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Author: hershop One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 40756  
Subject: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 1/3/2008 10:06 PM
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Can anyone tell me about Dr. Russell Blaylock? I've googled him and have a general idea of his credentials, but outside of a lot of articles and books he has written, I can't get a feel for if he is credible or wacky. My mother has been getting his Blaylock Wellness Report and while a lot of what he writes makes sense and is relatively mainstream, some of what he writes seems a little wacky.

Would appreciate any feedback.

TIA,
hershop
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Author: sheila727 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31131 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 1/3/2008 11:09 PM
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Can anyone tell me about Dr. Russell Blaylock? I've googled him and have a general idea of his credentials, but outside of a lot of articles and books he has written, I can't get a feel for if he is credible or wacky. My mother has been getting his Blaylock Wellness Report and while a lot of what he writes makes sense and is relatively mainstream, some of what he writes seems a little wacky.


I've never heard of him before, so I took a look at his website. I'm extremely unimpressed.

When you have to pump up your background by spinning being chief resident in his final year of residency into "I ran the neurology unit for a year", something's wrong. And when he boasts of publishing a variety of papers in peer-reviewed journals--and it turns out, after I typed his name into PubMed that he hasn't published a blessed thing since 1981, so ALL of the peer-reviewed stuff was during medical school and residency.... And then after holding up his "peer-review journals" publishing history, in the material pumping up his newsletter he has the nerve to claim that he won't have anything to do with the major journals because they're shills of big pharma!

He says he had a private practice in nutrition, but doesn't say a thing about what got him interested in that, how he educated himself, etc.

And he doesn't write that newsletter, he merely edits it for the company that puts it out. epic4health.com, where I get certain of my supplements, has an option for a free e-letter. I haven't looked at it, but I think it would be worth trying.

The website WholeHealthMD.com has so much good information. Your mom could learn a great deal by reading through their various sections.


sheila

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Author: czarinav Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31226 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 1/31/2008 3:57 PM
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I, too, am interested in him. Lots of newsletter promotions showing up in my in box....but I wonder: if he's as good as he says he is why aren't his recommendations common knowledge? If's its so revolutionary and simple, shy not make it public? Wouldn't the medical community look into his representations and speak out?

Just wondering.

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Author: vernancy Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31498 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 3/21/2008 5:56 PM
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While I appreciate sheila's having investigated Dr. Blaylock's background, it seems that there may have been an oversight. Dr. Blaylock has published at least 30 articles or whole books or portions of books since 1981. You may examine a sample Report of his online at: http://www.zakairan.com/ProductsAIM/Articles/Keeping%20Young.pdf. Look beginning on page 14 of that Report for more information on his background and a listing of his articles and publications.

Since I subscribe to about a half dozen health newsletters (his is one of several by MDs) I would say that if you are looking for mainstream AMA type health newsletters, he is not your guy. If you are looking for an MD who has put a great deal of independent study into nutritional prevention and solution of health problems, and continues to do so, then Dr. Blaylock will have a lot to offer.

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31499 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 3/21/2008 6:24 PM
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While I appreciate sheila's having investigated Dr. Blaylock's background, it seems that there may have been an oversight. Dr. Blaylock has published at least 30 articles or whole books or portions of books since 1981. You may examine a sample Report of his online at: http://www.zakairan.com/ProductsAIM/Articles/Keeping%20Young.pdf. Look beginning on page 14 of that Report for more information on his background and a listing of his articles and publications.

Most of Dr. Blaylock's "publications" are his own newsletters or books.

This doesn't amount to more than self promotion. If this is all you're interested in well that's just fine but the thing is that promoting your own ideas doesn't amount to much if those ideas don't pass muster within the scientific community.....by which I mean that these ideas need to have a biologically plausible basis or, if they're of the "paradigm shifting" type, can be reproduced by objective independant researchers.

Anything else is little more than Woo™

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Author: sheila727 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31501 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 3/27/2008 5:20 PM
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it seems that there may have been an oversight. Dr. Blaylock has published at least 30 articles or whole books or portions of books since 1981. You may examine a sample Report of his online at:

I would expect someone who touts himself as an expert in nutrition and phytomedicine to have a list of publications in which he writes primarily about......nutrition and phytomedicine! He's got a bunch of neurosurgery articles, which is fine, since he was trained as and practiced as a neurosurgeon. But that's got zero to do with a nutritional practice and his health newsletter. Pardon me -- the health newsletter that someone else writes and he edits. He's got a substantial number of articles on the evils of managed care, of pharma -- expressing his personal views in publications designed for just that purpose. Which is fine--but that doesn't tell you a blessed thing about what his capabilities and experience in nutritional and phytomedicine. And whatever else gets promoted in that newsletter. He's got a handful of articles saying things that many others have said, and said well, with excellent data, and published in reputable journals. So this list of Blaylock's publications just emphasizes everything I've already said about him.

I would say that if you are looking for mainstream AMA type health newsletters, he is not your guy.

No one is, because that's the last thing I'm looking for.

If you are looking for an MD who has put a great deal of independent study into nutritional prevention and solution of health problems, and continues to do so, then Dr. Blaylock will have a lot to offer.

There isn't a single statement anywhere about his study of nutritional prevention/solution of healthg problems--just that he calls himself an expert. If he can spend time and text describing how he gained his medical and neurosurgical skills and experience, you can be sure that if there were something to say about how he has gained his nutritional/phytomedical knowledge, and how and what he studies now -- he'd say it. I know people who truly ARE what this guy claims to be. It's a shame that they don't write or edit newsletters.

Take a look at the book Fool and Healing by Annemarie Colbin, PhD. Take a look at Alexa Fleckenstein's books (she's an MD, and trained in European Natural Medicine): "Healthy to 100 - Aging with Vigor and Grace" and "Health20 - Tapping into the Healing Power of Water." You might also find some interesting tidbits in the blog http://ownyourhealth.wordpress.com/

I completely agree with your search for meaningful health guidance that is free of the limitations of conventional Western medicine (which also has a great deal of value, as well as limitations--as with many things). But my advice is to learn more so that you can recognize the lack of authenticity of someone like Blaylock.

sheila

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31502 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 3/27/2008 6:14 PM
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I completely agree with your search for meaningful health guidance that is free of the limitations of conventional Western medicine

What are these limitations?

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Author: sheila727 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31507 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 3/31/2008 11:01 PM
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I completely agree with your search for meaningful health guidance that is free of the limitations of conventional Western medicine
*************************************
What are these limitations?



Please realize that what I'm going to say doesn't apply to every physician. There are certainly exceptions, to one degree or another. Also know that I'm well aware of the unsurpassed benefits of conventional Western medicine -- but that's not the topic here.

Lack of a true preventive approach, although that is beginning to change among more enlightened doctors. Part of this is fostered by the insurance industry. (I'll never forget back after I had my kids, and our insurance policy wouldn't cover an IUD to prevent pregnancy--at that time, I think it was $60 or $160--but it covered an abortion procedure which was many times that cost.) Dismissal--often with contempt--of non-"conventional" modalities, such as medicinal herbs, acupuncture, etc etc etc etc, instead of attempting to learn about them--and perhaps even see what it's like to experience some of them. The tendency to rush to prescribe drugs, especially with the elderly--where the side effects of polypharmacy can destroy quality of life. The division of the body among specialists who are unable to see beyond their organ, and lose sight of the impact of their treatment on the total person they are treating. The DREADFUL lack of education in and understanding of nutrition.

The overwhelming number of physicians who say--"I won't use anything that hasn't gone through a randomized controlled clinical trial!" Randomized controlled clinical trials do provide certain helpful--sometimes essential, especially for new drugs--information, but they're not the be all and end all when it comes to working with many of the herbs, for one example, that have been used for hundreds and hundreds of years by native health care specialists, with a great deal of clinical literature by modernday practitioners. Evidence-based medicine calls the RCT the most desirable form of evidence, but not the ONLY form. And the literature that exists for a number of important complementary/alternative modalities falls into one of the other acceptable categories.

Integrative physicians combine conventional and complementary/alternative modalities in their practices, choosing conventional or complementary or both--depending on what's most effective.


sheila

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31510 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 4/1/2008 6:51 AM
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Lack of a true preventive approach, although that is beginning to change among more enlightened doctors. Part of this is fostered by the insurance industry. (I'll never forget back after I had my kids, and our insurance policy wouldn't cover an IUD to prevent pregnancy--at that time, I think it was $60 or $160--but it covered an abortion procedure which was many times that cost.)

This is a bit of a Straw Man/Red Herring. The IUD was available as a prevetnive option That an insurance company makes an actuarial decision not to include it as a plan benefit is totally unrelated to limitations of conventional Western medicine.

As for lack of prevention.....screening (and recommended treatment) for diabetes, high blood pressure dyslipidaemias etc. The information from genomic studies and the poptential for disease prediction and prevention. It'd be pretty difficult to argue rationally that Western medicine ignores prevention.

The overwhelming number of physicians who say--"I won't use anything that hasn't gone through a randomized controlled clinical trial!"

Now this statement belies a total misunderstanding of the principles of evidence based medicine and is very odd because the propenents of unproven unconventional remedies will often state that "allopathic" medicine only uses about 15% of proven remedies when accused of an unscientific approach (equally untrue)

EBM/scientific medicine is designed to weed out treatments that have no value/poor risk benefit ration/are superceded by improved treaments....and, in a clinical setting RCT can't be used in every situation due to ethical considerations. Plausible scientifically rational explanations of why a treatment might work, objective emprirical observation of supposed beneftis (someone's bleeding to death, it's standard practise to staunch the blood flow without waiting for a trial to recognise the value of immediate iintervention)etc. etc And the biggest feature of science based medicine (of science itself) is a willingness to change and adapt in the face of newly aquired information.

The division of the body among specialists who are unable to see beyond their organ, and lose sight of the impact of their treatment on the total person they are treating.

Well, the reality is that the ever burgeoning body of scientific knowledge makes specialisation a necessity....and a valuable necessity come to that.....for the relatively small sector of the population with serious disease (as opposed to dis-ease) The overutilisation of specialist services for complaints that could and should be managed by a generalist is a uniquely American phenom. and the ability to self referral to a specialist has long been a tradition/demand among the US patient population. Add to that the unwillingness to properly fund primary care services and you have a top heavy situation that's nothing to do with limitations of scientific Western medicine but rather a cultural quirk. As one of my husband's (Irish) colleagues says, the have more gastroenterologists at BID/Harvard than in the whole of Ireland.

The truth is that it's nigh on impossible to persuade the majority of the American patient population that the need a medical "home".....a primary care physician who manages their care and treatment. If you doubt this, just look at how folk rile against the need to visit a primary care "provider" in order to get a referral, should their insurance plan require it.....they don't even view general practise as a valuable service regardless of what they purport to believe about "holistic" care.

Fact is, "conventional" medicine askes a big question "Can it be shown to work" and most physicians are like my husband who muses that until the days when he knows everything about everything, he'll look at every plausible mechanism to, say, rid that virus riddled liver of what's going to kill the patient (unless some other specialists territory beats the virus to it)

In the context of Chinese medicinal herbs and liver disease/HCV/HBV, for instance, he's been known to comment that, given the high incidence of these two viruses among the Chinese population and the widespread use of herbs for the treatment of same (at least according to TCM practitioners in the west) there's a good chance that they know a thing or two that'd be useful from practical experience. However, applying the evidence based "outcome observation" (does ot work to prevent morbidity/mortality.....forget restoring balance/normalizing function and all the other non-scientific gobbldygook that surrounds the use)and noticing that, in fact, China has about the highest incidence hepatocelluar carcinoma in the world(a sequel of untreated HCV/HBV)his conclusion is that medicinal herbs, such as they're prescribed in TCM would be an unethical treatment to offer and the only reason to "integrate" them into standard anti viral therapy would be as a money maker.....which he'd view as equally unethical I fancy.

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31511 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 4/1/2008 8:05 AM
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The DREADFUL lack of education in and understanding of nutrition.

Now this is such a mis-statement.....and an oft repeated one, come to that.... that it deserves its own post.

"Nutrition" has long held a place in medicine.....even pre-scientific medicine dating back to the time of The Ancients. The Greeks, for instance, recognised the value of a varied diet and the impact of obesity on health.

The impact of varying diets on preventing scurvy and the subsequent discovery of vit C and other vitamins and their role in disease prevention is an example of an early use of the Scientific Method and rudimentary statistics.

The trends in nutritional thinking within scientific medicine have pretty much followed general scientific discovery and the prevailing health problems of the population at the time. Nutritional science in the 19th and early 20th centuries focused on malnutrition states, identifying dietary components necessary for prevention and the role of supplementation in public health.....iodine in salet, vit.D in milk, RDA allowances as a minimum to avoid deficiency, for example. I'd call this a triumph for scientific thinking.

As an offshoot of this there has been a recognisiion that certain desease states bring their own added requirement for dietary adjustments....vit C in wound healing, vit. D in bone health etc.

Of late, the focus has been more on excess of dietary components and the impact on health. The focus here has been on the role of macronutrients and the interplay with energy requirements/hormonal balance etc.

Even more recently the recognision that certain nutrients may have an impact on risk reduction/mitigation for certain diseases is a concept that's been added to the scientific approach to nutrition.

So where is this dreadful lack of education and understanding. Fact is, about 90% of "nutrition" is a combo of anatomy/physiology/biochemistry/molecular biology alongside the specifics that are covered in studies on cardiology/endocrinology/immunology etc. etc. with a hefty dose of critical thinking and analytic thought......all of which are standard components of a scientific medical ediucation and which occupy a significant block of a medical student's pre-clinical and clinical curriculum. The remaining 10% is the subject of current study and evaluation and the scientific community is correct in subjecting this area to scientific scrutiny.....not every new idea is a good idea and not every old one passes muster either.

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Author: sheila727 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31514 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 4/1/2008 6:32 PM
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As for lack of prevention.....screening (and recommended treatment) for diabetes, high blood pressure dyslipidaemias etc. The information from genomic studies and the poptential for disease prediction and prevention. It'd be pretty difficult to argue rationally that Western medicine ignores prevention.

I'm not talking preventing further progression of existing disease by screening and giving drugs. I'm talking about true prevention--before it gets to that point. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), for example, identifies the preceding changes--a point at which Western diagnostics don't yet identify the disease--and aims to reverse them. And when the process HAS advanced to the point at which Western diagnostics would pick it up, the aim is ideally to restore healthy function rather than inhibit the symptom. That's not always possible, of course.


The overwhelming number of physicians who say--"I won't use anything that hasn't gone through a randomized controlled clinical trial!"
*******************************************
Now this statement belies a total misunderstanding of the principles of evidence based medicine


That was exactly my point. You're simply reiterating it.


And the biggest feature of science based medicine (of science itself) is a willingness to change and adapt in the face of newly aquired information.

The problem here is what's considered acceptable new information. There's more and more good solid research available on CAM modalities, but an enormous percentage of physicians who don't deem this information worthy of being acquired.


Your observations on the over-emphasis on specialists here in the US, with no primary care physician coordinating it all as exists in the UK, are well taken. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be moves in the US to attempt to modify this, and I've certainly observed a lack of integrated teamwork in settings where you'd think it should be feasible.


Fact is, "conventional" medicine askes a big question "Can it be shown to work" and most physicians are like my husband who muses that until the days when he knows everything about everything, he'll look at every plausible mechanism to, say, rid that virus riddled liver of what's going to kill the patient

All good, responsible health care practitioners ask that big question. But again, the typical conventional physician limits what he/she will accept into the arena of legitimate candidates. If your husband truly explores beyond the borders of conventional treatments, then he is atypical and not appropriate for exemplifying conventional medicine. It would be quite an eye-opener for you to see a discussion of a challenging patient among physicians on the integrative health care list-serv I belong to, which truly ranges over appropriate conventional and CAM approaches and specifics.


In the context of Chinese medicinal herbs and liver disease/HCV/HBV, for instance....(forget restoring balance/normalizing function and all the other non-scientific gobbldygook that surrounds the use)....

Exactly the scorn/contempt/dismissal/narrow thinking I'm talking about.


China has about the highest incidence hepatocelluar carcinoma in the world(a sequel of untreated HCV/HBV)his conclusion is that medicinal herbs, such as they're prescribed in TCM would be an unethical treatment to offer and the only reason to "integrate" them into standard anti viral therapy would be as a money maker.....which he'd view as equally unethical I fancy.

He has absolutely no idea whether integrating appropriate medicinal herbs with anti-viral pharmaceuticals would be simply a "money maker" or whether it would, in fact, enhance treatment. That's simply his opinion. I thought he tries to make his decisions on observed "fact." Perhaps what is really unethical is turning one's back on learning more, and thus possibly depriving patients of treatment that is more efficacious and/or has less deleterious side effects.

The right kind of thinking was shown by Dr. Mary Sheehan, an Irish dermatologist in London working in a pediatric clinic of a large hospital. She dealt with a large number of children severely affected by eczema that was unresponsive or poorly responsive to existing treatment. She noticed at one point that several children were suddenly improving dramatically, thought their treatment--their conventional treatment--hadn't changed. In each case, the parents admitted that they had begun to see a TCM practitioner. One family had discovered her (the Chinese wife of a pharmacist), and their wonderful results spread by word of mouth as families would sit in the clinic waiting room. So Dr. Sheehan went to see this woman, and they worked out a clinical trial. They chose a particular prescription of medicinal herbs appropriate for a specific type of eczema patient (as diagnosed by TCM perspectives). A group of kids was chosen, randomly assigned to placebo or medicinal tea, and then they were followed. And the results were astounding. Further research was done on these herbs. (Dr. Sheehan eventually moved to the US, following her cardiologist husband.)

But the impact on the treatment of severe recalcitrant eczema has been practically zero.


sheila

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Author: sheila727 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 31515 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 4/1/2008 7:05 PM
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The DREADFUL lack of education in and understanding of nutrition.
*******************************
Now this is such a mis-statement.....and an oft repeated one, come to that.... that it deserves its own post.


Okay....so you start out with the ancient Greeks (yes, they were very observant!), and early scientific discoveries. I'm talking about the current mentality.

And that is quite clear when you vaunt "As an offshoot of this there has been a recognisiion that certain desease states bring their own added requirement for dietary adjustments....vit C in wound healing, vit. D in bone health etc." Talking about vitamin D strictly in relation to bone health demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about. This is still what's taught in medical school -- completely ignoring the current SCIENTIFIC research and discovery progresse that has clearly identified vitamin D has a hormone that is critical--in addition to bone health--in preventing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and is essential for a competent immune response. In addition, the conventional values for what's considered normal have been drastically revised upward. One of the physicians deeply involved in this research told me that MEDICAL SCHOOLS ARE GRIEVOUSLY DEFICIENT IN THEIR GROSSLY INADEQUATE TEACHING OF NUTRITION. His concept of vitamin D had been what yours is, until he began his research and the research of a colleague stumbled across some eye-opening phenomena. He told me (and he's sure not the first one to have told me this) that it's frightening how little is continues to be taught about nutrition, and how unfortunate it is that doctors do not realize this.


Fact is, about 90% of "nutrition" is a combo of anatomy/physiology/biochemistry/molecular biology alongside the specifics that are covered in studies on cardiology/endocrinology/immunology etc. etc. with a hefty dose of critical thinking and analytic thought......all of which are standard components of a scientific medical ediucation and which occupy a significant block of a medical student's pre-clinical and clinical curriculum.

As already stated--what's taught is a tiny fraction of what should be known. Your 90% is a fiction.


The remaining 10% is the subject of current study and evaluation and the scientific community is correct in subjecting this area to scientific scrutiny.....not every new idea is a good idea and not every old one passes muster either.

Of course not every new idea is a good one. Nor did I ever say or imply it is. I wonder if you're aware of how much excellent research is published regularly--and never gets read by physicians or publicized. Yes, there have been some additions to the minimal nutritional knowledge of conventionally practicing physicians--thank goodness!--but it is a drop in the bucket.


All in all, with both of your posts, this has been your mindset throughout the years that I've been on this board. You've always disparaged all herbal treatments, many supplements, other legitimate (!!)CAM suggestions. They're all unproven and ridiculous "remedies" to you. So I expected these posts.

I'm not putting conventional medicine down. I'm saying it has significant limitations. And one of those limitations is not being able to acknowledge the proven or possible value of nonconventional treatments, and revering science as god. Science is wonderful, unless it becomes blinders. And don't forget that I'm a science writer, deep into molecular biology--and I love it and respect it! It is fabulous and exciting and rich. Aside from the reality that the scientific study of nonconventional treatments is given very short shrift in the conventional world...."science" is not always the final word.


sheila

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Author: wrongdog One star, 50 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 33639 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 10/23/2009 6:41 PM
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wow, quite a thread.

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 33666 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 10/25/2009 12:11 AM
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wow, quite a thread.

That comment got me to go back and read the whole thread. In one of the posts from a while back, I came across this statement by Sheila:

Take a look at Alexa Fleckenstein's books

That was interesting because DW and I met Dr. and Mr. Fleckenstein when we were all staying at the same B&B in Tasmania in 2006. A very nice woman.

--fleg

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Author: kourylu Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38716 of 40756
Subject: Re: Dr. Russell Blaylock-credible MD or quack? Date: 7/29/2013 6:57 PM
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Excellent discussion! You both have some good points and we can all learn from that...if we keep an open mind, listen and keep studying.

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