MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

naturopathy

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WHAT?

Biblical naturopathy?

Yes, it is not a hoax; it does exist!

It’s another so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) that is new to me.

This website explains what it is all about:

The Biblical Naturopathic Philosophy is based on the following principles:

Do no harm
God has designed the body to be self-healing
Recognize the healing power of nature as designed by God
Recognize the supernatural healing power of God
The natural and supernatural work together
God has made provision for recovery of sickness
Identify the cause and source
Involve the total person (body, soul, spirit)
Support the body rather than treat symptoms
Health is maintained through Biblical patterns and principles

What do we believe?

We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1-20).
We believe God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. (Gen. 1; John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:3).
We believe Jesus is both Lord and Christ, to the glory of God the Father. (Acts 1:9-11; 2:36; Phil. 2:9-11).
We believe that whosoever will confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in their heart God raised Him from the dead shall be saved. (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 2:21; 1 John 1:12).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is sent by Jesus to indwell, empower, teach, guide and comfort believers. (Luke 12:12; Rom. 8-11; John 16:13; Acts 1:7-8, 9:31).
We believe that the Lord Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead provided for the healing of the spirit, soul, and bodies of all peoples.
We believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ, who will come to rule as King upon the earth with the saints. (Acts 1:9-11; 1Thess. 4:13-5:2; Rev. 19:11-21, 22:20).

And this is what they offer in terms of coursework:

COUNSELING

CNS101 Christian Counseling
Covers ethics, foundations of faith, makeup of man, motivational gifts and personality, Faith-Based Therapy™, leading someone into salvation, identity / position / purpose / significance in Christ, scriptural concordance, basics of counseling, opening a counseling center, recognizing mental illness, initial forms and assessments, value of nutrition, and legal issues.

CNS102 Advanced Christian Counseling
Covers stress, co-dependency, self-esteem, anger, forgiveness, premarital and marriage counseling, divorce, family issues, blended families, depression, suicide, grief / loss, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, sexual abuse, sexual addictions, and reality disassociation.

CNS103 Drug & Alcohol Recovery (GOD14®)
Provides an overview of drug and alcohol education, sin and disease of alcoholism, identifying the addict, AA and NA, scriptural steps, relapse and enabling, family dynamics, steps to breaking physical and psychological addiction, prescription drugs, screening, neurotransmitters, chemistry rebalancing, recovery flowchart, detox categories, and forms and assessments.

BIBLICAL

BIB210 Ministerial Ethics
All ministers should hold themselves above reproach. This course will challenge as well as encourage spiritual ethics beyond a secular view.

BIB220 Ecclesiastical Ordinances 
This course outlines the duties required of ministers such as baptism, funerals, weddings, etc. The course is designed to prepare the licensed or ordained minister to structure and carry out ministerial duties.

BIB230 Doctrinal Foundations 
The foundations of the Christian faith are scripturally established. Every minister should be able to give an account of what they believe and why. This course is designed to assist rather than to indoctrinate.

BIB270 Biblical Naturopathy
What is a Biblical naturopathic doctor; Biblical philosophy of healing; Creation and makeup of man; Scriptural principles for understanding and restoring health; Causes of disease; Things that block healing; History of naturopathy; Naturopathic tenets / axioms; Forefathers of health and healing; The mind & heart of God – It is God who heals; Health in America; Introduction to the techniques of health evaluation; Introduction to the healing modalities; Genetics, predispositions, generational curses; Biblical examples of natural healing; Physical to spiritual analogies; Foods of the Bible; Emotions and organs.

BIB280 Understanding & Improving Health
Health in America, History of Nutrition; Water and Sunshine; What is Protein?; What are Carbohydrates?; What are Fats, Oils, and Fatty Acids?; Issues with Sugar, Milk, Soy, MSG, Aspartame, and Genetically Modified Foods; Dietary Guidelines; Diets and Dieting; and Nutritional Deficiencies; Exercise; Biblical Principles and Perspectives; Confronting Sickness and Disease; Practical Support.

BIB290 How to  Pray for  Healing
Understanding who we are in Christ; The authority of the believer; The role of faith in prayer; The benefit of confession; Praying for guidance; How to pray for physical healing; Praying for Inner Healing; A balanced approach to understanding deliverance; Understanding spiritual warfare.

BIB300 Biblical Freedom Techniques
Forgiveness; Generational curses; Demonic influences; Demonic influences for sickness; Evil spirits as a cause of sickness; Biblical examples; Types of spirits; Strongholds; How do you know?; How to remove evil spirits; Inner healing.

DIET AND GENERAL WELLNESS

DGW310 Biblical Eating
Biblically speaking, are there certain foods best not eaten? What does the Bible have to say about diet and why? God has said plenty about the diet best suited for His creation.

DGW320 Biblical Health Principles
Times have changed, but the Bible and its principles have not. Learn basic principles that can be applied for maintaining health while understanding some of the changes to our foods. Have we become addicted to certain foods? This course teaches how to have a healthy diet and live healthy in a not-so-healthy world.

DGW330 Wellness with Weight Loss
For many, losing weight is a never-ending struggle — especially since our bodies are designed to keep weight on at all costs; it’s a matter of survival. But a medical revolution is under way, showing us how to work with our bodies instead of against them to ignite the natural fat-burning furnaces that lie dormant within us. Drawing on the cutting-edge science of nutrigenomics — how food talks to our genes — Dr. Mark Hyman has created a way of losing weight by eating the right foods, which in turn sends the right messages to our bodies.  In this easy-to-follow eight-week plan based on each individual’s unique genetic needs, Dr. Hyman explains how to customize your personal weight-loss program with menus, recipes, shopping lists, and recommendations for supplements and exercise. Ultimately, you will rebalance and stabilize your metabolism — an UltraMetabolism — to maintain weight loss and enjoy lifelong health.

NUTRITION

NUT410 Digestion & Enzymes
Digestion Enzyme therapy is an emerging successful alternative for restoring health. Learn the basics of digestion along with how enzymes work and the benefits to immune function, pain reduction, mood stabilization, and mental clarity, and more. Discover the inexpensive yet highly effective digestive enzymes needed to restore digestive, neurological, and behavioral health.

NUT420 Nutrition 1
This is a comprehensive course that will guide you to achieve and maintain a high level of health and fitness through careful dietary planning and nutritional supplements. The elements of health are discussed along with recommendations for a multitude of conditions. This course is also a guide to various alternative remedies and therapies.

NUT430 Nutrition 2
This course provides a thorough resource and reference to natural supplements, herbs, and homeopathic remedies as well as relating them to all the major ailments and health conditions. The information is thoroughly documented by scientific data and research.

NUT435 Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition
What is food?; Protein, fats, carbohydrates; Foods of today; Biblical foods and diets; Food sources of vitamins and minerals; Vitamins and deficiency symptoms; Minerals and deficiency symptoms; Amino acids; Enzymes; Neutraceuticals; Synthetic verses whole food vitamins; Nutritional deficiencies as a cause of diseases; Diets and individualism; Nutrition deficiency questionnaire; Therapeutic clinical nutrition

NUT440 Emotional Biochemistry
Learn how to screen for emotional and behavioral symptoms. Recognize the mental and physical clues that indicate biochemical imbalances, particularly in the brain. This course teaches natural ways of dealing with physiological causes of depression, anxiety, paranoia, anger, emotional instability, and addictions to prescription and non-prescription drugs.

NUT450 Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
This course teaches more than just knowing the levels of good and toxic minerals in the body from hair tissue analysis. How do you balance the levels and what do the ratios mean? Hair analysis can also reveal immune system problems, emotional trends, cellular energy levels, glucose intolerance, kidney and liver stress, adrenal and thyroid activity and more.

BOTANICAL

BOT510 Herbs of the Bible
What herbs were used in Bible times? The herbs of the Bible are reviewed in light of their past and present uses. Precautions are also explained.

BOT520 Herbal Pharmacy
This is a comprehensive course reviewing the best herbs for healing, including complete herb forms, benefits, parts used, side effects, dosages and remedies for hundreds of ailments.

BOT530 Nutritional Herbology
This course teaches the nutritional components of herbs and how to determine an herb’s medicinal property. You will also learn the active chemical(s) behind an herb’s use that makes it effective. Classification of herbs and which herbs are commonly used for certain body systems is covered.

BOT540 Way of Herbs
This course blends the Eastern, European, and American Indian herbal healing traditions. Learn the three functions of herbs and the eight traditional methods of herbal therapy. Included are detailed descriptions and dosages of over 140 western herbs and 31 Chinese herbs.

BOT550 Herbals Systems
This course covers the Chinese and Ayurvedic classification of herbs and foods, and the classification of over 400 medicinal herbs available in the west, according to properties and actions. The preparation and processing of herbs is also covered.

BOT555 Leaves of the Tree (Revelation 22:2) Herbology
Comprehensive course covering the use of herbs; herb forms, benefits, parts used, side effects, dosages and recommendations for ailments; Classification of herbs and which herbs are commonly used for certain body systems.

BOT560 Aromatherapy
Science is now confirming that essential oils have healing properties for most physical and emotional conditions. This course is a hands-on guide to the understanding and use of essential oils.

ALTERNATIVE OR ANALYTICAL STUDIES

AAS610 Biblical Strategies
Is there a spiritual strategy for overcoming sickness? What choices are available when faced with terminal illnesses? This course reveals traditional as well as non-traditional natural strategies for defeating sickness and regaining health, particularly if facing death.

AAS620 Parasitology
How prevalent are parasites? What tests are available to determine if you have parasites? What role do they play in allergies, fatigue, bowel disorders, and immune function? What are the latest drugs, treatment, and herbal remedies?

AAS630 Energetic Testing
This course is a basic guide to bio-kinesiology and nutritional therapy using muscle response testing. Learn antidotal therapies using vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and homeopathic remedies.

AAS645 The Lamp of the Body 1 (Matt. 6:22) Sclerology (Basic and advanced)
Sclerology is easy to learn. Sclerology is the study of the red lines in the white of the eyes and how they relate to stress-patterns in a person’s health. What is a person’s predisposition to disease? What is the hidden cause of symptoms? What will the health challenges be five years from now? The lines in the sclera change as health conditions change. Thus Sclerology is an excellent way to confirm that a natural therapy is working. Are cold hands and feet a circulatory, thyroid, constitutional-vitality, or immunological    problem? What is the key to losing weight? Is it glucose metabolism, the endocrine glands, the liver, or an allergy pattern? Is chronic fatigue attributed to a chronic infection, a weak endocrine system (thyroid/adrenals), an exhausted immune system, a liver weakness? The answer is reflected in the sclera!

AAS655 The Lamp of the Body 2 (Matt. 6:22) Iridology (Basic and advanced)
Anatomy & Physiology of the Eye; Topography/mapping; Physical Integrity Evaluation; Color Constitutional Types & Subtypes; Specific Iris Structure Irregularities; Specific Iris Pigmentation Irregularities; Misc. Signs; Collarets Signs; Syndromes; Sclera & Conjunctiva Signs; Deviation in Contraction Furrows; Exceptions to the Rules; Case Studies; Combination of Signs; Introduction to Time Risk; Iridology practice suggestions.

AAS665 The Body Electric (Genesis 2:7) – Energetic Response Testing
Our bodies, made from the dust of the earth, are very electric. Using electro-magnetic principles it is possible to determine which areas of the body are stressed and what nutrients are needed. Step-by-step hands-on training is provided in how to use and integrate Energetic Response Testing. – Brief History; Preliminaries Before Testing; The Arm Technique; Ways of Verifying a Weak Response; Why Does it Work?; Twelve Things That Can Block the Body’s Ability to Heal; Terms and Techniques; Correcting “Reversed Polarity”; Correcting “Switching”; Correcting “Blocked Regulation”; Response Testing Points (organs, glands, systems, nutritional).

AAS670 Serum Blood Analysis
This course presents an analytical system of blood chemistry and CBC analysis that focuses on physiological function as a marker of health. Optimal values are presented that increase our ability to detect dysfunction long before disease manifests. This course covers an in-depth coverage of 52 blood tests, 62 patterns of functional disorders, and 11 nutrient deficiencies, as well as correlating non-invasive in-office functional tests.

AAS685 Functional Analysis
Functional testing without labs: pH, tongue, fingernails, face, and body signs; Functional testing with laboratory assessments: hair, blood, urine, saliva, neurotransmitters, and hormones; Heavy metals; Food sensitivities; Strategies and applications.

NATUROPATHIC

NAT710 Naturopathic Heritage and Future
This course is the primer on principles and practice of naturopathy. It covers the history of naturopathy, its philosophy, the laws of disease and cure, and explains the modalities used by naturopaths.

NAT720 Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a natural, safe, inexpensive, and highly effective complement to any modality as well as to conventional medicine. You will learn the laws of homeopathy, how to assess illness, identify clues that point to the right remedy, individualize the remedy, and how to know when medical treatment is required.

NAT730 Detoxification
We live in a toxic world. This course outlines the steps needed to thoroughly detoxify and cleanse your body through fasting, juicing, oxygen therapy, exercise, heat therapy, colon cleansing, kidney cleansing, liver cleansing, and herbal detoxification.

NAT735 Cleansing the Temple
Why detox?; A cause of disease; Elimination organs/channels; Levels of detoxification; Lymph system; Fasting/exercise; Detox side effects; Avoiding a healing crisis; Foods to assist/avoid; Heavy metals; Pathogens; Infrared sauna; Ionic foot baths; Coffee enemas.

NAT740 Anatomy
Illustrated with detailed colored drawings, this course is a road map to the human body. With descriptive text, this course will educate you about the position and basic functions of all the organs and systems of the body.

NAT750 Functional Anatomy
An advanced level of anatomy is presented with more detailed information of the organs and bodily systems. With 210 color illustrations depicting all organs and systems, this course covers basic principles with special emphases on function.

NAT755 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Anatomy and Physiology
Basic anatomy and physiology; Understanding the Pathology of sickness and disease, Common disease conditions (this course meets the requirements for certification with International Iridology Practitioner’s Association).

NAT760 Reflexology
Reflexology is a unique system of foot massage, which can treat and prevent a wide variety of ailments. This course covers the history of reflexology, interpreting the feet, basic techniques, the treatment sequence, and an understanding of the meridian system.

NAT770 Naturopathic Jurisprudence
This course covers the legal guidelines for unlicensed practitioners. Learn what your rights are, what the constitution has to say, and what to do if legal disputes arise. Some topics included are insurance, licensing verses certification, correct and incorrect usage of words, and legal consent and disclaimer forms.

NAT775 Establishing a Naturopathic Ministry
Starting a practice; Setting up a business; Operating as a ministry; Legalities; Ethics; Referrals; Evaluation forms; Assessments; Record keeping; Accounting and inventory; Taxes; Advertising; Vendors; Equipment; Business management, Practice management, Introduction to flower essences, Introduction to homeopathy, Introduction to essential oils, Conducting an evaluation, Disorders, Therapeutic Applications, Unusual conditions.

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Chad Hayes who has studied the subject in some detail has published an excellent article about Biblical Naturopathy which is well-worth reading. Here are his conclusions:

So what is biblical naturopathic medicine? It’s untrained, unqualified, unlicensed practitioners that believe their religion makes them immune from government oversight. It’s people that think two individuals signing a contract to call something what it’s not prevents them from being subject to laws designed to keep people safe. It’s delusional people that don’t want to be held accountable for the things they do, doing things they shouldn’t. It’s people that are so arrogant to think that their holy book, written thousands of years before we discovered germ theory, during a time when seizures and schizophrenia were attributed to demonic possession, by authors that never intended for it to be used as a medical text, gives them superior knowledge to those of us who respect our patients enough to spend years actually studying medicine and who are willing to be held accountable for our actions. It’s biblical literalists that disingenuously omit the abortion potion recipe provided by the LORD in Numbers 52 from their biblical naturopathy curriculum, while voting for legislators who put the lives of their constituents at risk by criminalizing abortion and putting a bounty on the heads of pregnant people and the physicians that have devoted their careers to caring for them.

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In a nutshell:

Biblical Naturopathy is yet another SCAM that I recommend avoiding.

Why?

Because it is dangerous nonsense.

When I first heard about it, I thought it was a hoax – nobody can be that daft, I felt. Then I did a bit of research and found that I had been wrong: some people evidently can be that daft and are trying to promote a new SCAM.

Yes, I am speaking of SPERM SMOOTHIES.

And it’s not even a new thing. One sperm smoothie fan boasted 2 years ago: “My immune system is far stronger than it’s ever been. I no longer catch colds or the flu — even when my children get sick from school! I have such high energy levels, feel positive and enthusiastic and have focus and clarity throughout my day whilst most parents feel tired, crave junk food and struggle with forgetfulness.”

In 2021, THE SUN reported this :

Tracy Kiss, 33, from Buckinghamshire, previously told how she put a spoonful of her best friend’s donated semen into her drink every morning in a bid to boost her immunity.

The personal trainer, who is mum to Millie and Gabrille,  has previously advocated using sperm as a facial ointment.

She spoke as celebrity facialist Chelsee Lewis claimed it actually worked to reduce wrinkles.

On her bizarre beverage concoction, Tracy said: “I’d been feeling run down and had no energy, but now I’m full of beans and my mood has improved.

“It can taste really good – depending on what my friend has been eating. My other mates think I’m strange, but I don’t give a toss.”

Tracy, who is a vegan, roped her single pal into giving her his semen. She previously told how he pops round with a fresh tub three times a week.

“I know he’s healthy, doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs and I made him have an STI check,” she said.

“When I first approached him, he was concerned I’d use it to impregnate myself.

“But once I’d convinced him it was for my beauty regime he agreed – after all, he has a regular supply at hand!”

Tracy, a qualified nutritional adviser and personal trainer, told how she kept it in her fridge.

She mixes the semen with fruit, seeds, coconut or almond milk – but is also happy to drink it on its own.

“Every batch tastes different, depending on what he’s been eating,” she said.

“If he’s been drinking alcohol or eaten something particularly pungent like asparagus, I ask him to give me a heads up so I know not to drink it neat.

“Things like pineapple and peppermint make it taste better, but I’ll happily take it straight off a spoon usually.”

Tracy has filmed a YouTube video where she talks through her unusual remedy and explains what it tastes like.

“We look at its smoothness and texture, discuss its benefits and then I show people who I use a teaspoon to eat the sperm,” she said.

“Sperm is an awesome product and we should stop being so ridiculous about it – the health benefits have been well researched and more women and men should take advantage of it particularly as its made by our own bodies and doesn’t contain e-numbers and chemicals.”

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The question I ask myself is this: are sperm smoothies really a new SCAM or are they just a way for some strange people to get their 5 minutes of fame? I sincerely hope it is the latter.

Even though most people do not think about it in this way, tea is a herbal remedy. We know that it is pleasant, but is it also effective?

This study explored the associations between tea drinking and the incident risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2 DM). A dynamic prospective cohort study among a total of 27 841 diabetes-free permanent adult residents randomly selected from 2, 6, and 7 rural communities between 2006-2008, 2011-2012, and 2013-2014, respectively. Questionnaire survey, physical examination, and laboratory test were carried out among the participants. In 2018, the researchers conducted a follow-up through the electronic health records of residents. Cox regression models were applied to explore the association between tea drinking and the incident risk of T2 DM and estimate the hazard ratio(HR), and its 95%CI.

Among the 27 841 rural community residents in Deqing County, 10 726(39%) were tea drinkers, 8215 (77%) of which were green tea drinkers. A total of 883 new T2 DM incidents were identified until December 31, 2018, and the incidence density was 4.43 per 1000 person-years (PYs). The incidence density was 4.07/1000 PYs in those with tea drinking habits and 4.71/1000 PYs in those without tea drinking habits. The incidence density was 3.79/1000 PYs in those with green tea drinking habits. After controlling for sex, age, education, farming, smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary preference, body mass index, hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, and family history of diabetes, the risk of T2 DM among rural residents with tea drinking habits was 0.79 times higher than that among residents without tea drinking habits(HR=0.79, 95%CI 0.65-0.96), and the risk of T2 DM among residents with green tea drinking habits was 0.72 times higher than that among residents without tea drinking habits(HR=0.72, 95%CI 0.58-0.89). No significant associations were found between other kinds of tea and the risk of T2 DM, nor the amount of green tea-drinking.

The authors concluded that drinking green tea may reduce the risk of T2 DM among adult population in rural China.

Epidemiological studies of this nature resemble big fishing expeditions that can bring up all sorts of rubbish and – if lucky – also some fish. The question thus is whether this study identified an interesting association or just some odd rubbish.

A quick look into Medline seems to suggest great caution. Here are the conclusions from a few further case-control studies:

Thus the question of whether tea drinking might prevent diabetes remains open, in my view.

Yet, the paper might teach us two important lessons:

  1. Case-control studies must be taken with a pinch of salt.
  2. Correlation is not the same as causation.

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Persian barley water in controlling the clinical outcomes of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. It was designed as a single-blind, add-on therapy, randomized controlled clinical trial and conducted in Shiraz, Iran, from January to March 2021. One hundred hospitalized COVID-19 patients with moderate disease severity were randomly allocated to receive routine treatment (per local protocols) with or without 250 ml of Persian barley water (PBW) daily for two weeks. Clinical outcomes and blood tests were recorded before and after the study period. Multivariable modeling was applied using Stata software for data analysis.

The length of hospital stay (LHS) was 4.5 days shorter in the intervention group than the control group regardless of history of cigarette smoking (95% confidence interval: -7.22, -1.79 days). Also, body temperature, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and creatinine significantly dropped in the intervention group compared to the control group. No adverse events related to PBW occurred.

The authors from the Department of Traditional Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, concluded that this clinical trial demonstrated the efficacy of PBW in minimizing the LHS, fever, and levels of ESR, CRP, and creatinine among hospitalized COVID-19 patients with moderate disease severity. More robust trials can help find safe and effective herbal formulations as treatments for COVID-19.

I must admit, I did not know about PBW. The authors explain that PBW is manufactured from Hordeum vulgare via a specific procedure. According to recent studies, barley is rich in constituents such as selenium, tocotrienols, phytic acid, catechin, lutein, vitamin E, and vitamin C; these compounds are responsible for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Barley grains also have immune-stimulating effects, antioxidant properties, protective effects on the liver and digestive systems, anti-cancer effects, and act to reduce uric acid levels.

But even if these effects would constitute a plausible mechanism for explaining the observed effects (which I do not think they do), the study itself is more than flimsy.

I do not understand why researchers investigating an important issue do not make sure that their study is as rigorous as possible.

  • Why not use an adequately large sample size?
  • Why not employ a placebo?
  • Why not double-blind?
  • Why not report the most important outcome, i.e. mortality?

As it stands, nobody will take this study seriously. Perhaps this is a good thing – but perhaps PBW does have positive effects (I know it’s a long shot) and, in this case, a poor-quality study would only prevent an effective therapy come to light.

Many older adults commonly take multivitamin-multimineral (MVM) supplements to promote health. Yet, evidence on the use of daily MVMs on invasive cancer is limited. 

The objective of this study was therefore to determine if a daily MVM decreases total invasive cancer among older adults. For this purpose,  a team of researchers performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2-by-2 factorial trial of a daily MVM and cocoa extract for prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among 21,442 US adults (12,666 women aged ≥65 y and 8776 men aged ≥60 y) free of major CVD and recently diagnosed cancer. The intervention phase was from June 2015 through December 2020. This article reports on the MVM intervention.

Participants were randomly assigned to daily MVM or placebo. The primary outcome was total invasive cancer, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer. Secondary outcomes included major site-specific cancers, total CVD, all-cause mortality, and total cancer risk among those with a baseline history of cancer.

During a median follow-up of 3.6 y, invasive cancer occurred in 518 participants in the MVM group and 535 participants in the placebo group (HR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.86, 1.09; P = 0.57). No significant effect was observed of a daily MVM on breast cancer (HR: 1.06; 95% CI: 0.79, 1.42) or colorectal cancer (HR: 1.30; 95% CI: 0.80, 2.12). The researchers observed a protective effect of a daily MVM on lung cancer (HR: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.42, 0.92). The composite CVD outcome occurred in 429 participants in the MVM group and 437 participants in the placebo group (HR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.86, 1.12). MVM use did not significantly affect all-cause mortality (HR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.81, 1.08). There were no safety concerns.

The authors concluded that a daily MVM supplement, compared with placebo, did not significantly reduce the incidence of total cancer among older men and women. Future studies are needed to determine the effects of MVMs on other aging-related outcomes among older adults.

This is an excellent and important study with clear findings. Nevertheless, the authors insist that several limitations should be considered. First, the COSMOS intervention was relatively short to detect a potential small-to-moderate effect on cancer outcomes given the long duration of time typically required for nutritional interventions to potentially reduce cancer risk. Second, the secondary and exploratory analyses should be interpreted with caution, especially given an overall lack of effect of an MVM on the primary outcome of total invasive cancer. Third, the authors successfully leveraged existing cohorts with mass mailings to expedite recruitment and randomization of 21,442 participants into COSMOS. However, generalizability may be limited, with modest diversity of 10% non-Whites and 2.6% Hispanics plus healthy volunteer bias for participants willing and eligible to enroll in a mail-based clinical trial.

While still at Exeter, we had a whole program examining so-called alternative medicines (SCAMs) for weight reduction. I thus can assure you of one thing: there are plenty out there! We also published many papers on the subject. The results can be summarized quite easily:

NONE OF THEM WORK CONVINCINGLY AND MANY ARE OUTRIGHT FRAUDULENT.

So I thought I had seen them all … until I saw this advertisement:

Hourglass S-line Waist Slimming Patch ingredients directly transfers them to your skin which then stimulates your body, kickstarts your metabolism and increases calorific burn. This process tones your skin, busts fat cells giving you a slimmer appearance with radiant looking skin.

Consist of 3 Key Ingredient For Hourglass S-line Waist Slimming Patch:

  1. Ay Tsao
  2. Wormwood
  3. Mint

Ay Tsao is a flowering plant that is mostly cultivated for its root, it decreases inflammation, stimulates digestion, and suppresses your appetite. These properties are effective ways promote weight loss. Experts says that this plant plays a huge role in providing a person with health benefits, determining decongestion and improving blood circulation.

Wormwood is regarded as a useful remedy for liver and gallbladder problems. Wormwood contains strong bitter agents known as absinthin and anabsinthin, which stimulate digestive and gallbladder function. Wormwood is believed to stimulate digestion and relieve spasms in the intestinal tract

Mint play an essential role in losing weight in a healthy way. Mint leaves promote digestion and boost metabolism to help in losing weight. Mint tea is a great refreshing calorie-free beverage to promote weight loss.

This is why Hourglass S-line Waist Slimming Patch is special

  • Effectively prevent forming a waist fat.
  • Accelerate the burning of fat.
  • Maintaining a perfect body continuously.
  • Extracting the essence from pure, safe, and healthy natural plants.
  • Better sleep;
  • Safe for daily use.
  • Relieves gas and bloating.
  • Slim down, and increase your energy levels for a better, healthier life.
  • Made of high-quality material, with good breathability and adhesion.

Natalie’s Hourglass S-line Waist Slimming Patch report

Natalie Having trouble wearing dress because of her weight. She wanted a body that will make a dress look good for her. She gladly found this product online.

Here is the result…

Week 1

“Having a sexy body is always what I wanted. But what I can only do is light exercise. So I decided to use this Hourglass S-line Waist Slimming Patch. In just a week my body felt light. I still have a medium-sized belly but I’ll keep trying. Improvement is important and I see it with this product.”

Week 4

“I’m on day 30 of using this product. I love it. I combined its use with diet and light exercise. This is a good treatment for my muscles because Hourglass S-line Waist Slimming Patch also helps with muscle cramps or pain. I never feel my waist muscles working as well as they do when I’m using this product. I love feeling my body muscles actually moving in there. I literally KNOW this product is working my muscles for me. It’s incredible.”

Week 6

“After a month and a half, the result is great. I am amazed that the product is just as described. It will surely achieve the body that you want!! A must try for everyone, this patch is restrengthening muscles, or to add an extra kick in the gut for your exercise, this is it!”

Natalie Lopez — Toronto, Canada

This Patch saves you tons of money!
Hourglass S-line Waist Slimming Patch all natural ingredients are carefully made to make a huge impact not only to your skin but also saves you tons of money in the long run.

With this product you can avoid expensive sessions, time consuming appointments and you can use this patch at your home that can save transportations fare.

How to Use:

  1. Make sure your waist is dry and clean.
  2. Take 2 pcs patch and tear of the back then stick it to your both side waist.
  3. Remove after 3 – 8 hours a day.

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I find it hard to believe that there are people who actually fall for such an advertisement. And the more I think about it, the sadder I feel. There are quite obviously some who believe such nonsense and get ripped off by irresponsible snake-oil salesmen. Not only does the product not work, but some of the ingredients are also potentially toxic.

I hope that my posing this will prevent a few people from wasting their hard-earned money on outright quackery:

None of the claims made in this advertisement is backed by evidence!

Zinc has been in the limelight recently. The reason is that it has been recommended as a preventative and/or treatment of COVID infections. The basis for such recommendations has been some trial evidence suggesting it is effective for viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs). But the evidence has been full of contradictions which means, we need a systematic review that critically evaluated the totality of the available data.

This systematic review was aimed at evaluating the benefits and risks of zinc formulations compared with controls for the prevention or treatment of acute RTIs in adults.

Seventeen English and Chinese databases were searched in April/May 2020 for randomized clinical trials (RCTs), and from April/May 2020 to August 2020 for SARS-CoV-2 RCTs. Cochrane rapid review methods were applied. Quality appraisals used the Risk of Bias 2.0 and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.

Twenty-eight RCTs with 5446 participants were identified. None were specific to SARS-CoV-2. Compared with placebo, oral or intranasal zinc prevented 5 RTIs per 100 person-months (95% CI 1 to 8, numbers needed to treat (NNT)=20, moderate-certainty/quality). Sublingual zinc did not prevent clinical colds following human rhinovirus inoculations (relative risk, RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.21, moderate-certainty/quality). On average, symptoms resolved 2 days earlier with sublingual or intranasal zinc compared with placebo (95% CI 0.61 to 3.50, very low-certainty/quality) and 19 more adults per 100 were likely to remain symptomatic on day 7 without zinc (95% CI 2 to 38, NNT=5, low-certainty/quality). There were clinically significant reductions in day 3 symptom severity scores (mean difference, MD -1.20 points, 95% CI -0.66 to -1.74, low-certainty/quality), but not average daily symptom severity scores (standardised MD -0.15, 95% CI -0.43 to 0.13, low-certainty/quality). Non-serious adverse events (AEs) (eg, nausea, mouth/nasal irritation) were higher (RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.69, NNHarm=7, moderate-certainty/quality). Compared with active controls, there were no differences in illness duration or AEs (low-certainty/quality). No serious AEs were reported in the 25 RCTs that monitored them (low-certainty/quality).

The authors concluded that in adult populations unlikely to be zinc deficient, there was some evidence suggesting zinc might prevent RTIs symptoms and shorten duration. Non-serious AEs may limit tolerability for some. The comparative efficacy/effectiveness of different zinc formulations and doses were unclear. The GRADE-certainty/quality of the evidence was limited by a high risk of bias, small sample sizes and/or heterogeneity. Further research, including SARS-CoV-2 clinical trials is warranted.

The authors provide a short comment on the assumed mode of action of zinc. The rationale for topical intranasal and sublingual zinc is based on the in vitro effects of zinc ions that can inhibit viral replication, stabilize cell membranes and reduce mucosal inflammation. Other conceivable mechanisms include the activation of T lymphocytes, monocytes, and granulocytes.

The authors also remind us to be cautious: clinicians and consumers need to be aware that considerable uncertainty remains regarding the clinical efficacy of different zinc formulations, doses, and administration routes, and the extent to which efficacy might be influenced by the ever changing epidemiology of the viruses that cause RTIs. The largest body of evidence comes from sublingual lozenges and zinc gluconate and acetate salts, suggesting these are suitable choices. Yet, this does not mean that other administration routes and zinc salts are less effective. The new evidence on the prophylactic effects of low-dose nasal sprays adds weight to the otherwise inconclusive findings from the handful of RCTs evaluating zinc nasal sprays or gels for acute treatment. A minimum therapeutic dose for zinc is also yet to be determined. An earlier review suggested the minimum dose for sublingual lozenges is 75 mg. However, the present analysis does not support this conclusion. Furthermore, a daily oral dose of 15 mg has been shown to upregulate lymphocytes within days, so it is plausible that much lower doses might also be effective.

The interest in the medicinal properties of honey is lively. A recent review, for instance, concluded that honey is a safe natural substance, effective in the inhibition of bacterial growth and the treatment of a broad range of wound types, including burns, scratches, diabetic boils (Skin abscesses associated with diabetic), malignancies, leprosy, fistulas, leg ulcers, traumatic boils, cervical and varicose ulcers, amputation, burst abdominal wounds, septic and surgical wounds, cracked nipples, and wounds in the abdominal wall. Honey comprises a wide variety of active compounds, including flavonoids, phenolic acid, organic acids, enzymes, and vitamins, that may act to improve the wound healing process. Tissue-engineered scaffolds have recently attracted a great deal of attention, and various scaffold fabrication techniques are being researched.

But there is also reason to be cautious. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted warning letters to four companies for illegally selling honey-based products that may pose a significant health risk to consumers. The FDA’s laboratory testing found that product samples contained active drug ingredients not listed on the product labels, including the active drug ingredients found in Cialis (tadalafil) and Viagra (sildenafil), which are FDA approved drugs used to treat men with erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil and tadalafil are restricted to use under the supervision of a licensed health care professional. These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.

“Tainted honey-based products like these are dangerous because consumers are likely unaware of the risks associated with the hidden prescription drug ingredients in these products and how they may interact with other drugs and supplements they may take,” said FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., “Products marketed with unidentified ingredients may be dangerous and, in some cases, deadly to consumers. We encourage consumers to remain vigilant when shopping online or in stores to avoid purchasing products that put their health at risk, and instead seek effective, FDA-approved treatments.”

Today’s warning letters outline how companies violated federal law by selling active drug ingredients in products marketed as foods, like honey, and by making unauthorized claims that their products treat disease or improve health. These products are promoted and sold for sexual enhancement on various websites and online marketplaces, and possibly in some retail stores.

The warning letters were issued to:

Companies marketing food products containing tadalafil and/or sildenafil violate federal law. Some of the products cited in the warning letters are also unapproved new drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and they lack FDA approval. In some cases, product claims reference diseases that can only be diagnosed or treated under medical supervision. Additionally, some products cited in the warning letters are represented as dietary supplements even though tadalafil and sildenafil products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition.
The FDA has requested responses from the companies within 15 working days stating how they will address these issues or providing their reasoning and supporting information as to why they think the products are not in violation of the law. Failure to promptly address the violations may result in legal action, including product seizure and/or injunction.

Consumers using or considering using any over-the-counter product marketed for sexual enhancement should talk to a health care professional first, as some ingredients may interact with medications or dietary supplements. The FDA’s health fraud products database can help consumers identify nearly 1,000 of these potentially dangerous products.

The FDA previously warned consumers about more than 10 honey-based products containing hidden drug ingredients. The FDA’s laboratory testing found that product samples contained undeclared active ingredients, including sildenafil and tadalafil. The agency also previously warned consumers to avoid products with hidden drug ingredients sold through Amazon, eBay, Walmart and other retailers. The FDA is committed to protecting consumers by identifying and removing these potentially dangerous products from the market and urges stores, websites, and online marketplaces to stop selling these products.

If a consumer thinks that a product might have caused a reaction or an illness, they should immediately stop using the product and contact their health care provider. The FDA also encourages health care providers and consumers to report adverse reactions associated with FDA-regulated products to the agency using MedWatch or the Safety Reporting Portal.

I have been warning the public about the indirect dangers of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) for a very long time. It is now 25 years ago, for instance, that I published an article in the ‘European Journal of Pediatrics’ entitled “The attitude against immunisation within some branches of complementary medicine“. Here is the discussion section of this paper:

… certain groupings within COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE (CM) may advise their patients against immunisation. Within these groupings, there is, of course, a considerable diversity of attitudes towards immunisation. Therefore
generalisations are difficult and more detailed investigations are required to clarify the issue.

The question arises whether the level of advice against immunisation as it exists today represents a real or only a potential risk. One study from the U.K. demonstrates homoeopathy to be the most prevalent reason for non-compliance with immunisation [30]. The problem may not be confined to naturopathy, chiropractic and homoeopathy. Books relating to CM in general [e.g. 19] also strongly advise against immunisation: “Vaccination may provoke the illness which it is supposed to prevent. People who are vaccinated can transmit the illness, even if they are not ill themselves. The vaccine can make the person more susceptible to the illness … The vaccinated child is a contaminated child”.

At present, our data is insufficient to de®ne which proportion of which complementary practitioners share this
attitude. The origin of this stance against vaccination is largely unknown. For instance, there is nothing in Hahnemann’s writings against immunisation [14]. It may therefore stem from a general antipathy toward modern medicine which seems to be prevalent within CM [7, 19, 23]. A more specific reason is that immunisation is viewed as detrimental, burdened with long-term side effects. It is also felt that it is not fully effective and unnecessary because
better methods of protection exist within CM [16].

Anti-immunisation activists are often unable to argue their case rationally, yet they place advertisements in the daily press warning about immunisation. In Britain, one tragic case has recently been publicised. A physician advised parents against measles vaccination for their child who was suspected of suffering from convulsions. Five years later, the child suffered severe brain damage after contracting measles. The doctor was sued by the parents and found guilty of negligence and ordered to pay £825,000 in damages [1].

In medicine we must, of course, always be vigilant about the risks of our interventions. Each form of immunisation should therefore be continuously scrutinised for its possible risks and benefits. Most forms of immunisation are clearly not entirely free of risk [e.g. 22] – in fact, no effective intervention will ever be entirely risk-free. Therefore the risks have to be discounted against the benefits. It follows that any blanket rejection of immunisation, in general, must be misleading. It endangers not only the individual patient but (if prevalent) also the herd immunity of the community at large. Such unreflected rejection of immunisation, in general, will inevitably do more harm than good.

It is concluded that the advice of some, by no means all complementary practitioners in relation to immunisation represents an area for concern, which requires further research. Complementary practitioners and patients alike should be educated about the risks and benefits of immunisation. Paediatricians should be informed about the present negative attitude of some complementary practitioners and discuss the issue openly with their patients.

_____________________________

I suspect that, had we heeded my caution, researched the subject more thoroughly, and taken appropriate action, the current pandemic might have produced fewer and less vocal anti-vaxxers, and fewer patients might have died.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) state that dietary supplements can help people improve or maintain their overall health. But they may also come with health risks. Whether you’re a consumer of dietary supplements or it’s your job to inform and educate, it’s important to know the facts before deciding to take any dietary supplement.

Therefore, they launched the initiative, “Supplement Your Knowledge”. It aims to help inform health care professionals, consumers, and educators about dietary supplements.

“Dietary supplements can be valuable to your health but taking some supplements can also involve health risks,” Douglas Stearn, JD, deputy director for regulatory affairs in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a statement. “These Supplement Your Knowledge resources will help provide consumers and health care professionals with facts to make informed decisions when determining if they want to use or recommend dietary supplements.”

In collaboration with the American Medical Association, publisher of JAMA, the FDA has developed a free continuing medical education program for physicians and other health care professionals about the regulation of dietary supplements, informing patients about their use, and reporting adverse events to the agency. The program includes 3 videos and accompanying educational materials. It is available on the FDA website and the AMA Ed Hub.

________________________

The objectives of the program are:
1. Define dietary supplements
2. Describe how dietary supplements are regulated
3. Describe how dietary supplements are labelled and the types of claims permitted
4. Review potential interactions of dietary supplements with other supplements, medications, and laboratory tests
5. Identify adverse events and how to report them to FDA

Even though some parts of the program are quite specific to the US, I think that the initiative is most laudable and an excellent resource for physicians, SCAM practitioners, consumers, and decision-makers to learn more about this important subject.

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