Tuesday, 21 January 2014

New Age Health Experts 

and their like

A friend of mine recently complained of not feeling well. She rather foolishly announced the fact on her Facebook page, listing her various symptoms and has since been inundated with advice from friends recommending assorted remedies. 

First, she was told to take mega-doses of vitamins despite the fact that these have been conclusively proven to be ineffective at best and downright harmful in worst cases.

Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on 

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

"Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation, 
and we should translate null and negative findings into action. 
The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent
chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they
should be avoided. This message is especially true for the
general population with no clear evidence of micronutrient
deficiencies, who represent most supplement users in the
United States and in other countries."
Annals of Internal Medicine

The whole article can be read here. Open the PDF file in the top left.

The vitamin pill supplement industry is worth £650 million a year in the UK. How many hospitals would that keep open I wonder?

Then a homeopathic fan (isn't there always one) piped up with a recommendation that she take Nux Vomica and Kali Mur.

Nux Vomica, or Strychnine, to give it it's common name is a deadly alkaloid poison used mainly in bait to kill feral animals like rats. It is never used in modern medicine and is not recommended as a herbal remedy by the EU.

Kali Mur is a posh name for Potassium Chloride. Excessive amounts are extremely harmful and can cause sudden cardiac arrest. A fact not lost on the American Justice System who use it in lethal injections to execute condemned prisoners.

Fortunately, these ingredients are used in homeopathic, i.e.it doesn't contain any, amounts so it won't cause any harm – it won't do any good either but you can't have everything.  

It was estimated that the homeopathy market in the US by 2009 was worth $5.9 Billion (Mintel.com) and in the UK alone, worth £207 million by 2010. How many Polio vaccines would that pay for?

If someone went online for advice on how to repair a faulty gas boiler, the correct advice would be to consult a qualified expert.

I am not a qualified expert so if I was to start offering advice,you would consider me a dangerous lunatic and anyone taking my advice as a fool. Yet all the time, self appointed 'experts' with no medical knowledge whatsoever are offering to diagnose peoples ailments and recommend cures and treatments they are not qualified to give and whose consequences could be catastrophic. If you are sick, go to the Doctor, that is what they are there for.

And now for something completely different.

I found this on facebook as well and is much more fun. I have reproduced it here for you all to enjoy.

If someone from the 1950's suddenly appeared in 2014, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?

I have a device in my pocket that, with a few touches, can access the sum total of all knowledge known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers.

Those were the days 2050

I am a child of the 2000's and grew up in the 2010's. 

We were the last generation to play in the street without carrying a GPS Tag. 

We were the last generation to use external devices to listen to music or watch our favourite programmes. 

If we wanted to speak to our friends, we would have to talk into a little box which we carried around with us called a 'mobile phone'. 

We travelled in cars which had to be steered by humans. 

If we got sick, we had to see a Doctor who would prescribe 'medicine'. We didn't have replacement organs or gene targeted therapy. 

Our parents could be sent to prison for smacking us but not for making us inhale their cigarette smoke. 

Our food came in slices carved off dead animals, or even more disgusting, dug out of the ground. Sometimes we didn't even wash all the dirt off. Yet we seemed to be happier than the kids today.

Later -

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