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Aug
16

The Quality of Natural Products

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In the U.S., reports emerge periodically indicating that herbal products are not to be trusted. When products have been tested from American chain drug stores, such as CVS, they are sometimes found to contain far less, if any of the labelled ingredients. These reports tend to cast a rather cynical shadow across the industry as a whole, but this is altogether mistaken. There are many companies in the natural products sector competing for market share and industry respect.  One way this is done is by incorporating advanced technologies and methods to ensure the quality and character of their end product. Ingredients that are particularly hot in the marketplace, such as curcumin (derived from turmeric), have companies virtually tumbling over each other to create ever more absorbable forms or cutting-edge formulations. In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit two herbal/natural product research laboratories and several natural product...
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888 Hits
Jul
31

Choice, Fate and Aging

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This is my first blog in a long time, the first in a series over the next few months.  While I have a plan for a number of subjects of interest, as is usual for me I’d like to start with something that serves as a reminder of principles that help keep everything in perspective. It’s a wry fact that many of those who have been most vocal about best health practices have suffered the indignity of a relatively early death of seemingly preventable causes, sometimes the very diseases they said you could prevent by following their approach. It’s an interesting study and a little spooky for the fact that we’re reminded that the matter of health is not so simple as eating a great diet, the best supplements, exercise, etc.   Health Gurus who had untimely deaths: https://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/7-diet-gurus-who-died-of-poor-health https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/09/opinion/sunday/longevity-pritikin-atkins.html https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/deaths-of-fitness-diet-gurus#gypsy-boots) George Ohsawa, the founder of macrobiotics died of a...
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447 Hits
Jun
09

Skeptical of the Skeptics: Unreason in the name of Reason

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Sometime ago I happened to hear Timothy Caulfield discussing his ideas on a Canadian broadcast morning show.  He had authored an essay on  the subject of medical institutes that were proposing to incorporate complementary health care methods into their systems. The thesis of his essay was that there is medical science and then there are the many pretenders to the healing arts that had, in his view, no evidential support.  http://www.irpp.org/en/po/public-square/caulfield/ .  Caulfield's key assertion, is that for universities and medical clinics to associate themselves with purveyors of “nonsense”, such as naturopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, etc,. is to debase "scientific" medicine.   Study them if you must, (in fact, there are those that insist that funding research work on subjects such as homeopathy should completely come to an end) but certainly don’t lower medicine by integrating alternative medicine practitioners or courses into clinics or institutions of higher learning.  He believes it is...
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11536 Hits
Mar
04

Laugh Not Lest Ye Laugh Alone

Laugh Not Lest Ye Laugh Alone
Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience Recently this article, a sarcastic and dismissive discussion on the presence of homeopathy and natural medicine products at Whole Foods, has been making the social media rounds.  The author compares the "pseudoscience" of natural medicine, to creationism.  Normally I ignore this sort of anti-scientific scientism, but when a friend posted it on Facebook I had to say something.   The central falsehoods in the writer's argument are veiled by the few points of merit, and everything gets pasted with the same stripe.  Comparing natural medicine and homeopathy to creationism is preposterously out of proportion.  Natural food purism is an easy target, of course, and everything else is made to look silly along with it.  It all makes for exciting copy and no doubt the author feels very clever, but does it have anything of value to offer? Among those devoted to scientism, the dogmatic rejection...
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3816 Hits