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Evidence Based Medicine?

Evidence Based Medicine?

Tuesday, July 4th 2006

Which of the conventional medicine treatments meet the "evidence based" standard that some physicians, government officials and MP's demand?

What about non-emergency bypass surgery, which was accepted as conventional treatment for many years without a single trial to compare results with other methods, including diet and stress reduction? Modern science now tells us that bypass surgery does not increase one-year survival rates without additional interventions.

Perhaps these medical "experts" are referring to the safety evidence of the prescription drug Vioxx, recently withdrawn from the market after previously undisclosed dangers. Or NSAID drugs (common painkillers, such as ibuprofen), which were recently associated with a 30% increased risk of first hospital admission for heart failure not to mention stomach bleeding. Or paracetamol, responsible for a majority of liver failures and transplants reported by hospitals.

Nor do cholesterol control measures meet their evidence standards, especially the use of total cholesterol as a marker of cardiovascular risk. Science does not show a clear benefit in reducing total cholesterol, especially when half of all cardiovascular incidents affect people showing no previous symptoms.

Perhaps cancer therapies come to mind as evidence based. But 40% of all cancer patients die from malnutrition, while some Oncologists warn against taking supplements that have been shown in published studies to prevent side effects. Cancer rates have risen over the past few decades while billions of taxpayer dollars and charity funding worldwide have been spent on devising new, expensive and 'patented for profit' treatments.

Did the "experts" forget the 100,000 annual deaths in the USA from prescription drugs that were used as directed, under doctor's supervision? Or did they simply forget to read their scientific journals that publish thousands of positive studies on vitamins, minerals, herbs and other alternative therapies?

I guess I am confused. The list of conventional "evidence based" medicine that is found to kill and maim people continues to grow. Is there one standard for conventional medicine and another for everything else?

Reproduced unabridged from the July - September 2006 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Optimum Health:

Clean Lean Protein
Inner Health Plus
Good Green Stuff
Hi Strength Fish Oil Caps
Multi-Vite
Superior Olive Leaf
Superior Magnesium
Super Multi Plus
Super Thisilyn
SystemWell
Whey Protein - Vanilla
Zinc Fix Orange

Related health information can be found here:

Recommended calcium intake for New Zealanders
Multivite -multivitamin/mineral
Good nutrition for positive weight control
Colds and flu
Water, the elixir of life
Protein - a macronutrient so often overlooked

Related articles can be found here:

Alternative Therapies May Be Integrated By Government
Current Combined HRT Use Doubles Risk of Breast Cancer
For-Profit Research More Favorable in Drug Trials
Medical Mishaps Strike One in Ten
Medical Slips Highlighted
Rules Body 'Will Limit New Drugs'
Vioxx Pulled From Global Market

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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