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Malignant Medical Myths


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#1 stocks

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:30 AM

Joel M. Kauffman (Emeritus)
Professor
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry
MIT, 1963


Myth 1: Taking an aspirin a day forever will make you live longer.


Careful review of the available literature shows that aspirin is neither a safe nor effective way of treating congestive heart failure. Occasional use of aspirin for headache and arthritis pain should not cause serious side-effects, but more than occasional use can hurt you. Studies have shown that four supplements – vitamin E, magnesium, certain omega-3 fatty acids, and coenzyme Q10 – each provide much greater long-term benefits than aspirin, and all have fewer side-effects. Yet mainstream physicians are far more likely to recommend aspirin, because it was introduced by a giant pharmaceutical company that is still around – Bayer – and is advertised more than all four supplements together.

Myth 2: Low-carbohydrate diets are unsafe and ineffective for losing weight.


The truth is that the advice from every government agency and most non-profit foundations to eat low-fat diets, especially low in saturated fat and cholesterol, is utterly baseless, and results in immense suffering and costs. ‘Much of the evidence for low-fat (high-carb) diets,’ Kauffman concludes, ‘is a result of poorly designed studies, misinterpretation, exaggeration, and outright fraud’ (p. 73). The safety of low-carb diets, on the other hand, is well established and there is indisputable evidence that they contribute to weight loss and help prevent the complications of diabetes. Evidence for the benefits of low-carb diets is even found in journal articles claiming to provide evidence of the opposite – once their actual data are studied and not just the misleading abstracts.

Myth 3: Using cholesterol-lowering drugs, especially the statins, would benefit nearly everyone.


Kauffman shows that the basis for using cholesterol-lowering drugs is pure mythology. Low cholesterol levels are dangerous; high ones usually are not. Clinical trials of statin drugs indicate no worthwhile overall benefit for primary prevention of heart attacks, but a high risk of debilitating side-effects; 75% of people stop taking them within two years. Any hype for alternative cholesterol-lowering treatments is fraudulent since there is usually no reason for lowering cholesterol levels. ‘The only thing we can be absolutely certain of,’ says Kauffman, ‘is that lowering everyone’s cholesterol produces the incredible profits realized by the pharmaceutical industry’ (p. 79).

Myth 4: Nearly everyone over 50 should take drugs for high blood pressure.


Blood pressure increases naturally with age, and is higher in women than in men of the same age. It is very low blood pressure that is dangerous. Using drugs to forcibly lower blood pressure by dilating arteries or veins, weakening the heart, or increasing urination rarely does anything of overall value. Only people with very high blood pressures (the top 10%) would obtain any benefit at all from antihypertensive drugs, and this would be minor as well as accompanied by severe side-effects. The side-effects are so bad that 20 to 60% of people stop taking the drugs within three years.

Medical textbooks are warring about the right blood-pressure levels, and new national standards come out every few years placing the target values ever lower. Kauffman asks: ‘Is good medical practice fueling this war or might it just be the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry? For to lower the target value 5 points on the BP scale can mean $billions more in drug sales’ (p. 110).

Myth 5: A drink a day keeps the doctor away.


Kauffman writes: ‘There is no evidence that moderate drinking of any common alcoholic beverage has worthwhile health benefits overall. ... If you do not already enjoy beer, wine or spirits, there is no reason for you to begin drinking in a vain attempt to obtain longer life’ (p. 142). It is worth noting that when well-known researchers claim in national journals that we can reduce the probability of dying from a heart attack by 60% simply by drinking wine regularly, this wins the author of the article a life-long supply of wine from appreciative manufacturers!

Myth 6: Exercise! Run for your life! No pain, no gain!


Evidence shows that strenuous activities – e.g. fast dancing, running, jogging, handball, squash, tennis, long-distance cycling, and heavy weight lifting – can be dangerous and damaging. The first marathon was performed by Pheidippides in 490 BCE. He ran 42 km from Marathon to Athens to carry the news of the victory of the Greeks over the Persians. What is rarely mentioned is that after delivering his message, he dropped dead!

Strenuous exercise may indeed lead to arrhythmias that produce sudden death in some individuals. Instead of preventing cardiovascular disease and congestive heart failure extreme aerobics such as running and marathon cycling appears to cause them. Knee problems, stress fractures of bones, and joint problems affect a majority of those doing strenuous exercise for years. The mantra ‘No pain, no gain’ ought to be changed to ‘More pain, more risk’.

On the other hand, moderate exercise, such as walking, gardening, swimming, slow dancing, yoga, tai chi, light weight lifting, mild calisthenics, and the use of exercise machines will make those who enjoy the activity feel better and possibly even live a little longer. The important thing is to heed your body’s stress messages.

Myth 7: EDTA chelation therapy for atherosclerosis is ineffective, dangerous and a fraud.


This ‘alternative’ therapy involves administering EDTA (a weak, synthetic amino acid related to vinegar) into the veins. The truth is that this biochemically simple procedure retards or reverses atherosclerosis, prevents cancer, lowers blood pressure, and increases pain-free walking distance. Some 50 clinical trials have shown that it has an extraordinary 87% success rate, even though no one knows exactly how it works. Yet it is vigorously opposed and vilified by mainstream medicine and the pharmaceutical industry, which have resorted to rigged trials and deliberate manipulation of clinical data to support their views. There is simply far more money to be made from orthodox treatments such as coronary bypass surgery and angioplasties. As Kauffman says, ‘Discouraging sick people from undergoing an effective treatment such as EDTA chelation is despicable’ (p. 176).

Myth 8: All ionizing radiation is dangerous except when an oncologist delivers it.


Contrary to the popular dogma that any amount of ionizing radiation causes cancer, there is overwhelming evidence that small doses of radiation actually prevent cancer by stimulating the body’s natural defences. This is known as radiation hormesis, but it is ignored by the authorities. Not only is typical background radiation harmless, it is actually beneficial, and is usually less than the optimum amount. Kauffman concludes that small leaks from nuclear power plants or radioisotopes in transit, and small doses from radon in homes and from most medical imaging techniques are harmless and probably beneficial. People are now paying money to enter caves with radon-laced atmospheres for the purpose of helping their cancers and arthritis, and they are doing so because they find that it works (www.radonmine.com). Radon may well be one of mankind’s oldest therapies; in Europe, the use of hot springs with high radon content dates back some 6000 years.

Kauffman says that hysteria about low-dose ionizing radiation has been fed by overzealous environmentalism.

This has led to needless expense both in dwellings and workplaces, resistance to nuclear power plants, as well as avoidance of exposure to beneficial medical procedures utilizing low-dose radiation. ...
The scare over low radon levels, combined with the lawfully mandated remediation cost is one of the most arrant frauds ever perpetrated on an innocent public in the radiation protection field by self-serving ‘health-scare professionals’. (p. 198)

Myth 9: Annual mammograms and follow-up treatment prolong life.


The hard facts about mammograms are these: In an average group of 1000 women aged 40-50, eight will have breast cancer. Seven of the positives will be found by mammograms, the other one will be missed. Of the 992 women who do not have breast cancer, 70 will be wrongly identified as ‘positive’ on the basis of mammograms. In other words, out of the total of 77 ‘positives’ discovered by the mammography programme, only seven (i.e. 9%) will be correct. The only reason that mammography has become so entrenched is because mass cancer screening with follow-up and treatment is big business. Kauffman writes:

The pain of mammograms is not accompanied by the gain of any lifespan. Undergoing annual mammography does not improve all-cause mortality after a diagnosis of breast cancer. The most careful examination of mammography trials does not even support a lower breast cancer mortality. If there is a lower breast cancer mortality, some of it may be attributed to the hormetic effect of the Xrays used in mammography. Another reasonable explanation is that aggressive treatment of the many false positives from mammography ... is replacing cancer deaths with deaths from treatment. (pp. 216-7)

Myth 10: Cancer treatments are better than ever, and have cure rates of 60%.


Cancer experts claim current treatments have a 60% ‘success’ rate, but this should not be confused with a true ‘cure’ rate. What they mean is that 60% of those treated will still be alive five years after diagnosis. But even this modest progress is the result of earlier and earlier diagnosis with very little improvement due to the benefit of mainstream treatments. The five-year survival rate has been called ‘the world’s most misleading number’. In clinical trials, a control patient dying of any cause is counted as a failure of nontreatment, whereas a patient who dies just before a treatment programme is completed is not counted as a failure of treatment, on the grounds that the patient had not completed the treatment programme!

Kauffman says that professional scaremongers, especially pseudo-environmentalists, have caused alarm with their claim that the total number of new cancer cases is at an all-time high in industrialized countries, and that most of the increase in cancer is caused by pesticides or other pollutants. When cancers due to smoking are removed, the age- and smoking-adjusted rate actually shows a 33% drop since 1950.

There is no epidemic of cancer at present except lung and malignant melanoma (skin cancer). The former is due to smoking and the latter, possibly, to too much UVA from sunlight, often caused by overexposure despite UVB ‘protection’ from sunblock, which makes things worse by preventing vitamin D formation in the skin.
Since there is no epidemic of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract or other places where certain foods, pesticides or pollutants would be expected to manifest themselves, these factors can hardly be major causes of these types of cancers. (p. 254)

It is beyond dispute that mammography in women and the test for prostate cancer in men with no symptoms have no overall benefit. And since the treatments for lung and pancreatic cancer are so poor, there’s not much use being screened and finding out early that you have one of them.

The five-year survival rate was cleverly chosen to mask the delayed destructive effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Highly toxic chemotherapeutic drugs kill all rapidly dividing cells in the body, which means not only cancer cells, but also many kinds of healthy cells, including those of the immune system. Mainstream treatments often provide only a few weeks to months more of poor-quality life. Some alternative treatments work well enough to cause complete remisssions, but are not always available in the US.

Myth 11: Water fluidation prevents tooth decay in children and is perfectly safe.


In the US, sodium fluoride, which is still sold today as rat poison, began to be added to drinking water in 1945, supposedly to prevent tooth decay in children. This provided corporations and federal government agencies with a convenient way of disposing of fluoridated waste products. Fluoridation of drinking water continues in 60% of public water supplies in the US today. Much of Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand have fluoridated water, but most developed non-English-speaking countries have rejected this practice as nonbeneficial and probably harmful.

Studies reported in the past 15 years indicate only possible slight benefits from water fluoridation for the deciduous teeth of five-year-old children. There is no decay reduction in older children and adults – according to studies by researchers who are not supported by organizations that benefit financially from fluoridation. Kauffman writes:

Proponents of fluoridation have censored most mass media, ignored intelligent discussion of fluoridation, slandered most opponents of fluoridation, and overturned legal judgments against fluoridation in a manner that demonstrates their political power. Many published studies that had conclusions favoring fluoridation were later found unsupported by their raw data. ... Such studies are still quoted regardless.
There is evidence that fluoridation increases the incidence of cancer, hip fractures, joint problems, and that it damages both teeth and bones by causing fluorosis. (p. 274)

Over a hundred other problems have been linked to fluoride exposure, one of the most serious being low thyroid gland function.

Kauffman says that opponents have weakened their case against fluoridation by condemning all organofluorine compounds, some of which are toxic, but many of which are beneficial, such as teflon.


http://davidpratt.info/kauffman.htm

-- -

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UNTIL the status quo self-destructs from its own corruption, and the reformers are free to build on its ashes.
 

#2 Rogerdodger

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:57 AM

My reaction to these "facts" was interesting. I had a few strong reactions in disagreement. The funny thing is that I don't have a clue as to what is really correct, but I do have beliefs. As Paul Simon wrote: "Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." Wear your seatbelt. Don't drive drunk. Don't smoke. The best exercise is obtained by having fun: dance, play ball. Eat and drink in moderation with loved ones and enjoy it. And most important of all: KEEP BREATHING AT ALL TIMES!

#3 Echo

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 11:33 AM

Can't say that he's ignorant as he has a PhD in chemistry at MIT. On the other hand, I knew to take his entire list with a huge grain of salt after the FIRST line where he tries to debunk the use of aspirin to treat "congestive heart failure". Aspirin is used as an anti-platelet agent (weak blood thinner) to reduce the risk of heart attack (and stroke in appropriate persons), NOT "CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE". It works because the primary mechanism of heart attacks is the sudden disruption of the capsule of a cholesterol plaque inside the artery that allow seepage of blood into the plaque making contact with the plaque material which triggers the bodies own defense systems against bleeding to form a blood clot inside the artery. Forming a blood clot on the outside tissues when you are bleeding is a good thing but a blood clot on the inside of the blood vessel cause a much greater blockage in the artery now than the plaque itself was causing and if it blocks all the way to 100% then there is no blood going down that artery and the heart muscle downstream from that point on gets no blood = heart attack. Aspirin reduces the tendency of platelets to clump and form such blood clots in arteries and that is how it reduces heart attacks. If you are going to test how well it works in reducing heart attacks, the answer you get depends on who you try it out on. The higher the risk of the person for a heart attack, the greater the benefits you see. 1. Persons who have already had a heart attack benefit the greatest. 2. Persons who haven't but are at high risk benefit intermediate. 3. Persons who haven't and are low risk benefit the least. So you could study the first group and see huge benefits and report to the world such results or if you are Kauffman you could only study the third group and right a book claiming to debunk medical myths to serve your own purpose to make money. He's no better than the pharmaceutical companies he attacks. You know how much aspirin costs, pennies. What do you think the profit margin is on that?? Here's a everyday example. What is the benefit of wearing seatbelts? The answer depends on which groups you study. 1. Reckless drivers who have already had a few accidents 2. Reckless drivers who have never had an accident 3. Extreme cautious drivers who have never had an accident. 4. Persons who never use cars. Obviously looking at equal numbers of people, you will save far more lives in the first group than the third and the second group will be in the middle. Fair reporting would list all the numbers and explain why the differences to the public who might not appreciate how headline numbers could be totally misleading. You could also try to debunk seatbelts by only reporting the third group and claim the saving are much smaller than previously reported. If you were really desperate for attention you would report the fourth group but leave out the part that the people you studied never got in cars. You would also suck for doing so. The same comments apply in a similar way to his comments on statins. If you look only at heart attack patients with very high cholesterol, the benefits are huge. If you look only at children, you won't see any benefits, duh. In real life, it is somewhere between depending on who you are and you risk. Newsbreak! Motorcycle helmets don't save lives. Of course I only studied people who never ride motorcycles. Duh. Do you want to get your medical advice from a chemist trying to make money writing a book or a board certified physician? Doc

Edited by Echo, 01 May 2010 - 11:36 AM.


#4 Rogerdodger

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:02 PM

Do you want to get your medical advice from a chemist trying to make money writing a book or a board certified physician?


That was my thought.
I'm so cynical.
Or maybe wise.
Follow the money. ;)

#5 stocks

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 10:38 AM


Do you want to get your medical advice from a chemist trying to make money writing a book or a board certified physician?

ie, argument from authority w/o reading the book

See quotes below from physicians who have read the book.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

BS, 1958, Phila. Coll. Phcy. & Sci.
PhD, 1963, Mass. Inst. Tech.
80 peer-reviewed papers
11 patents, 2 on anti-TB drugs
14 years in drug development

In 45 years of practicing chemistry, he saw only 2 examples of deliberate fraud in chemistry journals.


PHYSICIAN'S COMMENTS about Malignant Medical Myths

"...In providing extensive references and insight into many areas of medicine, your work deeply challenges a broad spectrum of mainstream medical beliefs. Your book will undoubtedly provoke much soul-searching and healthy controversy in and outside the medical profession."
--Martin F. Sturman, MD, FACP -- Dr. Sturman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Nuclear Medicine

"...The message of the book is extremely important, and the explanations of complex data, articles, and statistical analysis support your conclusions very convincingly... Your analysis of these 11 medical myths is masterful... You have contributed a great service to the health professions and to the regulatory apparatus regarding delivery of health care and prevention..."
-- Kilmer S. McCully, AB, MD -- Kilmer S. McCully received his A.B. degree magna cum laude (chemistry) from Harvard College in 1955 and his M.D. degree cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1959.


Until about 1990, like most people, Kauffman believed that most medical and diet advice was reliable, especially from government agencies we pay so much to take care of us. About $30 billion annually goes to the National Institutes of Health alone. The USA health bill is about $2 trillion! per year. He took baby aspirin, ate trans fat, drank fluoridated water and had his cholesterol measured in the belief that others were looking out for us by basing their recommendations on the best evidence from trials.When medical brochures and advertisements referred to papers in peer-reviewed medical journals, I assumed that these papers were honest and complete, based on my own experience as the author of 80 journal papers myself, which were subject to rigorous peer review.

Determined to understand medical papers, Kauffman struggled with jargon and slowly caught onto the tricks of the trade, such as incomplete and misleading abstracts. The abstract of a paper is supposed to summarize the purpose, choice of subjects, trial protocol, and results. When key results are left out of the abstract, such as all-cause mortality and side-effects, they remain left out of any press release, newspaper article and sales literature. Often we can only get the abstracts by searching PubMed, Free Medical Journals, or individual journal websites.

The cost of complete papers of $20-30 each is reasonable if it relates to your employment, but not if the dollars come out of your own pocket. When the whole paper is examined, shocking cover ups come to light, in many cases, such as excess cancer deaths even when some easily measurable stuff, like cholesterol, is lowered, which is supposed to be a benefit, but is not. People who would most benefit from a diet intervention are often excluded from the chosen subjects. Very high dropout rates because of treatment side-effects usually do not find their way to the abstract.

Another of Kauffman's awakenings was finding that promoters of alternative treatments were sometimes even less scientific than the mainstream promoters. And that debunking of all alternatives (some are valuable) was carried out routinely by more powerful commercial interests and the government agencies they control. Websites that appear to be those of self-help groups with certain ailments can be owned by corporations making products for those ailments.

http://www.spacedoc....t_medical_myths

http://www.second-op....co.uk/mmm.html

-- -

Defenders of the status quo are always stronger than reformers seeking change, 
UNTIL the status quo self-destructs from its own corruption, and the reformers are free to build on its ashes.
 

#6 stocks

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 09:43 AM

Myth 8: All ionizing radiation is dangerous except when an oncologist delivers it.

Contrary to the popular dogma that any amount of ionizing radiation causes cancer, there is overwhelming evidence that small doses of radiation actually prevent cancer by stimulating the body’s natural defences. This is known as radiation hormesis, but it is ignored by the authorities. Not only is typical background radiation harmless, it is actually beneficial, and is usually less than the optimum amount. Kauffman concludes that small leaks from nuclear power plants or radioisotopes in transit, and small doses from radon in homes and from most medical imaging techniques are harmless and probably beneficial. People are now paying money to enter caves with radon-laced atmospheres for the purpose of helping their cancers and arthritis, and they are doing so because they find that it works (www.radonmine.com). Radon may well be one of mankind’s oldest therapies; in Europe, the use of hot springs with high radon content dates back some 6000 years.


 

-

AS PREDICTED: 

  Landmark research: Japanese atomic bomb survivors live longer, have less cancer

 

Low-dose radiation from A-bombs elongated life span and

reduced cancer mortality relative to un-irradiated individuals.           https://junkscience....ve-less-cancer/

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It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have  fooled.


-- -

Defenders of the status quo are always stronger than reformers seeking change, 
UNTIL the status quo self-destructs from its own corruption, and the reformers are free to build on its ashes.