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6 New Age Cures That Aren’t As Full Of Crap As You Think
Posted: 20 March 2012 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Today, I’ll fill in for DeadMonky:

http://www.cracked.com/article_19696_6-new-age-cures-that-arent-as-full-crap-as-you-think.html

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Posted: 20 March 2012 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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FWIW if the rest of this article is as full of crap as the stuff about acupuncture, they should remove it from their website. Acupuncture is as efficacious as placebo, as experiments with sham acupuncture have shown. (Sham acupuncture doesn’t pierce the skin and doesn’t use the famous ‘acupuncture points’).

The only thing that works and is similar to acupuncture is TENS, which is a form of electrical nerve stimulation that uses needles similar to acupuncture needles, but doesn’t use the ‘acupuncture points’. But TENS isn’t acupuncture, since acupuncture doesn’t use electricity.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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One of their sources seem to indicate otherwise:
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/05/how-acupuncture-pierces-chronic-.html

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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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domokato - 20 March 2012 11:09 AM

One of their sources seem to indicate otherwise:
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/05/how-acupuncture-pierces-chronic-.html

Rule #1: can’t take single studies out of context.

For more on acupuncture, see SBM, Quackwatch’s Acuwatch, and Skepdic on acupuncture.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hm, I’m not an advocate of alt med or anything, but I don’t know what you mean by out of context. I know it is just a single study, and that it only took place in rats. I found the actual paper and it seems to have been reported on accurately in the secondary source.

However, Cracked’s article does present it as if it was a human trail, which is problematic, you’re right. Guess that’s what we’re here for smile. Their excuse is always, “we’re a comedy site”, which I suppose is somewhat valid. At least they cite their sources for the more skeptical among us

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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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domokato - 20 March 2012 11:24 AM

Hm, I’m not an advocate of alt med or anything, but just to play devil’s advocate for a moment…

I know it is just a single study, and that it only took place in rats, but I don’t know what you mean by out of context. I found the actual paper and it seems to have been reported on accurately in the secondary source. However, Cracked’s article does present it as if it was a human trail, which is problematic, you’re right. Guess that’s what we’re here for smile

Right. If you want to believe anything about quackery or other forms of pseudoscience, do thorough research through something like PubMed. I virtually guarantee you will find at least one or two studies supporting anything remotely well known. Partly this is an upshot of the “file drawer effect”: negative studies get filed away, since journals don’t typically publish negative studies. Twenty studies are done, nineteen find nothing, the twentieth gets published, to a statistical likelihood of 95% (or 1 in 20). That’s why you have to look carefully at the context.

domokato - 20 March 2012 11:24 AM

Their excuse is always, “we’re a comedy site”, which I suppose is somewhat valid. At least they cite their sources for the more skeptical among us

Yeah, I mean, let’s face it: it’s a BS excuse. It’s clearly an article intended to get across something true, and the relation to “Cracked” is that it’s supposed to be hip and funny rather than dry. Problem is that at a quick glance their reasoning is garbage.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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dougsmith - 20 March 2012 11:32 AM
domokato - 20 March 2012 11:24 AM

Hm, I’m not an advocate of alt med or anything, but just to play devil’s advocate for a moment…

I know it is just a single study, and that it only took place in rats, but I don’t know what you mean by out of context. I found the actual paper and it seems to have been reported on accurately in the secondary source. However, Cracked’s article does present it as if it was a human trail, which is problematic, you’re right. Guess that’s what we’re here for smile

Right. If you want to believe anything about quackery or other forms of pseudoscience, do thorough research through something like PubMed. I virtually guarantee you will find at least one or two studies supporting anything remotely well known. Partly this is an upshot of the “file drawer effect”: negative studies get filed away, since journals don’t typically publish negative studies. Twenty studies are done, nineteen find nothing, the twentieth gets published, to a statistical likelihood of 95% (or 1 in 20). That’s why you have to look carefully at the context.

Good point. But this study seems to be testing a new hypothesis. As such, it is the only one of its kind, unless follow up studies have been done since then. I think we can agree that the results are very preliminary

domokato - 20 March 2012 11:24 AM

Their excuse is always, “we’re a comedy site”, which I suppose is somewhat valid. At least they cite their sources for the more skeptical among us

Yeah, I mean, let’s face it: it’s a BS excuse. It’s clearly an article intended to get across something true, and the relation to “Cracked” is that it’s supposed to be hip and funny rather than dry.

I disagree. Often times embellishment is necessary for good comedy. At least cracked has the decency to make it explicit in the very same article:

120924.jpg?v=1

I take most things from Cracked with a grain of salt, but it is good to investigate and see exactly where the embellishments are, too smile

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Posted: 20 March 2012 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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This article is downright silly. So aromatherapy makes people feel better? What a surprise. Basically they are saying that scent of lavender is more calming then a pile of stinking dog poop.  Using the same logic a good steak is more satisfying than broiled shoe leather and laying on a Caribbean beach is more relaxing than sunning yourself naked in antarctica. I wouldn’t exactly call the steak, the beach or the aromatherapy a medical treatment though.

Stories about St John’s Wort are also a bit frustrating. If there is something of biological value in there why is it being given special status. It should be treated like a drug and subject to the same safety and efficacy studies as every other drug. It may be effective but its hard to know because of the limited controlled studies.  Most drug side effects only become apparent when large controlled studies are done or during post-marketing monitoring. I find it very unlikely that St John’s Wort wouldn’t have similar side effects to other antidepressants since they claim that its mechanism of action is similar.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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domokato - 20 March 2012 12:00 PM

120924.jpg?v=1

 

Saw the Flying Karamazov Brothers juggling chain saws once, at the Vancouver Folk Festival. Pretty impressive.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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macgyver - 20 March 2012 06:57 PM

This article is downright silly. So aromatherapy makes people feel better? What a surprise. Basically they are saying that scent of lavender is more calming then a pile of stinking dog poop.  Using the same logic a good steak is more satisfying than broiled shoe leather and laying on a Caribbean beach is more relaxing than sunning yourself naked in antarctica. I wouldn’t exactly call the steak, the beach or the aromatherapy a medical treatment though.

Stories about St John’s Wort are also a bit frustrating. If there is something of biological value in there why is it being given special status. It should be treated like a drug and subject to the same safety and efficacy studies as every other drug. It may be effective but its hard to know because of the limited controlled studies.  Most drug side effects only become apparent when large controlled studies are done or during post-marketing monitoring. I find it very unlikely that St John’s Wort wouldn’t have similar side effects to other antidepressants since they claim that its mechanism of action is similar.

Germany has a government body called “Commission E” which examines herbal medicine and the like.  They do rigorous studies and government policy generally follows their recommendations from what I understand.  (They’ve done an number on St. John’s Wort,  BTW.)  US law generally prohibits the FDA from using results from foreign studies in making policy in regards to drugs and medical procedures.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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macgyver - 20 March 2012 06:57 PM

This article is downright silly. So aromatherapy makes people feel better? What a surprise. Basically they are saying that scent of lavender is more calming then a pile of stinking dog poop.  Using the same logic a good steak is more satisfying than broiled shoe leather and laying on a Caribbean beach is more relaxing than sunning yourself naked in antarctica. I wouldn’t exactly call the steak, the beach or the aromatherapy a medical treatment though.

LOL

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Posted: 21 March 2012 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Orac at Respectful Insolence has provided a detailed deconstruction of the Cracked.com article.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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mckenzievmd - 21 March 2012 09:04 AM

Orac at Respectful Insolence has provided a detailed deconstruction of the Cracked.com article.

Good rebuttal, thanks!

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Posted: 21 March 2012 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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macgyver - 20 March 2012 06:57 PM

This article is downright silly. So aromatherapy makes people feel better? What a surprise. Basically they are saying that scent of lavender is more calming then a pile of stinking dog poop.  Using the same logic a good steak is more satisfying than broiled shoe leather and laying on a Caribbean beach is more relaxing than sunning yourself naked in antarctica. I wouldn’t exactly call the steak, the beach or the aromatherapy a medical treatment though.

Agreed about that. I thought the same thing when I read that section

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Posted: 21 March 2012 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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[url=“http://gizmodo.com/5895227/scientific-proof-that-red-meat-makes-you-happy”]Red meat makes you happy![/ur]

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that a big, juicy hunk of steak makes you happier. But now there’s scientific proof, too; according to a new study, consumption of red meat halves the risk of depression.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 21 March 2012 04:57 AM

Germany has a government body called “Commission E” which examines herbal medicine and the like.  They do rigorous studies and government policy generally follows their recommendations from what I understand.  (They’ve done an number on St. John’s Wort,  BTW.)  US law generally prohibits the FDA from using results from foreign studies in making policy in regards to drugs and medical procedures.

Germany is also the creator and continuing bastion of the nothing that is homeopathy…

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