Current Posts – 22 Jan 2014

Modern medicine’s authority depends on the fact that it is scientific. But being scientific doesn’t automatically make something good. It’s the way that science is used that gives it moral value; decides if it is beneficial or harmful. The companies’ concentration of funding research that can produce a drug that will be a winner in the biomedical lottery is understandable but it leaves a big hole where there should be funds for promising non-drug treatments. Read about this in the latest post.

Are supplements a waste of money and possibly dangerous or can they help to cut the risk of chronic disease? Just before Christmas a stern editorial in a medical journal declared their use was not justified. But then came a report that high levels of Vitamin E can delay Alzheimer’s. Nutritionist Patrick Holford explains why this latest attack is bad science and not a useful guide.

Non-drug ways of preventing or treating disease are regularly attacked as being useless and probably fraudulent because they lack evidence from randomised controlled trials. But just how good is the evidence for most drugs? Much weaker than most doctors believe because of the drug companies right to hide inconvenient evidence. Melayna Lamb investigates the new trials transparency campaign that’s getting legal and political support.

Official policy on statins is unravelling fast. Old reasons for taking them, such as lowering cholesterol, are being abandoned yet advice to patients is staying the same. Aidan Goggins unravels a plot with more twists than Homeland. Turns out fish oil is what really works.



Editor: Jerome Burne |

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