Whether it was when I was on the faculty at Stony Brook Medical School, working at Catholic Healthcare West or just every day encounters, I have met a fair number of fellow physicians (and their wives or husbands- true believers in their spouses) who criticized integrative medicine because it was not “evidence based”- meaning that it had not met the scrutiny of the “scientific” method. THEY practiced medicine that met the muster of testing while I was practicing charlatanry.

Now I could have dispensed with them as just prejudiced, ignorant schmucks (which they were), but you might think that I was just upset that they caught me at my game (a snake salesman?).

First, when I provided well researched information in support of various therapies (nutritional supplements, diets, etc.) They never read the data. They just dismissed it as “it can’t be”. The data is flawed. (After all, it did not come from a pharmaceutical company delivered in the office by a cute chick or presented by a crony (er…. colleague) in a pharma sponsored national conference. “In my study, I found that taking Feverfew whole leaf extract, is cheaper, safer and as effective as many prescription products in preventing migraines…..” (I don’t think you will ever hear that!) . In fact not long ago, I sent data about how to help diabetics with neuropathy (see a previous blog post) with more than 100 citations to a cardiologist I know and several endocrinologists in town. I am on the Editorial Board of an international research group (NaturalStandard.com) that comes out of Boston and is one of the key resources for top academics around the world with regard to complementary and alternative medicine. This data came from that team. I asked to meet with the docs and explain the therapy. They did not read a damn thing (OK I admit that I did not use pictures with three words on a page and misleading colored bar graphs and pies to dazzle. I also did not leave free pens and cups for the staff and buy lunch for the office crew.) They continue to use crappy, far more toxic treatments that are prescription based. I never even got the courtesy of a call back. Why? We will get to that in a moment.

These true scientists- cardiologists, internists and dentists, by the way you know who they are, the ones that called me and others like me charlatans because we had “no evidence”, have been scaring the hell out of people explaining that gum disease increased your risk of heart attack and stroke. So:

From CNBC – For 20 years, researchers have reported a link between gum disease and heart attacks or stroke, but a new analysis finds that claim seriously flawed – so much so that the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a rare “scientific statement” on Wednesday concluding that gum disease has not been shown to raise the risk of, let alone cause, cardiovascular illness.

Moreover, the statement continued, treating gum disease either professionally or by regular brushing and flossing has not been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.

The statement, published in the AHA (American Heart Association) journal Circulation, reflects a three-year analysis of about 600 studies by an expert committee, led by a dentist and a cardiologist. It was endorsed by The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation, with many in dentistry and cardiology developing a strong opinion that there was a connection,” said Peter Lockhart, professor and chair of oral medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., who co-chaired the expert panel. “That’s a distortion of the facts. The scientific evidence points in the other direction.”

Because there have been hundreds of studies on the subject, Lockhart said, “If there were a strong causal link between atherosclerosis and periodontal disease, or if atherosclerosis could be cleared up by treating periodontal disease, we’d know it by now.”

OK what does that mean folks? It means it was all BULLS**T – NOT BASED IN ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so bad that the American Heart Association, finally, had to call it like it is!!!!!

So why do they do it- act like such hypocritical buffoons you might ask?

  1. The mainstream of American medicine fears loss of control. Nonprescription products take them out of control and put YOU in the driver’s seat.(Everyone knows that doctors are smart and you are stupid.) That will be fought till their last breath. THAT is an ego issue.
  2. If you do not need them, they make less MONEY! Academics will not get research money. Private doctors will lose office visit money, and if you do not come into the office then they will not be able to order profitable, mostly useless and often dangerous tests. You might be admitted less to the hospital, etc.
  3. The mainstream doctor is brain washed. When they finish training most have virtual blind folds on (sort of like on horses) so they can ONLY have tunnel vision. They do not want to get off the mainstream highway.
  4. MOST mainstream doctors learn very little after their training. They are overloaded trying to survive in a rapidly changing medical system and they take the line of least resistance. They are part of Team Prescription.

Evidence based medicine is a legitimate goal. It’s just that there is a lot of dung out there. The problem is not with a couple of herbs, it’s with the hundreds of billions spent in conventional medicine that masquerades as evidence based and most of it – IS NOT!!!!!!!