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-woo in medicine.
Obesity, cancer, and chemotherapy (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/obesity-cancer-and-chemotherapy/ Obese people may be getting chemotherapy doses that are too small for them. Calculating their dose based on weight gives doses high enough to scare clinicians, and they dial it back. But lower doses result in lower survival rates without decreasing the risk of complications. The final answer isn’t in, but the American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued new guidelines.
Answering Our Critics, Part 1 of 2 (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/answering-our-critics-part-1-of-2/ The critics of science-based medicine keep bringing up the same old memes. They are listed and refuted here to save time in answering them in the future. They range from accusations that we are shills for Big Pharma to “it worked for me” to “natural is better.”
Candida and Fake Illness (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/candida-and-fake-illnesses/ Yeast (Candida) became the focus of a fake illness in 1986 with the publication of the book The Yeast Connection. It supposedly can produce so many illnesses and nonspecific symptoms that it can be diagnosed in 90% of the population: it’s a “one cause of all disease” claim. CAM providers have embraced this fake illness to create demand for their fanciful, worthless, and sometimes dangerous treatments.
A closer look at Dr. Oz’s 15 Superfoods (Scott Gavura) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/a-closer-look-at-dr-ozs-15-superfoods/ Dr. Oz has listed 15 superfoods that can “rev your metabolism, whittle your waist, and leave you looking and feeling better than ever before.” They are good sources of nutrition, but “superfoods” is a meaningless marketing term. They don’t have the effects claimed, and there’s little evidence that any of them aid in weight reduction.
Separating Fact From Fiction in the Not-So-Normal Newborn Nursery: Pacifiers and Nipple Confusion (Clay Jones) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/separating-fact-from-fiction-in-the-not-so-normal-newborn-nursery-pacifiers-and-nipple-confusion/ “Nipple confusion,” the idea that any exposure to a bottle or pacifier can interfere with successful breast-feeding, is not supported by the evidence. Pacifiers are not evil. They are an effective means of soothing a crying infant, and they have other benefits: they protect against SIDS, and they may actually support breastfeeding success by helping exhausted mothers say no to formula.