Category Archives: cancer

Thomas Lodi, An Oasis of Healing, cancer and threats of legal action

Apparently the company ‘An Oasis of Healing‘ has written to the excellent My Malignant Melanoma blog – asking that a blog about Thomas Lodi is removed and saying they will be “forced to take legal action” if the post is not removed. It therefore seems like a good time to look at some of the claims made by An Oasis of Healing (founded by Lodi).

The company claims to help “cancer patients and their families learn to re-establish health”. The first of the ‘three pillars’ of this is to “Stop Making Cancer“. On a fairly random basis, I’ll look at the evidence-base for their first five “Treatments that we use to help you Stop Making Cancer” Continue reading

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Filed under cancer, vitamin c

Patrick Holford Promotes His Apocryphal Homocysteine Gospel in The News of the World

Patrick Holford on ITV Lunchtime 16 April 2008
Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford is Head of Science and Education at Biocare who display the indulgence of peculiarly fond family members in declaring him to be an innovative thinker and expert despite the many faux pas and errors that have been highlighted in his work. Biocare must be delighted to have their most high profile media nutritionist’s work featured in News of the World (NotW): Look 10 Years Younger with the H-Factor. Continue reading

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Filed under cancer, H Factors, health, homocysteine, patrick holford, supplements

Google is advertising bogus cancer treatments

I was disappointed to see that (despite LCN discussing related issues – on his blog and with Google – a while back) Google are still running ridiculous, potentially harmful adverts for bogus cancer treatments – in clear breach of UK advertising regulations. For example, if you google ‘cancer nutrition‘ you may well see an advert informing you how

94% of Doctors Don’t Know That you can Beat Stage IV Cancer w/out Chemotherapy or Radiation

This advert is potentially harmful to cancer patients: if they forgo evidence-based treatments for bogus ‘cures’, this could have very serious consequences. It is also in clear breach of UK advertising regulations. As the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed when I pointed out the advert to them, this advert does appear to be in clear breach of ASA Codes. Continue reading

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‘Dr’ Holford on the immune system in the Galway Advertiser

Here at HolfordWatch, we were interested to see the Galway Advertiser referring the ‘Dr Patrick Holford’: Holford is not a doctor.  The paper has been contacted about this – and we are sure that Holford himself will be keen to see this error corrected. However, there are also a number of other significant problems with the article: two many to analyse in one post, but we will look at a couple here.

Firstly, Holford claims that the immune system

fights off viruses, bacteria and other organisms which try to attack you and cause illness, from the common ones that cause cold…to the more rare but often deadly ones like…AIDS.

AIDS is not a virus, bacteria or organism: it can be defined as “a set of symptoms and infections resulting from the damage to the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus”. AIDS is also – with apologies for stating the obvious – a serious condition. People who have developed AIDS, or are concerned about HIV/AIDS, should discuss this with a qualified doctor rather than taking the advice of a self-described nutritionist. Continue reading

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Filed under AIDS, cancer, HIV, illnesses, patrick holford, vitamin c

Anti-oxidants and Supplementation: Not As Straightforward As It Is Made Out To Be

Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford is Head of Science and Education at Biocare and both he and several other media nutritionists have a relationship with anti-oxidant supplements that mirrors the behaviour of Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet. She slapped them around (metaphorically), she promised them some huge benefits but didn’t deliver them, she occasionally humiliated them and, through it all, she inspired devotion right up until the coup that followed a groundswell of grumblings that no matter what Those Up Top thought, things were not working so well for Everybody Else. Continue reading

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Filed under antioxidants, cancer, patrick holford, supplements

Are Google evil hypocrites?

A short break from Patrick Holford coverage (although I’ll come back to the good professor at the end of the post) to look at a much bigger fish – Google. Matt Cutts (prominent on Google’s anti-spam team) recently blogged about selling links that pass PageRank – and thus making search results less accurate. Matt uses the example of the potential damage caused by selling links on medical topics such as cancer. However, Google appears less concerned about selling adverts for unproven – potentially dangerous – cancer ‘cures’. Why does Google sell advertising to the snake oil pushers, and where does this fit in with Matt’s (well-justified) concerns about the pages that google are not paid to link to? Continue reading

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What’s The Excitement About Turmeric?

There have been lots of exciting news stories about turmeric over the last few years: from claims that it might slow Alzheimer’s Disease, to reducing the incidence of leukaemia, or being a potent weapon against several cancers and cystic fibrosis. There are the usual claims that it has general anti-inflammatory effects and modulates the immune system although the mechanisms are presently unclear. There is a good overview about curcumin and some of its principal researchers in a recent Scientific American: Spice Healer. Continue reading

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Filed under bioavailability, cancer, catherine collins, curcumin, Holford, patrick holford, supplements, turmeric

As skinny as a modern pig…

Patrick Holford was on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday, talking about red meat and cancer – you can listen again here, from about 40mins into the show).

Holford begins by talking about how modern farming has lead to unfit – and therefore higher fat – animals. He uses the example of chickens (where there is some evidence of increasing fat content). However, Holford’s meant to be talking about red meat – and, in this context, he’s completely wrong: as Juliet Kellow RD corrects Holford, “meat has actually got leaner and leaner over the years”.

Pork is now about generally about 30% leaner than is ‘traditional’, beef has got about 15% leaner. Lean beef is just 5% fat, lean pork about 4%. As Kellow argues, these are therefore not particularly high fat foods.

In terms of both pork and beef, there are good reasons why one might object to the more intensive farming techniques used. There are legitimate animal welfare concerns, but Holford explicitly excludes these – arguing that this is about health, not ethics. There are also issues of taste: in terms of pork, in particular, ‘rare breed’ animals, with a relatively high fat content, often taste better (shockingly, fat tastes nice…)

I’ll happily pay a premium for free range, rare breed pork – better for the animal, and I like the taste. These animals may be relatively fit, but they’re also pretty high in fat. Relatively traditional farming techniques may be nicer for animals, and may make tastier food, but this doesn’t mean it’ll be healthier. Of course, most of us wouldn’t want all our food choices to be dictated by what is ‘healthiest’. If you do decide on foods this way then a) I feel sorry for you and b) you should find a better source of information than Holford.

Anyway, writing this post has started me drooling. Mm, pork fat…sweet, creamy thick pork fat, with a dab of mustard and a forkful of cabbage… I think I’ll stop writing now, before I have to clean the dribble off my monitor.

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Filed under beef, cancer, fat, patrick holford, pork, red meat