Respectful Insolence

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m not really a political blogger. True, I do from time to time succumb to the blogger’s temptation of being a pundit on current events or pontificating on politics, but in general I don’t do that very often because political bloggers are a dime a dozen and politics isn’t my area of strength. Writing about science and science-based medicine is. That’s part of the reason why I really haven’t said much about the massive health care reform bill that was passed on Sunday or the political process, except when on occasion the utter insanity of it all (such as nonsense about “death panels” or the “Obama = Hitler” rhetoric) irritates me enough to make me break my usual guideline.

That’s why I won’t say that much, even now. Passing judgment on President Obama’s health care plan is not what I’m about, particularly because I’m not really sure what the effect will be. I will, however, say that our current health care system is the worst of both worlds. It’s not really a free market system, given that the government in essence sets reimbursement rates for evrything for Medicare and that Medicare reimbursement rates are generally the starting point for negotiations between hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies for reimbursement rates. So we have a government-regulated and largely government-paid health care system without the one single benefit that a government health care system should be able to produce: Universal or near-universal coverage. At the same time we have a system that is allegedly capitalistic without the one benefit that free competition should provide: Lower prices. The result is a system that is expensive compared to what it delivers and that leaves a lot of people without health insurance because they can’t afford it.

Add to that the stress of the crappiest economy in the last several decades, and there are a lot of people out there without insurance, and when they get sick all too often they are out of luck. I practice in a cancer center that is located in the inner city in an area with some of the highest unemployment in the country. I see how the safety net has shredded in the form of women with breast cancer who don’t have any insurance and aren’t sure how they’ll manage to get the care they need, even with the best efforts of our financial counselors and social workers. That’s why it’s hard for me not to be at least a little bit hopeful that this new law will alleviate that situation. Even though the law itself has numerous flaws, it will result in many more people obtaining health insurance, and it’s something that can be built upon. More importantly, the law actually codifies the principle that every citizen should have access to decent health care.

Of course, whatever objections I have, whatever I might find promising about Obamacare, I can understand some of the opposition to it. No, I can’t understand it when some opponents have actually threatened violence or made racial slurs against black legislators who voted for the law. I also can’t understand why the Republicans shot themselves so gloriously in the foot with an AK-47 by absolutely refusing to go along with (or even negotiate seriously over) a plan that very much resembles the Republican alternative plan proposed as an alternative to President Clinton’s health care plan in the early 1990s and appears to have been largely inspired by Mitt Romney’s health care plan passed in Massachusetts. I thought Republicans were truly cynical and obstructionist in their universal resistance to this legislation and unwillingness to work with the President. I thought some of their most extreme elements were riduculously over the top criticizing the bill itself. But even the Rush Limbaughs of the world have a hard time matching that master of woo-filled paranoid conspiracy theories, Mike Adams. In the wake of Obamacare being passed by the House of Representatives, Adams penned to amazingly nutty screeds, one entitled Health care reform bill dooms America to Pharma-dominated sickness and suffering and Health care dictatorship: A crime against America.

All I can say is: Wow. Is Mike Adams a Tea Party activist?

Get a load of the first article:

Today the medical mafia struck another devastating blow to the health and freedom of all Americans. With the support of an inarguably corrupt Congress that has simply abandoned the real needs of the American people, the sick-care industry has locked in a high-profit scheme of disease and monopoly-priced pharmaceuticals in a nation that can ill afford either one.

And this Pharma-funded betrayal, it turns out, was led by the Democrats. Passed on a 219-212 vote that was only accomplished thanks to closed-door, last-minute secret meetings among the last holdouts, this new legislation puts America under the stranglehold of the medical mafia while doing absolutely nothing to address real health care reform. There is no mention in the bill, for example, of vitamin D for preventing cancer, or orthomolecular medicine for preventing degenerative disease. There’s not even a word about protecting health freedom or ending the century of oppression that has been waged against naturopathic practitioners by the AMA, FDA and FTC.

It’s not for a lack of trying by Tom Harkin and other woo-friendly legislators, who tried very hard to make sure that coverage for “alternative” care and various quackery was included in the bill. Fortunately, they (mostly) failed, but not entirely. After all, the inclusion of coverage for Christian Science prayer apparently remained in the bill. Meanwhile, promoters of quackery tried mightily to persuade legislators to insert various mischief into the bill. Given all of that, it is a huge relief that the bill didn’t mention something as quackalicious as orthomolecular medicine. As for vitamin D for preventing cancer, the bill does contain incentives for preventative care, and vitamin D for preventing cancer, assuming that it is scientifically validated, would fall into that category. That the bill didn’t specifically mention is means nothing; I’m guessing the bill didn’t mention eating your green beans, either.

As for “protecting health freedom,” just remember that the term “health freedom” should be translated as “the freedom of quacks from pesky government regulation or interference.” That’s really all the term “health freedom” means: The freedom to choose quackery, and, more importantly, the freedom to sell quackery, which is where the real money is.

So what is Adams so worked up about? It’s not always easy to tell; in general he just hates science-based medicine or anything that tells him his preferred quackery doesn’t work. This time around, what he’s so ticked off about is the requirement in Obama’s health care reform bill that requires people to purchase health insurance. Now, there are valid reasons to be a bit uneasy about such a requirement, but valid reasons are not what Adams has ever been about. TThe reason he’s so ticked off this time is that the bill requires people to buy health insurance which will pay for–gasp!–conventional medical treatments, including pharma-manufactured drugs that Adams hates so much:

When faced with the problem that our sick-care system doesn’t work, Congress somehow decided that fixing the problem merely involved expanding the failures to include everyone!

And you don’t even get a choice in the matter, either. All Americans are now required to pay into a sick-care system of monopolized, pharmaceutical medicine even if they reject that failed system of medicine. So the healthy people who actually take responsibility for their health are financially penalized and forced to subsidize profits for drug companies!

In his second article, Adams expands upon this theme:

And the legislation that was just passed is focused entirely on how to expand the failed system of drugs and injections so that it causes harm to everyone rather than just those who voluntarily choose to be suckered into it. This is the medical equivalent of a wartime draft that forces soldiers into battle against their will. Except this isn’t a war against some foreign enemy — it’s a war being waged against your body by the pharmaceutical industry, the cancer industry, the surgery pushers and all the corporations that prey upon the public for their sick-care profits.

I can think of lots of reasons to be wary of some aspects of this bill, but not allowing people to opt out because they reject scientific medicine and believe in quackery is not one of them, nor would the failure of the bill to include all the quackery that Mike Adams wants be one of them either. One wonders why Adams is so worked up, given that he lives in Ecuador, where he can stay in the jungle and away from scientific medicine to his heart’s content. It’s not as though he has to worry about the new law as long as he’s living in South America. He can try to live up to his claim:

I’ll argue this point with any doctor from any medical school anywhere in the world: My vitamin D works better than your vaccine! My nutrition works better than your poison. Preventing disease costs a small fraction of the expense required to treat disease that is allowed to develop.

I’d love to see the data upon which Adams bases his claim that his vitamin D works better than a vaccine or that his nutrition works better than “your poision” (by which, I assume, he means chemotherapy for cancer but he could mean other things). While Adams may be correct that it is better to prevent disease rather than treat it, he is unable to demonstrate that his woo does a better job than scientific medicine can potentially do at prevention. Like so many woo-meisters, Adamas also completely coopts diet and exercise, which fall entirely within the purview of science-based medicine, although admittedly he makes it woo by liberally mixing in references to “superfoods,” orthomolecular medicine, chiropractic, and traditional Chinese medicine. He then brags about not carrying health insurance:

Mike Adams and his two dim companions are just so damned smug that it takes an enormous feat of will not to wish cancer upon them when they blather on about how they don’t need chemotherapy and the woman chirps about how she would, if she ever got it, treat cancer “another way,” that way being Gerson therapy. (Good luck with that. As they say, don’t go buying any long playing records.) It is indeed fortunate (for Adams and crew) the that universe in general doesn’t give a rodent’s posterior about my “intent,” being perfectly happy to ignore my fervent wishes that multiple huge NIH grants be rained down upon me because I’m just such an awesome scientist. Lucky for him, Mike and his posse won’t be any more likely to come down with a life-threatening disease like cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease just because of my nasty thoughts about wiping the smug smirks off of all their faces.

Of course, the most hilarious thing about Adams’ video is the supreme confidence expressed by the “Health Ranger” and his groupies that they will never, ever need health insurance. After all, they’re healthy now! Never mind that right now they’re all relatively young and, like most people, fairly unlikely to become seriously ill until they get much older. They repeatedly ask why they should pay for something they would never use, missing the point that insurance is something that you pay for in case you need it, not when you need it. Personally, I’d be willing to consider letting Adams, Tweedle-dee, and Tweedle-dumber opt out of Obamacare if they would sign a legally binding document swearing that, should they ever develop cancer, diabetes, cardiac disease, or any other serious illness, they would eschew all science-based medicine and pharmaceutical drugs in favor of their woo, like the Gerson therapy, orthomolecular medicine, or whatever.

No post about Mike Adams would be complete without including a passage of grade A, batshit insane rhetoric, and this one will be no exception. So here it is:

I’m afraid — but totally serious — that the best thing that can happen right now for America is for all the old guard drugs-and-surgery doctors and health officials to go get vaccinated and die as quickly as possible so that the younger, more integrative physicians can get into positions of authority and start to make a positive difference. It’s time for a revolution in medicine, and that revolution is never going to happen as long as the very people who defend the current medical mafia remain in power.

Scientific revolutions are often brought about only by the passing away of those who resist progress, and the same is true in medicine. We’ve been stuck in the germ theory of medicine for at least a century, and the AMA has worked diligently to suppress natural healing therapies during those hundred years. But now something has to change. And it will change.

“Stuck with the germ theory of medicine”? Actually, the germ theory has done quite well for us over these last 140 years or so. The sorts of ideas espoused by Adams, not so much.

Here’s another primo example of Adams at his craziest:

And speaking of Hell, the dark energies that have been provoked and called upon in this battle for pharmaceutical dominance over the “disease management” of the American population almost seems downright demonic, as if some evil power from other world had been summoned into Washington D.C. to ensure the passage of this legislation that practically guarantees another generation of pain and suffering at the hands of conventional medicine.

All the health solutions that really work — nutritional medicine, orthomolecular therapies, chiropractic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and so on — have been locked out of the system while those therapies that promote a lifetime of disease have been locked in. And in this way, our Congress has now made certain that America as we know it today will not survive another generation — because no nation can achieve greatness when its people are drowning in toxic chemicals and degenerative disease.

That’s right. Adams seems to be arguing that President Obama’s health care reform law comes from…Satan and hell! And don’t forget to bathe in those toxic chemicals. Not only are they yummy but they make you stronger!

I realize that Mike Adams seems at times to be just so incredibly nutty that he represents too easy a target for my tender ministrations. Even so, I would argue that taking him on from time to time serves a purpose, mainly because Adams represents the distillation of many strands of thinking (if you can call it that) and rhetoric that advocates of alt-med frequently express. Adams, for all his vileness, nuttiness, pseudoscience, and conspiracy mongering, represents the purest concentrated form of the unreason that lies at the heart of so much “alternative medicine.” Given that, I believe it’s a good thing to shine the light of day on his insanity from time to time.

Comments

  1. #1 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2010

    There are a lot of people who, though they might roll their eyes at the dark energies from Hell comments, essentially agree with Adams that they’ll somehow get a pass on serious illness or injury because of their “healthy lifestyles”, and don’t need to be connected to the mainstream medical system when alternatives are available. Take the deluded soul who posted this on a message board I frequent:

    “There are many people who are very healthy, such as myself, who don’t need or want health insurance. I would prefer to save the money, see alternative doctors, nutritionists, chiropractors and personal trainers, and spend the extra money on healthy food to eat, rather than spend it on insurance for medical care that I would never use. You may say, “but what if you are in an accident, or get cancer?” Well, I probably won’t because I am very careful and eat healthfully.”

    I think that if Mike Adams was unfortunate to be bitten by a rabid animal down there in Ecuador, he’d race to the nearest medical clinic to get rabies shots, and not rely on vitamin D to prevent deadly illness.
    Then again, if he did develop rabies, how would we tell the difference from his current state?

  2. #2 Mandrake
    March 25, 2010

    What the heck is “orthomolecular medicine”? Sounds science-y.

    I don’t know anything about Mike Adams. Is he a doctor of some sort?

  3. #3 Pablo
    March 25, 2010

    There are a lot of people who, though they might roll their eyes at the dark energies from Hell comments, essentially agree with Adams that they’ll somehow get a pass on serious illness or injury because of their “healthy lifestyles”,

    Those people need to learn what “insurance” means. There is a reason it is called “insurance.”

    Sick people don’t need insurance. They need their bills paid and treatment. Healthy people NEED insurance.

    The key to making insurance work effectively is to get EVERYONE on it now, before they actually need the payout. The dirty little secret to insurance is that the healthy pay for the sick. But the reason they do that is because it insures that they will be covered IF they were to get sick.

    Insurance doesn’t work unless there are a lot of healthy people enrolled.

  4. #4 Elemenohpea
    March 25, 2010

    They repeatedly ask why they should pay for something they would never use?

    It’s hard to fathom their line of thinking… health insurance doesn’t just cover you when you get sick. My sister lives a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t get sick much. That didn’t help her when she fell when rollerblading and shattered her elbow, requiring two surgeries to fix. Luckily, she had insurance and only had to pay about $100 out-of-pocket. I ask them “How will living healthy protect you from a freak accident?”

  5. #5 Aaron Golas
    March 25, 2010

    After all, the inclusion of coverage for Christian Science prayer apparently remained in the bill.

    DId it? That seems at odds with an article in Monday’s NYTimes, which said:

    Lobbyists succeeded in getting provisions that encourage private insurance coverage of Christian Science care into both the 2006 legislation overhauling health care in Massachusetts and the United States Senate version of the health care overhaul; both measures were removed in negotiations.

  6. #6 LovleAnjel
    March 25, 2010

    @4 they never get into any accidents. They’re “very careful”.

  7. #7 Pablo
    March 25, 2010

    “How will living healthy protect you from a freak accident?”

    Indeed. Actually, insurance protects you from OTHERS as much as yourself. When another driver crashes into you and send you to the emergency room, you can try to recover the costs through litigation, but you aren’t going to be very successful. And their auto insurance might provide some support, but on the whole, you are on your own. And your healthy living isn’t going to help.

  8. #8 Vicki
    March 25, 2010

    I would want that waiver to include injuries as well as illness: in particular, he should state explicitly that if he is hit by a car, or shot by a robber or an angry wife, he will not use any conventional medicine, such as blood transfusion or having bones set.

    Or is he prepared to admit that bullets are real, even if he doesn’t believe in germs?

  9. #9 Scott
    March 25, 2010

    Oh, but if you get in a car crash, it must be due to you thinking nasty thoughts and/or those EVUL TOXINZ messing up your reflexes. After all, we all know that if you just think happy thoughts, nothing bad will ever happen to you, right? Oprah said so!

  10. #10 Kimbo Jones
    March 25, 2010

    “They repeatedly ask why they should pay for somthing they would never use?”

    I’ll answer that for them: For the betterment of your entire society, you privileged arrogant asshats. Also, ever hear of an accidental injury, moron?

    As for wishing all doctors would die: Stay classy, Mike.

  11. #11 Cathy W
    March 25, 2010

    You may say, “but what if you are in an accident, or get cancer?” Well, I probably won’t because I am very careful and eat healthfully.”

    I’m reminded of advice we’re giving Daughter as she approaches driver’s-license age: You might be the best driver in the world, but everyone else out there is an idiot. Being very careful won’t help you if you’re in a drunk’s line of fire.

  12. #12 Rene Najera
    March 25, 2010

    A 20-something chiropractor, who keeps introducing himself as “doctor” to people with, you know, PhDs, MDs, DOs, and decades of medical practice under their belts, went on and on about how he cures kids with earaches with just his natural “touch”.
    After I joked about how touching kids may be frowned upon, I told him that chiropractors and osteopaths have only one thing in common: their high value on the scrabble board.
    The dinner did not end well. There was hissing and gnashing of teeth.

  13. #13 cervantes
    March 25, 2010

    You are wrong to believe that “competition” in health care can result in lower prices. Health care doesn’t work that way. Prices are lower in countries with the least competition — that’s just an empirical fact. A comment on this blog is not the place for a primer in health care economics 101, but basically, the way markets for health care services work bears absolutely no resemblance to the fantasy world they indoctrinate college freshmen with. One of the most important reasons is because of what is called provider induced demand — what we are buying from doctors is expertise, and that means we depend on them to tell us what we need. They get paid more when they decide we need more. No offense, but that does actually influence their behavior. In the UK, it doesn’t work that way, and they save a bundle — plus they’re healthier.

  14. #14 Kristen
    March 25, 2010

    Having a healthy lifestyle is all well and good, but it can’t protect you from everything.

    I run several miles a week, have never smoked, don’t drink and love fruits and veggies. I am a very healthy person; cholesterol, blood pressure…etc, all excellent. But you know what, I have to take an evil pharmaceutical every day, or I will die. My lifestyle helps a great deal with my health, but only goes so far.

    I am not whining, just pointing out that there are things one cannot account for with lifestyle. Sometimes your body just fails you. Others have mentioned injuries, which is an excellent point. But the reality of modern medicine is that some of us who would have been weeded out by natural selection otherwise are alive and well (thanks to medical progress), but need some help to stay that way.

  15. #15 ebohlman
    March 25, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon points out the most obnoxious feature of the alt-med mentality: the self-righteousness and victim-blaming. Many of these people are convinced that they’re invulnerable to disease because they’re behaving better than the unwashed masses. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, to speak of most disease is the result of “unhealthy lifestyle” is to speak of disease as the wages of sin. It’s a very old argument dressed up in modern (sometimes postmodern) garb. It’s a way of feeling superior to others, that’s all (the fact that a common “wellness” doctrine is that a healthy person’s stool is odorless underscores that point).

  16. #16 DayOwl
    March 25, 2010

    Got this in an email, “Ten thoughts to ponder for 2010″:

    Number 5
    Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
    lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

    All the healthy living in the world still can’t protect them from age, genetics, stress, and socioeconomic factors, which are the true, and most prevalent, causes of chronic disease.

  17. #17 Wayward son
    March 25, 2010

    Mandrake – “What the heck is “orthomolecular medicine”? Sounds science-y”

    Don’t take those crazy poisonous drugs made by the big pharma mafia they will only make you sick. Instead take massive doses of vitamins to cure/treat your HIV/AIDS (or cancer, or…..).

    I generally assume that Mike Adams thinks that he is Bastian

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3DcWtkKeIY

  18. #18 eNeMeE
    March 25, 2010

    victim-blaming

    That’s what really pisses me off – what the fuck was I supposed to be doing at 2 to keep myself from ending up with type 1 diabetes?

    Makes me want to punch someone, it does. And glad I’m not in the States.

  19. #19 DayOwl
    March 25, 2010

    @ebohlman:

    …to speak of most disease is the result of “unhealthy lifestyle” is to speak of disease as the wages of sin.

    I call it “Health Calvinism”. It’s prevalence in MSM is truly alarming.

  20. #20 Despard
    March 25, 2010

    People who confidently expect that they’ll never need healthcare are just deluded. I’m only 28 and I’m pretty damn healthy, but the thought of going without insurance leaves me spooked. Fortunately I am from the UK and currently live in Canada, so I’ve never had to worry about it.

    A friend of mine just the other day was yawning and stretching and managed to bend her finger back on the wall behind her. She ended up with an avulsion fracture. She’s still not sure if she’ll ever get full movement of the finger back. She’s a professional pianist, not a career known for its ability to pay high medical bills (unless you’re a ridiculously wealthy megastar, i.e. about 0.01% of professional musicians).

    The fact that you can endanger your future career and earnings by yawning and stretching really drives home to me what fragile creatures we are.

  21. #21 Marcus Hill
    March 25, 2010

    Politics and healthcare in the UK both need serious reform, but even as they stand both are infinitely preferable to the utterly borked systems you have in the US.

  22. #22 Wayward son
    March 25, 2010

    “A friend of mine just the other day was yawning and stretching and managed to bend her finger back on the wall behind her. She ended up with an avulsion fracture.”

    If only she had consumed more “super foods” her bones would have been fracture proof.

  23. #23 themann1086
    March 25, 2010

    As a couple people pointed out, healthy people refusing to get health insurance drive up prices; insurance pools need to include the healthy and the sick (or the most healthy and least healthy) for it to work.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2010

    @ Mandrake-Orthomolecular medicine,or Pharma-phobia, eschews meds for serious mental illness, substituting mega-doses of niacin,especially for schizophrenia(BTW,it doesn’t work. see Quackwatch).Adams, who rants against all meds,supposedly “cured” his own Type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise(see his bio @ HealthRanger.com).His own vehemence about psychiatric drugs makes me suspicious.

  25. #25 Shannon
    March 25, 2010

    I tried to make a comment on the YouTube video with some of the salient points addressed here, and of course it was moderated and never posted…. Big surprise.

  26. #26 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2010

    Similarly,another woo-entranced hater of the psych meds,Gary Null,has been using the public airwaves(WNYE,radio of the city of NY)this week to broadcast his own call to arms against healthcare reform.He calls it *Coup d’Etat*.(Null’s megalo-, and other, manias, as well as his spectacular hair color,are on display via his websites’ internet “TV and radio” @Gary Null.com or @ PRN.com)

  27. #27 MS3
    March 25, 2010

    I was neutral about this reform. Both sides hyped it up as the new ‘new deal’ while the only real change is a spiffy website. Some of the old tricks that insurance companies have used to swindle patients are gone, but the tremendous economic advantage of denying claims by any means necessary is still there. Plus philosophically, medicare medicaid were never designed to give sustainable reimbursements. They were always intended to cover the patients that physicians would see anyway and offset some of that burden. The 100% medicare medicaid practice is still a ways off, so adding more individuals to that pool is a mixed blessing. Victory was for the most part political and we gave away one of our greatest bargining chips, the individual mandate, to pull even this off. Any future additions may be quite promising and I dearly hope the pundits turn red when their prophecies of doom don’t come to pass, but that has never happened before. Plus the reds are using ths as a rallying point and it is quite likely to be dismantled before being built upon. We shall see. In all this post was the first great things I have seen about it. If we really did piss off Mike Adams this much we have to be doing something right.

  28. #28 gpmtrixie
    March 25, 2010

    ————-
    “As a couple people pointed out, healthy people refusing to get health insurance drive up prices; insurance pools need to include the healthy and the sick (or the most healthy and least healthy) for it to work.”
    ————-

    Without this, you have what is called adverse selection. Too high a proportion of sick people causes higher rates which drive out some more healthy people, causing even higher rates until you have a death spiral and the insurance pool collapses.

    On the “healthy living and being careful” insanity, I just wonder what “prescription” the Mike Adams types would have for my 3 children – 2 with congenital heart defects (one already fixed surgically, the other being monitored) and the third with a childhood epilepsy who through “evil poisonous” pharmaceuticals remained seizure-free for 3 years until he grew out of it. I’m sure they would blame these either on something I did wrong while pregnant with them or other bad vibes coming from our family aura. It can’t simply be genetics (heart) and idiopathic (epilepsy)!

  29. #29 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 25, 2010

    What’s with this “sick-care industry” stuff?

    OMFG, we’re caring for SICK PEOPLE!!! How awful is that!!11!

    I suppose Adams and his buds would point their fingers at sick people and say: “Serves you right, assholes!”

    I would love to be the doctor he goes to see when he inevitably needs one. Unfortunately, my response to this douchbag would result in my being struck off.

  30. #30 Ian
    March 25, 2010

    The “sick care” is a reaction to the idea that medical care can make people “healthy”, which it really can’t. I don’t think even the most vociferous advocate of health care reform would state that medication and treatment is the answer to all health problems. The quasi-clever “sick care” is a statement that we’re not providing “health” in hospitals, only dealing with sickness.

    Your response is quite correct though – we DO need to care for sick people. We just shouldn’t conflate that with providing health.

    The sad part of this whole (to borrow a phrase) manufactroversy is that Mike Adams actually has a couple of good points – prevention is the key to health, a holistic approach is preferable to a reductionist one, the medical field should be open to alternative methods of healing. The problem is, that he clouds that in so much nonsense that any sensible person can’t help but reject his ideas wholesale. The WORSE part is that most “sick care” professionals would AGREE that it’s better to prevent illness than treat it, but we get pigeon-holed into being against health because we’re against woo.

  31. #31 NotAnAdamsFan
    March 25, 2010

    Ah, the video. Yes. Causes a high rate of urge-to-slap.

    Given that Adams doesn’t know that controlling a condition =/= curing it (see: his claims to cure type-2 diabetes through a nearly-zero-carb raw food diet), and that he hangs out with folks who think that the Illuminati and the Bilderbergers are conspiring with Obama and the ghost of Henry Kissinger to alter the H1N1 virus so that between them the flu and the vaccine will kill millions of us “useless eaters” (see: Rima Laibow), the rest of this is hardly a stretch for him. He clearly believes six impossible things before breakfast, six more before lunch, and who knows how many before dinner.

  32. #32 Orac
    March 25, 2010

    a holistic approach is preferable to a reductionist one

    Sounds like you might have fallen for the false dichotomy that you either have to choose “reductionist” Western medicine or “holistic” medicine. In reality, as PalMD has said many times, a good primary care doc practicing science-based medicine is a holistic doctor in a way that woo-meisters can never be. In fact, it’s a lot of woo that tries to simplify things, for instance blaming all cancer on a liver fluke.

    the medical field should be open to alternative methods of healing.

    Why? Define “alternative.” If it’s medicine that has science and evidence to support it, then the medical field should be open to it. If it’s medicine that does not, there’s no reason to be “open” to it. Indeed, being “open” to modalities with no valid scientific evidence to support them (or even valid scientific evidence showing that they do not work) is akin to being so open-minded that your brains fall out.

    Another area Mike Adams and other woo-meisters misunderstand is prevention itself. Their idea of it is painfully simplistic–childlike, even, where if you do the right things you are seemingly magically immune to pretty much all disease. In any case, prevention is not nearly as easy as simply eating “superfoods” and pumping yourself full of vitamin D.

  33. #33 Ian
    March 25, 2010

    I guess the point of my post was that those two things AREN’T in dispute. That doctors DO recognize that the overall health of the patient is crucial to the physical health associated with a given symptom. There IS no dichotomy. I used ‘reductionist’ in the sense of treating symptomatically, rather than looking at overall health (I have no evidence or experience to suggest that doctors DON’T look at overall health, and a lot of evidence to suggest that they DO).

    My definition of alternative in this context is simply those things that are not currently considered “medicine”. If meditation works to reduce blood pressure, it’s not “medicine” in the conventional sense that we’d think (surgery, pharmacy), and that if there’s evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of those kinds of interventions, then let’s adopt them.

    I don’t think we disagree on any of this, nor does the science-based medical community at large.

    I guess my point was that the more that Adams and his ilk insist that “health” must be seen in opposition to medicine, the more obfuscated the fact becomes that most doctors EMBRACE the idea of preventive and “holistic” medicine, and that instead we’re forced into defending a position that we don’t in fact hold (the primacy and sole status of “medical” treatment for health problems).

  34. #34 Yojimbo
    March 25, 2010

    @30 Ian: “the medical field should be open to alternative methods of healing”

    It is. A nitpick, I know, but as has often been said, there is no “alternative medicine” – just medicine.

  35. #35 Orac
    March 25, 2010

    I used ‘reductionist’ in the sense of treating symptomatically, rather than looking at overall health (I have no evidence or experience to suggest that doctors DON’T look at overall health, and a lot of evidence to suggest that they DO).

    Well, there’s your problem then. You misused the word “reductionist.” “Reductionist” does not mean just treating symptoms, nor does “holistic” mean doing more than treating symptoms. It’s an echoing of the misconceptions about scientific medicine spread by woo-meisters that SBM “only” treats symptoms and “holistic” doctors are about causes. In actuality, it’s the other way around. SBM tries to determine the causes of disease and design treatments to attack the cause; CAM uses placebo medicine to produce apparent symptom relief while pretending to attack the cause of disease.

  36. #36 a perfect circle
    March 25, 2010

    I took the “sick-care” thing to mean that he thinks health care not only doesn’t cure you, it makes you sick. Oh, what a clever slam!! Mike, you are a genius in your Bizarro world. Which, of course, in ours means he’s the opposite…

  37. #37 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    March 25, 2010

    @29

    Re: “sick-care industry”

    The changing of terms is a common technique. I don’t know that there is a name for it, but it is like the idea version of an ad hominem attack. Seems most common on the conservative side of things. Some examples are “death tax” and “partial-birth abortion.” Those aren’t the proper terms for what is being described, but they serve as a shorthand that fits better into a sensationalist headline.

    Give your opponents’ positions some catchy, evil-sounding name and you don’t even really have to debate the merits of an issue. Just claim your opponent holds some evil-sounding opinion and force them to justify it.

    Time to turn the tables.

  38. #38 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 25, 2010

    I provide “sick care”, and I’m proud of it.

    Here are my views on prevention.
    Prevention is not necessarily easy, but a few obvious measures will provide a lot of “bang for your buck”
    - Don’t smoke
    - Don’t drink too much
    - Don’t do drugs
    - Keep up to date with immunizations
    - Keep physically active
    - Eat healthy (variety, more fruits and vegetables,less meat)
    - Wash your hands
    That’s about 90% of prevention, but it does require effort on one’s part (which is where the “not easy” part comes in).
    This is mainstream medical stuff. Contributions from SCAM are negligible at best.

  39. #39 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2010

    Speaking of sensible people rejecting Mike Adams’ ideas wholesale – that will be increasingly true with more people obtaining health insurance. Only the real rejection will be retail.

    What Adams and others cashing in on alt med are probably most fearful and resentful about, is that once the uninsured, some of whom have made do with alt med potions, get access to real medicine they’ll cease going to chiros and naturopaths, and stop buying truckloads of useless supplements. Lower supplement sales would mean less advertising dollars for Adams’ “Natural News” and lower income for whatever lifestyle he is maintaining in sunny Ecuador.

    Look for Adams and the rest of Big Placebo to concentrate now on getting their woo covered by insurance plans. If they are successful in integrating their garbage, then Obamacare won’t look so bad to them.

  40. #40 David N. Brown
    March 25, 2010

    I could respect these people more if they started preaching outright, hardcore eugenics. That would be a serious and coherent philosophy.

  41. #41 Ian
    March 25, 2010

    Hahaha it’s like the entire second half of my post was totally ignored. Yes, the stuff that works is medicine. I should, perhaps, use my words more carefully.

    The WHOLE POINT of what I was saying is that evidence-based medicine agrees with Mike Adams along those lines (that medicine should look at the whole problem, not the symptoms; that whatever really works should be adopted), but that his drawing of lines has made it LOOK as if by opposing HIM, we somehow oppose HEALTH.

    Can I please be let off the hook now? :P

  42. #42 Orac
    March 25, 2010

    Indeed.

    Note how in both articles Adams complains bitterly that Obamacare won’t cover quackery like orthomolecular medicine. I bet he’d be all for Obamacare if it did, even if he had to tolerate the coverage of that evil “conventional” medicine.

  43. #43 Scott Cunningham
    March 25, 2010

    In the intro to molecular biology course I’m currently taking, we’re told the Spanish flu mostly killed young, healthy individuals, because they mounted a massive immediate immune response, including a very high fever that killed them. Sickly, scrawny individuals with weak immune systems didn’t have such a high fever, and very gradually recovered. If the woo did build up your immune system, (and generally it does not,)it could, situationaly, be worse than being weak by allowing your body to rise fevers faster and higher.

  44. #44 Scott
    March 25, 2010

    @38:

    The really interesting thing about that list, of course, is that pretty much everybody is aware of the fact that they ought to be doing those things. Which makes talking about them unattractive to those who are in it to “buck the system.”

    I mean, when’s the last time you saw Mike Adams or his ilk suggest that people eat their veggies? Eating massive amounts of one particular plant claimed to cure everything, or consuming dozens of herbs chopped up and mashed into a big pile of pills, sure. But advice on practical ways to eat a more balanced diet? Perish the thought!

    Versus my PCP who’s happy to discuss such things and actually cares about how to make it easy and convenient to stick to.

  45. #45 Marina
    March 25, 2010

    I couldn’t get past the 6 minute mark on the video because I’m only human and have a limited amount of patience in the face of so much smugness.

    I’m nearly finished with a MS in clinical nutrition and I have yet to learn about these “superfoods” and how they make people invincible, probably because all my professors are in on an evil conspiracy to keep them a secret. I did, after all, see one of them eating carrot sticks the other day behind closed doors.

    Bastard.

    Surely that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows how deep the secrecy goes…

  46. #46 Matthew Cline
    March 25, 2010

    I’m reminded of advice we’re giving Daughter as she approaches driver’s-license age: You might be the best driver in the world, but everyone else out there is an idiot. Being very careful won’t help you if you’re in a drunk’s line of fire.

    A while ago there was an anti-vaxxer commenting here who said she was such a good driver that nothing could get her into an accident. According to her, when she drives her kids around in her car, there’s a 0.0000000% chance that her kids will be injured.

  47. #47 Pablo
    March 25, 2010

    A while ago there was an anti-vaxxer commenting here who said she was such a good driver that nothing could get her into an accident. According to her, when she drives her kids around in her car, there’s a 0.0000000% chance that her kids will be injured.

    How does she plan to stop someone from rear-ending her when she is stopped at a stoplight?

    What could I have done to prevent the woman who was turned around looking at her kid in the backseat from running into the back of my car when I was sitting at the stoplight?

  48. #48 gaiainc
    March 25, 2010

    Easy, Pablo. You just weren’t thinking good thoughts hard enough and somehow willed the universe to have that woman rear-end you. So, it’s all your fault.

    Note that I do not believe the above at all.

    Spent several visits today trying to get people to eat more healthy and exercise. So far, they’re winning (or losing as the case may be) and I’m not.

    The thing I am most disappointed about with the whole health bill is the lack of universal coverage. Everyone buying health insurance is not the same thing. My opinion alone, but I find insurance companies to be a bunch of incredible pains in my ass about everything. My latest example is that I prescribe my patient generic sumatriptan pills for her migraines instead of brand-name Maxalt (a price difference about $20 verus $200). I made the mistake of prescribing more pills than the insurance company wanted so there is a PA to go through. Not like this information is easily accessible anywhere and no thank you for prescribing a markedly cheaper medication, just more paperwork for someone in my office to handle.

    Bahstids… bahstids all.

  49. #49 bybelknap, FCD
    March 25, 2010

    mmmm Green Beans!!! How to make them less than optimally healthy.

    Wash and trim 1 pound of green beans. Blanch the beans and plunge them in to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove the beans from the ice bath and pat dry with a tea towel.

    Cut 6 strips of bacon into 1/2 inch dice. Render the fat from the bacon, set the crispy bacon bits aside. drain off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan (save the drained fat for other nefarious purposes).

    Thinly slice one medium onion. Fry the onion on low heat in the remaining bacon fat until it starts to brown.

    Crush and finely mince one or two or three or more cloves of garlic and add to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds.

    Turn the heat up and put the green beans in and fry until hot.

    Add a few splashes of soy sauce, a dash or two of sesame oil, and lots of fresh cracked black pepper.

    Add the crispy bacon bits to the pan, toss, remove from the heat and serve immediately.

    Everything goes better with bacon.

  50. #50 Gray Falcon
    March 25, 2010

    Pablo, I know one guy who insisted he was a skilled driver and wouldn’t get into an accident, and did so after I got upset at him tailgating someone in the rain. In a strange way, that’s not much different from Mike Adams’ attitude: “I’m so skilled, I can ignore the laws of science!”

  51. #51 DLC
    March 25, 2010

    Once more Adams brings the ultra-stupid.
    The Thermonuclear Stupid.
    at least it’s funny-stupid. How in blazes anybody ever believes a word that comes out of his mouth is a mystery to me.

  52. #52 Vicki
    March 25, 2010

    I am reminded of the claim (which is plausible, though I’ve never seen it tested) that 85% of people consider themselves above-average drivers.

    Except that I suspect that 100% of alt-med promoters are sure that they are making better-than-average health choices.

  53. #53 Scott
    March 25, 2010

    I am reminded of the claim (which is plausible, though I’ve never seen it tested) that 85% of people consider themselves above-average drivers.

    The funny thing is, this could actually be true, if one interprets “average” as “mean.” If the distribution is not symmetrical, in particular more really, really, bad drivers than really, really, good, you can readily have a situation where 85% of the distribution is above the mean.

    Not if you interpret “average” as “median”, however, or if you assume that the distribution of driving skill is approximately Gaussian (which it most likely is).

  54. #54 stripey_cat
    March 25, 2010

    To the list @38, I’d add some that are less of an issue in the modern West, but very important historically and in other regions:

    Drink clean water – pretty self explanatory.
    Clean wounds, and maintain good hygiene generally – squillions of people have died and continue to die of preventable infections.
    Reduce industrial pollution (especially air) – it’s so nice that asthmatic children don’t need to be packed off to lung hospitals in the hills every summer.
    Reduce contamination of the food supply – TB in milk was a much bigger problem than, say, salmonella in modern chickens.

    Of course, these are none of them things that can be sold in supplement bottles.

  55. #55 The Perky Skeptic
    March 25, 2010

    Vicki said:
    “I am reminded of the claim (which is plausible, though I’ve never seen it tested) that 85% of people consider themselves above-average drivers.

    Except that I suspect that 100% of alt-med promoters are sure that they are making better-than-average health choices.”

    Yep, and I suspect both drivers and altmed followers areDunning-Krugering themselves into the ground.

  56. #56 Troy Truchon
    March 25, 2010

    “They repeatedly ask why they should pay for something they would never use?”

    I’ve heard the “I don’t want health insurance argument” before, and its this sort of nimrod that universal health care saves the rest of us, because you know for damn sure this jerk will exploit ever government program he can when he eventually does have a major accident/health problem, and cost the rest of us all soo much more money when you use emergency programs for preventative and maintenance care. Its people with that attitude that fill emergency rooms even as I speak, right next to the bulk of this countries uninsured.

    I say if you actually believe this then you should be allowed to get a tax credit in return for wearing a chip that makes it clear to health care workers that if you don’t have a separate private insurance plan your paying for they are not to provide aid of any sort.

  57. #57 Mojo
    March 25, 2010

    @Ian:

    I used ‘reductionist’ in the sense of treating symptomatically, rather than looking at overall health.

    Ah. You mean the way homoeopaths decide on an appropriate remedy.

  58. #58 Ian
    March 25, 2010

    @Mojo – yes.

  59. #59 Denice Walter
    March 25, 2010

    The hilarity continues at NaturalNews:today Mikey tries his hand at a *fictional* account of where health care reform will ultimately lead us (i.e. perdition): it’s called,”Future News” whereby “Massachusetts makes disobediance vaccine mandatory” to curtail the outbreak of the newly-named psychiatric condition,”Obediance Defiance Disorder”, etc.( Funny, I thought *all* of his previous work was fiction).Be that as it may,it’s *not* so funny in light of the threats to Congressmen and women being reported.

  60. #60 Matthew Cline
    March 25, 2010

    How does she plan to stop someone from rear-ending her when she is stopped at a stoplight?

    Hmmmmmm, that scenario was never presented to her, so I don’t know what her response would be. All the hypotheticals given to her were her being in control of a moving vehicle.

  61. #61 D3
    March 25, 2010

    God you’re funny (and many of the commenters are too…), so much arrogance and so much ignorance…

    Well, do you reaaaaaaally want to see double-blind placebo controlled studies about the various benefits of good old Vitamin D ? Really ? I guess you could have looked around a little before you said you’d “love to see the data upon which Adams bases his claims on vitamin D”.

    Why not check these resources ? You might learn something.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556697
    http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v9/n1/abs/nrn2297.html
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12800453
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15971062
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18503256
    http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0306987707005373
    http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v16/n1/full/oby200723a.html
    http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/37/1/121-a
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/88298.php

    There is much more. But I mean, you probably know better, right ?

  62. #62 Orac
    March 25, 2010

    Spare me. I’m aware of the scientific literature on vitamin D. Adams vastly overstates its potential benefits. To him, it’s a panacea; if you just take massive doses of vitamin D, according to him, you won’t get cancer, heart disease, etc., etc.

  63. #63 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2010

    Ooo, we been Gish Galloped and told off big time! And a cite from Medical Hypotheses too!! We are impressed!!!

    Seriously, I suggest going back and reading Orac’s piece for comprehension. What was being derided was the idea that vitamin D is a superior substitute for vaccines (Mike Adams is well known for being an antivax crackpot, but that claim is even loonier than his usual diatribes).

    And before you favor us with “much more” about the magical panacea-like wonders of vitamin D, check out this article about vitamin D and cancer, which discusses the limited evidence to date that vitamin D has an anticancer effect, as well as preliminary findings that it may actually cause cancer, particularly in the high doses that vitamin enthusiasts like to take.

  64. #64 natural cynic
    March 25, 2010

    To add to the list @38 & 54: reduce stress to an optimal level

    A question about insurance: Is there any reason why an alt-med insurance policy that is within the guidelines of Obamacare can’t be constructed? This policy would include all of the alt-med methods [homeopathy, acupuncture, Reiki, orthomoleclar, herbal, etc.] or selected ones from that list while specifically not including things like chemotherapy, most types of surgery [for cancer, cardiovascular diseases etc], most pharmaceuticals and other methods of mainstream medical care. The buyer of the alt-med policy would have to sign an ironclad agreement not to use the insurance for standard medical procedures [and can, of course, get those procedures with out-of-pocket expenses].
    I see one problem with this kind of plan – medical ethics. Any other problems?

  65. #65 D3
    March 25, 2010

    Bacon,

    The fact is that an 800IU to 2000IU dose of Vitamin D3 produces much more impressive results for common flu prevention than vaccines, in the vulnerable population group of the study.

    Hypervitaminosis is well known, and generally taken into account by most Vitamin D “enthusiasts”.

  66. #66 Julie Stahlhut
    March 25, 2010

    Seriously, if you want to take vitamin D, it’s pretty cheap. If Big Pharma didn’t want us to take vitamin D, wouldn’t they either (a) not manufacture Vitamin D supplements or (b) sell them only at ridiculously high prices?

  67. #67 D3
    March 25, 2010

    Julia,

    Vitamin D is a natural product. As such, it can’t be patented. You can’t create a monopoly or oligopoly situation, a captive market on an unpatentable product. If you try to raise the price to ridiculous levels (which is what a large portion of the pharmaceutical industry actually does, sometimes insanely so, like tripling some prices in a year), you will find many people offering a quality product while undercutting you significantly.

  68. #68 D3
    March 25, 2010

    Julia,

    Vitamin D is a natural product. As such, it can’t be patented. You can’t create a monopoly or oligopoly situation, a captive market on an unpatentable product. If you try to raise the price to ridiculous levels (which is what a large portion of the pharmaceutical industry actually does, sometimes insanely so, like tripling some prices in a year), you will find many people offering a quality product while undercutting you significantly.

  69. #69 Doctor Smart
    March 25, 2010

    The unconstitutional HELLthcare bill will ultimately kill more jobs and cost us more money in the long run. Let’s face it. These socialists absolutely wish to destroy this country and build an world government. Their ideals are dangerous to society.

    This bill is the absolute worst peice of ah hem, legislation, I have ever witnessed. It looks like something Fidel Castro would come up with. It needs to be repealed and exterminatedand the sooner the better. The fact is that most of the so called legislation does not go into effect until 2013. If we real Americans win in November and win big in 2013 with House Senate, and White House, we can and will repeal this bill and replace it with a useful bill.

    The next thing the nuts will be pushing on us is Crap and Trade. Thsi is another anti-American job killing economy killing socialist redistribution eco-freak bill that needs to be killed before it can be voted on.

    We might as well be living in Cuba. At least in Cuab, it’s still legal to smoke in a cafe and drive an old car that is not “environmentally friendly” and all that horse crap.

    This type bill did not work in massachusetts. I wonder what makes the socialists think it will work anywhere else? I know Mitt Romney had a hand in the crap in that former state, but I don;t support him anyway. He is not a real conservative. We need Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul on a presidential ticket in 2012. I would be willing to throw in New Gingrich as secretary of state, and John Bolton as secretary of defense. And just to piss off all liberals worldwide I would make Ted Nugent ambassador to the UN.

  70. #70 Scottynuke
    March 25, 2010

    Obviously D3 is a Big D shill.

  71. #71 Travis
    March 25, 2010

    Seriously, you think this health care bill looks like Cuba? Seriously?

    Do you have any idea what socialism is or what health care looks like in Cuba. This bill doesn’t even make medicine in the US as socialized as it is in Canada (or plenty of other places). And Canada is no Cuba.

    Extreme statements like that just make you look ignorant.

  72. #72 Scottynuke
    March 25, 2010

    Paging Doctor… Poe?

  73. #73 Roland
    March 25, 2010

    I retired early, and don’t have health insurance. It’s a gamble, but I can afford most stuff out-of-pocket. I would have no problem with the idea of buying health insurance, if it wasn’t clearly such a RIPOFF! Health insurance is the problem. Didn’t any of you see M.Moore’s “Sicko”? Universal Health insurance is a racket, not a solution.

  74. #74 D3
    March 25, 2010

    Scotty,

    LOL. Yes, I’m secretly paid by an occult consortium of the literally thousands of vitamin D producers (opposite a handful of big companies with products with heavy side effects) to push their product.

    Well, alas, no, I won’t make a cent stating the obvious. Vitamin D is a natural product my body produces under certain conditions (rarely optimal in our case), and it clearly appears that it can do very interesting things when dosed in an optimal way. I’m not defending Adams specifically on everything he says, but the way you diminish the potential of certain natural, or endogenous molecules to produce effects beyond their standard, “passive” role, prompted me to react.

    There is abundant evidence Vitamin D is certainly not a panacea, but a very interesting molecule. And there are many more, like for example L-ascorbic acid.

  75. #75 Doctor Smart
    March 25, 2010

    Yes I seriously think this so called healthcare bill look like Cube. It is designed to give the government more power and the people less. As one “representative” so plainly put it:

    “How else can we gain control of the people?” Look it up for your self. Look up “representative” John Dingall, or in this case dingleberry. In his own words he admitted this bill will help tto gain control over the people. Nice works guys. Control the people. Control free speech. Control the media. Control education. Control medicine. Control the environment. Change we can believe in, but not a free man in sight.

    Oh, and anyone who would listent o the fat slob communist lover Mike Moore is sick. He should be working for the Russian propaganda machine.
    Wait a minute. He could just loive here and work for Obama’s propaganda machine. It’s called the nightly news.

  76. #76 MI Dawn
    March 25, 2010

    Bye, bye “doctor smart”. Killfile is better than your ramblings. No, health insurance isn’t perfect. But there are more parts to the equation than just the insurance companies. We need to educate people not to abuse the health care systems, get rid of the doctors who fradulently bill for services not rendered (either not done at all, or use a “payable” code for CAM treatments) and make sure health insurance covers everyone.

  77. #77 Travis
    March 25, 2010

    That is a weird quote (Note: when you put something in quotes make sure it is actually a quote, you paraphrased and it look me a while to find it because his statement was different) but it does not answer anything. I wanted to how this bill looked like something you would see in Cuba, not about a statement made by some representative. I really do not see how this bill particularly controls the people, hell or even changes their behavior in any real way.
    I am specifically interested in finding out what exactly is in this bill that makes you say it would be something seen in Cuba? Especially considering it still results in far less control over health care than other countries like Canada, UK, etc. Are you really suggesting Canada is the same as Cuba?

  78. #78 Anthro
    March 25, 2010

    @D3

    No one said D3 has no value, but Adams claims it cures cancer. I didn’t read them, but I’m betting none of them recommend megadoses. I’ll wait to see what Orac has to say about the veracity of those links. Yes, he does know better because that’s what he does and what he is trained to do. You didn’t list your qualifications, so I can’t say whether or not I would value your opinion.
    ———-
    Someone mentioned that Adams claims he cured his type 2 diabetes with “lifestyle”. Well, I cured my type 2 with lifestyle–in that I lost 45 lbs (I’m 5’2″) and the diabetes seems to have gone with it. I lost the weight by EATING LESS and moving a bit more–no magic required–no “superfoods”, just less CALORIES and mostly veggies, fruit and whole grains. The chocolate (sadly) had to go. My blood pressure and cholesterol also normalized and my HDL came up quite a lot too. I’ve maintained it for three years now and it didn’t cost me a dime. That’s all great, but I’m sure as hell glad that I got that stent a few years before or I wouldn’t have lived long enough to lose the weight.

    I am sick of younger, healthy people giving the credit to supplements and new age thinking. I always tell them to get back to me in 30 years.

  79. #79 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2010

    D3: “The fact is that an 800IU to 2000IU dose of Vitamin D3 produces much more impressive results for common flu prevention than vaccines, in the vulnerable population group of the study.”

    And what study might that be?

    “I’m not defending Adams specifically on everything he says”

    Better to start with the premise that anything Mike Adams says about health is either wrong or grossly exaggerated. You’re much less apt to be disappointed.

  80. #80 Doctor Smart
    March 25, 2010

    Well Canada is not a communist regime like Cuba. However, Canada is not exactly what defines a free country either. Not even the UK is as free as it was 50 years ago. Slowly, humanity is losing freedom in the name of “human rights” and “tolerance”. There are hate laws on the books in Canada that will get you arrested for plainly stating your opinion. Free speech is not so free in Canada. Just ask Ann Coulter. Reading a verse from the Bibel that condemns a particular sin is not illegal here (yet), it is in Canada.

    Slowly we will all loose our freedom to government madness in the name of tolerance. The US is not like Cuba, but I used Cuba as an example. Didn’t Michael Moore say he wished we had a healthcare system like Cuba? I suppose he also wants a financial system like theirs too? A government like theirs? If it’s so wonderful we should put him in a canoe, hand him a paddle and GPS and send him on his way to Cuba.

    Same as Canada. If you like their system, then move there and stop messing up ours. I just wonder where all the Canadians are gong to go for healthcare now since we have Obamacare ruling the country.

    The liberals in this country has been trying to turn us into Europe for the better part of the last 60 years. This Obamacare plan is just the first step in a long line of steps in turning us into a marxist nation. Obamacare is the first step to a single payer marxism system. The reason single payer was not implemented already is becuase it would have never gotton through the House and Senate. So the democraps decided to leave it out for now and to incrementally install it in small baby steps and hope no one would notice until it was too late.

    By the way did any of you other to look up that nutjob John Dingall?

    The scary thing about Obama is his appointments. He has had a communist, a marxist socialist, and a mandatory sterilization nut appinted so far not to mention a ecoterrorist who wants a single shild policy like China. These freaks should be ousted from the country, not running it. What’s worse is that the judicial branch is now filled with lawyers that represented Islamofascist terrorists.

    THis administration is the worst since Mao. Oh yeah, he appointed a woman whose inspiritaion was the terrorist and mass murderer Mao.

    Bush looks like an angel compared to this far left radical anti-Constitution kook that calls himself president. Not only all of this but he has ties to the infamous “contingency operator” (what normal people call a terrorist)Bill Ayers and some unholy affiliations with the far left hate monger and Black liberatio theology speaker Jeremiah Wright. To top it all off HAMAS, the Islamofascist terror organization, gave $20,000 to the Obama campaign.

    Yep, hope and change. I hope we can change it back!

    Oh and Vitamin D is a wonderful thing. It could prevent 80% of all cancers and cut breast cancer in women by more than 65 %. It’s agood thing the FDA keeps us all in the dark. Then we wouldn’t have a need for a HELLthcare bill. I can see the links from here.

  81. #81 Doctor Smart
    March 25, 2010

    Be aware that some stain drugs can cause diabetes. Also some statins can actually cause a immunse systemt o not function properly. I would recommend people to stay away from statin drugs as much as possible.

    If you suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and it is not terrible, then first try this:

    Magnesium (250 mg min)
    Potassium
    Red Yeast Rice
    Coenzyme Q10 (at least 50Mg)

    Also reduce or eliminate sodium intake. If you must reduce your sugar intake, by all means do not take that poison Aspartame. If you just use artifical sweetener, use Stevia poweder. Aspartame is basically motor oil in powder form. It causes cancer, dementia, and host of other problems.

    Trying chelation (Detoximin)also may help blood pressure if your veins have plaque. Chelation can remove that plaque and save you money and a trip to get open heart surgery.

    I also recommend a good dsaily vitamin B complex for energy and the regulation of cholesterol within reasonable boundaries.

    Most people on here do not like natural News for some odd reason. I do not know how you feel about http://www.wellnessresources.com

    By all means do not make the same mistake I made. Do not take anti-depressants. All they do is screw your brain chemicals up and make you fat. If you are depression i suggest seeing a good counselor or pastor. If you need medication i would first start out trying 50 mg of 5-HTP. Anything higher than 50mg at first will give you nightmares. Of course living under FDA and Obamacare rule is a nightmare, but sleep time is the only freedom we get from it.

    Try not to start St. John’s Wort. It is an okay herb and helps mood/anxiety somewhat okay, but if taken for a long period of time it can affect blood pressure.

    There are natural alternatives for depression rather than big pharma pills.

  82. #82 FreeSpeaker
    March 25, 2010

    I have found that when someone calls themselves “BigXXXX” they are far from *big*. This also applies to those who call themselves ANYTHING Smart.

  83. #83 Old Rockin' Dave
    March 25, 2010

    In the decades when I was a practicing physician assistant I saw many people with cancer who wondered how they had “gotten” it when they always had lived such a healthy lifestyle. My answer wasn’t purely scientific, but I think it caught the essence of the matter: “Maybe one day you were standing on the corner and some cosmic ray that had been crossing the Universe for a billion years hit you in just the wrong place on the wrong chromosome.”
    No amount of woo or common sense or science can possibly protect you from every single carcinogenic molecule or particle that is out there in the world. That’s just the way it is.

  84. #84 Doctor Smart
    March 25, 2010

    According to my conclusions in my own small research project, I have made the assumption thatmost cancers form due to a failing immune system. This is why when cancer is treated with chemo/radiation, it almost always comes back in a different place.

    Chemo/radiation is treating the result of a problem, not the problem itself. The problem itself is a failed immune system. Treat the immune system and you can kill the cancer. Numerous people have done this, but it is not always the case with all patients nor with all cancers. Breast cancer is somewhat preventable. Vitamin D3 taken daily would significantly cut breast cancer and prostate cancer. Lukemia is different. It is weird. Lung, liver, and other organ cancers that are not generally rapidly spreading would be better treated with natural supplements than with chemo.

    Chemo finishes off an already depleted immune system. Enhancing the immune system and letting the body fight the cancerous cells would be a better option for some, but not for others.

    The south American Graviola has tremendous potential as a cancer fighter yet, the FDA keeps on saying no to real healthcare. All the FDA wants is to make sure big pharma makes its profits to fund and keep liberals in power.

    A list of cancer fighters includes:

    Graviola
    cat’s claw
    tumeric
    green tea
    noni
    Vitamin D
    Vitamin C
    Selenium
    Indole-3-carbinol
    Coriolus versicolor (Trametes versicolor)
    Cordyceps
    Maitake (Grifola frondosal)
    Astragales (Astragalus membranaceus)
    Essiac
    Milk Thistle
    Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
    Olive Leaf Extract
    Flaxseed Oil
    Shark Cartilage
    Shiitake
    Reishi

    Of these products, some have to be taken in moderation. Knowing which one to take when and how much is important.

  85. #85 Doctor Smart
    March 25, 2010

    According to my conclusions in my own small research project, I have made the assumption thatmost cancers form due to a failing immune system. This is why when cancer is treated with chemo/radiation, it almost always comes back in a different place.

    Chemo/radiation is treating the result of a problem, not the problem itself. The problem itself is a failed immune system. Treat the immune system and you can kill the cancer. Numerous people have done this, but it is not always the case with all patients nor with all cancers. Breast cancer is somewhat preventable. Vitamin D3 taken daily would significantly cut breast cancer and prostate cancer. Lukemia is different. It is weird. Lung, liver, and other organ cancers that are not generally rapidly spreading would be better treated with natural supplements than with chemo.

    Chemo finishes off an already depleted immune system. Enhancing the immune system and letting the body fight the cancerous cells would be a better option for some, but not for others.

    The south American Graviola has tremendous potential as a cancer fighter yet, the FDA keeps on saying no to real healthcare. All the FDA wants is to make sure big pharma makes its profits to fund and keep liberals in power.

    A list of cancer fighters includes:

    Graviola
    cat’s claw
    tumeric
    green tea
    noni
    Vitamin D
    Vitamin C
    Selenium
    Indole-3-carbinol
    Coriolus versicolor (Trametes versicolor)
    Cordyceps
    Maitake (Grifola frondosal)
    Astragales (Astragalus membranaceus)
    Essiac
    Milk Thistle
    Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
    Olive Leaf Extract
    Flaxseed Oil
    Shark Cartilage
    Shiitake
    Reishi

    Of these products, some have to be taken in moderation. Knowing which one to take when and how much is important.

  86. #86 Militant Agnostic
    March 25, 2010

    Yes I seriously think this so called healthcare bill look like Cube

    Time Cube?

    Be aware that some stain drugs can cause diabetes

    I try to stay away from stain drugs myself – it cuts down on the dry cleaning expenses.

    I am beginning to wonder if Dr Smart is actually Reverend Big Dumb Chimp :) (Apparently Rev BDC is Pharyngula’s patron saint of typos)

  87. #87 snerd
    March 25, 2010

    Enhancing the immune system and letting the body fight the cancerous cells would be a better option

    That … makes sense none sentence parse doesn’t odd. Do you even know what cancer is?

  88. #88 Chris
    March 26, 2010

    Ignore the Dr. Smart/Medicine Man/Medicien Man troll.

    He is the guy who claimed that a cheerleader got the H1N1 vaccine (BZZZT! Wrong! it was the seasonal influenza vaccine) became paralyzed (BZZZT! Wrong! she claimed dystonia) permanently (BZZZT! Wrong! she is fine now). Noted here.

  89. #89 Travis
    March 26, 2010

    OT question for Chris:
    I think I have seen this before but are you in Australia or someplace about 12 hours from Ottawa? I just always seem to notice you commenting when I am up late. It is almost like we are on the same schedule though really I should not be.

    Anyway, always good to wake up to a bunch of new comments.

  90. #90 Pareidolius
    March 26, 2010

    Since Big Pharmaceutical is shortened to the catchier “Big Pharma” can we call Big Placebo “Big’Bo”? Sounds butch, like some artillery cannon’s nickname.

    Mike Adams, D3 and Doctor Smart are shills for Big’Bo. Actually Dr. Smart is probably Big Poe.

  91. #91 Glaxo PharmaBase 7
    March 26, 2010

    MESSAGE BEGINS

    Shills and Minions:

    Once again I must offer my apologies for yet another oversight on Orbital’s part. The Reintegration Division has failed to retire one of the old model practice drones [B448394220ª] “Dr. Smart”.

    This sad old drone is one of the last of its kind and really should be sent to the Imperial War Museum back on homeworld. It has tirelessly clattered on for nearly fifty earth years and shows little sign of slowing down . . . or shutting up.

    Our regrets if it has caused any irritation or put you off your game in any way. It is a quaint old unit built for a different time and hardly worth sharpening a claw for, so we shall be sending Obsidian 3 to retrieve it soon.

    Remember to text Cindy and let her know what you’ll be bringing to the spring picnic. DB, don’t waste your minutes texting, we already know what you’re making.

    Now back to your evil, nefarious work so you can earn that shower of Pharma riches to which you have all grown so . . . accustomed.

    MESSAGE ENDS

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    0010101101001

  92. #92 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Doctor Smart. A double lie?
    Your screed is so full of stupid it makes me want to rip my brain out and cool it under a tap. Freedom in the UK? If anything we are more free than 50 years ago (though there is, to be sure, much more paperwork), and of course we have better (free) health than does the US.
    You quote Ann Coulter.
    Approvingly.
    Right wing nutcase. Go take another cup of tea and stop posting your repulsive political views on this science blog.

  93. #93 Chris
    March 26, 2010

    Travis, I am on the Left Coast, just a bit south of where the 2010 Winter Olympics took place (coincidentally this evening we were hanging around many relatives from BC… the folks from Nelson drive very big trucks!). It is just before midnight here. You are up very late!

  94. #94 Travis
    March 26, 2010

    Chris,
    Ahh, okay. Well, I can see why I often see you posting fairly late then. But not quite as west as I thought. Oh, it makes me miss Vancouver. I lived there for nearly 2 years.

    I am a terrible insomniac and a night owl by nature. Even on days I should be sleeping, like today, when I have a seminar to give in the morning.

  95. #95 Chris
    March 26, 2010

    Just checked your website: you are a typical college student.

    Here is me in parent mode: Go to bed!

  96. #96 Chris
    March 26, 2010

    I forgot the appropriate smiley: ;-)

    Yeah, right… though my son in college is presently doing Spring Break in California. Though really, it is not all fun and games. He is staying with a high school friend, at his parent’s place (who are there temporarily). So no wild times.

  97. #97 Travis
    March 26, 2010

    Ha, go to bed? I will in a minute. I am currently drinking water so I might actually wake up tomorrow morning.

    Poor guy. But I never understood spring break and wild times. I just get caught up on my work. But I am weird and squeeze in my wild times during the term, and I think they are a lot better than the average spring break night anyway. Less vomit. I won’t go into more detail, it will just embarass people and might get me in trouble with the law;-)

  98. #98 D3
    March 26, 2010

    Bacon:

    This study
    http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/37/1/121-a

    Please compare with average common flu vaccine efficiency (not impressive at all…), and you’ll see that for certain infections and diseases at least, D3 is clearly superior to vaccination.

  99. #99 D3
    March 26, 2010

    Bacon:

    And yes, I know they received some funding from the Vitamin D Fundation… You have to get some funding someway, especially when no real commercial/corporate entity is interested in the molecule you’re studying. Does that make them more suspicious than the bulk of big-pharma funded studies ? (cf Searle and the first cooked studies about aspartame, which were condemned by the then-still-not totally-captive FDA, cooked Monsanto studies, cooked Baxter/Bayer/GSK studies… etc etc)

  100. #100 Marcus Hill
    March 26, 2010

    I keep having to remind myself of the total lack of connection that many Americans (especially Republicans) have with global political opinions. They call Obama a “socialist” (as if that’s a bad thing!), little realising that the Democrats would be unelectable in many European countries due to their policies being too right wing. The US has a joke of a political system, where you have to choose the lesser of two evils, with parties to the Far Right and Further Right.

  101. #101 D3
    March 26, 2010

    To Marcus Hill and many others :

    Your new “healthcare reform” is nothing like the French system, for example, really nothing like it. It’s a mandate to get private insurance. If you don’t get it, you get heavily fined, but you’re still not insured at all… And as healthcare goes, you don’t want to be too old and sick in such a system… your “social utility”, you see, tends to get lower and lower with age. Wanna wait for 2 years to get your brain tumor operated like in the UK with the NHS ? Wanna get refused a hip replacement because you’re 61 like with the NHS (even though you pay dearly for no service at all, and bureaucrats ultimately decide what you get and what you don’t get) ? Your new health reform is a gigantic present to the private HMOs. It’s heavily inspired by the UK healthcare system and their “Liverpool Care Pathway”, only worse. Please at least make an effort to browse through this bill before you spew anything because you’ve heard it was good on CNN or MSNBC. Then, maybe you’ll understand why even some Democrats said it’s a horrible bill. You and your children will pay a high price for the actions of your Congress and president (routinely letting lobbyists write legislation, and not even letting Congress read the bills on which they have to vote – just watch the many incredible clips on C-Span if you want to verify this fact).

    As for socialism, it’s totally uncompatible with the US Constitution and Bill of Rights… But I guess you want to get rid of that too, right ?

    I live in a socialist country. Socialism is a scam, it’s a plague. It only makes you more dependant year after year. Once it’s installed, there’s no limit to the expansion of government and the corporate oligarchy that controls it. It’s the death of the critical mind many of you seem to want to defend.

  102. #102 colmcq
    March 26, 2010

    I call Poe on doctor smart

  103. #103 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Wanna wait for 2 years to get your brain tumor operated like in the UK with the NHS ?

    Utter nonsense. A brain tumour would be regarded as an emergency, you would be rushed into hospital and operated on immediately, by the best surgeons we have, and completely free.
    Some, non-serious, conditions can involve a wait, and yes, there is of course a beaurocracy running the show (mostly health care professionals, though) and the system ain’t perfect – but it works.

    You’re a know-nothing bullshitter. No wonder you’re so right wing.

  104. #104 D3
    March 26, 2010

    AnthonyK,

    Yeah, you’re right, such a thing would never happen under NHS. NHS is a wonderfui system indeed:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253438/Mid-Staffordshire-NHS-hospital-routinely-neglected-patients.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1178171/Fatal-toll-failure-feed-elderly-patients-NHS-bosses.html?ITO=1490

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23721474-familys-grief-as-alcoholic-son-dies-after-being-denied-a-transplant.do

    You may not like these news sources, but the fact they report are proved and verifiable.

    You’ll find plenty of NHS horror stories if you look just for a second. I had a very specific source about
    this NHS brain tumour horror story (and yes, in any civilized medical system, this would be considered an emergency – and yes, people die as a result of postponing intervention on such diseases), I’ll find it for you, but I have to go to work now.

    Imho, you’re an arrogant ignoramus. And I’m not right wing by any means. I consider myself a libertarian. Liberty know no right or left.

  105. #105 colmcq
    March 26, 2010

    “Wanna get refused a hip replacement because you’re 61 like with the NHS (even though you pay dearly for no service at all, and bureaucrats ultimately decide what you get and what you don’t get) ?”

    utter nonsense +1. My mother, 71, just got a fancy-pants titanium hip replacement last week, minimum wait, minimum fuss, free of charge, on the NHS; you’re either an ignoramus or you, sir, are a liar.

  106. #106 D3
    March 26, 2010

    What a surprise… Looks like I’m being blacklisted… My answers are now held for approval…

    In the meantime, a few articles:

    Too old at 57 for hip replacement, in Canada (another example of socialized medicine)
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123413701032661445.html

    Too fat for hip replacement in the UK:http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/overweight-patients-to-be-denied-nhs-hip-operations-516580.html

    Just let them die:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1576704/Dont-treat-the-old-and-unhealthy-say-doctors.html

  107. #107 colmcq
    March 26, 2010

    http://www.d3.com/flash/index2.html

    Hi again D3
    Wow! James Cameron, EAT. YOUR. HEART. OUT!!!11!!!!!!

    c

  108. #108 D3
    March 26, 2010

    Colmq:

    Obviously, this is not my website. I have no website of my own.

    I know many UK citizens, and most of them are appalled by the way they’re being treated by the NHS, especially the elderly. Agreed, there are many good people doing their best to take care of patients. But the system is so terribly biased that it encourages abuse at every level.

    The French socialized system is much better imho, but here again, it’s so prone to abuse (on the part of patients AND doctors AND the pharmaceutical industry AND the privately-owned monopolistic network of collection agencies – URSSAF) that it’s basically unsustainable in the long run.

    To the moderator/blog owner: why should my posts be retained for approval ? I’m as least as respectful as the majority of posters in this thread, and I answer with facts and arguments. So ?

  109. #109 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2010

    An altie shows themselves to be:

    a know-nothing bullshitter.

    and

    either an ignoramus or you, sir, are a liar

    Colour me unsurprised.

  110. #110 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    People in the UK do complain about the NHS – until they have to use it, then they realise how good it is. (And care for the elderly, as in Britain generally, is problematic). And how is it “biased”? Against whom? By whom?
    The biggest problem healthcare workers in the UK face is high levels of alcohol use, and all the nonsense, ill-health, and violence that brings with it.
    But please, don’t criticize our system, far less take it as an example of the failure of socialism, when you don’t know anything about it.
    I’ve heard that the French system may be better (but it’s also more expensive); but here I wouldn’t criticize it if I didn’t know what I was talking about.

  111. #111 colmcq
    March 26, 2010

    “Obviously, this is not my website. I have no website of my own.”

    well, it’s just that your name links to it. Why is that?

    “I know many UK citizens, and most of them are appalled by the way they’re being treated by the NHS, especially the elderly. Agreed, there are many good people doing their best to take care of patients. …”

    Good for you; I know plenty of UK citizens that have had their lives saved by the NHS. And while we’re ‘about’ anecdotes, may I point out that I have been to California 11 times and have been appalled at the level of healthcare for some the most vulnerable.

    “But the system is so terribly biased that it encourages abuse at every level.”

    No it’s not.

  112. #112 Mojo
    March 26, 2010

    @D3:

    why should my posts be retained for approval ? I’m as least as respectful as the majority of posters in this thread…

    Maybe you aren’t sufficiently insolent.

  113. #113 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2010

    Posts with more than 2 links are caught by the spam filter.

    and I answer with facts and arguments

    You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts.

    You have just been shown to be bullshitting. Around here evidence talks bullshit walks.

    And citing a crank vanity journal like Medical Hypothesis demonstrates extreme cluelessness.

  114. #114 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    And – this is not a political blog, for ranters of any stripe. I greatly respect Orac’s comments at the start about his lack of enthusiasm for discussing the horrendously complicated, and partisan, healthcare reforms; while I would be interested to read his views, I quite understand that they probably don’t give themselves to simple expression.
    Just carry on taking the vitamin pills, and no doubt you’ll get better.
    (Insert unconvinced smiley…err..is there one?)

  115. #115 Orac
    March 26, 2010

    why should my posts be retained for approval ? I’m as least as
    respectful as the majority of posters in this thread…

    You used too many links per post and tripped the spam filter. And I don’t spend my entire day monitoring the spam trap for self-centered commenters like you who think I’m somehow singling them out when their comments go to moderation.

  116. #116 D3
    March 26, 2010

    Colmq:

    Obviously, this is not my website. I have no website of my own.

    I know many UK citizens, and most of them are appalled by the way they’re being treated by the NHS, especially the elderly. Agreed, there are many good people doing their best to take care of patients. But the system is so terribly biased that it encourages abuse at every level.

    The French socialized system is much better imho, but here again, it’s so prone to abuse (on the part of patients AND doctors AND the pharmaceutical industry AND the privately-owned monopolistic network of collection agencies – URSSAF) that it’s basically unsustainable in the long run.

    To the moderator/blog owner: why should my posts be retained for approval ? I’m as least as respectful as the majority of posters in this thread, and I answer with facts and arguments. So ?

  117. #117 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    You’re not being blacklisted, you’re being set upon by a gang of skeptics. This is a kitchen, and you, sir, are clearly suffering from excessive warmth.

  118. #118 Dangerous Bacon
    March 26, 2010

    D3: “This study
    http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/37/1/121-a

    Please compare with average common flu vaccine efficiency (not impressive at all…), and you’ll see that for certain infections and diseases at least, D3 is clearly superior to vaccination.”

    Your link goes to a letter about a small study that did not even compare vitamin D to vaccination – but to placebo. And as the letter notes, its result conflict with those of a another study finding no significant protective effect of vitamin D supplementation against infectious disease.

    Your “clearly superior to vaccine” is actually “not demonstrably superior to doing nothing”.

    I’m not surprised to hear you proclaiming yourself a libertarian. Your fellow libs like Ron Paul typically have similar wacky ideas about vaccines, even when they should know better (Paul is an MD).

  119. #119 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 26, 2010

    I love it when people say “System X is abuseable” as some sort of unique point against it.

    Because, you know. Taking vast sums fo money from you and your employer when you’re healthy, then not doing a damn thing to fix you when you’re sick, isn’t remotely abuse. It’s capitalism!

  120. #120 DPSisler
    March 26, 2010

    Personally, I’d be willing to consider letting Adams, Tweedle-dee, and Tweedle-dumber opt out of Obamacare if they would sign a legally binding document swearing that, should they ever develop cancer, diabetes, cardiac disease, or any other serious illness, they would eschew all science-based medicine and pharmaceutical drugs in favor of their woo, like the Gerson therapy, orthomolecular medicine, or whatever.

    Essentially, stupidity as a pre-existing condition? Agreed.

  121. #121 Vicki
    March 26, 2010

    I’d like to note that anyone who thinks “too fat for treatment X” is a uniquely NHS or British failure mode hasn’t talked to fat people–especially fat women–who have dealt with the U.S. healthcare system.

    It’s not just insurance company policies, though those are part of the problem. It’s that doctors are as vulnerable as the rest of us to anti-fat prejudice: doctors will assume fat patients are noncompliant before the treatment is even prescribed. No, not “she won’t go on a diet,” but assumptions that the patient won’t take antibiotics or other prescribed medicine. There’s a tendency to assume that any ailment a fat person has is because of their weight: even if my friend’s sprained ankle was because she was fat, advice to “go on a diet” didn’t treat the sprain.

  122. #122 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Essentially, stupidity as a pre-existing condition? Agreed.

    I disagree. Stupidity is essentially idiopathic.

    And why, pray, would I have an osteopath treat my backache, when they clearly self-identify as hating bones?

  123. #123 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Obviously, this is not my website. I have no website of my own.

    Eheu! You poor orphelin! The web is all used up. Would you consider writing to Bill Gates to ask him if, just this once, you could have a little space to promote your vitamin panacea?
    I do hope he gets back to you…

  124. #124 the bug guy
    March 26, 2010

    Be aware that some stain drugs can cause diabetes. Also some statins can actually cause a immunse systemt o not function properly. I would recommend people to stay away from statin drugs as much as possible.

    If you suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and it is not terrible, then first try this:

    Magnesium (250 mg min)
    Potassium
    Red Yeast Rice
    Coenzyme Q10 (at least 50Mg)

    You are aware that Red Yeast Rice contains lovastatin, aren’t you?

  125. #125 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 26, 2010

    According to my conclusions in my own small research project, I have made the assumption thatmost cancers form due to a failing immune system. This is why when cancer is treated with chemo/radiation, it almost always comes back in a different place.

    hooo boy

    cleanup on isle crazy

  126. #126 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2010

    Rev BigDumbChimp

    cleanup on isle crazy

    Did you mean aisle crazy or are you implying that Dr Smart’s crazy requires an entire island. BTW, given his propensity for typos, I am suspecting he is your sock puppet :)

  127. #127 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2010

    Rev BigDumbChimp

    cleanup on isle crazy

    Did you mean aisle crazy or are you implying that Dr Smart’s crazy requires an entire island. BTW, given his propensity for typos, I am suspecting he is your sock puppet :)

  128. #128 Pablo
    March 26, 2010

    You are aware that Red Yeast Rice contains lovastatin, aren’t you?

    Yeah, but how many STAINS does it contain?

  129. #129 gaiainc
    March 26, 2010

    Last time I check (about 30 seconds ago) omega 3 acid ethyl esters were a natural product and Lovaza was a brand-name, patent-protected produced version of it made by GlaxoSmithKline.

    What is so fricking wrong with a system that provides basic health care for everyone? Seriously. I don’t understand the US resistance to this. Daily I deal with patients who need something, like diabetic supplies, who can’t afford the supplies to test the way they are supposed to in order to try and keep them as healthy as possible. Daily I deal with private insurance companies who, as far as I can tell, exist to avoid making any payments to anyone for anything at anytime. Gah!

  130. #130 D3
    March 26, 2010

    Orac: Ok, OK, I’m not an egomaniac, I just don’t know how your back-end works, ok ? And I don’t know this forum too well either, it’s the first time I’ve ever posted here. I just reacted on your deriding Vitamin D. Sorry, but it still looks like a very interesting molecule to me, and I’m surprised you would advise against using it in a reasonable way for preventive purposes, and in combination with classical allopathic therapies.

    I’m not an “altie” per se, nor am I wildly anti-vaccination. I think they do some good for certain diseases, and that there are better preventive options for others. I’m not a fan of toxic preservatives (such as mercury, aluminium hydroxide, etc) in vaccines, should I ? In fact, I’m quite open to western medicine as a whole, but I don’t think we should spit on everything exotic. Do you know more and more neurologists and neurosurgeons are studying the remarkable effects of such a simple thing as meditation ? Are they quacks just because they opened themselves to the scientific study of Asian therapeutic traditions ?

    I am not really surprised that no one seemed to address the documented links I posted about the many failures, and sometimes cruel lack of humanity, of such socialized systems as the UK and Canada. I quoted quite a lot of studies underlining the positive effects of vitamin D on a variety of fronts. But somehow they have no value for you. As for Medical Hypothesis, ok, if you say it really is a vanity journal, I will be careful about them. But that wasn’t my only, and certainly not my main link.

    I have found many studies, in particular about the inefficiency of seasonal flu vaccination (as compared to adequate D3 supplementation). Do you want me to unearth them for you, so that you can say they all come from vanity journals? and vanity universities, labs, research teams, etc?

    AnthonyK, seriously, man… You were totally off topic with your James Cameron remark… Now you’re suggesting I complained about my lack of a personal website ? I just said I didn’t have one, not that I wanted one. Insult me if you want, but on topic, alright? Stop trolling please…

    Btw, I certainly never said the current US system was perfect, far from it, and this is mostly due to the HMO system. But this new legislation only makes them more powerful. In fact, it forces people to buy from them, while dramatically reducing the amount of coverage they’re supposed to provide. Most of your reactions tell me that very few, if any at all, of you have read the bill. I, for myself, have gone through it quite extensively. Nowhere does it offer free basic healthcare to everyone. It is filled with hundreds and hundreds of direct and indirect rationing provisions, it subordinates the doctors’ options to a bureaucratic (and soon to be fully automated) system, telling them upfront what they can and cannot perform or prescribe for you, and – I repeat – it can leave you totally without any coverage while forcing you to pay a fine. It introduces very dangerous notions of “social utility”. Have you seen the recent Newsweek cover “The Case for killing Granny” ? Have you read Ezekiel Emanuel’s recent papers (I have) introducing the incredible “Complete Lives System”, where the children and elderly are considered the lowest on a scale of social utilitarism ?

    If you’re a scientist/surgeon, I fail to see why and how you don’t feel threatened by this legislation. Bureaucrats taking decisions you should be taking on a medical basis only… How can a doctor rejoice when reading a bill that will judge doctors mostly on their administrative compliance, and not their quality of care ? I thought many doctors valued their independance, and were already quite irate about the way the HMOs, and Medicare/Medicaid treated them. Imho, it’s clearly gonna get worse with this bill. Just read the damn thing !

  131. #131 D3
    March 26, 2010

    Oh, and Bacon,

    My “fellow libs” don’t like the idea of forced medication, it kinda clashes with their idea of liberty, probably the “forced” part. But I don’t know of any lib willing to prevent you from taking any medication you and your doctor might think appropriate.

    Depending on the good will of your government for healthcare (survival) on an individual basis is not a good idea. Any person with half a notion about history and politics will tell you that. That doesn’t mean the insurance industry doesn’t often act in a despicable and frequently fraudulent way.

    As for Ron Paul, I might be wrong as I don’t know him all that well, but I’ve never heard him make a blanket condemnation of vaccination. I know he wasn’t a fan of the recent H1N1 craze, but there are many reasons not to be satisfied with the very dubious way it all happened.

  132. #132 D3
    March 26, 2010

    For the “Ageing” letter,

    Agreed, the study is not perfect (self-report and all), but the sample was quite significant, and the difference between the placebo group and the supplemented groups is extremely dramatic. I can’t say the same for many of the seasonal flu vaccine studies I have found.

  133. #133 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Whine, whine, whine.
    Youd don’t know what you’re talking about with regard to the UK health system, you have stupid ideas regarding vitamin D (don’t you think, if it really did work as you say, that medicine wouldn’t use it?) and you have your own ideas about vaccinations – ideas which are also wrong.
    Find somewhere else to show your ignorance.
    You really are an empty-head, with your own social and political agenda.
    Don’t come here to try to spread your ideas.
    We’re not interested in stupid.

  134. #134 D3
    March 26, 2010

    Rutee

    The problem with this kind of system, so deeply “abuseable”, is that it’s intrinsically doomed to failure. The complete failure of the system (to ultimately improve healthcare conditions for the bulk of the population) is built in, as is its plundering and bankrupcy. As I said, it looks much worse than what you have in France, for example, where public medical insurance (with private “extensions”) is running a chronic deficit, with an extremely high level of stress for the overall medical personel, deteriorating conditions in the hospital system, etc… There’s clearly an unbelievable amount of abuse, and outright theft under many forms. Here you have this very toxic mix of crony statism/monopoly capitalism… It could have heavy consequences pretty fast.
    The problem is to devise a system that would minimise overhead costs, be humane and encourage responsibility. I don’t think this is it. At all.

    I heard America had a somewhat functional public system back in 1946, and until 1973, the Hill Burton system, but I’m not at all an expert on this period.

    For the bill and reconciliation measure (2500 pages…):
    http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/Senate_health_care_bill.pdf
    http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/House_reconciliation_package_031810.pdf

    Note that it doesn’t explicitly state the notion of social utility, but it’s very much part of the spirit of the bill. The “complete lives system”, which contains this very notion, is detailed in Emanuel’s 2009 Lancet article.

    I know this is not a political blog, but I can’t keep from wondering what you think docs think about this medical article…

  135. #135 Dedj
    March 26, 2010

    “I am not really surprised that no one seemed to address the documented links I posted about the many failures, and sometimes cruel lack of humanity, of such socialized systems as the UK and Canada.”

    I’m not.

    They were poor quality, talking about specific hospitals or trusts, or were in reference to individual cases.

    In other words, none of your references actually made the system-wide analysis that would have been required to support your arguement.

    The DoH and other health institutions compile often quite critical reports on a regular basis. It’s strange that you decided to reference low-brow papers such as the daily-mail rather than any reputable source. Not only that, but you appear to have ignored the opinions provided by the experts interviewed in the articles.

    You may want to think about how much of a idiot this makes you look.

    Your main compliant appears to be “Sometimes the system fails”. Great. Now toodle off and find some sources – professional level, reputable sources – that indicate the problem is at the system level.

    Do not come back until you have done so.

  136. #136 Dangerous Bacon
    March 26, 2010

    Ron Paul is a hero to antivaxers because, despite the medical training and experience that should have taught him otherwise, he shares many of their delusions. From a (surprise!) chiropractic site:

    “…he talks about having three kids that practice medicine and that have children of their own. “They have to be concerned about giving these vaccines.” He thinks that doctors have gotten to the point where they give too many vaccines, too often. “They bunch together four or five vaccines, overwhelming the immune system.”

    Dr. Paul states that in a Free Society it would be assumed that the individual makes up their own mind. He explains that if you didn’t take a vaccine for polio, you’re not a danger to him, you’re a danger to yourself. He stated that he doesn’t like the idea of the use of force and he thinks we’ve gone way overboard, and “there’s a lot of people that have suffered severe consequences from overdoing these immunizations.”

    I find it embarassing as an M.D. that Paul buys into that nonsense about vaccines “overwhelming the immune system” – and while on the one hand praising the polio vaccine, suggests that people who avoid getting it are harming only themselves (as if weakening herd immunity and encouraging the revival of scarce infectious diseases doesn’t jeopardize many more people, since no vaccine is 100% effective and we depend on high vaccination rates to prevent epidemics). This is a physician talking?

    I don’t know what you mean by not being “wildly” anti-vaccination, but you owe it to yourself and others to educate yourself about what a tremendous success vaccination has been in improving public health. Libertarians may yelp about “forced” vaccination, but they’re the ones free-riding on the protection obtained by others.

    I’m still waiting for you to post that study supposedly showing that vitamin D supplementation works way better than vaccination. If your source is crummy or you’re misinterpreting it, expect to be criticized. You seem like a big boy, you can handle it.

  137. #137 triskelethecat
    March 27, 2010

    @d3:Doctors aren’t anti-vitamin. They just want them used within reason. Over-dosing can be more dangerous than underdosing. (read some toxicology textbooks on the results of vitamin overdosing..nasty!)

    As for the Newsweek COVER????? Did you even READ the article? I did. It had nothing to do with killing seniors, and was all about the hyperbole surrounding the clause in the health care bill that would require physicians to discuss end of life care with their patients. What is wrong with a provider asking his/her patients what they want if they are terminally ill/severely brain damaged/dying? It is a very important discussion that too many people avoid. Fortunately, I HAVE had that discussion with my parents, and we also have the health care proxy forms from my in-laws (after we pushed for it!). And my children know about my end of life desires, as well as my husband’s. It SHOULD be talked about, and your doctor SHOULD know what you want/don’t want done.

    Fear-mongering based only on a magazine cover? Grow UP.

  138. #138 Seb30
    March 27, 2010

    @ 104 Vitamin D3

    I remember the story of this poor kid who died because he “got denied a liver graft”. I followed it quite closely last year.
    I’m sorry, but I don’t believe this story could not have happened in any other country, regardless of the form of its healthcare.
    To start with, the kid would never have had the money to pay for the graft in a non-”socialized” healthcare.
    Next, have you really read about the story? The kid was a binge drinker (started around 12 after his parents’ separation), who managed to destroy his liver by age 20.
    No, I’m not saying he should have been denied his graft because of his behavior. We all do stupid things, everybody deserves a second chance, and sometimes life is just a bitch.
    But he was in a really poor condition when entering the hospital.
    The sad part is, the poor guy got an epiphany about 2 months before he died. He realized he was destroying himself, and decided to stop drinking.
    Too late. At the hospital, his cirrhosis became acute (don’t remember the medical term in English, I only remember in French, cirrhosis fulgurante). His liver was basically disintegrating too fast for anyone to do anything about it.
    Only a liver graft could have saved him? Maybe. A biology teacher told me a long time ago that you don’t graft a liver on someone who has a cirrhosis. Not sure how much this is true, but I would assume it has something to do with trying to put together a patient in full cirrhosis shock and a delicate organ in graft shock. Chances of success are slim. The patient may not survive the surgery, and the graft may not be able to take over the failing organ.
    And anyway, livers don’t grow on tree. Maybe the doctors simply did not have time to find a valid candidate in the short time of life the poor guy had left. Bureaucratic red tape was in the way, yes, but to the point of being responsible to the death of this guy? I don’t think so. It was a losing battle anyway. This poor guy was already dead the second his cirrhosis started. He simply did not know it.

  139. #139 Seb30
    March 27, 2010

    Funny, I wrote the above post from memory, and then I went to check if I did not made a fool of myself. I started by following your link.
    All my points are in this linked article of yours. The binge drinking, the extreme medical condition, the graft shortage.
    You didn’t really read this article, did you, D3?
    Out of 300 UK patients waiting, 100 will not get a new liver in time and die – go ahead, blame this on “socialized” healthcare. Explain to me how your system will be better at finding fresh livers.

  140. #140 Luna_the_cat
    March 27, 2010

    D3:

    I am a dual US/UK citizen. I largely grew up in the US. I currently live in the UK. I have immediate family on both sides of the Pond. I have direct, personal experience of accessing healthcare under both the US system and the UK system, and I have older relatives with a variety of serious health problems currently accessing each. In addition, my sister is a PCP in the US, and I have my own professional links into health research, here. Given this experience, plus my own ability to access, read and understand system reviews, surveys, and professional literature, I will state categorically and unapologetically that:
    (a) you don’t know what the f*** you’re talking about, claiming that the NHS system is in some way less humane than the US system,
    and
    (b) that although the NHS does, distinctly, have its problems, it is overall infinitely less broken than the UK system.

    Countries like Scotland still have the highest deaths from heart disease and cancer in Europe. This is not actually the fault of the NHS, though; again, from close personal familiarity on a number of levels, most of it is cultural. There is diet, for a start, which is based off the popular principle that “animal products fried in fat”+alcohol represents a balanced diet (no, that is not the principle that doctors here espouse, that’s just how people live); there is also a general reluctance amongst over-40s to go to a doctor, no matter what is wrong with them, which is purely cultural. My own relatives have flatly refused to go to hospital when they are clearly in the middle of a stroke because “oh, there’s no point in bothering a doctor” (and if you don’t know how nuts this makes me, you have no imagination whatsoever). This leaves the fatality rate here closer to that of the populations in the US which do not have access to healthcare. But I digress.

    One thing that I have noted about the US and UK systems is that when UK medical systems do fail, the reports exist at a national level and are made public at a national level; this is a normal and necessary consequence of the fact that this is a much smaller country and there is both a unified national system of healthcare record-keeping and a unified national system of reporting. The US does not have anything like this, and the US is a great deal larger. Consequently, when healthcare fails spectacularly — such as people dying in emergency rooms, appalling abuses of those without insurance, failures of local populations to be able to access healthcare at all, etc. — there is no national record-keeping system which makes this easily available above a local level, and it tends not to get reported in the media outside the local area. Just as CAM practitioners claim that their treatments are “more successful” than “allopathic” medicine on the basis that mainstream medicine keeps patient records and does patient followups, therefore records subsequent failures and problems systematically, and CAM does not bother following up or recording problems at all — proponents of the US claim that the US system doesn’t have as many problems as the NHS on the basis that the NHS keeps records that the US system doesn’t. Do you follow that?

    Oh, for the record — the feedback that I have had from my friends in France and from what I can access of French surveys is that you are also off-track there. Again, while the French system definitely has problems (I do not believe there is such a thing as a “perfect system” anywhere, and there is certainly no system which could be invented by humans which cannot be abused by even more locally-ingenious humans), it appears to be infinitely less broken than the US system, and I have found a high level of satisfaction with it. Again, I think you are noising things that you have heard, but you have no working knowledge of the real situation.

    As for vitamins — you seem to completely bypass the fact that it was working mainstream doctors who started saying people should probably get more sun and vitamin D in the first place — a restrained and sensible message which was quickly co-opted and overwhelmed with woo-merchants claiming that vitamin D in large doses cures everything from colds to cancer. And as for it working better than the flu vaccine, well, I’ve read the Cochrane review studies on the efficacy of the seasonal flu vaccine — have you? And do you understand at all the difference between a high-quality review and one with poor design? You don’t appear to show it. Basically, you speak bullshit.

  141. #141 Seb30
    March 27, 2010

    @140 Luna_the_Cat

    You put in words that I was thinking, and much better than I would have done. I applaud at all your points.

  142. #142 blf
    March 27, 2010

    I am also a dual UK/US citizen, currently living in France. I have, as user, experience with all three systems. D3 is full of it, spewing uninformed shite.

  143. #143 Luna_the_cat
    March 27, 2010

    Piffle. I realise, coming back to this, that I had said
    that although the NHS does, distinctly, have its problems, it is overall infinitely less broken than the UK system.
    when in fact what I meant was
    that although the NHS does, distinctly, have its problems, it is overall infinitely less broken than the US system.

    But, yeah. I think, D3, that you will not find a lot of support from people who are genuinely familiar with the systems that you talk about.

  144. #144 Rich
    March 28, 2010

    @D3 #101

    Wanna get refused a hip replacement because you’re 61 like with the NHS (even though you pay dearly for no service at all, and bureaucrats ultimately decide what you get and what you don’t get)?

    If the NHS refused anyone a hip replacement it would be purely for medical reasons. There are no age-related limits. One of my great aunts had a hip replacement at the age of 90 and lived out her remaining six years with full mobility.

    The ‘bureaucrats’ in NICE do decide the guidelines for the application of the most expensive of treatments, as you would expect of any system not supplied with an infinite amount of money. NICE are at least trying to ensure that the majority get the treatment they need. I’d sooner have some of my treatment limited by a bureaucracy than have all of it reliant on the mercy of a profit-hungry insurance company.

  145. #145 Dedj
    March 28, 2010

    Indeed, the Older Persons NSF indicates that age is not a valid reason to refuse any medical care.

    That is, a top-level document that is intended to act as guidance on provision of services at the national level expressly contradicts the claims people like D3 make about the NHS.

    You’d almost think they’d not actually done any research on this.

    No.

    That can’t be it.

    No-one would ever hold forth on a subject they actually knew little about………would they?

    No one would be so stupid as to rely on tabloids, and then try to pass it off on a well-informed site like this.

    Such a thing would be setting oneself up to be trounced.

  146. #146 PatsyB
    March 29, 2010

    I can beat all your NHS stories. In the last two months my grandfather has had a neurectomy on his ulnar nerve and a knee replacement. He’s 101!

    The NHS is not perfect but medicine on the basis of need is by far the best system.

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