During the process of compiling the Cardiology Quackery Hall of Shame, the skeptical cardiologist has recognized that the #1 red flag of quackery is the constant promotion of useless supplements.
Such supplements typically:
-consist of “natural” ingredients
-are a proprietary blend of ingredients or a uniquely prepared single ingredient, and are only available through the quack
-have thousands of individuals who have had dramatic improvement on the supplement and enthusiastically record their testimonial to its power
-have no scientific support of efficacy or safety
-despite the lack of scientific data, the quack is able to list a series of seemingly valid supportive “studies”
-aren’t checked by the FDA
-apparently cure everything from heart disease to lassitude
I received an email today purportedly from a reader complimenting me on my post on the lack of science behind Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based diet. The writer thought I would be interested in the work of a Dr. Gundry.
Yes, there it is. Red Flag #1: an immediate and aggressive attempt to sell lots of useless supplements.
I didn’t spend a lot of time perusing Gundry’s website, but I read enough to enter him into my contest for America’s Greatest Quack Cardiologist.
Gundry’s life story is typical of the physician who has given up actually helping patients with real medicine and resorted to shilling untested snake oil to gullible people.
“I left my former position at California’s Loma Linda University Medical Center, and founded The Center for Restorative Medicine. I have spent the last 14 years studying the human microbiome – and developing the principles of Holobiotics that have since changed the lives of countless men and women.”
Need I mention that “holobiotics” is (?are) not real.
If any readers have more candidates to nominate for the soon-to-be-announced honor of America’s #1 Quack Cardiologist please forward their names to me.
After writing this, I googled “red flag of quackery” images in the foolish hope that I might find a useable image. Lo and behold the image I featured in this post turned up courtesy of sci-ence.org. Here it is in all its glory, courtesy of Maki