Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

The Bitter Pill

Is Saturated Fat Good or Bad?

By Rosemary Stanton

Populist TV, blogs and publications have portrayed saturated fats as healthy rather than dietary villains, but this is an oversimplification as it’s not valid to judge our complex dietary intake by only one component.

Internet blogs, popular books and some TV chefs are propounding the idea that saturated fat is now “healthy”, asserting that the “experts got it wrong” and we wouldn’t be so fat and sick if we hadn’t shunned saturated fat. Popular papers push the idea with headlines such as “Butter is back,” “Bacon for breakfast” and “Vegetable oils are toxic”.

Those pushing these ideas claim that “studies” have proved them right. When pressed, most quote a review (not a study) by Chowdhury et al. which reported no significant differences for coronary disease with different levels of saturated fat.

Dodgy Tests and Dodgy Diagnoses

By Bruce Campbell

Lax regulation of complementary treatments is allowing alternative laboratories to peddle expensive and useless diagnostic tests.

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An EEG Only Scratches the Surface of the Brain

By Marko Petrovic

Chiropractors claim that “functional neurology” can treat conditions ranging from epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease to autism and stroke, but the technology they use isn’t up to the task.

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Is Chemmart’s myDNA Test Right for You?

By Ken Harvey

The promises of genetic tests and treatments may be outstripping the science.

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What The Egg Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

Credit: nito

Credit: nito

The health claims of the egg industry rely on a red herring and a half-truth.

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Smoke, Mirrors and Nanotechnology

By Andrew Stapleton

Alternative health practitioners are quick to offer a variety of untested therapies. Nanotechnology is yet another in the list.

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The Needles Are as Thin as the Evidence

By Marko Petrovic

Practitioners of dry-needling swear by it, yet there is no evidence it will relieve your muscular aches and pains.

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Why People Believe Weird Things 101

By Mark Carter

A new university course is teaching students why normally sensible people believe weird things, and some of the tricks used by pseudoscientific practitioners.

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Does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have a Neurological Origin?

By Leighton Barnden

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may result from damage to a small but critical brain structure.

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Pseudoscience in Sport: If It’s Legal It Probably Doesn’t Work

By Marko Petrovic

Elite athletes are prime targets for emerging sham products that promise make-believe effects.

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