We ve written about alternative medicine in the past, mainly pointing to the fact that there s no such thing as alternative medicine, only real medicine and fake medicine. And alternative medicine largely falls into the latter category there have been no studies showing that these alternative medicines actually work. Dr. Paul Offit in his piece in the Washington Post entitled, Alternative medicines are popular, but do any of them really work?, does a great job of capturing this point.
He begins, If people want to burn fat, detoxify livers, shrink prostates, avoid colds, stimulate brains, boost energy, reduce stress, enhance immunity, prevent cancer, extend lives, enliven sex or eliminate pain, all they have to do is walk in to a vitamin store and look around. He captures the essence of alternative medicine perfectly you have an ailment? There s a vitamin/supplement for that.
However, Offit also points to the commentary by Steven Novella s commentary, a Yale neurologist, who says, Herbal remedies are not really alternative. They have been part of scientific medicine for decades, if not centuries. Herbs are drugs, and they can be studied as drugs. To which he says, If clinical trials show that a therapy works, it s good medicine. And if a therapy doesn t work, then it s not an alternative.
And clearly, these alternative therapies don t work. This fact is further evidenced by the recent statement issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force, in which they state, There still is not enough evidence to recommend for or against using vitamin and mineral supplementation for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer.
Even more evidence that we should stick to real medicine and not the alternative.