Here we go again. Me, ranting. But it's been so long, I thought I owed you one. So here you go.
I like hearing about data points that help the monkeys leave the cage. And as some of you may recall with a wince, I'm not exactly pro-medicine. Not anti-medicine, either, but I do indeed believe that we hairless monkeys have bought way too hard into The Search For Magic & Hopefully Instant Cures.
For example, I dig when something like nutrition gets a hand up in the clambering for attention we call "media". I'm into the idea that the stuff the earth provides might be all we need, if we can just figure out how to make use it well (and "well" includes sustainably).
So on a related note, since this blog is about fertility topics, my eye was drawn today to this headline: "Antioxidants may help treat infertility" which was followed immediately by "Antioxidants can help with infertility: Study".
Wow, I thought, two headlines in a row on Carrots Vs Infertility -- must be good!
Me being me, I scanned the first piece to find the names of the researcher and the publication in which the study could be found. Along the way I ran into this additional headline: "Antioxidants of Growing Interest to Address Infertility, Erectile Dysfunction".
In three headlines, antioxidants went from being possibly helpful to helpful and then to merely interesting.
And in fact, there's no real news to share. It's bonus points for the study authors of "Antioxidants to enhance fertility: Role of eNOS and potential benefits", published in Pharmacological Research. Their paper is an analysis of data that's been culled by other research, the sum of which author Tori Hagen calls "equivocal" due to study size and focus. She says that while the "jury is still out," data from previous lab studies is "very robust". Says we can look forward to "enormous" potential benefits.
I'm all for telling the monkeys where the key and the lock are located. I get that it's harder to instruct them on using those tools together to open the cage door. I'm just a disappointed monkey when headlines lead me to think that I'm going to be told more than "Yep, there's the lock and there's the key."
Btw, Toronto Sun loses with their version of the "story"...
Follow-up note, from Jessie Gruman's PreparedPatient Forum at the Center for Advancing Health:
... health care journalists are under pressure to excise the uncertainty inherent in scientific inquiry and medical practice from their coverage. Learning about the uncertainty is what we need but not what many of us want.
What she said.