Alternative Medicine and Children – Part 6 – Vaccination and Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Infectious Disease, Parenting
The anti-vaccination movement has no better friends than in the alternative medicine world. In the Massachusetts study mentioned in my last blog, less than one-third of the homeopaths recommended immunization, and almost 10 percent actively opposed immunization. In England, the most common reason given for not having children immunized is the recommendation parents receive from a homeopath. (more…)
Read More

Alternative Medicine and Children – Part 2 – Chiropractic for Children

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Parenting
The most common pediatric complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy requiring a therapist is chiropractic. One estimate claims that the number of children being treated by chiropractors increased 50 percent between 1997 and 2000. This same study found that while many adults seek chiropractic care for musculoskeletal problems, children are commonly treated by chiropractors for ear infections, allergies, asthma, colic, and bedwetting. Yet virtually no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of chiropractic exist for AN Y pediatric condition. So, is chiropractic for children either safe or effective? (more…)
Read More

CoQ10 test results show high quality, but wide differences in dosages, formulations, and cost

Alternative Medicine, General Health, Heart Health
CoQ10 is among the most popular supplements in the U.S. and is used for cardiovascular disease and a range of other conditions. However, it is easy, however, for a consumer to be confused about CoQ10 due to mixed clinical findings, absorption issues, two chemical forms (CoQ10 and its activated from, ubiquinol), and a variety of suggested dosing across products. (more…)
Read More

Report highlights potential dangers of complementary and alternative medicines for children

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Parenting
In my evidence-based book on alternative medicine, Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, I wrote a cautionary chapter on the risks and dangers of many alternative therapies and natural medications in children in which we concluded, "In general, we believe that alternative medicine isinappropriate for children. The potential risks are too high. Until high-quality studies show clearlythat a particular alternative therapy is safe and effectivefor children, that therapy should be avoided." Now a new report highlights the many potential dangers of complementary and alternative medicines for children. (more…)
Read More

Chiropractic Care: an evidence-based evaluation

Alternative Medicine, General Health
I've had several questions from readers about my views on chiropractic care. It's a topic I reviewed for my evidence-based book, Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, that was co-published and endorsed by the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) as "medically reliable and biblically sound." Here's an excerpt from our chapter on chiropractic care: (more…)
Read More

U.S. spending millions to see if herbs truly work

Alternative Medicine, Medical Economics
People have been using herbal supplements for centuries to cure all manner of ills and improve their health. But for all the folk wisdom promoting the use of such plants as St. John's wort and black cohosh, much about their effect on human health remains unknown. Therefore, I'm delighted that the federal government is spending millions of dollars to support research dedicated to separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to herbal supplements. Here are the details from USA Today: "A lot of these products are widely used by the consumer, and we don't have evidence one way or the other whether they are safe and effective," said Marguerite Klein, director of the Botanical Research Centers Program at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "We have a long way…
Read More

Lower-Priced Resveratrol Supplements Pass Quality Tests While Some Higher-Priced Brands Flunk

Alternative Medicine, Medical Economics, Nutritional Health
Nature's Code ResveratrexConsumerLab.com has reported that tests of supplements containing resveratrol — a compound promoted as "life-extending" — revealed that two products provided only 43.4% and 86.7%, respectively, of their listed amounts of resveratrol. These two products were among the most expensive supplements of the ten products selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com. Surprisingly, ALL of the lower-priced products fared well in the tests. Results for all ten products are now published in ConsumerLab.com’s Review of Resveratrol Supplements. An additional nine products that passed the same testing through ConsumerLab.com’s Voluntary Certification Program are included in the report as well as one product similar to one that passed testing but sold under a different brand name. Resveratrol products have proliferated following reports in 2006 of life-extending and athletic endurance-enhancing effects of resveratrol…
Read More

FDA announces crackdown on chelation therapy — finally!

Alternative Medicine, General Health
I’ve written about chelation for many years. In my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I conclude, “Evidence against (chelation’s) effectiveness in heart disease is so clear, its continued use raises serious ethical questions. The therapy is very expensive and can be very lucrative for providers. But, it's virtually worthless for consumers." Some of my past blogs on chelation have included: Chelation therapy for autism not only potentially harmful, it’s based on faulty premise and Federal investigators uncover major problems with chelation study. Now, finally, comes news that the FDA is going to crack down on these quacks. The Washington Post reports that officials from the Food and Drug Administration have "announced a crackdown on" chelation, "a controversial therapy widely hawked on the Internet and elsewhere as an alternative treatment for conditions such as autism,…
Read More

Homeopathic Cobra Venom for Pain? Watch out!

General Health
According to the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Cobroxin and Nyloxin are new homeopathic products used for chronic pain. They come as an oral spray and topical gel. The bad news is that these products contain a "5X homeopathic dilution" of cobra venom. This means that they contain a concentration of about 0.001% cobra venom. As I discuss in my chapter on "Homeopathy," in my best-selling book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, although virtually all homeopathic products contain no detectable active ingredient (no even a single molecule), these two chronic pain products contain a small amount that could potentially have some effect. Preliminary research has evaluated cobra toxin given as an injection. But there is no reliable evidence about this homeopathic dose when taken orally or applied topically.…
Read More

Acupuncture found lacking for fibromyalgia

Alternative Medicine
Reuters Health is reporting on a new study examining the treatment of fibromyalgia with acupuncture. Indeed, acupuncture may provide some temporary pain relief for people with fibromyalgia, but does not help with fatigue, sleep problems, or physical function, according to a new research review. However, the results are too inconsistent to recommend acupuncture as a treatment fibromyalgia, the reviewers conclude. Fibromyalgia, a debilitating pain syndrome that affects an estimated 2 to 4 percent of the population, is characterized by chronic pain, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. It's a somewhat mysterious condition with no clear-cut cause. Winfried Hauser of the Klinikum Saarbrucken in Germany and colleagues reviewed seven randomized controlled trials of acupuncture that included a total of 385 people with fibromyalgia. The study subjects were mostly white middle-aged women. All of…
Read More

Gingko biloba may not be effective in preventing cognitive decline or improving memory

Alternative Medicine, Nutritional Health
In my best-selling book, co-written with Donal O'Mathuna, PhD, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I wrote a chapter on Gingko biloba and said this: While ginkgo looks promising as a means of delaying the memory loss related to a variety of diseases, some studies have found no benefit. Studies have found memory benefits only for about six months. Ginkgo may prove helpful for retarding age-related memory loss, dementia, and peripheral arterial disease. However, studies have not examined the benefits or safety of taking ginkgo long-term. Now we may have the answer. I was first informed of it by watching the CBS Evening News where it was reported, "Americans spend a quarter billion dollars a year on" gingko biloba supplements, "hoping to improve their memory and slow cognitive decline." NBC Nightly…
Read More

Many autism therapies are unproven and risky

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Parenting
In a gripping series exploring autism and its treatments, the Los Angeles Times reports that "after reviewing thousands of pages of court documents and scientific studies and interviewing top researchers in the field, an investigation by the Chicago Tribune found that many of these treatments amount to uncontrolled experiments on vulnerable children." According to results of the investigation, "the therapies often go beyond harmless New Age folly," with many being "unproven and risky, based on flawed, preliminary or misconstrued scientific research." Moreover, "lab tests used to justify therapies are often misleading and misinterpreted," and "the few clinical trials conducted to evaluate the treatments objectively" have yielded "disappointing results." The  Times reports that "up to three-quarters of families with children who have autism try at least some alternative therapies." While some…
Read More

Herbal remedies need real regulation

Alternative Medicine
In my best-selling book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I explain the reasons that natural medications (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) received so little regulation in the United States, and the many problems this causes for health consumers. Now, David Frum, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again," and the editor of frumforum.com, has weighed in with a thoughtful article on CNN: Did you know that there exists an all-natural remedy for memory loss? Weight gain? Macular degeneration? Prostate enlargement? These products are so successful that clinical testing has already begun! Just listen to the following testimonial from an unidentified person ... As these ads blare at you from your favorite AM radio station, perhaps you wonder: How…
Read More

No Science to Back Actress Somers’ Potentially Harmful Menopause Advice

Alternative Medicine, Woman's Health
Miserable in menopause, Elizabeth Alsgaard pondered an awful choice: Drenching hot flashes or hormone therapies that might raise the risk of cancer. What former actress Suzanne Somers raved about held much more appeal — custom-mixed "bioidentical" hormones, just like ones the body makes. "Anything I can put into my body that's natural has to be better," said Alsgaard, a California audiologist who admitted having "no knowledge base to go on other than fear" when she took Somers' advice. Millions of women have tried custom-compounded hormones or herbal supplements like black cohosh and red clover since 2002, when a big federal study found risks from traditional hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. Alternative remedies are especially popular with upscale, educated women who like to research and find their own solutions to medical…
Read More

Physician calls for increased FDA regulation of dietary supplements

Alternative Medicine, Nutritional Health
In my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I lament the lack of regulation of dietary supplements in the U.S. Because of this lack, it's very difficult for consumers to know, when it comes to herbs, vitamins, and supplements, if what they purchase actually contains what the label says. It's almost impossible to know if the natural medication is contaminated or not. As a result, there are now other voices beginning to call out for at least some regulation of these substances. (more…)
Read More

The Ten Commandments of Preventive Medicine – Part 8 – Alternative Medicine

Children's Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
In my latest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize these ten essentials that are necessary to live a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, teach what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine. Here’s the eighth installment of this ten-part series. (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 12 – Biblical Principles on Which to Base Medical Decisions and The Power of Faith

Alternative Medicine
This is the last entry in this series -- which has been one of the most popular I've written. I hope it’s been helpful for you and hope you recommend this blog series to your friends as the Bible gives clear principles on which we can rely when making decisions about alternative therapies with spiritual roots. Some have noted that most of the passages condemning occult practices come from the Old Testament. Most theologians teach that Christians are not bound by many of the Old Testament laws, such as those related to worshiping in God’s temple. Does that mean that prohibitions of divination and magic no longer apply to Christians? More Information: (more…)
Read More

Considering an Alternative Therapy? Here are signs that it may be fraudulent and unsafe

Alternative Medicine, Bioethics, Cancer, Children's Health, Heart Health, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
According to HealthDay News, alternative therapies, such as herbal remedies, acupuncture, or acupressure, are becoming increasingly popular. But you should always use caution when experimenting with any alternative therapy, because it is not regulated by any government agency. Here are some tips to avoid quackery and medical fraud for you and your loved ones. More Information: (more…)
Read More

Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 11 – Look to the Bible, Not Inner Voices, for Guidance

Alternative Medicine
When investigating an alternative therapy, be concerned about those that involve listening to other spirits. But what about listening to an inner guiding voice? Guidance by intuition and inner voices has become more in vogue today than guidance through reason and objective evidence. Postmodernism has contributed to this acceptance with its notion that we all create our own reality, that whatever we believe is OK. But, is it? More Information: (more…)
Read More