Friday, June 22, 2007

Am I biased?

A reader of my nutrition blog wondered if I may be biased. That's a fair question. Actually, I believe that everyone has to deal with the issue of bias, and the Scientific Method is supposed to help us all overcome these biases by focusing on valid, reproduceable data. Unfortunately, some of us seem to be trying harder than others to fairly represent unbiased data. For one example, my letter published by the cancer journal CA, the Journal of the American Cancer Society http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/cgi/eletters/55/5/319#176 rebutted an article positing that antioxidants should be avoided during cancer therapies. However, none of the references provided in that article showed any evidence of risk! In my rebuttal, I catalogued a number of studies that used nutrients with drugs or radiation therapies, which showed no harmful effects and in some cases even enhanced anticancer effects. I also pointed out the 40% of cancer patients who die of malnutrition while under their doctors' care, much of which may be preventable if physicians actually follow evidence-based medicine instead of clinging to conventional therapies and theories. Click on the title of this article to see the original report and my response. I think that you'll find that I presented relevant published scientific reports to counter a biased opinion that was not even supported by the author's references. How did that crappy opinion even get published in a peer-reviewed journal in the first place?

1 comment:

bobber said...

Thanks for responding to my blog entry both here and at my blog. I appreciate your work and the article you site here is indeed encouraging to me. One of the problems I have when I discuss nutrition with Doctors and medical students is that they will dismiss the opinions of someone such as yourself when they see that at least part of your income appears to be from the supplement industry.

I don't know exactly how to counter this charge in every case. A person has to make a living some how. Receiving an income in the field which you are devoted to makes sense to me (I certainly do so myself as well). At any rate, I appreciate your work and hope that you will continue to pursue knowledge of good nutrition and continue to share it with people like me!