Medescape

Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

My Top 5 Health Cranks

This post will be pretty much dedicated to five people I utterly despise. They take advantage of people by conning them into buying their special kind of bs for whatever ails them, thus preventing them from seeking out a doctor to get some real help. They have no regard for other peoples lives, as long as they make som money. And here is the list:

  1. Gary Null claims to be an expert in health and nutrition, and he has a website where he sells books, supplements, CD’s and DVS’s. The fact that his books (with titles like 7 steps to perfect health) and supplements are total garbage is bad enough, but what really bothers me is he’s denial of HIV causing AIDS. He literally says that people with AIDS should throw away their medication and rather take his worthless supplements. He even stated that he thinks that vaccines are causing AIDS, and that it is all a government cover-up. So basically, Gary Null has no problem with inflicting death and suffering on other people, as long as he makes some money from it. 
  2. Kevin Trudeau is in the same category as Gary Null. His shtick is basically to sell books with titles like Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. So in addition to all the other nonsense, he has some conspiracy bs thrown in as well. What’s really bad is that the books themselves really are cons within a con. You don’t get to know the “cures” from reading his books, you have to sign up on his web site! Which of course will cost you more money! I recommend taking a look at Trudeaus criminal history to put things in perspective. 
  3. Dr. Joseph Mercola runs a holistic web site and clinic, and is a strong supporter of acupressure, herbalism, the emotional freedom technique (<– do take the time to read about this, it is pure nonsense) and other bs. He also claims the thiomersal in vaccines are bad and dangerous, even though there is no evidence what so ever for this claim. He sells a lot of herbs from his web site, and being a doctor he should know that herbs really are just unregulated drugs, with no testing, control or evidence for efficacy. This is a quote from his site: You can take personal control of your health — we’re your mentors and cheerleaders. You’re the captain of your (health) ship. We help you by providing vital information and analysis — like the instruments on your ship. I’m the captain of my health ship now, am I? 
  4. Dr. David Williams is very similar to Mercola, and he sells a lot of garbage from his web site. You can get everything from kitchen appliances to supplements there (and let’s face it, any doctor worth his salt should be selling kitchen appliances to better your health). One example of the stuff he sells is his Elderberry Extract, which he claims “boosts your immune system”. What is that supposed to mean? If you have some basic knowledge about how the immune system works, you can tell this is just pure bs. The way I see it, “boosting” the immune system would either be increasing the activity of it, or causing it to recognise new foreign substances. The latter is what a vaccine does, so clearly this would not be the case for a fruit juice. But for fun, let’s say it actually increases the activity of the immune system. That would in fact be extremely bad. Inflammation have been suggested as a cause for a lot of really, really serious diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson, and auto-immune diseases are caused by the immune system attacking the host body. “Boosting” the immune system would in these cases only make things worse. If fruit juice really did cause the immune system to increase its activity, you would think the FDA would regulate it and issue warnings. Another claim he’s making is that you should take supplements containing DMAE, which is used for the synthesis of acetylcholine, “the neurotransmitter responsible for thinking and memory“. First of all, taking DMEA would not make the neurons in the brain fire more, or produce a larger response. For that, you need a drug that inhibits the break down of acetylcholine, an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor. Secondly, what does he mean by saying ACh is “responsible for thinking”? Did he forget that the most abundant neurotransmitters in the brain are glutamate and GABA? Guess so…
  5. Dr. Dietrich Wittel is into something called chelation therapy. The theory is that by injecting a chelating agent into the blood stream, you could remove heavy metals from the body. Indeed, chelation is in fact a common treatment for heavy metal poisoning. But, doing this on a regular basis is not scientifically valid. The body is in fact dependent on having trace amounts of a lot of heavy metals for enzymes to function properly. The real howler is that Dr. Wittel actually claims chelation can remove atherosclerotic plaque, and he advises patients that are up for a bypass surgery to take his chelation therapy instead! Some of these people will die because of it, because chelation therapy for heart disease is total bs

So, that’s my top 5. Avoid these at all costs…

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October 23, 2008 - Posted by | Medicine | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for writing this. Gary Null, in particular, is a dangerous nutcase with a bogus degree who has tried to silence his critics, including me, by threatening them with lawsuits. I hope you don’t hear from him.

    Comment by Lee Phillips | October 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Sir, we would like to invite you to come to our clinics and see the data and interview the patients and also look at our scientific database on how toxic metals are related to anything from heartfailure to kidneyfailure and hypertension and cataracts just to name a few.
    When I was 21 and a medical student I spent a lot of time fighting against the degradation of the environment. You seem to be fighting for something too. Maybe we can relate to each other.And I don’t have a criminal record nor any mark on my medical license.
    I had the privilege of gaining a lot of scholarship money and used it to travel in the early 70,s to promote environmental protection, I am now in a position to offer you scholarship money to enable you to travel to western Canada. I like rebels who listen.
    Hope this makes it onto your blog . We interview our patients on video and their stories speak volumes. We can make that available to you too. Incidentally when I first heard about chelation I did not believe it could be true either. There is lots more to the story, get back to me if you are interested, sorry for now you sound a little prejudiced. D. Wittel, MD PhD

    Comment by D. Wittel MD | February 14, 2009 | Reply


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