Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Gerard Butler’s Bee Venom Therapy Sent Him into Anaphylactic Shock

Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Bee venom therapy has been around for thousands of years but apparently it’s still alive and well today—and still isn't actual medicine. In fact, as Gerard Butler found out, the “treatment” (a.k.a. apitherapy) can be more dangerous than helpful. And apparently it landed him in the hospital—twice.

Butler tells ITV’s Lorraine talk show that he decided to try bee sting therapy after he developed muscle strain from working a 12-hour day doing stunts for his new movie, Geostorm.

Proponents of the therapy, which involves being injected with the venom of bee stings (or, in some cases, stung by actual bees), claim that the venom can help with things multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and muscle strain.

“I had heard of this guy injecting bee venom, because apparently it has many anti-inflammatory compounds. So, I’m : ‘Come, come to New Orleans where we’re filming,’” Butler says, per The Guardian. “So, he gives me a shot, and I go: ‘Oh, that’s interesting’—because it stings.”

It didn’t stop there. Butler says he got 10 shots total and then had “the worst reaction.”

“I kind of enter this anaphylactic shock,” he says. “It’s awful, creepy crawlies all over me, swelled up, heart’s going to explode. But I go through it, and then I find out he gave me 10 times too much.

” Butler says he wound up in the hospital for several days, but still decided to try the therapy again since he thought he had just had too much the first time around. And, yup, he landed in the hospital again.

The internet is full of bee venom products and stories from people who swear by them.

There are bee venom pills, night creams, and patches people can easily buy online. But this is a really bad idea, Morton Tavel, M.D., a clinical professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and author of the book, Snake Oil is Alive and Well: The Clash between Myths and Reality, tells SELF.

Being treated with “such a toxic substance is incomprehensible and makes no scientific sense whatsoever,” Dr. Tavel says. “Although bee sting therapy has apparently been used in some cultures for thousands of years…there's not enough science to prove the therapy is safe or even has the benefits people claim it does.”

The little research we do have on bee venom therapy doesn't suggest it's worth the risk, women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., tells SELF.

Although teeny amounts of bee venom can be used as immunotherapy to help treat bee allergies, a meta-analysis published in PLOS One in 2015 points out that the practice is just really risky as a whole.

Bee venom acupuncture, for example, had a 261 percent increased risk of having a bad reaction when compared to people who got a saline injection.

As you might suspect, bee venom therapy can cause life-threatening reactions.

Bee sting therapy is “very dangerous,” Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist/immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network, tells SELF. Two million people in the U.S. are allergic to bee stings, according to the Boston Children’s Hospital.

And this therapy can cause anaphylaxis—a life-threatening reaction—in those who are allergic, Dr. Wider says. Those reactions can be even worse if the allergen is injected, Dr. Parikh adds.

But, if you’ve never had a bee sting before, you could be allergic without knowing it.

Even if you're not allergic to bees, you might be allergic to other substances used in the preparation of the venom, Dr. Parikh points out, which may not be easy to get details on.

Source: https://www.self.com/story/gerard-butler-bee-venom-therapy-anaphylactic-shock

Bee Fab Pull Tab – Try this Online Game for Free Now

Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Let’s face it, everyone wants to be as fabulous as a queen bee – that time when Gerard Butler injected himself with bee venom. You can now be fab with this free Bee Fab pull tab game from Realistic Games software, offering the chance to win up to 240x the value of your bet on any one turn. That’s a pretty sweet return if you ask us.

With a return to player percentage of 95%, the potential returns are round about the same as your average casino game. However, this online pull tab presents some rather unique gameplay that is simple to grasp without any over-the-top bonus elements to detract from the pure winning fun! Well, that is except for the special wild icons which can multiply your wins by x3.

Bees Make the World Go Round

Bees basically make the world go round. They may be creepy, crawly and a little bit stingy, but bees do a very important job when it comes to the continued survival of life as we know it on planet Earth. By pollinating plants, bees help to keep our lands green and our air fresh (not that we do much to help their environmental cause.

So, as we can easily surmise, bees are bloody fantastic. And they don’t come much more fabulous than the buzzy customers who appear in this free Bee Fab pull tab. Adorned in glamorous make-up and a pair of pink high heels, these beautiful bumblers appear to be taking a well-earned rest from honey-making by going for a night on the town.

OK, so the design of this game might lean a little bit to the silly side, but it is an ideal option for any player who wants to let their hair down. Plus, the game does have a touch of retro charm about it with a variety of fruity symbols from the arcade gambling game archives, including cherries, oranges, plums, grapes, watermelons and golden bells.

Bee a Winner

While this game might have the same icons as a 3-reel retro slot, it is played in a slightly different way from what most gamblers would be used to.

That is because this real money pull tab asks punters to simply place a wager and then open the four tabs to reveal rows of randomly arranged icons.

Should three matching symbols appear on a row, then a prize will be awarded according to the paytable which you can review on the main screen of the game.

The biggest cash-out on offer is a 20x total bet multiplier which is awarded to players who manage to align three golden bells. After that, three watermelons will return a 10x prize, three grapes will go for 5x, three plums for 3x, three oranges for 2x and three cherries for 1x. The stakes that are available to be played with start from just 0.10 credits and go up to 50.00.

Bonus Buzz

Truth be told, you might be a little bit underwhelmed by the size of the top prize in this pull tab game, especially when you can find such big potential wins on offer when playing online video slots.

Nevertheless, the game does promise a bit of a bonus boost to keep your wins coming in nice and steady and it comes in the form of a wild bee icon. This busy little symbol will substitute for all other icons in the game to help make those all important winning combinations.

What’s more, the wild symbols will multiply the win by 3x – now there is a clever little bee!

Other than that, this pull tab game doesn’t offer anything else in the way of bonus game features. That means you will have to stick to the video slots if you want to enjoy some free spins or bonus side games.

Bee-autiful Game

Bees are pretty darn cool, so why not pay your respects to the little world-savers by spinning some more bee-themed gambling games. Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few casino games out there that are dedicated to the stunning little stingers, such as Honey Bees by Cozy Games and The Bees by Betsoft.

A Sting in the Tail?

While most recent online slots to entertain punters with all sorts of new-fangled gameplay features and spinning japes, this pull tab game from Realistic keeps it nice and simple by offering nothing more than some straight up winning possibilities (well, there is that x3 wild icon!).

Admittedly, this Bee Fab pull tab might get a bit repetitive after a few goes, but we are sure that you will always fancy another spin or two if you manage to line up a winning sequence of symbols. Plus, the mobile-optimised game has full compatibility with Android, iOS and Windows devices, so you can have a cheeky gamble whenever it suits you!

Source: https://www.vegasslotsonline.com/pull-tabs/bee-fab/

Gerard Butler: I injected myself with bee venom and ended up in hospital

Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Gerard Butler has told how he went into anaphylactic shock after being injected with the venom of 23 bee stings.

The Scottish actor said he had been over-exuberant with the remedy, which some claim eases muscle ache, after a 12-hour day of performing stunts on set for his latest film, Geostorm.

Butler told the ITV chat show Lorraine: “I had heard of this guy injecting bee venom, because apparently it has many anti-inflammatory compounds. So, I’m : ‘Come, come to New Orleans where we’re filming.’ So, he gives me a shot, and I go: ‘Oh, that’s interesting’ – because it stings.

“Then he gives me 10 shots, and then I have the worst reaction. I kind of enter this anaphylactic shock. It’s awful, creepy crawlies all over me, swelled up, heart’s going to explode. But I go through it, and then I find out he gave me 10 times too much.”

Butler was immediately taken to hospital, but admitted that four days later he decided to give the remedy another go. “I decide to do it again because, I think: ‘Maybe I just took too much.’ So, he’s on the phone, and this time I have to go to the hospital [again].”

Bee stings have been used as a remedy, known as apitherapy, for centuries, initially by placing live bees on inflamed areas and in more modern times by extracting the venom from the living bees and injecting it.

Butler, 47, known for films including 300, is not the first celebrity to dabble with bee venom as a medical remedy. Gwyneth Paltrow, who has moved from acting into the health sphere with her wellness venture Goop, has said she experimented with bee stings to help with inflammation and scarring. “It’s actually pretty incredible if you research it. But, man, it’s painful,” said Paltrow.

Other conditions helped by bee stings according to advocates of the treatment include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, skin lesions, and chronic hives.

The New York dermatologist Jeannette Graf recently told Vogue: “Bee venom has the potential to help minimise symptoms – the science isn’t really there yet, but there’s potential for things that don’t respond to western medicine.”

Jeff Goldblum, a guest with Butler on BBC1’s The Graham Norton Show, gently mocked the Scot’s use of the remedy. “I’ve done some cockamamie things in my time but that is crazy,” he said. “I think we should trust science.”

Butler was recently hospitalised after a motorbike crash that left him with injuries to his knee and ankle. He said it happened after a woman parking her car reversed into his bike and he “did a somersault about 30ft in the air”.

“,”author”:”Hannah Ellis-Petersen”,”date_published”:”2017-10-20T12:26:05.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/6fd57910a00e090c7b95fc82b0c2f0246030eca5/0_74_2619_1571/master/2619.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-align=bottom%2Cleft&overlay-width=100p&overlay-base64=L2ltZy9zdGF0aWMvb3ZlcmxheXMvdGctYWdlLTIwMTcucG5n&enable=upscale&s=d9508bd292efa2d70e0491f57445496a”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/oct/20/gerard-butler-i-injected-myself-with-bee-venom-and-ended-up-in-hospital”,”domain”:”www.theguardian.com”,”excerpt”:”Scottish actor went into anaphylactic shock after using the traditional remedy after a 12-hour day of performing stunts”,”word_count”:443,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/oct/20/gerard-butler-i-injected-myself-with-bee-venom-and-ended-up-in-hospital

Spanish woman, 55, DIES from bee sting acupuncture

Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Published: 16:55 BST, 19 March 2018 | Updated: 08:50 BST, 23 March 2018

A 55-year-old woman has died after undergoing a bizarre form of acupuncture that involves being stung by bees.

The unnamed patient, from Spain, attended a session of apitherapy every four weeks for more than two years without any allergic reactions.

Yet, she eventually suffered an anaphylactic shock to the venom, which led to her entering a coma and enduring multiple organ failure. She passed away weeks later in Ramón y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid.

The unidentified clinic that offered the woman the procedure claims the therapy relieves painful muscular contractions and eases stress. 

The patient's death comes after the Hollywood actor Gerard Butler admitted last October that he suffered a life-threatening reaction after being injected with the venom of 23 bees in an attempt to tackle muscular problems.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced backlash for her controversial health advice on her Goop website, has also tried the ancient health treatment.

The Shakespeare in Love star told The New York Times in 2016 the 'painful' procedures produces 'pretty incredible' results. 

The unnamed patient, from Spain, attended four sessions of apitherapy – bee sting therapy – for more than two years without any allergic reactions

The woman's death, revealed in the Journal of Investigational Allerology and Clinical Immunology, raises questions about the strange procedure.

Apitherapy is the use of substances from honeybees, including honey, propolis and royal jelly. If their venom is used, the bee dies.

It involves a therapist holding a bee by its head and pinching it until the bee's stinger emerges and punctures the patient's skin. Substances can also be injected. 

There is very little evidence to suggest apitherapy can treat any condition, despite claims it can cure arthritis, multiple sclerosis and stress.

The new case report adds to the dangers of the treatment, which is rare in Britain, although it is more widespread in the US. 

According to the report, repeated exposure to such an allergen increases the risk of a severe reaction. 

It comes months after Hollywood actor Gerard Butler admitted in October that he suffered a life-threatening reaction to the bee-sting therapy

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced backlash for controversial health advice on her Goop website, has also tried the ancient health treatment

Apitherapy is the use of substances from honeybees, including honey, propolis and royal jelly. If their venom is used, the bee dies.

It involves a therapist holding a bee by its head and pinching it until the bee's stinger emerges and punctures the patient's skin. Substances can also be injected. 

There is very little evidence to suggest apitherapy can treat any condition, despite claims it can cure arthritis, multiple sclerosis and stress.

Hollywood actor Gerard Butler admitted in October that he suffered a life-threatening reaction to the bee sting therapy.

And actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced backlash for controversial health advice on her Goop website, has also tried the ancient health treatment. 

Doctors have called for patients to be 'fully informed of the dangers' before they undergo the procedure, which is common in Korea.

The patient, whose identity has been witheld, started having breathing difficulties and suddenly lost consciousness after being stung. 

She was rushed to the Ramon y Cajal University Hospital midway through a session, wrote medics Paula Vazquez-Revuelta and Ricardo Madrigal-Burgaleta.

Due to the hospital not having adrenaline, the necessary treatment, on site, the woman's treatment was delayed by 30 minutes.  

Tests later revealed her anaphylactic shock to the bee venom had triggered a stroke and left her in a 'permanent coma'.  

Attempts to keep her alive proved unsuccessful. Writing in the journal, the medics said: 'The patient died some weeks later of multi-organ failure.

'Persistent hypotension during severe anaphylaxis had caused a massive watershed stroke and permanent coma with multi-organ impairment. 

'To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy due to complications of severe anaphylaxis in a confirmed sensitized patient.

'The risks of undergoing apitherapy may exceed the presumed benefits, leading us to conclude this practice is both unsafe and unadvisable.'

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5519161/Spanish-woman-55-DIES-bee-sting-acupuncture.html

Stinging yourself with bees: dangerous and ineffective “Bee venom therapy”

Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Bee venom therapy (apitherapy or BVT) is a fad treatment that involves stinging oneself with bees. BVT is one of the many forms of quackery used in the chronic Lyme world.

In a 2015 scientific review, BVT was among 30 “unorthodox” Lyme therapies without evidence for efficacy.

No benefit, All risk

There is no compelling scientific evidence to support BVT as a treatment for pain or any disease, but it carries serious risk of anaphylaxis and other side effects.

Actor Gerard Butler was hospitalized after bee venom therapy sent him into anaphylactic shock, not once but twice!

Quick info

Adverse events with bee venom therapy:Frequent
Number of diseases helped by bee venom therapy:0
Number of people killed by bee venom therapy:At least 2

How bee venom therapy kills

BVT is sometimes administered by acupuncturists. In 2018, doctors in Spain documented the death of a 55 year old woman who had been receiving bee venom acupuncture every four weeks for two years.

Also in 2018, a school teacher in her 30s died of anaphalaxis after being treated with bee venom acupuncture.

According to an article by Dr. Robert Glatter:

While bee venom does contain an anti-inflammatory compound known as melittin, medical studies have not provided any convincing evidence that this component is efficacious in alleviating pain or in treating the purported medical conditions.

What is clear is that the chance for adverse reactions–skin rashes, allergic reactions, and anaphylaxis–to bee venom increases the longer such acupuncture therapy is administered.

This might seem counterintuitive, but with each session there is a greater chance of having a more severe reaction, including anaphylaxis —a dangerous drop in blood pressure and massive airway swelling which is fatal.

The irony: Bees kill much more often than Lyme disease

Dr. Richard Gunderman calls bees “America’s most lethal animal.” In 2018, scientists found that hornets, wasps, and bees were responsible for about 220,000 visits to the emergency department and 60 deaths every year.

While bee deaths are rare, deaths associated with Lyme disease are even more rare. One study found fewer deaths in Lyme patients than typical Americans, a year after diagnosis. LymeScience’s literature review found 13 reliably reported deaths associated with Lyme disease from the 1970s to 2019.

Misinterpreted research

Sometimes advocates will point to sciency-sounding studies as providing proof that bee venom therapy works. There have been at least two studies showing melittin might kill Lyme bacteria in a petri dish, but there is no evidence it is effective in humans for any disease.

One misleading study was performed by a group at University of New Haven led by Eva Sapi. Eva Sapi received a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease herself and seems to be dedicated to legitimizing the unrecognized diagnosis.

Sapi receives substantial publicity and financial support from chronic Lyme pseudoscience groups. The Sapi study discloses donations from several anti-science groups, including Lymedisease.org, Focus on Lyme, and Global Lyme Alliance.

Plenty of substances, such as bleach, can kill bacteria in a petri dish. Such results are not necessarily applicable to humans. Furthermore, there is already a cure for Lyme disease, so searching for new treatments is not a high priority.

Discussing whole bee venom and melittin, the Sapi study admits:

  • “the findings from this in vitro study cannot be applied directly to clinical practice”
  • “further research is necessary to evaluate their effectiveness in vivo, as well as their safe and effective delivery method for their therapeutic use.”

In other words, the Sapi paper is careful to acknowledge the lack of scientific evidence that bee venom can safely treat diseases in humans.

Bad medical advice spreads via social media and “support” groups

If you go to a chronic Lyme support group meeting, someone might say they felt better with BVT. Or if you’re in a group, someone might sing the praises of the bizarre practice.

The NIH has reported that as high as 40% of patients receiving placebo had a positive response. In other words, a fake treatment (placebo) may seem to be effective when it is not having any effect.

A site called “LymeWarrior.us” claims with no compelling scientific evidence, “Bee venom therapy targets all forms of Lyme bacteria.”  Despite having a known bee sting allergy, a woman featured on Lyme Disease UK stung herself with bees and reported improvements.

Thousands of people have gathered in groups that legitimize both chronic lyme disease and bee venom therapy. There is even a group for Australians, even though there is no Lyme disease in Australia.

There is a Meetup group in Oakland, CA called Bee Venom Therapy for Lyme Disease and Coinfections with 161 members as of May 1, 2018. However, in 2016, there were only 90 confirmed cases of Lyme disease reported in California.

Resources:

Lantos PM, et al. Unorthodox alternative therapies marketed to treat Lyme disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2015;60(12):1776-82.

Robert Glatter, MD: Bee Venom Acupuncture: A Therapy That Could Kill You

Clay Jones, MD at Science-Based Medicine: A Woman Dies from a Severe Allergic Reaction After Live Bee Acupuncture Session

David Gorski, MD: Bee venom acupuncture: Deadly quackery that can kill

Forbes: Bee Acupuncture: Death Would Be One Reason Not To Get It

Skeptics Guide to the Universe: Beware The Honey Trap: Gwyneth Promotes Bee Venom Therapy

The Guardian: Gerard Butler: I injected myself with bee venom and ended up in hospital

SELF Magazine: Gerard Butler’s Bee Venom Therapy Sent Him into Anaphylactic Shock

Vazquez-revuelta P, Madrigal-burgaleta R. Death due to Live Bee Acupuncture Apitherapy. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2018;28(1):45-46.

Park JH, et al. Risk associated with bee venom therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(5):e0126971.

Adamic K, et al. The local and systemic side-effects of venom and inhaled-allergen subcutaneous immunotherapy. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2009;121(9-10):357-60.

Lubke LL, Garon CF. The antimicrobial agent melittin exhibits powerful in vitro inhibitory effects on the Lyme disease spirochete. Clin Infect Dis. 1997;25 Suppl 1:S48-51.

Socarras KM, Theophilus PAS, Torres JP, Gupta K, Sapi E. Antimicrobial Activity of Bee Venom and Melittin against Borrelia burgdorferi. Antibiotics (Basel). 2017;6(4)

Richard Gunderman, MD: America’s most lethal animal

Forrester JA, et al. An Update on Fatalities Due to Venomous and Nonvenomous Animals in the United States (2008-2015). Wilderness Environ Med. 2018;29(1):36-44.

Dr. Edzard Ernst: Bee venom acupuncture? No thanks!

Articles by Dr. Steven Novella, a Yale neurologist who founded Science-Based Medicine:

Source: https://lymescience.org/bee-venom-therapy-apitherapy/

​Gerard Butler Tried Bee Venom to Treat His Sore Muscles

Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Electric Entertainment

You might want to think twice before listening to Gerard Butler’s muscle recovery advice.

The Scottish-born actor recently revealed that he was hospitalized after willingly getting an injection of bee venom in a quest to ease his sore muscles following a day of filming stunts for his new movie, Geostorm.

“I had heard of this guy injecting bee venom, because apparently it has many anti-inflammatory compounds,” Butler said on an ITV talkshow. “So, I’m : ‘Come, come to New Orleans where we’re filming.’ So, he gives me a shot, and I go: ‘Oh, that’s interesting’—because it stings.”

Related: The Biggest Muscle Soreness Myth

Butler explained that the practitioner then went on to inject him 10 more times, at which point he had a predictably bad reaction.

“I kind of enter this anaphylactic shock,” Butler said. “It’s awful, creepy crawlies all over me, swelled up, heart’s going to explode. But I go through it, and then I find out he gave me 10 times too much.”

He said that following the procedure, he was immediately transported to the hospital and treated. But then somehow, even with the hospital stay, Butler said that just four days later, he gave the muscle recovery remedy one more try.

“I decide to do it again because, I think: ‘Maybe I just took too much.’ So, he’s on the phone, and this time I have to go to the hospital [again].” He added, “The guys at the hospital are , ‘What is it this time?’ But I made it through, [although] now I have to worry anytime a bee is around!”

Related: Want to amp up your training? Try Metashred Extreme from Men's Health.

While this treatment may seem totally bizarre, Butler isn’t the first to try it. In fact, as The Guardian explained, bee venom has been used as a remedy for inflammation for centuries.

The Best Ways to Foam Roll Your Upper Body:

​ ​

The practice, known as apitherapy, used to use live bees placed on inflamed areas on the body. Now, the venom is simply injected to allegedly help with everything from rheumatoid arthritis to multiple sclerosis. However, as Jeannette Graf, a New York dermatologist, told Vogue, the science simply doesn’t exist yet to backup the use of bee venom as medicine.

“Bee venom has the potential to help minimize symptoms—the science isn’t really there yet, but there’s potential for things that don’t respond to western medicine,” she said.

In a 2015 scientific review, researchers analyzed 145 past studies on the therapeutic use of bee venom—and their conclusions weren't particularly encouraging. If you put those past studies together, a median of 28.

87 percent of patients experienced adverse reactions to bee venom therapy.

The researchers wrote that “adverse events related to bee venom therapy are frequent,” and they've been found to include everything from skin reactions to anaphylaxis.

Maybe just try the TheraGun instead, we did.

Source: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19539208/gerard-butler-bee-venom-hospital-sore-muscles/

Has Tim Caulfield become the Canadian nemesis of pseudoscience?

Bee Venom Injection Takes down Gerard Butler Not Once, But Twice

Tim Caulfield, host and co-producer of A User's Guide to Cheating Death, pictured in Edmonton on Oct. 16, 2018.

JASON FRANSON/The Globe and Mail

Timothy Caulfield is not a good sleeper. Some nights he wakes thinking about his research or how his beloved Patriots played, or maybe to write down a thought, usually scrawling it onto the flesh of his left hand, an inky blur reminding him of something he has to do, a meeting he has to keep, an idea to revisit in the morning.

At other times – and this is the one that really matters, the reason he doesn’t keep electronics upstairs anymore, and tries not to even look at in the hours before bedtime – it’s the jade eggs.

Or maybe not the eggs specifically, but something the eggs.

A diet or treatment or trend, a wonder cure or miraculous healing tonic, a supplement or procedure that promises to restore youth and health and beauty – at least for anyone willing to pay for it.

“I can honestly say I don’t know why I care so much,” says the Edmonton author and academic, pensive behind his standing desk at the University of Alberta on a sunny afternoon. “But for some reason, I’m wired that this really bothers me.”

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Prof. Caulfield is the author of the bestselling Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash and The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness.

He’s now finding new audiences as the star of A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, a slick TV show newly available on Netflix, in which Prof. Caulfield takes on various health, wellness and beauty trends, sometimes using himself as the subject.

Through the books and show, his own considerable social-media profile, and his academic work, Prof.

Caulfield has become one of North America’s most high-profile skeptics, taking on the rising tide of pseudoscience and misinformation, particularly in regard to health and wellness as promoted by celebrity culture.

He’s studied the evidence on everything from colonics (don’t do it) to vaginal steaming (also no), and strategically carved out a spot as a kind of specialized celebrity debunker. You can think of him as Gwyneth Paltrow’s polite Canadian nemesis.

Prof. Caulfield is a youthful 54, dressed in what an Edmonton magazine once described as “impeccable street style,” and exuding what a fan recently pegged as “cool-uncle vibes.”

He has the charisma of someone used to performing in front of crowds, which he once did as the front man of a band successful enough to open for The Ramones, and does now speaking to classes and conferences around the world.

His square jaw, heavy framed glasses and glossy curl of hair recall Clark Kent, and his arms are inked with the evidence of his ideology: a tattoo of one of Darwin’s finches, a fruit fly studied by biologist Dr. Thomas Morgan, the Wright brothers.

His wife is a doctor, his four children each accomplished in their own areas of art and sport and science.

Prof. Caulfield’s only weakness, if it can even be called that, seems to be a fondness for “expensive coffee,” of which he drinks four or five cups a day. Over all, the effect is such that if Prof. Caulfield had his own wellness brand or line of wonder vitamins, it would sell very well.

“He is a renaissance man!” proclaimed Justice Ellen Picard, stopping unexpectedly into Prof. Caulfield’s office at the Health Law Institute with a signed new edition of her book, Legal Liability of Doctors and Hospitals in Canada.

Justice Picard founded the Health Law Institute and was Prof. Caulfield’s mentor, working in the same office Prof. Caulfield now occupies as both the institute’s research director and Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy.

She surveys the array of books and art around him with satisfaction.

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“If only I had known, when I sat here trying to figure out how I could pay the summer student, that it would all work out all right,” she said, beaming.

Prof. Caulfield had once hoped to be a musician, but a combination of motion sickness and practicality made him poorly suited for life on the road.

Instead, he studied science and then law, a path that took him to the Health Law Institute and Justice Picard. Through their work together in the 1990s, Prof.

Caulfield became increasingly interested in the disconnect he saw between what the evidence showed about an issue, what the public debates would be and what kind of policy would ultimately result.

Prof. Caulfield’s own rising career ran parallel to a mounting public distrust of science and medicine and the swelling of wellness trends, often amplified by celebrities who, with social media and sophisticated marketing, wield an unprecedented level of public influence and power.

Since Prof. Caulfield (really) s evidence, he points out that the effect of that imbalance is not merely anecdotal. There is data to suggest celebrities are having a measurable impact on public health, whether through the anti-vaccination views promoted by Jenny McCarthy or the interventions done in pursuit of the Kardashians’ beauty standards. Ms.

Paltrow’s brand Goop sells and promotes, among other things, vaginal steaming, jade eggs for women to put into their vaginas ($86) and a therapy that involves getting repeatedly stung by bees. As Prof. Caulfield points out, Katy Perry can tweet her vitamin regimen to her 107 million followers on . The World Health Organization has 4.6 million followers.

In his TV show, in speeches, and in his books and academic work, Prof.

Caulfield looks at the evidence behind these health and beauty trends, examining everything from the keto diet to “vampire facials,” genetic testing services, fasting and cleanses, gluten-free eating and butt implants. He’s also examined potentially emotional topics such as stem-cell treatments and whether peanut bans in schools are effective.

Prof. Caulfield says he works to keep his own assumptions in check, researching his subjects from the opposite perspective and guarding against his own bias, remaining open to anything that can be supported by science.

In some cases, such as mindfulness and “forest bathing” (spending time in a forest), the evidence surprised him – although with careful caveats.

In other instances, he finds a clear difference between leaving a treatment feeling good and relaxed, and it living up to its promised benefits.

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And while some therapies may be pleasant and harmless, others can be dangerous. Procedures such as colonics carry a number of risks, and doctors have raised concerns about injuries or infection that could arise from vaginal steaming and jade eggs. Actor Gerard Butler was treated twice for anaphylaxis after receiving bee-sting therapy, and another woman died after the treatment.

Many alternate therapies also come at huge financial cost, and sometimes at the expense of other medical treatment. More broadly, Prof. Caulfield believes it all contributes to the noise of misinformation, what he sees as a crisis in critical thinking around the world.

“If you are willing to believe this one magical thing, I think it’s easier to believe other magical things,” he says. “And I think this is a significant problem in this day and age: This deep erosion and loss of trust and critical thinking in how our world works.”

The amplification of celebrities such as Ms. Paltrow has amplified Prof. Caulfield as well. He does multiple media interviews a week with outlets around the world, and jade eggs and vaginal steaming come up regularly.

In some cases, elbowing his way into the celebrity wellness conversation can border on stunting. He once tried out for American Idol, knowing he was too old to be eligible. On another occasion, Prof.

Caulfield got into a spat with Deepak Chopra, whom he’d called “the embodiment of pseudoscience,” a “de-educator” and “a fountain of meaningless jargon.” After Prof. Caulfield tweeted about being denied entry into a planned meeting between the two in Edmonton, Mr. Chopra called Prof.

Caulfield “an insecure attention seeker” and accused him of wanting media attention. (Mr. Chopra later apologized and blamed a misunderstanding with hotel security.)

Prof. Caulfield, however, makes no apologies for using the platform of people such as Mr. Chopra or Ms. Paltrow for his own purpose, which he describes as pitting “creative communication strategy against creative communication strategy.”

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“It’s almost a little bit of a Trojan horse,” he says. “To be honest, the Gwyneth book is a Trojan horse to talk about these issues. There’s that element too, to kind of use celebrity culture against itself.”

Growing interest in these issues has made Prof. Caulfield a busy man. At one point this fall, his schedule included speaking at a skeptics’ convention in Las Vegas, appearing on a panel between Apple chief executive Tim Cook and ’s Mark Zuckerberg in Brussels, a media tour in Toronto, and then an event in Morden, Man.

At the same time, he’s writing a new book and working at the university, where his team has research papers rolling out every few weeks. He says he hopes to do a third season of his TV show, and continue with other TV projects.

In an atmosphere where even long-disproven theories – such as the Earth being flat – have seen a resurgence, and the marketing of pseudoscience and unproven therapies grows ever more complex, Prof.

Caulfield’s battle can feel vast and unwinnable. But with the exception of some sleepless nights, he seems to take the scope in stride.

He says he considers it to be almost fighting smoking: a broad campaign that will make gains over time.

“It’s not going to be one policy or one tactic that’s going to help moderate this problem,” he says. “You have to use all of these tools, and we’re probably not ever going to totally eradicate it, but we can make things a little bit better.”

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article-has-tim-caulfield-become-the-canadian-nemesis-of-pseudoscience/