Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
April 3, 2017
I’m not going to touch on fake news and today’s political climate, which are stories to be reckoned with. However, I want to rant and rave about fake news within the world of health.
We live our lives to a great extent based on news and information about things we care about. In the medical world, there is a concept called evidence-based medicine. Many definitions exist for evidence-based medicine, but here is my definition: The intelligent use of current clinical experience and current peer-reviewed research to make decisions for the prevention of disease and the treatment of an individual.
I’m alarmed how evidence-based medicine is being thrown under the bus. Some corporate industries and greedy individuals are replacing evidence-based medicine with fake news because of their selfish motives. Sometimes, fake news is promoted by those ignorant of the science. Whatever the reasons, fake news is being promoted as real evidence-based medicine.
Fake Medical News
I have selected some examples of “fake medical news”:
- Eggs have too much cholesterol and should only be eaten once or twice a week. However, current research proves that eggs are healthy, especially when produced by pastured chickens. Eat them as often as you wish.
- Cholesterol in the blood is dangerous and must be reduced to low levels by cholesterol-lowering medicine. However, cholesterol is critical for the health of the body. For the far majority of people, prescriptions that lower the level of cholesterol are unhealthy. The real problem that should be addressed is chronic systemic inflammation that is a result of poor diet and poor lifestyle choices.
- Whole grains are heart healthy. However, grains contain elements that can eliminate necessary minerals from the digestive track, damage friendly gut bacteria and the lining of the gut, and increase systemic inflammation.
- Common weed killers, which contain glyphosate and are used on farms and our own lawns, are purported to break down in the soil and not harm humans. However, scientific research shows that conventionally grown agriculture products retain the glyphosate residue. This residue harms our body, damages our friendly gut bacteria, and passes through the placental barrier to our unborn child.
- An hour or more of jogging everyday is healthy and necessary for a strong heart and body. However, this excessive aerobic exercise can create oxidative stress in the body with resulting chronic inflammation and damaged joints.
- Brushing and flossing will prevent gum disease and tooth decay. However, the science clearly demonstrates that diet is far more critical than brushing and flossing for dental health. I always teach my patients how to brush and floss correctly. But, I always emphasize the greater importance of a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet.
- High-fructose corn syrup provides necessary energy for kids. However, high-fructose corn syrup as well as all free sugars that are added to foods are unhealthy and are the major causes of dental and chronic diseases.
My Concluding Thoughts
There are many more examples. But those are some of my pet peeves being promoted as good information that we should accept. This fake news actually leads us down a path to disease and eventually to poorer quality of life.
I have been a dentist specializing in the treatment of gum disease for the past 43 years. What I’ve learned about fake medical news over the last four years has changed my life and the lives of my patients.
Evidence-based medical science is available for all to read. Just go to PubMed, and do a search for whatever you want to know. However, the majority of healthcare professionals are not putting this knowledge into practice.
Modern societies today are at a critical juncture. We are at the brink of either continuing on a destructive path or taking steps to repair our body The far majority of us are living with debilitating, chronic disease because we live by fake medical news – fake health facts that are steering us in the wrong direction. We must be medically proactive and begin to take control of our health more seriously and more deliberately.