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Got cancer? Want to explore other options? This is all you need to start

12 by / on 20 Jul 2016, / in cancer

Twelve years ago Robin Daly’s 23-year-old daughter Bryony was dying of cancer when he set up a charity called Yes to Life to provide information about unconventional treatments such as changes in diet, supplements, vitamin C infusions, oxygen therapy and the like. At the time, although popular all such complementary options were sternly rejected as ineffective and possibly dangerous by conventional oncologists.

How senior medics use strong arm tactics to close down the debate on statin side effects

11 by / on 12 Jul 2016, / in statins

One of the alarming and intriguing things about the cholesterol lowering drugs statins is the vigour and ferocity with which supporters defend them. It’s alarming because it makes it almost impossible for both doctors and patients to get accurate information about their risks and benefits. Intriguing because it is so unscientific.

Doctors can only tackle chronic disease with the right tools. Teach them nutrition

5 by / on 16 Jun 2016, / in evidence based medicine

Here’s a really bad idea. Send a dozen nutritionists to work alongside regular doctors in a Medecins Sans Frontières team providing emergency treatment to the wounded in a war zone. It’s a bad idea because they would lack any relevant skills. They might help speed up recovery but in the operating theatre they’d be be worse than useless as the wounded come in.

Low carb revolt: start of a brave new medical future?

39 by / on 6 Jun 2016, / in low carb diet

Last week the front page of The Times carried a story that was an opening shot in a revolution. I’m sure that the editors didn’t intend it as that and that the readers didn’t see it that way either. It was a story about shifting from the long recommended low fat diet to one that cut back on carbohydrates instead. Standard fare for the cuddly lifestyle pages, hardly material for social upheaval.

Cancer U-turn on the way? Diet and supplements moving up the prevention agenda

12 by / on 15 May 2016, / in cancer

I’m not given to melodrama but I think I have just spotted that the cancer establishment is getting ready to perform a massive, unthinkable, screeching U-turn. Impossibly expensive new drugs are out and diet, exercise and supplement (yes you read it right) are in.

Meet a doctor who thinks for herself and wants you to as well

18 by / on 29 Apr 2016, / in evidence based medicine

The complicated and confusing debate about statins – are they worth taking or not; are they safe or do they have nasty side effect? – has suddenly plunged into anarchic and uncharted territory by the claims of a new rival drug.

Companies clash over statin side effects. Which is lying?

17 by / on 4 Apr 2016, / in statins

The complicated and confusing debate about statins – are they worth taking or not; are they safe or do they have nasty side effect? – has suddenly plunged into anarchic and uncharted territory by the claims of a new rival drug.

Prozac is the safest drug for depressed children. Why this is a myth.

18 by / on 22 Mar 2016, / in evidence based medicine

There can be few people who think that putting an increasing number of children on SSRI anti-depressants is really a good idea but then reflect that it’s just one of those things. Cash strapped NHS; time-poor GPs; waiting lists of months for therapy; drugs cheap; they may help some.

Prevention is the best way of tackling Alzheimer’s. So why is it being ignored and discredited?

8 by / on 8 Feb 2016, / in dementia

We all agree that Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease and something has to be done about it because there’s no treatment and it’s costing billions. So prevention would be a good idea, wouldn’t it, especially since if it works it would both cut your risk and save vast amounts of money.

Evidence based medicine doesn’t protect patients – it just prevents them getting unpatentable treatments

8 by / on 8 Jan 2016, / in cancer, evidence based medicine

Leafing through the New Year papers I was struck by the similarity between the housing crisis the diabetes and obesity epidemics. In one case rapidly inflating prices pushing virtually all properties out of reach of anyone on an average wage, in the other a relentless expansion of supermarket shelving devoted to refined carbohydrates, driving an inexorable inflation of the nation’s waistlines.

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