Weekend Reading


Snowed in for the weekend like much of the East Coast? Here’s some reading to keep you occupied:

Chemophobia! Following this credulous article in the New York Times about a child with juvenile idiopathic arthritis treated with alternative medicine, I expected a strong response. This one is the best, from Slate.

Generic Drugs! The MedCan clinic is a private healthcare clinic in Toronto. The Medical Director, Dr. James Aw, doesn’t understand the science of how generic drugs are evaluated and approved and wrote a column in the National Post that gives incorrect information. Here are the facts, from my post on the science of generic drugs from 2012.

Fake doctors! Peter Lipson summarizes the facts of naturopathy in his Forbes column Michigan May Legalize Fake Doctors. Also on the fake doctor file, see Legislative Alchemy: Naturopathy 2013 in Science-Based Medicine and the announcement of the new naturopathy action site, No-Naturopaths.

Cough Supressants that (Might) Work! Honey has been shown to be more effective than a comparable placebo for the treatment of cough. Should we accept this as evidence of efficacy? Dr. Mark Crislip is skeptical.

Statistics! The Winnipeg Sun publishes the best pie chart, ever.

Food phobias! The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater. So good, I wish I’d written it.

Magic Potions! Health Canada Endorsed! Is there anything Health Canada won’t approve as “safe and effective”? Seemingly not, judging by this advertisement for Fluxobile. Detox is a marketing scam, nothing more.

Toxins! How effective is the flu shot? Go for the column, stay for the comments.

Médecins sans médicament! If you have any doubt about the problems with homeopathy, “Homeopaths without Borders” bring sugar pills to Haiti.

Vitamins! Behind the fetish of vitamin B12 shots. My take on B12.

Supplements! Dangerous steroids or stimulants are increasingly found in seemingly safe sports supplements, says The Guardian.

Disease prevention! Good column on preventing cancer, the risks and the benefits.

Podcasts! A good discussion of flu vaccine effectiveness, the CIDRAP report, naroclepsy, adjuvants, and the vaccine pipeline in this TWIV episode.

Vaccines! Last month, India administered polio vaccines to 172 million children in five days.

Probiotics! A meta-analysis suggests a trivial effect (if real) for probiotics on reduction of common cold.

pH! A nice overview of the value of so-called “alkalising” diets. My take, one of my earliest posts on acid-base balancing.

Technology! A hung over reporter reviews a new tablet computer. One of the funniest things I’ve read in a while.

All Trials! The day after PhRMA dismisses calls for open access to trial data, GlaxoSmithKline signs on. (More detailed post on transparency to come).

NSFW! The greatest interview of all time.

Photo from flickr user ***Bud*** used under a CC licence.

3 thoughts on “Weekend Reading

  1. Why don’t you guys do an article on Mercury poisioning from fish…….. all the piers in the states have warnings about certain fish that accumulate mercury………..gives symptoms like multiple sclerosis which can be reversed with chelation therapy if treated early enough. The mercury is from rainfall, from China which precipitates down to a certain depth. ‘ Frank Lee

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