Vitamin D reduces breast cancer risk–is there anything to it?

One of my favorite topics to debunk is the use of supplements to prevent (or worse yet, cure) cancer. As I have discussed in the past, supplements are, with just a couple of exceptions, worthless in preventing cancer.  Potential causes for cancer are numerous. Infections. Radon gas. Cigarette smoking. Sun exposure. Obesity. With over 200 types of cancer, each with a …

Pandemic flu vaccine and narcolepsy–an analysis

Today, the British Medical Journal published a retrospective study, by Elizabeth Miller, that analyzes the risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents in England who received the 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine (Pandemrix) from October 2009 through mid-2010. This study followed up on the observations seen in Finland and other countries that there was some increased risk of …

Court says Freedom of Speech applies to Big Pharma Sales Reps

In a strange decision, the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over  Connecticut, New York, and Vermont, ruled that a drug sales representative who promotes “off-label” uses of a particular drug is exercising their “freedom of speech.” The Court decided in a 2-1 vote, in United States v. Caronia (pdf), that the criminal conviction of Alfred Caronia, a …

Multivitamins–big money, no effect on cardiovascular disease

A few months ago, I wrote about the role of supplements, mainly vitamins and other nutrients, in preventing cancer. Conclusion: they didn’t. To quote Martinez et al., who published a review of dietary supplements and vitamins in cancer prevention,  Nutritional supplementation is now a multibillion-dollar industry, and about half of all US adults take supplements. Supplement …

Ginkgo biloba and neurological disorders–Myth vs. Science

I’m trying out a new series, looking at some popular myths (mostly in medicine, but maybe we’ll wander outside of it when something interesting shows up) and determining if there’s any support or not in science. I’m going to link mostly to science articles and high-quality blogs, just so you have all the back-up evidence …

Texas is officially the most anti-science state in America

As long as the Republican Party runs the state of Texas, then its strategies and beliefs are equal to the beliefs of the state itself. The Texas Republican Party just published its platform of beliefs (pdf), filled with nonsense, craziness, and denialism. I’ll stick with the anti-science junk, but you can amuse yourself with everything from immigration …