It strikes me reading through the forum topics that there is a lot of confusion over what advice to believe? I thought it would be useful to stimulate a debate into this topic so I will start...
I think what is important when reading into a subject matter is to consider the following:
1) the author of who is righting the article/the video/research paper. Consider what might be theri motivation to write the article? What is their background? For example a completely independent medical professional is likely to have a very different viewpoint to a drugs rep for a pharmaceutical company who is also going to have a very different opinion to a person who perceives they have had a bad reaction to medication they have been given. You must consider are they biased? Which way? Why?
2) The supporting evidence. There are so many different forms of research. As a rule the best form of research is that based on trials of large numbers of people, with controlled groups and placebo groups. What is really important is to ask is there supporting evidence? Be really careful of someone who presents something as fact... ask what evidence they have to back up what they are saying? If they have none question how they feel qualified to ask give such specific advice. There are A LOT of people on the internet who are convincing in their standpoint yet there is absolutely NOTHING to back up what they are saying.
3) Be ware of conspiracy theorists? People who think everything is a cover up. As above, ask what evidence do they have to back up their theories? Or are they just that theories? Has there been any research done? What were the numbers involved in this? Was is a controlled trial? Don't be blinded by medical professionals clouding your judgement, just because they are doesn't mean what they are saying is fact... fact needs to be backed up by HARD EVIDENCE!!! I point to the most recent example of this where a well known doctor came up with the MMR conspiracy theory and linked it with autism. WITH NO HARD EVIDENCE. Unfortunately he shouted loud enough and got enough people listening... now look at what is happening because of this.
4) Who funds the research? This varies, some is by medical councils, some WILL be by drugs companies. Why? Obviously they will have a bias towards getting a medicine they want to get approved. Drugs companies DO fund research. This is vital, if they didn't who would?? They spend millions each year on research into drugs that never get lisenced, why because independent specialists assess their information and do not feel it is clinically justified. Yes literally millions they spend, only a tiny proportion of drugs they research are ever lisenced. ONce they are lisenced they have gone through multiple trials, rigorous testing and assessment by INDEPEDENT specialists. Obviously once lisenced there will be a huge investment and push from drugs companies to get people to sell their drugs. I point this out that just because a drugs company funds research doesn't necessarily mean it is a conspiracy at the highest level, this funding is vital and drugs wold not be lisenced without this.
5) If you have symptoms of problems AND are on medication, do NOT immediately jump to the assumption that this IS BECAUSE of the medication, consider it for sure, suggest it to your doctor, shout it if you feel you are not being listened to but realise also that it could be due to other problems and the fact it started after your medication deosn't mean that caused it. I point to a situation I found myself in at work (i'm a vet) I had a seeemingly health 4 year old cat with no prior history sat in my waiting room waiting for a vaccine. They cat suddenly and entirely unexpectedly went into cardiorespiratory arrest. This turned out to be due to an unknown clot. Had I had this cat in and vaccinated it and this happened immedaitely after you can guarantee the assumption would have been the vaccine had caused it, clearly that assumption would have been wrong.
I could go on about this topic for ages and i'm sure everyone will as ever have their own thoughts. What I want to provoke is stimulation of people to have their own thoughts and appreicate that nothing is EVER BLACK AND WHITE. There are always shades of grey. What we simply need to do is appreicate that htis is the case and consider the above things when trying to suss out what we believe and don't/
I write this as I was frustrated today by a member on here who presented their thought as FACT and became extremely derogatory and patronising towards another member who had a different opinion and insinuated they should look at something they presented as fact and they would change their mind if they knew what they were talking about. What they neglected to realise is the member they patronised had done thorough research already and did know what they were talking about.
Please don't allow yourselves to be patronised on here, never assume because someone is convincing that they are right, listen to all viewpoints, make your OWN MIND UP and try to ensure this is balanced.
I say this as a person who has suffered with cholesterol related issues for 16 years, I have extensive scientific training, I have made several lifestyle changes alongside medical therapy with my decisions being based on thorough research into BOTH sides of the story and in conjunction with other medicial professionals and specialists in the field.
I hope for those of you who are looking for answers this helps you know how best to go about assessing the information you are given.