The Pure Cure: 8 New Ways to Detox
Lisa found this fail in Marie Claire magazine (also linked on MSN.com). The woo is bursting from the seams in this one. Let’s start with the title and the concept of “detoxing”. Most alternative medicine proponents will define a detox or a cleanse as a process that rids your body of toxins. You will be hard pressed to find anyone willing to tell you what these toxins are, but according to alt-med practitioners they are just bad. This article recommends everything from accupuncture to ayerveda to salt caves, with a long list of issues that these treatments will address. No evidence is provided for any of these treatments. The closest thing to an expert endorsement is a vague quote from a “wellness guru” whose only stated qualifications are that she has worked with Madonna and Uma Thurman. The Fail is strong in this one.
What ‘clinically proven’ means for a beauty product
The National Post ran this excellent story picking apart claims by the manufacturers of Inneov Sun Sensitivity. This product is a supplement that is supposed to “to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays while leaving you with a nice tan”. The articles author, Frederik Joelving, does a fantastic job breaking down their claims into the facts. He takes us through the scientific process, explaining clinical trials, the placebo effect, proper double blind methodology, and the importance of disclosing potential biases when publishing research. While the article dissects the claims of just one product, it also gives readers a tool kit for evaluating these types of claims for any health and beauty product. This one definitely gets a big “Win” stamp of approval.
I’m a normal person’: mother celebrates controversial MS treatment
Yet another story on a new controversial treatment for MS, that has not yet been approved in Canada. This story centers around a mother who went to Poland for the treatment. She was happy she sought the treatment, and is feeling better. She is part of a petition seeking to have clinical trials run in Canada. So what’s wrong with running a story on one person’s experience? It’s about context. Running a story like this, without explaining the placebo effect or the limitations of anecdotal evidence is irresponsible. Multiple sclerosis is a terrible disease. Early stories of this treatment seem hopeful, but it’s important not to skip any steps in evaluating it.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. I’d have more links, but it’s up to you to send them! Seriously. If I don’t get links I cry. It’s not pretty. You don’t want to see that, do you? Send the love to links [at] skepticnorth [dot] com