Alternative Treatments for Autism

Alternative Treatments for Autism
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The secretin story holds an important lesson that extends far beyond autism.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Many…, if not [the] majority of families [with a child suffering from autism] pursue dietary and nutritional approaches as components of treatment.” Estimates of the use of alternative therapies “range from 28 to 95%,” with “special diets or dietary supplements” the most frequently cited approach. Why so common?

“Perhaps [parents are] acting on suspicion or distrust of standard medical practices, [or] a desire not to have their children ‘drugged,’ considering alternative approaches “more safe, natural, and holistic.” But, it also could simply be because the drugs don’t work.

“Pharmacological interventions in [autism] are mainly aimed [at reducing]…associated symptoms”—calm them down, help them sleep—but have no effect on “the core symptoms” of ASD [autism spectrum disorders], like the social withdrawal, abnormal behaviors. “Only two drugs have been approved…for the treatment of autism…and both [just] target an associated [symptom]—irritability, rather than the core deficits [of the disorder]. Both drugs also have significant side effects, including weight gain and sedation. It’s no surprise, [then], that parents seek…alternative…therapies.” Okay, but do the alternatives work any better?

In the alternative medicine literature, you’ll see a lot of this kind of attitude: evidence schmevidence. As long as the treatment isn’t harmful, why not give it a try? Or, even going further, to suggest trying a treatment even if the evidence is stacked against it, because hey, maybe your kids are the exception. I’m sympathetic to that thinking. “Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous charlatans [out there] eager to take advantage of parents desperate to try anything that sounds like it might help.” These researchers report receiving “several emails a week from practitioners offering ‘the cure’ for autism—often for the ‘low, low price’ of $299,” reporting, to their horror, how “these emails use guilt and guile to [manipulate] families…: “If you really loved your child, wouldn’t you want to leave no stone unturned?”

When challenged, “[m]any [such] practitioners of these supposed cures will say things like: ‘I know it works,’ ‘I’ve seen it work,’ or ‘I don’t want to spend time and money testing it when it could be helping children right away!’ [The researchers] urge parents to run, not walk, away from any treatment that claims to be too good for science. All treatments should be subjected to the rigor of well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.” Our children deserve no less.

Parents try them anyway, often without even telling their physicians, noting a perceived unwillingness [among doctors] to [even] consider potential benefits” of alternatives, which I think arises because we’ve been burned so many times before. “[H]igh-profile examples of ineffective or [even] dangerous [complementary and alternative therapies have] led to a general mistrust of and distaste for anything believed to be [outside the box].” Take the secretin story.

“Improved social and language skills”—improved core autism symptoms—after secretin administration.” Secretin is a gut hormone involved in digestion. It’s used in a diagnostic test for pancreatic function. So, they were just doing this test on some children who just happened to have autism, and, to their surprise, within weeks of administering the test, there “was a dramatic improvement in the [children’s] behavior,…improved eye contact, alertness, and language.”       

Understandably, this sparked a media frenzy; parents scrambled to find the stuff, leading “to a black market for the drug.” But: “What makes an interesting television program may not, of course, be the same as what makes good science.” You’ve got to put it to the test.

A randomized, controlled trial on the “effect of secretin on children with autism” and…”no significant effects” were found, though the study used “porcine secretin,” pig hormones. Maybe human secretin would work better? And, the answer is…no, apparently not. “Lack of benefit” from human secretin, too. But, no—look at the data, secretin totally worked. One shot of secretin, and autism behaviors dropped within days! But, the same thing happened injecting nothing, injecting saline, injecting water. That’s why we do placebo-controlled studies.

“The widespread circulation of anecdotal reports of the [miraculous] benefits of secretin…may have raised expectations [so much that it] biased [parents into] perceiving improvement, explaining the effects of the placebo injection. In this way, “ineffective treatments” can become “widely accepted,” even if there’s no evidence to back them up, exemplified by the fact that “most parents [in the study still] remained interested in secretin even after being told [that it didn’t work].” They just couldn’t give up hope. So, the autism community continued to press—it’s just got to work.

In the end, 16 randomized, placebo-controlled trials were performed involving more than 900 children, and “no evidence” of benefit was found. “[None of the] studies revealed significantly greater improvements in measures of language, cognition, or autistic symptoms when compared [to pretending to give the kids drugs but actually giving them nothing at all].”

“In the absence of effective and affordable treatments for autism, parents of children with the disorder are extremely vulnerable to extravagant claims of potential cures. In the case of secretin,” it was like a perfect storm of factors that propagated the myth, prompting “a frenzy of secretin purchases by thousands of parents, often at hundreds or even thousands of dollars per dose.” The ‘secretin story’ shows [why it’s so important to subject] proposed treatments to scientific scrutiny, instead of [just] accepting anecdotal reports as proof.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Pexels via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Many…, if not [the] majority of families [with a child suffering from autism] pursue dietary and nutritional approaches as components of treatment.” Estimates of the use of alternative therapies “range from 28 to 95%,” with “special diets or dietary supplements” the most frequently cited approach. Why so common?

“Perhaps [parents are] acting on suspicion or distrust of standard medical practices, [or] a desire not to have their children ‘drugged,’ considering alternative approaches “more safe, natural, and holistic.” But, it also could simply be because the drugs don’t work.

“Pharmacological interventions in [autism] are mainly aimed [at reducing]…associated symptoms”—calm them down, help them sleep—but have no effect on “the core symptoms” of ASD [autism spectrum disorders], like the social withdrawal, abnormal behaviors. “Only two drugs have been approved…for the treatment of autism…and both [just] target an associated [symptom]—irritability, rather than the core deficits [of the disorder]. Both drugs also have significant side effects, including weight gain and sedation. It’s no surprise, [then], that parents seek…alternative…therapies.” Okay, but do the alternatives work any better?

In the alternative medicine literature, you’ll see a lot of this kind of attitude: evidence schmevidence. As long as the treatment isn’t harmful, why not give it a try? Or, even going further, to suggest trying a treatment even if the evidence is stacked against it, because hey, maybe your kids are the exception. I’m sympathetic to that thinking. “Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous charlatans [out there] eager to take advantage of parents desperate to try anything that sounds like it might help.” These researchers report receiving “several emails a week from practitioners offering ‘the cure’ for autism—often for the ‘low, low price’ of $299,” reporting, to their horror, how “these emails use guilt and guile to [manipulate] families…: “If you really loved your child, wouldn’t you want to leave no stone unturned?”

When challenged, “[m]any [such] practitioners of these supposed cures will say things like: ‘I know it works,’ ‘I’ve seen it work,’ or ‘I don’t want to spend time and money testing it when it could be helping children right away!’ [The researchers] urge parents to run, not walk, away from any treatment that claims to be too good for science. All treatments should be subjected to the rigor of well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.” Our children deserve no less.

Parents try them anyway, often without even telling their physicians, noting a perceived unwillingness [among doctors] to [even] consider potential benefits” of alternatives, which I think arises because we’ve been burned so many times before. “[H]igh-profile examples of ineffective or [even] dangerous [complementary and alternative therapies have] led to a general mistrust of and distaste for anything believed to be [outside the box].” Take the secretin story.

“Improved social and language skills”—improved core autism symptoms—after secretin administration.” Secretin is a gut hormone involved in digestion. It’s used in a diagnostic test for pancreatic function. So, they were just doing this test on some children who just happened to have autism, and, to their surprise, within weeks of administering the test, there “was a dramatic improvement in the [children’s] behavior,…improved eye contact, alertness, and language.”       

Understandably, this sparked a media frenzy; parents scrambled to find the stuff, leading “to a black market for the drug.” But: “What makes an interesting television program may not, of course, be the same as what makes good science.” You’ve got to put it to the test.

A randomized, controlled trial on the “effect of secretin on children with autism” and…”no significant effects” were found, though the study used “porcine secretin,” pig hormones. Maybe human secretin would work better? And, the answer is…no, apparently not. “Lack of benefit” from human secretin, too. But, no—look at the data, secretin totally worked. One shot of secretin, and autism behaviors dropped within days! But, the same thing happened injecting nothing, injecting saline, injecting water. That’s why we do placebo-controlled studies.

“The widespread circulation of anecdotal reports of the [miraculous] benefits of secretin…may have raised expectations [so much that it] biased [parents into] perceiving improvement, explaining the effects of the placebo injection. In this way, “ineffective treatments” can become “widely accepted,” even if there’s no evidence to back them up, exemplified by the fact that “most parents [in the study still] remained interested in secretin even after being told [that it didn’t work].” They just couldn’t give up hope. So, the autism community continued to press—it’s just got to work.

In the end, 16 randomized, placebo-controlled trials were performed involving more than 900 children, and “no evidence” of benefit was found. “[None of the] studies revealed significantly greater improvements in measures of language, cognition, or autistic symptoms when compared [to pretending to give the kids drugs but actually giving them nothing at all].”

“In the absence of effective and affordable treatments for autism, parents of children with the disorder are extremely vulnerable to extravagant claims of potential cures. In the case of secretin,” it was like a perfect storm of factors that propagated the myth, prompting “a frenzy of secretin purchases by thousands of parents, often at hundreds or even thousands of dollars per dose.” The ‘secretin story’ shows [why it’s so important to subject] proposed treatments to scientific scrutiny, instead of [just] accepting anecdotal reports as proof.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Pexels via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

127 responses to “Alternative Treatments for Autism

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  1. This reminds me of the alternative cancer ‘cure’ claims that are all over the web and enthusiastically sold by alternative health practitioners. Sadly, advocates of such claims often promote their unscientific beliefs here on Nutrition Facts.

    1. Good point Tom. The problem is, I think, not just assuming that the plural of anecdote is data. Rather, it is a matter of looking for something to have faith in rather that taking the responsibility for scientific inquiry. Hence, magic solutions always have a ready market.

    2. . . . and alternative/functional/integrative/naturopathic doctors are the main crowd propagating unsubstantiated anecdotal testimonial cancer and chronic illness treatments using the “there is no money in it so that’s why there has, and never will be, a proper study done to prove its efficacy” story line to get you to proceed with your valuable money, time and effort trying it. Even worse cancer has a whole crowd of doctors/surgeons pushing experimental surgery treatments done across the border in mexico.

      That said this site regularly covers qualified studies and meta-analysis proposing that nutritional lifestyle choices are cures or at least symptom mitigation solutions for a variety of modern chronic diseases that you’ll never get a doctor or medical facility or pharmaceutical industry telling you to try or endorse. Question is what is one willing to bank on for their future state of health when actually in a place where they now have a chronic illness. I find a lot of people where following exactly what doctors point you at relieves you of feeling responsible for your future outcome whether it is good or bad.

      1. Virtually all US and overseas medical guidelines I have seen explicitly state the importance of counselling patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle – ie no smoking, no or only very moderate drinking, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and following dietary guidelines.

      2. Hi, myusrn. A growing number of doctors and medical institutions are recognizing the value of lifestyle medicine. It is important to test interventions, however. There is not a lot of money to be made in lifestyle medicine, but there are huge amounts of money to be made selling expensive, untested, alternative treatments to desperate people. Eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, getting enough sleep, and managing stress will not harm people, and can be done inexpensively. The same cannot necessarily be said for some alternative treatment regimens.

        1. What are these expensive alternative choices that you are addressing? I could be interested them, probably not though, since most of the alternative remedies I have no faith in, like most conventional therapies. Some of us can think for ourselves, not needing someone to tell us how to live or die. I still love this site.

    3. If I had an artistic child I would be trying many different alternative treatments, as the expensive drugs do not work as Dr. Greger points out. I suppose some of the drug pushers want only their drugs to be used, therefore painting all alternative therapies with one broad stroke. If one doesn’t work than they all don’t work, ridiculous.

        1. Not true, Dr Hoffer, one of many have documented cases listed in his books from thousands of patients. You could purchase or read from library, though I suspect you will not, maybe only concerned about getting your biased view accross, and not interested in the truth.

          1. I read a number of Hoffer’s papers back in the day when I was interested in orthomolecular medicine claims. However, there is evidence and there is evidence. Some forms are stronger than others. Carefully selected and carefully described case studies and testimonials are among the weakest.

            ‘ Hoffer’s claims regarding schizophrenia and his theories of orthomolecular medicine have been criticized.[6] In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association reported methodological flaws in Hoffer’s work on niacin as a schizophrenia treatment and referred to follow-up studies that did not confirm any benefits of the treatment,[24] prompting at least two responses.[25][26] Multiple additional studies in the United States,[27] Canada,[28] and Australia[29] similarly failed to find benefits of megavitamin therapy to treat schizophrenia. ‘
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abram_Hoffer#Controversy

            As for the Truth, I prefer to leave that to those of a religious or philosophical persuasion. Truth is absolute but science can and does change as new evidence and knowledge is uncovered. All those websites and YouTube videos claiming to proclaim the truth about this or that health matter are pretty obviously run by cynical internet marketers or opinionated cranks. Either way, they are not credible sources of information.

            Yes, I am biased in favour of science and critical thinking.

            1. You are biased towards the pharmaceutical industry which you willing to use pseudo science, biased studies, and fake news articles to back up your pathetical support. Truth? You don’t seem to be interested in it.

            2. Wikipedia for serious information? If you have read about Dr. Hoffer and his work with schizophrenia, that you should know that he treated schizophrenia successfully for over 5000 patients. He had a success rate over 90%, and the drugs effective rate was under 10%. He used niacin(b3) and other vitamins and minerals. For decades the pharmaceutical industry has tried to discredit him and his work. And you are helping them.

              1. Drug industry conspiracies now?

                How typical of the arguments of alternative health advocates – gee, you aren’t just taking the word of Dr X for gospel truth? You are referring to experimental studies that show his treatments are worthless or harmful? Shame on you!

                His claims are true – stamp foot and repeat loudly several times Any studies that fail to show benefit or indicate harm must be the result of drug industry/FDA/medical industry conspiracies. And anybody who questions these claims is clearly a drug industry shill.

                Have I missed anything out?

                You guys would be in big trouble if the FDA ever declared tinfoil hats medical devices and started regulating them.

                1. No, you seemed to have got it. You must have some skin in the game to act like a shill for the drug industry, for you talk exactly like one. They like to imbed in forums such as this and pretend to be sympathetic to the interests of the people that visit the sites, then propagate their views.

                  1. Of course they do.

                    I had liver damage from statins. That’s what propelled me into investigating the benefits of a WFPB approach to reducing cholesterol, BP etc – after some dangerous detours via ‘orthomolecular medicine’ and ‘cholesterol sceptic’ lands. So I am no fan of drugs but simply refusing to believe the evidence from scientific studies is not rational, to my mind.

                    Lifestyle improvements are of course far better, far cheaper and only have positive side effects. But if people are in the water drowning, you don’t shout at them to tell them that they should have learnt to swim – you throw lifebelts.

                    1. Those scientific based drugs are killing people. Yes they work sometimes, but they are dangerous and only sometimes helpful.

                    2. Drugs are also extending and saving lives. It’s not black or white. To refuse any and all pharmacologic treatment because one thinks the industry in general has credibility issues (and indeed it does in a great many ways) is allowing emotion to rule over objectivity. As always, it is your choice, but I would encourage you not to disregard consideration of an entire category of treatment…especially if your life is at stake. Like with just about everything else, drugs are good and bad. Of course, you probably think I’m a drug industry shill too.

                    3. I said that because of drugs side effects and the tens of thousands who die from them annually, they should be used as a last resort. They are not a panacea, but used sparingly, can be helpful. Have some, it’s a free country. My point is there are better medicines, but please do what you choose.

    4. I ran a health food store for a decade and TG is so correct. What most of us do not know is that there are two schools of natural medicine. Most of us fall into the ‘based on science’ method that relies on research and studies. However a great deal of the industry is based entirely on ‘eclectic’ alternative medicine. There are even ‘schools’ that teach it that are far cheaper than going to an accredited university such as Bastyr where Naturopathic licensed doctors are schooled. Graduates of these unaccredited ‘schools of botanical medicine’ are taught medicine based entirely on wives tales of herbalism handed down for generations and old books. Many of those claims turned out to not only be false but in fact made people worse. (As an example they still teach comfrey is a good herb to ingest, although ingesting it may cause liver damage). None of what they teach is based on any peer reviewed, placebo controlled studies. Zero. Nada, Zilch.

      1. I disagree that TG is right. There will probably never be studies done on the thousands of herbs, vitamins, and food supplements. They are two costly, who would pay for them? Plants are loaded with phytonutrients, that have hardly been discovered yet. There are hundreds of herbs used world wide, and comfrey, and maybe a half dozen moore can be cited as having negative side effects, like about 100% of drugs have. Drugs kill thousands yearly, hardly any die from herbs and none from vitamins. Why does a therapy exist for ages, because it is effective. People tell others when something works, and when something doesn’t work they don’t recommend it to friends and relatives. All cultures to this day have their local herbs to heal their illnesses.
        Are alternative health schools perfect? No, and neither are accredited medical schools, most don’t require one nutrition course. So it’s caveat emptor when choosing your medicine, wherever your belief system, what you trust. I trust plant foods, and Orthomolecular medicine.

        1. I don’t know about orthomolecular medicine off hand, but I agree that alternative treatments can complement recommended conventional treatments.
          But what is recommended should at the very least be generally recognized as safe—like daily broccoli intake for example. If my hope for survival or quality of life were to diminish enough, certainly I might be persuaded to try things that are increasingly risky, but I doubt I’d ever try any of the unproven and potentially dangerous and very expensive crackpot treatments that too often get endorsed in these forums. What works under certain circumstances might well also worsen the condition in some cases. I have seen in the science of nutrition a recurring theme that what appears to potentially help conditions may also tend to worsen them. Sometimes, it’s a matter of extracting and concentrating what appears to be the good stuff from a whole food that causes the result to be more dangerous than therapeutic—the old “more must be better” fallacy. Certainly, there is risk in everything. One’s risks in trying anything should be very carefully assessed, in my opinion. Dr. Greger in this video points out that any treatments need to be science based, whether conventional or alternative.
          The science we have is indeed lacking, but it is the best we have. Throwing out the baby with the bath water is not the right approach. In general, going beyond that which has either peer reviewed science of efficacy or is generally recognized as safe is as likely to kill a patient as it is to cure one. Those are odds I am not willing to take. It is an individual’s right to do this if they choose, but for me, it becomes much murkier when adults are choosing treatments for children. We don’t get to choose our parents. Should autistic children have to suffer just because they happen to be born to parents that aren’t careful to or smart enough to make the best choices for us? All of the well demonstrated damage that the anti-vaccination proponents cause their children is a prime example. They are also causing the society’s children in general to be at increased risk and that to me also crosses a line of individual liberties.

          1. Sorry, I am not up to snuff on the “expense crackpot treatments”. If you have some studies countering these treatments you can share.
            I have seen studies that state up to 20% effective rate. It doesn’t seem to justify having it. One could check into the Amish or other cultures that do not immunize, for results, since they don’t immunize, and the autism rate.

            1. Gee, Dean, I suppose that I should have guessed that you are an anti-vaxxer as well.

              How many people have their lives cut short or their health ruined by people like you promoting beiiefs like this?

              Why do you just believe these claims instead of checking out the evidence for yourself?

              1. TG, One can say the same about you. Your attempt to discard all reports of alternative treatments shows your close minded approach to health. How many lives have been ruined by allopathic doctors, with their cut and burn techniques that have a terrible cure rate, with no help with nutrition to mitigate the problem? I’ve checked the evidence for all types of medicine , and I recommend that you do the same.

              2. Anti-vaxxer? Those are your words not mine. I don’t have total faith in vaccines as the statistics that I’ve seen are not very promising, but contrary to your claim I do not promote it. You seem to think anyone that comments on this site is promoting. You may be a promoter of drugs with your attack dog style with any mention of something that isn’t mainstream medicine. Maybe there is an autism link? not for me to say.
                Dr Salk, remember him? He said that any polio cases after 1960 were caused by the vaccine.
                I propose to study the cultures that do not vaccinate and see how many develop autism.

                1. If yours will be a prospective study, will it be double-blind, placebo controlled and confirmed by known scientific experts to be valid and reliable? If it is a retrospective study or meta-analysis (and this does sound like what you have in mind), will the latter criterion apply? If not, there probably won’t be a lot of interest generated—except perhaps in a few fringe and discredited circles. That is the beauty of peer reviewed science.

                  I have to wonder if Dr. Greger has considered disallowing forum commenters giving merit (implied or otherwise) to pseudoscientific treatments. The dangers of doing so are clear. He quite obviously does not endorse them.

                  As far as “Attack Dog TG” (LOL!), he will no doubt defend his position rationally and intelligently, like always. I am pretty sure you’ll find that he is a proponent of many evidence-based complementary treatments.
                  That includes whole plant-based foods. Since they are generally recognized as safe, the science for these kinds of “treatments” might be less rigorous and it still be justifiable to give them a try. Dr. Greger recently put this beautifully when he said, “…or you might just try eating an apple.” Nonetheless, Dr. Greger does tend to seek quality scientific evidence.

                  WFPB foods are a whole different world from multi-layered pseudoscientific protocols. Usually without any real science to back them, the latter should be considered as likely to be harmful as they are to be helpful—and quite possibly, much more harmful than helpful. Now if we one day find credible scientific evidence for efficacy of something that is currently psuedoscience, that will be quite a different story. That, however, is unlikely. The clear reason for that is that the peddlers tend not to want objective science anywhere near their protocols. They often will provide very curious smoke and mirrors reasons for that, but the real reason typically is that they realize how likely genuine science would unequivocally confirm them as frauds. You of course may choose to try unproven (or smoke and mirrors “proven”) protocols containing potentially dangerous components. Certainly I won’t. I also don’t recommend them to others as even possibilities to check out. I prefer to be able to sleep at night.

                  It honestly surprises me that so many here who lend credence (or even implied credence) to pseudoscientific therapies seem to sense a strong kinship with Dr. Greger. I’ve certainly never heard him give merit to any of these unproven therapies. It is abuntantly evident to me that he believes in genuine science, not fake “science.”

                  To help you out with TG’s words and not yours, here is a tongue-in-cheek and so very apropos (at least in my mind) definition of anti-vaxxer from the Urban Dictionary:

                  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Anti-Vaxxer

                  1. Scott, here in the holy land we are free to express our thoughts on anything, and thoughts on health and our choices is sacred. I support the freedom to choose whatever method a person wants to choose. I served 4 years on that freedom. If you prefer to squash freedom from expression and choice, then do what you choose.

                    I have personally seen remarkable results and read multiple cases if healing from whole plant foods, vitamins, and minerals. If that is to radical for you then maybe you are in the wrong website.

                    1. Okay, well it seemed that way because your assumptions about me aren’t based in anything I said. I said that everyone has the right to do what they want in the way of treatment. I didn’t say this part explicitly, but everyone also has freedom of speech rights (at least in my country).
                      However, there *could* be forum rules in a place like this about what is and is not appropriate in a comment. I expressed my wonder about Dr.
                      Greger’s reaction to pseudoscience being discussed as if it were credible.
                      I further expressed my confusion about how those who tend to give merit to therapies not based in scientific evidence very often act like they are in total alignment with Dr. Greger when best I can tell, nothing could be further from the truth. Further, I mentioned WFPB and strongly implied that I am on board with that both as a lifestyle and as an approach to complementary therapies. I mentioned the very positive safety profile of whole foods and how there is low risk in trying them as “treatments.” I didn’t in any way suggest that this is radical. To the contrary, it is a way of life for me. The vitamins and minerals part I am less on board with because these are not whole foods. But I’ll admit to trying a few after carefully assessing the research. So yeah, I am a bit baffled by your reply.

                  2. “I have to wonder if Dr. Greger has considered disallowing forum commenters giving merit (implied or otherwise) to pseudoscientific treatments. The dangers of doing so are clear. He quite obviously does not endorse them.”

                    It sounds like you are advocating censorship. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen, the free expression of ideas is a large part of of the beauty of this site.

                    1. Not really. It is Dr. Greger’s website and he of course can call the shots.
                      I am all for the free expression of ideas too. But to promote pseudoscience is dangerous. For anyone who believes in science, that’s pretty much the same thing as spreading lies. Dr. Greger is based in real science. I personally can’t figure out why those who endorse psuedoscientific treatments would want to post here in the first place.

        2. Dean It is not a matter of choosing a belief system or choosing to following the opinions of one set of practitioners over another.

          The question is what does the science and the evidence show?

          As for believing that ‘Why does a therapy exist for ages, because it is effective.’ This is naïve. For thousands of years people believed that magic was effective in fighting disease. And eating the hearts of your enemies or of lions or whatever, made you stronger and more courageous. Cannibalistic medicine has a long history. That doesn’t mean that it was or is effective.
          https://www.historytoday.com/richard-sugg/eating-your-enemy
          https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzvdli

          1. So you think that the herbal medicines that indigenous cultures of many countries, and probably of your country as well, didn’t have results with them? Are you that arrogant? Only the great white man can have effective medicines?

          2. I’m not surprised you mention cannabolisn as a method to attack alternative measures. Medical doctors performed surgery a few years ago without gloves or washing their hands. There are many extreme methods that is irrelevant of this topic.
            Plants and vitamins and minerals have a paper trail of over 70 years of effectively treating diseases that cannot be disputed. Thousands of cases documented in books. I would wager that you will do what most do, and ignore it. Ignore and attack.

            1. Dean

              You argued that all traditional treatments must be effective otherwise they wouldn’t have stood the test of time. I responded that this is naïve and used cannibalism as an example of an ineffective traditional medicine – one with a history of many thousands of years and which is still practised today

              Even a brief Google would show that some traditional herbal medicines are dangerous and/or ineffective. Kava, comfrey and chaparral spring to mind. as for vitamins and minerals, you mentioned Hoffer previously. He advocated niacin use. Chronic use of niacin can cause hepatoxicity.

              You might find this video enlightening since Dr Greger’s words here clearly went in one ear and out the other, and you clearly think that your own opinions are superior to the best scientific and medical assessments

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgikd1yIvgU

                    1. You didn’t mean it as a compliment, but I really do take it as one since it was you that said it. You have consistently shown to be skeptical about all treatments but the “scientific” based drugs.

                  1. Mori

                    You are either misrepresenting my position or you misunderstand what I am saying.

                    My point is that that we should adopt healthy lifestyle choices as our first and major strategy for disease prevention and disease management. This is basically the mainstream view set out in medical guidelines, dietary guidelines and physical activity guidelines around the world. However, once disease (or injury) has struck, drugs may have a role to play but we need to do a cost benefit assessment of whwhether the drugs are likely to do more harm than goood or vice versa. Again, this is all mainstram stuff. It is what risk calculators and treatment guidelines for particular conditions are all about.

                    It is also mainstream that diet and exercise play important roles in decreasing mortality and improving quality of life. That is why we are told to eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains and engage in regular physical activity.

                    That said, even WPFB doctors like McDougall, Barnard etc use prescription drugs when necessary. It is not a choice between a healthy diet/lifestyle and prescription medicines. The evidence clearly shows that when used appropriately many drugs are effective and improve quality of life especially when people are unwilling to make dietary/lifestyle changes.

                    There are a number of videos here that show that diet can work more effectively than drugs for a range of conditions. But not for all conditions and all people.

                    I also argue that we should not be fooled by con artists and crackpots proposing extraordinary cures for this or that. Especially when most studies show such treatments are worthless or harmless. In cancer for example, we have evidence that people who forego conventional cancer treatment for alternative treatments have increased mortality risk. However, some people will survive and perhaps improve on such treatments – just not as many as on the conventional care regimen. Consequently it’s easy to point to carefully selected case studies of survivors and their testimonies to claim that such treatments work.

          3. “For thousands of years people believed that magic was effective in fighting disease.” And for many years the medical establishment believed injecting infants with mercury was not a problem. Moneyed interests can always skew the research findings to fit their agenda making it hard to know which “science” to believe.Then there is the lag time for findings to actually reach the drs office.

        3. Dean M, on the contrary much of it has been tested in studies. Just check the NIH. You can find a lot of info. But you have to be aware of commercial interests there also. Check if the study is sponsored by a company or country that has something to gain.
          But food is still the best medicine. Change diet first.

          1. There are thousands of various herbal, and vitamin and mineral protocols for hundreds of diseases, only the surface of the many possibilities been tested. The successful ones are documented in books that date cases from the 1930s. They have and still are being ignored.

    1. @Julot, are there any credible scientific studies backing this alternative treatment story by andrew cultler? The landing page of the web site you referred to jumps right in with pointing one to testimonials . . . which is not evidence in my experience. For example there is a guy running around interviewing people with testimonials about various alternative medicine approaches that cured their cancer. I reached out to some of them and it was interesting to find that they really didn’t have any scientific rigor behind how they concluded what had cured their cancer. In other words they had made a bunch of changes in their life, and in most cases had done at minimum tumor resection and/or targeted hormone therapy standard of care treatments, but yet were concluding that their alternative medicine story they also threw in the mix was the reason they were still alive. That in spite of this site referencing evidence that says 20% of all cancers disappear w/o patients doing anything and so statistically they could have been in that pool inspite of, not because of, whatever else they did.

        1. Cutler presumably made money selling this protocol via his books. Why couldn’t he fund a proper trial? Why can’t his current supporters crowd-fund one? There’s an obvious answer.

          This is a made-up disease with a made-up ‘cure’. There is no good evidence that the small amount of mercury in dental amalgam causes health problems and there is no good evidence that the Cutler protocol is safe. The amount of mercury emitted by in-place dental amalgams would be dwarfed by the average daily intake from breathing, eating and drinking.

          On the assumption of an ambient air level of 10 ng/m3, the average daily intake of inorganic mercury by inhalation would amount to about 0.2 µg. If a level in drinking water of 0.5 µg/litre is assumed, the average daily intake of inorganic mercury from this source would amount to about 1 µg. The average daily intake of mercury from food is in the range 2–20 µg. Mercury in drinking-water is considered to be a minor source of exposure to mercury except in circumstances of significant pollution.’
          http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/water-quality/guidelines/chemicals/mercuryfinal.pdf

          If you are worried about mercury poisoning, you would be better off giving up eating seafood, not using a coal fire and moving to an area where the air etc is not affected by industrial pollutants.

          1. TG, your links to MMS and a person dieing as a result is not very impressive. There could be extenuating circumstances, we don’t know from that article the whole story. What say you to the tens of thousands who die every year from pharmaceutical drugs…tens of thousands and you cite a ancecdotal case or two on something miscalled bleach. It’s beyond the pale.

            1. Yes, but there is no evidence whatsoever that it works.

              At least with approved drugs, we can assess the likely benefits against the likely risks.

              There is no credible evidence that MMS has any benefits at all whereas the risks appear to be real and known.

              1. Where is the evidence that it doesn’t work? Thousands have testified that it works. Even the Red Cross stated that it cured hundreds of Africans of malaria. I’m not promoting it, but defending people to choose what ever they decide to do. The pharmaceutical industry is adamant about trying to have it banned, that in itself is telling. One or two deaths from miss-use is nothing compared to the tens of thousands who die yearly from legal drugs, which often aren’t effective.

                1. Mori

                  There is no credible evidence that it works. It is up to its advocates to demonstrate that it works. It is not up to the rest of us to prove that this and every sensational claim by somebody selling books or whatever does not work

                  If you would review the video again, you would note the problems with simply taking testimonials and case studies at face value.

                  Scientific and critical thinking skills are valuable tools in helping us to understand what actually works and what doesn’t. That’s what Dr G attempts to do when examining health and nutrition issues on which there is a substantial body of research published in the professional literature.

                  Virtually everything sold on the web is backed by enthusiastic testimonials and case studies. That’s just Internet Marketing 101. It is wiser to ask for a lot more than just testimonials and case studies before risking your health and wealth on some sensational claim you found in a book or on the web. A heck of a lot more if it is your kid’s health is at stake.

                  1. You were the person who had a problem with Dr Greger’s video of the rate of the efficiency of the contemporary traditional drug treatments with cancer a few days ago. I didn’t dispute them. It is
                    well known that the effective rate is
                    a dismal low percentage rate, but you think they are higher than Dr. Greger cited.

                    I don’t know what internet cites you are talking about with the advertisements and testimonials, their are seemingly a million of them, and I don’t visit them. The molecular doctors site that I gave visited offer none of that sort of thing, in fact, like this site no commercials at all.

                    You must believe that the ailing body is short of drugs, when it is out of balance and needs some nutrition in the form of plants, and minerals and vitamins. Not your dangerous drugs T.G.

                    1. It’s horses for courses Dean. And yes, drugs are often useful. Everybody here is a drug user including you

                      According to the Oxford Dictionary a drug is ‘A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body’.

                      My drugs of choice are plant foods. However, they don’t cure people of TB, syphilis or whatever – some prescription medicines do.

                    2. One can only say with any credibility that as far as I know, food does not cure syphilis, for you don’t know if plant food can cure it. It’s your wild generalizations that are arguable.

                    3. Dean

                      Most people misunderstand what that 1-2% paper was about – and what Dr Greger’s vido actually states. You included, obviously.

                      It didn’t discuss all cancers – in fact, it specifically excluded a number of cancers for which chemotherapy is particularly effective. It also ignored the role of adjuvant chemotherapy – arguably the major use of chemotherapy in many cancer treatments. For example,in breast cancer, the latest chemotherapy regimes appear to reduce mortality by about one third compared to no chemotherapy.

                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273723/

                    4. Are you touting the 30% as being a good success rate, it seems poor to me especially considering the side effects which can be death, and the expense. Good try though.

                2. Mori

                  The Red Cross has never stated that this stuff cured hundreds of people from malaria. That’s just a marketing lie. Con artists are happy to say all sorts of things to increase sales. Why do you believe such nonsense and not fact check alternative health claims such as these?

                  ‘The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) dissociates itself in the strongest terms from the content of the recent Master Mineral Solution newsletter (May 2013) entitled “Malaria finally defeated” and supporting YouTube video. IFRC does not support or endorse in any manner the claims made in relation to this project, and has at no time been involved in ‘clinical trials’ related to malaria treatment. ‘
                  http://www.ifrc.org/en/news-and-media/opinions-and-positions/opinion-pieces/2013/ifrc-strongly-dissociates-from-the-claim-of-a-miracle-solution-to-defeat-malaria/

                  1. The Red Cross has done what many organizations that depend on money from the public does, it no longer states that they know that the MMS is effective. That is normal, for the pressure applied by certain companies to continue that organizations must retract or no longer to fund the organizations. It’s a political pressure that is as common as rain. That is the nature of politics and money. You should understand that, or maybe you don’t since you aren’t an American and therefore not hip to the way politics play here in most conversational circumstances. This picture you keep portraying of a sinister huckster preying on innocent people with a promise of curing what ails them is not what I see. Maybe in Australia these hucksters are obvious. Where are they here? All fields have unscrupulous salespeople, the alternative people are no different than any others. A doctor was arrested last week for giving expensive Chemotherapy treatments to clients that didn’t have cancer. Does that translate that all oncologists are lying and cheating doctors? You just can’t recklessly paint all alternative practitioners as hucksters. Many are regular doctors, regular people, normal people wanting to help the ailing. This isn’t a black and white world like you seem to portray. It is a grey world, murky and not easy to tell the good from the bad. The media is compliant in this, greying things even more.

      1. However in this study mercury level in blood was measured.

        “For recent acute exposure to mercury, blood and urine levels of mercury can be useful for diagnostic and dosage estimation purposes ( Clarkson, 2002; Risher and Dewoskin, 1999; Risher and Amler, 2005 ). However, for historical, chronic or low dose exposures (Risher and Dewoskin, 1999 ), blood and urine levels do not accurately reflect exposure levels.”

        http://sci-hub.tw/https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300483X07001096?via%3Dihub

        1. We can talk how it is unfactual that vaccines cause autism. But lets also talk about how deep the hatred for autistic people goes that some people would rather have a sick or dead child than an autistic one…..as they also ignore PEER REVIEWED is important in ANY study…….especially rogue studies that say something none of the others say. Far too often it is a crooken researcher looking for fame or trying to sell a product. Studies can very easily be faked and then unable to be repeated by honest researchers trying to confirm or deny reality. That is why there are peer reviews of all studies.

    2. “The thinking person’s guide to autism provides this list of questions for identifying pseudoscientific cures for autism, which I answered using Cutler’s website and his comments in online discussions (archived here).
      Does this practitioner or vendor promise miracles that no one else seems to achieve? Yep. There is no known cure for autism.
      Is the person promising the outcome also asking me for money? Sort of. When asked on a Yahoo group for his consulting fee, he says there is none (May, 2000). However, his CV lists him as a “Detox Consultant.” Every site suggests that you buy his book, and the complex guidelines make it difficult to follow without it.
      Do I find any scientific research supporting their claims, or are there only individual (often emotional) testimonials of effects? His CV shows a complete lack of peer reviewed articles on this topic. Perhaps he is simply modest. Surely his published research will pop up on Google Scholar. Again, nothing.
      But that’s ok, explains Cutler when asked to cite a source. “Considering how inaccurate and limited journal articles are. . .it is often necessary to make personal observations to really figure anything out. This is SCIENCE. The system where nothing counts unless it is written in the properly blessed book or journal is RELIGION. Don’t let any “doctor” sacrifice your kid to their cult of the “medical religion” just because you have real information from a source their “high priests” haven’t blessed.” (April, 2000)
      In the looking glass world of pseudoscience “cures,” science-based-medicine equals “religion,” and “high priests” are scientists performing controlled studies. I’m going to mosey on back to the rational side of the glass and wait for information to be “written in the properly blessed book or journal” before I force my child to submit to an invasive treatment regimen.
      Does the practitioner or vendor promise a blanket “cure” for unrelated disorders, such as grouping together allergies and autism; or autism and ADHD; or autism, diabetes, cancer, and allergies? Heck Yes. His book excerpt provides a list of 44 diseases caused by mercury poisoning that cover almost all body systems, Taking the Cutler Protocol is like shopping a buy one get 44 free sale. And, who can resist a sale?
      Does the practitioner or vendor have strong credentials as an expert in the therapies they’re promising, or in the field of autism? No. Back in that CV we learn Cutler’s degrees consist of a B.S. in Physics and a PhD in Chemistry–both are impressive, but none make him qualified to practice medicine or recommend medical treatment.
      So, by this measure, the Cutler Protocol only cures the fat wallet you used to have before buying the supplements required to complete it and the sleep you got before waking your kid at all hours of the night.”

      Thanks to Myusrn for the link to the source of the above comment.

      1. Did you guys read the old Andrew Cutler Book “Amalgam Illnesss” and did you watch the recent documentary “evidence of harm” about mercury poisoning mainly from amalgam? There are a lot of science in it!

          1. Where is your proof that any diseases can be cured by the the thousands of drugs available ? You not going to be able show much because drugs do not cure, only treat the symptoms.

            1. That’s fine Dean but how does that prove that wild, unsupported alternative health claims you find on the internet or in trashy books are correct?

              In any case, the statement you made is demonstrably false. Antibiotics alone have cured many diseases.

              I am sorry, but I this seems to be yet another case of alternative health shibboleths being based on ignoring known facts.

              1. Yes antibiotics have killed some bacterial bad guys. Cured? That is debatable. It kills the bad and then the body heals itself. Drugs have no nutritional properties, we get that from plants and sometimes other nutritive sources, not from drugs that kill. Drugs should be a last resort for most diseases. I don’t promote these multiple, and there may be thousands, alternative therapies, but people should be free to do what they choose. If drugs had a 90% “cure” rate then we wouldn’t look for alternative methods. But they have a terrible track record, the have terrible side effects, and they can be lethal, all this after going through a “scientific “ vetting. So you stand on a week platform by defending drugs as a cure all. Plants, vitamins and minerals are powerful, economic, and effective. Being a drug pusher, which is what the big pharma demonstrates in advertising on all the media. You choose to stand with them. What does that say about you?

                    1. Unlike you apparently, Tom shows every indication that he believes in science. Just like Dr. Greger does. Science is all about objectivity.

                    2. I believe in good science as well. All science isn’t well done. I have no problem with Dr. Greger and his showing us the science he has discovered. This thread began with TG dissing ALL forms of alternative therapies. That isn’t and maybe cannot be proven, so it was an irresponsible and reckless statement, that I personally do not even slightly believe is true. Usually when someone assaults alternative therapies, of which WFPB diet is considered to be an alternative method by some, they benefit from the proliferation of pharmaceutical drugs, a rep, or invested in them. I suspect, but don’t know that TG is invested on some level.

                    3. Done right, WFPB probably has few if any side effects, so it’s easy to justify giving it a try. I believe Tom has stated he is on board with it. I don’t think he said ALL alternative therapies are bad. I think he said that we need credible evidence of their safety and efficacy to justify considering them. Those therapies that are mostly benign (e.g many lifestyle type interventions) get an easier green light simply because there is less to lose. But we can’t safely assume that things like niacin therapy (just as one example) are benign.

                    4. Ayurvedic medicine has been around for centuries, the Chinese Patent Remedies also been around for generations and used by billions. Herbs have been used by all cultures without science. People know when they get better.
                      Niacin, a vitamin that Dr Hoffer treated over 5000 patients with a high success rate, and documented the cases. Niacin has killed no one, not a single person. You are beating a dead horse. Plants , vitamins and minerals are the primary medicines that I use. You and TG go on with your drugs, no one is going to try to persuade you to do otherwise. Some of us have different thoughts. Peace.

                    5. It is confirmed then that you aren’t science based, Mori. You suggested before that I don’t belong in these forums, but as a proponent of unproven treatments, it is in fact you that is the outlier. Though I’m not fond of the idiom, you are absolutely right about me beating a dead horse. What I have stated is generally so accepted as true that it goes without saying.

                      You are wrong in your assertion about niacin. You don’t know that it has not killed anyone. There in fact is compelling evidence that niacin therapy can do just that. It is well documented that it can substantially increase risk of liver damage. After decades of being somewhat commonly recommended by the medical profession (for cholesterol control), it is now rare in light of newer findings. I know you’ll just say that this is a conspiracy at the hands of the pharmaceutical and medical industries. So, “dead horse” indeed.

                      Peace to you too…knowledge and health as well.

                    6. Niacin hasn’t killed anyone, period. Maybe I am an outlier. It isn’t confirmed that I am not science based. Let’s keep it real Scott.

                    7. Niacin or vitamin C has never killed anyone. I may be an outlier if that suits you, you belong in this forum, I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. You are free to say whatever you choose, and you don’t need me to give you permission. Actually, I thought that you were implying that I shouldn’t be on this forum because of my radical alternative ideas. Isn’t that kind of funny. Just allow others to do the same and not Natzefi them.

  2. I have seen in my work as a critical care nurse the hope in the family that occurs when they attend to their loved ones.

    It is such a shame that vulnerable family members caring for loved ones with alterations in wellness are manipulated and harmed by opportunistic others.

    Thank goodness for the accurate and helpful reporting done by the Nutritionfacts.org team. Their work helps me to share credible information to those in need.

    A healthy and proud monthly supporter of Nutritionfacts.org.

    1. Greger, apologies. And that’s broccoli possibly discouraging childhood development of autism. Also a correlation between air pollution and pesticides and childhood development of autism.

      1. @Johan Smith, given correlation does not equal causation it could be that in this case places typically having air pollution and pesticides, e.g. industrial and agriculture based neighborhoods, are regions where the typical resident has a different nutritional lifestyle that places w/o these factors or they share a common hobby that is not typical in other places.

  3. Okay, I hate the people taking advantage of people, but I do think that I am the type of person who also knows trying anything at all is better than having a sense of giving up. I would do sugar water, rather than not trying anything and at least get a placebo effect.

    I think about what William Li said about immunotherapy for Cancer.

    Dr. Li said it ONLY works if the people have the bacteria related to Cranberry or Pomegranate.

    That would mean that it probably barely works for anybody, but every once in a while, someone who eats cranberries might do it and get healed. Or someone might sleep with someone who eats pomegranate seeds and suddenly it might work and we don’t understand those factors yet, because that is a new field.

    The concept that, if you did study after study after study, you would get “it doesn’t work” results, unless you found people who eat Cranberry or Pomegranate.

    Right now, I am watching people negotiate Pancreatic Cancer and stroke and a child with autism and one with a schizophrenic child and what I have found is that “trying things” whether the things succeed at all, brings seasons of hope and peace and positive thinking and lowering of stress and change of focus away from the disease itself and it has improved the quality of life.

    Yes, you might find the 10,000 ways to not make a light bulb, but then, you can cross things off the list and walk forward from there.

    My father’s wife is on Parkinson’s drugs, for her stroke and they seem to be helping, but it wouldn’t have happened at all, if I wasn’t wading through the muck of the internet and I already have found the next thing to try, but she got some tiny improvements, but stroke is like that, tiny healing of the brain.

    How do we know autism isn’t something like stroke, where they can now improve the brain one tiny way at a time, even twenty years later, which science always had called impossible, based on the studies, but science was wrong.

    1. I’m with you on this, thanks for your comment. I think of it as sort of a diverse ecosystem attacking the problem. Everyone has a role to play.

  4. I am not trying to put down what Dr. Greger just said.

    I know there are people who are even putting out dangerous “cures” and I am not for that.

    I am more someone who knows that whenever people succeed at something, which was considered impossible, they often have to mentally step outside of every box and “revisit” failed ways of doing things.

    The brainstorming process, which has to happen to move forward is when the personalities who are cynical almost shouldn’t be a part of it, because they stop people from being creative about things.

    But they NEED to be the checks and balances, which come at this point and I do respect the research, which Dr. Greger has brought forward once again.

    I just know that, while I am trying to keep my dog alive, I have a list, including things, which I probably won’t use, and why I won’t use them, but I don’t cross things, which have enough anecdotal evidence off the list. I do keep researching those things.

  5. I would be exactly like the parents in Lorenzo’s Oil.

    Worse, I would be both parents rolled up into one person.

  6. How many people here are autistic adults? This piece talks about ‘the autism community’ – but that is actually autistic people, not anyone else. Not non-autistic doctors, not non-autistic family members, actually autistic people.

    If you pay attention (for example, #ActuallyAutistic people using that hashtag on Twittter and other social media), you will learn a lot. Autism is a wide spectrum, and many autistic adults reject the term ‘disorder’. Autistic people have many talents, and many autistic adults are not seeking a ‘cure’ for being who they are.

    The number one ‘disabling’ aspect of being an autistic person is the deep, wide failures of ‘neurotypical’, non-autistic people and society to accept and embrace autistic people for who they actually are. That should be the centre of any story about autism

    Of course, some autistic people want to be neurotypical, and seeking potential evidence-based treatments is their right. But this site is talking far too much about what non-autistic doctors, and non-autistic family members want. Give autistic adults and young people the platform to tell their own stories!

    1. Yes, they changed how they diagnose it to get more people in, so they could raise more research money.

      The truth is, the young people who I know who have been diagnosed with it, one of them was “classic” and it was so obvious and another who comes to mind, got self-conscious when he was bullied and every alternating doctor and psychologist alternates whether he has it or not, but they all have a drug to put him on.

  7. Today, I was pondering the Vitamin C thing.

    I found studies where it helped in the presence of iron.

    And I found studies where it radically changed outcomes in a specific ratio to K3.

    I ponder if Apotane is a hoax or would you call that an actual vitamin C benefit?

    It makes me genuinely frustrated if either of these are real, that the whole concept of IV vitamin C would be put down as useless, if some of really changed outcomes.

    It would be as if Turmeric was considered worthless, because it would have to be contemplated without pepper or fat.

    1. I guess that is why I don’t trust any side of the arguments, because I could maybe listen to the arguments and IV Vitamin is worthless, but then, go to the research and they have this novel breathtaking new concept that creates a novel type of cell death and it is going to be Vitamin C and Vitamin K3 in a specific ratio and see, I crossed vitamin c off my list and then found another study with it working with tumors with iron and my dog has tumors with iron and that is why I don’t listen all the way.

      I do take the “gold standard fails” into account, but the fact that there was a change on their graph, which people wouldn’t get unless they used it. People are better off taking it. I was watching someone who was helped by homeopathy and they were talking about how 80% of the people registered improvement after one line of treatment and the thing is, that might be sugar pills, but maybe sugar pills do something. Maybe trigger endorphins or lower cortisol or make people emotionally feel better or give them a few extra calories and energy or whatever.

      I would like a “did nothing” group added to each of these studies and have that group stay home and do nothing, but have their doctors do an exam a year later and see if they got a placebo bump or were worse off doing nothing.

    2. @Deb see the three https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=intravenous+vitamin+c results for evidence based reviews of the IV vitamin C myth. I once talked to a bc survivor that was spreading word of her testimonial that IV vitamin C cured them. Upon further q&a it surfaced that they had also used standard of care hormone targeted treatment and also significant changed their nutritional habits to whole food plant based. I found it very misleading that they were claiming IV vitamin C was the cure when other factors were at play and so logically that was an opinion based on what they wanted to believe.

      1. I don’t disagree with you, but researchers threw out IV Vitamin C as useless, then they brought in this breakthrough exciting medicine, which they say causes a type of cell death they had never seen before and what was this miracle medicine?

        IV vitamin C mixed with the proper ratio of K3

        I am crying foul at that.

        Plus, they had one with Vitamin C and iron and claimed good results with that. Add some wormwood and have the right type of Cancer and suddenly the Vitamkn C was a big part of healing.

        Who knows how many things you could combine the Vitamin C with and get those amazing results.

        I am not disagreeing that without the right combination, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

        But we don’t know yet how many combinations will actually work and they are going to keep taking IV Vitamin C and other natural substances and combining them and giving drug names to it and will their Vitamin C cost more or less than what the Cancer patients already were doing.

        What I know is that it is hard to get K3.

        You have to leave the country, but Cancer patients try K2 and K1 and multi spectrum and you will say they failed and the researchers found a particular percentage, which worked and people who are anti-chemotherapy might try it and does it not build up the immune system at all? I say it, because Cancer patients are doing yeast and mushrooms and WFPB and Turmeric and every type of thing and is there really no value to the C for their process and yet extreme protective value for the researchers?

        Seems like maybe the medical establishments IV C combination maybe is fake, too then?

        1. @Deb its my perspective, based on hindsight of having explored many alternative/complementary/integrative/functional/naturopathic/etc medical treatment regimes for a loved one, is that whenever the concoction or protocol is so complicated that you’d have to quit your job and hire support staff to follow it then its most likely unfounded wishful thinking at best or known to be a scam that wastes your money/time/energy at worst. My reasoning is that they purposely make it somewhat impossible to follow 100% correctly so when it doesn’t work they, and you, can always reason out that its because you didn’t do it exactly the way it needs to be done. Have a look at the Gerson protocol where following the regime is ridiculous and likewise their modification of the so called guaranteed to work protocol over the years as parts of it were confirmed to be sending those trying to follow it to the hospital. Similarly with IV vitamin C I watched the testimonial “trust me” based sell job a naturopathic gave on its use and how expensive and time consuming it was along with all the supplements they try and get you to buy to go along with it . . . which i’d ask why do I need those if it works. Not surprisingly when it made zero difference they suggested the protocol wasn’t followed as rigorously as it needed to be which would have cost even more money and time.

        2. Deb

          There is some scientific evidence on this. IV vitamin C does appear to help cancer patients in some circumstances but it appears to harm them in others.

          ‘Trials of high-dose IV vitamin C with other drugs are ongoing.[12,14] A number of studies have included IV ascorbic acid treatment (1,000 mg) with arsenic trioxide regimens, with mixed results. The combination therapies were well tolerated and suggested beneficial effects in multiple myeloma patients, although the specific contribution of vitamin C could not be determined.[15-18] However, similar combination regimens resulted in severe side effects, disease progression, and no anticancer effect in patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer [19] and metastatic melanoma.[20] Because these were not placebo-controlled trials, the extent that ascorbate contributed to the toxicity demonstrated in these studies is unclear.’
          https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/vitamin-c-pdq#section/_16

          That is why it is important to not just rely on alternative health practitioners who make money selling IV vitamin C. Or conventional medical practitioners who do the same thing for that matter.

  8. I am the ghost of research future and none of us yet know what combinations with IV Vitamin C might blow everyone away someday.

    The fact that there was a super duper special type of Cancer cell death and IV vitamin C was part of it, I put it back on the table and say, “Could you try to do that again and this time could you do it with somethibg I can buy in the USA?”

    I am wondering if herbalists could figure out something which works with the same mechanism of K3.

    Someone has to be outside the current research box coming up with ideas and I hold IV Vitamin C back up and say, “You just need some other things with you and you might be able to come off the island of misfit alternative Cancer treatments.

    You see, Dr Greger already explained it. I know people who had their breasts cut off by a bully Dr and some of us watched too many people go through that path and will look at every single WFPB solution rather than deal with them.

    My cousin found a good therapist and he is upbeat agsin. Bully doctors had him considering going off dialysis and choosing death and I know so many Cancer patients who have chosen death and I know a young man with an autism diagnoses who also contemplates death when he is under authoritative bully doctors and counsellors and who doesn’t want to die when he is not being bullied.

    1. Deb, are doctors really bullies? Maybe some are, but I’d bet that the vast majority are prescribing what they truly believe to be the most suitable options for patients. Now admittedly they could be and probably are often wrong about what is best. As you point out, there is a universe left to discover about what works and under what circumstances. But until everthing that might work is studied objectively (as possible), we simply won’t know.
      If after weighing the current evidence, any risks seem worth it, that’s an individual choice that can be made. Even if doctors are persistent in their conventional recommendations, do they hold a gun to a patient’s head?

  9. Thanks to Dr. Greger for this important info on autism.

    Instead of going for expensive alternative supplements/treatments, I would recommend simple and inexpensive ways to improve an autistic child’s (any child’s in fact) dietary and environmental health. Enrich his/her diet with fresh fruit and veg that would provide necessary micronutrients including antioxidants also very importantly remove (well, reduce, as removal is impossible) common environmental toxins like man-made electromagnetic radiation exposure. Unnatural EMR, like wireless radiation (radiofrequency microwave EMR), has scientifically proven effects on the human brain (and other cells but more electrically active brain and cardiac cells may be more susceptible to interference from external EMF/EMR).

    Here’s paediatric neurologist Dr. Martha Herbert (Harvard Uni/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston) on autism and EMR/EMF:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRcx12YtUvQ

    Here’s Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt MD, PhD discussing this issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_wxM6IAF1I

    Paediatrician Dr. Toril Jelter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D98K2zvjBWI

    Harvard trained physician and Board Certified Integrative Psychiatrist Dr. Suruchi Chandra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgEm4z7TntM

    My youngest son had multiple neuro-immune disorders by the age of 5 including typical ADHD-like symptoms and insomnia. We even held back from starting school for one year because his was having a rough time being so irritable and restless. A multitude of symptoms were completely resolved by reducing harmful EMFs (most the microwave radiation levels from wireless devices at our home) in April 2012. He turned out to be a bright child excelling in academic learning as well as sports (winning prizes for academic and sporting excellence at school). His transformation (with EMR/EMF reduction as the sole variable changed) was the inspiration for me to switch my life focus into environmental health (of course by digging into the scientific literature I discovered that this is a
    massive problem – particularly with widespread wireless devices children are exposed to these days – smartphones, iPads etc).

    Also see for scientific references:
    ORSAA database: http://www.orsaa.org

    Herbert MA, Sage C. Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link – Part I. Pathophysiology 2013; 20: 191-209.
    Herbert MA, Sage C. Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a pathophysiological link – Part II. Pathophysiology 2013; 20: 211 – 234.

  10. Scott,

    You are doing gun up to their head as if sick people should need to worry about asserting themselves more.

    I had my grandmother saying that she was afraid of dying and wanted to not have them kill her while doctors were saying that she didn’t know what she wanted and while end of life meds were forced on her too early. Meds were forced on my mother and uncle too.

    My mother was crying out, “No please No morphine” and she was not listened to and neither was my uncle or grandmother.

    I know a race car driver who had third degree burns who arm wrestled a nurse to be listened to and my uncle who had never hit anyone in his whole life punched one of the medical people.

    If you listen to interviews with the alternate Cancer healing groups, they almost all talk about getting pressured into doing things they didn’t want to by Cancer doctors. Almost every testimony.

    Yes, technically they were adults and it was their responsibility to stand up for themselves, but I go back to the psych studies, which Dr Lisle shared and in two studies, 65% of the people did things which violated their conscience if authority figures told them to.

    Look at history.

    The holocaust
    Slavery

    People follow leadership for better or for worse.

    Then, a counter culture rises up. The counter culture is not usually in the core group for long. They eithet take over leadership, stop fighting back, or are such a thorn in the side of leadership that thry are asked to leave (and the mammogram video had people who were asked to leave and who had their breasts cut off for nothing) or they form countercultures like chiropractic and naturopathy etc

    1. Well okay then. I guess I’m lucky that my radiation oncologist, medical oncologist and urologist have thus far treated my with absolute dignity and respect. I’ll be on the lookout for any shift in that. Thanks.

  11. Scott,

    I want you to know that I am not 100% anti-doctor.

    I am learning from doctors’ websites.

    I would rather err holistic, than surgical, chemical or other cancer fighting techniques.

    I look at the Vitamin C and K3, and do find it fabulously interesting, though I am looking at Pancreatic Cancer studies and don’t think I saw a bunch of people going into remission using it with the chemo.

    I have a relative who went through the Whipple procedure and had half of his organs removed.

    I would be doing Gerson and Cansema deep tissue and B17 and take hundreds of systemic enzymes and hundreds of digestive enzymes and drinking green tea mixed with dandelion root tea and Essiac tea every second of every day with enough modified citrus pectin to shut down whole pathways, rather than do that process, but I respect that people do it and I am waiting to hear if a couple decides to go that way (and a friend of mine died of Pancreatic Cancer last year and she didn’t do it and I respect that choice, too.)

    If medicine ever gets the types of processes I saw in the Ted Talks, then, I would be over there in a heartbeat.

    I want tumor treating fields and I want the laser treatment for lung cancer, where the woman had one treatment and it was gone. My cousin wouldn’t have hesitated for a year if, instead of dialysis, he would be getting a new kidney printed out for him on a 3-D laser or if they implanted stem cells. I would be thrilled if they ever start doing brain plasticity for stroke recovery. My list of processes I genuinely would be open to goes on and on. Someday, I might go to a doctor.

  12. When I re-read my comments, I know that my mind is still off.

    Better, but off.

    Sorry for the rambling sentences.

  13. Autism can be reversed. Please study MMS (chlorine dioxide) and you can see many many testimonials about children reversing autism. And there is no business… you only must buy sodium chlorite and follow the recommended protocols (for free). You know, if no business then you can believe… And logically all the medical statement againt this solution.
    And logically the medical industry is against this solution. PLEASE STUDY AND TRY, IT IS FREE. Do not let yourself brainwash with the official media

    1. MMS is a massive multi level marketing scheme.

      People have died using this stuff. It is dangerous
      https://www.smh.com.au/national/miracle-elixir-linked-to-death-illness-20100821-13a2z.html

      ‘The amounts recommended by MMS/CD protocols are likely to be at least 3000 times safe limits, and may be considerably more.’
      https://chronicleflask.com/2016/08/27/mms-and-cd-chemistry-the-facts/

      Testimonials are worthless. You can find testimonials for pretty much anything. They are misleading for a number of reasons eg
      ‘Children, however, often improve as they get older. This is probably simply due to the fact that as children grow their brains develop, and the human brain is remarkably adaptable and flexible. Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means there’s a huge range in the level of impairments individuals suffer. Those at the more severe end of the spectrum will always need huge amount of support and will never achieve independence. On the other hand, you do very occasionally hear stories of children ‘recovering’ from autism and losing their diagnosis (although it’s more likely that they were misdiagnosed in the first place). Others are able to learn coping strategies as they get older and, while they will probably always find certain aspects of daily life difficult, are ultimately able to function quite successfully in society.
      This is where it gets dangerous, because a condition that naturally tends to improve over time is an absolute gift to anyone pushing quackery. It means that no matter what you do (or don’t) do, you’ll always be able to find lots of positive testimonials from people who are happy to say “I tried this and it worked for us!”, “My son/daughter is so much better since we started this treatment!” They probably did see a genuine improvement. Thing is, they would have seen it anyway. The really worrying question is: might they have seen a bigger improvement without the treatment? ‘
      https://chronicleflask.com/2015/03/30/a-horrifying-story-autism-miracle-mineral-solution-and-the-cd-protocol/

  14. I saw a talk by Dr. Kim Williams linking sugar intake with cholesterol levels. They were “shocked” about these findings.

    Yet there is not much to be found on Nutritionfacts. Any updates possible?

    1. ‘This review evaluates findings from recent randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses into the relationship of sugar consumption and a range of health-related issues including energy-regulating hormones, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and accumulation of liver fat and neurologic responses. Data from these sources do not support linkages between sugar consumption at normal levels within the human diet and various adverse metabolic and health-related effects.’

      ‘In isocaloric trials, even large doses of fructose containing sugars have been reported to not show lipid abnormalities [70]. In hypercaloric trials, however, in which fructose was supplemented to background diets thereby creating excess energy, increases in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides have been reported [67–69]. In RCTs in our laboratory individuals who consumed either sucrose or HFCS at 10 or 20 % of calories in an isocaloric diet over 10 weeks in a free living trial, no increases in total cholesterol, TGs, or LDL cholesterol [71] occurred. In a mildly hypercaloric trial, however, a 10 % increase in TGs occurred driven largely by individuals who consumed 30 % of those calories from either HFCS or sucrose [60, 61].’

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5174142/

      The saturated fat apologists have long been keen to emphasise sugar’s role as a risk factor for various chronic diseases. The corollary appears to be, according to them, that if sugar consumption is a risk factor, then saturated fat consumption cannot be a (significant) risk factor.

      1. Netogate is looking for a nutritionfacts results, not a study from someone getting consulting fees from Con Agrs, Kraft Foods, Pepsi, Coca Cola and the Corn Refiners Association. This study is too biased to have much confidence in, not Nutritional Facts backed.

        1. Dean

          Yes, there is a conflict of interest with one of the authors. That is a very fair point.

          The American Heart Association has stated
          ‘Strong evidence supports the association of added sugars with increased cardiovascular disease risk in children through increased energy intake, increased adiposity, and dyslipidemia.’
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5365373/

          Both papers appear consistent in that they suggest that the problem with sugar appears not to be added sugar itself (unlike say trans fats and saturated fats) but the increased calories and consequential adiposity and dyslipidemia, associated with high sugar consumption. Ditto the US dietary guidelines
          https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/DGA_Cut-Down-On-Added-Sugars.pdf

          And I am pretty sure that McDougall hasn’t received consulting fees from Kraft etc but he seems to think sugar is reasonably harmless eg
          https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2010nl/jun/sugar.htm

  15. I have some doubts about Thomas Campbell’s recommendations on B12.
    I was taking 2.500 mcg every week but left it out a couple of times and now my blood work is low in B12.
    Should have asked for the MMA test though, this result is not very trustworthy because it’s a regular test.

    I will go back with some of my urine.

  16. Autistic people lose their appetites when they feel misunderstood and this directly affects energy and mental ability especially in regards to mood and communication balancing. Please stay positive and encouraging and keep your child’s appetite out of divorce/mourning/anorexia mode. Keep fresh fruit and berries and nuts always out. If you have to add natural sweetness to get them to eat, do it! Help them brush and floss and keep habits to maintain high self esteem that will encourage eating high quality foods. It’s a loop you have to train them to get on and then they will do it alone when they grow up. But it’s important to help them see the connection and their power to nourish themselves and how good the effects feel. Keeping a food and mood journal can help them prove it to themselves which is very important.

  17. Unfortunately the reality of the rising numbers of “victims” as specific cases of clinically obvious autism disorder seems to defy the standard (medical info) statistician’s “excuse” for the escalation in births with the disorder, “We are better at finding and diagnosing it!”
    Helps no one! Keeps Dr’s. busily constantly engaged in worried distraction not helped (in a personal opinion) too narrow a search to be a realistic search for causation!?
    Anti-biotic intestinal wipe-outs to treat everyday illnesses, let alone the constant attack from food chain present antibiotics. Assuring a war on the necessary gut flora in the intestines to function as engines of producing then using B-vitamins to produce a secondary class of hormone buffering and/or precursing B-Vitamins. Note general view in medical thought is the lowering of the of puberty onset for women as a good thing!
    Question this assumption that may be heretical? Those gut manufactured secondary B-Vitamins spun off, made in the healthy gut bacteria, a delecate homeostasis therein, could after generations of these gradually affected future mothers birthing subsequent generations could lead to their own eventual genetic mutations getting worse from each generation’s expisures to a toxic team of coincidental food chain ABx exposures, and incidental treatment for routine (even serious infective illnesses)!

    Treating the child victims is of course a crucial effort to recapture health normality! But seemingly prevention of the entire after-the-fact nightmare circus parents and family physicians go through is deserves at least an even amount of attention.
    Chain of causation investigation is crucial re. B-Vit’s gut role to ABx. ingestion and ABx. to gut “sanitation” is recognized! We know as simply annoying diarrhea; but given the tole of the gut as an engine of re-manufactuting and recycling to split off a by-product into sub-groups essential yo hormone production to barrier a premature developmental hormone’s triggering early release (in living young maturing females) could reasonably have a similar physiologic rogue affect in gestating fetuses. So deranged speeded-up or delayed enzymatic reactions could tirally medsed up by routjne wipe out of reproductive stabilizing friendly gut bacteria! Insudious goid chsin oresence as well as targeted ABx use to kill bacteria causing standard illnesses’ infections!
    In the biggest picture gut health seems to have been ignored for all its potential related role regarding enzymes, and hormones switching on and off by genetic programming (all kinds of hormones) affecting the gut’s life stablizing affect on all physiology girl to future mother to birthed infant!
    A huge variable! Given a mother’s existing genetic ptofile creates susceptibility or resudtance to the affects of ABx. On there genetic picture and any grststiknsl incompleteness re. fetal development! Key insight is…Why and how do some mothers burth multiple infants with autism! They should be immediately embraced as scientific partners of cahsatikn/prevention investigators!
    We all have guts. But investigation needs to be historical as clinically skilled medical anthropologists could do to add ti geneticists, physiologists as well!
    What is the birthed child like as the tgrud generation birth exposed to three sequential generations of gestations by 3 generations of ABx exposed mothers !

    How our’s, our mother’s and our mother’s mothers and more important, our pre-ABx. treated/exposed mothers, differ from us current young mothers who were gestated and birthed before that “miracle” of ABx. arrived! Guts starved of its happy balance to assure correct sequencing of usual physiologic events let’s face it under okd fashioned circumstances pre-ABx uses are heightened by becoming prigrammed yo be geared up during active pregnancy’s “living for two” stresses! Reliably B-Vit. processing to manufacture hormone triggering or blocking with accompanying enzymes nirmslly counted on in good gut health, assured the deep biology of hood gut health! If not running as chrrent meficak midels trsooed in an old paradigm, ehen paradigmatic changes have slipped in unadmitted thusly pre-disposing some mothers to birth more than one birth •eventually• (=add in piled-on infant early developmental behaviorsl health [immune affecting] un-tested start of life vaccines) displaying autistic symptoms.

  18. As an adult recently diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, I urge non-autistic people to read about why many actually autistic people do not want doctors to be seeking ‘cures’ for autism.

    Caley Farnias, an autistic person, writes, “Autism isn’t something that you can get rid of it without changing who a person is at their core. Autism is a neurological difference that inherently shapes an autistic person’s identity, perspectives, dreams, and desires.”

    You can read more in Caley Farinas article, “We Don’t Need a Cure for Autism – And Pushing One Is Really Messed Up” published in 2015 (https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/pushing-autism-cure-messed-up/).

    Dr Greger, please respond to this.

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