Medicine and Pseudoscience: New insights

by Steven Carney on September 26, 2014

This is post #111 on the site, about medicine and the pseudo-science behind many drugs and procedures. If you think medicine is scientific, based on carefully designed and executed research, you believe what they want you to believe, not what’s truthful! See details and links below. 

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Modern medicine is a structurally flawed, money-driven industry. There, I said it. The widespread greed and corruption of medicine reaches from academic institutions to research labs and all the way to your doctor’s office. The exceptions are far too rare.

Starting with the indoctrination of medical students to believe in drugs and procedures (and to  dismiss nutrition, exercise, stress management and other approaches as less meaningful), to the endless gifts and money given to universities and hospitals to buy their loyalty, to putting medical faulty on drug boards, and excessive doctor payments for speaking and “education,” the countless billions flow freely into every corner of medical practice annually. That includes constant media campaigns and the largest lobbying army in the world. The results of this money influence and corruption?

1. Medical practice causes millions of deaths and injuries annually. The numbers are both staggering and grim, affecting the lives of millions more family members and friends. Yet the numbers are a normal part of medical practice, affecting lives and ruining families every day, even as mass media rarely reports these widespread problems (see source links below for articles and research): 

  • More than 4 million people are treated for drug side effects at doctor’s offices and ERs annually (about 12,000 per day), costing billions for treatment
  • About 140,000 die annually from taking prescription drugs as directed
  • About 200,000 people are injured by preventable hospital mistakes annually, contributing to numerous deaths and injuries, costing about 20 billion for additional treatments
  • There are 10-12 million patients misdiagnosed annually, costing lives and billions in additional costs
  • Total medical costs are approaching 3 trillion annually (we spend the most by far), yet the health and longevity in the U.S. is ranked well below other advanced countries, often 25th or lower
  • Modern medicine wastes about 750 billion annually from errors, misdiagnosis, fraud, waste, etc., which brings extra money to doctors, clinics and hospitals
  • Most experts agree that $3 of every $4 in medical costs are caused by preventable chronic diseases, traced to unhealthy lifestyle choices and behaviors
  • Most doctors study little prevention, nutrition, exercise/fitness, lifestyle modification, etc., and they are often ignorant about how effective these safer approaches are

Given the deaths, injuries and ineffectiveness of modern medicine, why do people still believe it or use it? Many people know virtually nothing about their bodies and fail to use common sense and effective lifestyle approaches to stay healthy. Their trust is blind, often the result of marketing messages that falsely claim medicine is scientific, proven and evidence based (I’ve debunked these beliefs many times and I will do so again below).

And if you believe that vitamins, minerals and supplements kill or that alternative health providers (like nutritionists, chiropractors and NDs) are dangerous, think again! They don’t begin to compare to the unnecessary death and destruction caused by traditional medicine (deaths or injuries from certified or licensed alternative health providers are very rare). For example:

There have been zero (0) deaths from vitamins, minerals or amino-acid supplements in 27 years of records, according to the U.S. Poison Control, but about 3 million deaths from prescription drugs! Add the millions of deaths and injuries from botched procedures, surgeries and misdiagnosis as indicated above and you have some serious carnage. Yet people still run to their doctor for medical treatment. Those medical providers tend to focus on 3 high-risk (and costly) approaches: drugs, procedures or surgeries. You see, treating sick people makes billions! Keeping people well is more cost effective but makes less money, so the emphasis is elsewhere.

This quote from my article called, 5 big Medical Lies (one of more than 100 quotes and 200 source links from doctors and credible medical experts). It’s from Dr. Dexter Shurney, medical director of the employee health plan for Vanderbilt University, talking about how they do things differently. He considers lifestyle medicine to be the antidote to America’s healthcare cost crisis:

Chronic diseases drive about two-thirds of a plan’s costs, he says, and at least 75% of chronic diseases are preventable.

“There’s a whole science on health behavior change and why we do what we do,” he says. “And physicians have zero training in it, and they are typically terrible at it. And the (healthcare) system makes them terrible at it in giving them only five or 10 minutes with a patient. You can’t do anything significantly productive in five or 10 minutes.”

“. . .If your system is just pills and procedures to treat consequences and never treat the causes (of chronic disease), it’s never going to work—I don’t care how efficient you get.”

The only area of medicine that works pretty well is emergency care, where medical doctors and practitioners save lives in the ER/ED (although I haven’t always been treated well in an ER situation). Yet, emergency care is estimated to be less than 10% of all healthcare costs, meaning it’s a relatively small $50 billion of the $2.75 trillion spent annually!

Overall medicine is breathtakingly ineffective and deeply flawed, based largely on pseudo-science and a drive for money! Far fetched you say? Read on:

2. Independent reviewers have consistently uncovered bias, fraud and unproven medical practices: research is used for marketing, dressed up as science.

Do you think your doctor reads the research studies for every drug, procedure or surgery they perform? Think again! Most don’t read and analyze full studies (I’m encountered this issue numerous times), and it’s obvious most docs only read headlines and abstracts (the short summary of the study). And if it’s in their favorite medical journal, it must be true! End of story. They are trained to trust and believe. 

Sadly, many published studies are biased and manipulated, often ghost written by research employees of the drug company. Later, more prominent doctors are offered handsome fees to have their names attached to the study, so they can pretend to be the actual authors (I’m not kidding and I have an extensive section about ghost writing with quotes and details in my 5 big Medical Lies post)! These studies are then published in as many journals as possible to pump up citations and to build a false sense of broadly accepted science and credibility when the whole process is driven by well-executed and financed marketing plans.

For too many in research, boosting one’s own career visibility (many researchers want attention, name recognition and career advancement). Becomming a successful, in-demand author becomes more important than patient safety. In addition, many studies are routinely manipulated through design, analysis, endpoint changes (what the study is measuring) and other variables, resulting in exaggerated benefits and minimized side effects. Again, it’s called marketing (see the shocking insider videos from Gwen Olson and Shane Ellison on YouTube as they openly expose medical research and marketing)!

This quote, from my post called 5 Big Medical Lies, from an article called, Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs talks about the corruption in drug research:

An extensive range of studies and lawsuits already documents strategies by which pharmaceutical companies hide, ignore, or misrepresent evidence about new drugs; distort the medical literature; and misrepresent products to prescribing physicians. We focus on the consequences for patients: millions of adverse reactions. After defining institutional corruption, we focus on evidence that it lies behind the epidemic of harms and the paucity [absence] of benefits.

Several medical reviews by the BMJ (British Medical Journal) and other independent and governmental organizations have consistently found that only about 10-15% of the most common drugs and medical procedures are supported by any credible research, in many cases, just 1 study!

In reality, there should be multiple studies for each drug or procedure, using hundreds to thousands of human subjects, and running for several years to fully understand potential side effects, hazzards and possible harms. But it’s rarely done that way. And your doctor goes along.

This stunning quote, also from my 5 Big medical Lies post, is taken from a review article about The British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) review looking at 2,500 of the most common drugs and procedures used in medicine. They found these shocking numbers (notice they said relief of symptoms as a benchmark, something I will debunk later as mostly meaningless). See link below for more details:

To determine that a drug is beneficial, the researchers had to find just one study involving one group of people that demonstrated a benefit, such as a relief of symptoms, that is greater than any harm recorded by the participants. Only 12 per cent of those 2,500 treatments met that simple criteria.

Think about that. Only 12% appeared to be “proven” with a single study (in reality, a single study is not proof at all; it needs to be replicated several times, by independent researchers, not the drug company and their researchers as is commonly done now). The remaining 88% have weak support, no proof, or caused outright harm! As I said, it takes multiple, large human trials to replicate medical procedures or drug findings. Single studies are not credible as proof or evidence and lab or small mammal studies are consistently unreliable as they rarely carry over to humans.

This startling quote is similar, and also from my 5 Big medical Lies post (see link below, post has over 200 source links that support what I’m saying):

Dr. John Ioannidis made a most disturbing discovery. Up to 90 percent of published medical information directly relied on by doctors to determine treatment is misleading, exaggerated, or quite often flat out wrong. Even more unsettling, the medical community agrees with his assessment.

Extensive tricks like Relative Risk (RR) are a research mainstay

Are you seeing some of the reckless pseudo-science in modern medicine yet? Consider one of the more pervasive tricks used to exaggerate medical findings: the extensive use Relative Risk (RR) in research. RR is a method of math manipulation (by essentially taking a ratio of a ratio). It is used for one reason: it distorts small findings of a few percent difference between drug and placebo into a much larger outcome based on a small subset of the study subjects. The extensive use of RR has become a convention, even though it’s scientifically misleading.

Most studies use RR extensively because it can inflate minimal findings of a 1-2% difference in drug vs. placebo to a difference of 20%, 30%, even 50% or more. That’s where all the exciting headlines come from! In fact, any drug or anti-vitamin study that claims to find differences of over 20% is almost always using RR!

In reality, Absolute Risk (AR) is what most studies actually measure in participants and is a more accurate way of measuring study outcomes. But as I said, many study outcomes will be minimally better than placebo (and the FDA will approve a drug that is only a few percent than placebo), but a few percent is not impressive.

RR is used to pump up media attention, marketing buzz and sales. How many drugs would you take if your doctor said it barely worked? But when your doc reads it lowered BP or cholesterol by 20, 30 or 40%, he or she will be far more prone to sell you on it. You will also think it has a kind of curative ability, increasing your own placebo effect when you’re really being duped.

This math manipulation is used extensively in anti-vitamin research too, because it helps to exaggerate claims of dangers and increase media coverage and buzz! And the media loves those wild claims that vitamins can kill or injure. I guarantee that the media will cover those pseudo-scientific claims often!

These forms of research bias and manipulation effect a wide-range of research studies, from mood, anxiety and ADD-type disorders to pain, cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, ulcers, IBS, thyroid, cancers, etc. The list goes on and on!

This 2010 quote covers this pseudo-science research issue well. It’s from a review study called, Reporting bias in medical research – a narrative review (see link below for full information and the lengthy list of medical conditions and research where bias was found):

Reporting bias represents a major problem in the assessment of health care interventions. Several prominent cases have been described in the literature, for example, in the reporting of trials of antidepressants, Class I anti-arrhythmic drugs, and selective COX-2 inhibitors. The aim of this narrative review is to gain an overview of reporting bias in the medical literature, focusing on publication bias and selective outcome reporting. . .

We identified reporting bias in 40 indications comprising around 50 different pharmacological, surgical (e.g. vacuum-assisted closure therapy), diagnostic (e.g. ultrasound), and preventive (e.g. cancer vaccines) interventions.

The media seems to care little about these pervasive forms of research manipulation (they work off a press release supplied by the medical journal, often pumped up with unscientific language to write their stories). As long as it draws attention, social media interaction and brings new subscribers with their credit cards, this misleading approach will continue.

In truth, reporters and editors love sensational headlines so you’ll watch, read or click on their story. In fact, they don’t bother to report stories unless they are confident they will get a reaction out of you. If the story is critical of prime advertisers (like drug and medical ads), those negative stories will be repressed, keeping you in the dark. Your doctor will be very impressed with a big RR number or other sensationalistic headlines, and in most cases, they will never question it! You need to know this:

Most doctors are research amateurs, another example of how they practice pseudo-science, putting your life at risk!

If you think I’m exaggerating, read this overview of pseudo-science from an article called Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience from a site about critical thinking (note: I broke into more paragraphs for easier reading, see link below for the important details):

The word “pseudo” means fake, and the surest way to spot a fake is to know as much as possible about the real thing, in this case science itself. When we speak of knowing science we do not mean simply knowing scientific facts (e.g., the distance from earth to sun; the age of the earth; the distinction between mammal and reptile, etc.).

We mean that one must know about the nature of science itself—the criteria of evidence, the design of meaningful experiments, the weighing of possibilities, the testing of hypotheses, the establishment of theories, the many aspects of the methods of science which make it possible to draw accurate, reliable, meaningful conclusions about the phenomena of the physical universe.

However, the media provide a continuous bombardment of sheer nonsense, misinformation, fantasy and confusion—all proclaimed to be “true facts.” Sifting sense from nonsense is an almost overwhelming job.

Sadly, I have to agree. Adding to medicine’s pervasive research manipulation are additional practices, including the withholding of negative findings (called Publication Bias), where studies with null or negative findings are shelved and hidden away, never to see the light of day. There is also something called, Reporting Bias where exaggerated benefits and minimized side effects are often a standard practice.

Even the oft bragged about “peer review” system is based on a more superficial review as colleagues want to “make nice” and not challenge their cohorts too much (independent reviewers have found this). So many fraudulent studies pass peer review and some totally fake studies have been published, showing how badly the system fails. See multiple source links below for more details and source links.

This quote from Dr. Marcia Angell is on point. She is the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)), again see my link below to 5 Big Medical Lies for many more quotes from Dr. Angell and their original source links):

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

And if you think cancer research is sacred or more trustworthy, this quote will give you pause! Here is a shocking quote from my post, again called 5 Big Medical Lies. It shows that just 11% of “landmark” cancer studies (major studies that other studies are based on) are credible and reproducible with 89% not reproducible (see link below for more details):

The vast majority of the published scientific literature on cancer and cancer research is inherently flawed and non-reproducible [not replicatable], reveals a new review published online in the journal Nature. Researchers C. Glenn Begley and Lee Ellis found that a mere 11 percent of 53 papers on cancer published in reputable, peer-reviewed journals was solid, while the other 89 percent could not be reproduced, implying that it may be false or at the very least misleading. . .

3. Ridiculous falsehoods pervade modern medicine 

There are quite a few myths that drive the basic tenants of medical practice. These falsehoods also reveal the shocking ignorance of most medical doctors and dietitians have regarding nutrition and health! Did you know? Most doctors (over 90%), study no significant nutrition whatsoever.

Many medical schools don’t even offer nutrition or prevention classes. That gaping educational hole extends to fitness, exercise and other critical lifestyle areas. Why? It’s disease that pays everyone the most money, not being healthy! So most doctors recommend the procedures that will make them the most money, putting your life at risk.

Fat and cholesterol cause of heart disease

I am so sick of this old, unproven dogma but it’s still pervasive. Did you know? Not a single study has ever proven that saturated fat or cholesterol actually cause heart disease! But you say, this must be true, my doctor has told me about it many times! I’ve seen all those drug and cholesterol ads. It must be true! But it’s not true now and it was never true. That’s why it’s another example of medical pseudo-science!

This falsehood traces back about 60 years or more, to some early, very flawed and manipulated research done by Ancel Keys and others. Over the years, the drug industry has sponsored many cholesterol studies to keep this big lie going (nothing like a good marketing opportunity to make more billions).

In fact, they now make tens of billions annually off this falsehood. And 90% of most doctors will tell you that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, showing you how little science they really know! Most dietitians will tell you the same thing! Here are a few quotes from more insightful doctors to open your eyes:

The first truthful quote is from George V. Mann, MD, former Co-director of the well-known Framingham Heart Study (also taken from my posts, including the 5 Big Medical Lies post ):

The diet-heart idea (the notion that saturated fats and cholesterol cause heart disease) is the greatest scientific deception of our times. This idea has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons of pride, profit and prejudice, the hypothesis continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprises, food companies and even governmental agencies. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century.

I think Dr. Mann was nice with his wording (he was extra nice to doctors because he didn’t mention them directly). But if I may be a bit more blunt: He’s saying high cholesterol as a cause of heart disease is a deception and a scam! And he’s right (there are a few percent of people with genetic problems with cholesterol but those are a rare exception).

Here is a similar quote from Edward Pinckney, MD, former co-editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (also from several of my posts linked below):

If you believe that you can ward off death from heart disease by altering the amount of cholesterol in your blood, whether by diet or by drugs, you are following a regime that still has no basis in fact. Rather, you as a consumer have been taken in by certain commercial interests and health groups who are more interested in your money than your life.

I hope those are sinking in. If they aren’t please reread them. Did you know? In spite of all the millions who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol, many still have heart attacks, and the overall deaths for those on statins are almost the same. Read this quote from Chris Kessler, noted health expert, from his article called, The truth about statin drugs (see link below for full details):

1. Statin drugs do not reduce the risk of death in 95% of the population, including healthy men with no pre-existing heart disease, women of any age, and the elderly.

2. Statin drugs do reduce mortality for young and middle-aged men with pre-existing heart disease, but the benefit is small and not without significant adverse effects, risks and costs.

3. Aspirin works just as well as statins do for preventing heart disease, and is 20 times more cost effective.

Many medical experts, including Dr. Christopher Nagy, have correctly observed that for all-cause mortality, statins are only about 1% better than placebo! That’s because the side effects can lead to health problems and extra deaths (diabetes, heart failure, liver and muscle problems, dizziness, loss of cognition, etc.).

Now read this insightful quote from K. L. Carlson, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, in an article called, The Great Cholesterol Scam from several of my posts It will cast a bright light on how those cholesterol guidelines are heavily influenced by drug industry money and pressure (again, see previous links mentioned):

Cholesterol guidelines have been created to increase pharmaceutical profits, not to improve peoples’ health. I know from my experience as a pharmaceutical sales representative for a statin drug. We were trained to emphasize to physicians the new lower LDL guidelines that were ostensibly created by health experts. The truth is the majority of the experts who created the lower guidelines have multiple financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. One expert was found to have ties to ten drug firms.

The real cause of heart disease (and many other chronic conditions) is driven by inflammation (that’s why the BMJ found that aspirin works as well as cholesterol drugs because it lowers inflammation), driven by refined carbs, processed foods, oxidized veggie oils, inactivity, stress and habits like smoking.

This 2012 quote from Dr. Lundell is where the most current medical experts are now in agreement about the causes of heart disease (see link below for his full article):

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Actually, it’s been known for a decade or more that a high sugar and refined carb intake is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease, raising triglycerides and inflammation, weight, diabetes risk and other contributors to HD. Additional HD contributors are refined veggie oils, trans fats, grains like wheat, etc., the very things medical people have consistently told us were healthy!

And as I said earlier, not 1 single study credible shows that high cholesterol is the cause of heart disease because it’s not! Many experts think that after your artery walls become inflamed and injured, the cholesterol is used to patch the lesions (or wounds). It’s the body using cholesterol to fix the problem! It’s not the cause! If a fire starts in some trees, did the trees cause the fire? Hardly. But that’s how this has been sold: the trees must be the cause of the fire because they happened together: an association. That’s how irrational this all is.

Another medical myth: count calories to lose or stabilize weight 

This is another old fashioned concept, yet entire practices follow this falsehood. I’m sure most medical people believe it and say it’s based on science! Really? Let’s analyze:

The original idea was that calories could measure of energy: what the food contains and what energy foods provide. This concept goes back to the late 1800s. Later, the food was burned in a device called a bomb calorimeter. The chamber is surrounded by a water bath and as the energy from the burned food warms the water, it is given a calorie value. In fact, a simplified definition of a calorie is:

A unit of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1° C. The measurement usually includes the pressure at 1 atmosphere.

But how meaningful is this measurement? The test procedure is based on decades-old thinking and calculation methods. In fact, most modern foods are no longer tested individually, they are simply assumed to have the following calories (not always accurate):

  • Carbohydrates are 4 calories per gram
  • Proteins are 4 calories per gram
  • Fats are 9 calories per gram

One of the major flaws in this approach is that all calories are assumed to be equal: that the calories in a sugary soda and a serving of protein are the same (and the same amount of energy per gram as shown above). But this is demonstrably false when it comes to an actual human being and their digestion, metabolism, hormonal and other systems. Why?

Comparing actual foods eaten with the same calories bring very different outcomes in a human body, especially for weight loss (as opposed to a bomb chamber). For example, veggies are considered complex carbs because they contain vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fiber with the carbs bound up with the other nutrients. Because most veggies are so nutrient dense, they digest slowly, requiring significant energy and time to digest and metabolize them fully.

So an equal amount of calories based on carbs from a soda or veggies will have very different effects on the body. The refined carbs (a soda or a wheat bun) will digest quickly and tend to spike glucose, because they have little vitamin, mineral or fiber content. If you don’t use the glucose quickly, you will secrete insulin to lower the glucose and that excess glucose will add more fat. That’s because high glucose is toxic to the body and it must be controlled. Sadly, many people flood their bodies with these refined, toxic carbs at every meal!

Compare that reality to the veggies, which have lots of other nutrients and fiber. They will digest slowly and will provide far more balanced nourishment; they will provide more level, sustained energy. This illustration of 2 meals will explain it in real world terms. It’s from my post called: A calorie is Not a Calorie!, see link below for full article):

Here is a comparison of 2 meals (with calories closely matched), a 4-oz. chicken breast with a large serving of mixed veggies, a side serving of brown/wild rice and mug of green tea, VS. a 3-oz. beef burger on a bun with small french fries, and a small, 6-oz. soda (these smallish sizes are how I got the calories close).

The chicken/veggie meal, with overall calories and nutrient totals:

480 calories for the chicken breast, veggies, rice mix and tea

32 grams of protein

28 grams of complex, high-fiber carbs

22 grams of fat, mostly healthy types

The burger/fries meal, with overall calories and nutrient totals:

500 calories for the burger, bun, fries and small soda (even with the smaller sizes, this meal was a bit higher in calories)

24 grams of protein

54 grams of low-fiber, high-glycemic carbs

23 grams of mostly unhealthy fat

Real world results in a body

  • The burger and fries has far more refined, high-glycemic, low-fiber carbs, and almost twice as many total carbs, 54 vs. 28. Those refined carbs (bun, fries, soda) will spike your blood sugar quickly, whereas the veggies and rice blend in the chicken meal are more complex and will digest far more slowly, even slower than the protein.
  • The chicken meal has far more protein grams (32 vs. 24 grams for the burger), meaning the chicken meal will also digest more slowly because of the extra protein
  • The fats in both meals were similar but the chicken meal has more healthy, monounsaturated fat
  • The chicken meal will give you more sustained energy over a longer period of time, resulting in little or no weight gain
  • The burger meal will digest faster with all its refined carbs and lack of micro nutrients (vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants), spiking blood sugar and adding to fat on your waistline

This is why I tell people that counting calories is way down the list of things I consider meaningful. They are a type if abstraction and pseudo-science, not related to the real world outcomes, and I mostly ignore them. I tell my clients to do the same, as I help them focus on cutting processed foods, sugars and grains and helping people move toward more whole, health foods and complex carbs.

Another medical falsehood: vitamins/minerals are useless or harmful

This is one of the most ridiculous pronouncements being made by doctors and by junk studies designed to make supplements look bad. These studies are often financed by drug companies or run by researchers friendly to their cause and their cash (the drug industry spends about 50 billion on marketing annually)!

I have debunked dozens and dozens of these sham studies, and many are downright fraudulent. The reason is clear: Drug companies would rather have you dependent on their drugs rather than to be healthy. If you don’t buy their cholesterol, BP, pain, diabetes, depression, anxiety or other drugs, how can they support their multi-million lobbying army (largest on earth) with almost 1,200 people in it?

How can they continue to offer doctors bloated speaking and consulting fees (now managed by subcontracting companies so the drug industry can pretend they are at arm’s length), often held at fancy hotels and golf resorts? How can they spend those billions to fly the docs to the Carribean for their Continuing Ed classes annually (where they are wined and dined at high-end resorts)? And how can they spend more billions to bribe hospitals, clinics and other gifts?

It’s so sad! People who are healthy won’t need their drugs, and that will cut into the billions drug companies make for only treating symptoms (by design, see more below), as most drugs are never meant to cure you. After all, if you get cured, you won’t buy their drugs or need more procedures. It’s all so very sad when people are healthy (yes, I’m being sarcastic but you get my point). I cover these issues in more detail in that 5 big Medical Lies post linked below.

If you think I’m exaggerating, read these startling quotes from a 2013 article on the Refusers site called, Big Pharma and FDA: A Marriage Not Made in Heaven, showing the collusion between the drug industry, the FDA and medical journals to attack supplements with junk science (see 5 Big Medical Lies link below for source links and full details):

Drug companies and the FDA are not alone in wishing to suppress supplement alternatives to hyper-expensive patented prescription drugs. They have allies among both politicians and doctors. For example, the Archives of Internal Medicine, run by the American Medical Association, and supported financially by drug companies, often publishes flimsy studies attacking supplements, and generally ignores the considerable scientific evidence in their favor.

One such study, published October 10, 2011, by University of Michigan researchers, purported to show that taking supplements could shorten your life. It caused a media feeding frenzy, with headlines everywhere. The problem was that this study, like its predecessors, was junk science. The women in the study were asked every six years what they had taken. They were supposed to remember what they had taken for the six-year period. The reports did not have to be specific: the word “multivitamin” could mean anything. Who knows what was taken or even it if was taken? It could also be synthetic or natural.

Can you see how the poor methods helped to arrive at negative conclusions? The occasional questionnaire calling any vitamin a “multivitamin” is a common one in anti-vitamin research. Here is a revealing quote about a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the one the media went wild for in mid-December, 2013 when the medical people said vitamins were useless.

The quote is from a Sott.net article (you can find it on my 5 big Medical Lies post), and it reveals the strong bias and manipulation the researchers followed (it’s common). The study was designed to arrive at a predetermined conclusion that vitamins were useless (bias means slanted or manipulated research which favors one outcome). This bias renders the study’s conclusions bogus and unscientific:

The authors of the study admitted they started out with a hypothesis that supplements wouldn’t add to life. It appears, although it is not revealed, that the supplement users actually lived longer than the non-supplement users. But the authors just manipulated the data until they got what they wanted and more: Supplements not only didn’t help – they were killers! And the lazy, biased, or naive major media took it from there.

So yes, you are literally being lied to by medical journals and mass media on an almost daily basis. And if you think reporters are educated about nutrition and health in order to write accurate and truthful information, think again! Most have no background in these areas at all!

The other reason the anti-supplement studies often fail is tied to the most basic understandings of nutrition: Micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and supplements like fish oil work together, as co-factors in the body. So for bone health, it’s not just calcium, it’s calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2, plus protein and other nutrients. Those are co-factors for each other, along with food, overall nutrition and lifestyle (you couldn’t live on vitamins and minerals alone). Vitamins don’t work well in isolation because they aren’t found that way in nature and don’t work in isolation!

Yet medical researchers consistently test supplements in isolation (calcium is often tested alone for bone health), like drugs. This is a fallacy, often doomed to fail, and they surely know it. By isolating nutrients and running a clinical drug-type trial (most people need 20 or more vitamins and minerals, depending on age, gender and other variables), those single or few nutrients probably won’t have the right co-factors in the right proportions to enable them to work properly. The result is that they ARE often less effective for health or prevention. But useless? No, that only appears because of poorly designed research!

The result is that researchers often demonize supplements as useless, and the drug companies get to attack the competition. The media loves those negative stories (often released during the ratings sweeps periods). It’s a mix of misinformation, corruption and pseudo-science (run just like a political campaign, which it really what it is). Everyone gets a cheap bit of excitement at the expense of vitamins (it’s so asinine), except for those people who stop taking their vitamins and suffer worse health over time!

I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it here: NEVER get your health information frm any mass media source, including local or national TV, cable news, online news, homepages for MSN or Yahoo, or newspapers (I see these badly-done health stories almost daily). Those reporters are amateurs, often with no expertise in the human body, let alone the complexities of nutrition, fitness, stress, disease prevention, etc.

Do you realize most reporters get an embargoed press release from the medical journals in advance of the release date and they simply write the story off it? All they need is a quote or two, often from sources they know or one’s that are provided. Virtually no reporters read the actual research study or attempt to debunk it! They have no idea what it really says, especially footnotes, disclaimers, charts, graphs, ratios, percentages, or caveats that are often hidden in critical details of the 15 or 20-page study. As a result, mass media sources are the greatest source of misinformation in our history!

Another pervasive myth: doctors know about nutrition and supplements 

I could go into tremendous detail but if you looked at the previous section on vitamins, you already know most anti-vitamin research is a sham! And did you know, almost no doctors study nutrition?

Let’s begin with this startling quote from Dr. Strand, in an article by medical author, Emanuel Barling, et al., describing Dr. Strand’s lack of education in nutrition and supplements and how it affects their practice (see 5 Big Medical Lies link below for full details):

. . .Only approximately 6 percent of the graduating physicians in the United States have any training in nutrition. Medical students may take elective courses on the topic, but few actually do… the education of most physicians is disease-oriented with a heavy emphasis on pharmaceuticals — we learn about drugs and why and when to use them.”

Dr. Strand, also observed that doctors usually make good teachers, but not good students. Most doctors fear not knowing the answers to medically-related issues and will try to present themselves with as much authority as possible.

Dietary supplements are a very foreign subject for most doctors, and most doctors show no interest in learning more about them. He opines that doctors are not taught much in medical school about the power of nutrition in medicine – only about the power of prescription drugs and surgery as treatment for diseases.

The shocking truth is this: most doctors do not study nutrition, vitamins, supplements, fitness, prevention, lifestyle change, optimizing health or any anti-aging health methods! Yet you are constantly told to “Ask your doctor” before you try any of these generally safe approaches! It’s pure nonsense and more pseudo-science!

Another important falsehood used in health and research: BMI

BMI is used extensively by medical practitioners. Like calorie counting and other pseudo-scientific claims, there is little use for BMI as a stand-alone indicator or screening test. Why? If you are an athlete, you know why! BMI puts most well-muscled athletes in the overweight or obese category! That’s because many weigh more than average for their height, making athletes seem overweight or obese. Ridiculous, of course.

I’ve never used BMI as a stand alone indicator. How come I know better? I always use body fat percent as a more reliable and sensitive indicator for health, weight changes and no-diet weight loss, which is how I help clients. You need more measurements to track body fat percent but it provides a more accurate picture of what’s really going on (I’ll add a body fat percent calculator in the links below).

Still, BMI is routinely used by nurses, doctors, medical researchers and insurance companies (it’s everywhere). This again demonstrates how pseudo-scientific and irrational medicine really is, prone to follow their own conventions without thinking or questioning them! Here is a 2013 quote from the Live science site, from the Journal Science (see link below for full article):

Body mass index is the standard metric for determining who is normal-weight, overweight and obese, but BMI is not an accurate measure of fat, and doesn’t explain the causes of poor health, scientists argue in an editorial today (Aug. 22) in the journal Science.

Obesity can be a major risk for diabetes, heart disease and death, yet paradoxically, some studies suggest being overweight can improve survival of chronic diseases.

“Most studies depend on BMI, and we know it’s not a very accurate measure,” said Dr. Rexford Ahima, a medical professor at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and co-author of the editorial.  .  .

For one thing, BMI doesn’t take into account fat, and it doesn’t indicate where fat is distributed on the body. Belly fat (fat around the abdominal organs) increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death, whereas peripheral fat (fat beneath the skin elsewhere in the body) may be more innocuous, studies suggest. BMI also fails to account for differences in race, gender and age.

Still, medical people continue to use BMI as a meaningful metric, adding to the misinformation by medical practitioners as outlined in the points above. So ask yourself, how many fundamental beliefs, dogma’s and practices does it take before you doubt medical dogma and their persistent myths? You need to be less trusting and pull back; learn more about your body and health and eventually, the structure of medicine will collapse under the flab of it’s own greed and corruption!

4. What we’ve learned so far is this:

1. Modern medicine is corrupted by money and is not scientific. The results are millions of deaths, injuries, misdiagnosis, mistakes, and fraud annually.

2. Independent reviews by key private and government entities have found that the majority of medical and drug research is biased and riddled with fraud! And the majority of common medical procedures are not proven by research or science (it’s not based on evidence). It’s the same for anti-vitamin research. In almost 20 years of work, I don’t know of a single anti-vitamin study that is credible!

3. Modern medicine is filled with numerous myths and falsehoods, such as cholesterol causes heart disease, calories are critical for managing weight, vitamins are useless or harmful, your doctor knows about nutrition and health, etc.

4. Other myths abound, such as age causes disease, weight gain, back aches, low energy, poor sleep, etc.

5. The greatest falsehood of all: treating symptoms is scientific 

I had to at least touch on the biggest pseudo-scientific boondoggle and most life threatening of all: that treating symptoms is scientific and good healthcare (I’m not against a few baby aspirin for a few days if you over do some activity and you have sore muscles). This nonsense method of treating symptoms long-term (which most doctors routinely do), forms the very foundation of medical dogma and practice. Here’s why this approach is a fraud:

When your body isn’t functioning properly (digestive, metabolic, hormonal, immune, musculo-skeletal or other system imbalance or disruption), your body tries to tell you! Think about getting a cold. You probably get a sore throat, maybe some congestion and a runny nose, cough, etc. Your body is being invaded by a rhinovirus and it’s starting to mobilize your immune system to fight it off. The extra sinus and nasal flushing is your body literally trying to flush the virus out.

Likewise, back pain, joint pain, headaches, and a whole host of other symptoms are part of your body’s warning system. Something’s wrong, something needs attention or more care. These warnings are like a smoke alarm. It’s an alert.

The foundation of medicine is to treat those symptoms by turning the alarm off! What? Yep, that’s how it’s done, millions of times every day. Medicine’s main focus and “scientific” practice is to ignore the purpose of the smoke alarm and turn it off! You feel like you can carry on as though there are no consequences. But that’s wrong, there is a smoldering fire!

So ponder that core practice of medicine. Doctors are silencing the alarm by cutting the wires, helping patients to ignore the warning bell, the underlying reason for the imbalance or problem ignored. This irrational dogma is as ignorant and as destructive as anything I’ve ever seen. How scientific is it? It’s pure pseudo-science.

So medicine treats the symptom, the warning sign (by disrupting other normal functions). Medicine hides the flashing light on your dashboard, the error message on your computer while it often ignores the origin of the problem. You think you are better because the symptom or a screening test seems better. But you’re still sick; the engine needs more oil, your computer has a virus. You still have the imbalance or problem that triggered the warning sign to begin with. It’s actually quite insane.

And who will play the price? You will. Your doctor will be paid handsomely for turning off the alarm. The result is that your health will suffer and decline. The fire will spread. No other outcome is possible!

This approach of treating symptoms with drugs and procedures demonstrates how unmistakably pseudo-scientific medicine really is. Even as the media plays up the latest miracle drug for yet another symptom or manufactured disease (yes, drug companies are behind many diseases, called disease mongering, as covered in previous posts), you and your doctor are drawn in.

You had those problems with twitching legs, back pain, knee pain, bladder leakage, stomach upset, headaches, etc. (all treatable with lifestyle changes and alternative approaches that get to the root of the problem). And it all leads back to greed and money. That’s because as long as drugs and procedures treat symptoms but never cure, you will be dependent on pills and potions for the rest of your life, even as your house (or body) burns to the ground or your engine or computer dies! Now tell me why this approach is scientific. You can’t because it’s not!

It’s not healing, it’s anti-healing because the underlying imbalance or problem is often ignored, left to simmer on and on, leading to acute illness or death. The falsehood hiding behind treating symptoms and never searching for the cause is that your doctor, no matter how friendly, is not helping you heal! It’s so asinine! Your body has lots of regenerative capabilities, through your immune system, metabolic and nervous systems, your cells and gene activity, your stem cells and many other areas, including your thoughts! I could probably do an entire article on this issue alone (see my recent post called, For Long Life, Talk to Your Genes).

But I know this post is long already. I’ve covered numerous anti-aging myths before so I will include more links to those articles below. In truth, modern medicine is loaded with myths and falsehoods, all self-serving. It’s hard to compile and analyze them all. But suffice it to say, modern medicine is overflowing with pseudo-science, false claims and irrational dogma, all of which leads back to money, not health. Your doctor believes he or she is entitled to have a great life, nice home and cars, vacations, savings, investments, golfing, trips, fine wines and fine art, all of it at your, your insurance company or the tax payer’s expense. Yes, it is corrupt!

If you want to break free of the high-risk world of medical pseudo-science, stop going along with what doctors say and ask lots of questions (I have a list in my Medical Corruption, Don’t be a Victim post linked below). Challenge them and get additional ideas and feedback for cures, not just treating symptoms! Never take any drugs or agree to any procedures unless you get a broader picture of all your options (I can tell you there are many in most non-acute cases).

And feel free to drop me a line (steve@endsicknessnow.com) if you have a condition or issue you would like to get past with safer, more natural approaches. There are many ways to heal your body for good, and break your dependence on symptom-treating drugs and risky pseudo-science.

Helpful links:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/medical-corruption-dont-be-a-victim

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/5-big-medical-lies

http://www.propublica.org/article/how-many-die-from-medical-mistakes-in-us-hospitals

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/17/us-usa-health-misdiagnosis-idUSBREA3G1S820140417

https://news.brown.edu/articles/2013/04/emergency

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/broken-healthcare 

https://screen.yahoo.com/overdiagnosis-cancer-america-202202161.html

http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/2012/08/12/why-does-the-united-states-rank-so-badly-in-health/ 

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Reports/2012/September/07/iom-report.aspx

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/massive-waste-in-healthcare

Research bias and fraud

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-09-healthy-lifestyle-choices-heart-men.html

http://blog.scielo.org/en/2013/11/05/controversial-article-in-the-journal-science-exposes-the-weaknesses-of-peer-review-in-a-set-of-open-access-journals/

http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/11/1/37

http://www.csj.org/studyindex/studycrthk/study_pseddoscience/study_factpseudo.htm

Cholesterol and HD

http://chriskresser.com/the-truth-about-statin-drugs

http://jonnybowden.com/the-bellagio-report/

http://metabolichealing.com/breakthrough-cardiovascular-health-pon1-genetics/

http://www.sott.net/article/242516-Heart-surgeon-speaks-out-on-what-really-causes-heart-disease

http://www.alsearsmd.com/2011/09/take-your-cardiologist-with-a-grain-of-salt/

Calories

http://www.symptomfind.com/nutrition-supplements/how-calories-are-measured/

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/a-calorie-is-not-a-calorie

Vitamins/nutrition (I could put up dozens more links here, just explore my site)

http://www.innerbody.com/nutrition/micronutrients

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/anti-vitamin-propaganda

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/more-doctor-nutrition-myths

BMI

http://www.livescience.com/39097-bmi-not-accurate-health-measure.html

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-09-secret-longer-life-waist-height.html

http://www.livestrong.com/tools/body-fat-calculator/

Aging myth links:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/5-myths-of-aging

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/4-more-myths-of-aging

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/myths-of-aging-persist

Shortly after I published this post, I ran across this insightful video. It covers many of the issues I explored here (research, media exaggeration, misguided medical practice), including the main diet I recommend, the Mediterranean diet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCk_vTkS6bU

More updates with stunning info after post was written:

http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/judge-lawsuit-against-mercks-mmr-vaccine-fraud-to-continue/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=judge-lawsuit-against-mercks-mmr-vaccine-fraud-to-continue

New article about 225 million over 6 years in false medicare charges for chemo:

http://www.fbi.gov/detroit/press-releases/2014/detroit-area-doctor-admits-to-providing-medically-unnecessary-chemotherapy-to-patients

Another article about obscene medical corruption for doctor and hospital payments in late 2013:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/doctors-net-billions-drug-firms-232900866.html

An insightful and startling article showing how genetic science is being corrupted and abused:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/30/genetics-research.aspx

Yet another $31 million fine and legal settlement against drug company Merck for their fraud (the drug industry has been fined over 5 billion in recent years):

http://www.zliving.com/news/merck-unit-pay-31-mln-settle-fraud-claims-u-s-states-10131/

A new article expose on how popular drugs steal and upset nutrient balances:

http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/health-risks-prescriptions-statins-and-birth-control-pills

Shocking new cancer video with ex-cancer nurse focused on chemo problems and nutritional deficiencies:

http://tv.greenmedinfo.com/nutrition-heals-cancer/

© 2014 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

 

{ 3 comments }

Anonymous September 28, 2014 at 10:15 AM

I really loved this blog. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post. You have very good and insightful writings. Kudos for sharing your website.

Boyce Faggs October 3, 2014 at 7:42 AM

Super Website

Steven Carney October 3, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Thanks! I sure spend lots of time reading research studies!

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