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CrossFit Health is an investigation into the ills of modern medicine and the wilful abuse of the public’s trust in science. The lessons learned from the legal dismantling of fake science, a crooked journal, and perjuring scientists have given us a forensic view as to how everything might have gone so wrong. We’re calling the combination of runaway medical costs and disease rates — which many profit from but none combat effectively — “The Mess.”

Dr. Maryanne Demasi recently interviewed Dr. Paul Rosch about his efforts to combat the lipid hypothesis, his understanding of the real causes of heart disease, and his views on what it means to be a pioneer who is willing to reject prevailing scientific dogma. Here, Demasi shares highlights from that interview, as well as her personal reflections on Dr. Rosch’s vast contributions to science and health.

Read MoreIn Conversation With Paul J. Rosch

Placebos are used in clinical trials to demonstrate that an experimental drug is superior to the control or “inactive” pill, but sometimes placebos can contain “excipients” such as chemicals, dyes, allergens, or other confounding agents, which might unintentionally bring about symptoms in trial participants. Maryanne Demasi, Ph.D., discusses the issues that arise when placebos are not inert and how these issues may be addressed by the medical journals publishing trial results.

Read MoreSometimes a Placebo Is not a Placebo

In 1987, the American Heart Association claimed cholesterol-lowering statin drugs would “almost eliminate the necessity for bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and eradicate CA (coronary atherosclerosis) by the end of the 20th century.” Unfortunately, as Vladimir Subbotin, an MD and Ph.D. with expertise in disease pathology, explains, “the prognosis stopped short of satisfying the predictions.” In this presentation, delivered at a CrossFit Health event on Dec. 15, 2019, Subbotin shares his explanation for why statins have failed to meet the AHA’s expectations. That failure, he claims, is due to a fundamentally flawed understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease. He presents an alternative hypothesis.

Watch Vladimir Subbotin: An Alternative Hypothesis for Coronary Atherosclerosis

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) grew from the recognition that medical recommendations should become more scientific, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick explains. Unfortunately, several factors confound the endeavor. Kendrick notes life expectancies have begun to decline in the U.S. and U.K. and suggests this may be due, in part, to the unreliable evidence doctors use to treat their patients. Citing prominent voices from the scientific scholarship, he discusses several reasons why our most trusted studies — randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses — are unreliable. “Can EBM be salvaged?” Kendrick asks. “Only if the public and politicians, and of course doctors, wake up to the fact that ‘something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations,’” he concludes.

Read MoreEvidence-Based Medicine, Part 3: Can It Be Salvaged?

“Evidence on medical interventions only has value when all the data can be seen,” Dr. Malcolm Kendrick claims. Unfortunately, despite some scientists’ attempts to draw attention to the selective reporting of clinical data, negative results often remain unpublished. Kendrick argues, “Evidence-based medicine, and therefore the entire medical research database, has been corrupted to the point that it is not just unhelpful but potentially extremely damaging to health.”

Read MoreEvidence-Based Medicine, Part 2: Unpublished Evidence

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been described as “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in helping individual patients make decisions about their care in the light of their personal values and beliefs.” Unfortunately, according to Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, the unquestioned dominance of EBM in medical practice has, in many cases, created more problems than it has solved. In this three-part series, Kendrick discusses various reasons for the ineffectiveness of EBM. Here, he discusses how the widespread influence of the pharmaceutical industry over research priorities produces research that is more profitable than helpful, leading to problems such as the antibiotic resistance crisis.

Read MoreEvidence-Based Medicine, Part 1: Industry Distorts Clinical Priorities

In October 2013, cardiologist and professor of evidence-based medicine Dr. Aseem Malhotra published an editorial in the BMJ entitled “Saturated Fat Is Not the Major Issue.” There, he contradicted popular wisdom about saturated fat consumption contributing to heart disease and claimed the medical establishment’s focus on lowering cholesterol to improve heart health had led to the overprescription of statin drugs with negative side effects. Though the scientific evidence was on his side, many in the scientific and medical communities were not. Here he describes the history and inner workings of the ongoing conflict and the lessons to be gleaned from it.

Read More The Great Statin Scam – Time to Clean up the Mess

“Two drug companies have argued that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) should stop making public any information on clinical trials that businesses consider commercially confidential. These cases, taken by Merck and by PTC Therapeutics, are now waiting on a final judgment from the European Court of Justice. Yannis Natsis, patient representative on the EMA board, said that the EU was at the forefront of clinical trial data transparency worldwide but that this position was threatened by the pending judgment. He said, ‘This will mean that data secrecy will over-ride the public interest of disclosure which is now the default option. It will be a major blow to patient safety, scientific progress, and society at large. Pharmaceutical companies—one of the most secretive business sectors—have long fought against clinical trial transparency, harming patients. The public interest needs to prevail over narrow commercial interests.’”

Read the articleEuropean Drug Regulator Fears Return to Days of Data Secrecy

The benefit of preventive drugs such as statins is often quantified as the “number needed to treat,” or NNT, which reflects the number of subjects who would need to be given a drug for one negative clinical event to be prevented. For example, if the NNT for a statin preventing cardiovascular death is 40, it suggests that for every 40 patients given a statin, one cardiovascular death will be prevented. This number, however, distorts the likely reality of the benefit distribution by suggesting a single subject receives the entire benefit while other subjects receive no benefit. This 2014 review aimed to quantify the clinical impact of statins differently, assessing the mean extension of life due to statin treatment. The analysis found the median benefit associated with statin use was 3.2 days in primary prevention and 4.1 days in secondary prevention. In other words, statins extended life expectancy by less than a week. Separate research suggests if the benefits of statins were explained this way, the majority of subjects would not choose to take them.

Read MoreThe Effect of Statins on Average Survival in Randomised Trials, An Analysis of End Point Postponement

In September 2019, "The Chair of the British Parliament Science and Technology Committee, Sir Norman Lamb MP made calls for a full investigation into cholesterol lowering statin drugs. It was instigated after a letter was written to him signed by a number of eminent international doctors including the editor of the BMJ, the Past President of the Royal College of Physicians and the Director of the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine in Brazil wrote a letter calling for a full parliamentary inquiry into the controversial medication. Here, lead author Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra makes the case for [why] there’s an urgent need for such an investigation."

Read the articleDo statins really work? Who benefits? Who has the power to cover up the side effects?

Maryanne Demasi, an investigative journalist with a Ph.D. in rheumatology, shares highlights from her interview with Danish physician Uffe Ravnskov. Ravnskov, a famed cholesterol skeptic, has gained worldwide significance for his persistent fight against the demonization of cholesterol. Though he once believed additional research would “out the absurdity of a narrative that cast saturated fats and cholesterol as dietary villains,” he has since become an active crusader against misinformation and the corruption of science, publishing more than a hundred articles in well-known scientific journals in an effort to set the record straight on cholesterol.

Read MoreIn Conversation With Uffe Ravnskov

Dr. Jason Fung has grown wary of scientific research that purports to be “evidence based.” A well-known nephrologist and author, Fung often speaks about Type-2 diabetes reversal and the metabolic effects of intermittent fasting, but in this presentation from Dec. 15, 2018, he turns his focus toward the many ways the foundations of evidence-based medicine have become corrupted by financial conflicts of interest. Those corruptions include Big Pharma's habit of buying practicing physicians with gifts, influencing scientific publications by paying off their editors, and skewing the medical research through tactics such as selective publication and changing the trial endpoints — all of which may lead to the unnecessary or even dangerous overprescription of drugs.

WatchDr. Jason Fung: Financial Conflicts of Interest and the End of Evidence-Based Medicine

Dr. Maryanne Demasi earned a Ph.D. in rheumatology from the University of Adelaide, but perhaps the most formative experience she had with the medical sciences occurred while she was an investigative journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). During her tenure with the ABC, she produced a two-part series called “Heart of the Matter,” which challenged the role of cholesterol in heart disease and addressed the overprescription of statin drugs. The fallout from the series was not swift, but it was decisive. In this presentation, delivered on June 8, 2019, at a CrossFit Health event at CrossFit Headquarters, Demasi shares her personal experiences and the challenges she faced while trying to relay the limitations of statin data to the public.

Watch Dr. Maryanne Demasi: My Experience of Exposing the Statin Controversy

Dr. Maryanne Demasi lists several examples that indicate people have steadily been losing confidence in the medical sciences and professions since the 1980s. She also presents a few factors she believes have contributed to the trend. For instance, President Ronald Reagan’s defunding of the NIH and private industry's subsequent infiltration of the medical sciences have led to a litany of corrupt practices that have exacerbated the problem and put lives at risk, she explains.

Read MoreIn science we trust — or do we?

Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche discusses the first of the 10 myths of psychiatry that he outlines in his article “Psychiatry Gone Astray”: the myth that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance and can be fixed with drugs. Gøtzsche argues there is no evidence to support the myth and says psychiatric disorders should be treated with psychotherapy rather than medications. “Antipsychotics have no specific effects at all on psychosis,” he explains.

Read MoreThe Harmful Myth About the Chemical Imbalance Causing Psychiatric Disorders

“Most people let their doctor make the decisions for them, but the evidence tells us that we should be cautious,” Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche explains. Gøtzsche, a specialist in internal medicine, also recommends avoiding medications whenever possible. “We live in a world that is so overdiagnosed and overtreated that in high-income countries, our medications are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer,” he observes.

Read More”Trust me, I’m a doctor”

Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche of the Institute of Scientific Freedom addresses the flawed research surrounding the use of depression pills, the questionable benefits and robust negative side effects associated with them, and the frequency with which they are nonetheless prescribed to patients.

Read MoreThe Depression Pill Epidemic