Chatelaine Magazine's new look - boosts medical quackery to new lows.

The May 1999 issue of Chatelaine contains a section called The Health Pages. This issue focuses on three M.D.'s who according to author Jacqueline Swartz, must have added "tools from complementary medicine to their black bags".

She fails to mention that their claims are totally unfounded, and their practices may border on malpractice at the worst, and provides misinformation to the public at its best.

One doctor, Stephen Malthouse, from Victoria, B.C. practices homeopathy for most of his practice, including the treatment of children and infants for asthma and otitis with homeopathic remedies. There is absolutely no medical evidence that these quack treatments work, and anyone who uses these to treat patients without proof is subject to malpractice in most jurisdictions in North America. This homeopathic M.D. studied abroad for two years to learn how to prescribe remedies that are so diluted that there is not a single molecule of the substance in the elixir, or tablet.

Another doctor, Alvin Pettle, is an obstetrician from Toronto, Ontario, says that natural estrogen replacements, and progesterone substitutes don't cause PMS side effects. Well, either he has forgotten what he has learned when he took 6 months off from his practice to study the rantings and ravings of Deepak Chopra, or he has flipped science upside down on his own.

The last nutritional hack, David Saulk, a Scarborough, Ontario family doctor read a book on aging by the well regarded "science writer" Jean Carper and decided to start prescribing vitamins and minerals in his practice. A prime example he used was something called GTF, which is chromium. He claims that GTF will help stabalize diabetes and help people shed weight. The Federal Trade Commission has a firm position on claims for chromium and they can be found at this site:

The Health Protection Branch of the Canadian government has kept GTF products containing chromium picolinate from the shelves of food stores, and from MLM marketers for years. Recently, chromium has been shown to cause cardiac, or perhaps genetic damage.

Homeopathy has been debunked as nothing more than placebo effect that can have side effects as well. There is no regulation of homeopathy in Canada. The thousands of so-called remedies are pure quackery, no matter who practices it. As far as natural estrogens and progesterones are concerned, there are dozens of web sites around the world that hawk these quack products without one bit of evidence that they work as claimed.

We would like to hear from Jacqueline Swartz, the author of the article in question. What is her training and background? Why didn't she check her sources? Finally, why the hell did she give the phone number of the Canadian Complementary Association in the article?

Chatelaine, please stop this nonsense. We need factual information about the claims that are being made by these holistic natural doctors. But, then again, your magazine takes tobacco advertising every month from Matinee, which is as we all know a naturally occuring nicotine containing product. What more can Canadian Women expect from your editorial staff? Terry Polevoy, M.D.

P.S. If you want to e-mail the Chatelaine Health Editor - Click Here

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