How does green tea burn fat?

It doesn’t. [1]

For credible, science-based information on obesity and weight loss, check out Weighty Matters, Obesity Panacea, and Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes.


[1] Phung, O., Baker, W., Matthews, L., Lanosa, M., Thorne, A., & Coleman, C. (2009). Effect of green tea catechins with or without caffeine on anthropometric measures: a systematic review and meta-analysis American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91 (1), 73-81 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28157

Are you sure you’re allergic to penicillin?

As a pharmacist, when I dispense medication, it’s my responsibility to ensure that the medication is safe and appropriate for the patient. There are numerous checks we go through including verifying the dose, ensuring there are no interactions with other drugs, and verifying the patient has no history of allergy to the product prescribed. Asking about allergies is a mandatory question for every new patient.

Penicillin is one of the oldest antibiotics still in use despite widespread bacterial resistance. Multiple analogs of penicillin have been developed to change its effectiveness, or improve its tolerability. And other classes of antibiotics (e.g., cephalosporins) share some structural features with penicillin. These products are widely used for both routine and serious bacterial infections. Unfortunately, allergies to penicillin are widely reported. Statistically, one in ten of you reading this post will respond that you’re allergic to penicillin. Yet the incidence of anaphylaxis to penicillin is estimated to be only 1 to 5 per 10,000. So why do so many people believe they’re allergic to penicillin? Much of it comes down to how we define “allergy.” Continue reading

What’s infecting us?

In the long run, our odds of death are 100%. But what’s going to kill us? I really like this nice graphic from National Geographic, using stats from the US National Safety Council, which illustrates the big killers.


I find this graphic fascinating. Of course it doesn’t include every way to go – just some of the most and least common ways. It would be fascinating to see how this graphic has changed over time. Consider this: Continue reading

Win $1 million if you can prove homeopathy works

A possible pharmacy homeopathy label suggested by Le Canard Noir

This weekend has seen the “10-23 challenge” occur, where science advocates worldwide are “overdosing” on homeopathic products, to demonstrate that they contain no active ingredients and have no therapeutic effects. This builds on last year’s event in the UK and Australia, which was a success: absolutely nothing happened to any participant. This year, overdoses have taken place across Canada and around the world. As part of the challenge, this weekend James Randi reiterated a promise to pay $1 million to anyone that can prove homeopathy works. Here’s some excerpts from that announcement, where he points to pharmacies as being part of the problem: Continue reading