Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.


Naturopathy and science (David Gorski) A naturopath claims naturopathy is based on science; but his assertions are undermined by his webpage, which is full of unscientific recommendations. One huge argument against naturopathy as a scientific discipline is that it embraces homeopathy.

Diet Supplements or Natural Supplements: A Ruse by Any Other Name Is Still a Ruse (Harriet Hall) Except for a few specific cases, diet supplements have not been proven effective, and their safety is not regulated by the standards required for prescription and over-the-counter meds. The Diet Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) is based on the lie that supplements are not medicines, even though consumers are clearly using them as medicines.

Don’t miss our fearless leader… (David Gorski) Announcing Steve Novella’s interview with Trine Tsouderos, discussing alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurologic conditions; text available online.

The Hidden Cancer Cure (Steven Novella) Some people think scientists have already cured cancer but the cure is being suppressed by the powers that be, to protect cancer as a source of income. There isn’t a shred of evidence to support this conspiracy theory and the very possibility is wildly improbable: Dr. Novella explains why.

Dr. Oz, you’re not helping diabetics (Peter Lipson) Dr. Oz recommends coffee and vinegar to prevent diabetes. His approach is not supported by credible evidence, and it only diverts attention from standard preventive measures that have been proven safe and effective.

Supreme Court Saves Nation’s Immunization Program (John Snyder) The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act provided no-fault compensation for vaccine injuries, protecting vaccine manufacturers to insure continued vaccine availability. The recent Supreme Court ruling in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth clarified the intention of the law and helped protect our children from the irrationality of the anti-vaccine movement.

Deadly Indeed (Mark Crislip) A recent article in Skeptical Inquirer by Reynold Spector described “Seven Deadly Medical Hypotheses.” Dr. Crislip shows how Spector’s arguments are more flawed than the research he rails against, and characterizes him as “someone with a bee in their bonnet, selectively and histrionically arguing in circles, hoping that if the same cognitive errors and circular reasoning are repeated they will be believed as fact.”

An ICD Code for the Running Piglets! (Ben Kavoussi) Proponents of traditional medicine are trying to infiltrate the 11th version of the International Classification of Disease (ICD-11) with diagnoses based on unscientific conceptions of disease, such as “running piglet.” WHO lends its prestige to such efforts. It is irrational to mix modern and obsolete diagnostic categories: this represents a giant step backwards to the Dark Ages of pre-scientific medicine.