Navigation Links
New evidence for homeopathy
Date:11/3/2008

Two new studies conclude that a review which claimed that homeopathy is just a placebo, published in The Lancet, was seriously flawed.

George Lewith, Professor of Health Research at Southampton University comments: 'The review gave no indication of which trials were analysed nor of the various vital assumptions made about the data. This is not usual scientific practice. If we presume that homeopathy works for some conditions but not others, or change the definition of a 'larger trial', the conclusions change. This indicates a fundamental weakness in the conclusions: they are NOT reliable.'

The background to the ongoing debate is as follows:

In August 2005, The Lancet published an editorial entitled 'The End of Homeopathy', prompted by a review comparing clinical trials of homeopathy with trials of conventional medicine. The claim that homeopathic medicines are just placebo was based on 6 clinical trials of conventional medicine and 8 studies of homeopathy but did not reveal the identity of these trials. The review was criticised for its opacity as it gave no indication of which trials were analysed and the various assumptions made about the data.

Sufficient detail to enable a reconstruction was eventually published and two recently published scientific papers based on such a reconstruction challenge the Lancet review, showing that:

  • Analysis of all high quality trials of homeopathy yields a positive conclusion.
  • The 8 larger higher quality trials of homeopathy were all for different conditions; if homeopathy works for some of these but not others the result changes, implying that it is not placebo.
  • The comparison with conventional medicine was meaningless.
  • Doubts remain about the opaque, unpublished criteria used in the review, including the definition of 'higher quality'.

The Lancet review, led by Prof Matthias Egger of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Berne, started with 110 matched clinical trials of homeopathy and conventional medicine, reduced these to 'higher quality trials' and then to 8 and 6 respectively 'larger higher quality trials'. Based on these 14 studies the review concluded that there is 'weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions'.

There are a limited number of homeopathic studies so it is quite possible to interpret these data selectively and unfavourably, which is what appears to have been done in the Lancet paper. If we assume that homeopathy does not work for just one condition (Arnica for post-exercise muscle stiffness), or alter the definition of 'larger trial', the results are positive. The comparison with conventional medicine was meaningless: the original 110 trials were matched, but matching was lost after they were reduced to 8 and 6. But the quality of homeopathic trials was better than conventional trials.

This reconstruction casts serious doubts on the review, showing that it was based on a series of hidden judgments unfavourable to homeopathy. An open assessment of the current evidence suggests that homeopathy is probably effective for a number of conditions including allergies, upper respiratory tract infections and 'flu, but more research is desperately needed.

Prof Egger has declined to comment on these findings.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter W. Gold
peter_gold@goldorluk.com
860-674-1500
National Center for Homeopathy
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. First evidence that prenatal exposure to famine may lead to persistent epigenetic changes
2. AGA releases evidence-based GERD guidelines
3. New Evidence Highlights Dangers of Mercury Toxicity in Fish
4. Evidence-Based Investing: M.D. Turned Financial Advisor Diagnoses What Ails Most Investors
5. DIA Conference to Provide New Paradigms in Evidence-Based Medicine and Health Technology Assessment
6. First Comprehensive Reference on Evidence-Based Design Published
7. Louisiana May Mandate Fluoridation Despite Evidence of Harm
8. Experts from 10 countries develop first evidence-based definition of lifelong premature ejaculation
9. Researchers find first conclusive evidence of Alzheimers-like brain tangles in nonhuman primates
10. New Evidence Provides Clinicians With Better Tools to Help Smokers Quit
11. Antidepressants do work in depression while evidence for CBT is poorer say experts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Ramin Assili, announce that they are now offering treatments for sleep apnea and ... at dental offices. Sleep apnea , specifically the obstructive type, is increasingly ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... The law firm of ... is pleased to announce Westchester resident Lauren C. Enea has joined the firm as ... firm, will concentrate her practice in elder law, Medicaid planning and applications, and Wills, ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Gastro Health ... to prep patients for colonoscopy at the HyGIeaCare® Center that is to be ... FL. , The HyGIeaCare® Prep, cleared by the U.S. Food and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... the first Certified Medical Reiki™ Master in Frederick, MD. Judy says, “I am ... caregivers during what is often a very difficult and challenging time.” , A ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... “End Time GPS”: ... salient events will interrelate. “End Time GPS” is the creation of published author, ... expert while working on military munitions and space-vehicle projects. Now, at age ninety-one, he ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 24, 2017 Research and ... Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022" report to ... The global ... expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during 2016-2022 ... segment held the largest share in the global market in 2015. Among ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary  ... According ... of cannabis market research, the legal cannabis market is projected ... 2021, despite conflicting signals from the current presidential administration. The ... the two biggest drivers of growth in this industry are ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Global Ampoules Market report provides ... applications and industry chain structure. The Ampoules market analysis ... competitive landscape analysis, and major regions, development status. ... ... providing 10 company profiles and 183 tables and figures ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: