Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links, and to blogger pal Doug Hagin over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!

There is plenty of woo going about with regard to “alternative medicine” and other such horseshit.  We’ve discussed nutbar Gwyneth Paltrow and her line of Goop garbage, but there are plenty of other purveyors of snake oil about; one of the more blatant lines of horseshit involves “pH balancing.”  Excerpt:

Alkaline Water

You can buy alkaline water or make your own. It is said to detoxify (a meaningless alternative medicine buzzword), hydrate (all water hydrates), oxygenate and act as an antioxidant (these are opposite effects: how could it do both?), change your body’s pH (no, it doesn’t), and enhance the immune system (based on the ridiculous claim that acidic foods cause the body’s cells to suffocate, break down and die, and this suffocation weakens the systems that support the immune system). Alkaline water is also said to help you lose weight, prevent diabetes, and cure psoriasis. None of these claims are supported by any scientific evidence. You can pay anywhere from 3.1 cents to $1.36 per ounce for alkaline water; even the least expensive products are a waste of money.

The Bob Wright Protocol

This protocol uses 11.5 pH water made with a Kangen machine. In this view, cancer is caused by microbes; there are many of these microbes in every cancer cell. They excrete highly acidic waste products called mycotoxins. When the microbes are killed, the cancer cells revert to normal cells. Killing them too quickly or too slowly are both counterproductive, and the Bob Wright protocol is designed to kill them at the optimum rate.3 I don’t think I need to point out how monumentally silly all that is.

Robert O. Young

All this nonsense about pH is more than just a harmless fad. Here’s where it gets really scary. Robert O. Young is a naturopath and author of the “pH Miracle” series of books. He says acid is the cause of all disease, alkalinization is the cure for everything, and there is no such thing as a cancer cell. Cancer surgeon and researcher Dr. David Gorski has debunked those ideas handily on the Science-Based Medicine blog.4 And on Quackwatch, Stephen Barrett has taken a critical look at “Dr.” Robert Young’s theories and credentials.5

Young appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show claiming to have cured a woman named Kim Tinkham of breast cancer. She died of breast cancer not long after she appeared on Oprah and told the world that she was cured. A number of other cancer patients have died under Young’s care.

Now, hot/crazy matrix resident Paltrow’s line of woo is, at least, mostly harmless.  It may separate rubes from their cash, but healing crystals and vagina stones aren’t likely to result in anything worse than a nasty yeast infection.  But the two assholes named above are doing actual, real, fatal damage, in promising to cure cancer with their horseshit.

I’ve made a good living over the years helping private companies deal with the heavy regulations FDA places on medical and pharma manufacturers (and no, I’m aware of the oddity of myself, a staunch libertarian, being involved in such work; the irony of that is not lost on me) and I would argue that in most cases the industry is too micro-managed by the Imperial government.  With that said, I’m honestly surprised that the FDA hasn’t cracked down on these utter quacks yet; if anyone ever comprised a threat to public health by dispensing bullshit, these two fit the bill.

The ideal solution would involve a bereaved family suing these shitheads into the next time zone.  Why hasn’t that happened yet?