March seemed to be naturopathic quackery month. Let’s face it, though, every month is naturopathic quackery month. It’s just that in March there were two stories that really caught my eye. The first was the story of a naturopath in Bowling Green named Juan Sanchez, who was gunned down in his office one Friday evening, allegedly by the distraught widower of a cancer patient whom he had treated, after having told her and her husband that “chemo is for losers” and claiming that he could eliminate her cancer in three months.

The second was even more shocking. Basically, a naturopath in Encinitas, California executed a clean kill of a patient with intravenous turmeric. The victim was a young woman—only 30 years old—named Jade Erick, who had consulted a local naturopath to relieve her symptoms of eczema. Although all the news reports said that it was IV turmeric, most likely it was actually IV curcumin, for reasons I discuss later in this post. Whatever it was, it doesn’t, in my not-so-humble opinion, absolve the naturopath of guilt for a “clean kill.”

Kim Kelly, ND (Not A Doctor). He prescribed the dose of intravenous turmeric that killed Jade Erick.

Kim Kelly, ND (Not A Doctor). He prescribed the dose of intravenous turmeric that killed Jade Erick.

In my discussion of the case two weeks ago, I noted how the woman apparently went into cardiopulmonary arrest due to a hypersensitivity reaction. At least, that was the initially suspected cause of death. I also discussed how conventional medicine has been studying curcumin, which is derived from turmeric, for its potential anticancer activities. I also discussed how, in my estimation at least, the hype over curcumin as an anticancer treatment far outweighs the actual promise. That’s not to say that there isn’t some promise there, but it’s modest at best, and the natural compound has a lot of properties that make it less than ideal as a drug, particularly its lipophilic properties, which make it relatively insoluble in aqueous solution. Naturopaths, of course, go far beyond the modest potential health benefits of turmeric or curcumin suggested by science-based medicine and claim that it cures almost everything (e.g., eczema), hence the naturopath using it. However, I had never heard of anyone using turmeric or curcumin IV before, and naturopaths were quick to fall back on the “no true Scotsman” defense, falling all over themselves to deny that any competent, licensed naturopath would ever, ever, ever do such a thing and trying to claim that IV turmeric/curcumin is not quackery because allergic/hypersensitivity reactions are rare. At the time, they got away with it because the name of the naturopath had not been released.

Now it has, and guess what? The naturopath was Kim Kelly, and he is fully licensed to practice naturopathy in the state of California:

Jade Erick reacted immediately to the turmeric infusion delivered intravenously by her Naturopathic Doctor. She passed out and went into cardiac arrest.

Dr. Kim Kelley and his staff called 911, then tried CPR and an EpiPen to revive her. By the time an ambulance arrived, the 30-year old Oceanside woman had no pulse.

Erick was revived, but after five days in the intensive care unit of Scripps Encinitas Hospital, she died, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report.

Her death was ruled accidental.

Dr. Kelly is now under investigation by the FDA and the California Department of Consumer Affairs, according to a spokesperson for the Medical Examiner.

Here are a couple of news updates on the story, including autopsy report findings:

This definitely sounds like an acute hypersensitivity reaction, given how fast Erick’s reaction was after how little turmeric solution had been infused before it occurred.

I actually knew that Kelly had been the naturopath, as a couple of readers told me. However, I couldn’t in good conscience mention him publicly without confirmation. Now I have that confirmation. I actually explored his website a couple of weeks ago, when this story first broke, but didn’t delve deeply. Now’s as good a time as any to do so. The first thing I note is that “Not-a-Doctor” Kelly is everything that organized naturopathy says a naturopath should be, as opposed to those unlicensed quacks:

Dr. Kim D. Kelly graduated from Bastyr University in 2001 and is a licensed Naturopathic doctor in the state of California. Growing up on a farm in Northern Minnesota is where he first had experience in the healing power of nature. This was further fostered when reading about the numerous clinical trials using alternative therapies when he was getting his Master’s of Public Health (MPH in Epidemiology) at the University of Minnesota. After realizing the power and effectiveness of alternative therapies, his career goal as Epidemiologist changed to wanting to become a Naturopathic Doctor; thus, he enrolled at Bastyr University in Seattle, WA.

Upon graduation from Bastyr, he underwent a rigorous three year training program at a cutting edge clinic, where he was trained by a team of medical and naturopathic doctors (Nazanin Kimiai, ND, LAc; Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD; David Musnick, MD, MPH). Through his experience at this integrative clinic, Dr. Kelly learned the art and science of progressive healing modalities for musculoskeletal pain, autoimmune conditions, chronic infections (parasites, Lyme, mold), environmental & heavy metal toxicities and general health issues.

In the world of naturopathy, Bastyr is the equivalent of Harvard or Stanford. Of course, being the Harvard or Stanford of quack schools is not saying much. My point, of course, is that Kelly graduated from what groups like the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) view as the crème de la crème of naturopathy schools and is fully licensed in the largest state in the country. Of course, I can’t help but note that in his bio asserting his pseudoprofessional bona fides, he can’t help but mention one of naturopaths’ favorite forms of quackery, “heavy metal detox.” I find that appropriate.

It also turns out that Kelly has been scrubbing his website of all mentions of IV turmeric, something noted by ex-naturopath Britt Hermes. However, some of his advocacy of IV turmeric as a wonder drug lives on in the form of what looks like an ad or announcement of a talk on the wonders of IV turmeric:

I am excited to announce that I’ve started administering intravenous curcumin. Curcumin has been used for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal reasons. People have used it to help with pain, inflammation, immune system, arthritis, liver conditions and cancer. It’s also been found that intravenous curcumin in combination with vitamin C and glutathione (I call it the “Mother of All Antioxidants”) has a potentiating effecting in helping people with chronic health conditions e.g. hepatitis C, liver fibrosis. Intravenous Curcumin is absorbed better, faster and can be given in much higher doses compared to taking it orally. Therefore, the benefits usually can be seen much sooner. Patients who have received it thus far have reported benefits very soon after treatment.

If you are suffering from any type of inflammatory condition, whether it be arthritis, autoimmune condition (e.g. scleroderma, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis), Alzheimers or dementia, this may be a great modality of treatment to try. It may require multiple treatments or may be just one treatment, depending on each person and the condition.

The safety, tolerability, and nontoxicity of curcumin at high doses have been well established by human clinical trials. Promising effects have been observed in patients with various pro-inflammatory diseases.

I can’t help but note that that last statement is absolutely false. Yes, orally administered curcumin is generally pretty safe even up to 8 g per day. However, intravenous curcumin hasn’t been well studied, as I discovered when I started doing more PubMed searches (although I did find a bunch of articles in which investigators were trying to curcumin nanoparticles, micelles, and the like to administer curcumin IV). Moreover, intravenous curcumin is not the same thing as intravenous turmeric. Curcumin is a constituent of turmeric; there is so much more in turmeric than just curcumin. So even if there were rock-solid safety data for IV curcumin, that would not mean that IV turmeric is just as safe. Remember, all the news reports said quite clearly that Kelly administered intravenous turmeric, not curcumin. Given the above entry, I wonder which it was that Kelly actually administered to Erick, particularly in light of this ridiculous defense of intravenous curcumin by another “Not-A-Doctor,” Paul Anderson. After reading that and Hermes’ article, I now think that it was IV curcumin administered to Erick, not turmeric. It doesn’t really matter, though. She’s just as dead, and her death remains just as unnecessary. Whatever Kelly used to treat Erick, this is is naturopathic “reasoning,” such as it is: If the isolated compound is safe, then the crude plant from which that compound is derived must also be safe, and if a little is good, a boatload would be better. Finally, if real medical science is investigating a natural product for one indication and it shows a bit of promise, then to naturopaths it must be a wonder medicine that cures everything.

Perusing the rest of Kelly’s website, even without the benefit of the almighty Wayback Machine at Archive.org, which rescues web pages from the memory hole every day, I found plenty of quackery. For instance, he offers biopuncture, naturopathic detoxing, hormonal balance treatment, IV nutrition, and “wellness programs.” Biopuncture, I note, is an unholy combination of acupuncture and homeopathy so quacky that Dr. Oz promoted it. Kelly describes it thusly:

Biopuncture is a technique that combines neural therapy, trigger point therapy, prolotherapy and homotoxicology. It stimulates the body’s own healing mechanisms thus speeding up the process of injury recovery, natural rejuvenation/repair and also lowers pain and inflammation. The technique involves using pin-prick needles to inject miniature amounts of homeopathic remedies under the skin or into muscle encouraging the body to start healing and to help stimulate local blood circulation.

In other words, it’s some most excellently ridiculous woo, a witches’ brew of quackery, to go along with all the other nonsense in Kelly’s blog, such as (of course) more biopuncture and more “detoxification,” along with other quackery such as adrenal fatigue treatment, intravenous vitamin C, and a dangerous modality like intravenous peroxide for chronic infections. All of this costs only $150 per 30 minutes plus the cost of the therapy.

Naturopaths love to portray themselves as the equivalent of primary care doctors, able to take care patients safely using “natural” methods. Organized naturopathy, as embodied by the AANP, promotes naturopathic licensure as a strategy for both turf protection against “those” naturopaths from what they view as lesser schools or even online schools (although the case of Kim Kelly shows that the products of “elite” naturopathy schools are no better, even though naturopaths cynically point to their “therapeutic misadventures” as a reason why naturopathic licensure is desirable) and as a PR strategy to win legitimacy for their pseudoscientific medicine. It’s had considerable success. Their key argument is that licensure will provide a level of regulation that will maintain a minimum level of competence and benefit the public. Yet, as the case of Jade Erick and the naturopath whose treatment killed her, Kim Kelly, demonstrates, licensed naturopaths from the “best” naturopathy schools are just no more science-based or safe than any “lesser” naturopath, something I periodically demonstrate by surveying the websites of licensed naturopaths and finding the same sorts of collections of pseudoscience and quackery offered as services as I found on Kelly’s website.

Britt Hermes also notes something of which I was unaware. The law that established the licensing of naturopaths in California expires on January 1, 2018, and there is a new bill (SB 796) that was introduced by Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) that would extend naturopathic licensure to 2022. She further notes that if this bill fails, after that date no new licenses will be issued. We can only hope that, as California legislators consider SB 796, the case of Jade Erick gives them pause before renewing naturopaths’ license to kill.

GiantRubberDuck

Comments

  1. #1 herr doktor bimler
    April 11, 2017

    where he was trained by a team of medical and naturopathic doctors (Nazanin Kimiai, ND, LAc; Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD; David Musnick, MD, MPH).

    Imagine the confidence in Bastyr inspired by their association with that guy.

    Through his experience at this integrative clinic, Dr. Kelly learned the art and science of progressive healing modalities

    A great silence would fall on the land if quacks and grifters were banned from using the word “modality”.

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    April 11, 2017

    Licensing naturopaths is arguably worse than useless. The license implies that one can expect a certain standard of care, and as this case demonstrates, for naturopaths there is no standard.

    I am not optimistic because this is California, where the woo is as strong as the summer sun. But it would be a good thing if the naturopath licensing law were allowed to sunset.

  3. #3 Orac
    April 11, 2017

    Worse, it’s naturopaths who decide what is and isn’t the standard of care and what training is required for licensure. I should have emphasized that point more.

  4. #4 Chris Hickie
    April 11, 2017

    Dr. Kim Kelley and his staff called 911, then tried CPR and an EpiPen to revive her. By the time an ambulance arrived, the 30-year old Oceanside woman had no pulse.

    I have to laugh at the idea that a naturopath might actually know how to do good CPR, since I don’t see how, in their “training” they actually get to be in a code scenario.

    And, regarding using an epi pen, I wouldn’t be surprised if they used one of them thar “natural epi-pens” .

  5. #5 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 11, 2017

    As part of what I do at the HC that I work for is follow enforcement actions taken by DOH against medical providers. This is a recent statement about an ND: In March 2017 the Naturopathy Board entered an agreement with naturopathic physician John A. Catanzaro (NT00000769) that suspends his credential for at least one year. Catanzaro hasn’t paid 10 patients a total of $180,750 he’d agreed to refund to those patients in 2015.

    This Catanzaro must be really bad to be forced to refund $180,000 to patients. Of course he is scumball enough not to do it.

  6. #6 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    April 11, 2017

    I’ve been away for awhile and I’ve missed ya’ll at RI.

    With Naturopathic medicine, is “do no harm” impossible to eliminate and “do no good” easy to forget?

    Hypersensitivity to “turmeric” may be speculative.

    In further speculation, the Naturopathic procedure may have use natural rubber latex IV tubing in that it compliments the procedure (i.e., ideology).

    Anaphylactic shock to the antigenic proteins in such tubing has also been known to cause a “clean kill” in science-based medicine, although it’s rare.

    • #7 Orac
      April 11, 2017

      I let this one through. I will not let any more comments through if you persist in perseverating about latex.

  7. #8 Eric Lund
    April 11, 2017

    Rich@5: I’m not sure which aspect of your post is worst: that the State of Washington licenses naturopaths (I have relatives in that state), that a licensed naturopath could accumulate $180k in refunds, or that the suspension is over his failure to pay rather than the underlying poor practices which led to him owing the refunds.

    I am obviously not privy to Mr. Catanzaro’s financial statements, but I suspect he doesn’t have the $180k to pay. Perhaps he chose not (or was unable) to obtain malpractice insurance, or the insurer refused to pay out. Alternatively, or even additionally, he was financially overextended to begin with. I’ve seen that movie several times–you’d be surprised how many people with six-figure incomes are one paycheck away from financial disaster.

  8. #9 Sigivald
    April 11, 2017

    “Heavy metal detox” totally works!

    Listen to Slayer for a while and the toxins just fall out…

    If that’s not enough, maybe some Emperor or Immortal.

  9. #10 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    April 11, 2017

    In further speculation, the Naturopathic procedure may have use natural rubber latex IV tubing in that it compliments the procedure (i.e., ideology).

    Anaphylactic shock to the antigenic proteins in such tubing has also been known to cause a “clean kill” in science-based medicine, although it’s rare.

    Even if there were any evidence point to a latex allergy as the cause of death (and there isn’t) why would the not-a-doctor not ask if Jade Erick was allergic prior to the procedure? Why is he scrubbing his web site? Why doesn’t not-a-Doctor Kelly bring up latex allergy?

    I guess if all you have is a latex hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  10. #11 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 11, 2017

    Eric, my biggest surprise is that the Naturopathic Board suspended his license and is trying to make him refund money.

  11. #12 Jane Ostentatious
    April 11, 2017

    Not only does he have a latex hammer, all his nails are latex too.

  12. #13 Eric Lund
    April 11, 2017

    my biggest surprise is that the Naturopathic Board … is trying to make him refund money

    I agree that this part of it is surprising. It’s less of a surprise that failure to comply with the Board’s discipline orders would be grounds for a license suspension, but still disturbing in that a licensed Not-a-Doctor was bad enough to merit being ordered to refund money without being bad enough to be suspended for egregious practice. Then again, it’s hard to prove egregious practice when standards are as lax to nonexistent as they are.

  13. #14 Eric Lund
    April 11, 2017

    Anaphylactic shock to the antigenic proteins

    In the dubious achievements department, MJD manages to be fractally not even wrong. Anaphylactic shock happens to people (and presumably other animals as well), not to proteins.

  14. #15 darwinslapdog
    At Sea
    April 11, 2017

    Would a person as sensitive as Ms. Erick have reacted to ingesting tumeric/curcumin? Or was is the intensity of the dose with the IV administration that caused the reaction? If you are allergic to one or the other, would the other one cause a problem on its own? (Stupid spell-check doesn’t know tumeric from numeric Ack!

    What I’m getting at is whether such an extreme reaction could come from eating food spiced with tumeric? I know people can react to teensy amounts of peanuts for example, but I’m thinking lots of “natural” things might be like this when you use single constituents and massive doses. Gosh, I’m asking questions and I’m not even a NotADoctor practitioner.

  15. #16 Politicalguineapig
    April 11, 2017

    Darwinslapdog: What I’m getting at is whether such an extreme reaction could come from eating food spiced with tumeric?

    I’m not a medical professional, so my reaction should be taken with a cup of salt, but my gut feeling here is that it’s possible, but unlikely. It seems like food with tumeric is more common, and it seems extremely unlikely that someone could reach their twenties in the US or England without having a meal that contained tumeric.

  16. #17 Panacea
    April 11, 2017

    PGP: #16 I might be one. I don’t like spicy food, and despise curry and Indian food in general. We don’t know anything about Ms. Erick’s food preferences.

    Allergies to all kinds of orally ingested foods are well known, including peanuts as darwinslapdog suggested, shrimp, citrus, chocolate and all kinds of things. Some reactions are more serious than others.

    So could it happen? Possibly. I looked for some evidence in peer reviewed literature and couldn’t find much, other than a case study of possible TTP, but the case was not conclusive. But that was just a quick look.

    Usually when people have an allergic reaction to something it’s not their first exposure to something, or even their 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. It takes awhile to build up the antibodies to allow the immune system to go into overdrive on a subsequent exposure. The first allergic reaction is usually mild, and gets more serious with each subsequent exposure.

    But sudden anaphalactic episodes can and do happen. Situations like this are what makes it such a scary proposition.

  17. #18 Elliott
    April 11, 2017

    A recent report on curcumin summarized the carnage this stuff has done to drug discovery research–approximately 135 double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trials so far, none of which has yet yielded positive results. (J. Med. Chem., 2017, 60 (5), pp 1620–1637). Curcumin has negative properties that make it likely to be toxic (it decomposes into reactive metabolites). There have been reports about its problems for years–see “the dark side of curcumin” (Int. J. Cancer: 126, 1771–1775 (2010)).

    Two of its many issues are poor oral bioavailability & chemical instability, and that may be why curcumin appears to be safe even in high doses when taken orally, or when eating curry–not much gets into circulation. However, IV injection would dump a dose right into the bloodstream and any biological effect (good and bad) would take effect right away. I suspect that this death didn’t result from any sort of allergic reaction–just good old chemical toxicity.

    This clown has just demonstrated how playing around with the dose and mode of administration can make the poison–even for a so-called nice natural dietary supplement. The level of ignorance and arrogance demonstrated by naturopaths who don’t even understand why this is wrong is just mind boggling.

  18. #19 JustaTech
    April 11, 2017

    Darwinslapdog @15: I don’t know. I have a friend who reacted horribly to an infusion of iron to treat pregnancy-related anemia (the medical team stopped the infusion and the reaction before anything bad happened) so she had to eat foods high in iron (liver, eww) that she tolerated just fine (medically).
    And since we know that curcumin is more oil-soluble than water-soluble that might make a difference in the gut vis-a-vis an allergic reaction.

  19. #20 doug
    April 11, 2017

    I asked in the comments for the Orac’s previous post on the topic and got no answer. I’m not asking rhetorically – I’m hoping someone knows:

    Where would a naturopath obtain curcumin for IV injection?
    It doesn’t appear to be an off-the-shelf product from any major pharmaceutical company, which presumably leaves only a small specialty company or a compounding pharmacy as potential suppliers.

    How does its use by a naturopath square with regulations? If it isn’t approved by the FDA, how can it be administered outside of a registered drug trial?
    ===
    Latex IV admin set?? Sure, just call up B. Braun or Baxter or Pfizer or … and they’ll rush one right over. You’d be very hard pressed to find a glass drip chamber these days, much less a whole rig with rubber tubing. Even latex injection ports on plastic sets have been gone for many years.

  20. #21 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    April 11, 2017

    Panacea @ 17:

    If you’ve ever eaten regular, bright yellow hot-dog mustard, you’ve eaten turmeric. That’s its function in life–to turn things yellow. It has no flavor that I’m aware of.

    The other big natural coloring agent they use is anatto, which my girlfriend is allergic to. If she eats food with a lot of it (i.e., “cheddar” cheese), she gets a five-minute sneezing fit about 20 minutes later. Weird thing.

  21. #22 JustaTech
    April 11, 2017

    Doug: I’ve looked and even my not-for-humans tubing for IV bags doesn’t have any latex.
    It’s almost like MJD has never heard of extractables/leachables testing, or how it has to be done on every single bit of plastic that will touch cells you put in a patient.
    Then again, the things MJD has never heard of are legion.

  22. #23 Politicalguineapig
    April 11, 2017

    VeryRev: It has no flavor that I’m aware of.

    Uh, no. Trust me on this. If even a very small amount of tumeric is in it, I can taste it. And I’m pretty sure most mustard is dyed, except for the really high end gourmet stuff.

  23. #24 Panacea
    April 11, 2017

    Very Rev: I don’t use any condiments whatsoever. No ketchup, no mustard, no mayo. No tartar sauce. No horseradish sauce.

    It’s possible I’ve had these ingredients mixed into food I’ve eaten, but I would never put these things on my food on purpose.

    I’m that four year old who only eats mac n cheeze. 🙂

    re IV tubing; I haven’t seen latex in IV tubing for years. We don’t use it anymore . . . too many people with latex allergies. The only time I see latex ports these days is in the practice tubing my nursing school buys for the lab.

  24. #25 doug
    April 11, 2017

    Club 166 is another dirty sock of Travis J. Schwochert, obnoxious shit.

  25. #26 doug
    April 11, 2017

    Could we take up a collection to buy Orac his own version (though I know his med school days are well behind him) of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, for application to the head of Travis J. Schwochert, who has shuffled in the guise of Club 166. (Hammer has been summoned.)

  26. #27 MNEMOSYNE
    April 11, 2017

    I’ve only recently developed allergic type responses to Tumeric. Believe me when I tell you that the bloody stuff has infiltrated the entire food chain in the USA. In response to the terror over artificial colors, pretty much everything on the market that is yellow or orange has tumeric in it. Except for cheese, which seems to defer to annato instead. I spend hours in stores reading ingredient lists because tumeric is bloody everywhere! Me and my rescue drugs can attest to this….

  27. #28 Cloudskimmer
    San Mateo County, California
    April 11, 2017

    I’m so ashamed (hangs head.). Yes, Jerry Hill is my state senator. He voted in favor of SB277, ending the personal belief exemption for vaccinations, but now I find he supports quacks. Two weeks ago I went to his ‘java with Jerry’ event to ask why he supports vaccination mandates AND naturopathic quacks. His reply was evasive, so I wrote to his office, providing evidence on why NDs should not be licensed, only to receive another non-reply. Interestingly there was another attendee (the place was packed) who was obviously an anti-vax nut; she opposed legislation making children property of the state. With concern about the current idiot-in-chief, this issue is likely to get passed, but I hope not and will send another email about this case. All I want him to do is nothing. Then licensure will expire and we’ll be rid of naturopathic quacks. If you are reading this and are from California, please ask your rep to oppose continuing to license NDs.

  28. #29 herr doktor bimler
    April 11, 2017

    That’s its function in life–to turn things yellow

    Well there you are, it must cure jaundice. [/homeopath]

  29. #30 Eric Lund
    April 11, 2017

    @HDB: Only with a 40C dilution.

  30. #31 Little Mama
    April 11, 2017

    Jade was not allergic to Tumeric. Shed been taking it orally. I believe it was a case of its questionable solubility as ive been reading everywhere. When her mother told me her immediate symtoms my first thought was an air embolism during injection. The solubility of the product could have caused the same result. Like an air bubble in her blood stream going straight to her heart and stopping it. Cardiac arrest. And if he left her alone after starting the IV he may have not IMMEDIATELY known she passed out, thus more time passed. Between that, the time he spent on CPR and an epepin injection (which can worsen things if it was an embolism) her brain went too long without oxygen.
    This not-a-doctor was nOT equipped professionally or physically to handle situations like Jades. Sadly, his office is less than maybe 4 miles from the hospital where she was taken. This is a tragic heartbreaking injustice!!!

  31. #32 MilitantAgnostic
    Sufferint from extraneous apostrophe syndrome.
    April 11, 2017

    It may require multiple treatments or may be just one treatment, depending on each person and the condition.

    In other words if it doesn’t work, keep coming back for more ineffective treatments.

  32. #33 Politicalguineapig
    April 11, 2017

    Panacea: ! Seriously, not even vinegar!

    Mnemosyne: Wow, my sympathies. I hadn’t realized tumeric was so common.

    Er, can one of the med professionals help me here? I thought most times, if you were prepping a new patient with an iv, someone has to stick around for a while?

  33. #34 Old Rockin' Dave
    April 11, 2017

    Little Mama, the lethal volume of intravascular air in an adult human is ~300-500 cc (500 cc is roughly equivalent to the volume of a pint.). The likelihood of getting that via a peripheral IV is vanishingly small. It happens from time to time with central lines, but I expect that there are few naturopaths who know how to place or use one.
    I am not sufficiently familiar with the case to know if a forensic autopsy was done, but I would be surprised if one wasn’t, and a death by embolism, whether gas or insoluble cucurmin, would be fairly evident.

  34. #35 Narad
    April 12, 2017

    That’s its function in life–to turn things yellow. It has no flavor that I’m aware of.

    I’ve already said this, but it’s mildly astringent to my taste buds, more so when raw. If you buy the actual dried spice (the fresh rhizome is available locally, but I haven’t had reason to bother), it certainly has an aroma, but it’s often cooked for quite a while with other spices.

    Off the top of my head, if you want to taste it, I’d suggest something like par-cooking cauliflower florets and “marinating” them for a couple of hours in a paste of “coconut cream” (what’s at the top of a can of Chaokoh, plus a little of the more watery part), turmeric, and salt. Then finish over medium-high and then high heat – the oil will separate from the coconut, and it should be possible to brown the florets.

  35. #36 The Smith of Lie
    April 12, 2017

    It boggles the mind, that alt-med followers accept a therapy without batting an eyelid when N(ot)D(octor) tells them “averse reactions are rare” but if “evil Allopathic western medicine” therapy has documented adverse reactions in a range of single instance per million than it is unacceptable risk.

  36. #37 Elliott
    Boston
    April 12, 2017

    Note to anyone reading the curcumin literature–one proponent of its use (Bharat Aggarwal at MD Anderson in TX) had to resign after multiple publications were retracted due to data manipulation.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharat_Aggarwal

    What is it about Texas?

  37. […] I wrote about the case of Jade Erick, a 30-year-old woman whose death was caused by naturopathic quackery. It’s not entirely clear […]

  38. #39 herr doktor bimler
    April 12, 2017

    Bharat Aggarwal at MD Anderson in TX

    Hey, not everyone producing spectacular research results from curcumin is a fraud! Not all of them have been caught yet, anyway.

  39. #40 Lori
    April 12, 2017

    Are you kidding me?! “Clean Kill”? The NUMBER ONCE leading cause cause of death in the United States is death by doctors and hospitals and pharmaceuticals come in second! So a natural doctor who errenis a “quack? What do you call the test??? How about killers!? I didn’t read the rest of your dribble. I ended at “quack” and “clean kill”. Seriously! Offft
    So, if your “not so humble” scathing blog actually were balanced, this incident would not even reach the radar! Try being humble and report the errors, negligence, and repeated killings done by big pharm, hospitals, and doctors who know they are harming their patients before they even treat them. I would not even doubt if you and the writers of the rest of these viral anti natural medicine blogs are paid to write by this demonic industry that tries to demobilize marital medicine that heals. The fact is that tumeric and curcumin kill cancer and other diseases and reduces inflammation and helps people. Articles like this are irresponsible. Btw, where is the autopsy?

  40. #41 Chan Kobun, the Ghost Who Waddles
    Hyrule, lately
    April 12, 2017

    Did someone step on a duck?

    Anyway, when people ask “what’s the harm”, there always seems to be a new story to point to. That’s damn depressing.

  41. #42 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    April 12, 2017

    “The fact is that tumeric and curcumin kill cancer and other diseases and reduces inflammation and helps people.”

    In vitro, sure. In vivo? Maybe the reduction in inflammation; there’s some evidence there. Although the studies are generally on oral curcumin, not intravenous. But there isn’t any evidence base to point to that would justify the hyperbolic claims this naturopath made.

    Thing is, in this case it did a damn effective job of killing the cancer, by killing the patient. I don’t think her family is very impressed by that. Got anything less brutal to suggest as a cure? Ideally with real evidence?

    “Btw, where is the autopsy?”

    You’d know the answer if you had actually read the article.

  42. #43 Politicalguineapig
    April 12, 2017

    Sharon: Your input is appreciated, but there are several global warming threads where it may be more on topic.

    Sharon: He’s is also from Oklahoma and born in Kentucky. Isn’t there a law that the EPA head must be a biochemist from a Northern State?

    No, actually, there’s no law about where the person must be from or what courses they have to take, yet. Personally, I’d prefer it if he was from a state where people went outside, other than just to kill things or litter.
    The phosphate thing is actually only the start. Read about his policy on lead bullets. I guess Herr Trump is working out his hatred of eagles through Pruitt.

  43. #44 herr doktor bimler
    April 12, 2017

    I didn’t read the rest of your dribble

    Pro-tip for Lori — if you’re trying to insult the author of a blog, it probably doesn’t help to announce right at the start that you lack the attention span to know what you’re complaining about.
    I confess, I didn’t read the rest of Lori’s dribble.

  44. #45 JustaTech
    April 12, 2017

    HDB: but it’s such weird drivel! Like this bit: “demonic industry that tries to demobilize marital medicine that heals”
    Marital medicine? Medicine related to marriage? That sounds like the ancient Greek cure for “hysteria”, which I’m pretty sure has gone out of style for most Americans.

  45. #46 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 12, 2017

    JustaTech, I always thought marital medicine was roses, chocolate and diamonds.

  46. #47 darwinslapdog
    The Beagle
    April 12, 2017

    Thanks for all replies! Turns out, if you read the Forbes piece linked to, it likely was not anaphylactic shock. Thank you Britt Hermes for a very nicely written piece!

  47. #48 Panacea
    April 13, 2017

    ORD: you can have a lethal air embolism with far less air than you mention, and the closer the entry to the heart or brain the less air it takes.

    An unprimed line would be about 20ml of air and that’s enough to be lethal.

    I’m not saying that’s what happened here. The thought certainly did occur to me since I doubt a quack knows how to properly run an IV infusion or prime a line. But without seeing the full autopsy report it is not a good idea to speculate.

    @PGP: I actually like vinegar. A good thing too, or I wouldn’t like North Carolina barbecue pork, a per-requistite of calling yourself a civilized human being 😉

  48. #49 Old Rockin' Dave
    April 13, 2017

    Panacea, the most common estimates I could find give lethal volumes of about 200 – 300 ml.
    I will add that throughout my career, the lowest volume that all of us were warned against was 50 ml. For some time I worked with a variety of central and large-bore peripheral lines. The docs that supervised me were very conservative and strict in how our teams handled these lines and were deliberately using a number on the low side. You may be right, but I was going by the best information I could find in the texts, on the web and from clinical practice.
    Here are two typical links, They are not substantially different from articles from the last twelve months.
    http://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/article.aspx?articleid=2026502
    and
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665124/

  49. #50 David Ecker
    Riverside, Ca
    April 19, 2017

    Talk about quacks if an MD kills with chemo it is perfectly Ok but anything other other than “orththodox medicine” is a criminal offense. The medical system has a guestionable history with many diseases resulting in people trying to go elseware. I would not fault a person trying other ways to solve medical problem where all else fails. Let’s be honest people have a RIGHT to do what they want in a once free society. Hopefully they are well informed. Maybe the system is afraid that something is better than the prescribed method.

  50. #51 Sarah
    Minnesota
    August 4, 2017

    Looks like part of the blame may lie with the pharmacy that made the product with non-pharmaceutical grade castor oil.

    https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/PharmacyCompounding/ucm570192.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

    Very tragic that this woman passed away from a treatment that wouldn’t have helped her.

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