NutritionFacts.org

All of Dr. Greger’s DVDs Now Downloadable

December 5, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D. in News with 7 Comments

Volume 16 DVD

The newest volume of my Latest in Clinical Nutrition DVD series is now out. Order on my website or through Amazon (all proceeds go to the 501c3 nonprofit charity that keeps NutritionFacts.org up and running). It can also now be ordered as a video download.

The last batch of videos from volume 15 just ran out, so running through February I’ll be rolling out the videos from this new DVD, volume 16. The DVDs give folks the opportunity to sneak-preview videos months ahead of time, watch them all straight through, and share them as gifts, but there is nothing on the DVDs that won’t eventually end up free online at NutritionFacts.org. If you’d like the works–more than 30 hours of video–I have a special on my complete DVD collection (also via download).

Here’s the list of chapters from the new volume 16 DVD — a preview of what’s to come over the next few months on NutritionFacts.org:

•    Is Caramel Color Carcinogenic?
•    Autopsy of Chicken Nuggets
•    Phytates for the Prevention of Osteoporosis
•    Eggs and Diabetes
•    Minimum Recommended Daily Allowance of Antioxidants
•    How to Reach the Antioxidant RDA
•    Antioxidant Rich Foods With Every Meal
•    Arteries of Vegans vs. Runners
•    Vitamin B12 Necessary for Arterial Health
•    Boosting Natural Killer Cell Activity
•    How Long to Detox From Fish Before Pregnancy?
•    Greens vs. Glaucoma
•    Dietary Prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
•    Dietary Treatment of Glaucoma
•    Dietary Treatments for Computer Eye Strain
•    Bacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
•    Superbugs in Conventional vs. Organic Chicken
•    Which Spices Fight Inflammation?
•    Spicing Up DNA Protection
•    Turmeric Curcumin and Rheumatoid Arthritis
•    Turmeric Curcumin and Osteoarthritis
•    Boosting the Bioavailability of Curcumin
•    Who Shouldn't Consume Curcumin or Turmeric
•    Prostate Cancer and Organic Milk vs. Almond Milk
•    Dr. Burkitt's F-Word Diet
•    Convincing Doctors to Embrace Lifestyle Medicine

Order my new DVD at DrGreger.org/dvds or as video downloads at DrGreger.org/downloads

All of My DVDs Now Available for Digital Download

The download of my last DVD was so popular that I decided to make them all available as downloadable videos. They’re cheaper, you don’t have to wait for them to be shipped, and you can watch them on the go.

You can watch the new one right now for $20, or get the entire 16 volume collection–32 hours worth!–for only $160 at DrGreger.org/downloads (new design thanks to our resident web genius Christi Richards).

All the proceeds from DVD, download, and book sales go to the 501c3 nonprofit charity that keeps NutritionFacts.org alive and kicking.

Please Consider NutritionFacts.org in Your Year-End Giving

If you were a regular supporter, you’d be watching the new DVD right now! Anyone signing up on the donation page to become a $15 monthly contributor will receive the next three DVDs for free (as physical DVDs, downloads, or both–your choice), and anyone signing up as a $25 monthly contributor will get a whole year’s worth of new DVDs. Monthly supporters already got their new volume 16 DVD weeks ago.

But the best part of donating to support this work is helping to spread this life-saving information. I’ve been speaking at medical conferences a lot lately and have been touched by how many physicians are using my work in their offices. There are doctors that are playing my DVDs on a loop in their waiting rooms. Others have my short videos downloaded on their iPad and play them for patients during visits–showing them a tablet instead of giving them tablets! :)

NutritionFacts.org is a free resource for medical students, health professionals, and everybody else. In the last year alone, NutritionFacts.org pages have been viewed more than 10 million times by people around the world, all for free. And with your support, the sky’s the limit.

Please join the hundreds of viewers like you who have already stepped up to help out. To make a contribution to NutritionFacts.org you can use a credit card, use a direct Paypal link, or send a check to “NutritionFacts.org” c/o Michael Greger, 700 Professional Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20879.

I hope everyone is having a healthy happy holiday season!

-Michael Greger, M.D.

Half of Doctors Give Placebos

December 3, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D. in News with 47 Comments

 Half of Doctors Give Placebos

About half of doctors admit to intentionally deceiving patients by prescribing placebos, but might the ends justify the means?

A controversial paper was published in the American Journal of Bioethics arguing that it’s not only OK for doctors to lie to patients, but that we have a “duty to deceive.” Unlike what you see on television, roughly half the time a patient walks into a doctor’s office, a firm diagnosis cannot be made. Half the time the doctor doesn’t know what’s going on. So why not give the patient a sugar pill, such as a homeopathic remedy—which is often just that, an actual sugar pill—or something like a Bach flower remedy? Just because they don’t work better than placebo, doesn’t mean they don’t work (see my video Is Homeopathy Just Placebo?).

Placebos are certainly safer than prescribing an actual drug. As I document in my Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death video, prescription drugs kill an estimated 106,000 Americans a year, effectively making doctors the 6th leading cause of death.

Even just offering a made-up diagnosis and false reassurance seems to work. In one landmark study, two hundred patients for whom no definite diagnosis could be made were randomized into two groups. The honesty group was told “I don’t know what’s wrong with you,” and the dishonesty group was given some fake but firm diagnosis and told confidently they’d get better in a few days—and guess what, they did! They were 90 percent more likely to be cured. A “Deception Flowchart” has even been devised to help us doctors decide, for example, if we should consider a “lying” versus a “non-lying deception” to meet objectives.

Those on the pro-truth side of the fence argue that first of all, placebos aren’t necessarily always safe. The sugar in the sugar pills is typically lactose (milk sugar), for which most of humanity is intolerant after infancy. There was a famous cancer drug trial in which the chemotherapy caused a surprising reduction in nausea and vomiting compared to placebo, but that may have been because it was compared to a placebo made out of lactose. See my video Infant Nearly Killed by Homeopathy for an extreme example of this.

Pro-truth advocates accuse doctors of disease-mongering. By defining vague symptoms as an entity requiring a treatment, healthy people are converted into patients. “They need explanation and reassurance that promote autonomy,” reads one editorial, “not to be given faith in a non-existent disease and crackpot medicine.” If all one cares about is beneficial medical consequences, “might not doctors also have a duty to prescribe things like chanting, crystals, and séances?”

Deception advocates reply: “Doctors have a duty to do the best they can to relieve a patient’s symptoms. If that means they prescribe a placebo, or even conduct a séance…then there is a duty to do these things. If a doctor can really convince a patient that a chant will cure his headache, then it very likely will, and she should ululate it at the top of her lungs.” In fact, “It is a type of deception that patients ought to be thankful for, just as we are thankful when we receive a mendacious compliment from a friend.” Of course you don’t look fat in that dress!

So how many doctors lie to their patients? About half of surveyed internal medicine doctors and rheumatologists in the United States report prescribing placebo treatments on a regular basis. Similar numbers have been found in Canada, Europe, Israel, and New Zealand. See my video The Lie That Heals: Should Doctors Give Placebos? to see the studies themselves.

Surveys show that prescribing placebo treatments seems to be common and is viewed as ethically permissible by physicians. I personally find it ironic that physicians often condemn alternative medicine quacks for giving useless remedies when they themselves do the same thing. As one physician commented, “The vow we take is the Hippocratic oath—not the hypocritic one.”

What does everyone think about this practice? Would you want to be lied to by your doctor if it would help make you better?

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

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