Tuesday, January 25, 2005

DETOXING... the new bulimia (continued)

Celebrities may swear by them, but do detoxification diets really have health benefits?

More on this nutty "detoxing" fad:

‘The concept of "detox" is a myth and you will find that "practitioners" recommending detox all recommend different diets and food exclusions.'

Collins [Catherine Collins, chief dietitian at St George's Hospital.] argues that there is no evidence that detox diets boost the immune system. Furthermore, she says, reducing protein intake will actually compromise it. ‘Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and as such help the body to "detoxify" itself naturally -- but you don't need to take kilos of them at the expense of anything else.'

What does Collins recommend? Just eat healthy all the time.

But you knew that already, didn't you?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Make your bed and suffer.

This is off-topic but I love this story!

Untidy beds may keep us healthy

Failing to make your bed in the morning may actually help keep you healthy, scientists believe.

...A Kingston University study discovered the bugs cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed.

Untidy beds may keep us healthy

On some level, I knew this all along! ;-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

DETOXING... the new bulimia

We just had a house guest over for two days who was "detoxing" and wouldn't eat any of our food. (or ANY food, that I could tell)

To me, this seemed clearly more neurotic than reasonable. Here is a quote from one article about this fad::

... health specialists say that people’s drive to purge their bodies of toxins can, in fact, be harmful.

Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in southwest London, said she saw dozens of patients suffering side-effects ranging from bowel problems to potassium depletion. "There is a fixation with the notion that we can detoxify the body through what we eat and drink, but the whole idea has no scientific basis," said Dr Collins.

Doctors warn of the dangers of detox diets

If you are thinking of trying this "detoxing" craze, be sure to not miss this line: the whole idea has no scientific basis.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

If it acts like medicine, if smells like medicine and especially if it CLAIMS to be medicine then regulate it like medicine!

Ayurveda is as nutty as any of the alternative treatments except that the practitioners I've met call themselves doctors and claim -- with a straight face -- that Ayurveda is real medicine based on principles of nature (aka science).

Here is quote from an Ayurveda page:

3. Ayurveda is a complete medical system which recognizes that ultimately all intelligence and wisdom flows from one Absolute source (Paramatman). Health manifests by the grace of the Absolute acting through the laws of Nature (Prakriti). Ayurveda assists Nature by promoting harmony between the individual and Nature by living a life of balance according to her laws.

Definition Of Ayurveda

Well, I say if someone claims he is practicing medicine then he should be regulated like a doctor or a drug company.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The funky guy at the health food store was full of crap about that bottle of vitamins he sold you.

Here is more on the "mega dose" vitamin scandal:

Many recent studies have found that the amount of vitamins in most vitamin pills is way too much and may actually increase rates of cancer and heart disease. After all if there is no way that you can get these larger amounts naturally in food, that should be a warning to you.

The whole article is at:
Vitamins, Less is More

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Nothing funny about this chiropractic story

Mostly I poke fun at the stupidity of alternative medicine and their followers but every now and then I learn of real tragedies and real victims where there is nothing funny about it.

Canadian Chiropractor Sued after Child Is Paralyzed

I found this article on Chirobase "Your Skeptical Guide to Chiropractic History, Theories, and Practices" I haven't fully explored the site but it seems interesting.

This story reminds me of a friend of mine. She was in a car accident and actually broke her neck with (I assume) a hairline fracture. Did she go to the emergency room! No.

She first went to a chiropractor! Can you believe it? She had been so convinced that "traditional medicine" had no solutions to pain. The guy yanked her neck this way and that, knowing full well she had been in a car accident! Now THAT quack should have been sued.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The 7-year-old cornflake.

As a child, one of the first things I can remember hearing from the "health food" gang is that doctors have spotted seven-year-old cornflakes lodged in people's bowels!

While I don't hear that much, anymore, I often still hear all kinds of nonsense about our G.I. system getting "clogged up" and backing up toxins in our system. This leads to the sale of all kinds of goofy stuff from colonics to endless variations on fiber and "detoxification" remedies.

Humboldt University in Berlin did a study that injects some common sense to these claims by the "alternative medicine" gang.

Muller-Lissner and his colleagues address some of the notions about constipation in a report published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

They first debunk the myth that chronic constipation may lead to autointoxication from the absorption of poisonous substances backed up in the colon.

This belief was held even among the ancient Egyptians, according to an inscription dating back to the 16th century B.C., and in the early 20th century a famous London surgeon asserted that all chronic diseases result from autointoxication. Yet, there is no current evidence to support such a theory, write Muller-Lissner and his team, adding that some people continue to undergo regular "colon cleansing" with laxatives and enemas.

New Report Clears Up Myths About Constipation

also see

Gastrointestinal Quackery: Colonics, Laxatives, and More