

  38. #39 Mrs Woo
    July 11, 2015

    @Denice Walter – supposedly it has been listed as one of the good for you oils (along with olive oil, etc.), and there are claims (not sure how credible) that it can improve everything from skin problems (hey, could work as a moisturizer) to Alzheimer’s. I will admit that substituting it for your fat ingredient in a brownie ingredient makes very tasty.

    We have been using it for cooking some dishes for a few years, getting it subscribe and save on Amazon Prime.

  39. #40 Narad
    July 11, 2015

    I will admit that substituting it for your fat ingredient in a brownie ingredient makes very tasty.

    From the reviews I looked at earlier, it seems as though the lauric acid content makes it a better choice than other saturated fats, but it still loses overall to PUFAs.

  40. #41 Ausduck
    on the couch
    July 11, 2015

    NSW Police did not film images shown, that was from the media coverage. It’s common for the media to do that down here, they’ll wait outside police stations and courthouses to catch a glimpse of the alleged offender. This is the reason why Bodnar’s head is covered in the images – the police make the offer of the arrested person to have their head covered to keep their face off the news.
    Bodnar is no longer listed on the AHPRA register as an RN/midwife, so she is a former nurse. I shudder to think what her care would have been like.

  41. #42 ChrisP
    July 11, 2015

    Bodnar has been offerring alternative treatments for at least 30 years, so you shouldn’t worry about her practicing as a nurse. More money to be made from the worried well. Except for the fact that one of Bodnar’s favourites seems to be the water diet.

  42. #43 enl
    July 11, 2015

    Things that are licensed in my state, or the state I formerly lived in, for which I have heard the argument that a license==competence and licensure guarantees validity of the service provided :
    a) driving
    b) fortune telling
    c) medicine
    d) law
    e) contracting/home improvement
    f) electrician and plumber
    g) chiropractor
    h) child care worker
    i) engineer
    j) crane operator/operating engineer/boiler operator
    k) operating a business
    and, yes,
    l) naturopahthetic physician

    I think that this list, incomplete as it is, shows that, though people often associate a license with competence and validity, the concept really serves two different purposes: one is a minimum level of competence, such as a driving license or a medical license; the other is strictly registration, such as a business or a fortune teller, where the license has no bearing on the validity of the product or service. I also note that most of the things in my list fall clearly into one category or the other.

    The only one that seems to straddle classes is contractor, where in some places it is a special business license, and in others there are education and training requirements, as well.

    Amazingly, the one that requires a license that I keep hearing the opposite claim (license==incompetent) is teacher, where the same people that argue the first case will say that all it takes to get a teaching license is to pay the money…. Cognitive disconnect?

  43. #44 Badly Shaved Monkey
    July 11, 2015

    What is “Australian Traditional Medicine,” just out of curiosity?

    http://www.fosters.co.uk/content/uploads/2014/07/fosterslager_282x2821.jpg

  44. #45 Badly Shaved Monkey
    July 11, 2015

    I’ll get my coat…

  45. #46 ChrisP
    July 11, 2015

    That is Australian homeopathy.

  46. #47 herr doktor bimler
    July 11, 2015

    What is “Australian Traditional Medicine,” just out of curiosity?

    Fosters or XXXX.

  47. […] Naturopathy is a cornucopia of quackery with a patina of plausibility utilized within the type of some seemingly affordable suggestions about eating regimen and train. Underneath the patina, nevertheless, lies nearly each type of quackery recognized to humankind. Be it homeopathy, conventional Chinese language drugs, utilized kinesiology, iridology, bogus diagnostic testing, reflexology, craniosacral remedy, and even organ… Respectful Insolence […]

  48. #49 shay
    July 11, 2015

    There’s a lot of appeal to that therapy. At the very least it will make one feel better.

  49. #50 ebrillblaiddes
    July 12, 2015

    I’m appalled by two things.

    1) People can’t tell that if they take their spawn to an alleged medicreature, the alleged medicreature tells them to stop all other treatments from doctors who might have a second opinion about how things are going, and the spawn withers dramatically instead of improving, there might be a problem with that supposed medicreature.

    2) Nobody beat me to “virgin coconut oil has never had a banana put into it” or similar.

  50. #51 Lilia
    July 12, 2015

    In the U.S. 108,800 patients have died from malnutrition due to a medical intervention by a licensed physician or in a hospital. This number includes babies (Nurses Coalition). Another 106,000 die of adverse drug reactions from pharmaceuticals prescribed by an MD (Lazarou, Suh). An additional 98,000 due of medical error (IOM). These are DEATHS I’m talking about. Iatrogenic deaths (due to medical/doctor error) are about 780,000 in the U.S., surpassing cancer deaths (553,000).

    If you want to look at negative health outcomes, there are 2.2million Americans that suffer adverse drug reactions each year. About 7.5million uneccesary medical interventions and surgeries are performed each year too. Your rage against alternative health practitioners is completely misplaced.

  51. #52 Dan
    UK
    July 12, 2015

    So if I starved a child I would (quite rightly) be sent to jail. But if I starved that child according to some belief I have, and that belief did not work, then I might be spared jail?

    Licencing these people would provide less accountability as they would hide behind their BS. If a surgeon operates and the patient dies then that is a sad thing, but the surgeon is conducting him/her-self in accordance with the best practices we know of, and is rightly protected. I can’t see how licencing these people would similarly add a level of protection.

  52. #53 Dan
    UK
    July 12, 2015

    edit:

    I can’t see how licencing these people would similarly add a level of protection.

    I meant wouldn’t!

  53. #54 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    July 12, 2015

    Your rage against alternative health practitioners is completely misplaced.

    Being critical of alternative “health practitioners” is not mutually exclusive with being critical of healthcare Lilia. Just because medicine isn’t perfect it’s fine to allow a worse model of healthcare?

  54. #55 LW
    July 12, 2015

    In the U.S. 108,800 patients have died from malnutrition due to a medical intervention by a licensed physician or in a hospital. This number includes babies (Nurses Coalition).

    Link?

    I can tell you got all of these numbers from Gary Null’s “Death by Medicine”. Did you read to page 15, “Malnutrition in Nursing Homes”, where this number is calculated? The report from which the number was drawn called for *more* trained nursing staff to assist resident in feeding themselves. If this number is correct, it is tragic, but it is not due to “a medical intervention by a licensed physician or in a hospital”. If such deaths occur in a hospital at all, that would be because the hospital was trying to *save* the patient from death. This is hardly an indictment of American medicine.  

    Why should we believe anything else you blindly copied from *Gary Null*?

  55. #56 LW
    July 12, 2015

    By the way, Lilia, Orac has talked about the numerous flaws of “Death by Medicine” many times. Google and see for yourself:

    “death by medicine” site:scienceblogs.com/insolence

  56. #57 Delphine
    July 12, 2015

    Lilia, please elaborate on the unnecessary medical interventions and surgeries. Please describe in detail which ones are unneeded, and why.

  57. #58 Krebiozen
    July 12, 2015

    Another 106,000 die of adverse drug reactions from pharmaceuticals prescribed by an MD (Lazarou, Suh).

    Lazarou? He looked at studies of adverse drug reactions mostly published in the 60s and 70s and then extrapolated to the US hospital population in 1994. A lot has changed since the 70s, mainly for the better I believe, so I’m not convinced it was accurate even 21 years ago when it was published.

  58. #59 LW
    July 12, 2015

    “About 7.5million uneccesary medical interventions and surgeries are performed each year too.”

    I know someone who had a mastectomy for breast cancer and has had at least one reconstructive surgery. That surgery was “unnecessary” — it’s not like she was going to die without it — but I don’t think it’s reasonable to condemn the medical system for allowing her quality of life to be improved that way.

    I also know someone who, as the saying goes, applied makeup with a trowel. She confided to me that she had been born with a birthmark that covered most of the right side of her face, but repeated laser treatments had removed most of it and were slowly removing the rest. Yes, in some sense those treatments were unnecessary and she could jolly well just go through life hiding her face, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to condemn the medical system for allowing her quality of life to be improved that way.

  59. #60 Denice Walter
    July 12, 2015

    Oh gawd!

    I’ve heard those insane figures on myriad occasions as I listen to that idiot- they are constantly elaborated upon, transformed and expanded to suit the topic being discussed:

    – the ‘malnutrition’ in nursing homes/ hospitals leaves out the simple fact that people don’t visit these establishments as they would a resort- they’re there because of serious, often life-threatening conditions like CHF,MI, AD, cancer, stroke, DM – any of which could affect outcomes.

    -Null cavalierly advocates vegan diets/ supplements/ vitamin C IVs/ ozone to reverse conditions like Alzheimer’s, cancer. hiv/aids, dementia. In fact he even has nutritional protocols for bedsores, MRSA, ebola and gangrene.

    That’s because he is an unscrupulous salesman whose fortune** has been made by inveigling frightened people into believing that he can do what SBM can’t- guarantee health, cure endstage disease and allow people to live to be 150.

    He can’t, he just lies and concocts new tall tales with which to ensnare people.

    AND the tales change: he used to say he came to NY in the 1970s to be a writer or that he was a cook but lately, it seems that he worked at the UN at the Institute for International Education or suchlike. He also was employed at the Institute of Applied Biology and Trafalgar Hospital. But not the Royal Free.

    ANYONE can say that!

    ANY of us can dream up an impressive-sounding CV about the 1970s or 1980s- if we lived back then.

    ANYONE can create lies with which to control people. Some people are gullible and for various reasons, believe him.

    Hey, people believe Mike Adams, Alex Jones and Porter Stansberry***. It doesn’t mean that they’re based in reality..

    ** rational wiki links to his estates in Florida and Texas- how many of us have 50 acre spreads?
    *** someone I know has a friend who actually pays for PS’s crappy advice scam newsletter and suggested that he buy shares in an Egyptian gold mine a few years ago.

  60. #61 Not a Troll
    July 12, 2015

    One of the big differences I see is that within medicine many people are working to reduce iatrogenic deaths but I don’t see any effort in the alternative med industry. Maybe I’m just not paying enough attention to them.

    Also, these are raw numbers. If am playing the odds on my health, it appears that the odds of being harmed vs the odds of being treated effectively are still squarely in “traditional” medicine’s favor. It would be nice to have a study on that.

  61. #62 DanielWainfleet
    Ontario
    July 12, 2015

    Licensing naturoquacks leads the public to think they are qualified health practicers. It’s like licensing alternative auto mechanics. Care to have your brakes fixed holistically?

  62. #63 Janerella
    Oz
    July 12, 2015

    And how many more are going to be endangered and possibly killed by those turning away from medicine and turning to Googlefu and random Facebook advice? Case in point https://www.tavs.info/2015/07/12/antivaxers-child-ends-up-in-hospital-after-terrible-advice/

  63. #64 Chris
    July 12, 2015

    Oh, my word that is horrible!

  64. #65 Lisa
    July 12, 2015

    Marilyn Bodnar is not trained or registered as a Naturopath. The problem is that in Australia, any random person can call themselves a Naturopath. Marilyn Bodnar is actually trained as a Nurse and a Midwife, so get the story straight!!

    • #66 Orac
      July 12, 2015

      As if that would have mattered. Methinks. Lisa missed the part where I described why licensing naturopaths wouldn’t protect the public.

  65. #67 Chris
    July 12, 2015

    Lisa, a relative of mine went to a trained by Bastyr and registered naturopath. Because of him she switched from her real medications and took the homeopathic stuff he sold her some very high prices. Apparently homeopathy did not work for her very acute neurological issues. We can now visit her where she is buried not far from where we live.

    So what if they are licensed and registered just because some politicians have dubious critical thinking skills when it comes to science? The only way a naturopath should be licensed is if the school they go to does not teach nonsense like homeopathy or reiki, that each graduate be required to pass the USMLE, and spend a residency in a heal hospital treating real patients and not just the “worried well.”

  66. #68 LG
    Melbourne
    July 12, 2015

    #65 Lisa – Marilyn is, according to her Website ‘Australian Traditional Medicine Society Accredited Member 5620′. Some information about her training and/or registration is here: http://www.atms.com.au/members/membership-qualifications/
    My question to you is how is the average punter going to know that this isn’t ‘registration’ as a Naturopath? What exactly is ‘registration’ what is ‘training’?

  67. #69 palindrom
    July 13, 2015

    #65 — As we’ve seen, a fair number of MDs are cranks and quacks, so it’s not too suprising that other health care practitioners such as nurses and midwives are as well.

    But that said, I’d like to put in a word for Certified Nurse-Midwives (in the US), who are trained to deliver high-quality OB care, and often do so in hospital settings with excellent physician backup in case things go wrong. It’s really unfortunate that the word “midwife” encompasses both highly trained people like this and people with no real expertise at all.

  68. #70 Please be educated
    Australia
    July 13, 2015

    Get your facts straight first!

    I appreciate the majority of you are in the USA, but for so called friends of science your making huge assumptions with out looking at the facts…..very scientific of you.

    So a REAL naturopathy degree is a 4 year health science bachelors degree in australia, the first 3 years are equivalent to any allied health care professional such as physiotherapist, nurse, dietitian, etc. so that means 80% science subjects from biochemistry to pathophysiology and majoring in nutrition and herbal medicine. The 4th year is in a clinic observing and treating with supervision.

    So regulation would be great as that so called quack of a naturopath had 1 certificate in something called ‘nature cure’ not naturopathy! She was a quack not a naturopath, no naturopath would actually tell a client to go off western medicine, do you think naturopaths like being sued?

    Now before you all shoot me down with ‘theres no evidence base to natuopathy treatment” crap take some time, go and sift through all the research available on pubmed (if any of you know what that is, as I have a sneaking suspicion that you aren’t actually scientists at all) and you’ll see theres more than satisfactory evidence for many natural supplements, diet and lifestyle treatments. BUT definitely no evidence for a water based diet! come on people use your brains!

  69. #71 Porlock Junior
    July 13, 2015

    “craniosacral therapy”? Is this some kind of a satire thing?
    I mean, you know where the cranium is, right? And the sacrum, yes. So, obvious.

    Then, of course, I took the trouble to look it up. Shucks, how dull and stupid the reality is. Nothing at all to do with having your head up your ass. Well, nothing except — you know.

  70. #72 Concerned scientist
    Australia
    July 13, 2015

    I thought this was a science blog? There is a sample size of one here, a critique of one person who is supposed to represent all naturapaths? In the USA up to 4440,000 people die each year from medical errors, by medical professionals, in hospitals. Yet no-one questions the need for doctors. This article reads like a hate article against an individual. There are plenty of scientific peer-reviewed publications on some of the natural therapies. BTW I am not a naturapath, I just like to read articles with some balance and objectivity in them.

  71. #73 Helianthus
    July 13, 2015

    @ Concerned scientist

    There are plenty of scientific peer-reviewed publications on some of the natural therapies.

    Fine.
    Show us a publication – any article, really – stating that it’s normal for a 8-month baby to lose a lot of weight, like this one did.

    BTW, if you are a scientist, I am the Pope.

  72. #74 bec
    Australia
    July 13, 2015

    I would like to clarify the above comments about the nature of naturopathic education in Australia.

    Across the board, there is not a single Commonwealth supported/subsidised fee university in Australia which offers a naturopathy degree. The ones that do are full-fee for profit institutions with almost no entry barriers (the main one, Endeavour College, doesn’t even require students to finish high school – much less have any subject prerequisites or minimum entry scores).

    I am yet to find a naturopathic degree in Australia that doesn’t have flower essences as a mandatory component, or homeopathy as any kind of option.

    Given that Australian universities have lately come under fire for mass plagiarism and eroded academic standards (and this is at reputable institutions like the University of Sydney), what chance is there that a full-fee, non-evidence-based and unrigorous institution such as the ones offering naturopathy degrees would do any better in terms of integrity? What incentive do they have to turn away any student – even the failing ones – when it is likely that the vast majority of students attending are not of a sufficient quality to get into a more prestigious university or an evidence-based allied health course?

  73. #76 herr doktor bimler
    July 13, 2015

    4440,000 people die each year from medical errors
    Concerned scientist is concerned.

  74. #77 ChrisP
    Australia
    July 13, 2015

    Concerned scientist is also innumerate.

    Just goes to show that the US does not have the corner on ignorance.

    I like the sound of Pope Helianthus though.

  75. #78 Murmur
    UK-ia
    July 13, 2015

    #70

    OK then, I’m from the UK, I’m a recently retired nurse with a science degree, so why not give me some references showing some actual, real, proper science behind naturopathy?

    You’re making the claims: back them up!

  76. #79 Murmur
    UK-ia
    July 13, 2015

    PS diet and lifestyle don’t count as “naturopathy”, ‘cos us conventional medicine types have been doing that stuff as far back as either my sister or I can remember.

  77. #80 Murmur
    UK-ia
    July 13, 2015

    PPS By diet I mean sensible, balanced eating, rather than faddy “super” food nonsense…

  78. #82 Helianthus
    July 13, 2015

    @ ChrisP

    I like the sound of Pope Helianthus though.

    Eh, even if I am wrong, I win 🙂

  79. #83 shay
    July 13, 2015

    Plus you can excommunicate anyone who disagrees with you.

  80. #84 herr doktor bimler
    July 13, 2015

    Also, cadaver synods!

  81. #85 Helianthus
    July 13, 2015

    @ Shay / hdb

    Plus you can excommunicate anyone who disagrees with you.

    I promise to be a benevolent overlord. Not dark but terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!

    (always wanted to say this)

    Um, there is some appeal in cadaver synods. At least, your opponent isn’t saying anything, and in case he starts talking you can safely ignore it. Better be careful when you drop him in the incinerator at the end of the parkour, through.

    Oops, the last part was about the companion cube, not the synods. I always mix them up.

  82. #86 Chris
    July 13, 2015

    Please be educated: “Now before you all shoot me down with ‘theres no evidence base to natuopathy treatment” crap take some time, go and sift through all the research available on pubmed (if any of you know what that is, as I have a sneaking suspicion that you aren’t actually scientists at all) and you’ll see theres more than satisfactory evidence for many natural supplements, diet and lifestyle treatments”

    Actually, diet and lifestyle are real medical interventions purloined by naturopaths.

    Now, as far as “natural supplements”, you are making a claim therefore you must come up with the citations. If you feel there were “natural supplements, diet and lifestyle treatments” that could have dealt with the child’s eczema then provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers to support that statement.

    Until then, get familiar with how naturopathy is treated on this blog. Here “ND” stands for “Not a Doctor.”

  83. #87 shay
    July 13, 2015

    …and terrible as an army with banners.

    (I always wanted to say that, too).

  84. #88 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    July 13, 2015

    “you’ll see theres more than satisfactory evidence for many natural supplements, diet and lifestyle treatments”

    I suppose it depends on what sort of evidence satisfies you. If you have a very low bar, then yes, there is satisfying evidence for naturopathy. And pretty much everything else, really, if your bar is low enough.

  85. #89 Krebiozen
    July 13, 2015

    In the USA up to 4440,000 people die each year from medical errors, by medical professionals, in hospitals.

    This problem is escalating by the day. I fear for the US. Perhaps the UN should be sent in with some disaster aid.

  86. #90 Not a Troll
    July 13, 2015

    Natural health proponents also conveniently leave out when a supplement contains a drug ingredient (or similar; I am not a scientist). On red yeast rice.

    “RYR contains several compounds known as monacolins, which block the production of cholesterol. One of these, monacolin K, has the same structure as the drugs lovastatin and mevinolin.”

    “There has been some controversy between Pharmanex, Inc., the FDA, and statin manufacturers as to whether Cholestin® should be considered a drug or a dietary supplement. The U.S. District Court in Utah ruling in March 2001 states that RYRE is an unapproved drug. Thus, the RYRE known as Cholestin® is no longer available in the United States.”

  87. #91 Denice Walter
    July 13, 2015

    @ Not a Troll:

    I’ve related the story before but you’re relatively new:

    I knew a woman who managed a tennis club- the really posh one which I no longer frequent-
    she was advised by a doctor to take a cholesterol-lowering med but she didn’t want to so she purchased RYR and took it faithfully.
    THEN she had a stroke.

    Unfortunately, although she could walk, she had problems with speech and needed a great deal of therapy. I don’t think she works any longer. She isn’t that old, she’s married and not at all poor.

  88. #92 JGC
    July 13, 2015

    Perhaps the UN should be sent in with some disaster aid.

    Courtesy of Homeopaths without Borders, perhaps.

  89. #93 Not a Troll
    July 13, 2015

    Denice,

    Sorry for the redundancy. I’m not that new here but I am an infrequent visitor and did not see your comment about RYR.

    What has compelled me to be on a commenting binge recently has been the spike in posts and comments of stories relating to the harms done by alt med practitioners. [or maybe just me paying more attention]

    When you see a story here and there on a particular rare disease or one outcome, although always a tragedy, it doesn’t register how much of a widespread problem it is, and it is easy to continue to believe that alt med is largely a benign endeavor with the biggest issue being a waste of money.

    I am brand new to the red yeast rice story though. Last week on another blog someone was using it as an example of “BigPharma Gov”.

    “Remember how it was prohibited for red rice a simple food stuff to be imported into the USA because it lowered blood pressure even better then the “medical drug ” Lipitor . To prohibit the importation of red rice was the reaction of Big Pharma Gov. to protect their Lipitor concession which had negative side effect.”

    Hmm. They couldn’t even do a simple G_ogle search; just repeat what they heard. Yes; I did reply to that commenter.

  90. #94 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    July 13, 2015

    So a REAL naturopathy degree is a 4 year health science bachelors degree in australia, the first 3 years are equivalent to any allied health care professional such as physiotherapist, nurse, dietitian, etc. so that means 80% science subjects from biochemistry to pathophysiology and majoring in nutrition and herbal medicine. The 4th year is in a clinic observing and treating with supervision.

    You call that a competent enough education to provide primary healthcare? FFS.

  91. #95 JGC
    July 13, 2015

    The 4th year is in a clinic observing and treating with supervision.

    I’m curious how that works–iven there are no standards of care for naturopathy it’s likely all those 4th year students will be getting widely disparate ‘training’, unless they happen to wind up ‘observing’ in the same clinic and ‘supervised’ by the same established ND.

  92. #96 rs
    July 13, 2015

    ” ‘ The 4th year is in a clinic observing and treating with supervision. ‘

    I’m curious how that works”

    Digging deep into the film vault…
    “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”
    “Don’t do that!”

    That is an example of medicine by supervision.

  93. #97 Ausduck
    July 13, 2015

    The “No True Scotsman” fallacies are being promoted far and wide by ‘real’ naturopaths here is Australia (one in particular, whose comments so far sound very similar to please be educated at #70)Bodnar and also to argue for registration as healthcare practitioners by our national registration body, AHPRA.
    I agree with Orac, registration is not the answer. Chiropractors lobbied their way into registration as a health care practitioner and this has not made them more evidence based or professionally responsible – in fact it has split chiropracty into factions. Where this leaves their clients…
    I don’t want to see every alternative modality whine and then be registered. What I would like to see is more legislated accountability. Here in my State, NSW, there is a piece of legislation called the Unregistered Health Care Practitioners Act, which does set out scope and requirements. To back that up people can complain to the Health Care Complaints Commission if they have been affected by or are concerned that an unregistered quack’s practices are a concern.
    Problem is that people are quick to complain about doctors and hospitals, but not the person that sits with them for an expensive hour and sells them all sorts of expensive nonsense.
    The regulatory systemsalready in place need to be beefed up to deal with these charlatans.

  94. #98 Ausduck
    July 13, 2015

    Please forgive the typos – my first paragraph should read:
    The “No True Scotsman” fallacies are being promoted far and wide by ‘real’ naturopaths here in Australia (one in particular, whose comments so far sound very similar to please be educated at #70) regarding Bodnar and also to argue for registration as healthcare practitioners by our national registration body, AHPRA

  95. #99 The Smith of Lie
    July 14, 2015

    I want to make a note that even admitting that a number of people dies after medical intervention by “evul western medicine” and even allowing that some of that number are deaths due to those interventions, that does not validate quackery.

    Hey, I am sure that I can dig up some stats about number of people who died as a result of parachute not opening. Will you guys then come and buy my 100% natural safete device – wings made from beeswax and feathers. After all, would you trust a Big Parachute lies?

    (Also, I’d like to direct please be educated and others who claimed that this woman was not real naturopath back to my comment #2.)

  96. #100 Lighthorse
    Canada
    July 14, 2015

    Hardly a week goes by when I don’t learn of another case of iatrogenic disease or death, be it at the hands of an MD, ND, or another practitioner. The case at hand is tragic and could have been avoided had the practitioner received proper training in the treatment and prognosis of the disease. But one can hardly single her out as representative of all NDs, or the level of clinical training all receive at every college.

    Over many years, I have met a number of NDs, both in Canada and the U.S., who refer patients to MDs when they realize that their training and prescriptions are insufficient for the case. This is not unlike a GP who refers a patient to a specialist. I also know of an MD In Canada who referred cardiac patients to a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine when patients failed to respond to any treatments in his arsenal. For reasons unknown, the doctor of TCM was successful in cases for which Western medicine was not. In untold other cases, one will find the opposite. For example, in Vancouver, B.C., I have spoken with Chinese MDs who are adamant in their position that TCM doesn’t work, and others who hold the opinion that for some, but not all patients, TCM is apparently effective, which reminds of the story of red yeast rice (RYR).

    RYR can be traced to 800 C.E. in China when it was used as a food preservative and colorant, as well as a medicine. The traditional method of its preparation was to allow the fungus Monascus purpureus Went to ferment in boiled, nonglutinous rice with alum water, juice of Polygonum grass, and red wine mash. Once the rice had turned to a deep crimson color, it was ground to form a powder (McKenna et al, 2011).

    Over many centuries, RYR was used in the treatment of diverse conditions, many but not all of which are immediately translatable. In the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368 CE), RYR was used to remove ‘blood stasis to permit movement of medicine’; ‘counteract miasma from mountain mists’; heal cuts and bruises; invigorate the circulation of blood; and calm dyspepsia. During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), RYR was recorded as useful in, among other conditions, anthrax, bruised muscles, hangover, diarrhea, indigestion, heart pains, juvenile colic dyspepsia, and for improving the circulation of blood (McKenna et al, 2011).

    In 1979, working with a strain of Monascus, Akira Endo and coworkers in Japan discovered, monokolin K, a potent inhibitor of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase; the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis. Several years earlier, they identified mevastatin, another HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor in cultures of Penicillium brevicompactin and P. citrinum. Monokolin K was later found to have the same structure as mevinolin, which was later named lovastatin and identified in fungi other than Monascus, including strains of the edible fungus, oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). Apart from mevinolin RYR contains related compounds (monacolins). In 2001, analyses of 9 RYR products sold as dietary supplements in the U.S. found monacolin contents ranged from 0% to 0.58%, with individual capsules containing monakolin K (lovastatin) in amounts of 0.15–3.37 mg (Red Yeast Rice in: McKenna DJ et al. Botanical Medicines. The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements. Second ed. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group; 2011:809–23.

    Pharmanex, Inc. boldly introduced RYR as a dietary supplement in the U.S. known as Cholestin. Because the product naturally contained a drug already sold by prescription, they were cautioned that the FDA would object and prohibit its sale. In accordance with the Dietary Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the FDA eventually prohibited its sale and today the product named Cholestin lists different ingredients. Even so, RYR products continue to be sold as dietary supplements in the U.S. Although they may contain various monocolins, provided the absence of lovastatin, they are allowed for sale. How many, including some oyster mushroom products, still contain unlabeled amounts of lovastatin, is unknown.

  97. #101 Lighthorse
    Canada
    July 14, 2015

    Hardly a week goes by when I don’t learn of another case of iatrogenic disease or death, be it at the hands of an MD, ND, or another practitioner. The case at hand is tragic and could have been avoided had the practitioner received proper training in the treatment and prognosis of the disease. But one can hardly single her out as representative of all NDs, or the level of clinical training all receive at every college.

    Over many years, I have met a number of NDs, both in Canada and the U.S., who refer patients to MDs when they realize that their training and prescriptions are insufficient for the case. This is not unlike a GP who refers a patient to a specialist. I also know of an MD In Canada who referred cardiac patients to a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine when patients failed to respond to any treatments in his arsenal. For reasons unknown, the doctor of TCM was successful in cases for which Western medicine was not. In untold other cases, one will find the opposite. For example, in Vancouver, B.C., I have spoken with Chinese MDs who are adamant in their position that TCM doesn’t work, and others who hold the opinion that for some, but not all patients, TCM is apparently effective, which reminds of the story of red yeast rice (RYR).

    RYR can be traced to 800 C.E. in China when it was used as a food preservative and colorant, as well as a medicine. The traditional method of its preparation was to allow the fungus Monascus purpureus Went to ferment in boiled, nonglutinous rice with alum water, juice of Polygonum grass, and red wine mash. Once the rice had turned to a deep crimson color, it was ground to form a powder (McKenna et al, 2011).

    Over many centuries, RYR was used in the treatment of diverse conditions, many but not all of which are immediately translatable. In the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368 CE), RYR was used to remove ‘blood stasis to permit movement of medicine’; ‘counteract miasma from mountain mists’; heal cuts and bruises; invigorate the circulation of blood; and calm dyspepsia. During the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), RYR was recorded as useful in, among other conditions, anthrax, bruised muscles, hangover, diarrhea, indigestion, heart pains, juvenile colic dyspepsia, and for improving the circulation of blood (McKenna et al, 2011).

    In 1979, working with a strain of Monascus, Akira Endo and coworkers in Japan discovered monokolin K, a potent inhibitor of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase; the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis. Several years earlier, they identified mevastatin, another HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor in cultures of Penicillium brevicompactin and P. citrinum. Monokolin K was later found to have the same structure as mevinolin, which was also named lovastatin and identified in fungi other than Monascus, including strains of the edible fungus, oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). Apart from mevinolin, RYR contains related compounds (monacolins). In 2001, 9 RYR products sold as dietary supplements in the U.S. were found to contain monacolin in quantities ranging from 0% to 0.58%, with individual capsules containing monakolin K (lovastatin) in amounts of 0.15–3.37 mg (Red Yeast Rice in: McKenna DJ et al. Botanical Medicines. The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements. Second ed. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group; 2011:809–23.

    Pharmanex, Inc. boldly introduced RYR as a dietary supplement in the U.S. known as “Cholestin”. Because the product naturally contained a drug already sold by prescription, they were cautioned that the FDA would object and prohibit its sale. In accordance with the Dietary Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the FDA eventually objected and today the label ingredients of Cholestin are entirely different. Even so, RYR products continue to be sold as dietary supplements in the U.S. Although they may contain various monocolins, provided the absence of lovastatin, RYR products are allowed for sale. How many, including some oyster mushroom products, still contain unlabeled amounts of lovastatin, is unknown.

  98. #102 JGC
    July 14, 2015

    Over many years, I have met a number of NDs, both in Canada and the U.S., who refer patients to MDs when they realize that their training and prescriptions are insufficient for the case.

    I’m curious, Lighthorse: what non-self-limiting illnesses or injuries do you believe that naturopaths are suficiently well-trained to address?

    What treatment modalities offered by naturopaths, that are not also an integral part of standard evidence-based medical interventions, do you believe are capable of generating outcomes as treatments for non-self-limiting illness or injury that are as good or better than those achieved by standard evidence-based medicine?

  99. #103 Chris
    July 14, 2015

    Wow, Lighthouse, that was lots of typing with very little substance or data.

    Yes, they found a useful statin in Red Rice Yeast. That is about as earth shattering as learning that fox glove is useful for heart conditions. Except they both had to be refined to get the dosage correct, and make sure there were no contaminants.

    That is not naturopathy, that is real medicine. Just like the diet and lifestyle coaching that naturopaths try to claim.

    For more information see:
    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/red-yeast-rice-and-cholesterol/

    Which says:

    Regulatory actions

    When does a food cross the line to become a drug? Red yeast rice was marketed in the US as a dietary supplement, Cholestin. The FDA banned it in 1998, saying that since it contained lovastatin it was an unapproved drug. In 1999, a federal judge overruled the FDA, saying it could be sold as a food supplement. In 2000 a Circuit Court of Appeals said that ruling was in error and restored the FDA’s ability to regulate Cholestin as a drug. The FDA then sent warning letters to several companies, and the product disappeared from the market for a few years.

    The manufacturers’ response

    Red yeast rice products gradually reappeared on the market. Around 30 brands are now available. Most of them got around the FDA restriction by eliminating the monacolin content and by careful labeling and advertising that does not claim to lower cholesterol. In 2007, the FDA sent warning letters to two companies whose products still contained monacolins; the products were withdrawn. Red yeast rice products are still widely sold in the US and products containing lovastatin are still readily available from other countries.

    Pharmanex continues to sell a product under the name Cholestin, but it no longer contains lovastatin.

  100. #104 Denice Walter
    July 14, 2015

    @ Chris:

    The woman I described above had the stroke in the last 4 years.

  101. #105 Chris
    July 14, 2015

    Sorry, I missed the context. I just remember that the FDA makes sure that any supplement claiming to be Red Yeast Rice is not supposed to have the statin. So obviously that woman was not following directions, and was mistakenly believing she was taking a safe alternative.

    What is also terrible is that naturopathy and claims for the red yeast rice will not be blamed for her stroke. Or take responsibility when the illegally sold “supplement” with actual statins causes health problems to those who cannot tolerate the actual chemicals (even if if it did occur naturally in the RYR).

    My grandmother and both of her sisters suffered the effects of “hardening of the arteries.” One sister died quickly from a stoke, my grandmother was ordered to a special nursing home after her stroke caused her to become violent. She lived there for the last twenty years of her life. NDs should not be making claims on real life medical issues.

  102. #106 phildo
    July 14, 2015

    You know when Harold Shipman was arrested in the UK for killing hundreds of patients he had just be passed as an exemplary MD in his professional audit. I Think we are all capable of working out that Shipman was a nutter.

    As much as I would like to then load this onto the rest of the medical profession, I can deal with it being a one off nutter.

    This thread is rediculous. if we look at the number of people who die 250,000 every year from atopy – the medical profession isn’t winning this war. In fact the standard inhailer treatment and steroid creams are known to cause the atopic pathway.

    Either you are just trying to provide meat for right wing papers to publish from or you are all very sick.

    Stuff ND’s medical doctors should not be claiming in any way to be able to treat atopy – it’s a lie.

  103. #107 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    July 14, 2015

    Orac, sock puppet on aisles 106 and 107.

  104. […] in Australia sought natural therapies advice for her infants eczema; naturopathic advice leads to severe malnourishment and developmental issues. Both the ‘naturopath’ and the […]

  105. #109 Lighthorse
    July 14, 2015

    Entry #100 should be removed and #101 left in it’s place.

    @ JCG: “I’m curious, Lighthorse: what non-self-limiting illnesses or injuries do you believe that naturopaths are suficiently well-trained to address?

    What treatment modalities offered by naturopaths, that are not also an integral part of standard evidence-based medical interventions, do you believe are capable of generating outcomes as treatments for non-self-limiting illness or injury that are as good or better than those achieved by standard evidence-based medicine?”

    I would be just as curious to know as you are. Off the top of my head, no comparative studies come to mind. Perhaps a naturopathic could cite some, as limited as the number of subjects may be.

  106. #110 Lighthorse
    July 14, 2015

    @ Chris: The example of red yeast rice in no way implies that all naturopaths are entirely undiscerning of the potential toxicity of natural products, or the problems attending lack of standardization to provide consistent dosages of the active constituents.

  107. #111 KrapsparK
    Canada
    July 14, 2015

    @Lighthorse
    Searching for RCTs in PubMed for “Fish Oil” supplementation and “Cardiovascular” events in humans brings up 565 clinical trials. I am sure a FEW dozen of those trials are comparative, being that they are RCTs. So, if you’d like to take a look at a few of those I think you may change your mind about a naturopath’s ability to tease through available research and to prescribe a health promoting treatment that is “statistically significantly” greater than currently medical dogma. Should I comment on the “Benefit” of statins?

  108. #112 Chris
    July 14, 2015

    Lighthorse, I am sorry but that does not make any sense. Naturopaths are not trained in actual pharmaceutical science, even worse they are required to take courses in homeopathy.

    You did not even understand the point of my comment was that red yeast rice supplements cannot be used to control cholesterol because it is not allowed to even contain the chemicals that make up a statin. It had nothing to do with toxicity.

    Also, you were attributing known medical science to naturopaths, which is demonstrably wrong. Naturopaths did not discover the statins in red yeast rice, nor did they do the studies showing the benefits of diet and lifestyle choices. Until you come up with something unique to naturopaths that actually works, they stop being taught homeopathy, pass the USMLE, do a full three medical residency in a hospital and stop purloining actual medical achievements as their own “ND” will still stand for “Not a Doctor.”

  109. #113 Chris
    July 14, 2015

    “Perhaps a naturopathic could cite some, as limited as the number of subjects may be.”

    Perhaps because the studies by naturopaths, if done correctly, are hidden from sight. Over twenty years ago when Bastyr was still renting an unused public elementary school building, they announced on the local media that they were going to do a study on homeopathy. This was way before there was much of an internet.

    This was how I learned exactly what homeopathy actually is: uber diluted fashionable nonsense. I have never been able to find out what happened to that “study.” There is nothing on their website, nothing in the PubMed index and they still require classes in homeopathy to get an ND.

    Can you guess what happened to that “study”?

  110. #114 Lighthorse
    July 15, 2015

    Chris: I think you missed my own point that naturopaths would necessarily ignore the absence of active constituents and evidence for the effectiveness of a substance, be it RYR or anything else. RYR has nothing to do with naturopathy; it was and remains a traditional Chinese medicine and food that undoubtedly some NDs have prescribed. As for RYR products containing natural statins, to my knowledge, they are not prohibited from sale unless the statin conforms with the structure of a prescription drug.

    I raised the discovery of statins in Japan and the variability in of statins marketed RYR products not to confuse the class the drugs with naturopathy, but to highlight not only the need for standardization of crude, ethnic medicines, but indirectly in relation to the personal observation of Chinese MDs that traditional Chinese medicines apparently work for some patients but not others. Finally, your assumption that all naturopaths prescribe homeopathic remedies simply because they study the subject in school is groundless.

  111. #115 Lighthorse
    July 15, 2015

    @KrapsPark “I think you may change your mind about a naturopath’s ability to tease through available research and to prescribe a health promoting treatment that is “statistically significantly” greater than currently medical dogma. Should I comment on the “Benefit” of statins?”

    Where did I state that I believe every naturopath has the ability to wade through the available research on a given substance to prescribe a health promoting treatment of superior efficacy compared to “currently medical dogma”?

    Yes, by all means, go ahead and tell me about the benefits of statins.

  112. #116 AdamG
    July 15, 2015

    your assumption that all naturopaths prescribe homeopathic remedies simply because they study the subject in school is groundless

    So, Lighthorse, should homeopathy be a required part of the ND curriculum? Why or why not?

  113. #117 Lighthorse
    July 15, 2015

    If it was up to me to decide, I would insist that it be struck from the curriculum or left to remain only as an elective course. Why? Apart from the fact that, unlike botanical medicines, there is little to no chance of a pharmacological basis for homeopathic dilutions, there are more important subjects for students to devote their limited time in understanding. High on my list would be the study of placebo and nocebo, right back to the earliest texts and papers on the subject, inclusive of the deliberate use of colorants in the preparation of finished pharmaceuticals to influence patients.

  114. #118 AdamG
    July 15, 2015

    High on my list would be the study of placebo and nocebo

    So basically you admit naturopathy is only ‘useful’ for, as JGC put it, “self-limiting illnesses or injuries.” Why do we need NDs at all?
    Are there non-self-limiting illnesses or injuries that NDs trained in ‘placebo and nocebo’ are better at treating than MDs?

  115. #119 Chris
    July 15, 2015

    Lighthorse: ” Finally, your assumption that all naturopaths prescribe homeopathic remedies simply because they study the subject in school is groundless.”

    Where did I say all naturopaths prescribe homeopathy? I said they are required to take that kind of nonsense in their curriculum. If they are taught nonsense, it pretty much eliminates any pretense of what “science” they might get exposed to.

    Let me repeat: “ND” will still stand for “Not a Doctor” until their curriculum removes non-scientific nonsense like homeopathy, reiki, acupuncture, etc from their curriculum, they are required to take a multi-year residency in a hospital and pass the USMLE. What part of that did you fail to understand?

    Also, the efficacy and psychology of placebos are an active area of study in real science. In fact Dan Ariely got his Ig-Nobel:
    http://danariely.com/2008/10/09/ig-nobel-a-dream-come-true/

    Naturopaths don’t seem to even understand they are prescribing placebos. They just continue to stumble along causing harm along the way if they encounter real medical issues.

  116. #120 Helianthus
    July 16, 2015

    @ Lighthorse

    Finally, your assumption that all naturopaths prescribe homeopathic remedies simply because they study the subject in school is groundless.

    It may be an assumption, but it’s not exactly “groundless” to assume that people trained to use specific treatments will use them.
    Especially if their training make them believe these treatments work. If this context, it is logical for them to use these treatments.

    If you have examples of naturopaths rejecting homeopathy, it may help to support your position.
    Although Chris’ point would still stand: naturopaths are taught nonsense.

  117. #121 Lighthorse
    July 16, 2015

    @AdamG No, I did not basically admit anything of the sort. All I stated was that, if it was up to me, I would place greater importance in the study of placebo and nocebo than homeopathy. To your question, “Are there non-self-limiting illnesses or injuries that NDs trained in ‘placebo and nocebo’ are better at treating than MDs?”, I very much doubt that anyone has undertaken the necessary studies to determine that.

  118. #122 Lighthorse
    July 16, 2015

    @Helianthus. While I have spoken with NDs who claim they do not prescribe homeopathic preparations, a formal survey would be required in order to know how many do and how many do not.

  119. #123 Lighthorse
    July 16, 2015

    @Chris: ” If they are taught nonsense, it pretty much eliminates any pretense of what “science” they might get exposed to.”

    Does it? You are assuming that NDs don’t study the subject the placebo.

    Given that students are required to have completed a Bachelor of Science before entry, as pretentious as they may seem to you, one can hardly state that NDs are not exposed to “science”.

  120. #124 Narad
    July 16, 2015

    High on my list would be the study of placebo and nocebo, right back to the earliest texts and papers on the subject, inclusive of the deliberate use of colorants in the preparation of finished pharmaceuticals to influence patients.

    Perhaps you could be more specific. (Haven’t I raised this notion already on a different thread? G—le is comparatively slow to index, and I am soon to sleep.)

    I hope this involves submarines.

  121. #125 Narad
    July 16, 2015

    Given that students are required to have completed a Bachelor of Science before entry, as pretentious as they may seem to you, one can hardly state that NDs are not exposed to “science”.

    1. This “requirement” applies to students where?

    2. What, precisely, do you imagine the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. to be?

  122. #126 Krebiozen
    July 16, 2015

    Lighthorse,

    While I have spoken with NDs who claim they do not prescribe homeopathic preparations, a formal survey would be required in order to know how many do and how many do not.

    Naturopathic apostate Britt Hermes says:

    It may be true that “not all naturopaths” incorporate homeopathy into their naturopathic practices, but, I strongly doubt this claim. I have yet to meet a naturopath who has never dispensed a homeopathic remedy or allowed a remedy to be prescribed under his or her supervision. I have never seen a presentation or lecture by a naturopath discussing the scientific ridiculousness of homeopathy or debunking justifications for using homeopathic substances. I have never read an article, blog, or even a NatChat comment by a naturopath stating that homeopathy is nonsense and should be jettisoned from naturopathic education. I have never seen a naturopath reprimand another practitioner for his or her use of homeopathy, even when these remedies are used to treat serious illnesses like pyelonephritis or cancer.

    I doubt that I ever will witness naturopaths ban together and attack homeopathy.
    […]
    Naturopathic has absorbed homeopathy, much like it has with any flavor of alternative medicine, such as chiropractic, Ayurvedic or traditional Chinese medicine. Whether younger generations of naturopaths like it or not, homeopathy is embedded within naturopathic, and it is there to stay.

    Also, have you read the SBM piece on what naturopaths say when they think no one is listening? Orac covered it here too – you can find it using the search box. Homeopathy is the least worrying of the interventions they recommend – their use of chelation, IV hydrogen peroxide, black salve, and actual pharmaceutical drugs concerns me much more.

  123. #127 Narad
    July 16, 2015

    a formal survey would be required in order to know how many do and how many do not

    Do elaborate.

  124. #128 Chris
    July 16, 2015

    Lighthorse: “@Helianthus. While I have spoken with NDs who claim they do not prescribe homeopathic preparations,”

    So what? They are still expected to waste several of their curriculum credits learning the nonsense, along with other nonsense.

    “Does it? You are assuming that NDs don’t study the subject the placebo. ”

    Why do you keep assuming what I think? I told you that the study of placebo was part of real science and medicine. What you seem to think because I declared it as something that is part of reality that I don’t think it is part of the naturopathy curriculum. Their education is so poor, they probably do not realize most of the nonsense they are taught are placebo.

    There may be real science in a naturopathic curriculum, but that is irrelevant if they are required to learn nonsense. As Dr. Crislip says: adding cow pie to apple pie does not make the apple pie better, nor does it make the cow pie edible.

    Again, for the third time: “ND” will stand for “Not a Doctor” while naturopaths are required to learn non-scientific nonsense, do not do a multi-year residency at a real hospital (their natuoropathic walk-in clinics do not count) and do not pass the USMLE. The American osteopaths cleaned up their act and actually become licensed physicians, so there is no reason “naturopaths” could not. Or at least be realistic and not claim to treat real medical problems like eczema in babies.

  125. #129 JGC
    July 16, 2015

    You are assuming that NDs don’t study the subject the placebo.

    Lighthorse, are you under the mistaken impression that placebo effects can induce therapeutic changes which would be curative for non-self-limiting illness or injuries? That isn’t the case: studies show that placebo’s instead result in patients perceiving symptomatic relief without actually physiologically affecting the disease state at all.

    For example, in a study in asthma patients involving 46 chronic asthma suffers, patients were given one of four treatments: an inhaler with albuterol, a placebo inhaler, sham acupuncture or no treatment. Efficacy was measured in two ways following treatment.

    First, by asking the patients to rate their symptom’s improvement on a scale of 0 to 10. Patients reported symptomatic relief with the albuterol treatment as expected, but reported also similar improvement when using the placebo inhaler or the sham acupuncture.

    When the team looked at an objective measure of improvement in lung function, however–the maximum air volume that patients could exhale in one second–they found improvement only when patients received albuterol. There was no improvement in objective measurements with the other treatments. (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21751905)

  126. #130 Chris
    July 16, 2015

    JGC: “That isn’t the case: studies show that placebo’s instead result in patients perceiving symptomatic relief without actually physiologically affecting the disease state at all. ”

    The use of placebos is also a form of lying. It is considered very bad form to lie to patients, especially by medical doctors.

    Why would it be okay dokay for naturopaths to lie?

  127. #131 Lighthorse
    July 16, 2015

    @JGC: No, I am not under the mistaken belief that placebos induce therapeutic changes of lasting benefit in the treatment of any condition, self-limiting or otherwise. Why would my preference that naturopathic colleges teach the subject in-depth lead you to suspect otherwise, especially when I stressed that homeopathy should at best be an elective and the study of placebo be a required part of the curriculum? The danger of prescribing what amounts to placebo is that the symptoms, including in the case of cancer, tumor size and presence, will return.

  128. #132 Lighthorse
    July 16, 2015

    @Narad: I would suggest that you become familiar with practitioner surveys to understand the meaning of the term. MDs, veterinarians, and others receive questionnaires for surveys conducted by institutions and the results are published in peer-reviewed journals. Questions typically include the prescription of particular classes of drugs in given diagnoses.

  129. #133 Chris
    July 17, 2015

    “especially when I stressed that homeopathy should at best be an elective and the study of placebo be a required part of the curriculum?”

    Why would absolute nonsense be given as an elective? If a program wants to be based in reality and science, it should not even pander to a hint hint of fantasy.

    Because a good portion of naturopathic curriculum is given to nonsense, I am pretty sure that the “Not a Doctor” folks have no idea when they are dealing with placebos.

    Face it, giving a placebo is a lie. Modern medical practice frowns on lying. So while it is interesting to study, it should not be done to unsuspecting patients.

  130. #134 Lighthorse
    July 17, 2015

    @Krebiozen: I can’t thank you enough for the link to Britt Hermes. When I can find the time, I will be reading her posts like a child indulging in a bowl of ice cream on hot day in July.

    Have you read Edzard Ernst’s, A Scientist in Wonderland: A Memoir of Searching for Truth and Finding Trouble (Academic, 2015)? Although I have yet to obtain a copy, from the reviews I have seen to date, it should be required reading for anyone thinking of becoming a naturopath.

    I was appalled to learn that German makers of homeopathic remedies waged a smear campaign against him. More than that, those who opposed him arranged for his research funds to be stopped and he was forced to retire from his work.

    I have my own stories of mistreatment at the hands of the dietary supplement industry who opposed my insistence on scientific facts versus popular views and hysterics. Unfortunately, for legal reasons, they can not be told in their entirety.

  131. #135 Lighthorse
    July 17, 2015

    @Krebiozen: Those of us who insist on a scientific rationale for the use of medicines in the treatment of disease are up against powerful forces; the grandfathering of homeopathy in Canada and the U.S. by no less than the governments of the day being one of the greatest. At the same time, we must be diligent in our critical thinking and not fall prey to the misguided interpretations of the opposition.

    As a case in point, a colleague of mine recently took issue with erroneous information on herbs and dietary supplements for healthcare professionals and the public on the web site of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center (SKCRC). In one example, he pointed out that, based on validated contents shown by multiple chemical analyses, their warnings concerning adverse and side effects of “pau d’arco” on the basis of the quinone lapachol were groundless. Briefly, under the heading of “Mechanism of Action”, SKCRC fell prey to the “contains game” practiced by members of the dietary supplement industry in ascribing lapachol to the plant material known as pau d’arco. A dietary supplement widely available in the marketplace, pau d’arco is the inner bark of tropical American trees, Handroanthus impetiginosus and H. hepataphyllus), species formerly assigned the names Tabebuia impetiginosa (syn. T. avellanedae) and T. heptaphylla (Grose SO, Olmstead RG. Syst Botany. 2007;32(3):660–70). Incredibly, SKCRC claims adverse effects (nausea, vomiting, prolongation of the prothrombin time, and anti-vitamin K activity) from pau d’arco, not on the basis of any clinical studies of the inner bark or any other part of the trees, but a single observatory study of cancer patients administered lapachol; a failed investigational new drug formerly studied by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. From lapachol at oral dosages of 2000 mg/day, those effects were seen, but not from 1500 mg/day or dosages lower than 2000 mg/day (Block JB, Serpick AA, Miller W, Wiernik PH. Cancer Chemother Rep. Pt 2. 1974;4(4):27–8). So, how much lapachol (a poorly soluble quinone) does the inner bark contain?

    The largest survey of authenticated and commercially- available inner barks of pau d’arco was conducted by a team of chemists led by the former Head of the Natural Products division of the Drugs Directorate of Health Canada; the equivalent of the U.S. FDA. In 3 extracts and 12 inner barks (teas”) sold in the North American marketplace, the largest contents of lapachol were 0.003% in one product and 0.00004% in another. All 3 extracts were devoid of lapachol, as were 2 other loose inner bark products sold as tea (Awang DVC, Dawson BA, Ethier JC, Gentry AH, Girard M, Kindack D. J Herbs Spices Med Plants. 1994;2(4):27–43).

    In an earlier survey conducted in Brazil when the inner bark was widely promoted as a cure for cancer in the press, analyses of authenticated barks of what were then the most recommended species (Tabebeuia heptaphylla, T. avellanedae, and T. impetiginosa) showed no lapachol . Eight individual, commercially available inner barks sold in the marketplace of Brazil were also found to contain no lapachol.

    Extrapolating the highest content of lapachol (0.003%) found in the inner barks of pau d’arco to the minimum daily oral dosages reported to cause the aforementioned adverse effects in cancer patients, the amount of inner bark one would hypothetically have to ingest to obtain that much lapachol is 66.6 kg.

    The most lapachol ever reported in a member of the genus known today as either Handroanthus or Tabebuia was 7.64% in the heartwood of Tecoma araliacea, a species currently known as Handroanthus serratifolius. A survey of the literature in 2015 by my colleague revealed that the heartwoods of species known as pau d’arco, whether Handroanthus or Tabebuia, typically contain 2–4% or less lapachol.

    To date, no one has conducted a clinical trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of the inner bark against any human disease, let alone report adverse effects. Yet, SKCRC assigns “Purported Uses” of pau d’arco to activities shown by lapachol.

  132. #136 Narad
    July 17, 2015

    @Narad: I would suggest that you become familiar with practitioner surveys to understand the meaning of the term. MDs, veterinarians, and others receive questionnaires for surveys conducted by institutions and the results are published in peer-reviewed journals.

    Leaving aside the condescension, general posturing, and overall evasiveness, perhaps you could provide some PMIDs to tie this specifically back to

    While I have spoken with NDs who claim they do not prescribe homeopathic preparations, a formal survey would be required in order to know how many do and how many do not.

    TIA.

  133. #137 Narad
    July 17, 2015

    ^ Or, G-d help us all, DOIs if this is going to go down the marketing-research path.

  134. #138 Lighthorse
    July 17, 2015

    @Narad: Either you have evidence to support a claim, or you do not. If you can think of another means of obtaining the percentage of NDs who prescribe homeopathics, let everyone know.

  135. #139 Lighthorse
    July 17, 2015

    @Narad: “In my former career as a naturopath, I hated when people equated homeopathy with naturopathy. Based on comments to posts in this blog, there is a good chance that many naturopaths, and naturopathic students, also feel that homeopathy is embarrassing.”

    http://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/?s=homeopathy

  136. #140 Tim
    My House
    July 17, 2015

    So let me get this straight.

    A child was ALMOST killed by a naturopath, so we should ban them.

    So now we can ban vaccines http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/baby-dies-after-routine-vaccination-for-hep-b-polio-and-dpt/

    Feel free to go back to your circle jerk.

  137. #141 Chris
    July 18, 2015

    Tim, how are hospital conditions in the USA, Canada and UK equivalent to Maltibai Hospital, Thane, West Mumbai in India. Which according to Google maps cannot be found.

    Next time, link to the original news source, not credulous websites.

  138. #142 Not a Troll
    July 18, 2015

    Tim,

    There was that narcolepsy incident but science and medicine addressed it.

    But what will address naturopaths practicing pseudo-medicine?

  139. #143 sadmar
    B.S. bs
    July 18, 2015

    Nether BA nor BS. degrees signify much of anything specific. The reguirements vary greatly from school to school, program to program. Specifically, to he point here. one can easily acquire a BS without taking any coursework in biological sciences or chemistry. I did. My ug majors were Theater and Speech, and I had a minor in English. But since I was in Secondary Ed., it was a BS. I think the deciding factor was Sec Ed didn’t have a foreign language requirement. We had to take 3 science courses for our Gen Ed (this was quarter system, for semesters it would have been 2). I took Psychology, Astronomy, and Physics for non-majors.

  140. #144 Robert L Bell
    July 19, 2015

    @Not a Troll #142 This example just goes to show that the antivaxxer goons want to play by a slippery and one sided set of rules: vaccines have to be absolutely perfect under all conceivable circumstances or they win, while epidemics and outbreaks must be judged tolerable and ultimately harmless unless someone they happen to care about happens to die and to die in large numbers.

    As we discussed a few days ago, by exaggerating the danger of vaccines and denigrating the dangers of disease they can get away – in popular discourse, among the ill informed – with advocating for this lunatic scheme that we can safely ratchet down the vaccine coverage rates just until the point where it starts to hurt and thereby minimize the total cost to society. It sounds plausible to the inattentive, the ignorant, the stupid, and the ideology saturated, while in fact it is a recipe for epidemics the likes of which we have not seen in the First World since before the War.

  141. #145 Mrs Woo
    post pow-wow
    July 19, 2015

    @Lighthorse – if you learn so much to evidence-based, good studies, etc.; and prefer to avoid the magic/unproven parts of it, why did you end up in naturopathy? This is a curiosity thing. Sometimes I think I am not following the conversation correctly because it looks like you are agreeing with the condemnation of unscientific practice and it isn’t being noticed. But, you admit to being/having been a practicing naturopath, so I very possibly am misunderstanding something. I am not as well-versed in all this as everyone else.

  142. #146 Neil
    Australia
    July 21, 2015

    Orac’s at it again. I haven’t been here for some time thank god. The bullshit spun on this site is something else, and well worth a laugh to come back once every two or so years.

    I do agree with Orac and co writers on this blog site to be very careful where we source our information from on google, as this is a great example of one to not take too seriously.

    As usual you find ONE CASE to have a crack at on your ‘alternative profession hit list” – an unprofessional naturopath so it seems. So what??? There are nutcases all over the world in every profession like on this site. The funniest thing of all when people use the expression ‘ alternative’, is that a lot of it has been around for hundreds and thousands of years in comparison to a mere 100 to ‘modern medicine’. Yes, those of us who do know, understand that the opposite is actually the reality, that modern medicine is largely ‘alternative.’

    I have seen and read enough bullshit on this blog site full of one track minded medics who don’t seem to respect much beyond surgery, radiation and drugs – a mere 100 years of apparent brilliance and enlightenment, only to come up short in the stakes of true health and healthy longevity. How many more years does one have to wait for modern medicine to provide us with anything substantial other than repairing a body in a road trauma accident or a knee replacement for a pro athlete? How many more people are going to hoodwinked by trying their hardest to raise funds and awareness for cancer campaigns only to be unknowingly fooled, yet seem to be convinced that there is a cure waiting around the corner.

    At least i will have the dignity of keeping my body in tact without any forced intervention from medicine whatsoever. You have puffed your chest like the big bad wolf in fear of others creating freedom of speech and liberal choices. How dare you take away a person’s liberty – you have no right.

    You are sad indictment of present day humanity, a society of disconnect, disharmony, greed, materialism and power.

  143. #147 mho
    July 24, 2015

    not sure where to post this–I hadn’t seen it earlier
    http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2015NewsReleases/15133KingCountyNaturopathSuspended
    Didn’t he comment frequently on the nat-chat reddit emails?
    also, to the moderator-With the use of Disquis, I’m not sure how to sign in with this name, which I’ve used for a while now on insolence.rather than my disquis account.
    ]]I’m not trying to creat a sock puppet account. ..

  144. #148 mho
    July 24, 2015

    sorry you can’t see the title in the link–
    the announcement is about the former Washington Board chair of Naturopathy in being suspended following criminal charges

  145. #149 Lighthorse
    July 26, 2015

    @Mrs Woo: Woo be unto those who would assume that I was or ever aspired to be a naturopath.

    @Neil: That’s right, Neil: modern evidence-based medicine became an alternative to treatments lacking evidence of efficacy and safety. But no one here is taking away liberty. If anything, this is one of the most liberating sites on the Web; liberation from misguided assumptions, uncritical thinking, and the propaganda of so-called alternative medicine and its promoters. But if you have somehow been swayed into believing that modern medicine has yet to provide anything substantial, you are greatly mistaken.

  146. #150 Lighthorse
    July 26, 2015

    @Mrs Woo: I suspect your assumption of me being a naturopath is that you missed the quotation marks I used in #139 where I was quoting a former naturopath in response to the topic of educational requirements.

  147. […] themselves as comparable peers of legitimate allied health professionals, but lives are endangered. Marilyn Bodnar, a NSW naturopath, was arrested earlier this month after giving dangerous advice for the treatment […]

  148. #152 millee
    Sydney, Australia
    August 11, 2015

    so much ranting and raving going on ….
    I know Marilyn Bodnar personally and she is, in my opinion, an absolute NUTJOB.
    She is NOT a Naturopath and whatever training she has had in whatever field I would not value above a 5 cent coin.
    I would not trust her to care for a rock let alone an ant or a human being. She is WACKO and a dreadful example of a Jill-of-all-trades but competent at none.
    Spend 2 minutes in conversation with Bodnar and you KNOW you are talking with an extra-terrestrial from someplace you don’t ever want to go to. Fruitcake, nutjob, crazyarse, personality disorder out of control.
    My opinion based on my interactions with her.
    I wouldn’t ask for or take her advice on how to make a cup of tea … she has weird ideas on everything and anyone labelling her or allowing her to label herself as a health practitioner of ANY description needs their head read.
    This woman is DANGEROUS because she thinks, she BELIEVES, that she is right and everyone else is wrong, even when death is the result she is still right and others wrong. MADNESS!!!!!!!

  149. #153 Idiocy
    Alaska
    September 8, 2015

    She is a nurse! Don’t all of you forget that! This nurse then decided to practice woo woo like most of you say. She isn’t a license Naturopathic Doctor, and thus wasn’t practicing their protocol. She also wasn’t practicing in her scope of Nursing obligations.

    So to condemn naturopathic medicine based on a nurse wrongfully practicing out of her scope is to condemn Licensed surgeons based on a nurse practicing surgery and screwing it up! Would you then state “too may people are being cut open unnecessarily and it’s wrong!?” Due to this nurses actions?? She is not licensed to perform naturopathic medicine not surgery. Therefore, to attack a profession which requires 8-10 years of formal education (nothing on-line), passing boards, licensing, and accreditation is over generalizing your blanket statements onto laymen who never went through rigorous standards such as this nurse when condemning Naturopathic Physicians. I’m not in the medical field, but I see a place for both allopathic and natural medicine… When they are both accredited to high standards and used accordingly, unlike this “nurse pretend naturopath.”

    Also as a side note, I have found through my research, naturopaths are not naturopathic Doctors. She has no right to be compared to a Naturopatgic Doctor, as her nursing degree allows her no right to be compared to an Medical Doctor.

  150. #154 Idiocy
    Alaska
    September 8, 2015

    Excusing my typing errors, as I was relaying my message over a phone. I am wanting to get my point across to people that are so narrow minded and believe that medical doctors are it. They aren’t. I agree Medical doctors are wonderful, so are licensed Naturopathic Doctors. I have been helped immensely by both professions, BECAUSE I was a patient of accredited Naturopathic AND Medical doctors, not nurses, not nurse practitioners, and not a layman naturopath who doesn’t want to go through the 8 years it requires to practice natural medicine.

  151. […] as comparable peers of legitimate allied health professionals, but lives are endangered. Marilyn Bodnar, a NSW naturopath, was arrested earlier this month after giving dangerous advice for the treatment […]

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