Thanks for those links.
One problem I have with a lot of medical studies (particularly when it comes to testing nutritional supplements) is how details are lost in the publishing. For example, brand/type/source or type of "study" being done. In one example, there was a study done recently that made dramatic headlines:
"Taking vitamins doesn't help...and may even hurt you!".
Well, the study sucked. It was more of a survey. They questioned people over the course of several years and had them self-report whether they were taking vitamins (multi- or individual, etc). That tells us nothing about the source, compliance (did they take them regularly? did some people take them every day and some once a week or month, etc) and so on and so forth.
Another study claimed vitamin E was actually harmful to take. The problem is, they were giving the test subjects vitamin e in the form of d-alpha tocopherol. Real vitamin E as it exists in nature consists of alpha tocopherol, beta tocopherol, gamma tocopherol, and deta tocopherol, plus alpha tocotrienol, beta tocotrienol, gamma tocotrienol and delta tocotrienol. It has 8 isomers as it appears in nature (in grass fed beef for example). We're finding out that taking only alpha tocopherol depletes the gamma isomer which is important for heart health. So not all "vitamin E" is the same and we need to be precise on what it is we're testing.
Same for vitamin C. The FDA allows companies to sell ascorbic acid as "Vitamin C". You'll see it on most labels of crappy vitamins such as Centrum or other cheap brands. It will say "Vitamin C as ascorbic acid". But ascorbic acid is only the antioxidant shell of the vitamin C molecule. Inside we have bio-flavonoids such as rutin and hesperidin, which help recycle and reform spent vitamin c in the body creates glutathione, prevents hardening of the arteries, etc. Hesperidine also helps block excess histamine. It also has P-Factor, J-Factor and K-Factor. P- Factor keeps the arteries pliable, J-Factor helps the body utilize oxygen, and K-Factor is involved in regulating blood clotting. It has tyrosinase, which helps adrenal function, modulates wound healing, etc. It also plays a role in helping our skin to tan.
So when someone says "Oh, vitamin C doesn't help with x", I ask "are you taking vitamin C or ascorbic acid"? I used to tell people that if you imagine a molecule of whole vitamin c taken from say an orange, and imagine it as a softball, the ascorbic acid would the the leather covering (i.e. the antioxidant shell). Take off the leather wrap and you still have a whole lotta ball in your hand.
With the silver it's the same thing. Which brand are they using? Which concentration? A lot of supplements are just overpriced junk.
The greatest of which (I believe) is honey. Honey is marketed as "medi-honey" but really any pasteurized honey will do - and in a pinch even raw honey can work well if stored correctly.
Manuka honey specifically. Very potent!
The point is, however, that the ingestion or inhalation of silver as a means to fight pneumonia does not have any evidence to support it. Lots of chemicals kill bacteria in the lab. Bleach can do that, but I don't know that drinking a cup of bleach is going to be effective against pneumonia. Or even inhaling vaporized bleach. And I certainly don't recommend that anyone try it - Bleach is very toxic.
I shit you not...a friend of mine worked in an ER. A woman came in saying "My son ate a bunch of ants that were crawling around the house. Will he be ok?"
. The doctor, after checking him out, said "Sure, he'll be fine. He can go home."
Then the mother said "Thank god the ant poison I gave him killed the ants!"
Oh, do we need a facepalm emoticon! Unreal!
Before I will prescribe a therapy, any therapy, I have to see the following 4 end points in the data:
1) Does the therapy/medication improve morbidity* and mortality** rates for the patient? (benevolence)
2) Does the therapy have an understood mechanism of action? (understood science)
3) Is the therapy well tolerated and/or safe? (non-malevolence)
4) Is the therapy more effective than accepted medications already available? (economy/justice)
Rule #2 can sometimes be avoided IF the therapy has proven benefit with long term morbidity/mortality data (Greater than 30 years).
#3 is especially important. If you've never read a book called The Cholesterol Hoax
by Dr. Sherry Rogers M.D., it's well worth a look. I love her work because she writes in plain English (so I can recommend it to people who have no training in the field) and everything she says is referenced at the end of each chapter, all mainly sources being peer reviewed, prestigious medical journals (Cancer, JAMA, BJM, etc). She really sums up just how badly most doctors misunderstand cholesterol and why cholesterol lowering drugs are dangerous and in almost all cases unnecessary.
With #4, many times there is no western medical treatment for something, at least not from a drug/surgery model. So we end up turning to proven eastern or clinical nutrition solutions.
Rule #1 is of course the most important. Kinda sucks if the "medicine" makes you worse. Like propulsid for heartburn, which got pulled by the FDA for causing sudden heart attacks.
It isn't enough for me to know if a lipid-lower medication lowers someone's cholesterol. I want to know if it reduces rates of heart attacks and helps people live longer - and I want to know that it does a BETTER job than the other medications on the market which are cheaper.
Agreed. And with the cholesterol lowering drugs, its a big scam. According to every major, properly done study, the "sweet spot" for cholesterol (total) is between 180 and 240. This is where we see the least numbers of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and deaths from other causes. Problem is, the drug companies market to the doctors so powerfully, that many become mere drug pushers. So I see doctors telling women to go on Lipitor or one of the other cholesterol-lowering drugs. And it take them below 170. And women who go that low start to have mental issues - depression, mood swings, etc, in addition to body aches and heart problems. This is because the drugs kill an enzyme that creates cholesterol (which the body needs), and this is also the enzyme responsible for creating Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which every cell in the body needs for energy production. The heart uses something like 100x as much CoQ10 as the rest of the body. So they take the drug, they cut off their CoQ10 and they have increased heart attacks. The aches come from the inability to produce enough cholesterol to repair muscle. Mood swings results from disrupted hormone production which is created from cholesterol. It's just a mess!
It isn't enough for me to know that colloidal silver is going to kill MRSA in a Petri dish. I want to know if it will shorten the clinical course of Pneumonia and improve survival rates. And in the case of colloidal silver I want to know if it can do it BETTER than Azithromycin (the first line therapy against Community Acquired Pneumonia in my geographical region).
I agree, it's important to know how it works in the body, not just the lab. Silver has proven itself clinically over the years. I've cleared pink eye with it (diagnosed by my eye doctor) in 36 hours. He was aghast when I told him I was putting "non-sterile" drops in my eyes. On the other hand, he was amazed at how fast it cleared up.
Antibiotics are truly life savers. They are one of the only classes of drugs I consider to be truly helpful. Most other drugs are ultimately harmful. But even antibiotics get abused and even when not abused cause new problems, dysbiosis being one of the main ones. You really need to incorporate both sets of knowledge to treat disease. While I would use colloidal silver any day over antibiotics for most things, probiotics over antibiotics for a lot of other things, etc. - you can damn well be sure that if I get a raging MRSA infection or ebola or what not, I will be taking large doses of antibiotics! I'll certainly also take olive leaf and large, large doses of silver, but I'm not gonna skip the antibiotics! Afterwards, lots and lots of kefir (I make my own - a cup of raw kefir has about 2 TRILLION live beneficial bacteria - and it tastes like it!) or high quality commercial probiotics.