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Friday, February 27. 2015
Marketing can work wonders, as can the placebo effect. Don't be a sucker.
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Placebo effect? Yup, better than drugs or surgery in many instances.
Unfortunately, that's often all that modern medicine has to offer: expensive drugs or even more expensive surgery; both of whose risks are well-known.
Check out the FDA-required multi-page lists of side effects, which now come with every drug----the cure is worse than the disease! Except there in no "cure", only relief from symptoms, maybe.
As for surgery, how many useless tonsilectomies and hysterectomies were performed over that past 50 years? For what purpose? The surgeon needed a new car, a vacation or jewelry for his wife?
Leading cause of premature death in the US? Checking into a hospital for care by crack teams of drug pushers or chest-cutters. Fabulous!
Preventive medicine, using in part, supplements? Where's the money in that?
Vitamins and supplements are a huge quack industry, preying on ignorance.
Good quality supplements have helped me tremendously. I used to get two or three colds a year. Now it's been five + years since I've had one. And good joint supplements have given me flexible and agile joints again.
That's exactly my experience as well. In my experimentation with supplements, I have found that certain brands are higher-quality, and their products make a huge difference in my health.
It's a very seductive myth. It can be rationalized and intuitively makes sense. And when you have health problems or are simply getting old and experiencing the effects of old age the siren song of natural foods,vitamins and magical supplements calls to you. Short of tying yourself to the mast how do you resist the thousands of books on the subject and the convincing late night hawkers and quacks. Even people who aren't convinced will readily say "it can't hurt". But of course if it is used in place of seeking competent medical care then it does hurt.
Heh, Bird Doggie Poop - your arrogance is only out shined by your ignorance. Check out AREDS 2. Don't be afraid, a little knowledge can help you from stepping into your own poop.
Sven, what, exactly about AREDS 2 is it you want to point out? Good, bad, or indifferent? I am interested because my ophthalmologist recommended them.
AREDS 2 is a vitamin and trace mineral supplement shown to decrease the rate of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Often recommended by ophthalmologists, by the way. Shhh, don't burst Gone with the wind or Bird dog's bubble.
"The effect of Vitamin C
Investigators found no statistically significant differences in Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores at any of the tested time intervals (Fig. 1).
A few statistically significant differences were found in movement (wrist flexion) and strength (pinch), but none of these were clinically significant. The outcomes were all worse in the vitamin C group.
At 26 weeks, the displaced fracture group treated with vitamin C had more complications and pain on activity.
“In patients with undisplaced fractures who were treated with vitamin C, we found a statistically significant higher rate of complex regional pain syndrome only at 6 weeks (p = 0.022),” said Dr. Ekrol (Fig. 2).
“This study showed that vitamin C does not improve the patient-rated outcomes, range of movement, strength, rate of complex regional pain syndrome, or bone healing after distal radius fractures,” said Dr. Ekrol. “It also questions the previous evidence of an advantageous effect from administering vitamin C after wrist fractures.”
"Competent medical care" ... the unicorn of the brained washed worshiper of "modern scientific medicine." Welcome to Bird Dog's world.
So, by your way of thinking all medicine is quackery. Quick, what medication do you recommend for those pesky heart attacks? You said that your boss doesn't look so good. Why aren't the drugs working?
I am not the doctor, but why wouldn't a person with such serious health issues investigate other possible treatments besides what the drug companies offer?
Of course many health conditions are not full out cured but people are helped by natural treatments.
I myself only use supplements to improve a health problem. I don't expect a supplement to make me twenty again or give me a new body.
There is a whole world out there of medical doctors successfully treating patients with natural supplements.
The belief that natural supplements are just quackery is just plain closed minded and unscientific.
I don't believe any dietary supplement has ever "cured" any serious disease. I do believe that like many over the counter medications that supplements can alleviate symptoms. But "cure", I don't think so. Perhaps you can provide an example. What supplement do you recommend for pancreatic cancer (Steve Jobs illness)? Or melanoma, or breast cancer? My wife's boss just had his second heart attack in five days what dietary supplement should I advise him to take? Get back to me quick on this he doesn't look too good.
Only a fool buys into a "cure" for cancer. There is no cure. There is only a five year survival rate. Also, it is not uncommon for cardiac surgeons/doctors to recommend massive doses of vitamin D for patients with heart problems.
Sadly there is a lot of truth to you claim that most cancer patients can only look forward to a 5 year survival rate. But in general you can look forward to that 5 years thanks to modern medicine and not thanks to diet supplements. Cancer is kind of a crap shoot in that it depends on which cancer you have and where it is located and at what point in it's cycle it is discovered. For many cancers and many people an operation can end the cancer right there for good, period. No 5 year survival issues the cancer is gone. For a large majority of cancer patients the treatment doesn't "cure" it and the best you can hope for is months and years of life you would not get without competent science based medical treatment. But the fact remains that diet supplements, massive doses of vitamins and witch doctors are 1000% ineffective.
There is no suggestion in science based health care that mass doses of vitamin D will cure or prevent heart disease. I bet you read that on Mercola's web site.
Nope, didn't read it at any web site. Am taking it on the recommendation of my cardiologist and primary physician.
Scientific health care is an oxymoron. Any honest medical physician will admit that the practice of medicine is an art based on scientific findings but NOT a science. If the practice of medicine were a science its methods could be guaranteed to work every time all the time.
Only and idiot believes that there is a permanent cure for cancer; including susrgical intervention. It is not uncommon for a woman who undergoes a mastectomy to require the removal of the other breast 20 to 30 years later.
Cancer is not genetic but it is familial.
The term scientific health care is descriptive to set it apart from the superstition based health care. You can argue that science isn't perfect and probably wouldn't find anyone to disagree with you. The thing is science and the scientific method isn't perfect but it is head and shoulders above all other ways of finding the truth. Superstition based health beliefs are sometimes based on old wives tales, historical beliefs and outright quackery.
Dietary laws seem to be an integral part of most religion.
Progressivism /New Age is no exception.
i don't want to get personal or political but it is common
sense if I am vitamin c deficient I should take vitamin c.
That isn't unreasonable. That is what the MDR is all about; a guideline to help us know what is necessary for good health. Just as when your car's engine is a quart of oil low it is a good idea to add a quart of oil. But many people will extrapolate this simple concept into thinking if a little helps then a lot will be awesome. I would suggest that you do not give your car's engine massive doses of oil. There is a parallel to this with vitamins too. Some vitamins and some other MDR requirements can in fact be harmful to your health if you consume too much. I choose to have a small glass of orange juice every morning to make sure I get my MDR of vitamin C. I wouldn't even consider taking a massive dose of any vitamin.
If a single human in the USA has scurvy, I'd like to see them.
Speaking of which, I guess the British Navy was stupid in providing rum laced with the "supplement" lime juice, thereby preventing scurvy, eh?
Same thing with the Brits providing tonic water, as a "supplement", flavored with lime and a gin, to assist with malaria.
I take CoQ10 regularly, as well as "D", both of which my physician sister-in-law (Trinity College, Tufts Med) recommend, to aid in boosting the immune system.
Nothing like an old school Yankee to fall for one form of quackery (medical treat by drugs and surgery) over another with which they disagree! Funny how you rail against the stupid historic dietary recommendations now being reversed, when so manyoriginally came from those same-said med schools.
Next thing you know, Bird Dog is gonna starting railing against the health benefits of alcohol and exercise! Both of which for years, med-school trained physicians pooh-pooed as harmless quackery.(Mostly because they weren't making any money from them.)
You hit it on the head, Earl! Only a Yankee could be so delusional as to think that only his opinion is truth and not just an uninformed opinion.
I salute you!
In the article Price begins to conflate the phenomenon of vitamins with nutrition, which they is not. Being partisan on the issue, Bliss then lazily conflates nutrition with myth, a staple here at the Farm because of the convenience it offers to a particular type of cultural political partisanship. It's a thumb in the left's eye, see?
Horking down a cow in pig grease is a fine pushback to the political left, goes the sloppy thinking.
Bliss has been all one-note like this about this for a long time. Psychologically, it falls into the same category as her nihilistic, reductionistic view of the mind: All is nothing and so the rugged Dylanesque individualists invoked in Maggies's masthead shall have nothing to do with either the vagaries of the body or the vagaries of the Mind. Eat meat, beat topics into submission, abolish cause and effect in whole categories, and call it all conservativism of a type.
But it's not, of course. It's bad blogging.
Oh, and the statistical framework now arising out of copious research shows precisely the opposite of Bliss's one-note view on nutrition: Diet absolutely does matter and it has all over and it has through time, affecting whole peoples and cultures. But being complex and long-term, you have to look long, deep, and hard, and you have to be able to form relationships well beyond Bliss's intense investigative rigor of copy-pasting a link to a minor perspective and opinion, inferring upon it the alluded weight of all medicine. Assuming medicine was the field at all, which it is not. Medicine is as often the problem...
So GWTW, just how much vitamin C do you get from your dose of almost pure fructose? But, I suppose you think all that fructose helps you digest the vitamin C, right? By the way ascorbic acid doesn't taste as good as all that sugar but is just as valid.
Ahhh! Fructose derangement syndrome.
100% of the carbs you eat will be converted to glucose by your body. Fructose, sucrose, glucose, starch, white flour, health food, chips; your digestion system could care less and is evolved to convert it to glucose. You can live for months even years without vitamin C but without sugar (glucose or anything that can be converted to glucose) you will go into a coma and die within hours. Is fructose bad for you? According to Dr. Mercola and most quacks it is. But your body has evolved to eat fruit just as much as it has to eat meat and that fructose is converted to glucose withut so much as a hiccup. I truely do not care if you fear fructose, McDonalds or refined foods any more than I care if you believe the world is flat.
I went out this morning to use my coupon for two Burger King breakfast sandwhiches for the price of one. I LOVE sausage eggs and even the cheap cheese they put on them. But I eat breakfast around 7 am and lunch after they close down the breakfast menu. So my briliant idea is to go buy lunch before 10:30 and reheat it at noon and I can eat breakfast at noon. I would eat bacon, sausage and eggs for four meals a day if my wife would let me. To a food fadist or natural food junkie just seeing this would cause feinting and gagging. I may top it all off with a candy bar so I can get my MDR of high fructose corn syrup.
For your information, the medical use of herbs and supplements has nothing to do with Burger King breakfasts.
I like McDonald's Sausage, Egg and Cheese myself. We are omnivores and can eat a variety of foods. Everything in moderation. Also, I can eat an eighteen ounce rib eye steak at Longhorn easily. I do not exclude any food group and have benefited from using herbs and supplements for certain health conditions.
Now who is the fanatic?
"Now who is the fanatic?"
The guy who is afraid of fructose.
I'm not sure what I like most about your replies, GWTW: The smugness, the strawmen, the intellectual dishonesty, or how smitten the writer appears to be with his or her own life.
Oh thank you, I will take that as a compliment, I am all those things and more. I used to be a real SOB but I have mellowed so much over the years. But it served me well in my career.
Arrogance is never attractive. Very, very little is currently known or understood about human nutrition and its effects on health, as the government's recent retraction of its strongly-worded, decades-old advice on cholesterol shows.
It is important to remember that we as a species have learned about medicine since WWII than in the previous 200,000 years. Is it really so surprising to learn that we have a lot more to learn about everything, including nutrition.
So far all we really know about micronutrients is how much you need to ingest in order to not die. However, just as medicine is moving away from a definition of health as 'the absence of disease' and into a more nuanced concept of 'vitality', so it may someday be learned that there are both minimal and optimal levels of nutrition for humans. (For example, the exact role of ascorbic acid in terms of immune system functioning is not yet understood - it's clearly essential, and we know you get scurvy if you don't get enough, but what exactly it's doing and how is not yet known. You're supposed to take extra Vitamin C if you break your wrist...it's been shown repeatedly in double-blind studies to cut down on complications during the healing process, but they don't know why.)
Although sweeping generalizations and overly confident statements can be fun to make, they are usually wrong.
I have never found it valuable to put facts in front of the likes of the Svens. They don't want them, they prefer their narrative of how smart they are compared to all those other people. They take stray facts and use them to decorate the desert landscape.
Diseases hurt and kill. Medications and procedures are by their very nature intrusions and corrections and will have side effects. Both will be true for a long time.
We may not yet know a lot of deep truth about nutrition. To leap from there to the belief that "therefore, my idea which disagrees with the experts must be true!" is ludicrous. Many theories can clear the bar of being plausible. Holding up under examination, including replication, is much more elusive.
Some supplements may turn out to offer some benefit. So far, the path behind us is littered with examples of supplements which did not. I you doubt this, I recommend picking up an old copy of Prevention magazine - or any general-circulation magazine of 50-100 years ago.
Well-spoken! Goes for both sides in this little tussle, right? Sweeping generalizations and all that.
One thing on which I must disagree with you: Side effects.
You appear to treat them as a minor disturbance, something to be tolerated for the greater good of symptom suppression. But if the overall impact of the side effect overwhelms the the organism to the point of endangerment, of what purpose is the medicine in the overall health of the organism in the first place?
"Some supplements MAY offer some benefit"? Again, I'll point to "C" for scury: "D" for rickets: quinine for malaria and now serious nutritional science considers magnesium, curcumin, and cinnamon as greatly aiding in stabilization or reversal of many conditions plaguing modern human health. Cinnamon's effects on blood sugar are well-known in nutritionist circles, as are the inpacts of curcumin on heart attacks and magnesium has been prescribed for years for those suffering heart arrythmia.
So, please, don't make it sound as if serious medical science hasn't investigated any of these "supplements." You seem condescending when you do.
"Some supplements MAY offer some benefit"? Again, I'll point to "C" for scury: "D" for rickets:
It is a fallacy to conflate the requirement for vitamin D and C as some kind of "proof" that supplements work. This would be like calling water a supplement and arguing that it can prevent dehydration. There is a MDR for vitamin D and C and water and salt, etc. They aren't "supplements".
Quinine doesn't "cure" malaria all it can do is offer some relief of symptoms.
Magnesium is also covered under the MDR.
Curcumin and cinnamon are good, no excellent examples of what you are describing. They are not included in the MDR and most importantly they fit the understood definition of a dietary supplement. And of course they do nothing for you and it is pure quackery; A perfect example of dietary supplements and CAM "medicine".
I do recommend a little cinnamon in hot chocolate for flavor. But I also recommend two spoons of sugar too about half of which is the dreaded fructose.
My wife refers to me as an alchemist, becasue I'll try almost anything for awhile to see what happens, and what I've noticed is that human metabolism varies so much that what works for me won't work for someone else and vice-versa. I've tried a million things, and there's no question--none, it's not a placebo effect, it's repeatable under controlled conditions--that a lot of things haven't worked, but two have: Vitamin D has enabled me to control my blood pressure and Vitamin E has all but cured my asthma (which was NOT exercise-induced, but a result of a bad cold or severe allergy), the exception being when I fly when I'm weak and ill, which has resulted in the only two asthma attacks I've had in the last 18 years (I used to get 2 - 4 a year).
Life expectancy for somebody with liver cirrhosis is seven years. I was supposed to be dead about 15 years ago. My liver functions are now normal and I attribute that to vitamins, supplements, natural medicine, and prayer. Mostly prayer.
Milk thistle is fantastic for the liver. Dandelion root is great for detoxing. Vitamins are necessary for good health. If you are vitamin deficient, you will be in poor health. Even doctors know this.
Fish oil helps me with my disc disease. Magnesium helps with the pain too. Noni juice is best though- 70% as effective as morphine for pain reduction in clinical studies.
I also take multi vitamins and B-12 every day. I won't see a doctor unless I absolutely have to.