Why Medicine Fails

by Steven Carney on January 5, 2017

This is post #131 on the site, exposing serious research and medical failures from reductionism, which distorts truth, misleads patients, and puts millions at risk.

This site is a collection of breakthrough articles and resources at your fingertips, so feel free to browse the information here. Whether you have health, life or prosperity challenges, I can help you achieve the life you desire. I offer a unique mix of coaching, support and experience from multiple certifications and success with my own life challenges: a serious childhood illness, blood sugar problems, allergies, low thyroid, etc.

Medical research and science often fail to provide accurate information for improving human health or healing disease. The evidence has been accumulating for many years: From industry’s reliance on ghost written, reductionist studies (where more prominent doctors are later paid to be listed as the “authors”), to hiding negative studies, to the extensive use of math manipulation to exaggerate non-significant findings, to outright fraud and fabrication.

Whether for medical treatments, dietetics or attacking supplements, research is often biased and manipulated to support marketing and sales goals, not human health. As a result, millions of lives are put at risk (more than 10,000 patients are injured and hundreds killed by prescription drugs every day and misguided dietary advice has killed thousands more). Medicine and related fields causes millions of preventable injuries and deaths annually from adverse drug events, medical mistakes, and misguided, unproven practices (see numerous details and links below).

And the underlying reason for decades of research failures, false claims, injuries and deaths? It’s the false god of Western medicine called reductionism.

What is reductionism?

Reductionism is the study of complex systems based on reducing those systems to their smaller, individual parts. For human health and disease, reductionist-based research is the foundation of so-called evidence-based medicine, but it often leads to faulty conclusions, misinformation, injuries and death (more details below).

Reductionist research is narrowly focused on symptoms in specific body parts or organs, such as back pain, headache or stomach problems. Reductionist research is also narrowly focused on single systems, such as the musclo-skeletal, nervous, digestive, or cardiovascular system at the expense of the other systems so necessary for health and vitality.

Reductionist research’s major flaw is its myopic focus on individual parts or systems, often ignoring the totality and dignity of the whole being, including individual emotions, beliefs and higher consciousness. Reductionism tends to ignore the interdependence of integrated systems and systemic imbalances that inevitably occur when patients have symptoms.

Put simply, reductionism is tunnel vision; it ignores critical health realities and complexities outside its narrow, myopic view. The opposite of reductionism is holism, which is seeing and addressing the whole, unique individual. My approach to restoring health is holism. I care about the whole person, not just symptoms or parts!

Here is a link with more about reductionism:

https://explorable.com/scientific-reductionism 

This link has some good insights into reductionism and holism as they relate to bone health and overall health:

Reductionism Vs. Holism: What They Mean And Which Is Better For Your Bones And Your Health?

Why drugs and devices fail

Most medical treatments are based on a narrow, reductionist approach, focused on a single, “magic pill” or treatment for those over-simplified, “reduced” system problems. And the go-to approaches for treating pain, digestive upset or other symptoms are often limited to a few areas like prescription drugs, procedures and surgeries.

Although Western medicine and dietetics are built on this narrow, reductionist philosophy, studies often mislead medical practitioners and the public, injuring millions annually. Yet reductionism forms the very foundation of so-called evidenced-based medicine! How come your doctor or dietitian is so blind to this obvious problem?

This misguided emphasis and narrow focus has serious consequences because the true origins and etiology of human system imbalances and chronic disease are often ignored, leaving those origins untouched and active. The modern goal of lessening the symptoms of chronic disease while not seeking to cure is misguided and irrational at its core. It’s not science, it’s pseudoscience!

Why then is it done? It’s done for money and profits. Medicine and related fields are big business now (medicine consumes trillions annually), and treating the symptoms of chronic illness creates strategic, long-term dependency for patients, with better cash flow for drug companies and medical practitioners. The narrow focus on treating symptoms and medical specialization is more profitable, leading to more research dollars, prestige and income.

And yes, that’s the real reason why drugs are pushed on patients with reductionist-based research as much as they are. Profits are the goal, not human health, because drugs almost never cure or restore health long term (people don’t suffer from drug deficiencies). The long, monopolistic and predatory history of the AMA supports this position. See this eye-popping video which covers the early history and how and why allopathic medicine was created:

https://youtu.be/NheKUW6kGuY

This truthful article explores the corruption and greed involved in cancer treatment:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/cancer-therapy-and-barriers-open-biopharma 

Take a look at this chart of doctor pay in the link below. Notice all the specialists that are listed (almost the entire list), and how those narrowly-focused specialists make far more money than family doctors and GPs. As a result of the drive for more money and medical specialization, it’s expected that there will be a serious shortfall of primary care doctors by 2025:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-money-do-doctors-make-2016-4

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/we-have-too-many-speciali_b_9040898.html 

And your trusted MD? He or she has been indoctrinated into a system of belief in that overly-simplistic, reductionist research and resulting medical dogma as “real” science. They are taught to believe that studies published in medical journals are trustworthy and evidence-based when they are not. Most never question that indoctrination or belief in the research and drugs they peddle (I’ve seen it for a decade or more). So yes, most doctors are part of a system of beliefs and dogmas that are not really science based.

Shockingly, most doctors and other practitioners, including many dietitians I’ve encountered (like David Bissonnette), don’t read or analyze studies in detail, including design, methods, charts, graphs, footnotes, citations, Absolute Risk (AR) numbers, limitations, drop-outs and non-compliance (often, more subjects drop out or fail to comply than those used to calculate those overly-dramatic, Relative Risk/RR numbers of 20-50%).

Most doctors and dietitians simply embrace the exaggerated journal headlines and abstracts, designed to grab their attention and drive media coverage. They are being emotionally played by those exaggerated marketing claims, claims that feed their existing beliefs!

Treating symptoms is not curing

Sadly, patients have become so conditioned to accept symptom improvement rather than a true cure, that doctors and patients falsely equate symptom improvement with improved health or an actual cure. Wrong! The underlying condition or problem is rarely addressed or solved, leaving it to fester.

Remember, the body provides symptoms as feedback; they are a sophisticated form of alert. Your body is telling you that something needs care and attention. A symptom is like your smoke alarm going off. It’s time to investigate and take appropriate action. 

But medicine doesn’t check for fire or leave the house quickly to save lives, medicine’s approach is to remove the battery or cut the alarm wires! You’re turning off the alarm to quiet the noise, even as the house will eventually burn to the ground! Masking symptoms will never cure; it will cause long-term harm!

The actual cure for chronic disease is usually found by restoring the balance and ecology of the whole person (holism), not focusing on that single system or body part. Yet a holistic approach is one that most medical practitioners dismiss.

This is compounded by the fact that about 75% of doctors are now specialists, focused on one system or sub-system of the body. When you review the longer list of bodily systems below, this problem of over-specialization will be even more obvious.

This is also the reason that so many drugs and procedures cause serious adverse reactions (often called side effects); the drugs affect other bodily systems and cause additional imbalances, one’s that are given little attention in most reductionist research. The result? Medical treatments often create new problems and imbalances in areas and systems outside those being treated, compounding the original problem and expanding it! Over time, your health will decline further. It’s inevitable.

These adverse reactions are often serious but euphemistically called, “side effects” to minimize their importance, making them seem like minor annoyances. Ever notice how all those drug ads give a quick list of those side effects at the very end, after all those smiling, active, happy people are shown during the ad? Next time, listen carefully to the end of those drug ads, and think about all the different systems the drug effects.

See how medical companies and researchers play you with billions spent on marketing to minimize broader health issues? It’s all about marketing and sales, not health. Most reductionist studies simply include a listing of common side effects without investigating their origins or why the other systems are being adversely affected. That alone undercuts Western medicine as offering any kind of real healing or cure for chronic conditions.

In truth, most drugs should not be approved or sold at all, because they cure nothing, even as they cause all those adverse reactions, systemic imbalances and health problems within the body! And yes, sacrificing your health in the name of profits is one of the biggest scandals of our time. Everyone should be outraged at medicine’s sweeping corruption and greed!

This 2012 quote from the link below outlines the limits of reductionism (and by extension, medical specialization) clearly:

Reductionism, by its nature, cannot comprehend the complexity of biological systems, the properties of which cannot be explained or predicted by studying their individual components. Scientists now understand that the individual components of biological systems such as molecular pathways never work alone—they operate in highly structured and integrated biological networks.

http://www.genengnews.com/gen-articles/reductionism-gives-way-to-systems-biology/4044/

Some additional links for info on reductionism:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1459480/

http://www.seekfind.net/Logical FallacyofReductionism_Oversimplification.html#.WE2YZMYUPYE

https://mic.com/articles/3972/from-climate-change-to-obesity-the-media-oversimplifies-science-through-headlines-and-social-media

Holism vs. Reductionism: Comparing the Fundamentals of Conventional and Alternative Medicinal Modalities

Major body systems 

There are many interdependent systems that make up a human being, and the cooperation and interaction among those systems is both intricate and inspiring. For optimum health and longevity, all of these systems need to operate as an integrated whole, each working together, their flawless interdependence a major hallmark of health, vitality and freedom from disease. Our individual ecology has an extraordinary level of sophistication and capability that puts a smart phone to shame! You are far more impressive than any technology!

Our unique bodies, cultural practices, emotions and personalities all come together to form a unique human being. Indeed, you are someone who is more than the sum of your individual parts. This inspiring and obvious truth is often lost in reductionist research and the medical dogmas and practices that blindly follow those flawed conclusions.

And for maximum health and longevity, a human being must also be viewed as part of the broader ecological system that we interact with, including nourishment, healthy activity, stress management, chemical/toxin exposure, etc., and treated as a unique individual, not a lab experiment or statistic like medicine often does.

Here are the systems I tend to focus on for health optimization and disease prevention (notice that I include important systems beyond just physical ones, a consistent omission in medical research and practice):

• Musclo-skeletal system
• Brain/nervous system
• Digestive system (including gut ecology)
• Cardiovascular system
• Immune system
• Hormonal system
• Epigenetic system
• Perceptual system
• Emotional/social/cultural system

If you take some time to comprehend that list (with each system having many additional layers of complexity), and the exquisite coordination that those systems have with each other, you can begin to see why scientific reductionism, narrowly focused on small, individual parts like cells, muscle fibers or organs, is largely a fallacy.

The whole, unique human is largely ignored to the certain detriment to health. And without a deeper understanding of each system’s cooperation with the other systems, narrow reductionist thinking and findings are often unscientific, misleading and false.

Lifestyle habits are key

Consider the effects that an unhealthy diet of processed and junk foods (high in sugars, refined carbs, refined veggie oils, artificial flavors, preservatives, etc.) will have on the systems above. Those foods will trigger a range of serious digestive and hormonal imbalances, along with systemic inflammation that will disrupt every system on the list, including immune function, weight, mood and well-being.

If you add areas like inactivity, poor sleep, high stress, emotional turmoil, and other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors like smoking or excess alcohol use, all of those systems will be affected in profound ways day after day, and those systems will break down over time, damaging health and driving chronic disease.

Unhealthy lifestyle choices will activate disease genes in the epigenetic genome, composed of many thousands of genes that help to regulate the systems listed on a daily basis (one meal can activate or silence thousands of genes). Over years and decades, unhealthy lifestyle choices activate disease genes, gradually breaking down and mutating your epigenome and your DNA.

That’s the reason why most people develop more chronic, non-infections diseases after age 40, including diseases like heart disease, arthritis, chronic pain, brain, mood and nervous disorders, auto-immune problems, hormonal dis-regulation, cancer, etc.

Many health experts agree that chronic disease, which costs about 75% of all healthcare dollars, is rarely caused by inherited genes, age or fate. Chronic disease is largely driven by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors over many years, degrading those complex systems and the epigenome which regulates them.

https://www.genome.gov/27532724/

Here are several links with more details on the health effects of lifestyle on genes, prevention and disease:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/for-long-life-talk-to-your-genes

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/telomeres-genes-and-aging 

Stem Cells Health and Aging

Aging Without Disease

These links offer some additional insights into why reductionism fails to address human nutrition and disease in an accurate way:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24117841

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25022992

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26892572

Processed diet may be driving us nuts

3 Harmful Nutrition Myths

Myopic, reductionist research used for medical treatments only appears to offer answers and solutions to the complexity of human health, because many co-factors and confounders (critical health and lifestyle variables that influence the epigenome and research outcomes), such as daily nutritional intake, activity, stress, sleep, mental and emotional health, etc., are often ignored. As the links above indicate, lifestyle choices play a critical role in compromised health or disease, and they need to be included in any health or disease research.

And if you are skeptical or think I’m not being accurate, tell me which systems from the list above you can live without, and still live a long, healthy life (I’m focused on largely intact, healthy adults, excluding those people with genetic defects or traumatic injuries).

Why are we here?

For researchers and medical companies, reductionism simplifies research design through that narrowed focus, while still offering the appearance of science. But the substance and accuracy of science is often lost because the important context of overall health and the complete, functioning whole is often ignored.

Reductionist research also gets more grants and money which flows to those who are more narrowly specialized (remember the income list above), so many researchers and medical practitioners focus on a single bodily system or organ. That leads to a narrowed focus on those areas where disease is concerned, while ignoring the other systems which all need to be in optimum balance to support health, vitality and healthy aging.

In effect, our medical system has embraced a narrow, reductionist philosophy and practice which carries throughout medicine, diagnosis and treatment. The approach encourages and rewards practitioners who become “experts” in narrow areas or single systems, focused on specific disease states but rarely on improving long-term health and vitality.

Remember, true health is not simply the absence of disease, true health is having the vitality, stamina, strength and confidence to achieve what you want in life, even into your 70s or 80s! Health forms a continuum from true health and vitality, to compromised health, to minor ailments, to disease and death. Medicine is obsessed with the end of the continuum (disease and death); it cares too little about the healthy end of the scale. Again, the holistic view is largely ignored! 

This is also why science-based medicine often fails to offer a permanent cure and why it fails its patients at shockingly high levels (with the exception of emergency medicine where lives are stabilized after traumatic injuries or acute illness).

In short, reductionism is focused on separate trees, while it ignores the forest as a whole. That’s a real problem because human beings don’t function like a random collection of separate trees.

As a result of these serious flaws in medical research and philosophy, modern medicine kills far more people than all hazardous industries combined, resulting in about 500,000 preventable deaths annually. This is a true outrage and scandal! And reductionist research is often to blame, because it forms the foundation for a series of false dogmas and unproven medical practices, leading to millions of annual injuries and deaths (more info and links below):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/medicine-is-the-top-killer 

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/medicine-and-pseudoscience-new-insights

https://draxe.com/conventional-medicine-is-the-leading-cause-of-death/

Medical Corruption: Don’t be a Victim!

Compare those statistics for medical deaths to this 2017 report, showing zero (0) deaths from vitamins or supplements in 2015:

http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v13n02.shtml 

Because disease treatment is far more profitable than prevention (you are desperate to get healthy again if you can), the narrow focus on a diseased part or system often ignores or diminishes the importance of the other systems involved.

In truth, it’s not possible to have significant imbalances or disruptions in any system and not affect the other systems to varying degrees. Many studies are also short term, ignoring the longer-term fallout from those overly-simplistic studies and the accumulated harms that result over years of time.

This is a key reason why reductionist studies often mislead and misinform, the narrowed, myopic view and resulting black-white thinking does not account for complications outside the scope of the study. Lives are often put at risk because reductionism in clinical trials is considered the gold standard of evidence-based medicine. As you probably know by now, it’s anything but! It’s more like iron pyrite (fools gold)!

Statins debunked again

To see reductionism in action and why it puts health and lives at serious risk, let’s use statin drugs as an example (I’ve debunked the use of statins many times before). Statin research claims to lower LDL cholesterol and therefore cut heart attack risk and death, but is this credible science or marketing hype?

Since the 1950s, there has been a consistent, dogmatic medical claim that LDL cholesterol causes atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and heart disease. The claim is based on poor, manipulated science from decades ago, repeated endlessly for generations now (60 years) until that falsehood is established medical dogma. Are those claims truthful? No, they are not, disproven for years now! Any doctor or medical person who repeats that false claim should be prosecuted and jailed for misleading their patients and putting lives at risk.

Since the 1970s, drug companies have used those false claims in statin research, saying statins could lower LDL cholesterol and significantly cut the risk for heart attacks and death (cardiovascular system). Those claims are highly exaggerated, if not outright false for most people; the benefit from statins is mostly due to an aspirin-like anti-inflammatory component (you can treat inflammation through nutrition and lifestyle and in fact, atherosclerosis can be reversed).

Statins are now a top-selling drug that generate billions in annual sales for drug companies. And I bet you’ve seen ads and media reports that claim statin drugs are proven safe and effective and that most adults should take them now (tens of millions do, having bought the hype and false dogma). You will soon learn that these claims are demonstrably false!

Even though studies have repeatedly claimed that statins significantly reduce heart attacks by 20%-30% or more, those highly exaggerated, Relative Risk/RR numbers (a ratio of a ratio), are based on a small subgroup of people in the study who met endpoint criteria, like chest pain or a heart attack. RR numbers from that smaller group inevitably lead to exaggerated, overstated benefit claims for the remaining study subjects or patients in general. RR numbers are a mirage!

Statins are not a medical breakthrough for most adults (perhaps those few percent with familial hypercholesterolemia will be helped to a degree), yet those big reduction numbers get tossed around by drug companies, medical journals, doctors and the media like they are absolute truth.

Statin Truths

The vast majority of statin studies tend to show very small improvements in heart attacks of zero or a few percent compared to placebo for the Absolute Risk (AR) number, or what I call Actual Risk reduction. Take a look at this fine print from a famous statin called, Lipitor (from The People’s Chemist link below):

Lipitor has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks.

At least they are being more honest in the fine print, even as they falsely tout a 20-30% risk reduction in heart attacks in their research and in their ads!

And if you look at all-cause mortality, statins are about the same as placebo there as well. The Absolute Risk (AR) reduction for all mortality is often zero to a few percent at best (see links below).

That’s because adverse reactions from statins occur in many other areas, leading to health deterioration and additional deaths from other causes. Remember, drug studies are done to help market and sell drugs; the reductionist science behind them often ignores the magnitude and severity of the adverse reactions of patients in the study. Again, it’s profits before health.

Statins disrupt many systems

As mentioned, statins do little to prevent heart attacks or deaths while they do have significant adverse effects on many systems outside of cholesterol levels and heart function. Statins lower LDL cholesterol by interfering with a liver enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, based on classic reductionist research. That interference also cuts the amount of ubiquinone the liver produces (Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10), a key nutrient for health and vitality.

CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, anti-oxidant and mitochondrial energizer that helps every cell in the body function optimally, including cellular metabolism and respiration. With artificially-lowered cholesterol (based on those reductionist statin studies), less CoQ10 is also produced, and even less is carried throughout the body because it relies on cholesterol to carry it! Ironic, huh? And for years, no one even noticed or cared! Here is some detailed info about CoQ10:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178961/

Can you see some of the real complexity and system interdependency of a human now? The result of medicine’s myopic, reductionist research on LDL cholesterol and statins is that patients taking statins often suffer from a wide variety of adverse reactions and destructive effects throughout their bodies, including the following (see links below for more details on statins and their adverse reactions/side effects):

• Muscle pain/myopathy
• Muscle weakness
• Muscle cramping
• Muscle loss/atrophy
• Heart damage/cardiomyopathy
• Lower sex hormones
• Lower sex drive
• Lower vitamin D conversion from sunlight
• Lower immune function
• Liver damage
• Impaired brain function
• Memory loss
• Higher blood pressure
• Diabetes risk

It should be more obvious why the approach of using reductionist research to artificially lower cholesterol does more harm than good because it disrupts many other critical bodily systems and functions while offering few benefits. Over time, those adverse reactions can lead to serious injuries or death, negating any benefits (you might find out too late)! And the public and congress should be outraged by the depth of fraud and corruption evidenced here (see links and source material below and throughout this article.)

While statins don’t really save many lives, they reduce the important health benefits of the cholesterol and CoQ10 we normally produce, including proper muscle function, heart function, energy, metabolism, hormone levels (sex hormones, stress hormones, converting vitamin D from sunshine, etc.). Lowered cholesterol also affects immune function, brain and memory function for no significant gain.

Statins perfectly demonstrate why reductionist research is harmful to human health: It’s based on a false theory and entrenched dogma that LDL cholesterol is the cause of heart disease and heart attacks (it’s not), which is now unscientific medical practice, used commercially to market ineffective, unsafe drugs. The drug companies get billions in profits while the patients suffer millions of injuries or death.

At this point, you should begin to question your doctor and why he or she probably buys into all the drug and statin hype, dolling out samples or prescriptions of their “magic pills” every hour of the day. It’s the same for pain pills and many other drugs!

Here is a startling quote from Edward Pinckney, MD, former co-editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from my post called, Medical Corruption Don’t be a Victim linked above:

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.

In the end, claims about high cholesterol, like so many made-up ailments or diseases that come from big drug companies and your doctor, are created to generate money and profit while not improving your health or longevity. The sweeping deception and greed here is literally breathtaking!

Here are some eye-popping statin links to review, including one from a previous drug researcher, showing how ineffective statins are at preventing heart attacks, strokes or death:

Statins Sap Sex Drive and Lower Testosterone

http://www.drwhitaker.com/the-lowdown-on-statin-drugs/

CoQ10: What are the Heart Health Benefits?

http://www.holistic-online.com/remedies/heart/heart_coq10.htm

The Public Must Be Warned of Statin Drug Dangers

https://thepeopleschemist.com/cholesterol-lowering-drugs-show-no-benefit-drug-trials-prove-it/

https://metabolichealing.com/cholesterol-your-body-is-incapable-of-making-hormones-without-it/

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2016/08/treat-cholesterol-exorcise-bogeyman/

Reductionism has limited use

Although reductionist research has offered insights, such as how human genes, proteins and enzymes work, the findings are often exaggerated within a narrow reductionist context, and quickly used to push ineffective, even dangerous drugs and medical treatments. They should be put in a proper context of holism, health and longevity, such as overall dietary and lifestyle patterns and practices. But that would weaken their potential for patents, media attention and drug or device sales.

Whether it’s pro-drug or anti-supplement, the vast majority of those myopic, reductionist medical studies are flawed, with findings that are exaggerated through statistical manipulation (remember the constant use of Relative Risk/RR to exaggerate small findings, along with ghost writing, paying for study author rights and hiding null or negative studies so they are never published?). Nevertheless, those exaggerated benefits for drugs and medical treatments are heavily promoted to further sales and profits. Some diseases are made-up by drug companies now (osteopenia, OAB, restless leg, ED, low T, etc.).

https://www.drugwatch.com/2012/01/22/disease-mongering-and-drug-marketing/

http://www.alternet.org/story/146471/8_invented_diseases_big_pharma_is_banking_on 

Sadly, most mass-media writers (few are real journalists anymore) have little science or research background, so their shallow writing is often based on paraphrasing a press release sent by the medical journal. Media helps to spread reductionist research misinformation and its false claims to the public daily.

Over time, tens of millions of people are misinformed on a whole array of health and medical findings that are both inaccurate and unscientific, sacrificing human health for ever more profit. Yes, medicine has created a wide-spread system of propaganda for ensure its endless greed.

This quote and link offers some insights for a number of heavily-marketed drugs used to treat several modern ailments (many of which are also made up by drug companies to, yep, sell more drugs). See link below for more great details:

In short, the drugs won’t help most of the people who take them. In some cases, they are almost as likely to produce a negative side effect as a benefit.

“It’s the biggest secret in medicine,” said F. Perry Wilson, a researcher and physician at Yale University School of Medicine. “For the vast majority of the drugs out there, the chance that you, as an individual, are going to see a benefit is quite small.”

http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/investigations/2016/12/14/medicines-secret-some-drugs-wont-help-most-those-who-take-them/95354170/

Even dietitians are often mislead by medical and food-industry research, and the same problem occurs: Misinformation is spread and bad health advice is given to the masses. Remember how dietitians told us to avoid saturated fat, cheese, butter and eggs, along with foods like nuts and seeds because they were high in calories and fat, and therefore unhealthy? Even avocados and coconut oil (a saturated but healthy veggie fat) were demonized. Those false claims have been repeated for decades and they are still repeated today!

At least many of us now know that none of that advice was accurate or truthful, and that dietitians mislead millions for decades. Accountability for dietitians? Have you seen any apologies anywhere for their terrible, unfounded advice? 

I’ve covered these issues in many other posts on this site, see links below next section or search the site for additional content.

Anti-supplement bias and fraud

One area of incredible medical hypocrisy is when medical doctors or practitioners (like dietitians) proclaim that supplements are either unproven, useless or dangerous. These comments are often made by people like Dr. Offit, Dr. Cohen, Dr. Seres, and many others (I recently encountered an RD and PhD named David Bissonnette on Linkedin, who apparently teaches nutrition at Minnesota State University). He spread misinformation about supplement studies and he made other questionable, unhinged claims about nutrition and obesity in his Linkedin comments.

I also encountered a grad student named Derek Miketinas on Linkedin. He’s apparently studying nutrition and dietetics at LSU, but he showed obvious bias and scientific ignorance in a Linkedin thread about anti-oxidants, and claimed that some poorly-done studies he has read undercut my previous article about aging and anti-oxidants. He’s apparently at the LSU School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, in Baton Rouge, LA. I’m planning a full debunking of Bissonnette’s misinformed work and poor teaching soon, and I might do the same for Derek. People need to be more accountable for the ridiculous things they write and do!

All of those practitioners listed have revealed gross ignorance about nutrition, human health, and a politicized-world view, not a scientific one.

That’s because most doctors and dietitians don’t study supplements beyond the most basic level. A few biased, flawed studies for vitamin A, beta carotene and vitamin E are the go-to studies used to attack supplements, and those old studies with long-term smokers (from the 1980s and 1990s) are used over and over, while those practitioners never understand that science moves on and those studies were never credible and have been debunked for their serious flaws for years.

Literally, a hand full of badly done, debunked studies that used Relative Risk to hype small findings beyond reason (sound familiar?), is all they need to make bold, exaggerated, even false proclamations about all supplements! Those quacks all deserve our strongest condemnation for their abuse of science and their willingness to spread misinformation to millions!

As part of their narrow, false-world view, many practitioners believe that all human adults have essentially the same nutritional needs, and the baseline nutrient intakes for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, set at levels to avoid disease like rickets, scurvy or pellagra are sufficient as is, regardless of individual variables like age, gender, dietary intake (including high sugar, processed or junk foods), nutrient deficiencies, absorption levels, weight, activity or fitness levels, infection, high stress, poor sleep, health status, prescription drug use (which often disrupts normal physiology and health as outlined in the sections above), or the imbalances in the systems covered earlier, all of which can adversely affect nutrient needs. The whole concept of human nourishment as a cornerstone of health has been lost on medical practitioners!

Yet, many medical practitioners and researchers boldly proclaim that individualized needs for micro-nutrient intake beyond the minimums are unnecessary or useless. The oft-repeated put-down for supplements is, Expensive urine!

Now ask yourself, how scientific is their world view based on saying that individualized nutrient needs are nothing more than pricey urine? (Ironically, we only excrete water-soluble vitamins that way, not fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K.)

Is this myopic view that individual needs don’t matter scientific, credible or defensible? Of course not! Yet those claims are common among many doctors, researchers and dietitians. Ironically, those are the very people who generally lack any significant nutritional education or training. Even dietitians fall into that trap often. Indeed, only grossly ignorant, pseudo-scientific people hold such sweepingly-false positions, which is essentially what I said about several of David Bissonnette’s ignorant comments on Linkedin!

This link explores some common challenges with typical reductionist nutrition studies, which often rely on participant’s memory in filling out subjective FFQ (Food Frequency Questionnaires) for foods and portion sizes, including the use of Relative Risk to exaggerate findings and how the studies often create false data points and associations:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/you-cant-trust-what-you-read-about-nutrition/?ex_cid=newsletter

And this link exposes much of the false science in research along with media’s ignorance and bias in study articles they write:

http://www.merrittwellness.com/that-study-wrong-truth-about-research/

Doctors spread misinformation

It’s disgraceful when doctors and medical practitioners repeat journal and media headlines with all those exaggerated pro-drug or anti-supplement studies they publish without reading them in detail.

Medical practitioners should be obligated to read full studies in full detail (every chart, graph, footnote, limitation, drop-outs, etc.), yet my personal and online encounters demonstrate that they rarely, if ever do. (I have yet to encounter one that has read and analyzed an entire study top to bottom).

On top of that, many embrace false study conclusions and repeat them for decades, never looking beyond those shallow, manipulative headlines or updating their knowledge as any true professional should.

Think about that. Your doctor is recommending medical treatments or attacking supplements based on headlines, abstract summaries (the initial study summary, designed to grab media attention and coverage), and what drug-sales people tell them. See the risk to your health now? FYI, I include some key questions to ask your doctor before you agree to take any drugs or treatments below.

And the endless parade of anti-supplement studies is often done by researchers who are friendly with the drug industry or funded by them, where supplements are often put in the role of drugs, giving one or a few supplements to subjects with a pre-existing, chronic disease (those usually develop over decades as mentioned previously).

After a few months or years, when a few supplements don’t magically cure those long-term, chronic diseases on their own, they are boldly proclaimed as failures (along with major media marketing to spread the falsehoods), even when the research subjects had serious, chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer or dementia for years before. Ask yourself, how many drugs cure those chronic problems permanently? The answer is. . .none!

Anti-supplements studies designed to fail

Nutrient-based supplements like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants and omega-3 fats work together as co-factors for each other and with food. They need to be in relative balance and with a mix of good proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats like EVOO or coconut oil. But most anti-supplement, reductionist studies are not designed that way. Instead, nutrients are often tested in isolation based on narrow reductionist goals, even when they don’t function that way in the real world.

Then, include all the other individual needs, lifestyle and health issues that need to be tracked for good research (again, holism), and it should be obvious that these simplistic, poorly-designed reductionist studies, using a few supplements to cure chronic disease, are ridiculous at their very core and doomed to fail!

Nutrients do have an important place for health and healing, and they are necessary to support optimal function and balance of every system listed above, but asking them to reverse established, lifestyle-driven chronic disease with a few supplements is a nonsensical abuse of good science. This is heavily-politicized research, used to drive negative headlines against supplements and attack the competition.

In reality, a more comprehensive, holistic, lifestyle approach is needed to help restore systemic balances and health in those chronic disease situation. In that case, the effects of nourishment and supplements can help restore imbalances over time but a few supplements alone won’t generally cure existing, long-term, chronic disease. You would think a medical researcher, practitioner or dietitian would have the basic knowledge and common sense to see the obvious. Sorry, they don’t!

There is so much bias, misinformation and fraud in these studies, I don’t think I’ve seen a single, credible anti-vitamin, mineral or nutrient study in 20 or 30 years that is based on good science (I’ve read and reviewed many thousands of health, nutrition, supplement and drug studies). And many doctors and dietitians falsely claim that supplements in general increase risk for, or cause more disease. False! Those biased studies are often poorly designed, manipulated, use RR to get more dramatic headlines, and are never replicated, a requirement for credible scientific claims.

Single studies prove nothing

An extension of reductionist studies and a major failure of medicine is the constant hyping of single, one-off studies. Single studies prove nothing! They must be replicated multiple times for any claims to be applicable to those outside the specific subjects, study design and parameters. Yet journals and media report on one-off studies every day, day in, day out! The level of misinformation is extreme, and more falsehoods are pumped into the system daily.

Contrary to the medical journal and media hype we are exposed to often, single studies don’t prove anything and should not be reported to the public (or reported with severe disclaimers)!

Any effects observed in non-replicated studies are limited to the exact subjects age, gender, health status, study parameters, lifestyle habits, time-frames, etc. (many studies are short-term, such as a few months, too short to be conclusive), and are not applicable outside those parameters. All studies must be repeated multiple times using large numbers of human subjects with credible, holistic study designs and methods for longer time frames, such as several years (animal studies are not reliable, see below). Only then are any findings remotely useful.

Even then, the findings can change later because science is a process; it’s ongoing. Medical journals and media falsely present one-off studies as dramatic breakthroughs, breathlessly delivered with big headlines when they are unproven! And most doctors and medical practitioners like dietitians forget this principal all the time (I see it over and over because they believe in their journals). And again, they are putting your life at risk but are not accountable for their mistakes!

No matter, overblown claims are often used in a press release put out by medical journals to thousands of media outlets to create media buzz and excitement. And media loves their worn-out narrative that drugs are miracle cures and supplements are unproven quackery, all courtesy of the AMA and corrupt medical journals.

Neither claim is truthful, accurate or scientific, but media and medical journals are after viewers readers, subscribers and ad revenue, not health (FYI, JAMA and its related journals make tens of millions for the AMA annually). We are literally drowning in an ocean of false, politically-driven reductionist studies, done to boost sales (or to attack the competition), but not based on credible science.

Research and media claims debunked

Here are several eye-popping article links with lots more detail about research fraud, reductionism and related medical falsehoods and media misinformation.

The first study exposes years of false claims and medical dogma that cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease from a video by Dr. David Seres as he continues to provide misinformation to the public and his students, plus additional anti-vitamin research debunking:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/dr-david-seres-debunked-again

This link covers additional false claims from by Dr. Seres as he attacks supplements with a broad brush, including extensive bias and fraud in the reductionist, anti-supplement studies he and others often quote:

Dr. David Seres Debunked!

This is a comprehensive debunking of a biased, inaccurate and misleading Frontline/PBS anti-supplement program form 2016, including the exaggerated and false claims of Drs. Offit, Cohen and others (if you read the entire Frontline article, you will never trust Frontline again because you will see how dishonest they are):

Frontline Scandal

This link exposes details about research fraud and serious misinformation from several biased, uninformed writers at Forbes, including a thorough explanation and debunking of Relative Risk and other research conventions (you’ll never believe research claims or mass media articles again):

Forbes Bias and Misinformation

This link exposes the terrible work of some medical journals, as well as national media falsehoods and stories that ignorantly attack supplements, including the great safety record supplements have (this is a real eye-opening article for national media’s inaccurate reporting):

Anti-Vitamin Propaganda

Lab and animal studies mislead often

Many doctors and the public believe that reductionist lab (in-vitro) and animal studies are relevant to, and predictive of human health. Both are used extensively in research. But those lab and animal studies fail to work in humans the vast majority of the time. Only about 10-20% of the findings in these in vitro or animal studies carry through into humans, meaning they fail to work in human subjects 80-90% of the time! Cancer has been cured in mice for decades because it’s artificially induced using, you guessed it, reductionist research!

And again, these faulty animal studies are touted in medical journals as having significant findings. Then add thousands of shallow media articles, and the public is again broadly mislead. In fact, media stories that are based on those reductionist lab and animal studies (often mice and rats) will leave out that important distinction. You’ll assume it’s a human study when it’s a non-replicated, unproven, animal study. Again, widespread misinformation and false reporting is common. It goes on every day!

Here is a damning quote and link from a 2015 study and analysis about animal studies called, The Flaws and Human Harms of Animal Experimentation. It outlines many issues and flaws in relying on animal testing for human-health research (the article also indicates that the FDA estimated that drugs tested in animals fail in human trials more than 90% of the time, leaving a scant 8% success rate):

. . .The unreliability of animal experimentation across a wide range of areas undermines scientific arguments in favor of the practice. Additionally, I show how animal experimentation often significantly harms humans through misleading safety studies, potential abandonment of effective therapeutics, and direction of resources away from more effective testing methods. The resulting evidence suggests that the collective harms and costs to humans from animal experimentation outweigh potential benefits and that resources would be better invested in developing human-based testing methods.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594046/

And because I’ve been aware of this problem with lab and animal studies for several years, you will see that most of the source material I use in my posts are human studies, and most have been replicated in various ways. I review research studies every week, so its an ongoing activity for me.

I sometimes use review studies that include both animal and human studies (review studies include at a range of previous studies to look for patterns). I sometimes add those studies if they show a probable mechanism of action for humans (in truth, a mechanism of action is needed to make any significant claims), and I in the context of other human studies.

I’ve studied human health, nutrition and prevention and lifestyle modification for decades. Unlike your doctor or dietitian, I have a large base of knowledge, based on thousands of studies to draw upon. This site includes thousands of those research links now!

Here are some additional links that expose the high failure rates in lab and animal studies:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3902221/

http://www.neavs.org/research/limitations

http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-failing-animal-research-paradigm-for-human-disease/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846855/

Experiments on Animals: Overview

Critical lifestyle and epigenetic education missing

One reason for the failure of modern medical practice to improve the long-term health and vitality of people in the U.S. (recent studies show that our life expectancy is stagnating), is that most doctors do not study health, prevention, nutrition, fitness, stress management, epigenetics or the other critical lifestyle modification techniques needed for health and longevity. Just a small fraction of all doctors practicing today focus on Functional or Lifestyle Medicine (those disciplines seek the root causes of symptoms and diseases like I do).

Chances are, your doctor is ignorant of the most basic areas and important skills needed to help patients optimize their health, vitality and prevent disease! It’s like going to a car mechanic and asking him to fix a cell phone or remove a computer virus. You’re going to the wrong person for the job, and it’s unlikely they will be helpful. Your phone or computer will probably be worse, not better!

And even as I did more research into epigenetics to find new links to add to this post, I could see the pervasive influence of reductionist research and medical commercialization on many epigenetic studies. They were often too-narrowly focused on specific diseases and drug treatments rather than health or prevention. Our entire medical system has been distorted by profit and greed as drug and medical companies seek to monetize basic research, research we could all benefit from.

See these links for some great insights about disease, prevention and how lifestyle affects health:

More Doctor Nutrition Myths

Immune Health Secrets

5 Keys to Prevent Cancer

https://clinicalepigeneticsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13148-015-0068-2

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22051144

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3405985/

Lobbying corruption and greed

As a result of the astonishing political and financial influence from drug/device companies (billions spent since 2000), and the massive drug lobby (over 1,200 lobbyists working day and night, often with the AMA), medical education and related areas like dietetics are often narrowly focused on disease diagnosis and treatment based on reductionist-type studies. We are disease obsessed but not health obsessed! Areas like disease treatment with drugs, procedures and surgeries are the perpetual focus. But those approaches rarely restore long-term health or vitality, while exposing patients to possible medical errors or injury.

And yet, medicine’s self-proclaimed, gold standard for research is the reductionist, double blind, placebo-controlled study (DBPC), comparing their new drugs to a placebo (no longer a simple sugar pill but a customized mini-drug to help minimize the appearance of side effects uncovered in small pilot studies)! Doctors will often say that type of study is the gold standard because they are taught that bold, unfounded claim in medical school and most never seem to question it again.

Do doctors really read and understand those studies on a deep level, including other studies that might show different results? No, it’s clear that most don’t. But that “gold standard” claim is made incessantly by doctors, researchers and drug companies. Again, it’s about branding, marketing and sales, not health! You are being played every day through these kinds of claims, drug and device ads, articles and media hype!

It’s also been reported that study subjects who feel strong side effects suspect or know they are taking the real drug, and those perceptions skew the study results significantly.

Here is a startling quote from Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, with more links that debunk common research claims about accuracy (see first link below):

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 here is a quote by some researchers at Harvard University called, Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs also from that first link below:

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.

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

https://thepeopleschemist.com/how-big-pharma-lies-to-doctors-about-the-medicine-you-are-taking/

https://www.sott.net/article/248079-Scientific-Fraud-Prevalent-Among-Science-Based-Medicines

Sadly, prevention won’t help your doctor buy that new Mercedes, luxury SUV or vacation home. So we are stuck with this terrible medical reality: Prevention doesn’t make doctors wealthy because healthy people need far less care; treating sick people who have lost their health is where the money is (and don’t underestimate that money draw, it’s powerful)!

So medical education largely ignores prevention, healthy lifestyle behavioral change and fitness, preferring to focus on people who are sick with acute or chronic illness. That brings significantly more money, and many doctors feel entitled to it! That AMA video above shows how the AMA planned to create a monopoly and drive up doctor’s incomes.

I don’t make doctors happy because I’m healthy and I haven’t seen a doc in years (I’ve had screening tests through a local health fair). And because many states allow patients to get their own, affordable blood tests online without seeing a doctor (I have several links on this site under Tips section above), you can probably get your own tests done. Those tests are done by the same labs that docs use and the test results will tell you what’s low or high.

Beyond that, I look for changes or patterns in test results over time. Just having a high or low indicator doesn’t mean a disease is present. It might be how your body functions! But I can help with those results.

Overall, medical practitioners who embrace reductionist studies and the resulting medical dogma they enable should be condemned for their ignorance of health, lifestyle modification, epigenetics, effective prevention techniques and outright greed.

They also need to be condemned for their political attacks against lifestyle modification and nutrition, often called Alternative Medicine (or quackery if you are in the AMA or an establishment doctor). It’s outrageous how they continually misinform the public, while medicine is the top killer of any industry by far!

Is your doctor accountable?

This section has a series of key questions to ask your doctor or health practitioner before you submit to any medical treatments. It will help you to determine if your doctor is accountable to you and if they see you as a collection of body parts or value you as a unique person that goes beyond your parts and systems. These questions are appropriate for most non-emergency medical treatments (drug, procedure or surgery):

1. How many large, long-term, credible, human studies for the drug or procedure have been done regardless of FDA approval (there should be at least 3, credible, large human trials lasting several years)?

2. How many studies for the drug or procedure has your doctor read in complete detail, including design, methods, charts, graphs, Absolute Risk (AR) numbers, which are more relevant than Relative Risk (RR) numbers, footnotes, non-compliance, drop-outs, limitations, citations and references?

3. Ask your doctor directly if the drug or procedure will cure the problem permanently in 30-60 days (the answer to this question will most likely be “No”)?

4. Ask for a print-out for all the known adverse reactions, side effects, problems or the need to redo a procedure or surgery after several years (many drugs and procedures have significant problems after they are approved).

5. Ask about any feedback or negative reports the doctor’s patients have had with the treatment. Take notes if necessary. Don’t rush your decision! A good site for drug side-effects is Drugs.com. You can look up any drug and see both consumer and professional information for adverse reactions and other information (I suggest you review both sections as the professional section will often have more detail).

If your doctor doesn’t have good answers for those questions and concerns (they probably won’t), tell them you need to investigate further and ask for some independent websites or resources that provide both pro and con. Consider safer options for any non-emergency situation you face, because you are probably at risk for adverse reactions or injury. I can help offer insights and alternatives.

In closing

Reductionism has swept medical science and health fields but its myopic view means that perspective about the whole being is lost. Reductionist research for treatments or attacking supplements often misleads or allows for false conclusions, often marketed to media outlets.

Some important biological and biochemical processes have been discovered but those findings are routinely misused for commercial purposes in the name of profits or attacking supplements. The outcomes of those reductionist studies for medical treatments are often misleading or exaggerated in the name of marketing and sales. Millions are injured or killed as a result.

What’s worse is that an entire reductionist philosophy has taken hold and now carries throughout many areas of health and medical research because it’s assumed to be “scientific.” Reductionism supports the false science and black-white thinking about health, disease and treatment. Health, vitality and human uniqueness is often ignored (holism). Yes, you are a unique being; you are far more than a collection of parts, and medicine’s failure to embrace that reality deserves our deepest condemnation! Enough of this nonsense!

Your average doctor is often ignorant of critical study details as well as the key lifestyle modification necessary to maintain optimum health and longevity. Most doctors don’t read or analyze full studies; rather they scan the headlines and abstracts. They also get stuck in old training, indoctrination and end up repeating falsehoods, including cholesterol as a cause of heart disease.

Many doctors falsely believe that drugs are proven with “real” science while supplements and alternative health are unproven or dangerous. Neither position is science-based! Those claims are politically and financially driven. Drugs should be the last resort, not the first choice. So ask your doctor the 5 questions above before agreeing to any non-emergency treatments.

Medicine is now a deeply corrupt, self-serving from top to bottom. And consider this: If good science was credible and stood on its own, why would the pharmaceutical industry need the largest lobbying army on earth? Why would the AMA need to lobby for their special deals and influence (they often join with the drug lobby to get special rules, treatment and exemptions)? Billions have been spent on these lobbying efforts now and they continue to grow ever larger! Medicine’s focus is power and money, not your or your health or well being!

To offer a last point of startling proof about the systemic failure of medical research, here is a quote from my post called, Medicine is the Top Killer linked above:

What’s more, the oft-touted claims that modern medical practices are based on “Evidence-based Medicine” (EBM) are largely false. For example, over several years, the BMJ’s journal called Clinical Evidence has reviewed 2,500 common medical drugs and treatments. They found that many are not supported by evidence at all, with just a small percent (about 15%) of treatments supported by one good study (the majority lacked good evidence or were probably harmful). Similar reviews by governments and independent researchers (including U.S. researchers) have come to similar conclusions in recent years. (See that post link above for many source links.)

Questions or comments? You can message me at: steve@endsickness (dot) com

© 2017 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

{ 1 comment }

Joann January 13, 2017 at 3:39 PM

I must say you have very interesting posts here. Your blog is worth reading.

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