Talk:Orthomolecular medicine/Archive 3

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RFC:Stop deleting the POV tag

This article is utterly biased, pushes the minority POV that this pseudoscience has any legitimacy, and fails to fully identify the severe criticisms of this terribly dangerous quackery. For examploe, the American Psychiatric Association called orthomolecular medicine a misnomer and "deplorable."[1] "The Research Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health reviewed pertinent scientific data through 1979 and agreed that megavitamin therapy was ineffective and could be harmful."[2] -- 19:04, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Don't be absurd, the mainsteam POV is mentioned many times. --Michael C. Price talk 21:04, 7 August 2006 (UTC) The article focuses on the minority viewpoint, and critical information about the degree to which mainstream science rejects OM has been repeatedly deleted. WP:LEAD and WP:NPOV are violated. -- Cri du canard 23:29, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Since OM is the subject of the article and it is a minority viewpoint then of course it "focuses on the minority viewpoint". What is your problem with that?? And as I said earlier there are plenty of mentions of the mainstream view in the article as well. --Michael C. Price talk 23:55, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

My problem with that is that you're arguing that this article should be a POV-fork, which would violate WP:NPOV. Per WP:LEAD, the lead paragraph should emphasize the mainstream view that this is unsubstantiated pseudoscience, and then the minority viewpoint. Instead, the entire article is centered around the minority viewpoint. "Mentions" of the mainstream viewpoint are insufficient. There should be balance. Instead, all mainstream views are summarily deleted from the article. -- Cri du canard 01:33, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting a POV-fork, and if you'd stop listening to just the sound of your own voice you'd realise I'm not suggesting this either. Your use of the term "unsubstantiated pseudoscience" indicates that you are not capable of a NPOV. --Michael C. Price talk 12:37, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
"...unsubstantiated pseudoscience..." That "pseudoscience" bit is a naked pejorative and provocation. Several editors, gratifyingly new to me, have attempted to make several serious points with your misusage. Adequate substantiation has been an ongoing scientific debate for decades, prejudically contaminated by literally trillion dollar ( p.a.) conflicts of interest. The material that you are quoting is polemical, limited and dated. Scientific and clinical substantiation is being addressed molecule by specific molecule in orthomed circles despite literal persecution and very limited resources. More recently, even the "mainstream" is *starting* to reduce the competitve hijinks in testing and analyses but the anti-scientific attitude parading as "Science" only slowly disappears, mostly at the cemetery. You are proving your POV to us alright.-- 02:09, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
btw, even this very critical, conventionally oriented editor recognized the merit in orthomed's structure & presentation "...(like the approach at Orthomolecular medicine#Relation to conventional medicine)...Tearlach"[3] and I promise you, we are not special friends.-- 02:37, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
see also this discussion at Talk:Megavitamin therapy & List_of_ps...-- 03:40, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Sir: I have a POV, albeit one that corresponds to what major medical organizations say about OM. The problem here is that you have a POV, and won't let anyone implement NPOV policy by correcting the POV bias of the page as it currently exists. -- 11:58, 8 August 2006 (UTC) / User:Cri du canard

No, the problem here is that you do not understand what is meant by OM, as indicated by your dismissal of supportive dietary studies which indicate a near fivefold reduction of colon cancer at long term intakes above the RDA of folic acid. --Michael C. Price talk 12:37, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
BTW User:Cri du canard the refs for the above claim are here[4]. --Michael C. Price talk 20:12, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually I am pretty easy when shown some hard facts to analyze. Perhaps 70.232... could link a few of those "major medical organization" quotes here for a quick review. Unfortunately I have to deal with various forms of hearsay from people who often confuse factually unfounded criticisms, various terms and practices like altmed, CAM, homeopathy, naturopathy, ad infinitum with orthomed, served with a large helping of various 'tudes and a total dearth of familiarity of the orthomed literature.-- 14:01, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I left the references already. They keep getting deleted. -- Cri du canard 16:41, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
(1) You are billboarding a polemical position (QW) that is relatively lengthy to the OM summary, (2) this particular ref & debate actually belongs more at Orthomolecular psych where the mental measurement part is also part of the issue, (3) the particular study has similar problems of strong bias (e.g. specific defects conveniently ignored) that certainly fails the replication part - where the much higher profile and better documentable, higher stature Pauling situation with conventional medicine's multiple mishandling of vitamin C test has taken a generation to float to surface (the APA reference you have shown was noted as scientifically defective but "wins" on a "consenus" basis - a form of lynching but Orthomolecular continues to accrue favorable fundamental studies simlar to the way IV vitamin C for cancer has for 20+ yrs, but slower).
I would honestly suggest taking this part to orthomed psych in the body, the APA debacle doesn't do anything for traditionally "non mental" ailments more conceived by this article (and readers) even though theoretically orthomed psych is certainly part of OM, they cover topical ground fairly independently and the OM article is a brief *general* overview. Our approach since January is to largely cover detailed material in the specific relevant article. Your discussion would have more "room" there as well as a better fit to the body of the article. I think the APA report is a "good" (ahem, I disagree with its methodology as biased), notable reference there but not here. Other notable scientists have long noted their dissatifaction with conv'l psych, too. Hoffer's situation is really a protoscience flying into a political maelstorm, and is much earlier in the learning / demonstration curve whereas OM is actually getting a lot of scientific confirmation starting to overturn the conventional RDA "wisdom". Note that I am trying not to bludgeon you on these issues, you are new to the thought that OM is a serious science approach and I would prefer that you try to analyze it again with the information here at talk and the article links/refs given. So the part you consider factual I will recommend Orthomolecular psych, and I think you will find that has more space accomodation although fair warning it is not just a free shot, the nature on the contest could be better aired. So I will ask you to honor the sect POV sign in "controversy..." and remove the banner (disputed) sign. You are still treating us as lightweights, delusional or worse, - I hope that you will take time to study the prior discussions here at Talk to formulate questions that we might answer usefully. I am moving your insertion to the intro to "Orthomolecular Psychiatry" article. Hopefully you will find this a reasonable, more favorable approach. Thank you.-- 18:39, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

List of pseudoscientific theories

Some ignorant folks are trying to restore OM to the the List of pseudoscientific theories. Please help to prevent this. --Michael C. Price talk 19:13, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

It belongs there. It's Pauling's folly. -- Fyslee 19:19, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Please see the above discussion[5] with a former Wikipedia editor. Notice the links to 2005-2006 articles by the National Inst of Health and Proc of the National Academy of Sciences. Or try this Hemilä H., "Do vitamins C and E affect respiratory infections?" Univ. of Helsinki, Dissertation, Faculty of Medicine, Dept. of Public Health. 2006.. "uuhhhh, gee Mr. Pauling, gosh, we honestly didn't notice..." comes to mind.-- 22:52, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
OM is more than Pauling's beliefs. Do you really think that no micronutrient (e.g. selenium, magnesium, etc) can be of benefit? --Michael C. Price talk 19:30, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Of course not. There are situations where they can be necessary. There just isn't any good evidence for the more extravagant claims made by OM. It's fringe science at best, and usually quackery. It is nearly always accompanied by belief in and the pushing of weird and unscientific ideas and practices by the doctors who practice it. Being fringe doctors, they fall for weird ideas. -- Fyslee 20:35, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Are these claims (from OM page) so extravagent or "fringe science at best":
Orthomolecular medicine focuses on the role of proper nutrition in relation to health. Optimum nutrition asserts that many typical diets are insufficient for long term health.
--Michael C. Price talk 20:46, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
No, not really. The use of the word "assertion" makes the quote accurate. It's an assertion, and properly understood ("typical" being junk food) it's also true. The solution is proper nutrition, not pandering to the pharmaceutical industry's nutritional supplements. While supplementation has its role in the treatment of severe cases, it's not the best solution for normal people or for fringe cases. A varied and balanced diet provides more than enough for good health. Pills and potions may have their role in rare cases, but they shouldn't be considered the source of health, as many orthomolecular physicians' method of practice gets people to believe. I'm always suspicious when a practitioner just "happens" to sell the remedy they diagnose as necessary. Fortunately MDs aren't normally allowed to do this, and they don't get a percentage of all prescriptions for the medicines they prescribe. -- Fyslee 20:54, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Your assertion that "A varied and balanced diet provides more than enough for good health." is contradicted by many studies. --Michael C. Price talk 21:11, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
If that is all Orthomolecular medicine claims, then how is it different then normal nutritional science? Why does it need a seperate name? If that's all you believe, become a nutritionalist, certainly you won't find any opposition to your beliefs. Orthomolecular medicine makes itself distinct by making claims like "Nutrition should be the first step to finding a cure to any disease" or "1000% vitamin C intake can help cure cancer" Claims not based on any scientific studies. When a field claims to be science but isn't backed up by any scientific evidence, we call these fields "pseudo-scientific". Making SOME accurate claims is a typical technique of pseudoscience, cults, ect. CaptainManacles 20:58, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I find your claim that "become a nutritionalist, certainly you won't find any opposition to your beliefs." detached from reality. --Michael C. Price talk 21:11, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

OK, that's enough. I don't see any evidence whatsoever presented that this topic is pseudoscience. It was intitated by a two-time Nobel prize-winner, and is subscribed by by a variety of MD's and nutritionists. There's a long track-record of publications in premier journals such as Science and Nature. None of this is the hallmark of pseudoscience, which are usually wacky theories advanced by individuals who have no formal education or training in science, theoreies that lack published articles in mainstream peer-reviewed journals, much less the leading journals. linas 22:36, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Many pseudo-sciences are practiced by a variety of otherwise profesional people. Tellington touch is a prime example. Many many hospitals have a variety of alternative care options, as long as they do no harm, they figure it couldn't hurt. Regardless, these still remain pseudo-science, as they have not been scientifically shown to work, and many have been shown to quite clearly not work. Make me eat my hat, show me replicated scientific double-blind studies. Right now, the "references" provided to prove Orthomolecular medicine is a science is two links to a commercial Orthomolecular page that doesn't cite any studies. CaptainManacles 06:52, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
A few notes: (1) the orthomed & megavitamin articles are brief overviews constructed to describe, to provide quality orthomed sources, and *to try* to make comprehensible what the subject is generally about because so few even know what orthomed is basically about, not to "prove" the individual therapies; (2) if you drill into to the reference links you can find thousands of scientific references ( e.g.RJ Williams, U Tx Biochemical Institute founder, L Pauling, of course) and hundreds of peer reviewed orthomed articles JOM. Except for his two books, the Saul site is studiously noncommercial, and almost all of what is in the books is on the site, so no commercial pressure. (3) The decision back in back in January was to dump endless argumentation about specific therapies as a hopeless article approach (~100 items???) and leave such detail to more specific, individual articles as they occur in Wikipedia. (4) the situation about dbRCT is laid out earlier in the OM talk page, way above in several places.-- 09:53, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

See relevant talk onTalk:List_of_pseudoscientific_theories#Orthomolecular_Medicine which I reproduce below:

Even the JAMA has come round on this:

Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: clinical applications. Fletcher RH, Fairfield KM in JAMA 2002 Jun 19;287(23):3127-9 PMID: 12069676 “Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements..... We recommend that all adults take one multivitamin daily..... It is reasonable to consider a dose of 2 ordinary [i.e. RDA levels] multivitamins daily in the elderly”

Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. Fairfield KM, Fletcher RH in JAMA 2002 Jun 19;287(23):3116-26 PMID: 12069675 “Although the clinical syndromes of vitamin deficiencies are unusual in Western societies, suboptimal vitamin status is not [unusual].”

--Michael C. Price talk 19:49, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Here're three studies on folic acid and colon cancer:

Multivitamin use, folate, and colon cancer in women in the Nurses' Health Study. Giovannucci E, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, Fuchs C, Rosner BA, Speizer FE, Willett WC in Ann Intern Med 1998 Oct 1;129(7):517-24 PMID: 9758570 Long-term use (>15 years) of folate-containing multivitamin supplements produced an almost 5-fold reduction in the incidence of colon cancer. Other cancers not analysed. The protective effect (relative to age-matched controls) increased with the duration of supplementation. The relative risk of colon cancer over the period 1980-1994 (against folate intake in 1980, without adjusting for other vitamins) was: 1.0 (<= 200 ug/d), 0.92 (201-300 ug/d), 0.79 (301-400 ug/d) & 0.69 (>400 ug/d). This risk declined with time: comparing the >400 with the <=200 folate ug/d group the risk declined from 0.85 (1980-mid1988) to 0.56 (mid1988-1994). Amongst multivitamin users (pooling all folate categories) the risk declined with duration of use: 1.02 (4 years use), 0.83 (5-9yrs), 0.80 (10-14 yrs) & 0.25 (15+ yrs). Women who had 15+ years of multivitamin use and >300 ug/d energy-adjusted folate (in 1980) had a RR of only 0.22[CI: 0.05-0.88] compared with users with <15 years multivitamin use and 201-300 ug/d (>RDA) of energy-adjusted folate. FDA regulations forbad the use of 400ug of folate in multivitamin supplements prior to 1973, which limited the ability for a longer -term follow-up. The study abstract concludes: “Long-term use of multivitamins may substantially reduce risk for colon cancer. This effect may be related to the folic acid contained in multivitamins.”

Are dietary factors involved in DNA methylation associated with colon cancer? Slattery ML, Schaffer D, Edwards SL, Ma KN, Potter JD in Nutr Cancer 1997;28(1):52-62 PMID: 9200151 “We did not observe strong independent associations between folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, methionine, or alcohol and risk of colon cancer after adjusting for body size, physical activity, cigarette smoking patterns, energy intake, and dietary intake of fiber and calcium. However, when assessing the associations between colon cancer and a composite dietary profile based on alcohol intake, methionine, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, we observed a trend of increasing risk as one moved from a low- to a high-risk group”

Dietary intake of folic acid and colorectal cancer risk in a cohort of women. Terry P, Jain M, Miller AB, Howe GR, Rohan TE in Int J Cancer 2002 Feb 20;97(6):864-7 PMID: 11857369 “Folate is crucial for normal DNA methylation, synthesis and repair, and deficiency of this nutrient is hypothesized to lead to cancer through disruption of these processes. There is some evidence to suggest that relatively high dietary folate intake might be associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk, especially among individuals with low methionine intake. […] Folate intake was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk (IRR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.4-1.1, p for trend = 0.25). The inverse association was essentially similar among individuals with low and high methionine intake, and was similar for colon and rectal cancers when those endpoints were analyzed separately. Among individuals with low methionine intake, folate intake did not appear to lower the risk of rectal cancer, a finding that may be due, in part, to the low number of cases in the subgroup analysis. Overall, our data lend some support to the hypothesis that high folate intake is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.” --Michael C. Price talk 19:54, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

"It's good to take the USRDA of vitamins" (which I agree with) is not ortho's claim that "Vitamins can cure almost every disease." I don't agree with your attempt to bait and switch legitimate medicine with the claims of orthomolecular medicine.
Hardly bait and switch. BTW the nurses were getting more than the RDA. OM does not claim that "Vitamins can cure almost every disease." It is about prevention much more than cure. Reread the opening of OM:
Optimum nutrition and, most broadly, orthomolecular medicine emphasize the use of natural substances found in a healthy diet such as vitamins, dietary minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, amino acids, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber and intestinal short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the prevention and treatment of diseases. Orthomolecular medicine focuses on the role of proper nutrition in relation to health. Optimum nutrition asserts that many typical diets are insufficient for long term health. Nutrition comes first in orthomolecular medical diagnoses and treatment, drug treatment is used only for specific indications.
Sadly, I'm not surpised that being presented with evidence doesn't change your POV. --Michael C. Price talk 20:35, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
This isn't just "my" POV. It's the POV of the NIMH, the APA, the AAP, the AMA, etc., etc. Citing mainstream articles on vitamin research doesn't move the quackery that orthomolecular medicine espouses out of the pseudoscience category. Fletcher and Fairfield are not orthomolecular scientists. The people who are identified as orthomolecular scientists on the orthomolecular science page are known for pushing unsubstantiated claims. You haven't refuted a single sentence from a single one of the multiple sources I identified. Instead, you're burying the talk page in irrelevancies that have nothing to do with why orthomolecular medicine is considered pseudoscience. -- Cri du canard 23:26, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Your approach is twisted. If I cite orthomolecular sources they are derided as self-serving. If I quote mainstream sources I'm told they "doesn't move the quackery that orthomolecular medicine espouses". So what sort of "evidence" are you after? Sounds like the stuff that you agree with and nothing else. As for "burying the talk page in irrelevancies" the OM article starts by stating that optimum nutrition is a subset of OM, therefore any nutritional studies are relevant by definition. --Michael C. Price talk 23:38, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Violation of WP:NPOV

From the Wikipedia FAQ:

How are we to write articles about pseudoscientific topics, about which majority scientific opinion is that the pseudoscientific opinion is not credible and doesn't even really deserve serious mention?
If we're going to represent the sum total of human knowledge, then we must concede that we will be describing views repugnant to us without asserting that they are false. Things are not, however, as bad as that sounds. The task before us is not to describe disputes as though, for example, pseudoscience were on a par with science; rather, the task is to represent the majority (scientific) view as the majority view and the minority (sometimes pseudoscientific) view as the minority view; and, moreover, to explain how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories. This is all in the purview of the task of describing a dispute fairly.
Pseudoscience can be seen as a social phenomenon and therefore significant. However, pseudoscience should not obfuscate the description of the main views, and any mention should be proportional to the rest of the article.

The article as it currently stands fails to comply with NPOV. This is why I've added the tag, and why it should remain until the problem is fixed. -- Cri du canard 18:51, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

You simply don't get it, do you? OM was removed from the pseudoscience list because it isn't pseudoscience. OM is a minority viewpoint and as such it should be described without having your POV pushed all over it. It already has plenty of NPOV references to the medical mainstream in it. --Michael C. Price talk 19:00, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Holy cow. You removed OM from the pseudoscience list. That's why it was removed. -- Cri du canard 19:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
While we are on fact checking, I (69.178) performed the first removal of OM, at least on that week.[6] & [7]-- 21:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Bullshit. It was removed by Linas and locked to protect from vandals like you. Thanks for that. :-) --Michael C. Price talk 20:13, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I object to your violation of WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF, since including well-sourced text that was improperly deleted is not "vandalism." I also object to your attempting to mislead people. Here is MichaelCPrice removing OM from the pseudoscience article, even though its inclusion was documented by multiple sources. He falsely labeled the reversion as "restore vandalized text." Mediators: see the problem I have to deal with here? -- Cri du canard 20:17, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Ever heard of the "whole truth"? That would also include Linas' statement that he removed it and the list was subsequently protected (by the powers that be) to prevent its non-consensual reinsertion. --Michael C. Price talk 20:25, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
The whole truth would also involve pointing out that you used the same edit summary text that you found so objectionable when I used it. Some people would call that hypocrisy. --Michael C. Price talk 20:35, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I have tried to create initiatives for discussing & including any notable, proportionate parts in Orthomed psych & Multivitamin. I highly recommend that Cri du canard read my edits and talk discussions carefully, and consider his responses for editorial balance carefully. The "pseudoscience" part has been shown to be unaccepted with the most minimal effort, since it doesn't have a leg to stand on. So far, I have avoided hammering it which is a patience item where such unfounded disparagement is a naked provocation. Even the casual readers without much effort have clearly agreed, OM is NOT p*s*. Time to move forward.-- 19:19, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
BTW, I need to discuss strategy with you. Please create a user account and a talk page.... --Michael C. Price talk 20:17, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
69 repeatedly refuses to acknowledge the multiple sources calling OM pseudoscience. Not much I can do about that. He doesn't get to monopolize this article through persistently deleting legitimate points of view that identify OM as pseudoscience. Rather than adopt 69 and MCP's edit-war tactics, I'll wait for the mediation cabal to get to this in a couple of weeks. -- Cri du canard 19:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I have hung back on instant deletion of your edits trying to allow growth & sculpt. Wikipedia is an attempt to present encyclopedic, scholarly material. At some points in these articles, facts collide with opinions, and sometimes scurrilous bilge. Now I've tolerated your tirade about pseudoscience to give you a chance to readjust to the light (the prime attack-on-orthomed examples usually center around Pauling and vitamin C, where science ca 2005-2006 is beginning to home to roost...for Pauling, which obsoletes most of your references), QW's "niacin for schizo" attack has its problems but is far less "rapid" in recovery, it is a slow climb back from being pilloried by economic competitors. As far as your sweeping "pseudo-" epitets they are meant as disparaging distraction rather than accurate stmts about a subject. You are simply billboarding ignorant negative 'tudes in a destructive manner rather than any kind of scholarly or respectful treatment. Again I'm extending an approach (especially at orthomolecular psych) to try to properly develop your point, but you need to watch the omnipotent feeling when your references are so thin (dated, inaccurate POV pushing of groups with economic conflicts of interest).-- 21:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Your opinion is that OM has any basis in reality. I disagree with this POV, but I acknowledge that NPOV requires that your minority viewpoint be included in the article. However, as your preceding paragraph demonstrates, you have no intention of permitting the article to adhere to NPOV. I will thus wait for the mediators to help resolve this problem, as I see several people before me have attempted to reason with you about NPOV and have failed to get you to compromise. -- Cri du canard 22:44, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I have tackled the worst of the error contained in that massive, unlabeled broadside with extensive notes to explain each part. I have repeatedly tried to point out that much of your material pertains to Orthomolecular psychiatry. The effect of what you are doing is overburdening the article and reader with largely argumentative detail that should go to more specific articles.--TheNautilus 03:20, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Now I am going to take a breather on that broadside and let others comment on the ad hominen aspects of "cult" in that old AAP quote (what do they say now?).--TheNautilus 03:28, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmmmm, I see I made an error on the "repetitious" edit note where material was moved from Intro to History, as a new section, so I apologize about that and ask for comments/suggestions about this change in format. Anyone else?--TheNautilus 03:42, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Orthomolecular "cure" for autism

Here's a quack claiming an orthomolecular cure for autism[8], notwithstanding Nautilis's claim that OM doesn't make these claims because of FDA regulations. I'm restoring the text. -- Cri du canard 05:23, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Hey, read the article. He says "...As a homeopathic physician...". So he has co-opted some orthomed protocols, good - maybe he perceives that his practice needs some orthomed reinforcement but that is somewhat different than a pure orthomed. You are just itching to slather vitriol and abuse on these poor pages.--TheNautilus 05:40, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Can you try to discuss your changes first? You are dumping POV, casting blame where there is *plenty* to share conventionally and misattributing positions at warp speed and, frankly, trashing the page. Oh, I guess that's the point.--TheNautilus 06:01, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I did discuss my changes. As the talk page shows, discussing changes hasn't stopped you from unilaterally removing POV tags or reverting edits. Your repeated violations of WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF mean that I do not wish to discuss this further without a mediator. -- Cri du canard 12:26, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Your double-standard is exhibited by the fact that TheNautilus is the one who deleted the Linus Pauling discussion (without discussing it on the talk page), and then MichaelCPrice reverted several editors' edits (including new information and cites) without discussing it on the talk page. -- Cri du canard 12:30, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I have a lot of relevant discussions on the Talk page. You are apparently not reading or understanding them. Your edits & actions are perceived as hopeless, counterfactual POV and tiresome vandalism.--TheNautilus 17:54, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, this is a content dispute about how best to achieve a NPOV. Describing other editors as hopeless or vandals isn't very constructive. Addhoc 18:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I disagree that my edits are counterfactual, but it's pointless to have a debate about whose view of OM is accurate because the standard for Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. The WP:NPOV rules permit you to include a variety of propositions in the article that I view as counterfactual. They do not permit you to persistently delete verifiable NPOV information that you disagree with, nor do they permit you to section-fork the mainstream-medical viewpoint into a side section (see WP:LEAD and WP:NPOVFAQ; see also WP:V). -- Cri du canard 18:42, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
This gets back to the SPOV priority issues which I have discussed a little at your talk page[9]. Other editors, MD & DO, have been more amenable to reason and current science basis to order or even (how to or not) mention various obsolete positions in the articles if they are no longer current facts rather than media drilled opinions (literally for decades). Lawyering over the edits has usually been avoided by informed, scientifically literate editors surfacing issues and resolving them in a fairminded way as an informal SPOV in the spirit of building an encyclopedia with better information content. You are busy chopping out the references to information that verifies the introductory description of orthomed - chopping out definitional self-statements of orthomed, and I don't see conventional medical literature that accurately describes orthomed. In fact the strawman ploy has worked on vitamin C to various degrees for 70 years (Jungeblut 1935, 1937 [10] - 400mg/kg C is interesting for polio treatment, Sabin (wannabe vaccine hero) - 100 mg/kg with even more virulent innoculation methods - C doesn't work, therefore vitamin C doesn't work ever. (uhhhhh, wait isn't there something missing?) And Dr Klenner[11] is quack because he reports his IM / IV use, 1000 - 2400 mg/kg vit C per day, for 60 cases is successful but will never be officially tested, ever, despite trying for two decades) You still need to improve your edits here, the article has made slight progress on a few sentences but is going seriously retrograde in paragraphs. There are cites where needed unless you already chopped them out. You still fail to recognize the priority and POV issues where your "authority" is a persecutorial, economically competing if not domineering POV, with in a number cases, demonstrably anti-scientific (deliberately ignoring pertinent evidence and false or misrepresented tests).--TheNautilus 02:02, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

counterfactual POV, article trashing

Since orthomolecular medicine was summarily removed from "Pseudo..." and *not* allowed to return there, courtesy of multiple editors, the orthomolecular medicine related pages (e.g. Megavitamin therapy too) have been under determined attack by individuals bent on poisoning the orthomed article, removing scientific current & accurate treatment of issues and injecting them with the seriously dated & unbalanced POV of a notorious & scurrilous series of sites that appeal to the prejudices of certain groups & individuals that also involve documented conflicts of interest. Some issues & history that are specific to orthomolecular psychiatry are being debated here and should be there, but are being dumped in as long one sided POV to a more general article. The refusal to examine current scientific evidence is literally unscientific and is a form of trying to avoid verification. Other longtime Wiki editors, uninvolved here or in orthomed or even alt med, have referred to these "new" individuals' actions as "crankiness". I respectfully request those individuals to temper their edits.--TheNautilus 17:51, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Please read WP:AGF and abide by it. All I want is for the page to conform to WP:NPOV. I recognize that you find a neutral view of orthomolecular medicine problematic, but that's because the majority of doctors disagree with your claims. Your persistent attacks on Quackwatch are ironic, given the fact that Quackwatch is relying on the statements and publications of major medical societies, and the main source for your version of the article is the far-from-credible or neutral or unbiased "". -- Cri du canard 18:37, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
A number of editors, including non-orthomeds, don't exactly agree with your view of WP:NPOV. Pls see also our conversation at [12] about POV and reference priority. You POV contains a subset of "allopathic" POV that has other strident anti-anything elements in it. As long as you keep trotting that "ps" abuse & other confuted or scurrilous labels out when you have had the science part & background explained, as well as you've encountered a similar consensus elsewhere, AGF becomes delicate situation by demonstration. I don't feel you have treated the orthomed supporters with AGF. Nor do you honor the fairness or sensationalism parts in NPOV either. Orthomed is a relevant source that describes itself and does contain a large number of direct, appropriate scientific references. In other places, I have hammered "alt med" misused scientific sources hard, so pls re-examine WP:AGF yourself, too. Let me be clear, some of the edits I am unhappy with are likely to be considered disruptive or disparaging upon any careful retrospective review. Your use of the rules is pretty impressive for a newcomer, about good enough to rise to wikilawyering. Me? I aim for a quality, encyclopedic article.--TheNautilus 22:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
You have yet to identify anything I've said or did that contradicts the official NPOV policy, so I fail to see why it matters whether others agree with my "view of NPOV." The record will reflect that your edits consistently violated NPOV, and that you've repeatedly attempted to prevent others from evaluating the POV of the page by deleting the POV tag when the identified POV problems with this page have not been resolved. -- Cri du canard 22:11, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Tyrell Dueck text deleted?

The deleted text read as follows:

In one notorious Canadian case, 13-year-old cancer patient Tyrell Dueck's chemotherapy treatment was delayed, perhaps fatally, because his parents were swayed by claims of orthomolecular cures for cancer.[13]

The case got a lot of publicity in Canada, and is an example of the dangers of orthomolecular claims. The text meets WP:V and WP:CITE standards. Nautilus disagrees with the conclusions, but that's not a reason to delete the text from the criticism section of the article. The Dueck case is an example of criticism of orthomolecular medicine. Deletions such as this are an example of the problems with the POV of this page, and the difficulties I and other editors have in attempting to get the page to conform to WP:NPOV. --Cri du canard 18:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Could I suggest... "In a highly publicized Canadian case, the chemotherapy treatment of a 13-year-old cancer patient, Tyrell Dueck, was delayed, possibly fatally, because his parents were influenced by claims of orthomolecular cures for cancer.[14]" Addhoc 18:54, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I am alright with this compromise edit. -- Cri du canard 18:57, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
This case only reflects on the judgement of the parents, not on the validity of OM itself. Do we reject the validity of surgery because someone loses their life after delaying some other, non-surgical course of action? --Michael C. Price talk 19:03, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
If the surgery were rejected by every mainstream doctor as ineffective, but a persuasive charlatan snookered someone into undergoing the surgery, then the two cases would be analogous. Here, no legitimate doctor thought Dueck should have OM treatments instead of chemotherapy. It was because of pseudoscientific claims that had no basis in fact and misled the parents that Dueck's parents pursued OM treatment instead of legitimate treatment.
More importantly, your argument is misdirected. You don't dispute the underlying facts, or the fact that critics point to Dueck as an example of orthomolecular fraud, merely the validity of the criticism. That's not a reason to exclude the text, which meets Wikipedia standards as verifiable and notable. -- Cri du canard 19:08, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Michael, we are not members of a committee tasked with determining whether OM is a viable treatment method. We are merely reporting notable opinions in accord with WP:V and WP:NPOV. Addhoc 19:13, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
No problem with your last 2 paragraphs, but it's still a bad analogy. Not every mainstream doctor rejects all orthomolecular ideas. --Michael C. Price talk 19:31, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
The example is hopelessly one sided. This is not a good, pure case for any field or anything, other than deadlocked wrangling itself may be deadly. "...herbs, vitamins, laetrile..." doesn't sound exactly orthomolecular either - this would be "alt med" perhaps including *some* claimed orthomed related dosages of some (known?) vitamins. Whoop dee doo. Alt med would probably say the kid was denied / delayed full alt med treatments and mercilessly poisoned to boot as well. Also the article's scope is too brief and broad to even consider anything but the clearest cases (this is not even close) but any such example would really be excessive detail (how to balance, how many examples to allow, ad nauseum). There *are* megavitamin "miracle cases" too - just look at the Nat'l Academy of Sciences articles that are well documented.
The general sentence, "Many physicians express concern that megavitamin and orthomolecular therapies used solely as alternative treatments, if unsuccessful, may create dangerous delays in obtaining their conventional treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy for cancer." already attempts to cover this point in a neutral and balanced fashion. There are several vitamers *known* (described by the pharmas themselves) to kill cancer cells or stimulate the body's immune system/cancer defense. The pharmas are spending millions of dollars if not billions to attempt to derive new, patentable molecules that copy the natural strcutures & mechanism of action w/o adding *too much* systemic toxicity (I see a lot of patent activity). There has been no rush to do FDA style testing on these natural, relatively cheap (less than $10/day, perhaps $2-$3), non toxic vitamers as even adjuvant treatments either. Your tax dollars at work.--TheNautilus 19:47, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually the current sentence "Many physicians express concern that megavitamin and orthomolecular therapies used solely as alternative treatments, if unsuccessful, may create dangerous delays in obtaining their conventional treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy for cancer." is inaccurate, since that's not what physicians express concern over. It implies that "many physicians" think these treatments have a chance at success. Moreover, concrete examples showing that this is more than a hypothetical problem, are better than abstract vagueness, because it shows the real-world effects of orthomolecular claims.
As for your first paragraph, we are not members of a committee tasked with determining whether OM is a viable treatment method. We are merely reporting notable opinions in accord with WP:V and WP:NPOV. -- Cri du canard 19:59, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Individual concrete examples? Oh, you mean practical or dramatic orthomolecular examples, like the little old lady who takes mega B vitamins (e.g. B50, B100 with 11 components) so her functions improve and the persistent, "idiopathic" bloat of serious edema miraculously resolves in 1-2 weeks (say $0.40), after a hard year, *after* including an angiogram ($$$$), liver function tests ($$$) and kidney evaluations ($$$) stretching over many months by umpteen MD/specialists. Btw the useful cite came out of the 11th or 12th ed of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine (ca 1980s-90), listed right after the preceeding organ descriptions (& tortures) - all in one page, but has since mysteriously disappeared in the 16th ed. The observers all thought it was idio- somebody alright! This is precisely what was factored out in January, it's endless and non-encyclopedic.--TheNautilus 22:33, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Could you give your opinion on the compromise edit... Addhoc 19:51, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I see the links provided state that the parents were infected with "right-wing, fundamentalist, faith-healing" views. Is it too much to suggest that this is what killed Tyrell, rather than Orthomolecular medicine. --Michael C. Price talk 20:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree the sentence could be clarified. Perhaps "Many physicians express concern that megavitamin and orthomolecular therapies used solely as alternative treatments by other practitioners, if unsuccessful, may create dangerous delays in obtaining their conventional treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy for cancer."--TheNautilus 22:33, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Mortality vs incidence material restored

I have just added some new, mainstream sourced material discriminating between the effects of various OM treatments on over-all mortality and cancer prevention; Cri du canard immediately deleted the discrimination and objected to the phrase "point out" as POV. Any medical scientist will tell you the importance of establishing that any treatment works on a specific condition AND lowers over-all mortality, to avoid situations where a treatment treats one condition at the cost of creating another adverse reaction. Please do not delete such relevant information. Further deletion of such basic facts will be regarded as vandalism which the mediators he has to appealed to here to will find interesting. Use of "point out" is not POV when the mainstream literature is being refered to. --Michael C. Price talk 12:48, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

"Some aspects of the discipline have support in scientific research" remains POV: (1) the claims are not orthomolecular claims, but are being claimed by the community; (2) the claims are far from universally accepted, and indeed, the majority viewpoint is that the matter remains unproven.[15][16] -- Cri du canard 12:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
(1)Your claim of not "universally accepted" is rendered irrelevant by the use of "some". (2)The claims are OM since optimal nutrition is a subset of OM, as has been pointed out numerous times. Your edits are in bad faith and will be treated as such. --Michael C. Price talk 12:54, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Please do not threaten me. I'm citing legitimate sources. "Some" modifies "aspects" and doesn't solve the problem I describe. Michael, I'm tired of these wild goose chases. You keep citing papers to me, and they turn out to have nothing to do with orthomolecular medicine or "optimal nutrition"; the papers do not subscribe to or support the central principle that distinguishes ortho from legitimate medicine. -- Cri du canard 13:03, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Michael, accusations of bad faith aren't very helpful, this a content dispute and Cri du canard was clearly acting in good faith. Addhoc 13:11, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Look at what Cri du canard has just written: that my cites[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] "have nothing to do with" optimal nutrition. Do you really believe that? Simply look at the study titles! How can someone continue to make statements that are simply contrary to the facts and not be regarded as editting in bad faith? --Michael C. Price talk 13:31, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but basicaly are we saying that where OM converges with traditional medicine it is well supported? If so is it even accurate to call that OM? Jefffire 13:21, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for phrasing that much better than I did. Though even the conventional claims about niacin and selenium remain controversial.[17][18] -- Cri du canard 13:24, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Jefffire, you have it the wrong way around. OM has made claims for the benefits of greater than RDA amounts of various micronutrients for decades. Now traditional medicine is confirming some of those claims (and falsifying others). It's still OM, but now traditional medicine has expanded to overlap with some parts of it. --Michael C. Price talk 13:35, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
A typical pseudoscientific approach is for pseudoscientists to claim {wild claim A, wild claim B, wild claim C, minor claim D, not-E, not-F}, point to a paper that claims {weak D,E,F}, and then argue that the paper supports their pseudoscience. This is what's happening here--and "D" is far from unanimously agreed upon. (And the recommendation that maybe twice the amount of selenium may be beneficial when part of an everyday diet is far from the OM claim that 200x doses are needed.) The paper cites remain in the article, both viewpoints about what the papers mean are expressed, and readers can decide for themselves. That's all that NPOV is about. --Cri du canard 13:41, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Your claims of pseudoscience have been rejected at list of pseudosciences. You seem to to be the one making wild claims. I am simply trying to get studies cited in context of mortality vs incidence. Do you really claim that my cites have nothing to do with optimal nutrition? --Michael C. Price talk 13:53, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Citing to yourself doesn't persuade me that you're correct. Four other editors thought OM was pseudoscience, and the page-protection just happened to go up when your edit-war version was the most recent. The Canadian government says OM is pseudoscience, and so does the former head of NIH-OAM. -- Cri du canard 14:01, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
"just happened to go up" :-) --Michael C. Price talk 14:04, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
As the tag says, "(Protection is not an endorsement of the current page version.)" Quit citing your own Wikipedia edit-warring as "evidence" for OM. OM was on the pseudoscience page for six months before Nautilus unilaterally deleted it. -- Cri du canard 14:23, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
As usual, "miss" the point when it's convenient. --Michael C. Price talk 14:43, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Can we just clarify what is being discussed?

1. What exactly are the OM claims which are being made? 2. What exactly do these cites claim to show?

If 1 and 2 are not the same, then the cites are not valid. If the cites do not even mention OM, then the link is even more dubious. Jefffire 13:56, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

1. OM claims that all disease is the result of imbalanced biochemical processes from imperfect nutrition, and that nutritional supplements (sometimes several hundred times USRDA) are all that is needed to treat disease.
2. The cites from legitimate medical journals that I've looked at so far are studies showing reduced mortality and cancer for use of niacin, selenium, and folic acid within the range of normal diets, and don't mention OM.

-- Cri du canard 14:07, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

OM claims a number of things (see article). One is the claim that the incidence of some (not all as claimed by Cri du canard} diseases or degrees of ill-health can be avoided by optimising concentrations of some molecules (usually naturally occuring molecules derived from our diet). The cites show that our levels of some molecules/atoms (e.g. selenium, zinc, folate, NAD+ (derived from niacin)) are sub-optimal under today's present conditions/environment. The studies show that optimising these concentrations leads to lower rates of many cancers and over all mortality. Whether the studies mention OM is utterly irrelevant. No doubt if they did mention OM they would be derided as biased! --Michael C. Price talk 14:14, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Isn't that a bit like claiming that needing vitamin C to avoid scurvy is a part of OM? Jefffire 14:20, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

If most people suffered from scurvy, yes. But they don't. OM claims most people probably have sub-optimal levels of vitamin C, that's all. --Michael C. Price talk 14:23, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

This strikes me as a matter of semantics. I think my initial analysis was right, some areas of OM are identical to conventional medicine and it is these which are supported by evidence. Jefffire 14:27, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Your original contention was that such overlaps should not be considered OM. Why do you believe that? Or rather, can your provide a source for that statement? --Michael C. Price talk 14:30, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, this is just semantics. Is it astrology that moon and tides are correllated? Pehaps a better wording for the sentence in question would be "Some areas of OM are in agreement with conventional medicine" or some such. Jefffire 14:33, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Blatently false statements

This article currently contains a statement that is utterly, totally false. I am not deleting it because I'm already sick of the lunacy of this dispute.

"Scientific research has found no benefit from orthomolecular therapy for any disease." [2][3]

Any disease? Really? Scurvy, anyone? We are now denying that vitamin C cures scurvy? Please put an end to this insanity. This will result in bans and blocks if it continues. linas 14:22, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Surely that's part of conventional medicine, rather than OM? Jefffire 14:24, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
That still doesn't address the any disease aspect. Also see my response at end of last section. --Michael C. Price talk 14:28, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Based on the very definition of OM, I would say that any statement along the lines of "Vitamins cure vitamin deficiency diseases" is a part of OM. In particular, this implies that many OM statements are in complete agreement with "conventional medicine", and vice-versa. linas 15:21, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

The article starts with "Optimum nutrition and, most broadly, orthomolecular medicine is the term used by proponents to describe the controversial proposition that nutrition should be the primary means of prevention and treatment of diseases". If this isn't correct instead of threatening everyone with bans and blocks, could you alter this. In the context of the opening sentence, Jefffire's comments are reasonable. Addhoc 15:34, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I'll replace that POV statement with Pauling's original definition. Anyone object? --Michael C. Price talk 20:25, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Hey, this opening sentence was modified in the last few days. I beleive this opening sentence misrepresents what ortho med is. See new section below. linas 23:58, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Forgive me for not being an expert on this subject, what was Pauling's original definition? Addhoc 21:01, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's how it's going to be defined:
Linus Pauling, in 1968, first defined "orthomolecular" to express the "idea of the right molecules in the right amounts"[9] and subsequently defined "orthomolecular medicine" as "the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body." or as "the preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by varying the concentrations in the human body of substances that are normally present in the body and are required for health." [10]

(updated) --Michael C. Price talk 00:03, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

The definition is not especially helpful. I'm replacing it with a much more concise dictionary definition, and moving the Pauling material (which is far too detailed for the lead paragraph, see WP:LEAD) to the Origins section. -- Cri du canard 07:30, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I've NPOVed the "any disease" statement as :
In turn, mainstream medicine is often dismissive of orthomolecular medicine: "Scientific research has found no benefit from orthomolecular therapy for any disease." [11][12], although[12] goes on to say: "Megadose vitamins A, B6, C and E plus zinc decrease bladder tumor recurrence in patients receiving BCG immunotherapy. ...Overall recurrence was 24 out of 30 patients (80%) in Recommended Daily Allowance arm and 14 out of 35 (40%) in the high dose arm."[13]
and readers can judge accordingly how reliable the various sources are. --Michael C. Price talk 08:52, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Is that OM however, or OR? Does the auther actualy mention OM? Have OM practictioners been using just this very technique for years? Is it replicated? Jefffire 08:58, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Since the researcher(s) are trying to supply the nutrients in optimal amounts (and finding they need megadoses > RDA) then it clearly is OM as defined by Pauling. See elsewhere on this talk page for the irrelevance of your 2nd query. 3rd query: yes OM practictioners been using just this very technique (megadosing to prevent cancers) for years. 4th query: If you mean is "megadosing to prevent cancers" replicated, the answer is yes. If mean is this study replicated, it has 100 "related articles" on PubMed so, yes, it is quite likely to have been replicated. --Michael C. Price talk 09:49, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Please don't delete the text without discussing it first -- it's relevance should be obvious : perhaps the source has a misunderstanding of what OM is. --Michael C. Price talk 09:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps you do as well. It seems that you are classifying everying that has anything to do with increased vitamin input as OM, which is absurd. Unless the author of the report actualy uses the term OM, then classifying it as OM is OR. Jefffire 09:58, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
As I said, see the other thread on this talk page for the relevance to OM issue.
You are deleting a verifiable quote and claiming in the edit summary that "rv. This connection is original research": a nonsensical claim by definition. Please stop and note I have issued you with a 3RR warning on your talk page. I shall reinsert the text. --Michael C. Price talk 10:26, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

A warning after two reverts! Are you off your rocker? Unless you can verify that the claim is OM, as your inclusion implies, then making the connection is a specious one and highly OR. Jefffire 10:34, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, a warning after two reverts. Go past three and you'll see it is not an idle warning either. You still continue to raise an irrelevant and previously discussed to death issue of OM overlap with conventional medicine. Take it to the appropriate section of the talk page -- I have no intention of reinventing the wheel with you. --Michael C. Price talk 10:43, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Ironicaly, you have now reverted three times. Since I see no verified authority that your connection is anything other than OR, perhaps you should follow your own advice. Jefffire 11:02, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Reverting sneaky vandalism is excluded from 3RR. I am merely restoring sourced quotes from the same website in an attempt to provide balance. You, by contrast, are deleting text to unbalance the article. Claims that I am "making a connection" as OR are absurd. --Michael C. Price talk 11:11, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Michael, only overt vandalism (of the ERIC IS A FAG kind) is exempt from 3rr. You can try and test the system if you like, but don't be surpised at the result. Jefffire 11:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Check the rules: sneaky vandalism is also vandalism. Anyway your vandalism is pretty overt. As you say, test the system if you like, but don't be surpised at the result. --Michael C. Price talk 11:27, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Woah! Orthomolecular medicine is not the same as alternative medicine

Rather, there's a big overlap between them. Alternative medicine is where, by definition, when something is proven scientifically, it gets coopted by orthodox medicine and is no longer alternative. That's not necessarily true for orthomolecular medicine. As for example treatment of scurvy with oranges and treatment of pernicious anemia with raw liver juice and treatment of pelegra with niacin and so on. It would extend to treatment of hypertriglyceridemia with pharmacological doses of nicotinic acid, even.

It seems to me that by definition, orthomolecular medicine is bound to contain many overlapping claims with orthodox medicine, particular claims relating to optimal nutrition and its impact on disease. In this sense, there's a great deal of overlap between OM and naturopathy, which isn't entirely an "alternative medicine". Some disciplines, like (say) homeopathy ARE entirely alternative, with no overlap between them and orthodox medicine (unless you count the placebo effect). But for both naturopathy and orthomolecular medicine, this is not the case, so we should be careful.

When I look at the ICU studies of critically ill patients, I see them supplemented with commerical formulas containing fish and borage oil, extra arginine, extra glutamate, lots of antioxidant vitamins at way over RDA/RDI, and all of it is supported by randomized studies of mortality and survival. All of this was alternative medicine 20 years go. Today it's orthodox medicine. But it continues to be now, and was when it started, orthomolecular medicine and naturopathy. See the difference? SBHarris 15:59, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Steve, for that injection of sanity. From the resounding silence that followed I think we can presume that many of the critics of OM were confusing (and no doubt will continue to confuse) OM with alternative medicine in general -- which does contain many pseudoscientific subcategories. See the list of pseudosciences for more details. --Michael C. Price talk 18:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
I like the list! It is indeed a list of garbage. However, when it comes to orthomolecular and naturopathic hypotheses (which are generally not on here, I'm happy to see), there is nothing unphysical about them, a great deal that makes sense about them and which we DO accept in our normal lives (do we not put Miracle-Gro on our gardens??), and many of them which I've seen in my lifetime pass from alternative to mainstream, with further study. I mentioned fish-eating, and blueberries and so forth are close behind. So I look at naturopathy and orthomolecular as not garbage, but kind of a garage sale of junk hypotheses combined with undiscovered gems ala Antique Roadshow. It all deserves MUCH more respect from orthodoxy than the Energy Field quacks and the homeopaths and so on and so on. <g> Of course my own views are conditioned by years of feeding rodents different diets and watching them age at different rates. (Try doing THAT with an existent pharmaceutical). So I got a strong sense from that of how much there was we don't know, and the direction in which it probably lies. SBHarris 19:37, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Intro sentence appears to be false and incorrect.

The opening sentence of the article has been changed in the last few days to state that:

Optimum nutrition and, most broadly, orthomolecular medicine is the term used by proponents to describe the controversial proposition that nutrition should be the primary means of prevention and treatment of diseases. (ref) Kunin Principles That Identify Orthormolecular Medicine: A Unique Medical Specialty - Richard A. Kunin, M.D. Accessed June 2006.

However, the reference given fails to support this claim of "primary means of prevention and treatment of diseases". I just could find no such claim, or even anything resembling it, in that reference. In fact, everything I've read so far about this topic has made no such claim. Indeed, if such a claim was made, I, too, would agree it was controversial, and I would dismiss this field of medicine as crackpottery and pseudoscience. However, I do not beleive this sentence is an accurate depiction of what orthomolecular medicine is about. linas 23:56, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, another piece of misinformation being spread around, especially the word "primary". I'll updating the article shortly. See the definition I've posted above. --Michael C. Price talk 00:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I am disturbed that the guy who is trying to paint the theory as pseudoscience later edits this article to make is sound like a nutty theory, and then claims, "ah ha, its a nutty theory". I don't think its rude or incivil to say that such an edit is a subtle form of vandalism.linas 00:34, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the detective work. I've placed a vandalism warning on his talk page. Let's hope he mends his ways. --Michael C. Price talk 01:47, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Everyone's accusation is false, and a violation of WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF. My edit consolidated several redundant statements of the definition of OM. The Kunin page says, and I quote, Orthomolecules come first in medical diagnosis and treatment, Nutrition comes first in medical diagnosis and treatment and our rallying point and badge-word must be "Orthomolecular", a landmark concept that conveys the genius of Dr. Pauling, who saw the need to resurrect nutrition and put it first, not last, in our science of health and disease. Oh, and how can I miss Hippocrates first rule was: "Primum non nocere," i.e. "first, do no harm". We in orthomolecular practice have less need for the primacy of that rule, for it is already implicit in the essence of Orthomolecular practice, which is: "put nutrition first". How is my edit a misrepresentation of that? Please look up the definition of vandalism: a content dispute is not vandalism. -- Cri du canard 03:18, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Cri du canard is making a basic category error. The existence of orthomolecular quacks does not make orthomolecular medicine quackery. Any more than the existence of quack medics (and there are plentry of course) makes mainstream medicine quackery. This has all been explained before, of course. A content dispute becomes vandalism when someone repeats again and again the same "mistakes" after being corrected and warned, again and again. --Michael C. Price talk 06:33, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
You're changing the subject and not addressing anything I said rebutting your accusation against me. Which I'll take to be a concession that your claim that I committed "vandalism" because I used the word "primary" instead of "first" was utterly unwarranted. -- Cri du canard 07:24, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I assumed that you accept Kunin as an "orthomolecular quack". Now go back and reread what I wrote and you'll see that I have addressed your repeated claims that the presence of orthomolecular quack medics implies that orthomolecular medicine is all pseudoscience. It isn't for the reasons I stated. --Michael C. Price talk 08:37, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
You and Linas claimed that I misrepresented Kunin. I accurately quoted Kunin. I was not the person who added the Kunin cite to the page; I think it was Nautilus, but, in any event, it comes from your favorite website, The point remains that you continue to falsely accuse me of vandalism when it's not even the case that my edits are inaccurate. Whether Kunin's explicit rejection of science means that OM is pseudoscientific is irrelevant to whether your accusation of vandalism has any basis in reality. -- Cri du canard 07:15, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
No, you repeatedly and consistently mis-quoted and mis-represented Kunin. You have done this on multiple occsaions. At times, I wondered if you had actually read what Kunin wrote, or whether you just skimmed it. You certaily did cherry-pick a few remarks that sound negative when taken out of context. Please take the time to read what Kunin says, and really, please do take the time to think about each and every sentence that he writes. Compare what you read to your collection of complaints about OM. I hope that you will come to see that you are mis-interpreting what Kunin has written. linas 01:21, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
There seems to be a coordinated effort to bully and discredit legitimate edits by false accusations of vandalism and, here, false accusations of misquoting. Instead of making a generalized claim that I've misquoted, perhaps you can identify one misquote I've made? Or even one instance of vandalism? I don't think you can. -- Cri du canard 01:43, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
(Two days later.) I didn't think so. -- Cri du canard 08:11, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Orthomolecular medicine and pseudoscience

The funny thing about this Kunin page[19] on "", and I should have pointed this out sooner, is how is revels in its opposition to science, including criticizing double-blind tests and "germ theory," and calling conventional medicine "cut burn and poison." And I'm accused of citing "nutty" sources because I quoted the Canadian government? -- Cri du canard 05:34, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

That BCCA link is dated, biased, POV filled with so many errors that I had only *started* to dissect earlier, too numerous to bother with more[20].--TheNautilus 09:22, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Please don't split my comments, as it makes the talk page hard to read.
Nautilus, can you make a complete list of who's in the conspiracy that you think shouldn't be cited in the article? So far we have you criticizing the highly-regarded Quackwatch, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Research Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and now the Canadian government, and claiming that all of these sources should be put aside for It's a bit frustrating to keep coming up with new sources and learning all too late that they're part of the conspiracy, too, and thus aren't considered to be credible by you. (Perhaps my mistake is to be restricting my research to reputable organizations.) -- Cri du canard 10:12, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's the "Orthomolecular Medicine News Service," claiming AIDS is a "disease of nutritional deficiencies."[21] This isn't an outlier; the editorial board includes Abram Hoffer, who one of the pro-OM people called a prominent OM practitioner. -- Cri du canard 04:30, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's an entertaining link, courtesy of Eliot Spitzer: Charles Gant, getting his license suspended five years for quackery. Check in particular page 4, where Gant argues, and I quote, " a practitioner of orthomolecular medicine ... cannot be held to the same standards of care which are traditionally used to evaluate medical care rendered by practitioners of conventional medicine." It's the orthomolecular doctors who are arguing that they're not to be held to the standards of science. -- Cri du canard 05:34, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Sigh. When these guys shoot themselves in the foot like this, it's hard to have any sympathy for them. But you know, to the man with hammer, the world looks like a nail (and this includes where the hammer is the latest new pharmaceutical from the nice good looking Rep). Some of these Orthomolecular people really believe that all disease is either caused by, or at least is curable by, enough nutrients. Naturally, this is a nutty view.

But suppose it's toned down: How about simply saying that there's hardly a disease process which isn't modified by, and probably made worse by, imperfect nutrition? That's quite daring enough, for it suggests that the nutritionist should be consultant in just about every case of anything, and who's gunna pay for THAT?

But think of nutrition in medicine as like money in life. Money will not cure all of life's problems, and it won't buy happiness. But there are hardly any of life's problems that aren't exacerbated, sometimes to the point of unbearability, by lack of money.

I'm gunna start the Journal of Socioeconomicorthicomolecular Medicine. Gunna argue that understanding of all pathology begins with study of the wallet. And probably get banned as a quack. But there is truth there. SBHarris 05:48, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Cri du canard is making a basic category error. The existence of orthomolecular quacks does not make orthomolecular medicine quackery. Any more than the existence of quack medics (and there are plentry of course) makes mainstream medicine quackery. This has all been explained before, of course. --Michael C. Price talk 06:33, 12 August 2006 (UTC) has been the preferred source for this article for some time. Abram Hoffer is Linus Pauling's co-author. If you're conceding they're quacks, and the "Orthomolecular Medicine News Service" is propounding quackery, then what's left of "legitimate" orthomolecular medicine? -- Cri du canard 07:26, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
All work cited in mainstream journals that falls into the scope of Pauling's definition, such as Bruce Ames' work for example. PS Just for the record, I am not conceding that Pauling or Hoffer are quacks -- but this issue is actually irrelevant to whether the field itself is pseudoscience quackery. --Michael C. Price talk 08:43, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Ongoing attacks & vandalism of radical skeptic(s) to disparge & discredit the subject of a rival. In addition to 'Canard's recruiting efforts, there is offsite skeptic activity. The complaints on kidney stones & dirrhea are really low blows, one largely mythological, the other so minor & what people pay good money for Ex-lax. 'Canard continues to evade the scientific priority issues with wikilawyering, to refuse to honor basic definition & observation on "pseudosci", and to refuse to acknowledge as a proper source on a subject about its self described practices and rationale. Also WP:NPA. Basically trashing the article with POV, disproportionate statements, counterfactual/obsolete stmts, & negative sensationalism.--TheNautilus 09:22, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
For the record, what do you contend is the specific violation of WP:NPA? So far, you've called me a vandal, a crank, a bad-faith editor, a "wikilawyer", and completely lacking in reason, but you seem to think you're the one who's aggrieved. (NB that criticizing the subject of an article is not a "personal attack.") I repeat to you the same thing I said to MichaelCPrice: either stop cluttering talk pages with bogus claims of vandalism, or make your vandalism case to WP:RFC/USER or WP:ANI, and let administrators evaluate what's happening here. -- Cri du canard 10:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
(I'll further note that you seem to be upset that I've accurately quoted I wasn't the one who wrote that orthomolecular medicine supplanted the Hippocratic Oath, that was them.) -- Cri du canard 10:06, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
This is another example Canard's bad faith twisting of words to slander OM and poisoning the well. The cited author did not say that the "orthomolecular medicine supplanted the Hippocratic Oath". They actually said "Hippocrates first rule was: "Primum non nocere," i.e. "first, do no harm". We in orthomolecular practice have less need for the primacy of that rule, for it is already implicit in the essence of Orthomolecular practice, which is: "put nutrition first"." i.e. they regarded the Hippocrate Oath as already subsumed within the basic tenets of OM. Less need <> supplanted. So wrong on both counts. How long is this going to continue? --Michael C. Price talk 11:31, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
In other words, it was supplanted. Mainstream medical doctors put "do no harm" first. OM quacks "put nutrition first" (and reject the scientific principle of the null hypothesis). Do no harm was supplanted by the worship of nutrition. supplant, v, take the place or move into the position of. Nutrition has supplanted the principle of doing no harm. We can add the phrase "twisting of words to slander" to the repeated WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF problems here. -- Cri du canard 21:59, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
More misinformation = sneaky vandalism. As I said "less need" <> "supplanted". --Michael C. Price talk 22:07, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
1. I'm right. Before: First, do no harm. After: First comes nutrition. Nutrition has supplanted the do-no-harm principle in the first position. Basic English. Nothing inaccurate about the term "supplant" in this context.
2. I'll note that this thread has progressed all the way to the right-hand side of the page, and MichaelCPrice and Nautilus still can't substantiate their accusation that I've violated WP:NPA.
3. You seem to be defining "vandalism" as "disagreeing with MichaelCPrice." How does one "vandalize" a talk page by simply making an argument? This text about the Hippocratic Oath has never been added to the main page! Michael, please stop making bad-faith accusations of vandalism. If you are making the accusation in good faith, I, for the fourth time, invite you to report my "vandalism" to WP:ANI and/or WP:RFC/USER so we can have an administrator decide whether I'm committing vandalism, or whether you're repeatedly violating WP:CIVIL and otherwise being abusive. -- Cri du canard 07:23, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

The Kunin quote was: "We in orthomolecular practice have less need for the primacy of that rule, for it is already implicit in the essence of Orthomolecular practice, which is: 'put nutrition first'." It is quite obvious what is meant by this statement, especially when taken in context (a few more sentences, fore and aft). Kunin is saying that the primacy of "do no harm" is facilitated by one of the key methods of orthomolecular practice -- putting nutrition first. He is not rejecting the idea of "do no harm". On the contrary, he is saying that that very important maxim is supported and readily translated into practice by using OM techniques. Kunin's choice of words -- "less need" -- do not state or even imply (except in the mind of a rabid, pseudo-intellectual attack dog, anxious to find ANY point at which to initiate aggression) that "do no harm" is invalid or ought to be ignored. He is saying something like the opposite of that, and pointing out that the OM practices ASSIST in the doing of no harm. All of this is perfectly obvious and really need not be said. Is there some reason that the anti-"quackery" quack Cri du canard is tolerated here, and continues recieve polite responses? --AEL

Quackwatch is a reliable source

JAMA listed Quackwatch as one of nine "select sites that provide reliable health information and resources." Journal of the American Medical Association 280:1380, 1998.[22] -- Cri du canard 05:28, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

* Ah, JAMA now an explict QW ally. JAMA, descendant of long time Editor Morris Fishbein, the notorious tabacco shill and other faux paus. Still might not be able walk a straight line. Dr. Jerome Kassirer, a former NEJM editor said, "It sounds like they're being sloppy," when JAMA contravened its own, just announced conflict of interest policy after only a few days.JAMA: Misled again by authors, Chicago Trib. JAMA is just circling the with fellow w travellers but diluting the brand. Thanks for the heads up warning to everyone.--TheNautilus 08:41, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Just so it's clear to third parties who has the credible sources on their side, you now think JAMA is part of the conspiracy, and therefore isn't credible either? -- Cri du canard 09:42, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Separately, I'm curious why you manipulated the section title on the talk page. -- Cri du canard 09:42, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Although JAMA is considered a reliable source in Wiki, it has a checkered career, has had less stature amongst many MDs (wrt to other certain jounals), and at times has been considered weak, lighterweight. This is a historical reminder. As for the asterisk - a qualifying footnote. And yes, I see much of conventional medicine's actions in terms of defensive, self-serving economics & politics, pretty much an outgrowth of normal human behavior when too much power and money are involved w/o true freedom of choice (including competition). Many will maintain that Science can be much different than the institutional creature spawned by regulated (less competitive) medicine. I am not favorable to monolithic conspiracy theories. You continue to ignore the effect of the most recent SCIENTIFIC work i.e. BCCA's execrable little piss piece filled with misrepresention & error out the ying yang in preference to the PNAS, NIH and Finnish Public Health dissertation 2005-6. Your statements of "no benefit" & "ps" are simply counterfactual, and confutes less than authoritatively proven with unscientific, when conventional medicine often has NO (zero) corresponding data (level or amount), and when it does, the tests frequently have multiple errors that suggest a pattern. Your unfair POV warring needs to stop. You simply have the benefit of the residual of trillions of dollars expenditures & then demand equal resources from orthomed in a POV war of attrition.--TheNautilus 11:08, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Sir, I solely seek NPOV on the page. The "war of attrition" line strikes me as ironic, because, as I read through the archive and edit history, for the last several months you've treated the page as your personal fiefdom (back in your anonymous 69.... identity), blizzarding anyone who attempted to address what used to be some pretty awful POV problems with article through edit-warring and wikistalking people who dared to suggest that the page had POV problems. As with other pseudoscience pages, public-choice theory comes into play; skeptics don't have the same interest in watchdogging a page that the proponents do, so the proponents have the benefit of staking out a page near and dear to them and bullying away casual editors through persistence. The snake-oil sellers have the incentive to create thousands of web pages trumpeting false claims, while mainstream medical personnel are busy treating real patients, so the number of full-time skeptics taking on the unrewarding task of playing Whack-A-Mole refutation games is small.
You say Your statements of "no benefit" & "ps" are simply counterfactual But I say that your statements of benefit and science for orthomolecular medicine qua orthomolecular medicine are counterfactual. Fortunately, the miracle of NPOV is that the standard for inclusion in the article is verifiability, rather than platonic truth, so we need not resolve the question conclusively on this talk page. Proponents get to make their claims and cite their evidence, and mainstream medicine supporters get to make their claims and cite their evidence, and the readership can decide whether JAMA and QuackWatch and the Canadian government and the NIMH or better approximates reality. -- Cri du canard 11:37, 12 August 2006 (UTC)



Here is a SHORT excerpt from a long analysis:



Watching the Watchdogs at Quackwatch

The founder and manager of, Stephen Barrett, M.D., gave a talk at our local skeptics group early this year in which he explained how helpful he has been to victims of quacks, including recovering their money. He recommended his website for general medical information. He has been a consultant for Consumers' Union. He has been Co-chairman of the Alternative Treatments Review Board for CSICOP since 7/80, and has written for their magazine The Skeptical Inquirer.

The website is available in 4 languages other than English, and is said to have had 2,300,000 visitors. At first glance it seems very complete and useful, with sections on Links to Other Web Sites, Consumer Strategy: Disease Management, Consumer Strategy: Tips for Provider Selection, Consumer Protection, Non-recommended Sources of Health Advice, Questionable Products, Services, and Theories, Publications for Sale, About Quackwatch, and others. It does have a Search function. The Quackwatch Mission Statement on the website contains the following primary activities:

-- Investigating questionable claims

-- Distributing reliable publications

-- Improving the quality of health information on the Internet

-- Attacking misleading advertising on the Internet

A number of webpages (8) were selected arbitrarily because their topics were familiar to this reviewer, and these were examined minutely. The findings are used to make generalizations about the website. The section titles below are from, as accessed on 31 Oct 01, each one followed by Comments based on the most reliable evidence I have found.

[...BIG snip...] [...full text is at the URL...]

All 8 pages from that were examined closely for this review, which were chosen simply because their topics were familiar to this reviewer, were found to be contaminated with incomplete data, obsolete data, technical errors, unsupported opinions, and/or innuendo; no other pages were examined. Hostility to all alternatives was expected and observed from the website, but not repetition of groundless dogma from mainstream medicine, examples of which were exposed. As a close friend and colleague reminded me, the operators of this site and I may have the same motivation -- to expose fraud. It remains a mystery how they and I have interpreted the same body of medical science and reached such divergent conclusions. While Dr. Barrett may (or may not) have helped many victims of quacks to recover funds and seek more effective treatment, and while some of the information on pages of the website not examined in this review may be accurate and useful, this review has shown that it is very probable that many of the 2,300,000 visitors to the website have been misled by the trappings of scientific objectivity.

At least 3 of the activities in the Mission Statement:

-- Distributing reliable publications

-- Improving the quality of health information on the Internet

-- Attacking misleading advertising on the Internet

...have been shown to be flawed as actually executed, at least on the 8 webpages that were examined. Medical practitioners such as Robert Atkins, Elmer Cranton and Stanislaw Burzynski, whom I demonstrated are not quacks, were attacked with the energy one would hope to be focused on real quacks. The use of this website is not recommended. It could be deleterious to your health.

Acknowledgment. Expert online searches and editorial aid were provided by Leslie Ann Bowman. Additional aid from other faculty at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia was obtained from Gina Kaiser, Robert C. Woodley and Sylvia Tarzanin. Ted Pollard made valuable contributions.

Joel M. Kauffman Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry University of the Sciences in Philadelphia 600 South 43rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:09, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Excellent contributions, AEL( 22:55, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Thought experiment

The fictional pseudoscience of fromagalogy argues that the moon is made of cheese, and states that their theory predicts that there will be lots of craters on the moon through analogy to the pock-marks on Muenster cheese or holes in Swiss cheese. Samantha Scurvy, a prominent mainstream astronomer, publishes a paper observing the heights and depths of numerous moon craters. Can we say that Professor Scurvy's paper provides support for fromagalogy because it acknowledges the existence of moon craters? (Just asking.) -- Cri du canard 11:37, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Bad analogy. --Michael C. Price talk 11:47, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Why? It's the same logic as yours. --Hob Gadling 11:40, 17 August 2006 (UTC)


I'm glad see that a {{Fact}} tag has been used instead of a mindless revert. Perhaps we can start making progress. --Michael C. Price talk 12:28, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Please help me! Probably it is my fault, but after reading the whole article, fixing some references, I can't see why the neutrality is disputed so much. Nearly every statement is referenced. NCurse Nuvola apps edu science.png work 15:49, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, but some editors think they're on a crusade to cleanse Wikipedia of all things orthomolecular and that the ends justify the means. --Michael C. Price talk 16:49, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Hi NCurse, the lead paragraph was disputed and has recently been significantly altered. Presently, I am not sure whether the current version is going to be an acceptable compromise, so I wasn't planning to remove the tag just yet. Addhoc 17:16, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Addhoc is correct. I added the tag to this version of the page, which failed to note the full extent of mainstream opposition to orthomolecular medicine. The page is considerably better now than it was a week ago, but because it's still in flux, we're keeping the tag to highlight to other editors that there is a dispute. I frankly worry that there will be reversions if I leave the page alone for a week; Nautilus has repeatedly restored POV bias and removed the POV tag when he thought no one was watching. -- Cri du canard 22:10, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I really would like to help. It seems I'm neutral here in the dispute. Please tell me which parts you disapprove and we'll see. NCurse Nuvola apps edu science.png work 17:19, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

The discussion foccussed on the paragraph containing the phrase "a minority view held by a small number of medical practitioners" and whether according to WP:LEAD and WP:NPOV, this should be the second paragraph. Addhoc 17:25, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

It also focussed on the blantly false but apparently sourced statement "Scientific research has found no benefit from orthomolecular therapy for any disease." --Michael C. Price talk 18:52, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I think skeptics would prefer to define OM as the pseudoscientific belief that food nutrients have the capability to cure all disease. While proponents want to present OM as partially in the mainstream, linking to research showing that vitamin levels above minimum amounts can have some beneficial effects for example. Addhoc 19:01, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Bruce Ames claim

The sentence It is this broader use of the term orthomolecular, as originally defined, that defines its usage by mainstream researchers such as Bruce Ames is not supported by the cited reference, which does not use the term orthomolecular at all. -- Cri du canard 21:53, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Weasel wording issues

MichaelCPrice protested the weasel wording, so I made the following sentence quite concrete:

The orthomolecular field, although viewed by its supporters as science-based, remains controversial among every mainstream medical organization that has opined on the issue, including the American Cancer Society, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, CHAMPUS, and the Canadian Paediatric Society, because of unsubstantiated claims, lack of proven benefits, and serious toxic effects.[14][12][11][15][16]

I believe to the best of my knowledge that this statement is correct. But the statement is certainly falsifiable: if the claim is incorrect, then I have no doubt that MichaelCPrice or Nautilus can find a mainstream medical organization that has studied OM with a task force and released a statement endorsing it. Until an OM supporter finds such a statement, then this should be the NPOV text, because it is a statement of verified fact, whereas the insertion of the qualifier "some" creates a false POV impression that violates WP:AWW.

Are there other claims of weasel wording? If not, I'll remove the tag. -- Cri du canard 07:01, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Your use of the "every" is unsupported and misleading: "some" is more neutral and verifiable; "every" is not verifiable or verified. To pretend that it is is just twisting the meaning of words for your own ends. You know it to be misinformation. It is therefore sneaky vandalism and will be reported unless you stop pushing it into the article. --Michael C. Price talk 07:55, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but I can't see why: "every mainstream medical organization that has opined on the issue" - it's correct like that. Or how else would you say the same? NCurse Nuvola apps edu science.png work 07:56, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
It's like seeing some black swans and assuming all swans are black. Basic logic. Should I post some positive studies (as I have) and assume that all studies are positive? --Michael C. Price talk 08:00, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Canard's edit summary comment "WP:AWW: If both critics and supporters note this, then there's no need to qualify the statement" is another example of his double standards and weasel words. Canard inserted the comment about OM citations from the mainstream literature with the "Critics note" appelation. I changed this to "Both critics and supporters " since supporters see this as a strength of OM (that it is backed up by mainstream studies). Canard, realising that his attempt to poison the well has spectacularly backfired attempts to remove it -- too late, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. --Michael C. Price talk 08:30, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

It makes no sense to have a sentence that begins "Critics and supporters both say X." If it's not controversial, and everyone agrees that it's correct, then just have a sentence that says X. That's just good writing, no conspiracy there. Where's the problem, much less the need for these personal attacks? -- Cri du canard 13:42, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, then, what do you think about : "many mainstream medical organizations including..."? NCurse Nuvola apps edu science.png work 08:51, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
"Many" is fine with me. --Michael C. Price talk 09:06, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
"Many" is a weasel word that falsely implies that there are others who feel otherwise. I'll concede to "Many" when MichaelCPrice cites a reliable source that "all" is incorrect. I've left the text at "many" as a place-holder to stop Price's edit-warring, but "every mainstream medical organization that has opined on the issue" is a verified and absolutely correct statement of fact, rather than a characterization. I don't think I'm wrong, but all it takes is one counterexample to prove me wrong. Where is it? -- Cri du canard 13:42, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
That's not how WP works. If a statement is challenged refs have to be provided, or {{Fact}} tagged. You can't keep a challenged statement in until it is disproven. --Michael C. Price talk 22:51, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes you can, if the disproof of the statement is easy (if it is indeed false) and the proof impossible (even if the statement is true). That is the case here. Your behaviour is absurd. Just assume, for a moment, that your hope is justified and that there is indeed a mainstream medical organization which has embraced OM. In that case it should be very easy to find the statement from that organization, right? It will be all over the OM supporter pages! So if you are right, why don't you just give us that statement and the case is closed?
Because you are not right. No such statement exists, and that's for sure. Your behaviour is typical for pseudoscience defenders. Either they realize that their worldview is not recognized by science (in that case they scream that they are being oppressed) or they don't realize it (in that case they often still scream that they are being oppressed). You chose the second path, the path of ignoring reality. --Hob Gadling 11:54, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

My opinion:

I show my opinion with these statements:

  • Orthomolecular medicine is a minority view held by under one percent of medical practitioners. The citation doesn't show any statistics for example, it is about OM only. Even if it is true, it's more than brave to write something like that in an encyclopedia. Like that (in case of any citation) it will never be neutral.
  • The majority are often dismissive: "Scientific research has found no benefit from orthomolecular therapy for any disease." [3][4][2] I think there is no problem. This is not the article that says this statement, this is the majority (an other uncitable word) and there are plenty of references.
  • Sometimes proponents claim partisan politics, pharmaceutical industry influence, and competitive considerations to be significant factors; on the other hand, prominent orthomolecular proponents sell lines of orthomolecular products, orthomolecular practitioners sell expensive tests of questionable benefit such as hair analysis, It says proponents and the citation shows a Quackwatch article written by only one doctor. There is no pubmed research paper, publication... And Weasel :sometimes...

Anyway what is the reason for Criticism and relation to mainstream medicine not being neutral? Sorry for not giving specific solutions, I'm thinking. NCurse Nuvola apps edu science.png work 07:55, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

OM proponents, in an effort to keep the main page from being POV-tagged, kept moving the tag to the criticism section, reflecting a misunderstanding of what the tag means. (One editor told me that, because he didn't think the page had a POV problem, he was entitled to unilaterally remove the POV-tag.) The old page did have a problem in that the "criticism" section was really a polemic against the critics, but the page as a whole is balanced now. -- Cri du canard 21:25, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Lead paragraphs

The lead paragraphs were overstuffed with too much information. Per WP:NPOV, they should be a short summary highlighting what the article is about, and noting the major controversies. I have done that. No substantive information from the previous version has been deleted. Rather, the detailed material (both pro and con) has been moved to the appropriate sections within the article. I think we're approaching something NPOV now. -- Cri du canard 13:52, 13 August 2006 (UTC)


I don't think the fish-oil studies are "clearly" orthomolecular. Again, this is a fromagalogy problem, where orthomolecular medicine tries to claim legitimate nutritional science as their own, and then leverage the unproven orthomolecular-specific claims on the backs of legitimate medicine.Cri du canard 13:52, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, what YOU believe about what orthomolecular people believe, is irrelevant. The most narcissisitic thing in the world is to try to define other people's beliefs for them. If you want to find out what scientologists consider scientology, ask THEM, not their critics. The same for Mormons, Roman Catholics, and whatever. Do not tell the AMA what it believes. Do not tell the AHA what it believes. To find out what orthomolecular practitioners believe, read their publications. Here's an orthomolecular archive which contains many reviews of omega-3 therapy [23], which is certainly consistant with the definitions of orthomolecular medicine given in the Wiki. These long chain w-3 are naturally found in the body.SBHarris 20:26, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

None of these studies mention "orthomolecular." I've kept the cite and moved it in with the niacin materials. The commentary that Cassileth is "wrong" was uncited original research, and was not retained. -- Cri du canard 13:52, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Again it's irrelevant whether or not the studies supporting an orthomolecular POV call themselves orthomolecular or not. Mass fortification of flour with folate to prevent birth defect is an orthomolecular solution to a problem, even if nobody wants to say the word.

Don't be a wikilawyer regarding WP:NOR, or you won't have any article left, or any Wikipedia left, either. Putting two sentences with referenced statements together constitute OR, since a point of view is thereby advanced. Alas, it's also inescapable, since if you separate conflicting facts so the contradiction is not noticed, this also advances a POV and is OR. In writing where there are multiple POV, we do POV summation. In a field with multiple POVs to summarize, it's impossible to avoid NOR on a small scale, if you want to summarize larger works. Thus, we break NOR in doing original summaries (which is what encylopedia writing is all about), in order to uphold NPOV globally. You can keep Cassileth's statement, and I'll just copy it and quote him later, alongside the research showing he's wrong, and the reader can draw their own conclusions. One problem is you quote Cassileth, but you don't know what HE means when he says "orthomolecular." So he might not EVEN be wrong, but just beating a straw man.SBHarris 20:26, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Origin of Othomolecular views on efficacy

The article made it sound as if practioners of orthomolecular medicine had just thought up a list of ailments and offered these to the public. Everything I have read suggests claims are based on clinical experience. Lumos3 10:29, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Then find a cite for that claim and add it, rather than deleting information. The original text was a verified statement from reliable sources. Your claim appears nowhere in the cited references. -- Cri du canard 12:57, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I've restored the text, and added the Lumos3 claim with a {{Fact}} tag. -- Cri du canard 13:43, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I have added references showing general practise experience of orthomolecular medicine has existed for 50 to 60 years. Lumos3 17:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Personal experience is nice, but it doesn't justify making claims in the medical arena. (There happens to be a phenomenon known as a "confounder" .....;-) See below: Evidence-based CAM?
Clinical experience has historically played a major part in building medical knowledge. It cannot all be dismissed as a confounder. It does not carry the same weight as a double blind controlled experiment but neither can it be dismissed out of hand. The first such experiment was only conducted in the 1950s. Before that medical science progressed by the observation and experiment by skilled practitioners. See theTimeline of the history of scientific method.Lumos3 16:12, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

"Evidence-based CAM"?

This bit of not very original thinking (extremely common among believers in sCAM) is a gem:

"Much of the criticism stemes from two reasons : (1) much of it has a factual basis but has not been thoroughly and scientifically researched, (2) Many physicians are not familiar with it." [24]

How can one really be certain that something is a fact without the research? One can certainly experience "something" and believe in that anecdotal moment, but when it comes to medicine, treatment methods for others, and the selling of products, the bar is set much higher. Without good evidence the claims may end up amounting to quackery.

Evidence-based CAM?

All this begs the question - is there such a thing as "evidence-based CAM?"

You see, to me and other skeptics, the idea that there is such a thing as evidence-based CAM is an oxymoron.

Following are some of the thoughts and quotes that reveal and influence my thinking. I'll start with something from here at Wikipedia:

Alternative Definition
The terms "alternative medicine", "complementary medicine" and "CAM" are generally understood in terms of their relationship to mainstream Western medicine, as described above.[4] Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, argues for a different definition of alternative medicine, based not on sphere of usage but on evidence: "alternative medicine is defined as that set of practices which cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests. If a healing technique is demonstrated to have curative properties in properly controlled double-blind trials, it ceases to be alternative. It simply...becomes medicine." He also states that "There is no alternative medicine. There is only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't work."[5]
Well-known proponents of evidence-based medicine who study CAM, such as the Cochrane Collaboration and Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, have retained CAM's generally-accepted definition and do not define CAM as Dawkins does. In their view, there can be "good CAM" or "bad CAM" based on evidentiary support. [6][7][8] [25]

This touches on what I call a "dividing line" and definitional problem as to what we should label as CAM (indeed a problematic term!), and what we should label as EBM. Strictly speaking, from the skeptic viewpoint, "evidence-based CAM" is an oxymoron.....

According to skeptics and physicians like Dawkins, Sagan, Randi, Angell, Fontanarosa, Lundberg, and Barrett, the concept of "alternative" is often being misused in a misleading form of marketing, implying something that is far from the case. Barrett puts it this way:

"Alternative has two possible meanings. Correctly employed, it refers to methods that have equal value for a particular purpose. (An example would be two antibiotics capable of killing a particular organism.) When applied to unproven methods, however, the term can be misleading because methods that are unsafe or ineffective are not reasonable alternatives to proven treatment. To emphasize this fact, we place the word "alternative" in quotation marks throughout this book whenever it is applied to methods that are not based on established scientific knowledge." - Stephen Barrett, MD [26]

Although NCCAM funds research, I don't see it proclaiming any "alternative" method as disproven. This situation needs to stop. How many years should a nonsensical method divert funds into wasteful and pointless research, after multiple quality experiments have shown no promise, and proven that the emperor has no clothes? At what point does one proclaim that (for example) homeopathy is dead?

Some relevant quotes:

  • "There cannot be two kinds of medicine - conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted." - Angell M, Kassirer JP, "Alternative medicine--the risks of untested and unregulated remedies." N Engl J Med 1998;339:839.
  • "There is no alternative medicine. There is only scientifically proven, evidence-based medicine supported by solid data or unproven medicine, for which scientific evidence is lacking. Whether a therapeutic practice is 'Eastern' or 'Western,' is unconventional or mainstream, or involves mind-body techniques or molecular genetics is largely irrelevant except for historical purposes and cultural interest. As believers in science and evidence, we must focus on fundamental issues-namely, the patient, the target disease or condition, the proposed or practiced treatment, and the need for convincing data on safety and therapeutic efficacy." - Fontanarosa P.B., and Lundberg G.D. "Alternative medicine meets science" JAMA. 1998; 280: 1618-1619.
  • "The "alternative" folks have had their way with the language. Treatments are "alternative" and "complementary" and "integrative" but the fact is that they're not a legitimate alternative if they don't do anything, they're not "complementary" if they don't add to anything but expense and they don't need to be "integrated" if they're just a waste of time and money." - David Ramey, DVM

I see it as problematic that while the established health care system is actively trying to weed out ineffective methods, the CAM system is searching through the garbage heap of discarded and disproven methods, in an attempt to revive and invent methods for which proof is not only lacking, but for which there is often adequate proof of lack of effect.

Here are a few of my articles that directly address these issues:

From "Is CAM a UFO?":

Evidence-based methods are effective, and effective methods should be evidence-based. If a method appears to be effective, then it should be possible to prove it. If the research has not been done yet, it should be. We must remember that "Absence of proof is not the same as the absence of fact; it simply demonstrates the lack of adequate research. - Robert Sydenham. "Lack of evidence in the literature is not evidence of lack of effectiveness."
This is often misunderstood, since it contains two poorly understood elements. The first is that effectiveness exists, in and of itself, regardless of proof, or rather, "before" proof is provided by proper research. The second is that lack of proof doesn't justify the marketing of methods based solely on claims of effectiveness, which are hoped to be proven in the future.
It is one thing to say: "I believe it's effective, but have no proof as yet." It's quite another to say: "I believe it's effective, and my experience with it is enough proof for me and my customers."

I don't know if you are familiar with this book (I am not), but the book review title deserves a comment:

> Is Evidence-Based Medicine Evidence Based?


It's a straw man argument, because it's asking the wrong question. I assume it means something like this:

"Is Modern Medicine Evidence Based?"

Well, I'd say it's on its way....;-) The EBM "movement" or paradigm is an attempt to take what the medical system has developed through experimentation, what it has gained from experience, and what it has inherited from its pretty much quackery-filled past, and sort through it to weed out the junk. The idea is quality control, and the job is far from finished. It's a battle fought on several fronts, and not always very well:

  1. Weeding out the junk that is in what we have inherited;
  2. Constantly reevaluating earlier findings in light of newer findings;
  3. Seeking to measure the difference between real effects and the placebo illusion;
  4. Attempting to ensure that laboratory results are relevant to clinical practice;
  5. Preventing junk from sneaking in the back door. (NCCAM is doing a great job - to sneak it in.)
  6. other points?

Shouldn't scientists and Wikipedia editors attempt to alert the public to the problem regarding the misuse of the term "alternative" medicine, and shouldn't they openly adopt Dawkins' (and other skeptics') interpretation regarding the decisive difference between alt med and EBM - evidence of effect? If it's proven to be effective, then it ceases to be alternative medicine, and becomes EBM. Thus, based on the evidence, it is possible for a method to change categories in either direction, based on increased knowledge of its effectiveness or lack thereof.

Just a few thoughts to ponder....IMHO. -- Fyslee 17:37, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree in principle, but it's a semantic and political battle that has already been lost. "Alternative" is a misnomer, but it's also the standard term. The place for that discussion is in the alternative medicine article to the extent the cited sources meet WP:RS. -- Cri du canard 21:35, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Bruce Ames

The Bruce Ames section appears to be a secondary, instead of tertiary source of information. Addhoc 18:12, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand what's meant by "secondary" and "tertiary" in this comment. The section needs a lot of work. I agree that the Ames paper is a questionable source of "support" for OM, but we need to find better sources than Wikipedia articles, per WP:RS. Just as we should not include the original-research opinion "Cassileth is wrong," we should not include the original-research opinion "Ames does not support OM" unless we find an explicit rejection. Of course, we should not include the opinion "Ames supports OM" unless we find a cite of Ames supporting OM, and the AmJClinNutr cite doesn't do that, as you correctly point out. And it doesn't merit its own section; perhaps move it into the "relation" section. -- Cri du canard 21:32, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Apologies, I meant in terms of WP:RS:

  • "A primary source is a document or person providing direct evidence of a certain state of affairs; in other words, a source very close to the situation you are writing about. The term most often refers to a document produced by a participant in an event or an observer of that event."
  • "A secondary source summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources. Secondary sources produced by scholars and published by scholarly presses are carefully vetted for quality control and can be considered authoritative."
  • "A tertiary source usually summarizes secondary sources. Encyclopedias, for instance, are tertiary sources."

Addhoc 22:01, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's an excellent article[27] on Ames's views on vitamins. He thinks they're important, is worried RDA levels are too low, and sells his own supplement, but doesn't endorse megadosing. The word "orthomolecular" also doesn't appear on the site advertising Ames's supplement.[28]
You can find lots of articles on Ames' views. He thinks that 1 in 3 mutations affects nutrient handling, and notes that 20% of people have defects in handling folate and B2. So we're not talking about a handful of kids with "Uncomable Hair Syndrome" (which actually exists). Ames thinks that the abundance of 50 and 100 mg B vitamins in health food stores might not be coincidence, and that they may be there because many people feel a difference with them. [29]. His 50 genetically modifiable diseases aren't things you never heard of like the hair thing, but common mutations which affect risk of heart disease and cancer. As for Ames' supplement, it's far more ALC and alpha-lipoate than you'll ever get in YOUR diet, (and it's a human version of a rodent treatment to boot) so why is "megadose" inappropriate? Truthfully, because "megadose" is a loaded word, sort of like "overdose" or "promiscuity". It means somebody's doing more than YOU are, and you're gunna look down on them. Ames is on the board of a company that does a lot of vitamin tests in blood, and it takes large doses to normalize levels in some clients of these labs. Does that do them any good? Who knows? Good topic for future research. But if you found out you had folate levels a quarter of the population average, and it took 1600 mcg to keep you up to average, would you take that much? SBHarris 23:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
It's not surprising that OM'ers want to adopt Ames as one of their own, but the difference is that he's performing hypothesis-testing, while substantial portions of the OM crowd (including some of its leading lights) reject the idea of medicine based on evidence. (That list of "notable OM doctors" is a sad catalog of anti-vaccination cranks and snake-oil salesmen.)-- Cri du canard 22:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Hypothesis testing while selling commercial products. Hmmm. Sounds a lot like the rest of modern medicine. SBHarris 23:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Please don't split talk page comments without refactoring signatures. -- Cri du canard 23:37, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
For better or worse, Ames has no personal financial interest in the company and receives no compensation. -- Cri du canard 14:34, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Within Wikipedia, the question is how best to convey all this about Ames in a concise NPOV way. There's already a section of mainstream medicine studies that OM claims supports it. Perhaps the place for this is a bullet-point mentioning Ames and the AmJClinNutr study, i.e.,
  • Bruce Ames's studies on the effects of vitamins on genetic diseases and biochemical aging processes, and his advocacy of one-a-day multivitamins in cancer prevention.[17][18][19]
I would suggest placing that bullet-point in the "Relation to mainstream medicine" bullet-point list and then deleting the Ames subsection under "Criticism." Does anyone object to this proposed solution? -- Cri du canard 22:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
That would definately be an improvement. Addhoc 22:19, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I have corrected the Bruce Ames section. His research is now sourced from the mainstream journals. Corrected many misleading or incorrect statements. --Michael C. Price talk 22:45, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
This is far too much detail for a Wikipedia article, and isn't useful to a Wikipedia reader. We can add the references to the bullet point, but even the Bruce Ames article doesn't go into that much detail about his research. -- Cri du canard 22:52, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Funny isn't it, that as soon as a detailed expansion of an issue shows support for OM that Cri du canard suddenly decides it is no longer needed. This level of detail is required to prevent the twisting and distortion of facts that Cri du canards engages in. The level of detail at Bruce Ames is irrelevant. If Cri du canard and others stopped twisting and poisoning the well then perhaps less detail would be appropriate but until then it will have to stay. --Michael C. Price talk 23:05, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Michael, stop with the personal attacks and conspiracy theories. I criticized this section before you added cites when it was first written by skeptic Fyslee and had no pro-OM material in it. -- Cri du canard 23:23, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
In addition, the main text appears to mischaracterize some of the papers, in particular the AmJClNutr study. And the entire abstract doesn't belong in the article, not even in the notes, when the word "orthomolecular" appears nowhere in the article. -- Cri du canard 22:56, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Explain the mischaracterisation. --Michael C. Price talk 23:05, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
This edit incorrectly stated that "every human suffers from" "50 defective co-enzyme binding affinities", something the paper does not claim. -- Cri du canard 23:23, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Why didn't you mention this this edit which subsequently corrected the issue? Since your revision was in error I shall revert it. --Michael C. Price talk 23:31, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Because (1) that edit is also wrong, and (2) I made my comment (as part of a longer discussion) before you made the change at 22:54, and just didn't save the entire lengthy discussion until 22:56. If you revert, you will be in violation of 3RR. -- Cri du canard 23:36, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
(1) How was it wrong? (2) If wrong correct it, don't delete. --Michael C. Price talk 00:11, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
How's this?
  • Bruce Ames's studies on the effects of vitamins on genetic diseases and biochemical aging processes, and his advocacy of one-a-day multivitamins in cancer prevention.[20][21] [22] [23][24][25]
-- Cri du canard 22:59, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
A significant improvement. Original research based on Google searches have no place in an encyclopedia. Addhoc 23:02, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Not good enough. We need to explain the relevance of the studies, how they relate to Paulings orginal work, why healthy humans are impacted, etc etc. All this has been lost. How very convenient. --Michael C. Price talk 23:07, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
That would be too much detail for a Wikipedia article even if these studies explicitly endorsed orthomolecular medicine. Given that the term does not even appear in the papers, and it's disputed whether Ames is really doing orthomolecular work, it's certainly far too much detail in the orthomolecular medicine article. In any event, it's far better under NPOV to simply state the facts rather than characterize them. And google searches do not belong in a Wikipedia article. -- Cri du canard 23:18, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

(Preserving old version of now-deleted Bruce Ames section in case further discussion needed)

Here it is: -- Cri du canard 23:40, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Old version

Nutrition researcher Bruce Ames is often associated with orthomolecular research [26] although he does not use the term itself. However his research deals with nutrition and specific genetic disease conditions (as indeed did Pauling's article which defined the term "orthomolecular""[27]). Ames' research includes investigating the effects of large doses of, for example, the nutrients alpha-lipoic acid (a coenzyme precursor) and the carnitine (an amino acid complex) on restoring metabolic health, and in particular mitochondrial function, in animal models[21] [22] [23] Ames has also investigated the role of high dose B-vitamin therapy in alleviating in approximately 50 defective co-enzyme binding affinities, of which one, at least, every human suffers from [28] (example of one genetic disease condition: Over 40% of the population is hetro- or homo-zygous with the thermolabile variant of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase [29] and as a result requires extra riboflavin [30] [28]).

"About 50 human genetic dis-eases due to defective enzymes can be remedied or ameliorated by the administration of high doses of the vitamin component of the corresponding coenzyme, which at least partially restores enzymatic activity." [31]

A search of his website fails to show a single use of the term "orthomolecular." [32] [33] yet he has, based on his research, developed a supplement for human use[34].

RFC Discussion on Bruce Ames text

Price simply readded the text without discussion. I continue to believe that "Over 40% of the population is hetro- or homo-zygous with the thermolabile variant of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase" has no place in a Wikipedia article just as a matter of style. I further believe that it has no place in an "orthomolecular medicine" article (much less "development of OM" section) when the cited study makes no reference to orthomolecular medicine. What are other editors' views? -- Cri du canard 18:35, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Your stylistic point has no basis in WP policy. As for its relevance, the statement is needed to prevent the reinsertion of the claim that OM is of no benefit to "normal" people. The statement demonstrates that -- given the number of different genetic conditions we are all subject to -- that there is probably not a single person alive who doesn't suffer from some sort of coenzyme binding deficiency that would not benefit from micronutrient supplementation. --Michael C. Price talk 23:05, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
No one ever inserted that claim, so your "need" for the statement doesn't exist. Moreover, since the article makes no mention of orthomolecular medicine, and the author himself does not claim to support orthomolecular medicine, such detail is inappropriate for an article about orthomolecular medicine. -- Cri du canard 00:21, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Ames evidently thinks such details are important, and recommends daily multivitamins for all on the basis of such details. --Michael C. Price talk 00:46, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe that's a misstatement of Ames's reasoning, but I'm willing to be corrected. Please show me a quote showing Ames recommending daily multivitamins because of "the thermolabile variant of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase." But everything I've seen shows Ames recommending daily multivitamins (of the USRDA, not of orthomolecular megavitamin dosing) because people don't eat enough fruits and vegetables ("If people don't eat their veggies then they are in trouble") on merely the recommendation of a balanced diet ("only 10 percent of the population are eating two fruits and three vegetables a day"), and it's a low-cost second-best way of improving health.[30] That has nothing to do with orthomolecular medicine, it has to do with public policy. If recommendations for balanced diets caused people to eat sufficient vegetables, Ames wouldn't see the need for vitamin supplements. Ames actually contradicts OM in many ways: "I just think all this business of organic food is nonsense basically. We should be eating more fruits and vegetables, so the main way to do that is to make them cheaper [by permitting more pesticide use]. Anything that makes fruits and vegetables more expensive may increase cancer."[31] -- Cri du canard 02:00, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I also hadn't previously noticed the POV violation in Price's change of the text from the NPOV (if poorly phrased and cited) "Nutrition researcher Bruce Ames is often associated with orthomolecular research" to the POV-pushing "An example of a modern researcher is Bruce Ames." The latter statement violates NPOV, because it's disputed whether Ames is really within orthomolecular medicine (cf. "Principles of Orthomolecular Medicine"), or just doing mainstream nutrition work. -- Cri du canard 00:35, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I see you continue to deny the existence of an overlap between conventional and orthomolecular medicine. --Michael C. Price talk 07:19, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
No he doesn't, and he never did. This is your fromagology logic again. If you claim there is experimental evidence for OM, you can't give as an example evidence of those parts of OM that agree with standard medicine anyway. --Hob Gadling 12:02, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Point of fact: Cri du canard repeatedly asserts that "orthomolecular" is not mentioned in Ames' AJCN article about high-dose vitamins and genetic polymorphisms. This is false. Ames DOES mention "orthomolecular" and Pauling's work, and gives a long quote from Pauling, approvingly. Otherwise he has not embraced "orthomolecular", and that is quite understandable; he would be forced to spend the rest of his (limited) life fending-off rabid attack dogs, rather than continuing his research. Viewed in one way, it would be a waste of the last years in the life of an extremely productive and creative scientific mind. In any case the point is that Cri du canard repeatedly tosses out this canard about Ames not mentioning "orthomolecular", which is plainly false. Apparently Sir Canard has not actually READ the AJCN article (not surprising), but that does not stop him from making statements about what it does or does not contain.

It is curious how the "anti-quackery" quacks literally create the condition that they then invoke as an argument for their point of view. Through unrelenting hostility and ridicule, both organized and unorganized -- up to and including outright attempts to ruin public reputations, and conspiracies to destroy whole professions [1] -- they create an atmosphere in which only a few brave (or foolish!) souls dare dissent. Then they announce that the sparceness of dissenters, the paucity of hard evidence that the dissenters can bring forth, etc., stands as proof that the dissenters are really only a few lone nuts who can safely be ignored (or who ought to be publically excoriated, or even jailed).

Bruce Ames made what was probably a wise decision not to associate any more closely with the OM field than he has (which is not very much). "Wise" insofar as his personal comfort and scientific productivity is concerned, though not very helpful with respect to the larger agenda. The larger agenda is that of of building a true, progressive health care system (as opposed to the present disease-care monstrosity) focussing on technic which is CHEAP, minimally-toxic, maximally-health-promoting (featuring the "side effect" of fundamental molecular and cellular improvement, toward the prevention of several or many diseases, rather than just one), CHEAP, non-professionally- dominated, CHEAP and readily accessible by 50 million Americans without health insurance (not to mention several billion worldwide without access to either health insurance OR much possibility of obtaining modern conventional medical care), decentralized, relatively supportive of civil liberties (medical self-care, access to medicines, etc.), relatively environmentally sensitive, CHEAP, and relatively non-supportive of vast and wasteful bureaucracies and corporations. (Did I miss anything?) Quite instrumental in that larger agenda is the advancement and vindication of OM -- a multi-generational project.

I respect Ames' decision, but I wish others would make the other decision -- to stand more explicitly, whatever the cost, on the side of health truth, sustainability, accessibility, and social justice, and against the forces of reaction, personal greed, corporate mega-profits, complacency, professional prejudices and imperiousness, medical gangsterism, bureaucratic waste, environmental destruction, centralization, totalitarianization, and the trashing of civil rights.

I realize that I am asking a lot. The price is high. But then so are the stakes.


1. Yes, "conspiracy". That word is taken verbatim from a U.S. district court decision, ruling that the AMA and allied organizations had CONSPIRED (the court's word) to destroy the Chiropractic profession (Wilk v. AMA) see: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alan2012 (talkcontribs)


I meant to post the actual text from Ames' AJCN article. Here it is: relevant passage only, with mini-context. Perhaps Sir Canard (such an appropriate moniker!) might chance explain to us the reason for his mantra-like repetition of "the article makes no mention of orthomolecular medicine" [emphasis by Sir Canard, himself and no other]


American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 75, No. 4, 616-658, April 2002

Review Article

High-dose vitamin therapy stimulates variant enzymes with decreased coenzyme binding affinity (increased Km): relevance to genetic disease and polymorphisms1,2,3

Bruce N Ames, Ilan Elson-Schwab and Eli A Silver


Nutritional interventions to improve health are likely to be a major benefit of the genomics era. Many coenzyme binding motifs have been characterized, and essential residues for binding have been elucidated. Structural data can be found at the beginning of many sections. It will soon be possible to identify the complete set of genes having cofactor binding sites and the polymorphisms that fall into these regions, with an end goal of using vitamins, and possibly amino acids, hormones, and minerals, to effect a metabolic "tune-up."

Support for some of the views discussed here can be found in the literature. It is clear that many individual researchers have recognized that high-dose vitamin treatment is effective in particular diseases because a mutation affects the affinity of an enzyme for its coenzyme. In particular, Linus Pauling (13) hypothesized in his review entitled Orthomolecular Psychiatry that much mental disease may be due to insufficient concentrations of particular biochemicals in the brain as the result of an inadequate intake of particular micronutrients and that some brain dysfunction may be due to mutations that affect the Km of enzymes: "The still greater disadvantage of low reaction rate for a mutated enzyme with K[m] only 0.01 could be overcome by a 200-fold increase in substrate concentration to [S] = 400. This mechanism of action of gene mutation is only one of several that lead to disadvantageous manifestations that could be overcome by an increase, perhaps a great increase, in the concentration of a vital substance in the body. These considerations obviously suggest a rationale for megavitamin therapy." More recently, high-dose pyridoxine therapy has been suggested as a treatment for improving dysphoric psychological states (eg, loneliness, anxiety, hostility, and depression) by stimulating the production of 2 pyridoxine-dependent neurotransmitters, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (14).

Although he does not discuss binding defects, Roger Williams (15), another pioneer in the field of biochemical nutrition, also recognized that higher doses of vitamins may be necessary to accommodate for what he calls biochemical individuality: "Individuality in nutritional needs is the basis for the genetotrophic approach and for the belief that nutrition applied with due concern for individual genetic variations, which may be large, offers the solution to many baffling health problems. This certainly is close to the heart of applied biochemistry." [Human genetic variation appears greater than previously thought (16).] Williams' conclusions suggest that genetic and thus biochemical individuality necessitates much nutritional individuality. This is especially relevant in the dawning age of genomics, in which it will someday become routine to screen individuals for polymorphisms and thus treat persons more efficaciously by genotype, rather than just by phenotype.

[...snip...] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alan2012 (talkcontribs)

Vitamin E

I added some additional information reflecting the consensus, at least in the medical community, about the lack of benefit of vitamin E supplementation for preventing coronary heart disease. Andrew73 04:03, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. It's a lot more time-consuming to debunk than to parrot pro-OM webpages already compiled by supplement-pushers. -- Cri du canard 12:58, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Orthomed considers alpha tocopheryl acetate, especially all racemic, to be missing important natural isomers (e.g. RRR-gamma-tocopherol etc) and that the unesterified forms (tocopherol) are important in some debilitated groups. An orthomed would also probably criticize the results on lack of information (and supplementation) on vitamins C & K2, coQ10, selenium if not the while lot, A-Z. Your test cites pretty much miss the boat, your unfamiliarity gaping. See the prior discussion with SBH[32] especially the bottom half.--User:TheNautilus 10:59, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Profound errors and misrepresentations

1. "Orthomolecular medicine and optimum nutrition is the theory that mental diseases or abnormalities result from various chemical imbalances or deficiencies and can be cured by restoring proper levels of chemical substances, such as vitamins and minerals, in the body.[1]Orthomolecular medicine and optimum nutrition is the theory that mental diseases or abnormalities result from various chemical imbalances or deficiencies and can be cured by restoring proper levels of chemical substances, such as vitamins and minerals, in the body.[1]" This confuses and attacks orthomolecular psychiatry as the entire subject of orthomolecular medicine. Psychiatry is an especially controversial subject in its own right, going through more recent era of Freud, electroshock & lobotomies. It is now missing basic supplement categories (vitamins, minerals,...) in the introduction. A good example of erroneous, radical skeptism hijacking the first sentence, poisoning the well.--TheNautilus 11:42, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

fixed [33] --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 12:40, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
You know, I thought there would be no NPOV controversy by using a dictionary definition of orthomolecular, but I now see that dictionaries are part of the conspiracy, too, part of the ongoing problem with the refusal by some editors to accept WP:V and WP:RS as a standard. I'm okay with the Hroðulf version. -- Cri du canard 12:54, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
LOL. How did you manage to recruit the dictionary, by the way? I told it not to go to the bad part of town after dark. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 13:55, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Different facts for different folks Stedmans Online. Search / Search in Definition: "Sorry, but the Stedman's Online Medical Dictionary doesn't recognize this term." Orthomolecular alone :"orthomolecular(,) orthomolecular psychiatry(,) orthomolecular therapy" Thanks, Hroðulf, but I was not amused at all. This going to be a really long haul to answer all the ugly "referenced" innuendo, blatant mischaracterizations and "radical skepticism" by long time, POV warring, often anti-scientific, commercially compliant parties, including many of those in Canard's polemic references, even if "official" or "authoritative". The seismic lines and commercial POV run that deep.--TheNautilus 15:57, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Nautilus isn't being especially coherent in his response, but he seems to be implying that I made up the Stedmans definition. Here it is online, word for word as I quoted it, though experience has taught me that Nautilus doesn't ever apologize for making hotheaded accusations. -- Cri du canard 18:00, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps some people don't agree that we need a sense of humour sometimes. In any case, either Stedman's made an error, or made an error in scraping it. That is ok, because a group of POV editors at Wikipedia can collaborate to fix it, and make an NPOV definition. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 19:45, 14 August 2006 (UTC)


Although the Pauling definition which merely notes that orthomolecular treatment consists of optimally adjusting substances naturally found in the body (thus encompassing everything from diet therapy to megavitamin therapy), in practice we should probably note that there exist both weak and strong versions of the orthomolecular belief statement.

The weak one is controversial enough: "Medicine should pay attention to optimal nutrient levels in the treatment of every disease, lest medicine find itself actually treating subclincal malnutrition, when it thought it was treating pathology." Years ago I read an article pointing out the very high prevalence of untreated malnutrition in acute patients (it said essentially that the skeleton in the hospital closet, was too often the patient). But the "orthodox" idea of what constitutes "good nutrition" has changed a lot over those years. It's not just the RDA for ill people anymore. I've mentioned the extremely fortified enteral feedings which are becoming routine in ICU's--- they probably deserve a "bullet" in the orthomolecular claim section, and I'll get around to it eventually. Those canned feedings with with all those mono additives didn't exist just ten years ago, and anybody trying to implement them would have accused of orthomolecular quackery. Arginine?! Hmmm. And EPA used to be synonymous with snake oil. If fact, EPA is actually a large fraction of cold water snake oil, so there you go. The very idea of using it for rheumatism! Lock up those snake oil salesmen. We want Vioxx.

So what do we learn from our double blind trials? The GISSI study found no effect from vitamin E in 11,000 people with heart disease. Aha, that proves the orthomolecular quacks are wrong about vitamin E. Okay. But the same study found a drop of 30% in cardiac mortality and 20% in overall mortality, from omega-3 supplementation. This is a larger effect than any statin trial has yet found. And what does that show? Well, for too many people it shows that omega-3 supplementation can't be an orthomolecular therapy. Since it works. ;) But not to worry: when it comes to actual physician practice, fish oil is still TREATED as though it was orthomolecular (since most cardiac patients are on a statin and a minority on fish oil supplements, rather than the other way around). So I suppose it works out in the end. Fish oil will need to be made a lot more expensive and drug-ified before it's used very much. Powerful medicine needs to be expensive-- we all know that instinctively, do we not. And they're working on that. I mentioned OMECOR.

The strong version of the orthomolecular belief is the idea that most diseases have their origins in malnutrition, or at least can be managed by diet and nutritional therapy alone, if the patient cooperates (especially true for chronic conditions). These heretical ideas have their origin in studies of disease incidences in populations eating various diets, such as the China Study. And in shorter term tests of things like the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet. In short, believers in the strong version of orthomolecular medicine are guilty of feeling about diet and nutrition, much the same way as orthodox medical people feel about their drugs. The cads. So what are we going to do about them? My suggestion is that we just remember that everybody tends to overrate the tools they're most familar with. I personally can't convince myself that there's more bad thinking on one side than the other. Too many times I've seen a grossly obese patient with 4 obesity-related diseases, 11 pill bottles, 3 polypharmacy-related problems, 1 drug reaction, and a partridge in a pear tree. And if you've done much internal medicine, so have you. In such a world, one wonders if orthomolecular thinking is really contributing the harm which its critics suggest.

So what do we do, here? If we let the orthomolecular people coopt the Mediterranean diet and fish therapy, is it not just a slippery slope from there to 50 grams of vitamin C IV? How are are we going to stop it? I dunno. How did we stop orthodox medicine from running away with itself with expensive and dangerous treatments which didn't do much good? :) I suggest we just apply those brakes to orthomolecular therapy, so that it becomes the moderate and wise practice that we all know and love in standard medical practice. Not so hard, is it? SBHarris 17:23, 14 August 2006 (UTC)


"Proponents argue that these claims come from clinical observation often from physicians with a lifetime of general practise." The cited sources don't seem to be talking about the specific claims, given that they were written before the Princeton Brain Bio Center existed; "these claims" is inappropriate, then. Can someone either rewrite this sentence for accuracy, or find a real supporting cite, or delete the sentence? -- Cri du canard 17:52, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that unless the sentence is reworded, it should be removed. Addhoc 18:00, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Reworded . This assertion stands alone and does not need to be chronological with Princeton Brain Bio Center. Lumos3 21:38, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

POV tag

I was the one who re-added the POV tag a week ago. While the article is far from perfect, and there continue to be problems with POV-pushing edits, I don't have problems with the current NPOV status, and I'm pleased to see that OM proponents have, for the most part, been more willing to compromise on edits in the last week than in previous hard-line incarnations. I hope that that continues after I stop watchdogging the article daily. Does anyone believe there are still POV problems? If not, I'll remove the tag once the article stops being changed hourly. -- Cri du canard 18:30, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Conclusions "shown" vs. "found" vs. "suggested"

In medicine, the word "shown" is a fairly powerful one, and is properly reserved only for the tightest conclusions based on the multiple studies of the sort that produce the best evidence (meta analysis of level 1 studies-- see evidence based medicine). Authors rarely use the word "shown" with regards to their own work. Conclusions are generally presented more modestly as "suggested." Other people referring to the authors' own conclusions from single studies generally use the neutral words "found" or "finding." As in Author A et al. "found" in study X that Y was true. Or the "findings" of study Y do not agree with the "findings" of similar study X.

Generally it's a symptom of severe bias to write that studies which conclude things you don't agree with, "suggest" so-and-so (a less confident and robust conclusion), while at the same time writing that studies of the same quality which find the opposite, actually "show" the opposite so-and-so conclusion. It's also not a good idea to use the phrase "not shown" to describe causation for a finding with a certain nonsigificant p value, if you wouldn't have been equally prepared to use the word "shown" if the study p value had instead made significance. This also is bias-- less well recognized, but just as real.

The article on orthomolecular medicine actually does show this type of bias, with the word "show" being used only in connection with negative studies, and the word "suggest" being reserved for positive studies which tend to support orthomolecular or pro-nutrient-therapy ideas. I have tried to fix this, but have been accused of WP:POINT, which is a Wikispeak for somebody who tries to illustrate a problem by showing somebody else what it would be like to be on the receiving end of the sort of bias that they are generating. Generally such direct illustrations are frowned upon, but on the other hand, something must be done for people who don't seem to get it, even with such direct and heavyhanded illustration. I therefore suggest that somebody else take this matter in hand, and carefully read the article and edit it to conform to a neutral statement of the conclusions of various studies. As noted, I generally like to use the word "finding" to refer to study conclusions, since it's rather neutral, like the use of the world "statement" or "conclusion," rather than the often hackle-raising term "claim." SBHarris 21:42, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

The history of orthomed related results is replete with conclusory examples of execrable "negative proofs" that still heavily bias medicine today, starting with Jungeblut's observations[34] of survival with 400mg IM ascorbate for a milder polio innoculation, followed by Sabin's test of 100mg/day IM ascorbate for a more severe polio innoculation, Sabin's failure (try to) to confirm Jungeblut's results, and the unsupported (datawise) disparagement of therapeutic vitamin C from the 1930s onwards to this day. The monkeys were 2-3 kg. (Klenner:"...The accuracy of Rivers’ evaluation of these works relating these observations seems questionable when he states (1941) that Sabin (1939) definitely demonstrated that Jungeblut’s (1937) claim that Vitamin C deficiency increases the susceptibility of the experimental animals to infantile paralysis is not valid."[35]) An objective assessment might consider the failure of Sabin's test design to replicate (and the experimenter) rather than blame the molecule. Again & again. Note: 133-200 mg/kg/day is still below later Klenner's recommended use of IV ascorbate for polio in humans[36]. After almost 70 yrs of these hijinks, a number of people naturally question the extent of "mainstream" bias on the subject of megavitamins, and collaterally, orthomed. Klenner repeatedly emphasizes the necessity of large threshold amounts for efficacy throughout his career, unheeded & untested. The critics may be "mainstream" something, perhaps medicine, but it is sure isn't science, they have grossly failed for decades to cough up *any* relevant data.--TheNautilus 12:54, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Can a study or treatment be "orthomolecular" without anyone admitting it?

I submit that the answer is not only "yes", but actually "yes, and usually this is the case." Orthomolecular has become something of a dirty word, associated with pseudoscience, Pauling's claims about vitamin C, and (maybe even worse) with scientology's pushing of niacin for psychiatric problems (alas, L. Ron Hubbard was a fan of this one). Movements and philosophies suffer guilt by association just as people do. Voluntary eugenics got such a bad name that it had to be renamed genetic counseling, and so on. Probably at this point, orthomolecular medicine needs a facelift name, like nutritional medicine, or metabolic medicine. Meanwhile it's stuck with baggage.<g> Do scientific papers use orthomolecular ideas without presenting themselves as orthomolecular papers? Of course they do! Use of the very word is a ticket to the rejection pile of a respectable journal, so nobody is going to use it if they don't have to. But a number of common medical treatments, including all diet therapy, and even such things as inhalation of pure oxygen for cluster headaches, or magnesium therapy for ecclampsia, qualify under Pauling's definition. Does anybody really think that that obstetrition says to himself (herself), "I'm going to inject this woman with a mere MINERAL to treat her high blood pressure, in an attempt to SUBVERT the very basis of the scientific thinking and the drug monopoly, BWAA-HAH-HAH!!!" No. Medicine doesn't work like that. Instead, the doctor simply loses the label and uses what works. If you told him he was an orthomolecular doctor for the moment, he'd probably deny it. SBHarris 22:10, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I think it's telling that only the quacks voluntarily associate themselves with "orthomolecular." The question becomes what distinguishes orthomolecular medicine from mainstream medicine, and the answer is the sort of quackery seen on accusing mainstream medicine of conspiracies to suppress good treatment by insisting on double-blind studies. That way lies pseudoscience.
If proponents of nutritionally-based medicine adopted a different name, but didn't adopt the orthomolecular rhetoric, it would still be something different than orthomolecular medicine. What makes orthomolecular medicine orthomolecular medicine is the pseudoscientific rhetoric and insistence on unsubstantiated claims. That some of the kitchen-sink cures they've tried happen to coincide with good medicine doesn't vindicate orthomolecular medicine, because things like Omega-3 were determined through good science, not through orthomolecular posturing. -- Cri du canard 22:35, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
A lovely piece of circular, self-justfying rhetoric. Whether something "is" OM is simply determined by the definition of OM, not by someone's value judgement of whether it is "posturing" or not. --Michael C. Price talk 22:55, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree -- and since OM defines itself as opposed to mainstream medicine and good science,[37] it's clear that a mainstream medical double-blind study is not OM. -- Cri du canard 23:41, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
That statement "OM defines itself as opposed to mainstream medicine and good science" shows how totally POV you are. It would be wise of you not to continue this dicussion before you lose what ever credibility you still have. --Michael C. Price talk 23:57, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Hey, Kunin said it[38] and endorsed it and Nautilus or his predecessor put it in the Wiki article, not me. I never would have found the article where Kunin defines OM as opposed to mainstream medicine and double-blind studies and the Hippocratic Oath if an OM proponent hadn't pointed it out. If you want to talk about credibility, perhaps you should look in the mirror and stop making bogus accusations of vandalism and stop writing edits like "it is this meaning of orthomolecular that Bruce Ames used" when citing to an article where Ames never uses the word orthomolecular. -- Cri du canard 00:07, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I see you are being very careful not to quote Kunin directly as saying "OM defines itself as opposed to mainstream medicine and good science". Very wise. BTW it's Pauling's definition that is relevant since it is accepted by critics and supporters alike that Pauling defined OM, not Kunin. --Michael C. Price talk 00:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I've quoted Kunin directly multiple times in response to your false charges of vandalism (which you still haven't apologized for, or backed up with an official complaint). I'm not going to clutter the talk page repeating myself. And forgive me for thinking that a cite that an OM proponent recommended entitled "Principles That Identify Orthormolecular Medicine: A Unique Medical Specialty" on a site called might have something to say about the definition of orthomolecular medicine. Where's your email to complaining that they're part of the conspiracy to discredit orthomolecular medicine by printing Kunin's article? Cri du canard 00:18, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, since you ask, if I write such an email, will that make a difference to you in this debate? I actuallly probably should write to them and point out that Kunin, despite his M.D., seems to have some misconceptions at least about orthodox medical practice. I choked a bit (for example) when I read his idea that standard medicine is against the idea of offering "false hope" by treating the incurable. I mean, has the man been to a modern oncologist? My general experience is that anybody with a solid tumor who can walk into an outpatient office under their own power, can generally get some kind of chemotherapy from an oncologist, whether there's good-quality randomized evidence that it's life-extending or even life-quality extending in that circumstance and for that tumor, or not. Chemotherapy will be "offered," not as cure, but as paliation (see hope). It will cost a lot more than vitamin C, to be sure. But the insurance company will pay, the patient will have hope, the oncologist (who buys the chemo and charges the huge markup to deliver it) will make the money (newsflash: oncologists would go broke if they didn't ever use chemo), and everybody is happy. All in all, paliative chemo is a lot more like "orthomolecular medicine" than anybody (on either side of this debate) wants to admit--- except for the prices. Science is sort of secondary; it's not really denigrated so much as ignored.

As for the rest of the essay, Dr. Kunin sounds like he'd be a lot happier as a naturopath than a medical doctor. Hydrotherapy as "orthomolecular"? As in whirlpools? What? Acupuncture? Hypnotherapy? Somehow I don't think all of this is what chemist Pauling intended. This is one guy's views and it's up on, which appears to be the website of the people who publish J. Orthomolecular Med. (Although the website itself defines orthomolecular medicine as correcting individual balances in biochemistry, and that sounds a lot more like Pauling). Perhaps merely needs a disclaimer about editorials? Surely they know that this Dr. Kunin fellow is being purposefully inflammatory when he says medicine is only interested in treating symptoms, but not cures? How about if I email them about that? For Kunin actually goes on to say that medical doctors don't listen to their patients, and question their honesty regarding reports of symptoms. Now, either M.D.s are obscessed with symptoms, or they aren't. One can't have this both ways, you know. :) In any case, I'm curious as to why material from this essay counts as official orthomolecular doctrine, any more than every idea in some editorial essay by some doctor in the back of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) should be taken as the official view of "allopathy." SBHarris 02:12, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, the Kunin article is the very first link on the front page of the Orthomolecular Medicine Online webpage run by the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, ahead even of the Pauling article that you say it disagrees with. (The other non-Pauling article on the front page is this plainly pseudoscientific collection of questionably-documented anecdotes that also identifies orthomolecular medicine as opposed to mainstream medicin (as do you) by both of you using the slur "allopathy"). I think is a bunch of quacks, but they're the head quacks of the whole quack discipline, and, as such, I trust their definition of orthomolecular medicine more than yours. But it's now official: according to the pro-OM advocates on this page, there are no reliable sources on orthomolecular medicine, because everyone from JAMA to medical dictionaries to the Canadian government to prominent OM advocates is conspiring to spread misinformation about orthomolecular medicine. -- Cri du canard 03:50, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
A name almost everyone accepts for themselves in writing before even beginning hardly seems a slur. In the US, prospective MDs assign themselves to the "allopathic" category (typically) at least 12-15 months before starting[39] med school, paying a couple of hundred dollars for the priveledge. Either get in from high school, in some cases, or be a DO otherwise :-> --TheNautilus 09:39, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I put "allopathy" in quotes for a reason. As for the rest, surely you overstate. The head quacks have to be homeopaths and Hulda Clark parasite zappers and various "energy field" workers and so on. Not people who got the dose or the type of vitamin E wrong. And about whom we will hardly be dumbfounded if they turn out to be right about selenium as a major cancer preventive. There is physics, physiology, biochemistry, and so on, and othomolecular medicine fits right in there, though it may not be right in all it says. To disparage it as the head of quack disciplines denotes just an amazing lack of perspective about the variety and nature of quacsk. Perhaps you need more education about what the REAL "alternative" practitioners are saying. The crazies. Start with, you know, the guy who invented the term "allopath" and those who still follow him. SBHarris 05:41, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Meanwhile you fail to address my main point, that this debate is irrelevant to the editing of the article. -- Cri du canard 00:18, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
So why did you raise the subject of Kunin's definition in the first place? --Michael C. Price talk 00:30, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I didn't raise it. You and other editors raised it first by falsely accusing me of "vandalism" by falsely accusing me of misrepresenting and misquoting the article. And these false accusations continue to be made, in contravention of WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA. -- Cri du canard 01:51, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
You raised it first in this thread. --Michael C. Price talk 07:15, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

This debate is utterly moot to the article and I'm not going to continue it. The article currently makes the NPOV statement that some OM proponents point to these studies, it makes the NPOV statement that not all of the studies are universally accepted, and it makes the NPOV statement that none of the studies explicitly endorse orthomolecular reasoning, and some explicitly reject it. These are all neutral, verifiable statements. Whether the studies are "really" OM (or, as I demonstrate, not really OM) is a POV statement that doesn't belong in the article. Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. -- Cri du canard 23:47, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Bullshit. Wikipedia is about truth. Verifiability is a minimum requirement for the addition of material to WP. However, articles are to be edited to a higher standard of truth. It is well known to public relations experts, marketing directors, political spin doctors and propagandists that any particular collection of "verifiable facts" can be sculpted to "prove" almost anything. Although frequently done in our society, such sculpting is usually morally wrong. I beleive that Wikipedia can and should rise above this level of "point-of-viewism" and strive to tell the truth.
I perceive your edits to be an attempt to sculpt a particular viewpoint by carefully adjusting your collection of "verifiable facts" to discredit OM. I resent this, as I think we should focus on telling the truth. linas 01:06, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
The problem, sir, is that your perception of the truth differs mightily from mine (and from mainstream medicine's, and, I believe, from reality, but that's neither here nor there). That's why there is a WP:NPOV and WP:V policy. I may not like your claims, and think they're quackery, but so long as they're verifiable, they get to go in the article. I merely ask for the same courtesy. Your complaint is with Wikipedia policies, not me, and I wish you'd stop being abusive towards me for being the messenger that the majority viewpoint doesn't agree with your pseudoscientific views.
Now, do you have a specific comment about a specific part of the article, or did you just want to call me names and curse at me on the talk page? -- Cri du canard 01:51, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Your edits follow those of certain notorious polemic websites whose motivations, interests and connections have been long been questioned. These sites use the most onesided material and quotes they can find, factuality being optional. Referenced or not, the pattern is clear and represents an extreme group that previously has enjoyed success in swaying public opinion and delivering pharmaceutically compatible attacks without too much public notice. Your continued "ps" attack is based on adversarial opinion and is perceived as highly uncivil. You've done a great job removing descriptive text, systematically injecting the polemic site material, and generally disupting the article to the point even PhDs can't make sense of the underlying subject. I think you've had plenty of opportunity now to express your POV, it isn't pretty and it isn't encyclopedic, it is legalistic "ps".--TheNautilus 09:39, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
So the answer to Cri's question is "the latter". --Hob Gadling 12:29, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
No, I've made plenty of material and logic available here over the last 6+ months. If I show that an "authoritative" reference suffers multiple factual defects or misrepresentations (e.g. BC Cancer Agency[40]) and is biased, I am ignored or denounced by late arriving, anti-scientific, radical "skeptics" who still push this particular piece of dreck and its ilk--TheNautilus 10:37, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Original research connection

Please see and regard this edit by Michael [[41]].

Disregarding his highly incivil block threats that he made after I tried to correct him, I think this sould be discussed, rather than resorting to revert warring like Michael.

By including this quote we are trying to imply that a leading critic of OM has actually verified part of it, which is blatently absurd and POV. The claims make no claim of OM, and appear to be fairly uncontroversial nutrion claim. This is in fact quote mining and an attempt to confuse the reader. Jefffire 10:45, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

The overlap of OM with other fields is being discussed elsewhere (i.e. directly above) on this talk page. --Michael C. Price talk 10:52, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
What is discussed on this page is OR. Unless you can verify that the claim is OM, your inclusion is specious, non-neutral, and an exercise in decieving the reader. Jefffire 11:04, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I would also suggest that issueing a 3rr warning to an editor after they make one revert, when you have made three, is hypocrisy and immensely incivil. Jefffire 11:08, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Restoring lost sourced quotes is not uncivil. I suggest that repeatedly deleting them is. --Michael C. Price talk 11:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
This quote was obviously misplaced and misattributed. The sentence about mainstream science was properly referenced, the "balancing quote" does not address the issue of the general view of current mainstream science and as included implied wrongly that the original source was equivocal in its assessment - it wasn't Gleng 11:28, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
MichaelCPrice, you have misused the 3RR warning again, this time by placing it on my talk page. I have made only ONE revert. Stop misusing warnings. As to your argument about being "from the same website," that was not my summary, nor anyone elses, as far as I can see. You are concocting a straw man argument. -- Fyslee 11:37, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
So explain how the deletion of a counter-balancing sourced quote from the same website is justified? --Michael C. Price talk 11:46, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Copy edit of Bruce Ames section

Having given the Bruce Ames section a bit of a copy edit partially based on WP:WTA, could I question the relevance of this section? Addhoc 11:38, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, now that you have removed a lot of relevant information (or example that Ames tests megadoses of nutrients on animal models, or that his papers covered the same focus on coenzyme binding as in Pauling's original OM paper), I guess the relevance of what is left may be questioned. --Michael C. Price talk 11:44, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Firstly, I didn't remove megadose. Secondly, what does animal model actually mean? Is he studying rodent physiology or something? Also, I consider your linkage of Ames and Pauling to be editorialising. Addhoc 11:50, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

You removed "high doses". If you looked at Ames' papers you would know whether it was on rodents or not. And you would know that he is giving the equivalent of megadoses to the animals. Look them up yourself. Stating that there is a degree of overlap between two papers is not editorialising. Ames has received an award from the Linus Pauling institute, so clearly he is not shy about the connection. --Michael C. Price talk 11:57, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I reworded and swapped high and large, but I don't consider this very significant. My concern about "animal models" is that it constitutes jargon, which is advised against in WP:WTA. Possibly you are correct about stating overlap. However your usage of the phrase "as indeed" would be defined as editorializing in the terms of WP:WTA. Regardless, I am not convinced about the relevance of this paragraph. Addhoc 12:08, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

How about if you just wikify animal model for people who don't know the term? I don't know that this is any more a "jargon" science term than (say) DNA or black hole. Anybody reading the article can be assumed to know some basics. SBHarris 17:16, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Large/high/megadose is important because it indicates that Ames is investigating the effects of >RDA doses. If you are concerned about jargon then modify it to make it clearer ("improve don't delete"). --Michael C. Price talk 12:23, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
"Ames has received an award from the Linus Pauling institute,..." Yes? So what! You would have a point if Ames awarded them a prize, but he didn't. Prizes are often given for various reasons, in this case to award someone whom they feel is helping their cause. I can imagine Ames behaved himself and accepted the prize (did he have any choice?!), without rudely pointing out the errors of his "benefactors."
The Ig Nobel Prize is another example of a prize given for an interesting reason - to make fun of the unwilling and unfortunate recipient. -- Fyslee 12:36, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, my position is the paragraph is not relevant and consequently I propose its deletion. Addhoc 12:48, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Overlap between nutritional science and OM

As far as any overlapping between accepted nutritional science and the work of orthomedical practitioners, it is rather irrelevant to the issue of pseudoscience, but still should be dealt with here in its own section. This might resolve some of the disputes here.

Of course there is overlapping, and this applies to nearly all areas of pseudoscience and dubious claims. It can't be any other way. Of course the believers also believe in some sensible things. Duh! That doesn't make them any less guilty for believing in their pseudoscientific ideas or making their dubious claims. On the contrary, they misuse the sensible aspects to trick people into believing their nonsense is also sensible.

To ensure that the areas of overlap are not misused here by believers in OM, they should be pointed out and clearly labeled as sensible science, while continuing to point out the errors of OM. It is these areas of contention and dubious claims that prevent sensible nutritionists from accepting OM with open arms. -- Fyslee 12:37, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that the line between "dubious claims" and "sensible science" keeps shifting from year to year. They keep moving the little sucker. And nutritionists are generally to be found on the reactionary side of it, whereever it is, and orthomolecular people on the future side (mainly because they favor supplements of everything). I am old enough to remember when nutritionists advised figuring out ways to drink the water you boiled your stringbeans in, to get your folate, and certainly not to take a folate PILL. Those things were dangerous, since they could mask pernicious anemia, you know. It was actually illegal to make a megadose folate pill, and still is. After a while, when it became apparent that neural tube birth defects weren't going to be stopped by people drinking the string bean water, the nutritionists okayed supplements for the high-risk population (premenopausal women) who refused string bean water. But not for anybody else, particularly not senior citizens, because that would be wholesale population vitamin supplementation, and we're all against that. Then there was a giant catfight between the FDA and the USDA about adding folate to the food supply. The nutritionists generally sided against the idea, citing all that dementia which would be hidden by people with B12 deficiency, taking folate. (All this time, B12 level blood tests are the most common nutritional test orthodox doctors actually do-- the irony). Then the USDA won, and added folate is now in your flour. And then the nutritionists suddenly, and magically, SHUT UP. Even made little noises of approval after a time. For now, mass population supplementation had been turned into good old garden-variety food-fortification (yawn), like thiamin and iodine, and it's no longer even an issue. And it certainly was never orthomolecular, no, no, no. A nearly identical battle happened over the idea of fortifying infant milk-replacement formulas with DHA. This was a crank idea right up until the moment the government decided it wasn't. With the US government deciding it wasn't nutty, long after some other governments had decided oppositely. You see the difficulty? Somebody has to take the progressive side on these issues, and (looking at history) I don't see it being the nutritionists (though I wish it was, because I generally like nutritionists). So who, then? SBHarris 16:59, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

The section on Ames was clearly misleading. It cited two publications, one a review of the incidence of polymorphisms that affect metabolism of enzymes. There are many polymorphisms that might affect metabolism, and for most their actual impact is speculative not established; these polymorphisms are common though there is no grounds for supposing that everyone has at least one; however common polymorphisms are clearly adaptively neutral - this is the nature of natural selection, so that a polynorphism is very common is itself indicative that it has no significant deleterious consequences. Now this is a review that properly and accurately displays the polymorphisms that might be relevant to individual differences in responses to vitamins or, probably more relevantly, differences in susceptibility to deficiency. It does not constitute evidenmce of benefits of supplementation above normal levels, although it informs the discussion. The second study cited correlation between riboflavin levels and levels of a risk factor for cardiovascular disease - i.e. there is no data in this associating low levels of riboflavin directly with risk, and it would be illegitimate to make this leap. The conclusion of this study is that "Studies on deficient populations are needed to evaluate the utility of riboflavin supplementation in hyperhomocysteinemia."- the study is grounds for more research, not grounds for conclusions about the benefits of supplementation. The study simply did not substantiate the point made. It is important to be careful; a normal diet already has an excess of riboflavin, so a relative deficiency in metabolism may be irrelevant except in circumstances of dietary deficiency or in the presence of another relevant genetic mutation. Just because someone has a polymorphism that means that a metabolic step is relatively slow, this does not mean that "extra" is required.Gleng 12:55, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

The residual secrion on Ames is still not accurate. Reference 16 is misdescribed; this is not Ames' work, but a review of others, the work does not solely relate to vitamin B, and these are diseases not common polymorphisms that are referred to. Ames is not a nutritionist, certainly not a mainstream nutritionist, and doesn't work on "metabolic health". I think it is true that he doesn't use the term orthomolecular. I suggest scrapping this section; his views are clearly within mainstream scientific thinking (if not always generally accepted); he is apparently not a proponent of orthomolecular medicine, even if his research might be mis-cited as seeming to offer support for it.Gleng 15:35, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your suggestion, the section should be scrapped. Addhoc 15:36, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Weasel Words

I propose deleting the following bold text, to remove weasel words:

  • Some orthomolecular proponents claim vindication because the American Heart Association dietary guidelines recommend two servings of fish per week for the general population, and to "consider" fish-oil supplements for patients with coronary disease who cannot obtain one gram of fish-derived omega-3 by dietary means.
  • Proponents of orthomolecular medicine argue that its claims are asserted on the basis of clinical observation, often from physicians with a lifetime of general practise.

Addhoc 16:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the second removal. Removing the six words in the first one, by themselves, however, changes the meaning of the sentence to falsely imply that the AHA guidelines have anything to do with OM. -- Cri du canard 21:47, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Would you prefer the removal of the whole AHA paragraph? Addhoc 09:49, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Please explain precisely what you mean by "Weasal words" in these contexts. You cannot apply a policy without saying how it applies in each case. Both statements are true and describe how Om sees itself. Lumos3 22:42, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course, according to WP:AWW "weasel words are words or phrases that smuggle bias into seemingly supported statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources" and "it is better to put a name and a face on an opinion than to assign an opinion to an anonymous source". Either some orthomolecular proponents should be replaced by their names or the statement should be removed. Addhoc 22:51, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

If it turns out the statement can't be verified, then, yeah, the whole AHA section should be removed. But it shouldn't be that hard to verify; we've seen OM proponents on this page take retroactive credit for curing scurvy. I'd keep it with the tag for a week before deleting all that rebuttal research. At a minimum, the paragraph should be archived on the talk page so that we don't have a problem if the paragraph is deleted, and some OM proponent does reinsert the claim with verification. -- Cri du canard 08:18, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Other statements here qualify for the old weasel word microscope: "Many mainstream medical physicians regard most orthomolecular therapies as insufficiently proven for clinical use,[5]" What are their names? How many is "many"? "In turn, mainstream medicine is often dismissive of orthomolecular medicine" followed by a quote from one guy who refuses to use the correct definition for what he claims never (ever) works, plus several cites who quote THIS guy's opinion. "Mainstream medicine disputes the validity of most orthomolecular therapies based on the lack of authoritative studies and the poor results from the studies that have been done." No names. No surveys, and particularly no surveys that establish that the people surveyed have any idea of just what it is that they're dismissing. "Many physicians express concern that megavitamin and orthomolecular therapies used solely as alternative treatments can create dangerous delays in obtaining their conventional treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy for cancer.[69]" How many is "many"? Is the number given in the reference? If so, here's the place to stick it in. 503? 11,438? 4 out of 5? It can't take up that much space. Again, we're getting a real double standard on this WEASEL thing, because it cuts both ways. So, how about we tone it all down, before we all get cut with same saw? SBHarris 18:49, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe OM proponents added the weasel word to the first phrase above. I agree it shouldn't have been added and I have fixed. NB that your complaint isn't quite analogous, because there is a cite. -- Cri du canard 03:09, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Merge Proposal

I have a problem with this article; I've looked on PubMed for "orthomolecular medicine" and this raises only 29 articles in all, including just 5 reviews. Of these, only one is in a properly authoritative source, and that is a review titled "Unproven methods in cancer treatment." Searching for just orthomolecular still gives only 218 items in all, but catches 24 reviews (including the 5 above). Of these 34, 6 are not in English and 2 have no authors listed; most appear to make at most passing reference to orthomolecular, only 3 have it in the title, many of the others are reviews of risks associated with large vitamin intake or reviews of "fads". Of the three reviews with orthomolecular in the title, one is from Pauling and two from the same group in Puerto Rico are follow ups of Pauling's review, and are specifically focussed on ascorbic acid. So there is a shortage of any V RS for this subject. I started searching because the definition of OM as given didn't make much sense to me and much of the dispute here might be attributed to a fundamental lack of clarity in what this is all about. The notion that insufficiency of essential nutrients in a diet can lead to disease is not controversial, is trivially and obviously true, and is part of mainstream science. The knowledge that some rare genetic diseases mean that affected individuals are unable to metabolise nutrients is also not controversial and is mainstream. The knowledge for instance that ascorbic acid is an antioxidant and that an excess of reactive oxygen species are linked to cell damage is also not controversial. So what about this whole area is noteworthy, as even the term appears essentially unused (for comparison, the term "molecular medicine" , although not exactly a conventional term appears in 4046 articles). It does appear to me that the notion of orthomolecular medicine (insofar as there is any peer reviewed science to inform the article) is inseparable from megavitamin therapy, i.e. the notion that there are health benefits for normal individuals in consuming certain vitamins at levels substantially higher than those conventionally regarded as adequate. I therefore suggest merging the articles, and restricting the focus to this single central issue.Gleng 14:56, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Comment, there are over 100,000 Google hits and shows up on Google trends as only being in common usage in the last year or so. [42] Addhoc 15:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

OK, it needs its own article on this basis - that it is a term that has spread into wide use among the public, (presumably through promotion of products bearing this label?), but that it is a term virtually unrecognised by the mainstream science community. This does seem a classic case of pseudoscientific jargon - attachment of a label that sounds scientific and profound, but which in fact is not recognised as meaningful by the scientific communityGleng 16:33, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps a somewhat less derogatory, less inflammatory google trends search would be this one: together with the observation that as of right now, we have no article at all on molecular medicine. Another keen obserevation might be: which indicates that no one is searching for the term "megavitamin therapy", and that there have been zero press articles using the terms "orthomolecular" or "megavitamin therapy". Rah, bah, sis-boom-bah. linas 00:40, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Clearly, I fully endorse your latter statement. Addhoc 12:39, 17 August 2006 (UTC)


Instead of searching for "megavitamin," you might try "megadose vitamin": 40,000 hits. There's also a huge amount of stuff under merely "vitamin therapy" which large doses are often used even in conventional medicine under various circumstances, but are defined as not being "megadose" by virtue of the virtue of the person doing the administering. ;). Orthodox doctors, you see, do not use megadose vitamins. Never. No matter how big the dose is, it's impossible for it to be megadose, because megadose means the wrong dose, and orthodoxy never uses the wrong dose. You see how easy this is?

This is related to definitions, you know. Pauling defined orthomolecular originally as the right dose, or getting the right molecules in the right concentration for health [43]. This would include withdrawing some phenylalanine from the diets from PKU suffers, and providing insulin to diabetics. However, Pauling's critics didn't and wouldn't hear him. What they HEARD was "megadose vitamin therapy" and they knew they were against that. Cassileth: "In 1968, the Nobel-prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling coined the term "orthomolecular" to describe the treatment of disease with large quantities of nutrients." [44] Well, no, that wasn't what Pauling said. But nobody wanted to repeat or say what Pauling said, because part of what Pauling said was inarguable. So a straw man was set up, and 4 out of 5 medical societies came out against it. (The 5th one was composed entirely of dentists who recommend Sugar Frosted Flakes, and nobody paid any attention to them).

We have the same problem with this article. We can put down Pauling's definitions but we'll turn blue before we find any orthodox medical society who is really willing to debate the issue on Pauling's grounds. Instead, the issue gets redefined to "Megavitamin Therapy" yawn, and everybody's against it. And so am I, for the record. I personally only use just-the-right-dose vitamin therapy, whenever I give vitamins. How about you-all? SBHarris 02:16, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I think Gleng's comments are illustrative of the general confusion caused by the removal of the previous descriptive orthomed text in the introduction[45].--TheNautilus 11:20, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

DEFINITIONS #2. Well, everybody is frustrated. The basic problem is that Pauling's original definition was that we simply made sure we have the optimal or "best" levels of nutrients of metabolites for every disease condition, before we go after it with drugs. Well, how are you going to argue about that? If Pauling wants the "right amounts" then his critics would have to argue that they deliberately espouse a program where people get the "wrong" amounts.

Of course, in asking for the "right" amounts, Pauling isn't really saying anything. Up to here, it's not even a scientific proposal, because "right" is a judgement call. It's more of a program for research (a paradigm if you must use the word). Argumentation about it now properly must descend to specifics about how hard you look at levels of nutrients and metabolites in diseases before you do anything else, and that's a complex issue. And one worthy of address.

Obviously, at some point you have to give up. Or alternately, you have to decide what FRACTION of medical resources you're willing to spend on patient metabolic support and nutrition. What fraction should that BE? Here's the paradigm. Now, orthomolecular people say "A lot more than we're doing!" but that's not really an answer. However, if you look at the orthodox answer, it's not very much better. To be brutally honest, the fraction of money in patient care that gets spent on nutrtional issues, from dietetic consults to metabolic support consults to supplements, to needed lab tests from B12 to homocysteine levels, is ALL controlled by how much Medicare and/or your HMO or insurance plan, will pay. And that is NOT determined scientifically. In fact, I really don't know how it's determined; mostly, I think some beancounter sits somewhere and decides the various issues like who can get a B12 level and who can get a metabolic consult and how often, and nobody has really done any good studies to see how this impacts mortality and morbidity for most things.

So we're all arguing about what to do with ill people, when we don't have enough data on what to do, and where we must do SOMETHING by default, even if we decide to do NOTHING. That's a bad place to be.

Anyway, in the middle of this we have the orthomolecular guys saying "find the right biochem mileau" and the orthodox guys hearing "give megadose vitamins" and the only WP:AGF explanation is that the orthodox people didn't hear what the orthomolecular people were saying, so much a look at what they were doing. And much of that is and was very much the same sort of empiric stuff that orthox docs do when they give "therapeutic" amounts of vitamins and "fortified" supplmental enteral feeding formulas, and so on. The idea being to saturate the body and let it sort out what it needs and (hopefully) discard the excess without too much harm. If that whole "paradigm" is crazy, then we should hold orthodoxy responsible for it, because they do it often enough. And they'd do MORE of it, if somebody would PAY for it. SBHarris 23:25, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Copy edit

Could I propose the following changes:

  • Change "paradigm" to "theory"
  • Change "proper" to "normal"
  • Change "natural type" to "naturally occurring"

Addhoc 12:44, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

all good suggestionsGleng 12:50, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with "naturally occurring", I am slightly concerned that the reader doesn't think that orthomed *requires* that molecules be from actual natural sources or that orthomed magically embraces "natural". "Proper" is sometimes not normal (e.g. homocysteine), and sometimes abnormal amounts are required to become normal in some other aspect, normal often winds up begging a question "whose normal". The word "theory" seems to be a very touchy subject here (hypothesis vs theory vs "ps"), and simply the word "paradigm" is broader in scope, emphasizes the philosophical approach involved that allows for multiple, evolving specific hypotheses & theories, and multiple participation (MD, DO, ND, PhD, etc) as they so choose to use or test some aspect of the paradigm.--TheNautilus 13:22, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd be wary of using paradigm, especially in the lead, as its use seems to obscure rather than clarify. Is it possibly to put it more simply without distortion? e.g. " "Orthomolecular medicine" and "optimum nutrition" presume[1] that many diseases and abnormalities ...." The discussion of proper and normal is a central issue. Normal levels of course can be defined objectively; "proper" is a problem, and can you really talk of "restoring" proper levels if proper does not mean normal??Gleng 14:10, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I can see merit either way - "presumes" sidesteps hot what-does-it-classify issue, "paradigm" is more accurate than hypothesis & "ps" and sort of acknowledges the ongoing ideological assualt such as presented here recently. Perhaps something for other orthomeds to comment on, as well as your point on proper vs normal.
Re:proper v normal another option might be "...achieving perceived optimal levels..." & "...raising subclinical deficiencies...". That there are suboptimal/subclinical levels is a commonly accepted fact. Orthomed says it is usually better to supplement presumptively within broad ranges or attempt individual measurement or assessment, whereas conventional med typically hesitates on the grounds that vitamins are "toxic", "ineffective" & "unproven" (oh, the industrial grades? e.g. "K3", D2, all-rac-"E"-acetate, betacarotene in unbalanced administrations without cofactors - we agree) while ignoring iron overloads in the population (and we might disagree how to correct some of those). Orthomed, of course, has an independent view of optimal. OM generally looks for abnormal/suboptimal levels sooner rather than when someone finally realizes (if ever) that they are witnessing frank pathology and finally responds nutritionally or medically. In *some* cases orthomeds explictly attempt to define optimal as the blood levels occurring in the (rated) very healthiest subpopulations as a hard target (glucose comes to mind), no waiting around "impaired" or for diabetes to respond biochemically. The "proper" wording may require some effort.--TheNautilus 10:37, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Paradigm isn't proper scientific terminology. It's a hypothesis according to standard definitions. Jefffire 10:49, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
It's a conceptual framework with many hypotheses in this case. From Wikipedia's paradigm article - "Since the late 1960s, the word paradigm has referred to a thought pattern in any scientific discipline or other epistemological context."--TheNautilus 11:08, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, paradigm isn't proper scientific terminology, it's sociology one. It's been described as a paradigm, which is verifiable, but doesn't make it a paradigm. Jefffire 11:11, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree that "presents a paradigm" isn't appropriate for a medical article and I would prefer "is a theory", which is less editiorializing. However, if "normal" is a non-starter, would "optimum" be any better. Addhoc 11:38, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
The orthomolecular approach clearly is a paradigm shift, larger than just some individual hypothesis "megavitamin Z may treat/delay/cure misery M". A new paradigm can be true, false, or commonly, in different stages of development (see "Scientific Progress"). The paradigmatic issues mean than even more fundamental scientific, philosophical and perceptual issues are involved than some cookbook version of science (see "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas S. Kuhn). Orthomolecular medicine is not just a medical article, it now involves the health, science, scientific-paradigmatic & commercial conflicts & politics.
The evidence of such paradigmatic conflict is even manifest in editing this article. It's kind of funny, it seems like only yesterday I was listening to a highly regarded faculty member, addressing mostly future MDs, refer to "current...evidence based medicine" as a "politically correct term". Medical & pharmaceutical politics do not define science, although they may increasingly try to.--TheNautilus 09:37, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Could you provide evidence of this widely accepted paradigm shift? Addhoc 10:36, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

PubMed has 22,490 hits for "evidence based medicine" --Michael C. Price talk 10:52, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

It may be a paradigm, but I don't think medicine is shifting towards this paradigm (or at least not at the moment). The enthusiasm for vitamin C and vitamin E has waned in the past five years with recent inconclusive, densely negative studies. Andrew73 11:51, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
They are not "densely negative". One negative meta-analysis is not the final word on ths subject. Apparently conflicting studies and meta-anlyses are a fact of medicine. --Michael C. Price talk 12:10, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Of course it's not the final word. It's just that the winds have shifted against vitamin E supplementation to prevent CAD, etc. I think you need more convincing evidence to favor vitamin E supplementation given what's recently been published. Epidemiologic studies from the 1990s are not strong enough (witness what happened to hormone replacement therapy). Andrew73 13:19, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
This is more than epidemiology vs. good studies like the HRT. It's stuff like the CHAOS trial and the more recent DATATOP stuff, vs. the E arm of the HOPE trial. We're in a position with vitamin E more like magnesium for MI-- what we have is a bunch of pretty good randomized prospective postitive trials, followed by some that came out null and then a few negatives. We don't know what's going on. It's not an obvious methadological problem. In any case, with vitamin E, clearly the trials showing excess mortality are the trials in people with bad CAD to begin with, not the high dose Parkinson's trials, etc. And the negative trials are contaminated in the meta analysis by use of beta-carotine+E data-- something that really shouldn't have been allowed (or else the analysis should have looked the matter with this data excluded, which it didn't). Add to that the fact that vitamin E is clearly good for monkeys with atherosclerosis in those models. How can it NOT be good for humans? If it isn't (and this has yet to be proven) it's extremely odd. SBHarris 22:43, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
My use of paradigm shift refers to the shift between current RDA style thinking and proactive, individualized OM, not windfall popularity or some unreported strategy change. Vitamin C & E were almost born unwelcome in some academic and industrial quarters, conveniently mistested & misreported for decades and are still indirectly disparaged by economic competitors (the direct disparagement usually comes from the right thinking brethern). Vitamin E, "discovered" in 1922, didn't even gain offical FDA acceptance until 1959, or an RDA/MDR until 1968. It's glacially slow business, er, progress, I don't really care, let Darwin sort them out, just get the polemics off my back. As for E, we would disagree as to which specific molecules are useful beyond aborting Norwegian rats. I have repeatedly tried to identify the tocopherol isomer, cofactor & ester issues & history here.--TheNautilus 13:05, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Again, being described as a paradigm does not make it a paradigm, it means that it has been described as a paradigm. I've reworded to use proper terminology and mention that it's been described as a paradigm (I really think your shooting OM in the foot with this, paradigm is more or less seem as a byword for pseudoscience). Jefffire 14:37, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok, this reference [46] describes orthomolecular medicine as quackery. Including this in the first sentence, in my view, is no better or worse than describing orthomolecular as a paradigm, implying there has been a paradigm shift. Addhoc 11:42, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the only thing it defines as quackery is "orthomolecular treatment of mental diseases with high doses of vitamins." But how about treatment of mental diseases with high doses of DHA omega-3 EFA? DHA having a vitamin-like role as being the most common fatty acid IN brain tissue, but one which cannot be synthesized de-novo. Does this website even give any hints that it understands the concept of orthomolecular medicine? No, it does not. So how does it manage to hold itself as having expertise in something it can't even seem to read up on, well enough to define correctly? Such complete dunderheaded ignorance is unforgivable. Doctors are only human, to be sure, but these two guys (who I've been watching at quackwatch for years) make me embarassed for my profession now and then. They both seem to be reflex knee-jerk reactionaries, defending whatever the status quo happens to be at the time. Even while the status quo changes slowly in the direction of nutritional therapy (do a medline search on bipolar disorder or depression, and fish oil and/or DHA). SBHarris 17:54, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, there doesn't appear to be much enthusiasm for another redrafting of the introduction at the moment. If everyone else can live with the current version for now, I'll drop the suggestion. Addhoc 18:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Weasel words paragraph

As discussed this paragraph starts with weasel words that provide the only linkage to this article. This paragraph was tagged for a week, so I would suggest that if anyone wants to reintroduce this material, they appropriately reword and include a reference for the linkage.

Some orthomolecular proponents[who?] claim vindication because the American Heart Association dietary guidelines recommend two servings of fish per week for the general population, and to "consider" fish-oil supplements for patients with coronary disease who cannot obtain one gram of fish-derived omega-3 by dietary means [35]. An omega-3 supplement (OMECOR) was approved by the FDA in 1995 for treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. However, the AHA's official policy statement says "There aren’t sufficient data to suggest that healthy people benefit by taking certain vitamin or mineral supplements in excess of the RDAs," and does not recommend other supplements, while recommending artificial drugs such as statins, all in contravention to orthomolecular theory.[36] The AHA does not recommend orthomolecular medicine.[37]

Addhoc 11:37, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

There are some websites that seem to use this kind of argument[47] but as far as I can see orthomolecular proponents are generally dismissive of conventional medical research and associations. As far as I can see, the more common line is that the AHA and AMA are part of a conspiracy with pharmaceutical industry, so I can't really see them claiming vindication from anything the AHA says.Gleng 15:35, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

That's because you see and hear what you wish to hear. It has repeatedly pointed out here that there is a considerable overlap between conventional and orthomolecular medicine. But who's listening? Not you, that's for sure. --Michael C. Price talk 17:34, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Remember WP CIVIL. Find the sites that quote conventional health organisations in support of OM, or OM sites that quote the support of conventional medical organisations, and they'd be useful contributions.Gleng 07:58, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Looking through the scientific literature cited, the following do not appear to provide clear support for the points for which they are given as references. The sections in italics are quotes from the cited articles, the regular text is my paraphrasing or summary

Ref 26: Folate intake was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk (IRR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.4-1.1, p for trend = 0.25) - folate intake did not appear to lower the risk of rectal cancer This study reports a non-significant trend (P=0.25) towards lower risk of colorectal cancer and no effect on rectal cancer

Ref 27 Selenium treatment did not protect against development of basal or squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. However, results from secondary end-point analyses support the hypothesis that supplemental selenium may reduce the incidence of, and mortality from, carcinomas of several sites. These effects of selenium require confirmation in an independent trial of appropriate design before new public health recommendations regarding selenium supplementation can be made’’ The primary subject of this study was SCCs for which no protective effect was seen. However on secondary analysis the treatment group had lower all cause mortality and all-cancer mortality. Correctly, this type of secondary observation is noted as requiring independent confirmation.

Ref 28 is not peer reviewed, is the same authors and same study as ref 27 reported in a symposium proceedings

Ref 25 We did not observe strong independent associations between folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, methionine, or alcohol and risk of colon cancer after adjusting for body size, physical activity, cigarette smoking patterns, energy intake, and dietary intake of fiber and calcium. However, when assessing the associations between colon cancer and a composite dietary profile based on alcohol intake, methionine, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, we observed a trend of increasing risk as one moved from a low- to a high-risk group. This trend was modest and most marked in those diagnosed at a younger age [odds ratio (OR) for men = 1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.9-1.9; OR for women = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.0-2.6]. Again this is a report of a small and non-significant trend on secondary analyses when the primary endpoint showed no effect. Gleng 11:44, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't have time, right now, to go through all the cites you claim are weak, but if we just look at ref 27, we see that your criticism of primary vs secondary endpoints is irrelevant, since the citation is only used to support the statement
200ug/d of selenium for 4.5 years resulted in a 17% reduction of totality mortality by over 11 years (in total), due to a 50% reduction of (all) cancer mortality, 37% reduction in (all) cancer occurrence
as quoted in the ref text in the article. All observations need confirmation -- that is just a general, unarguable scientific comment. Ditto for the other refs. Must dash, back later. --Michael C. Price talk 12:42, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the issue here is that primary endpoints describe hypotheses specified in advance allowing hypothesis testing statistical tests. Secondary endpoints are those that appear in the data after post hoc analysis and these are problematical because post hoc tests in such circumstances cannot adequately account for multiple comparisons, accordingly such conclusions have a very high false positive rate and so are indicators for further independent studies rather than a reliable basis for conclusions. The authors seem well aware of this in the way that the abstract is phrasef, though I don't have access to the full text. Conventionally, we would accept a P value of 0.05 or less on appropriate statistical testing as being acceptably strong evidence; P values of 0.25, and confidence intervals on OR that span 1 just don't come close. The abstracts report data, and that's fine, but the data are inconclusive as the authors make clearGleng 13:09, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

The study shows a statistically significant reduction in cancer incidence and all cancer mortality, but only a nonsignificant reduction in total mortality. I'll amend the article accordingly. I'll double check the other studies as well. --Michael C. Price talk 18:25, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
ThanksGleng 21:34, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Ref 25, 26 removed since they didn't reach significance. Ref 27 already answered. Ref 28 - yes same authors as another and non-peer reviewed, but Combs is a recognised authority on selenium/cancer. Also all the infamous quack watch quotes are non-peer reviewed: should we remove them? Removed a couple of leading words, such as "moreover": let the reader decide the significance without being led. --Michael C. Price talk 00:01, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Peer reviewed is not a requirement under WP:RS. Also, I doubt is peer reviewed either. Addhoc 10:06, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Peer review - I think it depends on context - if you're citing for an opinion, then a source of opinion is fine and I wouldn't expect a peer reviewed source, only a source that's well known, and quackwatch has for instance been highlighted favourably in Lancet Oncology for its role in publicising the dubious nature of purported cancer cures, implying some respect from establishment opinion. If you're citing for scientific "fact", then I think I would expect a source where the information has gone through some accepted independent peer review process (peer reviewed source accepted as reputable e.g. on PubMed).Gleng 11:15, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Archives of Internal Medicine: 'Tudes & the Anti-Quackery Quacks

Key pull-quote: "Where did the emotion come from? Why did academic medicine deploy the language of denunciation against proponents of vitamin supplements?"

Why, indeed! What were they afraid of? Why have the supposed guardians of "scientific medicine" reacted like religious fanatics whose faith has been challenged? Is it perhaps because they ARE religious fanatics whose faith has been challenged? Questions, questions.

These are brief snippets only. Full text for scholarly purposes is available on individual request to aelewis AT provide DOT net


Archives of Internal Medicine Vol. 158 No. 20, November 9, 1998

Battling Quackery

Attitudes About Micronutrient Supplements in American Academic Medicine

By James S. Goodwin, MD and Michael R. Tangum, MD


"THROUGHOUT THE 20th century American academic medicine has resisted the concept that supplementation with micronutrients might have health benefits. This resistance is evident in several ways: (1) by the uncritical acceptance of news of toxicity, such as the belief that vitamin C supplements cause kidney stones; (2) by the angry, scornful tone used in discussions of micronutrient supplementation in the leading textbooks of medicine; and (3) by ignoring evidence for possible efficacy of a micronutrient supplement, such as the use of vitamin E for intermittent claudication."


"[L]et us review some of the words [used to describe vitamins and vitamin therapy in standard medical textbooks]: 'massive, carelessness, useless, indiscriminate, false, indefensible, wasteful, insidious, unnecessary, deplored, and poor medical practice.' Over the last several decades there have been many areas of medical practice about which uncertainty and controversy exist, and these are well covered in the various editions of these 2 textbooks; they include the drug treatment of hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia, surgical vs medical treatment of angina, and indications for tonsillectomy or hysterectomy. But in none of these discussions does one encounter the contemptuous descriptions found in the discussions of multiple vitamins."


"Negative attitudes about micronutrients did not evolve recently; they have deep roots. The resistance of the medical community to the concept that scurvy, beri-beri, and rickets were caused by vitamin deficiencies has been well documented.[47-51].... The pathologists who dominated academic medicine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries lacked the vocabulary to integrate the public health observations of vitamin deficiency into a pathophysiology dominated by the germ theory.[49,50] A popular term used to describe vitamin deficiency disease, negative causality, evidenced the pathologists' awkwardness in grappling with the idea.[47,49,50]"


"There are many factors that influence the adoption of new medical treatments other than strict consideration of efficacy, toxic effects, and cost.[5,6,54-57] For example, the financial incentives conferred by patent protection that stimulate the aggressive marketing of new pharmaceuticals were lacking in the case of micronutrients.[55] However, these factors do not explain the anger and scorn illustrated in the quotations from medical textbooks given earlier. Where did the emotion come from? Why did academic medicine deploy the language of denunciation against proponents of vitamin supplements?"

"For answers we return to the idea with which we introduced this discussion. Galileo is one of the heroes of present day science. We see him as a role model, the man of science battling the forces of unreason. It is therefore extremely ironic, and not a little unsettling, to consider the possibility that, in the fight between academic medicine and the various proponents of micronutrient supplements, the role of academic medicine was more analogous to the 17th-century curia than it was to Galileo. But one senses some of the same vehemence, the same anger directed against "popularizers" of the benefits of micronutrients that must have greeted Galileo. He was not persecuted by an ignorant mob of religious zealots; his enemies were the intellectual and scholarly elite, whom he had bypassed, usurped, and rendered irrelevant."

"Of course, this was precisely the course followed by many of the proponents of the benefits of micronutrients, the most famous of whom was Linus Pauling, the chemist who intruded into clinical matters. It is instructive to reread the review articles and editorials published in the 1970s ridiculing and condemning the ideas of Pauling. He was treated as a dangerous enemy, although a few years before his death, like Galileo, he was rehabilitated to the status of a genius with controversial ideas."




I sincerely believe that my offering of this material is in accord with the Fair Use doctrine, three of the four key factors being, to wit:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; [clearly this use is NOT of a commercial nature and it is entirely for educational purposes]

2. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; [the quoted text is about 500 words, out of the total of approximately 3500 words of the whole article, not including references (with references, over 5000 words)]

3. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. [clearly, this use will have no effect on either, except perhaps a positive one]

Hi, in my opinion, this shouldn't be included in the main article without trimming and rewording. Although it is very useful and interesting. Addhoc 18:42, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I agree that it should not be included in the main article; that was not my point, and I did not suggest it. It should perhaps be cited in the main article, to give some background and context to the "controversy". The "controversy", it should be abundantly clear from this and other readings (further references on request), has mostly to do with old prejudices, turf defense, money, money, money, etc., rather than science or scientific plausibility. The resistance to OM and other such things is a sociology of science issue, not a science issue. (And a damn interesting one, too! It would make a great theme for a dissertation in social psych.)

Goodwin and Tangum do not mention "orthomolecular" medicine, specifically; they are talking only about the deep and virulent prejudice against nutritional supplementation of any kind, whatever the name. That same bitter hostility is evident (sometimes only subtley and implicitly, and sometimes not) in the comments of "canard" and a few others here -- and of course in the rhetoric of Barrett and the other "anti-quackery" quacks. I fear that we really are dealing with religious fanatics, defending the One True Faith against heretics (and, not incidentally, defending juicy profe$$ional prerogatives and $hareholder value against external threats). Their reactions could not be more inconsistent with their vaunted standing as cool, science- and evidence-minded analysts.


Another example:

"The immediate reaction to the original findings [regarding folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects] was one of strong disbelief and hostility, and the establishment refused to advise women to take folic acid until the requisite number of double blind experiments were done. At last they are satisfied 11 years later, culminating with a report in J. American Med Ass in 1989. Folic acid provided protection for most causes of the defect. Even in women with a family history, the frequency of babies with the defects was more than five times greater - 18 per 1000 against 3.5 per 1000, in women who did not take the vitamin in the first six weeks of pregnancy. How many babies could have been saved by such a simple solution? Even if the original findings had been wrong, what harm would it have done to have advised them immediately about this very important finding? I was astonished in 1981 at the vehemence of the reaction by physicians and nutritionists, and I am still astonished. -- Abram Hoffer, at

Hahaha. Poor old Doctor Hoffer. He should by now understand what we are dealing with: fanatical religionists. Not scientists.

And in the case of folic acid, women could have simply been advised to eat more vegetables and fruits (good sources of folic acid). It was not necessary to advise them to take vitamin pills. But even THAT utterly-harmless and manifestly-totally-beneficial advice was not given. The prejudice runs (or ran) that deep! It is changing now, very slowly. Eating more fruits and veggies is OK, but gosh darn do NOT waste your money on those vitamin pills! -- AEL

Ahem. You missed some history. The general population was told not to take folate in vitamins, but women of childbearing age were told they could take folate pills, but only if they weren't getting their 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This state of affairs lasted about 3 years. Finally, in 1998, folate was added on a mass scale to flour in the US, resulting in a drop in neural tube defects of about a third. [48] As of 2004, Europe is still resisting doing the same. SBHarris 01:00, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

With luck, orthomolecular technic can become fully integrated into mainstream practice after the die-off (physical death) of only one more generation. Without luck, it might take 2-3 generations, yet. --AEL

When it is integrated, it won't be called "orthomolecular." If you've noticed, they don't even called megavitamin therapy "megavitamin therapy" when it's standard medical procedure. Nobody ever called high dose nicotinic acid "megavitamin therapy." And in fact, nobody ever calls the standard treatment for B12 malaborption (which is 1000 mcg B12 once a month by injection or every day by pill), "megavitamin therapy." Even though this is about 500 times the RDA(RDI) at a dose, so it's megavitamin therapy if the term has any meaning. There's a serious matter of linguistic double standards here which seems likely to continue. Orthomolecular people are damned for advocating "megavitamin therapy" even in cases where they don't, and orthodox doctors are never admitted to be using megavitamin therapy, even in cases where they do.

Soon enough one can see that the issue isn't vitamins at all. Well, what is the issue? Critics say the issue of use of "science." But mass supplementation of the entire population with a nutrient, in hopes of catching a few people who may be short of it (as we do with iodine, folate, fluoride, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, etc, with more to come), is a very statistical kind of medical treatment. That kind of random supplementation, in hopes of perhaps doing some undernourished soul some good, in other venues would run a high risk of being called "quackery." It is certainly hard to find the nubin of the philosophy which separates public policy from vitamin store overenthusiasm. In many cases, the only difference I can see is that the policy hasn't seriously been proposed, or else it's financially or aesthetically difficult.

For example, is there any reason not to fortify the food supply so that every single person on Earth gets 1000 mcg of B12? None, so far as I can tell! The only drawback would be pink food. And if your Naturopath did that and charged you a lot of money, the only result would be a slightly depleted bank account, and perhaps some good for many an elderly person with low B12 levels. Is it the money wasted, which makes it quackery? For the price of all the B12 tests Medicare and insurance underwrite, we might actually be able to fortify the food supply with enough B12 to make a difference. Hmmm. SBHarris 01:00, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

This is all fascinating, but Wikipedia isn't here to provide a forum for discussion. If editors could stick to discussing changes to the article only it'll save time, since I won't need to send large section of the talk page to the archive periodically. Jefffire 08:43, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

"Stick to discussing changes to the article". Agreed. I tried to keep my snippets and comments short; pardon me if I failed. The bottom line here is that there ought to be a section, perhaps just a short one, on the very clear prejudice of most medical people against nutritional supplements. (Like, written into a generation of textbooks, no less! See Goodwin and Tangum, above. We're not talking about a few anecdotes from miffed thin-skinned OM people. We're talking an egregious prejudice written right into textbooks.) This has had a chilling effect, to say the least, on the development of OM, has inhibited the conducting of more trials, has inhibited the broad embrace and utilization of information from such trials as exist, etc., etc. I would write the section myself if I could trust myself to be objective. Maybe in a few weeks, after my BP returns to normal. But at this moment I am in the same emotionally-aroused state as the one that the "anti-quackery" quacks are perpetually in. --AEL

Thanks for your input, AEL, I think much of your material should go in the article, to provide some much needed sourced balance. --Michael C. Price talk 11:53, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Assuming it can be verified. Currently all we have is OR accusations. Jefffire 12:26, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
It was sourced: Archives of Internal Medicine Vol. 158 No. 20, November 9, 1998 --Michael C. Price talk 12:34, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I was of course refering to accusations of prejidice and quackery in the above rants. It's very strange that a supposedly scientific topic is soliciting such personal attacks from supporters. Jefffire 12:52, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

The "personal attacks" have for DECADES been almost entirely in the other direction. They have been vicious, relentless, and often devastating. And they have been propagated by the people who hold ALL the cards, on all levels (financial, institutional, professional). And now you find it "very strange" that one guy (without any cards, I should add) might feel annoyed and react in kind? What do you expect?

My "accusations of prejudice and quackery" are based on an extensive written record and massive documentation. There is no doubt. See the Goodwin article and the citations therein (to textbooks and other medical media), which I will gladly send you in full text. See also the Wilk v. AMA case, now mentioned above (a case of rather extreme prejudice!). See Kaufman's meticulous review (above) of 8 pages of the quackwatch site, concluding that they were "contaminated with incomplete data, obsolete data, technical errors, unsupported opinions, and/or innuendo... Hostility to all alternatives was expected and observed from the website, but not repetition of groundless dogma from mainstream medicine, examples of which were exposed". (And be sure to read the whole original critique at the URL, not just my snippets.) See details of the assault on Linus Pauling, detailed in back-threads here (Talk:Ortho...) and elsewhere, readily google-able. See James Carters' somewhat dated (1993) but compellingly-argued and documented book "Racketeering in Medicine: The Suppression of Alternatives". See Ralph Moss' book (same description) "The Cancer Industry", and pay special attention to the juicy/gory details of organized suppression of important scientific research and researchers, the harassment of practitioners, and etc. There's more, but that will get you started.

Read those items, and then tell me if you still find it "very strange".

What is "very strange" is not my ranting, but the actions of a corrupt, greedy and often vicious medical/academic/industrial/regulatory establishment, over decades, that precipitated my ranting. My puny little rants on this thread represent in energy, resources and effectiveness perhaps .000001% of same that have been fired in the other direction. If you are not yet aware of that, then read the items I mentioned.

The behavior of the "skeptics" and "anti-quackery" activists on this thread is in clear resonance with the establishment to which I refer. The people on this thread are, of course, just junior skirmish-meisters, and not in positions of real power. But those who ARE in positions of real power depend very much on that large, informal, voluntary band of self-styled "debunkers" and "anti-quackery" quacks, doing the work up in the trenches. That band is objectively in resonance with a massive, coordinated and extremely powerful movement to maintain a corrupt, wasteful, repressive, unjust, and ruinously-expensive system. (And, incidentally, a system that very often does not even deliver the positive goods, for all that! Documentation on request, if'n you need it.) Subjectively, they believe themselves (correctly) to be just individuals, speaking their minds, but objectively they are in resonance with the movement and system that I mention.


PS: Personally I find it VERY STRANGE that the Jews would react so emotionally to the Nazis' treatment of them. What a bunch of soreheads! Lousy sports! Why don't they lighten up?? ;-)


One more quick thing, and then I'll shut up for a while (perhaps to the relief of all; haha):

I just wanted to add to the above list of essential reading-matter Marcia Angell's very important book, "The Truth About the Drug Companies". Dr Angell, you may know, was the editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. Perhaps that qualifies her to remain free of the epithet "quack", or perhaps not; we shall see. In any case the book is a must-read, and it fleshes-out the story about that particular aspect of the "establishment" that I describe (a large aspect, but hardly the whole of it). A very helpful summary of the book appears here: [link was copyvio so deleted] (originally from the NYRB)

If you're wondering why we don't have more rcdbt's with orthomolecular substances, and generally why OM is not much more widely-embraced than it is, a goodly PART of the answer is in Angell's book. The WHOLE answer you will have to piece-together, however, from a variety of readings over time.

--AEL —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Alan2012 (talkcontribs) .

I did think that a discussion about science might avoid Godwin's law. Now, you have provided some references and these will be useful. But this is not the place to change centuries of medical practice, it's an encyclopedia. As such it will always side with the most authoritative sources, rightly or wrongly. Now it is odd that someone would found an entire new branch of medicine to avocate what ought to have been viewed as changes to traditional nutrition, but the motives of OM's founders are not important. What matters are verifiable views and opinions that we can report on. Medical journal are the place to debate effectiveness or otherwise, because doing so on Wikipedia is a waste of time and betrays an unscientific approach. Jefffire 12:24, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree, this page is purely for discussing how we can improve the article and isn't an open ended debating forum. Addhoc 12:28, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Italic text

  1. ^ Multivitamin use, folate, and colon cancer in women in the Nurses' Health Study. Giovannucci E, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, Fuchs C, Rosner BA, Speizer FE, Willett WC; Ann Intern Med" 1998 Oct 1;129(7):517-24 PMID: 9758570 Long-term use (>15 years) of folate-containing multivitamin supplements produced an almost 5-fold reduction in the incidence of colon cancer.
  2. ^ Are dietary factors involved in DNA methylation associated with colon cancer? Slattery ML, Schaffer D, Edwards SL, Ma KN, Potter JD in Nutr Cancer 1997;28(1):52-62 PMID: 9200151
  3. ^ Dietary intake of folic acid and colorectal cancer risk in a cohort of women. Terry P, Jain M, Miller AB, Howe GR, Rohan TE in Int J Cancer 2002 Feb 20;97(6):864-7 PMID: 11857369
  4. ^ Effects of selenium supplementation for cancer prevention in patients with carcinoma of the skin. A randomized controlled trial. Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Study Group. Clark LC, Combs GF Jr, Turnbull BW, Slate EH, Chalker DK, Chow J, Davis LS, Glover RA, Graham GF, Gross EG, Krongrad A, Lesher JL Jr, Park HK, Sanders BB Jr, Smith CL, Taylor JR. JAMA 1996 Dec 25;276(24):1957-63 PMID: 8971064 200ug/d of selenium for 4.5 years resulted in a 17% reduction of totality mortality by over 11 years (in total), due to a 50% reduction of (all) cancer mortality, 37% reduction in (all) cancer occurrence
  5. ^ Reduction of cancer mortality and incidence by selenium supplementation. Combs GF Jr, Clark LC, Turnbull BW in Med Klin 1997 Sep 15;92 Suppl 3:42-5. PMID: 9342915
  6. ^ Reduction of cancer risk with an oral supplement of selenium. Combs GF Jr, Clark LC, Turnbull BW in Biomed Environ Sci 1997 Sep;10(2-3):227-34 PMID: 9315315
  7. ^ Fifteen year mortality in Coronary Drug Project patients: long-term benefit with niacin. Canner PL, Berge KG, Wenger NK, Stamler J, Friedman L, Prineas RJ, Friedewald W in J Am Coll Cardiol 1986 Dec;8(6):1245-55 PMID: 3782631 “With a mean follow-up of 15 years, nearly 9 years after termination of the trial, mortality from all causes in each of the drug groups, except for niacin, was similar to that in the placebo group. Mortality in the niacin group was 11% lower than in the placebo group (52.0 versus 58.2%; p = 0.0004).” Dose used = 2g – 3g/day for 6 years. The drop in mortality was only evident after 6-8 years.
  8. ^ Associations of Mortality With Ocular Disorders and an Intervention of High-Dose Antioxidants and Zinc in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study: AREDS Report No. 13. AREDS Research Group (Authors: Traci E. Clemons, PhD; Natalie Kurinij, PhD; Robert D. Sperduto, MD.) in Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 May;122(5):716-26. PMID: 15136320 “Participants randomly assigned to receive zinc [80mg/d] had lower mortality than those not taking zinc (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.61-0.89).”
  9. ^ Orthomolecular psychiatry. Varying the concentrations of substances normally present in the human body may control mental disease,Science 1968 Apr 19;160(825):265-71.(PMID 5641253) [49]
  10. ^ Definition of Orthomolecular medicine at Accessed June 2006 and What is Orthomolecular Medicine?, Linus Pauling Inst.
  11. ^ a b Cassileth BR. Alternative medicine handbook: the complete reference guide to alternative and complementary therapies. New York: W.W.Norton & Co., 1998:67.
  12. ^ a b c "Vitamin Therapy, Megadose / Orthomolecular Therapy" British Columbia Provincial Health Services Authority 2000
  13. ^ Lamm DL, et al. Megadose vitamins in bladder cancer: a double-blind clinical trial. Journal of Urology 1994 Jan;151:21-26.
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference qw was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ American Cancer Society 2006 "Orthomolecular Medicine has not been scientifically proven to help most of the conditions for which it is promoted. However, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements have been and continue to be studied to see if they can help or prevent many types of illness." [50]
  16. ^ Nutrition Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society. Megavitamin and megamineral therapy in childhood. Canadian Medical Association Journal 143:1009 1013, 1990, reaffirmed April 2000.
  17. ^ Bruce N Ames, Ilan Elson-Schwab and Eli A Silver (2002). "High-dose vitamin therapy stimulates variant enzymes with decreased coenzyme binding affinity (increased Km): relevance to genetic disease and polymorphisms". American Society for Clinical Nutrition. 75: 616–658. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
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  20. ^ Bruce N Ames, Ilan Elson-Schwab and Eli A Silver (2002). "High-dose vitamin therapy stimulates variant enzymes with decreased coenzyme binding affinity (increased Km): relevance to genetic disease and polymorphisms". American Society for Clinical Nutrition. 75: 616–658. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  21. ^ a b Age-associated mitochondrial oxidative decay: improvement of carnitine acetyltransferase substrate-binding affinity and activity in brain by feeding old rats acetyl-L- carnitine and/or R-alpha -lipoic acid. Liu J, Killilea DW, Ames BN in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Feb 19;99(4):1876-81 (PMID 11854488)
  22. ^ a b Memory loss in old rats is associated with brain mitochondrial decay and RNA/DNA oxidation: partial reversal by feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R-alpha -lipoic acid. Liu J, Head E, Gharib AM, Yuan W, Ingersoll RT, Hagen TM, Cotman CW, Ames BN in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Feb 19;99(4):2356-61. (PMID 11854529)
  23. ^ a b Feeding acetyl-L-carnitine and lipoic acid to old rats significantly improves metabolic function while decreasing oxidative stress. Hagen TM, Liu J, Lykkesfeldt J, Wehr CM, Ingersoll RT, Vinarsky V, Bartholomew JC, Ames BN in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Feb 19;99(4):1870-5. (PMID 11854487)
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  26. ^ Google search for Bruce Ames orthomolecular
  27. ^ Cite error: The named reference pauling1968 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  28. ^ a b High-dose vitamin therapy stimulates variant enzymes with decreased coenzyme binding affinity (increased K(m)): relevance to genetic disease and polymorphisms. Ames BN, Elson-Schwab I, Silver EA in Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Apr;75(4):616-58 (PMID 11916749) Abstract:As many as one-third of mutations in a gene result in the corresponding enzyme having an increased Michaelis constant, or K(m), (decreased binding affinity) for a coenzyme, resulting in a lower rate of reaction. About 50 human genetic dis-eases due to defective enzymes can be remedied or ameliorated by the administration of high doses of the vitamin component of the corresponding coenzyme, which at least partially restores enzymatic activity. Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms, in which the variant amino acid reduces coenzyme binding and thus enzymatic activity, are likely to be remediable by raising cellular concentrations of the cofactor through high-dose vitamin therapy. Some examples include the alanine-to-valine substitution at codon 222 (Ala222-->Val) [DNA: C-to-T substitution at nucleo-tide 677 (677C-->T)] in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (NADPH) and the cofactor FAD (in relation to cardiovascular disease, migraines, and rages), the Pro187-->Ser (DNA: 609C-->T) mutation in NAD(P):quinone oxidoreductase 1 [NAD(P)H dehy-drogenase (quinone)] and FAD (in relation to cancer), the Ala44-->Gly (DNA: 131C-->G) mutation in glucose-6-phosphate 1-dehydrogenase and NADP (in relation to favism and hemolytic anemia), and the Glu487-->Lys mutation (present in one-half of Asians) in aldehyde dehydrogenase (NAD + ) and NAD (in relation to alcohol intolerance, Alzheimer disease, and cancer).
  29. ^ (PMID: 15681105)
  30. ^ Riboflavin as a determinant of plasma total homocysteine: effect modification by the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism. Hustad S, Ueland PM, Vollset SE, Zhang Y, Bjorke-Monsen AL, Schneede J in Clin Chem 2000 Aug;46(8 Pt 1):1065-71 PMID: 10926884 The riboflavin-tHcy relationship was modified by genotype (P = 0.004) and was essentially confined to subjects with the C677T transition of the MTHFR gene [homo- and hetero-zygous]. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma riboflavin is an independent determinant of plasma tHcy.
  31. ^ Bruce N Ames, Ilan Elson-Schwab and Eli A Silver (2002). "High-dose vitamin therapy stimulates variant enzymes with decreased coenzyme binding affinity (increased Km): relevance to genetic disease and polymorphisms". American Society for Clinical Nutrition. 75: 616–658. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  32. ^ Google search of Bruce Ames website for orthomolecular
  33. ^ Bruce Ames on the Idea Channel
  34. ^
  35. ^ AHA Scientific Statement: Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease, #71-0241 Circulation. 2002;106: 2747-2757
  36. ^ Vitamins and Mineral Supplements-AHA Scientific Position
  37. ^