Let me ask you a question. If you have a choice between two treatments – one that comes from a scientific, peer reviewed study and one that is recommended by a natural practitioner from personal experience with patients (or a trusted friend) and the evidence gained from that – which would you feel most comfortable and confident choosing?
Most people would probably choose the first since it is based on science, and studies done by medical researchers. That’s where I would part ways with most people. While I respect the scientific research done by people who sincerely want to make this a healthier, better world, I am not naïve.
There have been numerous studies in the recent past that were proved to be flawed at best and outright fraudulent at worst! In this article Dr. Mercola discusses scientific misconduct and conflict of interest that have resulted in serious harm to many people.
What came to my mind were recent stories in the news of studies “proving” that taking vitamins can increase your risk of cancer and heart disease and statins being prescribed as “preventive” medicine for all people! My biggest problem, besides the obvious lack of honesty and integrity is the fact that we are all metabolically unique. What works for me may not work for you! A drug you may be able to take with no problem may cause serious side effects for me. So science or not – one size doesn’t fit all, even when it is backed with “research.”
Another issue is the type of study being done. Randomized, controlled, clinical trials have matched groups of subjects with one group getting the “treatment” and one getting a placebo. Epidemiological studies look at large amounts of data from massive numbers of people. Those studies don’t show cause and effect, they show associations. For example, I read this example and think it illustrates the point beautifully. There has been a strong statistical association between the prevalence of developing diabetes and owning a TV set. However, should we then conclude that TV causes diabetes? Of course not, that’s crazy.
Add to this the lack of integrity, widespread scientific misconduct and conflict of interest by medical researchers which has caused damage and death. My take away is not to just blindly trust what anyone tells you without doing your own research, using your instincts and common sense. While you should be able to trust what an “expert” says, unfortunately, that is not always the case.
What criteria do you use to determine whether a treatment or drug truly is right for you?
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