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Too Little, Too Late By Dr. Malcolm Kendrick (Bogus research lives in medical databases forever)
Tuesday, February 02, 2010 10:28 am Email this article
It has long bothered me that there is a vast library of medical research out there that has become almost completely unreliable. Some time ago, I wrote that I had almost completely lost faith in the use of references, as you could always find as many references as you wanted to support almost any argument you cared to make.
(This article was written by Malcolm Kendrick, MD, author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .) Bogus Research
Many references are to bogus research, and abstracts often conflict with data in the paper
It is also true that many references are based on bogus research that has since been disproven. Added to this, a whole range of papers directly contradict each other. Furthermore, very often the information in the abstract is in conflict with the data you can find in the paper…. I could go on.
Medical Research Has Ignored This
Medical research has done nothing to remove bogus research from databases
In short, the global medical library is a like a computer program full of an unknown number of information “viruses” all replicating away like mad. However, this represents such a huge problem that the medical research establishment has tended to ignore the elephant in the living room, and carry on with polite conversation as if nothing is wrong.
So, it was nice to see the British Medical Journal (BMJ) getting to (slight) grips with the problem this week [July 2005].
Suspected Research Fraud: Difficulties Of Getting At The Truth
Dr. Ram B. Singh’s 1992 study about a low-fat, fibre-rich diet halving the risk of death was all a LIE
In April 1992, the BMJ published a randomized controlled trial on the effects of dietary intervention to prevent further heart attacks in susceptible patients. One of its key findings was that a year of a low-fat, fibre-rich diet almost halved the risk of death from all causes.
This study went on to become a “citation classic,” cited 225 times (at the time of writing), including in guidelines, and its lead author, Dr. Ram B. Singh, went on to publish many papers in other journals.
And Dr. Ram B. Singh made it all up.
And this study nicely highlights another problem. Dr. Ram B. Singh published a paper that supported the current scientific prejudice. Namely, that a high-fat diet causes heart disease. So, no one would have been motivated to question it at the time. If he had tried to publish a paper (like a certain Robert Atkins) claiming that a high-fat diet prevented heart disease, then he would have been hung out to dry.
Nothing Done to Remove His Fake Study
The lie lives on in medical databases
Actually, as I sit and think about it, my blood starts to boil. There is so much that is wrong. Science relies on a number of things. Accurate, believable information is probably number one. But there is no system in place to provide this. Even now, although that we know Ram B. Singh made up his research, nothing will be done to remove his papers from libraries. Nothing will be done to remove his citations from PubMed.
Drug Companies Bury Negative Trials
Drug companies also rewrite papers to make drugs look better than they are
And how many more Ram B. Singhs are there? We already know that pharmaceutical companies bury negative trials, and re-write papers to make drugs look better than they are…. The more you think about it, the bigger the problem becomes.
We Need A Group—“The Science Puritans”
The system is corrupted and needs to be fixed
Time, I think, to start a movement, which I shall call “The Science Puritans.” We shall start our own database of scientific research. Nothing gets in it until a piece of research has been independently redone, and verified, by another research group. All research shall be grouped together so that positive and negative studies are lined up so that both sides of an argument can be seen. All new papers must mention studies that do not support the current dogma.
If research is found to be false, it will be instantly removed from all databases, and all papers using that research as direct support for their arguments will also be removed. I know what you are thinking. Fat chance. But you know radical action must be taken. Because the system is now almost irredeemably corrupted.
Article Previous Published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org
This article was previously published on THINCS.org (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics).
I republished the article here with Dr. Kendrick’s permission.
Malcolm Kendrick’s Contact Info
Malcolm Kendrick, MD is the author of the wonderful, eye-opening, paradigm-shifting book book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It .)
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