To Coffee! The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

December 16, 2009 3

We have a conflicted relationship with the things that give us pleasure. We fear overindulgence may be harming us, and we desperately seek evidence that suggests our habits are beneficial, so that we can continue to enjoy them without guilt. This year appears to have been a good year for coffee in this contradictory quest. Over the past twelve months, the People’s Medical Journal, the Daily Mail, has given us [read more…]

Neutrahealth in Trouble

October 5, 2008 8

In the last few days, vitamin pill company Neutrahealth (NUT.L), has seen a precipitous drop in its share price. Its investors look like they believe the company is going to have a difficult time weathering the credit crunch. Neutrahealth is known to us through its involvement with Patrick Holford. He sold his online pill company to them for £464,000. He then joined their team as Head of Science and Education [read more…]

A little sip and you can join the Mile High Club and Solve the Credit Crunch

September 3, 2008 16

One of the themes of Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Science, is the ‘medicalisation of everyday life’. (read and except here). Everyday experiences are turned into illnesses that need medical solutions. The pharmaceutical companies do it and so do the quacks. The quacks have a great ability though of also turning food and drink into medical products. We learn that Waitrose is to launch a new drink soon. Mile High [read more…]

Andy Burman Resigns From Ofquack

August 5, 2008 16

Andy Burman, Chief Executive of the British Dietetic Association, appears to have resigned his post from the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (Ofquack). This news follows my recent criticism on this site of the BDA for not doing enough to educate the public about the difference between pseudoscientific Nutritional Therapists (as to be ‘regulated’ by Ofquack) and professionally trained and regulated dietitians (as currently represented by the BDA). This came [read more…]

Alleged Victim of Oxford Nutritionist ‘Detox Diet’ wins £810,000

July 7, 2008 48

Barbara Nash is a nutritionist based near Oxford. Dawn Page was overweight and sought the advice of Nash. It is alleged she was put on a ‘detox diet’ which included drinking lots of water and consuming no salt. If true, the result was very predictable. Mrs Page suffered ‘uncontrolled vomiting and a fit’ and was rushed to intensive care. The Oxford Mail now reports she has brain damage. Her husband [read more…]

Autism: If You Can’t Blame MMR, Let’s Try Wi-Fi

July 10, 2007 19

Maybe we are witnessing the death throes of the MMR controversy. The arguments that autism is caused by the triple-jab have been shown to be without merit and only the foaming go on about mercury in vaccines anymore (MMR never had any mercury in it). Andrew Wakefield is scrabbling with his last gasp of PR before his GMC disciplinary meeting. Undoubtley, the die-hard campaigners will see a cover up and [read more…]

Dr Ann Walker and Her Neanderthal Theories

June 12, 2007 21

In this story, a supplement industry spokesperson resorts to Creationist ‘Science’ for their evidence to support the ‘crucial’ nature of supplement pills, shows how we should eat like Inuits, without the messy business of catching fish (or dying young), and has a pop at one of the UK’s most respected academics when he dares to point out some herbal gobbledegook. A quackometer refrain is that where you find people saying [read more…]

Holfordism: Understanding Patrick, Optimum Nutrition, and the Nutritionist Industry

May 10, 2007 64

Patrick Holford has built up a very impressive and comprehensive empire; networks of web sites, charities, a college, educational trusts and of course, books, TV shows, supplements sales, and licensing deals. It is a very impressive achievement and it would be hard to argue that Patrick, and his philosophies, did not pretty much dominate the UK nutritionist scene. Some nutritionists might outsell him in book sales, but none have created [read more…]

The Depths of Ms McKeith’s Anti-Science

February 14, 2007 10

It’s been a bad week for Gillian. The anti-quackery blogging brigade have been partaking in bouts of the great British pastime of uncontrolled Schadenfreude (why did we leave it to the Germans to coin that term?) after the Advertising Standards Authority stopped Gillian McKeith as advertising herself as ‘Dr Gillian’. The Guardian printed a huge article by Ben Goldacre about how she is a ‘Menace to Science’ and how her [read more…]

Quack Word #39: ‘Superfood’

February 2, 2007 10

Regular listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Womans‘ Hour will have recently heard nutritionist Suzi Grant extolling the virtues of so-called superfoods. Quackery, I say. But what on earth can be wrong with a superfood? Surely eating foods rich in nutrients has nothing to do with quackery, but is just common sense? I don’t think it is quite that simple, and I would contend that anyone using the word ‘superfood‘ is [read more…]

1 2