I just submitted a letter to the local paper concerning another letter they recently published. Here it is.
On 10/29 “Dr.” Christopher Maloney wrote a letter praising Naturopathic medicine. As is so common with charlatans, he was dangerously misleading.
Maloney begins by telling us that the regular flu vaccine has no effect on H1N1. He intentionally mentions this piece of irrelevant pedantry because he is setting up his punch-line: flu vaccines only provide 6 to 15 percent protection. This is a lie. Healthy adults face upwards of a 90% reduction in their chance of becoming infected with the flu (CDC). Beyond that, vaccines also dull the intensity of the flu should an individual actually face infection.
For his next dangerous joke, Maloney claims vaccines have no effect on deadly complications in any group. The non-mountebank truth is that they reduce hospitalization in the elderly by 50-60% (CDC). Death rate falls by 80% (CDC).
Next this quack recommends black elderberry for those waiting for a flu shot. PubMed features two peer-reviewed studies to the efficacy of this treatment (and not for the H1N1 virus specifically). It has some positive results, but the researchers note (correctly) that larger studies are needed. It does not, however, “block” the H1N1 virus, as Maloney claims.
Finally, Maloney brings out some false, unsupported statistics about stress. This is nothing more than the usual mantra for alternative medicine supporters.
The most interesting thing about this “doctor” is that he doesn’t mention that Naturopathic “medicine” is actually illegal in two states. Another 30 do not acknowledge it.
His recommendations are borrowed from basic nutritional information at best (and it’s far better to get that from someone with a proper education) and are downright dangerous at worst.
Go to your regular doctor.
On the upside, Maloney is not the swindler Andreas Moritz is. He is a charlatan and a mountebank for all this bunk misleading, but his concern seems to be more genuine and less about money. But he’s still wrong.
In the interest of not making a big, ugly blog post, I will include Maloney’s letter in the comment section.