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.
Dr. Google and Mr. Hyde (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/dr-google-and-mr-hyde/ The Internet provides instant access to a wealth of medical knowledge but also to nonsense spewed by cranks and quacks. Patients who think they can do their own “research” by googling develop false beliefs based on the misinformation they find: the anti-vaccine movement is an unfortunate example.
5-hour Energy (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/5-hour-energy/ This popular energy drink is marketed deceptively and amounts to no more than a convenient source of caffeine.
The Swiss Report on Homeopathy (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-swiss-report-on-homeopathy/ An official Swiss report has been touted as evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy. A critical review shows that it is biased and scientifically suspect. It is an elaborate deception that only reached its favorable conclusions by changing the rules of evidence.
Dept. of Education to Council on Chiropractic Education: “Straighten Up!” (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/dept-of-education-to-council-on-chiropractic-education-straighten-up/ Various chiropractic factions are heatedly arguing about the new accreditation standards of the CCE, especially about its stance on “subluxation.” The CCE was found not to be in compliance with 44 of the criteria for accrediting agencies. Credentialing agencies that fail to require science-based education should not be recognized by the Dept. Of Education.
Vital Signs (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/vital-signs/ Vital signs are monitored as signs of illness; they should not be treated in their own right. Treating a fever leads to worse outcomes. A bass ackward alternative therapy, the Buteyko breathing technique, categorizes normal breathing as “hyperventilation” and claims that it causes everything from cancer to gingivitis, and that breathing exercises will cure all ailments.