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Maciamo
04-07-09, 17:52
The flood of information from the media and the Internet makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish between reliable scientific facts and pseudo-scientific hoax. Journalists from every newspaper and TV channel have been known to distort scientific reports, sometimes to the point of nonsense. The BBC is no exception. News about health, nutrition and medical science is particularly vulnerable to hoaxes and "media scares". Ben Goldacre explains the phenomenon in his book Bad Science (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0007240198?ie=UTF8&tag=maciamojapan-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=0007240198).

I was wondering about the scientific validity of a few articles I came across recently. If anybody knows reliable sources that could confirm or disprove these claims, please post them here.

1) Grapefruit increases the oestrogen level and decreases testosterone. It makes both men and women more feminine, which can cause fertility issues for men, but boost female fertility and libido.

2) Coriander ("cilantro" in the USA) releases heavy metals in the blood stream. Some articles claim that regular consumption help cleansing the body from heavy metals (as blood if filtrated by the kidneys and heavy metals evacuated by urine), while others say that heavy metals return to the bones, liver and other organs where it is stored after consumption. I also read that pregnant women should absolutely avoid coriander because of this (heavy metals being harmful to the foetus).

Chris
20-07-09, 17:33
I work in healthcare, and have also had an interest in complimentary/natural remedies for a long time. Most media articles seem to come from vested interest groups - e.g. 'green tea is god for XYZ. Source: Tea Council'. A lot of the claims are hype, but there are undeniably some real gems in there. It's a bit like being a miner - you have to sift through a lot of dust and rubble to find the real stuff.