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.


Bill and Hillary Clinton go woo with Dr. Mark Hyman and “functional medicine” (David Gorski)
The Clintons are getting their health advice from an unreliable source, Mark Hyman, who “integrates” science with nonsense and embraces the pseudoscientific so-called “functional” medicine. He advocates “detox” and sells supplements that are not based on acceptable evidence, such as PGX Fiber. He even paints current medicine as “obsolete” like bloodletting or phrenology, and is something of a germ theory denialist.

Risk of Intussusception with Rotavirus Vaccines (Harriet Hall)
A new study reported an increased incidence of intussusception with the two current rotavirus vaccines. The increase is small, the condition is reversible, and the risk is insignificant when weighed against the overwhelming benefits of the vaccines. Every year, they prevent 53,000 hospitalizations and 170,000 ER visits in the US alone.

GSK Investigated for Bribing Doctors (Steven Novella)
Eleven doctors in Poland have been charged with corruption for accepting bribes from pharmaceutical company sales reps. Such cases are the exception rather than the rule. Corruption can never be entirely eliminated, but laudable efforts to reduce it are underway. 

What Whole Foods Markets Doesn’t Tell You (Jann Bellamy)
Whole Foods Markets sell organic food and bogus health products like homeopathic remedies. They also sell a despicable magazine, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, that was created by the infamous Lynne McTaggert and Bryan Hubbard and is full of false claims and potentially dangerous advice, including anti-vaccine propaganda. This chain of “healthy” supermarkets is promoting quackery and conspiratorial rubbish. 

Moxibustion (Mark Crislip)
Burning mugwort over acupoints is yet another TCM modality with no utility for the treatment of any illness and with known complications such as burns, infections (including hepatitis C), and allergic reactions. The underlying mechanism is ludicrous, and systematic reviews of scientific studies are not supportive.