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Deceptive Health Websites Are All Too Plentiful

By Lisa Neal Gualtieri. (Her earlier much-commented post on this subject is here.)

The Boston Globe reported this month on the sentencing of a former US Airways Express pilot, Stephen Sharp, “for selling a powdered drink mix over the Internet that he claimed was ‘100 percent’ effective in helping drug-using truck drivers, pilots, and train engineers pass federally mandated drug tests.” The ungrammatically-named “” no longer seems to exist.

Mindful of ongoing debate by Gilles Frydman and others about indicators of health website credibility, I searched for other sites selling similar products (there is no shortage) and looked on sites like Craigslist where people post questions about how to pass drug tests and how to detoxify. Based on a quick perusal, I found answers ranging from product advice that I suspect is similar to what “” sold to more than I ever want to know about urine temperature to what seemed like common sense advice. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

Colon Cleansing: It Might Hurt, But It Won’t Help

The internet is full of colon cleansing methods that tout the benefits of colon detox. I saw one website that showed long “worms” that live for years in the colon that “need” to be removed with special expensive potions. One of the most common questions for GI doctors is about colon cleansing and if it is beneficial. I don’t know any physicians who believe the colon needs “detoxification” or special cleansing, but until now I didn’t have a scientific way to answer that question from patients.

A study from the Am J. Gastroenterology now gives us the answer. The study authors looked at all relevant articles published between 1966 and 2008. They blinded the articles and measured outcomes and adverse events. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Body Detoxification Is A Hoax

I got this in the mail today.


The spam filter didn’t work 100%.  I know.

Why even post it?  Just to comment on a society where people ask me “is it safe?” when I prescribe a medication for them and yet value the fact that people in Hollywood do something.  Most of the people in Hollywood are idiots and are surrounded by more idiots.

Let me reassure you:

  1. Your body is not “full of toxins.”  When it is, your liver and kidneys are designed to handle those “toxins” and will do so far better than anything someone tries to sell you.
  2. Diets only work when they restrict calories.
  3. Your colon is fine and does not deserve to be regularly “cleansed.”  Colonics have been around since the early 1900’s (maybe earlier) and the fact that they are still being used is only evidence of the gullibility of humans.
  4. Never trust something that claims to “strengthen the immune system.”  It is an impossible claim to prove or disprove, and so is made with impunity.
  5. Look for the word “supports.”  Phrases such as “supports prostate health” or “supports a healthy immune system” are big signs that you are being BS’d.
  6. I never give patients medicines I would not take myself in the same circumstance.  I know no doctors who do.  It is fine to say “why do I need this medicine?” or “Is this medication really necessary?” but to ask “is it safe?” or “doesn’t this destroy the liver?” is kind of insulting.
  7. I guarantee that any plan like this one will cause significant weight loss…in your wallet.

Sorry.  Had to rant about this.  People believe many dumb things and will until the world’s end.  I feel bad for the people brought in by this and am angered at the hucksters that are fattening their wallets and misleading the uninformed.

End of Rant

*This post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind.*

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