What's this, then? HuffPo with disclaimers?

Remember the Quack Miranda Warning? You know, the magic phrase that makes all the crappy and dangerous medical advice you're about to give OK?

Well, look what HuffPo's doing:

Author's note: This swine flu story on alternative and complementary medicine is not meant to replace anything you hear from you doctor, the WHO or the CDC, but is meant to show you some natural ways to enhance your overall wellness in addition to any medication you may need either to prevent or treat the flu.

Heh. Shit wrapped in gold foil smells just the same as shit in a brown bag tied with twine.

More like this

Wow that article has it all, homeopathy, yoga, random plants, reflexology, chakras and advice to avoid real medicine... no wonder they need lawsuit protection with that statement.

Here's some brilliant science in the comments section:

Homeopathy is based on the concept of frequency resonance. That does not require 'measurable amounts of any potentially effective ingredients'. All it takes is their 'frequency signature'. Everything vibrates to a specific frequency and homeopathy recognizes that fact.

This concept will be very important for 21st century healing methods. If you understand something's specific frequency, it is possible to cancel that frequency out, or to reinforce it, or to modulate it. There is nothing tin foil hattish about it.

At least she admits that there's no 'measurable amounts of any potentially effective ingredients'... remind me not to shake anything I drink anymore, I might "modulate" its frequency and turn it into poison.

oops, messed up blockquotes... it's supposed to be after the tin foil sentence. (believe I don't think this crap has anything to do with 21st century medicine).

Wow, not only bad advice some really potentially dangerous advice too.

That's an awful high dose of Vitamin D being recommended. Vitamin D can be toxic in high enough doses (if Wikipedia is to be trusted on this 40,000 UI can be toxic for adults and 50,000 is the recommendation in the article).

Well, with shit wrapped in gold foil at least we can melt down the gold and convert it into hard currency.

I smell nothing but dirty diapers here.

If it filled half a screen, was bright red, bold and blinked, it probably wouldn't be enough

Oh, and here's the Merck manual link on Vit. D http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec01/ch004/ch004k.html
Indicating that toxicity is apparent at doses as mentioned above. This is complicated by the fact that D's half life averages between one and two months, a jawdropping lifespan for any compound. Taking large doses, frequently with this long a duration would just build the amounts in the body up to astronomical levels. Basically, you put it in, and the concentrations just grow and grow and grow.

By Eric Jackson (not verified) on 01 May 2009 #permalink

From Huffeeeugghhhh's excrement:

Another beneficial tip is tapping - especially tapping the space between the heart chakra and the throat chakra, tapping gently and doing three sets of 28.

Omigosh I'd been tapping in 6 sets of 14, I'm going to DIIEEEE!!

Ok, now we all know how unreliable memory is, but I could swear that disclaimer was not there when I first read this entry a few days ago and ran crying to the good folks of the SGU begging for a good spanking to be delivered. Anyone else can confirm my recollection?

50,000 units a day, for three days?

Is she physioprofing crazy?

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 02 May 2009 #permalink

to MXH

I live in China so I can't read the Huff Post, but there is nothing wrong with yoga as an exercise regimen. The problem is when they start talking about chakras and stuff. But I don't really see any doctor telling anyone that yoga has no benefits.

By ken adler (not verified) on 02 May 2009 #permalink

ken, they're not talking about an exercise regiment, they're talking about preventing and treating the flu!!

The article states....."First of all, Vitamin D is essential. Dr. Mercola says it is the "single most important action you can take." Mercola urges folks to have their levels of Vitamin D monitored and to get on an appropriate supplement as soon as you can. He believes Vitamin D deficiency is the single biggest culprit to the flu situation altogether.

If you do come down with symptoms and have not been on Vitamin D, Dr, Mercola suggests therapeutic doses of up to 50,000 units a day for up to three days during the worst of it."

Whaaaat? Where did they get this? Typical of Mercola's baseless extrapolations to absurdity. Sure we probably don't get enough D. So now industrial doses per person are needed? Come on.

An interesting study on Vitamin D was recently published (see link below). In autoimmune disease, Vitamin D levels seem to be down-regulated as a protective mechanism. Extra Vitamin D may actually be making auto-immune diseases worse. Just shows you how much we don't know. Extrapolating to absurdity from the little bits that we do know may be hazardous.


By The Blind Watchmaker (not verified) on 03 May 2009 #permalink

@ken adler,

Yoga does have measurable benefit, but in the ways that you might think. It relaxes you and increases your flexibility and tone.

I suppose that one could speculate that people who practice Yoga are probably the kind of people who engage in other healthy activities like good nutrition (and hand-washing). They probably avoid unhealthy activities like smoking.

A claim that Yoga itself will prevent flu is not justified. You get into the causation-correlation mess.

By The Blind Watchmaker (not verified) on 03 May 2009 #permalink

Not only is the article surprising, currently a comment links the HuffPo Matthew Stein quackery as a good example for swine flu nonsense. Lets see how long it stays up.

Mad dogs and ....

"How can vitamin-D deficiency exist despite lengthy sun exposure? This apparent paradox was raised in my last post. The medical community now recommends bloodstream vitamin D levels of at least 75-150 nmol/L, yet these levels are not reached by many tanned, outdoorsy people.[...]

Only mega-doses can overcome what seems to be a homeostatic mechanism that keeps bloodstream vitamin D within a certain range. Indeed, this range falls below the one that is now recommended. Curious isn't it? Why would natural selection design us the wrong way? [...]

In a wide range of traditional societies, people avoided the sun as much as possible, especially during the hours of peak UV (Frost, 2005, pp. 60-62). Midday was a time for staying in the shade, having the main meal, and taking a nap. Nor is there reason to believe that sun avoidance and clothing were absent among early modern humans. Upper Paleolithic sites have yielded plenty of eyed needles, awls, and other tools for making tight-fitting, tailored clothes."