Let me start with the definitions of a doctor and a healer. A doctor is a qualified practitioner of medicine; a physician. A healer is the one who restores to original purity or integrity.
As a doctor, I am always struggling with this question: am I a healer?
A mother delights in her children’s healing
I have met Hugh Lynn an amazingly beautiful young woman approximately 3 months ago. Hugh Lynn has three children: the oldest one, Mason was wheelchair bound at the time of meeting; he was born with cerebral palsy, the youngest, Austin, just over a year old toddler, was covered in the most severe eczema I have ever seen. I have revisited with Hugh Lynn and kids couple days ago and was broken into tears seeing Mason walking, and the youngest one, Austin, with almost cleared skin. Hugh Lynn bravely put her kids on NRF2 protandim 3 months ago. Mason speech therapist joined us into discussion with his feed back on Mason’s amazing cognitive improvement.
Well, there are no double blind placebo randomized control studies on protandim and cerebral palsy and should we “vehemently” oppose the supplements for the kids for the same reasons?
Not enough evidence, other MD’s would say. I am not sure, whether Hugh Lynn needs to see the double blind placebo control studies now, because she is watching her sons improvement. Is there a greater joy for a mother to see her children get better and me, as a healer to see patient’s benefits?
I am also truly puzzled as to why a lot of allopathic physicians are “closed minded”, aka not open to alternative methods of medicine?
Let me get into the studies now.
Evidence based medicine
Is it due to conventional training methods, which are indeed drug oriented, or desire to practice “evidence based medicine”?
Let’s refer to definition of the Oxford (UK) CEBM Levels of Evidence, “Most of the evidence ranking schemes grade evidence for therapy and prevention, but not for diagnostic tests, prognostic markers, or harm. The Oxford CEBM Levels of Evidence addresses this issue and provides ‘Levels’ of evidence for claims about prognosis, diagnosis, treatment benefits, treatment harms, and screening.
The original CEBM Levels was first released in September 2000 for Evidence-Based On Call to make the process of finding evidence feasible and its results explicit. As published in 2009 they are:
1a: Systematic reviews (with homogeneity) of randomized controlled trials
1b: Individual randomized controlled trials (with narrow confidence interval)
1c: All or none randomized controlled trials
2a: Systematic reviews (with homogeneity) of cohort studies
2b: Individual cohort study or low quality randomized controlled trials (e.g. <80% follow-up)
2c: “Outcomes” Research; ecological studies
3a: Systematic review (with homogeneity) of case-control studies
3b: Individual case-control study
4: Case series (and poor quality cohort and case-control studies)
5: Expert opinion without explicit critical appraisal, or based on.”
As many of you aware, I am proud to be a LifeVantage distributor. LifeVantage is front-runner in Nutrigenomics (nutrigenomics is research focusing on identifying and understanding molecular-level interaction between nutrients and other dietary bioactives with the genome).
Randomized double blind placebo control human studies
Bringing these “pioneering” supplements, we are all faced with challenge to level of evidence to validity and health benefits.
The frequent question I am asked by physicians is: are there any double blind placebo randomized control human clinical trials?
Before I dive into the answer, here is the quote from Gugiu, PC; Westine, CD; Coryn, CL; Hobson, KA (3 April 2012). “An application of a new evidence grading system to research on the chronic care model”. Eval Health Prof. 36 (1): 3–43. doi:10.1177/0163278712436968. 2014.
“The limitations to the levels of evidence are: the hierarchy of evidence produced by a study design has been questioned, because guidelines have “failed to properly define key terms, weight the merits of certain non-randomized controlled trials, and employ a comprehensive list of study design limitations”.
As a healer, my main purpose is to make a person feel better, whether it is less pain, more energy, better vitality or mobility.
What do I do if the supplement, vitamin, ingredient or remedy doesn’t have a double blind placebo randomized control human study validation?
Do I deny the person health benefit of the product?
“Longer lifespan in male mice treated with a weakly estrogenic agonist, an antioxidant, an a-glucosidase inhibitor or a Nrf2-inducer”, study conducted by The National Institute on Aging Interventions Testing Program (ITP) and published in the Aging Cell (2016) 15, pp872–884, is a milestone study, however many sceptics, including health care professionals, only see: it is a mice, not a human study.
A longer life
Well, for once, I would love to live longer and I would love to know what could I do to live longer and not to wait for human couple generations to follow up the conclusions study. Indeed, it will take few generations to conduct human study of this magnitude and I will not be around then. It’s a great idea and I do want my successors to benefit from longer life, but I want to live long and healthier too.
So, let’s get reasonable.
Research and testing results in a patient’s well being
In conclusion, indeed, as a licensed medical practitioner, I do need to practice evidence-based medicine, but as a licensed medical practitioner, I need to keep my “antennas” on every possible health advance, whether is it allopathic or naturopathic. I cannot harm neither my patients, not my friends or family with my medical recommendations. Indeed, before I suggest a natural product or take anything myself, I will do an extensive “read” around the topic with my source of information to be searched on www.pubmed.gov, but if I don’t see double blind randomized control human studies, I will search for every bit of evidence available on the NIH (National Institute of Health) digital database library website, consult the best expert in the area of interest, with my number one priority: the patient’s well being and health improvement.
Let’s thrive to health and longevity.
From my heart to yours,