Is there any miracle to be found in miracle mineral solution?

Leave a comment

Well, there is a short answer and a long answer.  The short answer is no.  There are no health benefits, miraculous or otherwise to be found in Miracle Mineral Solution.  Now, in traditional Great Ape fashion, I will tell you about the latest medical scam that I have learned about.  This is the long version for those of you who are still reading.

Miracle Mineral Solution, or MMS for short, is a substance sold by Jim Humble.  He claims that this product can cure AIDS, all forms of hepatitis, cancer, and a wide variety of other ailments.  But what is MMS exactly?

Miracle Mineral Solution. It has no minerals. It has no miracles. But, it is a solution.

MMS is a solution of sodium chlorite that a person is supposed to put in their drinking water with a few drops of vinegar.  It is supposed to be absorbed by the body and damage any and all pathogens without harming the healthy tissue.  Now there are a few problems with these claims.  First, there are no minerals in this solution.  Second, sodium chlorite is bleach.  Third, there is no such thing as a substance that is capable of killing pathogens that does not do some level of damage to any living tissue.

So why is MMS so bad for you?  Well to put it bluntly, MMS is industrial strength bleach.  Sodium chlorite is used in textiles, lumber, paper production, and cleansing solutions.  Now you may have the same question that I did when learning about this product; why would anyone think that this stuff is safe to drink?

Sodium chlorite is used in water purification.  This use is very different than the use when it is sold as MMS however.  In profesional water purification, the sodium chlorite is added in small amounts while being exposed to UV light.  The UV light causes sodium chlorite to degrade rapidly so that it is not in the water anymore when it is distributed.

So what are the dangers of drinking water with MMS added to it.  Well, MMS is just bleach.  Bleach is a powerful oxidizer, which means that it destroys the molecules of tissues in order to become more stable at the molecular level.  This means that MMS degrades the tissues of the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines.

In the words of Tyler Durton, “this is a chemical burn.”

The dangers of ingesting MMS go beyond the degradation of bodily tissues in the GI tract.  MMS can coagulate bodily fluids and destroy red blood cells, which in turn can lead to a wide host of medical problems.

So remember, MMS is just one more fraud that preys on the desperation of people with severe illnesses.  If you use it, please stop for your own health.  If you know someone who uses it, please try to help them stop.  And remember, this stuff is just bleach.

The Dangers of Colloidal Silver

10 Comments

So to continue on a theme that I seem to be developing on this blog; I will be writing about the “medical use” of colloidal silver.

So what is colloidal silver?  Colloidal silver is a solution of silver molecules and water.  It is created through electrolysis.  A kit is used to run an electric current through a piece of silver that is suspended in water.  This causes a reaction in the silver, which causes microscopic pieces of the silver to break free from the main piece and become suspended in the water.

The two wires in the glass are made of silver and the current runs through them to produce the colloidal solution

Now the next question is, “what is colloidal silver supposed to do?”  Well, people claim that this stuff can do just about anything.  There are claims that colloidal silver can cure anything from cancer, AIDS, respiratory illness, and simple infections.  I do feel obligated to point out that colloidal silver has been shown to kill infectious bacteria and viruses in laboratory settings.  However, this does not mean that the substance is safe for consumption.  Arsenic has been shown to kill infectious bacteria and viruses in laboratory settings, but it is a deadly poison.

So why do people believe that colloidal silver is a safe alternative to “traditional” medication.  Well, silver has been used as an antibiotic for quite some time.  However, silver has recently been categorized as a Heavy Metal; as in heavy metal poisoning.  This is why the medical use of silver has become highly regulated in the modern medical profession, if it is used at all.

So what is the harm in using colloidal silver?  Well, there are a few dangers.  The most obvious to users of the solution is a condition known as argyria.  Argyria is a condition of the skin where silver accumulates in the skin and becomes reactive to sunlight, resulting in a grey/blue coloration of the skin.

This is what argyria looks like in extreme cases

While argyria is considered a cosmetic condition, it is a symptom of greater medical dangers.  Argyria is caused by buildups of silver in the skin.  Silver builds up in the skin because the human body does not utilize silver in any metabolic process.  This causes silver to collect in the tissues of the body.  This includes the skin, eyes, kidneys, liver, lungs, and nerves.  These buildups of heavy metal interfere with the normal function of the tissues and organs of the body.  This can eventually lead to renal failure, liver damage, and neurological disorders.

I strongly advise against the use of colloidal silver.  The benefits are anecdotal at best, and the side effects are not worth any theoretical benefits.  If you are using colloidal silver, I suggest that you stop.  If you are considering using colloidal silver, I recommend that you don’t.  If you know people who use colloidal silver, do your best to convince them that it is not helping them.

As a side note, I learned that there is a group of people who advocate the use of colloidal silver on pets.  This is just too much for me.  If an adult wishes to do something to their body that can harm them, that’s their right.  But to harm defenseless animals with uninformed pseudo science;  that is a line that I have drawn in the sand.  It is animal cruelty and I do not support it.  If you use colloidal silver on your pets, STOP!

Don’t drag inocent animals into your uninformed world view. They didn’t do anything to you.

Drinking Hydrogen Peroxide to Cure Disease…

194 Comments

DON’T DO IT!!!  I repeat, do not do it!  Seriously, if you ever hear anyone say that hydrogen peroxide can cure anything by drinking it or taking it intravenously; they are wrong.

Now I’ll tell you why the sudden interest in this particular subject.  I recently heard a really funny science joke which goes as follows,

“two men go to a bar, the first man orders a glass of H2O.  The second man says ‘I’ll have a glass of H2O too.’  The second man died.”

The joke is that H2O2 is the chemical hydrogen dioxide, commonly called hydrogen peroxide, which is deadly if consumed in large amounts.  After hearing this I went online to see if there were any other jokes like that one.  And this little website popped up.  To give you an idea of how dangerous this substance can be, this link will take you to a lab supply’s warning about the handling and dangers of the 35% “food grade” hydrogen peroxide that they supply. 

So if this stuff is so dangerous, why would anyone buy into the idea of drinking it to cure disease?  It’s actually pretty simple when you look at what these people claim.  They claim that they have the cure for cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, and many other chronic diseases.  How can they claim this?  Well they rely primarily on the work of Dr. Otto Warburg.  Warburg believed that a lack of oxygen in the body’s tissues was the cause of cancer and that flooding the tissues with oxygen would reverse the growth of tumors.  Now there are many things that cause cancer, but the key reason cancer cells develop is damage to the dna of the cell, which causes uncontrolled cellular reproduction.

This damage could happen for a wide and ever expanding set of reasons.  But two things are clear.  One, flooding the body with oxygen does not cure cancer.  Two, the ingestion of hydrogen peroxide does not cure cancer, AIDS, or any other disease.  In fact, the ingestion of hydrogen peroxide will very likely kill you.  Let me explain how.

Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizer.  What this means is that it is an unstable chemical at the molecular level.  See atoms/molecules have a little quirk about the number of electrons they have in the outer electron layer.  If an atom/molecule doesn’t have the correct number of electrons in the outer most layer, it will do one of three things to correct this problem.  One, it will give an extra electron to another atom/molecule.  Two, it will take an electron from another atom/molecule.  Three, it will bond with another atom/molecule.

Now hydrogen peroxide, being an oxidizer, takes electrons from the atoms and molecules around it in order to stabilize itself.  This destabilizes the tissues that hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with; creating high concentrations of free radicals which continue to destroy tissues in the body.  This is also why chlorine gas is so deadly.

This is a warning label of high concentration hydrogen peroxide. Note the dangers of corrosion and flammability. Also not the “DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY,” warning found at the top of the label.

So what happens to people who take these “treatments?”  Typically, people who ingest solutions of hydrogen peroxide will experience erosion of the stomach lining, esophagus, and damage to the various tissues of the mouth.  People who take these solutions through an IV will see deterioration of the veins, damage to the blood cells, and erosion of tissues near the injection site.  If a person is lucky enough to survive when starting these “treatments,” they will die as a result of prolonged exposure to hydrogen peroxide.

This is a dangerous pseudo science that takes advantage of people in duress due to chronic illness.  If you know anyone who is considering hydrogen peroxide “therapy,” tell them about the dangers and encourage them to seek professional treatment for their illness.

[Edit] Many people have asked me to provide studies for this article.  Well here they are.

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2006/ucm108701.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658134/

http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/pharmacologicalandbiologicaltreatment/oxygen-therapy

http://www.hvchemical.com/msds/hype.htm

Peter Popoff is still around?

4 Comments

So I was watching some tv a few nights ago and the channel I was watching switched over to infomercials. Now I normally switch to something else when that happens, but this particular infomercial was interesting to me. It wasn’t a knife that can cut tomatoes or an oven that I can set and forget, it was a miracle substance that could improve my quality of life. Peter Popoff’s miracle spring water.

Now for those who don’t know who Peter Popoff is, he’s a televangelist preacher and a horrible con artist. James Randi was able to figure out that he uses an earpiece to get information from his wife and plants in the audience so that he could “get information from God” about audience members. This alone is a hell of a con, but it gets better. His more famous scheme was the miracle manna loaf. This was supposedly a recipe for bread taken from Ezekiel 4:9. Now excluding the fact that the bread mentioned in this passage is supposed to be cooked in public over a fire made from human waste, this manna loaf was supposed to give you money when you ate it. Now all of his past schemes have run their course, and Popoff is generally seen as the slimy con artist that he is. At least that’s what I though.

It seems that old Popoff can’t leave well enough alone, or get legitimate work for that matter. His latest scheme is miracle water that will, surprise surprise, bring money into your life. Now I will give old Popoff one point. At least he isn’t linking this water to a passage in the bible that he clearly didn’t read. So people can’t use the bible to discredit this one, it’s entirely based on faith and testimonials. That being said, he’s still a terrible person and I’m a little surprised that he’s still doing this crap to people even after so many public thrashings when he comes up with a new scam. Well I’m doing my part to expose this one, if anyone is reading this please spread the word about this scam. And if you know anyone who is thinking of using this, then let them know about Peter Popoff and that he is nothing more than a con man.  It sickens me that the people who testify to this have been taken off of medications and become reliant on luck when they could be getting real help for their problems.

If you want to see what I’m talking about, here’s what I saw:

I love how it’s now in a larger size.  It sounds like a those Burger King commercials about their new thicker fries.

Is There any Power in Power Balance?

2 Comments

I was visiting a friend of mine recently and I noticed one of those rubber bracelets I see all the time sitting on his table. I didn’t know what group or organization it was for so I picked it up and started looking at it. That was when my friend told me it was a power balance bracelet that he got as a gift. He told me it was supposed to work by pressing a magnet against the veins and arteries in the underside of the wrist to improve strength and balance. I don’t even know how to transition from this because just typing it has killed a few brain cells so I’ll just say that my friend thought it sounded kinda stupid but that he also saw a demonstration that seemed to back up the claim and asked me for my opinion.

I was shown this demonstration and I knew that the Power Balance Bracelet was a hoax and how they made it look real before the video ended. The demonstration had the sales man take a volunteer from the street audience and showed them the balance improving powers of the bracelet. This was done by having the volunteer hold their arm out straight and the salesman pushing down on their arm to throw them off balance. The volunteer then puts on the bracelet and repeats the test, only this time they can resist the salesman and keep their balance.

The New Snakeoil

Now before I tell you how this was done and why the Power Balance is a hoax I should tell you how I know what I know. I have always had a love for illusions and “magic.” As a result of this, I have learned alot of little tricks about the human mind and body that can make a person seem magical. One of these tricks is balance manipulation. The salesman of this bracelet used this trick to make the product look like it was working.

When the volunteer, who can be an actual volunteer and not a plant in the audience, puts their arm out the first time the salesman applies pressure to their arm down and away from the center of mass. This guarantees that the person will tip over. After they put the bracelet on, the salesman pushes down and towards the center of mass. This motion pushes the salesman’s weight onto the center of mass of the other person so well that they can genuinely put alot of strength into the push and not topple the volunteer.

The Power Balance is just one more medical hoax out there. So always remember to think critically and learn as much as you can about any new product that makes promises that seem too good to be true.

Edit: I just found out that the bracelets don’t have anything to do with magnets.  It’s actually supposed to work on some kind of energy matrix built into the silicone.  I didn’t think it was possible, but they are even dumber than I thought.

My Little Rant on Homeopathy…

12 Comments

While I know that the issue of homeopathy has been talked about to death, I started thinking about it again when I mentioned it in my previous article. So I decided to write about the topic here.

for those who may not know, homeopathy is a pseudo science created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann. The theory behind homeopathy is that like-cures-like and that water has a kind of “molecular memory” that is enhanced by dilution. Or to simplify it, if something is making you sick, all you need to do is dissolve a small amount of the thing that made you sick in water, then dissolve that solution in water and repeat until statistically there is about a one in a million chance of even one molecule of the original substance being in the solution and drinking that solution will cure you. I know, it was just as confusing to me when I first heard it. Let me go on and see if I can make it clearer.

Let’s create a hypothetical situation here. You’re a homeopathic “doctor” and you want to make an antidote for arsenic. So far so good, it’s always good for someone practicing medicine to have antidotes on hand. But because you’re a homeopath, you’re not going to use western medicine. You are going to use homeopathy. So what you do is take one milliliter of arsenic and mix it with ten milliliters of water before shaking the solution. You now have what homeopaths call a 1X solution. You then take one milliliter of that solution and mix it with ten milliliters of of water before shaking that new solution. You now have a 2X solution. But according to homeopathy, that solution is too weak to be effective. So you take one milliliter of that solution, mix with ten parts water and shake. You then repeat this process upwards of 30 or 40 times. By the time you’re done, the dilution is so mixed that there is most likely none of the original compound in the 30X solution. Now it’s potent enough to cure arsenic poisoning.

Now naturally, there are many things wrong with this practice. The one question that I always had personally was why couldn’t homeopaths just give people a drop of water from the ocean to cure anything? I makes sense, just about every substance on earth has made it into the ocean at some point, it’s always moving around and being shaken up, and if like-cures-like when diluted so much then shouldn’t ocean water be able to cure everything from the common cold to cancer and AIDS? But no, if it was that easy, then they would go out of business wouldn’t they. So you might be wondering what the harm is in a couple of crazy people believing in complete nonsense. The harm is that these people are actually pretty influential. Did you know that many homeopathic “medicines” are sold in major drug stores like Walgreens and CVS? Yeah, that scared me too. In fact, the “cold remedy” Zicam is a homeopathic medicine. Many people have died because they themselves or their parents were homeopaths. Many people have become sick or stayed sick because they bought homeopathic medicines without knowing what they really were. As someone who knows many people in the medical field, including doctors and pharmacists, I find this pseudo scientific alliterative to medicine very offensive and even more dangerous.

If you want to know more about homeopathy, and you should at least know what brands to avoid during your next visit to the drug store, I would recommend visiting The James Randi Foundation website. In addition to exposing homeopathy, the foundation is dedicated to exposing and debunking a wide variety of junk science and superstition.

The Global Consciousnesses Project…

Leave a comment

I was recently made aware of a little “science project” called The Global Consciousnesses Project. The basic idea is to see if humanity has a paranormal connection of some kind. This is done by collecting the data from several random number generators and seeing if the data points line up or form patterns that correlate with major world events.

Now the idea of testing for the paranormal isn’t so bad. No idea should be dismissed for testing as long as the theory is solid. This project however doesn’t sit well with me.

One of the biggest flaws I have with it is the lack of connection in the testing method. How does a random number generator get effected by some global psychic energy? So right off the bat this project is too far removed from any real science for me to take it seriously. The other problem, and the big problem with the real scientists I’ve heard from, is what this project does with the data collected.

The way this project connects the data collected to the idea of a global consciousnesses is by trying to find the events that led to any patterns found in the data collected. Now anyone who even took basic science in school should be cringing at this method. Proper science should never take data and then try to make it fit into a theory. It also doesn’t help that they can’t even pidgin-hole their data properly. The big find that the project uses as evidence is a pattern found around September 11 2001. They claim that this pattern shows a collective moment of grieving that was able to effect the random number generators. The big problem with this is that the numbers show little to no pattern until about 12 hours after the event.

I hate it when this pseudo science gets big enough to begin influencing people, don’t even get me started on homeopathy. Hopefully the fact that these people can’t even fake their results that well will discredit them enough that they won’t be able to do too much damage. If you want to know more, here is a link to an analysis of the project and the 9/11 data that I found really well done.

www.lfr.org/lfr/csl/library/sep1101.pdf

Violent metaphors

Thoughts from the intersection of science, pseudoscience, and conflict.

SecularVoices.org

Be Rational. Be Outspoken. Be Heard.

c0nc0rdance

Science and Reason

The Big Blog Theory

The science behind the science

The Liquid Culture Project

Dedicated to a Culture of Better Drinking

A System of Random Tangents...

General bug-bears and current affairs. I have also stuck some of my photos, creative writing and artwork on here. Feel free to have a nose around

Classroom as Microcosm

Siobhan Curious Says: Teachers are People Too

The Homeless Adjunct

The blog of Junct Rebellion, taking on the corporatized university of America

Why? Because Science.

Combating Stupidity Since 2012

Myles Power (powerm1985)

fun with SCIENCE!

Filthy Monkey Men

We did, in fact, evolve from filthy monkey men

Thunderf00t

Science and Education FTW!

The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Talking to Stones

the spaces between words

Steve Grand's Blog

Artificial Life in real life