Posted: May 23, 2010 12:26 am
by TMB
Moridin, you said,

No substance is intrinsically toxic. Toxicity depends on dose.

dosage is certainly relevant, but this statement needs more context to be useful. Substances like carbon monoxide are fundamentally toxic, and while dosage affects this, any quantity has a toxic effect. Oxygen is something we need in order to survive, yet is toxic under certain conditions.

Yes, all medications have risks associated with them. There is no such thing as a risk free medicine (or food item). This is an illusion. Even something basic as aspirin can cause bleeding ulcers if used regularly for a long time.

I don’t see the point this makes without additional context. Conventional medicine needs to show more awareness of the implications of drugs, as they overprescribe and tend not to look at the patient as a whole, or the long term effects of the drugs (not an easy thing to do). Cortisone jabs are used routinely on mothers at risk of premature delivery as this improves lung development of the foetus, however medical science acknowledges it probably causes unknown damage. Their argument is that saving the life today is better than lower quality later in that life. Perhaps this is a valid position, however instead of administering of this without consideration, there are other ways to achieve the same outcome (ie. Avoid use of cortisone while still maximising survival for the foetus). This is not an issue of science, conventional medicine, or alternative, it is a function of human nature.

You have to compare the risk of keeping the drug on the market (in your example, this was a slight elevated chance of hearth failure) with the risk of keeping the drug off the market (related disease and deaths caused by high levels of cholesterol). In many cases, you might find that the risks of keeping it off the market is much greater than the risk of keeping it on the market.

Also note that this is a tightly regulated industry, with the precautionary principle being applied frequently (such as in the case of Vioxx, silicone breast implants, thimerosal etc.)

This would be the case if we did lived in a transparent environment and our objective was the truth. This is not the case, we are all engaged in an arms race, much of what is proposed is smoke and mirrors, both in alternative and conventional. Anti biotics is a god case in point. Very effective antibacterial, so its gets over prescribed, creates issues with peoples digestive flora and superbugs, yet these factors take decades to come to light because drug companies are chasing $, not health.

Modern medicine actually treats both symptoms (various painkillers) and causes (antibiotics), as well as act preventative manner (such as vaccines). Your assertion is based on no real knowledge of the field of modern medicine.

I disagree, just the hygiene hypothesis shows that we do not really know what we are working with. Antibiotics were hailed as the fix all, however we know they cause gut issues and superbugs, what other effects do they have. If the cause of health issues is bacteria, what is the benefit of creating bugs that are resistant to antibiotics? Not only are we engaged in an arms race with bacteria, the misuse of antibiotics accelerates and exaggerates this. The issue is not around the type of treatment, it is the ignorance and myopia when we apply them.

If it is possible that a certain level of vitamin C can help, then this will be revealed in controlled, double-blind scientific studies. If there is even a slight chance that vitamin C can help, big pharmaceutical corporations would immediately be interested, because that means that they would be able to sell many new brands of drugs on the market, patenting formulas and names and make a fortune, especially if vitamin C actually treated something that there was no treatment for before. They would make billions of dollars.

Studies have been done with vitamins in various treatments and shown to work, as in the case of radiation induced proctitis. This is not a high profile illness, yet conventional medicine applies the use of vitamins and it works. Once again though, studies to try and understand the long term effects of high dosages of vitamins have yet to be conducted to se if this is just a short term fix. The issue with these studies is their inability to look beyond the narrow confines of what they test. They are effective is confirming a positive effect, but not for negative effects.