The illusion of evidence based medicine

(Alec) #1

Excellent presentation by Dr McHenry about the current problems in evidence based medicine. Not a great interviewer, but please ignore that… listen to Dr McHenry.

I think this presentation is very important, so I am going to listen through a few times and make some key points for those that don’t want to spend the time.

Bottom line, you cannot trust any study that is conducted by a company with a commercial interest in the outcome. But 90% of studies are conducted by such companies.

(Bacon is better) #2

In one of his lectures, Dr. Tim Noakes says something to the effect of, “They give you money, and you think it doesn’t influence you. But it influences you.”


I haven’t watched the video, but I’d like to comment anyway.

The bias problem is universal. Bias from money, bias from beliefs.

I’m always puzzled, for instance, by the blind following of people who just post opinions on the net. Here on this forum and elsewhere. When someone comes with a problem, people will post links to videos and blogs of famous bloggers who posted opinions. It doesn’t matter for the followers if that person is selling books, supplements, etc. A ‘follower’ gets a liking for someone out of confirmation bias and from that moment on, whatever opinion the influencer expresses becomes ‘THE truth’. As if truth existed in science! Truth is a construction of religion and sects. “Truth” is the claim of people who are trying to fool you. Science is always evolving.

Bloggers and vloggers need to create content. They get money from it. They’ll interview each other to repeat the same things and reinforce each other to validate what they’re preaching to their followers.

Their language uses the keys to capture the attention of unsuspecting followers-to-be: “big pharma”, “your doctor won’t tell you”, etc. Why aren’t they talking against ‘big supplements’, ‘big publishing’, ‘big charlatans’?

And followers… follow.

These influencers have mixed up in the mind of good people what science really is with what it isn’t.

Science is always evolving. Even “evidence today” depends on the sample, on the questions one was asking, on the measuring apparatus, on the duration of the experiment. And on scientific papers, serious scientists talk about the probabilities that something behaves in a certain way.

Based on this, theories get temporary validation. It is validated until more evidence becomes available to show that it needs to evolve to something else. More evidence comes when the sample is bigger, or the length of the experiment is longer, or the measuring apparatus is more sophisticated, etc. Or the question asked was better formulated.

But influencers don’t talk about scientific findings in this way. They immediately try to sell a supplement, or a book. A paper comes up saying substance A seemed to alleviate the symptoms of illness B… let’s sell a supplement with A! Let’s write a book telling people how A will save their lives! Let’s make it attractive by adding the catching phrases like “what big pharma doesn’t want you to know”, “what your doctor won’t tell you, because he wants you to be sick”…

But wait! Is substance A as effective if taken as a supplement? What dosis are safe? How long should one take it? Is the pill in the supplement tin really filled with A? Say, the subjects in the sample investigated in that experiment, where they men? Women? What ethnic groups were represented? What conditions did they suffer, besides illness B? For how many years were they afflicted? Is there more research about A? What was the improvement? 0.1% better?

(Mark Rhodes) #4

Here’s one to look at. Talk about conflict of interest…

(Jane) #5


(Stickin' with mammoth) #6

That’s it, that’s the key point. Game over.

Anytime anyone comes at me with “Oh, yeah? Well, meat/low/carb/keto/non-plant-based is bad because they did a study…”

Who did the study?”

“Such and such university/college/company/lab.”

“Who funded that study?”


Game over.

(Edith) #7

All I can say is “WOW!”

(Alec) #8

That is stunning, amazing, and the horrible thing is that I am not at all surprised.

So, let’s summarise. Someone in the study (maybe many people) knew that the guidelines being developed were wrong and were going to lead to many people dying prematurely. But they cared only about the profits they were going to make.

Profit over people’s lives.

I am horrified how the Medical Establishment obviously knows that this type of thing happens yet they do nothing to stop it. Why? My disdain for the Medical Establishment grows every day.

(Ronnie) #9


My friend, I conclude and iterate, ‘bored.’


I guess we are caught between a rock and a hard place. What do we have to go on if not peer reviewed papers? An idea that sounds logical but for which there is no evidence?

Some people’s n=1 experience can help them discover a unique individual need, but my experience with n=1 related to my (non- diabetic) health concerns has so far been impossible to interpret.

(Doug) #11

Very good post, and well said. I have to laugh - YouTube has many examples of exactly that - videomakers talking to each other and copying from each other, and the information is absolutely wrong, as in the direct opposite of what happens with some human biochemical processes, for example.