Skeptic news: Magnet Therapy won't make you an Iron Man

By Keir Liddle

Product placement is ubiquitous in the summer blockbuster movie from  tempting E.T. with Reeces pieces to Renne Russo guzzling Pepsi in the Thomas Crown Affair and the 100 minute long Rainman for gamers The Wizard essentially an hour and forty minute advert for nintendo.

However product placement in movies generally features… well products. This summers first blockbuster “Avengers Assemble” jumps the shark in that it features a powerband type bracelet as part of Tony Starks Iron Man armour. Japanese jewellery company Colantotte state on their website:

Iron Man Gets Bleeding Edge With Colantotte

Marvel Custom Solutions and Colantotte combine forces with writer Fred Van Lente and artist Steve Kurth to create an all new experience in digital comics starring Iron Man!

Explore the history of Tony Stark and the evolution of the Iron Man Suits from the Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2 films – this video of the interactive comic explores the various versions and attributes of the Iron Man armor as Tony battles villains from the films. After each battle we experience Tony in his lab with J.A.R.V.I.S. improving on his suits, culminating in Tony’s realization that the Colantotte bracelets have a role to play in the most recent version of his armor.

Ironically bleeding edge technology is a category of technologies incorporating those so new that they could have a high risk of being unreliable and lead adopters to incur greater expense in order to make use of them. If powerbalance and magenetic therapy bracelets are anything they are certainly at a “high risk of being unreliable”.

Colantotte specialises in magnetic therapy jewellery offering products from £15o upwards that use “1,000 Gauss magnets aligned in a unique North-South array to maximize magnetic activity” (unlike their two dimensional competitors) their designs are based on the theory that:

“magnet therapy is that when a magnet is placed around a specific joint or body part, more blood is attracted to that area, leading to an increase in oxygen and nutrients. The combination of increased oxygen and nutrients leads to a faster healing process.”

The problem is that there is little evidence of efficacy for magnet therapy in the treatment of any disease or health problem and this has long been known and a CSI blog investigating magnet therapy claims concluded that:

Claims of therapeutic effects of permanent magnets should still be regarded with considerable skepticism. Most of the many testimonials to the effectiveness of magnetic therapy devices can be attributed to placebo effects and to other effects accompanying their use.

It would seem the only superhero that Iron Mans bracelet would help would be Wallet-empying man.

Oh and an important safety tip for all Skeptics News readers – try to avoid massive doses of Gamma Radiation or getting bitten by radioactive spiders this summer. The likely outcome of both these things is death.

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