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The claim is that oil pulling "draws toxins out" through the large veins that run under the tongue, apparently like some sort of amazing hemofiltration or dialysis process through the mucosal lining of the mouth. Of course, the biggest problem with this concept is basic chemistry. Assuming that oil pulling could actually somehow "pull toxins" out of your bloodstream, what kind of toxins would it "pull"? Obviously it would have to be fat-soluble toxins. The problem is, fat soluble compounds tend not so circulate in the blood but to accumulate in the fat stores. So, even if oil pulling could bind toxins somehow, even drawing them through the skin, how, then, would it even get to them where they are in the fat stores? I suppose a woo-meister could counter that fat soluble toxins do slowly recirculate between the fat stores and the blood and that doing this procedure three times a day over time would leech out the toxins. However, given that there's no physiological mechanism by which oil could "pull toxins" into the mouth through the oral mucosa, worrying about equilibration of these unnamed "toxins" between fat stores and the blood is a pointless exercise.
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/ ... _oil_1.php
From the thread "Press Release: New Series Available": viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1196
http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:XZ ... cd=3&gl=us
Dr. Cowden supports a number of options for enhancing the body's ability to detoxify. First, pesticides, herbicides, and solvents can often be removed effectively with the use of homeopathic detoxification formulas. Far-Infrared(FIR) sauna can promote effective detoxification through the surface of the skin.
Detox foot pads worn on the soles of the feet while sleeping afew nights aweek can support elimination of toxins through the feet.
A technique referred to as"oil swish and spit" or "oil pulling", whereone continuously moves a healthy oil(such as sesame, walnut,almond, or olive oil) around in the mouth for at least 10 minutes before expelling the oil into the trash, can support the removal of fat-soluble toxins.
For toxins bearing a chemical charge, such as pesticides and heavy metals, an ionic foot bath such as the GTech BodyCleanse™ can be a powerful intervention.
Similarly, "liver flushes" use a mechanical method (oil) to flush out the liver, and ayurvedic medicine uses oils to cleanse, and even nutsy Ron Hubbard invented a good method of detox with saunas, niacin (to open blood vessels) and oils to absorb toxins that were flushed out during saunas.
There is good logic to some of these methods.
So what, exactly, does a liver flush entail? Well, most liver flushes involve drinking large quantities of fruit juices of some kind, usually along with epsom salts and oils such as olive oil. For example, here's one protocol found (where else?) on CureZone:
1 gallon apple juice (freshly pressed)
2 ounces orthophosphoric acid (Phosfood from Standard Process or Ortho phos from Nutra-Dyn)
Enema bag and colon tube
Whipping cream and berries
Add one bottle (2 ounces) of orthophosphoric acid to the gallon of apple juice. Shake and refrigerate. Over the next three to five days, drink the gallon of juice (3 to 4 8-ounce glasses a day) between meals. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with baking soda and/or brush your teeth after drinking the juice to prevent the acid from damaging the teeth. Eat normally during the liver flush.
On the day following whatever day you finish the gallon of juice, eat your normal breakfast and lunch.
Two hours after lunch, drink 1-2 tablespoons of Epsom Salts dissolved in warm water.
Four hours after lunch, do a one pint coffee enema.
Five hours after lunch, drink 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts dissolved in warm water.
Six or seven hours after lunch, eat a dinner of heavy whipping cream and frozen or fresh berries - as much as desired.
At bedtime, drink 1/2 cup of olive oil. A small amount of orange, grapefruit, or lemon juice may be added if desired. Immediately after drinking the oil, go to bed and lie on your right side with knees drawn up for 30 minutes. You may feel nauseated during the night. This is due to the release of stored toxins from the gallbladder and liver. This is normal and a sign that the protocol is working.
Upon arising in the morning, do a coffee enema."
I still haven't figured out how the coffee enema "flushes" the liver. I also still haven't figured out why anyone would want to partake of the glorious coffee bean in any way other than the usual way. Certainly, this is a rather difficult way to get your caffeine fix!
There are, of course, many variations. Here are but a few:
1. Hulda Clark's Liver Cleanse-Gallbladder Cleanse
2. Dr. Kelley's Liver-Gallbladder flush
3. Are You Stoned? Liver-Gallbladder flush
4. Liver flush protocol with apple juice and orthophosphoric acid
5. "Classic Coke" liver flush and gallbladder flush (Egads, this one requires a good slug of magnesium citrate!)
6. "Cleansing or Surgery" liver and gallbladder cleanse (with four gallons of apple juice!)
7. Olive oil liver/gallbladder cleanse
8. Seven day program liver/gallbladder cleanse
9. Dushan's grandmother's liver/gallbladder cleanse
And the list goes on and on and on and on. (And so will you if you try these cleanses.)
So what will happen if you do this (besides your inducing a lot of poop)? Well, certainly you will find things in your stool. If you read the many testimonials and look at the disgusting pictures on all the websites touting liver flushes, you will see photos proudly displayed of greenish balls or various other things that sort of look like--well, sort of "stone"-like. Naturally, the liver flushers claim that these are gallstones--without actually proving that's what they are. Indeed, although it is possible to pass gallstones into your stool and occasionally even find one, it's highly unlikely to pass such copious amounts of stones (as claimed by testimonials) without having had clinical symptoms of gallbladder disease. In some cases, the number of "stones" observed in the stool would have required a gallbladder the size of a basketball to hold them all! And, given that more always seem to "come out" when additional flushes are done, it would seem to imply that there is an endless supply there to be "dumped" out. In any case, check out this testimonial to see what I mean:
"I just completed my 3rd liver cleanse. Whew! 1st cleanse 250 small stones pea size or less brown and green. 2nd cleanse 460 stones, small stones pea size or less brown and green. 3rd cleanse 260 stones light and dark green. Many marble size and 2 almost as big as golf balls (I saved these!) I highly recommend Andreas Moritz's book, "The Amazing Liver Cleanse". I followed to the letter and did colosan and colonics before and after. I read your testimonials and thought I would add my information."
This testimonial gets a bit closer to what may be the truth behind liver cleansing:
"I did a 'liver cleanse' or gallbladder flush about 6 nights ago! I'm a 50 year old female in good health. I'm not overweight and have no health problems. I'm active and have been a schoolteacher for 25 years.
I did not have any symptoms of gallstones nor did I have an ultrasound. I just had always been curious to try a gallbladder flush and see if anything came out- as they say most everyone has these gallstones and it's good to get them OUT.
I did the flush at about 9:30 p.m. And I vomited about 12:30!!! I thought oh hell what an un-pleasant waste of time. BUT the next morning I DID pass some (25?) gelatinous looking things that were greenish - none larger than a small pea. I felt lousey - bloated and not hungry the next day. But since then I've felt great!!
I think I vomited because I ate some plain white rice and drank some carrot juice about 5pm. I have been researching various liver/gallbladder cleanses and most say NOT to eat all day and to drink organic apple juice and only that for at least 2 days prior. I took only 4oz of fresh squeezed lemon juice followed by 4 oz of olive oil at about 10 pm. I nearly gagged **YUK** as I was taking it! I will do it again but will follow your directions. I wish I had come across this website BEFORE I did my flush."
Note that this is an asymptomatic woman with absolutely no evidence of gallbladder or liver disease and without even any GI symptoms. Because of a vague curiosity, she made herself miserable for a couple of days with this "liver flush" and then noticed something "coming out." These "gelatinous things" were almost certainly not gallstones. There are several varieties of gallstones. Of these, cholesterol stones can be kind of soft and easily broken, but I don't think they could be correctly described as "gelatinous." In any case, if these "flushes" actually removed gallstones, it would be easy to show scientifically, as I've pointed out time and time again, going back to my Usenet days even, when I answered an altie who complained that "healers" don't have access to CT scanners to "prove" that stones were being removed:
"Healers" don't need a CT machine. They just need an ultrasound machine, which is less expensive by a factor of at least 25-50. Ultrasound machines have become quite ubiquitous, as the price has fallen dramatically (and the quality has increased dramatically) in recent years. Virtually every OB/GYN practice that does prenatal care has at least one in their office. Many general surgeons have them now, too; as do most big emergency rooms. They now make portable ultrasound machines that fit into briefcases....Heck, you can find ultrasound machines in very poor parts of China and India, where, unfortunately, they are used to determine the sex of fetuses, so that parents can abort females they don't want. So don't tell me alt-med "healers" can't get access to basic ultrasound machines. I don't buy it for one minute, particularly since I've seen ads from such "healers" claiming to use ultrasound as part of their approach.
All you would need to do such a pilot study is a interested and/or sympathetic radiologist to team up with a "healer" who has an ultrasound machine--and, of course, the will to document symptoms, physical examination, diagnosis, pre-flush stone load in the gallbladder, and post-flush stone load in the gallbladder rigorously.
So, given how easy it would be to do such a pilot study, why haven't alties pushing these flushes done it? It's perhaps among the easiest of their claims to prove or disprove.
Not surprisingly, it's still never been done, as far as I can tell.
What has been done, however, is a study that suggests just how much self-delusion is involved in liver flushes. It is based on a case report that a group in New Zealand contributed to the Lancet:
"A 40-year-old woman was referred to the outpatient clinic with a 3-month history of recurrent severe right hypochondrial pain after fatty food. [Note: Here "hypochondrial" means "below the ribcage,' not "hypochondriac."] Abdominal ultrasound showed multiple 1-2 mm gallstones in the gallbladder.
She had recently followed a "liver cleansing" regime on the advice of a herbalist. This regime consisted of free intake of apple and vegetable juice until 1800 h, but no food, followed by the consumption of 600 mL of olive oil and 300 mL of lemon juice over several hours. This activity resulted in the painless passage of multiple semisolid green "stones" per rectum in the early hours of the next morning. She collected them, stored them in the freezer, and presented them in the clinic.
Microscopic examination of our patient's stones revealed that they lacked any crystalline structure, melted to an oily green liquid after 10 min at 40°C, and contained no cholesterol, bilirubin, or calcium by established wet chemical methods. Traditional faecal fat extraction techniques indicated that the stones contained fatty acids that required acid hydrolysis to give free fatty acids before extraction into ether. These fatty acids accounted for 75% of the original material.
Experimentation revealed that mixing equal volumes of oleic acid (the major component of olive oil) and lemon juice produced several semi solid white balls after the addition of a small volume of a potassium hydroxide solution. On air drying at room temperature, these balls became quite solid and hard.
We conclude, therefore, that these green "stones" resulted from the action of gastric lipases on the simple and mixed triacylglycerols that make up olive oil, yielding long chain carboxylic acids (mainly oleic acid). This process was followed by saponification into large insoluble micelles of potassium carboxylates (lemon juice contains a high concentration of potassium) or "soap stones"."
In other words, the "stones" that liver cleansers are so proud of and go to such effort to strain their poo for after doing their flushes are not gallstones and were almost certainly the result of the actual flush itself! It makes perfect sense, if you think about it. These protocols usually involve fasting and then up to a half liter or more of olive oil at one time. That could easily provide the conditions for this sort of reaction to take place. Neat, isn't it? The very sign of "success" of the liver flush is something that has nothing to do with gallstones and everything to do with the results of the flush itself. Indeed, it's quite clear that, even if you don't have gallstones, if you do a liver flush and then look, you'll find things in your stool that very much look like gallstones due to saponified oil. (Now I know why pretty much every liver flush protocol includes large amounts of olive oil or similar oils plus epsom salts or orthophophoric acid and fruit juices).
It's a beautiful scam. People do these flushes, they see things that look to them like gallstones being "flushed" out, and they believe it works. Consequently, they keep doing it. Because these flushes involve materials that don't have to be purchased from a "healer" (although certainly many "healers" sell various "supplements" to "aid" liver flushes), they can be viewed more as a means of healers to demonstrate their skill and keep the patient coming (and going). It also serves as a way of "demonstrating" the efficacy of "detoxification." After all, if this "flush" appears to cause "gallstones" to be "flushed out," then perhaps the other detoxification altie woo will similarly "flush out toxins," as claimed and might be worth a try. (Liver cleanses might indeed be a gateway altie therapy.) To me the ironic thing about liver flushes is that they are so strongly advocated by alties, and alties frequently castigate "conventional" medicine for "iatrogenic diseases or complications" (iatrogenic=caused by doctors). What, then, can we call these "stones" coming out of people using liver flushes, but a case of i-altie-ogenic disease?
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/ ... like_a.php
Can we say: A PRIORI BIAS?
http://www.xenu-directory.net/documents ... lysis.html
International Academy of Detoxification Specialists: Analysis
Last updated on September 14, 2008 12:59, Raymond Hill.
A paper from Dahlgren et al. claims a 65% reduction in toxic level of various PCB compounds following Scientology's Purification Rundown. Closer scrutiny of the paper shows that no such reduction took place, and hints at deliberate deception.
Deceitful study used in promoting Scientology's detoxification program
Two experts comment on Dr. James Dahlgren's deceitful study
James Dahlgren et al. reply to Drs. Crouch and Green
Dioxin 2004 vs. NYRWDP study
My grandfather smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and lived to be hundred! Never sick a day in his life!
My uncle drank like a fish, and he was just fine! Lived to be 101! Said that whisky is the best tonic of all.
Oil swishing 10 minutes a day cured me of my canker sores! It works!
I tried antibiotics but they didn't help me at all. They are just man-made poison that pads the pockets of Big Pharma. Salt and Vitamin C cured me!
Those detox foot pads really worked for me! I know of many others they have helped improve and regain their health! My doctor even recommends them to his patients!
I broke a mirror and had seven years of bad luck.
... the need for an independent review of the center’s detox regimen.
Medical science has yet to discover a way of removing contaminants from the body, especially fat-soluble contaminants stored in fatty tissue, Carpenter says.
“But before we get too excited, it must be demonstrated that it clearly does work through an objective, totally independent, rigorous analysis.”
“What I’d love to see are some controlled trials that would address the question: Does the treatment really work?”
The expression anecdotal evidence has two quite distinct meanings.
(1) Evidence in the form of an anecdote or hearsay is called anecdotal if there is doubt about its veracity: the evidence itself is considered untrustworthy or untrue.
(2) Evidence, which may itself be true and verifiable, used to deduce a conclusion which does not follow from it, usually by generalizing from an insufficient amount of evidence. For example "my grandfather smoked like a chimney and died healthy in a car crash at the age of 99" does not disprove the proposition that "smoking markedly increases the probability of cancer and heart disease at a relatively early age". In this case, the evidence may itself be true, but does not warrant the conclusion.
In both cases the conclusion is unreliable; it might happen not to be untrue, but it doesn't follow from the "evidence".
Evidence can be anecdotal in both senses: "Goat yogurt prolongs life: I heard that a man in a mountain village who ate only yogurt lived to 120."
The term is often used in contrast to scientific evidence, such as evidence-based medicine, which are types of formal accounts. Some anecdotal evidence does not qualify as scientific evidence because its nature prevents it from being investigated using the scientific method. Misuse of anecdotal evidence is a logical fallacy and is sometimes informally referred to as the "person who" fallacy ("I know a person who..."; "I know of a case where..." etc. Compare with hasty generalization). Anecdotal evidence is not necessarily representative of a "typical" experience; statistical evidence can more accurately determine how typical something is.
In all forms of anecdotal evidence, testing its reliability by objective independent assessment may be in doubt. This is a consequence of the informal way the information is gathered, documented, presented, or any combination of the three. The term is often used to describe evidence for which there is an absence of documentation. This leaves verification dependent on the credibility of the party presenting the evidence.
In science, anecdotal evidence has been defined as:
"information that is not based on facts or careful study"
"non-scientific observations or studies, which do not provide proof but may assist research efforts"
"reports or observations of usually unscientific observers"
"casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis"
"information passed along by word-of-mouth but not documented scientifically"
Anecdotal evidence can have varying degrees of formality. For instance, in medicine, published anecdotal evidence is called a case report, which is a more formalized type of evidence subjected to peer review. Although such evidence is not regarded as scientific, it is sometimes regarded as an invitation to more rigorous scientific study of the phenomenon in question. For instance, one study found that 35 of 47 anecdotal reports of side effects were later sustained as "clearly correct."
Researchers may use anecdotal evidence for suggesting new hypotheses, but never as supporting evidence.
Anecdotal evidence and faulty logic:
Anecdotal evidence is often unscientific or pseudoscientific because various forms of cognitive bias may affect the collection or presentation of evidence. For instance, someone who claims to have had an encounter with a supernatural being or alien may present a very vivid story, but this is not falsifiable. This phenomenon can also happen to large groups of people through subjective validation.
Anecdotal evidence is also frequently misinterpreted via the availability heuristic, which leads to an overestimation of prevalence. Where a cause can be easily linked to an effect, people overestimate the likelihood of the cause having that effect (availability). In particular, vivid, emotionally-charged anecdotes seem more plausible, and are given greater weight. A related issue is that it is usually impossible to assess for every piece of anecdotal evidence, the rate of people not reporting that anecdotal evidence in the population.
A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning such as the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involves inductive reasoning. For instance, if an anecdote illustrates a desired conclusion rather than a logical conclusion, it is considered a faulty or hasty generalization. For example, here is anecdotal evidence presented as proof of a desired conclusion:
"There's abundant proof that God exists and is still performing miracles today. Just last week I read about a girl who was dying of cancer. Her whole family went to church and prayed for her, and she was cured."
Anecdotes like this do not prove anything. In any case where some factor affects the probability of an outcome, rather than uniquely determining it, selected individual cases prove nothing; e.g. "my grandfather smoked 40 a day until he died at 90" and "my sister never went near anyone who smoked but died of lung cancer".
More generally, a statistical correlation between things does not in itself prove that one causes the other (a causal link). A study found that television viewing was strongly correlated with sugar consumption, but this does not prove that viewing causes sugar intake (or viceversa).
In medicine anecdotal evidence is also subject to placebo effects: it is well-established that a patient's (or doctor's) expectation can genuinely change the outcome of treatment. Only double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials can confirm a hypothesis about the effectiveness of a treatment independently of expectations.
Sites devoted to rhetoric  often give explanations along these lines:
Anecdotal evidence, for example, is by definition less statistically reliable than other sorts of evidence, and explanations do not carry the weight of authority. But both anecdotal evidence and explanations may affect our understanding of a premise, and therefore influence our judgment. The relative strength of an explanation or an anecdote is usually a function of its clarity and applicability to the premise it is supporting. 
By contrast, in science and logic, the "relative strength of an explanation" is based upon its ability to be tested, proven to be due to the stated cause, and verified under neutral conditions in a manner that other researchers will agree has been performed competently, and can check for themselves.
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