Viewpoint: Mayo Clinic’s embarrassing embrace of ‘alternative’ and ‘complementary’ medicine now includes nutrition

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[Editor’s note: Kevin Klatt is a PhD candidate in nutritional sciences at Cornell University.]

The prestigious Mayo Clinic regularly gets itself into hot water across evidence-based medicine and skeptics circles (see here) for its heavy promotion of questionable science; Mayo is particularly entrenched in the complementary/ alternative/ integrative/ functional medicine (CAM/IFM) movement that is taking academic medical centers by storm (it even has a peer reviewed publication about its CAM use). Mayo, like other famous clinics, seems more than happy to promote its clinic with low-to-no evidence modalities that have been re-branded under the CAM/IFM movement.

There’s a nutrition video that Mayo has produced and is circulating around the social media spheres. … The video covers the role of a whole foods plant-based diet as ‘powerful medicine’ with a focus on cancer.

‘Eat more power foods for their phytochemicals that protect against inflammation and cancer’

Cruciferous Vegetables have phytochemicals that protect cells from damage

The polyphenols in berries have an anti-cancer effect

The fact that these hypothetical mechanisms are being put forth stating that they help treat cancer is particularly absurd and unethical. To date, there have been 9 randomized controlled trials of antioxidant supplementation which have not shown an effect on cancer incidence, with some showing a signal of further harm in those at risk of cancer.

Mayo misrepresenting what good nutrition care looks like when someone has cancer does little but sell false hope and add to the anxieties of what someone undergoing cancer treatment has to cope with. This video should be taken down.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Cute Mayo Clinic Videos. Bad Science