Social health policies, freedom of choice and responsibility

Social health policies inevitably raise the issue of the individual’s freedom of choice. While debates around these policies often concentrate on questions of fact, scientific consensus and reliability of evidence, these tend to be surrogates for the underlying values issues. To what extent should I sacrifice my freedom of choice, or my freedom of choice to decide for my children, for the good health of the community? And what if my freedom of choice violates the freedom of choice for others?

hall-offit-fullPaul Offit discussed these issues in a recent Point of Inquiry podcast – Paul Offit, MD, on Measles in the Magic Kingdom and the Anti-Vaccine Movement. He is a Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia. Offit is the author of the book Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine.

He basically talks about the spread of measles throughout California and neighboring states because of a source of infection at Disneyland. Although measles were eliminated in the U.S. by 2000, the misinformation of the anti-vaccine movement has caused a return of a full-fledged outbreak.

Levels of responsibility and consequences

Paul makes the comparison of opposition to vaccination with opposition to blood transfusion.

1: Blood transfusions. A person my refuse to accept treatment involving blood transfusion because of their personal religious beliefs. More questionably they may refuse on behalf of their children. However, the consequences are limited to the person or her child. The decision does not harm the community at large.

2: Vaccinations. A person may refuse a measles vaccination for themselves or their children. But in this case the consequences are not personal – they affect the whole of society. By lowering the degree of immunisation in the community they threaten the lives of others – particularly the most vulnerable, children.

In these two cases the person has refused an intervention, a medical treatment or vaccination, which could be seen to violate their freedom of choice – or even to violate their body. In the first case the consequences are personal, limited to the person who made the wrong decision. But in the second case the consequences are social. An personal wrong decision has taken away the freedom of choice, the health and in some cases the lives, of others in society.

A bit like the personal decision to drive on the wrong side of the road. Society has taken away a small personal freedom of choice in our road rules to protect the lives of all of us.

3: Fluoridation. Social health policies like community fluoridation of water, salt, milk, etc., are recognised as being safe, beneficial and cost-effective. But they are opposed by a vocal minority. Activists will passionately promote the freedom of choice argument and, considering they don’t have the scientific evidence on their side this is often seen as their strongest argument. After all, it is values-based and therefore can’t be tested and rejected by evidence.

But, this third case is different to the other 2.

  • The act of fluoridation or not is social, taken by society as a whole or their representatives. An person may contribute to the decision but cannot decide the issue by a personal action as they can with vaccinations or blood transfusions. Although individual political action, or dissemination of information or misinformation, may influence that social decision – and hence the social consequences.
  • Fluoridation does not involve an intervention or treatment, medical or otherwise. No one is forced to drink fluoridated water or milk, or to consume fluoridated salt. The freedom of choice argument is invalid here because there are always alternatives.

Despite actively promoting the freedom of choice argument even the NZ anti-fluoride activist Fluoride Free NZ provides information on these atlernatives. They list alternative water sources, distillation, ion exchange filters and reverse osmosis. Most of these choices are cheap and available.

So what is driving anti-fluoridation propagandists?

Unlike opponents to blood transfusion they cannot argue freedom of choice to refuse an intervention on religious grounds. There is no intervention. The only personal imposition is that they may wish to buy a water filter (many already have these) or buy water from a different source.

Again, unlike opponents of vaccination they cannot argue freedom of choice to refuse an intervention even on grounds of personal belief – because there is no personal intervention.

Given the lack of any forced or personal intervention I am forced to conclude the freedom of choice issue that concerns the anti-fluoride activists is their freedom of choice to decide the oral health quality of other members of their community. And given the health and scientific expert consensus on the issue they are really arguing for their freedom of choice to decide the oral health of others on the grounds of their own minority personal beliefs or convictions.

In last year’s High Court judgement on the question of fluoridation in South Tarinaki, Justice Hansen wrote:

“Provided it does not have consequences for public health a person has the right to make even the poorest decisions in respect of their own health. But where the state, either directly or through local government, employs public health interventions, the right is not engaged. Were it otherwise, the individual’s right to refuse would become the individual’s right to decide outcomes for others. It would give any person a right of veto over public health measures which it is not only the right but often the responsibility of local authorities to deliver.”

The freedom of choice the anti-fluoride activists are promoting is their freedom of choice to decide health outcomes for others – not themselves.

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220 responses to “Social health policies, freedom of choice and responsibility

  1. Here’s a DDS that makes more sense to me than all the zealots who engage in promoting fluoridation through Open Parachute and similar outlets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Freedom of Choice’ should not be like the Ritz – ‘Open To All’ – if you have the money.
    The choices for removing fluoride are not cheap and neither is collecting rain water or buying bottled water.
    The justice system in this country may more aptly be called the ‘Just Us’ system since we are so small it’s more like an Old Boy’s Club that has let a few token females join who have been foolish enough to dispense with the Privy Council that at least could give us a more impartial hearing.
    The recommendation of the judge to get the law changed before his decision was appealed is outrageous and appalling and any fair minded person would be speaking out against it . . . but of course that’s not one of your attributes as far as I can see.

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  3. So green buzzer pleads poverty. He gives the impression he is so poor he can’t exercise his freedom of choice and therefore others must suffer.

    Tell me – do you have a water filter at home – at least one for removing bad organic and chlorine tastes? The cost of an ion exchange cartridge is minimal, – less than the cost of a single filling and you wish to impose that on thousands of others.

    I don’t believe people who plead their own poverty as a reason for denying the others freedom of choice. If it was important to you then you would pay up.

    What is not permissible is that you should use such arguments to deny an effective, beneficial and cost-effective social health policy to the majority who don’t share your hang-ups.

    >

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  4. This touches on the previous atheism post where rather than the question of why did create a world where children get worms in their eyes, the question might be why did God create a world with free will where people may choose to ignore others’ disabilities if not to profit from them.

    Many people feel the science we are told is frequently a sales scenario and studies are now investigating this:
    “The literature search and screening process resulted in 512 included full text articles. We found an increasing number of published preclinical systematic reviews over time. The methodological quality of preclinical systematic reviews was low. The majority of preclinical systematic reviews did not assess methodological quality of the included studies (71%), nor did they assess heterogeneity (81%) or dissemination bias (87%). Statistics quantifying the importance of clinical research citing systematic reviews of animal studies showed that clinical studies referred to the preclinical research mainly to justify their study or a future study (76%).”

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0116016#pone-0116016-g001

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  5. Soundhill, you have a typo.

    Your “Many people feel . . ” should read “I and my mates influenced by the “natural” health industry feel . . . ”

    >

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  6. Ken do you then discredit the article I quoted from? Only 13% of animal study preclinical systematic reviews look at dissemination bias. And three quarters of these studies are done “mainly to justify their study or a future study” Do you include this author with me and my mates? I’m flattered.

    From the material of your article public good intent ought to be more important in systematic reviews.

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  7. Soundhill, read my comment again. it relates to your claim “Many people feel . . .” which is vastly exagerated – it did not comment on your link.

    You should defend your initial claim or concede my point.

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  8. “I and my mates” not necessarily influenced by the “natural” health industry, but interested in it. The whole organic message is spreading, not just for health but for economics, too, which horrifies you I presume. Check youtube Aljazeera organic farming. Noting of course an organic certificate may not mean you are being sustainable though it is more likely with organics. Wider range of race elements in food, germanium &c.

    What gets removed from water when fluoridation is done? Radium/radon?

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  9. Ken, as per usual you are using twisted logic. Read the former Republican Presidential Nominee’s position on fluoridation. He is arguably the most well known libertarian politician on the planet.

    Former Congressman Dr. Paul:

    “The federal government should have zero…nothing to do with the promotion of fluoridation unless its on a military base…and hopefully there they would do the right thing. So no, federal fluoride promotion shouldn’t exist, they shouldn’t be telling you or anyone else what should happen because even though it was well intended at the time–I remember that I thought it was a bad principle because in a way it was massive treatment–and at the time everybody accepted the idea that fluoride was great and that you would never get a cavity and there was no downside, now there is a big question, that’s why you don’t want government doing these kinds of things. You or I should decide, someone should give us bottled water with fluoride, or we should have the ability to buy water with fluoride, but we should not have the federal government promoting fluoridation…sometimes their right, most of the time their wrong. They shouldn’t have the authority to do this. Especially with the information out there now about fluoride, I would do my best to stop federal involvement with state and local fluoride decisions.”

    Ron Paul is a physician trained in obstetrics and gynecology and has been a U.S. Congressman representing the Houston area of Texas for over 20 years. He has run for President twice before, has multiple best selling books, and has a very large and loyal following across the United States.

    http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Congressman-Ron-Paul-on-Fluoridation–and-More-Victories-.html?soid=1103759775597&aid=-i84PnJ5fKw

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  10. Soundhill, I don’t give a stuff about what you and your mates are interested in or influenced by. You and your mates does not amount to “many.”

    >

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  11. Kane, as always you never address my articles – perhaps you can’t.

    1: You claim my logic is twisted – but you don’t say how. Consequently I reject your claim out of hand as you don’t supply reasoning.

    2: You fall back on personal endorsement – yet you are the guys who claim those supporting a scientific understanding of the fluoride issue rely only on endorsements. You guys are always using endorsements and lately have resorted to using the endorsement of dogs – as translated by the owners!!

    3: I judge what people say on the credibility of evidence they use and the reasoning they apply. Ron Paul fails completely to convince for those reasons in your quote. That is not say he is always wrong (he has said some sensible things on the Ukraine issue recently) but he obviously is wrong on the fluoride issue.

    Come on Kane, can’t you do better. You are one of the dwindling list of leaders of the local anti-fluoride movement at the moment but you can’t even address my freedom of choice arguments. The people on your side must be really dissatisfied with you.

    >

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  12. Hardly dwindling Ken. Have you not been following Ireland?

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  13. “You are one of the dwindling list of leaders of the local anti-fluoride movement at the moment ”

    Ireland isn’t ‘local’.

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  14. I have been following the Fluoride Free NZ leadership list. What happened to Mark Atkin – your science and legal advisor?

    Did you sack him because your science and legal adventures have been so pathetic?

    Or have you decided to turn you back completely on science and legal issues?

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  15. “You are one of the dwindling list of leaders of the local anti-fluoride movement at the moment ”

    Ireland isn’t ‘local’.

    Alison, if you hadn’t noticed this is a global issue. As far as local leaders dwindling goes, there have never been as many people involved in ending fluoridation in New Zealand.

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  16. My question is when is Gluckman going to front up and explain himself?
    http://fluoridefree.org.nz/contributors-new-zealand-fluoride-review-shown-toothless/
    Googlehang out anyone?

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  17. What is there to explain, Kane? Perhaps we can help you out?

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  18. By the way, I noticed the sidestep again. Obviously, Mark Atkin is a sore point with you guys.

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  19. Ken can explain why Gluckman and Skegg won’t discuss fluoridation in a public forum?

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  20. I would have thought this was pretty public – Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence?

    However, their roles are as leaders – they commissioned the review – they did not produce it themselves.

    I appreciate you wish to discredite respected scientific leaders but why not front up wioht the specific. What the hell are you complaining about. What is inadequate in the NZ review?

    Play the ball – not the man. You are welcome to raise questions about the review here – why not do so? Do you have trouble identifying any questions.

    Still sidestepping, I see. What is your problem with Mark Atkin?

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  21. Twisted again Ken. Please stop the side stepping.

    Please ask Gluckman and Skegg to respond to this critique:

    http://fluoridefree.org.nz/international-peer-review-critique/

    I’m not interested in your thoughts on it. The public want their response.

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  22. WTF – Kane is not interested in my thoughts in the NZ fluoridation Review. So why is he asking me to do anything??

    What is wrong with the guy?- is he too scared to approach other people or something? Why must he ask me to do this for him? Especially as I am not known to have any specific link with them.

    Now if Kane is not getting a response to his questions perhaps he hasn’t got the right contact address, hasn’t actually asked, is too rude in his requests, or comes across as one of those nutters that people in these positions must be pestered by and can only ignore.

    It’s not as if these agencies ignore honest requests, Kane.

    I sent my own critique of the Review to both offices and got a response within a few days from the main author. What’s more the response acknowledged the mistake I had identified and corrected it, together with another typo they identified.

    I actually think the FFNZ critique is rather childish so can understand if others do not want to bother responding too it. However I did, in a very detailed way. I also offered each author, and so-called “peer-reviewer” the opportunity to respond to my critique. They all refused. I drew the appropriate conclusions from that refusal.

    So Kane, what about you approaching those people, authors and “peer reviewers” used in your organisation’s critique and asking them to respond to me?mthat would be the honest thing to do. But you won’t because you don’t have a leg to stand on, do you?

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  23. By the way Kane, why do you keep avoiding my simple question about Mark Atkin. Have you removed him from all your records and photos the way Stalin often did with his “friends.”

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  24. Still waiting for Kane, who is a leader of the FFNZ group, to get his authors and “peer reviewers” to respond to my critique of their report. That would be the responsible thing to do.

    Also waiting for home to explain why he is so embarrassed about Mark Atkin’s removal from the leadership.

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  25. Ken, I’ve contacted Anne and asked for a response. Let’s see what she comes back with. If your response took a few days we’ll see how long it takes. Thanks for letting me know that she responded to you.

    “It’s not as if these agencies ignore honest requests, Kane.”
    “got a response within a few days from the main author”

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  26. So, it turns out you hadn’t been in contact with those offices Kane. Yet you are demanding answers from them!!!

    What a strange person you are.

    Now what about getting your own people to respond to my critiques?

    And what is the story with Mark Atkin’s impersonation status?

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  27. Ken, we have asked for a debate on the NZ Review (and have received the usual decline to defend the indefensible (http://fluoridefree.org.nz/contributors-new-zealand-fluoride-review-shown-toothless/) but as you have pointed out we didn’t ask for a specific response to the critique.

    Thank you for pointing that out. We look forward to having the Official response from the Royal Society and the OPMCSA.

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  28. Kane, I guess you are declining to defend the indefensible when you refuse to react to my critiques of the childish document put out by your organisation.

    You guys are pathetic.

    >

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  29. Thanks again for the idea to ask Anne directly Ken. We will look forward to the response late next week. Although Skegg did say this didn’t he:

    “As you will see below, however, (name withheld) is questioning the feasibility of our approach. As you know, I have always had concerns that (quote withheld) – whereas the benefits of fluoridation can be summarised succinctly – the literature on potential risks is vast and quite complex. I can understand why any reputable scientist would be reluctant to put their name to a report if they have not had time to take a first-hand look at the evidence. Also I do not know whether (name withheld) has familiarity with epidemiological concepts and methodology.” 

    Do you envisage that we could present our report as a synthesis of reviews by reputable evidence-based groups in other countries, as suggested in the correspondence below? Otherwise I think we need to consider a much longer gestation (the latest two policy papers from RSNZ Fellows took the best part of a year) and it will not be easy to persuade a first-rate epidemiologist to take on this task.
    http://fluoridefree.org.nz/nz-review/nz-review-critique/nz-fluoridation-review-timeline/

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  30. Perhaps you should go to bed, Kane, you are burbling.

    But I guess it’s anything you can do to avoid my questions?

    Will you ask the authors of your childish report to respond to my specific critiques of each of their articles? It looks bad for them to avoid this.

    Should we interpret your refusal to comment on the dumping of one of your Fluoride Free leaders as evidence of strife within your organisation? Why should you dump your science and legal advisor?

    >

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  31. “So, it turns out you hadn’t been in contact with those offices Kane. Yet you are demanding answers from them!!!”

    I’ve been waiting for a long time for a reply from the author of RS report’s cited study, Broadbent on the kurtosis of his distributions.

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  32. “To what extent should I sacrifice my freedom of choice”

    It’s pleasing to see a “how much” rather than an “either-or.”

    I don’t think two-valued thinking to be healthy.

    As for vaccines the message these days is that individuals may need to take more shots against some things. Vaccine immunity wears off unlike for measles immunity acquired from non-vaccine-strain measles. So an embryo may be damaged if enough shots aren’t taken by the mother.

    As for fluoridation the level is being decreased. Dunedin has recently decreased their level by some 13%.

    Two-valued thinking is a bane of the addictive personality. “A substance like alcohol can only be good or bad.” Gradually, though, many of the public are catching on to “some is good, more maybe bad.” Dose-benefit curves are not straight lines.

    I’ve been taking a quick look at natural radiation and cancer in some NZ cities. It’s rather rough. I don’t have the age distributions. I am enquiring into a notion I think I once heard that fluoride is related to cancer. As I noted on another thread I have variables for 6 NZ cities latitude, cancer rate (non-melanoma) in 1983, years of fluoridation up to 1983, and now am adding radiation dose related to radon, a radioactive gas which gives us about half of our ionizing radiation dose. My figures are a bit rough, for example Wellington has quite a wide range. Roughly averaged figures from Robertson and Randle’s book.

    Radon increases with latitude in NZ. (But it is less than many countries). My figures seem to show that at the low level we have here, a bit more may help against cancer in the epidemiological sense.

    Likewise at the levels of fluoridation we had around 1983, more years of it seems to have reduced cancer. The range is only of a few years. When I partial out the effects of radiation and latitude (latitude increased cancer) I still get a negative correlation between fluoridation and cancer.

    I suspect if my figures had come out against fluoridation I would have been subjected to strong attack from pro-fluoridationists, and not necessarily scientifically-based attack. But you can attack me a bit for posting this while I still have the problem of understanding how the correlation between latitude and years of fluoridation goes higher when cancer and radon levels are partialled out.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Oh, sorry, I forgot, cancer was rank correlated to radon at 0.48 till I partialled out latitude which reduced it to 0.04, or years of fluoridation which reduced it to 0.14, or both at once which increase it to -0.33, now a negative correlation Puzzle. Wonder if anyone may chip in and help. If we understood analysis better perhaps we would overcome some troubles of rejecting stuff when we shouldn’t.

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  34. Soundhill, you are burbling again. This is not the place for such evidence and data-free speculation dressed up in a sciency frock.

    >

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  35. Soundhill,

    “I’ve been taking a quick look at natural radiation and cancer in some NZ cities.” Why mention it here? It’s irrelevant to the topic. Ken’s title is “Social health policies, freedom of choice and responsibility.” Nothing to do with natural radiation and cancer.

    “Radon increases with latitude in NZ.” Um… no. Radon concentration anywhere in the world is entirely dependent upon the geology of that area. It has nothing to do with latitude, longitude, or even altitude.

    Since your maths is based on a false starting assumption, let’s just ignore it and get back onto topic, please.

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  36. soundhill1

    As for vaccines the message these days is that individuals may need to take more shots against some things.

    “these days” – Where has Soundhill1 been for the past fifty years?

    As for fluoridation the level is being decreased. Dunedin has recently decreased their level by some 13%.

    So what? Without proposing an reasoned conclusion along with the observation it is meaningless, albeit heavily weighted with innuendo, which is perhaps the goal that you are trying to achieve.

    Soundhill1: the master of endless speculation and conjecture.

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  37. “As for vaccines the message these days is that individuals may need to take more shots against some things.

    “these days” – Where has Soundhill1 been for the past fifty years?”

    Ha ha.

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  38. ““Radon increases with latitude in NZ.” Um… no. Radon concentration anywhere in the world is entirely dependent upon the geology of that area. It has nothing to do with latitude, longitude, or even altitude.”

    There would be a bit of variation in geology in Wellington going by the radon figures.

    But sorry perhaps I should have said ranking radon levels of 6 cities from Auckland to Dunedin using figures from “Natural Radiation in New Zealand Houses” By Robertson, M. K. 1988 shows some correlation with latitude of those cities.

    Actually Christchurch is the highest. Not sure if that relates to the radon coming from our artesian water, if you call that geology.

    rough averages:
    Auckland 45
    Hamilton 51.5
    Palmerston North 44
    Wellington 59
    Christchurch 65.5
    Dunedin 61
    units Bq per cubic metre of air, gross alpha.

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  39. Richard: “As for vaccines the message these days is that individuals may need to take more shots against some things.

    “these days” – Where has Soundhill1 been for the past fifty years?”
    I just said
    “Ha ha,” because Richard is turning the message back to the “more is better,” hypothesis.

    Richard is not specifying whether his claim is of rate of vaccinated people without attending to whether they have had enough booster shots, the latter being obviously what my comment was about. In China where vaccination is nearly universal I think they are looking at need for some more boosters.

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  40. I wrote: “As for fluoridation the level is being decreased. Dunedin has recently decreased their level by some 13%.”

    Richard wrote: “So what? Without proposing an reasoned conclusion along with the observation it is meaningless, albeit heavily weighted with innuendo, which is perhaps the goal that you are trying to achieve.”

    My message is that an either-or argument may not respect the intelligence of many people, so likewise they may not respect in return. People have to respected for having some nous. Though politicians and their hacks may try to override it.

    Political masters find it easier to manipulate people by dividing them into opposing camps attacking one another.

    Richard do you think it a weakness that the Dunedin people have chosen to reduce their fluoridation level from 0.85 to 0.75?
    I think that because you are immersed in the two valued system you are frightened that reduction suggests eventual cessation. Whereas the Dunedin people are looking for an optimum level.

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  41. Ken most countries in the world and councils in NZ manage fine without water fluoridation so your argument holds no water at all.

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  42. Ken you wrote:
    “Activists will passionately promote the freedom of choice argument and, considering they don’t have the scientific evidence on their side this is often seen as their strongest argument.”

    And now you write

    “Soundhill, you are burbling again. This is not the place for such evidence and data-free speculation dressed up in a sciency frock.”

    I’ve now given the rough data.

    I think we can do better, than “trust us, we know, we are scientists!” Help with understanding. Freedom of choice may then turn from an “either or” matter into a “how much” matter.

    I asked a dentist for advice. He offered counselling that as a dentist he may sometimes be offering opinions for my treatment which suit himself. So he was saying I need to apply my own logic for some choices. I was lacking in data to base them on. When people do not have the data they are easier to manipulate. And I have to say anyone trying to marginalise discussion, help and learning must justify that.

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  43. Without informed consent there is no such thing as “freedom of choice in health”.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/vaccine-mccarthyism-what-if-the-vaccine-paradigm-itself-is-deliberately-flawed/5427768

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” —Marcia Angell, MD (“Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)

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  44. Thanks bbinc. Marcia Angell changed sides. “In The New Republic (“Tempest in a C-Cup: Are Breast Implants Actually
    OK?” 9/11/95), New
    England Journal of Medicine executive editor Marcia Angell restoked fears
    that an embargo on
    silicone implants posed a “threat to all medical devices.” The Journal,
    which published the Harvard
    and Mayo studies,”

    “”The greedy plaintiff’s attorneys have created this hysteria” is but one
    of the many myths, huge, PR machines fueled by deep, deep pockets and no
    conscience have sold to the American public. “Saline implants are
    perfectly fine, perfectly safe” is another. These falsehoods and
    countless
    others are part of the dis-information churned out by the
    mega-manufacturers whose devotion to their bottom line supercedes any
    modicum of truth or concern for their customers. No plastic surgeon
    mentions the overgrowth of fungus, mold and bacteria that finds fertile
    breeding ground in these salty petri dishes. The ill and disfigured
    plaintiffs are treated like rape victims ~ blamed for believing the lies
    of their plastic surgeons. The “scientific studies” paid for and
    orchestrated by the manufacturers are merely a gross manipulation of the
    medical, legal and political systems.”

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/rose$20angell$20%22breast-implant%22/talk.politics.medicine/ip1C6Bfl4EE/gSw-1b3L58AJ

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  45. We need Cedric Katesby to come in here and disinfect the forum.

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  46. @Richard,

    thinks the forum is dangerously infected by thinkers who are seeing through the two-valued system.

    “New
    England Journal of Medicine executive editor Marcia Angell restoked fears
    that an embargo on
    silicone implants posed a “threat to all medical devices.””

    There was Marcia Angell reinforcing Richard’s now loved concept of “all or nothing”

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  47. So bdbinc – do yoiu want to take away the freedom of choice of a community where the majority has decided to utilise a safe, beneficial, cost-effective social health policy like CWF – but give that “freedom of choice” to those who, on the basis of ideological prejudice, wish to prevent the adoption of such a policy.

    Pathetic “freedom of choice.”

    Filling up on the crap from Fluoride Alert does not amount to being informed. In my experience the anti-fluoride propagandasts are far from being “informed.”

    One does not have to be a scientist or physician to put one’s trust in reliable science and health experts. This amounts to “informed consent.”

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  48. Shane – most countries in the woirld do not have safe drinking water. And I think the data for oral health in NZ shows that those living in fluoridated areas actually get along better than those in non-fluoridated areas.

    But you did nothing to engage with my article – which is an argument in ehtics and freedom of choice – at all. You anti-fluoride propagandists always fail at ethiucs.

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  49. Soundhill, you forgot to include the prostitutes and priests in your radon analyses. Without these your conclusions will always be meaningless.

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  50. Soundhill,

    Your assumption was: “Radon increases with latitude in NZ.”

    Radon and latitude are both found outside of New Zealand. A good first test of your assumption is: how does it extrapolate to the rest of the world? Since it doesn’t extrapolate, it means that your assumption is likely to be wrong.

    I thought that, given the hint you were wrong about radon and latitude, and a further hint that radon and geology were related, you would have looked up the relationship between radon and geology.

    Yet another hint: in general, radon derives from volcanic rocks.

    Now since your initial assumption was wrong, we can ignore any calculations based on that assumption. They have to be wrong as well.

    Let’s end any further discussion about it here.

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  51. Soundhill – you claim “’ve now given the rough data.” But you havent given any data. All we have are your burblings with a few figures thrown in.

    That is not the way rto hold a discussion about such matters. And I suggest this is not the place for such ramblings.

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  52. @Stuartg

    I think Ken is embarassed by your input and rather would stop the discussion.

    It seems we are very impoverished as far as statistics go. Say about what you don’t understand and maybe someone will help.

    If it upsets the current “science” it must be wrong musn’t it be easy to show that?

    I’ve spread a discussion over 2 threads, and a few articles, hoping to improve statistical curiosty and learn something.

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  53. Let’s end any further discussion about it here.

    Yes please.

    Soundhill ought to finish his (many) research projects (even one would be an achievement), write up his results and have them reviewed and published. Then we’ll be happy to discuss them here. This isn’t the place to subject us to a torrent of half-baked ideas and conjecture and demand or expect discussion on them.

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  54. I used to argue on a google group and sometimes support Ilena Rose who may have been one influence changing Dr Marcia Angell’s stance. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/alt.support.breast-implant/%22brian$20sandle%22$20ilena|sort:relevance

    Richard, using the words “disinfect the group” has a sort of implication.

    Also he brings up Cedric Katesby who likes to shift logic of denial between different topics to make a point. Great but don’t disallow that only when it doesn’t suit you, please.

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  55. Cedric has a rare gift, he drills in, exposes nonsense and hangs it out to dry.

    All done with finely-honed acerbic wit.

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  56. To put one’s trust in the health industry, blind trust in big pharma’s pseudo science industry and trust a failing industry of ignorant and corrupt “health experts” (who from recent documentation many are lying to the public about vaccine efficacy and safety ) is not informed consent.

    Ken your blind trust is not informed consent. Misplaced blind trust is not informed consent.

    Here’s a book for you: Trust us We’re Experts : How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles .with our future by Sheldon Rampton, John Stauber
    {With a chapter on the best science money can buy.}

    http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/center-science-and-democracy/promoting-scientific-integrity/how-corporations-corrupt-science.html#.VNQx4OaUdFs

    http://ethicalnag.org/2013/02/14/heads-they-win-tails-we-lose-how-corporations-corrupt-science/

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  57. bdbinc – your blind trust in Paul Connett and Fluoride Alert is misplaced and not informed consent. It is reliance on a discredited propaganda outlet for the “natural” health industry which promotes a naive psuedo science movement. It relies on people who are corrupltly benefiting from the ideological commitments of naive anti-science people.

    Here is a debate I had with Paul Connett which exposes his methodology and the way he misrepresents and distorts the science – Fluoride Debate. You can download it as a pdf.

    The science of CWF is well understood. It is safe, effective, beneficial and cost effective. It is understandable that the ordinary person in the street should put their trust in the engineers and scientists who have researched this (nothing to do with “big pharma” – they do not profit one iota from water fluoridation unlike the “natural” health industry which profits from the anti-science fear mongering of the anti-fluoride propagandists).

    So why not engage with the content of this article instead of promoting your own ideology?

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  58. Ken: “Soundhill, you forgot to include the prostitutes and priests in your radon analyses. Without these your conclusions will always be meaningless.”

    As a chemist you may not have come across partial correlation. It’s psychology/social sciences/epidemiology sorts of things.

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  59. You are promoting your ideology. When faced with facts and proof of the corruption of science by industry you just tell people trust (in big money that has corrupted science )constitutes informed consent.
    Your dispensing ideology of trust in place of informed consent for health does not do science proud.
    I gave you solid links to evidence about corrupt pseudo scientists in the vaccine industry, your ideology of blind faith is out of the closet.
    *Soundhill1 Ken’s response to anything other than his “blind faith in a corrupt industry ” has not changed as he falls to the same old ad hockem bantering.
    Ken the corruption of science by industry and the conflict of interests are clearly demonstrated and widely known by many people today.Over one billion people were shocked at the exposure of the corruption of the scientists in the CDC vaccine scandal.Thank goodness for whistleblowers. Telling the public a lie that trust (without being informed) is informed consent is not going to work anymore- it makes you look untrustworthy .

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  60. bdbinc, you forgot to mention the one world gubbmint and the lizardmen.

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  61. OK bdbinc, what about some evidence. Tell us, with data and evidence, how “big Pharma” is perverting the science behind fluoride and what money it makes out of CWF. Put up or shut up. Here is your big chance – but stick to fluoride and fluoridation please as this was the subject of your original attack.

    And what about responding to my point about the links between big “natural” health and corrupt distortion of science like Fluoride Alert and Connett.

    >

    Like

  62. Ken,
    Late on In your pdf debate with Paul you referred him to a study in Korea 7 years after fluoridation had ceased, in one region and had never been in the other. Where fluoridation had been the 6 year old children born after it had stopped had more tooth decay than where fluoridation had never been. That is then contrasted with the converse in the 11-year-olds and claimed as a systemic effect.

    “CONCLUSIONS:

    While 6-year-old children who had not ingested fluoridated water showed higher dft in the WF-ceased area than in the non-WF area, 11-year-old children in the WF-ceased area who had ingested fluoridated water for approximately 4 years after birth showed significantly lower DMFT than those in the non-WF area. This suggests that the systemic effect of fluoride intake through water fluoridation could be important for the prevention of dental caries.”

    But there could be a confounding factor.

    I feel that the constancy of mouth fluoride levels. low and not much affected by a large factor in fluoride dose, indicates the body is working hard to achieve fluoride homeostasis in the mouth. (ref previous topic).

    I hypothesise that a controlling gene might be switched and epigenetically inherited.

    For the children 6 years of age in the area whose fluoridation stopped 7 years ago: remember conception is 9 months before birth and it takes sperm another month or two to get through the epdidymus. So the sperms would have been created by a father’s body thinking its offspring had to relate to high fluoride. The baby could be conceived and start to form pre-teeth with the wrong genes switched for the fluoride environment it was then developing in.

    That is in contrast to where there had not been fluoridation where the gene would be switched differently.

    I don’t want to presume that the fluoride-sparing gene switch or the fluoride-wasting gene switch is the “normal’ condition.

    But I want to warn against sudden large increases or decreases in fluoridation until this is investigated. Those children should be checked for other differences.

    Even if not a gene-switching effect I believe there is need for caution with sudden fluoride changes. People may not have heard of such troubles as rebound scurvy when vitamin c supplementation is stopped. Or they may not know of a rebound effect of stopping some statin drugs. I think may triple death rate. Why would they be the only rebounds?

    Extra note, when there is any doubt studies using the word “significant” ought to say whether they mean clinically or statistically.

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  63. So Soundhill you “want to warn against sudden large increases or decreases in fluoridation until this is investigated. Those children should be checked for other differences.”

    Warn away – but how specifically? Surely if you are at all serious you wouldn’t confine yourself to evidence-fee ramblings in the comments section of a minor blog.

    What the hell do you propose doing about it?

    Or is this as far as you want to go with anything – a pointless ramble here which bores all other readers?

    >

    Like

  64. Ken you say you review research. (I don’t know if you have ever done any involving partial correlation.) We don’t know if what I say bores all other readers. (And it’s possible to read these blogs in the future unless you cancel them.) Two or three responders have argued in ways which makes me feel false thinking is being cultivated, I am not sure if intentionally. But I hope people are not being left with mistaken ideas.

    This may be a minor blog. Once I get the feeling for all you have to offer I may go to other blogs you are on and start working there. Get different responders from Richard and Stuartg. Or go back to sci.med.dentistry, sci.med.nutrition &c. sci.stat related groups. But such groups are not what they were before Usenet newsfeeds stopped blogs came in. People used to argue but also be very helpful to one another.

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  65. soundhill,

    In your comments on Ken’s blog, you have said that you “hypothesise,” “think,” and “calculate” on many areas. You then comment on those multiple areas.

    Rather than commenting straight away, the next step in the scientific method is to do some background reading, maybe talk things over with colleagues. Check out any assumptions made, see if they are valid assumptions. See if anyone has already done the research and documented it for the world to see.

    As it is, when you place your comments, the appearance is that you have not done any of this. There are frequent errors, maybe in basic assumptions, maybe in selecting wrong data, maybe…

    Many of your errors could be corrected before you commit them to the ‘net by looking up basic textbooks. I’m not talking about front line, peer reviewed journals, I’m talking about the basic textbooks, ones that can be ten, twenty, even fifty years old. Your errors are basic errors. Example: I learned about radon and volcanics at school in the 1960s!

    I’ve pointed out only some of the errors in your assumptions or thinking. They aren’t the only ones, you’ve made many others. I expected that someone who claims to use the scientific method would use the feedback to review their own thinking and assumptions. Unfortunately, that’s not what you seem to do. You seem to compound your error(s) by going further and further into minutiae without even considering that you could be wrong with the basics.

    Before you commit your thoughts to the ether, please consider them carefully. If the basics are wrong, you can expect to be shot down. If your comments are valid, then discussion can occur.

    And, please, realise that many people are attacking the errors you make, not the commenter.

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  66. Ken I ask you to try to remember the topic of this thread: Social health policies, freedom of choice and responsibility.
    You talk about vaccines in the thread and I provided you with links on latest information and science that proves the public was/ is not given the choice to give informed consent.
    You told the public to just to trust the current corporate “junk science” whose propaganda is used to promote and protect political ideology .
    Although all academic scientists are quite aware of the problem of dishonesty and corruption in science, there generally is not formal discussions with the public about this issue. There is a denial of the corruption of science by corporations. This corruption includes promoting and protecting political agendas (- the NZ govt is a corporation).
    As science and thought are also free to the public, your contributing argument of the corruption of science, was telling to have blind trust in corrupt industry (or a scientist who is funded by a corporation to promote a political position) this is not scientific thought. It is political thinking.
    The corporation cannot allow the public to know and wants( and needs) them to trust. People are waking up from the sleep of misdirected and undeserved trust in the corporations that have deceived them . With the corruption of science widely known by the public your telling people to trust a corrupted field is not going to cut it anymore.
    Informed consent is not defined as “trust” you are wrong . Informed consent is being fully informed and giving consent to something. Vaccines and fluoride in the water are examples of things that the people are not being given a choice, fluoride in their water, but are also not being allowed to give their informed consent.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Case-against-Fluoride-Hazardous/dp/1603582878
    You Ignored all proof and evidence also the provided CDC Vaccine whistleblowers scandal .

    Fluoride.
    Mass forced medication in NZ, there is no choice, there is not informed consent .
    You haven’t mentioned to the public there was no studies done prior to the 1950 release of the toxic waste product fluoride, carried out by the corporation of US . The mass forced medication of the public was( and is) done without informed consent, without proof of its efficacy or safety, back in 1950 there was also no proof forcing the public to take a drug to reduce thyroid activity prevented dental cavities or was safe.
    http://www.fluoridation.com/atomicbomb.htm

    http://fluoridealert.org/articles/50-reasons/

    There is obviously no freedom of choice when your water supply has fluoride added without your consent.

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  67. Yes, Bdbinc, I did mention blood transfusion and vaccination in my discussion. However, the article was clearly identifying that when anti-fluoridation propagandists talk about “freedom of choice” they actually mean their own minority freedom of choice to prevent the rest of the community having access to a safe, beneficial and cost effective social health policy like CWF.

    They are imposing their own hangups on the community as a whole.

    I am not interested in a detailed discussion of vaccination issues at this stage so have not accessed your links.

    Now you rave on about “junk science,” the “corruption of science” and the role of industry. Having worked as a research scientist and actually experienced the reality of the situation, seen the science processes in action – warts and all, and yes having experienced attempts by industry interests to distort the science and prevent me from publishing my own research I can assure you that the science process does suffer from problems – like any human enterprise in the real world. But the problems are not as extreme as you claim in your conspiracy theory. And there are several factors in the practice of science which help reduce such influences.

    But here is how you make yourself look very silly. You will reject any of my discussion of the science, my analysis of the scientific literature, etc. but instead promote, for example, Paul Connett’s book. Hilarious because Paul is very proud that he has 80 pages of citations in his book. Many of them are repeats or broken links to Fluoride Alert, but his pride originates from his claim to be reporting science, to be reporting facts and evidence in the scientific literature. The very “junk science” you attack!

    No why should you accuse me of using “junk science” while you endorse Connett’s book because it uses exactly the same science in most of his arguments?

    Why?

    Have you not thought this through?

    If your read the articles in our Fluoride Debate you will be able to see that the problem is not the science, not that huge repository of scientific knowledge that both Connett and I cite. It is in the misinterpretation and distortion of the science that Connett indulges in. Again and again in our exchange I pulled him up for this misrepresentation and distortion.

    Why should Connett do this – after all, we are of similar age and have a similar background. Both of us have PhDs in chemistry?

    Connett does this because of his ideological commitment to the pseudoscience of the “natural” health industry. He is organisationally linked to that industry and financed by it.

    Your comments on “junk science,” “corruption of science by corporations,” “promotion of political and ideological agendas, corrupt industry, and blind trust in these, apply very much to the “natural” health industry. It is telling you ignored my comments on this and refused to respond to them.

    As for “forced medication,” we all know that fluoridation is not medication in NZ by law. And no-one is forced. Surely you should understand that everyone has freedom of choice – what ever their level of understanding or misunderstanding – on what water sources they use or however they treat the tap water that is provided.

    The claim of consumers being “forced” is simply a dishonest gambit to attempt to impose your own hangups on the rest of the community. To deny them the choice they have democratically made (in most cases) to take advantage of a safe, beneficial and cost effective health policy.

    >

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  68. Stuartg

    I already explained about the radon as I saw it, and rephrased.

    From the point of view of the rank correlation I was doing, I didn’t give the figure, but it was 0.77. between radon and latitude. The is not a correlation of 1 which it would have to be if there were a direct relation of the sort chemists or physicists usually deal with. (Except in some quantum statistics sorts of things, and maybe the water molecule sort of stuff.)

    It does not matter whether there is an actual relationship or not, it is only the statistics I was talking about.

    Readers are presumed to read in context, and the context was statistical, but how would you have put it?

    (We know that correlation is not causation. But if there is causation there will be correlation. It may be a first step, except that with say 95% significance it will happen by chance 5% of the time.)

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  69. “Connett does this because of his ideological commitment to the pseudoscience of the “natural” health industry. He is organisationally linked to that industry and financed by it.”

    Do you mean like rugby and breweries?

    Like

  70. Stuartg

    You seem to want this group to be above the research. You want the research to be at an earlier stage and this to be a research review group?

    Though Ken uses it for discussion, before publishing in a journal as I noticed.

    However just to chat for a bit, Ken suggests to include prostitutes and priests sort of concept. But I think of earthquakes.

    Stuartg you relate radon to geology. One thing about geology is depth of earthquakes. Take a look at the following images and see a similar earthquake depth pattern to the radon pattern:

    https://keithwoodford.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/new-zealand-earthquakes-locations-depths-and-tsunami/

    Maybe I can relate shallow quakes to some extra radon and football
    wins.

    Had a look at UK radon
    http://www.ukradon.org/information/ukmaps/englandwales
    Which, though both low, puts Manchester catchment area radon a bit greater than Birmingham. But that won’t explain the sudden differential between Manchester and Birmingham football 8 years after the start of Birmingham fluoridation.

    Stuartg thanks for helping me brainstorm though you don’t want to do you?

    Fluoridation may have benefits and costs. Do we want to run it like everybody is rated for public transport though they may not be able to use it and would rather spend the money for bike repairs?

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  71. “I am not interested in a detailed discussion of vaccination issues at this stage so have not accessed your links.”

    Ken you brought up the subject taking several sentences in your message for this thread. Why not discuss it?

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  72. Soundhill, have a real read of my comment.

    And stop trying to divert the issue. My statement was that anti-fluoridation propagandists interpret the freedom of choice they talk about as their freedom to impose their minority choice in the community who actually want a safe, beneficial and cost-effective social health policy.

    Why are you trying to avoid discussing this?

    >

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  73. Ken maybe it’s a bit like our South Island McKenzie country.

    McKenzie is a large area of middle South Island which I think was cleared of forest by burning a very long time ago. Now it is an unirrigated land which serves as a habitat for special species. People also like its character, and don’t want dairy effluent going into rivers.

    Put that against the benefit to the dairy corporates and the supposed economic benefit to all NZers of irrigation.

    You talked of fluoride in sea water, but it is there in combination with chloride and iodide. I liked being salty after a swim when I used to go in regularly.

    Our skin is not an isolating barrier. “chemicals” on or formed on it are able to be absorbed. It is populated by useful bacteria. Bathing in fluoridated water is likely to change the skin’s ecology. The balance of sweated out minerals will be changed with the addition of fluoridated water.

    The claim that fluoride is “systemic” I think needs to be adjusted. I have not seen the figure for by how many dmft the systemic effect claimed in your reference for Connett is.

    A study by Yao and Groen I referred to gave low level of salivary fluoride, scarcely different between drinking fluoridated and non-fluoridated water after some minutes delay. They commented maybe fluoride was getting from water on to teeth to explain reported tooth health difference.

    So it may be necessary to come to some compromise about including both systemic and topical effects of fluoride. And I would say on skin, too, from showering in fluoridated water.

    Just as some people like the McKenzie Country without cubicle dairy farms maybe some people should be allowed to have a their showering in natural unfluoridated water with some radon in it. You say fluoridation produces a saving so their should be plenty of money to shift families and provide daily transport to work.

    I remind you that I have not come to a conclusion on fluoridation.

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  74. Soundhill – what evidence have you that F is absorbed through skin by contact with water? Seriously, what is your evidence seeing that the reviews and texts usually say there is no evidence for this?

    In fact, to get across cell membranes it appears that F must be in the HF form – making it possible in the stomach. We do not bath or show in HF.

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  75. Ken I find it hard to imagine that skin microbiology is not going to be affected by the fluoride ion which is lipophilic.
    “The weakening of lipid metabolism by fluorides is due to repression of the activity of a number of enzymes responsible for lipid transformation: triglyceride lipase (4,5), some nonspecific esterases (6,7), and the complete blockage of pyro-
    phosphatase activity (8,9), which causes repression in the oxidation of fatty acids”
    http://www.fluorideresearch.org/274/files/FJ1994_v27_n4_p201-204.pdf

    I don’t know what they may do to the lipid based formation of vitamin D, or to the skin synthesis by microbiology of vitamin B12.

    Fluoride absorbed by drinking is diluted by the body, but if as you say it cannot be absorbed through the skin, evaporation of the water from the skin is going to concentrate it there from bathing water.

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  76. Gee, those microbes on our skin must suffer all sorts of insults.🙂 Part of life, I am afraid. Although it does give a Buddhist microbiologist friend of my some guilty feelings.

    >

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  77. Question: Soundhill – what evidence have you that F is absorbed through skin by contact with water?

    Response: Ken I find it hard to imagine that skin microbiology is not going to be affected by the fluoride ion which is lipophilic.

    [Translation: no evidence }

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  78. If he’s a Buddhist and a vegan (though I read the Dalai Lama may not be) then he may be short of vitamin B12. Symptoms take a while to show. I am not sure if it may be synthesised and absorbed in the colon by some people, or on the skin.

    But the vitamin D synthesis does not require microbiological organisms as far as I know. Sterols (like cholesterol) are irradiated by UVB to previtamin D and take hours to days on warm skin to convert to vitamin D3 and absorb. I don’t know if fluoride may help or hinder the process. But it is fairly sure it will take part.

    Need to take care of skin microbiology. If good ones get hit it makes space for bad ones to grow. A few weeks after starting to use an anti-bacterial hand wash I got a small abrasion near my index finger nail and it got a flesh eating bacteria in it. It was rapid and scary.

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  79. soundhill,

    Fluoride, lipophilic? Since when?

    If fluoride is lipophilic, then it would dissolve in fat and be insoluble in water.

    Fluoride is soluble in water, as in CWF. The W stands for water.

    Please, think before you comment.

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  80. soundhill,

    I commented earlier about basic errors, that could be corrected by reading decades old textbooks.

    I didn’t imagine you would supply another so soon.

    Lipophilic = (fat) (liking).

    Hydrophilic = (water) (liking).

    Which applies to fluoride? Hint: fluoride can be dissolved in community water supplies. It can’t be dissolved in olive oil.

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  81. @Richard Christie:
    “Question: Soundhill what evidence have you that F is absorbed through skin by contact with water?

    Response: Ken I find it hard to imagine that skin microbiology is not going to be affected by the fluoride ion which is lipophilic.

    [Translation: no evidence }”

    I did not give Ken evidence, because I accepted his word that it doesn’t go through.

    What I had said:

    “Our skin is not an isolating barrier. “chemicals” on or formed on it are able to be absorbed. It is populated by useful bacteria. Bathing in fluoridated water is likely to change the skin’s ecology. The balance of sweated out minerals will be changed with the addition of fluoridated water.”

    Nothing there about the fluoride going through the skin.

    Ken doesn’t like the idea of people wanting to be rehoused away from fluoridation. So he makes up a straw man and challenges that. People will learn to see through such techniques.

    I took the lipophilicity concept from Machoy-Mokrzynska et al. I’ll look into that some more. Maybe they were thinking of drugs containing fluoride in order to be absorbed more easily into fats.

    I see the soil bacterium Streptomyces cattleya can put fluoride into organic compounds. Maybe we will get some on our skin.

    Apparently fluoride ion is so electronegative that it holds water molecules around it, supposedly isolating it.

    Also note Pollack’s claim that pH in water near a surface can increase, which he showed with an indicator dye. That may change what can happen to fluoride, especially if light is present.

    But just saying again, I was not claiming the fluoride goes through the skin, just that it may change what happens on the skin, possibly related to vitamin D synthesis &c. The skin is an organ.

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  82. @Stuartg: “Lipophilic = (fat) (liking).

    Hydrophilic = (water) (liking).

    Which applies to fluoride? Hint: fluoride can be dissolved in community water supplies. It can’t be dissolved in olive oil”

    No but an enzyme or enzymes can cause it to compound with a constituent of olive oil, oleic acid: the compound is ω-Fluorooleic acid 25, though it may be only in another plant. (Stuart Cross PhD Thesis).

    Do you think we know all and everything about skin microbiology now?

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  83. Do you think we know all and everything about skin microbiology now?

    Yeah Stuart, you know-it-all.
    There could be all sorts of mechanisms.

    Could be this, maybe that.
    Perhaps one thing, possibly another.

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  84. “Social” policies may tend to average out everyone. It is gradually becoming more widely know how the Kremlin, in the early 1930s, was not keen on the Christian Kulak peasant farmers keeping their individual plots of land. Stalin announced the “liquidation of the Kulaks as a class.” Six million dies is an estimate in the “Holodomor,”: they were denied food.

    Thanks Stuartg for reminding me to research papers more. I didn’t before posting the seemingly negative rank correlation between years of fluoridation and cancer. Now I have started and I see that at low but varying levels, some types of cancer increase and others decrease. My feeling is that those who have a genetic predisposition to cancer in various parts of their body should be allowed more or less fluoride depending on the possible cancer site. Unless you believe teeth are more important than cancer.

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  85. Soundhill, you are just as bad with history as with science. You should put more effort into checking facts and sources. In Ukraine the famine which struck their area, and parts of Russia in the 30s is used to hit the Russians with, despite the fact they suffered too. And did not the Russians suffer under Stalin?

    Typically Ukrainian nationalists inflate the figures (more like 1 million died in Ukraine), and commonly illustrate “Holodomor” with photos taken by a Norwegian photographer of the famine in Russia in the 1920s resulting from the civil war.

    And come off it, comparing a safe, effective, beneficial and cost effective social health policy like CWF to forcible nationalisation of private land under Stalin! Next you will be telling us the Nazis used fluoridation in the concentration camps to keep the Jews docile!

    >

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  86. “However, for cancers of the buccal cavity and pharynx mortality
    was higher in the high fluoride areas [1ppm or more] (SMR [standard mortality ratio] 121) than in the low areas [0.2ppm] (SMR 65).”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1052399/

    Richard you are taking a laugh at “could be, perhaps, possibly.”

    So what do you say of Ken’s statement at the end of his dialogue with Paul Connett?:
    “And, of course, there is always the possibility that
    future research may change the current scientific consensus that fluoride at the levels used in water or salt fluoridation is safe and beneficial. Science is like that. Because our knowledge is
    always provisional, but improving over time, we sometimes do modify our conclusions”

    And please note there is a difference between water fluoridation
    and salt fluoridation which should not be conflated. It is more easy to allow people with predisposition to cancer at various sites on their body to increase or decrease their dose with salt.

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  87. Soundhill, I object to you using a perfectly reasonable statement of mine to support your crazy ideas.

    The fact is that all the science to date indicates that water fluoridation at optimum concentrations is safe and effective. The only slightly negative problem is its contribution to mild dental fluorosis – which occurs in unflouridated areas anyway. And is usually considered positive from a quality of life perspective.

    Now future science may change that assessment – but I mean evidence-based science not random speculation. It is easy to dream up all sorts of logical possibilities but it is dishonest to present them as science, let alone evidence-based. Or as argument for stopping a well accepted social health policy until you silly conclusions are tested.

    My perfectly reasonable statement which all scientists would agree with is no justification at all for your ramblings on a bog comment. Please don’t try to rope me in as supporting such rambling and the completely unreasonable conclusions these produce for you. That is not science.

    >

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  88. This comment will “possibly” irk Richard.

    We are used to having different clothes for males and females.

    Some people think it is great to blur the difference between male and female.

    Say we let go on parliamentary clothing rules but compensate by allowing different fluoride intakes for men and women (depending on other genetics, too.)

    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jea1991/11/4/11_4_170/_pdf

    That is a paper which confirms some figures from my previous ref.

    Do I dare start data entry on NZ figures for urban district vs cancer site prevalence? Too boring for here. Publish it first. Find a reviewer who knows partial correlation.

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  89. Richard,

    I take your comment in the spirit it was intended🙂

    I’m a generalist with wide knowledge. I know the areas where my knowledge is lacking and will readily admit to the areas I lack knowledge.

    Some commentors, particularly on this blog, develop extravagantly constructed, multifaceted hypotheses in an attempt to cast doubts on certain well established areas of science.

    Being a generalist, I can often see where the foundations for those hypotheses are fallacious, where they have been known to be erroneous for decades.

    More than anything else, that’s what started me commenting on some blogs. I just don’t like to see those hypotheses getting more and more ethereal when they aren’t connected to anything solid. I believe it’s much better to apply the otherwise wasted thought and energy to something that has solid foundations.

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  90. Ken, can you refer me to a systematic review of articles on cancer site, sex and levels of fluoride relevant to fluoridation? I have just shown 2 articles which might be considered in such a review. The first says its positive correlations, to the extent they are, could be chance. But the second is finding similar pattern so is reducing the possibility that the result is chance.

    Is there dissemination bias, since it would seem the negative correlations found for a number of sites would be a pro-fluoridation argument, but hampered by the positive ones.

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  91. Though you were provided with all evidence you chose to ignore it and spread corporate propaganda, guess I couldn’t have expected anything better as thats what you are funded by the corporation( nz govt) to do.
    Its a simple case of a conflict of interest as you are paid to support a political position .

    People did not and do not have a choice on the matter the corporation is still forcing mass medication of fluoride.
    And you are incorrect preaching people should just “trust” in an industry that has been exposed as corrupted is pure stupidity.
    And you are wrong, informed consent is not trust.
    Time are changing and many people are waking up to the current state of corporate funded ” junk science” and the political propaganda dressed up as science.

    Comedian George Carlin speaking about the corporation ( govt) put it this way:
    “Sooner or later, the people in this country are going to realise the government doesn’t give a f*ck about them. The government doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply doesn’t give a f*ck about you. It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing. Keeping it, and expanding it wherever possible.”

    Like

  92. Problems of science politics have been going on for quite a long time. It would be interesting to know the real thoughts of Soddy, co-worker with Rutherford, as he tried to get published a model of the atom with central electron and orbiting protons.

    Soddy had been trying to fight oligarchy in the Royal Society, and make science more of a social leader.

    The way I dream it Soddy may have been trying to say how silly the control of science by the military oligarchs is.

    I think we still have that authoritarian overhang, but now it is not just country against country forcing obedience but corporate dominance.

    The central core is afraid to listen too much in case something may come up which challenges the sciento-corporate framework.

    A big one is GMO business expansion. I think it is one reason why Monsanto mercenaries have been in Ukraine.

    Fluoridation is pretty small but opens a crack in the dominance philosophy.

    http://classic.rsnr.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/06/30/rsnr.2010.0048.full

    Like

  93. Soundhill, your wishful statement “Fluoridation is pretty small but opens a crack in the dominance philosophy” reminds of the Wedge Document whereby Christian extremists in the US hoped to overthrow evidence based science and replace it with a theistic science.

    Fluoridation has a sound evidence base for its safety and effectiveness. But there are corporate interests who see fluoridation as a weak point through which they can drive their profit motivated wedge. Connett himself has exposed that thinking, seeing fluoridation as the first step, followed by vaccination and then by evidence-based health science in general.

    Is see your confused ramblings in which you make a completely unfounded prior assumptions that fluoridation is dangerous and then frantically search for anything you can use to discredit it as just another part of that wedge. It is making you look ridiculous and you get unanimous criticism for it.

    And you continually avoid the evidence that has been presented to you for how the business, profit-based interests of the “natural” health industry is financing much of this attack on fluoridation. You defend Mercola for his opposition to evidence-based science and pretend you don’t hear about how he finances the Connett Crowd. Your close your eyes to the big money from the NZ Health Trust financing the High Court actions against fluoridation.

    I suspect with this sentence you have let slip your conscious understanding of the tactical significance of the anti-science attacks on fluoridation. A bit like Obama when he let slip recently that the U.S. brokered the transition of power in Ukraine – in other words they engineered the coup!

    >

    Like

  94. Ken I think more categories of arguer description are needed.

    There are a number of dimensions, science, authority, economics, financial grasping, health of teeth, compromise, pride, other health, psychology, sociology, learning ability…

    I have written about a number of them, They break down into further categories.

    What I have said about cancer from my and other studies seems to support fluoridation to some degree, though I see cautions for some people.

    But you, Stuartg and Richard have focussed on fewer. And whereas I have sliding scales in the dimensions you seem to need yes or no, or only yes. And that I believe may be a reason for distrust.

    It seems to be a closed book. Fluoride does a bit a help to some and so force it in and make sure no-one gets notions of further improvements for health care is what it looks like.

    Like

  95. Still avoiding the elephant in the room – the corporate interests of the “natural” health industry. Anything to avoid that getting attention.

    You are ‘t by any chance on their payroll are you?

    >

    Like

  96. No, Ken.

    I think the “natural” health industry get market share by offering stuff that doctors can’t or couldn’t prescribe easily.

    If anybody asks a doctor for B vitamins, will it have vitamin B3, niacinamide in the recipe? Didn’t use to.
    Had to go to Sanitarium Health food shop.

    Good stuff. Lack of vitamin B3 may cause the 5 Ds. Diarrhoea, dermatitis, depression, dementia death.

    Doctor would probably be trying antibiotics, steroids, antidepressives, antipsychotics.

    Like

  97. Spoken like a true believer, Soundhill. And again you avoid the elephant in the room. Worse, you make flimsy excuses for it and it’s profit driven behaviour.

    Like

  98. Ken I did add a couple of Ds.

    Muriel Bell, “Nutrition Notes for Nurses,” left off depression and death.

    What do you think doctors learn about diagnosing nutritional problems, now and in the past when public “beliefs” were formed?

    If I say omega-3 = antiinflammatory, omega-6 = inflammatory, how many skeptics doctors will have a big laugh and a big yawn and write out neurofen or whatever prescription?

    Like

  99. soundhill,

    “Lack of vitamin B3 may cause…”

    …or it may not.

    Reliable references, please.

    Oh, yes… About the only indication for a vitamin prescription is vitamin deficiency.* Anything else just produces expensive urine.

    *There are some indications with oncology and immunosuppression.

    Like

  100. soundhill,

    “If I say omega-3 … how many skeptics doctors will have a big laugh..?”

    Actually, all NZ doctors would. A 30 second search on the Pharmac web site would demonstrate to you that neither omega-3 nor omega-6 are available for prescription in NZ.

    Please, check the basics first.

    Like

  101. Still avoiding the elephant, Soundhill.

    >

    Like

  102. Unfortunately my nutrition books are hidden away as a result of the quakes. Roman Kutsky would be one author: “Vitiamins, Minerals and Hormones” Can’t remember other names at the moment. Bought them from N M Peryer amongst the medical texts a long time ago though I was not formally studying.

    Excess alcohol can produce a B3 shortage. Or “fad” diets, maybe Ken can comment on his Buddhist friend’s eating habits.

    Got to be careful with large doses of niacinamde = nicotinamde, or time release doses which may harm the liver.

    Niacin = nicotinic acid may be prescribed by doctors to open capilliaries, I am told it gives a buzz.

    I don’t know about now but I don’t think doctors got much training in nutrition. It was just presumed our diets were adequate. And doctors probably have not caught up with the tremendous change of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 in our diets, which actually has been happening for a long time, resulting in demand for anti-inflammatory drugs.

    What doctor bothers to check zinc and chromium levels of a patient before or in addition prescribing metformin or insulin?

    Like

  103. soundhill,

    The Pharmac website documents all of the medications available to be prescribed in NZ. It’s a good place to start when looking for any medications in NZ.

    It also documents the discussions that take place, and the evidence for and against each medication. The omegas have been discussed, and the reasons why they are not available on prescription are on the website.

    As for niacinamide – the Pharmac website reports that no-one has ever requested that it be available on prescription. Since the request can be made by anyone, maybe you should do it yourself since you object to it not being available.

    All you have to do is summarise the research, supply reliable references, look into the costings, produce a cost/benefit analysis for the country, list indications, contraindications, doses, interactions, adverse effects. Forward all of these to Pharmac and they will then consider your proposal.

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  104. soundhill,

    You are correct in that doctors don’t get much training in “nutrition.” They actually don’t get any unless they do a paper in sCAM (supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Instead they get training in diet.

    As Ben Goldacre says, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. They don’t need any training at all, and many haven’t actually had any training. He gives many examples of such untrained “nutritionists” in his book and on his website.

    However, the professionals are the dieticians. They have to go through rigorous, documented training, and then have to be professionally registered. Doctors only have some of the training of dieticians. That training is sufficient for them to recognise a dietary problem and then they refer the patient to the true professionals, the dieticians.

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  105. Diet, that’s another of my old books, “Human Nutrition and Dietetics,” by Davidson and Passmore.

    From what I read doctors just trot out scripts maybe too frequently even an anti-depressant when and anti-biotic is needed. They treat symptoms, not heal causes, which is why the alternative medicine elephant is growing, though “science based medicine” is trying to stamp it out.

    I am still waiting for satisfactory communication from a public health professor about the place of human contact in health.

    Like

  106. Soundhill, I think you are correct that “natural” health professionals can sometime offer a better service than doctors. They can often spend much more time with each patient and that in itself can have psychological and psychosomatic benefits.

    Of course the answer is to improve the system so that doctors can spend more time with patients and recognise when other professionals with counselling skill may be more appropriate (and more cost-effective).

    And I think it is true that some doctors over-prescribe with things like antidepressants. But others do not. I am fortunate in that my doctor has been excellent, does not overprescribed and attempts to manage my medication sensibly. (Mind you, my cardiologist does a better job with managing medication – but then again he is the specialist). My doctor also has relatively good communication skills and I do appreciate my regular appointments with her even if waiting times can be a problem. As in any interactions with specialists, some are better than others and a wise patient recognises this and acts accordingly.

    My partner is a cancer patient and I have found that our oncologist often has to deal with emotional issues and and pretty good skills in that. He also devotes a good time to consultations (although it is frustrating for other patients waiting), is a good listener, etc.

    But on the other hand, many “natural” health professionals are dangerous in their anti-science attitudes (although even Mercola has fine print advising readers to consult their own doctors – his legal let out). And that danger is fed by an anti-science ideology which is promoted by a profit-driven and largely unregulated industry.

    So Soundhill, I know you are ideologically obliged to condemn and misrepresent our health system (and to be very silent about the faults and profit and ideology-driven nature of the “natural” health system you promote) but your dogmatic rants are not convincing.

    >

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  107. “produce a cost/benefit analysis for the country”

    What is “the country?”

    When you are talking cost/benefit aspects of “the country” you are talking about big business.

    Canada are trying to reduce the costs to “their country” of medications but are finding “their country” is a little subsidiary of Eli Lilley who want its $500million cut and threatens to list Canada as business unfriendly.

    The Govt won’t look at my cost/benefit analysis because it will cut into GDP tremendously.

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  108. Science is big business. As I pointed out recently, this 2011 article points out how big just the information sector of it is:

    “If you are not a scientist or a lawyer, you might never guess which company is one of the world’s biggest in online revenue. Ebay will haul in only $1 billion this year. Amazon has $3.5 billion in revenue but is still, famously, losing money. Outperforming them both is Reed Elsevier, the London-based publishing company. Of its $8 billion in likely sales this year, $1.5 billion will come from online delivery of data, and its operating margin on the internet is a fabulous 22%.

    Credit this accomplishment to two things. One is that Reed primarily sells not advertising or entertainment but the dry data used by lawyers, doctors, nurses, scientists and teachers. The other is its newfound marketing hustle: Its CEO since 1999 has been Crispin Davis, formerly a soap salesman.”

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/journals.html

    Like

  109. soundhill,

    Since you have completely ignored my request for reliable references for your statement “Lack of vitamin B3 may cause…” I take it that you don’t have any. Fair enough, I’ll not ask again and your statement can be completely ignored.

    I take it that you don’t consider niacinamide to be important enough as a medication to request that Pharmac supply it from the public purse? That’s OK as well; if it’s not needed to treat anything then we can safely rely on the multibillion, multinational, supplements industry to sell it to people who want expensive urine.

    And why would the government look at your cost/benefit analysis for niacinamide? It’s Pharmac that has to look at the figures.

    A lady, alternatively inclined,
    Was surprised her homeopath opined,
    I have to deplore,
    My “cure” for your sore,
    Has been, by Pharmac, declined.

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  110. How many suicides does natural health produce? Trying to think how to search for figures.

    Compared to side effects of Prozac (Medsafe)

    “sudden switches of mood to one of
    overactivity and uninhibited
    behaviour”

    The recommendation is to go to A&E, if they could be persuaded.

    Not put in terms of suicide increases or rampages on Medsafe.

    Like

  111. Stuartg the vitamin B3 deficiency disease is known as pellagra.

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  112. soundhill,

    OK, vitamin B3 deficiency causes pellagra. I’d forgotten – too many years since those lectures about vitamin deficiencies unlikely to ever be seen in NZ.

    It’s very difficult to be B3 deficient in NZ because B3 is found in so many foods and can even be synthesised from tryptophan in dietary proteins. It takes a special effort, including an extremely restricted diet, to get pellagra in NZ.

    I was bemused by the way you said “Lack of vitamin B3 may cause the 5 Ds. Diarrhoea, dermatitis, depression, dementia death.” Vitamin B3 deficiency either causes pellagra, or it doesn’t. There’s no need to say “may cause.” It makes you sound very uncertain about things, which is why I asked rather than look it up myself.

    I would have phrased it somewhat more definitively: “Vitamin B3 deficiency is known as pellagra.”

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  113. soundhill,

    You said: “How many suicides does natural health produce? Trying to think how to search for figures.”

    I would suggest looking at the national figures to begin with. Most people who successfully commit suicide are either using “natural health” or have not seen a doctor.

    People who have seen a doctor and are under active treatment tend to be monitored as part of the treatment and usually do not successfully suicide.

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  114. soundhill,

    …but I’d love to see any figures that you produce.

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  115. “I was bemused by the way you said “Lack of vitamin B3 may cause the 5 Ds. Diarrhoea, dermatitis, depression, dementia death.” Vitamin B3 deficiency either causes pellagra, or it doesn’t. There’s no need to say “may cause.” It makes you sound very uncertain about things, which is why I asked rather than look it up myself.”

    Sorry I should have said “any of,” note that in alcoholism as my ref said, the dermatitis may not appear.

    The way you talk it appears you are not interested in people whose diets have become idiosyncratic.

    Like

  116. “People who have seen a doctor and are under active treatment tend to be monitored as part of the treatment and usually do not successfully suicide” Robbie Williams?

    Like

  117. “Vitamin B3 deficiency either causes pellagra, or it doesn’t. ”

    Still on the two-valued thinking?

    “my house is either painted or it isn’t”. But it may only have been given a very thin coat. So your thinking is that a thin yellow coat of paint on a white house does not count as being painted. I say the house has some of the characteristics of being painted.

    And I suggest “subclinical” pellagra may be eased and a person may feel better and get back to work with a small B3 supplement when they are not converting their tryptophan so well. Sorry I cannot supply a double blind placebo-controlled study.

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  118. In two-valued thinking there is only alternative or conventional medicine.

    Mercola is a trained doctor who is trying to do a bit better.

    Here he is referring people to something that may help for the future: a clip from Emory University looking at brain scans to try to remove some of the trial and error in depression treatment.

    I feel a danger of the approach of several people on this group to Mercola is that they try to put people off looking at what he has to say. Don’t we want to look at all avenues at reducing the spending on antidepressants which must be about the second most costly to government?

    Maybe this article will help Mercola sell some vitamin D or yoghurt if he sells it, but I don’t think especially him.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/22/depression-causes.aspx

    Like

  119. Oh dear I tried to post with a Mercola ref in it. Have you blocked Mercola URLs Ken?

    Depression is a big medication cost. Must be about number 2.

    Blocking all Mercola stuff would seem to be anti-science.

    Two-valued thinking labels people as conventional, to be read, and alternative to be avoided.

    Mercola is a trained doctor who wants to do better.

    His article suggests vitamin D, but also attention to gut matters. The products could be bought anywhere. People may want to support him to give out more info. He also includes a video clip from Emory Unviersity looking at the future when it may become possible through a scan to say whether psychotherapy or medication is going to be more effective, saving money and time.

    “Advances in Understanding of Depression Offers New Hope”
    Mercola Jan 22 2015.

    As for alternative treatment and suicide there may be the confounding factor of people going alternative when conventional has not produced the goods already.

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  120. You are mindlessly rambling again Soundhill.

    >

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  121. “You are mindlessly rambling again Soundhill.”

    Not totally mindlessly.

    In its responsibility to its shareholders, would anti-depressant supplier Eli Lilly be trying to think of a way around scans that might reduce their sales by half? Or would it not enter their minds?

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  122. OK, I exaggerate. 90% mindless. 10% still concentrating on propagandising the message of “natural” health industry big business.🙂

    >

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  123. Except that the Emory video clip Mercola posted did not speak against the use of conventional anti-depressants, only that there may be a way to target them better.

    Like

  124. soundhill,

    Robbie Williams? He’s due to play in Madrid on 25 March. This is beginning to look like flight of ideas.

    Like

  125. soundhill,

    Or mindless rambling, as Ken says.

    Like

  126. soundhill,

    You said: “And I suggest “subclinical” pellagra may be eased and a person may feel better and get back to work with a small B3 supplement when they are not converting their tryptophan so well. Sorry I cannot supply a double blind placebo-controlled study.”

    Does it surprise me that you can’t supply reliable references?
    /rhetorical.

    Since I had forgotten about pellagra, because I haven’t required the knowledge for my job within NZ, I’ve done the appropriate thing and caught up with the literature.

    The medical literature says that either a person has enough vitamin B3, or they have pellagra. No in between. That’s how vitamins (and vitamin deficiencies) work.

    As far as I can tell, there is a single case report of “subclinical pellagra”, dated 1970. I wouldn’t exactly call it massively overwhelming evidence that such an entity exists.

    Are you adding a second case report? If you are, I would suggest that you send your paper to an appropriate journal for peer review and publishing rather than announcing it as a comment on Ken’s blog.

    Like

  127. “Robbie Williams? He’s due to play in Madrid on 25 March. This is beginning to look like flight of ideas”

    “Robbie” the affectionate name of the actor in “Mrs Doubtfire.”

    Like

  128. “The medical literature says that either a person has enough vitamin B3, or they have pellagra. No in between. That’s how vitamins (and vitamin deficiencies) work.”

    Seems a bit wrong. Thinking of kidney disease: we have a large reserve of capacity and are not disabled till some 90% is gone.

    Stress requires more brain metabolism and nicotinamide is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates. Persons who have sufficient for low stress may not have sufficient for higher stress.

    Like

  129. soundhill,

    You said: “Still on the two-valued thinking?”

    You do seem to be.

    When I discuss a population, and say “many,” “most,” “usually,” or “tend to be,” you appear to think I’m meaning either all or none. Hint: look up the meanings of the words.

    I do agree with you about biphasic thinking with regard to individuals. They are treated completely different from populations.

    With individuals the situation frequently defaults to an either/or answer: a person either has appendicitis, or they don’t. A person either has influenza, or they don’t. A person either has a car, or they don’t. A person has either finished painting their house, or they haven’t. A person either has pellagra, or they have sufficient vitamin B3.

    Like

  130. soundhill,

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbie_Williams

    http://www.robbiewilliams.com/

    Get your basic facts right.

    Like

  131. “As far as I can tell, there is a single case report of “subclinical pellagra”, dated 1970. I wouldn’t exactly call it massively overwhelming evidence that such an entity exists.”

    The ref I gave for alcoholism says it is not being recognised if the skin lesions don’t show.

    Like

  132. “Get your basic facts right.”
    Actor Robin Williams, sometimes affectionately know as Robbie, was being treated for depression when found dead.

    Like

  133. “A person either has pellagra, or they have sufficient vitamin B3.”

    Sufficient for their current stress level. So some people reduce stress.

    Like

  134. “A person either has a car, or they don’t.”

    They may do but if its tires are worn it is not safely useable.

    Like

  135. Soundhill – I think it morally wrong to take advantage of a person who died in tragic circumstances and attempt to use them to communciate things they would not have believed or advocated.

    For example – Robyn Williams may have said:

    “People who have seen a doctor and are under active treatment tend to be monitored as part of the treatment and usually do not successfully suicide.”

    It is a perfectly reasonable statment and probably well supported statistically. Yes, he was an exception but it is surely dishonest to use that to imply that treatment and the care of a doctor promotes suicides rather than reduces the incidence.

    I think you have elsewhere sort of implied that anti-depressants increase the incidence of suicide. I think this is also an immoral use of statistics. It is probably perfectly true that the proportion of people taking anti-depressants who commit suicide is greater than amongst those who don’t take them. But of course the two populations are different in that one show symptoms of depression and the other (mostly) don’t.

    Reminds me of another misuse of statistics in the depression sphere I came across a few years ago. The media had been reporting that statistically more depressed adolescents commit suicide if they are taking antidepressants. In actual fact the statistics did not show that. The data showed that there was an increase in the numbers who mentioned suicidal feelings but in fact there was not an increase in the numbers who committed suicide

    Unfortunately this misreporting lead to increased hesitancy in prescribing anti-depresants to a goup who would most like have benefited.

    Like

  136. “A person either has influenza, or they don’t.” But it comes in various severities. I agree it is more two-valued if they die of it or not.

    Like

  137. Thankyou Ken.

    Like

  138. Yes Ken but it goes both ways.

    I see the missing article I repeated without the Mercola actual URL has been placed by openparachute onto “awaiting moderation.” If I had not bothered to repeat it without URL code them some people may have been denied the opportunity to know about teh Enory study and targetting anti-depressant vs psychotherapy as referred by Mercola. Or that he thinks inflammation may be involved: depression a possible physical cause. Some people are doing a better job of adjusting to higher grain (omega 6) since the beginnings of agriculture some 10,000 years ago.

    Confounding factors need to be considered. “Weed” a name for marijuana may have more significance in it. People thrown by it and less able to cope with work and socially have been more at risk of suicide. The remaining population may have a lower risk of suicide in studies.

    Like

  139. soundhill,

    You said; “Seems a bit wrong. Thinking of kidney disease: we have a large reserve of capacity and are not disabled till some 90% is gone.”

    Comparing “kidney disease” with pellagra is more than “a bit wrong.”

    “Kidney disease” is a vague concept. It encompasses many different acute and chronic illnesses. It has many different causes, only some of which result in renal failure and reduction of renal capacity. Some people even consider reduced renal function of old age to be part of the concept. It has many different methods of treatment depending on each of the many causes. Sometimes there is no treatment possible (eg old age). Some, but not all, causes of “kidney disease” can be cured.

    Pellagra is a single entity which has a single cause and a single cure.

    It’s not even comparing apples with oranges, more like comparing a single apple with all motorised vehicles.

    Now, that’s enough about pellagra. In this discussion, we’ve learned that I had forgotten about the disease and that you have ideas about it that are supported only by a single case report in the entire of the literature. The vast gulf between medicine and your ideas is unlikely to be bridged by any discussion on Ken’s blog, or even by direct evidence.

    Like

  140. soundhill,

    You said: ““A person either has a car, or they don’t.”
    They may do but if its tires are worn it is not safely useable.”

    But do they have a car or not?

    You also said: ““A person either has influenza, or they don’t.” But it comes in various severities. I agree it is more two-valued if they die of it or not.”

    But do they have influenza or not?

    As I said, with individuals (as opposed to populations), most questions do devolve to the either/or situation. Your comments have only supported that.

    Like

  141. I may have a car but if the rust is progressing on it after the next warrant check it may not be legal to use it, which is not what many people think of as having a car to go about in. It will depend in part on the discretion of the warrant tester, but I might do better to get the rust attended to earlier, rather than leave it till it is uneconomic to do.

    You haven’t answered how the diagnoser in your situation knows pellagra without the suggestions of skin lesions. Pretty severe if they turn up which is probably what your article had to wait for suggestion of. In the mean time depression may show up and be wrongly treated by the doctor.

    Like

  142. soundhill,

    “The ref I gave for alcoholism says it is not being recognised if the skin lesions don’t show” is not a question. Nothing to answer.

    Besides: Now, that’s enough about pellagra. In this discussion, we’ve learned that I had forgotten about the disease and that you have ideas about it that are supported only by a single case report in the entire of the literature. The vast gulf between medicine and your ideas is unlikely to be bridged by any discussion on Ken’s blog, or even by direct evidence.

    Like

  143. soundhill,

    I did ask you a question, which you still haven’t answered.

    Rephrased, more specifically: I have a car, it hasn’t run in fifty years. It hasn’t been registered for longer. All the tires are flat. The wood of the wheels are rotting. Do I have a car, or not? The only possible answers are either “yes” or “no.”

    (Then, if you answer “no,” you can explain why I was paid NZ$14,000 for it by someone who believed the answer was “yes.”)

    And then you can answer the second question: ““A person either has influenza, or they don’t.” But it comes in various severities. I agree it is more two-valued if they die of it or not.”

    Do they have influenza or not? Again, the only possible answers are either “yes” or “no.”

    I’m repeating myself: with individuals (as opposed to populations), most questions do devolve to the either/or situation. Your comments have only supported that.

    Like

  144. Stuartg that sounds pretty much to me like the argument being buried or cremated or mummified. Will your bring your wife with you?

    Like

  145. “Do they have influenza or not? Again, the only possible answers are either “yes” or “no.””

    They might have the symptoms. They might have strong or minimal symptoms. Or they may have no symptoms but still have influenza virus.

    The question is the diagnosis and whether the treatment/(isolation if necessary) is appropriate.

    The pellagra symptom of depression may not be recognised as a vitamin B3 deficiency, whether through lack of intake or poor conversion ability from tryptophan.

    Who is more likely to give the correct diagnosis, Mercola or some doctor trained that pellagra is not a disease you should worry about in NZ?

    Like

  146. soundhill,

    We’ll let Mercola answer that himself, quoting directly from his website:

    “Mercola.com makes no representation as to how complete, accurate, or current any information is on this Website.”

    And:

    “The information contained in the Website is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. You should not use the information available on or through the Mercola.com Website (including, but not limited to, information that may be provided by healthcare and/or nutrition professionals employed by, or contracting with, Mercola.com) for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration unless specifically so stated.”

    In other words, Mercola is telling you not to trust him, or his website.

    I’ll say again (third time): Now, that’s enough about pellagra. In this discussion, we’ve learned that I had forgotten about the disease and that you have ideas about it that are supported only by a single case report in the entire of the literature. The vast gulf between medicine and your ideas is unlikely to be bridged by any discussion on Ken’s blog, or even by direct evidence.

    Like

  147. Stuartg, how do you claim that when the ref I gave reports:

    “Twenty cases of pellagra, diagnosed on neuropathological grounds, were found among 74 necropsy cases of chronic alcoholism. Although these patients had presented with various mental, neurological and gastrointestinal symptoms, the diagnosis of pellagra had not been established clinically because, in the majority, there were no skin lesions.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC490893/
    Twenty out of 74 is more than a quarter of alcoholics.

    Mercola has to be very careful since he has been caught claiming that food can be medicine and vice versa without double blind controlled clinical trials. If Mercola would say something to the equivalent of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” he would be taken to court. Not that he would say that without warning about fructose.

    Like

  148. soundhill,

    You keep mentioning that reference. So what? It’s about institutionalised Japanese chronic alcoholics during the 1970s who had multiple dietary deficiencies. It’s totally irrelevant to modern New Zealand, or even modern Japan, and no further comment is needed.

    You asked: “how do you claim that when…” What is the “that” I am supposed to be claiming? Vaguely worded questions frequently end up with the questioner denying the answer given is relevant. So, why should I reply? I suspect the answer is already in the previous comments, but you ignored it.

    By the way, did I mention that I’ve stopped commenting about pellagra?

    I’m bemused by the way you seem to believe every word Mercola says is true, when he himself denies it is “complete, accurate, or current.”

    I contrast that to your apparent approach to websites which announce they try to make their information complete, accurate, and current. You know, places like http://www.cdc.gov, http://www.health.govt.nz/, http://www.pharmac.govt.nz/ and similar. You appear to completely disregard them as sources of complete, accurate and current information. Why the difference? (That’s a rhetoricaI question, I don’t expect an intelligible answer).

    Oh, yes – FYI, I’ve stopped commenting about pellagra. Completely. There doesn’t seem any point in discussing it with someone who believes fervently in “subclinical pellagra,” which has only ever had one case report.

    Like

  149. Well if you’ve stopped commenting about pellagra then I get the last word. Many alcoholics suffer from dietary deficiency, same as anorexics. Modern NZ does not affect that much.

    Only one case report (the “that” you ask about) when so many cases are found at autopsy? I think that severely points to deficiencies in diagnosis. _If_ things have improved nutritionally since the 70s ( I doubt that with the increased disparity between high and low family incomes: top deciles increasing at many times the rate of the bottom decile which is hardly moving) then I say that attitudes forming in the earlier times are still hanging on from those earlier days about having to go alternative.

    The point is to address the deficiencies first rather than start with prescribing anti-depressants. Eating abnormalities, anorexia, pica _may_ be helped by zinc supplementation as with diabetes which should be addressed first rather than drugs. Note prescribing chemists now have supplements on their shelves.

    I don’t believe every Mercola word, as I said he is a doctor bemused by the inadequacies of conventional trreatment and looking for better. I do not believe amalgam replacement to be as advisable as some people claim on his site. Composite xenoestrogens are not addressed in all the articles.

    I am not sure about fluoridation.

    But I assimilate some things from his site. To be two-valued and entirely accept or reject I have found is a technique of disinformation specialists.

    Like

  150. soundhill,

    Errors even in what is supposedly your last word?

    1. Mercola is not a medical doctor. He says so himself, on his website. He’s an osteopath with no qualifications that would allow him to be recognised as a doctor in New Zealand. (And, to be fair, I have no qualifications that would allow me to be recognised as an osteopath in the USA.)

    2. The authors of your reference claim to have found pellagra at the autopsy of institutionalised Japanese chronic alcoholics who had multiple dietary deficiencies. The diagnostic features of pellagra, as stated by yourself, are diarrhoea, dermatitis, depression, dementia and death. Diarrhoea, depression and dementia are diagnoses of the living, they cannot be made at autopsy. The authors state they did not find the dermatitis of pellagra at autopsy. So, no diarrhoea, no dementia, no depression, no dermatitis – but yes, they’re dead. It makes me question their diagnosis. Didn’t you read past the abstract and question it as well?

    3. The Japanese diet of the 1970s is not the same as a current New Zealand diet. It’s not even the same as the current Japanese diet. You are trying to argue that dietary deficiencies found in Japanese chronic alcoholics a half century ago are also found in non-alcoholic people eating a modern varied NZ diet. No matter how much you torture the data it is just not going to fit.

    4. “Subclinical pellagra” has a single case report in the literature, and it’s not the reference you gave. It’s so old that I suspect the author has since died. That apparently makes you the only person in the world to believe in it as an entity. Have you written about it for the journals yet?

    When your errors have been pointed out previously, you have stopped talking about radon, “lipophilic” fluoride, prescription omegas… many other subjects I invite you to do the same about pellagra.

    That’s my last comment on this thread.

    And now for yours…

    Like

  151. I once knew a fellow musician who always had to blow the last note.
    Always.
    It became a standing joke “last note [name withheld]”

    Like

  152. Stuartg

    You have not read what I explained.
    You have it back to front. New Zealand osteopaths may not practice in the USA. You have to be an entire doctor to practise osteopathy there. That being said, New Zeland osteopaths, because they do not do a full medical training may spend their training years at polytech specialising more in some aspects of manipulative osteopathy than USA DOs, I am not sure.

    Map of where in the world USA DOs have full practice rights or just manipulation. In NZ (orange area) it’s full rights.

    http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/development/international-osteopathic-medicine/Pages/international-practice-rights-map.aspx

    I believe that would mean a USA DO could prescribe the contraceptive pill in NZ but not an NZ trained osteopath.

    Mercola:
    “And so, my qualifications: first and foremost, I am an osteopathic physician, also known as a DO. DOs are licensed physicians who, similar to MDs, can prescribe medication and perform surgery in all 50 states. DOs and MDs have similar training requiring four years of study in the basic and clinical sciences, and the successful completion of licensing exams. But DOs bring something extra to the practice of medicine. Osteopathic physicians practice a “whole person” approach, treating the entire person rather than just symptoms. Focusing on preventive health care, DOs help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don’t just fight illness, but help prevent it, too.

    I am also board-certified in family medicine and served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years. I am trained in both traditional and natural medicine.

    In addition, I was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN) in October 2012. In order to obtain fellowship status with the ACN one must meet a minimum of four requirements. Those requirements include: (1) co-author five or more publications relevant to nutrition in referred medical or scientific journals, (2) demonstrate significant experience in patient care, (3) hold a doctoral degree from an institution that is accredited by the Regional Accrediting Organizations, and (4) maintain status with the ACN.”

    Mercola’s education.Education:

    University of Illinois at Chicago – UIC 1972-1976
    Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine – Midwestern University 1978-1982
    Chicago Osteopathic Hospital 1982-1985 Family Practice Residency. Chief resident 1984-1985
    Board Certified American College Osteopathic General Practitioners July 1985
    State of Illinois Licensed Physician and Surgeon

    Then shows his medical certificate.
    I won’t give his link since if I do openparachute may put this article on moderation. Maybe that is why you have not seen his data before, Stuartg.

    Like

  153. Yes Richard, I know about music, too.

    Music is a bit different from adversarial discussions, in terms of last words.

    I find that last word in adversarial discussions is often forced by others who wish to leave a discussion when they see they are not on top, while they hope some people are still believing them.

    If this were a game with a cat or maybe music which does not matter so much then I would not bother with trying to get my point across so much. Sometimes a penny drops. Still have to love them.

    But this stuff where we are talking about controlling others’ lives is more important.

    Like

  154. Stuartg, I’m just progressing a bit with my final word, you wrote: “2. The authors of your reference claim to have found pellagra at the autopsy of institutionalised Japanese chronic alcoholics who had multiple dietary deficiencies. The diagnostic features of pellagra, as stated by yourself, are diarrhoea, dermatitis, depression, dementia and death. Diarrhoea, depression and dementia are diagnoses of the living, they cannot be made at autopsy. The authors state they did not find the dermatitis of pellagra at autopsy. So, no diarrhoea, no dementia, no depression, no dermatitis – but yes, they’re dead. It makes me question their diagnosis. Didn’t you read past the abstract and question it as well?”

    Chromatolysis at autopsy was evidence.

    You seem to be brushing people aside, Stuartg.

    My article I have referred to several times is cited by many. Here is an example:
    “Treatment-resistant alcohol withdrawal is a serious clin-
    ical problem due to its high morbidity and mortality [1].
    Studies and case reports over the past several years de-
    scribe patients hospitalized for alcohol withdrawal who
    develop delirium and receive high doses of benzodiaze-
    pines [1-3]. These patients with alcohol withdrawal delir-
    ium (AWD) tend to have costly and prolonged hospital
    stays despite, and likely also because of, aggressive psychopharmacologic treatment involving not only large
    quantities of benzodiazepines but also other sedatives
    such as propofol or barbiturates [4].
    Alcohol withdrawal delirium, a synonym for delirium
    tremens (DTs), often poses a diagnostic dilemma given
    the many possible etiologies of delirium combined with
    the patient’s inability to provide a precise history. Delirium
    with autonomic instability in alcohol-dependent
    inpatients requires diligent clinical care. When a patient
    fails to improve with escalating doses of sedatives, it is
    essential for clinicians to broaden the differential diagnosis
    and consider other medical conditions that may be
    complicating the clinical picture. For example, alcoholdependent
    patients may be prone to dehydration unrecognized head trauma, electrolyte abnormalities, infection,
    pancreatitis, and nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin
    B deficiencies in particular are well documented
    among alcohol-dependent individuals—thiamine deficiency
    being the most widely described in the medical
    literature [5]. However, many patients with AWD continue
    to do poorly despite supportive care and treatment
    with sedatives and thiamine supplementation.
    Patients admitted for alcohol withdrawal almost universally
    receive thiamine on admission; however, the role
    of niacin deficiency in AWD has largely been ignored
    for several decades [6]. Although endemic niacin deficiency
    has essentially been eradicated in most Western
    countries [7], pellagra may account for a significant portion”
    of AWD [5,8-10]. Pellagrous encephalopathy presenting as alcohol
    withdrawal delirium: A case series and
    literature review
    Mark A Oldham* and Ana Ivkovic
    Oldham and Ivkovic Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 2012, 7:12
    http://www.ascpjournal.org/content/7/1/12

    Like

  155. “My article which I have referred to several times is cited by many.”

    “Many” = 8, (5 clinical, 3 nonclinical citations, and I counted when the same authors cited their own paper).

    I had a comment written about the massive number of citations, but then didn’t post. It’s nearly two per decade!

    At least soundhill is consistent in her/his definition of many and lots. (Similar to troll counting – “one, two, many, lots,” Terry Pratchett)

    Like

  156. Music is a bit different from adversarial discussions, in terms of last words.

    Quite. I am in no doubt that you are an expert in the last word of discussions.

    Like

  157. soundhill,

    Re-read what I said about Mercola: “Mercola is not a medical doctor. He says so himself, on his website. He’s an osteopath with no qualifications that would allow him to be recognised as a doctor in New Zealand.”

    I said what I meant. There is no need for you to re-interpret it. I don’t even know how you thought you could try. All that you copied from his website only says the same. It was what I had read and then summarised in a single sentence.

    Just as a comparison:
    Mercola training = 4 years, NZ doctor = 6 years.
    Mercola then registered, NZ provisionally registered, with another year to go before registration.
    Mercola 3 years residency in osteopathic family practice, NZ 3-4 years further training, passing GPEP1 and GPEP2 examinations.
    At that stage Mercola is an “osteopathic physician,” a NZ doctor is just qualified as a GP.
    I make that 7 years training for Mercola (even counting the year as “chief resident” as training where most wouldn’t), 10-11 years for a just qualified NZ General Practitioner.

    In other words, anyone registered as a doctor in New Zealand has done considerably more formal training than Mercola. Mercola would have to achieve the same before he would even be considered for registration as a doctor in New Zealand.

    You don’t need to try to re-interpret Mercola’s words; he says exactly what he is and what he does on his website.

    Like

  158. “There are currently more M.D. schools than D.O. schools offering medical training in the United States. However, the D.O. medical profession is expanding rapidly, with approximately 1 in 4 medical students now entering a D.O. medical school.[74][7] Both DOs and MDs have the option to train and practice in any of the medical specialties and sub-specialties. One exception is the Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine specialty which is only available to D.O.s who have completed a one-year traditional internship.[75]

    Both degrees are recognized internationally as a medical degree. Accredited D.O. and M.D. medical schools are both included in the World Health Organization’s World Directory of Medical Schools.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_MD_and_DO_in_the_United_States

    Stuartg I am looking into whether medical intermediate counts as a year, or a previous degree &c

    Like

  159. Richard, in terms of discussions about music I do have ongoing questions. One is the dots over some pizzicato notes, and over moving lines in a bass passage but not repeated bass quavers or crotchets.

    Like

  160. So you have questions. What a surprise.
    What are the questions?

    Like

  161. Stuartg, medical intermediate counts as a year.

    but Mercola did a 4 year degree instead of medical intermediate:
    “University of Illinois at Chicago – UIC 1972-1976”

    Then

    “Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine – Midwestern
    University 1978-1982”

    by my reckoning that is 5 years

    1983??

    “Chicago Osteopathic Hospital 1982-1985 Family Practice Residency. Chief resident 1984-1985
    Board Certified American College Osteopathic General Practitioners July 1985”

    That is 3 1/2 years?

    Now up to 9 1/2 years, unless his first degree got him any more credits, and maybe 1983 got him an experience credit as an assistant, so maybe 10 1/2 or more.

    Sounds similar to your 10 or 11.

    Like

  162. Sorry a bit wrong there, can’t cancel.

    Looking up NZ GP training in the 1980s

    Like

  163. Richard as in medicine in music we had developments in instrumentation. Though a “fortepiano” or “loud soft” was developing in JS Bach’s day, he would still be writing for an organ or harpsichord which does not lend itself to giving emphasis to single notes in a phrase. How was it indicated to make a note stand out in a phrase? Notes could be shortened or lengthened, both by changing the rhythm a bit temporarily, or keeping the beat regular and shortening a note, or indicating a longer note in a run of short ones.

    The voice tends normally to be legato: notes smoothed together. So with the organ or harpsichord I believe it was by shortening a note that made it stand out. A dot over the note was the indication, and I believe that indication to articulate a note hung on, though it has arrived in the 20th century as taught by many teachers as the instruction to shorten a note by half. I don’t think that makes sense in much of Mozart’s music.

    Like

  164. You still haven’t asked a coherent question.
    You have one question mark in the previous comment and that seems to be there solely to set a stage for your own pontifications (that seems familiar).

    Like

  165. Richard you are exhibiting a technique of debate where a word gets reduced to a smaller meaning. Recently I talked about the word “your” or “you.” “You do it like this.” It can mean anybody concerned depending on the context. Some people try to get and emotional point and say strongly they do not.

    According to Webster online having questions about something does not have to mean you want to ask them. You are just offering them to whoever as points for possible discussion.

    Webster:
    : a sentence, phrase, or word that asks for information or is used to test someone’s knowledge

    : a matter or problem that is being discussed : a subject or topic

    : doubt or uncertainty about something

    Like

  166. So what’s your question on music? Just one would do.

    So far you are just doing your usual thing: pontificating and making stuff up as you go along, addicted to the attention you both seek and receive in forums such as this And so it will go on, diving and weaving, shifting the goalposts, anything, anything, to drag out the attention.

    Like

  167. Richard
    Actually I am in quite good company. I learnt about dots from Isidor Saslav a former concertmaster of the NZSO at a university extension course.

    It was very surprising to me since it had been strongly drummed into me that a dot over a note meant shorten it by half. Saslav said, through his examinations of many Haydn of Mozart scores, that he thinks a dot over a note means articulate the note or make it stand out.

    Stuartg seems to have certain things entrenched in his beliefs that I feel could be challenged.

    Like

  168. soundhill,

    Your own beliefs are being challenged, and all you do when you are pointed out in error is to change the subject.

    I pointed out Mercola’s training posts; you added in jobs which weren’t actually training posts according to Mercola and counted them as training. Don’t you believe what Mercola says on his own website?

    I believe Mercola when he says his website isn’t “complete, accurate, and current.” Don’t you believe him? Are you saying he is lying about this? If so, where else could he be lying?

    I tell you that Mercola is an osteopath and cannot be registered as a doctor in New Zealand. Are you saying that I am wrong? Are you saying that he can be registered as a doctor in New Zealand? Proof, please.

    I pointed out the number of times that your own reference has been cited, a number actually given by your own reference; you then tell us that your own reference is incorrect and give us a different number instead. Don’t you believe your own reference?

    I agree with Richard. You pontificate and make things up. You will never admit that you could be wrong or make an error. You will never make an allowance that somebody else could be correct.

    You say that I am entrenched in my beliefs. Are you saying that you are not? I was in error, having forgotten my training about B3 and pellagra. I admitted the error and refreshed my knowledge by reading reliable references. Did you admit your error and change your belief when I pointed out that you are probably the only person worldwide who believes in “subclinical pellagra?”. Did you admit your error that radon depends on latitude? Or earthquakes? Or water supplies? Did you admit that the diet of an institutionalised chronic alcoholic in Japan during the 1970s is different from the diet of a modern New Zealander? Did you admit that you could be wrong with your beliefs?

    If you can show, with reliable references, that I am wrong, then I will admit my error. Will you? I, and others, have pointed out where you are wrong many times. Have you ever admitted an error? I cannot recall a single occasion.

    If you cannot recognise your own errors when they are pointed out, it indicates that you are following beliefs, that you are not following the scientific method.

    Now, I suspect that we will not get any brief, succinct answers to any of these questions. I suspect that we will get one of two responses, one option would be pontification, the other is that you completely ignore this post and change the subject.

    Which will it be?

    Like

  169. Sorry about the length of that last comment.

    Like

  170. Stuartg
    “I pointed out the number of times that your own reference has been cited, a number actually given by your own reference;”

    A paper cannot give the number of times it has been cited. Do I misunderstand you. Google Scholar adds up the number of up times when an older paper is cited by a newer one. The 2012 article I did a long quote from is one that cited my old reference.

    Like

  171. “I pointed out Mercola’s training posts; you added in jobs which weren’t actually training posts according to Mercola and counted them as training.” You are losing it Stuartg. I said I made a mistake immediately after posting that. I had misread.

    Like

  172. Stuartg, I’m having trouble finding where to look about D.Os and NZ

    The following site says: “If your qualification is on this list, it does not need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).”

    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/general/formsandfees/formsandguides/lorq/default.htm?utm_source=newzealandnow.govt.nz

    And follow USA link:

    Doctor of Dentistry / Doctor of Dental Medicine / Dentariae Medicinae Doctoris DMD
    Doctor of Dental Surgery DDS
    Doctor of Medicine (Medicinae Doctoris) MD
    Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine MO
    Doctor of Veterinary Medicine / Doctor of Veterinary Science DVM
    Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris VD

    I think MO is a typo it should be DO. There is no MO osteopathic medicine degree in USA to my knowledge. And note all the other doctors have a “D”.

    If NZQA don’t need to assess a degree it would seem pretty silly if the doctor is not qualified to work here.

    The page says it is operative from 09/06/14

    I can’t download the Medical Register, but you might be able to and see if anybody has “DO” after their name. Though DOs are probably pretty much in demand in USA so they may not be emigrating. Might be one on a visitors visa in a hospital?

    Note “osteopathic medicine”: the word “medicine” is not part of NZ osteopathic quals.

    Like

  173. Stuartg “Did you admit your error that radon depends on latitude?”

    Please do a search for ‘radon’ on this thread and you will see I explained.

    Like

  174. “Did you admit your error that radon depends on latitude? Or earthquakes? Or water supplies?” http://mfe.govt.nz/publications/water/guide-moh-drinking-water-standards-nz-jun08/html/page9.html

    “From our soil-gas and groundwater radon monitoring results in N-W Himalayas, as well as of other workers reported in the literature, it can be concluded that radon anomalies are
    generally associated with seismic activity. But the influence of meteorological parameters on radon exhalation cannot be neglected. The radon behavior observed in soil-gas and groundwater indicates that the transport phenomenon in soil-gas is entirely different from that in groundwater.” http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDQQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fprofile%2FVivek_Walia2%2Fpublication%2F237009710_Earthquake_prediction_studies_using_radon_as_a_precursor_in_N-W_Himalayas_India_A_case_study%2Flinks%2F00463520053ec1dd1f000000.pdf&ei=f_vdVPD0CMHk8AWzgYKQCQ&usg=AFQjCNEKUfPcZHHeTb_p7K6NXJLEv8AMwQ&bvm=bv.85970519,d.dGc

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  175. Stuartg: “Did you admit that the diet of an institutionalised chronic alcoholic in Japan during the 1970s is different from the diet of a modern New Zealander?”
    As I quoted: “Although endemic niacin deficiency
    has essentially been eradicated in most Western
    countries [7], pellagra may account for a significant portion”
    of AWD [5,8-10].”

    Like

  176. Stuartg “Did you admit your error and change your belief when I pointed out that you are probably the only person worldwide who believes in “subclinical pellagra?””

    preclinical; subsyndromal; dysthymia

    Like

  177. soundhill,

    Look on your reference, look for the highlighted word “cited.”

    Thanks for confirming you didn’t read you own reference.

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  178. soundhill,

    So, Mercola actually is an osteopath who cannot be registered as a doctor in New Zealand.

    Prevarication.

    Like

  179. soundhill,

    Mercola says on his website that it is not “complete, accurate, or current.”

    Ignored- since if he’s telling the truth about this, we have to take his own word that the rest of his website is unreliable. Bit of a philosophical conundrum for you there?

    Like

  180. soundhill,

    “Lipophilic” fluoride. OK, I didn’t mention it after I pointed out the meaning of the word, but totally ignored by you subsequently.

    Oh, did you tell us where you were wrong about Mercola’s training and correct it with a subsequent comment to improve everyone else’s knowledge? No.

    Like

  181. soundhill,

    You “explained” about radon? No, you produced more errors and then ignored the topic.

    What you write is the only thing we get from you.

    None of us have received the “psymail” upgrade to our brains, so the only way we know anything about your thoughts is what you commit to the ‘net.

    Like

  182. soundhill,

    Did you admit that the diet of an institutionalised chronic alcoholic (with multiple dietary deficiencies) in Japan in the 1970s is different from the modern New Zealand diet?

    No, just prevarication.

    “Subclinical pellagra.”. Just prevarication. No reliable references from you to support your claim that it exists.

    Like

  183. soundhill1 appears to think that comments on a blog should be adversarial.

    I thought it was about sharing knowledge and learning.

    When I point out simple errors, the reason is to help that person with their knowledge, to help them with their thinking.

    At the moment, I feel more like a teacher with a particularly recalcitrant student who refuses to acknowledge the possibility of their own error and that there may be greater authorities in a subject than their self.

    Like

  184. Stuartg wrote: “Look on your reference, look for the highlighted word “cited.”
    Thanks for confirming you didn’t read you own reference.”

    You are confusing Pubmed and Pubmed Central.

    “PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health maintains the database as part of the Entrez system of information retrieval.”

    “PubMed Central (PMC) is a free digital repository that archives publicly accessible full-text scholarly articles that have been published within the biomedical and life sciences journal literature.”

    PMC list ctations ONLY by other FULL TEXT ARTICLES IN THEIR FREE FULL TEXT DATABASE.
    Google Scholar lists as many as it can find, including of course the small subset of free PMC articles.

    Like

  185. Stuartg: “So, Mercola actually is an osteopath who cannot be registered as a doctor in New Zealand.”
    Prevarication.”

    No, but like all USA doctors he would have to work under supervision or in a practice with others for a while.

    https://www.mcnz.org.nz/support-for-doctors/list-of-registered-doctors/doctor/30993

    Like

  186. soundhill,

    Please take this in the spirit that it is intended, advice that may make commenting happier for yourself.

    We cannot read your mind. We can only read what you write.

    A reference by itself does not help explain what you are getting at. All it does is provide a mass of words to wade through.

    When you supply a reference, it really helps to say why you are using the reference. If it’s to clarify your ideas, then show where it clarifies your ideas; if it’s to argue against someone else’s idea, then show where it does so.

    Take your reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC490893/ Initially, it appears straightforward: Autopsies were done in the 1970s on institutionalised Japanese chronic alcoholics with multiple dietary deficiencies. The authors say they saw pellagra.

    First problem: they made the diagnosis without any of the clinical signs of pellagra being present, so why couldn’t their findings be explained by the multiple dietary deficiencies or the alcoholism itself? Immediate doubt is cast on the conclusion of the paper.

    Second problem: it studied institutionalised Japanese chronic alcoholics with multiple dietary deficiencies in the 1970s. How does the population discussed in the paper compare with the current New Zealand population? Any relationship elludes me completely.

    Third problem: you say it has been cited many times. The reference itself has the number of times it has been cited at the top of the page. Clicking on the word “cited” takes you to those eight papers. Others have obviously concluded that the paper is not of ground breaking importance.

    Most important problem: I have no idea why you gave the reference! It’s vaguely interesting by itself, but why did you cite it? You have not explained why you think that it is supportive of your ideas. Or do you think it is opposing your ideas? We just don’t know because you didn’t tell us when you cited it.

    Instead, you left it up to us to guess: Is it the author? The institution? The dietary deficiencies? The alcoholism? Japan? The Japanese diet? The era it was done in? The population studied? The authors don’t mention “subclinical pellagra,” so I can eliminate at least one possibility of why you cited it.

    Making others have to guess why you cited a paper is certainly not the scientific method in action.

    Please, in future, tell us why you are citing a reference. Maybe we could understand you a bit more. Maybe you would get less frustrated. You would certainly get less questioning about why you cited the reference.

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  187. soundhill,

    You said: “No, but like all USA doctors he would have to work under supervision or in a practice with others for a while.”

    Again, you are in error. Mercola does not have the qualifications to even allow consideration of registration as a doctor in New Zealand.

    Actually, from my reading, he doesn’t even have the qualifications to register as an osteopath in New Zealand! http://www.osteopathiccouncil.org.nz/registered-overseas

    Like

  188. Stuartg, Isn’t it sensible to save space by putting a link to click on rather than giving a whole big redundant spiel. I suppose some redundancy may help.

    This is from teh link I gave this morning from the New Zealand Medical Council list of doctors:

    “Status Practising
    Qualifications

    DO 2000 Nova Southeastern
    Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
    Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, United States of America

    District Taupo
    Practising certificate

    from 1 March 2014 to 28 February 2015”

    She has to work in association with other NZ doctors for a year to get used to NZ ways.

    She has the same qualification as Mercola. (Actually he has more).

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  189. Stuartg. No definitely not like a physician assistant.

    Here are the words:
    “Dr Gault is permitted to practise medicine in General Practice at Lake Surgery under the supervision of Dr Francine Meuli between 01 March 2014 and 28 February 2015; at Taupo Medical Centre under the supervision of Dr Francine Meuli between 01 March 2014 and 18 March 2014; under the supervision of Dr Francine Meuli between 01 March 2014 and 28 February 2015.

    The purpose of this registration is to enable Dr Gault to complete Council’s requirements for registration within the general scope.
    Definitions of scopes
    Provisional General

    All new registrants, regardless of seniority, must work under supervision for at least their first 12 months in New Zealand to become familiar with the culture.

    During this time they are registered within a provisional general scope of practice and their performance will be assessed by senior colleagues.

    They will be required to complete certain requirements to be registered within a general scope.

    The only exception to this supervised period is for New Zealand and Australian graduates who have already completed their internship in Australia.”

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  190. soundhill,

    I have worked with several physicians from the USA. They all went directly into practice, no supervision required.

    Mercola is an osteopath. He tells us his website is not “complete, accurate, or current.”

    I think that’s all we need to know about Mercola.

    Like

  191. Stuartg,
    USA MDs *now* also have to work in association with other doctors for a year.

    Like

  192. soundhill,

    I told you I had read your reference. Didn’t you believe me? Copy and paste didn’t change it.

    BTW, the person you referred to is under general registration. That means exactly the same practice restrictions as a brand new New Zealand or Australian medical graduate. So, yes, very much like a PA. My knowledge comes from having to supply both general and vocational oversight myself.

    But, this is all about you prevaricating and ignoring where previous errors have been pointed out.

    Like

  193. Stuartg, here is a link to a USA MD needing supervision for the first year:

    https://www.mcnz.org.nz/support-for-doctors/list-of-registered-doctors/doctor/31085

    If you google: “doctor of medicine” md “United States of America” site:mcnz.org.nz

    you can see a lot more.

    Unfortunately the google cache is out of sync with the mcnz site. So you need to click on the little down arrow indicator at the right to see what is in the cache quite often, though not always. At the time a accessed it the link above was in sync.

    To see DOs change “Doctor of Medicine MD” to “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine DO”

    Like

  194. Sorry that might not work,
    Change “Doctor of Medicine” MD
    to “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine” DO

    (quotation mark in different place.

    Like

  195. People do not and should not trust corporate/political junk science. The conflict of interests in corporate “junk science” undermines science.
    It is widely known that telling people to “trust” in an exposed endemic corruption in the science industry does not and will not work (as monsanto’s henchman found out).
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-on-the-menu-science-knowledge-and-gmos/5431045

    Like

  196. Small corection to clarify, bdbinc:

    “People do not and should not trust corporate/political junk science of the “natural” health industry. The conflict of interests in corporate “junk science” of the “natural healht industry” undermines science”

    OK now.

    Like

  197. Stuartg wrote: “Again, you are in error. Mercola does not have the qualifications to even allow consideration of registration as a doctor in New Zealand.

    Actually, from my reading, he doesn’t even have the qualifications to register as an osteopath in New Zealand!”

    Please remove the word “even” and teh exclamation mark from your second sentence, to read “he doesn’t have the qualifications to register as an osteopath in New Zealand.”

    Because USA DOs spend much of their time in regular doctor training they do not do so much manipulative training, I think, as NZ or European osteopaths.

    A USA DO uses osteopathic manipulation when required in their medical practice which a New Zealand GP is not trained to do.

    As for your first sentence, now other readers of this thread can look up DOs in NZ from USA they can see they can be regular doctors.

    Like

  198. Stuartg: wrote “BTW, the person you referred to is under general registration. That means exactly the same practice restrictions as a brand new New Zealand or Australian medical graduate. So, yes, very much like a PA.”

    A physician assistant does something like a nursing degree (3 years) then as per your link: “The overseas model is for a two-year postgraduate qualification combining academic study and work placements, with a focus on clinical and communications skills”

    Like

  199. Stuartg wrote (10:32) “Third problem: you say it has been cited many times. The reference itself has the number of times it has been cited at the top of the page. Clicking on the word “cited” takes you to those eight papers. Others have obviously concluded that the paper is not of ground breaking importance.”

    My 10:02 post explained.

    Again: The paper is one of the free entire articles which is what Pubmed Central is about. The word “cited” gives a link to the other articles in the PMC database. Journals who do not wish their entire articles to be free will not show as cited. It is nothing to do with importance.

    Like

  200. Stuartg wrote: “Most important problem: I have no idea why you gave the reference! It’s vaguely interesting by itself, but why did you cite it? You have not explained why you think that it is supportive of your ideas. Or do you think it is opposing your ideas? We just don’t know because you didn’t tell us when you cited it.”

    Why did I cite it?

    My hypothesis is that patients are turning to alternative medicine because regular doctors are not meeting their needs.

    The article points up lacks in regular doctors’ understanding of pellagra. It is cited by another I quoted from which says if valium and vitamin B1 are not curing the patient from delirium tremens (alcohol withdrawal) then as an afterthought try vitamin B3. Maybe alternative medicine would try things in the other order and maybe even be able to avoid the valium withdrawal.

    People are suspicious of medical authority. They do not have to take treatment but often are at a loss to get to better trained physicians.

    If as you said you trained a bit in mental health (when you aimed the “flight of thoughts” or some such diagnosis at me) then presumably have have learned about alcoholic deaths. People are searching for better. And they are blamed for that search.

    You question whether the original article even should be saying it is pellagra because the people are dead so their depression &c cannot now be seen for diagnosis. The diagnosis was by microscopically observing.

    As I said at 11;22 on Feb 12 “Chromatolysis at autopsy was evidence.”

    Like

  201. soundhill,

    Responding to your 1:03 post. Again, you have not made yourself clear about why you cited the paper. You seem to have given at least four reasons in this comment.

    1. Are you telling us that a paper about autopsy findings in institutionalised chronic alcoholics in Japan during the 1970s supports your hypothesis that patients are turning to alternative medicine? If so, HOW?

    If you want papers to support that hypothesis, there are many in the recent medical literature. It’s not exactly a new hypothesis and many would consider it to be an accepted interpretation of recent research, including both Ken and myself. But come on now, using 1970s autopsy reports to explain current societal behaviours?

    2. Do you mean that doctors don’t understand pellagra? Could be true, since it’s very rare to see anyone with the condition these days. The problem with the paper, as I explained earlier, is that the only diagnostic feature of pellagra detectable at autopsy is the dermatitis. The authors say that the dermatitis wasn’t present. Apart from the dermatitis, there are no histological findings that are specific for pellagra.

    NB: chromatolysis – I had to look it up in a 1940s histology text I have – is just an old term for a particular form of neuronal cell death. Common causes are Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholic encephalopathy and ALS. Since all of the subjects of this paper were alcoholics, why would a histological finding related to alcoholism be diagnostic of anything but the alcoholism? At best, the authors’ diagnoses are questionable.

    3. Or maybe you meant that DTs should be treated with vitamin B3 rather than current best practice? The paper doesn’t even mention DTs, so it can’t support that, either. Someone with delirium tremens needs treatment right now, otherwise there is a high chance they will die in the next couple of days. That treatment isn’t vitamins.

    4. Suspicion of medical authority or people seeking better trained physicians? Nope, the paper doesn’t help there either. That’s societal behaviour and it takes us back to your first reason – where I questioned how 1970s autopsy reports relate to current societal behaviour.

    I still can’t see a reason why you cited that paper.

    I previously said that your comments were reminiscent of flight of ideas. At that time I backed up my comment by listing the ideas that you had flitted between on that single thread. For some people, flight of ideas can be considered a symptom, like coughing, sneezing, or vomiting. It’s not a diagnosis.

    Surely this thread gives yet another example?

    It’s no wonder I have trouble trying to follow your ramblings.

    Like

  202. Stuartg.

    Sometimes things work like a tank of water which can give out water with very little slowing effect until nearly empty then it suddenly stops.

    Your two-valued pellagra or not diagnosis misses that slight slowing, I suggest.

    Here is some more recent discussion of pellagra including the history. I think it suggests that what you call alcoholic encephalopathy ( as was shown by chromatolysis) might be averted by early enough vitamin B3.

    http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/1/38

    “Common vitamin replacement (usually B1, B6 and B12) therapy may aggravate or precipitate alcoholic pellagra encephalopathy, as it happened in the case reported here. Both his confusion and dystonia were exacerbated by vitamin B1, B6 and B12. He improved only after the addition of nicotinic acid treatment. The whole B complex seems necessary in these cases, as in addition to treating the pellagra the development of a Wernicke encephalopathy can be prevented.”

    That’s a lot of time on pellagra.

    Now let’s move on to vitamin D.

    NZ health system is catching up a bit, with Australia:

    Here is a chance to submit on manufacturers voluntarily adding vitamin D to food.
    http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/applications/Documents/A1090-VitaminD-CFS.pdf
    USA have been adding vitamin D to milk for a long time.

    Mercola talks a lot about the benefits of vitamin D.

    My list that I have been saying for a long time:
    Fatty acid anti-oxidant
    Promotes cell differentaion and differentiated cells do not proliferate
    Reduces multiple sclerosis relapses
    deficiency causes rickets, poor teeth, blood pressure, …

    Alternative health has been leading.

    A problem with supplementing vitamin D and calcium is that there may be calcification of the artery walls. To avoid that, alternative medicine is saying vitamin K2 should be included. That is quite different from vitamin K1 which helps coagulate the blood. If I submit I will talk about that.

    K2 comes from fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi.

    Like

  203. Soundhill, (@ comment) I don’t care who you learned about “dots” from. It’s just a weak appeal to authority.

    Your little excursion into an subject area (music) that I can modestly say is one that I have reasonable expertise in, has again demonstrated to me your predilection for bluster and puffery.

    It is apparent you know little in regard to musical articulation both in regard to various instrument mechanics, the notational and interpretive practice of different periods and of the performance styles of various periods and genres. In particular you fail to appreciate that the vast scope of variation in these areas impacts upon musical articulation such that your comments or query are basically ludicrous (as far as I can make a query from you out – and I gave you ample chance to put a question) .

    This didn’t stop you from puffing your chest out and pretending you had some expertise in the area.

    It’s a recurring pattern. You simply like the sound of your own voice.

    Like

  204. For example I learned that a spike over a note shortens it to more like a quarter, as opposed to a dot which makes it half.

    But Louis Spohr (Violin School, probably around 1840) associates a spike with “detaché” bowing. “This bowing is made with a steady back-arm and as long strokes as possible, at the upper part of the bow. The notes must be perfectly equal both in power and duration, and succeed each other in such a manner, that, in changing from the down to the up-bow, or the reverse, no break or chasm may be observed.”

    Like

  205. There you go again.The whole purpose of your reply is to create the pretence that you know what you are talking about. A panicked search for a quote to copy-paste with it makes this observation leap out more clearly.

    I’m not interested in what you think you know.
    What is your question?

    Although this sideshow is well off-topic I’m pursuing it because it is illustrative of your approach in this blog.

    The Dunning-Kruger Effect

    Like

  206. Thanks, Richard, I watched. Then I was offered a menu of other vids, and chose, “Positive Thinking.”

    People need success. If kids are given problems too hard in maths they may go back to counting on fingers.

    If you taught music you would need a balance between encouragement and development of self criticism by the pupil. Adult pupils learn for enjoyment, it’s no good saying to them they will never be as good as many children.

    In this thread we have been talking about doing things to change others’ lives. It makes it harder to turn it into just an enjoyable hobby to interact here.

    Apparently doctors and dentists have high suicide rates, and a short life expectancy. I think that that may mean they are not having enough success in their lives as they see them. Sometimes I think the tools they are trained to have are not sufficient. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, as Mercola says, are trained to work more with preventing people from getting ill.

    Here’s something from Iran. I wonder how it compares to elsewhere.

    Like

  207. I may be wrong about the shorter life expectancy, but not the suicide.

    Like

  208. soundhill,

    Interesting paper. Interesting how all of the doctors studied (in the paper and in the references) were doctors of medicine. Almost as though DOs were not considered to be physicians.

    Now, just to show the other side of things, you are going to show us the equivalent paper about osteopaths, aren’t you.

    Like

  209. Stuart I had been wondering about that.

    Can’t find out so far.

    By the way:
    “Graduates of osteopathic medical schools in the United States (osteopathic physicians) should not be confused with osteopaths, who are trained in the European and Commonwealth nations. Osteopaths (the term used for non-American-trained practitioners who practice osteopathic manipulation) are not physicians. Their training is similar to physical therapy and they are not licensed to prescribe medications or perform surgeries.”
    http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Physician

    You ask about osteopaths, maybe they have some risks reduced such as drugs for prescription or anaesthetics, but about doctors of osteopathic medicine I don’t know.

    Some mention of doctor suicide rate in that article.

    Like

  210. Mercola is on a long journey of health discovery. He has found out by experience about the problems of several health fads.

    I note on our TV news recently fat is losing its bad name.

    Here you may read of Mercola’s nutritional adventure path:

    http://products.mercola.com/healthy-recipes/bonus/index_b.htm

    He is open to change and that means he may change about fluoride and composite dental fillings, too, at some time. But you would need to be friendly and give him non-dissemination-biased studies.

    Like

  211. Ken your conflict of interest and biases were made obvious.
    You are being paid to spread political propaganda, your not supporting the consumers innate right to be allowed to give informed consent is telling.
    In place of informed consent you recommended a mantra of trust in your brand of political bias for profit “junk science”.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/beware-the-drug-companies-how-the-deceive-us-criticizing-big-pharma/5431517

    Like

  212. bcbdinc – simple question.

    You claim of me “You are being paid to spread political propaganda.”

    OK – here is your chance – who is paying me and how much?

    I will interpret your refusal to rapidly supply an answer here to be an admission you don’t know what you are talking about. That you are in the habit of making unwarranted claims and can therefore be ignored from now on.

    Like

  213. That would be nothing new as you have ignored every substantiated fact I have put to you .
    You know you are funded by the corporation, so are you now telling people and your colleagues that you are on an unemployment benefit?
    You have a conflict of interest and bias. If you do not you prove it , I do not need to prove your income.
    You have already established your ignorance about the well known state of corruption within politically funded and for- profit science.
    Corruption which is endemic in the industry of political, wall st and corporate funded brand ” Junk science”.

    Like

  214. BDBinc – big fail. You have exposed yourself as peddling rubbish without any foundation at all. Pathetic.

    >

    Like

  215. You know you are funded by the corporation

    Lol, I might point out that it is BDB who/that has inc attached to his/her/its name.

    Like

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