The week in Structures – 8th May 2013 #PDB

May 8, 2013

Week #2: Trying to jumpstart our immune system to fight off HIV. 

Fighting the good fight against HIV.

In this weeks PDB releases, we see a couple of HIV-antibody structures, continuing the work of the Kwong and Mascola labs in the NIH. In 2011, these labs released a paper (published in Science) studying various antibodies that recognises and neutralise HIV-1. If you can recall your high school biology classes, antibody recognition of an invading pathogen is the first step in activating the immune system that hopefully results in successfully fighting off the infection. This work has been further developed with papers this year in Cell and Nature – Prolific and important work!

The structure shown below contains the “FAb fragment” (gold & bronze cartoon) of the antibody bound to gp120 (the big blue blob).

Antibody recognition of HIV gp120 - a surface marker of the HIV virus. After PDB # 4JB9

Antibody recognition of HIV gp120 – a surface marker of the HIV virus. After PDB # 4JB9

Glycoprotein 120 (gp120) is a component of the HIV surface spikes – which recognise a range of different molecules on the surface of our cells and initiate infection. It is because of the this that gp120 is an attractive vaccine candidate – however, recombinant gp120 has failed deliver results in clinical trials, and it is hoped that by studying antibody-gp120 interactions and perhaps by designing a novel gp120-dervied antigen, an effective HIV vaccine can be developed.

Presumably the authors discuss the relevance of their findings in the paper (not released at the time of writing here) in the context of HIV treatment and rational vaccine design. (PDB codes 4JB9 and 4J6R). (EDIT: Other work in the same edition of Science discuss similar topics, here and an article “Rational HIV Immunogen design to targets specific germline B-cell receptors.”)

Other structures of note this week at the excellently named “star domain of quaking protein in complex with RNA” and some work looking at the mechanism by which angiopoietin 1 and 2 interact with the Tie2 receptor tyrosine kinase ([paper] | [PDB] ), which might lead to therapeutics that prevent tumours growing their own blood supplies (angiogenesis blockers).

On branded drugs.

May 5, 2013

I went shopping yesterday…

Anti-allergy meds

On the left, a box of 14 generic allergy relief tablets, each containing 10mg Cetirizine HCl and Lactose – costing £1.

On the right, a box of 14 branded allergy relief tablets, each containing 10mg Cetirizine HCl and Lactose – costing £5.67. In a sale. Down from £7.57.

The active ingredients are  identical. The evidence for the efficacy of the active ingredients is identical. So how can companies justify charging 7.5 times more? I understand and acknowledge that effective marketing and other psychological factors might lead to a more effective placebo component of any clinical effect [1][2] – but a 7.5 fold increase in effectiveness?

The chemical structure of cetirizine.

The chemical structure of cetirizine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we assume that the sellers make some sort of profit on the generic, then someone must be making a huge profit on the branded anti-allergy meds. Which seems a little immoral. If you can offer people relief for 7.1p per day, why charge as much as 54p per day?

Whether or not this pricing is down to the pharmaceutical industry I cannot be sure – but big pharma don’t have the greatest public image at the moment – and examples like this sat on the shelf of your local supermarket perhaps serve as another example of why.

Psorinum therapy – homeopathy for cancer?

January 31, 2011

A quick look at another paper doing the rounds

There is an update to this blog post that follows the original post

These papers [1], [2](pdf) have recently been pimped around twitter by various homeopaths, apparently as proof that a homeopathic remedy can cure cancers, including the very nasty pancreatic cancers. Paper 1 (published in a sensible-looking oncology journal) is just an abstract from a meeting, and paper 2 (published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine) is the actual paper with all the juicy details – but they essentially detail the same study.

Taken on face value, the results are pretty amazing, with 5-year survival rats of around 40% for patients with stomach, gall bladder pancreatic and liver cancers (paper 2, table 3).

Compare these with current 5 year survival rates for stomach and pancreatic cancers of roughly 12% and 2% respectively.

So, if kosher – these results would be a fantastic addition to the arsenal in the war on cancer.


… the studies were conducted without any controls whatsoever. The mind boggles. Why bother going to the effort of a 5 year study, and not including a control arm? Whether it be an ‘untreated’ arm, a placebo arm or a comparison against current best practices and therapies, a control arm would have increased the viability of this study no end. Even if they failed to recruit any more patients, and just split the patients into to two randomised groups with 20-odd patients in each arm, the power and impact of the study would be massively enhanced. To not control anything is just a massive fail.

This massive fail is then compounded by a failure of peer-review at eCAM. Did the reviewers not ask themselves where the controls in this study where? However, this was published in eCAM and this is clearly labelled as a prospective study – maybe I am being too harsh.

However, for those totting this paper as evidence for homeopathy curing cancer,  let’s make this absolutely clear: the only conclusions that can be drawn from this study are that the study is ultimately a waste of 5 years and is utterly meaningless in it’s current form. It should have been designed properly 5 years ago, and it should have contained some sort of control arm, and should have been properly randomised and blinded.

The authors are clearly aware of this and allude to it themselves in the final sentence of the paper:

“…randomized double-blind clinical trial, detailed molecular, pharmacokinetics,and pharmacodynamics studies should be conducted for further scientific exploration of this alternative cancer treatment to determine if it can be integrated into the mainstream oncology.”


It is perhaps telling that in this final sentence in the paper, that the authors mention “detailed molecular, pharmacokinetics,and pharmacodynamics studies.” That use of the word ‘molecular’ is the only appearance of the word molecular or derivatives thereof in the entire paper, maybe unsurprising given that this is a homeopathic study.

The wonder remedy that the researchers are testing out is ‘Psnorium’ – a homeopathic remedy made from the fluid from scabies blisters (yuck) – that apparently has indications for a large number of symptoms, including, “generalities; sensitive; to pain” – well, that rules out the ~48 people on the planet that suffer from CIPA, then…

Of more note to people with an interest in molecular mechanisms (myself included), is the fact that the dilution factor used in the study is only 6x. So, 1 in 1,000,000.

Wait a minute! That’s cheating! There is an outside chance that Psnorium 6x actually has “something” in it!

Let’s assume for a minute that the results are genuine, and Psnorium 6x has had an effect on these cancers. The fluid from scabies blisters will likely contain serous fluid – but depending upon the exact contents of the blister it could contain all manner of biochemical goodies.

Given that scabies blisters are apparently intensely itchy, there may be some histamine around. The fact that the scabies mite (a foreign object) has penetrated the skin, means that some sort of immune response will have been mounted, and therefore it is inconceivable that scabies blisters would not contain some cytokines or chemokines. Was the remedy prepared from crusted or normal scabies? Because patients with crusted scabies secrete higher levels of cytokines IL-5 and IL-13, and lover levels of IFN-gamma than normal patients [3]. Other studies have shown that scabies mites, or extracts thereof alter secretion levels of a whole range of cytokines:

Active mites on the surface of the HSE induced secretion of cutaneous T cell-attracting chemokine, thymic stromal lymphopoietin, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and macrophage colony-stimulating factor.

So, biochemically speaking, scabies blister fluid likely contains some very interesting molecules, some of which may have an effect on cancer cells. Oral administration of Interleukins has been shown to have physiological effects in some studies, and cytokine therapy is an avenue being explored in the fight against cancer.

<Insert vaguely witty sub-heading here>

Let’s assume that the DBRCT has been done properly, and it shows a clear, statistically significant effect in cancer patients. What next? Would it be the killer blow that shows that skeptics have been wrong and homeopathy works? Sadly not – because of the likely presence of actual molecules of something. That being said, if there is an effect to be seen, it does at least give us the possibility of conducting an interesting experiment to test homeopathy:

  • Take the scabies blister fluid.
  • Give one-third of it to a homeopath, get them to make up their remedies as usual, with all the serial dilutions and succussion.
  • Give another third to a competent postgraduate student. Get them to make a 1 in 106 dilution of it, but without the homeopathic rituals like succussion.
  • Give the final third to a well-equipped, well-staffed biochemistry lab. Get them to fractionate the fluid by HPLC or FPLC, and then test the fractions for biological activity in a suitable assay, and identify the molecules present are responsible for the effect, (assuming it’s not some arm-wavy, unsubstantiated guff about the vital force or EM fields) they will presumably isolate one or more fractions that contain the molecules responsible for the therapeutic effect. These molecules could then be purified for trial in patients.

If only the homeopathic remedy recapitulates the results of the DBRCT, then homeopathy works. Elseif, science works, and someone just got lucky feeding diluted extract of scabies blister to cancer patients.



A blog post at Anaximperator that I was alerted to by a pingback is well worth a look as it contains a rather interesting graph from the conference presentation that was not included in the publications –

“Psorinum+Allopathy+Homeopathy” does not look significantly different from “Psorinum+Allopathy”. “Psorinum+Homeopathy” comes a distant 3rd. The authors of the study apparently didn’t think to include an “Allopathy” or “Homeopathy” alone group. Looking at this, I would suggest that psorinum gives little, if any, benefit above and beyond the conventional treatment that patients were receiving. You will note that the only group without conventional/allopathic treatment fared significantly worse than those groups receiving it. As the anaximperator author wryly observes –  “It appears that conventional treatment is necessary for homeopathy to work.” 😉

Canadian Homeopaths plan astroturf-war

January 13, 2011

A quick note about something that popped up on my radar…

The logo of Marketplace (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

This website (and just in case – a freezepage ) reveals that the Canadian Society of Homeopaths are planning a response to a forthcoming CBC show, Marketplace, which is running a documentary on Homeopathy. Without seeing the show (it aires on Friday, Jan 14, 2011),  it seems that the Canuck homeopaths are assuming that it puts homeopathy in a negative light (I wonder why?) and they want to get the message out so any interested parties can watch it. Fair enough.

However, their list of actions (sent out via e-mail to their members) reveals that they are also planning to bombard the Marketplace show’s blog with pro-homeopathy comments:

4. Be prepared to leave a comment on the CBC and Marketplace website immediately after the programme airs. Go to and check out the comment function right now. Sign up now to create a user’s account so that there will be no delay when you are ready to send your comments. Once the programme has aired, you can leave a comment by clicking on the title, which will take you to a summary page concluding with a link “Share your comment”. This leads to a comment box, which requires that you sign in. CBC monitors and reviews all messages so you may want to read the Submission Guidelines page before planning to send your comments.

5. Know what you are going to say so that you can post a response without delay. Choose to focus on a single point per comment, elaborate on it, and conclude with a strong, affirming statement. Often the most effective messages are short, concise, and to the point. Send as many of these as you can

They want to get their points in quickly (“leave a comment on the CBC and Marketplace website immediately after the programme airs”) but have perhaps failed to spot that unlike the Grauniad in the UK, the comments on the Marketplace blog are listed most recent first – so the early comments will soon be pushed off the bottom. They also request that their followers post as many short, concise comments as they can – essentially spamming up the comments board.

In point 7, the CSoH also warn members about falling into the same trap that UK homeopaths have fallen into regarding homeopathic for malaria vaccines.

In the second point 7, they go into full-bore, “la-la-la-I can’t hear you” mode.

la la la - I can't hear you!

How we all react to this criticism will determine how much traction this story maintains in the coming weeks and months. We urge you to be calm, be polite, be underwhelmed. Take the moral high ground. Convey that this Marketplace programme is no more than a mild irritant for homeopaths who are providing an important service in your community. It is disappointing that the CBC journalists chose to ignore the reality that is the basis of homeopathy, but that doesn’t affect what we know to be true.

The strength in homeopathy is that it works. We practitioners know it works because we see it every day in our patients and they obviously know it works because they refer their family and friends to homeopathy and they keep coming back when they get ill. Nay-sayers can say “it aint so” until they are blue in the face, but that doesn’t change the fact that homeopathy does work, even if we still don’t know how it works. Full stop. End of discussion. Let’s say what needs to be said to set the record straight and then get back to doing the important work that we do with homeopathy.

Any Canadian sceptics out there may want to keep an eye on how this astroturfing campaign proceeds 😉

Scientific evidence for homeopathy?

October 2, 2010
Homeopathic repertory, by J.T. Kent.

Homeopathic repertory, by J.T. Kent. (Image via Wikipedia)

I had to do this in lots of small doses to prevent the stupid rubbing off…

People with bad-science style blogs, or on twitter may have noticed ‘Dr’ Nancy Malik and co pushing a google knol page in which said homeopathic astroturfer had dumped a whole bunch of links to homeopathy paper that she concludes has “confirmed the efficacy of homeopathic medicine.”


First thing to note is that she reckons there are 130+ studies… just under 100 by my reckoning, but then I didn’t count the 59 instances of multiple posting of the same paper, or indeed the many websites, news articles and blog posts which are not peer-reviewed.

I’ve gone through Malik’s knol page (fixing some of her wretched formatting quirks), and annotating each paper. My annotations appears as blockquotes. There are a few instances where I ‘ve not been able to access the full text of an article. If you can, e-mail me at xtaldaveblog_squiggle_gmail_dot_com. I have NOT drilled down into papers that might be mentioned on pages linked to, because, to be honest, I have a career and a family, and I can only read so many crappy clinical trials in a week.

Picking holes in the individual papers was not a particularly arduous task, but the sheer quantity of piffle to plough through meant that it took a while. At some point, I intend to create a searchable spreadsheet… watch this space…

The basic take home message is that the vast majority of these studies fail to impress as they have very small sample sizes. Mostly less than 100 patients per group, occasionally down to single figures. There are also plenty of instances where remedies are used at dilutions below 12C – thereby suggesting that active ingredients may actually remain – thus the ‘prior probability‘ of these remedies is non-zero. I have no real issue with the plausibility of such remedies – but let us be clear that in such cases the homeopathic bells and whistles (like succussion) have not been shown to have a demonstrable effect. This does not mean of course, that sub 12C remedies do not need to have their efficacy assessed in a correct and rigorous manner.


1. Journal of Psychosomatic Research (Pergamon) (2004) //Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Subjective, Patient questionnaires to measure outcome of 92 patients. p=0.09 – is not generally considered to be significant.


World’s first DBRPCT was conducted in 1835 by a homeopath physician Johann Jacob Reuter,

Hardly relevant, as it is not peer reviewed. Worth mentionning only because it demonstrates the amazing ability of Malik to post things without actually reading them or critically assessing them. The DBRPCT concluded that “The vast majority of those who had received the homeopathic salt dilution had thus not experienced any ‘effect’. The investigators concluded that Reuter was wrong.”

1. Lancet (1997) //homeopathy is statistically significantly superior (2.45 times more effective and positive) to placebo

The 1997 Linde review was updated in 1999 and concludes “Our analyses provide clear evidence that in the study set investigated more rigorous trials tended to yield smaller effect sizes.” (1986) //hay fever

Only 52/56 patients in each group. Only subjective scores changed – objective measures like IgE no different. (1994) //homeopathy does more than placebo

15/13 patients in each group. Conventional meds taken alongside homeopathy. No difference in objective measures.

2. British Medical Journal (1991) //105 studies: 77% of studies show positive result of homeopathy

CONCLUSIONS–At the moment the evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions because most trials are of low methodological quality and because of the unknown role of publication bias. This indicates that there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of well performed trials. (2000) FULL TEXT //allergic rhinitis

51 patients. Flawed Statistics.
“Editor – Taylor et al came to the conclusion that “this study has failed to confirm our original hypothesis that homeopathy is a placebo” [1]. Unfortunately, the statistics do not prove that. The basis for the study was a prestudy power calculation [2] which required 120 patients to prove the hypothesis, with a 5% significance and an 80% power, infact only the study only recruited 51 patients, but analysed the results as if they had the required number. In fact their only conclusion was that they do not have enough data to make a conclusion. If we accept the availability of only 51 patients at the outset, what are the relevant calculations ? The power calculation is only 43%, and to maintain the power calculation at 80%, the “p-value” becomes 34% ! The only conclusion is that the trial is not able to prove anything.” (1989) //fibromyalgia (Inflammation in muscles)

Not beyond Avagadros constant. “We showed that the homoeopathic medicine R toxicodendron 6c was effective for a selected subgroup of patients with fibrositis.” (2001) //Pre Mensuration Syndrome

8/11 patients participated in each arm of this trial. Pitiful.

3.Chest (2005) FULL TEXT //Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

25 patients in each group – groups not properly matched.

4. European Journal of Paedretics (SpringerLink) (2005) FULL TEXT //ADHD

Cochrane review of Homeopathy for ADHD (which includes this study) concludes “Overall the results of this review found no evidence of effectiveness for homeopathy for the global symptoms, core symptoms or related outcomes of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”

5. Interdisciplinary Sciences: Life Sciences (SpringerLink) (2009) FULL TEXT //electromagnetic properties of highly-diluted biological samples

Debunked here –

6. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (2003) // diarrhea

Debunked here: (2001) //otitis media

Not statistically significant. “There were fewer treatment failures in the group receiving homeopathy after 5 days, 2 weeks and 6 weeks, with differences of 11.4, 18.4 and 19.9%, respectively, but these differences were not statistically significant.”

7. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (InterScience by Wiley) (2009) //Psoriasis

No Placebo Control

8. Ear, Nose and Throat disorders (Bio Med Central) (2009) FULL TEXT //chronic sinusitis

No Placebo Control

9. Toxicological Sciences (Oxford University Press) (2006) //why small doses is better than large dose

Paper concerns HORMESIS and NOT HOMEOPATHY. Doesn’t even mention homeopathy.

10. Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery (American Medical Association) (2006) FULL TEXT //Arnica for bruising

14/15 patients in each group. This graph says it all.

11. Sleep Medicine (Elseiver) (2010) //Nux Vomica 30 & Coffea Cruda 30 for insomnia

Patients with caffeine induced insomnia had to alter their caffeine intake to participate in the study.
Should be retitled “Altering caffeine intake in patients with caffeine induced insomnia alters their caffeine induced insomnia”

12. Cancer;2-%23/full (2001) FULL TEXT //Traumeel S for stomatitis

15/15 patients in each group – Traumeel S is not diluted beyond 10^23…

13. Applied Health Economics & Health Policy (2009) //Sinfrontal for ENT & respiratory tract infections

Can’t get full text – but it is clear that the remedy is not diluted beyond 10^23, Looks like their basis for Sinfrontal being superior is in part due to that that it is cheaper than genuine antibacterials. Also – it is not clear whether or not the cases of sinusitis studies were confirmed as being due to a bacterial infetion, rather than viral infection of allergen response.

14. Inflammation Research (2004) FULL TEXT // homeopathy histamine modulates human basophil activation

Degrenulation studies discussed in depth here.

15. Rheumatic Diseases Clinics of North America (2000) //rheumatic diseases

Can’t get full text…

16. Pediatrics (1994) //diarrhea

Discussed here :

17. Journal of Hellenic Headache Association,en/ (2006) //migraine

36 patients. Not placebo controlled.

18. Rheumatology (Oxford University Press) (2004)FULL TEXT// LM potency for fibromyalgia

26/27 patients in the study groups. (2000) FULL TEXT //osteo-arthritis of the knee

Not placebo controlled. Not clear if ingredients of gel are diluted beyond 10^23.

19. American Journal of Pain Management (1998) //pain due to osteo-arthritis

Not statistically significant, or placebo controlled.

20. Physica A (2003) //distinguishing one homeopathy medicine from another

Interesting, but largely irrelevant wrt homeopathy. Discussed here

21. Journal of Clinical Gastro-enterology (1997) //post-operative ileus

Concludes “However, several caveats preclude a definitive judgment. These results should form the basis of a randomized controlled trial to resolve the issue.”

22. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation (1999) //Mild traumatic brain injury

Total of 50 patients. “Our findings require large-scale, independent replication.”

23. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (1989) FULL TEXT //influenza

Cochrane review of homeopathy for influenza: “Current evidence does not support a preventative effect of Oscillococcinum-like homeopathic medicines in influenza and influenza-like
syndromes.”[object 3]+AND+9[Volume]+AND+453[page] (1980) //rheumatoid arthritis

Only 26 patients in each group

24. Phlebology

“Complementary Treatment of Varicose Veins: A Randomised,
Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Trial” E. Ernst, T. Saradeth, K.L. Resch, 1990, 157-163.Over a period of 24 days, the effects of a homeopathic complex preparation and placebo on varicose veins were tested in a double-blind trial of 61 people suffering from this condition. The homeopathic complex produced an averaged 44%
improvement in the condition while those given the placebo experienced an averaged worsening of the disorder.

Can’t get full text.

25. Human and Experimental Toxicology (1994) //80% homeopathy medicines shows positive effects

Points out that many studies are of poor quality and lack replication – as the paper doesn’t make any specific claims of cure of efficacy ,hardly relevant.

26. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (1997) //otitis media

Otitis media is a self-limiting condition with multiple causes. This paper compare Homeopathy with conventional meds – however, as no attempts appears to be made to determine what caused the OM, the conventional meds may be ineffective themselves, given that OM can be caused by viral infection, etc. No placebo control.

27.Journal of Dermatological Treatment (1997) //Sulphur 6, Siliciea 6 & Carbo Veg 6 for ulcer

7 patients in each group. Not diluted beyond 10^23.

28 Archives of Otolaryngology – head and Neck Surgery (1998) //vertigo

Can’t get full text – but abstract reveals no placebo control – “+ve control” is against conventional meds which may or may not be effective depending on cause of vertigo.

29. Biological Therapy (1995) FULL TEXT //sinus

HomeoNasal Spray not diluted beyond 10^23 – may contain active ingredients!

30. International Journal of High Dilution Research (2010) //Nux-Vomica, Merc, Belladonna for acute rhinitis

No Placebo control, and Rhinitis is another self-limiting condition which is often caused by viral infection, allergic reactions, seasonal responses to change in climate, etc etc. (2008) FULL TEXT // Quality of life, Cost effectiveness

Not a clinical trial.

31. The Science of the total Environment (Elseiver) (2007) //Arsenicum Album 30 for arsenic toxicity

Discussed here:

“a trial with no real inclusion criteria, poor randomisation, enormous drop out rate, that changes its protocol halfway to include meaningless controls, then utilises incorrect statistical techniques to analyse the wrong parameters.”

32. International Journal of Oncology (2003) //Ruta 6 for brain cancer

A cell culture-based paper with actual amounts of active ingredient – not homeopathy.

33. Nonlinear Biomedical Physics (Bio Med Central) (2009) //Dilution beyond avogadro number

Noisy data. Cell culture based assay of a fungal enzyme.

34. Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift (German) (1997) //homeopathic Galphimia glauca for hay fever

Not got full text. Outcome measured by the patient. “As not all of the single studies were analyzed by intention to treat analysis the results may be biased.” (2005)
//emergency/critically ill/ICU patients

Not got full text.

35. Der Kassenarzt (German) FULL TEXT // tonsillitis

Croatian, not german. Not sure where this is published, or if it is even peer reviewed. Treatments used not beyond 10^23.

36. Arzneimittel-Forschung (German) meaning Medicines Research (English) (2005) //vertigo

No full text – but no placebo control.


1. Homeopathy (Elseiver) (2003)

This journal is hardly an unbiased observer in this case, and has been seen taking liberties with published data to provide support for homeopathy where support is not justified – including this paper – see (paper 2) (2005) //severe sepsis

Only 35 patients per trial arm. This is in addition to conventional meds. (2009) //treatment of respiratory infections by homeopathy is cheaper by 50% compared to conventional medicine

So apparently sugar is cheaper than real meds. Who knew? (2005) //Inflammation of the mucous membranes of nose & throat

Concludes that homeopathy is better than antibiotics at treating acute rhinopharyngitis – but then given that most pharyngitis is viral – is that really a well designed trial? No. No placebo arm either. (2010) //placebo effect size same in allopathy & homeopathy medicine

“RESULTS: In 13 matched sets the placebo effect in the homeopathic trials was larger than the average placebo effect of the conventional trials, in 12 matched sets it was lower (P=0.39). Additionally, no subgroup analysis yielded any significant difference.” – Yeah, and? (2010) //Leptospirosis (fever+jaundice+ inflammation in kidney+enlargement of spleen)

Debunked here – (2009) //oral ulcer

Not diluted beyond 10^23. Only single (patient) blinded. (2010) FULL TEXT //chronic insomnia

Only 30 patients in total. Sleep quality questionnaire were only outcome measure. (2009) //homeopathy as an adjunct to usual care for fibromyalgia

47 patients. No placebo arm. (2006) FULL TEXT //patho-genetic trials

About provings. Not particularly relevant. (2008) //osteo-arthritis

The paper is so badly written, it’s difficult to see quite what they intended to show. No placebo arm, doesn’t mention blinding, 47 patients in total. (2008) // 3C differs from 4C

The fact that Malik thinks that the fact that a 100^3 dilution differs from a 100^4 dilution is significant suggests an astonishing lack of chemistry knowledge.
All I have to say is “well-duh”

2. British Homoeopathic Journal (1986) //Arnica, Bryonia & Rhus Tox for fibromyalgia

24 Patients. “homœopathy produced a statistically significant improvement, but only when the prescribed remedy was well indicated.” – “well indicated” is a subjective assessment by the homeopath… (1993) //Caulophyllum 7C reduces duration of labour by 90 minutes

7C may contain active ingredient. No Placebo arm. Control group may not be well matched, and have some spuriously long labour times, which skewed average.

3. Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy

Not peer-reviewed as far as I can tell

4. American Journal of Homoeopathic Medicine

( Diarrhoeal Diseases in Children, 2009, 102 (3): 122-129

Not listed in Pubmed.

5. Asian Journal of Homeopathy (

To investigate the effectiveness of homeopathy in medical primary care in upper and lower respiratory tract complaints, 01 Feb 2008, pp. 3-19

Not listed in Pubmed

6. Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Govt of India

Link broken – not peer-reviewed (1988-2007)

Link broken – not peer-reviewed


1.Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine(Liebert) (2008) //Arnica Montana for wounds

No placebo arm. No diluted beyond 10^23. Only 88 patients. (2005) //distinguishing homeopathy medicine from solvent

Can’t get full text. Doesn’t distinguish remedy from remedy though? Are all high dilution homeopathic remedies identical? (Yes). (2007)

Not peer-reviewed. (2005) //distinguishing homeopathy medicine from solvent

A repeated citation from above. (2003) //distinguishing homeopathy medicine from solvent

Can’t get full text.

2.Evidence-based Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (Oxford University Press) (2007) FULL TEXT (2009) FULL TEXT //LM potency for Depression

Homeopathy no worse that Fluoxitine, which is itself only indicated for severe depression (2005) FULL TEXT //immunology

Historical review paper. Irrelevant. (2007) FULL TEXT //in-vitro, tumour

Heh – I “did” this one – Failure to control for ethanol concentration is epic. (2007) FULL TEXT //thallasemia

Some remedies beyond 10^23, some not. Small, variable N numbers – largest group 24 patients.

3.Complementary Therapy in Medicine (Elseiver) (2006) //arnica for inflammation

Review of 3 trials. Arnica NOT beyond 10^23 (“. In arnica 30×, arnica is diluted 30 times with water, each dilution in the proportion 1:1”) Only one (with 57 patients made significance). (2005) FULL TEXT //chronic diseases

Not Placebo controlled. Poorly matched groups (look at education, which is correlated with social class & prosperity & thus general health). No objective clinical outcome measures. (2007) //in vitro evidence of serial agitated ultra-molecular dilutions

Review of in-vitro experiments, eg. Basophile degranulation assays. Many of these studies not blinded. Notes that “No positive result was stable enough to be reproduced by all investigators.” (2005) //Arnica Montana & Bellis Perennis for bleeding after delivery

Bizarre. Trail conducted on ~210 patients. But this is a preliminary report of just 40. Which manages to just about crawl into
significance. Despite 5 years waiting, the full study not published yet… Also – some treatment groups not beyond 10^23 – and treatment groups look to be combined in analysis. //homeopathy for eczema

Natural News. Lolzors..

4. Forsch Komplementarmed(German) meaning Research in Complimentary Medicine (English) (2006) //homeopathy is safe & effective

Tries to be a meta-review. Fails to examine or judge methodology. Multiple diseases and treatments and outcome measures. (2009) //Antimony 6X for pro-coagulatory effect in bleding disorder

Not beyond 10^23. Only 30 patients. (2009) //homeopathy differs from placebo

Proving. Bonkers.


1. Public Health (Bio Med Central) (2005) FULL TEXT // (Chronic) Disease severity and quality of life demonstrated marked and sustained improvements following homeopathic treatment

Not placebo controlled, or indeed controlled or blinded at all. A study of regression to mean. (2008) FULL TEXT //Disease severity & quality of life increases following homeopathy treatment

Not placebo controlled, or indeed controlled or blinded at all. A study of regression to mean.

2. Homeopathy (2008) //hot flushes in menopausal women

Not a controlled trial. No placebo arm. (2004) //improved physical condition & high satisfaction, allopathy drug discontinued

No controls. No objective clinic outcomes measures.

3. Journal of Alternative & Complimentary Medicine (2005) //chronic diseases

Not placebo controlled, or indeed controlled or blinded at all. “Patients who want sugar pills, like sugar pills”

4. Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (Bio Med Central) (2008) FULL TEXT //higher paptient satisfaction compared to allopathy

Patients satisfactory survey. Not relevant for efficacy. (2007) FULL TEXT
//respiratory& ear complaints

Not controlled. Many respiratory & ear complaints are viral in nature, and so comparison to conventional meds is not justified.

5. Homoeopathic Links (2010) //Hepar sulphuris, Antimonium crudum, Sulphur and Calcarea carbonica for boils

Not beyond 10^23. Not controlled.



Website (1997) //89 studies: homeopathy is statistically significantly superior (2.45 times more effective) to placebo

Linde Test Fail (REPOST) – see above for conclusions of 1999 re-analysis. (2003) // diarrhea

REPOST (1997) //post-operative ileus

REPOST (1997) //homeopathic Galphimia glauca for hay fever

REPOST (2010) //placebo effect size same in allopathy & homeopathy medicine

REPOST (2005) FULL TEXT //chronic diseases



1. PubMed (1906-till date)

Websearch link. //hypericum for depression

St John’s Wort for depression. Not homeopathy.

2.InterScience (Wiley) (2009) //hypericum for depression


3. Cochrane (2008) //hypericum for depression

REPOST (2003) // Oscillococcinum for influenza

See above – apparently shortened flu by 7 hours. How would you know? Noise.

4. HomBRex


Evidence for Specific Disease Conditions




WEBSITE (1986) //Arnica, Bryonia & Rhus Tox for fibromyalgia

Methodology paper. Maximum Patient number 24. (2006) FULL TEXT //Arnica for bruising

REPOST (2010) //Nux Vomica 30 & Coffea Cruda 30 for insomnia

REPOST;2-%23/full (2001) FULL TEXT //Traumeel S for stomatitis

REPOST (2009) //Sinfrontal for ENT & respiratory tract infections

REPOST (1997) //homeopathic Galphimia glauca for hay fever

REPOST (2008) //Arnica Montana for wounds

REPOST (2006) //arnica for inflammation

REPOST (2005) //Arnica Montana & Bellis Perennis for bleeding after delivery

REPOST (2009) //Antimony 6X for pro-coagulatory effect in bleeding disorder

REPOST //hypericum for depression

REPOST (2003) // Oscillococcinum for influenza

REPOST (2008) //osteo-arthritis

REPOST (1989) //fibromyalgia (Inflammation in muscles)

REPOST (1997) //Sulphur 6, Siliciea 6 & Carbo Veg 6 for ulcer

REPOST (1998) //vertigo

REPOST (1995) FULL TEXT //sinus

Not beyond 10^23. Not significant. (2010) //Nux-Vomica, Merc, Belladonna for acute rhinitis

REPOST (2010) //Hepar sulphuris, Antimonium crudum, Sulphur and Calcarea carbonica for boils

REPOST (2007) FULL TEXT //thallasemia

REPOST (2007) //Arsenicum Album 30 for arsenic toxicity

REPOST (2003) //Ruta 6 for brain cancer


Homeopathy Research Resource









Homeopathy superior to Allopathy (2006) //why small doses is better than large dose

REPOST (2009) //homeopathy as an adjunct to usual care for fibromyalgia

REPOST (2004) //improved physical condition & high satisfaction, allopathy drug discontinued

REPOST (2008) FULL TEXT //higher patient satisfaction compared to allopathy

REPOST (1997) //otitis media


A pilot study in Ghana showing homoeopathic treatment equal to and slightly more effective than chloroquine in the treatment of acute malaria (Br Homoeopath J 1996 Apr;85(2):66-70).

Homeopathy cost-effective than allopathy (2009) //treatment of respiratory infections by homeopathy is cheaper by 50% compared to conventional medicine



Homeopathy equals Allopathy (2010) //placebo effect size same in allopathy & homeopathy medicine

REPOST (2007) FULL TEXT //respiratory& ear complaints

REPOST //vertigo


Homeopathy superior to placebo (1997) //homeopathy is statistically significantly superior (2.45 times more effective) to placebo

REPOST (1994) //homeopathy does more than placebo

REPOST (2009) //homeopathy differs from placebo

REPOST (2006) FULL TEXT //patho-genetic trials

REPOST (2006) //arnica for inflammation

REPOST FULL TEXT // tonsillitis

REPOST (2003) // diarrhea

REPOST // Migraine, Berlin Journal for research in homeopathy

WEBSITE (2000) FULL TEXT //allergic rhinitis

REPOST (2005) FULL TEXT //Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

REPOST (2005) //severe sepsis

REPOST (2008) //hypericum for depression

REPOST (2001) //otitis media


Homeopathy improving Quality of life (2005) FULL TEXT // (Chronic) Disease severity and quality of life (QoL) demonstrated marked and sustained improvements following homeopathic treatment

REPOST (2008) FULL TEXT //Disease severity & QoL of life increases following homeopathy treatment



More Research Studies //fish kill / laser reflection experiments

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Physics behind homeopathy

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Memory of Water

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Not peer reviewed.

Tries very hard to look like a peer-reviewed paper, but I can’t find it in pubmed…. hmm.

Not peer reviewed.

Dilutions beyond Avogadro Number







Evidence-based Medicine

WEBSITE‘s%20Presentation.pdf //Pandemics & epidemics 1813-1918


Not Peer reviewed

To distinguish one homeopathy medicine from another

(6 methods) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrum

Not Peer reviewed

Nuclear Spectroscopy

Not Peer reviewed (2008)


Protected Forum

Electromagnetic Signatures

Not Peer reviewed

Not Peer reviewed

Not Peer reviewed



Physiological variability in human body

Not peer reviewed;year=2008;volume=54;issue=3;spage=223;epage=230;aulast=Jain;type=2

Can’t get full text

Duff Link

Medical Analyser

Not peer reviewed

Not peer reviewed

Not peer reviewed

Raman Laser SpectroscopyIn 1976, Boiron and Vinh used Raman Laser Spectroscopy, showing that for the 1C potency of Kali bichromicum the spectrum of alcohol disap-pears completely, while that for potassium bichromate appears. In Kali bich 1C the ratio of the number of potassium bichromate molecules is 1 to 500. In such a case the light meets 500 more alcohol molecules as those of bichromate, yet the alcohol spectrum does not appear.


To distinguish homeopathy medicine from solvent // Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum

Can’t get full text //Bio-Electrography

Can’t get full text – “the present findings also highlight the need for additional research to evaluate factors that may affect
reproducibility of results.” (2009) //Aconitum 30C differs from placebo

27 patients – non-objective outcome measures.

Placebo Effect (2010) //placebo effect size same in allopathy & homeopathy medicine



Anecdotal Evidence [PSHAW!]






Potency Selection





Vital Force


Animal Studies (2007) //Scientific World Journal

Discussed here



Concludes: “The discrepancies between single-blind and double-blind methods in animal pharmacological research are noteworthy and should be better investigated, also in non-homeopathic research.” TEXT

Lit review.

Another cell culture based paper which fails to control for alcohol.

Actually controls for alcohol, but with 6 mice in each group…. FULL TEXT

Doesn’t control for alcohol FULL TEXT

The authors note that this is not reproducible, even on the same make of Raman spec – only the spec used in this study. Oh dear. FULLTEXT

Small sample sizes. Both sub and beyond 10^23 remedies used. Big variation in data.

Review of a study which fails to control for ethanol content – again

Not beyond 10^23. Mice behavioural studies are difficult to assess and quantify. (1999) //Alternative Therapies in Health & Management

“To confirm whether antibiotic metaphylaxis may be replaced by homeopathic metaphylaxis, this study should be repeated

Not peer reviewed

Plant Studies

Another list. Another day.