Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A few studies on homeopathy

A few studies on homeopathy
- Source, Internet search.

Baum M, Ernst E. Should we maintain an open mind about homeopathy? American Journal of Medicine. 122,11:November 2009. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2009/03.038.

Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, and Govind S. Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy. Volume 99, Issue 4, October 2010, 231-242.

Elia V, and Niccoli M. Thermodynamics of Extremely Diluted Aqueous Solutions, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 879, 1999:241-248.

Elia V, Napoli E, Niccoli M, Marchettini N, Tiezzi E(2008). New Physico-Chemical Properties of Extremely Dilute Solutions. A Conductivity Study at 25?°C in Relation to Ageing. Journal of Solution Chemistry, 37:85-96.

Endler PC, Thieves K, Reich C, Matthiessen P, Bonamin L, Scherr C, Baumgartner S. Repetitions of fundamental research models for homeopathically prepared dilutions beyond 10-23: a bibliometric study. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 25-36.

EU Commission report evaluating implementation of Homeopathy Directives 92/73 EEC and 92/74/EEC, 1997.

Fisher P, 2006. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 March; 3(1): 145-147. Published online 2006 January 26. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nek007

Ludtke R, Rutten ALB. The conclusions on the effectiveness of homeopathy highly depend on the set of analysed trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. October 2008. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.06/015.

Prasad R. Homoeopathy booming in India. Lancet, 370:November 17, 2007,1679-80.

Rey L. Thermoluminescence of Ultra-High Dilutions of Lithium Chloride and Sodium Chloride. Physica A, 323(2003)67-74.

Rothstein WG. American Physicians in the 19th Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1985.

Rutten L, 2009.

Rutten ALB, Stolper CF, The 2005 meta-analysis of homeopathy: The importance of post-publication data. Homeopathy. October 2008, doi:10.1016/j.homp.2008.09/008.

Shang A, Huwiler-Muntener K, Nartey L, Juni P, Dorig S, Sterne JA, Pewsner D, Egger M. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. The Lancet. 366,9487, 27 August 2005:726-732.

Sikora K. Complementary medicine does help patients. Times Online, February 3rd 2009. Online document at:

Starr P. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: Basic, 1982.

Vickers A, Smith C. Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001957. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001957.pub3.

Walach H, Jonas W, Lewith G. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Lancet. 2005 Dec 17;366(9503):2081; author reply 2083-6.

Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, Weisshuhn TE, Baumgartner S, Willich SN. The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies--a systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Med. 2007 Jun;15(2):128-38. Epub 2007 Mar 28. From 75 publications, 67 experiments (1/3 of them replications) were evaluated. Nearly 3/4 of them found a high potency effect, and nearly 3/4 of all replications were positive.

A significant body of basic sciences research that has shown physical and biological effects from homeopathic medicines tends to be ignored (Endler, Thieves, Reich, et al 2010; Witt, Bluth, Albrecht, et al, 2007).

Using samples of six different medicines made from minerals, scientists at the Department of Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology have consistently confirmed that the starting substance is still present in the form of nanoparticles of the starting minerals even when the medicine has undergone hundreds of serial dilutions--with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution, as per the homeopathic method (Chikramane, Suresh, Bellare, 2010)

Further, leading chemistry and physics journals have published other research to confirm that there are differences between water and "homeopathic water" (Elia and Niccoli, 1999; Elia, Napoli, Niccoli, et al, 2008; Rey, 2003)

Dr. Karol Sikora is a respected oncologist and dean of the University of Buckingham medical school (in England). Sikora has expressed serious concern about the "Stalinist repression" that certain skeptics of homeopathic and alternative medicines engage (Sikora, 2009). Sikora has harshly criticized "armchair physicians" and others who seem to have little or no experience in using these treatments with real patients.

Use of Homeopathy in Pediatric Oncology in Germany

June 13, 2011 by Alfred Laengler, Georg Seifert, Peter Kaatsch,Genn Kameda, Friedrich Edelhaeuser and Claudia Spix   
Scientific Research 
Hpathy Ezine, June, 2011
Homeopathy is the most frequently used complementary therapy in pediatric oncology in Germany. Most HUs had used homeopathy before the cancer and would further recommend homeopathy to others in a similar situation.

Br Homeopath J. 2000 Jul;89(3):116-21.
An epidemiological study of a homeopathic practice.
Colin P.
An analysis of 2148 consultations in a private general medical homeopathic practice in France was conducted in 12 periods of 7-10 days of study over four years. The results show that homeopathy is mainly used in mental, infectious and rheumatological disorders. It is suggested that homeopathy is a useful alternative in these illnesses, as it avoids the abuse of, and the adverse effects of, sedatives, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.
 10939766 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

New Directions in Homeopathy Research: Advice from an Interdisciplinary Conference
Product Description
Dr. Claudia Witt and Dr. Henning Albrecht, editors
Price: $39.95

Book Review:
In 1808, Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, began to call the law of similars a "law of nature" - a provocative and controversial statement. 200 years later, homeopathy is still as controversial as it was then. It has, therefore, become necessary to define homeopathy’s "state of the art" and especially the state of research on homeopathy.

The editors initiated a process based on an interdisciplinary approach. The main objectives were to identify problems in the different fields of homeopathy research and to develop recommendations for further research.

The discussion and decision process was based on input from experts with considerable experience in homeopathy representing five different research disciplines: history of homeopathy, case studies, pathogenic trials, clinical research and basic research

This book summarizes the decision and consensus process by providing (1) an overview of the current state of research on homeopathy and (2) the results.
This book includes chapters on:
-- The current state of research on the history of homeopathy, Martin Dinges
-- Homeopathic pathogenic trials (provings), Harald Walach
-- Scientific case studies, Michael Teut
-- Clinical and epidemiological research on homeopathy, Rainer Ludtke
-- The state of basic research on homeopathy, Stephen Baumgartner
-- Problems of previous research and suggestions for future research, Claudia Witt
If you are not familiar with any or all of the above authors, please know that they are each highly respected experts on the specific topics of their chapter. 

The National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has announced it is currently supporting research in these areas: 
* Homeopathy for physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of fibromyalgia (a chronic disorder involving widespread musculoskeletal pain, multiple tender points on the body, and fatigue).
* Homeopathy to help relieve or prevent brain deterioration and damage in stroke and dementia.
* Homeopathy (specifically the remedy cadmium) to potentially prevent damage to the cells of the prostate when those cells are exposed to toxins.

In a U.S. cholera outbreak in 1849, allopathic medicine saw a 48-60% death rate, while homeopathic hospitals had a documented death rate of only 3%. Roughly similar statistics still hold true for cholera today.

BMJ. 1991 Feb 9;302(6772):316-23.
Clinical trials of homoeopathy.
Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G.
Department of Epidemiology and Health Care Research, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Erratum in
  • BMJ 1991 Apr 6;302(6780):818.
Conclusion: At the moment the evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions because most trials are of low methodological quality and because of the unknown role of publication bias. This indicates that there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of well performed trials.

Ten reviews presented yielded conclusions that were positive for homeopathy:
Allergies and upper respiratory tract infections 8,9 
Childhood diarrhoea 10 
Influenza treatment 11 
Post-operative ileus 12 
Rheumatic diseases 13
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) 14–16    
Vertigo 17

The first systematic review was published in 1991.1 Of the 105 trials with interpretable results, 81 indicated positive results, which included RCTs that received high quality ratings for randomization, blinding, sample size, and other methodological criteria. The authors came to the conclusions: “Based on this evidence we would be ready to accept that homoeopathy can be efficacious, if only the mechanism of action were more plausible” and “the evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homoeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications”. 

A meta-analysis published in The Lancet in 1997 included 186 placebo controlled studies of homeopathy, from which data for analysis could be extracted from 89.4The overall mean odds ratio for these 89 clinical trials was 2.45 (95% confidence interval 2.05–2.93) in favour of homeopathy (individualized treatment, single or complex homeopathic medicines, or isopathy). Even after correction for publication bias, the results remained statistically significant. The main conclusion was that the results “were not compatible with the hypothesis that the effects of homoeopathy are completely due to placebo”.

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