Current Posts – 12 Feb 2014

I thought I had uncovered a drug scandal that was killing 10,000 a year in the UK but I found it was more serious than that. It was a vivid example of how evidence based medicine can fail to work even when those involved are following the rules. It seems that when the evidence changes no one is really responsible for passing that information on.

Last week’s Horizon, BBC’s flagship science program claimed to answer today’s big dietary question: which is more damaging sugar or saturated fat? The trial was dressed up as science but to our three expert contributors, it looked more like a large plate of misinformation garnished with downright ignorance.

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.

Peter Lurie

Peter Lurie

Peter Lurie

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