Whether you know it or not, you are seeking an assurance that comes from a) a favorable newspaper article, b) the acceptance of vitamin C by the medical profession for CVD, or c) vitamin C as a cause/treatment for CVD in medical text books, etc..
..studies that indicate some possible effect,
In other words, the 650 clinical studies cited by Levy do not impress you unless the above outcomes are met. You want widespread support and concensus from regular medicine.
This is an incorrect assumption on your part. I would not expect the mainstream media to accept vitamin C. Nor do I need the medical establishment to give it's endorsement. The same applies with allopathic text-books.
What I'd like to see is a well-designed study that demonstrates that the Pauling protocol is effective at clearing the arteries of plaque. This is the implied claim. Hundreds of studies that show that vitamin C or lysine help in one way or another with cardiovascular health DO NOT PROVE THE IMPLIED CLAIM that this formula will clear one's arteries.
Now, if you can find enough customers who have had tests that show this effect (and these tests can be reasonably verified) ... then perhaps a study would be less necessary. This is another option/opportunity that has yet to be taken.
I guess it is natural to want more assurance than you feel you have with a medical maverick like Pauling, or Hoffer, Levy, Roberts, etc. etc. Unfortunately, a $5000 study may make you feel better, but even with a solid design, impartial scientists, and unbelievably wonderful effects, it will not generate any media publicity, nor would it move medicine towards acceptance, nor will it enter any medical text books.
You know it, I don't have to prove it.
Let me state this as clearly as possible. This is not about feelings
. I don't need any media-validation. I think you're correct when you say that even a successful trial would still not make a major impact. If successful, such a study would likely have a much lesser impact than even Dr. Ornish's research has had. But, this is beside the point.
The truth is the truth regardless if it is ignored or criticized.
It absolutely blows my mind that after all these years, someone like Mathias Rath hasn't conducted a study like the one we're proposing. He's conducted many far less useful studies that show some effect but he's neglected to do the most important (and obvious) study of them all. edit: In fairness, I found this study, conducted by Dr. Rath, that showed a HALTING of the progression of atherosclerosis. This is significant. Based on this, I wouldn't have a problem with Dr. Rath stating that his program may slow or stop the decline that is typically seen in atherosclerosis.
But let us concede that halting and reversing (or curing) are two very different things.
One final note, the levels of Vitamin C, Lysine (and Proline) in the Rath study were relatively small (compared to what Dr. Pauling and many others advocate for the treatment of heart disease). This may explain the lack of reversal.http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/THE_ ... /pub18.htm
Now, some members of this board tend to accept certain conspiratorial theories regarding medicine. Let me lay-out a theory that is at least as plausible as those that are often made about modern medicine.
Here's a theory that some people could logically propose:
The specialists (authors, doctors, scientists, etc) who write books that advocate using nutrients to reverse heart disease don't want to have a definitive study conducted. Why? Because the vast majority of the time, when natural remedies are tested (even by proponents of natural medicine), the results typically are less spectacular than the claims that are/were made.
But the idea that the existing studies only show "some possible effect" is the clue that you assume the medical profession would be "all over this" if the truth were otherwise. I can tell you that the 50-year-old Willis studies are credible. They are ignored, yes, but just because they are ignored, doesn't mean that they show only a "possible effect". Willis nailed it. He proved the relationship between vitamin C and CVD.
However, a study by the US National Institutes of Health is a different matter. And the NIH are the ones who should be testing this, given the amount of human suffering and potential savings involved. We'd be much better off if the 1000 individuals (make it 1 million) flooded the NIH with questions, rather than put out $100. THe more people who ask the NIH why they wouldn't fund out proposed studies, or come up with their own study, would do a lot more good.
I'd love to see an NIH study but what if that doesn't happen (like it hasn't for many years since your request)? Do we just sit around and complain about how unfair the government is? I don't count on the government to pay my bills and I don't count on "the system" to provide everything else I need. We're not helpless victims of the government. We can do a great many things without their assistance and stamp-of-approval.
So, if you want to wage a letter-writing campaign to help bring attention to the cause of the NIH study ... count me in. But, I can tell you that the case for such a study would only be bolstered by the evidence that we could gather from our proposed pilot study. Our little study, apart from providing evidence of it's own, could help to instigate a larger study. This is very common. Pilot studies are often followed up by larger-scale studies.
Of course, if the results of our study turn out to be negative ... this would likely hurt our chances with the NIH.
I may split this part of this thread because as you say, we have strayed, but more importantly, I would like everyone's input on how to design such a study.. I went through this exercise myself on two separate occassions.
Remember, we have submitted two different grant requests to the NIH - both turned down.
What are you looking for that you feel such a small study will provide that we don't already have or know?
Proof that this protocol can clear
(any amount of) arterial plaque.
Here are some questions that need answered to do the design.
1. Exactly how should we measure the outcome?
Pleae take a look at the other successful studies on dietary interventions (from "post one"). Let's use those as possible models.
Maybe the CardioRetinometry could play a role?http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/bush/
2. What would you like to know? Vitamin C? Vitamin C/Lysine? Vitamin C/Lysine/Proline?
Vitamin C/lysine/Proline/Vitamin E/A etc.??
Personally, I think we should stick to the basics. If the primary active ingredients are Vitamin C and lysine ... then let's start with those. But, I'm not opposed to incorporating some or all of Pauling's supplemental guidelines or using one of the products that you helped to formulate.
The one thing I would want to avoid is this: Whatever "we" decide to use (supplement-wise) let's agree that, if the study is not successful or less successful than we'd hope ... we won't start second-guessing and saying, "Well it didn't work because we added this nutrient or left out this other nutrient". This is a common and frustrating tactic that leads to a lack of credibility.
3. What do we do about the control group? How do we deprive any one of vitamin C during the study? What would we use as a placebo?
Most older people have some degree of arterial build-up and some of them do not take medications for it. We can utilize the large segment of the population. We don't have to use people with established heart disease that are on medication.
[color=blue]You take one group, of these older people, that aren't on any medication and provide them with the supplements.You take another group who ARE ON medication and you use them as a comparison group.
It's important to note that this doesn't have to be a blinded-study! Allopathic medicine doesn't have any medication that will clear a patient's arteries! So, the participants using the medication will, at best, remain stable or likely worsen. The participants who receive the nutrients will possibly improve, stabilize or potentially worsen.
That's all the comparison we'll need! One group (hopefully) will show a regression of their arterial plaque and the other should not.
4. How do we obtain patients and what are the restrictions (if any)? Most heart patients are taking a rather dangerous protocol - prescription cocktail of drugs that cause heart disease.
I think my prior answer covers this concern.
5. How do we pay for the objective tests to measure the outcomes, the product, and/or the particpants?
That's where the fundraising comes in. We keep the protocol and testing to an absolute minimum. We call upon any allies that may be willing to help with the funding, the supplies and our diagnostic needs. Let's get creative.
6. How long should the study run?
You tell me. In your prior proposal you state some proposed time-frames. Naturally, the shorter the time-frame ... the lower the cost. But, the study would need to be long enough for the prospective effect to manifest.
7. Why is this even necessary? It is a fact that any individual can obtain the basic protocol without prescription and with a great assurance of no toxicity. The force behind this is Linus Pauling. In other words, every individual can run this experiment ON THEMSELVES to see whther it works in their case. With their particular diet, their bioindividuality, their set of prescription drugs and supplements, and their particular dental work and other issues.
As an aside, there was a researcher in England who did a 2 year study of vitamin C, lysine and vitamin E, and reported to me highly favorable results. But then he went entirely silent. (Was he paid off? I don't know.) We think he may have started a company. This is some evidence that he was trying to obtain world-wide patents on his formula, etc. He may be waiting to publish after he has the patents..)
A concept that many people in the naturopathic community don't seem to grasp is this: If my mother, for example, uses this protocol for a year and it doesn't work ... it is a year in which she could have been benefiting from something else. Again, as an example, let's say she went on Ornish's program or started drinking Pomegranate Juice. Would the nutrient-therapy do as well for her? We don't know.
Also, taking all of the suggested nutrients that we often read about IS costly and it requires a significant amount of dedication. So let's not just say that it's non-toxic and cheap. Again, as a comparison, one glass of Pomegranate Juice would likely be much cheaper (especially if you reconstitute the juice from a concentrate) and it's much easier than mixing the powders, carrying around the capsules and determining bowel tolerance, etc.
We must consider all costs - time, money, convenience, comfort, etc. In other words ... quality of life.