Quackcast Podcasts (mp3)

It you really want to download the podcasts, the best way is to subscribe on iTunes, or use Juice or other aggregator.  As of 7.24.10 the links should be cleaned up for downloads.

Here is a list of the podcasts, when they were produced, with links to the mp3. 

Do the old right click to save link or whatever, depending on browser and operating system, if you want to download the file.

There is a numbering issue I think is due to Rapidweaver, but I am unsure.  But the number of the quackcast may not be the number of the file, but probably is the number of the beast.


5/13/10. If your podcasts are labeled podcast_1 instead of quackcast_1, there is an issue with your feed aggregator. Rapidweaver, the program I used on the original website, renames podcasts.  I do not know why. For reasons I am too lazy to go into, because of the renumbering, the number of the podcast will not match the number I say the podcast is.  Some day I need to go back and redo the RSS feeds, but that is tedium I will avoid for the near future. 

iTunes can deal with the renaming issue but programs like Juice cannot.

Copyright 2006 - 2012.

mp3 feed for Quackcast


iTunes feed for Quackcast

Like Public Television, you can assuage you guilt and pay for the use of the content.

QuackCast 1

Opening Salvo. A review of Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SCAMS) 5/4/06

QuackCast 2. Echinacea. A review of Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SCAMS) 5/6/06

QuackCast 3. Homeopathic Theory . Of all the kinds of alt.med available, Homeopathy has to be the most retarded. And thats saying something. Listen and see why. 5/7/06

QuackCast 4. Homeopathy Clinical Trials. Clinical trials of homeopathy are of poor quality and treat self limited diseases. The better the study, the less well homeopathy does. In the best meta analysis to date, it is concluded that homeopathy doesn't work. Duh. 5/12/06

QuackCast 5. Placebo Effect. Alt.med effects are often attributed to the placebo effect. Turns out the placebo effect does not exist. So when the effect of alt.med is equal to placebo effect, it is the same as saying it is equal to nothing. How true, how true. 5/22/06

QuackCast 6. Prayer. A review of the medical literature suggests that prayer is not an efficacious therapeutic intervention for medical illnesses. And I am almost certainly going to h e double toothpicks, if you know what I mean. 6/25/06

QuackCast 7. Theory of Acupuncture. The theory of acupuncture is reviewed and found to be wanting when compared with reality. It has no biologic or physiologic plausibility. 7/11/06

QuackCast 8. Acupuncture's Efficacy. The efficacy of acupuncture is reviewed and found to be wanting when compared with reality. It doesn't work and has the potential to cause real harm. 8/5/06

QuackCast 9. Lies, Damn Lies and the use of alt med. 34% to 42% of Americans use alternative medicine each year. True? Of course not. See how data is misrepresented to support nonsense. 8/31/06

QuackCast 10. History and Theory of Chiropractic. The theory of chiropractic is reviewed and found to be wanting when compared with reality. It has no biologic or physiologic plausibility. But it doesn't stop the AMA having its legal rear handed them by the Chiropractors. 9/30/06

QuackCast 11. Evidence to Support Efficacy and Complications of Chiropractic. Does Chiropractic work for low back pain? Other diseases? Is it safe? What does it take to get into Chiropractic School? The answer to all this and more in this podcast. 11/20/06

QuackCast 12. How to Identify Quackery and Homeopathic Horrors . Seven rules of thumb to identify quackery, with examples. Also more on the potential dangers of homeopathy. 12/24/06

QuackCast 13. Herbal "Remedies". Like "Fresh" Fish. A tour of some popular herbs. Reviewing the medical literature with commentary of the following herbs: echinacea, ginkgo, st johns wort, black cohash, saw palmetto, and glucosamine/chondroitin. 1/22/07

QuackCast 14. Naturopathy Quacks of all trades, masters of none. A review of the practice of naturopathy, not particularly favorable for some odd reason. 2/27/07

QuackCast 15. Magnet ‘Therapy’. review of magnets as a medical intervention. I really should have called it the crap cast, because this is crap. Not the podcast. Magnetic therapy. 4/2/07

QuackCast 16. Probiotics. A review of probiotics: theory, use and complications. 5/15/07

QuackCast 17. Update 1 NUCCA and Hypertension. An evaluation of "Atlas vertebrae realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study." Published in 2007 in the journal of Human Hypertension. 6/28/07

QuackCast 18. Update 2 Echinacea Meta Anal Ysis. The Lancet published a meta anal ysis of echinacea and concluded it was effective. Is it true? Well, what is truth? Listen to the podcast and hear my truth. 8/16/07

QuackCast 19. Iridology. A look at the iridology, a form of fiction mistaken as a diagnostic modality. 9/19/07

QuackCast 20. Influenza myths. The flu can kill you. What YOU can do to prevent it. Tonight on the 10 o'clock news. Plus, the truth behind Brittany's hair. 10/22/07

QuackCast 21. Acupuncture update. Quackcast 21, my podcast can now drink in Oregon. A review of the medical literature of SCAMS: supplements, complementary and alternative medicine. 11/20/07

QuackCast 22. Boost your immune system And die. A cursory review of the immune system and then a review of some medical literature that suggests boosting it will cause you to die die die die die die die die die die die die die........ Got carried away. Were all gonna DIE!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry. I panic easy.12/27/07

QuackCast 23. Trust No One. But me. What an article says and what people say it says, and what people say it says it says etc are often not the same thing. I tediously dissect a medical paper and comment of what two commentators say it says. 1/20/08

QuackCast 24. The Yeast Dis Connection 3/2/08

QuackCast 25. Fungi Shui. 5/12/08

QuackCast 26. Alternative Aviation. Recycled material from the Science Based Medicine Blog. 5/26/08

Quackcast 27. Acupuncture and Chiropractic Update. A review of Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine ie SCAMS. This podcasts reviews 2 papers on acupuncture and pain, and one on chiropractic and stroke. 7/1/08

QuackCast 28. Vitamin C and the Common Cold. Because the Peter Principle rules, millions were spent to demonstrate clearly that Vitamin C has minimal effects on the common cold. Someone needs to return his Nobel prize. . 8/31/08

QuackCast 29. Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. Energy Therapies abound in SCAM’s. Here are two. Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. 11/23/08

QuackCast 30. Lets Kill The Children or A Defense of Vaccines Why vaccines, to quote Mr. Pooh, "Are a Good Thing." 2/22/09

QuackCast 31. Green our SCAM. Why SCAMs are bad for you and the environment. Gaia cries when you take a TCM remedy. 4/09

QuackCast 32. Huffpo. 32 Sentences and 57 taradiddles. 5/15

QuackCast 33. Update on Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Herbal Remedies. 7/5/9

QuackCast 34. Flu Woo for You. 8/19/9

QuackCast 35. Flu vaccine efficacy. Plus 18 taradiddles.

QuackCast 36. Hi Ho Silver. Should you use colloidal silver? Was there WMD's in Iraq. Same quality data.

QuackCast 37. Acai. Spanish for take the money and run. 11/09

QuackCast 38. Mesotherapy. Will it make your meso morph? 12/09

QuackCast 39. Measles Update. 12/27

QuackCast 40. Literature update. Chiropractic and ginkgo. 01/10

QuackCast 41. YOU, acupuncture and the military. 1/23/10

QuackCast 42. The Tamiflu spin. Atlantis, er, I mean the Atlantic discusses the use of Tamiflu and is as reliable as Plato. 2/20/10

QuackCast 43.  Literature update: Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. A review of a hodgepodge of publications concerning placebo, homeopathy, magnets, acupuncture and the nature of reality.   Mislabeled as number 42 in the audio. Sorry.  Counting not my strong point. 3/27/10

QuackCast 44. Nine questions, none answers. An ND suggests there are 9 questions that pro-vaccine proponents can't answer. Ha.  My 12 year old can find the answers.

QuackCast 45. A review of the the alleged side effects of the third greatest invention of all time.  After clean water and the flush toilet.  This is a re-recording of a lecture I gave to the Portland OFR and CFI.  Slides of the talk can be downloaded from here.

QuackCast 46. Mumps. 5/10

QuackCast 47 more or less.  More on Medical Voices. 6/10

QuackCast 48.  Acupuncture and CME. 7/10

QuackCast 49.  Bought and sold. Who should pay for medical education. 7/10

QuackCast 50. The NEJM and Acupuncture.  Crap from the what used to be the best. 8/10

QuackCast 51.  Short Attention Span Quackcast.

QuackCast 52. Good Journals Gone Bad. 

QuackCast 53. Reflexology  

Quackcast 54.  There is no quackcast 54.

Quackcast 55.  Homeopathetic vaccines.

Quackcast 56.  Sky Maul. A meandering look at aspects of acupuncuture by the easily distracted.

Quackcast 57.  Oh So Silly Oh coccinum and whiny babies. 12/26/10.

Quackcast 58.  Cranberry Juice and Bladder infections. 01/26/11.

Quackcast 59. The Vaccine Council of Vaccinations doesn't want you and yours to get vaccinated.  The data?  Pulled out of their, er, well, lets call it thin air. Yeah. Thin Air.  2/13/11

Quackcast 60. Triskaidekaphobia times two. Reflections on the capacity of the immune system. 3/12/11

Quackcast 61. Deadly Indeed.  An evaluation of the Skeptical Inquirer article Seven Deadly Medical Hypotheses.  3/12/11

Quackcast 62.  The World Has Moved On.  Idle thoughts on medical nonsense in the Huff Po.  4/10/11.

Quackcast 63. Exporting woo to your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses. 4/26/11.

Quackcast 64. Parasites and their so called diagnosis. 5/07/11.

Quackcast 65. Raw Milk. 5/28/11.

Quackcast 66.  Ain't one.  I can't count.

Quackcast 67. Ambiguity. 6/17/11.

Quackcast 68. The Dow of Accutane. 6/17/11.

Quackcast 69. Honey. 7/24/11.

Quackcast 70. SOS DD. 7/24/11.

Quackcast 71. CAM. The Beer Goggles of Medicine. 9/13/11.

Quackcast 72. Train Therapy. 9/13/11.

Quackcast 73. The Annals of Internal Medicine Qualifies for Fail Blog. 9/13/11.

Quackcast 74. Gullible George. 9/13/11.

Quackcast 75. Recycle. 10/09/11.

Quackcast 76. The Prostrate Placebo. 10/09/11.

Quackcast 77. Alternative Vaccination Schedule. 11/12/11.

Quackcast 78. Random Flu Thoughts. 11/12/11.

Quackcast 79. Hodgepodge. A bit of medicine, a bit of acupuncture, a bit of staring. 12/10/11.

Quackcast 80. Seal of Approval. Dr. Oz has his favorites. Can't see why. 12/10/11.

Quackcast 81. Alas poor Craniosacral. A SCAM of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. 01/19/12.

Quackcast 82. More Placebo. 02/12/12.

Quackcast 83. AK: Nonsense on full automatic.  An tour of Applied Kinesiology. 02/12/12.

Quackcast 84. Perpetual Motion:  Thoughts on the Bravewell Report. 03/25/12.

Quackcast 85. On the application of science to medicine.  It is harder than it looks. 03/26/12.

Quackcast 86. The Species in the Feces. 03/27/12.

The easiest thing for AAH would be to refer people to their website (www.aahuganda.org) and follow the  instructions to donate; to donate to the clinic projects, people must specify for the donations to go to the Bupoto clinic project.  For Partnership Uganda, people can go to www.partnershipugandainc.org and follow the directions under the "Support" tab.


Subject: Hate (of CAM) mail and many props from Uganda

Message: Hello Mark,

I am a pediatrician working in rural—and I mean rural—Uganda; I’ve been here full time for about two years now and on and off for four.  I’ve been lucky enough to find a scientist husband with a passion for international health, and I drug him and my dog to a little village in Manafwa District in eastern Uganda, near the Kenyan border.  There’s not much running water, power, or internet in our village, and I have to work hard to keep up my medical knowledge.  I discovered your pus- and pod-casts during one of my searches for free CME, and my husband and I have been hooked ever since.  When we travel the two or three hours every few weeks to get supplies for our clinic, we’ll download as many of your casts as possible, and we wanted to thank you for keeping us entertained and informed in the far reaches of the world.

I’m writing specifically to thank you for and comment on your “Without Borders” pod-cast.  I always enjoy your logic and critical evaluations on (S)CAM, and this cast resonated particularly strong with me—not only because we live in the trenches of one of the countries you mentioned, but also because I am as angry and disheartened at the wasting of money on poor research and bunk therapeutic options here as you seem to be.  We know your “reply to email” stance, so we’re not expecting one; we just wanted to thank you for your work and share our take on it.

In my region of Uganda, I’m one of four pediatricians; my three colleagues are two hours away in Mbale, the nearest big city to us, and otherwise I’m alone in the eastern territories.  We find that the doctor to patient ratio you mentioned applies more to the bigger cities; the situation is exponentially more critical in the far-flung regions (the forgotten districts, as I call them) of the country.  For the last two years, I have managed and operated two grass roots NGO clinics, and my husband and I have adopted a “McGyver Medicine” approach to make every single resource, every single cent, and every single health worker as effective as possible.  Our districts are some of the poorest and worst served areas of the country, and to compound the problem of poor education, rampant infectious disease (including an HIV/AIDS prevalence much worse than the national average), and awful infrastructure in education and public services, we’re lucky if we see a small portion of the $135/capita you mentioned Uganda spends on healthcare.  In a nutshell: every single cent matters and literally determines the difference between life and death.

The studies you reviewed in the “Without Borders” cast are sickening.  I see time and again groups of do-gooders from around the globe popping into countries like Uganda to “help,” but who conveniently might just get some data while they’re at it.  Do they consult the people they want to study?  Maybe. Do they get permission from the country’s IRB-equivalents for ethical research protocols?  Probably not, although I bet the US institution backing them is on board and never mentioned the need to consult the in-country ethics boards.  Do they realize how far their money could go if used prudently?  Definitely not, otherwise I can’t fathom that anyone would go forward with the severe waste of resources that I see.  As I said—those of us in these countries who see the true state of health know that not a penny can go to waste.  But millions of pennies go pouring down the drains (or bills lit on fire, as you said!) on these research projects.  The acupuncture study in Uganda was a perfect example of this—hearing you speak about it made me want to scream (pretty sure I did and scared the chickens).  

There is no wiggle room on this—we cannot allow independent groups or bad science to dictate how money is spent in areas where $1 may make the difference between a person’s life or death.  Sometimes, you literally have one opportunity to reach people: they may visit you or participate in your study for their one healthcare encounter in a decade.  How can you waste that opportunity by not using it to provide the things we KNOW will help them: de-worming, vaccinations, multivitamin supplements, HIV testing, education…

We argue to put the money instead towards training health workers to go into their communities and educate about basic hygiene, vaccinations, nutrition, and other health topics.  As you’ve mentioned multiple times, there are not many interventions with NO possible or tangible harm done, but education sure comes close.  I’ve now worked with two groups of 16 community volunteers—people from the communities in which I’ve worked—who we trained in basic education following international and Ministry of Health guidelines.  Their educational work alone has taken a big cut out of delayed wound care, diarrhea outbreaks, and malaria cases in the community.  We attribute a rise in family planning use to their work.  Our patient volumes at the clinics in the areas have increased, and people seem to understand basic health better.  How much did it cost to train these people?  About $200.  TOTAL.  Imagine putting all that acupuncture money towards widespread community health worker trainings in Nepal, Uganda, Nicaragua and Haiti.  This is what keeps me fighting in international healthcare and why I get so damned pissed off when I hear about studies like what you discussed.  Thank you SO much for addressing this tragic ethical issue in your podcast.  We loved your work before, and we do so even more now.  Please keep up your good work, and know you’re reaching health workers and doctors in some of the most remote areas of the world.

Also, if it’s interesting to you, we came across this journal recently; you may already know it well, but it’s the African Journal of Traditional and Complementary Alternative Medicine.  I’m sure there is a wealth of articles ripe for the picking apart.

Thanks again,

Lisa Umphrey and Douglas DaSilva

Quackcast 87. Feet of Clay. The NEJM editors apparently do not bother to read their own content, much to my disappointment. 4/20/12

Quackcast 88. Drinking from the Fire Hose: Odds and Ends on the Gasping Oppression aka the flu. 4/21/12.

Quackcast 89. Spring Update on raw milk, acupuncture, homeopathy and TCM. 4/22/12. 

Quackcast 90. Random content free thoughts after reading 13 Things that Don't Make Sense. 5/19/12. 

Quackcast 91. Cannibalism. Do the Chinese and Koreans eat aborted dead babies?  I think not. 5/19/12. 

Quackcast 92. Theres's and app for that?!?. 6/23/12. 

Quackcast 93. Evidence, Science and Guidelines. 6/23/12. 

Quackcast 94. Vital Signs.  The Bass Ackwards Buteyko Breathing. 8/12/12.  

Quackcast 95. The Spirit of St. Louis .  Promoters of SCAMs are outraged when they kill. 8/12/12.  

Quackcast 96. Journal Club.  Lousy trials are not ground breaking unless you use a shovel. 8/12/12.   

Quackcast 97. Jurassic Farce. Preventing Dengue with GM gay mosquitoes. 8/12/12.  .