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Homeopathy "not good for anything" report says

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by deleder2k, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    So saying that consciounsess is produced by the unconscious cells of the brain is pseudoscience?
    Whoops, we have just thrown most neuroscience in the garbage bin. :D

    Honestly I find that "pseudoscience" is used a tad ideologically (I am not criticizing your use) often times, especially by self-appointed "skeptics". But I digress...
     
  2. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    There is a physiological response to ordinary things like listening to music too (dopamine release). And this paper doesn't report that a placebo is as good as levodopa, or even better than nothing. A momentary response is pretty meaningless.

    PS: this same approach is also used by the biopsychosocial crowd to suggest that stress causes diseases such as CFS because they can influence cortisol levels in volunteers by showing them certain videos. This conclusion is a huge leap of faith though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
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  3. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    But that is exactly why the placebo is intriguing. Music produces a certain amount of response but additional, specific suggestion produces stronger results and so far there isn't a final word about what can be accomplished.

    I don't think we should expect miracles, but at the same time the size of the placebo is modulated by several parameters and we don't have a clear picture of what can be obtained. Take a look a this:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/28/us-science-placebo-idUSKBN0L12J920150128
     
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  4. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    I tried homeo for Borrelia, for Bartonella, CPn other infections and also for detox. In my case I often hoped but it never helped.
     
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  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Yes to the first. No to the second. That is an entirely different debate though. And much of psychiatry, and neuropsychiatry, and some of psychology, is almost certainly pseudoscience too, just pseudoscience entrenched in our institutions. So had you said, whoops, there goes most of psychiatry, I would have agreed.
     
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  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Funding is competitive most of the time. So its potential value is determined before the study is done. They guesstimate. That is definitely not scientific, but is part of scientific politics.
     
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I think its time to bring up one of my favorite tales again.

    King Canute announced he would turn back the ocean. His courtiers and nobles gathered round. The ocean came in and he got wet.

    One version of the tale was about the King being foolish and was exposed.

    The other version of the tale I like much better. The King was teaching everyone a lesson. He might be King. He might make laws. Yet even Kings do not command the tides. Reality does not care what we think, how we pontificate, it just is. No theory in the world is as good as hard evidence.
     
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  8. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    A valid point, but what the researcher might have meant is 'we know cannot work'.

    Homeopathy is based on two principles. One is the same as vaccination and was pinched from the vaccination people. Vaccination was reported around 1795. Homeopathy pops up around 1798; no coincidence. This is the principle of treating a disease with something that gives a small version of the features of the disease. It is obviously a principle that might work in some situations. The difference between Jenner and Hahnemann is that Jenner stuck to the evidence and Hahnemann claimed he could apply the principle to everything without bothering to check if it did.

    The second principle, however, is that of potentiation by dilution - including dilution to a point where you can be pretty sure (even in 1790) that nothing is left being the most potent of all. Now if anybody believes we live in a real world of things that have weight or chemical properties or anything like that then this is a pretty daft idea to start with. But more importantly it has been shown to be untrue hundreds of thousands if not millions of times. Every day pharmacologists do dose response curves on substances. They may get S-shaped curves or bell-shaped curves but in the last 200 years nobody has ever got the curve that homeopathy says you would get.

    And if one thinks about it the implications are a bit crazy. Let us say that there are some substances that are bad for us. In the last week I have been exposed to the maximally potent concentration (of zero) of all of a hundred of these
    yet I am feeling quite well. You might say that is because I have also been exposed to a maximally potent (zero) concentration of all the five hundred antidotes but the fact is that I never had those. It all gets a bit silly.

    I think the researcher would have been entitled to say 'cannot work'.
     
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  9. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    There is pretty good evidence that ultra high dilution of substances in water leave a very specific signature.
    By ultra high, I mean below the Avogadro number, so ofter impugned by homeo-skeptics. See my previous post here

    Does this mean that homeopathy is proved? Absolutely not, but to claim that the potentiation technique is bogus I think it's not reflecting the existing evidence. Including that of Montagnier recent experiments, although not conclusive.

    Finally, to sound like a broken record, I need to remind that almost all homeopathic remedies come in dilutions where the active substance is definitely present, and therefore potentially active. All decimal dilutions from D1 to D24 and all centesimal dilutions from C3 to C12.

    Once again modern, Rekeweg-ian, homeopathy uses extensively these dilutions.

    Of course it can, if an active substance is detectable. It doesn't even contradict our current biochemical paradigm!

    Purporting homeopathy as a practice based on undetectable substances and implausible principles is fallacious. Recent experiments such as those linked above would seem to make it more plausible, if anything.

    The topic is controversial and there is some valid criticism, but I find it pointless to keep beating the dead horse of "no substance".
     
  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    But that is no good if the tablets are left to dry after having the water or alcohol solvent dripped on them. The 'memory' evaporates.

    But why are they not diluted further of the homeopathic principle says they would be stronger then? Why waste all that good nothingness? It cannot be homeopathy because it is against the principles of homeopathy. And 'potentially' active sounds suspiciously like nobody has actually shown it is. All the homeopaths have to do to justify their trade is to publish one homeopathic shaped dose response curve. Why have there been no such demonstrations of this basic principle in 200 years?

    The stuff you refer to isn't exactly the stuff to convince anyone with a modicum of common sense I am afraid.

    One thing that interests me is that when I gave students a seminar on homeopathy in the 1990s quite a few wanted to defend it (they would now be about 40). In the years 2000-2010 no student wanted to defend it. Something had changed in the popular perception.
     
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  11. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Just to mention, homeopathy does not depend on "molecules" for its effectiveness. It's based on vibrational frequencies, so it doesn't matter (to those who believe in homeopathy and/or vibrational medicine) whether there are any original molecules left in a preparation.

    I find it interesting that so many people cannot imagine vibrational frequencies being able to work, but have no problem believing prayer, meditation, and/or other forms of spiritual endeavor do. It may have to do with varying degrees of sensitivities people experience. Perhaps the more aware people are of energies in their environment, the more likely they are to believe in the efficacy of homeopathy. Though I'm not Jewish, I myself like to tune into the uplifting energies in the air during the fasting day of Yom Kippur.

    What about vibrations from music, or sound, or colors, or even love? Certain music relaxes me and I experience it as being very healing and therapeutic. I’ve noticed that bright red colors (cars) actually make me cringe in the pit of my stomach and temporarily make me feel ill. And I believe a huge reason many people prefer "home cooking" is because of the love that goes into the food by the preparers (usually the mothers). None of these experiences are based on molecules.

    I’ve heard about people who’ve used vibrational and energetic principles to recover from CFS. But they just go back to their normal lives, and choose not to set themselves up for ridicule on an online forum. Whether a person believes in homeopathy or any thing else, I think it's incumbent on us to not be overly critical of their beliefs, as it often parallels their own spiritual experiences and orientations.
     
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  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I think that homeopathy is well-categorized with these other spiritual examples. It is not a scientific discipline, but may provide people comfort or perceived healing in the same way that faith does.

    My problem with homeopathy is that some people persist in attributing it with scientific status, and try to create a scientific explanation for it. They're welcome to believe what they want, and hopefully they benefit from it, but it's important to distinguish between belief and science. And homeopathy simply does not rise to the level of being a science at this point in time.
     
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  13. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    As pointed out in my previous post I was mainly addressing the argument of "no substance".
    In this context, tablet, liquid or another form doesn't make any difference. The substance is there.

    As regards the "evaporating memory"... could be a good point but it also sounds like you're moving the goal post.
    The good news is that there is interesting evidence that homeopathic-like dilutions leave easily detectable signatures with biological effect. Let's study this phenomenon and try to understand it more clearly.

    Maybe there's new scientific territory to be explored.

    I can partially agree with your question but I don't see why this should be more relevant than well controlled studies showing efficacy or non efficacy.

    If the mechanism of homeopathy is not fully understood, limiting the investigation to dose-response will not take us anywhere.

    Are we trying to find out if it objectively works? Or are we just trying to defend a specific paradigm?

    Many new discoveries have anticipated by decades the formal knowledge of their mechanism of action. Maybe in the case of homeopathy there is nothing to be found, but instead of presupposing let's just find out, leaving prejudices aside.
     
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  14. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    I am sorry, I need to understand.
    What is spiritual about an homeopathic arnica remedy containing actual, measurable quantites of Arnica?
     
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  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    The lack of scientific evidence of efficacy of microscopic amounts relegates it to being more akin to faith-based healing.

    Unless you're talking about there being enough of the active ingredient to have an actual physiological effect as evidenced by research and such, in which case it wouldn't actually be homeopathic, but might be naturopathic or similar instead.
     
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  16. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Call it what you will. At least 50% of homeopathic remedies contain the active ingredient.
    There is a specific threshold in homeopathic dilutions beyond which no molecules can be found, although, as I've posted earlier there is sound scientific evidence that these ultra high dilution have a biological effect.

    It seems to me a lot of misinformation is circulation about homeopathy.

    At this point I am finding myself in a strange position where I have spent a lot of posts simply correcting simple facts and misconceptions, but I don't have an axe to grind here.

    I honestly don't know if homeopathy works, but I am both curious and open minded. It seems to me that the most likely explanation is that some do, possibly due to well known mechanisms. Another group might work as well for mechanisms we have only recently discovered. (Again see the references here) And very likely another group simply don't work.

    This is not that different from what happens for drugs, herbs and nutritional supplements... :)

    I just don't get this sort of black and white polarization which, imo, is based on misconceptions or partial knowledge.

    cheers
     
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  17. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I have to agree with the report. In my case homeopathic remedies failed to effect any positive changes. But... unlike some of the pharma drugs I have taken or the hydrocortisone, which was a disaster upon my body, homeopathy besides being useless was (fortunately) harmless.
     
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  18. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I would think that's not true homeopathy and at that point would fall under the principles of dosage.

    Not only have there been many studies that show homeopathy doesnt work, it doesn't even come close to what we know about physics/chemstry. Even if you bend the rules to the breaking point.

    IMHO, the case that homeopathny works has been closed for a long time. Money towards further study of could see better use.

    Barb.
     
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  19. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Vibrations do exist but if you apply the principles of homeopathy wouldn't that mean if you turned the volume down or even turned it off, the effect of the music on you becomes stronger?

    I agree that music can relax many people, myself included. But I'm not sure how much vibration plays into that unless you are talking about how they are essential for hearing.

    Interesting about the red cars. I have heard that people who speed are more likely to own a red car, but I think that's probably an urban legend.

    Barb

    ETA

    Red cars getting more speeding tickets is an urban legend. I found this ammusing especially the part about police playing snooker to issue speeding tickets. I find things like this fascinating. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  20. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    That is priceless (whether you believe the story is true or not ;)
     
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