Pseudoscience & Quackery Pseudoscience & Religion

A Response to Dr. B.M. Hegde

This article is a rebuttal to the article Modern Medicine Has Given Illness Care a Miss by Dr. B.M. Hegde in the Open Page of The Hindu, dated February 18th, 2012. (The piece is in fact recycled from this almost identical piece by him from November 2010.)

Dr. Hegde begins his article with some quotations by famous people, and offers them as evidence that medicine in the past was better than it is today:

The quote below is one of the many brilliant sayings of that great brain, Sir William Osler. ‘One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicines.’

Two doctors in white coats examining a patient

Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Dr. Hegde, I guess you forgot to mention that this was intended for the quacks who call their wares “medicine”. I challenge you to never take any medicines. Also, William Osler has also said this: “The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.”

In the 21 century, I could only echo that great sentiment as a truism, despite all the tall talk about the “so-called” evidence-based medicine. Napoleon Bonaparte went one step further, but one could argue that he was not a physician. He was at the receiving end of such a medical practice when he died. “Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.” Napoleon, though, was more accurate scientifically today.

The thing to remember is the time when these people made those alleged comments. What was medicine then? It was not what we have today! There was not much useful or factual there in “Medicine” in those days. It involved primitive practices like Leeching, Blood letting, Purging, etc. No wonder people tried to come up with all kinds of “alternatives”. Evidence Based Scientific Medicine (EBSM) has marched on tremendously in the past 100 years to be entirely different from what these gentlemen knew at their times as “medicine”. If I could point out a proverb in Tamil, “Aayiram paerai konnaathaan, ara vaithiyan!” (it’s only when you kill a thousand people that one can become even half a doctor) – that was medicine for you in those days. Trial and error; no proper scientific methodology. That was the basis of your “ancient medicine”.

The latest science says uncertainty is the only certainty in the world. This is truer in medical science.

Really? Is there any uncertainty about what causes Malaria? Or Tuberculosis? Or what is the reason for Down’s syndrome or the fact that Rickets is caused by Vitamin D deficiency, or that Nyctalopia (Night blindnesss) is caused by Vitamin A deficiency? I wonder which “medical science” you are talking about. I am sure you are referring to the medical “science” of S.C.A.M.s (So-called Complementary & Alternative Medicines) and not Evidence Based Scientific Medicine (EBSM).

A proverb is a short sentence based on a long experience. If that were so, this one from Voltaire would take the cake: “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

Again, just imagine what was the level of advancement of “medicine” during Voltaire’s times, viz. the 18th century. That would explain why the great man said that. The same Voltaire has also said, “A witty saying proves nothing!”.

Time and again, I have written in my articles elsewhere that our evidence base has been built on loose sand.

Have you provided any good evidence for this allegation? Even assuming it is built on loose sand, that doesn’t mean you start questioning its basic principles. Our endeavour must be to strengthen the foundation, to tighten that “loose sand”. The evidence base is the ONLY way to a better system. And as with everything scientific, the “evidence base” is not any infallible and unquestionable dogma! The quest for betterment is a never-ending process that is constantly scrutinized rigorously and in the process ironing out the flaws, accepting newer evidence and discarding proven false or spurious evidence. Perhaps you can read about Barry Marshall to find out how important it is to provide evidence before your hypothesis is taken seriously.

Of course, no one seems to take it seriously.

Yes sir…

They would have, if it had any financial interest behind it.

I knew this was coming! 🙂

The present Randomised Controlled Trials and linear relations help generate billions of dollars in chemical therapeutics even if that results in thousands dying of our efforts directly or indirectly. A study by researchers in a respectable U.S. university of the placebo-based RCTs did show that the contents of the placebo capsule, which need not legally be made known to the regulating agencies like the FDA, were very potent substances that would show the company drug as very effective in comparison. To cite an example, anti-diabetic drugs are usually compared with sugar filled placebo capsules! Many such glaring criminal activities have come to light now in the field of “Evidence-based medicine” of today!

A group of medical students performing an experiment

Image via Flickr user Tulane Public Relations by Creative Commons License.

Do you realize what you have just said? I hope you are blaming the individual trials and not the method. If it’s the former, then you are entitled and even upright about it; but in case you are trying to deride the method itself then I am afraid that your argument is a weak one. http://www.bmj.com/content/316/7126/201.full
Perhaps you didn’t notice this: Even this information bringing to light the despicable act of manipulating trials to show the desired end results, was a result of another study which was again scientific! I would like to point out once again that SCIENCE IS SELF-CORRECTING. There is nothing dogmatic about science. That is the beauty of “Evidence Based” science. Even the fact that there were some unscrupulous practices going on was found out because of the rigorous, unyielding and unbiased methods of science.

Recently, I had a message from one of my students, who is a leading dermatologist in India doing innovative research. “I always wondered when I used to listen to you during my student days and respected your views all along. In dermatology evidence is found only in 28 per cent of published studies. All molecular biology companies come with an offer to give authorship if we buy their equipment for our laboratory! Doesn’t that mean that most molecular biology studies are prototype and try to find out how what is known fits into their study?”

So what? Really, so what? How can that equate to “Evidence Based Scientific Medicine is flawed”? The evidence in this case is bad. And let me reassure you that the inherent, self-correcting methods of science will iron out the flaws in due course of time. Haven’t you heard of drugs being recalled, for example? There is a regulatory body, and perhaps there may be evil, corrupt individuals in those. But all of them are accountable and they eventually get found out, sooner rather than later.

The foundations of our evidence in modern medicine like the statistical risk calculations, (especially the relative risk reductions in place of absolute risk reductions that are sold to gullible doctors in most of the “scientific” articles without mentioning the NNT figures) and, the RCTs, which have no true science base, are very shaky, indeed.

Now are you accusing the foundation itself to be flawed? I agree that the “Big, Evil” Pharma companies might indulge in these kinds of shady activities. But have you ever wondered why they still keep talking in terms of RCTs, etc? That is because these are the only methods to assess efficacy accurately. Can you envision any other more valid method?
But when a Professor like you doesn’t understand it, how can we expect the general crowd to? The key remains not in deriding the method but in educating the doctors and the consumers about how to assess claims and analyze the research methodologies. A dose of skepticism is what we need to prescribe. I suggest you read the book “Bad Science” by Dr. Ben Goldacre. In fact, if I could, I would make this book a compulsory subject for all school students!

We need to have a new science of man, which is sadly missing in this whole bargain.

New science? What’s that? It is either science or it is nonsense, period. There is nothing like ancient science, medieval science, modern science, Indian science, Chinese science, Islamic science, voodoo science, or occult science. Anything that follows the scientific method is science. The rest is mere pretence.

Sign saying "Medicine is the Best Medicine"

Let us continue:

Physics changed in 1925 and there is no more physics, but we still use the same old physics laws for our statistics.

Again, so what? General relativity may have superceded Newtonian physics, BUT for basic purposes and practical ease, Newtonian physics is still good enough unless you want to pick on the nitty gritties. Don’t tell me it is totally useless. Not at all! It still gives fairly good understanding for all basic purposes. And your point that the “same old physical laws” are being used for our statistics is a non sequitur. Things won’t change much if we use the newer methods. It’s not that if we apply the latest, cutting edge physical laws, then automatically all the S.C.A.M.s will be validated while EBSM will be discredited. But hey, why don’t you try it?

Matter is not made up of matter. Matter and energy are interchangeable. (journalofcosmology.com/QuantumConsciousness106.html) Human molecules communicate with one another which can now be documented through the photon lights emitted from each DNA.

Woo, and more woo. Notions of “quantum consciousness” have been debunked. Let’s restate what you have said, shall we? “Human molecules communicate with one another which can now be documented through the photon lights emitted from each DNA.”
What?! How can molecules communicate with one another? Then what about the molecules in an inanimate object? Are they any different from those in lifeforms? You are credulous to the core, and I hope you learn some critical thinking skills.

What is the science base of our reductionism, organ based specialisation and our reliance on Mendelian inheritance?

The proof lies in the pudding. These concepts have been proven to be working.

Instead of trying to rehash the existing evidence base, it is better to think of a new evidence base for health and illness.

Well, nothing wrong with that. All the progress everywhere is exactly because of this. And, this is in fact a key feature of science! A new evidence base that you are advocating is indeed worthwhile. But rest assured that unless the current concepts are “DIS”proved, they will remain. The aim is not in formulating dogmatic theories and sticking obdurately to them, but in better understanding of medical science. Newer evidence is always welcome. In fact, any newer evidence that might contradict the existing concepts will be thoroughly investigated and gladly accepted if it stands up to rigorous scrutiny. So, if you really have some ‘new evidence base for health and illness’ then please put them forward for peer review. Let’s see how they stack up to current knowledge.

Health is a state where each human body cell is in sync with other cells. Illness is when this communication breaks down. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophoton)

This is no different from the concept of the “Ancient Wisdom” (this term itself is a fallacy- something ancient need not necessarily be wise) involving the “phlegms”, “biles”, “imbalances” and various other fanciful words. You have merely rehashed those ancient concepts of biles and phlegms into a new-age version of “communication and sync between molecules”.
Now, that’s an assertion and a statement… if you can back it up with evidence and how it can be falsified, then it will be useful. Thank you.

We need a new non-linear, holistic, dynamic, scientific base for future medical research.

Only the Scientific part is essential. It will definitely encompass useful contributions (if any) from the other mentioned parts.

Nature has provided a robust repair mechanism inside the human system –

May be robust, but not ALWAYS satisfactorily complete. And for your kind information, cancer is “natural” too.

– which has been weakened by our modern lifestyle.

So, blame the modern lifestyle. Don’t blame the science. And in fact, even this information is a result of a SCIENTIFIC inquiry.

Even though both Claude Bernard and Louis Pasteur did note that the “terrain is more important than the seed” we have gone the whole hog on the seed, risk factors, and what have you. Modern medicine has forgotten the essence of illness care which is basically strengthening the terrain.

More bunk! Where exactly has ‘modern medicine’ forgotten the essence of illness care and strengthening the terrain? I hope you are aware and have not forgotten about the field called “Preventive & Social Medicine”. It is an elementary subject in medicine and one cannot become a doctor without studying it.

Our ancient wisdom Indian Ayurveda and many other complementary systems stress just that fact to strengthen one’s immune system. Ayurveda has many immune boosting modalities in its armamentarium.

I was wondering when this would come up. The various S.C.A.M.s (including Ayurveda) might talk about “strengthening the immune system” but what do they offer? What exactly does “strengthening the immune system” mean? It’s easy to say such things, but what is their understanding of the immune system? It’s zilch! They knew nothing about illnesses! All that they had was a defunct concept involving such chimerical entities such as Vata, Pita & Kapha! Do you have any literature of the so called “Ancient Wisdom” that actually explains the immune system of the body and methods to strengthen it?

Many simple methods which have stood the test of time are being forgotten now, thanks to the brainwashing of the masses through mass media advertisements about the wrong approaches to keep one healthy.

For example? Can you name just one? These ancient systems may not entirely be useless. Let us point out that, it is a simple equation… If there is a way these ancient systems can help then it is by pointing out these “simple methods” that the ancient systems may have found out by trial and error, so that science can analyze it scientifically, identify the exact component of the concoction that is effective in alleviating the symptoms, the therapeutic characteristics, the adverse effects, ceiling dose, antidote in case of over dosage, and any safer alternative for the effective individual component including a synthetic form.

The leading one among them is goading people to have a regular “health” check-up.

Having a regular health check up is not a crime! What exactly in this practice do you find is bad? Let’s say someone is willing to sponsor a regular health checkup, will you suggest to decline it? Why?

Nothing could be more dangerous than that to apparently healthy people.

That is a statement that is condescendingly nonsensical. I urge you to re-read it and correct it forthwith. NOT getting a regular health checkup is definitely more dangerous than getting one regularly. Every single time! Just imagine yourself with a tumor or a brain aneurysm waiting to burst! Or perhaps a glaucoma?
And, I wonder how we can know if someone is healthy or not, without taking recourse to some scientific method?

When one is healthy one should NEVER ever go for a check up!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The common man will have the doubt as to how he/she could know about health. One is healthy when one has a) enthusiasm to work and b) enthusiasm for being compassionate. One of the ancient exercises could be the most potent modern medicine, a daily walk if one is not a physical labourer. Universal love is another life-giving elixir.

How do you think do we know these things confidently unless we apply the methods of science? You are forgetting that studies & researches are also part of EBSM. And I shall be glad if you can point out where exactly in the literatures of EBSM has it been clearly mentioned to avoid physical activity & shy away from universal love? You are simply creating a canard as if EBSM promotes sedentary lifestyle and fatalistic hatred. It’s actually the ancient scriptures that promote unhealthy lifestyles and bigotry!
A syringe with a dripping needle

Creative Commons/ZaldyImg

After 25 years follow-up of one of the largest-ever studies of risk factors (which are being sold to the gullible public day in, day out as silent killers), the MRFIT study (Multiple Risk Factor Interventional Trial) observed that: “In conclusion, we have shown that it is possible to apply an intensive long-term intervention program against three coronary risk factors, high blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking with considerable success in terms of risk factor changes. The overall results do not show a beneficial effect on CHD or total mortality from this multiple risk factors intervention trial. (Zukel, Paul and Schnaper, 1981).”
In other words, they found that changing the “risk factors” does not apparently change the risks. This necessarily means that the “risk factors” are not as important as was thought. Indeed, it should be concluded that the “risk factors” were no such thing, at least as far as this trial is concerned.

Did you even realize that what you are saying here is also a part of the scientific method? EBSM involves precisely this. Everything follows the scientific method. Okay, now that you are sure that changing the “risk factors” does not apparently change the risks, I challenge you to indulge in smoking, high cholesterol food and avoiding any kind of measure against high blood pressure including anti-hypertensives if you may be taking any!

hardly any significant difference in the outcomes in mortality between the groups whose blood pressure was tightly controlled with drugs and the groups that changed their mode of living to a healthier one.

Again I repeat, where exactly in the annals of EBSM is it stated unambiguously that only medications need to be taken and no change to a healthy lifestyle must be undertaken? Your research methodology needs a lot of work here. Variables must always be separated! Let’s see a group that takes only medications and no change to a healthier lifestyle and compare that with a similar group that takes no medications and refuses to change to a healthier lifestyle. What do you think would the result be? Any guesses, sir?

Surrogate end point research could, at times, be dangerous especially in medicine where the NNT (a statistical term denoting the number needed to treat) is prohibitively high.

Well, what exactly do you propose as an alternative to the medications in such cases? If you are going to harp about lifestyle modification, then I wish to point out that lifestyle modification need not be considered as something alien to EBSM. These studies that you are citing are part and parcel of the scientific method that EBSM espouses. If we do a study and find that something is not that effective, then we try to modify it or abandon it and move on in the search for better modalities and interventions. Simple. (Aside – I hope you  are aware of  orphan drugs?)

I am sure the reader by now would have realised the significance of what William Osler’s prophetic statement of 1905 meant when the great physician did not have any of these powerful drugs that we have today.

Well sir, you have yourself admitted that they did not have the powerful drugs (and the investigation tools, and most importantly the knowledge) that we have today.

Cure rarely, comfort mostly but, console always should be our motto when one is ill.

I prefer this: Cure every time (if a cure is available); comfort every time (this is certainly possible); console always.

Patient care simply is caring for the patient.

Well, you are playing to the gallery now. You didn’t care much for humanity when you made such loose statements such as, “When one is healthy one should NEVER ever go for a check up”.

Let me make a fervent plea for parsimony in using drugs in the healthy segment of the population, by labelling these so-called risk factors as silent killers, in the fond hope of averting major problems in the future.

Well, even I am not averse to parsimony in using drugs in the healthy segment of the population, by labelling these so-called risk factors as silent killers, in the fond hope of averting major problems in the future. But let us apply that same parsimony to unproven, unscientific systems of S.C.A.M.s which are far more dangerous and useless.

We simply do not have any scientific evidence for their benefit as of now.

Thank you for finally using the words “scientific evidence”. That is the key point of this extended rebuttal of your claptrap.

 

About the author

Ganesh Veluswami

306 Comments

  • Brilliant article.

    I am wondering what would Dr. Hegde do if he has a heart attack, or some serious injuries in an accident: What kind of doctor they would take him to? By his own logic, he should keep away from the so-called allopathy doctors.

    • I am dead sure that he will go to a hospital that practices Evidence Based Scientific Medicine (EBSM). I will bet my last dollar on that. Unless of course he doesn’t value his life.

    • Allopathy Doctors are not Surgeons who do great work. It is the medication procedures such as the poisons of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy that destroys that causes death.

      I have two people in my life that refused both and are alive today. Both severe cases.

      One was told to go home and write her will as all that could be offered [as all her body and organs were riddled with cancer] – or she could trial 3 times the normal amount of Chemotherapy to see what that would do. The other had his rectum removed from bowel cancer – that was 16 years ago refusing both Chemotherapy and Radiation he is fit and well today having used meditation/visualisation/energy healing – I won’t bore you with both stories or any others. What is still the thinking of cancer survival – 5 years is considered a cure?

      She found a doctor that took a few good remaining cells and sent them overseas to have them grown and multiplied. When returned, they were put back in her body. She got rid of a toxic husband and survived. It makes you wonder what type of system you come under that the doctor in question instead of being accoladed for his innovative idea was reprimanded and told his Doctors license would be taken away if he ever dare practice anything that had not be evidence based researched. For heavens sake – the woman was marked down for DEAD. Thanks to that kind innovative doctor, I have had the privilege of knowing her [after this event I write about] for the last 26 years. Ah! but you would call that an unexplained remission. And I could give you more examples of so-called unexplained remissions which in fact were due to self healing or the placebo effect. I would suggest that instead of ridiculing this, we should be researching it – as some doctors are whilst others try to justify their stance on medications. The two should be working together, not separate.

      • Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy are poisons, selective poisons that are used in the absence of alternatives, after a systematic consideration of all the risks. They are not taken lightly.

        You cannot prove or disprove a “cure” with 2 cases. It is statistically impossible. Getting rid of a “toxic husband” does not cure cancers. To think so is a simple matter of the common post hoc fallacy.

        It makes you wonder what type of system you come under that the doctor in question instead of being accoladed for his innovative idea was reprimanded and told his Doctors license would be taken away if he ever dare practice anything that had not be evidence based researched.

        There is a perfectly fine system for doctors to try out novel treatments. That’s what doctors do in research universities. If a doctor has an idea, he/she is supposed to write up a case for it and submit it to the rest of the experts in the field for review. A proper study is designed to be statistically rigorous, with all the safeguards against bias, to answer whether the intervention worked. Researchers are excited about ideas that have merit. They are not troglodytes… in fact the very opposite.

        But trying out ideas without supervision, on vulnerable patients facing death as guinea pigs, is quite unethical. Playing games like this should absolutely result in a termination of license. The license is to practice EBM. This is clearly a failure in following evidence. If anyone wants to do research and generate new evidence, they are welcome to join or collaborate with a research organization which provides proper institutional safeguards for ethical research.

        And I could give you more examples of so-called unexplained remissions

        Everyone can. Its a simple matter of probability. Don’t argue with anecdotes. Argue with ratios. That’s often what separates a medical scientist from a quack. Anyone can give a (believed) success story. But to give a success/failure rate and base variance is real science.

        which in fact were due to self healing or the placebo effect. I would suggest that instead of ridiculing this, we should be researching it

        No one ridicules the placebo effect. It has been extensively studied and quantified. Every study takes it into account.

        the woman was marked down for DEAD
        having used meditation/visualisation/energy healing

        Which cancer hospital marks people for dead before they are dead? Don’t promote quackery. You are a hypno-therapist and are promoting alternative medicine on your site. You are not a neutral party. It is outright vile to promote testimonies on behalf of desperate patients facing death towards garbage like “visualisation and energy healing”. Cancer patients waste valuable time in trying nonsense like this and let the disease progress beyond treatable stages.

  • I think either the author or somebody else should approach The Hindu for publishing this rebuttal article. It would be interesting to see their response.

  • In one Upanishadic Story there was one Sage -Yajnavalkya– who gave a long speach to the king Janaka and proved that he is Immortal, becuase his Soul {Atma] is immortal, and took away 1000 cows and gold coins as reward. And there is one Deepak Chopra [Modern Yajnavalkya] who mixes some few catch words from Quantum Physics with spiritual jargon and declares that “You are Iternity” in his books, and laughs all the way to his Banks. IN the west Templeton Foundation grants huge money to scientists who use subtle language in favour of religion and God. I suspect that Prof. M.S Hegde has taken an Agency to sell Baba Ramdev’s products or he has recieved some grant from Religious “Muts” which are very rich in his destrict,to manipulate the minds of people,the Whole destrict being deeply religious.

    • Horror of horrors! An Indian TV channel introduced Deepak Chopra as a ‘sage scientist’. All those who love science, please speak your mind, instead of being mute spectators. As George Bernard Shaw said, there are moments in life when it is immoral not to be indignant.

        • I read some of the blogs here, and thought about thinking.
          People can be
          agnostic
          theist or
          antitheist (not atheist)

          God as a concept
          The minute I utter the word GOD, I create a concept.
          When I say that there is no God, the question arises
          “Whose god or what god am I trying to refute.
          If I coin a neologism and say, “Pitikutu is not there”, you will ask me,” what is it?”
          To which I say,” I don’t know”
          You ask, “Then why are you saying that it is not there?”
          Metathinking is thinking about thinking
          Free thinking is irrational.. rationalism cannot be not be free thought
          For e.g God
          Is God there /not there,
          Man made God or God made man?
          Is God powerful/powerless, merciful/merciless intelligent/ stupid etc……
          If I reach a conclusion, I have stopped free thinking
          Is this a paradox or have I stopped free thinking?
          The next question is, ”Can I really free-think?”.
          Do thoughts arise independently in my brain consciousness or body consciousness (transplant memory)?
          Or is my body only a transducer system? …the Jason Padgett/Orlando acquired Savant phenomenon
          If some thought or writing makes me go ballistic, then I need to check the fractal in my premises of that What is troubling me?
          It could be
          • my ignorance—I am a frog in the well. I know allopathy and nothing else. Don’t want to know either
          • My ideology….. I am a communist… conflict of thought
          • A conflict of interest ..I distribute coronary stents for a living or I get a cut on every bypass
          • Lastly, I am paid to refute alternative approaches. ….A few lakhs every year
          The degree of my anger against alternatives shows how much is at stake for me
          When we know something has not worked for roughly 200 years, we need to ask like the technologists, “What can work?” and not blame biological tissues.
          Talking of healing, we move from body as a fixed structure to body as a liquid crystal, QED, quantonics, supraliminal /subliminal communication, superradiance , coherence, instantaneity , photonic and phononic communication, negentrophy, dissipated structures, epigenetics , laser,PEMF.
          All of which falls into the framework of pure sciences and acts an earthquake tremor to established Descartes/Newton/Pasteural thinking / chemical medicine. Pasteur relented on his death bed.
          Every day we destroy cancer cells. Why we can’t do it someday is the question.. .uncertainty comes in.
          If we have moved from Cathode ray to LED in our drawing room, we can do it with our body too.
          I don’t have the answers but seeking
          For the mind or parachute to function… it has to open. So happy gliding
          Dr Kunda Silimkhan, MD.

  • I think there is value in both older health traditions and modern medecine.
    If i was having a heart attack,a accident,a broken bone etc of course I will go to the best modern medecine doctor/hospital.

    After after the heart attack,when the doctors have opened up the coronary artery by stent,surgery etc.I wil do and follow Ayurvedic life style,to lead a life style in harmony with nature,to do meditation,yoga etc,along with modern cardiovascular workout.

    Benefits of meditation/yoga have been proven by scientific trials by medecine.They have nothing to do with religion ,or believe in god or not

    • “…to lead a life style in harmony with nature”

      Do you think using the Internet is “in harmony with nature”? The only way to live “in harmony with nature” is to throw out our clothes, go to the jungle and gather food or hunt using our bare hands. Even agriculture is against the “order of nature”.

      • Interestingly a new light of news has come out on Prof B.M Hegde , He had approached Ex Prime Minister Vajpayee requesting a Governors Post , but PM Vajpayee then after hearing his credentials stated “doctor babu aapko to hum uske se bhi uparwale post sochenge”. Its not surprising to hear this in light of people applying for awards

    • @Rajiv, @Satish and all guys..

      I believe that you all are expertise at Medicine, I agree certain points from article and its very nice postmortems by the critics. Yes that’s the field we are lagging an Evidence and Data. Who will collect such a huge experimentation and take risk involved in it. As over the centuries we lost trust among our self. (I am not religious person)

  • @ Rajiv
    Benefits of meditation/yoga have been proven by scientific trials by medicine<<
    Can you cite at least ONE such evidence?

    Prof Hegde was a teacher, HOD, Dean and then Vice Chancellor in India's oldest private medical college that he served for nearly 4 decades. And he now says that modern medicine is baseless and bad! What was he teaching all those years?

      • First off, the linked study is a meta-analysis and hence subject to the well-known limitations of meta-analyses (which to the authors’ credit, they themselves acknowledge upfront).

        The authors’ own unambiguous disclaimer precludes the summary of this paper to be trotted out as definitive evidence of some sort. Quoting from the paper:

        In conclusion, the evidence that yoga alleviates chronic LBP in the majority of studies is positive. Several caveats, however, prevent a firm conclusion.

        More importantly, it is possible (almost inevitable) that the word yoga was taken to mean different things in each of the studies included in the meta-analysis. For instances there are some studies with Iyengar Yoga and others with other branded or unbranded variants, making it unclear as to what exactly is the therapeutic intervention tested for here. Such studies will be more meaningful if an ill-defined word like Yoga is treated as a ‘taboo word’ for purposes of clarity, and replaced with its working definition for the purposes of study.

          • A better option would be to commission and conduct a well-controlled study (preferably a longitudinal one)with well-defined treatments and hypotheses and most importantly, with a sufficiently large subject pool. In fact, the authors in the paper themselves list the limitations which should be avoided in the most preferable study design.

            A legalistic principle like ‘innocent until proven guilty’ which here would mean ‘useful until null hypothesis unviolated’, would only amount to an argument from ignorance. As Dr. Kakkilaya mentions below, onus is on the proponents of alternative systems to prove their efficacy and there is no reason any exemption needs to be granted to them as far as standards of demonstrating efficacy go.

          • seek to EXPLAIN ALL THE ANOMALIES IN HEALING where allopathy failed.

            2 for example
            Anita Moorjani
            Prahlad jani

            secondary retrospective study by a sociologist or physicist in port trust, army hospital etc which keeps 20 years recoeds asking the question, “what works?”

            third study of long living pupulations like..the okinawa program

            For 10 years i tried to get such a study funded and failed. You may try your luck
            kunda

      • Please read the articles carefully. This is the conclusion of the systematic review of yoga for back ache, that you cited: “It is concluded that yoga has the potential to alleviate low back pain. However, any definitive claims should be treated with caution.” The same applies to the search results that you provided. I asked for ONE CONCLUSIVE proof that yoga works for anything.

        • There is no universal medicine for everything.
          Its impossible to have universal medicine for everythingh. The far right try to hype the benefits of ayurveda, yoga or meditation. And the far left try to show that everythingh is false.
          There are benefits, as well as sideeffects and in some cases the yoga, ayurveda may not work. It would be more appropreiate to discuss why in the particular ailment, yoga, ayurveda,or meditation can be beneficial, or useless or the side effects.
          In the link below which I am reposting: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=yoga

          There are many studies, one thingh one can do is to conduct a study debunking the studies published in the respective journals. Which would be more appropriate.
          As far as metaanaylysis is concerned it gives us a huge number of subjects for study because in metaanalysis they do retrospective analysis of many studies combined.

          • @ Dr.Rajiv I agree with you.
            Ayurveda or any herbal medicine has nothingh to do with religion. About 85% of the drugs in pharmacy have an herbal origin.
            Most of the doctors in India just randomly write antibiotics, I myself became resistant to macrolides because the doc used to write antibiotics everytime I had cold. But in US no one writes antibiotics. So is it not better to take herbal med for common ailments instead of bombarding oneself with antibiotics.
            Once while doing rural rotation in govt hospital one of the doctor was prescribing Inac for heart burn!!!! Which one is better the ayurveda quackery or modern medical quackery.

          • The onus is on the proponents of alternative systems to prove their efficacy, so far there is no such evidence. If any, show us.
            If antibiotics are used indiscriminately, it is not the problem of EBM, but of its practitioners. Taking unproven and untested herbal drugs is not the alternative. Most infections are viral and self limiting, not requiring ANY medications.

        • @Srinivas Kakkilaya

          Pls. allow me to quote from one of Dr. Meera Nanda’s recent critique of sam harris .

          http://www.sacw.net/free/Trading%20Faith%20for%20Spirituality_%20The%20Mystifications%20of%20Sam%20Harris.html

          “””There is enough data to believe that meditation, if done consistently and over many years, does bring about a deep state of relaxation, with dramatically lowered heart rate and brain activity. If the goal is to reduce stress, even the most militant rationalist will have to admit that meditation does provide some benefits. (It does not follow, however, that all the claims of yoga and pranayam, must be accepted. There is very little rigorous controlled testing of the more extravagant claims of those who believe in the power of the mind to cure everything from blindness to cancers).”””

          Now Ms. Nanda presents herself as a naturalist and in keeping with that worldview do you think she would have said the above in the absence of empirical evidence ???

          • We are discussing yoga as a medical system and as of now there is no evidence to suggest that yoga has even been a medical system or that it can significantly help any ailment.
            “meditation, if done consistently and over many years, does bring about a deep state of relaxation, with dramatically lowered heart rate and brain activity” PERTAINS TO THOSE HATHA YOGIS WHO HAVE PRACTICED YOGA FOR HOURS OVER MANY YEARS. What has that got do with healthcare and disease management? Meera Nanda has clarified in the very next sentence that you have quoted.

        • @Srinivas kakkilaya,

          Taking propranolol as an example, will you conclude beforehand that it will work in a patient that you have diagnosed with hypertension ??
          In any study designed to assess efficacy of intervention versus untreated controls or versus pretreatment values, will the value of p ever equal zero ???

        • @srinivas Kakkilaya

          The following article evaluates the sun salutation as therapy for CVS fitness.

          http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6882-7-40.pdf

          The chief conclusions are :
           Metabolic costs over the entire session including shavasana constitute low physical activity.
           Metabolic costs for the 10 mins of sun salutation was equivalent to the ASCM recommended MHR .
           Yogic interventations may be useful for unfit/sedentary individuals
          There are additionally numerous other links in the article to the effect of yogic intervention in insulin resistance and lipid lowering amongst a host of other studies which employed hatha yoga as therapy.

          Pls. also find this link to the thoughts of the AHA on yoga in CVS fitness.

          http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Yoga-and-Heart-Health_UCM_434966_Article.jsp

          • Why was this sentence from Conclusions omitted by you?
            “Metabolic costs of yoga averaged across the entire session represent low levels of physical activity, are similar to walking on a treadmill at 3.2 kph, and DO NOT MEET recommendations for levels of physical activity for improving or maintaining health or cardiovascular fitness.”

          • @drsrinivas
            You will find a lons of articles stating the efficacy of antidepressants in the treatment of depression.
            But the recent study in plos medicine states that 90% of the effect of antidepressants is placebo effect

            About Dr.Meera Nanda comment by Dr.Vinay on Dr.Sam Harris is significant. Because she accused Sam of being non scientific. On the other hsnd there are many scientific papers on mind programming. Also in one of the neuroscience conference which I attended at Manhattan, a paper was presented where the train the individuals to move a cursor on the screen or robotic arm just by thought process and electrodes attached to brains. So comming back to Meera Nanda if you look at her scientific publications its obvious her scientific career is utter disastor. She has hardly 3 scientific papers.
            1) http://mic.sgmjournals.org/content/132/4/973.abstract
            Here she is 2nd author
            Not the first of last author
            Microbiology journal impact factor 2.957 is very low. Generally journals with impact factor 5 or higher are considered good.

            2) Effect of L( – )Sorbow on Cellulase Activity in Trichoderma reesei QM9414
            Here she is 1st author
            Journal of General Microbiology which is microbiology journal impact factor 2.957

            3)Localization and release mechanism of cellulases in Trichoderma reesei QM 9414 (Biotechnology letters)
            She is 1st author
            Again a journal with low impact factor 1.768
            http://www.springerlink.com/content/?k=Localization+and+release+mechanism+of+Cellulases+in+Trichoderma+reesei+QM+9414%2c

            All this 3 articles published when in India, in USA as a professor RPI Zero publications have been published by her.

            Whereas Sam Harris has very good publication record:
            1)
            Functional Neuroimaging of Belief, Disbelief, and Uncertainty
            Annals of neurology Impact factor 10.746
            Sam Harris is 1st author

            2) Performance comparison of machine learning algorithms and number of independent components used in fMRI decoding of belief vs. disbelief.
            Neuroimage. Volume 56, Issue 2, Pages 544-553.
            Sam 2nd author Impact factor 6.817

            3)The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief. PLoS ONE
            1st author
            Plos one above 5 impact factor.

            Why I am pointing this is that Meera Nanda Sam Harris trligious views on Buddhism are responsible for his research on mind programming.

            But Dr.Nanda must be knowing that the scientific reviewers dont see the religious views, they see the science behind the publications.

            And finally to Dr.Srinivas there there are tons of papers indexed in pubmed describing the benefits, sideffects or no benefits of Yoga, meditation, accupuncture, herbal medicines in different conditions.

            Also at Arvind in the individual case control study the number of subjects is not sufficient.
            So in the meta analysis use the data from several case control studies.
            ie they use many case control studies.

            http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20080227/antidepressants-no-better-than-placebo

    • After 4 decades of teaching and learning experience, If Dr. Hegde says so.. he must be speaking his heart. It is very true that, Modern medicine only addresses symptoms of the problems but never goes into the root cause of the problem. Initial process may be started with noble ideas.. but ended as a business institution.
      Read http://www.cancertruth.net/ explains what is treated in cancer in modern medicine.

  • The man, Dr. Hegde, is a hack. pull out an encyclopedia of bad logic, and the guy systematically commits everything in that. An absolute shame that he is a padma-bhushan awardee and so high powered. I have been wanting to write about him for a while but then i wonder if its worht the effort. I mean, he thinks women menstruate bec of moon’s gravitational pull, for heavens sake.

    as a medical doctor, people like him are an embarrassment and a millstone around our profession’s neck

    Anand

  • Antibiotic Resistance Could Bring ‘End of Modern Medicine’

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/antibiotic-resistance-could-bring-end-modern-medicine-150406532–abc-news.html

    Especially when the Indian doctors are busy writing antibiotic prescriptions recklessly and giving rise to Delhi Bug.
    As bacteria evolve to evade antibiotics, common infections could become deadly, according to Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization.

    Speaking at a conference in Copenhagen, Chan said antibiotic resistance could bring about “the end of modern medicine as we know it.”

    “We are losing our first-line antimicrobials,” she said Wednesday in her keynote address at the conference on combating antimicrobial resistance. “Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units.”

    Chan said hospitals have become “hotbeds for highly-resistant pathogens” like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, “increasing the risk that hospitalization kills instead of cures.”

  • The Indian government at least has a little more confidence in EBM, considering their move to have generic copies of Nexavar® (sorafenib) produced.

    • Apropos these studies in the order listed…
      (i) This is an interesting phenomenon but with unclear clinical implications.

      (ii)An exploratory research study based largely on self-report measures can serve to motivate further experiments rather than solidify conclusions.

      (iii) A demonstration of ‘safety’ is not the same as a demonstration of ‘efficacy’.

      Question for folks trained in statistics: Shouldn’t the third study have used a two-proportion z-test to check if the percentage of patients ‘cured’ in the Yoga vs medication cases were different?

      • (i) Decreased sympathetic outflow is associated with lowered CVS parameters.

        (ii) Self report parameters are used to assess drug efficacy when direct quantification of efficacy may not be possible in the absence of a relevant measurable biomarker. Self report assessments of clinical efficacy are an integral part of anti rheumatoid therapy as well.

        (iii)The results para indicates that statistical improvements in PE did occur in the yoga group with all 38 patients responding equivalently to fluoxetine.

      • (i) Interesting. In the nearly 30 years since the linked Benson et al study was published, have there been attempts to exploit the potential of this method and mainstream this in lay populations rather than treat it as merely an anthropological curiosity?

        (ii)The utility of self-reports in clinical research is undeniable, and so are the caveats on the conclusions based on them, which the authors to their credit duly acknowledge.

        (iii)The results would have been more completely and convincingly stated had they explicitly mentioned a statistical test of comparative efficacy between the two treatments (hence the question about the most suitable test to use in this regard).

        In all these instances, there is obviously a case to watch this space, so long as due experimental standards and peer review are adhered to. Whatever one’s attitudes towards traditional medicine maybe, folks on both sides of the divide, if they are genuinely interested in the question, have very good reason to place due emphasis on methodological soundness. Whichever way the chips fall, these will add up to some more success stories of the evidence-based approach, because after all, the name for ‘alternative medicine that works’ is simply ‘medicine’.

        • (i) An increase of nearly 8.3 o c in temperature of the digits could mean the difference between intact toes and fingers and gangrenous ones, on the freezing Tibetan plateau. To the best of my knowledge no pharmacologic entity has yet been able to do to this to this extent. I am not sure whether this phenomenon has been followed up in the thirty years since its being reported. This does appear to be one such report. Given the time and funds I would have liked to investigate this phenomenon myself.
          http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/04.18/09-tummo.html
          Again I’m not sure whether I can call Tum Mo yoga as an anthropological curiosity since it is widely taught and learnt in contemporary societies and easily accessible to lay persons. http://www.google.co.in/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENIN266&q=tummo+yoga
          http://thesunbearskendang.blogspot.in/2009/12/tibetan-tummo-yoga.html

          (ii) As you mention correctly self reported measures are integral measures of efficacy of therapeutic intervention especially in CNS related disorders such as depression, anxiety and migraine. These were not developed to assess Yogic therapeutic interventions specifically. Thus the caveats apply to every single intervention, pharmacologic or not, that are used to alleviate these conditions. This is also true of nearly all trials for assessment of efficacy in nearly all disorders of the human body in which the results maybe applicable only in the context of the inclusion criteria mentioned and the biomarkers quantified thereof. Acknowledgement of these caveats irrespective of the intervention under study, constitute social and regulatory obligations and good science and not just credibility of the scientists. Speaking of caveats It may be noted that most antidepressants fail to perform better than placebo in cases of mild to moderate depression and yet remain the most heavily prescribed drugs in the western hemisphere. Thus in this case the jury seems to be still out on what really constitutes evidence, at least for antidepressant efficacy.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC446219/

          http://blogs.nature.com/news/2008/02/post_3.html

          (iii) All that I was able to provide this forum with was an abstract. Again I’m not sure if details of statistical methods in general are reported in abstracts. The journal is part of the Nature Publishing Group and the likelihood is very high that the article would not have appeared in print if the standards, the statistical standards included, had not met the minimum of the NPG. Also, in your previous post you correctly noted the statement of safety of the yogic intervention in PE. I wish to mention that all safety and toxicity studies carried out for pharmacologic entitities are liable to be audited by the regulatory authorities while efficacy studies are exempt from the same. This is because the novel entity must not worsen the existing condition of the subject even if it does improve his/her medical condition. Phase I trials for novel entities are done in normal, healthy volunteers to assess safety and toxicity margins first, and then subsequently evaluated in diseased subjects thereafter. In this context the declaration of the safety of the yogic intervention is of significance.

          • Thank you for the detailed follow-up. It is true that questions like those about anti-depressant efficacy seem far from settled and deserve due attention, undistracted by blanket dismissals (or blanket endorsements) of whole systems of the sort promoted by The Hindu article(s) critiqued above. After all, one of the objectives of this enterprise is to monitor genuine scientific controversies and expose the false ones.

        • All doctors are afraid doctor profession is a service but now it has become a business please do understand all the doctors are prescribing medicine by experience and by not feeling of the subject. What is the problem if Traditional medicine exist along with so called scientifically proven modern medicine.

  • When he was practicing medicine, one could enter his clinic back doors only after getting a mandatory ECG done!

  • @Rohan
    There are tons of papers on yoga. Please show me ONE that provides conclusive evidence for the efficiency of yoga in treating any ailment.

    • @srinivas kakkilaya,

      Can you show me ONE paper where there is conclusive proof that any medicine works in ANY disease condition ??

      But before you reply to me, please allow me to define the term conclusive. By conclusive I mean that the value of p, or the probabability that the difference between untreated and treated arms is due to intervention,be equal to zero.If the value of p is more than zero then I will reject the efficacy which you shall show me as being inconclusive.

      However statisticians are much less finicky than I am. In their parlance if p<0.05, or the probablity that the difference between untreated and treated groups being due to chance is less than 5%, then the interventation may be considered "efficaceous", but even then within the defined boundaries of the protocol.If we take the above as defining "concclusive", then yes there are many trials which lay the basis of yoga being used in various disease conditions.

      • I am only requesting anyone and everyone to cite one paper that in their view is the best proof for the efficacy of yoga in treating any ailment. Once that is done, we can discuss about that paper.

        • @Srinivas Kakkilaya,

          The amount of evidence that is available on the use of yoga as therapy is so vast that we will do injustice to it if we merely focus on one or two such pieces of evidence.
          As long as traditional practices such as Yoga and ayurveda submit their claims to testing by scientific methods that leads to generation of testable, verifiable data, I don’t see why naturalists should have a problem with that, even as they must and should work towards demolishing the “metaphysical” baggage that such practices carry with them.

          • @Vinay,

            At the risk of what-aboutery, why is it that we rarely see advocates of CAM spend their resources against the Ramdevs and Hegdes, but spend time sparring with people who point out the nonsense spouted by Ramdevs and Hegdes? Isn’t countering such nonsense more beneficial and in the interests of CAM?

          • All I am asking for is a BIT of evidence that PROVES that yoga indeed works. From the many of the so called vast evidence that I have read, I could not find one. Please help by pointing at ONE.
            @vinay:
            Diversionary tactics are common with supporters of CAM!

        • @Srinivas Kakkilaya,

          And I am requesting you to provide one paper that in your view is the best proof of any medicine in treating any ailment. Once that is done, we can discuss about that paper.

        • In 2001, i thought of conducting a study on yoga in asthma and met Dr Nagrathna at SVYAASA.

          Setting up the study was tough. How would I tell the patients to get enrolled and await their turn to start yoga after 15 days. Some people tell patients that the classes are booked which is against the satya principle.
          And there was a cross over required. Once the person has reached yoga, he may takes months or years to return to baseline or never at all because yoga is not a set of exrcise it is a state.
          good sense prevailed . i gave up the idea. And now question the validity of every such study.
          kunda

  • @Rohan Kamty,

    Pls. note that Dr. Nanda is a philosopher in Science which does not limit itself to one field of scientific study. That being the case would it not be unfair to compare her publications to those of sam Harris who though being a trained neurobiologist himself proffers no proof for the metaphysical “realities” of the eastern mystical religions that he so enthusiastically promotes ??

    As a philosopher of science,I believe it is Ms. nanda’s right to take harris to task for not proffering proof for his claims on eastern mysticism even as he enthusiastically demolishes the faith of the abrahamics.

    Such comparisons might be somewhat valid if both Ms. nanda and Harris had worked in the same field for the similar number of years and by enumeraing the number of hypotheses made by each which turned out to be real.

    I’m glad that you point out that the scientific work of Sam harris was evaluated on the basis of its scientific rigour and not on the basis of his religious worldview.

  • @Vinod Wadhawan,

    Thanks for that link. There is indeed significant amounts of scientific literature that shows some benefit of yoga as therapy. There is also literature that shows the potential negative effects of yoga.
    For instance long term TM practioneers, who practised the TM for many hours per day within the cult of mahesh yogi showed serious psychological impairment according to the results of the Kropinski trial.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20041009201024/trancenet.org/research/index.shtml

    In my opinion what may be needed is that the claims and dissemination of yoga be subject to some kind of regulation of the type that is normally imposed upon other pharmacologic therapies.This however will be nearly impossible in India.

    • In my opinion what may be needed is that the claims and dissemination of yoga be subject to some kind of regulation of the type that is normally imposed upon other pharmacologic therapies.

      That seems a crucial point. What sort of regulation are conventional fitness centers, trainers and physiotherapists subject to it India at present? What are the norms of licensing and inspection? Those may provide a suitable background for bring Hatha Yoga-based and other programs within the ambit of regulation.

  • @Satish Chandra,

    For an answer, you should direct that question to those who promote CAM as being superior to “allopathic” medicine without the benefit of testable and verifiable data.

    • In any case, there seems to be a shared emphasis by all participants here on the primacy of evidence and the scientific method, which was being clearly disparaged in the cited ‘The Hindu’ articles and were being defended here. This is a reiteration of an earlier comment where too it was acknowledged that we are ostensibly on the same page. It is just that many of the examples and objections cited here seem to be far from a coincidental selection, and it will understandably seem far from coincidental in settings like ours, where it is not uncommon to see ‘selective outrage’ in this regard, where exacting standards are applied for some claims and mysteriously waived for others.

      Rather than digressions about who is entitled to ask evidence and from whom, this seems a suitable venue to enhance skills of scientific reading and evaluation. If you have a blog/articles with critical reviews of medical practice, science surveys, research critiques and the like (say like Skepticblog), do post a link here. Readers here are likelier to be interested in pursuing the shared interest in evidence, rather than engaging in compilation of stray case studies whose choice is not particularly compelled as classic examples of the evidence-based approach under discussion.

  • @Srinivas Kakkilaya,

    Kindly note that in stating that more research needs to be define to bring to light the relative contributions of nature and nurture to the atypical cortical gyrification seen in meditators, the authors are not refuting their own research, but stating the areas which their research did not touch upon.

  • Ayurveda has cured a number of patients , even terminally ill patients, suffering from Cancer, Diabetes, etc. It would be better if the detractors actually went and looked at the medical reports before writing such inflammatory articles. if they are absolutely convinced after seeing numerous medical cases that ayurveda doesn’t work then writing such articles is fine. But the article fails immediately because ayurveda has cured cases of cancer and other deadly diseases for which their allopathic doctors had given a deadline.

    If the author actually studies medical histories and gives an unbiased opinion then it is fine. here he/she is just spouting venom.

    for example if the author of this article practises in medical system A, and a patient comes to him/her and there doesn’t exist a proper cure for the patient in system A but does so in system B, but this doctor will not refer the patient to a doctor of system B because of his/her prejudices, and in turn the patient suffers. patients must refrain from visiting such doctors. or better would be to remove such doctors for fooling the public.

      • http://www.padaav.com/content/City_Cheers_7_July_2008.pdf

        Dr. Balendu Prakash from dehradun has been quite successful in treating leukemia and certain other forms of cancer also. if you do not believe the article, the medical records of the patients cured are available for cross referencing from institutions like AIIMS, etc.

        Kotakkal Arya Vaidya Sala has also cured patients with cancer.

        http://www.scribd.com/doc/19225195/Onclolgy-in-Ayurveda

        again, medical records are there, if you do not necessarily trust the document.

        divyajot ayurvedic centre in ahmedabad has also cured a number of cases.

        there are also a number of smaller centers that have cured patients with many life threatening illnesses.

        my friends father had suffered from cancer, and was given a deadline of 2 months by the allopathic doctors(1.5 years back). he underwent treatment in an ayurvedic clinic in allahabad, and guess what. he is still alive and cured and there has been no relapse.

        i hope this are PROVEN references for you.

        • Can entire EBM be based on the kind of PROVEN EVIDENCE that you have cited? Can I make some claims and start treating patients on that basis?

          • if you actually read what PK Warrier has written that quote”research methodogies designed by WHO include a specific clause that single case studies of the evaluation of the efficacy of herbal medicine should not be ignored because of its potential contribution to traditional medicine.”

            and sir, these are not mere claims. these are evidences of healing which is backed by medical reports. don’t play around words to prove your point.

            and no one is pushing ayurvedic treatments based on mere claims. there is solid evidence behind it. if you think these are mere claims even though they are backed by solid evidence, then i pity that we have such doctors in our country. also no one is pushing ayurvedic treatments on the populace of the country. they are free to choose the kind of treatment they would like.

            if you are waiting for a nod from your white masters, then that you have have to wait many decades, and that is completely unnecessary since it is our indigenous medicine.

            also if you want an anecdotal evidence from me, my friend’s mother had breast cancer. she was not in a terminally ill condition. she underwent chemo and her life ended within 1 week of treatment. what exactly is EB in such cases???

  • @Srinivas Kakkilaya
    In cancer science, many ‘discoveries’ don’t hold up
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former researcher at Amgen Inc has found that many basic studies on cancer — a high proportion of them from university labs — are unreliable, with grim consequences for producing new medicines in the future.

    During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 “landmark” publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.
    Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated. He described his findings in a commentary piece published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.
    http://news.yahoo.com/cancer-science-many-discoveries-dont-hold-174216262.html

    • EBM is self cleansing, so many ideas have changed with advancing research. Again it is EBM that openly admits and warns about adverse events; CAMs take advantage of this honesty and trumpet their untested remedies as safer alternatives (these are untested, not proven safe). For every EBM drug that enters the market, there are several that fall through. And some are withdrawn if proven risky. Does this auditing happen with any CAM?

      • Modern medicine is highly advanced and useful. There is no denying it. Yet doctors of today give little importance to counselling patients on the importance of a healthy life style and prevention of diseases. Several minor ailments can certainly be taken care of by following a proper diet regimen and lifestyle. In alternative medicine such as Ayurveda, importance is given to lifestyle and one’s constitution, which modern system of medicine does not.

        Yoga is a way of life and it helps you achieve a better state of health. When one has a better state of health, his body will learn protect itself from several minor ailments.

        B. M. Hegde is right in some areas. The benefits of modern medicine are immense in several areas. However, the system has become corrupt and people are exploited. For example, most of upper respiratory ailments can be cured without resorting to antibiotics. In India, it is the first line of treatment prescribed by most doctors for even minor upper respiratory ailments.

        I had mild gingivitis few years ago. A doctor prescribed prescribed antibiotics. However, I tried gurgling with salt water and G-32 (an Ayurvedic medicine). It worked wonders. I got cured without taking antibiotics.

        My point is modern doctors should stop addressing small problems with big medicines. In another incidence, I went to a doctor for minor stomach pain. I was immediately advised antibiotics. The doctor said he suspected it to be amoebiasis. I told him, see it doesn’t seem to be so. Let me try with some antacids, if it doesn’t work, I will come to you. I took some antacids and got relief.

        Most of the time, doctors are not sure of what they are doing. They take a guess and recommend what they think is right.

        While we cannot discount the huge strides made by the medical field need, we certainly need to evaluate how it is being practised. All systems have their pros and cons. Let’s take the best from every discipline.

      • This paper applies perfectly to many of the so called CAM research:
        …a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice…

  • @Ganesh,

    I liked your answer to this statement:

    …..”Nothing could be more dangerous than that (a regular health check-up) to apparently healthy people”.

    That is a statement that is condescendingly nonsensical. I urge you to re-read it and correct it forthwith. NOT getting a regular health checkup is definitely more dangerous than getting one regularly. Every single time! Just imagine yourself with a tumor or a brain aneurysm waiting to burst! Or perhaps a glaucoma?

    I just like to add this to your statement :

    Many diseases are a-symptomatic. For example, Hypertension until it results in a stroke, Silent Ischemia (without Angina Pectoris) until it results in Myocardial Infarction, because inspite of plaques in the coronary arteries, if the person does regular aerobic exercises, the collateral circulation capillaries might keep him from chest pain. Then again you have Osteoporosis (brittle bones)which is asymptomatic until you fall down and have fractures. So regular health check-ups are essential even for apparently healthy people.

    I am so glad that there are sane people like you to speak for EBSM.

  • Dear Dr.Kakkilaya,
    In your spandana metabolomics website which is owned by you, http://www.spandanametabolics.in/?p=178
    you have mentioned a study “There appears to be no association between egg consumption and increase in blood cholesterol or the incidence of heart attacks. Eggs, in fact, make a good breakfast!”
    And now you are recommending eggs for people even if they have high choleterol. And you are citing the study based on this paper
    http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v65/n6/pdf/ejcn201130a.pdf
    But have you read the paper “Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: Not for patients at risk of vascular disease”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989358/?tool=pubmed

    Than what according to you is eveidence based medicine, here are two different conflicting papers and how do you say which paper is correct?

    I am raising this question to figure out on what basis you are saying complementary medicine research papers are not true and EBM is totally true?

  • great point Rohit. There are many papers with conflicting views in modern medicine. The reason for this is certain drugs are pushed into the market without proper study,and there is conflict of interest many a time in these papers. Many drugs after being in the market for many years are then pulled out.

    Of course this logic doesn’t hold for topics like Egg consumption.
    The theory that modern medicine is fully evidence based and traditional medicine isn’t is a fallacy. Traditional medicine has thousands of years of “clinical trials” and “peer review”.

  • Dear Rohit, Thank you for raising this. You are right in asking as to what really is EBM? As we continue to study ourselves, new evidence keeps emerging and it is therefore necessary to revise and refine our treatment protocols. I was prescribing statins, anti diabetic drugs and insulin about 7 years ago, but no more.

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1927 was awarded to Julius Wagner-Jauregg for his work on treating syphilis by inducing malarial fever. The same prize in 1945 was awarded to Sir Alexander Fleming and others for discovering penicillin, the wonder drug that would cure not only syphilis, but also other infections. In just 18 years, one Nobel Prize winning treatment became totally obsolete.

    The first paper that you have cited is dated June 2011 and involved 14185 subjects followed up for 6 years. The second one is a review dated Nov 2010 and obviously has not considered the first one.

    The authors of this review point out that two studies that promoted the benefits of eggs were funded by egg marketing agencies; but these authors of the review have themselves received grants, honoraria and speaker’s fees from several pharmaceutical companies manufacturing lipid-lowering drugs such as Pfizer, one of the largest manufacturer of statins!

    As far as CAM is concerned, if definite evidence emerges that any of it works, I will have no hesitation in recommending it. But I have not seen any such until now.

    • “As far as CAM is concerned, if definite evidence emerges that any of it works, I will have no hesitation in recommending it. But I have not seen any such until now.”

      Couple of points sir. One, is that you are either unaware or are lying when you say that you have not seen any evidence of traditional medicine working. Second, you cannot recommend any ayurvedic drugs, even those that are proven to work beyond a doubt, because you do not have a BAMS or any complementary ayurvedic degree.

      • I have been repeatedly requesting everyone to show me the best evidence that is available that proves the efficacy of any CAM for any disease. No one has shown me any so far and I have not found any either. So I am neither lying nor unaware, but only that I haven’t found despite best efforts. If you have any, please show.

        And the second point should be directed to all BAMS, BHMS et al who practice everything, not me. I do not have to prescribe any ayurveda product; if any proof appears, there will be further research/purification etc., followed by further research before any such drug comes to use.

        • sir, i already showed you evidence for ayurvedic treatments for certain types of cancer, diabetes, renal calculii, and many many more illnesses. The links are provided in the older commnents. You have seemed to ignore the fact findings despite obvious medical reportings. If you look away from medical reports and other related findings, and also papers published in ayurvedic and non ayurvedic journals as to the efficacy of ayurvedic drugs then nothing can be done.

          As regards to purification, many of our bhasma drugs are very very complex in terms of preparation/purification, and also drugs like ksheerabala 101 capsules, etc. So it is a misnomer when you say that ayurvedic drugs require further processing or purification. That is simply not the case

          • I suggest you to read more about evidence based medicine, the level of evidence that is being relied upon etc., before expecting anyone to accept the anecdotal reports as EVIDENCE. If that can be the evidence, such should also hold good for EBM; is that acceptable? Can we prescribe something based on one or two cases?

        • lol, there are countless examples of allopathic drugs not working and yet being sanctified through academic journals. So will you go against evidence and prescribe certain drugs simply because their mention is there in academic journals?
          Again a fallacy when you say just one or two cases. If you go through the case reports the number of cases are much greater than “ONE or TWO”.

          Like the other person has pointed out you seem to be not reading academic papers in depth and rather just reading abstracts/conclusions and coming up with your own mumbo jumbo. I went through your “Spandana” site and it is loaded with junk.
          Good luck with your profession.

          • Instead of commenting on my credentials, and copy pasting some one else’s comments, please provide me ONE randomised controlled/double blind/large/long term study that proves the efficacy of ANY CAM for ANY SINGLE ailment.

          • “I vividly remember the case of a patient who had adenocarcinoma of stomach. His brother who was undergoing treatment in our hospital had a discussion with us about the possibilities of ayurvedic treatmentfor stomach cancer in which the western system had nothing much to offer in terms of a medical treatment. Based on the reports made available to us we suggested a course of treatment to be tried at his residence. In fact we did not get an occasion to see the patient personally even once before chalking out the treatment profile. The medicines included Nimbamrithadi Panchathiktham Kashayam, SahadevyadiLeham and a few adjuvants. We too were not very hopeful in the initial stages of treatment. To our surprise we were getting reports from the patient indicating the progress that he was making towards recovery. He made his own arrangement to continue the treatment at Gulf collecting medicines from Kottakkal. He continued the medication without any interruption for a period of more than five years.To him at least ayurveda has a cure for Cancer.

            In this case the patient is a fifty year-old Keralite lady who was diagnosed as Ca. Lung. She approached us for medical advice forwarding her full medical case history. In addition to NimbamrithadiPanchathiktham Kashayam, Sahadevyadi Leham, we prescribed Parthadyarishtam and Agasthyarsayanam in view of the specific site of cancerous lesion. One cannot expect a tangible improvement in lung cancer cases. But this lady improved rapidly and she attained a near normal condition. The improvement was not merely symptomatic. Radiological examination revealed the remarkable changes suggestive of the regression of the disease. (I have with me the X-ray films of this patient).


            I may now refer to the treatment of one more case. It is about a sixteen year-old patient, diagnosed as Acute Myloid Leukemia M-1. The diagnosis was done at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences,Hyderabad. The presenting symptoms were abdomen pain, low grade fever, dry cough, and generalized body ache. On examination there was detectable splenomegaly. Patient was advised to try Nimbamrithadi Panchathiktham Kashayam, Chandraprabha vatika, Ayolipta thippali, Rasasindooram and combinationof Nityakalyani extract, Thippali choornam, Rajathabhasmam and Thalakabhasmam. Patient continuedthe treatment on a regular basis and intimated the progress at regular intervals. She was registering improvement gradually. Case was personally reviewed after three months. Patient was totally free from all symptoms recorded initially and there was no splenomegaly. Her blood picture showed tremendous improvement in every aspect. The patient has now resumed her studies as if she has totally recoveredfrom the ailment. She has been advised to continue the medication and send us the reports without fail at regular intervals.”

            Similar case reports can be found with the VCP cancer institute in Dehradun. You can check it up as links are put up in the older comments. Also kindly do not use the same old One,Two case argument as this part was only for the Kotakkal institution and similar reports can be found from other places like VCP Dehradun, Divyajot Ahmedabad, Ayurvedic University Jamnagar, Allahabad, etc. Such reports are in the dozens and hundreds.

            This of course does not mean Ayurveda has a cure for cancer, but it would be foolish to make generalized statements like Ayurveda cannot even cure a single disease, like you seem to be making, and i guess will continue making.

            Also with this copy paste criticism, you have conveniently neglected my question about the toxicity of jaggery, raw salt and rock salt. In your site you say all sugar is poison. Do you have proof to say that jaggery is poison???

          • There is no point in citing hundreds of case reports, please show the evidence that I asked for. If you have none, accept that. And regarding jaggery and honey etc., please study some fundamental biochemistry of sucrose, glucose, fructose, their metabolism, their role in metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance etc.

        • I commented on your credentials because you appear to be very ‘lazy’ and not willing to read the few documents that i have posted and yet have resorted to using the same old same old randomized/double controlled blah blah.

          Ayurveda also recognizes the placebo effect and diseases are characterized as follows
          1) Diseases where the body can cure itself without medical intervention
          2) Diseases where the healing can be speeded up with medical intervention
          3) Diseases where the body cannot heal itself without medical intervention.

          There is no point asking for evidence for case 1, as there is only the patient testimony to rely on(The whole double blind thing is a waste of time for these kinds of diseases like common cold, fever, etc). There is no evidence also of any allopathic drug working for diseases like fever or common cold.

          Coming to case 3), it would be foolish or lunatic to ask for things like double blind, etc trials for diseases like cancer, diabetes, anaemia, etc. Hence i hope you do not resort to using those words again for those diseases as medical tests can check the rate of healing for diseases like anaemia, cancer ,etc, and easily validate the efficacy of drugs(Be it allopathic or ayurvedic).

          I already posted links to cancer treatments in earlier comments, here are a few other for other diseases

          http://www.ayujournal.org/article.asp?issn=0974-8520;year=2011;volume=32;issue=3;spage=345;epage=348;aulast=Rastogi

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10927868

          http://www.ijpsonline.com/article.asp?issn=0250-474X;year=2007;volume=69;issue=6;spage=791;epage=795;aulast=Sarkar

          http://www.springerlink.com/content/j044088768k48700/

          I also hope you read this book if you are indeed so skeptical.

          http://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Based-Practice-Complementary-Alternative-Medicine/dp/3642245641

          I also haven’t copied anyone else’s comments.
          In your “Spandana” site you have mentioned that Sugar is poison. Sure modern day processed sugar is poison, but do you have any evidence to suggest that Jaggery is poison?? Have you conducted any Animal studies to prove the toxicity of Jaggery??
          Same thing with Salt. Salt is essential to our survival. Have you done any study on the toxicity of Raw salt or Rock Salt?? Raw Salt is much more healthier than processed salt.

          • First:
            Like the other person has pointed out you seem to be not reading academic papers in depth and rather just reading abstracts/conclusions and coming up with your own mumbo jumbo. I went through your “Spandana” site and it is loaded with junk.
            This is copy pasted from Rohit’s comments

            Second:
            “you appear to be very ‘lazy’ ”
            Have you seen me? Have you fathomed all the work that I have been doing? If you think attack is the best defense, that is your problem.

            Third:
            Have you read these in detail? (You are not as lazy as me, I suppose)
            An Ayurvedic intervention in the form of following prescription was suggested in continuation to whatever modern therapies were prescribed (From Rastogi et al)
            What is the clinical implication of phenylhydrazine induced haemolytic anaemia?

            Have you read Trick or Treatment by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst? Applying scientific methodology is not only possible, but very much desirable for all CAM therapies.

        • wow, so now case reports/medical reports/evidence don’t count as “evidence”, but certain remedies, even if they are cited in medical journals but do not work in the real world, count as evidence to you?? Maybe we need to redefine evidence based on your philosophies.

          Anyway, i’ve wasted enough time here. goodbye.

          • Friends,

            I am seriously studying self healing ..a LA WILD ANIMALS AND PLANTS…

            i ASK PEOPLE TO SHOW ME THEIR BEFORE AND AFTER REPORTS.
            IF IT IS GENUINE, i COUNT IT.
            many others could do the same in thedifferent states of India. Ten years down the line we will have a physicians desk reference of different things that work for different people.

            I was a hard- core, big bloated head, allopathic internist with ICU training and suffered from terrible asthma for nine years but did not veer away from my stream. I healed myself of asthma by default and then helped others and then wrote a book about it.
            Use allopathy or ayurveda if you have faith in it. we doctors need to survivebut when you want to self heal go for it

    • Dear Dr.Kakkilaya,

      Its appaling that you have stopped prescribing statins, antidiabetic drugs and insulin since last 7 years. If you mean that you are revising and refining the treatment based on papers. But it seems that you are just reading the abstract, without critically reading and analyzing the papers or publication.
      You can find the pdf version of the paper http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=Egg+consumption+and+risk+of+cardiovascular+disease+in+the+SUN+Project&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=off&tbs=&as_filetype=pdf&as_rights=
      Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in the SUN Project
      Just read the paper and lets discuss it. When I grazed the paper, many ???ss arise to my mind.
      It does not matter wheather the paper is old or not.
      The point of critique should not be just based on who is funding the research. But the paper should be critiqued based on the contents, methodology and analysis of data.
      Sorry to say you that your spandan metabolomics site seems like a mumbo jumbo and this is not we expect from a rationalist.

      • Far too many conclusions based on pure assumptions. I have read the full text of these papers. Please go through full text of all the articles that we have cited before concluding that it is all mumbo jumbo. And thank you for your sympathies.

        • Dear Dr.Kakkilaya,
          http://www.ehow.com/feature_8401792_controlling-cholesterol.html

          This is an article wrote in 2012 critquing the paper.
          Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in the SUN Project

          This is what it says

          The bottom line is that dietary cholesterol does increase blood cholesterol levels, but other factors are more important,” said Qi Sun, instructor in medicine at Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “For most healthy people, in general, dietary cholesterol wouldn’t dramatically increase blood levels.”

          But that’s not necessarily a green light to order the omelet. Overindulging in high-cholesterol foods could have other negative impacts, Sun said, including increased blood pressure in some people.

          According to the American Heart Association, dietary guidelines for Americans suggest that healthy adults should eat less than 300 mg/dL of cholesterol per day. That’s why foods such as eggs and shrimp draw so much attention. One large egg has about 185 mg/dL of cholesterol, while a 3-ounce serving of shrimp has more than 100 mg/dL.

          While eggs have long been seen as public enemy No. 1 in the battle against high cholesterol, research is showing that moderate egg consumption — up to one egg per day — does not significantly increase the risk of heart disease in most healthy people. But Sun, of the Harvard School of Public Health, notes that research also has shown that eggs do increase heart disease risks for people with diabetes.

          “If someone has other health issues, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, perhaps they should avoid eating the egg yolk, which is where most of the cholesterol is found, and instead eat egg whites,” Sun said.

          • Dear Dr.Kakkilaya,

            Have a look at this paper to:-
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22686621

            Associations among 25-year trends in diet, cholesterol and BMI from 140,000 observations in men and women in Northern Sweden.

            Johansson I, Nilsson L, Stegmayr B, Boman K, Hallmans G, Winkvist A.

            Abstract

            ABSTRACT:

            BACKGROUND:

            In the 1970s, men in northern Sweden had among the highest prevalences of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) worldwide. An intervention program combining population- and individual-oriented activities was initiated in 1985. Concurrently, collection of information on medical risk factors, lifestyle and anthropometry started. Today, these data make up one of the largest databases in the world on diet intake in a population-based sample, both in terms of sample size and follow-up period. The study examines trends in food and nutrient intake, serum cholesterol and body mass index (BMI) from 1986 to 2010 in northern Sweden.

            METHODS:

            Cross-sectional information on self-reported food and nutrient intake and measured body weight, height, and serum cholesterol were compiled for over 140,000 observations. Trends and trend breaks over the 25-year period were evaluated for energy- providing nutrients, foods contributing to fat intake, serum cholesterol and BMI.

            RESULTS:

            Reported intake of fat exhibited two significant trend breaks in both sexes: a decrease between 1986 and 1992 and an increase from 2002 (women) or 2004 (men). A reverse trend was noted for carbohydrates, whereas protein intake remained unchanged during the 25-year period. Significant trend breaks in intake of foods contributing to total fat intake were seen. Reported intake of wine increased sharply for both sexes (more so for women) and export beer increased for men. BMI increased continuously for both sexes, whereas serum cholesterol levels decreased during 1986 – 2004, remained unchanged until 2007 and then began to rise. The increase in serum cholesterol coincided with the increase in fat intake, especially with intake of saturated fat and fats for spreading on bread and cooking.

            CONCLUSIONS:

            Men and women in northern Sweden decreased their reported fat intake in the first 7 years (1986-1992) of an intervention program. After 2004 fat intake increased sharply for both genders, which coincided with introduction of a positive media support for low carbohydrate-high-fat (LCHF) diet. The decrease and following increase in cholesterol levels occurred simultaneously with the time trends in food selection, whereas a constant increase in BMI remained unaltered. These changes in risk factors may have important effects on primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

          • Dear Rohit, In all that you have cited (in full text), show me one sentence that blames eggs for increased serum cholesterol.

          • Dr.Kakkilaya,
            What do you know about my educational background? And do you know at all anythingh other than what might be written on my FB page?
            Now let me finish ithis shit.

            Associations among 25-year trends in diet, cholesterol and BMI from 140,000 observations in men and women in Northern Sweden.
            This is the latest paper published 11 June 2012
            http://www.nutritionj.com/content/11/1/40/abstract

            Support for a link between diet, cholesterol levels and CVD
            There is strong support for protective effects of dietary foods/factors in relation to cholesterol
            levels and coronary heart disease; such positive foods are fish, vegetables, nuts and the
            “Mediterranean diet” [14,38,40,41]. Harmful dietary factors include trans fatty acids, foods
            with high glycaemic index, and “Western diet” patterns [14]. For example, the relative risk to
            develop coronary heart disease is 1.55 (95% CI 1.27–1.83) for subjects eating a “Western
            diet” [40].
            When VIP was launched in 1985 a major focus was to reduce the high cholesterol levels by a
            change of diet in the direction of a “modified Mediterranean diet” combined with increased
            physical activity. The diet messages included a reduction of total fat, a shift from saturated to
            polyunsaturated fatty acids, fewer eggs, but more vegetables, legumes, fruit, fish, and whole
            grain bread. The decline in cholesterol levels during the first seven years in the present study
            might reflect the reported changes in food selection, because physical activity did not
            increase in the period [7]. However, the continuous decrease of cholesterol levels after 1992
            and up to 2004 may reflect altered (less saturated) fatty acid profiles in fats used for
            spreading on bread and cooking. In this period several products that contain canola, olive oil
            or phytosterols were introduced on the market (the Swedish Dairy Association, personal
            communication). Furthermore, treatment with blood cholesterol-lowering medication had not
            been introduced to a significant extent in the initial 7-year period. In Sweden, the use of
            statins, mainly simvastatin, started after the presentation of the 4S study in 1994 [42]. The validity of self-reported prevalence of cholesterol-lowering medication (a 3.82-fold increase
            from 1999 to 2009) was supported by a 3.89-fold increase in the number of prescriptions for
            cholesterol-lowering medication in the region during the same period (data from the National
            Board of Health and Welfare, http://www.socialstyrelsen.se/statistik/). In Finland the use of
            lipid-lowering medication was estimated to account for 16% (men) and 7% (women) of the
            cholesterol reduction between 1982 and 2007, whereas fat reduction and altered fatty acid
            composition was estimated to account for 65% and 60% of the reduction for men and women,
            respectively [43]. Similar evaluations, including CVD risk prediction in light of the changing
            eating habits, cholesterol levels and BMI, is planned in the Västerbotten population, too.

            The above statements clearly demonstrates that statins lowers cholesterol. You are cherry picking some publications which says that statins do not reduce cholesterol. They are in minority. But before coming to a conclusion you have to take into account both the sides of the stories.

          • Now coming to relation between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.

            Again refer to same paper

            Associations among 25-year trends in diet, cholesterol and BMI from 140,000 observations in men and women in Northern Sweden.
            This is the latest paper published 11 June 2012
            http://www.nutritionj.com/content/11/1/40/abstract
            The unexpected rise of dietary fat intake and cholesterol levels in recent years
            Up to 2004, our hypothesis of a stable low level of dietary intake of fats, concurrent with low
            serum cholesterol levels, compared to initial levels in 1986, was indeed proven correct.
            Surprisingly, in 2004 a pronounced increase in fat intake was noted and after 2007,
            cholesterol levels began to increase steadily in both sexes. In parallel, the very-lowcarbohydrate
            and high-fat diets (LCHF [21], i.e. not the traditional reduction of carbohydrates
            and fat to reduce overall energy intake) became recognized and increasingly popular as a
            means to lose weight and control blood glucose levels among type-2 diabetics in Sweden. A
            transition in food selection is now indicated by the present results, local reports of butter
            shortage in the stores and increased trade of high-fat alternatives (the Swedish Board of
            Agriculture, http://www.sjv.se). Notably, the increased fat intake was not associated with any
            reduction or stagnation of the increasing levels of BMI in the northern Sweden population,
            even though several studies indicate positive effects of LCHF, i.e. weight loss in a short-term
            perspective [44,45]. However, evidence for weight loss effects beyond six months is lacking
            [44,45], and long-term safety is controversial, i.e. some studies report adverse health effects
            [41,46-49] and others do not [50]. Hence, the dietary guidelines of the National Food
            Administration of Sweden [51], like most other dietary guidelines [14,52], do not support
            diets with a total fat content exceeding 30–35 E% for these purposes.
            Evaluations of 14 randomized trials of statins have concluded that a reduction of LDL
            cholesterol by 1 mmol/L leads to a 12% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 19% reduction
            in CHD mortality [53]. Hence, not surprisingly, the promising decline in CHD mortality over
            the past 20 years has been attributed mainly to healthful changes in blood cholesterol,
            triglycerides, smoking and hypertension [54]. The decrease in cholesterol alone explained
            39% of the mortality reduction [54,55]. Thus, the upward tendency from 2004 and the
            marked increase of cholesterol after 2007 is a deep concern for both primary and secondary
            CHD prevention. The long-term deleterious effects of a high blood cholesterol level seem to
            be neglected in the population and media, and the interest is centred on diets that promise
            rapid weight loss [44,49]. For the individual standing on the bathroom scale an increase in
            blood cholesterol may be overlooked, because it will only be detected by measurements at a
            medical centre.
            In conclusion, men and women in northern Sweden decreased their reported intake of total
            and saturated fat in the first years following the introduction of an intervention programme,
            but after 2004 fat intake increased, especially saturated fat and butter-based spread for bread
            and butter for cooking. Supportive opinions in media for high-fat diets seem to have had an
            impact on consumer behaviour. Initially beneficial and thereafter deleterious changes in
            blood cholesterol paralleled these trends in food selection, whereas a claimed weight
            reduction by high-fat diets was not seen in the most recent years. In contrast, BMI increased continuously over the 25-year period. These changes in risk factors may have important
            effects on primary and secondary prevention of CVD.

            And finally the imapct factor of the journal “Nutrition Journal” is also 2.561 same as the impact factor as that of European Journal of Clinical Nutrition from which you had cherry picked the paper.

          • And Finally Dr.Kakkilaya, whats the difference between you and Dr.B.M Hegde?

            One is writing shit in Hindu under the pretex of complementary medicine and you are doing the same thingh under the guise of rational medicine.

            Medicine is medicine and nothingh else.
            Good luck to your patients.

          • Dear Rohit, After quoting and quoting and again quoting, you have not been able to show us one sentence that relates eggs with cholesterol. Please read it 100 times again, and try to find as to what the authors have written about the sources of saturated fats. If you don’t understand, read again. You might have written what you have called as shit, clean it up if you can. I know well to take care of my patients and myself, without statins, of course.

        • But Sun, of the Harvard School of Public Health, notes that research also has shown that eggs do increase heart disease risks for people with diabetes.

          http://www.ehow.com/feature_8401792_controlling-cholesterol.html

          While eggs have long been seen as public enemy No. 1 in the battle against high cholesterol, research is showing that moderate egg consumption — up to one egg per day — does not significantly increase the risk of heart disease in most healthy people. But Sun, of the Harvard School of Public Health, notes that research also has shown that eggs do increase heart disease risks for people with diabetes.

          • If someone has other health issues, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, perhaps they should avoid eating the egg yolk, which is where most of the cholesterol is found, and instead eat egg whites,” Sun said.

            In addition to their high cholesterol content, eggs are often served with foods such as sausage, cheese and butter, which are high in saturated fat.

            Read more: Controlling Cholesterol | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/feature_8401792_controlling-cholesterol.html#ixzz1xpNEx7Hq

          • Dear Dr.Kakkilaya,
            Here is the profile of Dr.Qi Sun
            Sc.D. in Nutrition and Epidemiology, 2007, Harvard School of Public Health

            M.M.S. in Social Medicine and Health Service Management, 2002, Beijing University Health Science Center

            M.D., 1997, Beijing Medical University

            http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/qi-sun/

          • Please do not waste anyone’s time. Where in these articles did you find a statement that eggs do increase serum cholesterol? As far as CVD risk in diabetes etc., did you find any details on my site? Do you know the details of what I advise my patients? Without any such info, why do you jump? Moreover, nirmukta is not the place for discussions on Spandana.

          • Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels

            If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day.

            http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/HQ00608

            Also in the http://www.ehow.com/feature_8401792_controlling-cholesterol.html#ixzz1y35sZV60

            According to the American Heart Association, dietary guidelines for Americans suggest that “healthy adults should eat less than 300 mg/dL of cholesterol per day”.

            “The bottom line is that dietary cholesterol does increase blood cholesterol levels”

            That’s why foods such as eggs and shrimp draw so much attention. “One large egg has about 185 mg/dL of cholesterol”

            So for “healthy individuals” are recommended to safely have 1 eggs per day.

            These people are saying don’t freak out about cholesterol in eggs if you are healthy. But if you have hypercholesterolemia or cardiovascular disease try to limit intake of food high in cholesterol like egg yolks.

          • Dear Dr.Kakkilaya,
            Let me quote you
            “I was prescribing statins, anti diabetic drugs and insulin about 7 years ago, but no more”

            If my doctor had told me this, than I would freak out and wonder wheather he needs pshychiatric evealuation.

          • You don’t have to freak out or wonder; you just have to read and know a lot more than you do at this point of time. You seem to be making freaked out diagnoses about people you haven’t seen or heard!

          • So far you have not been able to show that eggs do increase cholesterol. What you have cited are only conjectures, not direct evidence. Please read more about cholesterol biosynthesis, reasons for hypercholesterolemia, its relation to vascular health etc., before indulging in such discussions that are probably beyond your ability.

          • You started this on eggs and cholesterol and you are ending this without showing one single paper on that connection. I am not interested in your FB profile or any other. If you want to support statins despite all the papers on their adverse effects, please do so. I have enough evidence to support what I am doing. But you have miserably failed to show any proof for your contention that eggs increase cholesterol.

  • Dear Dr.Kakkilaya,
    Have you read the paper? Or just an abstract. The critique has been of previous papers. But this paper also uses the same methodology as that of previous paper.
    “Participants were asked to report how often they had
    consumed eggs of hen (unit of consumption was 1 egg)
    during the previous year.”
    Looking at egg consumption for just 1 year

    Participants reporting higher consumption of eggs were more likely to be men, current smokers and physically more active and less likely to have history of hypertension, diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.

    On the other hand, participants reporting
    lower consumption of eggs were older and more likely to be ex-smokers.

    Is acute hypercholesterolemia or chronic hypercholesterolemia associated with CVD?

    If it is chronic hypercholesterolemia than the questionaire itself can create bias.

    If old guys were consuming less eggs in last year, it does not mean that they previously did not higher number of eggs.
    So they have to look association between eggs consumption for more than 1 yeaqr and CVD.

    http://www.ehow.com/feature_8401792_controlling-cholesterol.html

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/HQ00608

    So I wonder have you indeed read the article?

  • Neither Dr.Kakkaliya nor Kartik are right, because they are taking extreme point of view.
    Dr.Kakkilya just wants to say anythingh herbal is not scientific and Dr.Kartik says that herbal medicine is the answer to everythingh.
    First of all 95% of all the present drugs have herbal origin and nature is a remarkable factory, and it manufactures various types of compounds which can be used for many diseases. Science Foundation’s “Tree of Life” project, out of 100 million species living on the planet earth science has hardly identified 2 million species. That is 98% of all species living on earth are unknown to us. Out of the 2% of the known species have contributed to 95% of the drugs, this is one of the most important thinghs we need to remember.

    When scientists did a whole genome analysis of Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Cancer) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v455/n7216/abs/nature07385.html
    This study shows that brain cancer tumours even though look similar from outside, but are not similar. They are genetically different and different pathways are misregulated in GM (brain cancer tumours) from different patients. For example traditionally dysregulation of of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) genes,activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K) pathway; and (3) inactivation of the p53 and retinoblastoma tumour suppressor pathways was thought to be involved in GM tumours. But this paper shows genetic lesions, such as TP53 mutation, NF1 deletion or mutation, and ERBB2 amplification, have been found to be more common than was previously reported. New and unexpected discoveries have also been made, such as frequent mutations of the IDH1 and IDH2 genes in secondary glioblastoma
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v455/n7216/fig_tab/nature07385_F5.html
    Because of the tumour heterogenety till now surgery is considered as a primary theraphy for cancer and other chemotherapeutics are considered adjuvant Rx.

    So there is a need to integrate genomics, modern medicine and herbal medicine. And this is where science is leading.

    Kartik is wrong is saying herbal medicine ayurveda will cure cancer like AML, Breast Cancer etc
    For example, for a given breast cancer, the genomic pathways is different for same type of breast cancer tumour in different patients. So the probability of Rx breast cancer is very low, by chance. Dependence on just ayurveda will not be of benificial to patients. But good news is in future by integrating herbal medicine, modern medicine and genomics, we can identify the pathways misregulated in a tumor of given individual and if the tumor has misregulated pathways that can be modulated by herbal medicine, treat the patient with herbal medicne also.
    Whereas Dr.Kakkilaya freaks out by the use of term herbal medicine and forgets that 95% of the drugs have herbal origin and majority of the chemotheraputics were used as chemical weapons during world war and accidently caused reduction in tumour size of soldiers, if the soldiers survived the use of chemical weapons.

    Now science and medicine with the advancement of genomics, pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine is indicating us to integrate herbal medicine with modern medicine. For example if nutritional pathway is misregulated in a tumour of a certain individual, than the tumour will be sensitive to changes in diet in that individual.

    By integrating these systems we will be efficiently able to identify and weed out the complementary medicine which are false.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9-n6fCFhOs

    Also for Kakkilaya question about studies in complementary medicine studies here are few examples:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22633625
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21824893
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21964510
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22502623
    So the point Science has to be kept away from ism, ity, am like hinuism,islam,chritianity including “Atheism”.
    Now I understand why Albert Einstein, Neil Degrasse Tyson and Mikou Kaku have made it clear that they are not atheists but agnostics. And atheists like other religious people claim that these people are atheists.

    1)Michio Kaku appeared at a recent theist vs atheist
    debate giving an agnostic stance. He also proposed a pantheist possibility.
    http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=HOAj90FPnDs&feature=rel​ated

    2)Neil De Grasse Tyson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzSMC5rWvos
    Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson claims the title “scientist” above all other “ists.” And yet, he says he is “constantly claimed by atheists.” So where does he stand? “Neil deGrasse, widely claimed by atheists, is actually an agnostic.”

    3)Albert Einstein Critique of Atheism
    Do you believe in God? “I’m not an atheist. I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.”

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1607298,00.html
    But throughout his life, Einstein was consistent in rejecting the charge that he was an atheist. “There are people who say there is no God,” he told a friend. “But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.” And unlike Sigmund Freud or Bertrand Russell or George Bernard Shaw, Einstein never felt the urge to denigrate those who believed in God; instead, he tended to denigrate atheists. “What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos,” he explained.

    In fact, Einstein tended to be more critical of debunkers, who seemed to lack humility or a sense of awe, than of the faithful. “The fanatical atheists,” he wrote in a letter, “are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who–in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium of the masses’– cannot hear the music of the spheres.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1607298,00.html#ixzz1xtzcveyr

    • Rohit has made a number of points in his long and excellent comment. I want to join issue with him on the agnostic vs. atheist question by repeating what I already wrote on his FB page:

      Mr. X: Is there a God?

      Agnostic: I do not know.

      Atheist: There is the word ‘God’ in your question. Can you please define it?

      Mr. X: God created everything.

      Atheist: So this is a hypothesis for explaining creation. And it implies that there must be a creator for everything. But then, by your own logic, who created God?

      Mr. X: (No sensible answer.)

      Atheist: So yours is a bad hypothesis. It explains away everything, but we end up learning nothing. It is also an illogical hypothesis because it uses an ill-defined word ‘God’. I am not obliged to answer improperly formulated questions. Ask a question in which each word is defined properly, and I shall try to answer it. Till then, ‘God’ is your problem, not mine, because YOU coined that word. It is like having to answer the question: When did I stop beating my wife? The question has a baseless presumption! Questions about the existence of God include an assumption for which there is no basis; they are illogical questions. When an atheist says that he does not believe in God, it is just a reaction to an illogically formulated question. In fact, he is under no obligation to even react to the question ‘Is there a God?’. You cannot say that he is being ‘dogmatic’ and ‘cocksure’ about something so deep and fundamental. The poor fellow is just being logical and rational!

      • Dear Dr.Wadhawan,
        As far as I am concerned If some one says God created Universe, the first thingh that would flash in my mind is than who created God.
        If some one created God that who created the creator of God?
        Is it possible to seek an answer?

        If some one says this is the boundary of universe, the next ? would arise in my mind what is beyond that?

        If some one says universe started from a point? what if universe is of infinite size?
        Than if universe is of infinite size than wheather the universe started from point or a sphere or from another universe, or from infinity?

        Than the final question is whats the defination of God? Is he,she,it,or they is are called as God.
        Or is it nature which is God.

        If some one says that Sun,Earth and Gravity are is God, it makes sense because of these forces life exists on the earth, but do we need to pray for sun, gravity or earth?

        At the same time I dont want to stick to any religious idealogies, because more I learn, the one thingh I know is how much I dont know?

        The problem arise when people claim that they know everythingh.

    • Appreciate your comments Rohit.
      BTW, mine is not an extreme point of view. I also agree with you that modern medicine and traditional medicine like Ayurveda have to complement each other. Also I haven’t mentioned anything regarding atheism or religion, just have mentioned about the medicinal properties of ayurvedic drugs.

      If I get a heart attack tomorrow I would obviously go to the modern medicine doctor because the mechanical and surgical facilities available to the allopathic doctor are excellent.

      Another point many people make is that ayurvedic medicines need further processing/purification. Many ayurvedic medicines have elaborate and tough processing techniques and many if not all can be considered to be the best of its kind with the herbs used in it. Many pharmaceutical companies resort to bio-piracy, where traditional medicine knowledge is taken and the companies try to come up with new processing techniques using the same herbs and thus patent the final drug or processing technique. In many cases the traditional(ayurvedic) formulation beats the allopathic one, becuase of lower side effects and in many cases better treatment also.

      Also presently Ayurveda does not have a cure for cancer. But there have been dozens/hundreds of cases of patients being cured with ayurvedic drugs alone(and many more with surgery + ayurvedic drugs), but the disease(cancer) being so complex needs more research and ayurvedic treatments in combination with certain surgical procedures can improve the lives of cancer patients in the next 10-15 years. But presently ayurveda does not have a cure for cancer(but of course like i said before it has healed many patients and thwarted the disease)

      Ayurvedic treatment can be combined with allopathic treatment(mainly certain kind of surgical procedures) for cancer,fracture(many auyrvedic oils help in the quick healing of bones and ligaments/tendons),and many other surgical procedures to optimize treatment and quality of life for the patient.

      But ayurveda has still a very long way to go, to catch up to modern medicine, but many of the ayurvedic drugs are simply fantastic and the among the best of its kind, which is the point i was trying to make.

    • Pls show me where have I written this:
      Dr.Kakkilya just wants to say “anythingh herbal is not scientific”

  • Also, Natural sugars simply cannot be grouped into simple categories like sucrose, fructose, glucose, etc. Reality is much more complicated than what you study in your textbooks.
    (BTW you need not assume i have no knowledge of chemistry, I know what these sugars are usually represented by).

    I suggest you differentiate white sugar and jaggery by the MANUFACTURING PROCESSES of white crystalline sugar vis-a-vis jaggery, to know the real difference between white sugar and jaggery. Don’t simply rely on things like sucrose content, etc to make a distinction between the two.

      • wow, thanks for that advice. It is the greatest advice i have ever heard. Now i am an enlightened being after reading your statements.

  • I have shown you the papers, even I have plainly linked the articles linking eggs to cholesterol and CHD by doctors from Harvard and Mayo, which are amongst top 3 hospitals of USA. If you don’t want to read or ur lack of ability to comprehend or analyze papers, its your problem not my.

    • You are going round in circles. I have asked you to kindly show me one simple sentence from any of these papers that directly implicates eggs as a cause for increased cholesterol. I did not find any, if you have found in your ability, please show it. If not, accept that.

      • The diet messages included a reduction of total fat, a shift from saturated to
        polyunsaturated fatty acids, fewer eggs, but more vegetables, legumes, fruit, fish, and whole
        grain bread. This is from the study Associations among 25-year trends in diet, cholesterol and BMI from 140,000 observations in men and women in Northern Sweden.

        This is in fact a good study.
        Here they have changed the Total diet pattern. Reduced the intake of high cholesterol foods as whole and studied the trend for 25 years.
        But the papers which you have mentioned in your site, have just studied egg consumption in past 1 year only. All the papers by that group have looked for egg consumption for past 1 year. Thats the major drawback.

  • Dear Rohit, You are wasting space and time. You are misquoting from the article. What else can you do when you have no evidence to show that eggs do increase cholesterol? Please read that paper carefully, try and understand as to what the authors mean by increased fat intake and the nature of such fats (and eggs do not find a mention) and then come to your conclusions. If you are so fond of statins, best wishes to you.

    • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2911502/?tool=pubmed

      Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jun;21(6):430-7. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

      Dietary fat and cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease in older adults: the Health ABC Study.

      Houston DK, Ding J, Lee JS, Garcia M, Kanaya AM, Tylavsky FA, Newman AB, Visser M, Kritchevsky SB; Health ABC Study.

      Source

      Sticht Center on Aging, Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA. dhouston@wfubmc.edu

      Abstract

      BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

      Although dietary fats and cholesterol have previously been associated with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in middle-aged populations, less is known among older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between dietary fats, cholesterol, and eggs and CVD risk among community-dwelling adults aged 70-79 in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study.

      METHODS AND RESULTS:

      Diet was assessed using an interviewer-administered 108-item food frequency questionnaire (n=1941). CVD events were defined as a confirmed myocardial infarction, coronary death, or stroke. Relative rates of CVD over 9 years of follow-up were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. During follow-up, there were 203 incident cases of CVD. There were no significant associations between dietary fats and CVD risk. Dietary cholesterol (HR (95% CI): 1.47 (0.93, 2.32) for the upper vs. lower tertile; P for trend, 0.10) and egg consumption (HR (95% CI): 1.68 (1.12, 2.51) for 3+/week vs. <1/week; P for trend, 0.01) were associated with increased CVD risk. However, in sub-group analyses, dietary cholesterol and egg consumption were associated with increased CVD risk only among older adults with type 2 diabetes (HR (95% CI): 3.66 (1.09, 12.29) and 5.02 (1.63, 15.52), respectively, for the upper vs. lower tertile/group).

      CONCLUSIONS:

      Dietary cholesterol and egg consumption were associated with increased CVD risk among older, community-dwelling adults with type 2 diabetes. Further research on the biological mechanism(s) for the increased CVD risk with higher dietary cholesterol and frequent egg consumption among older adults with diabetes is warranted.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989358/?tool=pubmed

      Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease.

      Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J.

      Source

      Stroke Prevention & Atheroschlerosis Research Centre, Robarts Research Institute, London, Ontario. dspence@robarts.ca

      Abstract

      A widespread misconception has been developing among the Canadian public and among physicians. It is increasingly believed that consumption of dietary cholesterol and egg yolks is harmless. There are good reasons for long- standing recommendations that dietary cholesterol should be limited to less than 200 mg/day; a single large egg yolk contains approximately 275 mg of cholesterol (more than a day’s worth of cholesterol). Although some studies showed no harm from consumption of eggs in healthy people, this outcome may have been due to lack of power to detect clinically relevant increases in a low-risk population. Moreover, the same studies showed that among participants who became diabetic during observation, consumption of one egg a day doubled their risk compared with less than one egg a week. Diet is not just about fasting cholesterol; it is mainly about the postprandial effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation. A misplaced focus on fasting lipids obscures three key issues. Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation, increases postprandial lipemia and potentiates the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat. Dietary cholesterol, including egg yolks, is harmful to the arteries. Patients at risk of cardiovascular disease should limit their intake of cholesterol. Stopping the consumption of egg yolks after a stroke or myocardial infarction would be like quitting smoking after a diagnosis of lung cancer: a necessary action, but late. The evidence presented in the current review suggests that the widespread perception among the public and health care professionals that dietary cholesterol is benign is misplaced, and that improved education is needed to correct this misconception.

    • In your spandana site you have written a lot about metabolic syndrome
      http://www.spandanametabolics.in/?p=176

      now have a look at this article:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/22413042/?tool=pubmed
      Nutr Res Pract. 2012 Feb;6(1):61-7. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

      Breakfast patterns are associated with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults.

      Min C, Noh H, Kang YS, Sim HJ, Baik HW, Song WO, Yoon J, Park YH, Joung H.

      Source

      Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.

      Abstract

      The Korean diet, including breakfast, is becoming more Western, which could increase the risk of metabolic syndrome. Our aim was to assess whether breakfast patterns are associated with risk for metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. The study subjects (n = 371; 103 men, 268 women) were employees of Jaesang Hospital in Korea and their acquaintances, and all subjects were between 30 and 50 years old. The data collected from each subject included anthropometric measurements, three-day food intake, blood pressure (BP) and blood analyses. The three breakfast patterns identified by factor analysis were “Rice, Kimchi and Vegetables”, “Potatoes, Fruits and Nuts” and “Eggs, Breads and Processed meat”. The “Rice, Kimchi and Vegetables” pattern scores were positively correlated with systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) measurements in men (P < 0.05) and with serum triglyceride (TG) levels in women (P < 0.05). The "Eggs, Breads and Processed meat" pattern scores correlated positively with weight, body mass index (P < 0.05) and serum TGs (P < 0.01) in men. The "Potatoes, Fruits and Nuts" pattern was associated with lower risk of elevated BP (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.28-0.88) and fasting glucose levels (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.26-1.00). In contrast, the "Eggs, Breads and Processed meat" pattern was associated with increased risk of elevated TGs (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.06-3.98). Our results indicate that reducing the consumption of eggs, western grains and processed meat while increasing fruit, nut and vegetable intake for breakfast could have beneficial effects on decreasing metabolic syndrome risk in Korean adults.

      • Morever the Journal “Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases” where the paper “Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease.” was published has hiher impact factor 3.43 than the papers from which you have taken data and posted.The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has just an impact factor of 2.5

      • Why are you wasting the space at nirmukta and the time of its readers? If you have anything to discuss about what I advise my patients, please do so at Spandana web site. And from what you have quoted, it is clear that you have no idea of I do in my practice. Have I written anywhere about the specifics of my advice? You can quote from hundreds, but that would not answer my query or would change my methods.

  • I am really disappointed that this biting and chilling comments, claims and disclaims is ended in whimpers…

    The scientific dogma and the ‘know all’ attitude is more dangerous and costs heavily than the ignorance. But the practitioners know the difference ~ clinically the cost is paid by the innocuous patients very dearly.. In this aspect, I fully endorse the clinical methods and views of Dr.BM Hegde. For our being ‘wiser’ or ‘otherwiser’ we have no authority to infringe on the health – physical or economical of the public through patients. Restrain and an open mind approach to other methods of alleviations and even to palliatives could go a long way. Here the ‘attitude’ of the ‘doctor’ could become more harmful than the disease as the ailments could spread intellectually and the guise of ‘knowledge’ and ‘intelligence’.

    Nonetheless, It has been so intellectually interesting. I am indeed indebted like many subscribers / readers to nirmukta and the team for hosting such interactions.

    I look forward to more and more such brain stormings..

  • Thanks for having written so well and in such a convincing manner. Unfortunately, Prof. Hegde is not yet done with his spurious science, and just last week he wrote another peice in the Hindu, trying to disprove this time the link between Aids and hiv. I hope someone at nirmukta comes up with a similar piece debunking this latest attempts at deception.

  • If you look up the encylopaedia online called “Materia Medica” by Jonathan Perreira, it tells us that Allopathy was actually started by a Barber, who burnt up all the libraries of great traditional doctors, saying that” my shoe laces know more than these fools”

    Thus depriving us of genuine medical guidance based on Divine knowledge.

    Allopathy is only a means of destruction of truth and a path for money making.It is a symptom killer while the disease not only exists silently,but remains untreated and later kills.
    Cancer is not an epidemic, but Allopathy seems to have made it an epidemic thereby promoting death by their medicine. The whole body is monitored and controlled by the medicine thereby bringing irreversible changes.
    When the body throws out the toxic medicine the allopathy makes medicines to force the medicine into the blood by making medicine such as Primperan to slow the intestinal tract so that the medicine is not thrown out.

    It is true that the Doctors Profession is no more a Noble profession. It is a money making racket. The doctors want to compete with the businessmen in money making and luxurious living.

    Doctors get free trips abroad and luxury cars for the promotion of Allopathy medicine! Who will remember the Hippocrates Oath any more! The doctors bring the patient to such a pathetic state the God in His Mercy takes away the soul to stop the torture done to the body!

    But exposure is on its way slowly! Ultimately The Truth Prevails. This cannot go on for too long. It;s all over the newspapers! I hope the general public will open their eyes! Observation is the key to Intelligence! If you start observing keenly you will put your logical Sense to work!
    The life expectancy of ancient people was much higher than ours when they lived on Plants.Never mind what statistics Allopathy produces. With Allopathy reigning supreme, there is no hope of life at all. They give life to test tube babies and kill the naturally born!

    • Rashida,

      Allopathy– if we must call it that– was never founded by a single person. I am thus not sure what you are talking about when you say it was founded by a barber who burned down so many libraries! Indeed, we do have the works of traditional doctors like Galen and Hippocrates still available, so the barber must not have done a good job.

      Allopathic pharmacology is based on a thorough knowledge of organic chemistry. It was given to us by any one individual. So there is no conspiracy here.

      In the past, barbers were surgeons. Physicians used to ask barbers to perform surgeries since they were not skilled enough to wield knives and other such instruments. Thankfully, we train surgeons today.

      Conspiracy theories and mistrust of modern medicine like you have shown is problematic and prevents many people from getting the care that they need.

    • **They give life to test tube babies and kill the naturally born!**

      Now you are against in vitro fertilization, a technology that has allowed otherwise infertile people to have children. How cruel are you?

  • Dear Ganesh Velusamy,

    One thing I can not understand. If modern medicine has advanced scientifically as you put forward, the people should be living healthy now. But what is the reality. The corporate hospitals are filled with patients overflowing. People have to wait to get a room for admission. Take for example, even an illiterate person avoids eating oily food to control cholesterol. Has the coronary artery disease incidence reduced? In fact the CHD has grown out of proportion, ever since it was discovered that cholesterol should be controlled. The patients who come for CABG are all on lipid lowering drugs (they take it religiously). They ask why did I get this? There is no answer.
    This may be the point Prof. Hegde is trying to tell.

    Thank you.

  • Dear Kannan, If the incidence of coronary artery disease has not reduced after stopping the intake of oils, as you claim, it only means that oils are probably not the cause of CAD. And is there any data to prove that oils increase cholesterol or cause CAD – the answer is NO. That is a myth in circulation for decades now. CAD and modern diseases have other causes and modern studies are shedding a lot of light on these issues. The biggest culprits appear to be sugars, particularly fructose. Of oils, omega 6 (the so called refined oils) and transfats promote inflammation, not reduce it. But Prof Hegde is not saying anything about these things – his only solution is to try alternative medicine, including homeopathy, which is not a system of ‘medicine’ at all! And does Ayurveda say anything about ill effects of sugars as a cause of modern diseases (they existed even then) and the answer is NO!

  • hai friends ,
    i had a heart attack @ 34 did angioplast,
    i had nothing in reports ..no bp , no ldl,hdl,no sugar etc,
    then y was i given bp tablets , coloestral tab, and asprin..etc
    after 5 yrs of fight with DR. i was prescried not to take ….
    y so …why unwanted medicine
    and now i am without medicine…thanks to DR. after….long yrs…..

    miracle happens sometimes
    GOD BLESS

    IF ANY DR. HERE ……..TRY TO SAY …TALK TO UR BODY…AND ITS PARTS ..IT WILL GET CUREAND FIND IT S WAY
    ( MAY BE HE WONT GIVE U FEES ) BUT U WILL SLEEP IN PEACE

    • Paresh,

      ** i had a heart attack @ 34 did angioplast, i had nothing in reports ..no bp , no ldl,hdl,no sugar etc, then y was i given bp tablets , coloestral tab, and asprin..etc**

      I am not a medical professional, but I am curious. Also I am not sure if I follow what you say.

      1) Did you take these medications before the heart attack? Is your concern that you had a heart attack in spite of taking these medication?

      2) Or did your doctor ask you to take these medication after your heart attack though your bp and ldl/hdl were normal. Is your concern that you were asked to take these medication though your bp and cholesterol are normal?

      Can you answer those questions. I am just curious.

      ** miracle happens sometimes GOD BLESS**

      I do not think there is any evidence for either miracles or God. So do not rely on either when it comes to your health.

      ** TALK TO UR BODY…AND ITS PARTS**

      There is no evidence showing that this approach of talking to body parts can cure anything.

    • Did your symptoms persist even though you took the medicines and got the angioplasty done? Why did your doctor take you off the medications?

    • 1. To have a heart attack one need not have high BP, high cholesterol or diabetes. Coronary artery disease (CAD)can be independent of all these or in some, may be associated with these other problems.
      2. CAD is increasingly affecting younger people, including children, largely due to the modern diet.
      3. The drugs used for BP are also given for CAD, because these drugs dilate the coronary arteries and improve blood flow and also help in remodelling the heart muscles. These drugs are used for many other non high-BP diseases as well (simple example being migraine). (There are many such examples – chloroquine used in malaria is also useful in rheumatoid arthritis; Viagra is a life saving drug for those suffering from high pressure in the arteries of the lung).
      4. Aspirin and statins are used to prevent further heart attacks and are generally prescribed for 3 years or more depending on the severity, stenting, surgery etc.
      5. Most patients want all modern treatment while in crisis and once they are better, they start seeking advise from all and sundry and start doubting/criticising the very same treatment.
      6. BMH is unfair in criticising modern medicine; if you had followed his advise, you would not have done what you rightly did when you had the heart attack! He advises against such interventions and calls them commercially motivated. He has even spoken against admitting these patients in the ICCU! DO you agree with him?
      7. No alternative system of medicine provides any treatment for coronary artery disease and heart attacks. There is not even a concept of heart attack or even of a heart pumping blood in homeopathy and ayurveda. And BMH supports those alternative systems, after having practiced and taught cardiology (and calling himself a cardiologist) for nearly 4 decades and heading a modern medical school for another decade or more.

  • I just noticed two scientific facts about this article . Dr. Hegde is a medical doctor , expert in allopathy M D , FRCP while the rebutter (?) is a software engineer.

    Secondly he has taken up the example of Barry Marshall . Please note that Barry Marshall had to try out the bacteria on himself before the so called scientific community took him seriously . Does this say anything about the presence of scientific temper ?

    Dr. hegde is not disputing the efficacy of modern medicine . He is questioning its widespread mechanical usage .

    Rebutting for the sake of rebutting does not take us anywhere .

    • Deepak Chopra is also an MBBS. But by no stretch of imagination does he know what he is talking about.

      So Dr. Hegde’s MD is not necessarily a shield.

    • Dr. Hegde is a medical doctor , expert in allopathy M D , FRCP while the rebutter (?) is a software engineer.

      First of all, Hegde spouts so much BS that it doesn’t need a doctor to see through it. Secondly, the author is a doctor. Thirdly, you should take a good, hard look at confirmation bias and meditate on it for a while. You really should.

      • I did .

        Confirmation bias works both ways – to and for . Think about it . Barry Marshall had to do anecdotal work even for scientific society to stand up and take note of it .

        • A great many scientific discoveries were made that don’t fit your straw-man caricature of science. You should meditate on the history of science as well.

        • Barry Marshall may have started with anecdotal evidence regarding H. pylori and ulcers, but he went on to do rigorous, controlled trials demonstrating that antibiotics reduced the recurrence of ulcers (note that antibiotics aren’t any better at treating stomach ulcers than usual care, their role is in preventing further recurrence, which they do quite well).

          If Marshall had proclaimed that H. pylori were the cause of all ulcers, then stopped and wrote nonsensical blog posts about how right he was, you might have a point. He didn’t. He had an observation. He published it. He tested and refined his ideas further, and finally he was responsible for the clinical trials that proved, in randomized, double-blind tests, that antibiotics worked.

          Don’t compare Marshall to Hegde.

    • ** Dr. Hegde is a medical doctor , expert in allopathy M D , FRCP**

      There is no such thing as allopathy. There is medicine and there is quackery. There are some fools who promote quackery in spite of their training in medicine. This Hegde seems to be one such character. If you are swayed by him please do not ever go to a doctor for a physical and do not take any medicine for any of your ailment. The world will be a better place with out you.

      • Sir
        You are right there!
        Louis Pasteur bluffed about animal experiments. before the first human dose.

        Edison tried AC on a human to prove Tesla WRONG.
        most 19th and 20th century science was inhumane. if the inside stories of drug trials in India are published, then people will go back to tantriks..
        extremism hardly helps

  • Is is that being an atheist website you have to disagree with anything other than your way of science. Just like stalin hunted down genetic scientists such as vavilov because the concept of genes did not agree with what engels wrote.To Ganesh, he is not saying anything anti-science.What he is doing is also science.In most of your rebuttal you have stressed that same word.Acceptance is also a part of humanity.try!

    • Skeptics and promoters of free thought would tend to disagree with anything or claims not supported by evidence, trials and proofs. And the current practice or trend in Ayurveda very much looks like a quackery and not medicine or science.

      Comparing this kind of outreach with Stalinism or witch-hunt is a bad comparison since disagreement and trying to put forward a contrary viewpoint is not intolerance by itself.

      Acceptance is fine, but it need not be blind or faith-based.

  • Whatever has been proved by ‘the science’ may be true. But, it can’t be argued that the process/principle which is not proven doesn’t exist! Gravity was there even before Newton discovered it! So, my suggestion is to accept what is proven and to be open to learn, explore and not condemn what is unknown!

    I think none of checked our DNA’s to accept our father! We just trusted our mother’s words…that’s called faith! As “modern scientists” they should not accept their fathers until they do DNA testing!

    Ayurveda teaches about many aspects of life and health, which is still being researched on and are being proven day by day. Present day “science” is still in its infancy, a lot more to understand and learn. If we don’t believe, then Ayurveda won’t lose anything but us, the benefits of it. We see, everyday in our practice, hundreds of people getting better and recovering from their illnesses by Ayurveda. e.g: My mother is on no medicine now since 20 years, whereas she was having severe bronchial asthma before. She took Ayurveda treatment and followed the diet+lifestyle advice strictly for 2-3 years and inspired me to learn Ayurveda. Now, I don’t need any so called ‘scientific’ evidence to believe it and practice it!

  • This guy is crazy.. he spews toxic waste.. as a medical student, im appalled at the level of ignorance he shows.. and HES A CARDIOLOGIST!!!
    People may take his bullshit seriously as hes a well established doctor.. LOCK HIM UP IN A LUNATIC ASYLUM AND NEVER LET HIM OUT!!!

  • @Anand.

    we shouldn’t fall into the same trap of judging Ganesh.

    Ganesh’s discussion shows, IMHO, a deep scientific temper. The scientific “temper” is evolving.

    At the end of the day, the impact of science is helping Kannan “understand” Kannan’s conundrums.

    @Ganesh.
    the experiments / evidence of using silver foils and “energies are neat. you don’t need quantum mechanics (as BMH does) to shore it up. BMH’s evidence can be explained via Fukada’s work on piezoelectric effect in tissues.

    ——————————–

    the “dynamisms”, “holism” requires different mathematics not different physics. the mathematics of dynamical systems – Strogatz, Joshua M. Epstein or J.D. Murray’s book. Even Arnold (briefly) worked on nonlinear dynamics of the heart.

  • What Doctor B M Hegde says definitely some sense. We need to straighten our primary and secondary care system then only Indian health care will improve. India has best of apex hospitals in the world but basic care takes a back seat. Dr Hegde suggested once every village school can be a PHC. I feel its a wonderful idea! Lets begin with strengthening pour p[primary care system and lets have less of money making tertiary care Hospitals Then only India will see new light in health care.

  • I don’t think Dr.Hegde degrades modern medicine. We need to get the essence of his entire article. No doubt the modern medicine has reached limitless height, such a person can operate sitting in a different continent. But at the same time we can deny the fact that – as the technology improves – the industries try to push more and more on the products stretching the indications widely – Certainly many drugs have come out bypassing stepwise trials for commercial reasons. Even the guidelines are bent to accomodate the need of the industries. One of the major areas is the stent – which has become highly commercialized – making many use it despite when not needed. Many of us know the fact that the industries keep applying constant pressure on doctors to promote their products by various means.

    This sort of corruption practice in medical profession spoils the entire scientific values and developments – Just like a drop of poison is enough to make a cup of milk unfit for consumption.

    The need of the hour in medical profession is to focus on three points: ethics, quality & credibility. The entire goal should be patient centric. Otherwise every doctor will start using everything even when not needed – like “For a man with hammer everything will look like a nail”

    • Commoner’s (common sense based- as opposed to science or myth based) Reaction: Is it not, -having in lacer sharp focus only the larger rights, interests, and benefits of, humanity, nothing else)- high time, rather late in the day, that instead of carrying on a battle of wits, an inconclusive one at that , through prolonged emotional debates amongst the medical fraternity, composed of those having vested interests and the rest, to eternity, to bring about clarity in a wholesome manner, for the common benefit of the ailing lot in the society ? Is it not the fundamental duty of the governmental and regulatory authorities across the globe, who owe to it to the populace, to co-ordinate, with the utmost sincerity and sense of responsibility, introspect, intelligently analyze and sharply bring to proper focus the underlying truth or untruth in the contradicting viewpoints / opinion; in any event, do so, before it is too late, if not already /by now. In their own individual, collective interest as well, it is the medical fraternity itself which should, under the umbrella of governing WHO, take a lead, not forgetting for a moment that they too stand to be inevitably counted as mortals, not otherwise anyway.

  • Absolutely enlightening article.. Good job Mr.Ganesh Veluswami.. The way you explained about the article by Dr.Hegde, stands out.. people should be respected and followed based on what they preach rather than what they were honoured with.. Very sad to see such an article from a doctor(referring Mr.hegde). he is forgetting the very basic principle that Science is evidence based and myth is ignorance based.. People like Hegde can be harmful to the society if they continue to teach people about preaching practices not backed by science..

    • From the above article, I don’t see that he is against EBSM, but pro-corporate-interest EBSM. About the tamil proverb used it’s real form is “ayiram vergali(roots/herbs) kondavan arai vaithiyan” means the one who posses and knows to use at least 1000 herbs is half a doctor. Such is the understanding of this author in this whole article. While Dr hegde is saying to be experience reliant and people centric the author is lbending towards evidence which is prone to contamination by people with vested interest.

  • Dr Hegde is a danger to society in that, he is heady cocktail of pedigree and a modern convert to medical cynicism. I would love to understand the basis of his transformation; from a hardcore physician to one debunking it. He has been noticed more for his anti-medicine rhetoric, than for his medical science. In pubmed, he just has 2 articles, even that eulogising alternative medicine. Let us not confuse scientific merit with civilian awards , administration and public adulation.

    He is no different from the vaccine baiters who have done incalculable damage, or the “forsythia” proponent in the movie Contagion. SCIENCE IS NOT DEMOCRACY. Few people get it right. He has successfully managed to fan cynicism; and managed to erode the “trust” ” empathy” “care” in an already strained doctor patient relationship.
    Whatever we doctors answer, however sane, would not get public support. We will always seem defensive. Counterproductive.

    Definitely our system has bad practices, but generalising and insulting the profession is a crime. Rubbishing thousands of hours of scientific toil, with nothing to back up, except cuckoo land cynicism is a crime. The society in general, will discuss these articles, nevertheless , better sense will prevail.

  • A nice rejoinder to the original article. But a few caveats still persist, obviously not of the genre of Dr. Hegde. Modern medicine is esoteric ontologically and very violent epistemologically. Market economics and pharmaceutical giants have joined to strengthen this violence ingrained. “Necessary inhumanity” of modern medicine has led to the extent of uninsured, poor Latino and African human subjects as guinea pigs of phase I trial of the development of a new drug, not to mention other things. But these problems have got no relevance to anecdotal character of the original article. One may go through easily available article “Violence in Modern Medicine” by Dr. Manu Kothari and Lopa Mehta or book like “The Professional Guinea Pig” by Roberto Abadie.


  • Why does the USA spend a lot more per person on medical care than other developed countries and yet gets worse results on average?
    Dan Munro, knows some healthcare stuff

    If at all intend to find solace in what has been happening elsewhere, recommended to read above @ Quora; And not to miss the posted comments, if intend to get anywhere close to the largely prevailing truth or otherwise.

  • Debates are indeed the need of the hour for science to grow.However,the comments made on phlegms etc.relating to ayurveda was sad to read…Mr.ganesh,i appreciate you for your efforts BUT Ayurveda or be it any other medical system shall be criticized only after understanding what is said in them…just because you don’t understand a foreign language u just can’t sat they say nonsense…u shoukd LEARN it before you can understand it….the concepts of ayurveda hold true centuries after it had been advocated unlike modern science which keeps changing opinions every now and then and use the term IDIOPATHIC to escape from the true cause…..No science is complete….as ab ayurvedic doctor,i am forced ti stress that we need all medical systems to join hands for the better of humanity and not tofight for superiority….THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK….THANK YOU.

  • From The discussions it shows that each one is trying to deface other.
    Dr. Hegde is not against the Modern medicine, but misuse of the medicines by Doctors and the Drug cartel. P,ease read the book by Dr. Campbell’s CHINA STUDY,that clearly shows how the Drug cartel in US is not allowing actual facts, side effects of drugs etc., but influencing and controlling FDA ….
    For both, for and against, please understand the intention behind the article(s) and not to discredit some body

  • I have only one small question , how many of you doctors participating in the discussion in here prescribe generic medicines to any of your patients ? How many of you docs guide a patient about the actual salt that is being prescribed or help him with alternates if that one particular “sponsored” brand is not available ?

  • Do doctors tell patients the reasons of an illness?
    Recently, my friend was able to reduce his blood-pressure pill in half just by cutting on cheese and meat. For last many years, he has been going to physician for heart checkup and taking one pill a day.
    Doc never stressed him that diet and exercise can make him better.
    Similarly for diabetese, artheritis etc.
    There is a clear conflict of interest when doctors benefit by prescribing more medicines and tests.

  • Advice/opinion is a package just like a banana, if you swallow it in whole then you are a monkey, if not you are 2% better than a monkey.

  • dear all,
    i’m not a doctor but i just can’t resist responding.

    i feel illnesses like blood pressure, diabetese,cancer, cholesterol levels etc.. occur to a human if he acts against his own nature.
    i mean all humans are designed differently in terms of nature, health, reaction pattern, senses etc. and hence they are designed to perform a particular task..

    if they behave opposite to the task they are designed for then the design fails,and as a reaction ends up in diseases.

    its like a student good in arts is forcibly sent to become an engineer, then his design performs but not as good as if he were in arts… yet he keeps working, creating conflict with the basic design and then develops stresses that in turn get diseases.

    so its important to know “who you are?” and act as per the design one is made of.

  • Hi All,

    I would like to ask a question as a common man, because I am not a scientist, doctor or great person like all of you who spending your valuable life to help human.
    hope all of you know history more than me, i did not studied history much but i heard from others, people used to say our older generation used to live long very long and very strong also with good health compare to us, but why we are not?
    with respect to the above question:

    If they were human they were also suffered from diseases and pains occurred from whatever it may be like, injured by any thing, swelling, bleeding, diseases etc… what ever it may be,
    I think what we are facing they were also faced they also had treatment for those and we also have treatment for diseases, but my concern was they did not had modern type of treatment what you call technology and they did not had emergency care like ICU (may be they had but i am not aware), but still they lived very long than us and why we are not with latest high five technology and science what ever we call.

    just can any one answer for my question, please don’t tell lifestyle if life style is the reason why we need to follow that we can follow what our older people followed, do you know why i am telling this why the people all over the world spending their time day and night? they are trying to find the best medicine to live healthier and longer but why we are not able to?

    I think instead of arguing we should accept what we are and what our older were… sorry to say this but its true and true only….

    i am not sure God is there or not, if yes is the creature wrong? as per human analysis every problem has solution, if yes god created us perfectly and if we are perfect we can cure every disease by us only means from nature which is created by god for us to live healthy.

    Can any one tell how many diseases have cure now a days, because if we go to doctor with any problem they will not tell what caused and they will not say it will cure, i may wrong on this point but this is the truth and it may problem with hospital or doctors, but but but why why why as per my observation most of the doctors say there will not be cure 🙁 but again do not know why because i am a COMMON man 🙂

    please pardon me if am wrong & if any mistake in my English, i am not much good in English & i know Kannada better than English.
    I am asking this question for us only.

    Thanks for all
    Mohan

    • > i did not studied history much but i heard from others

      Don’t simply believe what other uninformed people say, of course. People say a lot of things and nod their heads to each other. That consensus does not mean much. Only rely on proper scholarship and data, rather than folk narratives.

      > people used to say our older generation used to live long very long and very strong also with good health compare to us, but why we are not?

      They didn’t. All data shows that people now live significantly longer (as much as twice as long) than they ever did. The average life expectancy at birth, of humanity, was just between 30-40 years, for most of history (I have seen the data in the last 2000 years). Now it is double that, varying by country. At its worst, under the pressures of colonialism and famine, for India in 1919, the life-expectancy at birth was as low as 19 years. That was horrible.

      Give this a thought. For most of history, India grew at a rather steady rate, even when there was no birth control. Why? Because most births did not result in adults that made it into reproduction of their own. Neonatal mortality rates were high. The process of birth itself was often deadly for mothers (and the child), due to sepsis, bleeding etc. It is now rare for a mother to die in childbirth.

      So what about all those long-lived individuals that everyone talks about? Two problems here.

      One problem is that these generations did not keep good dates. Many (in case of the population groups with low education, which was the case with most of population back then) can’t actually tell you the exact date they were born on. They (due to lack of education) usually had a much more vague concept of time. Many simply claim (quite honestly, from their point of view) that they (or their relatives) are older than they are. Without some kind of proper proof, it is difficult to verify *individual* claims (but we do have coarse population level metrics).

      The second problem is, while a few did live long, what *percent* of people from those generations lived long? Most people cite a handful of individuals who lived long. But what about their brothers, sisters and neighbors? Should we not be seeing them as well? Where have they gone? The problem here is selective memory and confirmation bias. Statistics tell an entirely different story, and that’s the only account that matters here. A larger percent of our generation is almost guaranteed to live even longer age.

      If we really had long lives throughout our history, we would have been a society of old people. But no pre-industrial society ever was.

      A little exercise: See how many pre-industrial centenarian historical figures (people with some accomplishment of their own) you can identify from history – only entries with proper dates for birth and death allowed.

      > they also had treatment for those

      They didn’t. Entire villages would be wiped out when infectious diseases struck. That never happens anymore. People just have ideas of a golden past that never existed.

      > any one tell how many diseases have cure now a days, because if we go to doctor with any problem they will not tell what caused and they will not say it will cure

      Generally speaking, the main problem of infectious diseases has been largely solved. In developed countries, these aren’t as concerning at statistical scales. Many can be “cured” (antibiotics). Some can even be prevented entirely (vaccines). Diseases of age and metabolism are things that can be very effectively managed. The term cure, is not appropriate here. Work is ongoing on cancers.

      Before scientific era, the cause of death was usually only vaguely identified. So there were fewer diseases *counted*. That does not mean there actually were fewer diseases. But they might have been. Many health problems today are results of people living longer than they ever did, on average – in other words, symptoms of science being very successful. Life, of course, will always be a condition that will have 100% fatality.

  • Dear All,

    I was amused reading all that stuff – technical research, scientific data, journals, papers, presentations, critics, supporters, questioning, seeking proof and all that, just to criticize Dr.Hegde’s opinions.

    I really wonder what all these are about !
    As a common man, I find arguments and counter arguments are futile.

    When we talk about human life, its so complicated, that we can not even define in exact terms that – This is life.There is no definition that explains what’s life.

    Allopathy only prescribes the medicine for a particular disease after it occurs in an individual. It does not explain why and how it attacks the system. Again, treatment is limited and focused on to the disease, while it certainly affects the other parts of the body. So, a broad spectrum of medicines are prescribed, which invariably results in affecting the other organs of the body. Then, the saga continues…the person is put perpetually in medication. Is this what we are looking for ? Another factor is the prohibitive costs of these modern medicines ! Can any one afford this kind of health care ? New diseases are discovered frequently and so are new medicines. research continues and so does cures. Modern medicine never explains why certain disease occurs. But Ayurveda does. It also explains how to avoid being sick and weak and being prone to diseases, by strengthening our body, our system , our mind.Give it the respect it deserves. Please don’t denigrate it. We can choose to believe in our ancient life systems or even god. It’s an individual’s prerogative. No EBSM is valid enough to explain the occurrence of the disease.

    Just for a while, lets introspect about our lives. You can call it Dhyana or meditation or what ever. Our cultural heritage prescribes so many solutions. How to tune up our minds, how to lead a simple and stress free life, how to cleanse our body through periodic procedures and methodologies. It may be Yoga, or Dhyana or Ayurveda, or Naturopathy. There’s immense treasure waiting to be explored ! Why are we avoiding discussing it ? Why don’t we realize that its really the mind that matters ? A sound body requires sound mind. When the mind can be tuned up to control the whole body chemistry, do we have to dismiss it as something irrelevant ?

    What Dr.Hegde has been propagating is about the way of life. Having been an cardiologist and an world renowned doctor of medicine, he definitely has cultivated his theory based on his experience. Yes, as he says, spirituality and practice of simple life are the remedies that can be prescribed to any individual to avoid being sick. Why are we arguing about that ? Why are we condemning his credibility? We all agree that modern medicine is very valuable in this modern world. Where there are new diseases showing up in different parts of the world, new research in medicine is only solution. We are all indebted to it. In critical conditions its the only solution.

    So, why not we balance our views ? Why not we accept modern medicine along with our ancient heritage of Yoga & Ayurveda ? Both complement each other. Let’s hope saner sense prevails among us. Let us understand, no debate can prove anything. Life is just a minuscule time in the frame of reference of the Universe.

    Just like we do not even know why there is heart, brain, kidney, lever, lungs, blood or even an independent identity like mind and who is responsible for the creation of the such complicated design called body, we can not take credit for curing what ever we call as disease. We take liberty and pride in knowing that we know these things are there and we study them and try to find solutions to their improper functioning. But we don’t know how and why they came to be there. But its been there since millions of years, ever since human beings evolved ! Let’s all accept our limitations and unite in our views to serve humanity..above all..above our self interests !

    • Nearly everything you say is the opposite of reality.

      I was amused reading all that stuff – technical research, scientific data, journals, papers, presentations, critics, supporters, questioning, seeking proof and all that, just to criticize Dr.Hegde’s opinions.

      Dr. Hegde’s claims are in matters of science. How else does one criticize here?

      As a common man, I find arguments and counter arguments are futile.

      This is all too complicated, so it does not count – is not a valid argument.

      When we talk about human life, its so complicated, that we can not even define in exact terms that – This is life.There is no definition that explains what’s life.

      We understand what biological life is quite well. It is complicated. That is why it needs science to resolve it, rather than rhetoric.

      Allopathy only prescribes the medicine for a particular disease after it occurs in an individual.

      There is no such thing as “allopathy”. It is a term made up by homeopathic quacks. Modern medicine did not even exist when the term was made up.

      Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella… basically any vaccine… you don’t think they are stopping the diseases before they occur?!!

      Modern medicine has a long list of precautions to take to reduce the chance of disease or slow it. Don’t smoke if you don’t want to get cancer. Keep the water microbially uncontaminated if you want to avoid the many water-bourne diseases etc. For instance, before modern medicine, people just thought that if water was clear and sweat, it could not be a source of disease.

      It does not explain why and how it attacks the system.

      Actually, modern, scientific medicine sets itself apart precisely because it is devised after the advent of Pathology. Modern medicine is ENTIRELY based on understanding why and how disease works.

      Systems like Ayurveda and Homeopathy have Cock-and-Bull stories about how disease works. They are easy to repeat like a parrot but are entirely wrong.

      the person is put perpetually in medication.

      The person is not perpetually in medication for malaria, cholera or typhoid. He may be for diabetes, blood pressure etc, which can only be currently managed, rather than be cured.

      Another factor is the prohibitive costs of these modern medicines ! Can any one afford this kind of health care ?

      Most medicines in India are extremely cheap. If you are poor, the government subsidizes them further. If you have money and want to go to a super-expensive clinic, that’s up to you. If you think the poor need even cheaper and easier access to modern medicine via more socialized medicine, campaign for it politically. This is not a science issue.

      Modern medicine never explains why certain disease occurs. But Ayurveda does. It also explains how to avoid being sick and weak and being prone to diseases, by strengthening our body, our system , our mind.Give it the respect it deserves. Please don’t denigrate it.

      This is complete nonsense. I suggest you read an actual Ayurveda book, rather than what people lazily say about it. At the time Ayurveda was written, people did not have a clue about disease. They believed in all sorts of crazy things. Rarely did any of the medicines work. It was mostly biding time until the disease ran its course (this was what the Voltaire quote was about, which Dr. Hegde misuses) and claim victory if there was a remission or say it was god’s will or fate, if there wasn’t.

      We can choose to believe in our ancient life systems or even god. It’s an individual’s prerogative.

      You can choose whatever you like and I can say nonsense is nonsense. Medicine is not a matter of faith. It is about knowing… knowing with all the complexity associated with it. You cannot know unless you do a study. Once you do a proper study, it is scientific. That is all there is to it.

      No EBSM is valid enough to explain the occurrence of the disease.

      Pathology “explain(s) the occurrence of the disease”, on which EBSM is based upon.

      Just for a while, lets introspect about our lives. You can call it Dhyana or meditation or what ever.

      Introspect all you want. Even better, extro-spect and learn why people do expensive studies to establish facts. Just don’t say quackery is medicine because we already have good evidence that they don’t work. These are facts, not opinions. Meditating away disease is a recent bunkum. Our culture does not prescribe meditating away disease. See the Yoga article on this site for more details.

      Our cultural heritage prescribes so many solutions.

      What solution has it prescribed when Cholera was wiping out Indian villages for thousands of years? Heritage is not an alternative to clear scientific thought – not for India, not for any other country.

      How to tune up our minds

      Hopefully, you will tune it up well enough to understand statistics. If you don’t understand statistics, you can’t appreciate EBM. This is a question of ignorance, not opinion.

      how to lead a simple and stress free life

      No one is against leading a simple and stress free life. EBM also suggests that.

      how to cleanse our body through periodic procedures and methodologies.

      Cleansing procedures are quackery. They were pre-scientific delusions and inexcusable to be prescribed today. They don’t accomplish anything. They can even cause harm.

      It may be Yoga, or Dhyana or Ayurveda, or Naturopathy. There’s immense treasure waiting to be explored !

      So do a study and establish the facts. And they have been done. So far the results have been very poor and people in science just don’t care any more.

      Why are we avoiding discussing it ?

      No one is avoiding discussions. Just avoid fact-less rhetoric. Discuss with facts i.e. results from research. You are the one avoiding the proper way of discussion by saying you don’t care about: “technical research, scientific data, journals, papers, presentations, critics, supporters, questioning, seeking proof”. And then you turn around and say that others are avoiding discussion.

      Why don’t we realize that its really the mind that matters ?

      So you think you can think away Rabies? Good luck.

      A sound body requires sound mind.

      All this is bakwas that sounds good. You can absolutely have an unsound mind and a sound body. You can have a sound mind and an unsound body. You also need to define what sound means… is it a little stress or outright madness? Reducing stress can certainly help, but it isn’t a panacea.

      When the mind can be tuned up to control the whole body chemistry, do we have to dismiss it as something irrelevant ?

      Again, bakwas. Stress has some effect on the body. It has been studied and quantified. Other than that, the mind has not have any fine grained control on Biochemistry. It is easy to make up and believe in random bakwas when you don’t care about empirical research and quantitative facts.

      What Dr.Hegde has been propagating is about the way of life. Having been an cardiologist and an world renowned doctor of medicine, he definitely has cultivated his theory based on his experience.

      He is not a world-renowned doctor. AFAIK, he is not known for any breakthroughs. He just trained and worked overseas. Scientific Medicine is executed by data, not “experience”. There are statistical reasons for that. If a doctor suspects a pattern, he is expected to setup a study to confirm. The ideas are supposed to be taken to other experts for refutation, not tossed at public like you, that is ill-equipped to understand.

      Yes, as he says, spirituality and practice of simple life are the remedies that can be prescribed to any individual to avoid being sick.

      Spirituality won’t save you from Cancer. A simple life may save you from Obesity, but it won’t save you from Malaria or Hemophilia.

      Why are we arguing about that ? Why are we condemning his credibility?

      Because he frequently does not bring adequate data to support his wild assertions. Because he promotes quackery, on par with science. Because he has a pattern of saying what scientifically uneducated general public wants to hear for cheap applause, rather than demonstrate the responsibility of an academic. Because he has a weak understanding with regards to Philosophy of Science and irresponsibly throws ideas from it around to impress. Because he thinks he has valid contrarian opinions about fields of science where he has zero expertise (eg: Quantum Mechanics) and says ridiculous things about them.

      We all agree that modern medicine is very valuable in this modern world. Where there are new diseases showing up in different parts of the world, new research in medicine is only solution. We are all indebted to it. In critical conditions its the only solution.

      In critical conditions, it is much harder for quacks to play games and get away. It is much easier to say bakwas about effectiveness in case of backpain, allergies etc because they self-resolve and have wide variance.

      So, why not we balance our views ? Why not we accept modern medicine along with our ancient heritage of Yoga & Ayurveda ? Both complement each other. Let’s hope saner sense prevails among us.

      You can’t balance science and pseudo-science. You can’t balance medicine and quackery. That isn’t sanity. They don’t complement each other.

      Let us understand, no debate can prove anything. Life is just a minuscule time in the frame of reference of the Universe.

      Data does. Debating with data helps. Rhetorical debates don’t help. So let’s get data and let it speak. Scientists don’t have this nihilist view of the world. Scientists try to make life better, not just give up. It is science that taught us about the grandeur of the universe. It should not paralyze us.

      Just like we do not even know why there is heart, brain, kidney, lever, lungs, blood

      We? You don’t. People who studied embryology and evolution do.

      who is responsible for the creation of the such complicated design called body

      Who? Are a creationist? You mention evolution below. Why is it a who? Why can’t we take nature in its own terms?

      we can not take credit for curing what ever we call as disease.

      We can absolutely take credit when medicine cures the incurable, or even reduces suffering by managing the disease. People today live 2-3 times more than they did before scientific medicine. We can absolutely take credit for vaccines and antibiotics and the diseases we entirely or nearly eradicated. There is also every reason to be optimistic for further revolutions in medicine.

      But we don’t know how and why they came to be there. But its been there since millions of years, ever since human beings evolved ! Let’s all accept our limitations and unite in our views to serve humanity..above all..above our self interests !

      We do know. I think you should understand the limits of your understanding of science first and learn to appreciate the medical revolution in the last 150 years. We should understand that all views and ideas are not equally valid and that bad ones should be discarded. Doing good science is how we serve humanity. Obfuscating it is how we harm it.

  • dear shri. Ravi,
    i appreciate your focus on modern medicine… but the points shri JP has mentioned are on altogether different line.
    there is wide scope for thoughts if one allows himself to..
    we humans have limited range for all senses, hearing, seeing, smelling, touching etc. and we haven’t gone too far to understand world beyond those limits. so there is huge area unknown which may hide the truths.

    Evidence based medicine can work within its limits, no one denies that..
    yet we can allow ourselves to understand that there is much more with human body than just blood flesh muscles and tissues…

    the sole thing that runs the body, the universal energy .so called “chetna”..has been still unexplored to the slightest…and modern science doesn’t seem to take any significant cognizance of the same..
    whereas yoga, meditation, ayurveda show that tendency.

    may be if we explore ayurveda we might find cures to many diseases, why are we so reluctant ?

    working with both medicines in tandem may give fruitful results..isn’t it?

    • dear shri. Ravi,

      Just Ravi will do :-).

      there is wide scope for thoughts if one allows himself to..

      There is a wide scope for nonsensical thought in this area, if one allows himself. Thought should be paired with robust empiricism. Otherwise, we built castles in the air.

      we humans have limited range for all senses, hearing, seeing, smelling, touching etc.

      We are long past depending on our senses. Senses were the empirical limits in the pre-scientific world of our ancestors who, for instance, could understand neither the skies, nor the microbes, because they could not as fully see them, with unaided eyes, as we can today with technology.

      and we haven’t gone too far to understand world beyond those limits.

      We have. When we talk about billions of light years in astronomical scales and the utterly miniscule scales of quantum mechanics, we have gone far, far beyond our senses… or even visual imagination. Nearly all the technology we use today is beyond the limits of our senses. We technologically use all ranges of the energy spectrum today, not just the perceptible spectrum. At this point, reality can only be understood mathematically. In medicine, that means using probability mathematics aka statistics.

      so there is huge area unknown which may hide the truths.

      Yes, but that does not mean make up unsystematic ideas that sound poetic, but won’t stand for a minute of critical review.

      Evidence based medicine can work within its limits, no one denies that..

      I do. I am saying that it is a pointless waste of time to do anything but EBM. EBM is nothing rigid… it is just medicine that we can statistically show that it works. All EBM says is: critically verify. At this point, we should properly laugh at ideas that do not pass this most basic precaution. We should always ask: How do you know that? Where is your data?

      Think doing meditation cures some disease? Just prove it by doing a study. It becomes EBM after that. So far however, approaches not based in Biology, simply did not work. Why? Because they are based on bad, made-up ideas, rather than actual reality. Talking of chakras, kundalini, chetna, prana etc does not help in medicine… not even an itty-bitty little bit.

      yet we can allow ourselves to understand that there is much more with human body than just blood flesh muscles and tissues…

      Why? On what basis? On a feel-good basis? I can allow myself to think there is an invisible magic dragon in my room (cf: Demon Haunted World – Carl Sagan). I can allow myself to think all sorts of things. That’s not meaningful or useful thought though.

      the sole thing that runs the body, the universal energy .so called “chetna”..has been still unexplored to the slightest…and modern science doesn’t seem to take any significant cognizance of the same..

      It is not “unexplored”. There is simply no such thing as “chetna”. It was just a primitive metaphysical idea that our ancestors had to make up to explain the functioning of our bodies because they did not know even rudimentary biology that a good high school student should know today.

      whereas yoga, meditation, ayurveda show that tendency.

      They were all based on metaphysics and therefore do not work as cures. EBM works because it (and every other modern science) has the good sense to never engage in metaphysics… is based on an actual understanding of Physiology and Pathology… and does critical review.

      may be if we explore ayurveda we might find cures to many diseases, why are we so reluctant ?

      Ayurveda’s foundations are fundamentally wrong. But Ayurvedics refuse to admit it and don’t critically review them. The recent Prakriti study critiqued on this site is along the lines of an apologetic. It is highly unlikely (possible, but unlikely) to find any breakthroughs there. See if you can name ONE Ayurvedic drug today that works better than a modern drug (via data, not testimonies).

      The rest of the developed world also had their version of Ayurveda… more comprehensive too, since they bothered to write everything down, more than us. They all had the good sense to discard it when actual science developed. We should start growing up too, rather than cling to the past.

      working with both medicines in tandem may give fruitful results..isn’t it?

      No. It is important to recognize that pre-scientific “medicine” has long been surpassed. You can’t balance science with non-science. We can, on a social plane, be polite and have a balance of political positions. But on a purely ontological plane, bad ideas must simply be discarded. There is no compromise in science, when the idea is invalid. Its like saying we should both do meteorology and vedic yagnas in tandem for rain (a politician won’t have a problem with that, but a scientist should). No, only one of them is science and the other is for the history and ethnography books.

      • Dear shri. Ravi
        When a person dies ..what from that body goes out so that it becomes vegetable and becomes unresponsive ?
        Also kindly tell me why can’t we go back in time?

        There are 20000 crore planets in our lone galaxy not universe..we haven’t convincingly reached moon yet…what lies there?

        We don’t know what lies beyond certain depth in sea…any idea?

        Kindly explain. ….

        • When a person dies ..what from that body goes out so that it becomes vegetable and becomes unresponsive ?

          Please refer to Thanatology / Necrobiology. It is an entire field of study of death at every level.

          Nothing “goes out” of the body after death. The concept of the soul is a pre-scientific idea from when Biology was poorly understood. There is no special, mystical life force. Death is simply irreversible cellular breakdown which happens at different rates in different tissues. The delicate neural tissue of the brain begins deterioration in minutes after a shutdown in oxygen supply, say secondary to circulatory problems. So a delayed restoration via a CPR or a ventilator during this anoxic damage gets you a patient with various levels of cognitive disabilities or motor impairments, depending on damage. Restoration after the damage returns a “vegetable” system. Longer than that, further tissues fail, the delivery system itself is compromised as a whole and resuscitation becomes impossible and returns a fully and permanently dead system. Death is no longer a mysterious phenomenon.

          Also kindly tell me why can’t we go back in time?

          Why do you think we should be able to go back in time? Too much science fiction? Or do you have some nuanced mathematical understanding of theoretical physics that you would like to discuss? Or do you think “yoga, meditation, ayurveda” have something to say about time travel?

          There are 20000 crore planets in our lone galaxy not universe..we haven’t convincingly reached moon yet…what lies there?

          Rocks. Or gas giants. Same elements. Just in varying compositions. Same laws of physics.

          We don’t know what lies beyond certain depth in sea…any idea?

          We actually do. The deepest part of the oceans is in the Mariana Trench – 11 km deep and has been explored.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariana_Trench
          There have been several explorations. The latest one was quite publicized with James Cameron piloting the craft.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepsea_Challenger

          None of these tongue-in-cheek, pretend questions make your case. Implicit in this is a variation of the tired old argument, god-of-gaps… or in this case, mysticism-of-gaps. I hope your next questions aren’t – what is inside a black hole? what happened before the big bang? etc. None of these are arguments for allowing pseudo-science. They don’t advance the frontier at all.

          The answer for missing data is more data (and analysis). You don’t do meditation on what’s at the bottom of the ocean. You put a craft or a camera down there to know. Endless metaphysical philosophy on death or Prana theories yield nothing but babble. Doing cell biology however helps. Want to actually know more about the planets in our galaxy? Don’t meditate or search for Soma. Design a better space telescope.

  • We all know that Planets & satellites are orbiting along fixed paths but not colliding .Like wise plants,animals and all organic one’s have fixed slots in which each manifest,grow & perish. Animals function on instincts. They do not have ability to decide or choose.Among these manifestations man alone evolved to have any faculty to choose & steer his path, otherwise he also would never have had any choice other than to manifest, grow & perish along the Eating, sleeping, mating birth/death Cycles. Now here is where the relevance of this limited amount of freedom to decide becomes crucial from the Liberation Aspect Of Soul Point Of View. Now Awareness becomes the Key word instead of just Intelligence.Awareness only helps us to act Proactively from dangerous life threatening situations like say Green House Effect which is closing in ! Yes Celibacy alone provides man with Total Awareness. We know Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha are 4 Purusharthas To Truth. When the light Of Dharma is missing Artha Kama blindness pervades

    • We all know that Planets & satellites are orbiting along fixed paths but not colliding

      They are not colliding anymore because they finished this colliding business billions of years ago.

      Yes Celibacy alone provides man with Total Awareness.

      How would you define and quantify this awareness? How would you setup a study to demonstrate that celibacy increases awareness, let alone provide TOTAL awareness? Are you suggesting that if we survey eco-activists or climate science researchers, the proportion of celibate people in that group will be higher than in the general population?

      What you are calling awareness (of Green House Effect) is a result of modern science. It has nothing to do with celibacy.

      We know Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha are 4 Purusharthas To Truth.

      Traditionally, we BELIEVED in this metaphysics. But KNOWING something to be true is quite different from believing.

      When the light Of Dharma is missing Artha Kama blindness pervades

      I think we can all agree on less greed, even without any old metaphysics. The old definitions, such as Dharma (ref: Manusmṛti) are quite problematic – which for instance, encompasses caste submission and a model of a class-obedient society that we no longer subscribe to… or should subscribe to. We are perfectly capable of defining new legal, moral and value systems appropriate for justice in the modern era, rather than lament for failing to abide by the old ones.

      • Dear shri ravi…
        My questions are still unanswered. .

        When a person dies…science says nothing goes out of body…that’s because science is still incapable of knowing many things….

        I asked. .WHY can I not go back in time?
        Whether I want to go or not…is not a sufficient answer. ..

        Planets….you say gases and rocks and same laws of physics. .
        In your words only…do you have the data?
        Also I add laws of physics are defeated here on earth in many situations. Forget other planets ..then what current science does is assumptions nothing else…
        We still don’t know..when you turn on a light bulb…what exactly starts from the bulb and falls on desk…knowing sunlight is far ….

        Sea ..my dear friend is yet to me explored. ..

        Now talking of traditional. ..

        Science says earth is revolving since billion years..and human are evolving since 1.5 lakh years…
        Ramayana was 7000 yrs ago….. (so recent isn’t it )….there must’ve been so much history there…

        Anyways…

        I respect you cause I was exactly like you 25 years ago….

        • A human race that has great sculptures done all across world. .science still can’t answer the construction methods or technology used…
          Spoke a language (sanskrut) that is now said to be only methodically correct language…
          There has to be something in there isn’t it?

          Just on lighter note…
          I am giving a 600 yr old sanskrit subhashita a here….
          तं भूसुता मुक्तिमुदारहासं वंदे यतो भव्यभवं दयाश्रीः l
          श्रीयादवं भव्यभतोयदेवं संहारदामुक्तिं उतासुभूतं ll

          First line is rams ramstuti and second is krishna stuti …

          But if you look closely…second line is mirror image of first line…
          ….this was written by suryakavi 600 yrs ago…
          And This is not only one..
          There is a book of 65 such subhashitas…I have it with me…
          CAN ANYONE WRITE AT LEAST ONE …IN ANY LANGUAGE..PLEASE?

          So point is we can’t ignore traditional wisdom from a society that was so well advanced and superior. …

          • A human race that has great sculptures done all across world. .science still can’t answer the construction methods or technology used…

            Sure, we can’t fully answer whether they used mud or logs to move stones because the evidence is gone. Science works on evidence.

            The ancients knew Geometry and took it quite seriously. They used that in their construction. There is nothing mysterious about ancient architecture beyond that. Geometry is quite adequate for architecture. It showed its limitation with Astronomy though, since that involved moving things and you need Calculus for that.

            Spoke a language (sanskrut) that is now said to be only methodically correct language…

            Panini’s Sanskrit is grammatically the best specified natural language. I would not disagree.

            CAN ANYONE WRITE AT LEAST ONE …IN ANY LANGUAGE..PLEASE?

            Look up a Palindrome.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindrome
            They actually go back about 2000 years, not just 600.

            So point is we can’t ignore traditional wisdom from a society that was so well advanced and superior. …

            Superior? Please name a dozen non-controversial things (good records) that the ancients did that we cannot do today.

        • I feel I have already adequately answered your questions in detail in the last post and that your dissatisfaction with them is not an argument for Meditation, Yoga and Ayurveda as alternatives to Science. I wish you held your beliefs to the very same personal standards that you want science to meet. You want to hold science to an impossible standard of having an answer to EVERYTHING at EVERY detail in order to propose a false equivalence to defend Meditation, Yoga and Ayurveda as legitimate forms of inquiry.

          Your insistence of the “Why” question is not new. It has a long history in science – namely, science stopped bothering with the why question before it was able to make progress. In Aristotle’s times, people wanted to know why things fell down and came up with silly answers. In medieval days, medical students would be asked why a substance caused fever and they would have to answer – because it had pyrogenic properties, a circular explanation. With around Newton, the process changed. Newton did not really say exactly how gravity worked at the most fundamental level. But he greatly advanced understanding by explaining its mechanics. Being able to provide good predictions was a great deal better than trying to answer the “why” question, before its time.

          You are arguing much like B.M Hegde does about Dark Matter when you talk about Time. Please see the article for the rebuttal.
          http://nirmukta.com/2015/09/21/when-eminence-based-medicine-meets-quantum-quackery/

          Science does not measure made-up things (metaphysics). The concept of Prana is a fundamental misunderstanding for life as a thing (even if non-falsifiably postulated as non-material), when it is really about the continuity of function.

          I don’t need to look at every lump of iron on earth to say what its properties are. The point of science is to be able to study some and produce general claims that apply to all. Astronomers don’t need to study every single planet in the galaxy to understand planets. There will of course be an occasional Black Swan, but that does not take away anything from the scientific method.

          A scientific assumption is not the same as your everyday assumption (the word theory is another commonly misunderstood word). Assumptions in science are based on experimental data, modeled mathematically and are falsifiable. Your assumption of Prana is none of these.

  • Other than infectious diseases what are the diseases that can be cured with so called evidence based medicine.

    Can any body list out the diseases that can be cured in allopathy or so called evidence based medicine or modern medicine.

    • The victory over infectious disease is a major one. Infectious disease was the most significant killer of humanity in all of history. The other causes were quite insignificant in proportion back then. In India, solving it increased the average life expectancy at birth from 19 years (contrary to the popular and widespread myth that people were healthier and longer lived in the past) to 67 in the last 100 years. It is expected to further increase significantly, to 90s or at least high-80s by the time we die. Death of the baby and the mother were quite common during childbirth and many kids did not make it to adulthood. Now, we no longer even think about these things. Some diseases have been eradicated (Eg: Small Pox), are being eradicated (Eg: Polio) or will be eradicated (Eg: Measles). This needs to be stressed. In contrast to this, the so-called alternative medicine has ZERO accomplishments to list.

      Aside from infectious diseases? Modern medicine can greatly increase the lifespan of patients with several systemic diseases. I understand that you don’t want to consider this a “cure”, but adding 20-30 years or more (even entirely allow for leading a normal life) to the life of a patient makes all the difference and is not to be casually dismissed just because one cannot pop in a pill to make it permanently go away. If inherent in the argument is a belief that what modern medicine only successfully manages, such as diabetes and hypertension, are somehow holistically “cured” by alternative systems, then I have to note that it simply isn’t true. The non-scientific medicine neither “cures”, nor does it manage.

      Diseases like appendicitis, kidney stones, cataract can be “cured”. Pre-mature onset near sight can be “cured” by laser surgery. It will of course naturally return as the person ages, as with everyone else. Does it qualify as “cure”? I hope you are not excluding Surgery from Modern Medicine. It is a part-and-parcel of scientific medicine.

      Modern Medicine can cure some forms of cancer with good success rates, while work is ongoing in many others.

      You can cure nutritional deficiencies quite easily and quickly with food or supplements. Our understanding of vitamins and minerals is from modern medical research.

      Modern medicine is simply about using the best available understanding (science) today to arrive at the most rational solutions. It is not about pills or chemicals. Whatever works, to the best extent possible (cure or manage).

  • dear shri ravi.

    your answers:

    point 1.

    …we can’t fully answer whether they used mud or logs to move stones because the evidence is gone.
    …The ancients knew Geometry and took it quite seriously. They used that in their construction. There is nothing mysterious about ancient architecture beyond that.
    (you contradict yourself)

    point 2…

    …Panini’s Sanskrit is grammatically the best specified natural language. I would not disagree.
    (off course)

    point 3…

    Look up a Palindrome.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindrome
    They actually go back about 2000 years, not just 600.
    ( what i have given is not a palindrome. study properly not superficially)

    point 4…

    Please name a dozen non-controversial things (good records) that the ancients did that we cannot do today.
    (they wrote evidences in their language, if current science is inadequate to decipher the controversy then it’s a shortfall on science, thats what you mean..isn’t it?)

    point 5…

    The point of science is to be able to study some and produce general claims that apply to all.
    (thats the problem…science will study 10000 samples and apply it to 700 crore people, as if it were a bajaj scooter or something,…press some gadgets, measure pressure, and physical qualities etc. and take survey and project it as science….THATS NOT HOW SCIENCE SHOULD WORK)

    dont know why BP happens , or diabetes, or cancer, or normal fever….we know nothing about why? ….
    hence we did the best we can…
    we stopped asking why? :):)
    because if we ask “why”, science is proved incapable…

    scinece is not wrong…only point is science is adolescent…needs to grow far…till it by itself turns into ayurveda…

    • you contradict yourself

      How so? The ancients had very limited technology. They certainly got clever within those limited options. We are certainly amused from time to time, at this occasionally unexpected cleverness. But if you think that this iron-age and bronze-age cleverness is anywhere near the modern state-of-the-art, you don’t understand how very far modern technology has come.

      what i have given is not a palindrome. study properly not superficially

      Why don’t you explain yourself how what you have written is NOT a Palindrome.

      they wrote evidences in their language, if current science is inadequate to decipher the controversy then it’s a shortfall on science, thats what you mean..isn’t it?

      Go ahead and CITE (actual text and source) what that evidence is then. Start with your imaginary ancient medical evidence.

      thats the problem…science will study 10000 samples and apply it to 700 crore people, as if it were a bajaj scooter or something,…press some gadgets, measure pressure, and physical qualities etc. and take survey and project it as science….THATS NOT HOW SCIENCE SHOULD WORK

      That’s not a problem AT ALL. There is proper math to determine the number of subjects needed to be studied for a given parameter to make projections at a given degree of confidence, with biases controlled for. It changes according to the statistical properties of the parameter (this applies to every field of science, not just medicine). Every one in science is expected to know these things. You sound like you have some comic book understanding of science.

      You say medical research is done like mechanical engineering because you don’t know how it is actually done. It is done nothing like mechanical engineering precisely because the human body is nothing like a scooter. Simple determinism does not work due to the variations and the multi-factorial nature of the system and probabilistic methods are instead required.

      Significant medical facts aren’t established by surveys. Surveys are valid and are certainly used, but are taken as very low quality instruments, due to their limited reliability. Scientists take them with a pinch of salt, even when surveys are designed by a rigorous methodology and validation.

      So how is medical research actually done? Go read a textbook on clinical trials and research design in life sciences. Don’t assume.

      The Polio vaccine which will ERADICATE the disease was first tested in 4000 kids. You don’t seem to have had any proper statistical training. So you have very low trust in the immense power of sampling (this is pretty common among internet armchair critics of science). I understand you think this is critical thinking. It is really a lack of a proper science education.

      dont know why BP happens , or diabetes, or cancer, or normal fever….we know nothing about why? ….

      Entire textbooks exist on each of these topics. There are hundreds of causes for what you think of simply as normal fever. The fever pathways are understood in molecular detail today, with doctoral dissertations dedicated to single steps.

      The study of cancer is advanced enough that any cancer researcher properly understands only a fraction of the field. We know not just one reason why cancer happens, but of dozens or hundreds of reasons why… and each of these reasons are multi-factorial, involving inter-disciplinary study. Go read a textbook on Cancer Pathology. They will discuss things from the genetic roots (by that I mean precise sequences) to biochemical pathways. Same with Diabetes and Blood Pressure – dozens of causes have been identified.

      If you have any genuine curiosity, first read leading textbooks on the topic to even understand what it is. If you can’t be bothered for want of competence or patience, these are not topics for you to debate. Spend your energies first on understanding how science is actually done, not on your misinformed beliefs on how it does NOT get done.

      hence we did the best we can… we stopped asking why? :):) because if we ask “why”, science is proved incapable…

      You do not understand my answer on this topic. Science is the ONLY thing that is EVER going to answer the WHY question because it knows exactly what is actually involved in answering it.

      What you are looking for are simple, one-sentence answers. You will find them in mysticism or in pseudo-sciences. But they are not real answers; just enough to keep a naive, casual questioner satisfied.

      The WHY business is quite different in biology than in particle physics. In Pathology, we do know WHY things happen, most of the time. We know why Malaria happens. We know why Cholera happens. We know why most diseases happen, with more to go. The fundamental epistemological problems that are inherent to particle physics and cosmology do not apply to Biology (it has a different set of problems of its own).

      scinece is not wrong…only point is science is adolescent…needs to grow far…till it by itself turns into ayurveda…

      Ayurveda is a primitive bronze/iron-age humoral system of medicine. Unlike you, I have read the actual classic Ayurvedic texts. It is not filled with wisdom as you think. It is not special either. EVERY culture in the world had their own version of humoral medicine… their own version of Ayurveda.. including the West. Ancient medical texts are such a sea of erroneous ideas about disease that if anything of any value is found in them, it becomes international news… and it happens at the frequency of a broken clock being right twice a day.

      Here is a quote from Sushruta Samhita on the treatment of Rabies that I use to make people understand what is actually in it. Silly ideas like this are rampant in these texts.

      “The person in whom the poison (of a rabid dog or jackal, etc.) is spontaneously aggravated has no chance of recovery. Hence the poison should be artificially aggravated (and then remedied) before reaching that stage of aggravation. The patient should be bathed at the crossing of roads or on the bank of a river with pitcherfuls of water containing gems and medicinal drugs and consecrated with the appropriate Mantra. Offerings of cooked and uncooked meat, cakes and levigated pastes of sesamum as well as garlands of flowers of variegated colours should be made to the god (and the following Mantra should be recited). “O thou Yaksha, lord of Alarka, who art also the lord of all dogs, speedily makest me free from the poison of the rabid dog that has bitten me.” Strong purgatives and emetics should be administered to the patient after having bathed him in the above manner, since the poison in a patient with an un-cleansed organism may sometimes be aggravated, even after the healing of the incidental ulcer.”

      Ayurveda (and every other ancient system of medicine) had no understanding of disease. If you think that science will some day become Ayurveda, you have a ZERO understanding of both Ayurveda and Science.

      Questioning science is actively encouraged. But that is for experts in science who understand what it is; not for a bystander like you who does not understand the ABC of it. Everyone is welcome to join in on science. But joining requires that you first read the material and get properly trained… not just have opinions for the sake of opinions.

  • Logic is not the only answer. There are certain things that one doesn’t need to and will never be able to explain with logic. A good combination of Medicine (science) and Belief (mind) works wonders.

    • Logic is not the only answer.

      That’s a strawman. Modern/Scientific Medicine is not called Logic Based Medicine. It is called Evidence Based Medicine. In medicine, logic is only part of the puzzle. The others are a sound foundation of basic science research and empirical clinical evidence. The key question is: How do we know something works? The only way to know is to test systematically and extensively.

      A substance that should logically work, does not always work in practice. So test… test… test. Strong evidence is the gold standard in medicine, not simple logic.

      There are certain things that one doesn’t need to and will never be able to explain with logic. A good combination of Medicine (science) and Belief (mind) works wonders.

      Euphemisms like this don’t stand up to scrutiny.

      Belief from the standpoint of a researcher:

      Reliance on “belief” is a terrible, terrible idea in medical research. The major component of the scientific method in medicine is to overcome belief. We want to KNOW, NOT BELIEVE. We value having control groups and blinding so that we don’t fall victim to warm, fuzzy beliefs and biases.

      If we cannot know something, it is critical to say: “we don’t know (yet)”. Uncertainty in knowing must be acknowledged and quantified, but pretending certainty, where not enough of it exists, is belief… and the root of much folly, not just in medicine. This isn’t some abstract conjecture. One needs to only look at the entire history of medicine, worldwide, prior to the scientific revolution. Much of it was run on belief (and erroneous logic) and the results were extremely poor.

      Belief from the standpoint of the patient:

      Belief effects the subjective assessment of symptoms (Placebo effect). It has been studied quite a bit and there is disagreement on its extent (some to little to none). But it certainly does not “work wonders”.

      The main problem with belief in patients is that they seek non-treatments (folk remedies, homeopathy etc), delaying actual treatment. It is far better to have educated, informed and engaged patients, rather than patients who just believe. The compliance rates are much better and they better inform the physician of both effects and side effects such that adjustments may be made to their treatment regimen.

        • Not really. This is just classic Dr. Hegde.

          In reality, our pre-agricultural ancestors did not live longer than us. Domesticated cats and dogs in fact live longer than their wilder counterparts. Or rather, like the pre-civilization humans, the wild counterparts of pets do not survive as long. Yes, stress effects health, but nowhere close to what he makes it up to be. No, doctors are not conspiring to make you unhealthy. Do pranayama for 5-10 hrs and you don’t have to eat food? Live off sunshine? – hilarious.

          • Dear shri Dr ravi..
            I actually thought of not irritating you any further by my silly talks… 🙂
            Because academically you sound quite strong..

            But your line
            No doctors are conspiring………..
            Should be changed to..
            Not all doctors…
            I hope you agree to this atleast.

            Secondly..
            Your trust on science and thereby evidence based medicine is surely appreciable. ..

            But me too being science student. ..I understand the follies of science too.

            Don’t you think, by restricting yourself to
            ” evidence based diagnosis”
            You actually are limiting yourself?
            I mean there are so many things happening around us that science can not support. ….how can we be so ignorant? ??

            I believe, a knowledgeable Doctor like you , if comes out of that box and starts finding reasoning to these unknown phenomena, you can be of great help to human race….

            I’m not a doctor so I can’t tell you things in your field but

            Questions like..
            Irreversible time?
            Feeling of being dragged towards death on timeline?
            Why do I forget things ?
            Or
            How come a wildest idea appears to our thoughts out of nowhere?
            What hits the heart when you are hit by a sudden emotion of love or fear?
            And why heart when actually it should be brain?
            Love?
            Dreams?
            Amuse me and I know science has no answer to that…

          • How can you laugh at him..dont you know who he is…u r just jealous…stop hating…your cells will learn to hate your body and you’ll end up with one of those 100 new disease names that docs have made up and called Autoimmune disorders..or psychosomatic..same thing..homeopathic Dr’s say that it’s the same yhing..just be full of sweetness and sunshine and ull never get sick…only mean people get sick…

          • How do you know whether I know him or not? Why do I need to know him, in order to address his claims?

            Autoimmune disorders..or psychosomatic..same thing

            There is HUGE difference between the two.

            Every idea in Homeopathy is COMPLETE NONSENSE. We can at least have a discussion in case of Ayurveda and other traditional medicine on whether there is perhaps some herb somewhere that we have not evaluated the right way. It may not be a good likelihood, but it cannot be ruled out entirely. Herbs are a valuable resource, even if the means to properly evaluate them and use them were unavailable in the days of traditional medicine.

            Not so in case of this German quackery: Homeopathy. There isn’t a SHRED of evidence, after THOUSANDS of studies, that it is anything but nonsense (politely: no different from a placebo).

            Just to give you an idea of the silliness – the so-called homeopathic cure for flu is duck liver and heart extract in the dilution of:
            1 in 10000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000000000

            (I deliberately eschewed the power notation to drive the message)

            If you are still not able to understand that:

            We would need to take all the atoms (it gets even worse, if calculated as molecules) in 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
            0000000000000 observable UNIVERSES to contain a SINGLE molecule from this extract (and there would need to be several in it since it isn’t a single molecule preparation), at this dilution. And no, it is chemically impossible to imprint large organic molecules on small water molecules.

            They are just selling you really, really expensive water, nothing else… for ailments that are known to resolve themselves without any treatment, if you just give them time – backpain, allergic episodes etc. Unfortunately most Indians think they work due to the posthoc fallacy. This tells us about how human belief works, not whether Homeopathy works.

          • just be full of sweetness and sunshine and ull never get sick…only mean people get sick

            I should add that this is a truly perverse, blame the victim mentality.
            In the past, they would routinely blame the victims who got leprosy, by saying that it was because of their sins.
            In the past, they would blame the victims of an epidemic that it was divine retribution for the depravity of the community.
            In Ayurveda, parents of a malformed child would be blamed saying that it was their lack of belief in gods… and if they insisted that they prayed a lot or that they spent a lot on rituals, that it was for their sins in their past life.

            You seem to have no different views from this dark ages mentality. Would you visit a Pediatric Oncology ward and tell the kids that they got cancers because they were spiteful and jealous?

          • @Rahul

            Not all doctors…
            I hope you agree to this atleast

            I certainly have encountered a few cases of doctors who had actively acted against the health interests of patients and broke the fundamental trust of medicine. There will always be some black sheep. I only disagree that doctors as a whole do not conspire against the patients interests, as Dr. Hegde claims in that video. The profession of medicine isn’t in conspiracy and holds itself to a high standard. There are certainly individuals who may act in greed. For all his claims, Dr. Hegde himself may be one such individual. He promotes his own unvalidated therapies, while telling everyone to not trust doctors.

            Don’t you think, by restricting yourself to
            ” evidence based diagnosis”
            You actually are limiting yourself?

            It isn’t a restriction in any real sense. If we can show it works, we use it. If we can’t show it works, how can it be ethically promoted?

            Irreversible time?

            Physics talks about relativity in the rate of passage of time while traveling at the speed of light. It does not talk about reversible or irreversable time, perhaps in the same way that there is no talk of negative length in physics. Reversing time is an idea popularized by science fiction because it allows for some great oppurtunities in literary creativity.

            Feeling of being dragged towards death on timeline?

            That’s just being human. :-).
            Personally, I like Epicureanism with regards to death angst.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism
            Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo (“I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”)

            Why do I forget things ? Love? Dreams?

            There is ongoing research in Neuroscience in each of these and there is plenty of literature on memory formation and loss (in health and disease), love (Eg: Oxytocin aka “love hormone” mediation) etc. These are obviously not closed topics, but they are not beyond science in any way either.

            How come a wildest idea appears to our thoughts out of nowhere?

            Abduction (as opposed to induction and deduction)
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abductive_reasoning
            is indeed a valid mode of thought. Our brains are natural neural networks (that are further endocrinally modulated). This mode of information processing is native to our hardware. We even simulate these networks in digital computers (ANNs – Artificial Neural Networks) – they are inefficient, but they do work. The emerging self-driving car technology is based on these. We are still quite far from ending up with a “Skynet” that gets wild ideas :-), if that is your standard. There are efforts on several fronts to more fully understand human cognition. Again, this is not beyond science. The measure should not be: Do we have all the answers already. It should be: Are we continuously building on and getting more and more answers (that we can verify)?

  • To leave aside / allow ‘logic’ to rest for a while, to share own thought : As commonly experienced but failing to be admitted,- the combination , in reality, is one of more ‘Belief” (‘Faith’ ?)and less of ‘Medicine’.

  • Promise for the Future in Yesterday’s Remedies: Traditional Therapies to Modern Medicine
    Vikas Sukhatme, M.D., Ph.D.
    Victor J. Aresty Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical Schoo
    Promise for the future in yesterdays remedies
    http://videocast.nih.gov/Summary.asp?File=16737&bhcp=1
    Very good lecture from John Hopkins and Harvard cancer doctors about ayurveda and herbal medicine in cancer
    Some of the ancient treatments had more success rate that present ones

    • Please cite from the talk to answer the following questions.

      Very good lecture from John Hopkins and Harvard cancer doctors about ayurveda and herbal medicine in cancer

      Where did he talk about Ayurveda? What herbs are being used? (Were you thinking of grapes, flax seed oil and cottage cheese as herbs?). He just non-specifically mentions “herbal products” in passing, in a few places. The talk has nothing to do with Ayurveda or Herbal Medicine or even Traditional Medicine (he began the talk by distancing himself from the term in the title even), in general. Apparently, the lady who introduced him selected the title (or perhaps at least the subtitle) for his talk and put in the word – “traditional” in it, which he was uneasy with.

      Dr. Sukhatme: “Let me start with just a couple words of introduction, since Dr. Briggs had something to do with choosing this title, I thought I would take the prerogative of modifying the word traditional, just a bit. Many you know I don’t consider myself a practitioner of traditional medicine as is typically defined, nor do I study traditional medicines if you will at the bench. So I am going to use the word traditional to refer to ideas, therapies that are old, that have been around for a while, but which have, for a number of reasons, not found their way into, if you wish to call them mainstream medicine”

      Some of the ancient treatments had more success rate that present ones

      I want to know how you got this idea from the talk.

      Where did he talk about their success rate?
      Which analogous present-day treatments was he talking about?
      What was their success rate, in comparison?

      The only mention of outcomes data was in case of Coley’s Toxins. The old listed data was not compared to any modern treatment in his slides.

      With regards to “ancient treatments”: Which “ancient treatments” was he talking about? How old were the treatments that he talked about? (No one would describe ~100-125 year old remedy/therapy claims that he was referring to as “ancient”. They merely date back to the early days of modern medicine. Coley’s Toxins were even considered mainstream modern medicine (these claims were not made based on bronze/iron-age humoral models) for many decades, until the evidence was called into question and they were set aside (and the criticism was also fair criticism, which should have been covered in the talk). Coley is considered the “Father of Immunotherapy”. That’s about as mainstream as you can get. I really don’t understand how you could argue that the talk supports your claims regarding ancient and ayurvedic medicine. If you think I missed the words “ayurveda” and “ancient” in the talk, go ahead and cite sentences from the talk… with play times.

      I am not at all questioning his research credentials and accomplishments. His points about Big Pharma not funding work like this is one thing, but NIH does not care about commercialization… they just want solutions. However, while the case he was making may impress you, it is unlikely to impress NIH reviewers… case basically being – There was this lady who thought she cured her gastic cancer with fasting and whole grape juice and wrote a book, but provided no proof. But I think I can now explain it biochemically, and some people on the Internet also said it worked. Will you fund me for a trial? – That just won’t fly.

      Harvard and Johns Hopkins credentials are about being able to make a proper scholarly case for funding scientific work. He is not doing a good enough job here. So he is short-circuiting the review process and going directly to patients for funding with his non-profit.

      Quack Watch on The Grape Cure (2001)
      http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/grape.html

    • Dr. Coley’s data could not be replicated (despite being in use for decades), the procedures were not well-specified, had poor controls and follow ups, the cases were poorly documented and many of his patients were undergoing other treatments along side.

  • This was published in Science
    http://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/custom-publishing/documents/TCM_Dec_19_issue_high_resolution.pdf

    “Nearly a quarter of all modern medicines are derived from natural
    products, many of which were first used in a traditional medicine context” Science Journal

    25% derived directly from herbal medicines, and if we consider indirect derivatives its nearly 90% .

    So the traditional , herbal , yunani , ayurved , are not all
    hocus pocus .

      • I see this Hegde chap as a scaremonger ( who gave him the Padmabhushan?) However, Ayurveda isn’t total bollocks, so don’t rubbish it. I am a scientist, I am asthmatic. Growing up, my mother used to get the leaves of ‘aadalodakam’ ( malayalam language), grind them and give it to me telling that that is good against asthma- This was actually well known in Ayurveda. I never liked it, it was so bitter, also, I never trusted that it can help; so I tried to avoid it as much as possible. Years down the line there came a tablet called Asthmatide BR, which was the best bronchodilator for me at that time, when salbutamol and theo asthalins failed. Know what? Bromohexine is an alkaloid found in aadalodakam leaves. The difference being, they don’t take out the alkaloid as the active ingredient in Ayurveda, instead you are put on a strict diet regime and are given the whole leaf extract and other stuff. In isolation, Bromohexine may just be a bronchodilator, but taken in the strict Ayurveda way, it could well cure asthma rather than just be a symptomatic relief like asthmatide BR. The problem is, there are hundreds of thousands of Ayurveda practitioners who know next to nothing and it is extremely difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff these days. I anyway never had the patience for their regimes ( what with the no alcohol and what not) so never tried it.

        • I did not say it was ” total bollocks “, as you put it, only a good deal of the time because traditional medicine was based on a weak understanding of disease. I was specific with the words today and drug of choice because I do know of a few drugs extracted from Ayurveda.

          it could well cure asthma rather than just be a symptomatic relief

          Why do you think that?

          • Because I have seen some life long asthmatics getting cured with such treatment. A liquid ( called kashaayam) , which is kind of brewed with medicinal plants, roots etc, extremely bitter in taste, seemed to be the main stuff. One of the main ingredients in that used to be the leaf of the plant that I mentioned. But then again, the practitioners were different then, and the people who got relief for long years after the treatment were willing to follow the regime. Some plants/ plant materiels do have healing power, vinca rosea to cite one such well known example.

          • Kashaayam is just the generic name for any herbal decoction. Many of them are bitter. For instance, anything with alkaloids has a bitter taste.

            As a scientist, do you think it is possible for you to just “see” people getting cured without any systematic data collection? Asthma and allergy episodes don’t stay steady in intensity through life. People do have exacerbations and remissions on their own. Without a systematic data collection and a careful analysis, it is simply not possible to verify cure claims in any meaningful way.

            The question isn’t whether vinca rosea has pharmacological effects. The question is whether the modern use correlates/validates with the ancient claim. I have already asked this: Can you cite and quote the Ayurvedic claim for say, cancer application of vinca rosea from our texts?

          • I have seen false data published all the time.

            I see false data published occasionally. But then again I take small studies published from not well-known institutes in developing countries, where the penalties for misconduct are low, that have NOT been replicated, with a pinch of salt. Reputed institutes also may have occasional misconduct, but at a rate so insignificant that it is not worth for me to have a suspicion with every paper, on those grounds alone.

            For disciplines out of one’s expertise, it is generally wise to consider the domain consensus rather than get excited at unreplicated research. That shields against most fraud or more simply, bad science.

            but still you have the controversy like the MMR triple vaccine- autism paper which is now regarded as false data. I am not convinced. I am still unsure if it is safe to take the triple vaccine if you are sort of immunologically challenged and if your child is likewise challenged (asthma in our case).

            The whole autism angle was driven by uninformed patients, quacks and frauds.

            may be it is just that the positive data came from children who were immunologically challenged. No one seemed to suggest any such stuff but rubbished the original data.

            The data was rubbished because it was fraudulent.

            If you did the same study in a different cohort who were mostly non immunologically challenged, you will get exactly the opposite results.

            And you base this on?

            one in 10000 wouldn’t matter and the govt will get on with their triple vaccine scheme and the big pharmas with their 50 year contracts.

            I would gladly take 1 in 10000 risk (the scare claims were much higher) for autism, rather than not get vaccinated and hope to ride on herd immunity.

            I even mentioned this to Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced consultant, when I met him some years back, but by that time he had already given up.

            You went to his meetups? What exactly were you expecting from him? He is the king of anti-vaxers. His meet-ups were reported to be echo chambers of non-expert audience.

            You asked ‘As a scientist, do you think it is possible for you to just “see” people getting cured without any systematic data collection?’. Yes I can see it. The ‘cases’ I mentioned were not part of my scientific research, but were a couple of people who got rid of asthma, who had the determination to go through the regime.

            If people can make assertions from watching a couple of cases, especially in cases of chronic disease with much variance, there would be no reason to do studies.

            I mentioned vincristine just to say that there are instances where plant products have been known to have curative effect, I din’t say that ayurveda talked about cancer curing properties of vinca rosea. So don’t try to misquote me.

            But the argument wasn’t on whether herbs are a resource – they are; it was on the value of therapies as prescribed by Ayurveda (since you said I called it “total bollocks” – which is misquoting me) and other ancient texts. The topic of vinca rosea on cancer already came up in this forum. I saw your mention as a continuation of that.

            The answer to your question lies in aadalodakam and many such plants/plant products used in ayurveda. If you are having a heart attack, you will be an idiot to seek the help of even the best ayurveda practitioner

            I am glad we agree.

            but there are chronic illnesses that respond to ayurvedic treatments.

            Can you list a few clinical guidelines for chronic diseases that propose the use of ayurvedic treatments then?

            Don’t be a sceptic for the sake of it

            I am a sceptic because I know the quality of the material that is actually in Ayurveda. I encourage you to read an actual text of Ayurveda, not just papers on it or quote from personal anecdotes. You can’t understand it until you do.

            Kashaayam is not a generic term, by the way.

            It is.

            each kashaayam used to have a name to it and was specified for particular illness.

            Right. You just did not use that name.

            Like I alluded earlier, the wider popularity and hype of ayurveda has lead to malpractices.

            My issue is not with malpractice. That can be fixed. It is with the ideas that are at the very core of Ayurveda – they are filled with horrible misconceptions that have no place in the modern world.

            Eg:

            “Hence (in the eighth month of gestation) offerings of meat should be made to the demons and monsters (for the safe continuance of the child).”

            “The malformation of a child in the womb should be ascribed to the atheism of its parents, or to the effects of their misdeeds in a prior existence….”

            I listed a few others in this forum. There are hundreds of irrational claims like this in the texts.

            That is not to say that finding something useful is not possible. But that should be left to researchers and a very sceptical view (rather than an enthusiastic view) is reasonably necessary to even consider claims. I would not consider any claim here unless it has been well replicated.

  • How true is few Doctors claim that modern medicine is flawed?

    This guy is a pseudoscientific scumbag like Deepak Chopra who recently said that bacteria can talk to us. Please don’t bother with these folks. When they get heart attacks I’m pretty sure they would like to be treated with the standard clinical proto…

    • As a scientist, I have seen false data published all the time. Only the big ones ( Nature, Cell etc Journal papers) get retracted and get in to the news. ‘systematic data collection’ they always do, but still you have the controversy like the MMR triple vaccine- autism paper which is now regarded as false data. I am not convinced. I am still unsure if it is safe to take the triple vaccine if you are sort of immunologically challenged and if your child is likewise challenged (asthma in our case). I went for single vaccines for my children ( triple is free, singles you pay), because while it is easy to dispute those results, may be it is just that the positive data came from children who were immunologically challenged. No one seemed to suggest any such stuff but rubbished the original data. If you did the same study in a different cohort who were mostly non immunologically challenged, you will get exactly the opposite results. one in 10000 wouldn’t matter and the govt will get on with their triple vaccine scheme and the big pharmas with their 50 year contracts. I even mentioned this to Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced consultant, when I met him some years back, but by that time he had already given up. You asked ‘As a scientist, do you think it is possible for you to just “see” people getting cured without any systematic data collection?’. Yes I can see it. The ‘cases’ I mentioned were not part of my scientific research, but were a couple of people who got rid of asthma, who had the determination to go through the regime. Vincristine extracted from Vinca rosea has been used successfully ( not always, but then again,if there is a chemotherapy agent that is globally effective, you would have cured cancer long back) in cancer chemotherapy. I mentioned vincristine just to say that there are instances where plant products have been known to have curative effect, I din’t say that ayurveda talked about cancer curing properties of vinca rosea. So don’t try to misquote me. The answer to your question lies in aadalodakam and many such plants/plant products used in ayurveda. If you are having a heart attack, you will be an idiot to seek the help of even the best ayurveda practitioner, but there are chronic illnesses that respond to ayurvedic treatments. Don’t be a sceptic for the sake of it, especially if you are not used to the research data presentation of modern days. Kashaayam is not a generic term, by the way. each kashaayam used to have a name to it and was specified for particular illness. Like I alluded earlier, the wider popularity and hype of ayurveda has lead to malpractices. I personally have little trust in these practices of present day, but you can’t ridicule the likes of ‘Vaidyarathnam’ and ‘Kottakkal’ of some 30 years back.

      • Looks like we both replied to the wrong post (my reply is above), although I could have sworn that this post was above when I started typing.

        • ‘….That shields against most fraud or more simply, bad science.’

          wow, the only person who can ever claim that he or she is protected from fraudulent data. You clearly have no idea about wet lab research or have ever gone through any one’s lab book. I don’t know your qualifications, but you have no real research experience no matter what you might claim to counter this.

          ‘The data (autism)was rubbished because it was fraudulent.’ The data was ‘deemed’ fraudulent because it wasn’t reproducible. It was never repeated on the same set of patients and hence no one will know if that particular cohort were different.

          ‘I would gladly take 1 in 10000 risk (the scare claims were much higher) for autism, rather than not get vaccinated and hope to ride on herd immunity..’

          I won’t but I will look for alternatives, that is why I said I went for single vaccinations. If you are a doc, god bless your patients with that 1 in 10000 chance that you take on anything.

          ‘You went to his meetups?’

          That is for me to know and you to find out. There are no ‘meetups’ in the dictionary of the scientist colleagues that I have come across, from the smaller fish to the few big ones like Paul Nurse, John Walker or Venky Ramkrishnan

          ‘Ayurveda – they are filled with horrible misconceptions’

          It is you who have all these misconceptions so,get a grip.

          There is no point in continuing so good bye.

          • wow, the only person who can ever claim that he or she is protected from fraudulent data.

            Sticking to expert consensus may not protect one from fraud, 100% of the time (nothing does), but it is far… far better than being enthralled by outright frauds like Wakefield.

            You clearly have no idea about wet lab research or have ever gone through any one’s lab book. I don’t know your qualifications, but you have no real research experience no matter what you might claim to counter this.

            This… from a “scientist” who argues from grandmother experiences and personal anecdotes.

            ‘The data (autism)was rubbished because it was fraudulent.’ The data was ‘deemed’ fraudulent because it wasn’t reproducible. It was never repeated on the same set of patients and hence no one will know if that particular cohort were different.

            I suggest you actually read up on the case about him, rather than just his defense. They checked with many of his subjects and found that he fudged the data deliberately to suit his case. His study design was lousy on many counts. He wasn’t thrown out because of that. He was thrown out because direct evidence was presented that he manipulated data. Not to mention the significant financial conflicts of interest he had not disclosed.

            Nothing will convince you though, since you have already invested yourself in the conspiracy arguments.

            I won’t but I will look for alternatives, that is why I said I went for single vaccinations.

            You don’t understand the problem with single vaccines. People are much more likely to miss them in the recommended time frames. That’s the whole point of combined vaccines.

            If you are a doc, god bless your patients with that 1 in 10000 chance that you take on anything.

            Do you have an idea of the baseline autism rates? Find that out before waving a completely made-up 1 in 10000 chance.

            There are no ‘meetups’ in the dictionary of the scientist colleagues that I have come across

            I am sure they are not as low vocabulary colleagues as you paint them. Parent meetups are what he does now. He isn’t a scientist anymore.

            from the smaller fish to the few big ones like Paul Nurse, John Walker or Venky Ramkrishnan

            And thoroughly disgraced frauds like Wakefield whose medical license has been revoked for fraud.

            It is you who have all these misconceptions so,get a grip.

            I just cited Sushruta Samhita. You clearly have not read a single Ayurvedic classic text or any traditional medical text from any culture or have any understanding of the history of medicine over the millenea. So all this may sound news to you. It was fairly common for them to mix-up religion, superstition, myths and folk medicine.

            There is no point in continuing so good bye.

            Yeah, you are a borderline anti-vaxer (at least you went with a single vaccine). No point in continuing.

    • (Recycling from below)
      Vinca Roseae would work. I was aware of the herbal roots of Vincristine and Vinblastine, but was unaware of any Ayurvedic claim to it in cancer. Turmeric is not a Drug of Choice in anything AFAIK. I will be happy to be shown otherwise. This is also the first time I am hearing about Ayurvedic claims regarding Paclitaxel. I have not verified yet.

  • Dear Ravi,

    If you are a MD, I would like you to read the concept of Tumor heterogeneity and targeted therapy. Now medicine is moving towards integration.
    But still there are cases where Coleys toxin worked. http://www.karger.com/Article/PDF/217017
    BTW “Nearly a quarter of all modern medicines are derived from natural
    products, many of which were first used in a traditional medicine context” this was said by Margaret Chan MD Director-General of World Health Organization. Why don’t you write a article in Science or Nature or Cell if you can refuting Dr.Chan’s statement?
    BTW what about Vinca Roseae

    • Kölmel study is, as the title states, an early pilot study (I did not access the paper yet since it was behind a paywall). So what was the follow-up trial that you would point to? It has been 25 years.

      The point isn’t that I am against Coley’s Toxins. I respect Dr. Coley’s contributions and I think I already made that clear. But one follows evidence and his old data had problems and it was not replicated. The current advice is still against it. If newer trials can properly replicate it, why would one NOT use it?

      Vinca Roseae would work. I was aware of the herbal roots of Vincristine and Vinblastine, but was unaware of any Ayurvedic claim to it in cancer. Turmeric is not a Drug of Choice in anything AFAIK. I will be happy to be shown otherwise. This is also the first time I am hearing about Ayurvedic claims regarding Paclitaxel. I have not verified yet.

      The document that Anand linked had no mention of Ayurveda or Unani claims. The statement “Nearly a quarter of all modern medicines are derived from natural products, many of which were first used in a traditional medicine context” says nothing of Ayurveda and Unani, just as the talk he earlier linked had no mention of ancient therapies or Ayurveda that he somehow inferred from it. The statement also says nothing of whether there is any correlation between TM use of the herb and the modern use. Reserpine was used in Ayurveda and Western traditional medicine. But the use was quite different from its use in modern medicine. Hence my contention.

      Modern medicine is of course not against herbs. It does not care about the sources of its precursors. It is only against remedies being frivolously proposed without evidence (like the Grape diet or the Flax oil diet) and on models of disease that don’t meet the standards of verification today. Neither is it proper to call traditional medicine as herbal medicine (no one has a monopoly on herbs). TM used EVERYTHING – plant products, animal products, minerals, rituals, prayers) it could get its hands on. Modern medicine similarly uses everything it can use. The difference is the emphasis on evidence, rather than vague and unvalidated theories.

      • I am not seeing Anand’s new post here yet. That was from where I was talking of Turmeric and Paclitaxel, in case you were wondering.

        • Dear shri ravi
          Ya. I am a bystander here alright but can understand few things…
          And the way you’ve evaded my questions about time, light, planets, death…..
          you seem to be a bystander on that front…that’s ok. I understand.

          However
          A civilization that spoke technically better language , understood better geography,
          Constructed better buildings,
          (All above is your opinion only.. ,) …how can they be termed iron age or stone age…?
          And to think that such civilization never bothered studying detailed medicine is absurd….

          Yes modern science has grown alright but to sound as if that’s the only correct thing calling rest all methods as mediocre is inappropriate.

          You said
          Science knows hundreds of reasons for cancer or BP…
          Does it not sound funny to you?
          I mean one disease can occur to a person off more than hundred causes??? Then how’d you treat one patient? ? Go on trying hundred medicines?? One by one? ??
          Are we lost in the woods???

          B M Hegde has better answer, he calls it conflict of mind and actions…it can be true, .. why deny?

          For traditional medicine…
          What I observe is …
          Traditional medicine like
          turmeric on wounds works better than any cream or ointment.

          On common cold and blocked nose eucalyptus steam works better than any tablet or drug given by GP.

          Cough is treated better by ayurvedic ” kadha” or soup ( don’t know any medical term) than any tonic.

          Gases and acidity treated better by common rock salt, soda and hing. ..

          My opinion. …NOTHING personal please. .;)

          • way you’ve evaded my questions about time, light, planets, death…..

            I repeat myself: “I feel I have already adequately answered your questions in detail in the last post and that your dissatisfaction with them is not an argument for Meditation, Yoga and Ayurveda as alternatives to Science”

            you seem to be a bystander on that front…that’s ok. I understand.

            Awwww…. I hope that felt good :-).

            A civilization that spoke technically better language , understood better geography

            It would be interesting to know what percent of the population actually used Panini’s rigorous grammar, aside from the elite/clergy.

            understood better geography

            Did I say anything about Geography?

            Constructed better buildings,

            I was actually thinking of the Pyramids when I was talking of logs vs. mud to move stone, not India. Else, I’d be talking Elephant power :-).

            My objections aren’t specific to India. It is about positioning the ancient methods as equivalent to the modern. Celebrating ancient ingenuity isn’t something I dispute, just the equivalence.

            how can they be termed iron age or stone age…?

            No one is talking about the stone age. As for as the iron and bronze ages, I am sure you will find the proper use of terminology described in any history book or even the Wikipedia page on the topic.

            And to think that such civilization never bothered studying detailed medicine is absurd….

            Here is some more of that detailed medicine (recycling from another post) for you (from Sushruta Samhita). I hope I can trust you to make proper judgments of absurdity here.

            Pre-op preparation: “Prayers, offerings and prophylactic charms should be offered”.

            “Hence (in the eighth month of gestation) offerings of meat should be made to the demons and monsters (for the safe continuance of the child).”

            “The malformation of a child in the womb should be ascribed to the atheism of its parents, or to the effects of their misdeeds in a prior existence….”

            “Every morning after a bath a man should offer ten thousand oblations in fire and take the powders and decoction of the roots and bark of the Vilva with milk in a spirit of self-control, whereby he would be able to acquire longevity.”

            “For the successful application of his newly acquired knowledge (Mantras he shall devotedly worship the gods with offerings of perfumes, garlands of flowers, edibles, (animal) oblations, etc., and with the appropriate Mantras sacred to them as well as with burnt offerings, since a Mantra chanted by a man in an unclean spirit or body, or accented or uttered incorrectly will not take effect.”

            “The venom of celestial serpents lies in their sight and breath”

            “The venom of a scorpion lies in their saliva”

            “It would do the man bitten by a snake an immense good if he could bite the serpent that had bitten him or failing that, bite a clod of earth without any loss of time”.

            Until statistics was developed (just about a hundred years ago), it was impossible to study anything in medicine unless the effect sizes were fairly large and the variance was low. Most of the material covered in traditional medicine does not fit this category. Next, the requisite basic science know-how was just absent, as was technology. Almost every disease was misunderstood in every traditional medicine, not just Ayurveda. Even the smartest person cannot do much until the necessary intellectual blocks are in place. Traditional medicine was developed when the blocks were not yet in place.

            This is not a judgment of civilizations. It is a matter of things done before their time, and the low quality that is the inevitable consequence of that.

            I need to repeat this. You need to understand that I am not specifically critiquing Ayurveda. This applies to all traditional medicine. Ayurveda is not as special a case, as it is often presented as.

            Yes modern science has grown alright but to sound as if that’s the only correct thing calling rest all methods as mediocre is inappropriate.

            India had the best battlefield rockets, not until long ago. Tippu Sultan used them against the British. Those best-of-class rockets today, are not just mediocre, but outright primitive.

            No one would suggest we equip our army with anything but the cutting edge rockets. No one would say, let’s use the indigenous and wholesome Mysorean rockets along side ICBMs and other short range rockets. But people have no problem suggesting Ayurveda along with modern medicine. Why?

            As much as we celebrate them, no one would suggest we use Bhaskara’s and Aryabhatta’s models at ISRO to launch anything. But people have no problem suggesting promotion of Ayurveda along side modern medicine. Why?

            I mean one disease can occur to a person off more than hundred causes???

            That’s not what I said. What you think of as cancer is a family of conditions. There have been so many carcinogenic sources identified that a textbook of Pathology put it thusly: Everything under the sun, including the sun has been implicated. Not every cause is implicated in every type of cancer.

            Likewise, Hypertension has a number of causes. I did not say that all act simultaneously in a single person.

            See
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_hypertension for some causes.
            When the cause is addressed/removed in these cases, it can actually be cured.
            Also
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_hypertension
            which is the more commonly known variety.

            What I observe is …

            Nobody cares – neither for your individual observations nor mine. We need proper data, not testimonies. The only reason we bother with studies is because testimonies don’t work in medicine. This is one of the first things taught to medical students when they hit clinics: don’t talk of your opinions and experience on disease, know evidence.

  • Dear Ravi,
    The study of Coley and Wedding formed a basis for advent of immunotherapy for Metastaic Melanomas.
    BTW What is the percentage of survival or complete remission after metatstatic melanomas.
    In this case 4 out of 15 patients with metastatic melanoma (advanced end stage cancer for layman information) even after 36 months have complete remission (complete disappearance or absence) of tumors.
    As an oncologist I find this is something fantastic.
    http://www.archemed.de/fieber/Fever_therapy_of_advanced_melanoma.pdf

    Whats your understanding of
    1) Tumor Heterogeneity
    2) Targeted Therapy
    3) Personalized Medicine
    4) p-value

    I am asking this because, this is where the medicine is leading and any discussion without understanding of these concepts would be futile and waste of time.

    • Ah, if you are an Oncologist, I will just take your word. It would be silly to argue with a domain expert in his own domain. I do have clinical and research training. I do not however have specialty training in Oncology or work around in the area. If this is the expert consensus, I should have no reason to disagree with.

  • Dear Ravi,

    No need of taking my word for granted. But I would prefer integration of all therapeutic modalities available, with modern medicine. Human beings are a part of nature. Since the beginning of mankind, we were in touch with forests and wild fauna, which is the biggest chemical synthesizer. There are various alkaloids synthesized by plants and other wild flora and fauna. The origins of the first effective chemotherapy for cancer was an accidental findings during World War I (WWI) when mustard gas was used as a weapon.Mustard gas was widely used as a weapon during WWI by both sides of the conflict with particularly harmful and deadly effects. It was responsible for 1,205,655 non-fatal casualties and 91,198 death. But some of the soldiers who had tumors, their tumors reduced in size. Similarly if you know the concept of tumor heterogeneity and targetted therapy, its a network of genes. Like permutation and combination of 26 alphabets make English language, 19000 genes + regulatory elements make the language of life in a human cell. If cancer cell had pathways that could be the target of agents in plants or something in environment than the cell should die. Since humans were in contact natural environment, much more earlier than chemo or radio therapeutics, there may be cases where natural products might have cured certain cancers in certain individuals, might be true. Instead of just rejecting anything herbal or ayurvedic (what Indians call Ayurveda for Westerners its Herbal or Traditional Medicine) as nonsense, one should try to study and separate the junk from useful data and incorporate the finding for betterment of patient care. Lets allow the physicians, scientists, pharmacists and patients to do their work. One cannot decide this on blogs

    • No need of taking my word for granted.

      Let me clarify then. I am not taking your personal view on your word. I am taking your word that you are stating the expert consensus on the topic, since you are better qualified to speak for your own field.

      But I would prefer integration of all therapeutic modalities available, with modern medicine.

      I don’t feel that we should integrate just because things exist. We should be able to point to bad ideas and discard. The demarcation problem is an important philosophical issue in science. We should not pretend Prakriti is Pharmacogenomics. We should not pretend that Zheng is Systems Biology. Pharmacogenomics and Systems Biology are better handled in their own terms. I think we are just ending up making cultural accommodations because science is still seen as a foreign/western pursuit, rather than a universal one. In my view, this issue needs to be faced rather than accommodated.

      Human beings are

      19000 genes + regulatory elements make the language of life in a human cell.

      I don’t see this as a point of contention.

      Since humans were in contact natural environment, much more earlier than chemo or radio therapeutics, there may be cases where natural products might have cured certain cancers in certain individuals, might be true.

      The question isn’t whether “natural products” can cure. They do. My distrust is not on nature, as a resource. My distrust is in the epistemological foundations of ancient medicine, as someone who understands history of medicine and how poor the track record was, until just a couple of centuries ago. My distrust is in the capacity of the ancient mind in detecting, documenting and analyzing findings, especially with the kind of permutations you are talking about.

      Instead of just rejecting anything herbal or ayurvedic (what Indians call Ayurveda for Westerners its Herbal or Traditional Medicine) as nonsense

      There are two aspects for traditional (Indian, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Persian etc) medicine. One is the epistemological base, its theories etc. The second is a catalog of pharmaco-active substances (herbs, animal products etc), along with the obviously nonsensical stuff (poor understanding of basic sciences, rituals, myths, folk lore etc). By this I mean substances that people can easily understand as having some effect on the body, even if they lack the tools to understand the nature of the said effects.

      I don’t think I know anyone who has an issue with examining the pharmaco-active corpus. There are many problems with it – the materials are poorly cataloged (by modern standards – since they predate modern taxonomic advances), we cannot assume what we have today is the same as what was described thousands of years ago etc. All the material had been handled with every cognitive bias that exists. Many of the drugs in the ancient corpus do not seem to really work for what they were used….. But we do seem to however manage to find other uses for herbs etc mentioned in the corpus. This speaks to the ability of modern research than the ancients ability to catalog treatments.

      The issue isn’t about rejecting a herb just because it is mentioned in TM. The issue is about promoting antiquated ideas, notably the humoral model of disease (thankfully, things such as the miasmatic model of disease cannot be defended at all anymore), to the patient population in developing countries, as an equivalent system with respect to modern medicine. Patients do not have the ability to discriminate. They can’t tell the difference between Homeopathy and Modern Medicine. They assume TM is a fountain of wisdom and view modern medicine as a foreign system and with suspicion. These issues do need to be faced. These beliefs have public health consequences. If we are able to restrict TM practice to exclusively validated treatments (just as we do to modern medicine), how can anyone complain? But this is not so. No one is complaining about evidence-based TM. The complaint is about giving TM a free pass. That’s opening doors to quackery. Researchers can fend for themselves. The public can’t.

      One cannot decide this on blogs

      I agree. But discussions here are not meant to decide. The authoritative venue for discussion is academia. But these blogs are a meeting point of experts and the non-experts to present opposing views. I feel there is value in presenting a forum for challenging motherhood and apple-pie positions that go uncontested in daily discourse.

  • Dr Rohit Verma , from a common sense viewpoint, has to be thanked for summing up the ongoing controversy,being protracted/perpetuated for too long, according to the line of thoughts/ reasoning , if not the whim, of anyone or more of the participants;for, as he says, rightly so from a pragmatic angle, –
    Q
    Instead of just rejecting anything herbal or ayurvedic (what Indians call Ayurveda for Westerners its Herbal or Traditional Medicine) as nonsense, one should try to study and separate the junk from useful data and incorporate the finding for betterment of patient care. Lets allow the physicians, scientists, pharmacists and patients to do their work. One cannot decide this on blogs.

    UQ

    • Yeah, but what is the point that you are making in context of the article?

      This has been around a while, as the article notes.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface

      Non-invasive BCI has even taken off commercially recently, in low cost consumer electronics in the last couple of years in the perfect storm of low cost sensor revolution, advances in computing and statistical techniques (machine learning). You can buy and wear relatively inexpensive headgear and command a drone by thinking left, right, up, down etc, for instance (rather coarse, although the training the statistical model is very quick). Lots of hobby kits are coming out, so we should see lots of amateur creativity here soon. It’s mostly toy applications now and devices with still questionable claims (Eg: Sleep enhancers). It is expected to be a very productive area of research in the next few decades, especially for medical applications.

  •  “Yeah, but what is the point that you are making in context of the article?”

    At the outset, though not unexpected, let me apologize for my purpose having been not understood as intended. Most certainly that was not to provoke directly or indirectly, a fresh spate of controversies and food for thoughts by experts , whose time is highly ‘valuable’ in every ‘utilitarian’ sense otherwise.

    In the context of the article, my aim was to simply draw attention to, among quite may others, two essentially vital aspects:

    For ‘experts’, seemingly in relentless pursuit of their respective endeavors, ought not to impudently oversight but prudently make a conscious note of and keep lacer focussed on these, –

    as per the Input stored in : http://swaminathanv208.blogspot.in/…/research-x-experiment-…

     On a casual read through, any layperson /commoner is sure to be left ‘speechless’- with “loss of words”, “not lost for words”- is that not what the pathetic story of Kennedy tells ?!
    As marked:

    Q

    “Your brain will be infinitely more powerful than the brains we have now,” Kennedy continues, as his brain pulsates onscreen. “We’re going to extract our brains and connect them to small computers that will do everything for us, and the brains will live on.”

    “You’re excited for that to happen?” I ask.

    “Pshaw, yeah, oh my God,” he says. “This is how we’re evolving.”

    Sitting there in Kennedy’s office, staring at his old computer monitor, I’m not so sure I agree. It seems like technology always finds new and better ways to disappoint us, even as it grows more advanced every year.

    UQ

    Q
    ……. his garbled answer: You can’t always plan your path into the future. Sometimes you have to build it first.
    UQ

    Is that Kennedy, the ‘prophet’ you heard !

    To my limited knowledge, howsoever limited that be, to research and keep doing so is one thing, but to venture and experiment / keep doing so that on a guinea pig is another; albeit the story is of a “Researcher as Human Guinea Pig”

    For, in the ultimate analysis, it is the ‘patient’ who will be obliged to assume that role and suffer whatever be the potential consequence – good or bad, simply for sake of. ‘survival’ / ‘for the time being’.

    In short, as perceived, ‘MODERATION’ (i.e. a sort of controlled ‘adventure’ ) is THE master key, for human survival and in tolerably ‘good’ health, which lies only in the custody of ‘experts’.

    • I didn’t get everything you said and the link was broken. But based on what I did get…

      Personally, I would not read too much into the hyper-enthusiastic statements.

      It’s just “Peak of Inflated Expectations” talk from what Gartner research groups calls the Hype Cycle… while giving full credit to Kennedy for his adventurism.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle

      It seems like technology always finds new and better ways to disappoint us

      Everything disappoints – life, people… why not technology :-). There is this “Trough of Disillusionment”, but seriously, how does one not expect disappointment if one is still using a 20 year old PC :-).

      In short, as perceived, ‘MODERATION’ (i.e. a sort of controlled ‘adventure’ ) is THE master key

      Kennedy is a futurist (futurist with Windows 95 🙂 ) and he is playing his role appropriately. But ultimately, all technologies are subject to these cycles. I am not saying this stuff won’t happen. What you call “controlled adventure” is what typically ends up happening.

      For, in the ultimate analysis, it is the ‘patient’ who will be obliged to assume that role and suffer whatever be the potential consequence – good or bad, simply for sake of. ‘survival’ / ‘for the time being’.

      Modern medical research tries to be as ethical as possible. In research institutions, there are almost pain-in-the-neck (but very appropriate) level of safeguards to ensure that human subjects don’t end up as unwitting participants or coerced in any way. Informed choice is paramount. I agree that survival needs are coercive in their own way, but at least they are not being pushed by malice.

      Personally, I think I would not mind living on as a brain in a jar, hooked to machines :-). But that’s a personal choice.

  • It was bit interesting to go through some comments and reply over here. But, they author is attempting not to believe the reality and asking for the evidence on Ayurveda and Homeopathy. Even me too believed Homeopathy is a quackery as my uncle who was a Surgeon used to tell us, they had a thorough analysis on Homeopathic medicines and they could not find any evidence of medicines in that. The patient get cured only due to placebo effect.

    But, when I was in Final Year Engineering during 1984; I had a excruciating pain on lower abdomen and the doctor confirmed by intravenous X ray it is kidney stone. Doctor asked me to get ready for surgery and my uncle too commanded me to do so. But, my brother who was a college lecturer in science on that time opined for Homeopathic treatment and did not want a surgery. Though my uncle scolded us blue black, I have been taken to Dr. Zacharia Jacob, District Homeo Medical officer.

    Well, I have undergone three months treatment under that great Homeopathic doctor then asked me to take an X ray and see. Wow! there was no trace of stone at all. Still I continued the medication for total six months. There I started believing in Homeopathic Medical system. Dr. BM Hedge too agrees that Homeopathy definitely works.

    And about Ayurveda, I don’t have the papers to publish but I have living evidence. First is myself, I used to teach martial arts, so naturally injuries are common with that. Once, while I got a fracture at toe, the ortho-surgeon asked me to undergo for a correcting surgery, it was during 1993. But, I did not go for it. I just went to Ayurvedic vaidyar ; he gave one kashayam and one medicine to apply on my toe. Within, a months time I was back on my track.

    It so happened one more time when I was teaching students at Sharjah during 2007; I slipped and I got a serious injury at my knee. Here too ortho surgeon wanted to do the ACL and Meniscus reconstruction. I asked them to relieve me. The same night I flown back to India and went to “Kalari”( Kerala traditional Martial Arts); he applied some herbal medicines over there and tied asked me not to take bath for a week. He prescribed cheriyarasnadi kashayam too. Well, within two weeks I started walking without anybody’s support. Then I went to Aryavaidyasala Kottakkal, where I was lucky enough to get the treatment from the most Honorable Dr. PK Warrier. I was completely cured by his treatment. Even now too , I am practicing.

    There are plenty of living example of Ayurveda and Homeopathy. Can you please visit DR.S.KRISHNAKUMAR,SREE KRISHNA CLINIC AND CANCER RESEARCH, GANDHINAGAR, KOCHI-17. There you can see even Oncologists coming for the treatment. http://healurcancer.com/ this is his website. Though his medicines are bit costly ; it really works as I have talked to most of the patients over there.

  • @Raghu
    Please understand that there are millions of people like you who think they are completely convinced that they personally are “living examples” for Homeopathy, Astrology and what not.

    The entire reason we do scientific studies is that these “living examples” are almost entirely useless to learn anything from. Please do look up any research design course to learn why the systematic method is critical. A patient is not in a position to determine if a given cure worked. Even the physician who applies the “cure” isn’t… that takes statistical data. What you experienced is the common posthoc fallacy – most people run their lives with it… all of us fall victim to it at some point, even the most scientific among us.

    Homeopathy has been extensively studied, through thousands of studies… studies that it does not even merit, given its comically absurd claims. It has been rather firmly established that there exists NO evidence that Homeopathy works in ANY condition. It would be very, very strange if it did anyway.

    Ayurveda is a different matter. The scientific evidence is merely weak to absent, your (and many, many other) personal testimonies not withstanding.

    These are not matters of belief or opinion. These are matters of knowing… and knowing involves disciplined methods. In science, we don’t care if the listed doctors are popular, have commercially successful practices or have awards. It is entirely about hard statistical data. No one is above it.

    There you can see even Oncologists coming for the treatment.

    If true (I doubt it), even Oncologists can be idiots (not impossible – I know enough unscientific medical practitioners in India), in that case. Homeopathy making cancer claims is deeply unethical. These people are vultures who prey on the desperate and need to be criminally prosecuted. It is unfortunate that we do not have proactive laws and enforcement in India on quackery.

  • Modern medicines can not compete with the curability of life style disease in front of Ayurvedic Medicines, I already told you I am the living example for it. From the childhood onward I could see effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicines. I will recall an incident during 1983; when I was there with Alavil Raghavan vaidyar for my brother’s knee injury.

    There one patient was brought in stretcher. He was written off by Shantha ram shetty as a perpetual bedridden one owing to injuries to back bone in motor bike accident. Raghavan vaidyar gave him natural treatment by wrapping him in plantain leaves and all. The treatment went on for two months, this patient started to get up by holding a stick. Isn’t it amazing ? So, just understand my dear doctor there are many things ayurveda can do for which your meta analysis can not find any credibility.

    As I told you earlier, me too trusted in researched based medicines till the time I was taken for surgery for kidney stone, there from I went to Homeopathy doctor . That doctor is now retired and practicing too. Dr Zacharia Jacob

    And about Dr Hedge, he is better educated than you. He produced many doctors like you too. Finally upon his research and teaching he found out the facts and professing it out to the universe for the betterment of human life. Can you please go through this page http://www.doctorsaredangerous.com/

    And of course don’t forget to read the book The China Study by Colin Campbell. One more book ‘CANCER STEP OUTSIDE THE BOX, By Ty M Bollinger. You will have a fair idea about the gimmicks in Evidence Based Medicines.

    Of course, I am not fully thrashing the modern medicine, what I would like to say is for emergency such as accident cases Modern Medicine is required. My point is that do not kill the patients by propagating Mammogram, Chemotherapy and radiations etc. Poor people do not know anything, they consider their doctors are the god man, so they won’t oppose to the doctors, there by the patient becomes a milking cow for the doctors/ medical industry.

  • Dear Ravi ,

    You may want to read , or you may have read the book Phantoms in the brain by Dr. V. S. Ramachandran. He works in the field of neurology where large scale trials are generally not possible . He says thus ” If I put a dog in the corner , and tell you that the dog can speak . and the dog speaks , that is evidence enough . You cannot say that other dogs do not speak , this is a special dog , or what is the p value and so on and so forth. Evidence is there , further research has to commence from this starting point. ” It is the inductive logic he is using . So living examples may make sense where statistics does not and that has to be taken into account . Science is after all enquiry into knowledge .

  • @Raghu
    You are not a living example of anything. You just don’t understand the basic concepts of science. Most Indians don’t understand science, which is why they cannot tell the difference between Homeopathy, Ayurveda and actual medicine that works. The main reason why quackery and alternative medicine succeeds in India is because of low science foundations in education.

    Modern medicines can not compete with the curability of life style disease in front of Ayurvedic Medicines

    Discuss with data or you have nothing. Directly cite actual text from Ayurvedic classics for chronic diseases and link it with research evidence. Compare the numbers with those for modern medicine (rather than placebos).

    I have read Ayurvedic texts. They are exactly like other ancient medical texts from other ancient cultures – i.e. built on a PROFOUND misunderstanding of how the body works and how disease effects it. You need to actually read Ayurvedic texts before speaking for them.

    Note: This is not a critique of modern, scientific medicine with herbal precursors, some of whom have been used in the past, for one reason or the other.

    And about Dr Hedge, he is better educated than you.

    How would you know?

    There are several articles on the pseudoscience that Dr. Hegde peddles. He is only successful in impressing non-science audience like you with his New Age rhetoric. Those of us who have proper science training are deeply disappointed with his abuse of his senior standing.

    Finally upon his research and teaching he found out the facts and professing it out to the universe for the betterment of human life.

    Name some research findings that he published that are well regarded by the scientific community and discuss their impact then (don’t just copy-paste his publication list). What “facts” is he known for?

    From the childhood onward I could see effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicines

    Great. We can tell researchers to stop doing research and ask children and people like you. Why spend billions on research? Why educate researchers for decades? Asking children and people like you is so much better and cheaper to find out what is effective. Right?

    I don’t seem to be able to get through to you. Your personal testimonies are dime a dozen. I am not doubting your conviction in them. But they don’t have any knowledge value (just personal value to you).

    You can find free online courses in clinical research design and research statistics from several leading universities. Give yourself a few months to go through them. You need a foundational education in science. It is easy to read a couple of books from popular press books on science and medicine and think you get it. You don’t. I can’t read a couple of popular physics books and go lecture physicists about their follies. No one can. Not you, not Dr. Hegde.

    patient becomes a milking cow for the doctors/ medical industry.

    No one defends commercialized medicine. It is a political and business problem. Not a science problem. You are unable to understand that you ARE a milking cow for Homeopaths. Calculate the markup on the plain water on the sugar pills they are selling to anyone gullible enough to think is medicine.

    But… but… it works… it worked for me… I have seen many cases… they were many miracles… and so on. Yeah, I get it. That’s not an argument – it is standard material for pseudoscience defense.

  • I guess you are a literacy made you illiterate. Have you gone through any of the link I supplied to you. If you have gone through, you will have a bit understanding about the fallacy of your medical system what you are following now. No matter; when you reach at the age of Dr. Hegde you will also come to know about the human body in wholesome way.

    You don’t preach me about science , what we need is common sense to accept the reality. I am a product of Regional Engineering college, that too three decades before. We can make sleeping man to get up; but it is hard to make it up with a pretending man. I am not a medical practitioner still I am well aware about Anatomy , physiology and kinesiology.

    Your ignorance about Ayurveda is making you to oppose blindly to it. If you do have to challenge spare your time and meet Dr. PK Warrier at Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala. He will clear your ambiguity about Ayurveda.

    As I told you; had I been undergone knee surgery I would not have able teach martial arts at this age. Only because of Ayurvedic treatment I am still in vibrant health.

    Now comes to Homeopathy, you can dare Dr. BT Rudresh http://www.drrudresh.com/contact.php
    in Bangalore who is a prominent doctor in India. I am sure that he will definitely change your belief system. Only , I doubt that whether you will get an appointment with him or not, as he is a very busy human being.

  • Science isn’t about “common sense”. The value of science is that it allows us to reach beyond it. Read about the history of medicine before the scientific era to learn where “common sense” led medicine to.

    Science is not run by personalities. I don’t care about your celebrities and anecdotes. I just care about data. Even engineers are expected to be data-centric, not just scientists. The science-educated cite papers, not people.

    You should learn to be humble and learn about things you have ZERO understanding and education about. Your engineering training gives you ZERO insight into Medicine, just as Dr. Hegde’s excellent Cardiology training gives him ZERO insight into Quantum Mechanics and what not. I should not be ashamed to learn say, Civil Engineering and Architecture from you (if that is your discipline in engineering) and you should not lecture blithely about the medical field to someone in it, if you have not formally studied anything in Biology after 10th class. I hope you have the “common sense” to understand that you know as much about medicine as I understand about designing bridges.

    What do you mean you understand Anatomy and Physiology? You mean you read a picture book of bones and muscles so that you can understand your sport better? Good for you. Anything more than that? Don’t posture. Go ahead and explain Homeopathy using your Physiology. That should be amusing.

  • Hi Anand,

    Different science disciplines have different research methodologies. This however is not arbitrary.

    The standards of proofs required in sociology are different from standards of proofs required in clinical medicine, which are in turn different from those required in particle physics. No one is asking an ethnographer for a p-value for his/her narratives. But that standard does not suffice for medicine or physics.

    What constitutes a proper standard of evidence where, is hotly debated in science. I have personally done science research that is not at all based on statistical proofs. These epistemological issues are not alien to me. I am not some p-value dogmatist; quite the opposite. However, RCTs are critical in drug research because it is so very easy to delude ourselves that things work.

    Homeopathy is far past – “further research has to commence from this starting point” stage. It has been under observation for over 200 years. Plenty of research has already been done – thousands of studies, good and poor are available. Not a SHRED of reliable evidence exists so far that indicates that it either works or even that it can possibly work by any plausible means. It is a mere imaginary framework, with no basis, cooked up before biology and medicine were proper sciences. Every claim of Homeopathy has already been debunked. Homeopaths say that the dog only whispers to them in private conversations. But it never does when critically examined. No person with a critical mind should accept that.

    A talking dog is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary burdens of proof. If a godman produces a gold necklace from thin air, a critical thinker does not say: “Well then, that settles it. Gold ornaments can, at least under some circumstances and by the right people, be produced from thin air after all”.

    I agree with you that properly demonstrating that a single dog can talk is good enough. However, that act of talking will need to be thoroughly and critically examined. This is a consideration in animal cognition studies. For instance, refer to the case of Alex the parrot.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_%28parrot%29

    Demonstrating that Alex could understand numbers and basic math can be enough proof to speak for parrots, or at least Grey Parrots, in general. But science requires us to question whether the tasks Alex was performing were really mathematical and not something else (memory cues, association tasks etc) – That was the debate, not p-values. (I don’t have a view here. That’s for animal psychologists to decide).

    So living examples may make sense where statistics does not and that has to be taken into account

    The evidence that is necessary is dependent on the particulars of claims. The particular claims that Homeopathy makes, necessarily require robust quantitative evidence. If you have Disease A and you take drug X (“Homeopathic”, Ayurvedic, Modern Medicine… whatever) and Disease A goes away, that does not alone constitute enough evidence that X instituted cure (the posthoc fallacy), unless it was never recorded that Disease A ever auto-resolved, like say, Rabies after hydrophobia sets in… or growing amputated limbs. So, the Milwaukee protocol

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_protocol

    just needed to work once for it to be declared effective in at least some cases, while designing a study to find out whether vitamin supplementation in health has value… is much harder.

    Many backpains resolve without treatment, sooner or later. Fractures can heal by themselves (although perhaps with deformity, if not properly immobilized). Determining whether cure occurred here is more complex business and necessarily involves statistical proof. The entire history of medicine before the scientific era, from all over the world, was filled to the brim with faux remedies because “living examples” were all they had at hand to know if something worked. We have been there. It wasn’t that long ago when mainstream medicine was unscientific. It was not pretty.

    Homeopaths dismally failed to produce ANY evidence – for not even a SINGLE condition. While there may be a few useful herbs waiting to be discovered (or better applied) in Ayurveda or other traditional, pre-scientific systems, whether Homeopathy works is no longer an open question. The issue is adequately settled. It is a poster child for pseudoscience.

    Science is after all enquiry into knowledge .

    Indeed. But the converse isn’t true. All inquiry is not necessarily good science and what constitutes good inquiry changes with the question at hand.

  • There is no such thing as “Allopathy”. It is just a derogatory propaganda term made up by Homeopaths. No university gives degrees in “Allopathy”.

    Homeopathy does not have to have fantasy outcomes like making anyone immortal. It has to produce humble scientific evidence that it works in ONE SINGLE condition – which it of course won’t, because no Homeopathic “principle” has any basis in reality. They simply represent pre-scientific imaginary ideas.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/mar/11/homeopathy-not-effective-for-treating-any-condition-australian-report-finds

  • In my opinion, all those who are writing against Dr. Hegde here are just scared of their Healthcare “Business”.

    Dr. Hegde much awakened than our modern medicine (which I don’t condemn) that is so new and is absolutely limited by the limited understanding. As Oscar Wilde said how hypocrisy defends itself. See above and you will not see a single response by Dr. Hegde which is an indicator of believing in truth. Ganesh Veluswami has tried his best to use English to tarnish a decorated teacher and Doctor. He has said what he has observed and experienced.
    Those who condemn Dr. Hegde are driven by only one force – the force of Fear!
    Be strong and do what is right. Practice holistic medicine since modern medicine is still in its infancy and you never know if you can really believe it when making true clinical & surgical decisions!

  • Mr. Hegde has never said not to go to doctors. He says approach doctor only when you are sick. Not for regular checkups when you are healthy as every individuals normal bp heart rate etc varies from other.Have we not observed nowadays how the doctors instead of treating a patient for mild headache would refer him to a neurologist? Eat well, exercise well love your body and the body would love you back by taking good care of it.

  • Go to center like Shathayu Ayurveda in Bangalore. To lose as six kilograms of weight they charge 25000/_. To reduce cholesterol they give expensive detoxification tech ique like virechna which will cost 15000/_ . So which stream is fair and helping the people? No one. It is commercial everywhere. People are aware of dr.batras are misleading the mass?

  • Ganesh Veluswami
    ..”guess you forgot to mention that this was intended for the quacks who call their wares “medicine”. I challenge you to never take any medicines. Also, William Osler has also said this: “The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.””

    My family NEVER takes “medicine”.

  • naturally like your website however you need to test the spelling
    on several of your posts. Many of them are rife
    with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome
    to tell the truth on the other hand I will surely
    come again again.

  • Any comments by the author on the documentary of Statin Nation ?
    The whole industry of cholesterol lowering drugs & foods was generated.

    The patient can survive without the doctor, but the doctor can’t survive without the patients. So, it makes perfect sense to have people remain as patients till eternity.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry1Z8buyd8I

  • I am neither a doctor nor do i have great degrees. I AM JUST A COMMON MAN. But I have been a patient of many a doctor. But from my personal experience as a patient and others in the family, i would recommend allopathy only when it is very much required i.e. at the prime of emergency. We just need to think about the after effects of taking medicines when we have fever or cold. For the next one week or so we wont have taste…we will feel like lying down doing nothing…. Not only that the next time we get sick we would need to consult Allopathic doctor. No other medicine will have effect….. After some time we will have to take in stronger medicines…..So i find it better to depend on ayur or homeo…

  • Hello,

    I am layman, I came across Dr. BM.Hegde’s videos in what’s group, He was interesting and find him to be ethical doctor.

    I am a pure vegetarian and have High cholesterol 390 count from last 25 years, However I have never used any medication. I am fine. In fact my whole family has the same history. Every one is fine. I feel Dr. Hegde is sensible and good humanbeing

  • There are many in India who are jumping on the bandwagon of this pseudoscience called energy healing etc. What a shame that award winners and past medical doctors now crap about the very thing they loved for such a long time. What is worse is they are distorting facts and numbers to demonise medical field. Growing a finger in 3 days and claiming that not a single woman in kerala has skin disease amounts to absolute STUPIDITY; it is childish really. Some also claim that all tamil women have clean feet because they smear haldi everyday. Some self-acclaimed guru says that American look ugly at home and their whole skin peels off at home. How absurd and how sad indeed.

  • I am not a doctor. But, suffice to say that Observation is something that is very important to Science. If folks have not read Hahneman’s Organon, worth reading.

    We can not easily ignore the cures – my mom recently got rid of her urinary infection after taking homeo medicines for 2 weeks. She was tortured by a course of antibiotics – tablets and injections for a month before this and still the doctros have no clue why the colony count was still very very high. Point is that the reports showed neglibile or zero after the homeo medication.
    She also had psiatica for which she was advised surgery , steroids at the age of 80. Homeo got her cured – from a state where she had to bend around 45 degress – she came out – active today. And, I can quote hundreds of cases like this from friends and families.

    And, science has had difficulty explaining – last I know they said – they had a breakthru – in terms of understanding potentization – far from understanding fully – but better than what they had understood before..

  • Some writers have very sharp insight into the human condition. Bernard Shaw had written long back about medical doctors: “Ours is not a profession. Ours is a conspiracy against the suffering public!!”.

  • Every branch of medicine has its advantages and disadvantages, the advantages of modern medicine every one knows but it has limitations
    Now I am neurologist in India of 13 yrs of practice
    I am treating only the disease but I am not able to give the confidence to pat about dealing the uncertainty of life now that is the most important thing which matters to chronic pats like cva seizures
    For ex you have to live on your daily earnings with fear then your outlook to life is different that if you facing with courage
    In first instance it’s lot of stress in second instance it’s fun and adventure
    Now How much confidence are we giving pats
    So we are treating pats as cases and not as mr or Mrs so and so
    It’s not customised to his needs
    I believe we are doing only 40 % customisation
    Dr hedge is talking about the lack modern Medicine not giving feel good factor
    Due to lack of time and litigation issues for doctors
    To enjoy being a doctor you need that feel good factor
    Does modern medicine give you that
    Feel good factor cannot treat stroke
    But can help in recovery
    I found pats who were feeling good inside which you cannot test actually recovered well compared to pats who were devastated emotionally

    Each has its place
    Let’s not judge any branch but do acccept the limitations of each approach without prejudice

  • Now a days, modern medicine is being practiced in no different way from quacks. Prescribing antibiotics even when not required is one of many such examples. Why are physicians prescribing antibiotics without doing the culture test. The criticism is not about the medicine as field but about how it is being practiced. For a common man, what is your science do not have any importance. What is the benefit from it is only important. In one sentence, you mentioned alternative medicine as dangerous. It is equally unscientific to say something as dangerous until proved. You have the right to say it as unverified but not as dangerous.

  • @Varun

    But, suffice to say that Observation is something that is very important to Science.

    Observation is indeed very important. We learned a lot about how to properly observe in the last 200 years. Hahneman did not not have the benefit of this knowledge.

    If folks have not read Hahneman’s Organon, worth reading.

    Hahneman’s case is an excellent case-study in how NOT to jump to conclusions. All his “principles” were results of flawed reasoning. He got an uncommon allergic reaction from Cinchona, when he tried it… and he cooked up his “like cures like” idea. He thought his patient got better more quickly when once someone brought his “medicine” by horse. So he just assumed that the shaking made the medicine more effective. This was how he made up his “potentization” idea.

    The problem is that this are just random events that cannot be replicated. Statistics was not developed yet, so Hahneman had no clue how silly he was being. He had an excuse for his silliness… he lived in a largely pre-scientific world. Today’s quacks have no such excuse.

    We can not easily ignore the cures

    We cannot ignore the fact that Homeopathy failed EVERY critical scientific evaluation. Patients on the other hand, unlike researchers, are easy to convince… because most do not have the modern tools of reasoning… as apparent from this forum… sadly including those with college degrees.

    And, science has had difficulty explaining – last I know they said – they had a breakthru – in terms of understanding potentization – far from understanding fully – but better than what they had understood before..

    Let me assure you… as someone in science, medicine and research: There has NEVER been ANY scientific breakthrough in Homeopathy EVER. Not even a SINGLE one. It is thoroughly understood to be a pseudoscience. Potentization is nonsense.

    Here is a recent video produced by the American Chemical Society
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq29f14X1t0

  • Ravi
    October 11, 2016 at 5:10 am

    “Let me assure you… as someone in science, medicine and research: There has NEVER been ANY scientific breakthrough in Homeopathy EVER. Not even a SINGLE one. ”

    I am not sure if you understand medicine. If you could explain break through as you define it. Homeopathy in itself is a scientific break through.

    “It is thoroughly understood to be a pseudoscience. Potentization is nonsense.”

    Understood as a pseudoscience by whome? Doctors who cure patients or chemists who develop drugs?

    “Here is a recent video produced by the American Chemical Society”

    Why would a chemical society jump into medicine? What do they know about the intricacies of a human body?

  • I am not sure if you understand medicine. If you could explain break through as you define it. Homeopathy in itself is a scientific break through.

    I don’t use personal definitions. Here is Merrian-Webster’s definition:

    “a sudden increase in knowledge, understanding, etc. : an important discovery that happens after trying for a long time to understand or explain something”

    Human Genome Sequencing is an example of a breakthrough. Homeopathy is not even a discovery, let alone an important one. Things need to be shown to be true before they are called discoveries. Contrary to what Indians are led to believe, not a single Homeopathic claim was ever shown to be true. It did not add to any increase whatsoever in knowledge. It just muddied the waters for the general public.

    Understood as a pseudoscience by whome? Doctors who cure patients or chemists who develop drugs?

    Scientists. And not just medical scientists either. The entire scientific community collectively understands that Homeopathy is not a science. You don’t need to be an astrophysicist to know that flat earth theory is pseudoscience. You don’t need to be a biologist to know that creationism is not science. Same with homeopathy. All these are rather blatant pseudosciences, without a single shred of scientific evidence to support them.

    Belief in homeopathy is mainly in under-developed and developing countries – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, where you can’t even count on all professors to be scientific… or even rational (Eg: Dr. Hegde). These countries learn science by rote, as a job skill… and don’t really understand what it really is about. India is the largest market for Homeopathy. That is an embarrassment, since it speaks to the low level of scientific temper in the public.

    Why would a chemical society jump into medicine?

    Because Homeopathy makes claims about matter… claims that are against the most fundamental and thoroughly understood chemistry principles… as they noted in the video. Increasing potency by dilution is a chemistry claim. When you make up chemistry claims, chemists are going to tell you to not make stuff up.

    Also, science (unlike pseudoscience) isn’t silo-ed as you think. In medical research, we work with physicists, chemists, computer scientists, mathematicians and really just about every body else in science. No principle of any scientific domain is against any other scientific domain… because the underlying reality is the same. Pseudosciences stand apart, because they don’t deal in reality… just imagined theories with no empirical data to back them up.

    What do they know about the intricacies of a human body?

    They cited NHMRC report in that. I linked to the report in the discussion above, quite a while ago (long before this video was made). Read that. It is the most comprehensive meta-analysis… from a proper major national research body… the Australian medical research council, that showed (once again, but this time with a much larger review) that there is ZERO evidence for Homeopathy.

    And Homeopathy is not based on the intricacies of the body. It is a childishly simple system that completely ignores all the biological complexity. It was made-up when very little Physiology or Pathology was understood and was kept static since, as if it was some holy treatise and gospel, even though revolutionary developments in Biology have taken place since. It is simple faith-healing (aka placebo effect), rather than medicine… which is why it consistently fails tests against placebos.

    Here are some basic articles on Homeopathy for you since news coverage in India on the subject is horrible.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Homeopathy
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/mar/11/homeopathy-not-effective-for-treating-any-condition-australian-report-finds
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/nov/16/sciencenews.g2
    http://skeptics.nz/latest/releases/homeopaths-admit-expensive-concoctions-just-water

  • Varun, Shailesh, Soni, Raja
    Allopathic doctors are just a salesman for the pharmaceutical giants in most of the cases. So, just use your common sense before you are going to an allopathic doctor. All what you buy from the medical shops are nothing but poison. As ‘MP” clearly stated that our great Dr. Hegde’s lectures are scared of these pharmaceutical mafia, so naturally they have to oppose his views.

    Soni, you are right. In these days some of the ayurvedic hospitals are also just making money only. They don’t really follow the scriptures of Sushrutha, Vaghabda or Dhanwnthiri. What can you do is for a healthy living, just live according to the principles of Ayurveda , you will be healthy in all the way. You can listen to the lectures of our great Dr. Rajiv Dixit (sadly medical and corporate mafia killed him) I am sure that it will enlighten you.

    Raja, Cholesterol propaganda is just to scare to the public. Nobody has died of cholesterol but died of the cholesterol medication. You please go through the great book “THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL CON by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick”. That will give you a new insight about these fraud cholesterol medication.

  • It is easy to take pot shots at each other and denounce what the other says is unscientific… but the practises that the evidence based system has evolved into makes educated doctors behave no different from quacks… No wonder Gerd Gigerenzer, Director of Harding Centre for Risk Literacy in Berlin focused on the wrong practises of Doctors in his book “Risk savvy”, intended as well as unintended / ignorance… please read the link below for some examples of how ignorant the medical community is, deliberately or otherwise

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28166019

    http://news.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2014/03/gerd-gigerenzer-lecture.shtml

  • @sashi

    Don’t fall for the false equivalence here. Don’t confuse the scientific nature of the system and institutions of medicine vs. individual practitioners. The sheer of volume of scientific knowledge today is immense. Medical research community today produces 8 to 9 LAKH research articles PER YEAR. It is practically impossible for any clinician to know about the latest evidence at a fine grained level. They are not expected to be encyclopedias.

    The scientific community specializing in very focused areas produces simple guidelines for clinicians. Clinicians are not expected to know and retain the research in detail in their memory. Else they would have no time for patients. An average doctor is not a medical researcher. They do not thoroughly understand the research math.

    We have been debating the gaps in clinician understanding of math behind commonly used terms like sensitivity and specificity for many years now. This is not news. Clinicians often use intuition, rather than direct math and intuition is often very flawed. I would myself make a mistake if I don’t work the math carefully.

    But this is not to show practitioners of scientific medicine are the same as these quacks. Researchers worry about the details. Doctors just implement guidelines produced for them. Medicine is working exactly as it is supposed to. It is built on layers and layers of increasingly sophisticated analyses (basic sciences, medical sciences, animal studies, clinical trials, meta-analyses etc). Judging medical science by querying average doctors is like questioning the architecture of a major building by questioning the brick workers. Have a question on breast cancer? – ask a researcher who actively publishes in the area, not a typical gynecologist.

    The problem begins when people like Dr. Hegde appoint themselves as heroes who put themselves above this institutional wisdom (worse – when he steps into quantum mechanics, which he knows nothing about). They are welcome to participate in the debates of science, but only when they bring proper data and math, not simply rhetoric. A doctor can transition to do scientific work, but again… but that’s wearing a completely different hat… and that requires additional training that is not adequately provided in just medical school. This is PhD material, not MD material.

    In terms of quackery systems, there is no evidence at all. There is no researcher who can give you the answers to justify any given practice at all. That is the difference.

    Saying that science and pseudoscience are the same is a complete misunderstanding of the issues here.

  • @Ravi
    “Medical research community today produces 8 to 9 LAKH research articles PER YEAR. It is practically impossible for any clinician to know about the latest evidence at a fine grained level. ”
    Is there a requirement for producing 8/9 L research papers every year? What is the purpose of such output if it cannot be used?

    “The scientific community specializing in very focused areas produces simple guidelines for clinicians. Clinicians are not expected to know and retain the research in detail in their memory. Else they would have no time for patients. An average doctor is not a medical researcher. They do not thoroughly understand the research math.”
    This is a very confusing paragraph. Are you justifying failures made by doctors by this argument?

    “We have been debating the gaps in clinician understanding of math behind commonly used terms like sensitivity and specificity for many years now. This is not news.”
    This is common information.

    “Clinicians often use intuition, rather than direct math and intuition is often very flawed. I would myself make a mistake if I don’t work the math carefully.”
    There is sufficient information to confirm that doctors only use intution and this is mostly flawed.

    “But this is not to show practitioners of scientific medicine are the same as these quacks. ”
    Based upon what you have defined till now, there is no difference in doctors and quacks: both work by intution.

    “Doctors just implement guidelines produced for them. ”
    By whom? When does the new research get implemented? Who picks up the right paper from the 8/9 L studies and who decides to implement it? There is a paper by WHO confirming that use Paracetamol is bad for the child during febrile condition. What is the present status? Paracetamol was introduced in early 50s and has been linked to many deaths in children.

    “Medicine is working exactly as it is supposed to. It is built on layers and layers of increasingly sophisticated analyses (basic sciences, medical sciences, animal studies, clinical trials, meta-analyses etc). ”
    This is ae extremely incorrect and irresponsible statement. Who is responsible for drugs recall and why? Vioxx, Actos are common everyday issues in medical world. Every year many deaths occur due to prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are among the major reason for deaths in USA.

    “Judging medical science by querying average doctors is like questioning the architecture of a major building by questioning the brick workers.”
    Medical science is one architecture that completely defies logic. Every disease is managed. As my doctor friend says: I have seldom seen anyone get well.

    “Have a question on breast cancer? – ask a researcher who actively publishes in the area, not a typical gynecologist.”
    Would a medical researcher be able to confirm the best option between radiology, chemo or surgery for a patient with breast cancer? If the specialist knows so much, why has no start been made to ensure breast cancer should not appear in the first place?

    “The problem begins when people like Dr. Hegde appoint themselves as heroes who put themselves above this institutional wisdom (worse – when he steps into quantum mechanics, which he knows nothing about). ”
    I hold no brief for Dr. Hegde. I am sure he has reasons and is capable to say what he says. Medical science is NOT about curing patients, it is about the money to be made at the cost of patients who visit doctors in the hope of spending a better tomarrow. No medicine or procedure allows for this.

    “In terms of quackery systems, there is no evidence at all. There is no researcher who can give you the answers to justify any given practice at all. That is the difference.”
    There is seldom any valid evidence to justify medical processes. With lakhs of papers being printed by researchers, there is one in a billion chance that a correct procedure is applied to a patient considering patient variability.

    If end results have any meaning, medical science as practised today, is the biggest quackery.

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/millions-harmed-each-year-from-unsafe-medical-care/

  • Is there a requirement for producing 8/9 L research papers every year? What is the purpose of such output if it cannot be used?

    Why do you think research papers are written in ANY field? To figure out new stuff. Do you have science training in any field? Do you follow research literature in any area? Medicine is not unique from any science.

    Are you justifying failures made by doctors by this argument?

    No, I am saying that you have unrealistic expectations from doctors, humanly unrealistic. Doctors are expected to know the guidelines, not the specific risk levels of every treatment option by heart.

    This is not unique to medicine. You cannot expect any science professional to blurt out research data whenever you demand it. This isn’t the 15th century where there would be a handful of texts that people would memorize. Modern medicine and any science in general is far more comprehensive.

    There is sufficient information to confirm that doctors only use intution and this is mostly flawed.

    That’s nonsense. Doctors use guidelines set forth by their professional bodies. To analyze research literature on a given topic, takes teams of researchers and several months. Intuition fills the gaps. There is of course more intuition at play in medical settings in poor countries since the tests are less affordable and reliable.

    Based upon what you have defined till now, there is no difference in doctors and quacks: both work by intution.

    You are just hearing what you want to hear.

    “Doctors just implement guidelines produced for them. ”
    By whom?

    Researchers who do meta-analyses.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-analysis

    Professional bodies. Universities.

    When does the new research get implemented?

    After it goes through the review process, when the research community systematically weights it against existing evidence. The time these things take varies based on disease, strength of evidence etc.

    Who picks up the right paper from the 8/9 L studies and who decides to implement it?

    A multitude of academic researchers, in every sub-specialty, from every developed country. Half my previous academic department was busy in these analyses projects. This is a global academic effort, not some pharma conspiracy as you seem to think

    There is a paper by WHO confirming that use Paracetamol is bad for the child during febrile condition. What is the present status? Paracetamol was introduced in early 50s and has been linked to many deaths in children.

    I am not going to go and look up for you. Learn to cite papers.

    This is ae extremely incorrect and irresponsible statement. Who is responsible for drugs recall and why?

    You can learn the basics here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacovigilance

    This is serious business.

    Vioxx, Actos are common everyday issues in medical world. Every year many deaths occur due to prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are among the major reason for deaths in USA.

    Medications do cause deaths. Everyone in medicine knows about the IOM report that estimated 48K deaths. However, drugs save far, far more lives than that.

    Medical science is one architecture that completely defies logic.

    It does not. Medicine is no different from any other science. It is entirely logical and mathematical. Do you have any training in logic or statistics? Perhaps the reason it defies YOUR logic is that you don’t understand research in general?

    Every disease is managed.

    No, diseases are cured, prevented and managed.

    You are now living in a world where modern medicine already conquered infectious diseases that have through out the history of mankind have been the single largest killer. 40 years was the best average life expectancy until the modern era. 100 years ago, Indian life expectancy at birth was 19 years. Neonatal deaths were common, as were maternal deaths around delivery. You don’t see much of any of them any more. Vaccines have eradicated or contained many killers. Now, the next challenges for medical science are chronic diseases and cancers. You can already add decades of life in cases of both.

    What diseases have your quackery systems solved? NAME A SINGLE ONE.

    Where is the scientific evidence that they perform well against mainstream alternatives? If they do, they will become mainstream methods. Modern medicine isn’t an ideology. It is just about whatever-works.

    As my doctor friend says: I have seldom seen anyone get well.

    Well, I have a medical degree. I have seen plenty get well. I have no idea what the hell your friend is talking about.

    Would a medical researcher be able to confirm the best option between radiology, chemo or surgery for a patient with breast cancer?

    Researchers usually work at population levels, not at patient levels.

    Oncologists are quite quantitative. They consult evidence in selecting the best possible treatment from the options available. Since the cancer drugs are toxic (it is very hard to distinguish between normal cells and cancer cells… much harder problem than distinguishing between infectious agents and human cells), quite a bit of care is taken. But these are just really hard problems. Some cancers are easy to cure, others – not so much.

    If the specialist knows so much

    No one knows too much. A specialist simply knows more than non-specialists.

    why has no start been made to ensure breast cancer should not appear in the first place?

    I work around cancer researchers. I am constantly amazed at the science brought to bear on the problem of cancers. We will eventually get there.

    This is not however an easy problem. It is a far more complicated problem than infectious diseases. Back when infectious diseases were wiping out entire villages and country sides, no one needed to care about cancer very much. We are lucky to even live in a world where cancer and chronic diseases are our main headaches. Please read the medical history of the world from any proper scholarly source.

    It is pure illiteracy to compare the accomplishments of modern medicine with say homeopathy (water and sugar pills), an illiteracy that is however surprisingly pervasive.

    I am sure he has reasons and is capable to say what he says.

    The entire problem is that he has not shown that capacity. There are several articles on this site on his pseudoscience predilections and they go beyond medicine.

    Medical science is NOT about curing patients, it is about the money to be made at the cost of patients who visit doctors in the hope of spending a better tomarrow.

    You are just buying into pseudoscience propaganda. Medicine is about preventing, curing and managing – i.e. do whatever we can possibly do against disease and support health using the best available knowledge in science and technology.

    Medical science is about knowledge and health, not money. Medical business (and quackery is just as much a business) is a different matter. So campaign for socialized medicine and against medicine as a business. That is a political problem, not a science problem.

    There is seldom any valid evidence to justify medical processes.

    Look, you just know nothing about medicine. These are nonsensical statements. All clinical research does is produce evidence.

    With lakhs of papers being printed by researchers, there is one in a billion chance that a correct procedure is applied to a patient considering patient variability.

    Picking research papers is not a lottery draw. It is a very systematic process. Teams of clinicians, statisticians and other support staff spend a lot of effort distilling evidence. Just because it looks like a blackbox to you does not mean it is one to people with an actual education in the area.

    Why do you think modern medicine does clinical trials. Because it understands patient variability. If it considered every patient to be same, testing in one patient would be enough. This is another propaganda piece from quacks – oh, we are holistic, we are personalized, we go to the root cause… none of these claims are true.

    If end results have any meaning, medical science as practised today, is the biggest quackery.

    You just are a person who has no understanding of medical science.

    Here is my peeve with people like you. When you know nothing about astronomy, you won’t go argue that astronomers don’t get it. But with medicine, every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows better, despite the fact that modern medicine changed humanity far more than say, astronomy.

    Take some free courses on medical research that are freely available online from top universities.

    Start here

    https://www.coursera.org/learn/clinical-trials

    First finish that and then debate.

  • @Ravi

    “Why do you think research papers are written in ANY field? To figure out new stuff. Do you have science training in any field? Do you follow research literature in any area? Medicine is not unique from any science.”
    Medicine is unique because it seldom responds to the science that we try to apply. The variable is the human body, each being unique and always in dynamic condition. A human in the 15th year is physically completely different from himself/herself in the 16th year. All cells constituting him are replaced a few times in one year.
    8/9L papers per year should have changed the face of medicine long ago. It has not. Diseases are increasing, new ones add up without the old ones being closed. MDR TB, TB, Malaria (4 nobel prizes), …… Medical failures by doctors, phamaceutical companies, procedures (by pass surgery, spine fusion, Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee,,,…) add to illness.
    Such volume of research means that most of it has no meaning. To locate those few gems in a truck load of trash would be extremely difficult: may be impossible. So what is the benefit of such research and who has the capability of identifying these gems when many papers would be contradicting each other. Would these people know more than the researchers?

    “This is not unique to medicine. …. be a handful of texts that people would memorize. Modern medicine and any science in general is far more comprehensive.”

    Agreed. When a aircraft is built to carry 400 people, science used makes sure it flies and lands safely with 400 people. So how is it that comprehensive modern medical science continues to be reason for so many deaths of patients?

    “A paradoxical pattern has been suggested in the literature on doctors’ strikes: when health workers go on strike, mortality stays level or decreases. We performed a review of the literature during the past forty years to assess this paradox. We used PubMed, EconLit and Jstor to locate all peer-reviewed English-language articles presenting data analysis on mortality associated with doctors’ strikes. We identified 156 articles, seven of which met our search criteria. The articles analyzed five strikes around the world, all between 1976 and 2003. The strikes lasted between nine days and seventeen weeks. All reported that mortality either stayed the same or decreased during, and in some cases, after the strike. None found that mortality increased during the weeks of the strikes compared to other time periods. “…. “Nonetheless, the literature suggests that reductions in mortality may result from these strikes.”
    40 years, 156 studies : same result-lower mortality.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18849101

    “Doctors use guidelines set forth by their professional bodies. To analyze research literature on a given topic, takes teams of researchers and several months.”

    “He proved that doctors had little clue about the success rate of procedures such as surgery for enlarged prostates. He traced one common practice — preventing women from giving birth vaginally if they had previously had a cesarean — to the recommendation of one lone doctor. Indeed, when he began taking on medicine’s sacred cows, Eddy liked to cite a figure that only 15% of what doctors did was backed by hard evidence.
    A great many doctors and health-care quality experts have come to endorse Eddy’s critique. And while there has been progress in recent years, most of these physicians say the portion of medicine that has been proven effective is still outrageously low — in the range of 20% to 25%. “We don’t have the evidence [that treatments work], and we are not investing very much in getting the evidence,” says Dr. Stephen C. Schoenbaum, executive vice-president of the Commonwealth Fund and former president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc. “Clearly, there is a lot in medicine we don’t have definitive answers to,” adds Dr. I. Steven Udvarhelyi, senior vice-president and chief medical officer at Pennsylvania’s Independence Blue Cross. (2006)
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2006-05-28/medical-guesswork
    http://qz.com/702051/a-new-study-of-250-million-patients-shows-medicine-is-still-full-of-guesswork/ (2016)

    “I am not going to go and look up for you. Learn to cite papers.”
    http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/81/5/Russell0503.pdf issued in 2003. We are in 2016.
    http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f403

    This puts to rest all your utopian ideas and beliefs. If such little issues are not resolved, what would you expect for by pass surgery, where large investments have been made.

    “Medications do cause deaths. Everyone in medicine knows about the IOM report that estimated 48K deaths. However, drugs save far, far more lives than that.”
    The last report I saw was 43 million deaths and disabilities. The population of Argentina.
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/millions-harmed-each-year-from-unsafe-medical-care/

    “However, drugs save far, far more lives than that.”
    Specialist report is different. Drugs are not really life saving:
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2282014
    http://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

    And the result: http://sciencenordic.com/we-live-longer-%E2%80%93-illness-and-pain

    For balance I will update you in next sitting.

  • @ravi… brilliant piece of point to point rebuttal. Though I appreciate holistic approach encomapssing yoga, physical excercises , good diet and treatment intervention when necessary, I greatly admire evidence based science.

  • @Iqbal Zutshi

    Medicine is unique because it seldom responds to the science that we try to apply.

    It seldom does? So you won’t get a rabies vaccine if a rabid dog bites you because it seldom does? You don’t think that Rabies vaccine has close to 100% prevention rate for a timely intervention for a rabid animal bite and nearly 100% death rate once hydrophobia sets in? Perhaps you prefer Ayurveda?

    “The patient should be bathed at the crossing of roads or on the bank of a river with pitcherfuls of water containing gems and medicinal drugs and consecrated with the appropriate Mantra. Offerings of cooked and uncooked meat, cakes and levigated pastes of sesamum as well as garlands of flowers of variegated colours should be made to the god (and the following Mantra should be recited). “O thou Yaksha, lord of Alarka, who art also the lord of all dogs, speedily makest me free from the poison of the rabid dog that has bitten me.” Strong purgatives and emetics should be administered to the patient after having bathed him in the above manner”

    http://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/sushruta-samhita-volume-5-kalpasthana/d/doc142978.html

    And you won’t get your kid vaccinated for Polio etc? Why should only the illiterate tribesman in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan (last Polio reservoirs) have all the fun with science denial? Perhaps we too can compete and get back to have our own Polio cases.

    And I assume if you get a heart attack, you won’t care about visiting an emergency room? Instead you will pull out some paper that says that mortality rates were better when cardiologists were in conferences and be happy staying home?

    When you get into a road traffic accident, would you pull more articles that feed your confirmation bias about mistakes made in emergency department in limited time windows and ask to be taken home as well?

    The variable is the human body, each being unique and always in dynamic condition.

    You think medicine is unaware of that? Modern medicine is the only system that even remotely attempts to understanding the gazillion variables that separate us and what the degrees of freedom are. What do you get in quackery? Arbitrarily proposed models that have never been vetted… that practitioners have little interest in vetting… because they know they won’t like the answers.

    Perfect is the enemy of good. You don’t need to understand every subtle variable before delivering extremely helpful medicine by addressing major variables. Things are always refined incrementally from a good start.

    A human in the 15th year is physically completely different from himself/herself in the 16th year.

    And that is why we have a separate sub-specialty called Pediatrics. And that is the first thing that students are taught in Pediatrics – the differences between children and adults, how to adjust for in various ways and the unique problems that children have.

    You really don’t need to enlighten the medical field about this.

    All cells constituting him are replaced a few times in one year.

    Well yeah! Do you think the genetic code in them and the consequent physiology changes frivolously between the changes? You think you need to know every cell individually before you need to treat the person? What is this quackery system that addresses every cell generation change?

    8/9L papers per year should have changed the face of medicine long ago.

    They already did. Medicine has made massive advances in the last 100 years. And we need a lot more. Lots more. The new frontiers that have opened up are extremely data intensive. The low hanging fruit are gone. The breakthroughs now will take longer, but will be very profound. A superior understanding of genomics and proteomics will present very exciting opportunities. We can now sequence the genome cheaply. We can even edit it now. Still many questions remain and they are being worked on. Do you have a sense of how many papers are needed to understand a single protein on some cell wall?

    Again, low-hanging fruit is not a problem unique to medicine. Are you going to complain that Physics research is useless too, since the rate of major breakthroughs have slowed down?

    Now, please tell me, what REPLICABLE research has Homeopathy produced in the last 200 years. We can safely say that EVERY claim it has made is bunk and cannot be replicated. What new scientific facts about diseases have the herbalists presented so far.

    Diseases are increasing, new ones add up without the old ones being closed

    Human beings have never lived as long and had as predictable health lives in the history of human race. We are recognizing more diseases now since we have new diagnostic modalities. In the pre-scientific era, a tumor is a tumor and a fever is a fever. Once you have a microscope you gain a new insight into the world of life and disease. Now you see hundreds and thousands of causes for fever. And once you can sequence cell genomes, you gain another insight… and so on. As populations thrive longer than they ever have, new diseases that were unimportant or unrecognized in the dark ages when populations had an average age of 20 years become identifiable or even relevant.

    Why do we need to absolutely close one disease to start work on a newly recognized one? Name ONE disease that any quackery system has “closed”.

    Such volume of research means that most of it has no meaning.

    Nope. It just means we build better tools and processes to analyze and assimilate them and there is work ongoing on that front. And yes, there is plenty of research that will go nowhere, most of it in fact. That is the nature of research in general. This is not unique to medicine. Failure is a common and a necessary component to advancing science.

    To locate those few gems in a truck load of trash would be extremely difficult: may be impossible.

    So literature searches and reviews are useless, according to you. I will hold you to this position below.

    So how is it that comprehensive modern medical science continues to be reason for so many deaths of patients?

    You mean the estimated 48K deaths in US? Let me put that in context for a 322M country for you. Alcohol alone in US is recorded to cause nearly twice as many deaths as all the drugs combined. Use rates, not absolute numbers.

    Otherwise, you end up with this fallacy
    https://xkcd.com/1138/

    100 years from now, we will probably still be talking about deaths due to adverse events. That won’t be because we would not have solved the current problems. We will have even older people, and consequently even sicker people, with more interventions. We will be attempting even bolder things to save them and we will have adverse effects. That is the way life goes.

    Everything you put into your system has a risk associated. You can either quantify that and attempt to adjust for that or pretend that it does not exist as Herbalists do. When you drive a car, you take a risk. When you cross the street, you take a risk. You don’t say that since millions die driving and on the street, we are better off without cars and that we should go back to horses and bullocks. They too had plenty of risks.

    But your logic seems to be – how come with all that crash dummy research and traffic regulations people still die in spite of air bag deployment? Perhaps, we should just scrap it all and stick to hanging a deity or other religious symbol for luck and be done with it.

    A paradoxical pattern has been suggested in the literature on doctors’ strikes

    Let me finish your clever selective reading…

    “Most importantly, elective surgeries are curtailed during strikes. Further, hospitals often re-assign scarce staff and emergency care was available during all of the strikes. Finally, none of the strikes may have lasted long enough to assess the effects of long-term reduced access to a physician.

    He proved that doctors had little clue about the success rate of procedures such as surgery for enlarged prostates

    Once again, doctors are not expected to deal with rates. They have guidelines – what are the criteria we are given to use to assess whether a patient is to be directed to surgery or managed in other ways.

    He traced one common practice — preventing women from giving birth vaginally if they had previously had a cesarean

    As Caesarians became common, gynaecologists became worried that a uterus with a scar might rupture during contractions. So they took a reasonable precaution to advise against it. The story of science has always been this: Empiricism trumps reasoning – everywhere from physics to medicine. So when people got around to doing studies, it turned out the uterus was holding up well enough and also that women were just willing to take the risk since the experience of giving birth the natural way was important to them. So the guidelines were revised to be less conservative.

    This is the normal process of science: Who questioned guidelines? Medical Researchers. Who conducted studies to verify? Medical Researchers. Who changed guidelines? Medical researchers. Have you seen any such corrective process in pseudosciences. Is Lord Hahnemann ever wrong for instance?… even with ZERO evidence?

    Eddy liked to cite a figure that only 15% of what doctors did was backed by hard evidence.

    What doctors don’t do always, is to follow up-to-date evidence. Change is uneasy at the human level, even though the science is clear. Guideline compliance has been well studied. Researchers are now looking at various systemic facilitators for guideline compliance. One approach was to simply (except it isn’t) make it automatic. Electronic health record systems are expected to provide automated decision support. Pushing the latest guidelines is expected to be much faster with alert and reminder systems. However, the technology problem here is also complex and it will take a while before these system are rolled out ubiquitously, not to mention the annoyances and problems that the new systems will naturally introduce. That’s just how the real world is.

    This is how people solve problems. We recognize problems, we study and quantify them, we debate interventions, examine failures and readjust accordingly. Your cynical attitude to progress however gets nothing done.
    Where are the studies on guideline compliance in quackery systems. For that matter, what is the level of guidelines to begin with?

    “Clearly, there is a lot in medicine we don’t have definitive answers to,”

    Sure… which is exactly why we continue to do medical research. We can stop doing research when we have definitive answers for everything. But we do have many, many answers. This is not an all-or-none game.

    Contrast this to quackery systems like Homeopathy which produced exactly ZERO answers in 200 years.

    On Paracetamol: In the paper you linked, how did the authors raise a flag that Paracetamol might have no efficacy in febrile children? By using Medline and Cochrane databases. What is the Cochrane database? It is a collection of systematic reviews.

    So for you… systematic reviews are questionable and searching within large volumes of research literature is useless… unless someone finds some data for a medical treatment that may not be working or doing harm? In that case, you are all for it?

    This is exactly how medical literature advances medicine. This is what I have been harping about all this long. Researchers do not have some magical crystal ball. This is exactly how medical knowledge is refined – examining and reexamining evidence. A quick lookup shows that 76 research papers have taken note and referenced this finding. Does that look like ignored research?

    “at least one in 10 patients received a course of drugs that no other patient with the same condition did.”

    This is a general area of research called: Practice Variation. This is an area that is being well studied. Guidelines are subject to some interpretation and compliance variation. People have been suggesting guidelines that are so precise that they are machine interpretable/executable. But that is not an easy problem. 10% variation is hardly an arbitrary application. But it is a gap that can be worked on.

    The last report I saw was 43 million deaths and disabilities

    43 million injuries/disabilities, not deaths. And thank you for citing yet another meta-analyses that you otherwise would consider useless. Care to share any interesting meta-analyses done by the experts of your favorite system of quackery?

    So in other words, 0.6% of the population suffers an adverse effect. That sounds like a very reasonable trade-off for the enormous amount of lives medicine saves. The authors estimate 23M DALYs lost. Once again, to put things into perspective, WHO estimates (2012) that alcohol causes 139M lost DALYs.

    Now, consider the devastating effects of the bubonic plague which wiped out upto 60 PERCENT of populations during the pre-scientific era or entire villages in India being wiped out by Cholera while miasmatic theories from traditional medicine were being entertained. I’d happily take my chances with science and accept the normal risks.

    Do you have any numbers to compare these with herbalists’ procedures? They do not even bother to evaluate their own safety or effectiveness. We can leave aside completely make-believe systems like Homeopathy and Reiki. But where are the safety evaluations for the rest?

    Specialist report is different. Drugs are not really life saving

    That is not what the article is arguing. It is saying that Big Pharma is pushing for lower standards of research, which is resulting in injuries that are preventable if proper scientific standards are followed. What is there to disagree on that? This is a failure of governments, not science. I am not defending the Big Pharma or the business side of medicine, just the academic side. Let there be higher standards of evaluation for every drug in the market. I am all for National Drug Safety Boards. There should be similar standards for “alternatives”. The authors also say: “measures to discourage R&D on drugs with few if any new clinical benefits”. That would clean out alternatives from the market.

    The argument about regulatory capture of FDA is valid. but Big Pharma is not a only one benefiting from corrupt lobbying. Royal Copeland’s 1938 law gave a blanket protection for Homeopaths from all regulation in US. All the political problems need to be fixed. Science should not be politicized.

    I agree that new drugs have increased risks. It is not as much of a problem in developing countries like India though, where we are often priced out of the latest stuff. And I agree that it is better to be conservative in their application for the first few years. This is what post-market surveillance is for. Actual use is on much larger populations and therefore captures safety information that trials may sometimes miss. It is a probability theory matter. Large sample sizes of early deployment uncover infrequent events that might be missed in study settings. Experimental evaluations are never perfect in any field. Cell phones and hover boards catch fire. Computer driving systems have bugs in them and kill people. Such is life.

    “We live longer – but with illness and pain”

    So we complain that medicine is making us live longer because it has not yet allowed us to live our later years with the health vitality of our 20s? That is like complaining that you have too much money and now you have to think a lot about securing it. Boo hoo. Quite a few poor populations would trade places with you. I’d gladly elect to live long with diabetes and hypertension than die young from diarrhea.

    None of the authors of any of these articles have reached your hyperbolic conclusion though. All the authors are calling for even more science in medicine and that is how science advances. No one has been arguing that scientific medicine is futile and that we should just give up… as you have been trying to argue.

  • Dear Mr ravi..
    You don’t seem to recognise ayurveda beyond this example of treatment for rabies…
    And who knows if it works or not…it might work….if you really knew what water and what mantras..

    But you’ll naturally ridicule this because you have travelled exactly opposite path.
    Anyways…
    Funny thing is you all study physical properties of human body and try do sampling and trial and error..
    It’s like treating a computer without understanding the software…
    A hardware engineer mechanic is very happy changing the hard drive, ram, speakers, mouse etc of a computer without under much about the software.

    You all also do the same thing…change the knee, change the eyes, change the liver and heart etc…without understanding much about working and synchronicity of these organs with brain and further connection with the energy that runs the body..
    But I don’t blame you…we humans are not designed to understand the same.

    Like an ant moving on our palm fails to understand our presence..

    Study your books , read more and more and more about what you understand only… and books by those who are not more wise than you…..

    Stay happy…that’s what you are destined for.

  • @Ravi

    “It does not. Medicine is no different from any other science. It is entirely logical and mathematical. Do you have any training in logic or statistics? Perhaps the reason it defies YOUR logic is that you don’t understand research in general?”
    Medicine should be logical provided it matches human body. Regretfully, medicine in its present form is highly inadequate and actually irrational. Body temperature increases to reduce pathogen activity and doctors administer paracetamol to reduce body temperature. Numerous such interventions are practised: removal of tonsils; creams for skin eruptions etc. Audits continue to point out no benefit/harm because of such procedures.

    “No, diseases are cured, prevented and managed.”
    Please share some information.

    “You are now living in a world where modern medicine already conquered infectious diseases that have through out the history of mankind have been the single largest killer. “
    The small pox epidemic is replaced with HIV. http://www.cmaj.ca/content/162/3/406.1.full.pdf
    Which other?

    “40 years was the best average life expectancy until the modern era. 100 years ago, Indian life expectancy at birth was 19 years. Neonatal deaths were common, as were maternal deaths around delivery. You don’t see much of any of them any more.”
    The benefit should be acknowledged where due. Improvement in sanitation and diet is the major factor in increasing lifespans, not medicine. Japanese have among the highest life spans and not because of medicines. If you disagree, place a Japanese in Dharavi in Mumbai with the required medical kit and let us check the outcome of advantage of increase in lifespan with medicines.

    “Vaccines have eradicated or contained many killers. Now, the next challenges for medical science are chronic diseases and cancers. You can already add decades of life in cases of both.”
    We are slowly getting an insight into repurcussions of vaccination in the long term. Small pox eradication is linked to HIV epidemic. Other outcomes may see more time to surface. Present situation has seen one more outcome: chicken pox vaccine leading to dramatic increase in shingles in adults where it is more dangerous.

    “What diseases have your quackery systems solved? NAME A SINGLE ONE.”
    I don’t have a quackery system. At present it looks like the score is tied 0-0.

    “Where is the scientific evidence that they perform well against mainstream alternatives? If they do, they will become mainstream methods. Modern medicine isn’t an ideology. It is just about whatever-works.”
    I would believe Auyerveda, Chinese medicine, Homeopathy and Naturopathy are pretty good alternatives. The mainstream system is designed in a way that these alternatives are held on base line like RCT, reproduceability etc. when the orthodox medicine fails equally on these parameters.

    “Well, I have a medical degree. I have seen plenty get well. I have no idea what the hell your friend is talking about.”
    My friend is a surgeon, his wife a gynacologist. My father was a doctor as was his brother. My brother is a doctor. I believe Dr. Hegde is also a doctor (quite decorated) and their observations are very similar. Avoid modern scientific medicine if you want to remain healthy. And they are not alone:
    http://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

    “Researchers usually work at population levels, not at patient levels.”
    The treatment is always at macro level. So how do these researchers contribute to specifics?

    “Oncologists are quite quantitative. …..ally hard problems. Some cancers are easy to cure, others – not so much.”
    The protocol is rather standard: Surgery, radiation, cheotherapy. Will a doctor state upfront the outcome for cancers that are easy to cure and ensure the outcome? My experience with oncologists is very dismal. They all start with positive outcome and then the patient mostly dies. It is all a matter of time. Cancer is the reason for death.

    “I work around cancer researchers. I am constantly amazed at the science brought to bear on the problem of cancers. We will eventually get there.”
    My reading about cancer shows information on how it happens. Nowhere is a mention of Why it happens. Control will come only when we know the why of cancer. Only one paper that is a hypothesis: http://martinblaser.com/ and some papers linking antibiotics to breast cancer. Cancer was termed as a disease of the old. If cancer is disease of the old, why should children be effected and the incidence continues to increase year on year? In UK cancer in children is growing @1.1% every year. There is no rationale provided for increase of cancer incidence in children.

    “This is not however an easy problem. It is a far more complicated problem than infectious diseases. Back when infectious diseases were wiping out entire villages and country sides, no one needed to care about cancer very much. We are lucky to even live in a world where cancer and chronic diseases are our main headaches.”
    The solved problem is usually easy unless it comes back as failure and then resolving it is dramatically difficult. Flu for example: Every time it comes back, we resort to seggregation of population, culling of birds. Where is the medical aspect? If Spanish flu variant was to start again, there is no stopping deaths. In Ebola, infected villages were qurantined and allowed to perish.

    “It is pure illiteracy to compare the accomplishments of modern medicine with say homeopathy (water and sugar pills), an illiteracy that is however surprisingly pervasive.”
    For patients who get well, it does not matter what the healing method is. If homeopathy has been around for 200 years inspite of the onslaught from modern medicine, there has to be a strong reason behind it. I am aware of a homeopath doctor in Delhi charging INR 2000 for single consultation with 12 weeks waiting list. Patients would not be so foolish for so long. A friend of mine working in a multinational went around the “best hospitals” in Delhi for his wife’s kidney ailment. Finally she was cured by a Hakim in old Delhi.

    “The entire problem is that he has not shown that capacity. There are several articles on this site on his pseudoscience predilections and they go beyond medicine.”
    I would focus on Dr. Hegde’s commentary of medical science: he is highly critical of a science that he learnt, practised and taught over many years. And on many of these points he may be anti establishment, but is correct. He is not trained in pseudoscience and his comments would be irrelevant there. You cannot write off his comments on medical science because of his comments on pseudoscience. It should be the other way round.

    “You are just buying into pseudoscience propaganda. Medicine is about preventing, curing and managing – i.e. do whatever we can possibly do against disease and support health using the best available knowledge in science and technology.”
    The published literature that one reads does not bear out what you define. I for one cannot accept a medicine that has capability to harm patient. This situation has been first accepted, and is now out of control. Deaths from Prescription drugs have reached new record. Doctors kill more patients than they cure. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18849101) What is the fate of patients who are at the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a system failure. This is not scientific medicine. Science is definitive.

    “Medical science is about knowledge and health, not money.”
    This should be so. It is not. It is common knowledge that bacteria mutates and any drug used becomes irrelevant in a short span of time. The approach to the problem has not changed over 100 years. Malaria has contributed to 4 nobel prizes and there is nothing to show for this scientific knowledge. All participants in this area are for money alone. A cured patient is a bad outcome for business.

    “ Medical business (and quackery is just as much a business) is a different matter. “
    Based upon all available objective outcomes, there is no difference.

    “Look, you just know nothing about medicine. These are nonsensical statements. All clinical research does is produce evidence.”
    How is it that most audits return with negative results? Check Dr. David Eddy’s comments for evidence in medical practise. By pass surgery mostly provides no benefit. Drugs like Vioxx, Bextra, Actos etc, reach market. Salt is considered dangerous for blood pressure patients. Cholestrol is lowered until patients die of stroke and after 50 years is considered irrelevant to heart condition. Lobotomy was surgery based upon science. There are numerous such procedures that were practised/are practised that are based upon science but the outcome is harmful. The question therefore is are we using the right science for human health.

    “Picking research papers is not a lottery draw. It is a very systematic process. Teams of clinicians, statisticians and other support staff spend a lot of effort distilling evidence. Just because it looks like a blackbox to you does not mean it is one to people with an actual education in the area.”
    It seems to have become a black box for doctors. Patients’ deaths on account of medical errors has become a matter of senate hearings.
    ” Among those speaking was Ashish Jha, MD, professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health, who referenced the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report To Err is Human, which estimated some 100,000 Americans die each year from preventable adverse events. “When they first came out with that number, it was so staggeringly large, that most people were wondering, ‘could that possibly be right?’” said Jha. Some 15 years later, the evidence is glaring. “The IOM probably got it wrong,” he said. “It was clearly an underestimate of the toll of human suffering that goes on from preventable medical errors.” It’s not just the 1,000 deaths per day that should be huge cause for alarm, noted Joanne Disch, RN, clinical professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, who also spoke before Congress. There’s also the 10,000 serious complications cases resulting from medical errors that occur each day. ”
    http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/deaths-by-medical-mistakes-hit-records
    This CANNOT be scientific medicine to save patients. The end results provide NO JUSTIFICATION.

    “Why do you think modern medicine does clinical trials. Because it understands patient variability. If it considered every patient to be same, testing in one patient would be enough.”
    What is the outcome? Trials run for years, cost millions and then release dangerous drugs ….
    http://www.abc15.com/news/national/these-are-the-50-most-dangerous-drugs-on-the-market
    Death is a common reaction in addition to many ailments.

    “You just are a person who has no understanding of medical science.”
    How can so many people be killed, so blatently, in the name of science based medicine be an understanding of medical science?

    “But with medicine, every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows better, despite the fact that modern medicine changed humanity far more than say, astronomy.”
    The Tom, Dick and Harry do not wish to know about medicine. They only would like to get well of the illness when they visit a doctor and not die or become vegetable after paying for the treatment in good faith. After 100 years of applying science to medicine, why can patient safety not be the FIRST concern of medical science?

    “Take some free courses on medical research that are freely available online from top universities.”
    Weak justifications are no defence. The proof of the pudding is in eating. Dr. Hegde has seen this from close and if he dispargingly talks about it, he has to be listened to and short coming resolved. The same medical science has considered him good enough to learn, practise and teach medicine. There is a large list of such doctors who have exactly same experience and comments. Mostly these doctors are icons in their area of expertise and openly express their disgust for the “so called scientific medicine.”

    https://www.coursera.org/learn/clinical-trials
    To quote Dr. Hegde: “ To give a few day-to-day examples: we are not able to measure our thoughts, our emotions, and many of our actions based on those emotions and thoughts. Do they, then, fall outside the realm of science? Do thoughts exist? Do emotions have any role in human physiology? If the answer is yes, then we need a change of paradigm in science, at least in medical science, where the RCTs (randomized controlled studies) have been sold as the last word in medical research. The truth is that there is everything wrong with this approach. No two human beings could be compared based on a few of their phonotypical features. The results are there for all to see. Most, if not all, RCTs have given unreliable results in the long run.”

  • @ Ravi
    From your response, I find you are theoratical and only define how the medical world could be. The contradictions are not understood by you and you tend to gloss over these anomalies. These contradictions represents the errors in basic theory of the scientific medical system. The science of Physics and Chemistry to resolve medical issues has continued to demonstrate severe shortfall in expected results. Every time the result is negative, as audits show.
    You seem to have accepted this line of scientific thinking.
    I have therefore, for all disagreements, quoted only medical doctors and journals from the scientific medical world. All these comments are from doctors who have first hand experience and understanding of the subject and are known leaders in the process. Most, if not all statements stand today as final.
    Also you use the term “quackery” rather loosely. I have therefore tried to define quackery in the “scientific medical system” (?).

    “You don’t think that Rabies vaccine has close to 100% prevention rate for a timely intervention for a rabid animal bite and nearly 100% death rate once hydrophobia sets in? Perhaps you prefer Ayurveda?”

    I don’t know much about ayurveda other than it gives prominence to the mental state of a patient in an illness. Read about homeopathy for rabies and rabies in particular.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/08/some-rabies-patients-live-tell-tale
    http://www.homeopathy.ca/debates_2013-03-22Q1ns.shtml
    http://www.homeopathyworldcommunity.com/forum/topics/a-case-of-rabies-cure

    “And you won’t get your kid vaccinated for Polio etc? ….. Perhaps we too can compete and get back to have our own Polio cases.”

    My parents had no vaccination. Our generation had small pox vaccinations only. My children have only the mandatory shots. The elder son had severe consequences from MMR.
    “And I assume if you get a heart attack, you won’t care about visiting an emergency room?”
    Our extended family of 23 with cumulative age of over 1200 years, has not taken an allopathic medicine for past 80 known years. We therefore have no blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, asthma or any such disease. We have not lost one child in this period, The average age at death is way above average Indian mean. Your question is therefore a conjecture.

    “When you get into a road traffic accident, …. mistakes made in emergency department in limited time windows and ask to be taken home as well?”

    Emergency treatment is one area where allopathic medical system is good. My father broke his spine in a road accident. The orthopedic surgeon attending on him could not get him to accept any allopathic medicine as follow up to surgery. He was operated without anesthesia.

    “You think medicine is unaware of that? Modern medicine is the only system that even remotely attempts to understanding the gazillion variables that separate us and what the degrees of freedom are.”

    Understanding is great. The requirement is to do something about it. This remains the problem.
    ‘Medicine is doing somewhat better in recognizing the problem, but in solving it, unfortunately, no.  Because there are no definitive answers, you are at the whim of where you are and who you talk to. Take cancer for example. If you go to a surgeon, and he’ll probably recommend surgery. Go to a radiologist, and the chances are high of getting radiation instead. Doctors often assume that they know what a patient wants; leading them to recommend the treatment they know best. It is really troubling to know that many doctors hold not just a professional interest in which treatment to offer, but a financial one as well.” (DEFINING QUACKERY)
    http://www.moneylife.in/article/when-doctors-assume-that-they-know-what-a-patient-wants/40264.html

    “ What do you get in quackery? Arbitrarily proposed models that have never been vetted… that practitioners have little interest in vetting… because they know they won’t like the answers.”

    Alternative medicine has its own rules and understanding. The bottomline is NOT if it meets the allopathic rules (?) but does it cure the patient. This is convenitently taken out of the discussion. And “understanding the gazillion variables……”
    “ There are diseases–neatly named and categorized by textbooks, journal articles,and medical specialty societies. There are various procedures physicians can use to diagnose and treat these diseases. It should be possible to determine the value of any particular procedure by applying it to patients who have a disease and observing the outcome. And the rest should be easy–if the outcome is good, the procedure should be used for patients with that disease; if the outcome is bad, it should not. Some variation in practice patterns can be expected due to differences in the incidence of various diseases, patients’ preferences, and the available resources, but these variations should be small and explainable.
    The problem of course is that nothing is this simple. Uncertainty, biases, errors, and differences of opinions, motives, and values weaken every link in the chain that connects a patient’s actual condition to the selection of a diagnostic test or treatment.” (Is this a simple way of expressing quackery?)
    http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/3/2/74.full.pdf

    “Perfect is the enemy of good. You don’t need to understand every subtle variable before delivering extremely helpful medicine by addressing major variables. Things are always refined incrementally from a good start.”

    Impressive statement. And the fact: “On the Other hand, a large part of medicine is practiced on people who do not have obvious illnesses, but rather have signs, symptoms, or findings that may or may not represent an illness that should be treated. Three closely related problems make it difficult to determine whether or not a patient actually has a disease that needs to be diagnosed or treated. One problem is that the dividing line between “normal” and “abnormal” is not nearly as sharp as a cursory reading of a textbook would suggest. First, the clues on which we base the diagnosis of many diseases can be very difficult to see, with frequent errors in both directions (missing an existing disease and “finding” a nondisease). Second, even if the diagnosis were correct and a disease were acknowledged to be present, the “disease” might not actually cause the patient any harm. Dysplasia of the cervix is a good example of both problems. It is an abnormal finding in the sense that most women do not have it, and it is associated with the development of cancer of the cervix. On the other hand, it is notoriously difficult to diagnose with certainty because dysplastic cells are only slightly different in appearance than normal cells (see example to follow under “Making A Diagnosis”), and in the majority of cases it disappears spontaneously (assuming it was there in the first place). Obesity, hyperplasia of the tonsils, fibrocystic disease of the breast, and dozens of other conditions pose similar dilemmas”
    http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/3/2/74.full.pdf (This is an often repeated explanation of quackery)

    “And that is why we have a separate sub-specialty called Pediatrics.”

    I was not clear. Every human, all through his life, changes all his cells in a period of time. These building blocks change with time; a process defined as aging. How is this change accounted for if the RCT runs over 5 years?

    “.. the genetic code in them and the consequent physiology changes frivolously between the changes? You think you need to know every cell individually before you need to treat the person?”

    Is this not the point where cancer starts? The change over message error is the foundation for the problem? There must be some “frivolous physiology changes” otherwise why would the cancer cells originate?

    “ What is this quackery system that addresses every cell generation change?”

    Which alternative medical system claims to address cells in the human body? None. All alternative systems address the patient in front of the doctor.

    “They already did. Medicine has made massive advances in the last 100 years. And we need a lot more. Lots more.”

    What are the indicators of advances in medicine? Increasing cancer hospitals in every city? Increasing instances of cancer in children: Cancer is defined as a disease that could be seen only because people were living longer?
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paola_Pisani/publication/13097001_Global_cancer_statistics/links/54661a1a0cf25b85d17f572b.pdf
    http://www.who.int/ceh/capacity/cancer.pdf
    Dramatic increase in number of patients with diabetes, termed as lifestyle disease. Now hereditary.
    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/38/3/482
    http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/51/12/3353
    (remember heart attacks: obesity and chlorestrol : is this link valid today? Only obese people suffer heart attacks?)
    Just check any of the chronic disease: dramatic increase. If you go into details you will find the Hahnemann link: the effect of suppression, converting simple diseases into chronic diseases and the Miasm travelling down from parents.

    “The new frontiers that have opened up are extremely data intensive.”

    This is one funny statement. Increased data availability confuses issue and reduces ability to take correct decisions. Fitting everyone in the bell curve has not provided any benefit till date. The uniqueness of the patient is lost in data and the doctor ends up killing/maiming the patient because of his focus on data.

    “ The low hanging fruit are gone. The breakthroughs now will take longer, but will be very profound. “

    This is a surprising statement. The human body has not changed for past 100 years. With 100 years of medical advances, 8/9L research papers every year, the experience from earlier researches and new investigative tools should allow faster break throughs and shorter development periods for new drugs. The fact is that pharmaceutical companies have not much to show for R&D spend. Just check Pfizer USA for 2015. R&D spend: $7.69 billion and the number of new drugs? Interestingly, the amount spent on promotion during the same period was double: $ 14.81 billion (30.31% of revenue). This is more than P&G’s spend of 11% on promotion. You are aware where the money is going?

    “A superior understanding of genomics and proteomics will present very exciting opportunities. ….ed on.”

    This I have been following with lot of interest. Doctors were expecting a switch board with neat little buttons to switch on/off for choice of diseases, life estimates etc. Rather disappointed to see the outcome until now. Closer look has raised more questions than answers?

    “ Do you have a sense of how many papers are needed to understand a single protein on some cell wall?”

    And the purpose? For about a trillion cells, and the protein on the cell wall, updated by a lakh papers will help treat the patient or confuse the doctor!

    “.. low-hanging fruit is not a problem unique to medicine. Are you going to complain that Physics research is useless too, since the rate of major breakthroughs have slowed down?”

    If you include all disciplines that earlier formed Physics (electronics, telecommunication, aviation, energy etc.) the number of new developments continue to be substantial.

    “Now, please tell me, what REPLICABLE research has Homeopathy produced in the last 200 years. We can safely say that EVERY claim it has made is bunk and cannot be replicated.”

    You do not understand “replicable research”. Homeopathy is 100% based upon reproducability.
    The doctor prescribes a remedy based upon the patient symptoms replicating the remedy symptoms. Reperotary is for confirming reproducability only. Good doctors manage better understanding of reproduciability.
    Do you get reproducability in conventional medicine: NEVER. https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/is-there-a-reproducibility-crisis-in-biomedical-science-no-but-there-is-a-reproducibility-problem/
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00011-003-1242-0
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129176
    “After over 20 years research trying to find out if high dilutions of histamine have a negative feedback effect on the activation of basophils by anti-IgE, what do we know? The methods are poorly standardized between laboratories – although the same is true for conventional studies. “

    “What new scientific facts about diseases have the herbalists presented so far.”

    If you start looking for, you will find a lot of new updates. Check the Nobel prize for medicine (2014) for roots of new drug “artemisinin” for Malaria. Chinese Herbalist have used this medicine “Artemisia annua” for a few thousand years. And then what happened to this drug? The drug extracted for treatment of malaria from this medicinal plant resulted in resistance being developed within 10 years. It took 20 years for a team of doctors to complete the activity that a brainless parasite took 10 years to find a way around. And, this was not the first time. Incidentally, the herb still works, without the need for RCT and without the parasite developing resistance!!!! (which is quackery)

    “Human beings have never lived as long and had as predictable health lives in the history of human race. …….nrecognized in the dark ages when populations had an average age of 20 years become identifiable or even relevant.”

    You are repeating yourself. None of this is true. The reason for change in average age is DEFINITELY NOT the ALLOPATHIC DRUGS. Take out nutrition and let us see results.

    “Why do we need to absolutely close one disease to start work on a newly recognized one? Name ONE disease that any quackery system has “closed”.

    Which alternative medical system claims to eradicate diseases? This is a claim reserved by the Allopathic Medical System.” What is there to show in 100 years? Small pox replaced by HIV! (This is real quackery.)

    “You mean the estimated 48K deaths in US? Let me put that in context for a 322M country for you.”

    I believe the correct data runs in million now. But the problem is not this. This was pointed out in 1994: THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THESE DEATHS HAVE CONTINUED TO INCREASE DISPROPORTINATE TO POPULATION INCREASE.

    “ Alcohol alone in US is recorded to cause nearly twice as many deaths as all the drugs combined.”

    Alcohol is supposed to be used to treat patients? Make them better? Wrong comparison.

    “100 years from now, we will probably still be talking about deaths due to adverse events.”

    If the drug ADR’s and rate of medical errors continue to increase at the same rate as of now, either this medicine system will be dead or the mankind! And this will not take 100 years.

    “ We will have even older people, and consequently even sicker people, with more interventions. We will be attempting even bolder things to save them and we will have adverse effects. That is the way life goes.”

    Why do old have to be sick? My father at 93 and mother at 86 are not sick. They are only old with normal issues of discomfort in running or climbling stairs or limited eye sight. They are on zero medications. They eat 3 square meals a day. Till 6 months ago, they were living on their own and managing daily chores.

    “Everything you put into your system has a risk associated. ……….we are better off without cars and that we should go back to horses and bullocks. But your logic seems to be – how come with all that crash dummy research and traffic regulations people still die in spite of air bag deployment? “

    The car industry has improved because it is forced to pay for its failure. Firestone vanished after about 120 deaths were linked to tire failure. Takata airbag failure linked to about 12 deaths will kill the company. Compare this to Merck with Vioxx. May be a million dead world wide. Bayer, Pfizer etc have all been involved in patient deaths. Nothing happens. This is not risk evaluation. This is plain murder. And with ADR figures increasing, let us see for how long the scientist fraternity will continue to back up the industry.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/046076_Big_Pharma_criminal_racket_irrefutable_proof.html
    http://in-training.org/drugged-greed-pharmaceutical-industrys-role-us-medical-education-10639
    https://www.propublica.org/series/dollars-for-docs

    “Most importantly, elective surgeries are curtailed during strikes.”

    Surgeries were carried out to eliminate patients?

    “Further, hospitals often re-assign scarce staff and emergency care was available during all of the strikes. Finally, none of the strikes may have lasted long enough to assess the effects of long-term reduced access to a physician.”

    The ADR and medical errors are the long term effects. Antibiotic resistance is long term effect. Bladder cancer from Actos is long term effect. Cardiac failures from Vioxx were long term effects. What kind of data are you looking for in support of long term data?

    “As Caesarians became common, gynaecologists became worried that a uterus with a scar might rupture during contractions. So they took a reasonable precaution to advise against it. The story of science has always been this: Empiricism trumps reasoning – everywhere from physics to medicine.”

    The doctors forgot that for 40000 generations, normal delivery was good enough in humans? And I thought, reasoning in science supported by observation, took precedence over all other possibilities. ( Empiricism trumps reasoning: this is quackery).

    “ So when people got around to doing studies, it turned out the uterus was holding up well enough and also that women were just willing to take the risk since the experience of giving birth the natural way was important to them. So the guidelines were revised to be less conservative.”

    As Dr. Eddy would say, audit shows the procedure pushed as scientific, was not scientific and was harmful. Another practise of quacks.

    “This is the normal process of science: Who questioned guidelines? Medical Researchers. Who conducted studies to verify? Medical Researchers. Who changed guidelines? Medical researchers. Have you seen any such corrective process in pseudosciences. Is Lord Hahnemann ever wrong for instance?… even with ZERO evidence?”

    The question I have is more basic: what was the basis of STARTING the procedure in the first place? Which science was used to justify the new procedure? What is the status of this science now?

    “What doctors don’t do always, is to follow up-to-date evidence. Change is uneasy at the human level, even though the science is clear……. That’s just how the real world is.”

    You contradict all you said until now justifying the 8/9L reasearch papers. This is the defenition of quackery.

    “Where are the studies on guideline compliance in quackery systems. For that matter, what is the level of guidelines to begin with?”

    Which quackery system? Until now, the extent of malpractises, misused science, failures in audits, deaths and disabilities that follow “scientific medicine”: isn’t this the biggest quackery.

    “Contrast this to quackery systems like Homeopathy which produced exactly ZERO answers in 200 years.”

    I don’t believe you know anything about homeopathy. If you start looking for, you will find a lot of activity and developments.
    Classical: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12634583
    Combination: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085232/
    Epidemic: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1297497/
    There are many more. The practical side is very different.
    Rajiv Bajaj has ensured treatment of his son to homeopath doctor. He can afford any doctor.
    http://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/cover-story/india-best-ceo-automobiles-rajiv-bajaj-leadership/story/201398.html
    The Indian army: Practising doctors are not stupid. Armed forces have a large infrastructure to educate and train so many doctors themselves.
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/army-to-throw-open-doors-to-alternative-medicine/story-PfJRoliSdSvMqeYQMeGltN.html
    I am aware of a homeopathic doctor in Delhi charging INR 2400 per consultation with 12 week waiting. He would be practising for past 40(?) years.

    “On Paracetamol: In the paper you linked, how did the authors raise a flag that Paracetamol might have no efficacy in febrile children? By using Medline and Cochrane databases. “

    I have a fundamental question. The doctors and pharmaceutical companies using and producing paracetamol do not know the simple scientific reason behind fever: the human immune system raises body temperature to neturalize pathogen attack. How can anyone trust these entities with more complex health issues?

    “So for you… systematic reviews are questionable and searching within large volumes of research literature is useless… unless someone finds some data for a medical treatment that may not be working or doing harm? In that case, you are all for it?”

    You are correct here. I like these reviews because almost every time, the end result is negative or harmful confirming the quackery status of the system.

    “This is exactly how medical literature advances medicine. This is what I have been harping about all this long. Researchers do not have some magical crystal ball.”

    So there is nothing to show for 8/9L papers x 100 years? Based upon simple probability, crystal ball would have given better result.

    “ A quick lookup shows that 76 research papers have taken note and referenced this finding. Does that look like ignored research?”

    76 researchers who agreed to accept they were idiots and were surprised to note that the human immune system worked and supressing its action with Paracetamol was wrong? My grandmother, uneducated, had better observation on fever.

    “43 million injuries/disabilities, not deaths. ……So in other words, 0.6% of the population suffers an adverse effect. That sounds like a very reasonable trade-off for the enormous amount of lives medicine saves. The authors estimate 23M DALYs lost. Once again, to put things into perspective, WHO estimates (2012) that alcohol causes 139M lost DALYs.”

    This is another part of the scientific medical system that I like: justifying colletral damage. This is one important reason why there is no improvement. This is one very important reason why the alternative medicine that is derided, is getting stronger every time. That is also one reason why people spend hard earned money on alcohol. They know the exact outcome. The doctor ends up killing/maiming a patient while continuing to tell him that he would soon get well.

    “Now, consider the devastating effects of the bubonic plague which wiped out upto 60 PERCENT of populations during the pre-scientific era or entire villages in India being wiped out by Cholera while miasmatic theories from traditional medicine were being entertained.”

    I did not find any information on plague. Indians are very poor at recording details. Cholera I could find: http://homeoint.org/morrell/londonhh/outbreak.htm
    and some other epidemics: http://www.homeopathycenter.org/homeoprophylaxis-human-records-studies-and-trials

    “ It is saying that Big Pharma is pushing for lower standards of research, which is resulting in injuries that are preventable if proper scientific standards are followed. What is there to disagree on that? This is a failure of governments, not science. I am not defending the Big Pharma or the business side of medicine, just the academic side.”

    Who drives the academic scientific medical activity?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22945/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/as-drug-industrys-influence-over-research-grows-so-does-the-potential-for-bias/2012/11/24/bb64d596-1264-11e2-be82-c3411b7680a9_story.html
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/01/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/?pagination=false
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2004/07/15/the-truth-about-the-drug-companies/?pagination=false

    “ Let there be higher standards of evaluation for every drug in the market. …… That would clean out alternatives from the market.”

    From the present outcome data available, I believe one should be worried about allopathic medical system.

    “I agree that new drugs have increased risks. It is not as much of a problem in developing countries like India though, where we are often priced out of the latest stuff. And I agree that it is better to be conservative in their application for the first few years. This is what post-market surveillance is for”.

    What do the doctors/scientists (chemists?) do during the 10 year RCT? Safety from ADR has continued to be a concern for past 100 years. What is achieved from RCT? Statistics is clear about one aspect: larger the sample size – the result is better representation of fact. With allopathic drugs, the stark truth is: bigger the sample size more the adverse effects. (Medical science understands these variations and takes calculated risks.) Very similar to low quality performance companies that put out their products in the market place and wait for customer complaints to take action. (Ambassador and Premier cars. There are some even now.

    “Actual use is on much larger populations and therefore captures safety information that trials may sometimes miss. It is a probability theory matter. Large sample sizes of early deployment uncover infrequent events that might be missed in study settings. Experimental evaluations are never perfect in any field.”

    You paint a very dismal picture of the outcome possible from scientific medical research. Is this the way quackeryis justified?

    “Cell phones and hover boards catch fire.”
    You think this “cell phone catching fire” will continue for next 100 years and is inevitable? What do you believe will happen to Samsung?

    “Computer driving systems have bugs in them and kill people.” Such is life.

    Only one death is reported from self driving cars and look at the noise. The objective of these cars is to reduce driving errors and fatalities. I am aware of an old case where a car has already driven 160 kms. in regular traffic.

    “So we complain that medicine is making us live longer because it has not yet allowed us to live our later years with the health vitality of our 20s? That is like complaining that you have too much money and now you have to think a lot about securing it.”

    This is misrepresentation of the message. “The trend is clear in most places: average life expectancy is going up, in part thanks to better health care offerings. However, the study also shows an increase in chronic disease and pain. We are able to survive diseases that previously killed us, but we live longer with non-fatal diseases.”
    WHY DOES ONE HAVE TO BE SICK WHEN OLD?

    “We’re seeing a transition from mortality to invalidity, from malnourishment to obesity, from infant mortality to adult sickliness.”

    Where is the requirement to be healthy as 20 year old? (misrepresentation is a quackery feature.) The “too much money” is for pharma companies who have managed to bring one to a stage where one is a permanent customer.

    “Quite a few poor populations would trade places with you. I’d gladly elect to live long with diabetes and hypertension than die young from diarrhea.”

    This may not happen. Drugs will compromise the immune system and dying young from diarrhea would be a big reality.

    “All the authors are calling for even more science in medicine and that is how science advances. No one has been arguing that scientific medicine is futile and that we should just give up… as you have been trying to argue.”

    The great part is that this argument has been the standard feature of “scientific medicine” for past 100 years. When does one see some change: the massive advancement of last 100 years should at least change this statement? These authors are concerned about the 43 million deaths/disabilities that you so casually dismissed as colletral damage. I believe some of them would be worried that their children would end up death/disabled after visiting a doctor (Quack?).

  • Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web-site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  • Dear Mr ravi..
    You don’t seem to recognise ayurveda beyond this example of treatment for rabies…

    Dear Mr. Rahul, I have a lot more quotes (and I already gave you some of them earlier). This just happens to be one of my more favorite ones, because it makes it so easy to drive the point with it, since it is oozing with irrationality and transparent silliness. So I always lead with it. I encourage you to read actual Ayurvedic texts, not just editorialized stuff about Ayurveda. You do not seem to have done it.

    And who knows if it works or not…it might work….if you really knew what water and what mantras..

    Well, if you can show that you can cure rabies with a mantra, there would be a Nobel waiting for you, while all the scientists get busy updating ALL OF SCIENCE in that wake.

    India is the worst afflicted country for Rabies, with a third of all cases worldwide. This mantra and magic attitude to medicine is keeping our population from timely access to real medicine and is costing us tens of thousands of lives that can easily be saved. The vaccine works perfectly and is freely available and there is enough time to seek treatment after the bite (unlike say, a snake bite – Ayurveda also has silly stuff about treating snake bites – among other things, it recommends that you bite the snake that bit you. I am not making this stuff up).

    The only barrier is the illusion of quackery being real medicine in the Indian general public. This quackery-real medicine false equivalence for this disease alone costs India about 20,000 lives… while in US there are 1 or 2 deaths and often not even that (so when rate-adjusted, we should have no more than 10 deaths). Many countries have eliminated rabies. Some countries are even immunizing their wild animals (not just pets), while we can’t even manage it with people, thanks to idiotic ideas about scientific medicine that makes people waste valuable time, as they seek quackery.

    http://www.dw.com/en/medicine-challenges-indian-superstition/a-16489334

    If you think mantras work (while presenting zero evidence), you are not a rational person… by definition.

    For those of us who are rational, it is not a question of “who knows?”. And if no one knows (special water, mantras – the text I quoted makes no specialty claims at all), it is a myth rather than medicine.

    Funny thing is you all study physical properties of human body

    Human body is a system. Just about everything is a system. Systems can be modeled… coarsely at first… and more finely, later on. This is not a hypothetical. This has been done and is being done successfully. You just don’t know.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_biology
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_biology

    There are entire departments dedicated to these in proper universities.

    and try do sampling and trial and error..

    Right. And it works quite well, unlike spinning folk tales into medical claims (Ayurveda says “celestial serpents” can poison you by looking at you).

    “sampling and trial and error” are brilliant. You seem to be under some illusion that these are bad things.

    Sampling is about exploiting the statistical insights we have gained in the last 100 years or so. There is enough math here to make it a pursuit of a lifetime.

    “trial and error” is empiricism… one of the cornerstones of science. Galileo’s experiment from the Tower of Pisa was trial and error – he tried a claim and found it erroneous. Vasalius actually dissecting human bodies and finding flaws in old Galenic medical texts was trial and error. Turns out the the old anatomy books were only animal dissections.

    Do trials on Ayurveda and if it does not work, discard it. Don’t cling to it for emotional and cultural reasons.

    A hardware engineer mechanic is very happy changing the hard drive, ram, speakers, mouse etc of a computer without under much about the software.

    Science is both concerned about the hardware and the software (the genome, in this case)… and you can fix hardware problems with just hardware solutions, without messing with the software. If your hard drive is clicking loudly or the machine would not power on, or if the motherboard is obviously beeping memory error, you need not think about software. Replacements are in order.

    And besides, what makes you think that Ayurveda understands “software”? It is a naively simplistic system that does not distinguish between fact and outright fiction. There was no actual understanding of how the body worked at event the most basic level (no physiology), let alone how disease effected it. Hence you have things like “chetna” – the vague formulation of the vital principle found in nearly all pre-scientific systems, in one form or the other.

    You all also do the same thing…change the knee, change the eyes, change the liver and heart etc…without understanding much about working and synchronicity of these organs with brain and further connection with the energy that runs the body..

    Science will be the only thing that will ever tell you anything about how things tie together. Every day science advances this integrative knowledge, for one more step. Your make-believe chetna or the humor systems have NEVER provided any insight. Go ahead… open a classic Ayurvedic text and QUOTE what facts are written about the brain and its connections in it. In fact, paste everything you find about the brain.

    You have never bothered to read Ayurvedic texts. You have imaginary ideas about them. Start. Read.

    I get the feeling that if I give you anything in Sanskrit, written on an old palm leaf, you will automatically assume it is wisdom, with nary a critical thought.

    But I don’t blame you…we humans are not designed to understand the same.

    Yes, human thought processes are lousy, full of biases. That is why we use scientific processes, processes we continue to refine. Scientific thought is NOT natural to the human minds, but it can be acquired with effort. You should attempt to learn it, even though I have rarely seen anyone get it later in life. The foundations must be laid early and you sound like you missed the boat.

    Like an ant moving on our palm fails to understand our presence..

    Exactly. Until you get proper science and math foundations, YOU are like that ant. You will fail to recognize the real nature of the world we live in and will instead to live in imaginary worlds arbitrarily constructed by people who lived in the dark ages, who did not know any better.

    Study your books , read more and more and more about what you understand only…

    It sounds like you read mystical books that sound profound to you, even though they ultimately say nothing… aka woo.

    and books by those who are not more wise than you…..

    I read plenty of book written by people who are a lot wiser than me. Why even books, I am even surrounded at work by plenty of people who are wiser than me… people who don’t just talk, but produce real results every day.

    Stay happy…that’s what you are destined for.

    We clearly have different understanding of what happiness (and wisdom… and destiny) means.

  • People choose it for money.

    I meant, people DON’T choose it for money.

    The Helminthiasis images did not link right, but they are in the Helminthiasis page.

  • @Iqbal Zutshi

    My earlier comment has not passed moderation possibly because it had more than its share of links.

    A few additional things (I will avoid links).

    Elective surgeries are about trading a small amount of risk now against a much larger amount of risk later. Yes, overall hospital mortality rates will be better if fewer surgeries are performed. But that does not take into account the lives lost due to inaction outside the hospital. Simply looking at hospital mortality rates is a myopic way of understanding healthcare safety. Also, Hospitals that treat sicker patients will have higher mortality rate. That does not mean they are bad hospitals. This is a well studied issue in pay-per-performance systems. Likewise, an emergency department will see many deaths, while a quack who treats baldness and allergies won’t see much/any. That does not mean that the later is a better healer.

    You posted a few homeopathy “research” articles. You need to understand that the ENTIRETY of homeopathic “research” today stands NULL after the comprehensive NHMRC review. You. need. to get. this.

    It was the most extensive review ever undertaken on any quackery system EVER. Of course, homeopaths published some junk articles and reviews claiming effectiveness, over the years. None of them have been replicated. You talk about bad studies in medicine. Sure medicine has bad studies (and it cares about identifying them, unlike with homeopaths, where others have to point this out), but the ENTIRE corpus of “research” on homeopathy is worthless. Don’t point to papers and reviews from 2003, 2005 and 2011. Address the 2014 NHMRC review. It is the only one that counts now. It covered ALL evidence on homeopathy upto 2013. Don’t play the cherry-picking game. You can discuss another review if another more extensive and more up-to-date review later comes with a different set of conclusions. But for now, the extensive 2014 NHMRC review is the last word on the state of evidence for Homeopathy. You don’t get to ignore it and pick favorable and discredited reviews from the past. Homeopaths have ZERO evidence. They admitted this in government hearings. Your points are moot.

    Arguing that Rajiv Bajaj prefers Homeopathy and we should listen to him because he has lots of money is like consulting Steve Jobs for wisdom on Cancer therapies.

    Entire books have been written about the Broad Street outbreak of 1854. I recommend the book – The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks (it is not a book targeting homeopathy, so you can safely read it without your feelings getting hurt). Modern medicine did not exist in 1854, but was just beginning to take shape. It was John Snow’s pioneering efforts that laid some of the building blocks of epidemiological investigations of medical science. To paint this as Homeopathy’s success is to completely lack the context of understanding the world at the time. Yes, a few Homeopathy clinics did indeed do RELATIVELY well at the time, but not because they did anything useful. People at the time did not even understand the issue of fluid loss in Cholera. People were recommending that hydration be limited thereby worsening the effects of the disease on the patient. So yes, doing nothing at the time was better than “medicine” at the time – this was one of the ways homeopathy got the early push. The period was a case of a world filled with quackery. There was no scientific medicine. The book above well catalogs various quackeries that were in play back then, homeopathy just being one among many. The response to the outbreak did much to help medical research take shape. All these attempts you have been making to paint modern medicine cure being worse than the disease…. they were often actually true until around and some time after 1854. Then the world began to change and scientific medicine began to emerge.

    Because it has no evidence, Homeopathy has a long track record of attacking whichever was mainstream medicine at the time. We discussed how scientific medicine produces 8/9 lakh research articles per year. Science is supposed to be self-critical. Even if 1% of the articles are critical, that would mean 8 to 9 THOUSAND critical articles would be present just per year. This is the normal path of science… any science. I follow a few domains and see this all the time. Your attempt to construe the very factor that renders science an honest and rational institution (public and open self-critique) into some sort of evidence of invalidity is absurd. You obviously are following some homeopathy propaganda resources that gleefully catalog just the critical articles and don’t make a mention of any advances. Your questions on challenging me to name any cure at all from modern medicine is telling.

    Homeopathy made peace with herbal medicine now and attacks scientific medicine because that is where its survival depends. Herbal medicine (Ayurveda, Unani and the Western Galenic Herbal Medicine) is allopathy, as per homeopathy definition. It uses the principles of dissimilars i.e. a constipating herb is given for diarrhea and vice versa (that is the “allo” part). Homeopathy completely ignores this now and pretends that Herbal is fine now since it is not the dominant player anymore.

    Here are a few things for Homeopaths to clearly and reliably demonstrate, if they want to be taken seriously, rather than as frauds or idiots, by the scientific community.

    Given some 30C vials, 60C vials, 90C vials and some plain diluent vials… be able to say which is which. You can use in-vivo, in-vitro, whatever methods you like. You can give them to patients and ask as many questions you like. You can send them for any lab tests. Please don’t point me to papers which claim to have done this. I am aware of them. No one was able replicate any of them. Those papers aren’t worth the paper they were written on. Until you can reliably show that to any party interested… any scientifically educated person understands that homeopaths are just conning people with water that has been banged a bit on a book.
    Prove all your “provings”. You need to have double-blinding. Homeopaths may not know and the volunteer may not know, on who got what. You should be able to determine who got what solely from the narratives. Leading questions may not be asked. Without that, provings are entirely worthless. I am aware that homeopaths are only now beginning to try doing this. If you can simply and reliably demonstrate to the scientific community that there is such a thing as a double-blind proving, not just to your I-want-to-believe homeopaths in your echo chambers, you will be taken seriously. You don’t even need to cure anything. If you can just prove your “proving”, that alone is an anomalous finding worthy of attention from science.

    Obviously, homeopaths will fail in both these cases because it is all just water/alcohol pseudoscience. Nobody cares about your excuses.

  • Wooo and More wooo., Looks like Nirmukta is again a pharma lobby funded by pharma industries by hiring low class cheap people like GanIQesh VelusamiQ and other jurno artists who act like professional doctors.

    Why didnt you save Jayalalitha using evidance based bull shit.
    Why didnt you save MGR Using the same shit.
    and you assume there are crores and crores of people who REJECt your shitty thoughts and take baba ramdev, ayurvedic medicines etc?

    Grow up guys. take some time off from your money ridden article-ship and get well soon.

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  • Aayiram perai kondravan arai vaidhyannillai
    “Aayiram verai koidhavan arai vaitthiyan”
    you should have collected atleast 1000 roots, to be termed as an half doctor, which means atleast you should have treated 2000 to be called as a docotor

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  • I accidentally happened to find this gem of a blog. Keep up the discussions please. If you are believer then you do not seek truth and you are a lazy bull-sh*tter. It is dangerous to claim it as truth , just because you believe in it. Evidence based science is “a” tool to seek truth.

    Ravi- Kudos to you, I am awed by your responses, great stuff.

  • I testify what Dr. B. M. Hegde 100%, the evidence based science gets discarded when we go subatomic. Take a look at the quantum world to get puzzled.

  • @Sreeprakash Neelakantan

    Please read the other article on this website on Dr. B. M. Hegde and his abuse of Quantum Mechanics to promote pseudoscience.

    http://nirmukta.com/2015/09/21/when-eminence-based-medicine-meets-quantum-quackery/

    He fails to grasp the most basic things like the double-slit experiment and seems to have simply plagiarized his article directly from a random blog and yet somehow managed to get the Hindu newspaper to print it – clearly the paper does have the basic standards of safe guards that even high schools in the West have against students lifting content from the web for their assignments.

    Quantum Mechanics does not invalidate anything in life sciences research, let alone medicine. No actual quantum mechanics researcher says that, just these pretend-experts.

  • It is such an irony that people here are wondering where BM hegde would have gone if he had a heart attack. Here is one sentence which puts an end to this debate. He had a stroke in MAY 2017 and was admitted to KMC mangalore. last time I checked KMC mangalore uses allopathic treatment:P
    p.s – Wish him a speedy recovery from his stroke and false beliefs.

  • Ganesh Veluswami, you just don’t get it. For a big rant and rave essay in English, you certainly don’t understand plain English. The man never said modern meds is total bullshit, he just said in only treats symptoms, not the root cause. He is telling you to go to rootcause and ancient medicine like ayurveda may just have the answer. What’s your problem?

  • @Luke Fernando

    he just said in only treats symptoms, not the root cause. He is telling you to go to rootcause and ancient medicine like ayurveda may just have the answer. What’s your problem?

    What is the root cause of Malaria, Cholera and Typhoid according to Ayurveda vs. medical science?

    Ayurveda (same with all other ancient medical systems, not just ancient Indian medicine) never knew the root cause of anything. That is the problem.

    Don’t argue for the sake of arguing. Pick up any classic, ancient Ayurveda text and directly cite the text that talks about root causes for half a dozen major diseases. Many texts are freely available online.

  • DR HEGDE HAS DONE A GOOD JOB BY HIGHLIGHTING THE BUSINESS ASPECT OF RESEARCH AND PROMOTION ASPECT OF MEDICINE MARKET .I HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH DOCTORS FOR LAST 27 YEARS AND FOUND 90 PERCENT DOCTORS ARE WORKING WITH TARGET OF EARNING MONEY AND NOT WITH THE TARGET OF CURING PATIENTS. HERE WE NEED THE DR HEGDE WHO CAN POINT OUT THE ROTTEN THINGS IN THE MODERN MEDICAL SYSTEM.

  • @Ravi
    Dear Ravi,
    you wrote-
    “What is the root cause of Malaria, Cholera and Typhoid according to Ayurveda vs. medical science?”

    You really don’t know the root cause of Malaria, Cholera and Typhoid?
    Let me remind you that all these microbial infections are caused by lack of immune. Ayurveda and Upanishads have termed it as “Bhoota” (unseen life within life) as the aeitiological factors- for Your knowledge!
    You must invest some of your time in understanding these vital health sciences.

    Dr. B.M. Hegde is not a SCAM doctor for your information! He is far more literate and experienced than you are. Try to prove him wrong with your abilities of research! You have to produce some data to prove him wrong otherwise none of your community will believe you !

  • @Acharya Birju Maharaj

    Ayurveda and Upanishads have termed it as “Bhoota” (unseen life within life) as the aeitiological factors

    No, you silly fellow. Bhoota literally means a supernatural spirit or even a demon, not “unseen life within life”. Ayurveda tells you to offer sacrifices and meats to placate the said bhootas.

    To give an example to supernatural agency from Sushruta Samhita:
    A child born at that time (eighth month) dies for want of Ojo-dhatu soon after its birth, a fact which may be equally ascribed to the agency of the malignant monsters. Hence (in the eighth month of gestation) offerings of meat should be made to the demons and monsters (for the safe continuance of the child).

    That is the kind of “science” we are talking about here.

    Beyond that it also refers to the humoral theory (doshas), elemental theory (pancha bhootas) and vitalism (prana) – all silly since the advent of science.

    In any case, for infectious diseases, Ayurveda followed the miasmatic theory, just like everyone else in the world at the time, nothing special about it – and completely wrong. Before the very recent advent of medical science, no one had a clue what any of these diseases really were or how they were spreading.

    Look, if you want to argue, first post actual relevant text passages from Ayurveda, not just your useless spin on it. Directly paste what Sushruta or Charaka said about Malaria, Typhoid and Cholera.

    Dr. B.M. Hegde is not a SCAM doctor for your information!

    http://nirmukta.com/2015/09/21/when-eminence-based-medicine-meets-quantum-quackery/

    See Dr. Narendra Nayak’s comment at the bottom.

    He is far more literate and experienced than you are.

    Read the rest of the article. He is fine as long as he sticks to standard cardiology – he is adequately literate and experienced about that like any other similarly senior cardiologist. But he is not intellectually “literate” in anything beyond it, again, just like any other similarly senior cardiologist.

  • Ravi

    “What is the root cause of Malaria, Cholera and Typhoid according to Ayurveda vs. medical science?”

    You are right when you say that a thousand years ago, the rationale of above problems was not understood. But the approach of modern science as equally incorrect: as stupid as was the earlier definition.
    If you are saying the root cause of these diseases lies in germ theory, then you have to explain why some are not infected during an epidemic and some who get the infection and manage to stay alive without medicines while others die!
    Understanding a possible cause does not mean that the approach is to resolve the root cause.
    Trying to remove the apparent root cause by “science” has not been successful as the root cause has not been addressed. Discoveries linked to Malaria have received 4 Nobel prizes in the past 100 years: Malaria still is rampant around the world. And there is no understanding of the outcome that if malaria does get removed world wide, what would we lose in exchange.

  • @Iqbal Zutshi

    You are a Homeopath. Of course you think germ theory is wrong and that vaccines are bad. And of course you will attempt muddy the argument to bring medical science right down to the level of the proven 100% failure of Homeopathy and its comically absurd theories. As long as there are gullible people who will pay medicine prices for nothing but sugar and water, what do you care?

    At this point, arguing against germ theory is like arguing against gravity.

    In what alternate reality are Nobel prizes are only given when a disease is entirely eradicated in the world. Never mind medicine, in which science are Nobel prizes given this way? By your logic, we should know everything there is to know about physics, chemistry by now. All economic problems should have been solved (counting that other memorial prize) by now.

    There are no Malaria or Cholera epidemics in the developed world any more since the science has already been implemented.

  • I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt,
    you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  • Read from the google search the below link. BM Hedge, hospitalised due to a stroke and he was in ICU.
    http://www.coastaldigest.com/news/99731-b-m-hegde-hospitalized-in-mangaluru

    Would like to know what are all the medications given to him?? If he is really using all the medications?
    In one of the talks, heard that ICU should not be in the hospital, so was wondering why he was in ICU if he was so against them.

    Are all the speeches are for others only?? Nothing being followed.. Isnt it being ridiculous.. Can he experiment and show that he can still survive without taking meds etc while he is having a stroke??

    IS THERE ANY WAY HE CAN PROVE THAT WHAT HE TOLD IS ALL CORRECT?

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