[Marxism] From the junk science files: "probiotics"
dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Thu Dec 6 06:50:24 MST 2018
The Wall Street Journal has an assessment of probiotics in the Jan 13, 2009
issue entitled “Bug Crazy: Assessing the Benefits of Probiotics.
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123180831081775767.html>” For some reason
when I wander around the hospital on rounds people show me articles such as
this and ask, so whatcha think about this? Probiotics are interesting. They
are live bacteria given to treat and prevent diseases. It is one of those
overlap areas for scientific medicine and so called alternative medicine.
There are good clinical trials to suggest areas where these agents are of
benefit, but other aspects of their use are blown out of proportion for the
real or imagined benefit probiotics may provide. Much of alternative
medicine where it overlaps with real medicine is the art of making
therapeutic mountains out of clinical molehills. The Wall Street Journal
article is the kind of reporting that drives. Me. Nuts. It drives me nuts
because the reporting acts as if the underlying assumptions of the
therapies are true. Start with the second sentence.
Many medical experts believe that consuming healthy bacteria, called
probiotics, improves the body’s overall balance of good versus bad
micro-organisms, boosting general health.
Many? What is many? A few loudmouths like me? A consensus? Experts in what?
What is a “healthy bacteria”? Are the bacteria healthy? Or does it make you
healthy? Then the last part of sentence, “improves the body’s overall
balance of good versus bad micro-organisms, boosting general health.” What
the does that mean? Already there is the assumption, unchallenged, that
there is an issue in people between good and bad bacteria that is affecting
health. And which people? Which bacteria? Under what circumstances? The
importance of understanding which patient populations may benefit from an
intervention is key. My mind was boggled when they mentioned that there
were 241 products released last year containing probiotics. Someone is
getting a good balance of good income versus bad income, boosting some bank
accounts’ health. Before we move on to the rest of the article, let’s talk
about the colon and the bacteria that live there.
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