New systematic review says HPV vaccine is effective — of course

HPV vaccine effective

I enjoy repeating myself about the HPV vaccine, but another systematic review says it is effective in preventing HPV infections. And when we can prevent HPV infections, we can prevent a long list of cancers.

I know some of you think that your blueberry kale smoothies prevent cancer, but there are really only a handful of ways to prevent cancer. The HPV vaccine is one of the most effective methods to prevent cancer.

Let’s review HPV, the HPV vaccine, and this new systematic review.

Continue reading “New systematic review says HPV vaccine is effective — of course”

Red No. 3 food coloring — does it really increase risk of cancer?

Red No. 3

Red No. 3 is a food coloring used in some foods, many of which will be familiar to you. As the name implies, it’s a red dye that makes candies and foods look better. It’s really not been in the news for decades, but then someone sent me an article about it, which piqued my interest.

Predictably, the chemophobia crowd, like the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who thinks any chemical is a lousy chemical while ignoring the fact that every living thing on this planet is made up of billions of chemicals, is pushing the narrative that Red No. 3 causes cancer. You know what happens next, I go looking for any published evidence of whether the food coloring is linked to anything, including cancer.

Anyway, let’s take a look at Red No. 3 and find out what it does or does not do to humans.

Continue reading “Red No. 3 food coloring — does it really increase risk of cancer?”

Statins protect your cardiovascular health — systematic reviews

statins

Statins have been controversial and are used by alternative medicine (not medicine) lovers as an example of all kinds of malfeasance from Big Pharma. However, real studies show quite the opposite — they protect cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of death.

I know I’ll get nasty comments (see Note 1) claiming everything that I am a Big Pharma shill or I don’t know anything about anything. But I’ve got the evidence, so those kinds of attacks mean nothing.

So let’s take a look at the best systematic reviews and try to put to rest the nonsensical dismissal of the claim that statins prevent cardiovascular events, including death.

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Combination flu and COVID mRNA vaccine starting clinical trials

flu COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced the start of a phase 1 clinical trial for a new mRNA vaccine that prevents both the flu and COVID-19. The new vaccine targets these two severe respiratory diseases with one jab.

Although during the past three years we have focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the seasonal flu is also a dangerous disease. During the 2019-2020 flu season, the last one before COVID-19 mitigation efforts reduced the risk of flu, 390,000 Americans were hospitalized from the flu. And over 25,000 died.

So, a new mRNA vaccine (with all of its advantages to tailor the vaccine to the key antigens on the virus) that combines both flu and COVID-19 can be an effective weapon against these two diseases. In a couple of years, if all goes well, we will be able to get a season flu-COVID-19 mRNA vaccine that has been manufactured for the season’s prevalent variants of both diseases.

Let’s take a look at what we know about this new vaccine and the phase 1 clinical trial.

Continue reading “Combination flu and COVID mRNA vaccine starting clinical trials”

The old Skeptical Raptor needs your help. Please.


Your favorite old feathered dinosaur has been broken by life. And I do need your help in any way you can.

Over the past 36 months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. It’s like Murphy and his law are standing on my shoulders making everything go wrong.

I don’t mean to be whiny and make it seem that I’m the only one who goes through trials and tribulations, but I’m too old to do this. I’m supposed to be enjoying life, but there are days I want to give up. But here is just a sampling of what I’ve been through over the past year and a half:

  • A romantic breakup.
  • My relatively new car decides to just fall apart just after the warranty expires. Of course.
  • My major source of income is this website, and it collapsed in readership in 2022 causing my income to drop to a tiny percentage of what it was in 2021. I wish I know what caused it, I think it’s a Google thing, but I have been unable to fix it. I still post 20-30 articles a month, way beyond what many bloggers do.
  • I was robbed three times, yes, three times. My nice camera equipment and other important stuff were stolen including my passport, credit cards, and other stuff. I cannot afford to replace my newer MacBook Pro, so I’m using an older one that I could afford, even though it makes it more difficult to do images and research.
  • And then there’s my 16-day stay in the hospital for cellulitis. I nearly died. I nearly lost my leg. I’m going to incur significant expenses for this. Even though I have outstanding healthcare insurance, I received care at a hospital that was not owned or contracted by my insurance plan. This is one of the flaws of the US healthcare system, a subject that I might write about later. I’m lying in the ICU, and the case manager has to discuss financial issues with me. I could barely concentrate on my leg, let alone what the hell is going on with insurance issues.
  • Finally, I started this fundraising to get closer to my children. That goal seems unattainable right now.

I know that the story of this feathered dinosaur isn’t close to what many people in the world go through. I’m not dying of cancer. I’m not scrambling to find my next meal. I’m not suffering from dementia. To many, I’m lucky and privileged.

I don’t want to compare myself to others, I can only communicate to my friends and strangers what I’m feeling, and that is I’m running out of energy. And I need your help.

There are three ways you can help me.

Number 1

The first way costs you no money, other than buying something on Amazon. Just click on the image/link and buy whatever suits your fancy.

Number 2

The second way is Patreon:

Become a Patron!

All you have to do is go to my Patreon Page and my latest posts from here will appear there as if they were magic, without any advertising. You get the same articles that are here, but ad-free (which I know some people want). It only costs $5 to be a Patron, but more will help too.

Number 3

And the final way is on my GoFundMe page:

Bonus Number 4

Oh, there’s one really easy way to help me out. Please share my articles on any social media platform you like, that really helps all the time.


Low-carb diet helps reduce HbA1c in prediabetes — new research

low-carb diet prediabetes

In my ongoing series of articles on diets, I ran across some good research about low-carb (low-carbohydrate) diets and prediabetes. A new study published in a peer-reviewed journal indicates that the diet reduces blood glucose levels in prediabetics. More than that, it might be a valid treatment strategy to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Like I do with other primary research like this, I’ll present what they published and then give my take on the quality of the study.

Continue reading “Low-carb diet helps reduce HbA1c in prediabetes — new research”

Vaccine court myths – instead, here are facts about the NVICP

COVID-19 vaccine liability

The anti-vaccine world loves its myths, because, lacking any real scientific evidence supporting their outlandish claims, fairy tales are all they have. Not that I like picking and choosing the worst of the anti-vaccine urban legends, but the vaccine court myths are among the most egregious and ridiculous.

Although there are a lot of vaccine court myths, I wanted this article will focus on just three critical points:

  1. The vaccine court vs. civil courts for plaintiffs.
  2. Vaccine manufacturers are immune to lawsuits.
  3. Billions of dollars have been paid out to “victims.”
  4. The vaccine court said that vaccines cause autism.

Let’s get to the article.

Continue reading “Vaccine court myths – instead, here are facts about the NVICP”

Respiratory syncytial virus, flu, and COVID-19 — the “tripledemic”

respiratory syncytial virus

I rarely write about the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), but the number of people infected by the virus, especially children, is leading to a fear of a tripledemic that includes RSV, the seasonal flu, and our constant nemesis, COVID-19. I guess this is the time I start writing more about the respiratory syncytial virus because everyone needs to be aware of this infectious disease.

This post will review what respiratory syncytial virus is, why it is so dangerous to children and seniors, and whether a vaccine is available.

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Echinacea — the science and myths in treating the common cold

echinacea

I recently wrote about pseudoscientific treatments for colds and flu, but I wanted to focus on one of the more popular treatments — echinacea. The history and science of echinacea treating these wintertime diseases are almost laughable. But you know how pseudoscience and supplements go together, and here we are.

I’m going to review the history of the herbal supplement along with the science of its safety and effectiveness. The history is quite amusing. And science is definitely lacking.

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Quack cold and flu treatments — echinacea and Oscillococcinum are useless

flu cold treatments

It’s that time of year when we are bombarded by treatments for cold and flu season. The quackery includes things like “immune-boosting” miracle supplements to junk that “cures” every single virus known to medical science.

This article will attempt to debunk the myths of treatments for cold and flu such as “boosting the immune system,” magical supplements, and other nonsense involved with the world of cold and flu pseudoscience.

Of course, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine. And since the vaccine is free (at least in the USA), it’s infinitely cheaper than fake, useless cold and flu treatments.

Continue reading “Quack cold and flu treatments — echinacea and Oscillococcinum are useless”