The red flags of Quackery



redflags quackery

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It’s time to put the vaccine-autism link behind us


There’s been considerable confusion about a possible vaccine-autism link but the evidence is now overwhelmingly against vaccines as the cause of autism. This article from Kevin.MD is a good read. Quote

Published in The Journal of Pediatrics this month, this study compared children with autism (including several subtypes) to typically developing children. They combed records to determine just how many vaccines and how many vaccine components were given, to see if they could find a link. Could increasing vaccine exposures increase children’s risk of autism?

No. Increasing exposures to the antibody-stimulating products in vaccines during the first two years of life did not increase the risk of developing any autism spectrum disorder.

At this pointthe evidence for the lack of any vaccineautism link is overwhelming. Continued vaccine study for any sorts of side effects needs to continue, but the singular focus on vaccines as the cause of autism as voiced by some in the autism community has become a hindrance to genuine progress and a public health nightmare. Let’s keep our kids healthy. Make sure your kids are fully vaccinated, on time and by the established schedule. It’s time to put this vaccine-autism thing behind us, so we can speed up the progress towards better understanding, prevention, and treatment. I’d hope that’s something we could all agree on.

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Effect of complementary and alternative medicine on the survival and health-related quality of life among terminally ill cancer patients

Terminally ill patients with cancer may want to grasp at straws and succumb to dubious promises of cure rather than receive palliative care in order to maintain their quality of life. A recent Korean study suggests that CAM not only does not confer any survival benefit, but is associated with significantly worse quality of life.

Effect of complementary and alternative medicine on the survival and health-related quality of life among terminally ill cancer patient
Ann Oncol. 2013 Feb;24(2):489-94. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds469. Epub 2012 Oct 30

Effect of complementary and alternative medicine on the survival and health-related quality of life among terminally ill cancer patients: a prospective cohort study.


Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital and College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. [email protected]



We evaluated whether complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use influenced outcomes [survival and health-related quality of life (HRQOL)] of cancer patients whose condition had just been judged terminal.


From July 2005 to October 2006, we conducted a prospective cohort study of 481 terminally ill cancer patients at 11 university hospitals and the National Cancer Center in Korea. We assessed how the use of CAM affected HRQOL and survival.


In a follow-up of 481 patients and 163.8 person-years, we identified 466 deceased cases. On multivariate analyses, CAM users did not have better survival compared with nonusers [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 0.91; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-1.10]. Among mind-body interventions, prayer showed significantly worse survival (aHR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.00-2.43). Clinically, CAM users reported significantly worse cognitive functioning (-11.6 versus -1.3; P < 0.05) and fatigue (9.9 versus -1.0; P < 0.05) than nonusers. Compared with nonusers in subgroup analysis, users of alternative medical treatments, prayer, vitamin supplements, mushrooms, or rice and cereal reported clinically significant worse changes in some HRQOL subscales.


While CAM did not provide any definite survival benefit, CAM users reported clinically significant worse HRQOLs.

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The baloney detection kit

Apologies for the re-posts but we’ll be adding things previously posted in our Facebook Page to this website, and they’ll re-appear in our Facebook page as posts are automatically re-published on Facebook.
This is a great Richard Dawkins foundation Video by Dr.Michael Shermer (Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine), discussing a ‘Baloney Detection Kit’ inspired by Carl Sagan. The video reproduced here is on the battle against superstition, which is so prevalent here in Malaysia.


We are starting a proper blog and website with links to information about Alternatives to Medicine. The purpose is to inform, educate and provide updates so that consumers can make informed choices.
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