What ‘they’ say – Believe it? Trust it? Leave it?

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

I’m always a little hesitant about new discoveries, new research, and new products. Testing and/or Research – Believe it? Trust it? Leave it?

Why? Because in spite of all the testing and research done in labs, the true test of any drug or product is truly once we, the public, have been using it for a few years.

Some examples are cigarettes, children’s cocaine drops, and E-cigarette. On one hand, we feel we should be able to trust the information given to us via our doctors and the science community. On the other, we should be able to trust our guts, our bodies, and our own common sense. And then, there is all that other information out there given to us by trusted friends, family, and (cough) social media. It gets overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but at times, I feel like the more I know, the less I really know. Gah!

Did you know?

“(…) Cigarette Companies Used Doctors to Push Smoking Before studies showed that cigarettes caused cancer, tobacco companies recruited the medical community for their ads.” – Read post on History

“Ever wondered how “Coca-Cola” got its name? Anyone can make a cola, but its addictive nature wasn’t just from the sugar. Don’t worry—they stopped lacing it with illicit substances in 1929. You’re safe. Cocaine was once used as a cure-all for painful symptoms, like toothaches. They even gave cocaine to kids. Even non-experts realize the difference between treating the symptom and the root cause of a condition, cocaine tooth drops emerged before doctors had become professional rock stars.” – Read post on INSH

E-cigarettes have been on sale for more than a decade, but reports of vaping-linked illness started proliferating this year. (…) The CDC agrees that e-cigarettes can help smokers who substitute them for regular tobacco products, and health professionals believe vaping to be safer than traditional smoking, which kills 8 million people per year according to the World Health Organization. But the FDA has yet to vet vaping products, and experts caution that the long-term consequences of using e-cigarettes remain unclear.” – Read post on Science Alert

It is available to the public so it must be safe, right?

“The scientific practices of modern medicine only really began at the end of the 18th century. And as medical science has, in the centuries since, continued to progress at faster and faster rates, our medical knowledge has become outdated faster and faster as well. Thus countless medical beliefs of the past now look positively absurd today.” – Post on All That’s Interesting (click image below)

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Once a new drug or product is found to be safe for humans, it is released to the public. With any new discovery, the true test is during the ten years after release. It is during those years of public use that new side effects may pop up. Side effects that were not found to be existent during the research and approval period. There will be more trials once the product is released to the public, to make sure the product is still safe. If found unsafe, the approval for public use may be withdrawn. (example FDA approval for a drug)

“In 2009, a breakthrough: a charming Italian researcher, Dr. Paolo Zamboni, claimed to have cured his wife’s MS by “unblocking” the veins in her neck. He theorized MS wasn’t an autoimmune disorder but a vascular one. (…).  Sadly, however, Zamboni’s discovery was more hype than breakthrough. What didn’t get as much attention as his romantic quest was the fact that his study was small and badly designed. Other researchers who attempted to replicate his findings failed. Soon, anecdotes of patient complications and relapses emerged.” – Read post on Vox

Links regarding FDA and Health Canada approval.

Here are some links that may be of interest to you:

  1. https://www.registrarcorp.com/how-to-get-fda-approval/ (for US)

  2. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/drug-products/fact-sheets/drugs-reviewed-canada.html (for Canada).

If you are aware of any other sites that can have valuable information, please share them with me so I can add them to the list.

What is a person to do?

Do your research. Stay in the know. Trust your gut and your judgement. All in all you can only do your best with the knowledge you have. As you learn more, do better. That is all we can really do. That is all we humans have ever done. This goes for many, many other aspects of our lives, right? As parents, as leaders, as individuals accountable for our own health and our environment.

Let’s keep the conversation going. Please share with us any tips you may have in the comments below.

Yours in health – Nancy Shimmy