Sunday, May 16, 2021

#2470: Marvin Anderson

Yes, he appears to be an MD, but Marvin Anderson is more than anything an antivaccine conspiracy theorist and promoter of deeply questionable treatments (MD training does, after all, not necessarily include much training in assessing scientific evidence). He runs a clinic in northern Michigan called Abba’s Place where he “treats” autistic children, and he even has a book: Autism Prevention, Care and Management, which is a deranged journey in pseudoscience, conspiracy theories and antivaccine quackery. Apparently his main “treatment for ASD and ADHD consists of nonsense detox regimesprimarily directed to the digestive tract, including the liver” partially based on the quackery of Australian wellness loon Sandra Cabot, grand promoter of medically worthless and potentially dangerous liver flushes and colon cleanses to detoxify your body.


As Anderson sees it, “[a]nimal studies have shown an intriguing connection between inflammation in the intestinal tract and inflammation in the brain” and autism “can involve impairments in the body’s detoxification pathways”. And if you seek his services, he will help you identify “contaminants that are present in his patients and creating a detoxification plan for their safe and efficient removal.” Gibberish and garbage. And of course vaccines are to blame – yes, Anderson still pushes the myth that vaccines are a causal factor in autism, together with other environmental toxins.


And Anderson does of course not only treat autism, but a whole range of other ailments, from gluten sensitivity to “intestinal bacterial overgrowth”, and the crucial step seems precisely to cleanse your liver: “The medical profession has largely failed to recognize the important role of the liver as the body’s major filter in processing the ever-increasing onslaught of chemicals,” says Anderson – a claim that would come as a surprise to anyone with a basic understanding of medicine and makes one wonder where Anderson went to medical school – and suggests that it needs detoxification, a claim that is indeed not recognized by the medical profession, for very good reasons.


Diagnosis: Pseudoscientific bollocks and quackery. Maintain a safe distance, especially if you’ve actually got medical issues: the last thing you want is a loon like Anderson to come near them.


Hat-tip: Respectful insolence


  1. No, there's no room for Anderson in the medical professions' "one size fits all" approach to health. Drugs, drugs, and more drugs is all one needs!

    1. There is certainly a disconcertingly large amount of drugs prescribed in the US, and patients often get them prescribed because MDs (unfortunately) relent under pressure *from the patients*. But where on Earth do you get the idea that there is a "one size fits all" approach to health in science-based medicine? You can't know much about science-based medicine.

      The more important point, however, is: Yes, there are problems in conventional medicine. But that doesn't mean that quackery like Marvin Anderson's work. That you have trouble with your airline company when traveling doesn't mean that magic carpets would have gotten you anywhere. That doctors overprescribe drugs is not a reason to think detox therapies are anything but a scam. And Anderson's therapies are demonstrably useless, and he pushes claims that are demonstrably false. And no, there is, and should be, no room for baseless conspiracy theories and demonstrable falsehoods in conventional medicine.