ACSH and the little black book of junk science

This HND piece gives a shout-out to our friends at the American Council on Science and Health, regarding their release of the wonderful (and free) Little Black Book Of Junk Science.

Arguably, junk science has been around longer than fake news, but just does not seem to get the publicity it deserves. Among other things, it caused the public to get scared of BPA--to the point that it has been removed form many products. Never mind that no indication of harm has EVER been found, and more than 6,000 studies have been run on this compound. Absolutely outrageous.

More than 200 entries, with dozens of references. Read the complete article for more information.

The salt fix: a book review

We have covered the low-salt diet mythology before, but in this review, we shine the spotlight on the first full-length book on the subject. Research scientist James J. DiNicolantonio has done a bravura job in presenting the case against low salt diets.

Sadly, the low salt meme seems to have at least as much staying power as the thousands of times disproved, but still active cholesterol theory of coronary heart disease.

While there are any number of wonderful pull quotes from the book, here's one of my favorites: "The American Heart Association [low-salters] tells everyone to exercise every day, and we lose a ton of salt in our sweat. It's just so counterintuitive, it doesn't make any sense. We can lose a teaspoon of salt every single hour when working out in the heat."

Read the complete article.

Distracted: a book review

We do a review of Dr. Matthew Hahn's new book over at HND. Hahn is a modern day country doctor who knows a thing or two about the difficulties of practicing good medicine in a era of so many...distractions. Naturally, the lion's share of these distractions are directly related to onerous government regulation of healthcare, along with having to deal with private insurance companies.

Among other things, Hahn eviscerates the hated electronic health records (EHRs), acknowledging that a good EHR system could revolutionize healthcare.   In fact, EHRs will ultimately be a key component in fixing the current mess. Hahn is a true voice of reason in the current mostly idiotic debate which thinks that the answer to all of our problems is simply to get every one insured.

Read the complete article.

Going beyond Gutenberg: The E-publishing revolution and its relevance to health care

This HND piece examines how publishing has become somewhat less proprietary, and skewers the big lie about why textbooks need to be so expensive.  We also highlight a new e-publishing platform, that promises to be a real breakthrough---especially for smaller users and educational outlets.

Read the complete article.

Let's think outside the box

Actually, the HND piece associated with this posting termed it "Thinking WAY outside the box," and I believe you'll agree. Scott M. Tyson is a physicist, futurist, problem solver, and just an all-around fascinating character.

When he starts talking about harnessing the power of gravity, and the notion that mass is not a property of matter, my ears perked up. He also got me re-interested in the famous Double Slit experiment, explained here by Dr. Quantum.

Tyson covers all the bases in his new book The Unobservable Universe: A Paradox-Free Framework for Understanding the Universe.

Read the complete article.

The Cholesterol Delusion

That's the title of a new book by cardiologist Ernest N. Curtis MD, reviewed in this week's HND article.

The cholesterol skepticism movement is growing, and Curtis came to it quite naturally. As a cardiologist, he was seeing hundreds of patients with coronary artery disease who did not fit the accepted profile. This prompted him to look into the science supposedly supporting the cholesterol and diet/heart theory of coronary artery disease.

Like most people who actually examine the work—as opposed to simply accepting someone else's interpretation of it—he concluded that:

The Cholesterol Theory and the Diet-Heart theory [of coronary heart disease] are scientifically bankrupt. Moreover, the continued presentation of these unproven theories as established fact in both the popular press and medical journals causes harm by diverting attention from the true causes and wasting billions of dollars on useless research.

There are many zingers in The Cholesterol Delusion, and here are a few examples:

  • The Cholesterol Theory is a near-perfect medical analog of the Emperor's New Clothes. When examined closely, there is nothing there.
  • Victims of heart attacks have cholesterol levels evenly distributed throughout the range of values. In fact, more than half of heart attack victims have cholesterol levels in the low normal range.
  • The official cause of death on death certificates can be wrong more than half the time. Moreover, it is clouded with the cultural biases of a particular country.

Consider the implications of this cause of death business for a moment. If the data is so wildly inaccurate, then just how valid are the countless epidemiological studies supposedly linking this or that "risk factor" to death from heart disease? Short answer: Not very.

As you might expect, Dr. Curtis also takes a dim view of statins, and has the data to back it up.

Read the complete article, and then check out his book.

More on the 1.8 billion dollar man

Let's follow-up on the last posting, covering John Groom's new book.

We can get more specific on one glaring anti-Green aspect of the Obama White House, and that is travel.

Here's a guy with access to the bully pulpit, nearly anytime he wants, yet...

He traveled to Phoenix (and this is but one example) to announce a foreclosure prevention program. Supposedly, there is some sort of symbolism here in that Phoenix is one of the areas hardest hit. But, who cares? The news footage would look about the same if it originated from DC, wouldn't it?

Bear in mind that this is not a case of you or me traveling with hundreds of others on a jumbo jet, thus maximizing the energy usage, and minimizing the environmental impact. Rather, there is massive environmental impact because everything he does is on the biggest scale: huge jumbo jets, motorcades, and moving hundreds of security and other staff people around. And don't forget all the people who must travel to see him.

The Greenies voted for Obama en masse, but every trip he makes costs millions of dollars, and wreaks havoc with the environment. More than that, no person in the world has as large a carbon footprint as the president.

Isn't it interesting that the symbolism of Phoenix trumps the reality of Obama's non-Green ways.

The strange history of DDT

If you've ever wondered how a chemical that earned the 1948 Nobel Prize could get blacklisted two decades later, you have to read The Excellent Powder: DDT's Political and Scientific History. Authors Donald Roberts and Richard Tren, of the group Africa Fighting Malaria, have done a superb job, and have somehow made the book suitable for the techie and layperson alike.

You'll read about the incredible junk science put forth by St. Rachel Carson, and the shameless posturing against this compound by elite journals such as Science. Meanwhile, millions of Africans were dying, but according to evil hacks like Paul Ehrlich, that was just fine.

If banning DDT is what founded the modern environmental movement, then it was founded on a gigantic lie. Read my book review in Health News Digest.

In anticipation of the e-mails: She is "Saint" Rachel since even though most Greens with a science background now acknowledge that her anti-DDT screed was complete nonsense, she has attained such iconic status that it doesn't matter. Yes, yes, I realize that the use of "Saint" is theologically incorrect, as all canonizations are infallible and go through an extensive vetting process, which our secular Saint Rachel did not—until it was too late.