The Red Flags of Quackery




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  1. The magnet bullshit is my favorite. They tell you, “Oh, you have iron in your blood and the magnets pull on that to increase blood flow.”
    It “sounds” nice, except ferromagnetism requires multiple iron atoms to share a metallic bond. The iron in your blood is elemental (that is, you have a single iron atom bonded to the center of a Heme group), and therefore does not experience magnetic attraction. Individual Heme groups are slightly paramagnetic (though in hemoglobin they are not coplanar). But even if they were, the force of brownian motion alone exceeds the paramagnetic forces by several orders of magnitude, to say nothing of the turbulence of blood flow. Either way, it’s bullshit – if magnets had any effect on the iron in your blood, an MRI would make you bleed to death.

    • I just remembered a scene from an X-men movie where Magneto pulls the iron from a guard’s blood and uses it to escape prison. I guess that was a lie too…

  2. Oxbow Lebach July 25, 2015

    Even if they worked, why would you want your blood pooling around a magnet? You would have to continually move the magnet to keep the flow going and if you moved it the wrong way and stopped the flow you would die. I assume the instructions cover that.
    Gravity pulls on your blood with a much greater force than a magnet. A ride-on paint shaker is the way to go to get your blood and everything else moving again.
    Perhaps I can interest you in a legitimate device, proven to increase blood flow:

  3. “Doctor” Oz is such a tool.

  4. I can have a direct affect on quantum physics. See I pressed buttons on my keyboard and this text was typed. You could use quantum forces to move yourself to a real doctor and get a real diagnosis and real treatment too!

  5. Back in the day, people who said that cleaning the hands prevented diseases were mocked.

    • Not only that, but people who said that illness was a product of an imbalance in the “humours” were esteemed as being competent experts. However, repeatable, verifiable and peer reviewed scientific experimentation has led to an understanding that hand washing is indeed a good ideer and the humours are a load of shite.
      Errr, anyways… what’s your point?

  6. This thread is exactly right! I only trust real allopathic medical doctors who recommend all the cool new prescription drugs to me, even if I don’t need ’em! I’m happy to know that they get paid by big pharma for each and every new prescription they write. Just knowing that they are in it to get richer at the expense of their patients’ health gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside! Wait tho, that could be from the latest ssri samples I got.

    • Hell Toupee July 26, 2015

      Any mention of “Big Pharma” should also be a red flag.

    • My dad has a natural health store but I’ve always been basically skeptical of a lot of it… Still, a blanket statement like your body does things just fine on its own and it’s absurd to think some remedy or food or lifestyle could help is just as quacky. Don’t let quackery come in the name of anti-quackery either!

  7. Catch is, I can list off examples for every single one of these which applied to REAL MEDICINE. At one point germ theory, and inoculations were “quack science,” and could fill in every single one of those slots. As to removing toxins, oh yes the kidneys do great— to a point. till you run up against things like heavy metal poisoning, for an extreme example. Then you have to resort to things like chelation.

    • “At one point germ theory, and inoculations were “quack science,”…”
      Yes, WERE. Then they were demonstrated to be real. As for the stuff that hasn’t yet been demonstrated to be real, it remains under the label “quack science”. As it should.
      Got it? Good.

  8. I love how the comment section is divided between the quack/paranoid idiots believing in “big phama out to get out!” and rational thought.
    only thing I disagree with on this list is comparing chiropractors to “art doctors”. I was found to have scoliosis by a chiropractor and it was later afterword confirmed by my pediatrician. I saw the chiropractor for a year 3-4 times a month getting corrections to my spine alignment. after all that time my alignment was corrected and as i was growing up was checked again 2 times a year till i was an adult where i personally choose to go in once a year to get checked. no fixing needed. this was all double checked by my doctors growing up and I have been saved having screws put in my back to straighten me out. I am sure there are some chiro people out there who scam others, but thats people not the practice.

    • And I can say the same of osteopaths : there are probably some false ones, but thats people, not practice.

    • ‘Big pharma’ is out to make money and keep the shareholders happy. That is their only mission. It doesn’t matter if many of the drugs they sell do more harm than good, and even cause more addiction, and as a result crime, than any illicit substance. How many deaths every year can be attributed to the products that these drug companies sell? A surprisingly large number. But since these drugs are state- santctioned(fda approved), these deaths are just collateral damage for these Global Drug Companies(hence the phrase ‘big pharma’). It is also true that many medical…doctors receive kickbacks from said drug companies for prescribing the ‘medications’ that they make. Everything is a business model. Doesn’t sound very rational to me to ignore that.

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