2 of 2
2
Alternative Medicine Gaining Polularity?
Posted: 03 March 2010 10:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  985
Joined  2005-12-16

How times have changed. Looks like my controversial take on alternative medicine (and deep suspicion about the American health care system) is gradually becoming a norm. I don’t know if it is good or bad.

Anyway. I wonder how is it possible for intelligent people to repeat the drug industry propaganda about the alternative medicine. After all, what’s “alternative” about the vitamins? Were they discovered by the quacks or by the reputable science?

Are they useful? Unfortunately, to answer that question you need to devote half of your spare time to researching the subject and experimenting on yourself. You cannot trust anybody, you cannot limit yourself to a single source. I just happen to have had a strong motivation to start educating myself in “alternative medicine” if you want to call it that name because I am an athlete and I am getting older. Today no amount of bad rap the industry is trying to put on vitamins can stop me from keeping a good supply of Biotin always at hand. Without mega doses of that vitamin (I take 10000 mcg a day) my finger nails start cracking which believe me is not a nice experience. Also, I take 2 - 4g of vitamin C which is doing a good job of allowing me to train hard without compromising my immune system (I hate the feeling of soar throat). The trick with Vitamin C is that most of what you buy in your local supermarket is not good. It either hurts your stomach, or is mixed with additives I stay away from (chewable form comes mixed with artificial sweeteners), or tastes horrible. My recommendation? Emergen-C. I am not sure if the benefits of Emergen-C are because of the stuff it is mixed with (minerals, other vitamins, herbal extracts) but as long as it works I don’t care.

I am sorry, I didn’t read the link attached to the first post in this thread. I don’t have to. I can very well guess what’s it all about. And it pisses me off. Whenever somebody attacks the “alternative medicine” I am pissed off. Are you people blind and deaf? Cannot you put two plus two together? How come the colloidal silver was a symbol of everything that was wrong with alternative quacks (when your friendly quack was selling it, that is) and today silver is suddenly kosher when fighting microbial contamination in products sold by “reputable” companies? By the way, you probably heard about the horrible skin condition inflicted on those exposed to silver, haven’t you? Maybe it was even shown to you as an example of how dangerous the quacks can be? So, guess what? That horrible skin condition was caused by silver salts prescribed by regular doctors many many years ago. Isn’t it an ultimate in hypocrisy when medical establishments attacks the competition by accusing them of sin they themselves committed? Isn’t it also a bad science when you ignore the difference between silver salts which are absorbed by the body and colloidal (aka metallic) silver which is not?

The best alternative medicine I can recommend is to keep yourself physically active. At 65 I run and compete and so can you. Speaking of which. Turns out the leading cause of running injuries are ... the running shoes. I knew it from my experience long time ago and now it is confirmed. If you need shoes to run buy the cheapest. They cause the least harm.

Your friendly quack. Thomas Orr (which is not my real name)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2010 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  18
Joined  2010-06-01

@ Thomas Orr, you are taking way too much vitamin C. Although it probably won’t hurt you it is probably not doing you any good.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for an adult male is 90 milligrams per day of vitamin C. The tolerable upper intake level is 2000 milligrams or 2 grams per day.

There is a good documentary that you can find at topdocumentaryfilms.com called The truth about vitamins. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-truth-about-vitamins/

As for collodial silver, the main problem is when alternative medicine sellers claim that it cures everything under the sun -  In recent years, silver-containing products have been marketed with unsubstantiated claims that they are effective against AIDS, cancer, infectious diseases, parasites, chronic fatigue, acne, warts, hemorrhoids, enlarged prostate, and many other diseases and conditions. Some marketers claim that colloidal silver is effective against hundreds of diseases.
In reality it just has some antibacterial properties just like say any disinfectant.
In 1995, a herbal distributor named Leslie Taylor tested nine commonly marketed colloidal silver products available at health-food stores and concluded:

Two of the products were contaminated with microorganisms.
The amount of silver suspended in solution varied from product to product and would gradually decrease over time.
Only five products actually showed antibacterial activity in a laboratory test. To perform the test, she prepared a culture plate with Staphylococcus aureas bacteria, which can cause infections in humans. She then placed a drop from each product on the plate and used disks of two common antibiotics as controls. After eight hours of incubation, she found that bacterial growth had been inhibited around the antibiotics and four of the products.

In October 1996, the FDA proposed to ban the use of colloidal silver or silver salts in over-the-counter products [11]. A Final Rule banning such use was issued on August 17, 1999 and became effective September 16th. The rule applies to any nonprescription colloidal silver or silver salt product claimed to be effective in preventing or treating any disease [12]. Silver products can still be sold as “dietary supplements” provided that no health claims are made for them. During 2000, the FDA issued warnings to more than 20 companies whose Web sites were making illegal therapeutic claims for colloidal silver products. (Quackwatch.org)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 June 2010 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  985
Joined  2005-12-16
nimbus - 08 June 2010 08:46 PM

... the main problem is when alternative medicine sellers claim that it cures everything under the sun

No sir. The main problems are many. Here is a very incomplete list.

1. The cough medicine kills a child and they send the parent to jail ... for not reading the label. Studies showed that the cough medicine is less effective than a cup of hot chocolate. Word of the mouth is that cough medicine is one of the drugs teenagers start experimenting with in their desire to get high. Yet, I could go to the supermarket now and buy as many bottles of the cough medicine I want if I chose to (I didn’t). At the same time the Airborne manufacturer is ordered to refund its customers full price of their anti-cold remedy as the punishment for suggesting that it might cure the common cold. The intent of course was to kill the company but I guess the attempt failed because I can still see Airborne on the shelves in Costco.

2. In unfolding of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico we learned that the legal liability limit for a spill regardless of its magnitude is 75 million dollars. Fortunately no liability limit applies to teenagers illegally downloading the music and we can still discourage unethical behavior by slapping million dollar fines for $100 worth of “damages”.

Have you ever tried debating a religious fanatic? Have you learned that no amount of rational arguments is going to impress your opponent? Well, here you have one hardened fanatic. My gut reaction to whatever pharma or agribusiness say these days is first to deny it and than look for excuses. Why? Because they completely lost their credibility and with time they are found wrong on any account they ever argued for or against in the past. Wrong on hydrogenated oils (it was supposed to be the cure for heart problem), green revolution (the result is destruction of land and complete loss of soil fertility), corn syrup, organic farming, doping. Oh, let’s discuss doping and related sports issues.

I have more faith in medical advice from a coach than from a doctor. Why? Because coach gets paid for making his people run faster, throw farther, perform better and have longer lasting careers. On the other hand, doctors make more money if they keep their patients sick. And so do the drug companies. I wonder why in the debate on drug use among athletes nobody gave a second thought to one interesting fact. Those drug abusers managed to extend their professional careers to unheard of age of forty and beyond. Forty years was the age of well deserved retirement from professional sport not so long ago. Today you can still compete and make money ... if you use drugs. I just wonder when those horrible effects of drug abuse are going to show ... at the age of 100? Let’s hope that those cheating bastards will learn their lesson then.

I am just back from a trip to Poland where capitalism and big pharma are conquering the country. The first results I was told was that cheap and effective remedies disappeared from drug stores to be replaced by expensive and ineffective drugs. This is some progress, don’t you think?

I may as well take too much of vitamin C but certainly I am not abusing vitamin C more than I abuse tea or coffee. Why then among many things I abuse you decided to single out my vitamin C addiction? I know why. Because Stephen Barrett, the stooge paid by pharmaceutical companies told you so on the pages of quackwatch. I don’t know how old you are but I think you are old enough to learn the phrase “there is no free lunch”. OK, maybe you learned the phrase but didn’t mature enough to apply it to the situation at hand. Here you have the “public advocate” Stephen Barrett. Do you really think that Stephen Barrett (is he still contributing to the pages of quackwatch after the fiasco of the lawsuit he lost some time ago?) is spending his time and resources to offer you the free lunch of advice on vitamin C and other health/quack matters? I wonder…

[ Edited: 10 June 2010 06:38 PM by Thomas Orr]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 June 2010 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  18
Joined  2010-06-01

Ok I don’t know where to start but here goes.. Firstly I got my information on vitamin C from Wikipedia not Quackwatch. Also I was not aware that Stephen Barrett was revealed in court to not be a Medical Board Certified psychiatrist because he had failed the certification exam. I just did I google search on him just then.

Although the guy himself has a damaged reputation, can you disprove what he said about colloidal silver? I’m sure that there are still many people out there who make false health claims about colloidal silver, Echinacea, squid’s cartilage, deer velvet and so on.

For big pharma to get a drug approved they must submit themselves to the ordeal of being tested. Alternative medicine either cannot be tested, refuses to be tested or has been tested and shown to consistently fail tests. 
I think Richard Dawkins put it best when he said in his book ‘A Devil’s Chaplain’
‘The alternative medicine business in Britain has a turnover measured in billions of pounds. Perhaps some small fraction of the profits generated by these medicines could be diverted into testing whether they actually work. This, after all, is what ‘orthodox’ pharmaceutical companies are expected to do. Could it be that purveyors of alternative medicine know all too well what the upshot of properly conducted trials would be? If so, their reluctance to fund their own nemesis is all too understandable.’


So instead of Big Pharma what you have is Big Bullshit!

Yes, I have heard the saying ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’ But in this case I would liken a lunch from the alternative medicine industry as having no nutritional value.

My gut reaction to whatever pharma or agribusiness say these days is first to deny it and than look for excuses.

I wish that you would subject the alternative medicine industry to the same scrutiny that you do pharma and argribusiness.

Oh, to think how terrible the Green Revolution was! Feeding all those poor hungry people!

Despite all those terrible, terrible things that Big Pharma and Agribusiness has been doing it is truly remarkable that life expectancy has gone up dramatically over the last hundred years. Don’t you think?

I have more faith in medical advice from a coach than from a doctor. Why? Because coach gets paid for making his people run faster, throw farther, perform better and have longer lasting careers. On the other hand, doctors make more money if they keep their patients sick.

I hope that you don’t actually believe this. Do you really think that doctors want to keep their patients sick?

Look, you are a lot older than I am which means that it is more likely that you will soon need medical care simply because many illnesses are age related. If you need a prostate exam, good luck getting one from your coach!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 June 2010 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  985
Joined  2005-12-16
nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

Ok I don’t know where to start but here goes.. Firstly I got my information on vitamin C from Wikipedia not Quackwatch. Also I was not aware that Stephen Barrett was revealed in court to not be a Medical Board Certified psychiatrist because he had failed the certification exam. I just did I google search on him just then.

Hey, don’t take it personally. I am actually impressed with your frank acknowledgment of where you got the information from. And I am glad you googled to find out more.

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

Although the guy himself has a damaged reputation, can you disprove what he said about colloidal silver? I’m sure that there are still many people out there who make false health claims about colloidal silver, Echinacea, squid’s cartilage, deer velvet and so on.

Yes, it’s a jungle out there. Blame it on capitalism.

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

For big pharma to get a drug approved they must submit themselves to the ordeal of being tested. Alternative medicine either cannot be tested, refuses to be tested or has been tested and shown to consistently fail tests.

I am a little tired of this argument. Legitimate part of the alternative-whatever-you-want-to-call it business begs to be regulated. Big Pharma which controls FDA doesn’t want to hear about it. They don’t want to hear about anything that could add legitimacy to the alternative business. Their goal is to shut them down ... and shut down your access to anything that is cheap, works and cannot be patented.

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

I think Richard Dawkins put it best when he said in his book ‘A Devil’s Chaplain’
‘The alternative medicine business in Britain has a turnover measured in billions of pounds. Perhaps some small fraction of the profits generated by these medicines could be diverted into testing whether they actually work. This, after all, is what ‘orthodox’ pharmaceutical companies are expected to do. Could it be that purveyors of alternative medicine know all too well what the upshot of properly conducted trials would be? If so, their reluctance to fund their own nemesis is all too understandable.’

I knew that Richard Dawkins was a big mouth hungry for fame. Still, I thought better of him before you disclose to me his involvement in alternative business bashing.

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

So instead of Big Pharma what you have is Big Bullshit!
Yes, I have heard the saying ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’ But in this case I would liken a lunch from the alternative medicine industry as having no nutritional value.

It’s a Big Bullshit when you believe the sales pitch. In a capitalist system you are not supposed to believe anything your hear from a salesman. 

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

I wish that you would subject the alternative medicine industry to the same scrutiny that you do pharma and argribusiness.

Alternative medicine industry is only annoying. Big Pharma and agribusiness are dangerous.

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

Oh, to think how terrible the Green Revolution was! Feeding all those poor hungry people!

Despite all those terrible, terrible things that Big Pharma and Agribusiness has been doing it is truly remarkable that life expectancy has gone up dramatically over the last hundred years. Don’t you think?

I don’t. 50+ years of “helping” the developing nations resulted in land and soil destruction, driving local farmers to poverty and the nations to debt impossible to repay. Luckily, we have the signs of awakening with scientists from India and other emerging nations leading the revolt. About a year ago UN adopted a resolution stating that sustainable agriculture based on marriage between traditional farming methods with modern science and not PKN + pesticides + GMO mentality are the way to go. The response from the agribusiness and chemical companies? They “boycotted” the UN conference. That India is leading the revolt is no surprise as it was one of the biggest victims of the green revolution.

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

I hope that you don’t actually believe this. Do you really think that doctors want to keep their patients sick?

You are right. I didn’t intend to insult doctors. Only the system and its propaganda machine.

nimbus - 11 June 2010 04:30 AM

Look, you are a lot older than I am which means that it is more likely that you will soon need medical care simply because many illnesses are age related. If you need a prostate exam, good luck getting one from your coach!

I had prostate problems before I turned forty. I call myself fortunate for not trying chemical drugs or surgery. After years of searching and trying different things today I keep myself (and my prostate) perfectly happy with one tablet a day of plant extracts delivered by alternative business company and modern science. It is cheap, too, as the soy source is used instead of more costly saw palmetto.

I can understand your perspective because you grew up in this system and you don’t know anything better. On the other hand when I was growing up the pharmacies were selling what now is known as “alternative” along with chemical drugs, and the doctors were prescribing whatever was most appropriate, “alternative” or not. Scientific studies on mineral content of soil and how it affects human health or contributes to endemic diseases were commonplace and nobody would think about killing the research on drinking water just because it could endanger the profits of some industry. Imagine my shock when I learned that in our system economy and job losses are more important than human health and therefore killing inconvenient research is justified. By the way, haven’t you learned already that our criticism of BP must be balanced with concerns about job losses and impact on shareholders?

Finally a word on vitamin C. Dig a little deeper and discover for yourself the wonders of this simple antioxidant. Industry thinks that by shifting the debate to demonstrate how ineffective vitamin C is in preventing the common cold they will manage to kill the public interest in the vitamin and get rid of inconvenient competition to their worthless drugs. Yet, the medical applications of vitamin C are many and amazing. Doctors can save lives by injecting vitamin C (as supportive treatment) in cases of acute allergic reactions to different poisons. There are studies demonstrating that vitamin C supplements provide 100% effective prevention from Sudden Death Syndrome in babies. In spite of the heavy propaganda the public knows that smokers and marathoners benefit from vitamin C supplementation far exceeding the RDA. Finally, I am in peace with my addiction to vitamin C because runners and coaches I respect recommend it based on their personal experience.

Regarding my age I am currently more concerned about how to improve my performance in road and cross country races than I am with medical check-ups. I haven’t had one in the past 30 years and I can sleep in peace with that knowledge. Besides, I had some forced exposure to American medical services and it has been all bad. A year ago I slipped when running on the icy path in the park and had a bad cut on my head. I lost a lot of blood and was a little dizzy with the experience, true, but all I needed were several stitches. I didn’t ask for and I didn’t expect that in the local hospital the first thing they did was to give me ct scan. I was mad when I learned about the cost of ct scan to taxpayers. I was mad when I learned how much unnecessary radiation I was exposed to. I was mad again when on the radio doctors where shifting the blame for excessive ct scans on patients “who demand it”. I certainly didn’t.
Two years ago I had a case of shingles. I thought, what the heck, let’s go to see a doctor, maybe he will give me something to relieve the pain. So I went to the doctor’s office and said that I had shingles. “Who diagnosed you?”, the doctor asked. “I did it myself” - I replied - “which is not that difficult if you have some basic knowledge and know how to search the internet”. The doctor was seemingly unhappy with the “difficult patient” but couldn’t deny that I indeed suffered from a case of shingles. I got the prescription and made a mistake of actually buying the drug before going on the internet to find the facts about it. What I found horrified me. I threw the drug away determined to put up with not so bad shingles pain rather than risk suffering some of the drug side effects.

And thanks for bringing the money subject. Please, pass my thoughts on it to Richard Dawkins. My misadventures with established medicine in the past two years cost me and taxpayers more than $3,000. I doubt if I spent that much in the past 10 years on alternative stuff. I got some benefits from the alternative supplements I bought and none from whatever the established medicine charged me for (sorry, I needed those stitches). Instead of getting excited about the money “uneducated” public spends on alternative medicine Richard Dawkins should meditate on the fact that the leading chemical drug companies make more money than the GDP of entire nations. At your and mine expense.

[ Edited: 11 June 2010 09:59 PM by Thomas Orr]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 June 2010 12:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  18
Joined  2010-06-01

From your post I can see that you have your reasons for your stance on big pharma and agribusiness industries. I think on this issue it is probably best for us to ‘Agree to disagree,’ as neither us is likely to change our opinions on the matter. As for your views on healthcare though, - I am not at all familiar with the American Healthcare system, (I’m from New Zealand), however, I am aware that healthcare reform is taking place in your country.

Accessing the services of established medicine is probably going to be expensive because they are professionally trained. You mention that you were mad about been given a ct scan, but the hospital was just taking a precautionary approach. How much more mad would you have been if you actually did have a traumatic brain injury such as bleeding beneath the skull and they didn’t do a ct scan? Then I suppose you would be angry that they didn’t do a CT scan and pick it right away, and (if you recovered) you would go on to sue them.

Also, I wouldn’t be too mad at the ‘unnecessary radiation’ you were exposed to from the scan. Boeing 747 pilots are exposed to the equivalent of 1200 chest X-Rays each year (due to increased radiation exposure from flying at high altitudes) and they don’t have any increased risk of cancer or radiation sickness.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 June 2010 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  94
Joined  2008-08-14

I have been enjoying the book “Trick Or Treatment”, a look at alternative medicine. If you’re so inclined, check it out…

http://www.amazon.com/Trick-Treatment-Undeniable-Alternative-Medicine/dp/0393066614


Ron

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2010 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2010-09-29
zelzo - 10 June 2009 01:28 PM

The scariest thing about “alternative” is there is no oversight to insure you get what you pay for.  Even a bottle of multiple vitamins or calcium supplements may not be what you think they are. I take a few supplements, mainly calcium with magnesium and a few vitamins but how do I actually know what I am ingesting. (I try to buy from “reputable” companies.)

It is time for the Feds to regulate this stuff.  With billions of dollars spent, people need to know what they are getting.

I’m with Byron on this one. Our healthcare system is in the sewer. “Alternative” at least gives people hope for something better.

Lindajean

Hi Lindajean:

I agree with you that alternative medicine is indeed scary without a federal body regulating it.  But you have to take into consideration that even with the FDA regulating some drugs, these often have side effects that are more detrimental to your health rather than benefit you.

In effect, if people feel better after a healing massage, acupuncture treatment or taking herbal meds, then they should go for it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 September 2010 03:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  94
Joined  2008-08-14
yogyakarta - 30 September 2010 04:42 AM

In effect, if people feel better after a healing massage, acupuncture treatment or taking herbal meds, then they should go for it.

As long as they’re aware that they will be paying a premium for the alternative treatment. And for, at most, a placebeo effect.

Any treatment/medicine that can undoubtedly improve health should be able to pass rigorous, scientific, clinical studies. And should rightly be embraced by the medical community. Anything less deserves a label that indicates it’s dubiousness. 

Ron

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 November 2010 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  17
Joined  2010-10-19

I like what Tim Minchin says about alternative medicine when confronted by a True Believer.  It went something like:
“Yes I know what they call alternative medicine that works.  It’s called MEDICINE”

Never heard of Tim Minchin? Neither had I until I ran into one of his videos on You Tube.  He is a talented poet and singer/song writer.
Check out this rant set to music about alternative medicine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB_htqDCP-s

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed