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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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IS CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE EVIDENCE BASED
Wednesday, 08 October 2008
http://www.clinicalevidence.com/ceweb/about/knowledge.jsp
Probably the most common label applied to traditional medicine is that it isn't 'scientific', that there aren't any 'good studies'. If you believe that scientific trials are the most important barometer of whether a medical approach should be used, you might want to take a look at The British Medical Journal Clinical Evidence. It tries to help people make informed decisions about which treatments to use. The idea is that it would highlight treatments that work and for which the benefits outweigh the harms. The research community looks to highlight gaps in the evidence, where there are currently no good scientific trials.

What does BMJ Clinical Evidence tell us about the state of our current knowledge? What proportion of commonly used treatments are supported by good evidence, what proportion should not be used or used only with caution, and how big are the gaps in our knowledge?

Of around 2500 conventional medical treatments covered 13% are rated as beneficial, 23% likely to be beneficial, 8% as trade off between benefits and harms, 6% unlikely to be beneficial, 4% likely to be ineffective or harmful, and 46%, the largest proportion, as unknown effectiveness. From these numbers we see that the idea that conventional medicine is based on reliable evidence is simply not true. What do these results tell us?

1. Only 15% of medical interventions are proven to be beneficial-in other words, evidence based.

2. Only 21% of interventions are likely to be beneficial. That means they may help but there is no hard evidence to prove this.

3. The Big One-We don't know if 47% of interventions are of any use at all! We are talking about drugs and surgery here, the supposed miracles of conventional medicine. Side effects occur much more frequently with these conventional treatments than they do with homeopathic medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal medicine.

If we apply the same standard to conventional medicine that is applied to traditional medicine, then why do medical doctors promote treatments of which 85% are not proven to be effective? Meaning that most of orthodox medicine lacks credibility and often does harm.


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PEDIATRICIANS WANT COLD MEDS BANNED
Friday, 03 October 2008
What is up with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? For over a year, pediatricians have been calling for the ban of over the counter OTC) cough and cold medicines for children. In a bizarre twist of thinking the FDA is afraid that there will be more accidental poisonings if kids are given fewer drugs. This hasn't been the case in Maryland. The state of Maryland saw an immediate benefit after OTC cough and cold remedies for tots were removed from store shelves last fall. Calls to poison control about problems with the medicines involving children younger than 2 dropped by 40%, from 99 to 60, in the first six months of this year when compared with 2007. Calls involving children 2 to 6 also decreased.

Pediatricians are urging the government to demand a recall of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children younger than 6. The effectiveness of the medicines in children was never proven, they say, and problems with the drugs send thousands of kids to the emergency room every year. "When a treatment is ineffective, its risks - unless zero - always exceed its benefits," Dr. Michael Shannon of Children's Hospital in Boston told the FDA panel.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says OTC products are ineffective for treating coughs and colds in children under 6, and should not be given because of the risk of serious side effects - a conclusion seconded last year by a panel of outside advisers to the FDA.

Families spend at almost $286 million a year on such cough and cold remedies for children, according to the Nielsen Co. market research firm. In any given week the medicines are used by an estimated 10% of all children, with the biggest exposure among 2- to 5-year-olds, a recent Boston University report found. Could it be that company's financial interests are impacting the FDA's lack of action?

Cough and cold medicines send about 7,000 children to hospital emergency rooms each year with symptoms ranging from hives and drowsiness to unsteady walking. Why use this stuff? Colds often clear up by themselves after a few days. Hydrotherapy and the Vitamin C protocol are very effective at shortening the duration and intensity of colds-without any harmful side effects.


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HOT DOGS CAUSE CANCER
Wednesday, 01 October 2008
Goh YI, Bollano E, Einarson TR, Koren G. Prenatal multivitamin supplementation and rates of pediatric cancers: a meta-analysis. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 May;81(5):685-91. Epub 2007 Feb 21.
Peters JM, Preston-Martin S, London SJ, Bowman JD, Buckley JD, Thomas DC. Processed meats and risk of childhood leukemia. Cancer Causes Control. 1994 Mar; 5(2):195-202.)
Sarasua S, Savitz DA. Cured and broiled meat consumption in relation to childhood cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 1994 Mar; 5(2):141-8.)
Orthomolecular.org has published this great article on cancer occurrence related to food consumption. This connection is nothing new. It is very rare for any of my patients to be eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Yet "we all know" that has a major health effect. But 81-85% of Americans with cancer don't consume 5 a day either. It would seem a no brainer that better nutrition=less cancer. But I think people get carried away by claims of how well we are now treating cancer and they think that the drug/cut/irradiate approach is all they need to do.

Prevention by way of nutrition for pregnant women can also have a powerful effect. Prenatal vitamins lowered children's leukemia risk by 39 percent. Risk of neuroblastoma (common brain cancer) was cut in half. Vitamin supplements reduced the chance of a brain tumor by 27%. It is obvious that prenatal vitamin supplements are very important cancer fighters.

The facts about hot dogs really stand out to me. Children who eat hot dogs once a week actually double their risk of a brain tumor. Kids eating more than twelve hot dogs a month have nearly 10x the risk of leukemia as children who eat none. We've known these results for years but I don't know of any pediatric oncologist who's told their patients not to eat hot dogs.

The culprit in ham, hot dogs, and other cured or processed meats is nitrates and nitrites. These unnecessary additives go on to form nitrosamines in the body when they are heated. This is what causes the real damage. Here, something as basic as Vitamin C can prevent this deadly transformation


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VITAMIN D MEANS LESS PAIN
Friday, 26 September 2008
Ann Rheum Dis 2008
According to this new study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases women who achieve optimal levels of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are less likely to suffer from chronic widespread pain.

Vitamin D3 (technically a hormone) was well known in the past as a cure for rickets in children. Besides its critical involvement with bone health recent research has shown its affect on the immune system. This evidence indicates that getting enough vitamin D helps protect/treat cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, back pain, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, breast, prostate, colon, and other cancers.

About 10% of the population suffers from chronic widespread pain, which is pain that occurs on both sides of the body, above and below the waist, and lasts for longer than three months. This is the type of pain that characterizes fibromyalgia syndrome, but it can also occur without fibromyalgia.

This research study looked at the range of vitamin D levels at which people were more likely to experience chronic pain. Almost 7,000 people provided information about body pain and had their vitamin D3 levels measured.

The researchers found that vitamin D status was associated with chronic widespread pain in women. Women with the highest vitamin D levels were least likely to have chronic pain. Those with lower levels of Vitamin D were 150% likely to have chronic pain as were women with the highest levels.

Study researchers made the usual innocuous recommendation. "Follow-up studies are needed to evaluate whether higher vitamin D intake might have beneficial effects on chronic widespread pain risk," the authors concluded. In other words, suffer while we do more tests.

You could get a start on maintaining proper Vitamin D levels by eating foods rich in it-organic, pasture-produced eggs, and extremely limited amounts of salmon and herring (because of the polluted oceans). Everyone always mentions sun exposure. The problem is that we're seeing people in sun rich locales like Hawaii and Arizona with sub-optimal levels of Vitamin D. No one knows why this is yet.

I suggest getting a 25 hydroxy Vitamin D test. This is the only test that provides specific information about your vitamin D status. Then you can figure out what you would need in terms of supplementation.


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STATIN DRUGS CAUSE DELIRIUM
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Delirium Following Elective Surgery in Elderly Patients Receiving Statins. Can Med Assoc J 2008 Sep 23;179(7):645-652.
If you are older than 65 and take statin drugs you are more likely to experience delirium after surgery. This is the finding of a new study from Canada.

Postoperative delirium after surgery is common and can be serious. Canadian researchers examined whether the use of statin medications was associated with a higher risk of postoperative delirium than other medications.

They analyzed 284,158 consecutive patients in Ontario aged 65 years and older who were admitted for elective surgery. By looking at outpatient pharmacy records before admission they identified use of statins. Researchers then identified the presence of delirium by examining hospital records after surgery.

Overall, 3195 patients experienced postoperative delirium; the rate was significantly higher among patients taking statins than among those not taking statins. The increased risk of postoperative delirium persisted after the numbers were adjusted for multiple demographic, medical and surgical factors. The relative risk associated with statin use was somewhat higher among patients who had noncardiac surgery than among those who had cardiac surgery, and extended to more complicated cases of delirium. There was not an increased risk of delirium with 20 other cardiac or noncardiac medications.

The conclusion was that the use of statins is associated with an increased risk of postoperative delirium among elderly patients undergoing elective surgery.


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