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View Poll Results: Do you believe in the farmacy trend?

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  • I'm a hippy and I'm proud of it. Also, I have proof it works. No aluminum DO for me!

    3 7.69%
  • I'm kind of a hippy, but I was brought up that way, and/or I like moral aspects of the trend.

    4 10.26%
  • This is a thing? Who's Jenny McCarthy? I mean, I guess both are fine.

    4 10.26%
  • Science trumps turnips all day. Beets and apples won't keep you from having eczema hunny, sorry.

    24 61.54%
  • I don't really care at all. I can't afford either of them anyways.

    4 10.26%
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Thread: Nature VS Modern Medicine and weeding out what truly works.

  1. #161
    So she did. Array small.wonder's Avatar
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    I would never approach any topic (even those I am most knowledgeable or skilled in) with a sense of supreme correctness-- a "you are absolutely wrong, and I am absolutely right" frame of mind. Anyone that does so is blinded by pride and unable to see clearly enough to actually find truth, which requires the consideration of all sides. That said, here's what I found worth responding to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    With that said, and based off what you have described in regards to personal care products containing neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens, I have doubt you actually understand what your speaking of. I don't mean that in a belittling matter either. These are often used as buzzwords within holistic communities, the anti-GMO crowd, and related groups with a minimal science background. I will admit I am picky here as I am a chemist by profession and I like these matter to be unambiguous and clear. Nevertheless it's an area that does require being picky.
    There are a ridiculous amount of chemicals in question, I'd be a total idiot to ever claim that I know about even close to all of them-- I don't. All I know about are ingredients that (after research) I realized weren't really what I wanted to expose myself to. Just to mention a few of the grosser and more common, Triclosan, Retinyl palmitate, Oxybenzone, Dibutyl Phthalate. There are, of course many more (of which I'm sure you know all about).

    I have a pretty darn good understanding of the ingriedents used in consumer products, as well as how compounds come to commertial use; if they were truly bad they wouldn't be there.
    No offense, but that sounds pretty idealistically naive to me. Espescially in a culture that overdoes and adds excess to everything (mostly to make money).

    Though some products I would recommend staying away from beyond small amounts when possible. Most of the "toxic! dangerous! cancer!" statements that surround these suspect compounds are based off chemical, medical, or pharmacological studies that get popularized (and horribly skewed the majority of the time) by the media that report single or maybe several new studies linking compounds to a particular medical problem. The vast majority of the time, this is an initial study or first of it's kind and need to be taken with a grain of salt, or at face value. Most however, will wrongly extrapolate from the studies (which happens ALL THE TIME and it drive scientists absolutely ballistic!) and often generate fear. This "laymens extrapolation" is a serious serious problem and is a huge source of misinformation. This really is the source of chemophobia (which is a real term) which has become a problem in the past several decades and is actually hindering scientific progress and education in some ways. The most direct example of this is the anti-vaccine crowd.
    Look, even if the risk is small I don't see the point (or intelligence) in blindly using a product which contains substances I don't recognize. Especially when products that contain much simpler ingredients exist, and do the job just as well. The truth is that most people don't think twice about what they are using, and that in it'self is a problem.

    As far as cancer goes. Do you honestly think that cancer is that simple? I can assure you, it is not. It is one (if not the) most complex medical issues there is. There is no cure, and the causes are so immensely diverse that we're honestly never going to solve it. Ever. This is the sentiments of many who research in the field (and my research has a direct link to cancer research so I am in contact with these sorts of individuals). As time goes on it's becoming apparent that cancer is an unfortunate side effect of biology and evolution. What we have to do is preform as much research as we can to deal with cancer to increase the odds of survival, cures for ones that can be done, and attack it from all sides. Additionally, research is being done on the cause of cancer, all the time. We actually have quite an amazing understanding of what can cause cancer to take hold. That said I'd imagine you are looking at it from the angle of "what outside influence triggers it". Again, it's not that simple. Biology is not that simple.
    No, I don't think Cancer is simple at all-- quite the contrary, as its' causes are many. I do know though, that if I can make choices that remove some of those factors from my life, I will.

    As mentioned above, it's a fair issue to take. If you feel your primary care physician is not doing an adequet job, seek another. It's partly due to insurance reasons, and partly for efficiency, but tests are only ordered when there is evidence and call for it.
    Right, and with most traditional physicians, that's extremely rare. I've talked to people (who had things like heavy metal poisoning and hormone imbalances) who went from doctor to doctor for years, trying to get to the bottom of their symptoms and only ever found answers through holistic medicine-- not because holistic physicians are magic, but because they care about the root of the problem enough to battle with insurance companies (and yes, make less money) to get their patients answers. All of the aforementioned has been my personal experience and my opinion (which I am entitled to).

    It's actually hard to say how much what they do in ways of actual alternative medicine (taking supplements, vitamins, etc.) actually helps. In some cases it does, vitamin deficiencies are a real thing. Uncommon, but real. Doctors can and do address this, but they aren't always seen due to the uncommonality of it.
    This, I am outright laughing at. Are you not aware of how nutrient-depleted produce has become because of over-fertilized, pesticide laden soil and other modern farming techniques? Nutrient deficiencies are quite common ideed!

    And for the record, the anti-vaccine people are (yes) cray. I think they are starting to come around though, we can hope. I do agree with someone who posted earlier though, in that we should be seeking safer vaccines (as there are issues there).
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  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelGadaafi View Post
    Lactose intolerance doesnt mean milk consumption is unnatural. Only that there are limits to what a person can consume before getting gastrointestinal symptoms. I have lactose intolerance and i could go through a liter of milk before feeling some abdominal discomfort. lots of nomads in asia and africa also drink milk and have lactose intolerance.
    Yeah, I read a statistic in my nutrition class that stated 98% of central asians are lactose intolerant (though with varying degrees). Still boggles my mind. Long term vegans also become lactose intolerant as the lactase enzyme (the enzyme in your small intestine responsible for the digestion of lactose-containing products) is only expressed with exposure to dairy products. In short, use it for lose it.

  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    There are a ridiculous amount of chemicals in question, I'd be a total idiot to ever claim that I know about even close to all of them-- I don't. All I know about are ingredients that (after research) I realized weren't really what I wanted to expose myself to. Just to mention a few of the grosser and more common, Triclosan, Retinyl palmitate, Oxybenzone, Dibutyl Phthalate. There are, of course many more (of which I'm sure you know all about).
    Why the 'tude?

    @Hard is right, if you aren't in the scientific community then you really haven't experienced the layman's scientific illiteracy, you also have no idea what it's like to have the media pick up an article, misconstrue it and start a scare campaign. We have to deal with it all the time; do you know the number of times we've had to explain that statins are safe and necessary after a television program misrepresented the facts? Also with vaccines, the original article linking it to autism was proven to be fraudulent (falsified data is a criminal offence here) but there are people who still believe it. It's frustrating but it happens and that's the purpose of our careers, to understand nature and inform the public.

    Also, it really did seem like you were throwing around terms without understanding them (I'm not referring to the chemical terms above, I'm talking about the biological terms).

    No offense, but that sounds pretty idealistically naive to me. Espescially in a culture that overdoes and adds excess to everything (mostly to make money).
    A good idea would be to read the audit reports on the FDA. I did that for my country's equivalent and found that the drugs that weren't heavily regulated were the complementary and alternative medicines. In fact 85% that claim to be efficacious do not have enough solid data to support their efficacy. Essentially people are consuming placebos; any pharmacist would advice you of this when you inquire about their use.

    No, I don't think Cancer is simple at all-- quite the contrary, as its' causes are many. I do know though, that if I can make choices that remove some of those factors from my life, I will.
    Again, this is why I think you were throwing terms around, you implied the cause of cancer is well-known:

    Do you read ingredient labels, or make a practice of knowing what those million character words mean? If not, you are partially responsible. Where do you think Cancer comes from (lol, of course we only talk about the cure, not the cause)?
    Cancer is multifactorial, for the record.

    All of the aforementioned has been my personal experience and my opinion (which I am entitled to).
    If you know it's anecdotal evidence, why use it in this debate? It's not strengthening your position. Yes, I know I'm being pedantic.

    This, I am outright laughing at. Are you not aware of how nutrient-depleted produce has become because of over-fertilized, pesticide laden soil and other modern farming techniques? Nutrient deficiencies are quite common ideed!
    Yeah, this doesn't surprise me.
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  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post

    I have a very firm belief (that has yet to be proven wrong by anything I've seen in my life thus far), that messing with or altering God's design (thinking we can make it better) in this world ends only in death and disease.
    I really don't know how to respond to this... but essentially you seem to think that a reduction in morbidity and mortality is unnecessary. In that case, what's your purpose in life? To suffer in the hopes of a pleasant after-life?

    Would you wish that upon everyone else?

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    There has been a study of people who use alternative medicine; the study found that these people are more educated.
    Seriously? Just because you're more educated doesn't mean it's in the correct field. I could claim to be against asphalt though have no knowledge of road engineering despite being "more educated".

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    Garlic and apple cider vinegar as well. I can't believe the number of people I have met who think a substance like Sudafed actually helps their cold, many people are so confused they think this garbage used to treat symptoms will actually heal their cold, when they could cheaply and safely just eat certain foods or drink teas or take a non toxic supplement.
    Pseudoephedrine relieves symptoms but some formulations of Sudafed have paracetamol which is an anti-pyretic (reduces fever), this is a component of the healing process.

    Your posts contain gross generalisations, do back up your claims with research (like @Tellenbach).

  7. #167
    deplorable basketcase Array Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deceptive
    Seriously? Just because you're more educated doesn't mean it's in the correct field.
    I wasn't referring to myself (but yeah, my knowledge base is vast). The purpose of such studies is merely to counter the smear campaigns coming from establishment sources like the AMA, the ACS, and the Mayo Clinic. There is a stereotype perpetuated by establishment sources of people who prefer alternative and natural medicines. People who explore alternative medicine are portrayed as ignorant and stupid. In fact, I see some of the effects of the stereotype in this very thread.

    We see the same tactics used by the global warming crowd against skeptics. Skeptics are portrayed as anti-science fringe extremist types when the reality is very different.
    "Libertarians are beacons of truth; we are not tractor beams of truth. Please do not blame us for not fixing your screw-ups." wise sayings of Tellenbach the Transcendant Sage, Vol. 4.
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  8. #168
    Seal Down Array Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    I would never approach any topic (even those I am most knowledgeable or skilled in) with a sense of supreme correctness-- a "you are absolutely wrong, and I am absolutely right" frame of mind. Anyone that does so is blinded by pride and unable to see clearly enough to actually find truth, which requires the consideration of all sides. That said, here's what I found worth responding to.
    If there is a clear right or wrong answer with something, I will approach it from that angle. I did with several points already and will continue to do so if there is a clear defined answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    There are a ridiculous amount of chemicals in question, I'd be a total idiot to ever claim that I know about even close to all of them-- I don't. All I know about are ingredients that (after research) I realized weren't really what I wanted to expose myself to. Just to mention a few of the grosser and more common, Triclosan, Retinyl palmitate, Oxybenzone, Dibutyl Phthalate. There are, of course many more (of which I'm sure you know all about).
    Might as well be afraid of everything then. When broken down into it's constituents, many things appear scary and alien. There were some nice infographics going around earlier this year that illustrated this very well; taking an item such as a chicken egg and showing everything that makes it. To nearly everyone, it's going to be unfamiliar, and some ingredients are legitimately scary (the egg has a few actually). But, are at such low levels it's insignificant. It's not about knowing about every single compound, or even groups of compounds. It's about knowing and understanding what is considered harmful, dangerous, or risky based off quantity, exposure frequency, exposure level, and if any of these are even worth considering. I've sort of already said it, but many things are falsely scary because "they are linked to cancer". You could link cancer to pretty much everything. We use sand (plain ordinary sand) in my lab for covering silica gel (glass dust) so it doesn't move when being used. The bottle of sand, labeled "Sand, Washed and Dried" has a "this product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer". Yep, for sand. When someone says something is carcinogenic, 99% of the time, it's nearly meaningless.

    Triclosan is actually very interesting, and something I am paying close attention to. It came to prominence to me at the beginning of the year (had a really great discussion about it too with a professor teaching a class on secondary metabolism at the time too). For decades now we have been using triclosan for pretty much everything antibacterial related. It's a wonderful compound in that manner. So much so that it has been placed in many many consumer products to keep them clean and pathogen free that don't really need them, but can benefit anyway. Truly great at what it does, and in the past has shown minimal to no harmful effects on humans. The biggest issue has actually been overuse and the consequential proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria and organisms (which is a serious and dangerous worldwide health threat that is a question of when, not if. It trumps the issues in this thread topic by thousands of orders of magnitude). However, recent studies have shown that triclosan might not be as safe as it has been thought to be over the past several decades. In light of this, the FDA is going to be (and has been) reviewing it's use, safety profile, and effects. This is a great example of how this all should be done. When there is credible solid evidence to deem something as potentially risky, investigate it further, and determine it. If triclosan is shown to be too bad, then it absolutely should be and will be removed. I actually want to see it's use made far less ubiquitous, however for the reasons of microbial resistance, not potential harm.

    Edit: I should have actually clicked the links instead of reading the names. That's you're source? Come on. Well gee, they're certainly not biased and have a clear understanding of what they're dealing with! Classic example of using sources in a shotgun manner (that are terribly formatted, innaccurately laid out, and hard to trace), and organizes information to look official and unbias, but still add conclusions that can't be drawn. I despise places that do this. It's infuriatingly dishonest and preys upon individuals that have limited understanding of what they're dealing with. Places like this should be downright ashamed of themselves. Granted, I have seen far worse before, but this still falls in the catagory. If you want to understand the risks associated with individual chemicals, read MSDS's, look at sources that don't have an agenda/bias/intent behind them. Wikipedia is actually a surprisingly good source (most of the time) for chemicals as well. The fact that you used that as your source (and your assumption that I would actually take it seriously? Yeah right) and examples is extremely telling of where you are with this and your lack of ability to assess and form accurate opinions on these matters.


    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    No offense, but that sounds pretty idealistically naive to me. Espescially in a culture that overdoes and adds excess to everything (mostly to make money).

    Look, even if the risk is small I don't see the point (or intelligence) in blindly using a product which contains substances I don't recognize. Especially when products that contain much simpler ingredients exist, and do the job just as well. The truth is that most people don't think twice about what they are using, and that in it'self is a problem.
    I don't agree at all. As said above, we do look into the safety profile of chemicals. Is it perfect? No. But it's pretty damn good. I don't see it worth fretting over just because of tenuous risks that very often aren't actually valid. It really is a question of living in excessive caution, or being able to have faith that measures are taken to keep the populous safe. The latter is best acheived through understanding how the process works, and what results from studies actually mean. The fact that people "don't think twice" is a problem, but it's actually one that's understandable. We all have a finite level of energy and effort we can expend into what we do. Many just aren't going to have it in them to take the extra step, and I honestly can't fault them for it. If there were serious risks involved for having inaction, then I would. However, because they are so low to completely absent, I can't. As I pointed out above, there are so many things that many individual might not recognize. Not recognizing a chemical as a reason to not use a consumer product is a pretty bad reasoning in my opinion for most people, due to the fact that this will be so common, and the vast majority of strange named chemicals are totally harmless.

    I should offer a sort of a counter point to my argument though. There are things that I do not thing should be on the market or used as the product intends them to be as there are measureable risks, and better alternatives to it. The best example I can think of are flea bombs. Most contain a derivative of the compound pyrethrin (which, interestingly enough, occurs naturally in the chrysanthemum flower). Pyrethrin itself is actually great. It has poor absorbtion into mammals, it breaks down in environment quickly to harmless by products, and is readily available. They actually used to use ground up chrysanthemum plants long ago as a flea repellent. Modern flea bombs contain chemical deriviatives of pyrethrin though, and that is a problem. I'll use permethrin as the example since it's one of the more common ones. Like pyrethrin, it has poor absorbtion so exposure is not a problem, usually. The difference (and part of the reason it's an effective flea bomb) is it biopersists. It does not break down in the environment quickly. In the home if used, those who live there will have persistent exposure for months, and this is tangibly dangerous. While most flea bombs have warnings "not to use inside a home" are marked to be used in a home! It's absolutely horrible. I'm glad my mother had the foresight to ask me about this years ago. She's rather chemophobic and had she found out she done this to her home she would have freaked out and had severe psychological effects ontop of very likely physical ones.

    Part of me illustrating that above is to show and say that (despite how I appear) I am not "pro chemical" as many would like to label me. I am pro rational approach to chemicals.


    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    No, I don't think Cancer is simple at all-- quite the contrary, as its' causes are many. I do know though, that if I can make choices that remove some of those factors from my life, I will.

    Right, and with most traditional physicians, that's extremely rare. I've talked to people (who had things like heavy metal poisoning and hormone imbalances) who went from doctor to doctor for years, trying to get to the bottom of their symptoms and only ever found answers through holistic medicine-- not because holistic physicians are magic, but because they care about the root of the problem enough to battle with insurance companies (and yes, make less money) to get their patients answers. All of the aforementioned has been my personal experience and my opinion (which I am entitled to).
    You can make choices to avoid things. Anyone can. Though I am telling you it is a waste of your energy and time overall, on top of unneeded stress and worry. That's great if holistic medicine managed to get to the root of the problem, but the way you explained this makes it sound like physicians don't do this. There entire job is to get to the root of the problem. That is what medicine is. That's what they're trained to do in medical school. To suggest that they don't is really offensive to the medical community.

    A huge issue I take with the holistic practitioners is many of them are not properly educated nor do they have the credentials to taut what they practice in the way they do (sometimes they overtly lie). My mother is immensely into holistic medicine. She has been seeing a doctor for years now and was constantly talking about her. How great she was, how many of her problems have been solved (they haven't been really, she's partly a hypochondriac), and how knowledgeable she is on medicine. I really thought little of it. She kept telling me for years to go see her, and how she could solve my problems with depression (later correctly diagnosed as Bipolar II, but that's a different matter), what she sees as health issues that I have (when I don't), or might have down the line (which is fear mongering). Thinking it couldn't hurt, and to just placate her a little I did some research and looked her up.

    She claims to be a doctor, and she is; a doctor of chiropractic. She has no formal training or credentials in what she does with her "patients". None. I honestly thought my mother was smarter than that (she's not dumb at all). That she would know better than to avoid these individuals who really don't have understanding of medicine or ailments (it's sadly so common). When I confronted her with this, all she replied with is "well, she said in college she did take a few courses related to medicine". I of course dismissed the discussion and did not go, nor allow it to come up in conversation again. It's incredibly dishonest. This is not the first individual I have encountered with this sort of value towards holistic medicine. Many seem to think credentials aren't that important, or aren't at all. There is a lack of appreciation of flat understanding of what the definition of an expert is. To me that is actually quite disturbing.

    Holistic medicine is not clean either, it's not superior to modern medicine (I know you didn't claim it to be, I just need to reiterate it). Everyone has a right to an opinion, but if I think it's wrong and or harmful, I will push against it.


    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    This, I am outright laughing at. Are you not aware of how nutrient-depleted produce has become because of over-fertilized, pesticide laden soil and other modern farming techniques? Nutrient deficiencies are quite common ideed!
    Laugh away, it's no skin off my nose. Besides, it's not right. Nor is it a serious medical threat. If it were a serious problem, we'd be hearing a lot more about it, the FDA and CDC would be stepping in and making notice that something needs to change, because it would be a national health issue that they can do something about. This is also leap of logic. Just because food is deficient in nutrients compared to historical averages doesn't mean that the populous is going to have deficiency problems.


    Quote Originally Posted by small.wonder View Post
    And for the record, the anti-vaccine people are (yes) cray. I think they are starting to come around though, we can hope. I do agree with someone who posted earlier though, in that we should be seeking safer vaccines (as there are issues there).
    Good to hear. I'm just disappointed that most of the drive to "improve" vaccines is cosmetic and done to satisfy people who refuse them; it's done for PR reasons mostly.
    Last edited by Hard; 11-08-2014 at 04:14 AM. Reason: added additional paragraph.
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  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    I wasn't referring to myself (but yeah, my knowledge base is vast)
    Haha, I wasn't referring to you either.

    People who explore alternative medicine are portrayed as ignorant and stupid. In fact, I see some of the effects of the stereotype in this very thread.
    That bothers me, too. However, has it occurred to you that this occurs because those with alternative views can never back their statements with decent evidence or research (and when they do, it tends to be misinterpreted or shady)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deceptive View Post
    That bothers me, too. However, has it occurred to you that this occurs because those with alternative views can never back their statements with decent evidence or research (and when they do, it tends to be misinterpreted or shady)?
    It's not so much as their stupid or don't back up their claims. In fact, they often are intelligent individuals and do back up their claims. The problem is when they give support it actually doesn't hold their arguments or it completely misses the point and or big picture; single individual studies to not trump multiple or meta studies the majority of the time. They also often come the stand point of demonizing a major authority or research institution. Simply put: they wield logic completely wrong.
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