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Ambivalent Medical Advice and Quackery

Every few weeks, new research seems to contradict something that we thought was already well established in medical science. Questions keep being raised about carbohydrates, probiotics, hormone replacement therapy, vitamin supplementation, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and a variety of medical interventions that we assumed were safe and would help to lengthen our life. In addition to ambiguous research results, we frequently hear about the benefits of alternative medicines, herbs, and natural products whose claims have not been scientifically examined but which are absolutely guaranteed to clean your arteries, improve prostate health, or help you burn belly fat. What can you believe?

The more knowledge that we have, the better decisions that we are able to make in every aspect of our life. We are much better off today by knowing that malaria is a disease caused by protozoa transmitted by mosquito bites rather than just by "bad air". When we have information based on verifiable truth, we are able to make decisions that can help us to solve a problem. The same is not possible when our beliefs are based on wrong or false information. Modern life is so confusing that we still are not really sure what is the source of the increased rates of autism, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, and many other maladies of our time.

In the end, we are responsible for our own well-being. The best way to take care of ourselves is to eat, drink, and exercise like the people who have lived in good health to a ripe old age. We have to avoid unproven fads. The most important thing that we can learn is to know how to tell the difference between what is true and what is false. This is called Critical Thinking and it is part of the Scientific Method.

© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora