Monthly Archives: February 2008

The Ineffectiveness of modern antidepressants

At last, some real truth is published in the mainstream media about modern drugs for chronic disease-

– in this case the ineffectiveness of the modern antidepressants:


“New generation anti-depressants have little clinical benefit for most patients, research suggests. A University of Hull team concluded that the drugs helped only a small group of the most severely depressed.”

Professor David Healy of the University of Wales recently forwent an appointment at a top Canadian Psychiatry department in the interests of truth, he defied the Disease Industry that creates such marketing hoaxes and funds many such academic departments (In the grip of the python: conflicts at the university-industry interface. Sci Eng Ethics. 2003 ;9:59-71) .. “Before 1980, most people experiencing common nervous problems and who sought medical help complained of anxiety and were treated for anxiety. Similar experiences increasingly led to complaints of or treatment for panic attacks in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and to complaints of or treatment for mood disorders by the mid-1990s. Today, such patients seem once again increasingly likely to complain of and be treated for anxiety. This paper reviews … the standard ploys of company sales departments to increase demand for products, including celebrity endorsements, the sponsoring of educational events and a host of reminders; ghost-written scientific papers authored by celebrity researchers; and creating fashion through medical activism, by setting up patient groups and disease awareness campaigns (Healy D. Shaping the intimate: influences on the experience of everyday nerves. Soc Stud Sci. 2004;34:219-45)”

“The literature profiles and citation rates of industry-linked and non-industry-linked articles differ. The emerging style of authorship in industry-linked articles can deliver good-quality articles, but it raises concerns for the scientific base of therapeutics”. Interface between authorship, industry and science in the domain of therapeutics. Healy D, Cattell D. Br J Psychiatry. 2003 ;183:22-7. ”Depression was infrequently diagnosed before the advent of the antidepressants but has now apparently become a major public health problem”. The three faces of the antidepressants: a critical commentary on the clinical-economic context of diagnosis. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1999 ;187:174-80

As Shaughnessy and Slawson wrote a decade ago from a family practice at the University of Virginia, especially for chronic treatment, evidence– be it good long term observational experience or research results- should be Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters (POEM – Ann Intern Med. 1997;126:667), not just “statistically significant” in small three-month randomised controlled trials RCTs- which is all that the leading Drug Regulator (the FDA- that too many others follow) apparently requires before allowing a new drug to go public.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in two crucial recent reviews:

While confirming the logic of the randomized double-blind placebo control (RCT) group design, Wampold BE et al note that ”The placebo is powerful: estimating placebo effects in medicine and psychotherapy from randomized clinical trials (Univ Wisconsin J Clin Psychol. 2005;61 35-54). “A re-analysis of these shows that when disorders are amenable to placebos and the design is adequate to detect the effects, the placebo effect is robust and approaches the treatment effect. For psychological disorders, particularly depression, it has been shown that pill placebos are nearly as effective as active medications whereas psychotherapies are more effective than psychological placebos. However, it is shown that when properly designed, psychological placebos are as effective as accepted psychotherapies.”

That same year the influential Lancet journal published a major Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy asking Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects?. (University of Berne, Switzerland: Shang A, Egger M et al . Lancet. 2005 ;366:726-32).

The Lancet Editorial (2005; 366:690) concluded that this analysis heralded The end of homoeopathy .

But did it?

Shang et al wrote: “ Homeopathy is widely used, but specific effects of homoeopathic remedies seem implausible. Bias in the conduct and reporting of trials is a possible explanation for positive findings of trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine. Placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy, and trials in conventional medicine matched to homoeopathy trials were randomly selected. Trials described as double-blind, with adequate randomisation, were assumed to be of higher methodological quality.. FINDINGS: The median study size was 65 participants (range ten to 1573). 21 homoeopathy trials (19%) and nine (8%) conventional-medicine trials were of higher quality. In both groups, smaller trials and those of lower quality showed more beneficial treatment effects than larger and higher-quality trials. When the analysis was restricted to large trials of higher quality, the odds ratio was 0.88 (95% CI 0.65-1.19) for homoeopathy (eight trials) and 0.58 (0.39-0.85) for conventional medicine (six trials). INTERPRETATION: Biases are present in placebo-controlled trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine. When account was taken for these biases in the analysis, there was weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions. This finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects”

But while statistically the results “favoured” allopathic medicines over homeopathy, do they? “ the odds ratio was 0.88 (95% CI 0.65-1.19) for homoeopathy (eight trials) and 0.58 (0.39-0.85) for conventional medicine (six trials)” represents only 8 versus 6 really good trials – each out of 110 trials finally analysed. Does this truly prove anything more for allopathic medicines than homeopathy, or does it say more for the power of placebo, the healing power of belief, when “The median study size was only 65 participants (range 10 to 1573)”, and “19% of homoeopathy trials and 8% of conventional-medicine trials were of higher quality”? One suspects that the p values (which were tellingly not quoted in the detailed abstract on line) were not all that far apart, although for homeopathy p was just >0.05 and for allopathy <0.05.

Few of us can understand the scientific basis of homeopathy. But does prudent homeopathy do harm, or is it at least harmless and powerful placebo good? When one in three hospital admissions in USA is reportedly for iatrogenic disease caused by modern medical (not homeopathic) interventions? And modern drugs collapse in a blaze of denial every month or three?

Many of us cannot understand how the major regulators- the FDA and the EMA – except in ruthless greed – can in conscience continue to release long-term untested new drugs – especially for chronic disease – onto the unsuspecting public. There are so many old, proven safe remedies that cannot be bettered- in the case of depression, eg brief directive talk therapy, multipurpose natural supplements like fish oil and many other natural supplements that can easily be combined in one blend; and where appropriate, natural lithium and measured human sex hormone replacement and both safe and effective long term.

But of course it does not suite the Drug Industry and the investors, economies, lobbyists, researchers and jobs it boosts (USA or anywhere) to tolerate let alone research the old, since only new patent drugs can be $billion golden rain-checks for a few years before they collapse.

Unlike eg the (plant- galega officinalis) extract metformin (since 1922), appropriate HRT (since 2600BC) and other natural supplements, not one patent new oral drug for prevention of common chronic adult degenerative diseases of the past fifty years has been shown to reduce all-cause disease and mortality in long term use.



    Association of pioglitazone treatment with decreased bone mineral density

In this Danish trial in just 16 weeks, pioglitazone associated with 1 to 1.4% loss of bone density compared to placebo.

Is this surprising considering that this group of drugs has never been shown to have the safe anabolic benefits of metformin?- which reduces fat mass and increases lean mass, and growth in teenagers with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Metformin reduces lipidemia, new diabetes by half and in diabetics almost halves mortality and all major chronic degenerative diseases. By contrast, like sulphonylureas, gliptins, appetite suppressants and other wannabe metformin substitutes the glitazones and statins have never been shown to have global benefit long term on all-cause mortality and all common aging degenerative diseases – let alone the incredible safety of metformin when used sensibly. Nor has insulin when added as last-ditch therapy in resistant type 2 diabetes.

So it is increasingly medical negligence to prescribe anything but metformin to tolerance early on and permanently in the overweight, including in common maturity-onset diabetics and those with common lipidemia and hypertension, if lifestyle, diet and a blend of natural supplements (including appropriate parenteral sex hormone replacement in men and women with such imbalance) that reduce insulin resistance are inadequate.
There are no long term contraindications to metformin adjusted to tolerance with sensible monitoring.

PROBIOTICS- Does dead or alive matter?

Dead or alive?- prevention is better than antibiotics:

some good news about the benefits of immune protection with simple yoghurt or concentrated probiotics – young or old:

Probiotics ‘protect top athletes’

‘Dead’ yoghurt just as effective


In the “simple” love story Away From Her (2006), Julie Christie, as an avid cross-country snow skier, portrays well the relentless progression from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, and perhaps more subtly, the perils of lost recent memory but retained old tapes – the spectre of paranoia against the caring loved ones, fertile ground for novelists, and unscrupulous financial and legal advisors.

It is a pity the film made no reference to the uselessness of modern ie commercial anti-dementia drugs, and the major preventative benefit – 50% to >80% reduction in new cases – of numerous natural supplements.

Like vascular disease and osteoporotic fractures, dementia including from injury, stroke, toxins and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is major public health concern in all countries- dementia about 1% a year after age 75yrs in Framingham (80% were from AD)- but 100% disabling for the remained of life. Wikipedia gives the stats of these “diseases strongly associated with age as : dementia 1% of those aged 60-65, 6% of those aged 75-79, and 45% of those aged 95 or older suffer from the syndrome. Osteoporosis increases the risk of hip fracture fivefold to about 50% in the elderly (>64yrs), and mortality following a hip fracture is between 20% and 35% within one year in patients aged ~82 years, of which 80% were women-“ – with up to 80% of survivors remaining disabled to some degree. Like dementia and osteoporosis, “By the time that heart problems are detected, the underlying atherosclerosis is usually quite advanced, having progressed for decades” Each year, heart disease kills more Americans than cancer.[1] Vascular diseases alone cause half of all “natural” premature deaths; up to the year 2005, it was the number one cause of death and disability in the United States and most European countries” . ..

Not unexpectedly in people who realize they are losing their minds, depression and anxiety are major components – as the film so poignantly shows, in both the patients and their loved ones.
Unlike hip fracture, stroke or heart attack which without prevention is fatal in 1/5 to 1/3 – and crippling in up to 80% – waiting till dementia starts is uniformly disabling and fatal in about 7 years- whereas healthy people have a mean life expectation of close to 90years. No prescription drugs slow AD by more than a few weeks even in mild cases. But in very mild AD fish oil slows the disease over 6 months.

Overweight and thus diabetes, vascular disease and cancer, is becoming the norm. The pandemic of saccharine diseases- (including overweight- hypertension – insulin resistance- diabetes – vascular disease) and Alzheimers are strongly linked.

Hypogonadism hormones: in the Cache County Study (Zandi ea), only those who started young ie continued menopause hormone therapy HT for decades had 95% less AD than non-users or recent users. This was mirrored in the Women’s Health Initiative and the Oulu trial, in which HT started soon after menopause for a mean of 5-10 years reduced all major disease including memory problems (and deaths) by about 1/3 or more.

Smoking , alcoholism, infections, toxins and violence aside, it is self-evident that micronutrient deficiencies including hypogonadism plays a dominant role in the intimately intertwined vascular disease, dementia (and fractures) , since compared to men, women suffer these far more and younger- they have disturbance of natural sex hormone balance increasingly younger (from juvenile obesity, synthetic hormone contraception, lower parity, sterilization, hysterectomy, cancer therapy, and then menopause and with fattening grossly un-physiological postmenopausal commercial oral sexhormone xenotherapy).
Such unnatural oral mega/xenohormone) therapy is not advocated in androgen-deficient men- who are restored systemically to physiological sexhormone blood levels – or in any other branch of endocrinology. Why women are thus maltreated is a symptom of sick society, of their inferior and subjugate status throughout history, but especially their passive exploitation by the neocapitalist $trillion Drug and Disease Industry cartel that controls the FDA, lobbyist- legislators- and and the public the past 50 years (Elaine Feuer: Innocent Casualties : The FDA’s War Against Humanity: USA 1997).
At least the gender playing field is now level, with balanced physiological HRT (testosterone and estradiol) also freely available to women as lowcost fortnightly subcutaneous self-injection of testosterone-estradiol esters;
or designer monthly subcutaneous testosterone undecanoate plus estradiol valerate, or 6monthly combined implants, or daily combined creams.
If the FDA tries to deny this to women, it is for the people to exercise their constitutional rights to equal, long (evolution) -proven and natural replacement, beyond the control of the patent drug industry.

So dementia, vascular and fracturing disease – and risky, mostly futile chronic patent prescription drugs- are not inevitable, even with the risky genes:
Regular omega3 fish oil reduces the adverse abeta and tau deposits; a fatty fish meal about 3 times a week – a mean fish omega3 intake about 200mg/day- halves dementia and sudden death. Regular plant oil (omega6) blocks benefit; but without fish oil, omega6 doubles the dementia risk. Daily fruit and veg reduced it by 30%. Enough fish oil is by far the most important human micronutrient – it roughly halves all chronic major aging diseases and premature deaths.

Metformin (C4H11N5 derived in 1922 from the [galega officinalis) plant guanide base formula C6H10N3]), is the only enduring chronic preventative patent drug ever designed: in the only long-term randomized controlled trial RCT ever, the 20 year UKPDS prospective diabetes study (1998), insulin and the designer sulphonylureas had no overall benefit on survival, but metformin reduced all-cause major disease and mortality (ie vascular, cancer, infectious) by a third; and in the Canadian Healthcare study, mortality was halved in type 2 ie older diabetics who used metformin. In the 3.5year diabetes prevention trials, in USA and China, it roughly halved the incidence of new diabetes. Both overweight, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are strongly related to risk of memory impairment.

Ginkgo biloba has no effect on insulin resistance/sensitivity; but
ginkgo has important benefits on rheology, lipids, circulation and memory – which are critical in (pre)diabetics;;
ginkgo prolongs the half-life of metformin in vivo ie enhances the ant-idiabetic effect p<0.05, thus reduces the needed effective dose of metformin or enhances metformin’s benefit in resistant cases.

The issue is indeed that most non-starving adults are prone to both overweight diseases, diabetes, glycation and vascular memory deficits- ie metformin/galega and ginkgo are equally important natural drugs, with some relevant synergy.

Many other natural drugs – food supplements- give significant protection against insulin resistance and thus fattening, diabetes, hypertension, lipidemia, blindness, vascular disease, and memory loss, from all the vitamins , magnesium zinc and chromium, to our endogenous biologicals carnitine, carnosine, DMAE, lipoic acid, cysteine, 5HTP, GABA, MSM, proline, phosphatidylserine/choline, arginine, ribose and CoQ10; to >1000 plants like cinnamon, curcumin, huperzine A, Melissa, fenugreek, garlic, ginseng, gymnema, Salvia, stevia, lo han guo, rosemary, Yi-Gan San and BDW (Ba Wei Di Huang Wan).

In a 2005 report (Bragin ea) , such combination in mild dementia-depression cases actually improved cognition by up to 50%.

Combining fish oil, appropriate HRT, and a mix of 50 other freely available supplements offers at least 50% reduction in all major common chronic degenerative diseases and premature deaths- no modern chronic patent drug does so. Health care providers who fail to recommend such evidence-based comprehensive natural prevention should be prosecuted.

References available on request from; from whom personal consultation and supplements may also be obtained..


Health headlines from BBC the past week are ironically contradictory,  profits  or  prophets of gloom.

Sugar- including cane sugar and excess fruit sugar- and cooked/processed fat – are perhaps the greatest slow “foodstuff” poisons commercialised and concentrated by “civilization”.
The industrial society and it’s omnipresent (TV- cellphone) media deliberately ruin children’s health by introducing them early to profitable sweeteners, cooked fats, fast food, TV and computer addictions, instead of natural fresh foods, exercise, playing and books. The inevitable tidal wave of obesity and chronic degenerative disease then becomes further wealth- The Disease Industry for whom Only Disease Pays. .

Obesity may thus be partly genetic, but is not inevitable with sensible habits:
A new twin study from UK found that “Becoming overweight as a child is more likely to be the result of genes than lifestyle”.

But as the Child Growth Foundation says: “Even if someone has a gene which predisposes them to obesity, it doesn’t mean they will become obese if they work hard to eat healthily” . The National Centre for Eating Disorders carefully analyses how much can be done by the individual to reduce genetic risk .

The only safe intense sweeteners are those which are both plant-sourced and which reduce insulin resistance – eg stevia. The artificial sweeteners that have been proven 100% safe are cyclamate-saccharine – but they do not reduce insulin resistance.

The only OBESITY “drug” that has been proven in major trials and long term follow up to reduce all major chronic diseases and premature deaths – by 1/3- and HALVE new diabetes (and thus cholesterol-lipid- problems) when started well before overweight and hypertension are established, is the 80year old plant extract METFORMIN. This is THE ONLY widely available low cost prescription drug that safely produces an average of 8% weight loss sustained for as long as it is taken consistently at tolerated dose.
In Canadian experience, metformin halves all deaths in type 2 diabetics followed up for a decade; and in preventative trials, it approximately halves the incidence of new type 2 diabetes. Metformin is 100% safe provided it is started at low dose eg ~125mg/day- and increased gradually over 2 weeks to the maximum dose that is well tolerated without excessive diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal bloating or pain. This dose averages about 2.5gms a day in westerners, but (due to genetic variation) may be as low as 250mg/day. It should always be stopped briefly with any acute symptoms or acute illness, and resumed at a tolerated lower dose. It must thus always be taken in consultation with a health professional.
It is understandably rarely promoted by the Disease Industry because it is out of patent, too cheap- and it work too well. For this profitable Industry, Only Disease Pays! So only expensive new drugs are heavily promoted.

Due to the destructive combination of stressful indolence- hours spent every day watching TV instead of playing outside/ sport- and stress (cortisol) and fast food stuffed with sugar and fat, even preteen children (never mind adults at all ages) suffer increasingly from overweight and teenage type 2 diabetes, and girls from polycystic ovary- infertility-hairiness problems.

Synthetic patent weight-reducing and anti-diabetic drugs eg sbutramine, orlistat, the glitazones, have major adverse effects, and have none of the global long term advantages of metformin. The only reason for their prescription is the intensive drug industry marketing imperative.

Apart from correcting the causes outlined above, preventing and treating overweight and diabetes can be easily achieved with a permanent safe low cost natural multicombination of supplements like appetite- and insulin-resistance reducing agents eg vitamins, minerals and biologicals eg metformin/galega, 5HTP, and fish oil tailored to individual tolerance.

Health advisors who argue against this are rarely un-informed, they have usually chosen ( for profit) to promote drug industry new drugs rather than healthy truth. The Disease Industry will never invest in trials to prove the obvious, since the supplements are not patentable ie not profitable. So they pay cynical lobbyists to argue loudly that such evidence-based natural safe supplements must first be proven in vast longterm trials – although such trial proof is not required for new designer drugs by the Regulators eg the FDA, Medicines Control Councils who are funded by the drug industry! And politicians, governments don’t argue because the drug industry is a huge creator of jobs and revenue.

Modern drugs for chronic disease allowed by the FDA to be freely prescribed are withdrawn only when enough people die: The Americans have just had to stop the glitazone arm of the massive ACCORD trial in diabetics after 25% more deaths occurred on Avandia than in controls. But- lo and behold- there is still no announcement yet about the withdrawal of the unnecessary glitazones that have no overall longterm health benefit except for the investors!.
Thursday, 31 January 2008, 10:27 GMT
Obesity drug use rises eight-fold
Obesity levels are increasing
More than 1m prescriptions are made for obesity drugs a year – eight times the number dispensed seven years ago. The majority of these were for two treatments – sibutramine and orlistat.
Friday, 1 February 2008, 00:14 GMT
Gout surge blamed on sweet drinks



A new study from Texas University (Riechman SE ea, Statins and dietary and serum cholesterol are associated with increased lean mass following resistance training. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007;62:1164-71) shows that the cholesterol-busting statins significantly increase muscle mass. But the authors carefully analyze why this did not translate to increase in muscle strength. In fact many studies show that these drugs cause muscle damage- pain and fatigue, weakness – in up to 25% of users – especially with exercise – perhaps especially where there is pseudohypertrophy, which is probably what Riechman ea saw, muscle swelling from statin-induced damage..

This contrasts with physiological human androgen (testosterone) which cause genuine increase in both lean mass and strength (independent of exercise, and far more so with exercise), whether in bodybuilders or in the frail elderly (Bhasin ea 1996 et seq). Statins predictably cause the reverse- muscle damage pseudohypertrophy associated with significant fall in androgen levels, depression, impotence, lung, liver and kidney damage…

Contrary to the hype of the marketing industry (which funds the Regulators – FDA, Governments, Academics and the vast Disease Industry through “research” grants, taxes, jobs and congresses), there is no good reason to take or prescribe routine statins since evidence does not support their benefit EXCEPT in rare severe hypercholesterolemia. Cholesterol is not the cause of disease, it is a key biological building block – common mild to moderate lipidemia is mostly a manifestation of simple dysmetabolism, mostly insulin resistance from lack of exercise and a few score micronutrients that are safely, easily and cheaply supplemented .

The creation of the non-existent hypercholesterolemia epidemic to sell statins is well described by Dr James le Fanu in The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine: Abacus, London, 1999;
and was mimicked a decade later by Pfizer in fabricating a pandemic of impotence to create a market for the potentially blinding/ killer blockbuster arrhythmogenic Viagra sildenafil – which is rarely needed if the common relative androgen and other micronutrient deficiency of aging is simply screened for and appropriately corrected at trivial cost and no risk, with global health benefits.
It is common cause that sexuality (in both genders) starts declining as the serum testosterone falls below the average level of healthy youth – but Pfizer and the FDA have colluded tenaciously to conceal this fact in refusing for years to disclose the mean and range of testosterone levels of the men who were included in the infamous Viagra trials. Yet simple testosterone, magneium and fish oil are the major antiarrhythmic drugs- and most people die suddenly, from arrhythmia as the terminal event.

Antimicrobials aside, statins and all other modern drugs for chronic prevention are designed to target symptoms, not the root cause of diseases- so modern chronic drugs do not significantly reduce all-cause mortality and common major diseases of aging. The last thing the trillion-dollar Disease Industry wants is effective cheap prevention that can reduce by 90% the need for modern drugs, high-tech investigations and admissions to hospitals.

So the Disease Industry and it’s myriad beneficiaries – shareholders and staff, the FDA, Governments, academics, clinicians and politicians everywhere- desperately want to suppress and regulate access to and supply of the simple safe combination of natural proven drugs – the nutritional supplements like appropriate niacin, fish oil, and a few score other vitamins, minerals and biologicals (mostly also insulin sensitizers like appropriate sex hormone replacement/HRT, metformin/ galega etc) Together these unprofitable old drugs do vastly better in halving all common major chronic degenerative diseases of aging than fraudulent wannabe designer patent drugs like statins (and non-steroidal, anti-osteoporosis, anti-diabetics, anti-obesity, anti-depressants, and hormone substitutes) that are allowed by Regulators (like Congress and politicians everywhere, the tool of the lucrative drug industry – Only Disease Pays) to poison millions – the Innocent Survivors – Elaine Feuer’s famous 1997 expose..

AND Just in case you thought statins were “benign” drugs…. from the University of Cape Town Drug Info Centre-
The February 2008 issue of ‘Drug Safety Update’ from the MHRA notes that product information for statins is being updated to reflect a number of different side-effects which appear to be a class-effect of these medicines. The following prescribing advice is given:

• Patients should be made aware that treatment with any statin may sometimes be associated with depression, sleep disturbances, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction

• Statins may very rarely be associated with interstitial lung disease. Patients should seek help from their doctor if they develop presenting features of interstitial lung disease such as dyspnoea, non-productive cough, and deterioration in general health (e.g., fatigue, weight loss, and fever)

so, why take statins? unless you have severe lipidemia, stop them, take supplements that are far better. But discuss this with your doctor.



Conversations about autism & cell phones


This may interest you even if you weren’t present at recent conversations around these subjects


“Why Don’t the Amish Have Autistic Children?

Autism is a difficult disorder to miss, as it is characterized by noticeably abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted array of activities and interests. And while scientific consensus claims autism has been around for millennia at generally the same prevalence, that prevalence is now considered to be one in every 166 children born in the United States.

Therefore, with this devastating statistic in mind, one reporter set out to analyze the autism rates among Amish communities. Why? Because perhaps searching for autistic Amish children would reveal clues to the cause of autism … and it did.”