Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Metformin and NDMA

A recent report came out that some metformin products in Singapore may contain NDMA above accepted daily intake levels (96 nanograms). 
NDMA is classified in group B2 by the EPA. "Probable Human Carcinogen"
There is inadequate evidence that it can cause cancer in humans but at present it is far from conclusive.

Until the FDA, Health Canada, EMA and other regulatory agencies find otherwise with testing, the use of Metformin is still encouraged as "The risks from not having adequate diabetes treatment far outweigh any possible effects of the low levels of NDMA seen in metformin medicines.”   "The levels of NDMA seen in the affected metformin medicines are very low and appear to be within or even below the range that people would normally be exposed from other sources, including food and water."

So as of right now the risk is very low.

If you have any concerns, contact your MD.

**Update Feb 26 2020
There is now a recall in effect

Sunday, July 21, 2019

5G The Hype and The Concern

So as can be expected, the nutcases are out spreading fear about 5G cell phone technology.  It can be a deep dark rabbit hole if you follow it down.  It can also get confusing.

So the first thing to tackle is the question of cellphones and cancer links.  To begin, you have to understand a little something about radiation.  The term ‘radiation’ conjures up scary Hollywood-style mutations and melting flesh.  The reality is that radiation is all around us, from light bulbs, radio, to x-rays and gamma rays.  It’s all on a spectrum.

pic source: 

Here you can see that cellphone radiation is non-ionizing.  So should there be a concern?   Consistent and replicable scientific consensus has shown that it is just not powerful enough to break chemical bonds.  The only thing it may do is very slightly warm the skin.

One also has to understand the difference between hazard and risk.  A good analogy from Steven Novella is “Hazard is merely the potential for causing harm. A loaded gun is a hazard. Risk is the probability of actual harm. If that loaded gun is locked away in a safe, then the risk it poses is minimized. If that same loaded gun is in the hands of a child, the risk is huge. “  https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/5g-is-coming/
He says that our current safety limits are more than adequate.

Also check out the many other articles from SBM https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/tag/cell-phones/ 

Did a test of the system cause birds to die?   According to Snopes, this is simply false.  https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/5g-cellular-test-birds/

I recently saw a video (from a non-credible source) which had the ramblings of a man names Mark Steele.  He was rambling on about the supposed dangers of 5G.  He is known for being a nutcase crank spouting nonsense.  He claims to be a weapons expert/scientist but no proof of that has surfaced that I can find.  Although I did find that he was a bouncer at a club and shot a teenage girl in the head

So his credibility is already shot.  But it goes deeper as he has been shown to constantly lie about not knowing people like those in city council but yet his company, Reevu, has direct dealings with the government in and around Gateshead.  Why anyone would listen to Mark Steele and take him seriously is beyond me.

So is there any real concern with 5G?   Yes.  It is using a frequency that is close to that used by weather satellites.  This may cause accuracy issues with weather forecasting.  https://youtu.be/K2rY7JkwL2k

So don't be gullible and fall for the hype that 5G is gonna cause you cancer.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Ear Candling Ear Cones

Ear candling is procedure often used by alternative medicine practitioners for reasons they claim including:  removing toxins, relieving sinus pressure, curing ear infections, helping with vertigo, improving hearing, purifying blood and much more.  There is no scientific evidence to support any of those claims. Proponents often show some nasty discoloured gook in the candle after a session as proof.  This stuff actually is the residue from the candle itself. Just burning one without use on an ear has the same exact effect as with use on an ear. Tests have shown that there is not enough suction created from ear candling to cause ear wax to be pulled from the ear.

Health Canada considers ear candles to be Medical Devices and as such require licenses for the sale of them.  Since they are considered dangerous, Health Canada has not issued any licenses and therefore, the sale, and import of any ear candle is illegal.  They recommend if you do have compacted wax to seek a health care professional who will use proper equipment to remedy the problem.

A quick look recently in the Windsor/Essex County Ontario area revealed many places offering this illegal service.

My advice is to avoid this service completely and to also question the validity of the establishments that are offering and obvious scam.

Additional Info

Friday, May 10, 2019

Plasma Pens

What are Plasma Pens (aka Plasma Life, Fibroblast)?

According to Health Canada : "Plasma pens are small handheld medical devices that generate electrical discharges on the surface of the skin, which causes a controlled burn and spreads heat throughout the targeted area. They are promoted for cosmetic skin treatments such as eyelid lifts, wrinkle reduction and the removal of moles, skin tags, scars and spots."

These devices can pose health risks (burning/scarring being the obvious  and most common complaints).  These devices are also not authorized to be sold in Canada as they are classified as medical devices.  They are often sold to "health spas" (which is laughable as most spas offer little to nothing that aids in health).  These devices should only be used in licensed medical and surgical settings and not for cosmetic purposes. 

Some spas claim that the plasma pens can help in one looking young, a kind of simple facelift.  A rule of thumb here is if you really want a facelift, seek a qualified plastic surgeon, not someone with little to no medical training. 

Other claims can be of getting rid of blemishes and scarring.  This is ironic as scarring can often be a side effect of this procedure.  Again seek qualified medical persons like a dermatologist and not someone with little to no medical training. 

The photos attached are from an acupuncture clinic.  Acupuncture is nonsense to begin with and they can often be seen utilizing other questionable and useless practices and so-called therapies to increase their income by fleecing a gullible public. 

Here you can see the outrageous cost

If you see any spa or business offering this type of service, do not use it.  Report it to Health Canada (other countries may or may not consider them problematic...check with your governments health sector)

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Citric Acid and Mold

This meme was posted by a person on Facebook.  It is supposed to instill fear of citric acid also known as ascorbic acid or Vitamin C.  Here's a surprise:  He's basically correct here with the information.

The majority of the manufactured citric acid (MCA) that is produce is manufactured with the use of black mold, specifically Aspergillus Niger (A. Niger).  In 1917 James Currie discovered that the strains of mold could efficiently produce citric acid. A. Niger are fed a sucrose or glucose-containing medium to produce citric acid. Afterwards, the mold is filtered out of the resulting solution. Citric acid is then isolated by precipitating it with calcium hydroxide to produce calcium citrate salt. From this it is treated with sulfuric acid to produce citric acid.   The use of calcium hydroxide and sulfuric acid is the same process used to extract citric acid from natural fruit juices.

It has been discovered by using gamma radiation to cause mutagenisis, A. Niger can increase its production of citric acid two fold.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20632114

Now is any of this a problem.  No.  The citric acid is chemically exactly the same as the citric acid found in oranges.   Where a substance comes from has no bearing on its safety.  Any properties of concern that one may have about A. Niger does not magically imprint (or whatever these people are thinking) onto the final product.  It almost seems these fear-mongerers are playing an adult game of "cooties". 

To stress the point, the person who posted this meme on Facebook considers himself a "truther" and spouts a lot of nonsense and conspiracy theories.  Paranoia and tinfoil hats may be an understatement when following this guy as can be seen in this post:

Yup.  He's one of those people.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Protandim Safety

Beware of promotions like this pic (I added in the "nonsense alert!").   The claims are untrue and the MLM company has been warned multiple times from FDA about its practices.
This stuff is potentially harmful.  Avoid
For more information: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/i-was-wrong-about-protandim/

Rule of thumb:  If it's an MLM and it's making health claims, it's probably too good to be true.

https://www.mlmwatch.org/01General/mlm_unmasked_2017.pdf  (page 450 is hilariously accurate)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Forever Healthy Or Not So Much

I was watching a livestream of my friend Jeff Holiday and a fellow Canadian in the chat had mentioned to him about Forever Healthy.   I seem to remember this name but had to look it up to see why.

Forever Healthy is some sort of allergy clinic...the questionable sort.  They seem to believe that "Just about any health condition could be merely a symptom of underlying allergies."

In one of the testimonials, it is even mentioned about a fertility protocol!

They promote quackery like acupuncture claiming that it "improve your Immune System, help with anxiety, sleeplessness and fatigue. Benefits have also been received for headaches/migraines, pain anywhere in the body, nasal congestion, acne, dermatitis, asthma, IBS and many more symptoms that you may be experiencing."   I've discussed before how nonsensical acupuncture is. You can check out Science-Based Medicine for more info:

The thing that caught my eye the most was the term "Bioenergtic Testing."   What exactly is this?  Well their website doesn't explain it too much but a CBC article does.  There it says "The patient holds a vial containing the substance in one hand, while holding the other arm at a 90 degree angle and having the practitioner push against it. Friar explains that a weakness in the arm indicates an allergy or intolerance."


If that seems odd and you are wondering how not even seeing if there is a reaction to the substance on or in the body, you are not alone.   It doesn't make sense.  Their method is not even plausible.  I of course am familiar with this technique.  I helped expose a chiropractor using the same method to scam investors on Dragon's Den (Canada's version of the Shark Tank).   You can see the video from CBC Marketplace where I was featured (I'm the magician) here:  https://youtu.be/P-Kl0XkZuCw

The simple method of deceit is that a slight change of angle along with a placebo/nocebo effect will give results that the "practitioner" wants.  There are many different versions of the test.  Here is a pic with me showing another method (balance strength) used by scammers.  The same principles apply in all the methods.

The founder of Forever Healthy is a former nurse who turned her back on science-based medicine and became an acupuncturist and a "doctor of natural medicine".  She cites Dr. Hamer as inspiration saying "That each cancer is controlled from a very specific area of the brain. At the same time each cancer is linked to a specific type of conflict shock (or bad news) that correlates biologically to this area in the brain that controls the cancer."   Yep, she seems to be saying that cancer is caused by bad news and is basically an allergic reaction.

This type of thinking is very dangerous.  If one was to influence someone with severe allergies (especially those who can have a deadly reaction) to seek unverified treatments, it could lead them to think they are cured and, let's say, a person with peanut allergy can, after only a session or two, consume peanuts!   Just as disturbing is that someone could forgo medical treatment for a treatable disease (like cancer) and could become terminal.

I would steer clear of places like this.  As suggested by immunologist Dr. Rex in regards to this treatment, this is as effective as a Magic 8 Ball.


Additional info:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neU32Pr8SCM  (the founder of Forever Healthy's teacher. Many of the practitioners at FH have sought out the same teacher)
https://www.facebook.com/DebbieCarrollSatoriMoments/   (the founder's facebook page which shows loads of quackery nonsense links and such)

Monday, January 14, 2019

EMP pads/PEMF Snake-Oil?

The worst thing about these quack devices is that they can delay people in seeking evidence-based cancer treatments.

"The EMP pad, in my opinion, is a typical quack device – it is sold with wishy-washy structure-function claims and vague claims of dramatic health benefits. It uses sciencey jargon about resonance and magnetic fields, the appeal to nature fallacy, and irrelevant references to scientific studies that don’t even come close to establishing their claims."


Saturday, January 12, 2019

MLMs and Essential Oils

Essential Oil proponents often spout miraculous claims about using these products.  Many are just anecdotes and have little to no actual evidence basis.   Check out these three videos from Genetically Modified Skeptic about this very thing

This is Why MLMs Get Called Cults  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeDHHt26ibQ

Young Living Essentials is an Obvious Scam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CYDon4jhic

The Cult I Almost Joined https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsDrIAsVgTQ