Difference Between Evidence Based and Authoritative Statements

in #covid19last year

I am upset with the video below. The video starts with a Dr. John Campbell who chastises people on the Internet for discussing their pet theories about immunity.

Dr Campbell then gives us a lecture on how we should restrict ourselves to evidence based sources.

The good doctor then does something very strange: He starts reading web pages from the public health service.

The doctor has confused authoritative sources with evidence based sources.

We hope that authorities based their decisions on evidence. But authorities have been known to cave to political pressures.

The doctor made a fundamental error in the presentation. Authorities are subject to political concerns. There is, unfortunately, a gap between the authoritative sources and evidence-based sources.

The spread of COVID19 provides a great example of how information works. The general public and health authorities received news of the outbreak at roughly the same time.

The Novel Coronavirus is new. That meant both individuals and the government had to make rash decisions based on sparse information.

Mathematicians published mathematical models based on the sparse information received from China.

The mathematical models are, by their very nature, based on speculation.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with speculation. For that matter, speculation is a fundamental element of good science. Science works by putting forward mathematical models. Scientists then test and hone the models.

So, there was a period in which all of the discussion both in the halls of power and on social media, where the talk about the pandemic was all speculative.

There is nothing wrong with speculation. Dullards, like Doctor Campbell, who put people down for speculation are as doltish as the people they put down.

All of the therapies in the first stage of the outbreak would be based on speculation.

For example, hospitals used ventilators for respiratory illnesses; so ventilators were considered among the first lines of defense.

Some doctors reported success in treating diseases similar to Covid19 with hydroxychloroquine. The first trials with the drug produced anecdotal evidence which, for a novel virus, is good enough to warrant additional tests.

I had been following studies about the various effects on Vitamin D and Vitamin K for the last few years. Vitamin D in conjunction with Vitamin K1 and K2 appears to play a regulatory role in bone health and blood thickness. The vitamin also plays important roles in the immune system.

People with strong immune systems seem to weather COVID19 better than those with weak immune systems.

That statement is obvious.

What I have learned is that Vitamin D is very much about balance. A good balance of Vitamin D, Vitamin K and Calcium leads to good bone health. A good balance of Vitamin D, Vitamin K and minerals regulates blood clotting. If your blood is too thin, you will bleed out when cut. If it is too thick, you will have strokes.

Vitamin D undergoes transformations in the kidney. It also undergoes transformation when skin is exposed to direct sunlight.

It is a vitamin that helps regulate important parts of our metabolism.

Sadly, because of this it is extremely easy to misuse. A person consuming too much of the vitamin is playing with fire.

A person with bad kidneys should only take this vitamin under direct supervision of a qualified renal physician.

There is one general rule about this vitamin. Getting a little bit of direct sunlight everyday produces and activates the vitamin. A little bit of sun every day will help improve one's immune system. People with darker skin need more sun than people with light skin.

Anyway Doctor Campbell began the lecture by belittling the public for discussing vitamins and the immune system. He then ends the video by stating that he decided to start taking large doses of vitamin D.

The doctor gave bad advice.

If you are just wanting to improve your immune system, expose your skin to some direct sunlight every day. Taking multivitamins that include D, K and zinc is a good idea.

However, you should get your blood tested before taking megadoses of this or any vitamin.

The labs that do blood work are very good at what they do.

Health labs are in the business of studying evidence. Health labs are more likely to give evidence based results than the government.

The doctor is right. Evidence based health care is better than anecdotal or speculative care. The government, is not the best source for evidence. Actually laboratories are the best source.

The doctor didn't follow his own advice. The result is that he gave a dangerous recommendation on his vlog. Do not take mega-doses of any vitamin without first having your blood tested by a lab.


Yeah the IC model was shit, Ferguson refused to release code, said it was 13 years old for another illness, and then said he was "correcting" it with the help of Microsoft, and BIll Gates foundation had previously given him something like $70,000+ for doing his "work".

Vitamin C, D, A and zinc do wonders to treat this virus :D

The mathematics used in the model was well known. The models lacked the details needed to describe the flow of a disease through the complex networks of the modern world.

I find it interesting that authorities were happy to make broad decisions based on highly speculative mathematical models, and are slow to adjust the models and change policies as real world information comes in.

I think mainstream medicine has fallen for the notion that health care can be delivered as a product.

I am hoping that people realize that their health is actually more of an art form. One needs to look closely at diets and the balance of vitamins and minerals in their system.

Anyone who blindly starts taking supplements based on authoritative statements is foolish, as one should read up on the real science to figure out the best way to boost their immune system.

Anyway, the video begins with a doctor chastising the public. It ends with him giving bad advice. We buy into this stuff because we think he is an authority.

 last year 

Yes, I have observed situations where Dr. Campbell has been slightly less than scientific. But his videos are still 1,000 times better than the mainstream media, if you want to be on top of the latest in COVID-19 information, and such.

This was the only video I watched. My only big complaint was that he mistook authoritative and evidenced based information. This is common in the health care industry.

BTW: If I really disliked the guy, I would not have posted the video. I just wanted to point out a common mistake.

 last year 

Yup, good stuff.

It's a tough world out there these days you just don't know who to believe anymore believing in yourself is the safest bet.

 last year 

I work in the clinical labs.

It's a bit more objective since we are reporting results from testing. As to the interpretations thereof, that's another story usually told by the clinicians.

I wish that there was more raw reporting from the clinical labs.

I would love to have information about blood sugar levels, blood thickness and vitamin levels.

I suspect that we could learn many things from the data. For example, if the people who got sick and died had high blood sugar; then we would know that we could fight COVID19 by eating less processed sugar. Blood sugar levels often affect bacteria. It may not affect this virus.

There seems to be some relation between COVID19 and strokes. It is likely that the cause of this problem will most likely be found in labs that meticulously study the health of people with COVID19.

So, what are common the indicators of stroke? Did the stroke victims have High Normal or Low Blood Pressure Levels?

I think there are many things one can deduce from clinical tests. Sadly, it appears that some of the quality information is not making it to doctors. Even less of it makes it to the public at large. Some of the info could help people with health decisions.

BTW, I am not as worried about the clinicians as I am worried about the marketing departments for the various lab companies. Clinicians hold back information because they are worried about how it is perceived. Marketing departments actively manipulate information to affect the market.

Authorities are a bit like marketers. Authorities are often driven by political concerns.

Perhaps the pandemic will end in a demand that more raw clinical data is made public.

 last year (edited)

Clinicians hold back information because they are worried about how it is perceived.

I would say it's more complicated than that. It is a novel virus. Clinicians are smart and good at what they do, but it'd be giving them too much credit to assume every single one of them knows how to piece together the puzzle when given the data.

At my work (I work in microbiology), we sometimes have to spoon feed them specific information or else they would mistreat the patient. For example, the lab results identify a microbe as ESBL (meaning it can resist against beta-lactams, even if its genes are not in full swing yet). But, if the lab doesn't manually edit all beta-lactam results to resistant, you will find clinicians trying to treat patients with ineffective drugs.

Best part? It would be considered negligence on the lab's part when the doctor should know what the hell an ESBL is. Our medical director gets frustrated with some physicians on regular basis.

Personally, I think that the labs are the unsung heroes of modern medicine. I suspect that the labs will be the source of the information that will help us cope with COVID19, ESBL and the other health risks of the modern era.

I did look up Enterobacteriaceae. Reports talk about an antibiotic resistant bacteria that appears to be present in several hospitals. It looks like these things are in several hospitals. That is truly scary stuff.

I wish media paid more attention to the labs and less attention to the political dance around illnesses.

I enjoy Dr.Campbells videos. I think he is one of the better sources online. This virus is so new and knowledge changes all the time as does his Advice and that is a good thing. That said, I listen to many sources and try to make my own mind up. To be honest I think that is all we can do at the moment.