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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.”

Georgia Ede, MD, is a nutritional psychiatrist who is “passionate about the care — the proper care and feeding of the human brain,” she tells the audience at a CrossFit Health event on Dec. 15, 2019. During her presentation, Ede delineates the various ways authoritative bodies such as the USDA and World Health Organization, through their spread of unscientific dietary guidelines that are rife with misinformation, have complicated her efforts to help patients eat healthfully.

Watch Georgia Ede: Brainwashed — The Mainstreaming of Nutritional Mythology

Medical journals influence how we think about birth, death, pain, sexuality, and sickness. Richard Smith, former editor-in-chief of the BMJ, therefore claims “thoughtful but not necessarily expert reader[s]” should “pay attention to the ways of medical journals, particularly as many of those ways are deficient and need reform.” In this introduction, Smith establishes the scope and context for his book, which encompasses his “unashamedly personal” reflections on the current state of medical literature, and which will be republished here in serial format with permission.

Read MoreThe Trouble With Medical Journals: Introduction

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

Terence Kealey, MD and Ph.D., dispels common myths about breakfast and explains how the confusion of association with causation — confusion perpetuated by researchers who are in league with the breakfast industry — may be exaggerating the benefits of our matutinal meal and negatively affecting our metabolic health. Kealey also shares his breakfast recommendations for the general population as well as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics.

Read MoreThe Story of Breakfast, Part 2

Is walking 10,000 steps a day an effective way to improve your health? Many believe reaching their daily goal will confer physical benefits and even improve cognitive function. Here, Tyler Hass describes the origins of the 10,000-step walking recommendation, examines whether the scientific literature supports it, and analyzes it in the context of CrossFit’s recommendations regarding variance and intensity.

Read More10,000 Steps to Better Health?

Terence Kealey, MD, Ph.D., and unrivaled breakfast expert, touches on key moments in the history of the day’s morning meal. Kealey’s breakfast insights are drawn from examples ranging from the ancient Greeks and Romans to European feudalism and modern industry-driven practices. Kealey suggests a lack of morning hunger may be the body’s natural defense against eating when it is most insulin and glucose resistant. He also argues dietary recommendations for diabetic patients are “weird” and even dangerous.

Read MoreThe Story of Breakfast, Part 1

Dr. Aseem Malhotra is a best-selling author, researcher, and one of the most well-known cardiologists in the U.K. His views on cholesterol and sugar, controversial primarily among those who choose to promote special interests at the expense of public health, have landed him in numerous front-page news articles and on primetime television shows. Here, Malhotra discusses his experiences moving from clinical practice into the public eye and shares the lessons he has learned about public health advocacy along the way.

WatchAseem Malhotra: Lessons in Public Health Advocacy

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?

Jim McCarter, MD and Ph.D., is an expert on the ketogenic diet, particularly its effectiveness for treating and reversing Type 2 diabetes (T2D). McCarter’s research into the health-related effects of corn syrup and sugar led to his discovery of many misconceptions he had “dating back to medical school.” During this presentation, McCarter focuses on correcting some of these misconceptions about nutrition and metabolic health. He outlines the benefits of ketosis and equips listeners to address 40 common myths about the ketogenic diet.

Watch Dr. Jim McCarter: The Top Myths About Ketosis Debunked by Clinical Trials

“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

Carey Gillam is an investigative journalist, the research director of U.S. Right to Know, and author of Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. In this presentation, delivered at a CrossFit Health event on Oct. 13, 2019, Gillam shares her story and some of her most provocative research on the covert tactics pesticide companies use to keep dangerous chemicals in circulation at the expense of public health.

Watch Carey Gillam: Poisonous Pesticides and Companies’ Covert Tactics to Hide the Dangers

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 these contrasting pieces, two authors provide differing argumentation regarding whether the replication crisis, p-hacking, and similar well-documented issues indicate science is broken or working as intended in a self-correcting process.

Read MoreIs Science Broken?

“American taxpayers spend $30 billion annually funding biomedical research. By some estimates, half of the results from these studies can’t be replicated elsewhere — the science is simply wrong. Often, research institutes and academia emphasize publishing results over getting the right answers, incentivizing poor experimental design, improper methods, and sloppy statistics. Bad science doesn’t just hold back medical progress, it can sign the equivalent of a death sentence. ... In Rigor Mortis, award-winning science journalist Richard F. Harris reveals these urgent issues with vivid anecdotes, personal stories, and interviews with the nation’s top biomedical researchers. We need to fix our dysfunctional biomedical system — now.”

Read MoreRigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions