South Park's Scathing Critique of US Healthcare

By Erik Goldman, Editor

Promo for new South Park episode, The End of Obesity

The End of Obesity, a new episode of the viciously satirical cartoon series, South Park, is a merciless excoriation of American healthcare, one that has some physicians commenting that the show is more documentary than parody.

Currently running exclusively on Paramount Plus, this latest installment of the long-running show centers on the rotund Eric Cartman, who’s diagnosed as obese and learns about the new GLP1 agonists. Problem is, his mom’s insurance doesn’t cover them, and the family can’t afford the out-of-pocket cost.

Obsessed Ozempic, Cartman and his sometimes-friends, sometimes-rivals, Kyle and Butters, charge headlong into a maze of insanity called insurance-based healthcare—complete with fax machines, dot matrix printers, moribund claims reviewers, and endless bounces between doctors, imaging centers, labs, hospitals, and corporate offices.

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Featured Articles

Covid Virus Can Cause Retinal Damage

Written by Janet Gulland, Contributing Writer

Add retinal damage to the long and growing list of potential sequelae of Covid-19. Researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for triggering the ‘classic’ respiratory and immunologic symptoms of Covid can also pass the blood-retinal barrier, causing retinal damage and visual impairment. Like the blood-brain barrier, the blood-retina […]

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Hibiscus & Lemon Verbena: Herbal Allies for BP Regulation

Written by Jonathan Jones, PhD, Contributing Writer

Hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) and Lippia citriodora (lemon verbena) are two polyphenol-rich botanicals that, when combined, can act synergistically to regulate blood pressure. Oxidative stress, a key factor in the development and progression of hypertension, can lead to vascular damage and atherosclerosis. Mitigating oxidative stress is, therefore, an important aspect of managing hypertension. Natural polyphenols, like […]

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HPC Video

Quality & Integrity of Botanical Therapies: A Clinician’s Guide

Written by Erik Goldman

Herbal supplements are very popular, and for good reason: when chosen carefully and used appropriately they provide considerable support in restoring health and mitigating a host of disorders.

But how do you—and your patients—know which brands will actually deliver on their claims?

Which are free from contaminants, adulterants, and allergens?

Which companies are truly investing in quality assurance and ingredient integrity?

In this free webinar, you’ll learn about the state-of-the-science in botanical quality assurance from Elan Sudberg, CEO, of Alkemist Labs—one of the world’s leaders in analytical testing for botanical medicines.

Through their “Alkemist Assured” program, Elan and his colleagues are raising a new standard for the industry—one that will go a long way in ensuring your clinical confidence in botanicals.

We’ll also get a “look behind the logo” for three leading supplement makers and raw materials suppliers: Verdure Sciences, True Grace Health, and Quality of Life Labs.


Elan M. Sudberg is CEO of Alkemist Labs, a passionately committed contract testing laboratory specializing in plant authentication, botanical ingredient identification and quantitative analytical services. Founded in 1997, Alkemist Labs provides state of the art identity, purity, and potency testing for a vast range of plants and the phytochemicals derived from them. Élan holds a degree in chemistry from California State University Long Beach and has authored numerous journal articles on phytochemistry and analytical methods.

Bhaumik Darji,MS, is Quality Manager, Verdure Sciences. Based in Noblesville, IN, Verdure is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of clinically-researched, standardized botanical ingredients including: Longvida ® Curcumin, Pomella ®Pomegranate, and Witholytin ®  Ashwagandha. Bhaumik has 15+ years of experience in quality management, risk assessment, and regulatory compliance for the health and wellness, natural products, and dietary supplement industry. He oversees the quality operation at Verdure Sciences®.

Jennifer Weinhardt, MS, is Senior Director of R&D for True Grace, a supplement brand committed to product purity, regenerative agriculture, and global wellbeing. With an MS in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University, Jennifer holds that nutrition is the foundation of good health. This axiom has fueled her passion throughout her 15-year career in product development. Her goal is to ensure that True Grace produces high-quality, safe and efficacious supplements that optimize health and also have a positive impact on the planet.

Dan Lifton, MBA, is CEO of Quality of Life Labs and President of Maypro Industries. Widely known for AHCC ®, a glucan-rich extract of Shiitake mushrooms, QOL also provides more than 30 clinically-validated botanical formulas to consumers and medical practitioners. Maypro, QOL’s parent company, markets branded ingredients to the supplement industry. Dan is a seasoned industry veteran with vast knowledge of quality assurance and regulatory issues. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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