Last year I wrote about the Microbiome Medicine Summit, which was not really a summit/conference but rather a collection of interviews with “nutrition specialists” and “microbiome experts” – some real, others not so much – conducted by Raphael Kellman, who has been trained as an MD but is very eager to believe and report on non-scientific statements involving the human microbiome. RK has been award the “Overselling the Microbiome” Award by Jonathan Eisen.
Most of the talks at last year’s Microbiome Medicine Summit provided very little science, a lot about “nurturing your microbes” , some crazy stuff, and lots of promotions to buy overpriced probiotic drinks, minerals, and self-help books. Even more telling, there were very few interviews with real microbiome experts or scientists.
I wrote about some of these talks in my blog posts from last year: Microbiome Medicine Summit with Deepak Chopra et al, part 2 with Donna Gates, part 3 with Ann Louise Gittleman, part 4 with Joseph Mercola, and part 5 with Larry Dossey.
This year, the Microbiome Medicine Summit returned in its second edition, with lots of new interviews, but basically the same strange mix of a tiny bit of science and lots of quackery, snake oil, alternative facts, and of course links to dubious websites selling products claiming to cure diseases. As in last year’s collection, most of these interviews were with nutritionists and holistic doctors. And again, most interviews were conducted by Raphael Kellman, who sometimes talks more than the person he is interviewing, and never, ever, seems to ask a critical question. The schedule can be found here.
I took on the (at times painful) task of sitting through several of these talks so that I could share with you what they were about. Some of these talks were not too bad, with lots of “feed your microbes by eating healthy” types of messages, but some were outright weird or even dangerous. I reported about these talks on Twitter and compiled the tweets and some responses on Storify.
Here are my reports on Storify.