July 24, 2014

Research Studies

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

This week a huge new metastudy was released comparing organic foods with conventionally grown foods. This study is a review of 343 prior peer reviewed studies from around the world. It is the largest review of organics ever completed. The study put a very positive light on organics showing better nutritional content and significantly less toxicity than conventionally grown foods.

You would think a study like this would be big news for health loving people and be reported with lots of positive media attention. The truth is that it was immediately attacked by the media and those promoting the conventional growing market. The question is who do you believe?

Almost any information put forth by independent researchers that challenges the big companies that control the market place is certain to draw immediate condemnation, whether it is accurate or not. This includes big drug companies, the big agriculture market or global warming advocates.

Discerning where the truth lies is a difficult task. There are actually research and verification studies performed on research and trials. Peer reviewed supposedly means it has been scrutinized and verified by independent panels. Unfortunately, that is not always happening these days.

In 2010, three researchers from Harvard and Toronto listed all the published trials on the five major classes of drugs. They then looked to see two things: was the outcome of the trial positive for the particular drug, and who funded the trial. As they say, follow the money. The results? Out of 500 trials, 85% of the industry funded trials were positive and only 50% of the independent funded studies were positive. 

In 2007, researchers looked at all the studies for ‘cholesterol lowering’ statin drugs. A total of 192 trials were found. Industry funded trials were 20 times more likely to be positive than those with independent funding.  Where is the integrity of the researchers?

Similar fraud occurs even in research on good things. Take the studies done by Dr. Dipak K. Das of the University of Connecticut on resveratrol and red wine. Although there are plenty of good studies on this topic, Dr. Das was blinded by research money flowing to him. He ended up fabricating data in 145 instances. 

Look at the global warming industry. We are inundated with claims of doom due to warming temperatures. It is now a proven fact that NASA and NOAA scientists, in a politically motivated attempt to rewrite history and claim global warming, deliberately altered years of temperature data! The data actually shows we are in a cooling trend, not a warming trend. But, that didn’t fit the agenda, so they simply made it up.

So what’s my point? Ultimately the message is that just because you hear a drug or treatment is backed by science, it is in no way a guarantee of its safety or effectiveness. Likewise, if an alternative treatment has not been published in a medical journal or proven by scientific method, it does not mean it has no value or is unsafe.

We should be skeptical but open to new advances in treatment or products. You need to realize you are responsible for your family’s health, not me or anyone else, and certainly not drug companies vying for your dollars with pseudoscience and falsified studies.

If you have questions, seek out a qualified health consultant who understands health, not just disease, at a foundational level.  Find someone who has experience helping others resolve health challenges. In the chiropractic profession, I think we understand these principles. It is not my job to heal you, but I can help identify avenues you can pursue in your journey to better health. Take control of your own healthcare. You are ultimately responsible for yourself.