So many studies, so many flaws
A full one-third of American scientists have been found guilty of serious misconduct while undertaking medical research over the last three years. Their misdeeds have included the falsification of data, removing data when it didn’t fit the findings and failing to reveal commercial links with their sponsor (usually a drug company). Even worse, more than 15 per cent admitted changing their study conclusions to meet the expectations of their sponsor (BMJ, 2005; 330: 1465).
We know how – we just don’t
In a study of 153,000 Americans, it was revealed that only 3 per cent follow all four of the so-called ‘golden rules’ for healthy living. Although many of them followed one or more of these rules, very few observed all four, which are: not smoking; maintaining a healthy weight (a body mass index of between 18.5 and 25); eating five or more vegetables and fruits every day; and exercising for at least 30 minutes, a minimum of five days every week (Arch Intern Med, 2005; 165: 854-7).
Therapy is as good as drugs
Cognitive therapy works just as well as drugs in cases of even the most severe depression. Researchers assigned 240 patients with severe depression to receive either drugs or cognitive therapy for 16 weeks. Both groups fared equally as well, and each was helped far more than those in the placebo group (Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2005; 62: 409-16).
Seeing clearly with vitamin E
Lens opacity, a common problem of getting old, can be slowed down or even prevented by regular supplementation with vitamin E. Researchers found a direct correlation between lens opacity, and the long-term use of vitamin E and a higher riboflavin or thiamine intake when they tested 408 women aged between 52 and 74 (Arch Ophthalmol, 2005; 123: 517-26).