About the value of studies

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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:48 am

chownah wrote:It still seems like the topic here is alternative medicine....almost no one has talked about the value of studies.
chownah


True.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Tex » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:50 pm

Studies can be of tremendous value, if they are verifiable and reproduceable. Whenever the results of a new study are published, the first questions should always be, "was this a well-designed experiment that accurately measured what it claimed to measure?" and "has anyone duplicated these findings yet?". If the answer to either is "no", the study isn't worth very much (yet).

And Anna's point about considering who funded the study is critical. In one of my psych courses in college we read the reports of two different studies on a new medication. One was funded by the pharmacology company that created the medication, and the other was funded by the Food and Drug Administration. The results were quite different.

So studies can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on the agenda of those writing the check and the skill of those conducting the study.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:55 pm

Quite so, Tex. :namaste:
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby PeterB » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:09 am

Tex wrote:Studies can be of tremendous value, if they are verifiable and reproduceable. Whenever the results of a new study are published, the first questions should always be, "was this a well-designed experiment that accurately measured what it claimed to measure?" and "has anyone duplicated these findings yet?". If the answer to either is "no", the study isn't worth very much (yet).

And Anna's point about considering who funded the study is critical. In one of my psych courses in college we read the reports of two different studies on a new medication. One was funded by the pharmacology company that created the medication, and the other was funded by the Food and Drug Administration. The results were quite different.

So studies can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on the agenda of those writing the check and the skill of those conducting the study.


Which is one of the major benefits of the British NHS- style system.
The body which overseas the commissioning and testing of new drugs and other treatments is an independent body which does not accept at face value the research carried out by the pharma companies.
The body in question is funded directly by central government and derives no part of its funds from vested commercial interests. In the course of its investigation it does of course consult all existing studies as well as conducting its own studies.
These studies are completely vital in the assessment of all and any treatment.
Anecdotal evidence when assessing the efficacy of any treatment is of no value at all, due to observer bias, wishful thinking, anxiety states , secondary gain, and sheer human credulity.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:25 am

The topis is not about medical studies only.

ALL studies...
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby PeterB » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:44 am

It makes no difference. Just as studies are absolutely vital in assessing the efficacy of medicines, so they are in planning engineering projects. In assessing educational programmes. In experimental work in labs. In agriculture. In peace studies. In assessing the effect of diet of therapuetic techniques and meditation programmes.
Studies are broadly of two kinds quantitative and qualitative.
The Suttas are themselves qualitative studies.
Studies are utterly essential in all areas of human functioning.
The Pandora's box of scientifically cogent evidence based practise will never be closed again.
The day of anecdotal evidence is happily consigned to the dustbin of history.
A village wiseman or wisewoman operating in remote locations or in the past had to make the most of the knowledge and resources available. If their motivation was to ease suffering , then that is praiseworthy , despite their limited knowledge.
But that age of innocence is passed. To attempt to build a bridge, or design a curriculum, or treat an illness on the basis of anecdotal evidence and subjective assessments would now amount imo to a breach of Right Livelihood.
To give a parallel. In the 1920's a Buddhist could own a tobacco shop and deal in good conscience. The results of smoking were not known. That situation has now changed as a direct result of studies. And no Buddhist ( except perhaps in rural Asian locations ) could excuse their Livelihoods in the same way.
Pandora cannot be put back into the box...
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Anicca » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:16 pm

According to a recent study by the Annals of Internal Medicine, here in America you get the *best* studies money can buy...
A recent study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine has revealed that industry-funded clinical trials -- that is, drug trials funded by pharmaceutical companies -- almost always show positive results for the drugs they test. In contrast, only about half of government-funded studies show the same drugs to be safe and effective...

LA Times article
Natural News article

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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Kenshou » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:26 pm

Breaking news, people lie to get you to buy their junk.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Calahand » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:03 pm

"If this type of ignorace weren't so sad, I would have been rolling on the floor by now.

Still 20 years ago, every serious scientist dismissed acupuncture.

Now they have to admit that it works, because we have so much evidence.

In a while from now, it may be possible to explain how homeopathy works.

What any homeopath like me can already tell you today is this:

We know it works, and so do our healed patients.

We are 'tailors'. We don't make one suits that fits all.

We don't treat symptoms, but remove causes. "

I disagree with you, it is not ignorance to tell people the truth. If there is no evidence that it works, then as a good doctor (whether homeopathic or whatever) it is your duty to tell your patient that it may or may not work for them, if they are willing to try it, they can go ahead, but you are not even sure if it will help, it might as well harm, you just don't know!. And i am not talking about the subjective opinion that you "feel" that it works, but an objective one that has been established by independent repeated studies that show that YES it works.

The main philosophical principle that drives modern medicine is this , "DO NO HARM" - "Primum non nocere (in latin)" , and they do repeated studies to test what they know and do to patients such that they don't unknowingly harm the patient, and they also advance the knowledge of medicine in the process of testing themselves. This enables us as a society- to constantly check ourselves, and give people only those things that we are sure will help them. I can't believe people don't appreciate the time and effort that these medical doctors, researchers and establishments like FDA, CDC or NIH put into this effort. Sometimes as a scientist you might spend like 20-30 years of your life working on something and you realize that it doesn't work because someone else proved it for sure that it doesn't work, and you have to accept that. Its not right to call it ignorance.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Vardali » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:24 pm

Anicca wrote:According to a recent study by the Annals of Internal Medicine, here in America you get the *best* studies money can buy...
A recent study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine has revealed that industry-funded clinical trials -- that is, drug trials funded by pharmaceutical companies -- almost always show positive results for the drugs they test. In contrast, only about half of government-funded studies show the same drugs to be safe and effective...

LA Times article
Natural News article

Metta

And as awareness of this pheomenon rises, people tend to believe less and less what published studies say ...

For example, I don't trust any studies and promotions from the food industry, at all. I basically try to avoid processed food as much as possible and rely on my own experience. I would imagine that alternative medicine follows similar logic.

Still, I wouldn't say, corporations "lie" to promote their products. They just have become very sophisticated in highlighting selective truths. Still, bottomline is probably the same: I don't trust what they are market ;)

That's why such a "reference culture" has emerged where people rate their experience and others base their purchasing decisions on it ... It's going more back to anecdotal experience rather than studies due to the latter having been devalued.

:popcorn:
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby username_5 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:30 pm

I have the utmost respect for the scientific method and less than the utmost respect for how various groups have manipulated trust in the scientific method for their own gains.

Of all the means of gaining knowledge I believe the scientific method reins supreme in those areas where it can be applied. This makes it a frequent target of charlatans and monied interests looking to profit from it's credibility.

I highly value scientific studies, but like many others have said, I look for the money trail. I consider it a strong bias and then look for confirmation from sources without that bias or even better with an opposed bias to confirm.

The method itself is blameless in my opinion even though it cannot be applied to all questions. The way it is manipulated is shameful and reveals the suffering we as humans must endure on our path to truth and happiness.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:39 pm

Calahand wrote:
The main philosophical principle that drives modern medicine is this , "DO NO HARM" - "Primum non nocere (in latin)"


sorry no it isn't!

not harming a patient is a secondary principle! the main principle it to restore normal health by reasonable means, which in some cases means harming the patient.

You certainly won't find the quote in the hippocratic oath, but it can be found in the hippocratic writings "to do good, or do no harm" which clearly place not doing (direct) harm second.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Calahand » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:29 am

I don't know man, through out my medical education they told me "primium Non nocere" along with, "Don't do anything stupid , and you will be fine", so I think one of them is the first principle of modern medicine. Anyway, what you are saying about how you "harm" the guy to restore his health sounds "doing the stupid" to me, so I am guessing we don't do that in modern medicine. Oh yeah the whole killing the cancer by chemotherapy and that harming the patient ... that I can argue is not harming the patient, it is killing the cancer, and yeah in the process makes the guy really weak, but you are not harming the patient , you are saving them, even though you make them miserable, they will thank you once they are free of the disease.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:40 am

Calahand wrote:"If this type of ignorace weren't so sad, I would have been rolling on the floor by now.

Still 20 years ago, every serious scientist dismissed acupuncture.

Now they have to admit that it works, because we have so much evidence.

In a while from now, it may be possible to explain how homeopathy works.

What any homeopath like me can already tell you today is this:

We know it works, and so do our healed patients.

We are 'tailors'. We don't make one suit that fits all.

We don't treat symptoms, but remove causes. "




Hello, colleague,

I couldn't have said it any better than you! Perfect! :twothumbsup:

Actually this is what I say on my professional blog which is still under construction: http://naturheilpraxisbeuing.blogspot.com/

Perhaps it should be mentioned here that many people who take homeopathic remedies often don't need any allopathic remedies even in higher age.

Hope we can chat some more about this!
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:58 am

Vardali wrote:
Anicca wrote:According to a recent study by the Annals of Internal Medicine, here in America you get the *best* studies money can buy...
A recent study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine has revealed that industry-funded clinical trials -- that is, drug trials funded by pharmaceutical companies -- almost always show positive results for the drugs they test. In contrast, only about half of government-funded studies show the same drugs to be safe and effective...

LA Times article
Natural News article

Metta

And as awareness of this pheomenon rises, people tend to believe less and less what published studies say ...

For example, I don't trust any studies and promotions from the food industry, at all. I basically try to avoid processed food as much as possible and rely on my own experience. I would imagine that alternative medicine follows similar logic.

Still, I wouldn't say, corporations "lie" to promote their products. They just have become very sophisticated in highlighting selective truths. Still, bottomline is probably the same: I don't trust what they are market ;)

That's why such a "reference culture" has emerged where people rate their experience and others base their purchasing decisions on it ... It's going more back to anecdotal experience rather than studies due to the latter having been devalued.

:popcorn:


Good post!

I basically try to avoid processed food as much as possible and rely on my own experience. I would imagine that alternative medicine follows similar logic.


Sort of. Yes. I think I have tested all my methods on myself first. I sort out everything that is not showing the effects I want to see.

I have tested a lot on ill pets. If they heal a method works, since animals don't react to placebos.

Pets react to homeopathy and Bach flower remedies in overwhelming clarity, plus, my own reactions convinced me too, of course.

The problem with subtle healing methods can be that people who are used to the effects of bummers, such as valium and Cortison, are not able to identify whence healing came from, and will muse: I think the body healed itself, not your remedy...?

Of course the body healed itself, but BECAUSE of the impetus the subtle remedy gave!

That's all it is about!!

I now explain this prior to a treatment.
Last edited by Annapurna on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Shonin » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:01 am

Annapurna wrote:I got a bladder infection when I was 19, due to a medical tube put into the bladder for a few days after an accident.

This infection was not discovered, although I was in a hospital, it became chronical and would flared up again after going for a swim, or a walk in the snow, so that I soon had to take antibiotics each month, and finally daily.

As a result, I had constant diarrhea, since antibiotics also kill the intestinal bacteria that we need to digest.

I was soon too weak to attend university classes, but didn't know how to get out of this vicious cycle.

One day I ran out of antibiotics, and went to a pharmacy, it was close to six, closing time and implored them to give me the medicine, although I had no prescription, -I would bring it the next day .

They refused to, but recommended a herbal tea, a mixture of like 10 herbs, which have been used since centuries to cure bladder infections.

I went home nearly crying, but with the tea.

I had no belief in it, I wanted my antibiotic, but out of desperation I prepared a cup and drank the horribly bitter brew.

I later forced down another cup with utter contempt, and woke up the next day without fever and bladder pain.

I was completely surprised. :jumping:

Over the weekend, I drove home to my parents, drank my tea, 3-5 times a day and felt fabulous.

I had my urine tested-no bacteria.

I usually always had some bacteria.

I learned that those herbs have a proven antibiotic effect, and only on the bladder, not in the intestinal tract.

I haven not had a bladder infection since.

:toast:

Simplemind, an antiobiotic is a drastic remedy, a bladder tea is a subtle remedy and yet is was more effective, and also cured a lot of other people I recommended it to.


Many bacteria now have resistance to commonly-prescribed antibiotics. Perhaps your brew had a different antibiotic or other effect (or both). One successful treatment might be a coincidence or might be a placebo effect, in itself it's not proof. But this can be investigated by giving the treatment to a large number of people with similar infection and a 'fake' treatment to another large group of people with similar infections. Then we can compare the results and get a more clear idea of whether it is effective or not. In other words, we can do a study :)

But independence of research from the interests of those selling the solution is really important of course.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:28 am

Hello, Shonin,

Perhaps your brew had a different antibiotic or other effect (or both).


Yes. Certainly.

The antibiotic properties of Bärentraubenblätter have now been proven in studies, although known over centuries from experience. .

The advantage is, that it is unknown that bacteria can develop a significant resistance against those substances, and that sideeffects are minimal, perhaps a slightly unwell stomach if drunk on an empty stomach, which is easily met by eating something prior to the tea.

Also, Bärentraube only works in the bladder, and not in the intestinal tract or vagina, which local bacteria are also killed by antibiotica and can cause candida overgrowth.

One successful treatment might be a coincidence or might be a placebo effect, in itself it's not proof. But this can be investigated by giving the treatment to a large number of people with similar infection and a 'fake' treatment to another large group of people with similar infections. Then we can compare the results and get a more clear idea of whether it is effective or not. In other words, we can do a study


That's all been done many years ago.

But independence of research from the interests of those selling the solution is really important of course.


Of course, they want to make money with it.

Just like the other pharma companies as well.

Question is: Is your remedy harmful or not? That is an ethical issue, that comes into play when you go biz.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:36 am

Please understand I'm at work and don't have the time to provide you with English evidence. It can easily be googled I would hope if you* (general) question my professional expertise.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Shonin » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:06 am

Annapurna wrote:The antibiotic properties of Bärentraubenblätter have now been proven in studies, although known over centuries from experience. .

The advantage is, that it is unknown that bacteria can develop a significant resistance against those substances, and that sideeffects are minimal, perhaps a slightly unwell stomach if drunk on an empty stomach, which is easily met by eating something prior to the tea.

Also, Bärentraube only works in the bladder, and not in the intestinal tract or vagina, which local bacteria are also killed by antibiotica and can cause candida overgrowth.


Interesting, thanks. There are many treatments now used in 'mainstream medicine' that were once herbal, 'folk' remedies, e.g. aspirin.
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Re: About the value of studies

Postby Annapurna » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:49 pm

Oh, yes, absolutely. Great example.

Willow bark was the original source of "Aspirin, used against rheumatism etc.

The brew from the bark also contained other substances which served as antagonists for the side effects the isolated substance acetylsalicylic acid has.
Aspirin (USAN), also known as acetylsalicylic acid (pronounced /əˌsɛtəlˌsælɨˈsɪlɨk/ ə-SET-əl-sal-i-SIL-ik, abbreviated ASA), is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication.

Aspirin also has an antiplatelet effect by inhibiting the production of thromboxane, which under normal circumstances binds platelet molecules together to create a patch over damage of the walls within blood vessels. Because the platelet patch can become too large and also block blood flow, locally and downstream, aspirin is also used long-term, at low doses, to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clot formation in people at high risk for developing blood clots.[1] It has also been established that low doses of aspirin may be given immediately after a heart attack to reduce the risk of another heart attack or of the death of cardiac tissue.[2][3]

The main undesirable side effects of aspirin are gastrointestinal ulcers, stomach bleeding, and tinnitus, especially in higher doses. In children and adolescents, aspirin is no longer used to control flu-like symptoms or the symptoms of chickenpox or other viral illnesses, because of the risk of Reye's syndrome.[4]


The antiplatelet effect lasts for about a week, pregnant women have lost their babies due to internal bleedings.

I noticed I am getting bruises allover my body for about a week, and other very unpleasant reactions.

I can't take it.
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