Another Important (Boring) Finding

A study published in the Oct. 30 edition of the the New England Journal of Medicine reported that CRP, a marker of inflammation and heart disease, does not cause heart disease. Rather, it’s just an innocent bystander (Surprise!). The same can be said for almost every medication out there that targets specific biochemical markers, such as for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and depression. Researchers are so caught up linking biochemical markers for various disorders, that somehow, the words "linking" or "associated with" slowly morphs into "causes." So then the search goes on to lower or eradicate this particular marker, thinking that this will somehow get rid of the disease. 

Imagine if you were allergic to dust and the dust particle sets off an allergic reaction in your nose that turns into an inflammatory cascade, almost like a tree trunk that branches into hundred or thousands of smaller branches and so forth. If one biochemical process is the equivalent of one particular branch, of course you’ll see the same branch with the same tree trunk. But cutting off this particular branch, although it may make you feel better, won’t get rid of the tree. The same analogy holds for most of modern medicine, including allergies. Shutting down histamine production may help your allergies feel better, but you have to keep using the medication to stay that way. You’re also not addressing the other hundreds or thousands of other known and unknown inflammatory markers that wreak havoc in other ways.

I predict there will be a proliferation of other biochemical markers that are found to be linked or associated with a medical condition, with researchers and drug companies jumping on the bandwagon to block this chemical, only to find later that it doesn’t work in the long term. 

Do you have other examples of not seeing the forest from the trees?


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