A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Posts Tagged ‘Acupuncture’

Hamsters rule the internet

Posted by apgaylard on December 30, 2008

bigstockphoto_hamster_in_the_glass_560949Here’s a bit of year-end nonsense:  one of the mysteries of my blog this year has been the post, “Good News For Hypercholesterolemic Hamsters“.  This has been, far and away, the most viewed post; accruing twice the number of views of its nearest rival. So, is it interest in the applicability of animal models to people that has driven this phenomenon? 

This post uses the Google Trends tool to explore the relative popularity of hamsters against: gerbils, guinea pigs, homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy and reflexology, Ginseng, Black Cohosh, Ginkgo Biloba and Red Clover

So if you have found this post when all you really want is pictures of cute hamsters – welcome.  If you make it all the way to the end of this post, I’ll reward you with another! 

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Posted in Blog | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Holland and Barrett promise to behave

Posted by apgaylard on December 5, 2008

bigstockphoto_hand_outstretched_with_a_pile__1993865The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has let me know that they have concluded two of the three complaints I raised about a recent flurry of e-mailed advertising from Holland and Barrett.  I was concerned that the adverts in question directly associated particular herbs and supplements with implicit unfounded health claims: improving mental healh and beating the menopause to be specific.

Holland and Barrett have reportedly assured the ASA, “that these emails will not be used again and that in future campaigns they will not use headings or product categories that imply health benefits for the listed products.”

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Posted in Supplements | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

RCN, CAM and the menopause – Part two – Credulous nonsense

Posted by apgaylard on November 28, 2008

complementary-approaches-to-menopausal-symptoms1In part one of this short series on the Royal College of Nursing’s “Complementary approaches to menopausal symptoms – RCN guidance for nurses, midwives and health visitors” I looked at the guidance on herbal remedies.  Now I’m moving on to cover what the document has to say about the role of acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology and homeopathy in treating symptoms of the menopause. 

Just like its approach to herbal remedies, we shall see that this document falls into the pitfalls of appeals to common practise and tradition; along with a predilection for cherry-picking dubious positive evidence; ignoring more credible negative evidence. 

Before we begin, it is worth remembering that the RCN counsels its members: 

“… You should not recommend products or therapies over others without a good evidence base …”

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Posted in homeopathy, Pseudoscience | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Disingenuous Nonsense

Posted by apgaylard on January 25, 2008

It’s not just bad clinical CAM trials that can mislead; it’s also the positive spin put on good ones with negative outcomes.

In some recent correspondence R. Barker Bausell, author of the compelling “Snake Oil Science – The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine“, provides an instructive example.

It’s a bit of a retrospective: this study and the resulting slew of poor press coverage was commented on by David Colquhoun and Ben Goldacre, among others, last year.  Nevertheless, I think that Baussell’s observations are well worth considering; so I have provided them below.

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Posted in Pseudoscience, Statistics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »