The recent misleading article about niacin in last weeks news ( July 16, 2014) is just another in a series of articles citing studies which allegedly document problems with supplements and bio-identical hormones. Within the last two years, I have read articles in prestigious medical journals attacking Vitamin E, Vitamin D, hormones like testosterone and most recently, niacin.
After reviewing the science in these specific studies, I want to share the bias that is present in editing and publishing in medical journals.
These studies share one or more of the following biases:
1) Non-comparable control and experimental groups
2) Large numbers lost to follow up
3) Incorrect or exaggerated conclusions
4) Conclusions based on barely valid statistics
5) Incorrect generalizations
6) Incorrect extrapolations
7) Ignoring data not supporting conclusions
8) Giving inadequate amounts of supplement or hormone
9) Obvious conflicts of interests of authors
The impact the Pharmaceutical industry has on the outcome of studies:
1) The Pharmaceutical industry finances most of these studies. The studies paid for by the industry show over a 90% positive result for the drug whereas the studies sponsored by the government like the NIH only show a 50-50 result!
2) Pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on marketing as they spend on research. They spend more billions on subsidized studies than the NIH.
3) Pharmaceutical companies are approaching an income of nearly half of a TRILLION dollars annually.
4) The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow direct advertising of pharmaceuticals to consumers. And it has been shown that when a patient asks their doctor for a drug they have seen on TV (choosing to not pay attention to multiple side effects including death slurred in at the end of the ad) they almost always get it.(The doctor probably has a few free samples in their desk anyway from their last luncheon). Their income has skyrocketed since Medicare part D was signed behind closed doors in 2006.
5) Pharmaceutical corporations are MAJOR contributors to medical schools, medical journals, hospitals, doctors and other medical care providers.
6) The vast majority of pharmaceutical products are to treat illness and symptoms. What would happen to them if the American population became healthier? Many of our patients have eliminated or reduced their pharmaceuticals.
7) Well over 100,000 people a year die from pharmaceutical drugs. Where have you heard that on national TV?
Jeanne and I spend hours daily reviewing articles that comes across our desk from many sources in our field of Age Management Medicine. We have discovered hundreds of non-biased studies supporting our integrative approach to medical care that never make the headlines or evening news because they have been screened out by editors and reviewers who are being paid to uphold an industry agenda towards drug concoctions instead of food and nutrients.
Bottom line: What makes the pharmaceutical corporations richer-Sick people or healthy people? Until real systemic change takes place in medicine, your best health strategy is quite simply maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle that will optimize your body’s health and well-being and minimize your need for the latest medicines from the drug companies.
Please share this info widely with your friends and family and the links above and comments below.
PS Here are my comments on the latest niacin study to come out and why niacin remains an excellent alternative to statin meds.