Archive for category Research into Homeopathy

Good medicine: homeopathy, Cuba, the Finlay Institute and homeoprophylaxis for Leptospirosis

BMJ 2012345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e6184 (Published 14 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6184

Good medicine: homeopathy

26 November 2012
Christopher M Johnson
Naturopathic Doctor
Private Practice
4910 31st St S, Suite A, Arlington, VA 22206

Once again it must be said that what passes for ‘scientific’ discussion amongst homeopathic critics is almost entirely lacking in substance. Scientific statements, by definition, must be precise and testable. Unfortunately, criticisms of homeopathy rarely pass this test.

Alan Henness, who calls himself a ‘challenger of misleading health claims,’ continues to make vague assertions and accusations without having any grasp of the basic facts.

His previous attempts to delegitimize the Cuban homeopathic leptospirosis trial having been defused by David Eyles, he falls back on this last attempt:

“Presumably then, if homeoprophylaxis for Leptospirosis was so successful and saved so many lives, the Cuban health authorities will have been boldly rolling it out all over Cuba for the last five years?”

In fact, this is precisely what has been done, with remarkable effect: leptospirosis is now nearly eradicated – so much so that the homeopathic prophylaxis is no longer routinely needed.

Somehow, ten years of using the conventional vaccine never brought about such success.

It is clear that homeopathic ‘skeptics’ do not like being bothered with data and evidence, but for those who are interested, the facts of the Cuban experience with prophylactic homeopathy are as follows:

1) The authors of the Cuban homeopathic leptospirosis trial were not homeopaths. They were veteran conventional medical researchers and scientists who had been manufacturing, testing and implementing the use of conventional vaccinations for decades. They were highly respected in the vaccine world. Their work had previously been published in many of the major vaccine journals such as, Vaccine, Human Vaccines, Expert Review of Vaccines, etc. They were and are in fact, amongst the world’s leading experts on leptospirosis vaccination – with the trivalent Vax-spiral (the only conventional leptospirosis vaccine made anywhere in the world) designed and manufactured in their own facilities (the Finlay Institute – a WHO-designated research center). In sum, they were not homeopathic apologists. Prior to the leptospirosis study, they had no ‘skin in the game’ whatsoever, and no reason at all to defend or advocate for homeopathy.

2) The authors implemented the use of the homeopathic leptospirosis prophylaxis as a last ditch effort in 2007, when the island was overwhelmed by a record hurricane season and there were insufficient resources/time to produce enough of the conventional vaccine. They tried homeopathy in light of having no other options.

3) Unlike the conventional vaccine, the homeopathic product could be produced in less than 2 weeks (compared to 6 months), cost 2% of the conventional vaccine, and was far more easily stored and administered.

4) The results of using the homeopathic product in 2007 were far more successful than any previous use of the conventional vaccine, despite what was objectively one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons in modern history. Within 2 weeks of administering the homeopathic product, they observed a 90% decrease in incidence of leptospirosis in the intervention region (comprising 2.1 million persons), while in the low-risk areas which did not receive any intervention (either homeopathic or conventional) incidence of the disease continued to rise – a set of facts that would have been drastically reversed if the homeopathic product had no efficacy.

5) The homeopathic prophylaxis was then, in the ensuing years, administered to the entire Cuban population (11 million persons), to the effect of near eradication of the disease on the island – a result not achieved with use of the conventional vaccine product.

6) Despite the fact that the researchers had for decades published papers in the leading vaccine journals, none of these journals were willing to publish this groundbreaking trial – by all accounts, one of the largest ever conducted in medicine. What happened? Were the researchers no longer ‘experts?’ Did they forget how to conduct a proper trial? Was the trial of insufficient quality? No legitimate criticism has been registered to date and none was given by the journals. I’ll leave it to readers to make up their own minds, but will provide some historical context: from the beginning of homeopathy the conventional medical community has repeatedly sabotaged homeopathic research. Throughout the 19th century, on numerous occasions, conventional medial authorities simply confiscated and destroyed the records of successful homeopathic trials. Of course, we know the scientific world is much more ‘civilized’ now, right?

7) Despite all this, the researchers and scientists involved with the study still advocate for and use conventional vaccination in many diseases. Unlike homeopathic ‘skeptics,’ these people are actually committed to science – i.e. unbiased and objective observation. They care only about what works and are not blinded by dogma and ideology.

8) Based on the results achieved with leptospirosis, the Cuban Ministry of Health began using homeopathic prophylaxis and treatment for other infectious epidemics, including dengue fever, ‘swine’ flu, hepatitis A and conjunctivitis – all with similar success.

Competing interests: No competing interests

New Web Sites for Homeopathic Research

research Please be careful interpreting the battleground of modern research! See the Of interest section below*

Rome 2015 International Homeopathic Conference Report

http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/extraordinary-evidence-homeopathys-best-research/ ‘… There have been hundreds of research studies on homeopathy with positive results. Rather than make you slog through a list of them, we’ll show you the ten most amazing and convincing…’

http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/database-of-positive-homeopathy-research-studies/ ‘… Our homeopathic colleague and friend, Robert Medhurst, has been compiling positive research studies related to homeopathy since last several years. He initially shared a compilation of positive homeopathic research studies with us in 2010 and since December 2013, he has been sharing his findings with the community every month through Hpathy.com…’ http://www.adelaidehillsnaturopath.com.au/about-robert.html

http://www.carstens-stiftung.de/core-hom/login.php Core Hom ‘… The CORE-Hom database has emerged from the need for a publicly available and reliable source of information in the field of homeopathy clinical research. The search grid offers a way to navigate this data, offering the possibility of searching the data through clinical condition or clinical field, name of author and more. The database was designed with the strongest scientific rigor in mind, to offer researchers and the general public a solid foundation from which to assess the quality of homeopathy trials as well the many clinical fields to which they relate. Registration and use of CORE-Hom are free of charge…’

http://ayushportal.nic.in/ Ayush Portal ‘… Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) was established as an autonomous organisation in 1978, under the Dept. of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Primarily a research body, CCRH has a multi-dimensional approach to research and its varied research activities include ‘Survey, collection and cultivation of medicinal plants’, ‘Drug standardisation’, ‘Drug proving’, ‘Clinical verification’ and ‘Clinical research’. Besides, CCRH also collaborates with other research bodies for researches and monitors extramural researches…’

Of interest:

*From http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/05/16/editor-in-chief-of-worlds-best-known-medical-journal-half-of-all-the-literature-is-false/ ‘… In the past few years more professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to swallow. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. Dr. Horton recently published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false. “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.(source http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960696-1.pdf)…’

For a background to The Lancet, please read http://sueyounghistories.com/archives/2008/08/09/dark-beginnings-for-the-lancet/

Undue industry influences that distort healthcare research, strategy, expenditure and practice: a review

Conflict of InterestsUndue industry influences that distort healthcare research, strategy, expenditure and practice: a review European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Volume 43, Issue 5, pages 469–475, May 2013. Emmanuel Stamatakis1,2,, Richard Weiler3, John P.A. Ioannidis4,5, Article first published online: 25 MAR 2013

See http://avilian.co.uk/2008/08/25/scientific-research-and-homeopathy-overview/

See also http://avilian.co.uk/2012/09/14/false-positives-fraud-and-misconduct-are-threatening-scientific-research/

See also http://avilian.co.uk/2013/10/18/secrets-of-trial-data-revealed-records-of-side-effects-seen-in-clinical-tests-are-missing-from-publicly-available-documents/

From http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.12074/full

Abstract: Background: Expenditure on industry products (mostly drugs and devices) has spiraled over the last 15 years and accounts for substantial part of healthcare expenditure. The enormous financial interests involved in the development and marketing of drugs and devices may have given excessive power to these industries to influence medical research, policy, and practice.

Material and methods: Review of the literature and analysis of the multiple pathways through which the industry has directly or indirectly infiltrated the broader healthcare systems. We present the analysis of the industry influences at the following levels: (i) evidence base production, (ii) evidence synthesis, (iii) understanding of safety and harms issues, (iv) cost-effectiveness evaluation, (v) clinical practice guidelines formation, (vi) healthcare professional education, (vii) healthcare practice, (viii) healthcare consumer’s decisions.

Results: We located abundance of consistent evidence demonstrating that the industry has created means to intervene in all steps of the processes that determine healthcare research, strategy, expenditure, practice and education. As a result of these interferences, the benefits of drugs and other products are often exaggerated and their potential harms are downplayed, and clinical guidelines, medical practice, and healthcare expenditure decisions are biased. 

Conclusion: To serve its interests, the industry masterfully influences evidence base production, evidence synthesis, understanding of harms issues, cost-effectiveness evaluations, clinical practice guidelines and healthcare professional education and also exerts direct influences on professional decisions and health consumers. There is an urgent need for regulation and other action towards redefining the mission of medicine towards a more objective and patient-, population- and society-benefit direction that is free from conflict of interests.  Read the rest of this entry »

HRI Barcelona 2013: A significant step forward for homeopathy research worldwide

Homeopathy Research Institute

HRI Barcelona 2013 – Key Facts
• 180 delegates from over 30 countries
• Presenters from over 20 countries
• 42 oral presentations + 25 posters
• Diverse programme included basic research, fundamental research, clinical research, qualitative
research, pathogenetic trials, disease prevention, veterinary research and ethics

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Flu Patients Happier With Homeopathic Treatment than Allopathic Treatment (France: 2009–2010)

happyWith thanks to The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and The Complementary Medical Association 18.9.13:

From http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2011.0706 See also http://www.the-cma.org.uk/Articles/Flu-Patients-Happier-With-Homeopathic-Treatment-than-Allopathic-Treatment-(France-20092010)-4903/?utm_source=Sign-Up

‘… Management of Influenza-Like Illness by Homeopathic and Allopathic General Practitioners in France During the 2009–2010 Influenza Season, Stéphane Vincent, Antoine Demonceaux, Didier Deswarte, Daniel Scimeca, and Marie-France Bordet. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2013, 19(2): 146-152. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0706. ‘… In France, homeopathy is widely accepted for the treatment of ILI and does not preclude the use of allopathic medications. However, patients treated with homeopathic medications only are more satisfied with their treatment than other patients…’ Read the rest of this entry »

Majority support for homeopathy in Britain?

MajorityWith thanks to The National Centre for Research Methods and Methods News Winter 2012:

From http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/news/show.php?article=5305 Article by Paul Stoneman and Patrick Sturgis from the NCRM Hub, University of Southampton. This article also appears in the Winter 2012 issue of the MethodsNews newsletter (opens a .pdf file).

The appropriate place for Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) in modern healthcare continues to emerge as a source of controversy in policy debates. The issue attracted media attention again recently, following the appointment in 2012 of the new Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, who supports the availability of homeopathic cures through the NHS. Read the rest of this entry »

Good medicine: homeopathy

With thanks to Christopher M Johnson, The British Medical Journal 27.11.12:

From http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e6184/rr/616928‘… Once again it must be said that what passes for ‘scientific’ discussion amongst homeopathic critics is almost entirely lacking in substance. Scientific statements, by definition, must be precise and testable. Unfortunately, criticisms of homeopathy rarely pass this test. Read the rest of this entry »

The agent Latrodectus and canine paecilomycotic eclampsia as a laboratory model in the survey of treatment for mycoses and parasitic diseases

[The agent Latrodectus and canine paecilomycotic eclampsia as a laboratory model in the survey of treatment for mycoses and parasitic diseases]. [Article in Russian] [No authors listed]Med Parazitol (Mosk). 2012 Apr-Jun;(2):36-9.

Abstract: The extragent used to prepare a Latrodectus mactans hydrocarbon extract is a multicomponent system composed of alkanes, alkenes, and arenes. More than 100 compounds were identified in the hydrocarbon extract (petroleum).

The petroleum matrix of Latrodectus mactans was first obtained to manufacture homeopathic remedies. The authors could prepare the first Russian homeopathic medicine from Latrodectus mactans, which proved to be effective in treating canine eclampsia.

Canine experiments provide a rationale for the authors’ choice as the only homeopathic remedy among thousand known drugs to treat female eclampsia. It is Latrodectus mactans that is in the list of homeopathic medicines permitted for use in accordance with Order No. 335 (Supplement 2) of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Russia, issued on November 29, 1995. It is manufactured from Latrodectus mactans living in the USA.

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[Procedure for Latrodectus reproduction in the laboratory setting and the preparation of the first Russian matrix from its venom to manufacture homeopathic remedies with antiparasitic activity]. [Article in Russian] [No authors listed]Med Parazitol (Mosk). 2012 Apr-Jun;(2):40-5.

Abstract: The investigation was undertaken to study the biology and ecology of Latrodectus, the possibilities of its importation to Russia from other countries, to breed Latrodectus in the laboratory setting, and to design the first homeopathic matrix of Latrodectus to manufacture homeopathic remedies.

The authors were the first to devise a method for Latrodectus breeding in the laboratory setting of Moscow and its vicinities. The Latrodectus bred in the laboratory is suitable to manufacture drugs and in captivity they do not lose its biological activity. The authors were the first to prepare a homeopathic Latrodectus matrix for homeopathic medicines, by using the new Russian extragent petroleum. Chromatography mass spectrometry was used to identify more than a hundred chemical compounds in the Russian petroleum.

The biological activity of the petroleum Latrodectus matrix for the manufacture of homeopathic remedies was highly competitive with that of the traditional Latrodectus venom matrix made using ethyl alcohol. The homeopathic Latrodectus matrix made using glycerol lost its biological activity because of glycerol.

The biological activity of homeopathic matrixes made from Latrodectus inhabiting the USA, Uzbekistan, and the south of Russia and from that bred in the laboratory was studied. The homeopathic matrix made from the Latrodectus living in the Samarkand Region, Republic of Uzbekistan, has the highest biological activity.

The targets of information-carrying nanodomains

The targets of information-carrying nanodomains. Czerlinski G, Ypma T. Source Department of Biology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA.J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2012 Mar;12(3):2239-47.

Abstract: We recently introduced the concept of aqueous nanodomains to explain high potentization in homeopathy.

These long-lived nanodomains carry excited states of at least two ranges of energy packets; one for chemical change, the other for target-information.

Here we discuss how these nanodomains interact with their targets. Our assumption is that these targets are similar to nanodomains, thereby enhancing their interaction.

We use a simple system involving only one enzyme reaction to model the normal, the diseased and the enhanced recovery phases. For the healthy phase, a range of initial enzyme concentrations lead to a stationary state.

We adjust the initial enzyme concentration to find an ‘ideal’ value, for which at stationary state the enzyme cycle provides the identical substrate concentration for each of the adjoining components.

We simulate the diseased phase by starting a fast isomerization between the free active enzyme and its inactive form. At the end of this phase another stationary state is reached. In the subsequent recovery phase the fast movement of the excited states in the homeopathic solution rapidly converts the inactive form of the enzyme to its electronically excited state, which then converts to active free enzyme.

At the end of this phase we return to the stationary state reached at the end of the healthy phase, that is, complete recovery to health.

This simple model omits many of the complexities of a live organism. However, the elements of homeopathic action at the target can be observed clearly, as shown by a number of simulations.

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Impact of physician preferences for homeopathic or conventional medicines on patients with musculoskeletal disorders: results from the EPI3-MSD cohort

Impact of physician preferences for homeopathic or conventional medicines on patients with musculoskeletal disorders: results from the EPI3-MSD cohort. Rossignol M, Begaud B, Engel P, Avouac B, Lert F, Rouillon F, Bénichou J, Massol J, Duru G, Magnier AM, Guillemot D, Grimaldi-Bensouda L, Abenhaim L; for the EPI3-LA-SER group.harmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2012 Jul 11. doi: 10.1002/pds.3316. [Epub ahead of print]. Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; LA-SER Centre for Risk Research, Montreal, Canada. Michel.Rossignol@CRR-Intl.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the effect of physician practicing preferences (PPP) in primary care for homeopathy (Ho), CAM (Complementary and alternative medicines) with conventional medicine (Mx) or exclusively conventional medicine (CM) on patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), with reference to clinical progression, drug consumption, side effects and loss of therapeutic opportunity.

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