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Saturday, April 25. 2015
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Complementary medicine. Alternative medicine. Integrative medicine are mostly quackery. Is there anything of value there? Possibly but unlikely. If there really was anything useful it would stand out for the discovery it really is. So to take any of it seriously is foolish. Either it can be proved to be of some value or it cannot. But in every case the "proof" depends on faith or ignorance of statistics or word of mouth or some really great bookwritten by someone that Dr Oz has recomended.
The problem that the federal government has is some congressmen and women believe in CAM or magic herbs and supplements. The problem for doctors and professional medical organizations is political as in how do you keep your integrity and still not bring congress or some special interest group down on you.
But the real problem is for the average citizens who may have or think they have a health problem. The fact that we allow superstition and quackery to inflitrate the medical practices is disgraceful. This is a multi-billion dollar business and they snake oil salesmen are not about to go away by there own choice. The doctors and scientists really need to speak up.
I wonder how many people know that since 1998 Big Pharma - that bastion of conventional medicine and the veritable control of the medical establishment's philosophy of healing, such as it is - has invested over three trillion dollars in lobbying Congress.
But I admit that sometimes I read MF just for the magnificence of GWTW's lengthy opinions.
Yes sir! No "quackery involved in DRUGS. None. Move right along and take your ritalin quietly-----even though cholesterol has been shown as having little impact on overall health. Indeed, its necessary for mental acuity---funny how Alzheimers has increased as cholesterol was attacked and its presense forcibly reduced.
Same with SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil,Zoloft and their ilk) which barely passed the "placebo effect" testing and only after several tries, many of them statistically suspect.
We won't even mention nutrition and the food pyramid's impact on obesity. But Big Pharma and Big Med will sell you drugs and surgery as a way to lose weight....
Yet, holistic medicine, prevention and age-old folk remedies are all "quackery" despite the fact they work. Problem with them is Big Pharma and Big Med can't make billions or trillions fromm their implementation!!!
Taking supplements won't make the payments on that surgeons's or drug exec's Porsche!
It saddens me that our pharmeceutical industry doesn't do a better job. There is room for criticism. It also saddens me that the FDA often fails it's mission. I do not think that doctors and other health care workers (as a whole) are trying to harm us or intentionally prescribe drugs or treatents that are harmful or counterindicated. In my opinion until changes are made that would result in real improvements in drugs and therapies I am in full support of the system we have. It could be better but it is not (in my opinion) intentionally bad simply because of profit.
Regarding alternative medicine, holistic medicine, supplements, megadoses of vitamins and age-old folk remedies: they don't work!! Maybe some herb will make your headache go away or relieve your upset tummy but that's the best they can say. There is no holistic medicine, magic herbs, age-old folk remedies etc. that can cure cancer, TB, heart disease and all the other terrible diseases. It is an appealing fantasy; just imagine you get seriously ill and someone with a high school education can give you a list of "natural" herbs and supplements that will cure you. Not just a list but exact amounts of these herbs without regard to your weight or when in their life cycle these herbs were picked. Magic!
So the challenge is show me a provable example of a serious illness that herbs or supplements "cures". Not self reported results or ancient Chinese studies, something real and provable. I can show you this for antibiotics (one of those drugs the mean old big Pharma makes). I can show you this for vaccinations. I can show you proof of effectiveness for hundreds of drugs treating hundreds of serious illnesses. Show me even one for the magic herbs.
According to Newman and Cragg 2012, the utility of natural products as sources of novel structures is still alive and well. Up to 50% the approved drugs during the last 30 years are from either directly or indirectly from natural products and in the area of cancer, over the time frame from around the 1940s to date, of the 175 small molecules 85 actually being either natural products or directly derived there from.
The use of plants as medicines has a long history in the treatment of various diseases. The plant-derived compounds have a long history of clinical use, better patient tolerance and acceptance. To date, 35,000-70,000 plant species have been screened for their medicinal use. Plants especially those with ethnopharmacological uses have been the primary sources of medicine for early drug discovery. Fabricant and Farnsworth, (2001) reported that, 80% of 122 plant derived drugs were related to their original ethnopharmacological purposes. Current drug discovery from plants mainly relied on bioactivity–guided fractionation and led to isolation of many important anticancer drugs such as paclitaxel, camptothecin etc.
The first commercial pure natural product introduced for therapeutic use is morphine marketed by Merck in 1826, and the first semi-synthetic pure drug aspirin, based on a natural product salicin isolated from Salix alba, was introduced by Bayer in 1899. This led to the isolation of early drugs such as cocaine, codeine, digitoxin, quinine and pilocarpine, of which some are still in use and several other recent plant derived compounds, which have undergone development and have been marketed as drugs which include Paclitaxel from Taxus brevifolia for lung, ovarian and breast cancer, Artemisinin from traditional Chinese plant Artemisia annua to combat multidrug resistant malaria, Silymarin extracted from the seeds of Silybum marianum for the treatment of liver diseases.
There is growing evidence that the old molecules are finding new applications through better understanding of molecular biology and clinical observations. For instance, the alkaloid, forskolin from Coleus forskohlii and phytochemicals from Stephania glabra, are now being rediscovered as adenylate cyclase and nitric oxide activators, which may help in preventing conditions including obesity and atherosclerosis.
During the last decade few plant derived drugs have been launched include Arteether, endoperoxide sesquiterpene lactone and semisynthetic natural product derived from Artemisinin used in malarial treatment, Nitisinone derived from natural product Leptospermone (Callistemon citrinus) is used in treatment of antityrosinaemia, galantamine is a natural alkaloid (obtained from Galanthus nivalis) for Alzhemer's, apomorphine is a semisynthetic compound derived from morphine (Papaver somniferum) used in Parkinson's disease, Tiotropium a derivative of atropine from Atropa belladonna in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Dronabinol and Cannabidiol obtained from cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa) and Capsaicin active compound from Capsicum annuum are used as pain relievers.
The facts are clear.
1. Drugs can be commonly effective in treating the symptoms of serious illnesses.
2. Drugs patented upon natural substances and phenomena known to history not uncommonly treat serious illness.
3. To a far, far smaller degree man-made drugs may treat serious illnesses directly.
The challenge is not for the world to convince anyone's proudly stated biases of anything, as we all know. Sermons are just as easily rooted in opinion and wish and preference - pride doesn't present a position nearly as much as it strikes a pose. Poses aren't terribly durable.
There are reams of scientific data proving the effects of mountains of external substances, diets, effects, and phenomena on the body. It's the task of the hidebound to find them and not the other way around. Not when ignorant bias is so proudly touted.
There are a handful of modern drugs whose origin was some plant or herb used by man for medicinal purposes. Where those old cures and treatments were successful or even partially successful modern man refined the key ingredients to make a modern drug. What herbs were left were for the most part all those things with little to no value. That's where we are today. Rino horn or bear bile is still not useful to "cure" anything and yet the many herbalists and quacks have no choice but to tout the age-old folk medicines that have remained unproven and unaccepted by science.
You say or imply that it is up to those who believe in modern medicine to prove or disprove the utility of some or all folk medicines but that is simply not true. Anyone, quack or osteopath, MD or scientists must prove that the medicine they choose will be effective and predictable in it's effects.
I am not an advocate for alternative medicines, I am a skeptic. My challenge was simple and fair. Show, with proof that science will accept and can confirm, that the alternative medicines or practices actually work and specifically that they cure (or prevent) some serious disease. From my experience the best that can be proven is that there are some, certainly not all, alternative medicines/treatments that wil provide some degree of palliative care and little else. If that is all that an advocate of alternative medicine claims than we could agree that the magic herbs do not cure anything and also that modern pain medicines are more effective and predictable.
So take the challenege or don't take the challenge but don't claim the high ground or try to talk your way out. Alternative medicine has made a BIG claim and it requires BIG proof to back it up. I sincerely wish it were all true. I wish that massive doses of vitamin B3 would cure or prevent cancer. I wish a specific diet would provide a long healthful life free of Western diseases. But I see zero evidence of it. I do indeed see vague studies and data dredges and twisted statistics to "prove" one thing or another. But without exception those who will make the claims that this or that herb or supplement will "cure" something thread the 1st amendment needle carefully because they know jail awaits the careless quack who comes right out and boldly declares they can cure cancer with their berries and peach pits. So either prove it or say nothing.
So take the challenege or don't take the challenge but don't claim the high ground or try to talk your way out.
It takes brass to be that brazenly arrogant. Claiming the high ground and talking a way out is precisely the method of making vividly faulty demands of others based on the sanctity of one's own "skepticism" in the very face of evidence.
Go back and refute the previous five paragraphs and the medical history of hard scientific evidence it refers to. That burden of proof stands as it is, no more, no less.
But you see "zero evidence of it" because you elect to see zero evidence of it and it shall remain that was as long as you indulge that denial. Despite the obvious fact that "50% of the approved drugs during the last 30 years are from either directly or indirectly from natural products and in the area of cancer, over the time frame from around the 1940s to date, of the 175 small molecules 85 actually being either natural products or directly derived there from" somehow you know better and demand proof of the very reality of the statement while claiming its opposite on nothing more than your own "skepticism", as if it were, like your many vaunted opinions, reality itself.
I can't believe, for example, that you somehow cannot know what a small molecule drug is. I happen to have intimate knowledge of a handful of them as well as their naturally occurring analogs which have been documented for healing for centuries. You, on the other hand, apparently feel they don't exist as such.
And that single medically-proven phenomenon is the tip of the iceberg. The world is full of it.
People aim to be misunderstood, GWTW, when they aim to be validated while consciously shifting burdens of proof from the self-evidence of those proofs by their own denial. It doesn't work that way - denial isn't capable of such a thing at any level and in any arena. It is the denialist's obligation to prove pre-existing hard evidence wrong. When denialists cannot, naturally they resort to compounding the error.
When they consciously employ rhetoric and proof-shifting - when they indulge their own opinions and consistently double-down on them - they simply aim to be misunderstood.
So you do a data dump and now it's my job to prove or disprove your own claims for you? Sorry.
Instead of dumping paragraphs from some wiki pick your favorite "natural cure" that has "cured" some serious disease and can be proved scientifically. Simple for someone who truely believes in natural medicine. For example you stated that there was a plant based drug that "treats" malaria. Good! Prove that it CURES malaria. Malaria is a serious disease and if we could "cure" it with some magic herbs I will never again say anything bad about natural cures. 2 million people die every year from malaria so how do we "cure" it? Notice I didn't say treat the symptoms or make the patient feel better I said "cure". Your turn...
That "wiki" hippie sideshow of crystal worshippers and feng shui practitioners and pretend acupuncturists you assume and hope I linked was actually the National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Prof. Dr. Ciddi Veeresham reporting on no less than reality itself. And citing Newman and Cragg, 2012, whoever they may be.
Or we could try Harvard's Center for Health and the Global Environment. Or Paul Torrence, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Northern Arizona University. Or a hundred like them, because that's that's just me and three minutes with a search engine.
The recorded scientific factuality some folks maybe a little like you have the imaginative gall to insist others present to them for their esteemed and considerable eventual opinion already litters the planet, just as I said it did: Medicine has origins in natural substances from natural plants and such, plants being healers throughout time and history which confirms the claims of vegans and other naturalists.
I invite the doubters among us to therefore to man up, take up their keyboards, and go to work because this phenomenon is simple stuff. It's not unlike, say, the president of Walmart cataloging how many stores they own. Or the newscaster's 6am roundup of the weather, with real temps and real humidity and real maps with real states on them on a real globe in real ink.
Or you walking out to the garage and recording the gas in the LeSabre before reporting to the wife you'll be back with precisely 18 eggs, four oranges, two fifths of vodka, and a quart of half and half - plus a six of laxative from Walgreen's - before noon sharp or miss opening rummy at the club, that stuff also being reality-based and rather reliably itemizable between any two, twenty, or seven billion people if they only care to consult the mutually-available facts.
Not opinions, facts. Cataloged. Referenced. Recorded.
Not much wiggle room, is there? Reality. Hard numbers. Reporting, not opinion. Not conjecture and not that bunch of vegan moonbats inhabiting the vivid imagination of armchair Scientists with seventeen little plastic bottles of synthesized pills in the lav who hate liberals who eat kale and kohlrabi and pomegranates and tumeric.
Some folks are remarkably obtuse, although they don't lack what's usually the virtue of persistence, especially for the irony one anticipates as they reply next with the very "high ground" and weasel words they project onto others out of their equally reliably presumed cognitive dissonance.
You can find any number of educated and well positioned people who agree with or have claimed all kinds of outrageous things. There are still people today who think the moon landing was filmed in Hollywood. Still people who think that the jewish halocaust never happened. Just because you can cite someone who believes in magic herbs is not proof that magic herbs exist or can cure anything. It would be easy to prove that vaccines (most of them anyway) work and have saved literally billions of lives since they have been created. Yet you cannot even give me an example of one magic herb that cures or prevents a serious disease. Not even one! Why? It would be easy to prove that antibiotics save millions and millions of lives every year. Show me one magic herb that does that. I believe that the reason you do not provide an example is because there is none.
You're in such deep denial that you're actually refusing to see the established science of the last hundred years, even when it's presented from the very researchers and catalogers of medicine and medical history.
You prefer your own preposterous opinions to recorded reality.
And yet still no example of an alternative medicine or treatment that can cure a serious disease...
Untrue. I gave you a number of them, not just one, and you denied them. Yours is the fallacy of mendacity, I think I'll call it. Transparent, fraudulent, intellectually empty.
You absolutely DID NOT. Talk about intellectual dishonesty. What you did was dump a lot of stuff and then demand that I go through it and see if any of it is valid. I said give me ONE example of an alternative medication that CURES something. Not a herb or supplement that is being used to TREAT something. Hell, aspirins are used to TREAT colds but they do not cure colds. Give me ONE example not a data dump from a wiki.
The simple reason that you do not is because you can not. I can give you millions of examples of antibiotics curing illness and saving lives. I can show you billions of lives saved by vaccinations.
You're still arguing from personal incredulity and not from either evidence or science. The world doesn't owe you the enlightenment you pride yourself on so thoroughly refusing to accept from it. Moving the goalposts only confirms the error.
How are you moving the goalposts? Subtly but determinedly: The "cure" for a particular ailment lies in a) not getting it in the first place, or b) reversing it by means commonly aligned with those used to prevent it. And yes, this includes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the list of major killers.
This is the current science and the current art, where the latter requires the denialist observe the documented studies and research showing either or both.
You move the goalposts when you expect that, in your willfully narrow field of view, you and you alone have never seen a pill cure cancer and now the world owes you such an event or all of alternative medicine - all the unprescribed-by-western-medicine options - are invalid. In other words, as you first put it,
Regarding alternative medicine, holistic medicine, supplements, megadoses of vitamins and age-old folk remedies: they don't work!!
Food is alternative medicine, but by your formulation - especially when you narrow it as you have as a rhetorical ploy - it is disallowed. That's denial. Chinese treatments are disallowed by name, another of your claims that holds no water. Anything alternative is denied.
It's prevented showing you what it is because you've reduced that option to zero.
It's all evasion, and narrowing it to "alternative medication" is only harming your argument along with your credibility. Look, nature has provided scores and scores and scores of treatments, remedies, cures, preventions, medicines, vaccines, and all of it has been cataloged to one degree or another at some time or another.
That's the science. What you're doing is avoiding the science because it inconveniences an colossal, unwavering, unmovable opinion to the contrary, one complete with merely rhetorical terms.
It's a fundamentally unserious argument presented in denial because that's the only way it can appear to stand.
We can go around and around about this all decade but that doesn't change the simple fact that the majority of what we take and prescribe has natural origins. It also doesn't change the fact that medicine-by-diet is a very established phenomenon, one now backed by cataloged research.
Moreover, it doesn't alter the fact that western medicine has been consistently late to this party: Other cultures have consistently been found to have originated what we've eventually deconstructed and refined. That history too is already in the books.
Nobody's going to make an appointment with an empty but inflated opinion and beg the time to try and convince the holder of such a fallacy otherwise. To make the demands the denialist does as often as he does only cements a conviction of the arrogance of his ignorant denial.
The logical fallacy of denialism occurs when known reality is ignored or denied. I just happen to find entrenched denial akin to mendacity.
This gentleman says it all better then I can.
Also fallacious and obviously so: Whatever frauds are committed over there have nothing to do with whatever realities occur over here.
You cannot refute the very reality that medicine has always been based on natural materials and that tons of them today are based on natural materials. What do you think, that we've been synthesizing molecules for a hundred years?
This is reality. This is recorded in history. This is documented, cataloged, reported, and known.
Well, it's know by those who honor objectivity more than they do hugging the stuffings out of their denial.
Like I said before, the wife sent you out in the LeSabre for precisely 18 eggs, four oranges, two fifths of vodka, and a quart of half and half - plus a six of laxative from Walgreen's - to be home before noon sharp and that's what you did.
Nothing I can say can legitimately deny that but yet you'd deny the very earth you stand on and expect to be taken seriously. I sink shovels into it and photograph them and publish it all in a scientific journal on an official website and still you'd demand proof.
It's preposterous. You have proof. We both know it.
I think you have proven my point. Thousands of words intended to disparage me and yet not a single example of a alternative medicine that can be proven to cure a serious disease.