Consumer Health Digest #16-24

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
June 26, 2016


Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.


Couple convicted of killing their child get sentenced. Canadians David and Collet Stephan, who were convicted of a criminal charge of "failing to provide the necessaries of life" to their 19-month son, Ezekiel, have been sentenced. [Bell D. David Stephan gets jail time, Collet Stephan gets house arrest in son's meningitis death CBC News, June 24, 2016]

Press reports indicate that Ezekiel died of bacterial meningitis while they treated him for 2½ weeks with hot peppers, garlic, onions, and horseradish and a product from a naturopath said to be aimed at boosting his immune system. [Alberta parents convicted in toddler's meningitis death. CBC News, April 26, 2016] Before the sentencing hearing, Collet urged her Facebook supporters to send handwritten letters to her lawyer "regarding Dave and myself's parenting character, concern for our children losing us and how this verdict will affect your parental rights." David is vice-president of Truehope Nutritional Support, a company that markets "natural remedies."


"Dr. Sebi" debunked on Quackwatch. Dr. Stephen Barrett has written a major investigative report about Alfredo D. Bowman, (a/k/a/"Dr. Sebi") who is promoted by himself and others as a self-taught healer who has cured thousands of people with serious diseases and has proved in court that his methods are effective. Among other things, Sebi, who has no health-related training, claims that (a) all diseases are caused by compromised mucous membranes, (b) disease can only exist in an acid environment, (c) he has cured many AIDS patients, and (d) his nutritional and herbal products have been proven effective by decades of experience and research. [Barrett S. A skeptical look at "Dr. Sebi." Quackwatch, June 22, 2016]


Bloggers blast MEND Protocol. Neurologist Steven Novella, M.D., has sharply criticized the MEND Protocol, which proponents describe as a personalized approach "to address the active underlying pathways for Alzheimer's disease including metabolic issues, toxicity, inflammation, and mitochondrial damage." [Novella S. MEND Protocol For Alzheimer's Disease. Science-Based Medicine Blog, June 22, 2016] Novella notes:

The Respectful Insolence Blog has additional criticisms of the study.


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This page was posted on June 25, 2016.