By Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark
In our last HealthBeat News Newsletter we told you to “unsubscribe” – WOW – did that get some attention!
We actually had four people who took our “advice” unsubscribed – “duh, because you told me to...” But dozens of readers emailed to ask “what the heck?” and told us that they have no intention of unsubscribing as long as we keep on doing HealthBeat Newsletters. Thanks for your vote of confidence! We knew most of you would “get it.”
So what are we really saying? We are trying to get across the idea that you should pick perhaps two to four of the most relevant health newsletters and drop the rest. Unless you are very careful in your interpretation of the dozens and even hundreds of competing newsletters and viewpoints out there, it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused with “information overload.” That, plus a lot of what is out in the world is unsupported and unproven bunk. We know because WE get these newsletters just to learn what kinds of information and pseudo-information is filling your inbox.
It is easy to get swept up in the latest armchair theory or glowing report based on a mouse study, and because we know that you – our savvy HealthBeat News readers – are seeing these same pseudo-scientific studies and breathless reports, we need to be ready for your questions. To do that we read or review a number of both conventional and holistic medical journals and newsletters. Here are some, but not all, of the publications we follow:
In conventional medicine, we monitor the following journals and websites daily:
- ASRM Reproductive medicine
- NIH News
- NIH PubMed
- New England Journal of Medicine
- Practice Update
- Web MD
NOTE: Medscape, Practice Update and Pubmed each have multiple sub-specialties that we monitor, Including Oncology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Primary care, Diabetes Care, Senior Care and Fertility.
In the field of holistic medicine, we subscribe to and monitor the following publications:
- A4M – American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine
- AANP Naturopathic Digest
- Al Sears
- Andrew Weil
- Bottom Line Health
- Chris Kresser
- Dr. Marcus Laux
- HSI research
- IFM Institute for Functional Medicine
- IFIM The Institute for Integrative Medicine
- Jon Wright
- Keith Scott Mumby
- Life Extension Foundation
- Mark Hyman
- Marty Hinz MD
- Michael R Eades, M.D.
- Michael Murray
- Natural Medicine Journal of the AANP (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians)
- Natural News by activist Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger.”
- Natural Products Insider (Print & On-line)
- NDNR Naturopathic Doctor News and Review
- ProHealth Healthwatch
- Practice Update
- Ralph W. Moss, PhD
- Weston Price Foundation
So, do we recommend that you follow all these newsletters and websites as well?
Heavens no! You would make yourself crazy! That’s what we were saying in our last HealthBeat News – pick the one, two or three of them, that are most relevant you and drop the rest. We review them all because we have to – it’s our job – and yes, sometimes we feel like it makes us a little crazy too.
For example, should you read New England Journal of Medicine or JAMA every day? Probably not, unless you enjoy really dry, boring research articles. But we do, because this is the source that the lay press will misquote and build silly articles around.
What about Medscape or Web MD? Maybe, but remember, these are conventional medicine – they are mainly geared to discussing things that can be addressed with prescription drugs or surgery. You won’t find much there that is alternative.
We keep up with all the latest drugs and surgeries and conventional procedures. Why? Two big reasons. First, some of them are highly effective and should not be dismissed just because they are conventional. Second, since we offer alternatives, we need to know, alternative to what? Alternatives are most valuable when conventional medicine is ineffective. I would not try to steer someone away from a conventional treatment that is safe and effective. In fact, I need to be “in the know” because I prescribe such effective treatments!
And what about the alternative newsletters and websites?
In fact, as Joe has gotten bigger, it has become clear that he is no longer writing his own articles, and apparent to us that he may not be proof-reading them consistently before they are published – we have seen some glaring examples of strange science… But Joe has a good take on GMOs and vaccines to name just a couple…
Who else is there? All the newsletters we follow are valuable to us, or we wouldn’t follow them. Does that mean they are all always right? Certainly not – but they each have their strengths.
For example, if you want to know about cancer you might read Ralph Moss. For neurological and Parkinson’s information Marty Hinz is good. Life Extension Foundation is a great generalist, and their articles tend to be well-researched, but you’ll quickly notice that each and every new issue touts at least five new “breakthroughs.” Can there be that many new vitamins or herbs or combinations of vitamins and herbs “discovered” each month? No. LEF is just really good at finding new ways to market old products in new ways and new products before they are solidly proven.
After you have been following all these many websites and authors for long enough you’ll notice that they each have their strong points and areas of expertise, and they often have some subjects or even pet peeves that would be better advised to leave alone since they tend to embarrass themselves with bad or non-existent science when they go there.
You’ll also notice that a number are really just high-pressure sales sites in disguise – with breathless reports of “breakthroughs” that you just must have: “click here to order your supply today!” More on that later – to be commercial is not necessarily to be evil…
Then there is a warning for those who might like to visit specialty association websites like the NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine) or maybe ASRM (the American Society of Reproductive Medicine) if your interest is fertility / infertility issues. These are great resources – as long as you have the scientific and medical background and knowledge to be able to correctly interpret the mountains of brain-numbing data available there. If you are a little weak on statistical analysis, organic chemistry, biochemistry, human anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, genomics, neurology, or a dozen other specialized subjects, all you’ll do is make yourself crazy. You might even come away with some really wrong-headed, even dangerous ideas.
Even Dr. Myatt and myself, with over 50 years in medicine between us, find ourselves going back to our textbooks and reference works as we try to absorb some of this information, to be sure that we are understanding it correctly. Dr. Myatt is known to pick up the phone and call the lead researcher on any medical article she has questions about.
Our advice? Don’t try to read it all! Let us do that – it’s our day-job, and yes, sometimes it makes us a little crazy! But we’ll be sure to let you know when something important and valuable comes up – you can be sure you are getting the wheat and not the chaff. Pick a few favorites that are relevant to your interests, and enjoy – you will get more out of that than you will by trying to chase every shiny object that the internet offers.
We hope you’ll continue to keep us on your short list! We spend many hours and do a lot of hard work and deep research to bring you our HealthBeat News articles, we use a highly reputable service to email your HealthBeat Newsletter to you, and maintain the server space and security services needed to house the Dr. Myatt’s Wellness Club website with its volumes of freely available information and the HealthBeatNews website with even more free information. But all that time and technology is not free – it has to be supported somehow – so yes, we hope that you’ll see fit to buy your vitamins and supplements from us in exchange for all the good information we bring to you.
Yes we write articles telling you about the benefits of certain supplements, and yes, we sell them. Is that evil? We don’t think so – it keeps a roof over our heads and allows us to bring you these HealthBeat News articles.
And yes again, you can probably go to your local health-food store or even a Big Box discount store and buy cheaper – sometimes ‘way cheaper – but please do be cautious and be sure you are getting the same top quality supplements that Dr. Myatt’s Wellness Club offers. Please review our article Wasting Money to Save Money? Who’s Watching Your Back? for more information about the false economy of ‘bargain brand’ supplements.
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