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Jeff Sutherland

Twice the Energy with Half the Stress

Alternative Medicine: Pseudoscience or Real Science

Alternative medicine has been described as pseudoscientific. The National Science Foundation has conducted surveys of the “Public Attitudes and Public Understanding” of “Science Fiction and Pseudoscience”, which includes studying the popularity of alternative medicine. It considers belief in alternative medicine a matter of concern, defining it as “all treatments that have not been proven effective using scientific methods.” After quoting the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry‘s listing of alternative medicine as one of many pseudoscientific subjects, as well as mentioning the concerns of individual scientists, organizations, and members of the science policymaking community, it comments that “nevertheless, the popularity of alternative medicine [with the public] appears to be increasing.” “At least 60 percent of U.S. medical schools devote classroom time to the teaching of alternative therapies, generating controversy within the scientific community.” It has been reported that universities are “increasingly turning their backs on homoeopathy and complementary medicine amid opposition from the scientific community to “pseudo-science” degrees.” Degrees in alternative medicine have been described as “‘pseudo-science’ degrees”, “anti-scientific”, and “harmful”. Wikipedia

It looks like medical schools are voting that alternative medicine is useful if 60% of them devote classroom time to teaching alternative therapies. Or it is just because Americans are voting with the pocketbooks. More out of pocket money is spent on alternative medicine than on conventional medicine. Is that because Americans are stupid or is it because they know more than you think.

Let’s take an example of Wikipedia “pseudoscience” from a recent clinical trial published in a leading medical journal.

Source: Yin J, et al. Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 2008 May; 57(5):712-717 (Courtesy of Dr. Whitakers Health & Healing newletter)

This clinical trial shows clearly that a herbal extract is as good as a leading drug in regulating glucose metabolism. It actually did more as it lowered triglycerides by 35.9%, LDL cholesterol by 21 percent, and total cholesterol by 18% compared to no significant reductions with the drug. Other recent research shows that berberine has a role in cancer treatment and prevention.

The problem with alternative medicine here is that it is much cheaper and more effect than drugs. And last year there was not a single death from a supplement, yet medical error, primarily from drug effects, continues to be one of the leading causes of death.

Now if the evidence in the medical literature does not support your business plan you accuse all competitors of engaging in “pseudoscience”. This is an ad hominem argument that requires no data to support it. And you hire people to manipulate the information Wikipedia.

The fact that Wikipedia supports this nonsense shows that their information is corrupted by vested interests. Of course the medical journals do no better. You can read a summary of how medical journal are often complicit in the corruption of medical data here.
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