Expert medical nonsense

I have just watched a detailed report on the BBC. It appears that a huge study, undertaken in America and Europe, has established that drinking at least three cups of coffee every day will make you live longer. Over 18% of those male coffee drinkers lived longer than those who never drank any coffee, and for women, the figure was lower, at 8%. And no need to go caffeine-free either. It makes no difference, according to these medical geniuses.

Not that long ago, other medical experts considered that coffee was little better than poison. They urged us to stop drinking it, or face medical problems, and early death. Now they have changed their minds. Too late for everyone who gave it up though, and now risk dying earlier than the heavy coffee drinkers who ignored that advice.

I have lived long enough to see many such ‘expert studies’ bandied about on the news, and in the press.
I am old enough to remember when some doctors urged people to smoke, as it was ‘good for the lungs’. As I child, I was constantly fed carrots, to supposedly improve my sight. Then in later life, I made sure to take a lot of vitamin C, because the experts told us it was essential. They just forgot to mention that it would also destroy my stomach lining, and leave me with decades of acid indigestion.

Eat lots of fruit! Five a day, fruit and vegetables. That might stop you getting cancer. Or might not. Drink lots of orange juice, or other fruit juices. Much healthier than fizzy drinks. They forgot about fruit acids and sugars ruining your teeth though. I’m sure that particular pearl of wisdom was started by dentists.

What about eggs? They give you high cholesterol, apparently. Very bad for your arteries, so stop eating them. Now! Oh, hang on, they are not that bad for you at all really, as the cholesterol in eggs is good for you, as opposed to being bad cholesterol. But it doesn’t matter either way, as you now have Statins to combat cholesterol. So, eat what you want within reason, as long as you take lots of Statins for the rest of your life. But they forgot to tell me something else. Statins can also destroy muscle tissue, which migrates into your liver, and causes problems for life. And that muscle doesn’t grow back, so forget doing any heavy work. Forever.

Drink some red wine every day. It’s very good for you, according to the experts. It helps with blood flow, reduces the risk of strokes, and it also tastes good! Hold on a minute! Not THAT much red wine. That much is bad for you, and will enlarge your liver, cause high blood pressure, and make blood clotting harder.

Sugar is very bad for you. It provides short-term energy, affects your teeth, and can make you obese. Cut out the sugar. All of it! Use artificial sweeteners instead. According to the experts, Aspartame is a good alternative, so try that. Be careful though, because different experts will tell you that it will give you bladder cancer. So, once you have died from that, it doesn’t really matter how fat you might have got, or how many times you needed some dental work.

I am so sick and tired of ‘experts’. Fed up with their pointless pontifications, their ‘sponsored studies’, their pompous pronouncements. Listening to them harp on about their theories is like watching a tennis match, with my head swivelling from side to side, trying to make out which side is actually doing something right. You can be certain of something though.

What is good for you today, will surely be bad for you tomorrow.

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69 thoughts on “Expert medical nonsense

  1. Well, follow the money, indeed. It is well known that studies that have negative results are published left often and that is why things like side-effects are often only discovered years later. One of the truest things it that one should be suspicious of anything (or anybody) that claims ultimate knowledge. Oscar Wilde already said that the only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. We should never be so selfish as to try and keep it or apply it ourselves. Thanks, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hear, hear! So many words of wisdom have spoken to this problem over decades (centuries?). “Take everything you hear with a grain of salt”, or “Everything in moderation”… the list of good old fashioned common sense is endless. Thank goodness!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I too am amazed by the reports that have contradicted themselves over my 70 years. Most amusing is the switch between no fat, low fat and full fat. Back and forth. Don’t eat butter. Eat butter. Don’t drink whole milk. Drink whole milk. To say nothing of don’t drink wine but oh yeah drink wine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have travelled that same route, Elizabeth. I am getting very tired of it now, and less tolerant of this rubbish as I get older. Those scientists should be doing something useful with their time, and the resources available to them.
      Best wishes, Pete,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s great new advice is being discovered all the time but in the end with John everything in moderation and you and Cindy with we’re all gonna die anyway so better start living. If that’s red wine, a burger or a kale leaf then go for it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When these press trots out these summaries of scientific studies, half-digested and misrepresented, I note the recommendation, follow it, and then do the exact opposite on the next day. I call it, in my latest “how to live better” book, “Robbie Teel’s Alternating Current of Life Method”. And I feel pretty good, not because my health is better, but because it sells books, and then I can afford to go out and get beer and a cheeseburger.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am skeptical of the medical reports I hear about. Even in the event that there may to some truth to the reports, what is true for one person may not be true for another. Not all people have the same response to the foods or other things in these studies. I think a good rule of thumb is common sense and moderation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nicely put, Michelle. We are all different, and do not tolerate the same things in the same way. Studies are too general, and rarely allow for other lifestyle influences.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  7. I am reminded of a quote from my fav Woody Allen movie, “Annie Hall”- “Sun is bad for you. Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat, college.”
    Thankfully, I love drinking coffee, so at least for this week I can believe I’ll live longer than those who don’t! :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would like to say that I live life in moderation, but it would be a lie. But these reports drive me crazy too, Kim. No doubt there will be another one tomorrow, telling us to eat rat poo, to live until we are 100! 🙂
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

      Like

  8. IT is true! After the life I have led and I made it to 70 is nothing short of a miracle and in all that time I drank and drink coffee by the gallon….so it has got to be true! LOL chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think that the BBC (and all other media outlets, probably) have mis-represented the report.

    They didn’t say drinking coffee will make you live longer. They said that people who, 16 years ago, said that they drank more coffee have a better chance of being alive now. No one knows how much coffee these people have been drinking, whether they increased or decreased their consumption the past 16 years or what has caused them to have a very marginal increase in life expectancy.

    These press reports come from university publicity departments. Researchers do their research and publish their findings. The publicity department adds a modicum of sensationalism and issues a press release. This gets picked up by the media who have hours of 24 hour news to fill and the university can demonstrate that they are doing important research. And this helps them to attract research grants to do more research and so attract more funds for the university to pay the vice chancellors’ huge salary and so the cycle repeats.

    As always, it pays to follow the money.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There seems to be some great desire to categorise every single thing into those that will kill you, and those that will make you live longer.

    Unfortunately, most things belong in both categories.

    We can be sure of one thing, though; something will kill you!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is a time where you and I are in total agreement. I took birth control pills for a decade and I developed blood clots which went through my lungs and out my heart (luckily) which have altered my life forever. Whatever you take today will affect you down the road. Food and drink is a failure for me. It’s hard to do any of it in moderation. I don’t take many meds and try to have a positive attitude about life. I’ll drop dead when I’m supposed to. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used defibrillators on many people, for most of my time as an EMT. What they don’t tell you is that they are also part of the ‘great lie’. They are rarely effective, and although they are much lauded for getting people into A&E with a discernible ‘output’, very few fully recover later.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Like a lot of ‘medical innovations’, Sarah, they appease bystanders, and give the ambulance crew something to do. As long as you are perceived to be doing something, you get less hassle. A defib will only shock ventricular fibrillation back into a normal rhythm. It will not reverse asystole. (flat line)
          And asystole is what presents, in the majority of cases of cardiac arrest. The figures are shamelessly manipulated, to give false hope to people. Of course, they would NEVER admit that, but fortunately, I was actually there…x

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Pete, I love the studies that told us how fatty Avocados were – so bad for you – then it was decided that those are, in fact, “GOOD” fats – the kinds of fats that you need for good health. I am happy that medical studies continue to uncover new advice – I will, however, just follow the advice of “moderation in everything means you’ll never overdo anything”

    Liked by 2 people

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