Stem cells versus Gordie Howe’s stroke, part 2 (David Gorski) More information has surfaced about hockey legend Gordie Howe’s stem cell treatments for his stroke. A press release (oddly timed on Christmas Eve) announced that the first patient (presumably Gordie Howe) had been treated in Novastem’s study for ischemic stroke. Serious questions remain about the study protocol, the qualifications of the researchers, ethical oversight, exploitation of patients, and how much Howe has really improved.
The Health Benefits of Moderate Drinking (Harriet Hall) Several studies have indicated that moderate drinking is healthier than abstinence. The evidence is not conclusive, and any benefits may be from components of red wine rather than from alcohol itself. If you don’t drink, the prospect of health benefits is not reason enough to start.
Glyphosate – The New Bogeyman (Steven Novella) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, has become a popular target for anti-GMO fearmongering. Now a computer scientist is claiming it will make half of all children autistic by 2025. Epidemiologic studies have failed to show any adverse effects of glyphosate; it has been extensively studied and shown to be one of the least toxic herbicides.
Detox: What “They” Don’t Want You To Know (Scott Gavura) “Detoxification” is a legitimate medical term, but alternative medicine’s ideas about “detox” and “cleansing” have no basis in reality. Useless and potentially dangerous products are being marketed to treat a nonexistent condition, playing on irrational fears that unidentified “toxins” from environmental exposures are building up in our bodies.
Acupuncture for Withdrawal Symptoms in Critically Ill Infants (Clay Jones) Physical dependence on opioids can develop after as little as 5-7 days of daily exposure, and withdrawal is a concern when infants are treated for pain. A poorly designed uncontrolled study of 10 infants allegedly showed that ear acupuncture has a role in managing withdrawal symptoms in infants in intensive care units. Nonsense!