Alkaline treatment. WTF

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mr friendly guy
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Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-01-19 08:06pm

Apparently a new fad is going on that you can cure disease by making yourself more alkaline. Aside from the it doesn't work, our blood is already alkaline. BBC has an example of this thinking.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38650739

The dying officer treated for cancer with baking soda
By Dr Giles Yeo and Tristan Quinn
San Diego

The father of the alkaline diet, Robert O Young, is hailed as an inspiration by one of the UK's most popular food writers, Natasha Corrett, but he faces a jail sentence for practising medicine without a licence. One patient who believed he could cure her cancer, British Army officer Naima Houder-Mohammed, paid thousands of dollars for his alkaline treatment, which consisted mainly of intravenous infusions of baking soda.
In May 2009 Naima Houder-Mohammed was commissioned as a Captain in the British Army. The following year, tragedy struck. Naima was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She received treatment and was declared cancer-free. But in 2012, while training with the army skiing team, it was discovered the cancer had returned. Her condition was so serious she was offered end-of-life care.
"She refused to accept that this was the end," recalls her friend and former fellow officer, Afzal Amin.
"Naima was a fighter. She fought to get through selection for Sandhurst. She fought through Sandhurst and she fought her way through her life in everything she dealt with - army skiing or whatever it may have been. And this for her was another fight in that long list of victories."
Naima Houder-MohammedImage copyrightDAVID POOLE
Image caption
Naima Houder-Mohammed
As her medical options were limited, Naima did what many of us would do - she turned to the internet for a solution.
She came across Dr Robert O Young, an American alternative health writer selling a message of hope for cancer patients online.
Naima began an email correspondence with him, which reveals how pseudo-science can be used to manipulate the vulnerable.
Young is the author of a series of books called the pH Miracle, which has sold more than four million copies around the world.
These books lay out his "alkaline approach" to food and health which has influenced many others, including the work of the British clean-eating guru Natasha Corrett, whose Honestly Healthy brand promotes her take on an alkaline diet.
Natasha Corrett
Natasha CorrettImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
In the introduction to her book Honestly Healthy Cleanse, the food writer says acidity in the body causes "dis-ease", which can show itself in "everyday discomforts" like acne, dry skin and bloating, "to much more serious illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity"
She says Young "discovered that eating a plant-based diet free from processed foods can help to cure terminal diseases in the body"
She adds that his work is not recognised by the medical industry, "perhaps because giant pharmaceutical organisations wouldn't be able to make money out of doctors prescribing vegetables"
In one email Young sent to Naima in July 2012, he told her "there is a great need for a daily regime focused on… hyper-perfusing the blood with alkalinity". He went on: "I would suggest your healing program is going to take at least 8 - 12 weeks. It will not be easy but you will be in a controlled environment that will give you the care you need."
Naima set about raising the money she would need - in one email Young mentioned a figure of $3,000 (£2,440) per day.
Naima's family used their savings, ran fund-raising events and managed to pull together tens of thousands of pounds with the help of a charity so that Naima could be treated by Young.
But the treatment did not have the outcome she was hoping for.
Email from Robert O Young to Naima Houder-Mohammed
Image caption
Email from Robert O Young to Naima Houder-Mohammed
On one recent sun-kissed Californian morning, we drove up into the hills outside San Diego to visit Young. As we turned off Paradise Mountain Road, the parched golden grass eventually gave way to groves of avocado trees and we entered a millionaire's paradise known as the "pH Miracle Ranch".
The front door, preposterously set behind a moat, is reached by walking across some stone slabs.
As Young welcomed us into the ranch, our eyes were drawn to an empty spherical fish-tank built into the wall that separated the living area from the kitchen.
Noting our interest, he began to share his alkaline view of the world, starting with what he calls the fish-bowl metaphor. "If the fish is sick - what would you do? Treat the fish or change the water?"
He went on: "The human body in its perfect state of health is alkaline in its design."
Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
Media captionInside the "ph Miracle Ranch" of Robert Young
The pH of our blood is 7.4, which is slightly alkaline, so Young is broadly correct - although different compartments of our bodies, such as our stomach, function at very different pHs.
But then Young's "alkaline living" vision becomes complete fantasy. Young believes that in order to maintain the pH of our blood, we have to eat "alkaline" foods.
The main problem with this view is that it doesn't appear to take into account the stomach, which functions at a pH of about 1.5 and is the most acidic compartment in the body. Thus, everything we consume, regardless of its starting pH, becomes acidic before passing into the intestines.
Also, the categorisation of foods into alkaline or acidic does not appear to follow any consistent rules, with certain citrus fruits (full of citric acid) considered to be alkaline, for instance.
However, Young's view that alkalinity is good and acidity is bad goes beyond food. He told us: "All sickness and disease can be prevented by managing the delicate pH balance of the fluids of the body."
He believes that when your blood becomes acidic, something weird happens, and your blood cells transform into bacteria - a phenomenon he calls pleomorphism - thereby resulting in a diseased state.
This, frankly wild, view goes against all current scientific understanding.
When we put this to him, he simply disagreed, saying: "Germs are nothing more than the biological transformation of animal, human or plant matter. They're born out of that."
This is post-truth.
Dr Giles Yeo with Robert O Young
Image caption
Dr Giles Yeo with Robert O Young at the "pH Miracle Ranch"
The biggest problem is that because Young believes that disease emerges from acidity, then by extension disease can be reversed with alkalinity - echoing his fish-bowl metaphor that you don't treat the disease, but you change the environment.
When Young said Naima would be cared for in a controlled environment, he meant the pH Miracle Ranch, which has a large area set aside as a "clinic" to treat cancer.
Young told us he uses the term "cancerous" as an adjective to describe a state of acidity.
Since 2005 he has brought more than 80 terminally ill patients to stay at his ranch for months at a time. Treatment has included intravenous infusions of an alkaline solution of sodium bicarbonate - the same Arm and Hammer stuff you stick in your fridge to absorb smells.
This was the "healing programme" that was being sold to Naima.
There is no doubting the impact of Young's message. In an email, Naima wrote to him: "I'll be pronounced text book perfect in a few months."
According to her friend Afzal Amin: "Naima was supremely confident that, with her willpower and this therapy, she would be healed. That was the overriding emotion in her that yes, I am going to better."
We put it to Young that someone like Naima, in a terminally ill state, who was desperate for a cure, would buy anything, try anything to help get better.
He responded: "But I wasn't selling her anything… I didn't force her to come here, it was her decision."
Yet, in one email Young insisted on Naima paying for her treatment, before she stepped on to the plane.
Email from Robert O Young to Naima Houder-Mohammed
All in all, Naima and her family paid Young more than $77,000 (£62,700) for the treatment.
Young told us: "The doctors need to be paid and the people that are doing the massages need to be paid and the colonics, but I gave her the best price to make sure that those people were paid."
There is no evidence whatsoever that infusing an alkaline solution into your bloodstream will do anything against cancer. When we raised this with Young, he said: "These things need to be studied."
After about three months at Young's facility, her condition worsened and she was taken to hospital. Naima was brought back to the UK and died with her family. She was 27.
Afzal Amin told us: "They feel utterly betrayed. It's just horrific that somebody could exploit people for money. This is I think for them the most disturbing element, that for something as cheap as money he was just able to destroy people's lives."
Find out more
Dr Giles Yeo presents Horizon's Clean Eating - The Dirty Truth, produced by Tristan Quinn, on BBC Two at 21:00 GMT, Thursday 19 January
In the UK, you can watch it on iPlayer after transmission
Young's activities at the pH Miracle Ranch have not gone unnoticed by the authorities.
In 2011 the Medical Board of California began an undercover investigation after concerns were raised by a woman treated there.
Investigators were able to establish the prognosis of 15 cancer patients treated at the ranch - none of them outlived it.
One patient, Genia Vanderhaeghen, died from congestive heart failure - fluid around the heart - while being treated. Young told us he was "out of town" at the time.
According to an invoice we obtained, she had been given 33 intravenous sodium bicarbonate drips, each charged at $550 (£448), over 31 days. Some were administered by Young himself.
Robert O Young
Image caption
Robert O Young
Last year Young was convicted of two charges of practising medicine without a license, and now faces up to three years in prison.
In court it was revealed that he is not a medical doctor and bought his PhD from a diploma mill.
We asked him if he felt remorse for what he had done. He said: "I don't have remorse because of the thousands if not millions of people that have been helped through the [alkaline diet] programme."
We asked Natasha Corrett to comment on the influence of Robert Young on Honestly Healthy. She told us: "We believe that our bodies should be fuelled with healthy and nutritious ingredients but we also believe that life is about having things in moderation."


Good grief.

The blood is already alkaline, so using Young's logic, we shouldn't need to treat it anyway (since IV infusions of bicarbonate is going to make the blood even more alkaline).

Some diseases can cause you blood to become more acidaemic, that is it lowers the pH. It doesn't necessarily mean you pH drops below 7 (ie neutrality) and becomes acidic. In fact I have only seen one person whose pH was slightly lower than 7 and he was quite sick from diabetic ketoacidosis. Sometimes bicarb is give for some renal disease which causes acidaemia, but most probably not in the quantities Young was using. A diabetic whose pH has dropped to 7.1 is sick and needs to be treated even though a pH of 7.1 is still alkaline by definition.

pH balance is regulated by kidneys and respiration mainly. Breast cancer by itself does not cause acidaemia.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Broomstick » 2017-01-19 10:28pm

This isn't new, it's just come around again. I first heard woo-woo about the wonders of an "alkaline diet" over 30 years ago.

I just wish these fads would die completely, instead of periodically coming back to kill more desperate people.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-01-19 10:40pm

Even trying to engage with crap like this on a scientific level is meaningless. It's just... fractally wrong. If you zoom in on any part of the wrongness, you just observe new and detailed ecologies of wrongness, which in turn are composed of other, still more detailed wrongnesses.

I mean, the guy's basic premise is that acidity in the body is bad because acidity turns your own cells into dangerous germs. In other words, this guy has abandoned the principle of the germ theory of disease, in favor of what amounts to "disease is caused by witchcraft." He's literally dropping a basic fact that everyone in the developed world learns as children... Unless they're raised by some kind of demented cult like the one he's promulgating.

This is why such a huge fraction of the alternative health movement embraces fundamentally wrong-headed things. Because they don't actually have a mental model of how the body works that aligns with scientific fact. They have an intuitive model.

The human brain intuitively models physics according to things like the 'impetus model' that are empirically wrong, but whose wrongness is hard to observe directly unless you perform organized, disciplined experiments while keeping an open mind and applying a fair degree of mathematical literacy. The brain intuitively models biology the same way.

Thus, people tend to think of 'sickness' and 'health' as being abstract traits caused by 'purity' and 'impurity.' We tend to fixate on specific sources of 'impurity' as the root cause of our diseases. And when people who are not solidly grounded in biology and medicine hear of a wonderful treatment that 'purifies' the body... It's not hard to get some of them to fall for it.

Trying to explain precisely why this 'purity' treatment doesn't actually heal the body is almost missing the point. The fundamental problem is that this person's brain is effectively a vacuum that lacks the framework to correctly understand what is going on. So any specific factoid you provide isn't going to lock into the larger framework and will be ignored, or actively rejected as "conventional medicine trying to suppress the truth!"
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Chris Parr » 2017-01-20 04:01am

After reading the original post two words spring to my mind—"snake oil."

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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Iroscato » 2017-01-20 11:56am

Simon_Jester wrote:Even trying to engage with crap like this on a scientific level is meaningless. It's just... fractally wrong. If you zoom in on any part of the wrongness, you just observe new and detailed ecologies of wrongness, which in turn are composed of other, still more detailed wrongnesses.

That's a brilliant way of putting it - mind if I steal that for future use? :P
Yeah, I've always taken the subtext of the Birther movement to be, "The rules don't count here! This is different! HE'S BLACK! BLACK, I SAY! ARE YOU ALL BLIND!?

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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-01-20 01:25pm

Since I myself stole 'fractally wrong' from somewhere else, and cannot now remember, of course you can. :D
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Khaat » 2017-01-20 01:34pm

The full definition is: The state of being wrong at every conceivable scale of resolution. That is, from a distance, a fractally wrong person's worldview is incorrect; and furthermore, if you zoom in on any small part of that person's worldview, that part is just as wrong as the whole worldview.Feb 12, 2008

Effort Sisyphus: Fractal Wrongness - Techskeptic
techskeptic.blogspot.com/2008/02/fractal-wrongness.html

But that was just the first result. Could be earlier uses.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby cosmicalstorm » 2017-01-24 09:52am

Sodium bicarbonate is an effective ergogenic aid, athletes consume up to 25g/day to boost lifting and recovery. It has some favorable health-effects, especially kidney related.

I've seen some papers where it is used as an adjuvant in cancer-treatments, for instance when EDTA-chelation is used to lower the levels of heavy metals it's administered with IV c-vitamin, sodium bicarbonate.
Quacksters will typically drop some of those papers as "proof" that their baking soda cure it all will heal your cancer.

The idea that it would cure cancer is silly. Even if it had some anti-cancer property I fully expect cancer to rapidly out-evolve that problem. Cancer is an evolutionary Engine, even effective chemo lose effect rapidly and then you die.

Bicarbonate Supplementation Slows Progression of CKD and Improves Nutritional Status

Ione de Brito-Ashurst,
Mira Varagunam,
Martin J. Raftery and
Muhammad M. Yaqoob


+
Author Affiliations
Department of Renal Medicine and Transplantation, William Harvey Research Institute and Barts and the London NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom
Correspondence:
Prof. Muhammad M. Yaqoob, Department of Renal Medicine and Transplantation, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London E1 1BB UK. Phone: +442073777236; Fax: +442073777003; E-mail: m.m.yaqoob@qmul.ac.uk
Received for publication November 24, 2008.
Accepted for publication May 18, 2009.


Abstract

Bicarbonate supplementation preserves renal function in experimental chronic kidney disease (CKD), but whether the same benefit occurs in humans is unknown. Here, we randomly assigned 134 adult patients with CKD (creatinine clearance [CrCl] 15 to 30 ml/min per 1.73 m2) and serum bicarbonate 16 to 20 mmol/L to either supplementation with oral sodium bicarbonate or standard care for 2 yr. The primary end points were rate of CrCl decline, the proportion of patients with rapid decline of CrCl (>3 ml/min per 1.73 m2/yr), and ESRD (CrCl <10 ml/min). Secondary end points were dietary protein intake, normalized protein nitrogen appearance, serum albumin, and mid-arm muscle circumference. Compared with the control group, decline in CrCl was slower with bicarbonate supplementation (5.93 versus 1.88 ml/min 1.73 m2; P < 0.0001). Patients supplemented with bicarbonate were significantly less likely to experience rapid progression (9 versus 45%; relative risk 0.15; 95% confidence interval 0.06 to 0.40; P < 0.0001). Similarly, fewer patients supplemented with bicarbonate developed ESRD (6.5 versus 33%; relative risk 0.13; 95% confidence interval 0.04 to 0.40; P < 0.001). Nutritional parameters improved significantly with bicarbonate supplementation, which was well tolerated. This study demonstrates that bicarbonate supplementation slows the rate of progression of renal failure to ESRD and improves nutritional status among patients with CKD.

http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/20/9/2075.short

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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Broomstick » 2017-01-24 10:11am

cosmicalstorm wrote:I've seen some papers where it is used as an adjuvant in cancer-treatments, for instance when EDTA-chelation is used to lower the levels of heavy metals it's administered with IV c-vitamin, sodium bicarbonate.
Quacksters will typically drop some of those papers as "proof" that their baking soda cure it all will heal your cancer.

Yeah - the same sort of cancer treatment where they infuse chemicals into your body that are so toxic the people administering it need special protective gear, the shit causes chemical burns on unprotected flesh, and your bodily wastes for several days afterward require special handling as a potential Superfund site - gives new meaning to "toxic waste". They use a LOT of stuff as adjuvant therapy in legit cancer treatment in order to mitigate the unwanted effects from the medications required to kill cancer. Taking those adjuvants out of context can cause a great deal of damage. This isn't something for amateurs to monkey around with.

The idea that it would cure cancer is silly.

Goddamn, I wish it did but I'm too in touch with reality to believe that.

Even if it had some anti-cancer property I fully expect cancer to rapidly out-evolve that problem. Cancer is an evolutionary Engine, even effective chemo lose effect rapidly and then you die.

Eh, not necessarily - there have been some new therapies in recent years involving the immune system that have been approved for use after chemo loses its effectiveness. Of course, there can be side effects, up to and including death so that's not something for amateurs, either.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby FireNexus » 2017-01-24 11:56am

cosmicalstorm wrote:Sodium bicarbonate is an effective ergogenic aid, athletes consume up to 25g/day to boost lifting and recovery. It has some favorable health-effects, especially kidney related.


One thing I know for sure about bicarbonate or other alkaline substances is that I'm not allowed to take them when I'm on my ADD medication because they impede its renal clearance due to it also having a mildly alkaline pH (it seems like that would apply to any alkaloid which is largely excreted unchanged or as another active alkaloid). So to the extent that it helps kidneys, it could well be due to easing their burden by offloading it to the liver. Clearly the liver can take a hell of a beating, but if you're already in the early stages of renal failure you maybe don't want to start involving other organ systems.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Zixinus » 2017-01-24 12:11pm

This alkene thing is as stupid when people were trying to sell radon and other radioisotopes for their possibly curative properties.

Sadly, intuitive cures made on lies sell well and have always sold well and will still sell when the (or at least, a) real cure is too expensive and dangerous. People don't know and don't really care what the medicines do to them, as long as they think they work and good for them. Regardless whether it is scientifically and practically tested antibiotics or homopeathic, herbal oil that smells good and that's all it does.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-01-24 06:27pm

Zixinus wrote:This alkene thing is as stupid when people were trying to sell radon and other radioisotopes for their possibly curative properties.

Sadly, intuitive cures made on lies sell well and have always sold well and will still sell when the (or at least, a) real cure is too expensive and dangerous. People don't know and don't really care what the medicines do to them, as long as they think they work and good for them. Regardless whether it is scientifically and practically tested antibiotics or homopeathic, herbal oil that smells good and that's all it does.

Actually radioisotopes can be used in certain cancer treatments. For example one of the hospitals I worked at published studies on Hot mabthera and its now used in the treatment of lymphoma. Basically we use rituximab (mabthera) which is an antibody which binds to the cancer. We attach radioactive isotope to mabthera so when it binds to the cancer, it does more damage due to the radiactive substance being in close proximity to the cancer giving off those photon goodness.There are other examples of using radioisotopes to treat cancer.

So I would say the alkaline thing is even more stupid than radioisotopes, because the latter actually work. :D
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-01-24 11:57pm

mr friendly guy wrote:Actually radioisotopes can be used in certain cancer treatments... For example one of the hospitals I worked at published studies on Hot mabthera and its now used in the treatment of lymphoma. Basically we use rituximab (mabthera) which is an antibody which binds to the cancer. We attach radioactive isotope to mabthera so when it binds to the cancer, it does more damage due to the radiactive substance being in close proximity to the cancer giving off those photon goodness.There are other examples of using radioisotopes to treat cancer.

So I would say the alkaline thing is even more stupid than radioisotopes, because the latter actually work. :D
One problem that I think is starting to become an obstacle to efforts to overcome medical pseudoscience is... pretty much what you just did, except that doing it here was okay. But it happens in other places where I suspect it's harmful.

Whenever educated amateurs talk about medicine, and give an example of something that doesn't work or is associated with random pseudoscience, someone who has more encyclopedic knowledge comes along and says "Well, actually, leeches are used in modern medicine in this one case" or "well, there IS that one category of illnesses for which bloodletting is a useful treatment" or "Well, sometimes drilling a hole in your head is a good idea." Or something like that.

The problem is that people who know even less than the educated amateurs hear stuff like this and hear "anything goes." Because they don't understand that the body is an extremely complicated system of interlocking cause-and-effect mechanisms. They think in terms of "this is a list of healthy stuff, this is a list of unhealthy stuff." Anything that works for ANY medical treatment may be viewed as "healthy stuff."

So I say "homeopathic remedies don't work," and some wiseass says "well actually, they do have a placebo effect." Which is strictly true but pointless since literally anything will have a placebo effect if you paint it the right color, put on a lab coat, and call it medicine. And then some poor bastard who doesn't know what the word "placebo" means hears that and thinks "keep trying random stuff! SOMETHING is bound to work!"

It's not so much a problem here, and I'm not complaining specifically about what you personally did just now. I know you're just trying to tell us about radiotherapy options, not trying to validate all those snakes who tried to sell people radium water for gargling back in the 1920s. Because everyone participating in this discussion, except for cosmicalstorm, knows how to not be a credulous idiot when it comes to believing in the medical value of ingesting random substances.

But in places with a higher background level of ignorance, like the Internet at large... I can't shake the feeling that it has a net negative effect on overall medical knowledge.

It's sort of like if you were teaching your three year old child "the world is round like a ball" and some random wiseass interrupted you to say "no, actually, it's not round, it's an oblate spheroid." The kid doesn't know what an oblate spheroid is, and may not understand the wiseass's explanation even if they try to give one. The kid almost certainly won't understand the difference between an oblate spheroid and a sphere or why the Earth is that shape. So all the wiseass has accomplished is to confuse the issue.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Zixinus » 2017-01-25 06:33am

mr friendly guy wrote:
Zixinus wrote:This alkene thing is as stupid when people were trying to sell radon and other radioisotopes for their possibly curative properties.

Sadly, intuitive cures made on lies sell well and have always sold well and will still sell when the (or at least, a) real cure is too expensive and dangerous. People don't know and don't really care what the medicines do to them, as long as they think they work and good for them. Regardless whether it is scientifically and practically tested antibiotics or homopeathic, herbal oil that smells good and that's all it does.

Actually radioisotopes can be used in certain cancer treatments. For example one of the hospitals I worked at published studies on Hot mabthera and its now used in the treatment of lymphoma. Basically we use rituximab (mabthera) which is an antibody which binds to the cancer. We attach radioactive isotope to mabthera so when it binds to the cancer, it does more damage due to the radiactive substance being in close proximity to the cancer giving off those photon goodness.There are other examples of using radioisotopes to treat cancer.

So I would say the alkaline thing is even more stupid than radioisotopes, because the latter actually work. :D


Except they don't: in this example, it is the the mabthera that is doing the real work, the radioisotopes merely increase its effectiveness. By themselves, they do not work and they definitely do not work as your average person would thought radioisotopes cure worked, like "they increase the positive energy in your body!" or "they will make your body get rid of toxins" or any other fractal-wrong nonsense.

What I am talking about is stuff like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radithor, which was distilled water with a bit of radium thrown in. It claimed that it could cure impotence. It was gleefully sold right until someone died from using it and had to be buried in a lead-lined coffin.

The same holds true for a variety of so-called medicine. There is the old joke that when a medical student is welcomed, an old professor tells them what they will learn. He tells that half of what they will learn is scientific fact and half quackery. They just can't tell which is which. And that's real medicine.

Alt-medders are usually charlatans that either will gleefully tell you lies or worse, believe the lies themselves. Or even worse, nobody even bothers keeping track of all the lies. People cite thousand year old medical cures by cultures that never cut up a dead body to see what's inside. People still tell the old nonsense that mother nature will make a cure for every disease mankind suffers.

The truth is that the human body did not come with guarantees and has no design for external interfaces to make internal repairs. All effective medicine is, in a way, hacking the body by playing out the body's mechanisms and biochemistry.
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mr friendly guy
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-01-25 06:54am

Zixinus wrote:
Except they don't: in this example, it is the the mabthera that is doing the real work, the radioisotopes merely increase its effectiveness. By themselves, they do not work and they definitely do not work as your average person would thought radioisotopes cure worked, like "they increase the positive energy in your body!" or "they will make your body get rid of toxins" or any other fractal-wrong nonsense.


Er, what? Radioisotopes work because radiation can kill cancer cells just like normal cells. People have inserted radioisotopes directly into cancers, for example yttrium into liver cancers. In hot mabthera, the radiation is killing the cancer cells, it just needs to be guided by the mabthera. If radiation didn't kill cancer cells, we wouldn't have an entire specialty dedicated to using it (radiation oncology), although the radiation there is produced by bombarding tungsten with electricity and aiming it like a high intensity x-ray rather than using a radioactive substance per se.

Now I am obviously aware things like radithor won't work, however radioisotopes do by themselves affect cancer and is part of the treatment in certain cases. Hence my statement that at least radioisotopes do have curative properties for certain indications. It was half joking, hence the smilie, but its also pretty much true for the situations described.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby Zixinus » 2017-01-25 12:14pm

When I meant "by themselves", I meant in the limited scope of your example, not that radioisotopes in general. You can't just throw, drink or inject the radioisotopes, you have to apply them in very specific method and even then it will work in specific cases. It doesn't just get rid of the cancer either, there are all sorts of problems that come from the treatment and things that the treatment couldn't affect. Cancer is a hardy bitch.

Both treatments that work and both Radithor used radioisotopes, but the point is that the difference between the two for people is often ambigous. Now, it is very obvious that juts piling radioisotopes into your body is a terrible idea. Radioisotopes are destructive and are only useful when they are precision-guided and even then, stuff like cancers. That little detail is only remembered today because of horror stories and general alarmism about anything nuclear, not because people understand it or even really care to.
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Re: Alkaline treatment. WTF

Postby jwl » 2017-01-27 08:27am

Simon_Jester wrote:
mr friendly guy wrote:Actually radioisotopes can be used in certain cancer treatments... For example one of the hospitals I worked at published studies on Hot mabthera and its now used in the treatment of lymphoma. Basically we use rituximab (mabthera) which is an antibody which binds to the cancer. We attach radioactive isotope to mabthera so when it binds to the cancer, it does more damage due to the radiactive substance being in close proximity to the cancer giving off those photon goodness.There are other examples of using radioisotopes to treat cancer.

So I would say the alkaline thing is even more stupid than radioisotopes, because the latter actually work. :D

One problem that I think is starting to become an obstacle to efforts to overcome medical pseudoscience is... pretty much what you just did, except that doing it here was okay. But it happens in other places where I suspect it's harmful.

Whenever educated amateurs talk about medicine, and give an example of something that doesn't work or is associated with random pseudoscience, someone who has more encyclopedic knowledge comes along and says "Well, actually, leeches are used in modern medicine in this one case" or "well, there IS that one category of illnesses for which bloodletting is a useful treatment" or "Well, sometimes drilling a hole in your head is a good idea." Or something like that.

The problem is that people who know even less than the educated amateurs hear stuff like this and hear "anything goes." Because they don't understand that the body is an extremely complicated system of interlocking cause-and-effect mechanisms. They think in terms of "this is a list of healthy stuff, this is a list of unhealthy stuff." Anything that works for ANY medical treatment may be viewed as "healthy stuff."

So I say "homeopathic remedies don't work," and some wiseass says "well actually, they do have a placebo effect." Which is strictly true but pointless since literally anything will have a placebo effect if you paint it the right color, put on a lab coat, and call it medicine. And then some poor bastard who doesn't know what the word "placebo" means hears that and thinks "keep trying random stuff! SOMETHING is bound to work!"

It's not so much a problem here, and I'm not complaining specifically about what you personally did just now. I know you're just trying to tell us about radiotherapy options, not trying to validate all those snakes who tried to sell people radium water for gargling back in the 1920s. Because everyone participating in this discussion, except for cosmicalstorm, knows how to not be a credulous idiot when it comes to believing in the medical value of ingesting random substances.

But in places with a higher background level of ignorance, like the Internet at large... I can't shake the feeling that it has a net negative effect on overall medical knowledge.

It's sort of like if you were teaching your three year old child "the world is round like a ball" and some random wiseass interrupted you to say "no, actually, it's not round, it's an oblate spheroid." The kid doesn't know what an oblate spheroid is, and may not understand the wiseass's explanation even if they try to give one. The kid almost certainly won't understand the difference between an oblate spheroid and a sphere or why the Earth is that shape. So all the wiseass has accomplished is to confuse the issue.

Well actually you would expect homeopathy to have a stronger placebo effect than a coloured pill because prescribing it involves hour-long interviews.

But seriously, most people know radioisotopes are used for cancer treatment, so all you are doing there is giving them a correct position rather than a garbled one someone may hear elsewhere.


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