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recent photograph of doctor miller after consuming some Chinese 'herbal supplements'

Doctor Miller's Opinion on AltMed (for what it's worth)

Several observations seem inarguable: 1. as long as conventional medicine fails to satisfactorily heal every malady, people will seek out alternatives on their own, 2. many significant new advances in science have been stumbled onto or first discovered by those not burdened with a formal education in the medical sciences, 3. the medical establishment has often initially treated such new ideas, concepts or paradigm shifts with contempt and hostility, and 4 only the drug industry has the money to perform proper research trials and it is unlikely they would study treatments that cannot be patented (or profited from).

Since the medical sciences have made little progress in 'curing' many of the chronic degenerative diseases (e.g. aging, arthritis, Alzheimer's and many common cancers) it should surprise no one that a large industry has developed to promote (and profit) from alternative treatments for these disorders. With a generation of aging baby boomers inherently skeptical (and cynical) about accepting conventional wisdom, there is  growing popularity in self-help approaches. The frustration to someone suffering from a serious illness, is the suspicion that mixed among the multitude of alternative or natural remedies, there may be some beneficial therapies, concealed  by the avalanche of approaches that are at best harmless and possibly dangerous. It is little comfort to say "wait a few years until proper research can sort these things out" to someone suffering today.

     The best advice for patients is to first consider (or exhaust) those remedies that have met scientific scrutiny, before rushing to try a natural remedy. Then if still inclined, to attempt to research the subject through medical sources to see if there is at least  preliminary evidence of benefit or evidence of toxicity (using Medline and this site.) Finally if trying these therapies, one needs to be aware of the potential  placebo effect  (30% of patients benefit  from a placebo). Consumers should be as skeptical about health claims as they are about unsolicited get-rich-quick schemes (though doctorbob runs a nice mutual fund on the side, if you're interested)

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