My guest today is Pamela Seefeld, a registered pharmacist who prefers to dispense medicinal plants and other natural substances instead of prescription drugs. In addition to knowing an infinite amount about the dangers of drugs and the benefits of natural remedies, Pamela also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. So today she’s going to tell us what we need to know about scientific studies and test, so we can understand what’s going on behind the scenes. Pamela has more than 25 years experience choosing and selling top quality medicinal supplements, so she’s seen it all. Pamela is a 1990 graduate of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, where she studied Pharmacognosy (the study of medicines derived from plants and other natural sources). She has worked as an integrative pharmacist teaching physicians, pharmacists and the general public about the proper use of botanicals. Pamela is the owner of Botanical Resource and Botanical Resource Med Spa in Clearwater, Florida. www.botanicalresource.com
- Vaccines: Harmful or Necessary?
- Seven Deadly Drugs
- The Hidden Dangers Affecting Your Heart and How You Can Protect It Naturally
- What We Can Do About Cancer
- The Power of pH
- How to Protect Your Health From Toxic Mercury Dental Fillings
- Pharmacology 101: How to Use What Pharmacists Know to Take Supplements to Best Advantage
- Are You Heading For Kidney Failure? Natural Remedies Can Help
- How to Keep Your Blood Vessels Open and Flowing With Supplements
- How Inactivity Leads to Illness and Drug Use—And How Exercise Can Get You Off Drugs and into Health
- How to Protect the Environment from Pharmaceutical Pollution by Using Natural Medicinals
- Hidden Toxic Dangers in Common Dietary Supplements
- See More Clearly with Natural Remedies
- Hidden Mental Health Dangers in Common Drugs
- Different Types of Detox
- Getting Off Prescription Drugs with Natural Remedies
- How Natural Remedies Could Have Saved A Life
- Natural Alternatives to Sleeping Pills
- Natural Back Pain Treatment Options That Work
- How Toxics Age Your Body & What You Can Do to Stay Young
- You CAN Lose Weight—Even if You’ve Had Difficulty Losing Weight Before
- Calcium—Is There Really a Deficiency in America?
- It’s Cold and Flu Season—How to Support Your Immune System and Why You Shouldn’t Get a Toxic Flu Shot
- How Eating Fruits and Vegetables Help Your Cells Create Health
- Toxic Psychiatry and How to Have Mental Health Without Drugs
- Why You Should Take Fish Oil and How To Choose the Right One for You
- Medicinal Plants Can Replace Toxic Drugs
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Evaluating A Study and Testing a Test
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Pamela Seefeld
Date of Broadcast: November 18, 2015
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio, where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world, and live toxic free.
It’s Wednesday, November 18, 2015. I’m here in beautiful Clearwater, Florida where we’re having an autumn-ish day. It’s only 80 degrees here in beautiful Florida. But a cold front is coming, and I’m so excited because it’s time for us to have some cold.
Today, my guest is Pamela Seefeld. She is my guest every other Wednesday because she has so much to share with us. She’s a registered pharmacist who prefers to dispense medicinal plants and other natural substances instead of prescription drugs. But in addition to knowing an infinite amount about the dangers of drugs and the benefits of natural remedies, she also wears another hat of being a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C.
So today, she’s going to tell us what we need to know about scientific studies and tests so we can understand what’s going on behind the scenes.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Hi. It’s great to be here.
DEBRA: Well, it’s great to have you back because I think the last two, every other Wednesdays, we played replays for various reasons. So now here you are live.
PAMELA SEEFELD: I was teaching a class. And yes, I am here.
DEBRA: Good. Okay, so first tell us what you do as a grant reviewer. Specifically, what’s your job?
PAMELA SEEFELD: In the past, and then in the future now, when I grant review, what they do is the NIH has this money that’s available from the federal government. This money is available – a grant is basically the money they give you, and when you write up a grant to be submitted to NIH – there’ll be a panel of, maybe, 12 people or something, depending on what subject matter we’re doing.
The one I usually do is herb/drug interactions, or herbal medications.
And that’s normally done through NCAM, which is the National Center for Complementary Alternative Medicine.
So what happens, say, I’m a research and I’m at a university, and I want to get grant money, and this grant money is going to be used for a study, I submit the forms – I basically design a study. So these people, the grant reviewers, sit around and they decide who gets the money. That’s basically what it is.
Based on reading what your objectives are and the study design, we make summaries of these, and we actually get to see them ahead of time. We write a summary of what we think, and then we all compare if this is person should be getting the funding.
So that’s basically how these are vetted.
DEBRA: Can you give me an example of how you make the decision?
PAMELA SEEFELD: I’ll give you an example of one that we wouldn’t decide to use. One in particular that I’m not saying any names or anything, but they wanted to study a particular herbal remedy, and instead of designing it whether just looking at a standardized product of that remedy, the study design had – they were going to put in a beaker. They were going to put all these herbs and there, and then they were going to draw an extract out of it, and then they were going to go ahead and give it to people.
Well, that didn’t make any sense because the design in the beginning, the objective, said they were studying herb x, but why are they putting all this stuff in the beaker, and then they’re going to boil it down, and they’re going to make this concoction?
The study designs are designed to fail.
And also, product is very important. A lot of the studies that you see that are negative about vitamins are done under poor quality products because, let’s say, the grant is $50,000, whatever it is. The researcher writes in their salary, which is usually significant to conduct the study. By the time they get to the product itself, they probably looked for the cheapest stuff because they really don’t want to have an expensive product because the more money they have left over, the more they have for themselves.
Does that make sense?
So a good example is Vitamin E. Synthetic Vitamin E, we know, really does not act in the body the same way as real Vitamin E. Real Vitamin E taken from wheat germ, just from various plants, when they extract that it has more bioavailability to the body, and the body recognizes it as such.
So when people are using synthetic products, and they’re using poor quality products, and maybe these generic products, who knows, maybe something from overseas that they’re getting a cheap deal on, and maybe they’re not inspected facilities, this can definitely set outcome.
DEBRA: I think about that a lot because I read a lot of studies. I don’t read the whole entire study, but I’m reading a lot of abstracts. And sometimes, I read the study because I’m reading them to find out if something’s toxic, or if it’s saying that it’s safe.
The thing that is always unknown to me is it’s like reading a product label. There are so many unanswered questions. It might say, “We tested Vitamin C, and it did this or didn’t do that.”
But you have no idea what kind of Vitamin C, if it was organic or not organic.
All these questions, and we don’t get enough information about what’s being tested.
PAMELA SEEFELD: By far. And I think too an investigator bias is a big part of it because if you’re expecting to have a negative outcome that’s what you’re going to find. And we know that in statistics that’s how you design the study, it’s what you’re going to choose.
I’ve actually seen a study design where I know that the person that didn’t want to show an accurate result, and other studies where maybe people are biased, and they just really were so gung ho about it that they thought that this is going to work.
And the time when you normally see that is when companies do studies in their own product.
DEBRA: So if somebody – if there are listeners or me or you are reading a study, so then what we want to do is, the first thing, would be that there would need to be an objective viewpoint. So you’d want to look and see who’s doing the study.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes. You want to see who’s doing the study, and actually, a lot of the negative studies [inaudible 00:07:08] a lot of the negative studies that are written [inaudible 00:07:10] is not used as much as that it used to be. But still, there is a percentage of the population that does find relief from depression from it.
And it also has – there are two open trials with OCD to use that as well.
It can be effective for those conditions. And in the beginning, those original studies that show the same [inaudible 00:07:27] had all these drug interactions, and all these problems, it didn’t work, were conducted by the companies that actually make the anti-depressants.
[inaudible 00:07:38] in the small print.
DEBRA: Yes, you want to make sure that the person who is doing the study doesn’t have a vested interest in the outcome, that there needs to be just neutral parties. Ideally, when you do – so you’re doing a scientific experiment and, ideally, you would want to have somebody doing that experiment who is okay with it coming out either way.
PAMELA SEEFELD: That’s exactly right. And we’re going to have investigator bias on both sides. It seemed to be expected, but it’s also important when you’re interpreting negative data about supplements and their effectiveness because usually, these headlines that catch people’s attention that multivitamins don’t do anything for you, or Vitamin C is dangerous.
These types of things you need to really look and see who’s designing the study.
A lot of times the people that are designing the studies don’t expect to have a positive outcome, and their bias is very obvious.
DEBRA: So when you’re looking at these studies, when people are submitting to get the grant money, then they have written out what the study that they’re going to do, and you can take a look at it and see how it’s slanted, even before you grant the money.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Correct. And that’s why, hopefully, the people that are actually doing the reviewing – and most of the time, these people don’t have education and background in any ways. So they’re going to check people that are going to be a little bit more objective. And you would hope that that’s the way it always works, but in a lot of drug trials that’s now how it works, and we know that.
Actually, the new studies have just come out that the medical literature has just riddled with all of these peer-reviewed journals that they used to think that [inaudible 00:09:19] so important.
Peer-reviewed, for your listeners, is that, say, I published a study. Before I publish it, it goes to people that are in my same vocation. So maybe they’re doctors or whatever, maybe they’re in a particular field of pharmacognosy, and they review it for accuracy. That’s called peer-reviewed.
But a lot of these peer-reviewed studies they’re seeing now the results were not peer-reviewed correctly, [inaudible 00:09:43]. I’m reviewing for my friend, that kind of thing. There are a lot of inaccuracies in the medical literature. They recently came out with that, so a lot of that is not true, especially in psychology.
But they can’t reproduce most of the studies in psychology. It’s over 80%.
DEBRA: Wow because that’s supposed to be – the peer-reviewed journals are supposed to be – the places that you trust.
PAMELA SEEFELD: And that’s true. But what’s happened is that the people that are reviewing, your peers, are your friends too.
And that’s what they’re thinking that there’s some bias involved in there. I think it’s important to just look at the study design and see if there’s some sort of cohesiveness and some thought process that your product was chosen correctly, the study was done correctly. But there will be attitude in that.
A good example of that is homeopathic medicine, which is what I do.
DEBRA: Before you go on, we need to go to break. And we’ll talk about this when we come back.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Pamela Seefeld. She’s a registered pharmacist who prefers to dispense medicinal plants and other natural substances. But today, she’s wearing her other hat as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health.
We’re talking about tests, and studies, and all about them.
We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Pamela Seefeld. She’s a registered pharmacist who prefers to dispense medicinal plants. But she also does grant reviewing for the National Institutes of Health, which is what we’re talking about today.
Pamela has a website, BotanicalResource.com. She can ship things to you from her natural pharmacy. And she also is happy to talk to you at no charge, over the phone, to help you find a natural remedy that will help whatever is going on with you.
And also, if you’re interested in getting off drugs and use a natural remedy instead, she can help you with that too.
So Pamela, why don’t you give your phone number?
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes, absolutely. I would be very honored to help you or your family members, and also your animals, with any homeopathic remedies you might have, or if you want to transition off of some of your medications. I can definitely help you with that.
You can call me here at my pharmacy. It’s 727-442-4955. That’s 727-442-4955.
DEBRA: Okay, good. So continue now with what you started to talk about before the break.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Okay, great. So I did some studies in the [inaudible 00:15:03] medicine. I wanted to look at some of the pros and cons. Some of the newest studies just came out with homeopathics and with vitamin therapies, just to give some examples of some of the things we’ve been discussing.
So complementary and alternative drug therapies versus science-oriented medicine. So there’s one study that just came out in June of this year, and it was from the German Medical Society. This German Medical Society was against homeopathy. They did not – and this is out of Germany. They were not happy about it.
This is one side of it that they didn’t like complementary and alternative medicine.
But then in September of this year, oncologists in Germany, are for homeopathy, and this is in the current oncology representation. So this is in another journal, and it’s saying homeopathy is so great for cancer care, and that [inaudible 00:15:59] given a low cost, minimal risks, potential magnitude of homeopathy affects. It should be considered in many situations as an integrative tool for cancer care.
So this is the thing. It depends who is – everyone’s go an opinion. So if your society is against something, your position paper and your study are going to be against it. And the people that are for it – and this is [inaudible 00:16:25] because these actually are oncologists. They’re allopathic doctors. The title is, “Is There a Role for Homeopathy in Cancer Care? Questions and Challenges.”
This just shows an example that this is in the same year, same country, one person is thinking of good, and one person thinks [inaudible 00:16:43] any good.
And really, let me tell you about homeopathy. People do not get hurt with homeopathy. That’s very important. When you take a regular medicine, there are a lot of side effects. Homeopathic remedies are extremely safe, extremely effective, and I’ve worked with them probably 20 years. I really find that they are the really the bridge for health for people because a lot of times maybe they’re not responding to a medicine or they don’t want to take a medicine.
Homeopathic remedies, especially for liver problems, kidney problems, cancer problems, their response is very effective and very safe. And most of Europe really does embrace it.
In fact, in Germany, you can go to a homeopathic doctor or an allopathic doctor, and insurance pays for both, and they also pay for the homeopathic medications in the pharmacy.
DEBRA: Wow. How forward-thinking.
So now, here we have the government, I guess it’s the government or insurance – the insurance is paying for homeopathy. Is it social medicine or [inaudible 00:17:49]. Okay, social medicine. The government in Germany is paying for homeopathy and sending people to homeopathic practitioners.
And yet, they’re still – in the journals, in the medical journals, they’re still saying it works or it doesn’t work.
This is always the question. Even if you read the newspaper, they have to give you a “balanced view” and tell you both sides. But then, how are we supposed to know which side is true?
PAMELA SEEFELD: That’s a good question. I think a lot of it is research bias. If you see someone that has a certain position paper, and it looks to be biased in whatever their profession is – and the good part about what I do is I’m not biased one way or the other. I do both.
My whole day is not just all integrative medicine. Part of it is working in the ER, working on dosing medications for people who are coming in from the ambulances.
So I know both, and I’m not negative against drugs because if someone comes to me, sometimes there are times where I write down and say, “They gave you the wrong prescription. They’re nothing herbal medicine for this. This is what they need to give you.” And I’m right.
So it’s really important to see without bias. I think that your listeners in particular need to do some general questions where you ask yourself, but especially vitamins. Vitamins tend to be a target, and I want to explain why that is.
Because in vitamins, there’s really no money for regular companies. They don’t really want you taking them because they want you to take medicines instead. Medicine is where the money is at.
And the Vitamin C – I’ll give you an example of Vitamin C. When I did some research studies here, and I did some med line searches for the potential of Vitamin C, a lot of the studies were very favorable about Vitamin C. I didn’t see anything negative except what’s called an epidemiological study.
And what that is, I’ll explain it to the listeners, epidemiological study is not really a study at all. What they do is they set somebody in front of a computer, maybe a grad student or something, and they search Vitamin E and cancer. And then they put in certain different terms. And then they go back and they search hundreds of studies. And then they look at them, and then they determine that everything is really bad.
That’s usually what the outcome is.
But if I’m taking a study from 15, 20 years ago, and maybe I don’t have – I had any information about the product they used, the study design, because what you’re going to find now is not going to be the full paper. Or maybe you’re not going to find some detailed information about.
The thing is [inaudible 00:20:25] that could have been contaminants. We have the FDA inspecting these facilities now.
In the past, they weren’t.
So you can’t compare these old, old studies on vitamins that maybe were produced in a factor some place that maybe the equipment wasn’t cleaned properly, or whatever.
Now, most of the vitamin companies in the United States, in particular, they follow GMP, which is Good Manufacturing Practices. So the equipment is clean, there are lot numbers, expiration dates. You don’t know what they were using.
So these old studies that they’re using to collate this data and make assumptions and decisions based on that, and make a position paper for that – so when you see epidemiological, the important thing for the listeners to realize, when you see epidemiological study, it’s not necessarily true.
DEBRA: Okay, good. We’ll talk more about this when we come back.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Pamela Seefeld. She’s both a registered pharmacist, like she said, she works in a hospital. And she also has her own natural pharmacy where she has homeopathic remedies and other natural substances that can help heal your body.
And we will be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Pamela Seefeld. She’s both a registered pharmacist and she has a natural pharmacy where she dispenses natural remedies and homeopathic remedies.
Pamela, during the break, I was reading my e-mails – that’s what I do during the break, and I got – there’s something, an article about asking, is there plastic in sea salt? And apparently, they did. This was reported in the – okay, now here’s an example of a study and a journal. And this is a journal I read a lot, Environmental Science and Technology.
And all they talk about in this journal is studies that show that things are toxic, or not toxic. It’s all about toxicity.
And so, what they found, what one of these studies found by examining the sea salt was that there are extremely, tiny pieces of plastic in sea salt.
And now, the sea salt that they examined – and again, this gets back to now – I’ll tell you what it said, and then you can comment on this instead of me commenting on it.;
So the sea salt came from China, and they found – they measured more than 1200 particles of plastic per pound of sea salt.
Now, I know that you eat Himalayan salt like I do. And the difference between sea salt and the Himalayan salt is that all salt is from the sea originally, except that some of these seas are extremely ancient and are now buried at the bottom of places like the Himalayan Mountains.
And so the salt that did up out of the ground in the Himalayas, even though it was originally an ancient now, it has been sitting there since the beginning of time. And so there’s no way that plastic is going to get in Himalayan salt, whereas salt that comes from evaporating sea water –
I don’t know if you all listening have ever seen this. But I used to live in San Francisco, and so every time I would come on an airplane, right next to the airport – that’s a great place to put this. But right next to the airport are these fields where they have – where they made these little sections where they blocked up the water, and the sea water comes in from the San Francisco Bay, and they evaporate it, and you can see all the fields in various stages of evaporation.
And that’s where the sea salt comes from. It comes from all the pollutants in San Francisco Bay, and right next to all the pollution from being right next to the airport. And that’s sea salt. That’s that sea salt.
PAMELA SEEFELD: I believe there’s [inaudible 00:29:49] in there, absolutely. We know that there are high quantities of plastics, small microbes, small amounts of plastic in the seas. That’s not any new news.
So actually, I believe that study. I really do. And the fact about Himalayan salts, if you talk about rock salt, any type of rock salt from an ancient sea bed, the reason why you see all those colors, those are animals that have deceased, and you’re taking the nutrients that were in those shells and in those animals that are buried in this salt.
That’s why it’s so much more nutritious because you’re getting all the trace minerals, and especially the Himalayan salt, because all the pink, you have a lot of iron.
DEBRA: And real salt is also from under the ground.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes.
DEBRA: Those two. Those are the two –
PAMELA SEEFELD: I like both of them but I think the Himalayan tastes a little sweeter.
DEBRA: I think it does too. I like their taste. But I use both of them, alternating back and forth.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Me too.
DEBRA: Real salt has one that – they have a garlic salt with organic granules of garlic, and I really like that one.
PAMELA SEEFELD: I have to try that. That sounds good.
DEBRA: Yes, they have four or five flavored ones. It’s really good.
So here’s an example of a study where they actually counted something.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Correct. And they’re actually very good example, even though the people that were doing it were probably expecting to find the plastic. The fact that they went and countered how many parts per million of the salt, and they went and probably did a spectrometer and measured that, that to me seems like a valid study, and I would definitely not think there’s so much investigative bias.
I’m sure for a person that would be doing it for maybe the salt company itself too, if they’re really evaluating under the same circumstances that they did originally, they would find the same thing.
We would expect that.
DEBRA: We would expect that. And I think that a lot of times I see studies because of what I’m looking at. I’m not particularly looking at drugs or things like that. I’m reading studies that are like this, where they’re talking about some kind of consumer product. And so I read something like, is plastic leeching out of plastic water bottles?
And so there’s some speculation, or there’s some reason to believe that there’s something going on. And then the study is there to confirm it.
PAMELA SEEFELD: You’re exactly right. The plastic is coming out of water bottles. It’s coming out of food you heat in the microwave.
Actually, there’s a product called Detox 3, it’s a homeopathic that pulls out plastics out of the body, and especially if somebody has a high breast cancer risk, or has had breast cancer, or they just want to clean that out of their body, you can put this in detox bottle every day, and that will pull all of these microscopic amounts of plastics that are in your body.
DEBRA: We should just explain what a detox bottle is.
PAMELA SEEFELD: A detox bottle is when you take a bottle of water every day – and normally, I tell people to put the Body Anew, which is a detox product that pulls out nickel, cadmium, lead, mercury, pesticides, chemicals. And you just put 10 drops of each bottle in this bottle of water. And then if you need to add something else in the water that’s for your particular needs.
I use something called [Cortego] complex, if you have hypertension. Detox 1 is for the liver, if your liver enzymes are elevated. Detox 2 is for the kidney, if your serum creatinine is starting to elevate as well as your kidney stones. Detox 3 is for plasticizers.
So there are a lot of different homeopathics. I probably have maybe 75 different kinds here, depending on what you need, maybe thyroid support, anti-depressants, whatever.
You put this in the water, and you drink it over the course of the day. And that’s what we mean by a detox bottle.
Detox 3 is a particular product that is meant to remove plasticizers. And I’ve got that specifically for a lot of the breast cancer patients because a lot of times, we know breast cancer, these plasticizers act like estrogen in the body. And that’s where a lot of this is coming from.
DEBRA: I also wanted to mention, since we’re talking about salt, I just want to finish up and say that if you – I don’t buy packaged foods. I don’t even buy most what are called natural foods or even some organic foods. I just try to stick with buying fresh foods and putting my own salt on it.
That way, I know what it is. I know the water it was washed in.
If they’re washing foods in tap water, then you’re getting chlorine absorbed into – or fluoride, or whatever. You just don’t know what’s in packaged food unless they are really upfront about telling you exactly how they do it.
But if it says sea salt on the label, this is what it is, a bunch of little bits of plastic.
So we need to go to break.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Pamela Seefeld. When we come back, we’ll talk more about studies and tests.
We haven’t talked about how to test the test yet. So we’ll talk about that when we come back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Pamela Seefeld. She’s a registered pharmacist who prefers to dispense medicinal plants, but she also dispenses drugs when that’s warranted. She can help you choose either one.
Sometimes she advises people on taking a different drug that might work better for you.
So Pamela, why don’t you give your phone number again, and then let’s talk about testing a test.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Okay, good. So you can call me here at my pharmacy, and I would be, like I said, very honored to help you or your family if you had a question about medications, even your blood work if you want some interpretation on that. You might see what vitamins are working well for you, which ones are not.
You can call me here at my pharmacy. It’s 727-442-4955.
DEBRA: Great. So testing a test.
PAMELA SEEFELD: So studying a study and testing a test, what we want to know is we’re looking at different methods. When we look at studying a study and testing a test, we have several things we look at.
First thing we look at is method and assignment, and I’ll go through those. Results is number two. And number three is interpretation and extrapolation. So what this means is method, which study population are you looking at?
Most of the time, you’ll set the criteria. They don’t do a lot of studies in children, which for obvious reasons, for consent and so forth. But a lot of the studies are probably done, let’s say, adults 18 to 30 years old, something like that.
So you’re not getting in the elderly people. If you’re looking for a young, healthy population, that’s where sometimes your best results. And sometimes they use older people if they’re studying medications that are specifically going to be used in that population.
So the first thing you look at is the method, and under the method it’s the study population. So what kind of group of people? What are group do you choose? And also with study population, you have to look and see, are they smokers? Are they not smokers?
Maybe you control for diet, how many servings of fruits and vegetables do they have?
You can see my point.
So method is important. You have to look at the method and see that they ask people about their dietary habits, and smoking, and drinking, and things like that to see if those things, especially – say, we’re doing a study on a drug for liver failure, or to prevent liver failure. Or how about herb?
Milk thistle. I love milk thistle. It protects the liver. It gets the liver problems.
Well, if you’re doing a study on that and the majority of the people that you have in the study drink a liter of vodka every day, you might see a different result than if you take a bunch of people that are the healthiest, or never drink at all.
So those are important. Those may be confounding variables.
DEBRA: Well, do they screen for things like that?
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes. A good study – if you look at the methods – say you’re doing an herbal study and you want to see the methods of what they’re doing. They’re doing something that’s [inaudible 00:41:44] herbs for the liver or herbs for the lungs. You want to look at the people that are doing that.
I was going to [inaudible 00:41:48] a study for the lungs, and I wanted to see an outcome, you really want to have people that have problems because you want see if it’s improving.
But if you’re taking people that are generally healthy, and you don’t see any change in their base line status, you wouldn’t have expected it to happen anyway. And that’s where I see a lot of these studies. If they really don’t want to show anything to happen, they’ll take a product that we really think will work pretty well for something, and then they’ll use healthy people.
Well, if they’re not sick, well how do you expect to see anything different?
DEBRA: It’s so obvious.
PAMELA SEEFELD: So looking at method is important. What kind of people do they screen out? And also, you need to look at the size of the population because of lot of this – you see a study, it will say n, meaning number. N equals.
Well, if the study of the n number is four people, n equals four, well, how are you going to see anything? We have so few people.
I see a lot of that stuff.
DEBRA: I see that too especially – I forgot what it was. It was something about GMOs where somebody had commissioned a study, and they had a big splash about it. And then it turned out that they had tested eight people.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly. Perfect example. N equals eight. Really, you’re not going to expect to see that much for n equals eight. That’s not going to work.
DEBRA: So how many is a good amount?
PAMELA SEEFELD: It depends on what you’re studying. I don’t think we can really make a generalization, but I would say at least 50 people, a sizeable amount. And if you’re looking for a drug that has a lot of dangerous side effects, you’d really want hundreds and thousands maybe.
So that’s important to see.
Method is important. Assignment is basically your study sample, your control group and your study group. So somebody gets the CIBO, somebody doesn’t. So you have n equals 50, 25 get the CIBO, 25 get the medicine. That could be what we’re looking at as well.
Assessment, this is mundane stuff. It’s important you look at this. You look at the study groups, [inaudible 00:43:55] the control, and your outcome is what kind of results are you getting with this control and the study group? So you look at your outcome, and your outcome is hopefully you see a positive result, and you see no result with the people that got placebo. But remember, with placebo, it’s probably 30% of the people sometimes have response, maybe even higher.
So you have to take that into consideration.
And then under results, you compare. You compare both of those. After the comparison, you draw conclusions, and these conclusions – the conclusions you make, are you trying to extrapolate it to other people besides just the ones that were in the study group.
So that’s when you make generalizations about the people you’re going to treat.
DEBRA: So they test it, they do their test, whatever it is, and then they say –
PAMELA SEEFELD: Then we have our control group.
DEBRA: – these results and say that what we learned from these 50 people –
PAMELA SEEFELD: When we read these things, we’re extrapolating it to the general population.
So say we have n equals 50, 25 and 25, the split between – 25 get the medicine, 25 don’t. They’re doing great. Everything’s fine. And we see a positive outcome from whatever herb it is, say milk thistle, for liver problems – liver enzymes are these people that based on liver enzymes have been elevated, and now, they’re decreasing
So we see that things – and then we say to the general population. Let’s say they know – in estimation, let’s say 10% of the people in the country have baseline ALT and AST, which is the liver enzyme is elevated, whatever it is. I’m not sure of the percentage.
But those people, their response rate was, say 80% is pretty high. These other people could expect similar responses. And that’s where you would get this by looking at the methods, looking at the results and the interpretation, and seeing how the n number is really probably where you’re going to see a lot of it.
And I’ll tell you. I looked here and did some med line searches in the Vitamin C and in Vitamin D, there’s a lot of really good data, good studies that show effective it is for preventing – Vitamin C in particular, preventing Type 2 diabetes. And everyone here is as [inaudible 00:46:17] cancer treatment.
Vitamin D actually too they found that low levels of Vitamin D, some of the newest studies, the low levels of Vitamin D has caused extreme fatigue.
And I thought one of the more interesting ones I found – this is all just published in the last few months. Vitamin E supplementation decreased liver fat content.
So people have fatty liver as a result of having diabetes, elevated blood sugar, maybe they’re heavy drinkers. Fatty liver is really a very, very common problem because the liver will start infiltrating with fat if the sugars are elevated for any length of time.
What they’re finding is that Vitamin E seems to decrease liver fat and it prevents fibrosis.
DEBRA: Wow. There are so many positive things.
PAMELA SEEFELD: These studies actually look pretty good. You look at method and everything and it looked really good.
So it’s important to see n number, methods, how did things – how was the study conducted.
DEBRA: I’ve learned so much from you today about this. I can understand much better now what I’m reading and what to look for.
I wanted to just ask you one last question because we only have a couple of minutes left. You may not even have an answer to this question but I wanted to ask you anyway. And that is, it seems to me that there are a lot of studies done, and then what happens is not much, if they find out that there’s something wrong.
And so you have something, for example, drugs that instead of looking at it and saying, “Oh, here’s a list of 25 side effects. Let’s not put this drug on the market.” They put the drug on the market and then they plug you to full commercials and say over the beautiful music, “And by the way, you might have liver failure and die.”
Why isn’t anything happening, just like banning these things? Why do these harmful products whether their drugs or anything else, why do they get to go on the market?
PAMELA SEEFELD: That’s a good question. I don’t think [inaudible 00:48:25] they’re all harmful. They obviously have shown some response rate.
With their bias and the investigators, it’s possible. But a lot of these medicines are being marketed to protect people against cardiovascular disease, and some of the things in the past, a lot of people died from heart attacks, and a lot of people died from strokes, and these cardiovascular events and thrombotic events. And now, a lot of people live.
So somebody’s medicines have good effects. A good example is all these blood thinners that they have people on for A-fib and for all these heart conditions.
There’s going to be a percentage of the people that are going to bleed out, and that’s a very dangerous thing. And that’s why it’s important that the cardiologist and the pharmacist, and your family practitioner, if you’re being put on any medicine that has a lot of side effects, and has a narrow therapeutic range, and that we defined that as being that the toxic dose and the dose of therapeutic efficacy is small, you’re going to be very careful.
You need to make sure that you’re monitoring your blood work, make sure you’re looking for side effects, and if there’s something that looks suspicious, you need to call your doctor right away – or the pharmacist, or call me. I can give you some ideas.
Also too are people are on blood thinners, and they’re on some of these dangerous medicines. You can use that vascular stabilizers that will circumvent some of the blood vessel capillaries for agility and breaking.
DEBRA: We’re getting close to the end, so why don’t you give your phone number again if people want to call you. Pamela is happy to talk to you for free.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes. Please call me. I’d be glad to help you. And the number here at Botanical Resource is 727-442-4955.
DEBRA: Good. And we’ve got to go. Thank you so much, Pamela.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Thank you.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. Be well.