Posted by: Chris Maloney | March 28, 2011

Colic: Reporting False, Alternatives Do Work

graph of age-adjusted percent of adults who ha...

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I was reading the paper (you remember those, they come on newsprint?) and I found out that alternatives don’t work on colic. 

Being the ubergeek I am, I looked up the study at Pediatrics.  Here’s the link, and here’s the direct quote:  “Eleven trials indicated a significant result in favor of complementary and alternative medicines.”  That’s out of fifteen total.  Then he concludes that the evidence isn’t there.  What? 

Ernst reported that, out of fifteen studies, eleven were positive.  Then he said nothing worked. 

In order to understand the review you need to know Ernst.  Maybe he doesn’t like that his first name is Edzard, or maybe he just hates alternative medicine.  But he does review after review showing positive evidence for a treatment and then trashes it in his commentary.  Asking him for an objective review is like asking your grumpy Uncle Sal if it’s going to be sunny for your picnic.  He’ll look out at the cloudless sky, rub his knee, and tell you it’s going to hail.  Ernst wrote a book trashing alternative medicine, he’s not objective. 

In other news today, Houston researchers may have isolated the bacteria that causes colic.  They didn’t get international press, because what they found would support previous evidence that probiotics are helpful and prebiotics actually make things worse. 

I put sixteen pages of information on under Colic.  The shorthand is that you should not wait for colic to blow over, you should monitor the diet and lifestyle of both the child and the mother, and you should discuss trying the alternatives with your pediatrician. 


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