Pharyngula

In a recent quack conference, Deepak Chopra did his usual thing: taking new science that he understands poorly and stuffing it full of magic bogosity.

According to Chopra, that pesky inflamed microbiome is sentient. The genome, microbiome and epigenome, which the author collectively calls the “super gene,” are referenced throughout the interview. His book, Super Genes: The Key to Health and Well-Being, was published last year.

Oh, no! Every time I use the bathroom, I am slaughtering billions of sentient beings? I’m going to have to stop pooping.

…frequent criticism doesn’t seem to deter Chopra from spouting microbiome misinformation. While discussing yoga during his interview with Chopra, Mark Hyman gushed, I love yoga, and I do it, and I always feel transformed, and it’s amazing that not only your genes are listening to your thoughts, but your microbiome, the bacteria are listening to your thoughts. Yoga can be a great form of exercise, but this is a bit of a stretch.

But Chopra agreed with Hyman: Yeah, the bacterial genes are listening to your thoughts.

It’s bad enough that we have a satanic cat that prowls around our bedroom listening to our private conversations, but now you’re telling me that E. coli is reading my mind? I changed my mind. Dumping those devious little spies into the toilet sounds like its only fair.

At the quack conference, there was apparently a lot of talk about “leaky guts”, the new invisible ailment that the con artists are selling pills to prevent. Leaky guts are the new cause of autism, cancer, mental illness, impotence, and any affliction you can think of that needs a cure.

And you know they have a cure. It’s all right here in a little pill. The answer is…molecular hydrogen!

Don’t worry, though. It’s not the kind of hydrogen gas that explodes in zeppelins. It’s a very tiny form of hydrogen that gets injected into your cells and turns the bad free radicals (but not the good ones! No! It can tell!) into water, so it helps with hydration, too. It’s been around for millions of years, so it must be safe. If you know anything about chemistry, you’ll listen to that talk and think, “wait, I can see where that weird idea came from, but it’s wrong”, and you’ll cringe a lot.

The cure is a little pill that you drop into water, and it fizzes, releasing hydrogen gas. The pill just contains hydrogen and magnesium…

Hey. Is she selling tablets of magnesium hydride? Seriously? For ingestion?

It would be bubbling out H2, plain old hydrogen gas or molecular hydrogen, and it is highly flammable. Zen Honeycutt ought to try it: after she’s put the pill in her bottle of water, wait a little bit, and then light a match. Fwoooosh! Just like the Hindenburg!

The websites selling this stuff claim it contains “pure magnesium” plus a few other compounds. This would imply that the reaction is combining Mg and H2O to produce magnesium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. Nope, I wouldn’t eat that, either. I still want to see her light up the mouth of that bottle.

Although…if I really wanted to get those sneaky bacteria in my gut, I could just pop a couple of those pills directly, and then light a fart.

Comments

  1. #1 Ramsey Glissadevil
    January 28, 2016

    You better be nice to your E coli lest it invite it’s trailer park cousin E coli 1057 to your microbiota neighborhood.

  2. #2 Skeptisch
    January 28, 2016

    Remember this?
    About Deepak Chopra’s Spoon Bending Abilities.
    My last message to Skeptisch: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/10/05/carnivalia-and-an-open-thread-84/
    Deepak never had the decency to follow up on what he promised. I never had the pleasure of witnessing the magic he describes in his book “Peace is the way” : My wife Rita and
    I have had several spoon bending experiences as have thousands of
    others. We have a collection of bent spoons as well!

    Politely asking Dr Chopra when he last bent a spoon with his mind may get him going again, but he seems to be one of those “authorities” who, once taken a stand, are unable to admit being wrong or, God forbid, deceiving.
    Cheers,
    Skeptisch

  3. #3 David S
    January 28, 2016

    “the bacterial genes are listening to your thoughts”

    no doubt with their bacterial ears……

  4. #4 doug
    January 29, 2016

    Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is!

    Hydrogen is one of the least soluble of the common gasses, at about 1.6 mg/L at STP. That’s about 1/27 as soluble as oxygen. Curiously, that solubility just happens to match up with their claim “the big news is that when we consume an aqueous solution of Molecular Hydrogen having a potency of 1.6 ppm or greater, the benefits are simply remarkable”.

    The tablet formulation is a couple of common food “acidulators”, some magnesium and some mannitol for bulk – at a buck a tab. You’d probably do just as well by dissolving a sour candy in the water and adding a small scraping from the sacrificial anode for a hot water tank.

    I wonder if calcium carbide would have any appeal as quack remedy.

  5. #5 GregH
    January 29, 2016

    Is there a way to measure the correlation between this kind of of quackery and their desire to sell you something?

  6. #6 DWhatley
    DWhatley
    January 29, 2016

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    Sedef hastalığında erken tanının büyük önemi vardır. Hasta ne kadar erken tedavisine başlarsa o kadar faydasını görür. Sedef hastalığı nasıl geçer, kısaca anlatarak sedef hastalarına ışık olalım. Her hastalıkta olduğu gibi erken teşhis sedef hastalığı içinde geçerlidir. Sedef hastalığında doktorun uygun gördüğü şekilde tedaviye başlanmalıdır. Genellikle hastalara ilk olarak solüsyonlar, nemlendiriciler verilerek sedeflerin hafifletilmesi amaçlanır. Ancak bu tür tedavi ileri derecede ki sedeflerin tedavisinde etkisiz olduğundan ilaçlı tedavi uygun görülmektedir. Bilindiği gibi genel olarak ilaçlarında yan etkisi oldukça fazla olduğundan bu hastalıkta da bir takım yan etkilerle hastayı rahatsız etmektedir. Bu yüzden bu ilaçlarında uzun süre kullanımından kaçınılmalıdır.

    Elbette ki ağızdan alınan ilaçların yanı sıra krem, jel gibi ilaçlarda bulunur. Bunlar hastalar için daha ideal bir sonuç verir. sedef hastalığı nasıl geçer, bir diğer çözüm ise hasta ilaçlı tedaviden olumlu sonuç alamıyorsa son yıllarda lazerli sedef tedavisi gündemde olduğunu hemen söyleyelim. Sadece birkaç seansta sedeflerinizden kurtulmak mümkündür. Ancak lazerin etkisi 5 hafta sonra kendini gösterir.

  7. […] Stop pooping! You’re killing sentient beings! – PZ Myers – Pharyngula […]

  8. #8 Semaphore
    January 30, 2016

    Regarding the “leaky gut” – there’s a lot of information published by prof. Art Ayers on the “cooling inflammation” blog, where he does a pretty convincing job at providing proof to his claims and there does not seem to be much pseudoscience involved. Thoughts?

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