placebo effect

The Effects of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer 

How can the beta glucan fiber in brewer’s, baker’s, and nutritional yeast improve wound healing and, potentially, anti-cancer immunity?  My video Benefits of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer opens with an image of an article titled “The Treatment of Inoperable Cancer.” It noted that “200 years ago it was observed that a certain number of malignant growths disappeared after an attack of erysipelas [a type of …

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Does Coconut Oil Help with Abdominal Fat?

What does a review of the evidence on the effects of coconut oil on weight loss and belly fat find?  I begin my video Flashback Friday: Coconut Oil and Abdominal Fat with a popular infographic that surprised me by showing that, evidently, there is promising evidence that coconut oil could help with obesity. Well, if you fill the stomachs of rats with purified medium-chain fatty acids, one component of coconut oil, they end …

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Risks and Benefits of Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diets for Autism  

What did the most comprehensive double-blind study of diet for autism find, and what are the potential downsides? When you read in alternative medicine journals that there is “a great deal of evidence that foods containing casein or gluten contribute significantly to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and should be eliminated from the diet” and that “implementation of a strict casein- and gluten-free (CFGF) diet almost always leads to symptomatic improvement,” the authors are presumably talking about …

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Testing Wheat- and Dairy-Free Diets for Autism

What happens when children with autism on gluten- and casein-free diets are covertly challenged with wheat and dairy? The first randomized, control study of a gluten-free and casein-free diet for autism found that parents reported their kids did significantly better in the diet group than in the control group, but that could just be the placebo …

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Dietary Placebo Effects in Autism

The original randomized controlled trials of gluten- and casein-free diets may have been complicated by parental expectation bias. My video Are Autism Diet Benefits Just a Placebo Effect? begins with graphs depicting the findings from the first randomized, controlled trial to put a gluten- and casein-free diet to the test for children with autism. Significant …

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Dietary Supplements for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Are there dietary supplements that can help with atopic dermatitis? Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, ranks “as the skin disease with the greatest health burden worldwide” because it’s just so common, affecting maybe one in ten kids and about 3 percent of adults, causing patches of red, itchy skin. Topical steroids, like cortisone …

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Is Nutritional Yeast Healthy for Everyone?

Those with certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease should probably not eat nutritional yeast. Thousands of years ago, some yeast floated down into our flour and drinks, pleasing our palates, and we’ve been regularly exposed to it ever since. Yeast isn’t a problem for most people, but even non-disease-causing microbes could potentially trigger autoimmune …

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Saffron for Erectile Dysfunction

What are the effects of both oral and topical application of the spice saffron for impotence in men? “Saffron has traditionally been considered an aphrodisiac.” The spice has been shown to improve Prozac-induced sexual dysfunction in women and men, significantly improving erectile function. If it works for drug-induced dysfunction, might it also work for just …

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Food Combining for Prostate Cancer

What would happen if you secretly gave cancer patients four of the healthiest foods? In my video Pomegranate vs. Placebo for Prostate Cancer, I discussed how pomegranate pills appeared useless in the treatment for prostate cancer, and the same disappointing results were seen with a pomegranate beverage, but that was just a pomegranate extract as …

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Chia Seeds vs. Flaxseeds

  What effect do chia seeds have on weight loss, blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation? We’ve been eating chia seeds for more than 5,000 years. Historically, they are one of the main crops grown in the Western hemisphere. They are exceptionally high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, though, like flaxseeds, it’s better …

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A Half Teaspoon of Dried Rosemary May Improve Cognitive Function

In Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5, Ophelia notes that rosemary is for remembrance, an idea that goes back at least a few thousand years to the ancient Greeks, who claimed that rosemary “comforts the brain…sharpens understanding, restores lost memory, awakens the mind…” After all, “plants can be considered as chemical factories that manufacture all sorts of …

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