This article was published in the March 2017 edition of Medical Observer, under the title, “Duct tape idea comes unstuck” (pp. 50-51). (PDF)
Dr Michael Tam was interviewed and quoted in an article written by journalist Jane Hansen, published in the Sunday Telegraph.
“THEY are the first things we reach for when the winter sniffles arrive but experts say popular supplements such as vitamin C and echinacea are really just a waste of money.
Dr Michael Tam, a general practitioner and senior lecturer at the University of NSW, said most popular natural cold and flu supplements simply don’t work.
“They appear to be no better than placebo,” he said. “In the general community there is no evidence vitamin C makes any difference in terms of length or severity of a cold.”
Another popular herbal remedy, echinacea, which is a member of the daisy family, has also failed to prove its effectiveness as a preventative.
One supplement that has shown promise is zinc, Dr Tam said. “There is some evidence it can reduce some symptoms but you need high doses and it tastes bad and can make you sick, ” he said.
Garlic has shown some promise but only one study has been done by the company which is selling the garlic supplement, Dr Tam said.”
Busted myths: what spiders, chewing gum and haemorrhoids have in common
As children, we believed our friends and parents when they told us disturbing tales of watermelon seeds growing in our stomachs and changes in the wind freezing our pulled funny faces permanently. But which of these childhood tales is true and what is a myth? We asked three experts whether there’s any truth (or lesson to be learned) to the tales that kept us up at night. Continue reading
Presentation titled “Common medical myths! And evidence-based health care” delivered at the Wolper Jewish Hospital, Wellbeing Program.
This was held at Cinema 9, Event Cinemas, Westfields, Bondi Junction, on 6 November 2013 at 1930.
The Powerpoint of the presentation can be downloaded by clicking here.
A transcript can be provided on request.
This article was original published in The Conversation.
Health Check: should we aim for daily bowel movements?
By Michael Tam
When I was in my teens, I watched the comedy Crazy People, starring Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah. Moore plays a burnt-out advertising executive who creates (hilarious) “honest” ads. One of the ads is for the fibre supplement Metamucil which claims:
It helps you go to the toilet. If you don’t use it, you’ll get cancer and die.