Debunking the debunkers

Myths or Facts concept with business woman hand drawing on blackboard

The Medieval Crusades were a series of holy wars sanctioned by the Latin Church. It seems incongruous today, but the Catholic religion was used as justification to bring war, death and destruction to thousands of innocent people. The last time I checked, the Bible did not exactly espouse the use of brute force to subjugate other peoples. crusadesI don’t recall any passage in there that says “We will save the heathens even if we need to kill them to do it.”

I’m reminded of this same incongruity every time I read about some person in the media trying to ‘debunk’ some procedure or other. They perceive themselves to be ‘myth busters’, but in reality, they are selling the same pseudo-science they pretend they are ‘debunking’.

Mythbusters was a long running show on television which would take a myth or saying or internet video and then proceed to perform extensive scientific testing to determine whether this myth was busted or confirmed. They would often spend weeks and thousands of dollars performing as rigorous experiments as needed. Most of the people online pretending to be ‘myth busters’ are just people who scream for attention and don’t perform any real science. They are simply trying to yell louder than the person they are trying to debunk. The most recent article in the Toronto Star celebrates how people like Tim Caulfield help the public by debunking celebrity culture.

The jade egg example

JadeEggLet’s take the well publicized example of the jade egg sold by Goop, a wellness site promoted by celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow. It sells a jade egg that may be inserted into the vagina for increased sexual energy for $66. There has been considerable controversy about this pseudoscience and many have taken up the role of ‘mythbuster’. So let’s see what real science looks like.

First, is there any evidence that the jade egg works? No. This is an unsubstantiated claim – a claim made without any evidence to back it up. Second, and this is just as important, is there any evidence that the jade egg does NOT work? No. This, too is an unsubstantiated claim. This is not pseudo-science. There is no science at all. Science says that there is no evidence for and none against, so it’s simply unknown.

But the ‘debunkers’ claim that the jade egg does NOT work and further may be dangerous. Therefore, these debunkers are engaging in the same unsubstantiated claim slinging as Goop. It is this complete hypocrisy that annoys me. Let me be clear. Do I think the jade egg works? No. But I don’t actually know, so I do not claim it either works or does not work.

What is needed to actually, scientifically debunk this claim? You need to gather a group of, say 100 women, and have half use a jade egg, and the other half use, say, a stone egg of the same weight. You would not let the women or the researcher know which egg they are using and then measure their sexual energy at some later date. If there is no difference, then, and only then, can you claim to have successfully debunked the jade egg.

Did Tim Caulfield do any of these rigorous studies? Did Tim Caulfield carefully monitor a group of women who purchased the egg over several years and ask them if their sexual energy increased? Did Tim Caulfield perform a survey of jade egg users and compare them to a control group of women matched for age and see if there is any difference in sexual energy? Hardly. These studies actually take time and money. Tim Caulfield has done nothing of the kind. He values his own opinion as scientific and other’s opinion as just bunk, which allows him to denigrate others who are making some claim they disagree with. He is doing exactly the same thing as Goop. Making unsubstantiated claims. That’s hypocrisy. I have nothing against Tim Caulfield, who I’m sure is a nice guy, I just hate intellectual hypocrisy.

So, is the jade egg harmful? The debunkers claim that it is potentially harmful and could harbor bacteria. Has there ever been a case in the last 200 years of the worldwide medical literature describing a case report of severe infection from a jade egg? No. Zero. There’s been lots of case reports of this happening for tampons, for example, but not for jade eggs. So, debunkers ignore the need for scientific evidence and instead engage in fear mongering using unsubstantiated claims once again, all the while, believing themselves to be champions of science. That’s hypocrisy.

Since there is no evidence either for or against the jade egg, then this question now falls to the clinician, the person who treats people. Here, the main question is not ‘Does this really work’ but instead it is ‘How’s that working for you?’. Remember that there is a powerful placebo effect. If I rub moisturizer on my son’s stomach for his tummy ache (which I do all the time), it will work in 30-50% of cases. The same is probably true for the jade egg. So, what is the risk: benefit ratio? The best thing that will happen is that it works as advertised (30-50% of cases). The worst thing is that you will waste $66 dollars. That’s actually not a bad tradeoff.

Compare this to the use of angioplasty for stable heart disease. These stents to open up heart arteries have been used for many decades to prevent heart attacks in patients with closed arteries. It’s an invasive procedure that has real risk of bleeding, infection and perforation/ death. It also was insanely expensive for both the equipment and doctors fees. Recently, several studies have conclusively shown that these procedures for stable patients is completely useless with the first studies being done in the 2007. So, here is a procedure that has scientifically been debunked. We’ve wasted billions of dollars and caused untold side effects over the last 10 years that doctors have continued to perform this largely useless procedure. Where were the debunkers? Wouldn’t this be better to debunk instead of largely harmless jade eggs?

USNewsBestDietRecently the US News came out with its annual ranking of ‘best diets’ from the ‘experts’. The highest ranked diet (DASH) is the same one you would expect to see in any mainstream publication, and not very different from the diets recommended by most physicians and dieticians. Cut your calories. Cut your salt. Moderation. Yadda yadda yadda. How’s that working out for us? Exactly.

The words ‘obesity crisis’ comes to mind. Diets are constantly derided as ‘fad’ diets without any evidence whatsoever. Intermittent fasting, for example, is now derided as ‘dangerous’ and potentially causing diabetes. Yes, eating nothing, which rests the pancreas (an organ involved in digestion) will damage it. I also cause wear and tear on my car as it sits in the garage. Right. Fasting – literally the oldest dietary intervention known to mankind is a dangerous 2000 year old ‘fad’ promoted by ‘shills’ like Buddha, Jesus Christ and the prophet Mohammed. Right.

The question you should ask instead

What is usually lost in these sorts of rankings, though is the absolute, #1, most important question you must ask yourself for any diet. “How’s that working for you?” I’m not talking about some quest for ‘personalized medicine’ or ‘Eat the diet that is best for you’ nonsense. These sort of cop-out answers are not helpful because if we don’t know the best diet overall, how are you going to know the best diet for you?

Similarly, personalized medicine is mostly just pie-in-the-sky fantasy rather akin to developing colonies on Mars. It’s great to sell product, but not great if you are counting on it to keep you healthy. For example, do we personalize the need for aspirin after a heart attack? Do we personalize the need for blood pressure control based on your own genetic makeup? Do we personalize your ideal body weight based on your family history? No, no and no.

opioid-crisis-e1509034947341Indeed, the entire field of evidence based medicine contradicts this personalized approach. Randomized trials, the gold standard of medical evidence is based necessarily on large groups of people, and are distinctly NOT personal.

The other thing that fascinates me is why so many people routinely use alternative medicine. Most of homeopathy, naturopathy etc. has little evidence to back up its claims. This does not mean it doesn’t work, it simply means that we do not know if it works or not. But clearly, the general public feels that this is equal to the ‘science’ of conventional medicine, of which I was trained for many years. Why?

Let’s consider three examples.

  1. The Opioid Crisis– Heavy promotion to doctors leads to extensive overuse of opioids which is killing lots of people today
  2. Angioplasty for stable heart disease – Extensively used by doctors for decades, costing billions of $$, highly invasive with many complications. Now proven to be largely useless
  3. Hormone Replacement Therapy – Millions of women given HRT in the mistaken belief it would reduce heart disease. Instead it caused blood clots and cancers with no benefits.

BreastCancer

All three are examples that I recall vividly because I was taught in medical school about the benefits of all 3 of these widely accepted therapies that turned out to be extremely harmful to health. My mother was given hormone replacement therapy, which significantly increased her risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Where were the ‘debunkers’ when it comes to conventional medical advice? They are certainly loud enough when trying to prevent you buying a jade egg, but are nowhere to be heard when trying to actually save you from proven harm from the medical profession.

This is what I consider the greatest hypocrisy. The ‘debunkers’ pretend they are doing this to protect consumers from wasting their money on useless treatments. But what about the millions of dollars that are funnelled into paying doctors? Not a peep. What about the complete corruption of academic medicine? What about the fact that the doctors writing guidelines are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the drug companies? Not a peep.


Dr. Jason Fung

 

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55 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Mark
    Thanks for your witness and efforts. I read and appreciate your work.

    Having said that, it's a bit ironic that your characterization of The Crusades reflects several of the common misconceptions and myths in much the same way as so many diet ‘experts’ who unwittingly perpetuate widely held and frequently repeated myths and inacurracies about diet. While I understand you were probably just looking for a compelling analogy to catch the reader’s attention in a few short sentences as a segue into your main premise, it’s unfortunate that in dong so you unwittingly oversimplify and mischaracterize this important part of world history.

    This is obviously neither the time nor the place to go off on a tangent about The Crusades, especially since it doesn't really detract from the main premise of your article, which I enthusiastically agree with. I point it out simply because you have always shown a courageous determination to deal in facts rather than simply repeat ideas that are widely held.

    Reply: #16
    Read more →
  2. Christine
    Dear Diet Doctor,
    You are a fantastic doctor who has educated me on diet. But, you are profoundly wrong in your statements about the Crusades. You should never have brought that subject into the conversation because every single thing you were taught on the subject is incorrect.

    Your comments about the Crusades are wrong. Because, I too, do not like falsity, I'm going to make a couple of comments. The Catholic church did not 'start' the Crusades. The Crusades started when the Islamic armies invaded Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the ancient home for Jews and Christians for thousands of years. Islam was running over the world and conquering nations in the name of Mohammad. This is not disparaging, it is simply the truth. Mohammad believed in the Conquest Model. He offered people conversion or slavery and death. The Crusades were merely attempting to retain counties that were Christian and Jewish from becoming destroyed or enslaved. Note, during the Crusades, the death count was approximately 120,000. Yes, that's thousands. This is nothing compared to the deaths from non-Christians over the last 100 years which are in the hundreds of millions.

    Since this is a diet blog, I won't go farther. But, I would be very careful when you decide that you have to bash an entire religious group and drag up their flaws. You might not have the responses that you want.

    I recommend you read, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades" by Robert Spenser and "What's So Great About Christianity?" by Dinesh D'Souza.

    These books are well cited and well researched. The provide detailed references that you can double check on your own and give facts on the Crusades that you didn't learn in school.

    Just like the nutrition you teach us, that we didn't learn in school or wrongly learned.

    Replies: #43, #55
    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Kenrick
    A brilliant and passionate polemic ...and one to which I fully subscribe...

    Keep it flowing ...it’s this sort of passion that will become part of the catalyst for the much needed societal paradigm shift ...

    Kenrick

  2. Derya
    Keep peeping, Dr Fung. I wish more of our colleagues would show the same outrage.
    But it’s not only the doctors, it’s the patients too that don’t want to hear the peep.
    I had a patient s couple of months ago, who - before even sitting down - asked me to prescribe her something, „even if it‘s poison“, to help her be more energized. I asked, if she was sure she wanted to hear my answer. „Yes, even if it’s poison!“ - „Stop eating bread.“
    Guess what, without blinking she changed the topic: „I have backpain.“
    I‘ve hardly ever been so speechless in my entire professional life.
  3. Francoise
    Thank you Dr. Fung for your passion.
  4. Donald
    Wonderful read, keep up the good work! We need to put an end to this nonsense. I'm tired of watching
    my friends and relatives suffer from preventable diseases!
  5. June
    Passionate, scathing, irreverent, intelligent and highly entertaining. JF - you are a ?
  6. Mark
    Thanks for your witness and efforts. I read and appreciate your work.

    Having said that, it's a bit ironic that your characterization of The Crusades reflects several of the common misconceptions and myths in much the same way as so many diet ‘experts’ who unwittingly perpetuate widely held and frequently repeated myths and inacurracies about diet. While I understand you were probably just looking for a compelling analogy to catch the reader’s attention in a few short sentences as a segue into your main premise, it’s unfortunate that in dong so you unwittingly oversimplify and mischaracterize this important part of world history.

    This is obviously neither the time nor the place to go off on a tangent about The Crusades, especially since it doesn't really detract from the main premise of your article, which I enthusiastically agree with. I point it out simply because you have always shown a courageous determination to deal in facts rather than simply repeat ideas that are widely held.

    Reply: #16
  7. EJ
    Thanks, Mark. These were my thoughts, as well.
  8. Shayne
    Awesome read yet again Jason.
    Mark/EJ, was the opening paragraph about the Crusades really a misconception?
  9. Erik 2
    Spot On ! Thanks Dr Fung.

    And a question; is this really their driver: ?

    "The ‘debunkers’ pretend they are doing this to protect consumers from wasting their money on useless treatments."

  10. Will G.
    I agree with Mark above.
  11. Tumblyweed
    Common sense is not very common and I've found that you cannot reason with the unreasonable.

    The science is sound and there are tons of success stories but certain people will only believe what appeals to them.

    As the saying goes, "they will see you walk on water and claim it's because you cannot swim".

    It's frustrating but understandable. I'm grateful for this site and the reasonable and sound arguments presented in conjunction with research, data and science

  12. Christine
    Dear Diet Doctor,
    You are a fantastic doctor who has educated me on diet. But, you are profoundly wrong in your statements about the Crusades. You should never have brought that subject into the conversation because every single thing you were taught on the subject is incorrect.

    Your comments about the Crusades are wrong. Because, I too, do not like falsity, I'm going to make a couple of comments. The Catholic church did not 'start' the Crusades. The Crusades started when the Islamic armies invaded Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the ancient home for Jews and Christians for thousands of years. Islam was running over the world and conquering nations in the name of Mohammad. This is not disparaging, it is simply the truth. Mohammad believed in the Conquest Model. He offered people conversion or slavery and death. The Crusades were merely attempting to retain counties that were Christian and Jewish from becoming destroyed or enslaved. Note, during the Crusades, the death count was approximately 120,000. Yes, that's thousands. This is nothing compared to the deaths from non-Christians over the last 100 years which are in the hundreds of millions.

    Since this is a diet blog, I won't go farther. But, I would be very careful when you decide that you have to bash an entire religious group and drag up their flaws. You might not have the responses that you want.

    I recommend you read, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades" by Robert Spenser and "What's So Great About Christianity?" by Dinesh D'Souza.

    These books are well cited and well researched. The provide detailed references that you can double check on your own and give facts on the Crusades that you didn't learn in school.

    Just like the nutrition you teach us, that we didn't learn in school or wrongly learned.

    Replies: #43, #55
  13. David
    Christine is absolutely right. While the main content is fine, the beginning perpetuates the myth about the Crusades. If you are going to put an article together about debunking myth, please don't perpetuate the myths about the Crusades or slander the Holy Catholic Church.
  14. 1 comment removed
  15. Margaret
    Sorry, your bible analogy is not apt. You are forgetting the Midianites, Canaanites, and the residents of Jericho. Not to mention Matthew 10:34-36. The god of the bible loves for his chosen people to march out and conquer unbelievers.
  16. MARIANNE
    Dr. Fung.. You're, no doubt, an intelligent man. However, for you to use the crusades as an example on a diet blog was disturbing. You have obviously bought into the common myths about the crusades but I thought, being a scientist, you would be more accurate. The purpose, in a nutshell, was to recover ancient Christian territory being invaded and destroyed by the Muslims..not to mention the rape and pillage started by the latter..and not because "Catholic religion was used as justification to bring war, death and destruction to thousands of innocent people." Please get facts straight and be more careful with your opinions on a diet blog. Thank you.
  17. Adam Nally
    Sort of like the crazy people who deny that calories matter and ignore that energy balance is the main predictor of obesity.
  18. Robbie
    I used to have respect for Dr. Fung but perpetuating the misinformation that the "Catholic church was used as justification to bring war and death" is simply incorrect. I can only ascertain from these damaging statements that he practices Islam and must further persecute Chrisitianity (which does not belong anywhere in a diet blog/website).
  19. Ronalyn Hurley
    I was taken aback by your reference to the Crusades and wonder why you chose to vilify the Catholic Church in an otherwise excellent article.
  20. Jeffrey
    Dr. Fung, I think you are great and whatever metaphor you would allude to so that you can make your point is worthwhile especially when we consider the extent of the hypocrisy that the world is filled with now. To walk through $tarbucks, or any drug store chain and have to run a realistic high sugar gauntlet of addicting sweets on the way to and from the diabetes testing supplies while decrying our obesity epidemic, falling life-spans, susceptibility to heart disease and cancer while buying pills to lower cholesterol is a giant joke. Did the Jews knock all the heads off of the ancient statues and break the noses on monuments? Sugar is the enemy. Insulin is the main problem and all the food companies and drug companies are pushers.
  21. Bert Carson
    Jason,

    Brilliant post, all of it. However, as you can see from a few of the comments, "messin with someone's religious beliefs," all unproven by the way, will only lead to conflict or even a "crusade."

    For me, I've proved LCHF, Keto and fasting all work. I've also proved, for me, that all religions suck and are at the root of almost all conflict, current or historic. Conflict that isn't directly caused by religion can, for the most part, be chalked up to fear and/or racism.

    You are a great mentor and guide for this 75 year old. Keep it up. Stay away from religion and its practitioners. You don't need to get anywhere near that one.

    All my best to you,

    Bert

    Reply: #35
  22. Nancy
    I can understand why Dr. Fung used the Crusades... it's the popular image ... justifying an invasion for plunder... which he wanted to resonate with people. The fact that there is more to the story, the 'more' that is religious and therefore extremely valuable to some religious folks, was his mistake. (I was raised Catholic and know that the Crusades were instigated to stop the Christian European nobles from slaughtering one another... go on a 'holy war' instead!! And the plunder - of other Christians, even! - and bloodshed were very unChristian. Using 'save the Holyland' was unnecessary, since most Muslim rules did not prevent pilgrimage.)

    But I think what Dr. Fung is doing is so much more important (even 'christian'!) in trying to prevent suffering, and unholy profiteering, that we can be generous in forgiving his misunderstanding ; ) (As Jesus said, 'pick your master... God or Wealth... they are mutually exclusive' : )

  23. Annette
    Can everybody just relax upon the crusades! It was just a metaphor and that’s it!
    Read the rest of it, like it or not, and go on.
  24. Jeremy
    Dr Fung, Dr Andreas and Team Diet Doctor,

    As a Catholic, I found this article extremely offensive. I have been following your advice over the past year concerning the Keto way of life after my sister, also a Catholic, introduced me to your website. Skeptical at first, I have been successful in loosing over 30 lbs in the first 4 months. I tell everyone I meet about Keto and how the DietDoctor.com website offers proven facts to help people lose weight.

    And now you and your editors have taken to offending Catholic readers. Why would you condone religious hatred on your website and email blasts? Is it perhaps because the Catholic Church is an easy target and you find it acceptable to slander the church in an article about truth?

    If you had said something slanderous of Jews, perhaps denying the Holocaust. Or perhaps stated that all Muslims believe that Non-Muslims are sub-human and deserve death. You would be having a very different day today. I suspect that you would be on BBC, CNN, and several other news outlets issuing a formal apology.

    Dr Fung offers no proof as to whether the Medieval Crusades was used by the Catholic religion to justify "war, death and destruction to thousands of innocent people". For some reason, Dr Fung feels he is an expert who can state that the Catholic church is responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people during the Crusades.

    Here are some facts. Between 632 and 732 Muslims invaded and conquered Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. The Truth is that it was not until 1095—more than 450 years after all this Muslim plunder of Christian nations began—that Pope Urban II at last called the First Crusade to drive the enemy out of their lands.

    Again, I want you at Team Diet Doctor to know that this article is offensive to Catholics and unless a formal retraction and apology is issued by Team Diet Doctor, I will discontinue visiting your website, as well as telling my friends about the keto way of life that Team Diet Doctor promotes.

    Sincerely,

    Jeremy from St Louis, MO

    Reply: #58
  25. 1 comment removed
  26. Ginny
    Absolutely appreciate your article, Dr. Fung. I could care less about the nit pickers on the Crusades, your point is what is important, and opened up my thinking about debunking. You really resonate and keep me on point, fasting every day and then eating very low carb. Enjoying a meal with family, and feeling good about what I've been doing the past 2 years, and my body loves it. Of course, I have 2 of your books, and re-read parts often.
  27. William
    They say there are no atheists in foxholes. This is pure BS. There are hundreds
    of thousands. They are called foxes.

    Let us not single out the Catholics for their indiscretions against humanity.
    Protestants, Muslims, and I suspect every other religious group preparing for war
    army pray to their gods when they set out to maul, decapitate, rape, torture and
    otherwise defend their religious values from their enemies. "Onward Christian
    soldiers," Oliver Cromwell, and on and on. You cannot separate religion from
    warfare. When you go off to war, there is a high likelihood you will not be
    coming back, and that means you will no longer be able to fast intermittently
    and follow the Low Carb diet. What to do but hold your faith and pray you
    live long enough to whup the infidels, and if succussful, set out to conquer
    their lands.

    So carry on, Dr. Fung....great work, I am a disciple, but try not to shout down the
    other debunkers.... Probably best to leave the insults to the devout.

  28. Amy
    I’ve never commented on a forum until now. We can debate about the Crusades forever, but what is certain is this— religion is a touchy subject. Also, I think a different & more appropriate metaphor could’ve been used; one that would’ve made more sense given the title of the article. With that being said, I think Dr. Fung gives us excellent information, but he’s still a human being. As a Catholic, I too was taken a little aback & a little offended by the intro to his article. I will probably not follow him, google him, etc, as much as I used to (there are other LCHF/ Keto/ IF docs that I like just as much or better), but I still respect him for his knowledge and thank God for him & his contributions to our health.
  29. Jason
    Most things you mentioned are right on. In the past year I have told many about your work and led them to your videos.

    However, your lack of research and ignorance regarding Naturopathy and Homeopathy acts as a a razor sharp spear, jammed with great force, deep into the heart of your credibility.

    Regarding the subject of Naturopathy and Homeopathy, please take some time out of your obviously busy schedule and educate yourself regarding these evidence based modalities.

    You will be the richer for it, and you will not mistakenly lead people who respect your opinion - and who may not have knowledge of Naturopathy and/or Homeopathy - astray from these life saving modalities merely based on the implication that they must be not be effective, simply because of your uneducated and ignorant scorn of them.

    Being the intelligent individual I believe you to be, I believe you will make a 180 degree turn on your statements regarding Naturopathy and Homeopathy once you have researched these modalities with any depth - and I don't mean a google search and then skimming the first few results.

    Please, please, please educate yourself appropriately before making statements. You have a large audience now and with that comes more responsibility if you wish to conduct yourself among the likes of a True Physician.

    To people who are qualified to remark on Naturopathy and/or Homeopathy, your statement regarding these modalities reads to them as the following statement would read to you ...

    'Fasting is very dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone. There is no proof of Any positive health benefit from this dangerous and potentially fatal practice.' ...

    ... If you read the above statement you might make verbal remarks at the computer screen - because you/we know that that statement is not true.

    The same goes for your remarks on Naturopathy and Homeopathy - they are not true.

    Research, research, research ... go beyond the blockades, the shills and the gatekeepers.

    Research, research, research ... go beyond the blockades, the shills and the gatekeepers.

    Thank you for your time.

  30. It was not our intention to offend anyone’s religious beliefs - apologies to anyone who felt insulted by the analogy above. It was less than perfect. Clearly during the last 2000 years any major religion has at some point or other been used to justify questionable acts, and that’s probably rarely or never the fault of the religion per se.
  31. Susan Pauly
    Dr. Fung - Thank you for your wonderful work. I will continue to follow you. I know you only wanted to make this as clear as possible for us "lay" people! And Mark, as a Catholic - I could not have said it better. I always appreciate a respectful dialogue.
  32. Scott Evans
    Please stick to talking about food. Your info about the Crusades is a lie from the pit of hell. I'm very disappointed that you have probably misled many who are ignorant of the true reason for the Crusades, as are you.
  33. Joan Chipman
    I had questions about you, and your expertise, especially because my daughter, whose opinion I totally respect, questioned many things in your book. But after your intro to separating myth from fact, using a myth to support your argument, I’m convinced you are a charlatan.
  34. Theresa
    Dr Fung by now you must realize that your comments on history and religion were inappropriate, inaccurate and offensive to many. I doubt that you would have made such a comment about any other religious group. Only the unpopular Catholics can be maligned this way without consequences in our society. Please apologize and resolve to limit your writings to the areas of your considerable expertise. You have contributed so much.
  35. Roy Walker
    Joan Chipman, Read this and tell me He is wrong. Also I believe the british empire, french, germans, and USA were all @CHRISTIAN nations, and they killed a lot of people. How many arabs do you think the CHRISTIAN USA have killed in there search for weapons of mass destruction. The Roman Empire, who began the Roman Catholic religion sacked and destroyed the HOLY LANDS.

    http://www.heretication.info/_moslems.html.

  36. Roy Walker
    Good one Bert, I totally agree, I am only 70 though. Just keep eating bacon and eggs cooked in butter.
  37. Sheilah
    One thought about the jade egg. Ancient Chinese women used it as an aid to doing what we would call kegel exercises today. (There are more modern devices.) Exercising the perineal musculature did serve to enhance their experience. They saw nothing magical in the egg itself. Having said that, at 80, I am all for keto. It has been miraculous for me.
  38. Theresa
    Could you please clarify the reference and chart on HRT. Is this referring to synthetic HRT, bioidentical HRT or both? Thank you.
  39. Eda
    Excellent article Dr.Fung.I really enjoyed reading it and agreed with you completely.Debunkers need to debunk our disfunctional medical system first to prove their sincerety in debunking.Our health is played with like a worthless toy by so-called healthcare system who hurt millions with ever-changing hypothesises and not taking any responsibility whatsoever.Yesterday they might have been telling something today is entirely opposite but it is called science as they are 'learning' we are suffering.If I learnt something from my own health history, it is that modern healthcare system is a lot about money-making but nothing about ethics at all!
  40. Heide
    I totally enjoyed the article and the points Dr Fung brings up. I think your insights are excellent and come back to common sense! Love your work!

    Thank you for shining a light on the hypocrisy.

    PS I agree people lose a degree of perspective at mention of “their” religion.

  41. Stephanie
    1. Being a scientist does not make one an historian. You don't have to like, agree with, or feel the common understanding of the crusades as allegory by the author is appropriate.
    Rather than attacking him as, essentially, a hypocrite for advocating for scientific rigor while, perhaps, being misinformed regarding a major (and, you would argue, incredibly misunderstood) segment of history, you may consider separating the two.
    Dr. Fung has written an interesting article and also given you a chance to correct what you believe to be a profoundly incorrect and widely held idea of the Crusades. Be thankful for being offered the opportunity to raise awareness around this. I, personally, was not at all aware that there was a question about the commonly held view od the Crusades. His application of science to medical questions is not, strictly speaking, part of the Judeo-Christian narrative.

    2. Personalized medicine: I was trained as an MD and then a Naturopathic Doctor and have worked in both clinical and bench research. I am not even going to TOUCH the question of intrinsic bias in study protocols. I will say that it has been really fun to watch discussions on both sides of medicine evolve.
    My MD training occurred during the dawn of "evidence-based medicine". Medicine became obsessed with it. Only one physician, in all my years of training, pointed out that, "clinical judgement is one of the components of EBM." Clinical judgement is one of the components of evidence-based medicine.
    Loosely, clinical judgement is a reflection of observations based on a group of patients's response over time and applied based on observation of an individual patient's presentation. It may be applied in ways that are counter to commonly held standards for the benefit of individual patients. Acceptable blood pressure range is a great example: many elderly people do very poorly with blood pressures kept within "appropriate" range. With those bp's, they do not adequately perfuse their brains, so don't feel or function well. They may also be at increased risk to fall. Another example is aspirin after heart attack? What if the patient is at increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke?
    If we are not personalizing medicine, we are not listening to our patients, paying attention to their family and personal histories, labs, examinations... We are not being doctors. We are being fountains of EBM statistics, sometimes to our patients' detriments.

    3. HRT: I, too, came through when the Nurses Health study had us all pulling women off HRT. I am a 50yo physician with a very strong family history of premenpausal breast cancer at age... 50. Yet, based on the reach regarding estrogen and dementia, I am seriously considering HRT. It is elitist medicine, to say that (if I do it) I will as closely match my doses of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone to what is physiologically optimal for me, based on labs and physical exam/symptoms. I would rather keep my brain.

    4. Okay, I AM going there... Part of the exhausting, painful, time-consuming, humbling part of being a physician is trying to stay abreast of the research and carefully scrutinizing the research methods of each study. As an ND, I would add that methods applied appropriately in studies of pharmaceuticals do not translate into well-formulated studies of botanical and homeopathic medicines. There are specific reasons and remedies for this; however few, well-funded researchers understand enough about the specifics of those medicines to set up study models that generate accurate and helpful data.

    5. LCHF and the diet for everyone: I have guided many patients through the search for the eating pattern that works for them. No single diet works to optimize health and wellness for every single person.

    I have suggested LCHF/keto lifestyle to quite a few patients lately. It can be transformative and freeing. I love it and have benefited from it in myriad ways. But it, like any eating pattern, is not for everyone.

  42. A3aan
    OMG ? Catholic belief under attack! As a anti-theist in general I prefer to “believe” nothing, and not only when it comes to ‘religion’. There are approximately 3.000 gods/religions - who’s believing/following the ‘correct’ real ‘god’? Stop this nonsense, it’s all NON SENSE, a setup to control a group of people (and make money, like the Pope). Check, check and double check, think, think and think again. “Believing” things ‘because it’s in some book’ is stupid; ‘believing’ things ‘because it’s on Faecesbook is just as stupid; ‘believing’ the DietDocter is stupid too, all BELIEFS are stupid because THINKING stops where BELIEF starts. Are you allowed to question the belief, to no-follow their guidelines? Are you allowed to question the existence? Mmm... If not, ask yourself why. Is thinking and questioning dangerous? Yes, you might find that you’ve been following the wrong man (why are most ‘gods’ male btw?). So I prefer to remain an anti-theist. A ‘keto’ anti-theist, who thinks (not ‘believes’!) LCHF is good for my health. From experience, not ‘because it’s in some ‘holy’ book). So dear upset Catholics and other ‘believers’: stop simply ‘believing’ things and start investigating please. And don’t get mad at me (and 2.999 other religions) for my disbelief. I ‘believe’ there is one less, when it comes to gods. I deny just one more than most of you, like Ricky Gervais said. Great guy, this Gervais - wish he had a church! ;-)
  43. Aileen Grist
    It does depend on who you read about the Crusades. Some of the time the Christians killed Christians in the Middle East thinking they might be Moslems. Jerusalem has gone back and forward between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Romans were so sick of all the aggro between Judaic sects that they burned Jerusalem down. As they say history is written by the victors.

    Apart from that though what Dr Fung says makes the arguments over what happened 1000 years ago, history. What is happening to our health today is the future.

    Hope yo don't think I'm being snippy - it's not meant that way.

  44. Tera
    I am shocked (but not surprised) that the most important facts of the article was lost by all this people honing in on the religious myths. Of course no Catholic is going to admit and agree with the atrocities committed in the name of their religion - no religious person (no matter what they practice) will EVER do that.

    I read and agreed with the article as a whole, didn't nitpick one part in an effort to discredit the whole article. I found it intriguing, spot-on, and I wish more professionals were as passionate about all the things that are clearly killing us or putting us in the worst health of our lives; instead of just exploiting us to beef up their bank accounts.

    Well done, Dr. Fung - this was my introduction to you, and know I'm hungry to read more.

  45. 1 comment removed
  46. Nancy
    The Catholic Church is the only safe place to bash nowadays -although I don’t believe bashing was the reason for this analogy. I do appreciate the people presenting more accurate history.
    Might be better to stick to science.
    The Keto information has lead me to FODMAPS which is really making a difference in my GI troubles. However, now my Restless Leg Syndrome is returning. Darn it. Hard to figure out.
  47. Margaret
    I don't know anything about the Crusades, but your HRT info is outdated - one might even say debunked.
  48. Teresa Roper
    I find most of this article ridiculous. Plus the bible does instruct Christian’s to kill others not of their faith.
    Reply: #53
  49. amelia
    Stick to informing us about LCHF and leave Christian bashing out of it. You are 100% wrong about the Crusades. You'd think such an enlightened person as yourself would actually do some research before angering so many readers.
  50. Mark
    As much as many are defending or attacking religion in general, or the Catholic Church in particular, my concern is that Dr. Fung needlessly detracts from his real message. For someone who is usually such an effective communicator, it seems strangely out of character.

    In fact, it’s ironic that Dr. Fung unwittingly employs pseudo-history and pseudo-theology to criticize the myth debunkers for using pseudo-science. As these many comments make plain, the unfortunate result is that his main point is needlessly obscured, and we are all the worse off as a result.

  51. bill
    Dr. E:

    Maybe it's time to take down this whole post
    and thread.

  52. Meg
    To get back to debunking, there is a newish youtube post of Dr Stephen Phinney at Low Carb Breckenridge 2018 (which was in March 2018) claiming that fasting beyond two days lowers the basal metabolic rate long term. He seems to be quoting historical scientific trials. I thought the discussion had cleared up that question a couple of years ago, and that unlike the low calorie diet, fasting repairs the metabolic rate. Have Dr Fung and Dr Phinney debated this, I would like to follow up, because both seem to make sense.
  53. RT
    Can you quote a specific Bible passage (particularly New Testament) which explicitly states that Christians should kill unbelievers?
  54. Gwendolyn
    "Hormone Replacement Therapy – Millions of women given HRT in the mistaken belief it would reduce heart disease. Instead it caused blood clots and cancers with no benefits."

    I love you but you should reconsider this statement. This is not take home point when you analyze the WHI results. The WHI generalized and in my opinion threw the baby out with the bath water.

    Please consider choosing another example or change your statement to be factual. This is not the forum for the debate of HRT. People trust you and you can change the mind of someone who would indeed benefit from HRT.

    For thinking about their personal risk a great app is MenoPro (IOS and android)

  55. Paul
    OMG, Really!!!! Why does everything have to go back religion. I'm Catholic, big deal. Give it a rest. Go on Youtube to debate this.

    Great article Dr. Fung Great Job Diet Doctor!!!!!!

    I've been pontificating this diet and converted many people. "2 week challenge" One friend lost 13lbs in 16 days
    I lost 40lbs in 5 months

  56. Ken
    Hi DD Team, I'm not a Catholic or any sort of church goer or homeopathy proponent and found the angry tone pointless and detracting from an otherwise excellent article. I refer many of my patients to your website and wouldn't want them to get put off the value of LCHF by getting embroiled in such tertiary matters. Love to all at DD!
  57. TeeDee
    Hi, Dr. Fung. This is exactly the kind of article that we need to see and to spread far and wide (I'm planning to give a copy to Caulfield as a little piece of humble pie.) I started to read the comments, but quickly realized my first instinct was correct: as soon as you mentioned 'religion' I knew you were in for a lot of replies on that subject . I no longer care about these religious debates because no religion or its writings have any proof whatsoever. Enough said about that. I do, however, thank you for 'debunking the debunkers'. They're like annoying mosquitoes every where we go online and they need to be told so--thanks again!
  58. TeeDee
    You've revealed your true nature very clearly, Jeremy. So in addition to not visiting this site any longer for the sake of your health, you will REFUSE to tell others about the ketogenic way of eating that could save them years of misery and early death until you get an apology?! Dr. Fung brought up an analogy that is clearly debatable among Catholics, Muslims and non-believers and will hopefully leave such a hot topic alone in future, but what you're proposing to do in denying others this vital information is evil, in my view. Take the log out of your own eye before pointing out the splinter in another's...

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