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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 16, 2nd Quarter 2001


The Influence of “Junk” Science in Manipulating and Shaping the Health Care Marketplace


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For the second time in the past 15 years, the Journal of the American Medical Association has published an article attacking the reliability of the test results pro- duced by laboratories doing hair tissue mineral analysis." Both times, I found that the test results and conclusions published in JAMA ran totally counter to my personal and professional experience with hair tissue mineral analysis. My curiosity was aroused by the fact that a well-executed press release and media campaign immediately accompanied each of these JAMA articles so I reviewed copies of each of the articles. Not surprisingly, each of the " research" articles was based on a very small sample-hair cut from either one or two subjects. In the 1985 JAMA study, shoulder length hair was used for collecting the hair samples. Samples should be cut no more than one inch from the scalp. This and other methodological problems raised a number of serious questions about the findings and conclusions of that study.

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