American Council on Science and Health The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. ACSH is one of the few fearless voices of reason on these matters.
Christopher Whalen One guy who really understands the financial crisis. Brilliant insights. Links to his other sites.
Coach Is Right Coach Kevin Collins has an impressive resume, and uses all of his talents to demolish the Left. Site includes some guest columnists, as well.
Discussions In Infection Control This blog, designed and written exclusively by Lawrence F Muscarella, PhD, gives you the most comprehensive discussion of healthcare-associated (hospital) infections (or, “HAIs”), infection control, and both instrument and endoscope reprocessing in the world.
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Provides much-needed balance to the increasingly strident health care lobby that seems intent on scaring everyone about almost everything.
Formaldehyde Facts Your antidote to formaldehyde phobia in the media, from ACC's formaldehyde panel.
Health Care Renewal Expert analysis of what's wrong with American health care. Advocating for accountability, integrity, transparency, honesty, and ethics in leadership and governance of health care.
Health News Digest One of the best and biggest health sites on the web. New content on a daily basis, geared to the professional and informed lay audience.
Interscan Corporation The independent pros in gas detection, known for taking on the tough applications. Site has much technical material, way beyond mere product touts.
Jewish World Review One of the original news/opinion aggregate sites. Founder/Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Binyamin L. Jolkovsky calls it "The intersection of faith, culture and politics." Loaded with content tending toward politically conservative. An oasis for energetic Judaism.
JunkScience.com Steven Milloy and company do a great job in exposing junk science, which he defines as: Faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. Lots of good content.
Lifehacker Tips and downloads for getting things done
Overlawyered Chronicling the high cost of our legal system. Water Olson and company explore an American legal system that too often turns litigation into a weapon against guilty and innocent alike, erodes individual responsibility, rewards sharp practice, enriches its participants at the public’s expense, and resists even modest efforts at reform and accountability.
Paradigms and Demographics Ohio-based "bug guy" Rich Kozlovich dishes on junk science, junk politics, and many other matters. Rich is also on the prowl 24/7 for supplemental content written by Others. And he still has time to kill pests!
Selwyn Duke Hard-hitting and well-written conservative commentary, from a modern day renaissance man. The Duke is not afraid to ruffle some feathers, or invoke his Catholic faith, either.
SenSoft International Expert assistance on GSA, VA, DOD, and other federal contracts. Yes, there really can be great customer service in such an esoteric space.
Small Dead Animals An artist from Saskatchewan posts a lot of common sense. And the commenters are actually intelligent. Who knew?
The BPA file Prolific blogger Alan Caruba puts another notch in his gun with excellent coverage of this era's most senselessly demonized chemical.
The Excel Addict Most of us use Excel. Some of us use it a lot, and are constantly looking for easier ways to do things. Francis Hayes--the Excel Addict--offers plenty of free tips, a regular newsletter, and an inexpensive book to download.
The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics Everything you know about cholesterol causing heart disease is wrong, and this website is run by eminent doctors who are trying to set the record straight. But, with billions of dollars in drug sales at stake, it won't be easy.
The Nutrition Experts The name says it all. Jo-Ann Heslin and Karen Nolan have sold millions of books, and have re-launched their information-packed website. What's more, they encourage website visitors to submit questions.
Warning Signs Alan Caruba's blog is a daily look at events, personalities, and issues from an independent point of view.
Weasel Zippers Conservative commentary from all over the Web. Updated constantly.
This HND piece covers the latest edition of PharmedOut—a Georgetown University Medical Center project that advances evidence-based prescribing, and educates healthcare professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices.
Of the 16 excellent presentations given, we spotlight three of them. while all of them will give you pause, the one we highlight on lousy clinical trials is quite disturbing.
In this HND piece, we start with the so-called father of statins, Akira Endo, and quote from his frankly biased article. While his work was fundamental in the development of this best-selling of all time class of pharmaceutical drugs, the real-world benefits of the drugs are minuscule. That is, if you are talking about changing heart disease outcomes. If you are talking about merely lowering serum cholesterol, then, yes, they do "work."
Worse, the side effects—officially played down—can be devastating, and have inspired their own sub-class of junk science.
Cholesterol/coronary heart disease and statins are still the greatest meme in the history of medical science, despite hundreds of studies disproving the entire theory. However, as more patients realize where all those horrible side effects are coming from, the decline could be swift. That, and the fact that patent protection on the last of the statins (Crestor) runs out next year.
This HND piece provides an introduction—with some interesting historical perspective—on the widely-used pain relief technique known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
Those classifying TENS as "alternative medicine" are quite misinformed, unless not using drugs is the definition of "alternative." Ironically, TENS dates back to ancient Egypt, with various upgrades along the way to the present—based on contemporary technology.
Perhaps the best thing about TENS is that there are virtually no side effects or dangers, and the patient can self-treat. Home units range in price from $30 to $400, with excellent feature-rich units available for under $300.
Talk about drawing the wrong conclusion! This ridiculous study, already widely touted, and it was just published TODAY, examined memory loss in statin and non-statin drug users.
Here are the conclusions from the abstract:
Both statin and nonstatin LLDs were strongly associated with acute memory loss in the first 30 days following exposure in users compared with nonusers but not when compared with each other. Thus, either all LLDs cause acute memory loss regardless of drug class or the association is the result of detection bias rather than a causal association.
Here is a quote from the lead author, Brian Strom:
"Either it means that anything that lowers cholesterol has the same effect on short-term memory, which is not scientifically credible because you're dealing with drugs with completely different structures," Strom said." Or, he said, "detection bias" is more likely the reason, meaning patients taking a new drug visit their doctors more frequently and are highly attuned to their health.
Please take a moment to process this...
He admits that all cholesterol-lowering drugs induce memory loss, but that MUST be an artifact, since he tried the experiment with dissimilar drugs.
Oh, and results contrary to the mainstream gospel are always the result of detection bias, because people are just so stupid, right?
25% of the cholesterol in your body is found in your brain, where it plays important roles in such things as membrane function, acts as an antioxidant, and serves as the raw material from which we are able to make things like progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and even vitamin D.
In fact, in a recent study available on the NIH Public Access site, researchers showed that in the elderly, the best memory function was observed in those with the highest levels of cholesterol. Low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk for depression and even death. (courtesy David Perlmutter, MD)
This is really the worst kind of junk science because he does the right experiment with the right controls, and DRAWS THE WRONG CONCLUSIONS.
Needless to say, this work was done in a pathetic effort to undermine claims by millions of statin users that they have memory loss. Nice try, you woeful, mercenary, Kool-Aid drinking mountebank.
An elevated triglyceride level is generally considered a risk factor for the development of type-2 diabetes. However, recent studies suggest, somewhat paradoxically, that genetic risk for elevated triglycerides may protect against type-2 diabetes.
Our findings across studies, racial groups, and statistical models consistently demonstrate that triglyceride-increasing alleles are associated with decreased type-2 diabetes incidence. These genes therefore appear to both increase triglyceride levels and decrease type-2 diabetes risk. More work is needed (ed. note but of course) to understand the physiological mechanism underlying these findings, and to determine the causal relationship between triglycerides and type-2 diabetes.
This HND piece first notes that some answers to fixing health care lie outside the sexy world of high tech. More than that, the mindless embrace of high tech has caused more than its share of disasters.
In this context, "low tech" includes rapacious greed—responsible for all kinds of ill-fated drug roll-outs. Believe it or not, details are still emerging from the Thalidomide tragedy of the early 1960s. While we don't cover that catastrophe in this piece, there is plenty of harm, although not as sensationalized, caused by the drugs we do discuss.
And, for good measure, we segue into our friend Peter Gøtzsche's continuing problems with Big Pharma and its shills.
This HND piece explores how a beneficial herbal remedy can be the subject of an irrational witch hunt, by media publicity whores and feckless bureaucrats.
Used in southeast Asia for hundreds of years, kratom is effective as a painkiller, and even has shown promising results in addiction treatment. Sadly, some unscrupulous vendors have spiked kratom with other chemicals, and this has caused problems. However, the answer is not to ban the natural herb outright; rather, it is to go after the adulterators.
This HND piece takes another look at the problems with psychotropic drugs, and this time we engage the big gun: Professor Peter C Gøtzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre—Copenhagen.
Our story covers a debate that pitted Gøtzsche against the Big Pharma shills on the subject..Does long term use of psychiatric drugs cause more harm than good? Gøtzsche's pull quote won the day...
Given their lack of benefit, I estimate we could stop almost all psychotropic drugs without causing harm—by dropping all antidepressants, ADHD drugs, and dementia drugs (as the small effects are probably the result of unblinding bias) and using only a fraction of the antipsychotics and benzodiazepines we currently use. This would lead to healthier and more long lived populations. Because psychotropic drugs are immensely harmful when used long term, they should almost exclusively be used in acute situations and always with a firm plan for tapering off, which can be difficult for many patients.
This HND piece discusses how an essential chemical can be maligned, for no reason other than to raise funds, or mindlessly increase regulatory power. Sadly, chemophobia is big business.
We start off with Bela Lugosi, who—believe it or not—has a role in this drama, and take it out to the present with EPA trying to gum up rigorous standards, already accepted by industry. Of course, there are a few interesting stops in between.