$2.5 billion spent, no alternative cures found

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Snuckles
$2.5 billion spent, no alternative cures found

Quote:
BETHESDA, Md. - Ten years ago the government set out to test herbal and other alternative health remedies to find the ones that work. After spending $2.5 billion, the disappointing answer seems to be that almost none of them do. Echinacea for colds. Ginkgo biloba for memory. Glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis. Black cohosh for menopausal hot flashes. Saw palmetto for prostate problems. Shark cartilage for cancer. All proved no better than dummy pills in big studies funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The lone exception: ginger capsules may help chemotherapy nausea. As for therapies, acupuncture has been shown to help certain conditions, and yoga, massage, meditation and other relaxation methods may relieve symptoms like pain, anxiety and fatigue. Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here However, the government also is funding studies of purported energy fields, distance healing and other approaches that have little if any biological plausibility or scientific evidence.
Read it [url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31190909]here[/url].

Snuckles

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/jun/10/complementary-medicine-nhs... find NHS's £12m spend on homeopathy hard to swallow[/url]

Quote:
Homeopathy, which many doctors argue has an effect only in the mind of the believer, cost the cash-strapped NHS £12m over three years, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act. Homeopathic treatments have been described as "biologically implausible" by the UK's only professor of complementary medicine, Edzard Ernst of Exeter University. They are highly diluted solutions that may contain no discernible trace of the original ingredients. In 2005, The Lancet, one of the world's leading medical journals, published a major review of homeopathy and concluded its cures were no better than placebos. Some doctors have since called for the NHS to stop funding it. But a response to a freedom of information request by More4 News revealed that the NHS is spending millions on what Professor Ernst and others say are the equivalent of sugar pills. The total cost to the NHS of homeopathic treatment between 2005 and 2008 was £11.89m.

G. Muffin

"Biologically implausible" is putting it mildly.  There is absolutely no mechanism possible by which water could have a memory. 

Fidel

We'd better keep on feeding a multi-billion dollar big pharma industry with our drug purchases. Theyll discover something more significant than an alternative use for Tylenol at some point in the next 50 years, we can bet on it.

jas

Well, I'm pretty sure no one has proven yet that Vitamin C can prevent colds, but indeed it can, just as chicken soup and sometimes, hot buttered rum :)

I also know that valerian and hops work very well for sleep and nervous problems, garlic and cayenne work to heat the body up and clear up chest congestion, and here's one: drinking tea and coffee can actually keep you awake! So can chewing on coca leaves, which will also give you a pleasant numbness in your mouth. There's a chemical in some poppies that, believe it or not, can make you feel pleasant, painless and sleepy. It can also stop your heart if you're not careful. There are numerous plants and herbs that can poison you and even kill you, apparently. Kooky! It is rumoured that there are even some plant and fungus species that can alter one's consciousness, producing hallucinations, but I find that one hard to believe. I guess much of this is just folkish superstition.

 

 

Tigana Tigana's picture

THIS is what we should be discussing:

About a million fatalites, and more adverse drug reactions, occur every year just in the USA due to legally prescribed medications. For a Canadian estimate, divide by ten.

http://www.healthe-livingnews.com/articles/death_by_medicine_part_1.html

ennir

Thanks for posting that article Tigana, it is well worth the read and backs up what many of us are saying.

These are the kind of community discussions that we need to be having, I think the difficulty in that may be that as long as you are well you may perceive the system as just fine and once you are ill and discover it is not all your energy goes into trying to get well.

The number of medical errors suggested by the article is shocking but not surprising to me.  I have talked to numerous people who have experienced medical errors and have concluded that not only is the medication prescribed often dangerous but also the testing procedures may do harm.

As was pointed out in the article above these medications are tested on healthy individuals one at a time, the "testing" on sick patients happens when sick people receive those medications, reassuring isn't it?  As for the testing, I assume that the studies on whether or not it is effective are also done on healthy people.

The last test I had done was a CT Scan, I refused to drink the contrast solution because my mother had had a severe reaction to it but I didn't understand that the scan itself was the equivalent of 100 chest x-rays.  I went into the test with my pain levels at 6 or 7 on a pain scale of 10 and for three to four months afterwards the pain shot to 8 and 9, months that I spent horizontal with all my effort not to go and say "cut something out, I don't care what, just do something".  I learned later that with this kind of testing there seems to be a problem with over-radiating small women and under-radiating large men, in one case a young woman with cancer died after testing. I felt burned, scorched inside, and I at the time was a very small woman.

These days I am often astonished to find that I feel well.  Our bodies know that pain is a sign of something wrong and we are conditioned to believe that modern medicine has the most to offer us when we find ourselves in distress but if we learn to listen to our bodies and trust that our health is to a great deal dependent on our diet then it is possible to find another way through illness.  If on the other hand you are convinced that fast food and tums are a wonderful combination and that modern medicine has all the answers you need you may find yourself with a shortened life span.

 

Tigana Tigana's picture

Ennir, I am glad you are well - you will help a lot of people. And there is so much work to do!

ennir

As for the government studying whether these treatments work and finding for the most part they don't, why does that not surprise me?  lol

I would be interested to know how exactly these tests were conducted, did they simply give people the alternative with no other recommendations for changes to their life?  If that is the case, which is much like people going in and purchasing a bottle of some herbal remedy, then I can see that they might not find benefits.  Health does not come from a bottle regardless of where that bottle came from.The problem I have with this study is that it appears to me it was constructed to direct our attention in this way with the inevitable conclusion being alternative methods are ineffective.

Tigana, thank you.  :)  I tried to send you a message but you are not accepting them.  :)

 

undecided

Tigana wrote:

THIS is what we should be discussing:

About a million fatalites, and more adverse drug reactions, occur every year just in the USA due to legally prescribed medications. For a Canadian estimate, divide by ten.

http://www.healthe-livingnews.com/articles/death_by_medicine_part_1.html

 

Ummm, the referenced article doesn't say that almost a million deaths are due to legally prescribed medication: it's a mix of various medical mistakes mentioned in the article, as highlighted by the convenient chart at the beginning of the article:

 

ANNUAL PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC COST OF MEDICAL INTERVENTION

 

Condition                                 Deaths Cost                 Author 

Adverse Drug Reactions           106,000           $12 billion        Lazarou1 Suh49

Medical error                           98,000             $2 billion          IOM6

Bedsores                                  115,000           $55 billion        Xakellis7 Barczak8

Infection                                   88,000             $5 billion          Weinstein9 MMWR10

Malnutrition                              108,800           --------            Nurses Coalition11

Outpatients                               199,000           $77 billion        Starfield12 Weingart112

Unnecessary Procedures           37,136             $122 billion      HCUP3,13 

Surgery-Related                       32,000             $9 billion          AHRQ85

TOTAL:                                    783,936          $282 billion  

 

There were about 1 million deaths due to adverse drugs reactions over 10 years:

 

TEN-YEAR DEATH RATES FOR MEDICAL INTERVENTION

 

Condition                                 10-Year Deaths

Adverse Drug Reaction             1.06 million 

Medical error                           0.98 million     

Bedsores                                  1.15 million    

Nosocomial Infection    0.88 million   

Malnutrition                              1.09 million   

Outpatients                               1.99 million   

Unnecessary Procedures           371,360  

Surgery-related                         320,000  

TOTAL:                                   7,841,360 (7.8 million) 

 

It would be a lot more helpful and relevant to accurately quote the article you're referring to.  There are as many deaths over 10-years from malnutrition or bed sores as there are from adverse drug reactions (more actually), according to the article.

 

I'm not defending the current medical system - I'm just taking issue with the misrepresentation of the article.  There are big problems to be sure.  Drug companies have a vested interest in people using their products & I would be surprised if there aren't tens of thousands of prescriptions every year for pharmaceuticals that people don't really need since companies need to push their product in various ways (e.g. encouraging physicians to prescribe them).  For profit healthcare also has an interest in people being hospitalized & using their services since they can earn revenue from such things.

 

And apparently, there are less than 10% as many medical error deaths in Canada (at least in 2004 there were) according to this story from the CBC, there were 24,000 medical error deaths in 2004:

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2004/06/09/med_errors040609.html

jas

undecided wrote:

It would be a lot more helpful and relevant to accurately quote the article you're referring to.  There are as many deaths over 10-years from malnutrition or bed sores as there are from adverse drug reactions (more actually), according to the article.

The figures you cite are from the same article and still refer to iatrogenic causes. Shockingly, they are not talking about malnutrition due to poverty but, presumably, malnutrition via medical intervention.

How many deaths have there been from use of naturopathy, homeopathy or herbalism? Are there even any documented cases of such?

 

 

Trevormkidd

jas wrote:
How many deaths have there been from use of naturopathy, homeopathy or herbalism? Are there even any documented cases of such?

Well one wouldn't expect to see deaths directly related to homeopathy, as something with zero effect by definition can't have adverse effects.  However, there are undoubtly many deaths related to people delaying real treatment while wasting time using fake treatment.  And then there is the case of baby Gloria, whose parents were just a week or two ago convicted of manslaughter for refusing the baby any treatment except homeopathy (in other words refusing her any treatment at all).  She died from complications arising from untreated eczema - something completely unheard of in places where medical care is available.  They showed no remorse and hopefully will be locked up for a very long time so they can't harm their other child.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/06/05/homeopathy-kills/

 

Saying that homeopathy never killed anyone is like saying that no one has ever been run over by a car powered by homeopathic gasoline.

 

As for herbalism - it can directly kill, because unlike homeopathy, herbs actually has real effects both beneficial and adverse.

 

http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic449.htm
http://www.mvprolapse.com/archive_herbs.html

 

I also had a friend who death was associated to a herbal weight loss product.

 

In reality, the big difference in numbers is because people who use herbalism and go to naturopaths or homeopaths is that they don't actually have anything wrong with them. They are young and healthy with minor complaints that will normally go away on their own. Any treatment, conventional or alternative is not going to kill them, but it is unlikely to do much good either.

People die in hospitals from adverse drug reactions because they are very ill and being given very powerful medications. The adverse reactions are generally a well known risk, but those are the risks you take when you are dying and they save far more than they don't. Homeopathy, herbalism and naturopathy wouldn't do shit for these patients.

Malnutrition deaths are troubling, but about 30% of sick patients entering a hospital are malnurished. Sick people have a tendency to burn through high rates of energy, plus they often don't want to eat much. Difficiencies are common. That people lose weight when they are sick should be no surprise.  That doesn't mean that these deaths are unavoidable, more tests should be done, and higher calorie dense should be served etc.  All of that will cost more money, money which we would much spend on extremely expensive sugar pills or other alternative cures that have repeatedly been found not to work.  Naturopaths and homeopaths don't deal with malnurished patients that often, because they rarely deal with truly ill patients (or the poor for that matter, as it is feel good "medicine" for the elite).

Medical errors are more troubling. The ones I have seen have always occured during the chaotic scene of dealing with a crashing patient.

Interesting to see how quickly this thread turned away from the fact that billions have been spent on real trials that showed that almost every alternative medicine doesn't work at all.  Truly shocking.

jas

Trevormkidd wrote:

Interesting to see how quickly this thread turned away from the fact that billions have been spent on real trials that showed that almost every alternative medicine doesn't work at all.  Truly shocking.

Real trials. As opposed to real tests? And we don't actually see a list of what was tested, so no, you can't claim "almost every alternative medicine." And the stats on iatrogenic deaths are directly relevant, as you have a highly self-interested body deriving its own guidelines for its own testing and then discounting the "unfortunate side effects" of their treatments as mere anomalies, somehow not part of the overall stats on medical outcomes. How trustworthy are their methods?

Trevormkidd

jas wrote:
Real trials. As opposed to real tests? And we don't actually see a list of what was tested, so no, you can't claim "almost every alternative medicine."

You can go to their website.  I have been there many a time.  And yes they have done real trials of the highest scientific quality of the most common alternative claims and found almost all of them to be a load of tosh. 

Quote:
And the stats on iatrogenic deaths are directly relevant,

No comparing adverse events from medicine that works with "medicine" at doesn't work is not directly relevant.

Like I said, automobiles using homeopathic gasoline have never killed pedestrians.  Its a miracle!  Cars using real gasoline can actually move and with that comes benefits and negatives.  Cars using homeopathic gasoline have neither benefits or negatives.

It is the same as air travel.  There are some risks involved, but people accept those risks because they feel that the benefits outweigh the risks.  Sitting at home pretending that you are flying in your mind carries lower risks. 

Quote:
as you have a highly self-interested body deriving its own guidelines for its own testing and then discounting the "unfortunate side effects" of their treatments as mere anomalies, somehow not part of the overall stats on medical outcomes. How trustworthy are their methods?

What a crock.  Real pharmaceuticals have a very lengthy and thorough system of testing products for any adverse reactions long before they are tested on humans, then testing them on healthy humans for adverse reactions.  If they are approved, they are then continually monitored for any adverse events.

Alternative medicines on the other hand have no system of testing for adverse events or tracking those adverse events.  Furthermore, the alternative medicine industry (and it is a huge industry) have fought tooth and nail against any regulation that might protect their customers from frauds. 

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31088175/

 

"Lead in ginkgo pills. Arsenic in herbals. Bugs in a baby's colic and teething syrup. Toxic metals and parasites are part of nature, and all of these have been found in "natural" products and dietary supplements in recent years.......One quarter of supplements tested by an independent company over the last decade have had some sort of problem. Some contained contaminants. Others had contents that did not match label claims. Some had ingredients that exceeded safe limits. Some contained real drugs masquerading as natural supplements."

"There's at least 10 times more hoodia sold in this country than made in the world, so people are not getting hoodia," said Dr. Mehmet Oz,

Then there is this excellent article form the New England Journal of Medicine:

 

http://kitsrus.com/pdf/nejm_998.pdf

 

G. Muffin

Trevormkidd wrote:
Then there is this excellent article form the New England Journal of Medicine:

 http://kitsrus.com/pdf/nejm_998.pdf

 

Link appears dead.

ennir

Trevormkidd wrote:

....

What a crock.  Real pharmaceuticals have a very lengthy and thorough system of testing products for any adverse reactions long before they are tested on humans, then testing them on healthy humans for adverse reactions.  If they are approved, they are then continually monitored for any adverse events.

......

 

ROTFLMAO

Let's begin with thalidomide, do you know it was never approved in the United States?  In the United States it was the wives of doctors who took it, their husbands brought home the samples, but the general population was not exposed to it.   How is it Canada was not aware of those problems?  Canada approved it.

 

Trevormkidd

ennir wrote:
ROTFLMAO

Let's begin with thalidomide, do you know it was never approved in the United States?  In the United States it was the wives of doctors who took it, their husbands brought home the samples, but the general population was not exposed to it.   How is it Canada was not aware of those problems?  Canada approved it.

Yes, I am aware that Thalidomide was never approved in the US.  Canada approved the drug prior to any adverse events being known.  The drug had been tested on pregnant women, but not pregnant in their first trimester.  The drug was held up in the US because a letter in the Lancet that some patients had a tingling sensation in their fingers.  That was followed up by a letter in the Lancet by a Australian obstetrician who noted that some deformities in babies.  At that point in time it was taken off the market everywhere.  Because of this regulations on pharmaceuticals were made stronger and tracking better.

However, that makes little difference for alternative medications that face no regulations or tracking at all.  Had this been an alternative medication the adverse events would have been many times harder to track, and, unlike this case where it was never approved by the FDA, it would have stayed on the market until the FDA could prove that it was dangerous.   

Tigana Tigana's picture
Tigana Tigana's picture

Trevor, your thoughts on the safety of our medical watchdogs - Health Canada and the FDA - would change forever if you looked at the work of Dr. Shiv Chopra. His book, CORRUPT TO THE CORE, will open your eyes.

http://www.kospublishing.com/html/corrupt_to_the_core.html

So will the story of the death of Terence Young's daughter - 

http://www.truemantuck.ca/articles.php?command=show&cID=47

And, without pointing any fingers, I'd like to note that some people may get paid to derail discussions of prescription drug dangers and leave pro-pharma comments on discussion boards. 

 

 

Trevormkidd

Tigana wrote:
And, without pointing any fingers, I'd like to note that some people may get paid to derail discussions of prescription drug dangers and leave pro-pharma comments on discussion boards.

 

I won't be responding to you in the future as I have better things to do with my time then engage with conspiracy nuts.  It could be just as easily said that "some people may get paid to derail discussions of alternative medicines not working and leave anti-pharma comments on disscussion boards."  Seeing as this was a discussion about alternative medicines being found to not work which was derailed by the likes of you who have actually not posted a single word about this thread's topic, that's actually fits much better.

How often do you see advertisements in newspapers, magazine, tv etc by "big pharma" trashing alternative medicines?  Never (although you can find the opposite easily).  How much financial support does big pharma give to those who spend their time trying to expose alternative medicine frauds?  None.  Did big pharma give James Randi a medal for continually exposing faith healers and homeopathy?  Nope.  Why is that?  Because, although alternative meders think that they are sticking it to big pharma, the reality is that big pharma couldn't give a flying f.  First of all big pharma owns a large percent of supplements, herbals and other alternative medicines and also owns a large chunk of the distribution of herbs and other ingredients used by independent sellers.  Secondly, big pharma is more concerned with those who don't feel the need to take anything for everyday discomforts.  They are not terrified of the group of people who complain about the world being over-prescribed with big pharma meds while they have a cabinet full of untested and unproven alternative medicines (many which are sold of big pharma themselves) which they take for any and every perceived malady.  People always feeling that they must be taking something for any soreness or cough which would go away just as fast anyways - wow, big pharma should be afraid of that.  If those people took nothing and realized that for minor ailments they recovered just as fast, that would be more concerning then those who give credit to a treatment each time their body healed itself.  As the use of alternative medicines has increased significantly over the past 15 years so has the use of pharmaceuticals.  Not only are more people using pharmaceuticals, but many of them are also taking "complementary" medications, and to top it all off, people who shouldn't be taking anything at are lining up for their daily dose of alternative woo.  That is win-win for the profits of the large pharmaceutical companies.  This is not new either.  Many decades ago they realized that they could get well-nourished people to take large doses of vitamins and minerals which they would just piss out.  Exceedingly cheap to make, gets people used to popping pills, no trials to go through and even if study after study showed that they were unnecessary for 99% of the population, it didn't matter.  People WANTED to take them and many felt that the more the better.  Then they moved and are continuing to move into the rest of the alternative medicine business.  Are they upset when someone who needs medical treatment instead uses an alternative treatment that doesn't work?  Hardly, it just means that the disease process advances further and results in more conventional treatment. 

People who don't require evidence that a treatment works. 

People who don't care if no trials have been done.

People who don't care that trials which have been done show no effect.

People who are willing to spend money on unproven and untested substances.

People who don't care if a product has proper quality controls are in place.

People who argue that any regulations would infringe on their medical freedom.

Yeah, those are the people big pharma goes to bed worrying about.

As for the rest of the crap you posted, it is meaningless.  No one has argued against stronger regulations for pharmaceuticals, and for people to argue for stronger regulations for pharmaceuticals while at the same time defending alternative "medicines" which have no regulations, safety controls, or evidence for (if not evidence against) its claimed function is beyond hypocritical.  As for Shiv Chopra, no I won't be reading his book.  I have read enough of Shiv's opinions over the years on things like mumps, rubella and HPV to know enough to stay clear.

Sineed

Tigana wrote:

And, without pointing any fingers, I'd like to note that some people may get paid to derail discussions of prescription drug dangers and leave pro-pharma comments on discussion boards. 

 

 

I could say without pointing any fingers, people get paid to discredit mainstream medicine in order to promote the multi-billion-dollar alternative medicine industry.

But discarding all of evidence-based medicine on the basis of the misdeeds of a few is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

One of your links speaks of the off-label use of Zyprexa for dementia in the elderly.  Who exactly do you think determined this drug was ineffective and dangerous in this population? 

ennir

I'm thinking it was probably the patients and families, then I am thinking the nurses and yes I know there are wonderful doctors who care and who would bring this information forward but how many cases are there of doctors trying to do just that and being censored?

How is that Harvard Medical University students gave Harvard an F for their lack of integrity?  These students understood that their medical education was being shaped by Big Pharma.

Thanks for the excellent links Tigana.  It gives me hope that we have a Member of Parliament who understands the issues.

I think we all need to wake up to the responsiblity for our own health, we need to investigate any medication for ourselves whether they be alternative or conventional.

jas

I guess the evidence for me on "evidence-based" medicine is that the singlemost largest advances in community health have occurred through sanitation, clean water, and better nutrition. Not through pharmaceuticals, gamma knifes and expensive diagnostic equipment. Another recent advance occurring across the board is education about healthy living practices and preventive health techniques.

I question whether "evidence-based" medicine actually saves more lives than any other medical treatment system that has existed. And if it does, is it just for a life of continued ill health and dependency on medical support. Are we prolonging the lives of people who perhaps would be better off dying? "Evidence-based" medicine is extremely expensive to communities, as well. Why does it have to be so expensive? It's an industry, like the military. But is it really worth the money we're spending on it? I think these are questions we need to start asking ourselves as a community. 

ennir

All very good points and questions jas, thank you.

And Tigana more links and great questions, thank you.

I completely agree that we should let food be our medicine.  I think though that we face challenges that Sir William Osler and his generation didn't face. Our food supply has been de-nutrified through our farming practices and the diets of many people are deficient in vital nutrients.  It has also become highly processed with questionable additives and strangely astonishingly acceptable that food makes you feel sick and then you either drink the pink stuff or take a pill.

We are programmed to think of our digestion as some food/fuel tube and this begins very young.  A friend was telling me that her granddaughter didn't like bananas and refused to eat them, no big deal they didn't force her to, so one day at day care a worker there decided she should have banana and forced her to eat it, within fifteen minutes her eyes were swelling shut.  Stunning isn't it?  I wonder if we arrive with an inate sense of what is good for us and what is not and whether we lose that sense because it is constantly over-ridden by the prevailing norms of what a healthy diet is.

Soy is an interesting product to look into to see how we are manipulated into eating something that may be dangerous for us.  The estrogen levels of children who had been fed soy milk as infants were at puberty something like 13% above normal.

It seems to me that our industrialized food system and big pharma wash eachother's hands, one makes us sick and the other keeps us sick, meanwhile they profit to the tune of billions and billions and billions.

 

 

 

 

 

Tigana Tigana's picture

Ennir, thank you - and Jas too.

Here is the link for our MP who undertstands the issues - Terence Young, in Oakville. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_Young_(politician)

I remember where "drugs" come from - chemistry and botany, which is now called "alternative medicine". And nutrition, also, is smeared with the same "alternative" brush.

"First do no harm'... "Let your food be your medicine" ...even Sir William Osler said that the first duty of doctors was to educate patients not to take medicine.

I don't know much about homeopathy but it seems to have worked well for HM the Queen and Prince Philip.

http://www.darshem.org/sys-tmpl/homeopathy/

If I want to know the truth about pharma, I read Marcia Angell, physician and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcia_Angell

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17244

if I want to learn about nutrition, I read Dr. Abram Hoffer's Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine or Dr. Andrew Saul's DoctorYourself and sites of their friends. 

http://www.orthomed.org/jom/jom.html

http://www.orthomolecular.org/

http://www.doctoryourself.com/

http://www.alternativementalhealth.com

For a condemnation by bankers (!) of the antics of big pharma and new plans to milk the public for profit, read Vision 2020, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers pdf here -

http://www.pwc.com/extweb/pwcpublications.nsf/docid/91BF330647FFA4028525...

We should be asking why bovine growth hormone was approved by Health Canada at all and why HC are still - STILL - spending millions of your tax money to prosecute Dr. Shiv Chopra.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiv_Chopra

We should talk about Guillain-Barré syndrome and other illnesses caused/spread by vaccinations. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillain-Barré_syndrome

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeLa

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=327_1195303011  - AIDS: a little gift from Merck

We now know that benzos are addictive, and antidepressants' performance often ranks with that of placebos - when they don't cause dependency and permanent damage. We should talk about why we know more about what goes into our pet food than what we are feeding our children, our elderly - and ourselves. We should learn what to take to have a naturally healthy immune system. We should be asking why our government can't afford to give kids breakfast but can afford ritalin, chemical twin of amphetamine - and other chemical straitjackets -

http://www.cbc.ca/national/news/normal/

In Ontario alone $500M was earmarked for Merck's Gardasil - which has been associated with illness and death and contains aluminum -

http://www.doulton.ca/alzheimers.html

http://www.prwatch.org/node/6263/print

We should be asking why our elderly are being medicated at all. The dementias can be the result of poor nutrition - and respond to vitamin therapy. 

http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v04n25.shtml

I'll watch for the community's responses with great interest. 

Tigana Tigana's picture

"Courage my friends, 'tis not too late to build a better world" - Tommy Douglas

Douglas-Caldwell Foundation

http://www.dcf.ca/

Fair-use Tommy Douglas poster

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiganatoo/3082937229/sizes/l/

Tigana Tigana's picture

sineed asks,

Quote:

One of your links speaks of the off-label use of Zyprexa for dementia in the elderly.  Who exactly do you think determined this drug was ineffective and dangerous in this population? 

Eli Lilly themselves knew, and covered it up.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has info on whistleblowing re Lilly's Zyprexa here:

http://www.eff.org/cases/eli-lilly-zyprexa-litigation

Also check http://www.furiousseasons.com/archives/2007/11/atypical_nation_deadly_re...

lost in the red...

There are some actual studies being done on various herbs.  And its good to know of any potential side effects as well. 
Some have been found to be harmful (Rue) potentially cancer causeing if used wrong (comfry). 
Most confirm that granny new what she was talking about.  a useful site for research :  
  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez
type 12722128 in the search box
Just as there has been lead found in toys and catfood there are many unscrupulous companies out there. best to grow or gather
what you use. Black cumin seed is also a pretty blue garden flower commonly called "love in the mist" nigella

Snuckles

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Quote:
WASHINGTON - Consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related products because they can permanently damage the sense of smell, federal health regulators said Tuesday.

The over-the-counter products contain zinc, an ingredient scientists say may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell. The other products affected by the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement are adult and kid-size Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs.

The FDA says about 130 consumers have reported a loss of smell after using Matrixx Initiatives’ Zicam products since 1999. Shares of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company plunged to a 52-week low after the FDA announcement, losing more than half their value.. . .

. . .The FDA said Zicam Cold Remedy was never formally approved because it is part of a small group of remedies that are not required to undergo federal review before launching. Known as homeopathic products, the formulations often contain herbs, minerals and flowers.

Tigana Tigana's picture

Snuckles, without Zinc you would not be able to smell anything.

From http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/13159.html -

THE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF ZINC DEFICIENCY, A review from the literature
by Tuula E. Tuormaa for FORESIGHT, the Association for the Promotion
of Preconceptual Care [first published in: Journal of Orthomolecular
Medicine, 10 (3 & 4): 149-164, (1995)]
http://web.archive.org/web/20011102124628/http://www.surreyweb.org.uk/fo...

Zinc is known to alter taste and smell and is thought to be a factor
in some cases of anorexia and bulimarexia. The observation is that a
zinc deficiency suppresses taste and smell and leads to loss of
appetite. The reason is that "zinc is essential for the taste
perception is because taste is mediated through a salivary
zinc-dependent polypeptide termed gustin, therefore low salivary zinc
levels invariably leads to a reduction of taste." Zinc deficiencies
are generally short-term, and symptoms can be quickly relieved by
restoring adequate zinc intake and absorption.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

jas wrote:

How many deaths have there been from use of naturopathy, homeopathy or herbalism? Are there even any documented cases of such?

[url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/28/2698762.htm]Here's one[/url]

 

Unionist
jas

Very good, M Spector. That only took you three months.

jas

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://krelnik.home.mindspring.com/harm/homeopathy.html]Here's 72 more.[/url]

Oh my god. The outrage. An HIV-positive person dying of AIDS. Someone with cancer -- dying from it! A person with depression committing suicide, because of homeopathy! 

"When her cancer recurred, Diane tried homeopathic treatment. She was sold unapproved substances and a quack machine. After she died, her daughter sued the practitioner."

Suing a homeopath because her mother died of cancer. Did the daughter win? We don't know, because the link doesn't work.

"This study found that many breast cancer patients in Pakistan delayed medical treatment in favor of homeopathic remedies. "

What we won't mention is that many breast cancer patients' conditions can worsen also when seeking western medical treatment.

For every example here, you can find as many, or more, of people receiving western scientific medical treatment and also dying, or their conditions worsening. Probably as many examples, as well, of people not seeking any medical treatment and recovering or healing.

Jingles

How do we know homeopathy is a crock? Simple; if any of that crap was in any way effective, the pharma companies would snap it up and patent it. Even those vultures know horseshit when they smell it.

It's pretty hard to take seriously a miracle cure that was somehow overlooked by Merck or Ely Lily.

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Homeopathy, like a lot of alternative therapies, works via a phenomenon that increasingly bedevils pharmaceutical research and development: placebo effect, which used to reliably produce an improvement in 30% of clinical trial subjects. The interesting thing is that placebos seem to be getting more effective. Wired magazine has a pretty good piece on the subject:
http://www.wired.com/medtech/drugs/magazine/17-09/ff_placebo_effect?curr...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

jas wrote:

Very good, M Spector. That only took you three months.

It was only reported a couple of days ago. Sorry if my precognitive abilities are faulty. 

jas wrote:

What we won't mention is that many breast cancer patients' conditions can worsen also when seeking western medical treatment.

So are we to take it that you do not recommend seeking "western" medical treatment for breast cancer?

BTW, I guess you're oblivious to the implicit orientalist slur inherent in labelling all science-based medicine as "western". Asian doctors and researchers can do science pretty well also.

G. Muffin

M. Spector wrote:
And why is that? Is it because you actually have to have proof that a homeopathic treatment works before you can patent it?

No, it's because making up dilute concentrations of dandelions (or whatever) wouldn't be subject to patent.  Actually, a specific dilution process might be, but dandelions themselves definitely not.

ETA:  I was actually kidding about the dandelions but I just googled it and apparently they are used in homeopathy.

G. Muffin

Jingles wrote:
How do we know homeopathy is a crock? Simple; if any of that crap was in any way effective, the pharma companies would snap it up and patent it.

Some of these "cures" aren't patentable. 

ETA:  The word cures is in quotes as it pertains to homeopathy.  There are plenty of other alternative treatments that are valuable. 

ETA:  Just wanted to clarify, before I toddle off to bed, that I consider alternative treatment to be any treatment other than the most common or standard one.  It's one of those phrases that means different things to different people. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

G. Pie wrote:

ETA:  I was actually kidding about the dandelions but I just googled it and apparently they are used in homeopathy.

Yes, it's pretty hard to think of some outrageously unlikely remedy that the homeopaths haven't already thought of - and profited from.

If Bayer could patent aspirin, why couldn't they patent dandelions?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

G.Pie wrote:

Some of these "cures" aren't patentable.

 

And why is that? Is it because you actually have to have proof that a homeopathic treatment works before you can patent it?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Why some alternative cures work: Placebos are getting more effective

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

LTJ, you stumbled on the same article I found and posted above. It's interesting, isn't it? To the pharmaceutical companies it's just an inconvenience, but it's really about that mind-body link we hear so much about, and how we could exploit it. Imagine people at some point being able to heal themselves using their own mind, instead of pharmaceuticals with a plethora of side-effects and price tags that eat up more and more of every country's health care budget.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

More on the mind-body link: The nocebo effect

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Thanks for posting that. Once you get to a certain age you've heard the story of a doctor telling a patient that they have X months or years to live, or they'll never walk again, only to be proved very wrong, far too many times. At this point, knowing what we know about nocebo effect, I wonder why they ever do it.

There were some good comments on the story, but the one by the guy who had worked on a dairy farm left me stunned. So much for the animals are just machines theory, which never worked for me anyway.

ennir

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

Why some alternative cures work: Placebos are getting more effective

That is a fascinating article, thanks for posting it. 

I think there are a growing number of people who are discovering that intention, supported by wholesome choices, has the power to heal.  As for homeopathy, I have used Arnica for muscle strain with success, perhaps that was the placebo effect but if so then how wonderful is that?  lol 

 

remind remind's picture

"but if so then how wonderful is that? "

Exactly, and people should think about the opposite of the placebo effect, and how that could play out in disease occurances.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Timebandit Timebandit's picture
stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Oh, yes, I remember seeing this guy on a CBC News segment about Ronnie Hawkins a couple of years ago. Quantum holograms, eh? I think I saw one of those the night I shared two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc with my neighbour. I wasn't hungover the next day (although I was still gormless), so it must be real.

It's easy to laugh at that, but city officials in Aliso Viejo, California were so concerned in 2004 about the potentially dangerous properties of dihydrogen monoxide that they seriously debated banning foam cups when they learned it was used in their production. Very embarrassing. I do wonder sometimes whether the lack of basic scientific literacy people leave high school with is entirely innocent, given how much business depends on it.

Evidence suggestive of it being anything but accidental, from the US: http://thememoryhole.com/edu/school-mission.htm

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

remind wrote:

"but if so then how wonderful is that? "

Exactly, and people should think about the opposite of the placebo effect, and how that could play out in disease occurances.

 

Hee. I have to admit to a bad thing here but heck it was a youthful thing.  At one time I just hated going to school. I can't remember why though but I don't think that matters. Anyways I did get the occasional migraines so started 'ahem' faking migraines.  Problem was that after I did that for a time, I'd fake and then end up with an actual real and painful migraine by the afternoon.  Same thing happened when I moved to other fakes.  Fake nausea end up with physical nausea. Fake cramps, end up with actual cramps.  My faking was making me actually sick so I had to stop once I finally figured out that something more was going on then sheer coincidence.  Which of course was a good thing. :)   Made me pretty aware though of my thinking and how it could affect me physically if I wasn't careful.

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