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by Martin Law - Friday 20 January 2017 16:27
Young is currently in prison. Where he will hopefully remain for some time.

by Woo Fighter - Friday 20 January 2017 16:03
Kim Tinkham is probably Robert O. Young's most infamous customer. Even Oprah covered her story (of course there was an element of "The Secret" involved which seduced the woo-welcoming Oprah). Orac has written extensively about Young and covered the most recent legal battle as well. Unfortunately Florida is very tolerant of guys like Young and the other uberquack who runs a cancer ranch there, Brian Clement.

by Alan Henness - Friday 20 January 2017 13:04
The common theme seemed to be all about extrapolating far, far beyond the evidence and the reliance on anecdotes... something that will be all too familiar to readers of this blog.

by Frank Odds - Friday 20 January 2017 11:56
This topic came up on TV last night in the course of a BBC Horizon programme: Clean Eating — The Dirty Truth. Giles Yeo, a PhD biologist from Cambridge University, critically interviewed a number of people who promote various dietary fads. As far as the BBC will allow debunking to go, Yeo did a pretty good job. His most notable interviewee was 'Dr' Robert O. Young, a naturopath currently residing in California, who is apparently one of the principal gurus promoting the 'alkaline diet' as a health benefit, including for cancer victims. Young is facing a stretch in prison for practising medicine without a licence and is awaiting trial for fraud. His two doctorates were apparently purchased from diploma mills. Watching Young expound his theories I swiftly formed the impression he is the kind of messianic wackaloon so frequently encountered among quackery gurus. He expounded his belief in the theory of pleomorphism — the kind that held limited sway in the time before Louis Pasteur and which states that microbes arise by transformation of other living organisms. He believes that an acidic diet underlies cancer, obesity and many other diseases. (He would probably not understand the significance of Alan Henness's diagram.) Jasper Rees summed up Young and his alkaline dietary theories very well in his review of the Horizon programme in today's Telegraph: "Narcotised by self-belief, his dead-eyed creepiness glistened on the screen like a thin film of sweat." Please note how readily even non-scientists turn to ad hominems when encountering blatant nonsense.

by Edzard - Friday 20 January 2017 11:01
brilliant thanks

by Alan Henness - Friday 20 January 2017 10:39
This graphic might help:

by Leigh Jackson - Friday 20 January 2017 15:30
Minchin and Hitchens good; Feynman best. How easy it is to fail Feynman's rule. How difficult it is, having failed, to admit it to oneself, and even more to the world.

by nobs - Friday 20 January 2017 11:25
YUP!! So much for $30,000 Surgeries! GO Homer !

by nobs - Friday 20 January 2017 11:01
Critical_Chiro on Sunday 15 January 2017 at 13:40 Quoting “McCoy Press”? YUP!! Good call CC! MUCH akin to quoting 'FACT" ! NEITHER is pubmed indexed or reflective of the mainstream ..... both being nothing more than pathetic attempts of their editors to disguise their op/eds/personal bias as ...ahem....."journals"

by Björn Geir - Friday 20 January 2017 09:23
A strongly aggravating factor in baby colick is stressed and tired parents. Almost anything helps if it reassures and calms the parents.The element of a vicious cycle can be addressed by simply calming and reassuring the parents, which is exactly what happens when people who are susceptible to believing in acupuncture are invited to participate in a trial aimed at confirming[sic] its effects. Only those ready to believe in the effects of the intervention will attend. Here's how participants were selected: Participant enrolment Parents seeking help for colic were informed of the trial by nurses at their ordinary CHC and through a website. Parents were informed that the trial compared two types of acupuncture versus no acupuncture. Those who wanted to participate contacted the project leader (KL) and started to register their infant’s crying in a diary. If the infant fulfilled the criteria for colic (as above), he/she was included. (emphasis is mine) A recipe for selection bias, if I ever saw one.

by Leigh Jackson - Thursday 19 January 2017 15:49
My first thought was whether or not video recordings were made of the acupuncturist's dealings with the infants. No mention is made of anyone else being present. Without some sort of check on what was happening in the acupuncture room, the trial is hopelessly compromised, in terms both of ethics and reliability of results.

by Edzard - Thursday 19 January 2017 14:18
as you rightly say: you are guessing.

by Edzard - Thursday 19 January 2017 14:06
btw, this is what 'NHS Choices' ( offer as the 2 first therapeutic options for a colicky baby: "The following suggestions may help: Holding your baby during a crying episode can sometimes help, as can wrapping them snugly in a blanket or baby sling. Hold your baby in different positions – such as on your shoulder, cradled in your arms, or lying with their tummy faced down along your forearm..."

by ajak - Thursday 19 January 2017 12:20
Ernst et al, I would like to comment: The majority of parents in the Control (C) group either guessed incorrectly (did think their child received acupuncture) or were unsure whether their baby received treatment, across the treatment period of 2 weeks. Hence, the majority of mothers in the control group was blind, thinking that their infant received treatment or were not sure. This scenario was the same in the acupuncture groups, here the parents may not have been blind as again the majority believed that treatment was given or was unsure. So, we have an equal level of bias from group allocation belief (not necessarily blinding) in all three groups, hence the differences of effects between control and treatment groups most likely cannot be explained by this. You claim that the differences between the control and treatment groups come from a placebo effect which is due to lack of attention towards the infants in the control group. By looking at it from a practical point of view, we are talking irritable and excessively crying infants here. It is highly unlikely that the acupuncturist in the room did not interact with the child, unless it was sleeping (which happens sometimes but not too often), so my guess is, that the acupuncturist was talking to the child, may be using toys or even touch the child. It certainly is not in favour of the authors that they have not reported on this as indeed it is a crucial aspect on judging whether the effects seen may be caused by acupuncture itself or not. Besides, all infants were exposed to the nurse on all four visits, regardless of group allocation. So they all got the attention of the nurse. Do you think that 4x5 mins with the acupuncturist in two weeks with respect to attention would make such a difference to the infants in the intervention groups, even if the babys in the control group did not interact with the acupuncturist at all? I seriously doubt that, I would think that by now a finding that infants get better the more they are exposed to different people who pay attention to them would have been described in the literature, or the word would have spread quickly amongst affected moms. But there is none of that. So, there may be indeed a chance that the effects come from the needles, but again, as pointed out before, other measures should have been taken into account such as using sham needles and/or using different 'non-therapeutic' insertion points. What worries me though is the fact that the infants were left alone in the room with the acupuncturist. This is ethically questionable. First we are talking child safety here, second who is ensuring professional conduct and adherence to protocol?

by Edzard - Thursday 19 January 2017 09:59
so the evidence for TLC is flimsy! GET OVER IT!!!

by Tom Kennedy - Thursday 19 January 2017 09:27
I'm not defending the collick trial, I'm saying the the evidence you provided to support your dismantling of the trial was extremely flimsy. Which is the sort of thing you complain about all the time, and weakens your argument.

by Edzard - Thursday 19 January 2017 08:42
....and I did show you the evidence... and the therapy was ineffective in the trial discussed in this post. so?

by Sri - Friday 20 January 2017 04:26
The real witchcraft for me is the pharmaceutical companies selling Epi-pens for $600! That is true woo. 🙂 Greed leads to bad doctors, bad medicines, bad 'science'. And this is everywhere-east, west, north, south where ever humans are. From ancient to modern times. In my experience, here is what I have come to conclude: Eastern medicine accounts for mind, breath and body harmony. Modern science today majorly focuses only on body. It does acknowledge the power of the mind through the 'placebo' effect tests and studies. Both sets use natural (herbal, plant, animal, fish based) and chemical ingredients. Ex: Dental amalgams have mercury! So where does that leave us : Effectiveness of treatment depends on the expertise and experience of the doctor. And in all cases, always go for a second/third opinion, do additional tests, question, observe and do your due diligence. Intelligence, common sense are not concentrated in just one part of the world.

by Logos-Bios - Thursday 19 January 2017 21:24 I certainly mean no disrespect to you or to anyone on this site. While I don't agree with Edzard's negative spin regarding the research in and the practice of most non-medical disciplines, I get the feeling that he would not ban a poster for simply responding in kind to other posters' opinions with which he disagrees. If there were no disagreement on his blog, it would not be fulfilling its purpose the the fullest.

by Logos-Bios - Thursday 19 January 2017 21:16
"LOSE WEIGHT WITH THE LAP-BAND! SAFE 1 HOUR, FDA APPROVED; 1-800-GET-THIN; 1-800-953-5000; PPO INSURANCE; FREE INSURANCE VERIFICATION" It's astounding to consider the lengths that some physicians will traverse to enrich themselves at the expense of people who have a poor self-image and are psychologically vulnerable, but who are otherwise physically healthy. $33K is a lot of motivation for some, I suppose.

by Logos-Bios - Thursday 19 January 2017 20:00
I'm happy to re-phrase my recent comment for the non-perspicatious(Geir) among us: the authorship of Blue's quote of Geir was not bogus. The content within the quote or Geir was both hilarious AND bogus. You're welcome!

by Blue Wode - Thursday 19 January 2017 11:08
Critical_Chiro wrote: "As for other subgroups I am wellness orientated as I try to build the patients resilience and ability to help themselves and help them to reduce occurrence and better self manage! I am wellness and prevention oriented yet anti-subluxation!" The manner in which you practice is irrelevant. The fact remains that we do not know for certain that the chiropractors in the following subgroups have moved on from DD Palmer's quackery: QUOTE "McGregor’s 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th subgroup descriptions don’t seem to exclude the unethical chiropractor element. IOW, 5 of the 6 subgroups could easily indulge in chiroquackery – (1) “Wellness”, (3) “general probs”, (4) “organic-visceral”, and (5/6) “subluxations”." ___________________________________________________________ “Chiropractic is the correct term for the collection of deceptions DD Palmer invented.” Björn Geir Leifsson, MD

by Critical_Chiro - Thursday 19 January 2017 03:59
@Blue Wode If you look at that study the pure subluxationist % also aligns with the anti-vaccination %. As for other subgroups I am wellness orientated as I try to build the patients resilience and ability to help themselves and help them to reduce occurrence and better self manage! I am wellness and prevention oriented yet anti-subluxation!

by Edzard - Thursday 19 January 2017 11:00
thanks - most helpful. I still wonder what the conditions are for which no advice is deemed necessary.

by Alan Henness - Thursday 19 January 2017 10:35
The specific conditions for which suitably qualified medical advice should be sought are listed in CAP's guidance: Health, beauty, slimming & medical conditions.

by DavidP - Thursday 19 January 2017 01:58
There's a discussion of a similar claim about Vitamin C here: As usual Vitamin C did not work as an IV therapeutic agent in that case, but in the unblinded trial it was reported that adding IV vitamin C produced somewhat less side effects. The trial the current reports are based on is Phase 1 measuring safety, not Phase 3 measuring therapeutic benefit. As often happens they are counting their chickens before they are hatched.

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