Well... What's the harm?

#2
Thanks Malf. I was a bit surprised by the research referenced in the article. I was prepared to guess that people with a worse prognosis were more likely to be desperate to try anything (hence the higher death rate and lower quality-of-life in the alt-med group). But the higher death rate was seen in the group who were in the best condition. That is a bit disturbing. Maybe there is more harm in trying to be accommodating than we realize.

Linda
 
#7
I found the article disturbing, but as I'm not well-versed in the benefits or dangers of alternative medicine, I can't add much to this discussion. So I liked malf's post for bringing up a new subject to my attention.
 
#8
I found the article disturbing, but as I'm not well-versed in the benefits or dangers of alternative medicine, I can't add much to this discussion. So I liked malf's post for bringing up a new subject to my attention.
Thanks (chuck?) I found the report very surprising, which is why I posted.

Unfortunately, there will always be unscrupulous scam merchants and well meaning cranks waiting for us when we are most vulnerable... This sort of report (& replications) may influence how we police these areas I guess.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
I'm curious about research into the effects of combining medications that are approved separately by regulatory bodies.

I imagine this isn't just a problem for alternative medicine?
 
#10
I'm curious about research into the effects of combining medications that are approved separately by regulatory bodies.

I imagine this isn't just a problem for alternative medicine?
There exist databases to check for the contraindications of any drug. They've been around forever, even before the internet, tmk. How it is done through different regulatory bodies, I'm not sure. The UN has a large medical sector. Drugs are contraindicated against foods and activities too, which would handle the alternative med. side of things, as I'm not aware that alternative medicine utilizes much in the way of pharmaceuticals.

I'm not sure if any of the above is true.
 
#11
Thanks (chuck?) I found the report very surprising, which is why I posted.

Unfortunately, there will always be unscrupulous scam merchants and well meaning cranks waiting for us when we are most vulnerable... This sort of report (& replications) may influence how we police these areas I guess.
I dunno. The alt-med industry lobbies very hard to avoid any regulation or need to perform safety and efficacy studies. It's not about the science, but about the politics. And so far, they have been very effective at getting the lay-public on board by making this about freedom of choice, and by promoting the general anti-science agenda which many movements make use of. In the US, as long as the republicans control the congress, you won't see any of the anti-science programs overturned.

Linda
 
#12
I dunno. The alt-med industry lobbies very hard to avoid any regulation or need to perform safety and efficacy studies. It's not about the science, but about the politics. And so far, they have been very effective at getting the lay-public on board by making this about freedom of choice, and by promoting the general anti-science agenda which many movements make use of. In the US, as long as the republicans control the congress, you won't see any of the anti-science programs overturned.

Linda
Linda, was my comment above accurate? And please don't pretend you haven't read this. I'm getting ready to leave Skeptiko for good. It's the least you can do. Don't ignore me on my way out.
 
#14
I'm curious about research into the effects of combining medications that are approved separately by regulatory bodies.

I imagine this isn't just a problem for alternative medicine?
Much research, especially for cancer treatments, involves testing drugs by adding them to pre-existing treatments. The difference for alt-med drugs is that they don't have to be tested, so these kinds of problems will be missed unless non-alt-med researchers test them after the fact.

Linda
 
#18
I don't understand... there is no reference to specific supplement, substance, dosage, detail of which potentially negative interaction...
It says "with the exclusion of minerals and vitamins" and a few lines below it says that "antioxidants" can be lethal... most vitamins are antioxidants :D

The abstracts of the linked studies are even more nebulous.

I can't say if it's more the willful vagueness or the fear mongering that strikes me. Probably both.
 
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#19
I don't understand... there is no reference to specific supplement, substance, dosage, detail of which potentially negative interaction...
I think this could be part of the problem. Often CAM users have little idea what they're taking, labelling can be incomplete or misleading, there's no written record of it, and as for dosage... :eek:
 
#20
I think this could be part of the problem. Often CAM users have little idea what they're taking, labelling can be incomplete or misleading, there's no written record of it, and as for dosage... :eek:
In the context of cancer treatment I would suppose that the vast majority of patients will talk to their doctors about supplements or other active substances they may be taking. It's in their best interest.

Plus there are many helpful supplements that doctors can use to mitigate the horrid side effects of allopathic cancer treatments, boost immunity, lower inflammation... It's not a matter of either/or... It's more about common sense.
 
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