do you need one more quick lesson on why you cannot trust big pharma or their mouthpieces in peer-review?

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS TO CARDIOLOGY RESEARCH WHEN FRAUDULENT PLACEBOS ARE USED

“The results are ‘truly extraordinary given the magnitude of CV event reduction.  We have never seen such strong risk reduction with fish oil before. Prior results have been conflicting or showing only minimal benefit’. The effect appears to be even bigger than with PCSK9 inhibitors, and the risk reduction is ‘even more impressive since these are contemporary patients, on statin therapy, and with controlled LDL ….”‘.  Taken from the almost-making-me-giddy Medpage Today article being discussed today.
As I’ve stated before, studies can be set up so that they can prove just about anything.  Case in point are the recent commercials carried by the New England Journal of Medicine that masqueraded as research.  Allow me to back up for a moment and discuss some of the nearly unbelievable (nearly) CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST in the studies known as ASCEND

Despite the fact that the American Heart Association (AHA) and the ACC (the American College of Cardiology) are considered among the most prestigious cardiology organizations in the world, they are also, arguably, among the most corrupt.  I showed you this when I showed you how they recently panned coconut oil as dangerous, while continuing to promote the same old crappy PROCESSED OILS as heart-healthy (HERE).  I also showed you how they panned using fish oil for people with diabetes (HERE), not to mention putting the kibosh on using nutritional supplements for people with heart disease (HERE).  Enter Dr. Alex Vasquez.

In response to the fish oil / diabetes study mentioned above, Dr. Alex wrote a letter to the editor of the NEJM, showing that since numerous studies have shown EVOO to be cardio-protective itself, it cannot be used against / opposite fish oil as a valid (inert) placebo.  In response to his very nice letter to the editor (which, of course, the NEJM declined to print), Dr. V issued a not-quite-as-nice rebuttal on his Linkedin page, titled, Commentary: Medical Zombies at Work to Destroy Real Nutrition and Promote Pharmaceuticalized Prescription-Only Pharmanutrition.  Among other things, Dr. Vasquez showed that…..

  • The authors were being paid by the drug companies themselves (something that is as common here in America as not).
  • The drug companies supervised the trial meetings.
  • The study groups were both “inappropriate and unusual“.
  • The fish oil group was not given a therapeutic dose.
  • In similar fashion to the example above with EVOO, another placebo group was “inappropriate” as well.

What does the word “inappropriate” really mean when talking about a fish oil study, and why should we be interested or care?  It seems that Big Pharma recently created a prescription-only fish oil that blew the pants off of normal PGFO in studies.  Or did it?   It seems that this research was set up using (gulp) mineral oil as the “inert” placebo. 

Although you can read industry’s positive spin on their new Frankenfish oil drug by going to the November 10 issue of Medpage Today (AHA: Prescription Fish Oil Wins for CV Prevention:  Positive Findings for Vascepa in REDUCE-IT Trial), Vasquez’s article is a more accurate and honest barometer of what really happened.   Here is a slice of his well-bibbed rebuttal.

“I can hardly restrain harsh commentary regarding the imbecility that was published this year, clearly attempting to eviscerate the data supporting real/natural fish oil via overtly bogus publications.  An article published decades ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that mineral oil blocks absorption of cardioprotective antioxiants such as beta-carotene and that “The Council on Foods and Nutrition of the American Medical Association concluded in a report published in 1943 that the indiscriminate use of mineral oil in foods and cooking is not in the interest of good nutrition and that any such use should be under careful supervision of a physician.” Furthermore, mineral oil is inaccurately promulgated to be unabsorbed and therefore inert, but the research evidence in animal studies and human necropsies has shown that mineral oil is absorbed from the gut, causes “white nodules in the intestinal wall, and vacuolization in the mesenteric lymph nodes and liver.” While most of the pro-pharma major media served their drug company advertisers by praising the new prescription fish oil product as a “breakthrough” for cardiovascular disease prevention, a closer analysis published in Forbes raised concerns that “mineral oil had not behaved as a placebo at all. In other studies of cardiovascular drugs, blood test results on placebo do not budge. That’s not what happened here. Patients who received mineral oil saw their levels of low-density lipoprotein, the bad cholesterol, increase 10% to 84 milligrams per deciliter, 6% more than in the Vascepa group, according to the New England Journal of Medicine paper.”  

Just remember that when it comes to research, nothing is ever quite as it seems.  This is exponentially true in the fields of cardiology (see previous study’s links in opening paragraph) and cancer (HERE), as well as any research that will ultimately be used to sell you a regulated product (chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, foods, etc, etc —- HERE). 

If you are looking for information on reducing your inflammatory load without pharmaceuticals (or at the very least, requiring fewer / less of them — always a noble goal), HERE is a starting point.  Oh, and please make sure you get the word out to the people you love and care about most.  Liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK is typically a nice way to reach them.

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