Suzanne Somers, MD

Hey, who are you going to believe: the overwhelming majority of people in the world who actually made it through medical school, or Chrissy Snow?

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10 thoughts on “Suzanne Somers, MD

  1. Damian,
    Given that you’ve now done a few medical related posts, I’m curious, have you been reading orac at Respectful Insolence? If not, you really should. He’s covered Somers in depth lately, and is always on the lookout for anti-vaccination woo. The latest; apparently Brent Spiner (yes, Mr. Data) is something of an anti-vaxxer.
    The site is here: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/

  2. Well, even smart people can believe dumb things. My best high school math teacher was heavily into Velikovsky. Nobel prize winners will go on about massive Vitamin C doses. Etc.
    As someone has said: there is no such thing as alternative medicine. It either works, which means it isn’t alternative. Or it doesn’t, which means it isn’t medicine.
    Here in Ontario, we have to pay for crap like chiropractic and traditional Chinese medicine.
    Funny, isn’t it, that much of the same crowd who want us to believe that the “science is settled” concerning global warming believe in things like acupuncture, which has NO scientific underpinning. (Actually,the closest acupuncture comes to being real medicine was in a study a few years ago. The test group was a traditionally trained group of “certified” acupuncturists. The un-trained control group randomly stuck needles in.
    The results were the same for both groups.

  3. The point about the anti-vaxxers is that they endanger us all. And when their kids get sick, we bear the cost.
    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_waronscience
    There is a dangerous misconception that not taking vaccines is a wise precaution (i.e. “let’s err on the side of caution”). It isn’t. Take MMR. People were concerned, on the basis of false science, that the triple vaccine (against measles, mumps and rubella) might cause brain damage. This led to a reduction in vaccination uptake and now kids (especially in the UK, where there was a huge anti-vax campaign) are getting lung and brain damage from measles. The so-called “precautionary” principle with MMR has caused enormous harm.
    The precautionary principle isn’t really precautionary at all. It seems to be because people fail to take into account the risks of doing whatever the alternative is. Their line of reasoning is: “MMR=risky” therefore “no MMR=no risk”. But “no MMR” itself has risks. Very big ones, as we have seen. This doesn’t mean that every new drug must be immediately approved and prescribed, or that “big pharma” must be given carte blanche in its marketing and patenting tactics (my brother is a patent attorney and has a few stories to tell). But the conspiracy-mongering and sheer ignorance surrounding vaccines is unconscionable.

  4. “things like acupuncture, which has NO scientific underpinning”
    Nonsense. It was research on acupuncture that revealed the existence of beta endorphins. E.g.:
    Pomeranz B, Chiu D. Naloxone blockade of acupuncture analgesia: endorphin implicated. Life Sci 1976;19:1757-62.
    An old friend (Linda Rapson) was in on the ground floor of this research:
    http://www.acupunctureanatomy.com/Authors.htm

  5. Dawg, have you seen any studies that show that accupuncture shows any benefits beyond placebo (sham accupuncture)?
    Also, I take it you do not believe that there is some invisible life force (qi) that is unblocked by insertion of needles at key points?

  6. Traditional (i.e. “meridians”-based, “Eastern”) acupuncture is utter bunk. And the jury is still out even on “modern” acupuncture.
    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/40535/title/Needles_can_stick_it_to_pain
    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/338/jan27_2/a3115
    In general, “alternative” medicine is just an “alternative to” medicine, i.e. dangerous nonsense. It’s no co-incidence that the anti-vaxxers are so heavily into it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick_or_Treatment

  7. Well Dawg, my words were a bit inexact. I’ll try to find the paper, but I meant “as medicine, its mostly bunk”.
    The paper to which I was referring was straight forward: the very act of sticking needles into the human body did SOMETHING (not surprising, really). As above, that crap about “meridians” and “gi” is bunk. But politically correct bunk, so it becomes somehow respectable in certain vote-buying circles.
    Funny, if there was any science that the stuff worked, you’d think they’d include it:
    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/ministry_reports/tc_med/tc_med.html
    Nothing more than “a lot of people who might vote for us believe it” stuff. But no science.
    And my overall point is that you don’t have to scratch many hardcore Goreist The Science is Settled” Global Warming True Believer folks very hard to find a wacky non-scientific belief. There is a reason all major newspapers still have an astrology column. For “entertainment” of course…

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